Sunday, February 08, 2009

Parenting Books for Specific Parenting Issues

Most parents are overwhelmed by the variety of parenting books available. As a parenting author, I’m the first to admit that the choices can be daunting! It often helps to consider what problem you’re trying to solve. Are you a new mommy who is feeling a little overwhelmed? Are you worried that your child lacks self-esteem? Are you raising a teenager who is making you wonder why you ever signed up for this parenting gig in the first place? The list below consists of books that have crossed my desk recently that address a specific issue related to parenting. Read the following if you are parenting a . . .

New baby:
The Parent Trip: From High Heels and Parties to Highchairs and Potties, by Jenna McCarthy

If you’re contemplating parenthood, pregnant or have recently had a baby, you’ll love reading—and relating—to author Jenna McCarthy’s journey to parenthood. You’ll laugh your head off at Jenna’s adventures and observations. Reading this book is like sharing the ride with a best friend who will make you feel completely normal because she’s crazier than you!

Colicky baby:
The Colic Chronicles: A Mother’s Survival Guide to Calming Your Baby While Keeping Your Cool, by Tara Kompare

One in five babies has colic (unexplained crying for hours at a time), and inconsolable crying is the number-one trigger for shaken baby syndrome. No wonder it’s important to have strategies on hand to minimize colic’s impact. The fact is that you may not be able to get your baby to stop crying, but there are things you can do to keep your cool and not feel like you’re going insane. This book will help you ride out the storm of colic.

Negative thinker:
Freeing Your Child from Negative Thinking: Powerful, Practical Strategies to Build a Lifetime of Resilience, Flexibility, and Happiness, by Tamar E. Chansky, Ph.D.

Do you have a child who thinks the smallest of problems is a major ordeal? If your child is overly critical of himself, becomes easily frustrated, won’t try new things due to fear of failure or always expects the worst to happen, this book will teach you how to help your child develop positive thinking habits and raise his self-esteem.

Unmotivated child:
Drive: 9 Ways to Motivate Your Kids to Achieve, by Janine Walker Caffrey, Ed.D.

Unlike generations before us, today’s kids have rarely lacked for anything. But we’re learning that we haven’t necessarily done our kids a favor by giving them everything that we never had. Today’s kids frequently lack the drive and self-motivation to achieve things on their own. Often, they’re content with doing an average job and have to be pushed to aim for doing their best. This book shows parents how to get their children to be excited about seeking out opportunities and learning new things.

The Agony and the Agony: Raising Your Teenager Without Losing Your Mind, by Betty Londergan

It’s the rare parent who can escape her child’s teenage years without plenty of angst and frustration. It seems like, overnight, your sweet elementary-school kid morphs into a defiant child whom you barely recognize. This book takes readers through the various stages of parenting teens, including denial (ages 12-13), anger (ages 14-15), depression (ages 12-18), bargaining (ages 16-17), and acceptance (age 18). Practical solutions and real-life anecdotes are extremely helpful in helping parents get through the teen years.

Set of Twins:
It’s Twins! Parent-to-Parent Advice from Infancy Through Adolescence, by Susan M. Heim

(Did you really think I could put together a list of parenting books without including one of my own? No way!) If you’ve got twins, you know that issues arise that aren’t faced by parents of singletons. How do you foster your kids’ separate identities? Should your twins be in the same classroom? How do you breastfeed twins? In It’s Twins, parents of multiples tackle the important questions on raising twins from birth through the teen years with plenty of tips, tales, tricks-of-the-trade, trivia and more.

Of course, the list of books above is nowhere near all-inclusive. You might be raising a special-needs child, a shy child, a headstrong child, or one who is wise beyond his years. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available today to help us with most parenting dilemmas. But it's also important to recognize that every child is different. A technique that works for one child may not work for another with the same problem, so it’s often helpful to get the perspective of several authors in order to find the solutions that work best for your family. Feel free to list some of your favorite parenting books in the comments section of this post!

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