13 November 2009

Book Week: Parenting

As long as it's Book Week and I'm documenting our favorite children's books, I might as well share my #1 parenting title. Now, let me just say I'm not one to read childcare how-tos in my spare time {meaning after midnight}, let alone recommend them to others. It's just not me. Or Tom. I think I've only cracked open our What to Expect series once since Bleu was born... for an emergency reference on tick removal.

But a year and a half ago Barnes + Noble asked me to write a Toddler 101 guide, and of course the first step in book writing is always research. I needed to know what every "expert" on the spectrum was saying {that day anyway} about discipline, potty training, sleep habits, nutrition, safety, etc. before I ever picked up the phone or turned on my computer. I was weeks away from delivering Bleu, and it was exhausting... and a tad disturbing... to delve into all the opposing philosophies, conflicting advice, misinformation.

Out of many the books I had sent to me, one stood out as a breath of fresh air. It was the only one I couldn't wait to pick up each night. Of course Tom and I were already 2 1/2 years into raising Buby {AP style} and already instinctively doing much of what Dr. William Sears and Martha Sears discuss in The Successful Child: What Parents Can Do to Help Kids Turn Out Well. Still, I found all 16 chapters of his book captivating. Fascinating. Smart. I had to stop myself from highlighting the whole thing {an old habit}.

Sears defines a successful child as an attached child--connected not just to family but to the world beyond. He told his boys that their success in life will not be measured by the money they make or the degrees they earn, but rather by the number of persons whose lives are better because of what they did.

Every child is different. Every parent is different. Every child and parent finds a different way that works for them. Obviously. But for what it's worth... I like this book. I'm not sure why so many people in our parents' generation roll their eyes when we say we happened to like something we read in a parenting book. That's silly. If I'm having an exceptionally trying day {of whining, crying and rivalry} I can flip it open to any random page and read a paragraph and feel centered again. And more patient and understanding. Everyone wins.

When that Toddler 101 assignment was complete, I kept just three other reference books for my personal library, including Elizabeth Pantley's No-Cry Discipline Solution, No-Cry Sleep Solution, and No-Cry Potty Training Solution. She and the Sears' have a similar style.

1 comment:

Mama Jordan MacKeigan said...