Seeing as I’m on holidays till New Years Day in the glorious Atherton Tablelands (seriously, you should come up here sometime!), I’ve set myself the holiday project of reading five books on parenting.
Well, actually, they’re not strictly all on parenting in general. The pile consists of (along with accompanying reason for reading:
The Discipline Book by William & Martha Sears, which deals with the issue of discipline particularly. Reason for Reading: Now that I’m the parent of a toddler (who I can actually hear screaming in the background, actually . . .), I’ve noticed that she’s starting to get a mind of her own, and a stronger temperament. With a range of parenting techniques out there, all claiming to be gospel, I’m interested in understanding what people are saying. Dr Sears is widely loved by many people in the “attachment parenting” circles (you can Google that if you don’t know what it is), and is certainly not a voice to be ignored when it comes to parenting. He’s pretty upfront that he’s not in favour of spanking, etc., which I’m not sure that I agree with – but you can’t just complain if you haven’t read the book. So that’s why that’s on the list.
How to Make your Children Mind Without Losing Yours by Kevin Leman, which is pretty much the same thing. Reason for Reading: Same as above. Leman’s another popular psychologist author, but he’s coming from a more distinctively Christian point of view – and he was on Rachel’s shelf, so I thought I might as well add him to the mix.
Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel, which is also on a similar subject, but probably a bit broader. Reasons for Reading: As the spanking crowd has grown bigger (and more controversial – try googling “Michael Pearl”), recently a new movement has been arising called “grace based parenting” (or something similar) claiming to be getting parenting back to basing it around grace, not punishment or legalism. Again, you can’t pass judgement if you haven’t read it, so that’s what I’m doing.
Parenting in the Pew by Robbie Castleman, which is specifically dealing with how to introduce your children to church, what to do with them when they’re there, etc. Reasons for Reading: One of the big issues that I’m wrestling with in my own mind is the idea of children and Sunday School. When I grew up, we were one of the few families whose children didn’t get sent to Sunday School. We were made to stay in the service. I like to think that’s a really great idea for getting kids used to church, but I don’t want to just follow down that path because that’s what I experienced. So I’m reading a book about it as well.
And, finally, The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley, which claims to offer gentle ways to help your baby sleep through the night without having to make them cry themselves to sleep. Reason for Reading: Shelby, on the whole is pretty good at sleeping through most of the night, but she does tend to wake up once or twice an evening. We’re coping pretty well – but, hey, doesn’t every parent like to think that if they could fine tune their child’s sleeping down to a solid unbroken night’s sleep that it’d be perfect? I’ve never really been sold on the idea of letting your kid cry themselves to sleep. While I know it was the done thing in the middle part of the 20th century, it also seems to me that the connection between parents and children was so bad, that it was one of the contributing factors of the whole 60s revolution mentality that saw adults giving the flick to everything that was dear to their parents – including church, classical music (actually, all their music, really), clothing styles, etc.
. . . Sorry, back to sleep . . . So, anyway, I already know what the people who talk about letting your baby cry itself to sleep say. So I just want to hear a second opinion.
And on that note, I’m going to sign off and get back to reading.