Finding the Book That Fits
One thing I quickly realized when I became a parent was that I had absolutely NO IDEA what I was doing and that I was going to need all the help I could get. I began reading every single parenting book I could get my hands on (ESPECIALLY every book on how to get your baby to sleep!). Which also quickly led to my next realization: no one parenting book fit any of my kids exactly. There were certain books that offered a little bit more for me, and some that just didn't work at all. But I did discover that I could find a tip or two in each book that was a match for our family, and could really inspire some productive guidance.
Practical Is My Perfect
One of my absolute favorite parenting books is Creative Correction. I am a super practical person. Poetry and flowery words or sentences that I really have to think a lot about just aren't my thing. Give me a spelled out, actual hands-on strategy and I am SOLD! This book is CHOCK full of helpful ideas that you can use as a parent. Each chapter ends with a "tool box" of ideas that you can pick and choose from. It deals with everything from sibling conflict to chores to public outings to whining to understanding God's truth. One idea from the book that saved my sanity in the summer when my kids were younger was to take them to Chuck E. Cheese's on the first day of summer and buy a BUNCH of tokens. Watching their eyes during these outings was so much fun! Then we came home and created kindness jars and marked the calendar for our return two months later. Over the course of the summer, every time they were kind I would add a token to their jar. Whatever they had in their jar by our chosen date was what they had to play with. We all loved it and it really helped keep our focus on developing the habit of kindness. I know that is not a practice every family will like and some people will fundamentally disagree with. But it was gift to us!! When I read this book I did so with a group of friends. Different ideas stuck out to different people and each of us found ideas that worked for us.
The Secret To Finding A Good Book
I think that's the secret to parenting books - or really any book! When I read each book I really try and pay attention to what lights me up and resonates with how I am wired. It's the same with movies. I love a good romance, epic story, or inspirational movie. But if you put me in front of a horror movie I won't be able to go out of my house for days. Understandably, I don't watch them. Books are no different. Some things match and some don't. For me, if I get a helpful tip or idea (or hey, if I get two!) I think it's a success. For others, it might be whether or not they find compassion and encouragement in what they've read. Some of us just need a good laugh. But for sure, the right book is a gift!
What About You?
What about you? Do you have a parenting book that you love? What about a book for parenting older kids? A friend of mine recently wrote a book about what it's like to be a parent of adult children called Grown Up Parenting that I can't wait to read as my kids get older. There are so many resources out there!! Spend time this week thinking of God as the Divine Librarian guiding you to the perfect book. We'd love to hear what you find so maybe we can benefit too! Let us know in the comments below!