Friday, September 13, 2013

Best Parenting Books for Toddlers?

First, before I get into the meat & potatoes of today's post, I just want to thank you all for your response to yesterday's post.  It felt SO good to just write and share a little of where I am right now - that is always the first step in the right direction for me!  I love that I didn't fool most of you - you all know me too well! It is probably also worth noting that last night I actually made a healthy dinner for my family (with spinach) AND went to yoga at the gym.  Then, just when I was starting to swell a little with pride and think I'd turned the corner, my mom commented that someone stunk during the class, and we concluded that it was MY mildewy shirt that had probably been left in the washing machine for one too many days. Oops!  #youwinsomeyoulosesome

Also, I just want to go on the record as saying that I DON'T hate that first mom from yesterday.  I envy her and I hate the insecurities that I allow her to bring out in me; BUT, I don't hate her.  While I agree with most of your comments that 'she' is unrealistic and probably has plenty of her own imperfections and hardships, I can honestly say that I DO know a couple of moms who really can (and do) seem to do it all like that.  That post wasn't about those moms being fake or insane or anything like that... It was just about embracing the fact that I CAN'T and that is OK.  That's all.

Now, let's talk about books...

When I was pregnant with Sam, I became the proud owner of just about every new-parent book on the market. (In fact, I wrote this post and had it scheduled to go live on the DAY Sam was born.  So ironic given my love-hate relationship with parenting books from that point forward.)

Right after Sam was born, I literally devoured "how to" books.  I mean, truly, when I think back to my earliest days of being a mama I am taken immediately back to the rocker in Sam's bedroom and the PILE of books and dog-eared pages on sleep training, breast-feeding, scheduling, etc. etc. etc. etc.

And, then, I sort-of had a breakdown because of all the books (or at least I blamed them for making me feel so inadequate), so I swore off parenting books for a while...

But now, here we are two years later, and the "instructions" in those books seem easy compared to  language development, sharing, and discipline.  (Oh discipline.)

I'm thankful that I feel a lot more confident as a mom now, and that I definitely know Sam a lot better now.  I can take "advice" on potty training and sleep and even talking and still have enough peace to know that things will likely turn out OK regardless of how much I mess it up.  BUT, the teaching kindness and compassion and the discipline stuff?  That stuff STICKS.  That stuff feels like really big stuff that will affect everything about the person that Sam will grow up to be.  I kind-of need some guidance with that stuff.  (Not to mention, that stuff is also a lot harder to see eye-to-eye with Jeff on.  It's one thing to agree that you both are exhausted and OK with letting your baby get in your bed after 15 minutes of crying; it is a whole other ball game to determine which behaviors warrant reprimand and punishment and which ones are "just part of being a two-year old boy" together... Especially since we seem to need to make a decision like that just about every five minutes these days!)

So... That's where you come in, of course!

I think I'm ready for my come-back in the parenting book club...  Can you help a mama out?!?!

What are your favorite books for parenting toddlers, specifically wild little boys? 

THANK YOU and Happy Friday!


  1. My mum raised my sisters and me on Jo Frost's Supernanny stuff- I like to think we turned out okay! :)

  2. We did a version of Babywise with both babies, but never found it to be as magical as some people say (I think I literally threw it across the room at least once with my first). BUT. I really like Toddler-wise and Preschool-wise. I think with all parenting books you have to take some things and leave others, but I find that my beliefs and preferences line up with the majority of things they teach and discuss, and I definitely like those better than Babywise even though it's the most popular.

  3. E, have you read Loving the Little Years?? It's short, but so so good!!

  4. I have the same relationship with parenting books. I got to a point that I just stopped reading because they just stressed me out. HOWEVER, my pediatrician recommended 1, 2, 3 Magic (watch the's the same info as the book, and it's only an hour and a half!) when I was getting stressed about discipline. We modified it a bit (logical consequences before a time out), but it has made a world of difference for us. A lot if times, I just have to say "one" to get a reaction (N just turned 2 in August).

  5. Okay, so this book is really for all stages of parenting...however, it has excellent,applicable strategies! We are reading in my Mom 2 Mom Group at church, and it is called The Christian Parenting Handbook. I highly recommend buying an actual copy to highlight, fold the pages, and come back to year after year!


Your comments are what makes this thing fun! I LOVE to hear from you and do my best to respond to everyone! THANK YOU!

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