Are you looking for parenting advice or guidance and not sure where to start?
Feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and just not the best mama you know you can be?
It is okay to feel that you need some guidance in your parenting journey, I know I do more times than not!
Raising children is a lot of work and requires so much of us Mamas!
Yes loving them comes completely natural but handling them calmly when they are screaming at us does not. If we do not fully understand what they are experiencing through their developmental stages we will not be able to support them appropriately during those hard times.
Once my daughter reached the age of about 18 months, I realized I needed to learn how to respond to certain behaviors differently.
I realized I was responding in ways that I was not comfortable continuing. Yelling, threatening her with punishments, and assertive.
I wanted to learn how to parent my children calmly & confidently and build a relationship based on connection not control.
My daughter has always acted and seemed older than what she is. So it made since that her curiosity and testing behavior came earlier as well.
But the problem was my reaction to these situations was not what I had imagined.
I realized I was becoming triggered and reacted angry and harshly at her. Something that was not fair to her and not the mom I wanted to be.
But it was my default setting. I reacted the way that I saw adults around me react when a child misbehaves or didn’t listen.
And if i am being completely honest, I am working through a lot of my own childhood trauma while raising my children.
I would let those comments of friends and family member’s get into my head when they would say, “You are going to let her act like that?” or “Just wait until she is older if she is not listening to you now”
I decided I wanted to reach out for help and learn about different techniques on how to handle children respectfully and gently even in their worst moments.
I wanted the calm and confidence I needed in order to handle these challenging times in a loving and respectful way to my daughter.
Instead of aiming to control her out of fear of something, I wanted to allow the space for her to make her choices and learn the natural consequences.
Now this does not mean that I allow her to make dangerous decisions, but I do weigh my options and give her the freedom to make choices as long as it does not harm her health or safety or anyone else’s.
Here is a list of the top 10 parenting books that have helped change my perspective and brought insight on how I view a lot of the challenging moments of parenting.
1. How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
Teaches parents how acknowledging children’s feelings helps eliminate a lot of the misbehavior that occurs.
2. The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Champman
This book focuses on how each child has a different way of feeling that they are loved. Learning your child’s specific love language can help you build your connection with them allowing them to feel loved.
3. No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame by Janet Lansbury
Janet teaches parents how to respectfully parent their children focusing on meeting the child’s needs where they are at. Guides parents to handle situations calmly and confidently. One of my personal favorites! She has podcast too!
4. Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting By Janet Lansbury
More in depth, step by step guide to transform your parenting into respectful parenting. Encouraging you to prioritize your child’s need for connection with you.
5. The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel Siegel
The Whole-Brain Child helps teach parents how to assist children in developing their emotional intelligence. It provides strategies for raising happy and resilient children based on the most current neuroscience. And really explains how the impact of our parenting decisions effects the child as a whole.
6. No Drama Discipline by Daniel Siegel
Teaches you how to calm the chaos that comes from young children learning the world around them. Provides parents with effective ways of communicating with children in a way that they can comprehend at their developmental level.
7. The Montessori Toddler – Simone Davies
Introduces Montessori philosophy and provides in-depth understand of how it is beneficial for children and how to incorporate it into your home! Montessori Activities idea list is included at the end of the book!
8. Positive Discipline – The First Three Years by Jane Nelson
Breaks down the affects of what we do as parents in the name of “love” in our long term parenting journey. Encourages parents to be intentional with their words and actions making sure they align with the family values we are trying to instill in our children.
9. There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather – Linda Akeson McGurk
A Scandinavian Mom’s Secrets for Raising Healthy, Resilient, and Confident Kids. Reminds parents on the importance of free play and exploration in childhood.
10. Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn
Guides parents from moving away from manipulation and punishment strategies to love and reason. Encourages parents to change the narrative of doing to the child into working with the child.
I will be the first to admit that I do not know everything about parenting. I am always searching for new inspiration on how I can better myself as a person.
Continuously practicing acting out of connection and kindness rather than control and ego.
Opening your mind to different ways of parenting will help you find out what approach you feel aligns with your family values. It reminds us that we must be intentional with our words and actions, for we have little eyes analyzing us all the time.
I find my motherhood journey a lot like my self-development journey, it is a constant process of readdressing areas that need to be worked on in order to become the best version of myself as an individual and a mom.
I am curious to know what books you have found to be helpful or an inspiration as a mom, leave a comment below!