I've been reading like crazy over the last few months. Whenever I hear about a good book I save it to my Amazon or library wishlist. Lately I've read some super thought-provoking parenting books. When I read something I feel like I have to share it!
Following are 6 helpful books for parents of school-aged kids.
I stumbled upon this book at my library and the timing was perfect. I have a nine year old boy. The stories I've heard from him lately about how boys treat each other and behave at school have been jaw dropping.
This book is written by psychologists that specialize in working with boys to process their feelings and manage challenging behavior. It made me think about how we have a long way to go culturally in how we raise boys.
It turns out little boys are sensitive with strong feelings just like girls but they are often socialized to toughen up. This can eventually lead to coping mechanisms like anger, violence or addiction. The introduction mentions Columbine which happened around the same time the book was being released.
For parents raising boys, I can't recommend this enough. It made me think that making the world safer for girls may start by changing how we socialize our boys.
I heard an interview with Jordan Shapiro on The Tilt Parenting Podcast and was intrigued enough to check out his book. Are you a parent that struggles with managing "screen time"? Shapiro's take on it is contrary to what parents have been told over the years.
Instead of railing against screens, he proposes we accept the new world that we live in. Adults and kids use screens all the time. We read, write, watch TV, play video games, shop, and connect with friends through screens. He suggests as parents that instead of micromanaging time, we engage with our kids and their screens.
We can play a video game with them or ask them what they like about it. We can introduce them to social media and how to use it the right way.
This was food for thought. The truth is, not enough research and studies have been done on the effects of "screen time" because it's all so new. We have been indoctrinated to believe that because it's new, it's bad.
As parents, we just have to do the best we can, but as someone worried about screen time, reading this kind of made me feel a sense of relief that maybe I don't need to be too freaked out about it.
I just started reading this but had to include it on the list. If you have ever wondered why motherhood feels so hard, this is the book for you.
Westervelt opens the book with her story of finishing up some work in the hospital room hours after giving birth. Financially, she didn't have a choice.
Her book explores her experiences along with the history of motherhood.
Essentially, without "villages" and systems to support paid leave, motherhood has become overwhelming and at times unbearable. A lack of respect for the job of care-giving is one issue. In addition, a belief that women are made to be natural nurturers who should be happy to put aside any other ambition has created a perfect storm of joyless mothering.
I can't wait to finish it, it already has started a fire brewing in my belly!
This was a book I learned about from listening to an episode of Oprah's Super Soul Sunday. Shefali Tsabary has written a few other books on parenting as well.
Her take is very mindful and spiritual. She is a fan of natural consequences over traditional discipline.
The primary takeaway is that we have to parent ourselves first. This means discovering and healing wounds from our own childhood that cause us to be overly reactionary with our children. Yelling or overdoing it with punishment is not the answer, according to Tsabary.
Thankfully, she admits to having been reactionary with her own child and having to learning these things for herself. That's a good thing because I would never trust a parent that claims they have never raised their voice when asking their kid to brush their teeth for the 600th time.
Good Book if Your Kid has ADHD
If your kid is struggling in school because you suspect they have ADHD, this is a must read.
It gives lots of quotes from kids that struggle with attention issues. This is hepful for any a parent that is neurotypical and struggles to understand what is going on in their kid's mind.
Good Book if Your Kid Has Learning Challenges
It turns out everyone learns a little differently. If you have a child who is struggling in school, this might help give you some ways to support them.
Hopefully you will have a chance to read a few of these during summer while your kiddo runs through the sprinklers or something!
If you have parenting books you've loved, feel free to tell us in the comments.
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Melissa is a freelance writer, author and blogger. She specializes in finance, food, health, parenting, and real estate. She enjoys helping fellow writers and parents from her writing nook in Portland, Oregon.