I do not like parenting books.
I do not like parenting “experts.”
I do not like people telling me what to do.
But I am an obsessive reader and before I was drowning in the life of chasing-after-small-humans-who-are-magnetically-drawn-to-the-street, I read so many parenting books. Here are three I really, truly liked.
This book freed me from a lot of worrying. If you think Free Range is not for you, that you need to be a Helicopter or Bansai or Some Other Type of Parent I Am Not Cool Enough To Know About, this book deserves a look, because everyone has their own line where childhood independence meets worrywort mothering. It’s good to see the sprectrum. And to have a few cold facts at hand about what you should really worry about and what you can leave behind. My kids were probably going to be free range anyway, as they are like toddling forces of nature who have no concern for the dangers of the world and only give me blank stares when I talk about how to not get hurt. And if that is your deal, like it is mine, it’s kinda nice sometimes to know you are not alone.
She also has a pretty good blog here: http://www.freerangekids.com/
I didn’t (and don’t) agree with everything Dr. Sears says or does. What I got out of this book was the notion that I could follow my own instincts. I don’t have to parent like everyone else. Maybe this is a total “duh” idea, but I was not super quick to figure any of this mom stuff out on my own. Someday maybe I will be inspired to post about how tired and frustrated I was when I had my first baby. I am still, STILL figuring out how messed up our feeding/eating routine was.
3. How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. This is full of ideas for how to parent older kids, at least kids who are old enough to talk to you and understand what you are saying. And probably best geared towards school-aged and older. Plenty of parenting books will tell you the behaviors you can expect, but this book is full of actual tips on what to say and do when you are confronted with the crummy things your kids will do and say. It is hard to find books that offer that kind of practical advice. And even better, the stuff I have tried from this book — it has all worked so far.