Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Terrible Twos?! Books For Raising Toddlers & Older Kids
These are some of our favorite books that would be excellent choices for those currently raising (or looking forward to) toddlers and older children. They are not all specific to the commonly termed "terrible twos" (a term I really dislike by the way, and have found to be entirely unfitting for toddlers raised in a securely attached home) - but they apply to youngsters as well as older children and are books that are certain to improve the parent-child relationship and lead to a healthier, happier toddler (and eventual teen) in the process.
Kids do not just wake up one day in a different stage of development or with behavior issues. It is all a gradual process, day in and day out. Parenting matters! While it may seem that problems pop up out of nowhere, overnight, this is not the case. As the authors of these books will demonstrate, it is the secure attachment relationship that exists between a child and his/her parent(s) that will determine how toddlerhood, and the rest of his dependent life, will go.
It is crucially important to pay attention to this aspect of family life that used to be quite natural and normal - a part of human development that we never thought much about for all of human existence, yet it was taking place all the while. As our developed (Western) society started shifting to be more of a detached, individualistic 'me' vs. 'you' culture for children - and even for babies - we forgot and let go of many of the natural parenting styles that held children close, securely attached, "well behaved," securely bonded in love, healthy, and happy.
It is never too late to start implementing changes, but my hope is also that some parents who are looking ahead at their baby/toddler/teen raising years will explore some of these wise resources ahead of time. Life is much easier if peaceful parenting starts at birth.
1) Hold Onto Your Kids - especially geared toward those approaching the teen years, but it is never too early to read this book
2) The Science of Parenting - an easy, straightforward and neuro-science based book with sections applicable to babies and children of all ages
3) Why Love Matters - this book primarily focuses on the early years (first 3) because, as the author says, it is difficult to 'fix a house' that was built on a poor foundation. She is a neuroscientist and explains the many reasons that LOVE matters - not just in words, but in our actions with our babies, toddlers, and teens.
4) The Attachment Connection: Parenting a Secure & Confident Child
5) Attachment Parenting: Instinctive Care for Your Baby & Young Child
6) The Natural Child: Parenting From the Heart - Jan Hunt is a peaceful parenting guru ~ no matter what her critics may throw her direction, she has an intelligent, grounded response.
7) Natural Family Living - from the editors of Mothering Magazine, this book has a little something for everyone!
8) The Continuum Concept: In Search of Happiness Lost - wonderful, deep, eye-opening book (a bit more challenging than Our Babies, Ourselves but along the same lines). This book is not so much a how-to or advice book, but a book of explanation - why and how the ways we parent really matter! And how the ways that WE were parented as children impact us today as adults.
9) Last Child in the Woods - a child simply cannot sit inside the 4 walls of 'home' every day all day long without outside exploration and still be expected to remain healthy and happy.
10) Sharing Nature with Children 20th Anniversary Edition
11) Beyond the Rainbow Bridge: Nurturing our Children from Birth to Age Seven
12) Primal Mothering in a Modern World - one single woman's story of how she peacefully parented her children even in the midst of having nothing.
13) The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers & Preschoolers
14) The No-Cry Nap Solution
15) How Weaning Happens - especially for the breastfeeding mother
16) Breastfeeding Older Children
17) Mothering Your Nursing Toddler
18) *Health Book* Boost Your Child's Immune System
19) *Health Book* Take Charge of Your Child's Health - this book is geared to start with infancy, but it can be useful at any time in our parenting journey
20) *Health Book* Baby Greens: A Live Food Approach for Children of All Ages - great ideas no matter what ways you tweak the recipes to fit your family's diet choices
21) Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Lives of Boys (for parents with boys looking ahead to the teen years)
22) Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls (for parents with girls looking ahead to the teen years)
View the full collection of discipline books here.
The following books (below) are those that we have not yet reviewed here at DrMomma.org, but they look good and are written by authors we trust. If you have read any and wish to leave your thoughts, please do!
1) Parenting for a Peaceful World
3) The No-Cry Discipline Solution
4) Connection Parenting
5) Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves
6) Playful Parenting
7) The Successful Child
8) Attaching in Adoption
9) Attached at the Heart