Parenting/Family Books

Here at fifteen months, I am happy to report that the parenting and family portion of our bookshelf is beginning to look quite healthy.  I was very eager to find quality books of this kind during the long months we spent waiting on Yogi.  There are SO MANY books about babies and children and parenting, but so few of them are really worth reading.  In the hopes that some TTC and expectant parents are reading and feel a similar safety in a good book, here is a list of my favorites so far:
  • I found this book at a local book sale and it was quite a find.  Rituals are so important and this book has lots of creative ideas for how to mark and celebrate not just the major holidays, but the minor ones and the everyday.  To give you a flavor, some of the rituals include Full Moon Bonfires, Social Justice Night and Family Book Groups. 
  • Lots of excellent (and highly detailed) information about nutrition.  Tons of recipes too.  This one is on my kitchen counter.
  •  I’ve written about this book more than once, but I found the information to be super useful.  I read the whole thing in a few hours and dog-eared a handful of pages for reference.  If you’re not an expert in baby cues, you should check this out. 
  • Very readable and organized around age milestones.  Each section outlines the big issues (sleep, eating, teething, motor skills, etc) at that age and what to look for/expect in the coming months.  
  • LOVE this book!!!  It’s essentially a readable lit review of recent research (and particularly outcomes that are counter-intuitive or not widely discussed) about childhood.  There is an excellent chapter about self-esteem.  
There are also a few more waiting in the wings and I’m eager to get to them as well.  Has anyone read any of these?  
What’s on your parenting bookshelf?
  • Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier and More Secure Kids (John Payne) 
  • How Babies Talk: The Magic and Mystery of Language in the First Three Years of Life (Golinkoff & Hirsh-Pasek) 
  • Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder (Richard Louv) 
  • Parenting Beyond Belief: On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids without Religion (Dale McGowan ed) 
  • The Mindful Child: How to Help Your Kid Manage Stress and Become Kinder, Happier and More Compassionate (Susan Kaiser Greenland)

6 thoughts on “Parenting/Family Books

  1. Thanks for this list! I've bookmarked it. I own and have browsed few some of the books you mentioned, but am interested in check out some of the others. I feel like we're on the same page parenting-wise. (No pun intended.)

  2. Nurtureshock has been on my list for awhile–I love all of Po Bronson's books. Such big ideas, but so accessible.

    I highly highly recommend Last Child in the Woods. I'm glad to see it on your list & I think you will like it. I have heard him speak as well, and he's just as great live.

    Also, it's really old, and many of the ideas are now commonplace, but Reviving Ophelia will always hold a place in my heart.

  3. Thanks for sharing this! I'll have to look for the one about rituals. We love our before-dinner “thanks yous” but I've been looking for more ideas along those lines.

    Two of my favorite parenting books are:
    Child of Mine by Ellyn Satter*listing*title
    Lots of good ideas about approaching food and kids. My partner and I have liked the fact that it's all about freedom within limits, which fits with other parts of our parenting philosophy.

    Mommies, Daddies, Donors, and Surrogates: Answering Tough Questions and Building Strong Families
    I like that this book goes deeper than just looking at when/how to discuss donor-assisted conception with kids (though the nuts-and-bolts part of it is very helpful). It also helps parents reflect on the fears/worries/insecurities that can get in the way of having good conversations with our kids.

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