Beck reviews parenting books; part 1

(This post is a few years old, but still super relevant, so I’m re-sharing it )

My 3 and a 1/2 year old is bright, funny, creative and very strong willed and independent.

I love and want to nurture these traits, but it can be difficult.

Especially when she just Does. Not. Want. To…{eat, get dressed, go to bed, stop hitting her brother… etc.} and far too often ends up in with everyone yelling and crying. I’ve tried time outs, taking away toys, bribery, even smacking.

None of these feels right to me.

In search of some parenting tips, I paid a visit to my local library.

I grabbed 4 books that looked promising;

Planning With Kids (Nicole Avery), Attached at the Heart (Barbara Nicholson and Lysa Parker), The Mummy Coach (Lorraine Thomas), and Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children – Becoming a Mindful Parent (Sarah Napthali)

This is what I thought of them:

Planning With Kids.

I didn’t even realise till about 1/4 way through, that I am already a follower of this lovely lady’s blog and FB page!

I really liked this book, lots of really useful, practical suggestions about getting organised to help avoid melt-downs and tantrums. I took lot of notes of ideas to try out, including getting meal times under control, setting yourself 15min “jobs” to do, looking for solutions instead of blaming, setting goals, finding ways to deal with morning and evening “peak-hour” to avoid tantrums.

(I think one of the reasons I liked this was that she seems like a normal real mum, you know, the kind that yells and loses her shit sometimes just like the rest of us. I get a bit suspicious of parenting advice from anyone who seems too perfect. )

>>> I’ll pop the link to the FB page here >> https://www.facebook.com/PlanningWithKids?ref=ts&fref=ts

Attached at the Heart.

An interesting read about attachment parenting. I wouldn’t say that I’m completely won over by this style of parenting, but there are a lot of elements to it that I strongly agree with too. I would say this book would probably be more use to someone with a younger baby and looking for some gentler ideas to try, but I still found it interesting and informative. A good read for anyone who wants to know more about the concept of attachment parenting, and they back up their ideas with a lot of research.

The Mummy Coach.

I really did not like this one, in fact certain parts of it really pissed me off. (If it wasn’t a library book, I probably would have chucked it out a window!)

I found a lot of the “advice” to be quite patronising, for example: “Believe in yourself!” “Visualise a calming colour and count to ten” (when your child is having a tantrum) “Draw a love-heart and write your child’s name inside it and stick it on the fridge” (????) “Make sure you get plenty of me-time, book yourself massage”

I’m sorry, but this lady off with the fairies! I can find all the affirming quotes I could ever need on Pinterest, visualising a calming colour is definitely not going to help me when Scout is having a tantrum and pushes her brother over, splitting his lip on the floor and I have two, hysterically screaming little banshees to deal with. Vodka and a time out, maybe, but a love-heart on the fucking fridge? Not so much. And if I had the time to have “me-time” and get a massage… then I wouldn’t be stressed enough to be consulting your book for advice now, would I?

Ok, rant over.

Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children.

I’ve noticed a heap of blogs and parenting sites lately talking about mindful parenting, so I was curious to find out a bit more about it. I really enjoyed this book, in fact I immediately jumped on Amazon to order this book and her previous one, Buddhism for Mothers. I found so many ideas that resonated really strongly with me, I’ve covered the book in a confetti of post-it notes of things I want to come back to read again. The main theme that comes through really strongly for me is wanting to really “be present” for my babies, right now, and that means having to let go of my worrying about the past and the future and just take each moment as it comes and do the best I can.

**( EDIT ) ** I’m coming back to this post close to 5 years after I first wrote it, and this book is STILL one of my parenting favourites. I’ve loaned it out to friends, recommended it to a bunch of people and its still a book I refer back to when I’m feeling a bit lost. I’m currently reading a few more parenting books (my kids are little older and we’re facing a whole new set of challenges, as well as a few of the same old ones.) When I’ve finished he next lot, I’ll give you my options on those too.

So, there you go, my little book review.

If there’s any books you’d like to suggest for me to check out, parenting or otherwise, let me know in the comments section here or on the FB page.

Till next time,

stay cool

BECK XX

(This post was originally published by me on @thisisbeck in 2014, all views and opinions in this article are completely my own and not sponsored in any way.)

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