Raising children is an art, not a science. My husband and I agree. From our role in the parenting world, parenting seems more like a cut and paste of different philosophies. Things from our childhood, tips we learn from more seasoned parents: all collected for a patchwork of approaches.
And books! My favorite way of collecting perspectives from different cultures and viewpoints is through books. So why should parenting be any different? After sharing one set of books that have changed my family’s lifestyle, I couldn’t stop there. Here are a few more books that have changed our parenting style. Happy reading!
Like most International books in this parenting genre, the book seems a little repetitive. It’s not long before I find myself thinking: I get it. I’m packing my bags to move your awesome country already! But along with that vibe, this book comes with some hilarious stories of the author encountering cultural differences in both Sweden and the United States. The main message of the book, as seen in the title, is to go outside! Play! Enjoy the nature around you. As a novice South Carolina nature explorer already, what I really liked about this book was how it encouraged me to pack up the rain gear and find that same adventure for my kids (albeit not living in Sweden.)
After you read this book, your experience at the playground will never be the same again! As a physical therapist, the author has a unique view on children today: they are weaker because they are restricted and don’t get time to play! If ever there was a book to stand up and applaud the need for more recess and outdoor free play, this is it! It really helped me rethink, “Why do we teach those playground rules to our children?” and “Does my child really need another video or is there something more active I can have him doing?” Although it’s a hefty read for a busy mom, I absolutely devoured this book.
Think your kid is a picky eater? Try dropping them in France for a couple weeks. This hilarious memoir/self-help book had me in stitches. An American mom agrees with her French husband to live overseas for a while. The result? Awkward cultural collides and lessons learned in this book all centering around food. My own children have not been super picky eaters, but I’ve never introduced them to foods the way the French do! After reading the book, I was inspired to get the author’s other book, Getting to Yum, which has some great recipes! My children love her beet popsicles!
Like many, I watched Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood as a kid. And when my son was old enough, he started watching Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, the PBS show honoring Mr. Rogers’ legacy. These days, Mr. Rogers seems to be everywhere. I even found this weird mania. And while I’ve joined in and read a couple books about Mr. Rogers, I found this book really refreshing because it is Mr. Rogers’ own words. As you know if you’ve seen his show, his quotes are about kindness, helping one another, knowing that you are special, etc.. As I read the book, I was just inspired to be the best parent I could be. Thank you, Mr. Rogers!
I read this book last year while I was in my no-spend month. It kicked off my whole year thinking about sustainable living. Although like me, you might find the author’s lifestyle so different than your own, it was a refreshing and practical look at how implementing her tips can change your waste output. We went from an overflowing garbage can every trash day, to half that. And with Charleston’s new ban on plastic straws, bags, and foam containers, this is the perfect time to consider how your family can be more sustainable. I’m finding it is a gradual, intentional process.
Sugar is in everything, even condiments! This book is about a family of four who makes some very specific rules regarding sugar that they must keep for a year. Can you imagine getting your family on board for a project like this? The journey and final results are fascinating. Although I’m no stranger to a sweet treat, this book encouraged me to rethink where I want to spend my (and my family’s) sugar intake.