misc.kids parenting books FAQ, part 3: medical, lifestyles choices, death, gender, misc., sources

Learning Disabilities and AD/HD

Karen J. Foli: Like Sound Through Water
cover WONDERFUL book by the mother of a child with severe auditory processing issues, in which he appeared to be hearing-impaired although his ears were fine. Uplifting description of how the boy improved with intensive speech therapy. - Paula Burch

Teri James Bellis: When The Brain Can't Hear: Unraveling the Mystery of Auditory Processing Disorder
cover A more scientific book than the above, but still accessible, it goes into the various different TYPES of auditory processing disorder, very helpfully. - Paula Burch

Russell Barkley: Taking Charge of AD/HD
coverThe best book on AD/HD in your child, I got it because our diagnostician recommended it. Not just the author's opinions, this book is filled with the results of research. Quite reliable about medications, and helpful for behavioral problems relating to AD/HD. - Paula Burch

Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents on ADHD
Excellent book, describing not only AD/HD and what to do about it, but also many of the various learning disabilities that often come with AD/HD. - Paula Burch

Hallowell and Ratey: Driven to Distraction [sources incl. amazon]
Found a great book with lots of info on ADD, support groups, etc. It is written by two psychiatrists who actually have ADD and that is also their specialty. So they are not writing the book from the outside looking in.--Susan DeMeritt [from a post]

...one of the best, if not the best book out on ADD. --Marshall Kragen [from a post]

This book is written more about adult than childhood AD/HD, but is extremely useful for the parent of a child with AD/HD in two ways: one, by describing how it feels to have AD/HD, and two, because many children with AD/HD have an undiagnosed parent with AD/HD who could use some help, too! - Paula Burch

Medical Information & Nutrition

Nelson & Pescar: Should I Call the Doctor? (1986, Warner; 0-446-38189-X) [OOP; try your library or perhaps amazon]
Although it covers infants too, I didn't really use this book much till Beth was over a year. Organized into sections by symptom, and lists sets of symptoms for which you should rush to emergency (or call an ambulance), go to your doctor or a walk in clinic, make an appointment to see your doctor in the next few days, or mention it to the doctor at the next regular appointment. Also a "what to expect" section explaining the tests and so on that will probably be run when you seek treatment. This book calms me down when I get frantic about fevers or bumped heads or rashes. I don't worry that I'm missing something life-threatening. I think eveyone should have a copy. -- Kate Gregory

"Taking Care of Your Child" Pantell, Fries & Vickery [sources incl. amazon]
This book has medical and first aid help. It has flow charts for each item covered. There are about 100 topics and includes things like puncture wounds, sunburns, neck pain, bed wetting, and colic. The charts help decide whether you should be rushing to the doctor, making an appointment, or applying home treatment. It covers what the doctor would probably do and describes home treatment procedures also. As a bonus, it includes a copy of the growth charts.

Kenneth Grundfast and Cynthia Carey: "Ear Infections in your Child" [OOP; try your library or perhaps amazon]
I can't remember his exact name, but when we showed it to our ENT, he told us that this doctor was a well-respected ENT. An *excellent* book It was a great book since it presented all known alternatives for chronic ear infections, and best of all, it was *not* a medical book, but written in plain English that could be understood by parents! I would imagine that your ENT would know of this book, or if not, it would most likely be at the library. I just happened to spot it one day in a bookstore right before B.J.'s procedure, and it really made us feel comfortable with our decision [about ear tubes].

I have read a wonderful book called "Ear Infections In Your Child" by Kenneth Grundfast and Cynthia Carey. It explains, in layman's (aka everyday parent's) terms everything about ear infections, treatments, surgery, antibiotics, hearing loss, etc. Grundfast is the chairman of the Dept. of Otolaryngology for Children's Hospital in Washington, D.C. I would strongly suggest that you get this book. It is easy to read, interesting and extremely informative. -Cindy Gorgone (from a post)

Ellyn Satter: Good Sense and How to Get Your Kid to Eat, But Not Too Much. (Paperback, about $14.) [sources incl. amazon]
This is in response to "Healthy diet" plus "HELP MY KID WON'T EAT" and the "is this kid too skinny" type messages: There is a GREAT book called "Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense" by Ellen Satter (Is it Sather? No I think it is Satter) that does a wonderful job on how much food is enough, is your child eating enough, is your child eating too much, etc. It covers everything from breast feeding up to teens, but is ESPECIALLY good with tips on _toddlers_ and young pre-schoolers and why you usually don't need to worry about how much they are eating and why you usually should not make a big deal out of their food choices. I seem to recall that there are toddler menu plans in the book. This book was the best baby shower gift I received. I read it, my hubby read it, we followed the advice, and my three-year-old has always eaten two of three meals a day with gusto. (Sometimes she is more hungry at lunch time, other times she is more hungry at dinner time.) She has often been a bit above average in height and a bit below average in weight, but then again, my husband and I are both relatively tall and fairly thin. There are some foods she doesn't like, but you know, there are some foods I don't like, either. I received the book as a gift from a dietitian friend, but I have found it at Walden Books and given it to friends as a baby shower gift. It is a good book to read BEFORE you start getting into fights with toddlers who won't eat. -- Jennifer Gassman [posted]
It covers feeding your child from infancy through toddlerhood. I got it around the time Karen started on solids, so I don't know how good the first chapters are. But I did take a glance through and they seemed useful. It covers nutrition and how to progress from stage to stage. It gave pros and cons for buying baby food vs making your own. It was very helpful for me to know what to feed Karen and when. It's got some great charts too.

Vicki Lansky: Feed Me - I'm Yours [sources incl. amazon]
I found this book worse than useless. Many of the recipes include food items that should not be given at all to children under the age of one year, for fear of stimulating allergies, but the warnings about this possibility are nearly non-existant. --Paula Burch

The best part of this book for me was information on making my own baby food, since I wanted to make baby food as much as I could. It also includes good information about starting solids and has recipes for nutritious kid snacks.

Brown, Jeffrey: "The Complete Parents' Guide to Telephone Medicine," Perigee Books, NY, 1982. [OOP; try your library or perhaps amazon]
The subtitle is something like "when to call the doctor and what to do first." I like this book because it concentrates very clearly on saying what conditions are *not* emergencies. Every page describes a different disease, accident, or other medical misadventure, and is organized along the lines of: if X then don't worry, if Y then call your doctor, if Z then this is an emergency. It's well organized and indexed; it includes some fairly mundane subjects like diaper rash as well as the usual collection of diseases and injuries. There's an introductory section that covers how to act and what to say when you call your doctor -- I would have thought this silly, but our pediatrician clearly loves us for being prepared when we call him. A gift from my RN sister-in-law, it's the only book we keep handy.

Biracree and Biracree: "The Parents' Book of Facts" [OOP; try your library or perhaps amazon]
Very good, basic book which is a good resource. It is especially thorough on the benefits of breastfeeding over formula--just the facts, and no value judgments thrown in.

George Wootan & Sarah Verney: _Take_Charge_Of_Your_Child's_Health [sources incl. Chinaberry and amazon]
I recently got a wonderful new book on children's health care. For years I've been looking for a book on kid's health that doesn't tell you to rush your kid to the doctor every time she runs a fever. (In our house, high fevers always hit at 2am.) This book tells you what to watch for and when you SHOULD rush your child to the doctor. It also tells you how to give first aid for medical emergencies from electrocution to a knocked out tooth. It also spends a lot of time on basic health and comfort measures for mild childhood illnesses. There's a really good section on choosing and communicating with your child's doctor. The basic assumptions of this book include:
  • Parents are the best experts on their children's health.
  • Parents have the best interests of their children at heart.
  • Parents are intelligent.
  • The whole child is important.
I got this book from Chinaberry (1 800 776 2242). It's a real boon for me since I prefer to let nature do the healing, but I also worry when my kids are sick.

Martha and David Kimmel: Mommy Made* (* and Daddy too!) [sources incl. amazon]
By Martha and David Kimmel Published by Bantam paperback - $13.95 (2.5 years ago) ISBN 0-553-34866-3

I bought several, but the best I found, and with the most detail was It really covers a lot of ground, including when to introduce what foods, and all sorts of hints for cooking and storing of the food. They have toddler recipies too.

The Colombia University College of Physicians and Surgeons Complete Medical Guide [sources incl. amazon]
a must for every home, IMHO. It is comprehensive, has nice illustrations, is easy to understand, and provides enough information to get you really worried and right into the closest medical library. -- Marjorie Peskin [posted]

Gray's Anatomy [sources incl. amazon]
also a must, so you can figure out what muscle is actually killing you at any particular time. -- Marjorie Peskin [posted]

Actually the worst anatomy book around, for a non-physician, although it does look good on the shelf. I prefer [the following book]. -anonymous

Anatomy Coloring Book [sources incl. amazon]
Although you'd expect it to be silly, given the name, this is an excellent anatomy book, far easier to use than Gray's Anatomy, and with much more useful detail. -anonymous

Taber's Medical Encyclopedia [sources incl. amazon]
great for terminology so you can have very technical conversations with your doctors and not sound like an idjit. -- Marjorie Peskin [posted]

Robbins Pathology [sources incl. amazon]
great for the more arcane, but still totally interesting facets of medicine, but beware! All the photos in this book are worst case scenario. Take a look at the one for goiters and you will be running for the nearest bathroom YUCK! (And as a close personal buddy of the author, I can attest that the writing is magnificent in this book, and the author is a totally wonderful person as well). -- Marjorie Peskin [posted]

Dr Spock [sources incl. amazon]
great for most kids stuff, but I don't think a parent should rely totally on his words. Some of the information is too sparse for me. I always want more, and consult other books as well. -- Marjorie Peskin [posted] [see general baby advice section, above - each edition of this book is completely different - Ed.]

PDR (Physicians Desk Reference) [sources incl. amazon]
And finally, no household should be without a PDR (Physicians Desk Reference). You can get both over the counter and prescription volumes. You don't have to have the current year unless you are questioning a new drug. This has the most comprehensive information about drug reactions, dosages, and includes all the drug trial information. It can be scary to read at first, but if you do take medication on a daily basis, it can help you to understand what side effects this medication might have with other medications. -- Marjorie Peskin [posted]

Helen Reisner. Children with Epilepsy [OOP; try your library or perhaps amazon]
I highly recommend these books [for parents of children with seizure disorders]. --Jan Silbermann [from a post]

Freeman, Vining and Pillas: _Seizures and Epilepsy in Childhood_ [sources incl. amazon]
I highly recommend these books [for parents of children with seizure disorders]. --Jan Silbermann [from a post]

Life Style Choices

Dombro, Amy Laura and Bryan, Patty: _Sharing the Caring_. 1991; Simon & Schuster/Fireside. [OOP; try your library or perhaps amazon]
A good book on this subject [dealing with baby doing 'firsts at daycare, etc.] --Carol Barclay [from a post]

Darrell Sifford: The Only Child [sources incl. amazon]
We were considering this decision several years ago. When my husband and I were trying to decide, we read [this] great book It was an excellent book - dispelling many of the only child myths and making it seem like an OK decision. --Jeanie Vella [from a post]

My One and Only [author?] [OOP; try your library or perhaps amazon]
Adds to the list of advantages and disadvantages... It was a good book on the whole but the thing that surprised me was that after dispelling the myths that onlies are spoiled, lonely, unsociable etc., the author says she wished she were NOT an only child in the last chapter! --Michelle Parks [from a post]

Toni Falbo ed.: The Single child family

Sharryl Hawke/David Knox: One child by choice 1977. [OOP; try your library or perhaps amazon]

Kris Kline and Stephen Pew, Ph.D.: _For the Sake of the Children: How to Share your Children with your Ex-spouse in Spite of your Anger_ (paperback, $10.95) [OOP; try your library or perhaps amazon]
Very important for any divorced or divorcing parent to read. (from a post)

Melinda Blau: "How to coparent, after divorce"
A very good [book]....Might provide an excellent start. I think this is the correct title. But look under author's name. It's fairly new book with lots of facts, research, and how to. --Salim Khan[from a post]

Melinda Blau: Families Apart : Ten Keys to Successful Co-Parenting. 1995. [sources incl. amazon]

Pregnant While You Work [OOP; try your library or amazon]
One I really liked was called "Pregnant While You Work." I dealt mostly with the social and practical issues pregancy--dealing with bosses, co-workers, insurance, looking professional in maternity clothes, deciding when a job change is necessary, etc. I found it very reassuring because even though my principal and fellow teachers are very supportive (A good friend had a baby last year, so I got to observe reactions before experiencing them), there are a lot of practical concerns about getting the job done and taking care of yourself properly. Also, this is the only pregnancy book I've read that doesn't assume you can lie down for a nap whenever you don't feel good (as if mothers home with children have that option either). -- Debra Thorpe [posted]

Arlene R. Cardozo : "Sequencing" [sources incl. amazon]
I highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking about trying full-time motherhood or is making the transition to full-time motherhood or the transition back to work. There's also plentlly of thoughtful insights for those of us who are fairly entrenched as full-time mothers - I felt it gave me a real boost and helped to bring together some of the thoughts I've had about my role.

Pamela Lach: "You Can Go Home Again" [OOP; try your library or amazon]
Another good book, mostly of interest to those thinking about quitting work or just beginning the transition. Probably not of too much interest to anyone beyod the transition stage, but lots of tips on time management, financial management, goal setting, taking care of yourself, etc.

Sandra Scarr: MOTHER CARE/OTHER CARE. ISBN 0-465-04734-3. [OOP; try your library or amazon]
Got this book from the library. Don't know if it's in PB and don't know how it costs. This book will give great comfort and aid to the working mother. Contextualizes the pressures on mothers to stay at home and raise their children and systematically goes through the research on care for children outside the home. Reassuring for working moms.

Arlie Russell Hochschild: The Second Shift : working parents and the revolution at home. (Viking, 1989). [sources incl. amazon]
Another good book for any couples is [this one]}. This is not specifically on the topic of becoming parents, but we found it really useful in making ourselves aware of issues that will come up, especially when children enter the picture.

My Mom Worked and I Turned out Okay! 1992 or 1993; hardcover. $16. [sources incl. amazon]
I saw a review of this in the paper. It's full of stories collected from many adults whose moms worked when they were children, generally as professionals; the reviewer suggested it would be less useful for women in blue-collar jobs. Has anybody out there read this yet? Supposed to be great against excessive guilt. --Paula Burch

Bibliographies: WOH or SAH

A bibliography on resources for women who are not employed outside the home can be requested from Colleen Porter at cporter@afn.org, or accessed via the world wide web at http://www.afn.org/~cporter.

From: Jane Marcus [posted]
Bibliography: women who work outside the home


"Working Mother"

"Family Fun"

books and articles

Sirjay Sandar, "The Working Mother, The Caring Parent"

"My Mother Worked And I Came Out Okay"

"Working and Caring" by Brazelton.

Morrone: Pregnant While You Work (1984, Berkley; 0-425-08538-4)

"Sequencing" (author?)

_The Working Woman's Guide to Breastfeeding_ (maybe not the exact title) by Nancy Dana and Anne Price


WOMEN AND THEIR FAMILIES, by Faye J. Crosby. NY: Free Press, 1991.


WOMEN'S TWO ROLES: A CONTEMPORARY DILEMMA, by Phyllis Moen. Auburn House, 1992.


FINDING SOLUTIONS, by Deborah J. Swiss and Judith P. Walker. Wiley, 1993.

(From a bibliography compiled by Marge Karsten, University of Wisconsin-Platteville:)

Baron, A. Sept./Oct. 1987. Working partners: career committed mothers and their husbands. BUSINESS HORIZONS, 45-50.

Friedman, D. 1990. Work and family: the new strategic plan. HUMAN RESOURCE PLANNING. 13(2): 79-90.

Hall, D. Winter 1990. Promoting work/family balance: an organization-change approach. ORGANIZATIONAL DYNAMICS, 18: 4-18.

Hall, D. & Richter, J. 1988. Balancing work life and home life: what can organizations do to help? ACADEMY OF MANAGEMENT EXECUTIVE, 2: 213-223.

Martinez, M. 1993. Family support makes business sense. HRMAGAZINE, 38: 38-43.

Mason, J. 1993, Feb. Work-family issues go global. MANAGEMENT REVIEW. p. 9.

McIntosh, S. 1993. Fast-trackers hone family skills. HRMAGAZINE, 38: 44+.

Ritter, A. March 1990. Dependent care proves profitable. PERSONNEL, 12-16.

Schneer, J. & Reitman, F. 1993. Effects of alternate family structures on managerial career paths. ACADEMY OF MANAGEMENT JOURNAL, 36(3):830-843.

Smith, M. Jan. 1990. Fighting to have it all. MONEY, 130-135.

Stoner, C. & Hartman, R. May/June 1990. Family responsibilities and career progress: the good, the bad, and the ugly. BUSINESS HORIZONS, 7-14.

Trost, C. & Hymowitz, C. 18 June 1990. Careers start giving in to family needs. THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, B1, B5. What do employees really want? July/Aug. 1990. ACROSS THE BOARD, 14-21.

Wilson, M., Tolson, T., Hinton, I & Kiernan, M. 1990. Flexibility and sharing of childcare duties in black families. SEX ROLES, 408-423.

Yalow, E. June 1990. Corporate child care helps recruit and retain workers. PERSONNEL JOURNAL, 48-54.

Death and Children

The Parent's Sourcebook [sources incl. amazon]
Subject: #'s for grieving parents I recently found a book, called "The Parent's Sourcebook". It has a chapter on grief and mourning the loss of a child. [Included is a list of all sorts of support groups for grieving parents, not reproduced here--some are for parents who've had miscarriages. Complete with addresses and phone numbers, it looks extremely helpful --ed.] -- jcm5132 [posted]

Bryan Mellonie and Roger Ingpen: Lifetimes. (Death in the family) "The beautiful way to explain death to children." Bantam, 1983. paperback. [sources incl. amazon]
This book, suitable for ages ~2 and up, is a very good introduction to the subject and idea of death. Its theme is that everything -- plants, animals, people -- has a lifetime, and that each lifetime has a beginning and an end. It acknowledges that the end of a lifetime is sad, but treats it as a natural and non-threatening event, as part of the life itself. Best, it can give a child the vocabulary she needs should she want to talk about her own feelings. My elder daughter chose this book from the library as part of her usual voracious (and indiscriminate) appetite for books, not because we needed to talk about death at the time. However, on two subsequent occasions when death touched our family, I noted that she had retained both the vocabulary and the message of Lifetimes, and we were able to talk more easily because of it.

....a really great book that I think does an excellent job explaining death to children. It does it in a way which is probably compatible with most religions and philosphies. [Probably not for people whose religions explain everything in detail.]

Helping Children Cope With Death (ISBN 1-890534-00-5) [sources incl. amazon]
We got [this booklet] from the Dougy Center (The National Center for Grieving Children and Families). The Dougy Center focuses mostly on helping children who have lost a parent (or primary caregiver), sibling, or teen friend, but most of what is in the booklet applies to kids who are grieving for grandparents or other close relatives. The booklet is about $10 and is available from: The Dougy Center for Grieving Children 3909 SE 52nd Avenue PO Box 86852 Portland, OR 97286 (503) 775-5683 -Alan Jeddeloh

Other books useful for discussing death with children:

Fred Rogers: Talking With Young Children About Death, (Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood), Family Communications, 4802 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213. Pamphlet.

Earl Grollman: Talking About Death: A Dialogue Between Parent and Child. 1976. Beacon Press, Boston [sources incl. amazon]

William Kroen: Helping children cope with the loss of a loved one: a guide for grownups. [sources incl. amazon and Free Spirit Publishing (see Sources)]

Just for Girls and Just for Boys: Gender Issues

It was once the fashion to raise girls and boys very differently, regardless of their aptitudes and individual likes and dislikes. Many children suffered because their own qualities were sterotypically imagined to belong to the opposite sex. Then it became the fashion to try to erase "gender" differences by raising children exactly the same; this was much more fair to the children, but it became obvious that, while the traits of individual boys overlap quite a bit with the traits of individual girls, there are some inborn differences between the sexes. Now it is fashionable to imagine that these differences are so much greater than the similarities that boys and girls might as well come from different planets. This is patently ridiculous--the overlaps of characteristics are significant between the sexes--but there is certainly real value in examining the different problems of the two sexes separately. --Paula Burch

Growing Up Free, Raising Non-Sexist Kids in the 80's [OOP; try your library or amazon]
Read [this book]. Yes, it was written a decade ago, but 80% of the stuff is still real relevent. And most of the stuff that has changed is really great because it has changed for the better. It's nice to see that progress is being made, while seeing how far we have to go. The author's name slips my mind right now, but she was one of the original founders of Ms Magazine, and the only one of the bunch to have kids. She's terrific. Her parenting wisdom sounds a lot like things I read here on the net. At the time of the writing, her kids were about 13 (twin daughters) and an 8 year old son. It's a book I pull out from time to time to reread sections of. She did a LOT of homework for the book and it's full of juicy references to other books that someday, somehow, somewhere I would like to have time to read.

Kathleen Odean: Great Books for Girls, More Than 600 books to inspire today's girls and tomorrow's women. $12.95 [sources incl. Ms. Foundation (see order form) and amazon]

Raising a Son [sources incl. Chinaberry and amazon]
This book says that boys need to feel that being a man is a worthwhile thing, and that they need to spend time with their father or an appropriate stand-in in order to learn this. This certainly makes sense, but I didn't need to read a whole book to learn it. The book also discusses specific discipline problems with boys and teenage boys, which may make it more valuable to some parents of boys (my boy is too young for this to matter much to me--perhaps I would give the book a more positive review if he weren't). The suggestions all seem very reasonable and sensitive. - Paula Burch

The Courage To Raise Good Men [sources incl. amazon]
I got a lot more out of this one than I did "Raising A Son". One thing the author shows is that mothers often feel pressured by society to push their sons away, especially when they become teenagers, in order to help "make him a man". However, this is probably the worst thing that one could do. It is the *child's* job to separate from the parents, not the parents to abandon the child, at any age. Good book, worth a reading. --Paula Burch

Mary Bray Pipher: Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls [sources incl. amazon]
This is supposed to be an absolute must-read for all parents of girls these days. It's generated a lot of discussion. I plan to read it even though I don't have a girl, myself. --Paula Burch

Mindy Bingham and Sandy Stryker, with Dr. Susan Allstetter Neufeldt Things Will Be Different for My Daughter: A Practical Guide to Building Her Self-Esteen and Self-Reliance (Penguin: $14.95) [sources incl. amazon]
I haven't read this book, but it got a very positive review in my local newspaper: "the book of the year for parents who want their daughters to fly by their own wings.....an unusually important new book that offers concrete advice on how to raise your daughter -- from infancy to age 22-- to be a confident and capable achiever." --Paula Burch


Joan Solomon Weiss: Your Second Child. Summit Books. ISBN 0-671-25618-1; 0-671-25619-X (paperback). [sources incl. amazon]
This book covers a LOT of topics that don't seem to get discussed much in the usual file of parenting/pregnancy literature. This is an excellent book for those who posted asking about material that will help in the thought processes of 1) whether to have more than one child, 2) the issues involved if you do/don't, 3) the various benefits/drawbacks of spacing patterns (as above) and finally 4) tips on surviving the second if you're brave or crazy enough to do it again :). --Ann Helmers [from a post]

"The Bilingual Family, A Handbook for Parents" by Edith Harding and Philip Riley, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0 521 31194 2 (paper). [sources incl. amazon]
I especially liked the interviews with bi- and even trilingual families, and the calm attitude towards bilingualism. Too often, i think, especially in the States, multilingualism is treated as something difficult and unusual - in reality, multilingualism is more common than monolingualism, and most bilingual families haven't had any special training. -- Cynthia Kandolf [posted]

Berends, Polly: Whole Child/Whole Parent (1987, Harper & Row; 0-06-091427-0) [sources incl. amazon]
Whole Child/Whole Parent is by far my favorite book on parenting. This is a book that I like to keep around to browse when I have a few minutes to spare. It's a combination of a lot of good practical suggestions for raising children, as well as an exposition of a philosophy of child raising that really appeals to me. It comes from a "spiritual" point of view, but I'm non-religious and I get a lot out of it. (However, if you have no tolerance for "spirituality" then this book isn't for you.) I've found things here that I haven't seen anywhere else. Here's an example of a passage that runs counter to most child raising theories, but it makes perfect sense to me:
"Surprisingly, praise may be just as harmful as shame and blame. Personal praise suggests to the child that his personal worthiness rises and falls according to others' estimation of his accomplishments. In praising children we give them the idea that they are good because of what they do that pleases us. But when we don't praise them or when we praise others, they feel diminished and unworthy. "Praise also distracts the child from whatever he is doing by implying that the value of his activity is getting attention. It's a vicious circle. If a child has his eyes on his parents watching him learn to ski, he is more likely to fall or crash into a tree. This experience may at once injure, embarrass, and discourage him. His skiiing progress is impeded and his enthusiasm and self-confidence undermined. Whether it's manners or artwork, the law is the same. A child cannot have his mind on seeking approval and on what he's doing at the same time. If his mind is not on what he's doing, he is unlikely to enjoy it or do it well. Paradoxically, the more a child's ego is bolstered, the more insecure, discouraged, and even incompetent he's likely to become.
I recommend that you skip around in the book, rather than trying to read it linearly. When I started reading it I got bogged down in the early chapters. Most of the good stuff comes later. It also has an index so you can find passages that deal with particular aspects of raising children. A great book. --jaj and a dissenting viewpoint....

The book I found to be unhelpful was Whole Child, Whole Parent. This book contains some really wonderful ideas and insights. Unfortunately, they are so buried in a lot of metaphysical confusion that it becomes a waste of time to look for them. maybe someone more religious than I would understand what this book is talking about, but I finally gave up about halfway through. This book was highly recommended by a couple of sources and i actually bought it rather than took it out of the library. What a disappointment!

"Rise Up Singing" (A Sing Out Publication) Peter Blood-Patterson, Editor paperback with a ring binding, $15. [sources incl. Sing Out Publications, Chinaberry, Ladyslipper Music Catalogand amazon]
(Tapes may be purchased for learning the tunes, as well, for $35 a set. Each set covers one of the chapters, or you can get a set that covers all the kids' songs!)

This is the book that you need to get the words to those songs that you want to sing to your children. Chapters include: Lullabies, Funny Songs, Rounds, Love, Peace, and Golden Oldies. Your child may be the only audience that you ever feel confident enough to sing to, but you should for both of you. It has lyrics to 1200 songs.

I think that this should be on the list since there are so many times when a parent wants to sing a song to a child, but may not remember the words. I'm not certain if this is exactly "parenting", but it should be on some FAQ list, since I know that I've answered many questions directly from this book.

Randall Colton Rolfe: You Can Postpone Anything But Love. [OOP; try your public library or amazon]
those of us who are sensitive types do feel a little sad from time to time. Children grow so fast, there is a constant feeling of goodbye and hello. (Goodbye to the baby, hello to the toddler, etc etc.) While I think it's best to focus on the "hellos" for the most part, it's not so bad to acknowlege the "goodbyes" periodically. They are a part of parenting as well. There is a book I really like called _You Can Postpone Anything But Love_ by Randall Colton Rolfe. The author, a mom, thinks that these feelings can be lessened somewhat (paradoxically) by fully enjoying your child at every stage (meaning every day, I guess!) It's an inspirational book in many ways.

Non-Book Sources (Magazines, videos, etc.)

_Mothering_ magazine (ISSN 0733-3013), published quarterly. Subscription Office: PO Box 532, Mt. Morris, IL 61054; 800-827-1061; $22/year in US (as of Winter 1992).
_Mothering_ magazine is a great parenting resource. It's intelligent, compassionate and covers the complete range of parenting topics from a humanistic, holistic (in the best sense), natural point of view. Articles and letters are always genuine, accessible, and immediately applicable to real parenting, much like the best of misc.kids. Even the ads are great -- they run lots of ads from small companies selling alternative sorts of clothes, diapers and accessories, baby carriers -- all those baby and parenting things you need, but can't always find in stores.

Mothering magazine has advocated against vaccinations; this has probably led to unnecessary deaths among some of the children of readers who might otherwise have had their children vaccinated. For me, this sort of irresponsibility is a major problem, in spite of the pleasingly alternative character of the magazine. --Paula Burch

In its favor, it does offer a perspective on parenting and children that one might not find in other more mainstream magazines, and it does seem to have more editorial content and fewer ads per unit space, but there are some things about this magazine that I really do not like. The medical information can be outlandishly, frighteningly wrong, including some statements against vaccinations that were absurd. I was almost willing to believe they had some valid scientific argument against vaccination, but after reading some of the quotes from someone they call an expert, I find them completely non-credible. In general, I find the tone to be dogmatic and guilt inducing about the right way to parent (stay-at-home mom, attachment parenting, homeschooling...) A recent article on teaching a child how to ride a bike is a perfect example of why I won't renew my gift subscription. no real information offered that could actually help anyone else, just a touchy feely kind of essay about the emotions that a man had while teaching his son. Interesting and valid if you are looking for creative writing, but not what I am looking for (plus the use of a helmet was never mentioned, nor anything to do with teaching safe riding skills.) [And another one....]

I consider myself a hands-on, holistic mother. I had natural childbirth, nursed my babies for two years, carried them in a sling instead of a stroller, slept with them, and memorized _Siblings Without Rivalry_. BUT I also had them vaccinated, circumcised my son, used disposable diapers, and worked full-time outside the home. I soon got sick of Mothering's trying to make me feel guilty for my choices, and eagerly let my gift subscription lapse. Where do the editors get their chutzpah?


American Baby
Thanks to everyone who responded to my query about parenting magazines. Of the two I mentioned, Parents and American Baby, Parents won by a landslide. I also found out that American Baby offers a free six-months to expectant moms, which I don't think I'll refuse, since I've got nothing to lose. I'll probably get one issue of Parents, and subscribe if it's interesting. Of the responses I got, about half made negative comments about American Baby, and I don't think anyone felt it was better than Parents. Ironic thing is, the subscription prices are comparable (unless you're expecting, as I mentioned above). --Nancy Fisher Hansen [posted]


The two others most mentioned were Parenting and Growing Child newsletters. Parenting seems to be the alternative to Parents, and was cited by a few as being more intellectual and less conservative than Parents, but still more people preferred Parents, many saying that they had been reading it for years. Growing Child is not a magazine but a newsletter tailored to your own child's age. Sounds pretty neat... --Nancy Fisher Hansen [posted]

As for other magazines, I used to think that "Parents" was the only one, and it was useless collection of advertisements with a few content-free articles thrown in. But I recently was given a stack of "Child" and "Parenting" mags, and have found them to have interesting articles with real content, depth and coverage. Still lots of ads, I probably won't subscribe, but if you are looking for a magazine, these are worth thinking about.


Any book in print should be available from any "real" bookstore by special order--if you have the author's name or title, the bookstore's copy of "Books In Print" should help you to find any other information you need. In many cases, however, discount chains do not even attempt to provide all books in print; I've had the worst luck in searching for books at a local SuperCrown.

A good source for children's books and some stuff for parents is the Chinaberry Book Service (2780 Via Orange Way Suite B, Spring Valley CA 91978; phone 1-800-776-2242). The reviews are quite helpful, and the parenting books are few in number but generally among the best.

Rosie Hippo's Wooden Toys carries a fine selection of the rarer parenting books, such as "Without Spanking or Spoiling"; Their number in the US is 1-800-385-2620; their address is Rosie Hippo's Wooden Toys, Rosehip Farm, Inc., 344 Bay Ridge, P.O. Box 2068, Port Townsend WA 98368.

Animal Farm is a sweet little catalog of non-competitive games and an interesting and thought-provoking selection of parenting books. I'll be inserting more information on it here soon.

Free Spirt Publishing has a catalog with excellent parenting books (attention--parents of gifted and talented or learning disabled children, especially!), as well as the kind of self help books for older kids I wish I'd had, at that age. Call 1-800-735-7323 in the US; in Minnesota or outside the US, call 1-612-338-2068. Their address is 400 First Avenue North, Suite 616, Minneapolis MN 55401-1724. They appear to have an e-mail address: help4kids@freespirit.com.

For recordings and books related to music, such as the wonderful Rise Up Singing, you can order from the nonprofit woman's music company Ladyslipper at 1-800-634-6044; the address is Ladyslipper, Inc., PO Box 3124-R, Durham, NC 27715.

One of several large on-line bookstores may be found at Amazon books; their search capabilities are extremely helpful. Links have been added throughout this FAQ to books in Amazon; this provides access to additional information on many books, and on whether or not a book is currrently in print. If you were to elect to use these links to add a book to your Amazon.com shopping cart, you would be charged the same discounted price as usual, but this web site would also obtain a small "kickback" fee from Amazon if you were to ultimately buy the book. While it would be nice to have this fee to help support the costs of maintaining this web site, this FAQ is not here to be a money-maker, and I am not trying to persuade any readers to use the Amazon bookstore if they would not already have done so. (Total theoretical revenues, not actually seen yet, currently stand at $2, orders of magnitude less than I've spent on this site.)


Many thanks to contributors, including but not limited to:

Joanne Cook
Kalen Delaney
Laura Dolson
Laura Floom
Helen Gorman
Kate Gregory (Kate has a list she updates
      every year or two; her 1991 edition is included here, somewhat
      fragmented to fit under the different categories.)
Judith H.
Nuhad Jamal
Peter Kaminski
Lisa S. Lewis
Diane C. Lin
Heather Madrone
Dorothy Neville
Steve Samuels 
Kate Smith 
Clarke Thacher
Shirley Traite
Judy Leedom Tyrer
Marilyn Walker 

Earlier contributions are not individually attributed to their contributors,
as that is the way the list was originally started by Judy Tyrer. Later
I made an effort to include correct attributions, but cannot
correct the older material. Please accept my apologies, and send me
corrections, if your words appear here uncredited.

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