This week I want to share with you three of the most amazing books I’ve read about parenting. These books have all changed my outlook and improved my understanding of children. Every parent should read these books. I especially appreciate how the wisdom is adaptable for families to match with their own values.
A Solid Foundation: Discipline that Makes Sense
My husband and I only ever had one major disagreement, and it was on how we should discipline our children. This was before we were married, and our opinions were so opposed that I thought we were going to have to go our separate ways. Thankfully I calmed down, and we agreed that I could do some more research on the subject before we talked again. And so I went to the library and found this gem of a book!
This book isn’t just about how to discipline your children. It addresses the major overwhelm felt by children growing up in modern society, and how to establish boundaries that can grow with your child. If you want to reduce the anxiety your child feels, and help orient your child in this fast-paced fickle world, this is the book for you! Besides guiding you in ways to orient your child, emotional milestones and stages of discipline are discussed. The Soul of Discipline is clear and practical. Payne gives you the tools to discipline your children according to your family values. Well worth the time to read and reread.
Why is My Child Acting Like This?
The Temperament God Gave Your Kids (update: now available at Amazon.ca too, see below) by Art and Laraine Bennett.
Of my suggestions, this is the one I read most recently. I am so glad I did! Art and Laraine Bennett describe different child temperaments and how these children approach the world around them. The book discusses how to nurture your children in ways to bring out the best it them. Not only does it pinpoint strengths and how to help your child recognize them, but it also helps you as a parent recognize the difference between wilful misbehaviour and misunderstandings due to temperamental differences.
I also love how this book discusses the spiritual formation of your children. The Bennett’s offer sound advice on how understanding your child deeply is the key to helping them blossom. There is also a section on understanding your personality and how you parent. Reading about how to balance my parental temperament with the needs of my children was enlightening! The amount of insight gleaned from The Temperament God Gave Your Child makes it a classic for any parent’s book collection.
I remember the day this book arrived from Amazon. I’d already read the 3rd edition, and then the 4th edition as an eBook from the library. After all that, I finally had my own copy! As I reread this newly-mine book, I took it with me everywhere when we went out. Even when I knew I wouldn’t have time to look at it. That is how much I love this book:
The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise.
Although this book describes how to homeschool your children in the Classical method, it actually goes much deeper than that. It gives parents the tools and encouragement to know that they can teach their own children, ideas for encouraging learning in the first five year of your child’s life, and how to supplement institution school education at home if you are sending your child to school.
For parents overwhelmed by the responsibility to find good educational resources when building a curriculum for their children, this book has it all. On feature I like is the up to date curriculum lists (and online lists as well) for the vast array of subjects you may be planning to include for your children. I also absolutely love how they break each subject down by the stage of development your child is in. I’m not a huge fan of biology or chemistry. But with The Well Trained Mind, I know how I can approach these subjects when teaching my kids.
There is also a section of The Well Trained Mind dedicated to early learning. Count objects and actions with your child. Parents who want a guided approach can get Preschool Math at Home (which I’ve bought). I’m one of the crazy few who love math, so I really hope to help my children feel the same. Another early learning book produced by The Well Trained Mind Press is The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading. There are no words to express how excited I am to use this book to teach my children to read. It doesn’t just tell me how to do it, but provides line by line instruction and dialogue to use. Even an overtired parent with three little ones can use this method. (After all, it was written by a parent who did just that).
Finally, I appreciate how this book can also be used by parents who, for whatever the reason, send their children to school. The Well Trained Mind provides these parents with ways to actively encourage their children’s education. From providing methods to deepen learning and understanding, to ways to add subjects and lessons at home that the school system is neglecting, The Well Trained Mind does it all!
Books Every Parent Should Read
Do you have any suggestions for books I should read on parenting? I’d love to hear about it in the comments. Don’t forget to share this article on social media. And check out the books mentioned in this article!
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