Thursday, March 12, 2009

My Fave Parenting Books

I’m gearing up to tell you about this radical discipline program we’re doing, but I'm afraid--it's so hard to explain! You'll think I'm crazy! So instead, here are my favorite parenting books. Really, you should scan through each of these.

Positive Discipline: The First Three Years

All the ways you can discipline without punishment by catching the good. Holds that little kids can’t be good until they feel good. You can definitely take this philosophy too far, in my opinion, and end up with overempowered kids that sap your energy. But much of the time, parents should stick with the positive approach, especially for little kids who aren’t so much naughty as uncivilized.

This is sort of the opposite of #1 and in my opinion should be used in conjunction. It’s a little too authoritarian for my taste and it compares children to dogs, who should learn to “sit” and “stay.” But the overall philosophy is that parents should establish consequences, good and bad, attached to each choice their children make. Then the parents step back, let the children make their choices, and administer the appropriate consequence. Every parent should know how to do this—isn’t that, after all, how Heavenly Father operates?

If your bickering children drive you crazy, you should read this. It delves into the kids’ psyches to reveal why they take such joy in tormenting each other. Then it gives you a great set of proactive strategies to limit the torture. This will change your paradigm of how you view your children, and you will feel great relief from the responsibility for refereeing their fights. The same authors wrote How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, which I like as well.

I came across this one by happenstance and it was just what I needed. It’s about how to transition older kids from being monitored and instructed by Mom at each turn to moral independence and responsibility.


  1. Wow. I needed those recommendations! Thanks.

  2. Thanks, Ang. I really love that you are so good at reading opposing views and gleening what you need from each side. You're so ed-ja-macated!

  3. I will have to read the sibling rivalry book! I'm at a loss with my girls and was thinking of listing them on craigslist.

  4. How about some fiction recommendations? Pretty Please?