reviews of parenting books that do not fit easily into this site's other categories
- Joan Solomon Weiss: Your Second Child. Summit Books. ISBN 0-671-25618-1;
[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
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
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.