I have always loved to read, but it wasn’t until my son was born that I ditched the beach reads (although any book can now be a beach read with summer here!) and started pouring over self-help and parenting books. There were so many things that I didn’t know about parenting, and it was nice to see others’ perspectives, even if it was a perspective that my husband and I decided was not for us. Here are some of my favorite finds:
The Power of a Praying Parent By Stormie Ormartin
When I first became a parent, there were so many things that I worried about. Is my son breathing? Does his diaper content look normal? Should I go to the doctor for his cough? And with baby #2 on the way, I find myself in that same cycle. Although this book doesn’t give answers to these questions, it guides the reader into releasing worries by using prayer. Whatever your faith, the years of parenting are long. There can be so many things to stress over. I recommend finding strategies for relieving that stress, and this book was a great start for me.
Simplicity Parenting By Kim John Payne, Lisa M. Ross
As a former teacher, I saw how busy schedules impacted kids. And as my baby grew into a toddler, I saw how a busy schedule created more meltdowns. Eeek! Although this book discusses more than just schedules, I appreciate the writers’ approach to having calmer days paired with busy days. Life can be busy, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t choose to find calm and quiet within them. I also love their perspective on “less is more.” We have definitely included toy rotations into our daily life.
100 Days of Real Food By Lisa Leake
When my son was about 5 months old, I realized I needed a change. I would come home from work every day to my lunch AND dinner: a microwaved chicken pot pie and a frozen yogurt pop. Although there is nothing wrong with the occasional chicken pot pie or frozen dessert, I knew eating them EVERY day was a deal breaker. And since I was a terrible cook, I needed some simple recipes to get me started on my food journey. This was the book that helped me learn how to feed my family (and my husband is SO grateful).
The Power of Half By Kevin Salwen and Hannah Salwen
This is the story of an Atlanta family that decided to take on a family project to make the world a better place. What I appreciate about this book is how the writers share their journey. And while I don’t think their generosity project is appropriate for most families, I think the way they strategized, researched, and proceeded is a great example to follow! What an awesome model to employ in any family, especially with elementary-aged and older kids.
The Gift of Failure By Jessica Lahey
I absolutely LOVE this book (Thanks, Paula, for the recommendation!) and think every parent and educator should read it. The ultimate goal of raising our children should be to let them be independent, useful, strong members of our society. As a former teacher, I too often saw parents rescuing their students from situations that the students could have very well handled themselves. This book gives advice and encouragement for parents to step aside, allowing students to fail and succeed at lower risk situations so that they can learn to be more successful when it really counts. I was partial to this idea to begin with, but it really helped me look at how I can start employing these concepts with a toddler. Socks too hard to put on yourself? No, I can’t help you. I KNOW you can do it yourself! (And he has! Even if they are somewhat backwards.)