Tips for Choosing the Best Parenting Books for New Parents
Do you struggle with the frustrations of parenthood? Are you a new parent filled with anxiety about the whole experience? Do you feel short of skills to handle kids behavior and looking for best parenting books? Are people always judgmental towards your parenting style? Have terrible two’s, three’s or four’s completely overtaken your life and you seem to be on your last nerve? Do you reach at a point where you just want to yank your hair off?
If all above questions pointing to yes then don’t worry because you are not alone in this. Nobody gets parenting right anyway; at least not the first time. All you probably need to do is to go through some of the best parenting books for guidance and in here you will get the tips to help you in choosing one that is just right for you.
Parenthood comes with its fair share of joys and pains. Even though the pains sometimes seem to outweigh the joys, most parents agree that parenting is by far the most fulfilling and rewarding stage of life and have no qualms re-living it over and over again if they could. Nothing can surpass the pride and joy of seeing your kids reach milestone, overcome hurdles, teeth, crawl, walk, run, grow up into teens, graduate from college and finally become responsible self reliant adults. That’s the natural course of growth and is wonderful. As easy as it sounds, parenting is just about one of the toughest jobs anyone can do. Its an area in which many people have a hard time getting a grasp of.
To be able to understand how to tackle parenting, we begin by first defining it. So, what is parenting? In simple terms, it is the upbringing of children by making decisions that support their physical, emotional, social and mental development while shaping their behaviour and mannerism which form their character. Very simple in theory, though practically is hard work. Yes, you got that right, it is freaking hard work and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with admitting it. It doesn’t mean you love your children less, or don’t appreciate the awesomeness of raising kids. It only means you acknowledge it will not be all laughter, fun and games. There will be mountains to climb, hurdles to jump, blood, sweat and tears. Thankfully there are many helpful resources out there to lighten the burden and assist you push through the journey.
Parenting books are heaven sent resources. There are other useful resources such as classes, seminars, videos and blogs run by experts. We chose to focus on books because of their convenience. In an insanely fast paced world with plenty of responsibilities, not many people have the time to attend and sit through classes or seminars. After a hard days job probably sitting in front of a computer screen all day, or cleaning, cooking and laundering, you do not want to come watch a video or read a blog.
Books are just timeless. You can read or listen (for audio books) at your convenience at the comfort of your home, while riding a bus or taxi home or just chilling at the park. Not that we are disregarding other resources. In fact to reinforce your parenting skills, it is recommended to combine the knowledge from books with that from other resources such as classes where you get to interact and ask questions.
Parenting books have proven to be very effective in transforming the lives of many parents that were once slaves to their children’s tears, shouting, screaming, tantrums, hitting, kicking and biting tendencies. How? Through learning. Yes, its that simple. By regularly setting aside time to study and ponder the teaching of an audio or text chapter of at least one of the best parenting books, you get to learn so much.
These books normally authored by children experts will help you raise children positively using certain parenting techniques, hacks, tools, responses and reinforcement. They prepare you for the challenges to expect ahead and how to cope with them. Books also offer guidance, tips and encouragement so that you do not feel alone but rather enthusiastic and uplifted about the entire parenting experience.
But with the hundreds of thousands of books being sold in the market each with a different piece of advice, how do you settle for one that suits you? Ok, maybe not one, because the thirst for knowledge on how to be the best parent you can be cannot be quenched by one book. Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all kind of advice when it comes to parenting. That is why we’ve narrowed down some of the most effective ways to assist you in choosing the best parenting books unique to your family. Let’s dive in.
1. Author’s profile
Purposeful reading or listening to a book is meant for learning. If you are to learn anything new, then let it hail from the best in the industry. Educators, pediatricians, child psychologists, family coaches just to mention but a few are among practitioners presumed to give the best parenting advice. This is owed to their many years of experience working with children. If your needs are more specific, say for example you need help with a child’s speech, you are most likely to be drawn to a book authored by a speech therapist.
Always take a look at the author’s biography. Do a little background research on them. Find out their qualifications and what practice they are or were in if retired. What other books have they authored? Were the books bestsellers? The answers to these questions should follow a certain pattern which will influence your decision and build trust in a book. Whatever your option, be sure it’s someone who is an expert.
2. Tone of the book for parenting
The first few pages of a parenting book can reveal a lot about the writer’s attitudes towards the subject. What tone does the book adopt regarding parenting? Does it sound manipulative or inspiring? If you are looking to purchase a parenting book it’s probably because you already feel like a crappy parent who needs help. Therefore, you do not need a book that emphasizes on your shortcomings but rather one that encourages and makes you feel better. Choose a book that is consoling yet still challenging. Pick a book that expresses the real talk without making the audience feel patronized.
3. Research based content
The essence of purchasing a parenting book is to raise your kids while applying the principles learnt from it while hoping for the best outcome in behavior. But before that, the author needs to have provided tangible evidence that the approach does work. The biggest mistake you can make as a parent is to follow opinions because almost everyone feels they have a say on how to raise your children. Choose books whose content is less opinionated and more research based. Check to see if the author has any of the proposed tools and techniques backed by scientific studies or evidence-based statistics and findings. Ensure the data sources are also credible.
4. Personal experiences
It’s great to know that as a parent, you are not alone and that there are other parents experiencing more or less the same struggles as you. It’s even more reassuring when this other parent is the book’s author. Good parenting books do not paint the picture of a perfect world but are rather full of real-life experiences and personal examples of when it got ugly and messy and how they came around it. Books that are personal in nature depicting everyday parenting challenges that the authors themselves faced as parents are the best as they foster a deep connection with the reader.
5. Engaging activities
Too much of theory and too little of practical can make a really boring book which readers easily disengage from. Some of the greatest parenting books are known to stimulate learning and creativity in their readers by incorporating plenty of activities, tasks, homework, to do lists etc to be performed after every chapter or lesson. Go for such. Not only are they a fun way to learn but also present an opportunity to put to test your newly acquired knowledge, tips and skills.
6. Development stage
There are several child developmental stages. From pregnancy to nuisance newborns, terrible two’s, tantrum three’s, adolescents and teens angst, every stage has a distinct set of challenges. It’s in rare cases that you find one book covering all these phases. And if there was, you wouldn’t want to buy it. Each development stage is complex. You cannot have the gospel of raising kids from newborns to teens all stuffed up in one volume unless the content is really superficial. The best parenting books with the deep lessons and real talk focuses on solutions for a particular hurdle such as potty training. Alternatively they could be age group specific for example a book specially done for toddlers. These provide more comprehensive and detailed instruction as opposed to general parenting books.
While many books offer excellent advice on what should be done, only the best ones will tell you how to do it from scratch by mapping a path to follow. A book with strategy is what you should go for. Avoid books that just hammer tips, hacks or tactics. The best parenting books are strategic. They recognize where the reader is and where they want to be. They have clear objectives which is to take him or her from the lowest level to the desired level. In short, a step by step, logic strategy on how things will be achieved.
Book reviews can tell you so much about it. By sieving through reviews, you get to see what others think or feel about the book after finishing it. Book reviews give you a chance to explore the book in a nutshell. You get a summary of what its about, the style, tone, its ideologies. If 70 out of 100 reviews shed some negative light on a book then it probably is not worth your time or money. It is critical that you be open minded about reviews though. Some people review books from other people’s opinions on the book when they’ve actually not even read it. Ensure the review is credible and from verified buyers.
A child’s behavior is more often than not a direct reflection of parenting. Poor upbringing will always manifest itself even in adult life. Bad parenting often results to social problems, anxiety, depression, aggression and other undesirable effects on a child. Society will not call the child bad, they will say, it wasn’t brought up right. That is not a very proud tag to bear as a parent. It is therefore worth getting a little assistance and guidance from the experts in form of books.
Now equipped with this knowledge on how to select the best parenting books. As a parent you should to pick one that will bring out the best in your relationship with your kids. You can start by checking out TalkingToToddlers.com for some amazing best seller books that meet the above selection criteria. But what if it doesn’t work? Well, nobody said it would. It is no guarantee that the tips, insights and methods will always fit all real-life situations. This is because there are no two beings who are exactly alike. There is a unique personality and distinct character in every child. So what works for hundreds of kids may not work on your little one. And the same goes for parents. We are all created with different strengths, abilities and levels of courage and grit to execute things. We each have our own weaknesses too.
You could always drop a book and pick another if it doesn’t seem to work for you. But remember, excess advice is poison. You might only end up more confused than before. It is better to stick to one or two parenting books for toddlers at every stage. Be a thinking parent and not just a doer. Filter out what works from what just doesn’t. That doesn’t mean easily caving in on the first attempt and failure. Try different approaches. Be strong, be persistent, be consistent, be confident. You can do it!