Friday, July 8, 2011

How to Parent.

The day after I found out I was pregnant with Tessa (almost exactly two years ago), I went to Davis-Kidd Booksellers and bought What to Expect When You're Expecting. I was on my lunch break from work, and I sat alone downstairs in the crazy quiet of the bookstore cafe and folded myself between the pages of this book. Barely anyone knew I was pregnant yet. When I saw the waiter glance at the title I was reading, I felt proud and afraid at the same time. That faint nausea in my belly--which was only a tiny precursor to the morning sickness that would radiate through my next few months--felt like the beginning of something magical and terrifying, which is the best kind of feeling.

I feel like What to Expect gets a lot of flak, but I loved it. And it began my general interest in parenting books. The best part is: If I disagree with a parenting book, I can tell it that I think it's wrong, dead wrong, and fling it against a wall. I'm not supposed to do that with other parents. I like the one-side-ness of this kind of parenting advice. There's no risk of me getting huffy.

With Tessa in this new stage that she's in, I now need more than just advice on how to treat a horrific diaper rash. I need to know what to do when my kid is freaking out and bucking and screaming on the floor like a fool. Hugs and smooches aren't cutting it. Knowing how to respond to this sort of thing does not come second nature to me. I've already decided that my technique can't involve spanking, not because I'm absolutely opposed to spanking, but because I have a temper and have already decided that I'm not capable of being level-headed about spanking.

So this morning I ordered the three books above in hopes of getting some ideas. One thing I heard recently from another parent is to be consistent, whatever you do. So I probably need to figure out a gameplan and go with it. Do you guys have any favorite parenting books for the toddler-age?


The Sugar Mountain said...

I just blogged about this today. I'm always loving the gentle (but bit submissive) advice I can gather from dr. Sears's "discipline book". There are SO many more good ones. I'll get back.

Little Gray Pixel said...

Good luck! I'm not looking forward to dealing with the toddler years. I can tell you what worked for me when I was a kid: good old-fashioned fear in the form of "Wait in your room till your father (or mother) gets home." Nothing ever happened when the other parent got home, but I behaved in anticipation anyway.

Lil Muse Lily said...

I can honestly say that I haven't picked up a toddler parenting book. I did pick up what to expect when I first got pregnant and hated it, i much preferred the pregnancy bible that my friend lent me.
what i find that works with Lily is to bend down and talk at her level and into her eyes even though she tries to avoid the eyes.
time-out is also very successful in this house hold. it was a hard concept to get at first but she now gets it and we are consistent with it

kristance ann said...

i've found Dr. James Dobson's books very helpful. Dare to Discipline and The Strong Willed Child are a few of my favorites. i'm reading Bringing up girls right now too (same author) and it's wonderful!

The Sugar Mountain said...

Oh I meant NOT submissive. Auto-correct;)

Trischa said...

My kids are 4 and 6. I so wish that I had some wonderful advice to offer you, but it really is trial and error. Some of the things that never worked with my oldest, worked like a charm with my youngest. And just when you think you've got it, they enter a new stage and you have to start all over again. I don't say that in any way to discourage you, just that I wish someone had told me that.... that it's not that you're doing something wrong, it's just that kids constantly change and you have to roll with it. The fact that you care and want to try to figure it out means that you're on the right track!

Joy of Cooking said...

A good friend recommended this book to me: Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five by Dr. John Medina. She says it is great and it gives you the science behind why babies do certain things. Here is a review I just googled:
I am going to check it out for sure!

Anonymous said...

I think you're smart to know enough about yourself to know you shouldn't spank. Personally, I don't think it is an effective parenting tool anyway, but that's beside the point.

You know how to do research--there's a ton of it out there on parenting, some great, some not worth the paper it is printed on. Find something that works for you and your daughter. Be really consistent with whatever you choose--time outs, naughty corners, etc. It will eventually work. Plus, she's little. She will grow out of it, just like everything else kids grow out of.

And you'll look back and laugh.
It'll happen.

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