So many books; so little time! Struggling with a parenting situation or looking for new perspectives on parenting? Here are a few popular and thought-provoking parenting books that become more interesting when discussed with others.
Free-Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy has been a hot topic since Lenore let her nine-year old ride the New York subway alone. What would you do? How has the loss of children’s freedom affected children and families? Read this book whether you agree or disagree with the concept of “free-range kids”. Most importantly, become a fearless parent. See the Free-Range Kids blog for more discussion questions and insights into kids, culture and parenting.
NurtureShock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman offers you ten great discussion topics from the “inverse power of praise” to “the science of teen rebellion”. These discussion topics each deserve thoughtful consideration as you weigh the influences on your parenting choices, evaluate what you think you know and discover parenting options that are both common-sensical and well-founded (not well-funded). LitLovers.com has a great LitGuide for this book.
Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn follows in the path of Kohn’s other books with inspiration and controversy. Parents have strong reactions to the issues raised concerning discipline, self-esteem, respect and control. It’s a great book to reflect and discuss different parenting styles. Recommended for discussion groups that operate with respect and non-judgment for emotional subjects. Read other topics and questions from AlfieKohn.org.
The Wonder of Boys by Michael Gurian helps parents, mentors and educators reflect on gender biases that limit how we raise boys. This book provokes a new awareness for the particular needs of boys. It gives parents power over cultural influences and the next generation of fathers. This interview with Gurian on MenWeb.org outlines a few of the discussion issues.
The Entitlement-Free Child by Karen Deerwester (me!) tackles the ‘entitlement” assumptions in everyday parenting situations: from home to school to parenting in public. It also supports parents living in a Me-Mine-Now world. Once again, the books on this list all confront cultural influences on effective parenting. The following excerpts and questions will keep your book group talking.
Grimm’s Fairy Tales are a timeless choice for a parenting book club. What are the conflicts and the lessons in each of the stories? How are the classic stories sanitized for modern families? What is lost and what is gained? As with all parenting topics, these tales hold emotional meaning for children and for parents looking back on their own childhoods. Here are interesting discussion topics from NationalGeographic.com.
The Blessings of a Skinned Knee by Wendy Mogel is possibly the most frequently read parenting book club book. It is a handbook for values-living written with wisdom and honesty for day-to-day dilemmas. Every parent should read this book – wven though it “uses Jewish teachings to raise self-reliant kids”, the teachings are universal. WendyMogel.com has in-depth discussion guides available too.
Enjoy the parenting questions and challenges & happy reading!
For more reading resources: See the Austin Positive Parenting Book Club, New York Times Summer Reading List for Parents, Karen’s picks for Best Discipline Books, and Karen’s Favorites for New Parents.