As I’ve changed the way I parent I’ve struggled to feel equipped to discipline my children without resorting back to the punishment mentality I was raised with. I written about some of the books I’ve read in this last year, but hadn’t found anything that I felt was truly helpful in re-training my mind, and giving me new tools to use in my approach to gentle parenting. In the last 3 months, I feel as though I’ve discovered the jackpot of encouraging books through my library system. Here are the titles and what I thought of them in case you want to check them out too. Feel free to ask any questions about any of the books and I will try to answer them as best I can!
The Encouraging Parent
I ordered this book because of the title, and I enjoyed many aspects of it. Particularly how he advocates empathy in parenting. I like how he talks about giving your child permission to feel and teaching them how to talk about how they feel, instead of just acting out. I also liked his equating unconditional love with acceptance. Our kids need to be accepted.
The downside of this book was that it felt a bit emotionally manipulative to me? He seemed just a tad pre-occupied with appearance, being competitive, “never quitting”. Some of it seemed kind of unimportant to me. Granted, this book is aimed towards parenting children older than mine, so I may not fully get all of the reasoning behind some of his approach.
Ever since being burned by the advice of other Christian parenting books that taught me to parent without compassion or mercy I have been wary of religious parenting books. I wasn’t too excited about the subtitle (Raising (almost) perfect kids) but I felt a little better after reading his explanation in chapter one- he means perfect in love, not in appearance, obedience, behavior, success, or popularity. I was pleasantly surprised by this book. He outlines tender and loving parenting while addressing the mindset towards different ages and behaviors, as well as talking about how to integrate your faith in it all. He gives a good general outline for christian parenting. He only spends a few chapters on specific disciplinary methods, but overall a pretty great book. I am considering buying this one because I think it could be an encouraging resource throughout parenting.
Becoming the Parent you want to be
The thing that caught my eye with this book was the subtitle “A Source book of Strategies for the first 5 years”. Since all of my children are still in those years I figured this book could come in handy. It’s a large book and I have not read it all, but it also looks like a great resource. I was impressed by the huge amount of ground covered, starting with how you view your children, ways to support yourself emotionally as a parent, and what the world feels like from a child’s perspective. And moving on to pinpointing difficult behavior and social skills. I loved their gentle encouraging approach to parenting and appreciated the wealth of information this book offers.
This book looks fascinating. It encourages teaching your children to be confident by giving them control in some areas of their life and helping them realize that they are competent. I really liked all the concepts. Unfortunately, this book is supposed to be for children ages 6-16, so it’s not a whole lot of use to me right now. I think I will be looking it up in the future, because from what I can tell at this point, it looks really good.
Discipline without distress
Definitely considering purchasing this one. The subtitle reads “135 tools for raising caring responsible children without time-out, spanking, punishment or bribery”. And it is written by a mother of 5. The book is separated into 2 parts, in Part 1 she outlines what discipline is and what it seeks to accomplish, and then talks about all the different types of discipline and punishments parents tend to use, the pros and cons of each, and how each type can effect children’s well being and behavior. Part 2 walks through each age and talks about what each age is capable of, what behavioral issues are most likely to pop up, and how to work through them. I really enjoyed chapter 6 where she details how much every child is different, (personality, temperament, learning style, love language, birth order) how can we discipline them all in the same way?
I’ll be back next week with some of my favorite discipline websites.