Fun Stuff Friday – Parenting Reads

by Lara on October 18, 2013

Parenting Reads


I don’t know what I did with my time and money before I had dogs, a baby, and a house.

At any rate, I’m popping in to share a little of what I’m reading lately.  I’m on a Facebook hiatus (more on this soon), and I’m finding that I have more time in the evenings for reading.

I apologize to any non-parent readers but I’m admittedly a little tunnel-visioned these days as I prepare for the Terrible Two’s and beyond.


Positive Discipline: The First Three Years:  This was recommended to me by a friend with a similar parenting ethos.  I found myself nodding my head as I was reading, taking notes, and repeating almost the entire book out loud to Matthew.  I’ve been looking for some guidance that is in line with my beliefs for some time now, and I think the Positive Discipline series is that guidance.

Bright from the Start: The Simple, Science-Backed Way to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind from Birth to Age 3:  I really should have read this sooner.  I tried to cheat and have Matthew read it for me, but then wasn’t satisfied with his summary, so now I’m reading it properly.  So far it has pretty much reinforced what I already thought was true: that being present, speaking, and reading to your child as much as possible are the best things you can do for their growing brains.  It does have some good ideas for engaging activities, and I really like the reassurance that I’m not totally crazy speaking to someone who cannot yet speak back to me.

Raising Boys: Why Boys Are Different – and How to Help Them Become Happy and Well-Balanced Men:  Yes, I’m reading more than one book at a time right now.  This is not entirely unusual.  I have only just started this one, but I like it so far.  I read a million reviews on Amazon before choosing books on raising boys.  It was difficult to find ones that didn’t overly emphasize religion or seem to do nothing but reinforce gender stereotypes.

Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys:  I haven’t started this yet, but it comes highly recommended by someone I respect and trust a great deal.  I believe very much that boys need to be nurtured as much as, if not more than, girls, and that the “toughen him up to be a man” way of interacting with them does more harm than good.  I’m pretty sure this book emphasizes as much.

The Mama’s Boy Myth: Why Keeping Our Sons Close Makes Them Stronger:  Ok, I actually read this months ago.  I’m including it here because if you’re interested in the last two books I mentioned, you’ll be interested in this one, too.  It gets a little redundant toward the end but I think it is still valuable.


Quality Preschool Is the ‘Most Cost-Effective’ Educational Intervention:  A good reminder as we prepare to sell our souls to pay for preschool.

Are We Raising Emotionally Whole Children?:  A reminder to be more gentle with ourselves and with our children.

How to Children Learn to Regulate Their Emotions?:  I’m really into emotional IQ, if you couldn’t tell.

Want Smarter Kids?  Space Them (At Least) 2 Years Apart:  My next wave of books is all about siblings–the pros and cons of having more than one child, and the advantages of a larger space gap between them (which is what we’re thinking if we have #2).

“You’re a stay-at-home mom?  What do you DO all day?”:  This post was highly controversial, I know.  But I love it.

What are you reading?

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

emma October 18, 2013 at 6:13 pm

thank you for the reading suggestions! the positive discipline book and the bright from the start are getting ordered off amazon. 🙂
I have no clue how to discipline my daughter (not that I do, she’s still little) but I want to have some tools to help expectations or rules of our house be in place is a simple/positive way.
Interested to read our thoughts on child spacing, I have heard the “ideal” is 3 years, I’m feeling kinda-sorta-maybe into wanting another soon but I’m clearly not totally sure! it would be less than three years in-between if we tried for baby #2 and I’m not sure if that would be best for everyone…


Lara October 18, 2013 at 6:47 pm

I’m so glad they were helpful! I think you’ll really like Positive Discipline 🙂
I’ve heard the same about the ideal three year age gap. I think I read that biologically it’s what nature intended as well. You might find this blog post interesting/helpful:
We’re leaning toward a three year minimum (if at all–I really don’t feel the urge right now). Good luck!


Heabie October 18, 2013 at 6:55 pm

“and the advantages of a larger space gap between them” – haha, we totally screwed that one up. 😉

Thanks for all the recommendations. I’ve already requested Positivw Discipline from our library, and I’m anxious to read it. Honestly, the two’s haven’t been that bad for us. 15 to 24 months was a lot more challenging in my opinion – before our toddler could really communicate using words. So much easier when they can articulate what they want/need. Of course, my friends who I say this to tell me that the three’s will probably be hell. We have our moments, but I’m really looking forward to this next year. She makes us laugh everyday, and I can’t wait to hear the conversations of a three year old.

Have you ever read, Selfish Reasons To Have More Kids? It was written by a favorite economist of Chris’s. Really made me think about the long term advantages of having kids rather than the short term. I was so focused on those first few years which are HARD but never really thought about the future. I think it will be so cool to watch our kids grow up together, bring all their friends over, perhaps enjoying the same activities, etc. I have high hopes for a close knit family and lots of get-togethers when everyone is older.

OK, anyway, now that I’ve written a novel, thanks again for all the links. Always love your recommendations Lara. 🙂


Lara October 18, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Oh Heabs, I didn’t mean that sentence that way! I really meant, I am CHOOSING to read about the advantages rather than the disadvantages! That’s what I want to focus on, because I know I wouldn’t handle closely spaced children with 1/100th of as much grace as you have.

I just wrote a novel here and decided I will write you an email for the rest 😉


Lea October 28, 2013 at 11:57 am

Thank you for this list, I need this in my life. Will be pinning it. I have a Kindle library that I can’t wait to spend time with, especially now that it’s getting cold outside.

I took a break from baby/parenting books (but kept reading online articles though) for a few months but now I want to dive back in again.


Stacy K. October 31, 2013 at 2:32 pm

I’m going to have to add these to my wish list on my reader. I’ve been looking for a few books on raising boys and disciplining as I know we have one strong willed little boy!

I’m thinking that our spacing will be between 2.5-3 years. When people ask me when we want #2 I tell them not until I get a full month of sleeping through the night 🙂 Honestly though I just want to enjoy Graham while he’s at this age, bc I know bringing a newborn into the home will shift my attention a lot.


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