how to talkIf you have ever felt like the words you speak are falling on deaf ears, you may want to check out How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.

The book is addressed to parents, mostly, but I have found the suggestions presented are useful in many other contexts, too. Teachers will no doubt find them useful, as well as anyone who wants to work on their communication skills or has ever had to deal with difficult people.

The authors learned many of their principles of effective communication from their teacher, Dr. Haim Ginnott, of Columbia University. They went on to hone their approach over many years through their experiences as parents and teachers.

The following principles are taken from Dr. Ginnott’s approach:

  • Never deny or ignore a [person’s] feelings.
  • Only behavior is treated as unacceptable, not the [person].
  • Depersonalize negative interactions by mentioning only the problem. “I see a [broken lightbulb].”
  • Attach rules to things, e.g., “[People] are not for hitting.”
  • Dependence breeds hostility. Let [people] do for themselves what they can.
  • Limit criticism to a specific event—don’t say “never”, “always”, as in: “You never listen,” “You always manage to break things”, etc.
  • Refrain from using words that you would not want [anyone] to repeat.
  • Ignore irrelevant behavior.

The book presents these ideas using amusing vignettes of common scenarios and how best to handle them. If you like this book, you may also be interested in the following by the same authors:

Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too  

Liberated Parents, Liberated Children

Between Brothers & Sisters: A Celebration of Life’s Most Enduring Relationship

How to Talk So Teens Will Listen & Listen So Teens Will Talk 

Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures is a book put together by Amber Dusick. The idea for this book came about when she was looking for a way to vent about her frustrations and joys of being a parent. As a result, her blog, Illustrated with Crappy Pictures, was born and morphed to include anything and everything that she needed to vent about in her life, not just parenting. It became so popular that she decided to turn her blog posts into a book. She just came out with one about marriage as well. Go Amber!

Dusick describes her family throughout her book as Crappy Baby, Crappy Boy, and Crappy Husband, though she stresses multiple times that none of them are in fact crappy, JUST her drawings! Since she wanted to tell people about the things that happened in her day-to-day life, she figured drawing crappy pictures, the only kind that she can draw, to go along with her stories would help illustrate her frustration.

Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures is broken up into ten different chapters, each detailing one major part of parenting that Dusick and other parents can completely relate to, from the difference in your life before and after kids, how to deal with sickness in your house, remembering the good stuff about being a parent, and also what she calls the “50 Crappy Laws of Parenting”.

Follow Dusick as she regales you with stories about how you just can’t get your kids to BE QUIET while on a road trip especially on a plane, how family dinner time is never actually family dinner since that would require everyone to sit at the table at the same time, and just how much you should treasure sleep because babies, for some reason, do not sleep at all!

One of our own just had her first baby and in honor of the arrival of the newest Davenport Library patron, here is a list of some of our latest books on childbirth, babies and raising children.

dreambirthDreamBirth by Catherine Shainberg – Bringing a new life into the world is more than a biological process-it is the most profound act of creativity in the human experience.  With DreamBirth, this leading imagery expert offers practical exercises and guidance for harnessing our innate creative power throughout all four phases of childbirth-conception, pregnancy, labor, and post-partum care.

what to feed your babyWhat to Feed Your Baby by Stan Cohen – In this book, Dr. Stanley Cohen, a pediatric gastroenterologist and nutritionist with longstanding interest in infant nutrition, provides a practical and pragmatic approach to a major concern for new mothers. The author’s innovative, cost-sensitive methods can save both new and seasoned parents hundreds to thousands of dollars yearly and improve their families’ nutrition at the same time.

bumpologyBumpology by Linda Geddes – The moment she discovers she’s pregnant, every woman suddenly has a million questions about the life that’s developing inside her. In Bumpology , Geddes discusses the latest research on every topic that expectant parents encounter, from first pregnancy symptoms to pregnancy diet, the right birth plan, and a baby’s first year.

 

parenting beyondParenting Beyond Pink and Blue by Christia Brown – A guide that helps parents focus on their children’s unique strengths and inclinations rather than on gendered stereotypes to more effectively bring out the best in their individual children. When parents place less emphasis on gender, children are free to flourish in activities and ways that are authentic to them. Modern parents want to raise their children as unique individuals; Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue helps them break out of the restrictive pink or blue box.

artful parent2The Artful Parent by Jean Van’t Hul – Bring out your children’s creativity and imagination with more than 60 kids’ art activities. Art making is a wonderfully fun way for young children to tap into their imagination, deepen their creativity, and explore new materials, all while strengthening their fine motor skills and developing self-confidence.

 

Slesleepep: What Every Parent Needs to Know by Rachel Moon – Sooner or later, most parents face challenges at bedtime. From infants and toddlers, to school-age kids and adolescents, sleeptime problems can affect everyone in the family. And no matter what your child’s difficulty may be – getting to sleep, staying asleep, bed-wetting, fears or nightmares – it’s never too late to take steps to correct it.

baby bootiesBaby Booties and Slippers by Susie Johns – A new baby or toddler is the perfect excuse to get creative and what could be a more delightful gift than an adorable handmade pair of booties or slippers? This cute collection of 30 projects is packed full of gorgeous designs. From newborns to toddlers, there’s plenty here to keep those precious tiny toes warm in style, whether you want to make delicate and classic booties or funky themed slippers.

mama docMama Doc Medicine by Wendy Sue Swanson – Pediatrician, mother and blogger Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson helps decipher today’s conflicting medical opinions, offers helpful online resources, and shares what she’s learned over many years from her patients, friends and family in this enlightening guide to parenting. Using Dr. Swanson’s experience as a mother and physician, this book provides simple answers to the “how,” “what,” “why,” and “who” questions of parenting.

Good luck with your own little Storm-a-geddon Amber! You’re going to be an awesome Mom!

raising2If you’re not a fan of traditional parenting books (or even if you are) you might want to check out Elizabeth Beckwith’s Raising the Perfect Child Through Guilt and Manipulation. This book is laugh-out-loud funny and with chapters such as “How to Scare the Crap out of Your Child (in a Positive Way)”, and “Mind Control: Why it’s a Good Thing” Elizabeth Beckwith offers a new spin on the traditional parenting books.

Despite the title, Ms. Beckwith has some pretty sound advice to offer. For example, “speak loudly and disparagingly of people who do bad things”. See a guy speed through a parking lot? Make sure you tell your kid what a moron that guy is, and that that’s how people die. As Ms. Beckwith says “it’s always good to sprinkle the fear of death into these lessons whenever possible”.

This method lets you pepper lessons into daily life rather than having sit-down conversations about topics such as drugs or smoking. See a scantily-clad woman on the street? Make sure you mention that she looks like a hooker. This not only shows your daughter that it’s not ok with you to dress this way, but it also sends the message to your son that this is NOT the kind of girl you bring home.

Each lesson is illustrated with colorful stories from the author’s own childhood. So whether you’re looking for parenting advice or just want a great memoir to read Raising the Perfect Child through Guilt and Manipulation is definitely worth checking out, as long as you don’t mind a little colorful language.

 

artful parentBring out your children’s creativity and imagination with more than 60 kids’ art activities from the creator of The Artful Parent blog.

Art making is a wonderfully fun way for young children to tap into their imagination, deepen their creativity, and explore new materials, all while strengthening their fine motor skills and developing self-confidence. The Artful Parent has all the tools and information you need to encourage your children’s creativity through art. You’ll learn how to set up an art space, how to talk to children about their artwork, how to choose the best art supplies (without breaking the bank), how to re-purpose and organize the piles of art created, and even how to use kids’ art activities to soften everyday transitions. The more than sixty engaging kids’ arts and crafts projects included here are accessible and developmentally appropriate for one- to eight-year-olds, and they’re a far cry from the cookie-cutter crafts many of us did in school as kids.

From bubble prints to musical chairs art, these kids art activities allow children to explore art materials, techniques, and ideas as they grow more creative every day. With activities for down times, action art for releasing energy, and recipes for making your own art materials, this book is your guide for raising an artful family. (description from publisher)