Thursday, September 26, 2013

Parenting Transitions

Lately, I've felt myself to be in what I call a "parenting transition".  You know how sometimes you're going along and things seem pretty smooth, pretty simple, and then suddenly nothing you were doing seems to work anymore, and you feel like your family is coming apart at the seams? No, only me?  Well, anyway...

I think it may be due to the start of a new school year and new activities, or maybe it's just plain old GROWING, but we and our kids have felt a bit out of step lately.  (That's a nice way of saying there's been a whole lot of fightin'!)

I decided to go back to some of the parenting books that have stood me in good stead over the years, as well as read some that were new (to me).  

You can see my stack in the photo above.  I thought I'd take a minute to tell you a bit about each one, as much as I can, just in case you find yourself in a parenting transition, either now or in the future.

Do I Get My Allowance Before or After I'm Grounded? by Vanessa Van Petten.  The author of this book calls herself a "youthologist" and is quite young herself.  She writes as someone who is in-between the ages of the teen and the parent.  I've not read the whole book yet, but do like her perspective and her focus on relationship-building.

Seize the Moment, Not Your Teen by Bill Sanders.  I picked this one up because I really like the title.  Too often I get swept away by anger or frustration and lose the opportunity to really connect with my teens.  

Grace Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel.  I have loved this book so far.  This one is definitely from a Christian perspective.  The author emphasizes a tenderness and a coming-alongside that doesn't come so naturally for me.  I need this point of view.

Youth:  The Years from Ten to Sixteen by Arnold Gesell, Frances Ilg and Louise Bates.  This is a much older book and is no longer in print; the copyright in my book is from 1956.  While much of it is outdated, I like that this book is quite comprehensive and detailed.  I have always found the series by these authors on the different ages to be revelatory; this edition is no different.  Best of all, it cover three of my four children!  There is much to take in here, so I read it in small doses.  It's a good resource book.

The Key to Your Child's Heart by Gary Smalley.  This is a classic from back in the 90s.  I've had this book for years (I think my mother-in-law gave it to me before we had children), but had never read the whole thing.  At first, I found it hard to read because it felt like the author was just describing his perfect family, WHICH I DON'T HAVE. Sometimes I find parenting books unbearable because they hold up an impossible standard that just crushes me.  But as I read further, I saw that the author does NOT have perfect family, and he does have some really good suggestions for creating a close-knit family, and for getting closer to kids who may have shut you out.  I liked this one.

Parenting Teens with Love and Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay.  I love anything by the Love and Logic people.  I think their ideas make so much sense and REALLY DO WORK if you can discipline yourself to really try.  This is the kind of parenting book to keep on your bedside table and just read a bit every night.  Because we always need help, we always need reminding. 

So there's my reading list, people!  Tell me, what books of resources have you found helpful?  

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