I don’t consider myself a big connoisseur of parenting books. If these kiddos came with a manual, I’d be all about it…but the vast array of books available is pretty overwhelming. Everyone has an opinion. And at the end of the day, I think a parent’s instinct is a pretty good gauge.
Nonetheless, I’ve read three great books over the past year or so. I’m not sure if they would fall into the “parenting book” camp, or if they’d be better classified as human psychology, but they’ve been really insightful as I think about my growing girlies.
“One and the Same” by Abigail Pogrebin. I would recommend this book to any parent of multiples. The book presents a lot of really interesting research on twin relationships. The author offers great perspective as an identical twin herself. And her interviews with numerous sets of twins in various stages of life are really poignant.
My biggest takeaway from this book is not to over-romanticize our girls’ twinship. Certainly it’s magical to think about the twin bond, but I don’t want to set my girls up with unrealistic expectations…that if one doesn’t feel a stabbing pain when the other has a hangnail, they’ve somehow failed each other as sisters.
“Cinderella Ate My Daughter” by Peggy Orenstein. Having spent my career to date in the field of marketing, and now as the mother of young girls, this was such an interesting read. It talks about our culture with respect to a lot of toys and television programming, and even clothing design. I just want my little girls to be little girls as long as they can be…and to know that they can be anything they want to be as they grow up.
This book made me think about how marketing campaigns are targeted to children, and I hope I can eventually help my girls recognize the motivations and sort through what they truly want and need themselves.
“Einstein Never Used Flashcards” by Roberta Golinkoff, et al. This book presents a lot of research about how children learn, from birth through preschool. The authors speak to many of the types of “educational aids” on the market today, some they say have merit, others they discredit. The authors maintain that a mix of structured and free play – along with lots of reading – is the best way to promote children’s healthy emotional and “academic” development.
This book helped me get a sense for how children build skill sets in terms of language acquisition, mathematics, and social skills. It offers some great suggestions for age-appropriate play, and in general makes me feel good about the 10,000 picnics we stage every day in the den.
None of these books would I consider “how-to” guides for anything…but I love reading about different perspectives to consider on this great journey through parenthood.
Have you read any “parenting” books you’d recommend?
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