Thursday, June 12, 2008

marinating motherhood

Been having an urge to do some reading about parenting lately. I don't really know why; I've never really read anything about parenting with any kind of seriousness, mostly just the odd magazine article, which mostly I sneer at, to tell the truth. I read The Baby Book by Dr. Sears once upon a time, maybe not cover to cover, but poked around to see if my first little precious was normal or to identify the strange rash on his face (eczema--big sigh), but I've never felt like, "Hey, I have some extra reading time and I want to devote it to reading someone else's idea of being a good parent."

I've always parented mainly from instincts, and it worked out pretty well for the infancy and toddlerhood of my oldest, as well as the infancy of my youngest. Even the earlier preschool years of Jabber, I felt like I pretty much knew how to figure my way through the tantrums and the neediness without anybody else's advice, thankyouverymuch. But lately I'm starting to feel like my bag of tricks is running low, and I'm relying instead on the reactive parenting strategies of someone whose buttons are repeatedly being pushed. I can blame it on the stress of working full time, but that's not likely to change any time soon (even with this eight week furlough from the front lines), and with a possible new job opportunity on the horizon for Mr. Lissnkids, it sounds like we are only getting busier.

So I did a little looking about, asked a few questions on the gentle discipline forum over at MotheringDotCom, and came up with a pretty good list of books that might be worth a little bit of my summer reading time. I stopped at the library today while on lunch break from writing curriculum with my friend mary'slist, and I picked up three of them. So now I've decided to read all three of them at once, 'cause that's how I read books. And maybe, if any of these wonder books of parental wisdom happen to make me stop and think about anything of consequence, I'll write about that here. And if I feel like sneering a little, I may do that, too.

The books are, in no particular order:

Playful Parenting, by Lawrence J. Cohen (with a little Ph.D. for good measure)

Positive Discipline for Working Parents by Jane Nelson (Ed.D., sorry, what is this?) and Lisa Larson, (M.A.): This is a skinnier book than just plain old Positive Discipline, I suppose because working parents have less time to read?

the no-cry discipline solution, by Elizabeth Pantley (without acronym). I've read some about her book, the no-cry sleep solution, but I admit I've never read it. My no-cry sleep solution has always been to stick a boob in his mouth, so yeah.

So anyway, that's my parenting strategy for the next couple of weeks: a blitzkrieg of gentle discipline books and hopefully a lot of time outdoors. Maybe if we're really lucky the weather will cooperate. Either that or we'll at least stay busy building our ark.

Jabber is afraid of what these parenting books might teach me!


Shana said...

When you figure out how to deal with cranky and moody four year old boys let me know! ;-)

liss n kids said...

If I can figure that out, I'll be writing my own damn book!

Krupskaya said...

Sounds like you have a ton of reading, but if you want one more, I strongly recommend "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk." It sounds cheesy, but I found it amazingly useful and I love it now when I hear the kids use some of the strategies in it without even knowing it.

liss n kids said...

OK, I guess I cheated when I said I hadn't read any parenting books, 'cause I did read that one, except it was a book we were reading for teaching, I think. I liked the comic strips! :)

cindyMN said...

Honestly I don't think I have ever read a parenting book that really works. It seems like it's just learn as you go. And not blow your temper, or pack up and leave. HA.
I have 2 dd's ages 12 and 15, and it seems like there is always something different.
Would the talk book work for teens??

liss n kids said...

cindymn, yeah the talk book I read was interesting for relating with my middle school students, and my little guy, too, I think. It's been a long time since I read it, though.

Anonymous said...

Hey Elissa,
I am going to leave a comment! I am sure enjoying reading your blog. This whole "blog" thing is new to me.. Parenting books... I have to say I read a lot of them. I think my favorite author for toddler and pre-school issues was John Rosemond. But, I have to quickly say that when ever I read a book, I NEVER took everthing the author had to say as "gospel". I just gleaned from what information seemed logical to me (and Tim) I specifically remember reading about night terrors in a Rosemond book; and shortly after, Meagan starting having them. I would have not known what to do if I had not read about it, they are pretty scary.
okay, I am rambling!!
Before I sign off, I am curious about the new job on the horizon for Mr. Liss N kids..
Well, I did it!

Krupskaya said...

CindyMN: The book can work on any age, from just-verbal to, ahem, significant others.

cindyMN said...

HA!! I like the significant other comment. I might have to look in to the book just for that!!