On Reading: Parenting By the Book

The two most obvious reasons that we read is to be entertained or to be informed. Some of us lean more in one direction than the other, but any reader has likely turned to books when they need information.

Elizabeth has posted a review of Bullying Decoded on 5 Minutes for Mom (and you can enter to win a copy by leaving a comment over there). In her post, she shares about the bullying that one of her sons has dealt with time and again, and what they did about it. She also shares what she likes about this particular resource, and in addition to gleaning wisdom on how to parent him through it, she’s going to pass it on to him to read for himself.

Though I can only take so much parenting advice, there have definitely been times that I turned to the experts to help me get through a certain situation. What mom-to-be didn’t at least pick up What to Expect When You’re Expecting and/or What to Expect the First Year? (Really–I’m asking–if you never read either of these, you must leave a comment and let me know.) But for me, it was scheduling and sleep training and nursing that had me running for the bookstore for help. And it did help.

Raising a spirited preschooler had me a bit frustrated until the wisdom and encouragement of Mary Sheedy Kurcinka made its way into my brain as I read her book.

I’ve been reading books about adolescence, specifically raising daughters, since before my daughter hit the double digits, partly because I’m a book reviewer and these types of books are heavily promoted on mom blogs, and partly because I wanted to be sure that I understood my daughter and didn’t lose touch with her as a teen. I wanted to be ready. I wanted parenting to come naturally to me. I wanted to know what I believed and how I was going to act.

Also, as an adult reader of young adult literature, I’ve been somewhat educated — or perhaps illuminated — about the mind of a teenager, which has come in handy since I now have one of my very own who will be entering high school in the fall. Sometimes memoir or fiction can instruct as effectively as a book written by a Ph.D. or a psychologist.

What about you? Is there a book that helped you get through a particular stage in your kids’ lives? Is there one that changed your thinking so much that it’s defined how you parent? Let us know, and check out the comments to see if your favorites are mentioned.

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Jennifer Donovan has indeed turned to books for comfort and commiseration as well as content. She blogs at Snapshot when her reading and reviewing schedule allows.


  1. says

    I recently enjoyed Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching, and Appreciating Boys by Hal and Melanie Young and wished I’d had something like it when my guys were small. My go-to book when mine were little was Dare to Discipline by James Dobson.
    Barbara H. recently posted..The Perfect WisdomMy Profile

  2. says

    Oh, the parenting books I’ve read! The most common theme that I read about is parenting a child with ADHD. I have too many titles on my shelf to name them all, but the one that I referred to a whole lot in the last year is LATE, LOST, AND UNPREPARED: A PARENTS’ GUIDE TO HELPING CHILDREN WITH EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING. I highly recommend it!
    Dawn recently posted..friday’s fiveMy Profile

    • says

      Yeah, I remember that one too. I think it was actually specifically written in rebuttal to the What to Expect. . . books that are pretty intense!

  3. says

    Lenore Skenazy and her Free-Range Parenting is one of my favorites, it reinforced my beliefs that kids don’t need to be kept in bubble wrap and also pushed me to let them do some things I might not have.

    Also, not a parenting book, per se, but The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease got me out of a reading rut when my oldest was 5 and pushed us to move beyond picture books into some easy chapter books.
    Nancy recently posted..Kids’ Picks – JulyMy Profile

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