Saturday, July 2, 2011

Four Books I Love: On Discipline, Childhood, Siblings, and Sex

Unconditional Parenting 
by Alfie Kohn

This book gave me a whole new outlook on my children and all children. Kohn clearly explains the problems with a lot of the mainstream "wisdom" about parenting. In doing so, he challenges the effectiveness of discipline, and offers an alternative way to parent, focusing on "love and reason."

In Defense of Childhood: Protecting Kids' Inner Wildness 
by Chris Mercogliano

This was the first book I read that made me consider opting out of the school system with my kids. It is beautifully written. The description on Amazon says it best:
Mercogliano demonstrates compellingly how institutions, over-structured schedules and "hyperconcern" are robbing children of their childhood, smothering their creative spark and "inner wildness." Exploring the life cycle from birth to adulthood, Mercogliano covers a lot of ground, taking into account history, biology, psychology, sociology, philosophy and literature, as well as plenty of anecdotes.
Siblings Without Rivalry 
by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

This book includes a great description of what it must be like for a young child when a new child is born into the family, comparing it to how a woman might feel if her husband brought home a new wife. The concrete advice is easy to understand and follow. My children have a great relationship with each other already (at ages 2 and 4) and I think I owe it partly to the things I learned in this book.

Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids To Know About Sex (But Were Afraid They'd Ask) 
by Justin Richardson and Mark Schuster

This one is great for parents with kids of all ages. It is a comprehensive guide to a child's sexual development from birth to adulthood. The authors give helpful and practical advice on how to discuss sex with our children as they grow up. It's funny and light, but full of facts and research.


You can buy any of these books through Amazon by clicking the linked titles above. If you end up getting any of them, feel free to come back here and share your thoughts.