parenting: books

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These are books I consider essential in your parenting library.

How to Talk So Kids Can Listen & Listen So Kids Can Talk, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
Why? This book has six chapters that will change your life.  It is filled with easy simple advice that you can immediately put into practice.  There are wrap-ups and cartoons at the end of each chapter so even if you have no time you have time for this.

Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More than Peers by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate M.D. Why?  This book sets the stage for your life as a parent who wants to stay connected to your child. While it may seem like an obvious message, it’t actually one that bears repeating and takes focus. Read, and you'll understand.

This is a book I consider essential if you have more than one child, but is also helpful in cousin relationships and general friendships.

Siblings Without Rivalry, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
Why?  This is an AMAZING book that helps you understand the dynamics of siblings.  If you were a sibling it is worth reading.  If you are the parent of more than one child, it should be mandatory reading. And if you are the parent of one child, this book will help you negotiate relationships with your child and his or her friends and cousins.

Depending upon your needs, these are all strong, important books.

Becoming the Parent You Want To Be, by Laura Davis and Janis Keyser
Why?  This book gives you a bigger platform to think about your life as a child and the parent you want to be. 

The Three Ps of Parenting, by Dr. Jennifer Jones
Why?  While she doesn’t have kids of her own and some of her advice is a bit silly (ie the roles you can assign in family meetings) the basic premise of this book can save you from parental anger and control issues.

The Blessing of a Skinned Knee, by Dr. Wendy Mogel
Why?  A lovely overview of parenting and life through a Jewish lens in regard to allowing your child to be himself. It's a bit like Magda Gerber for older children.

Attached at the Heart, by Barbara Nicholson and Lysa Parker
Why?  Barbara and Lysa founded Attachment Parenting International which is an organization dedicated to helping parents stay connected with their children and keep a sense of balance in life.  This book presents a calming, accessible portrait of parenting.

Unconditional Parenting
, by Alfie Kohn
Why?  Backing up everything with his own parenting anecdotes and sound research, Alfie Kohn presents his way to raise independent children who feel valued.   Keep in mind that Alfie Kohn can sound a bit extreme—but it’s always best to aim for the most!

Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys, by Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson
Why?  Boys and girls are not the same.  This book will help you better understand boys in a variety of settings.

Playful Parenting, by Lawrence J. Cohen
Why?  Lawrence Cohen explains some of the ways being purposely playful and redirecting can be the appropriate response to some situations.

The Parents We Mean To Be, by Richard Weissbourd
Why?  Richard Weissbourd has written one of the only parenting books mentioned by The New Yorker ever. This is for the modern parent who thinks everything matters, and may be caught up in a whirl of parenting advice and seemingly well meaning community pressure.
Let the Baby Drive, by Lu Hanessian
Why?  This memoir of the first years of motherhood creates a great balance between learning from others and connecting with your real instincts as you parent, while making you smile and, perhaps, cry a bit.

Please note:  I do not have a relationship with any company to endorse books—any books mentioned are ones I have personal experience with and like for myself or my family.  If available, I have listed these books in my askyourfriendkira parenting store where I do get a tiny portion of the sale price.


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