Reading List for Moms: Wit, Wisdom, and Stellar Parenting Advice

Posted August 3, 2010 by

It is summer.  I am finally on vacation.  This means I do not have to teach my hardworking graduate students one night a week for 8 weeks, battle over my sons’ homework, attend numerous PTO or IEP  meetings.  However, I will still be in contact with my students as they continue their action research literature review.  In the meantime, I will continue my perpetual ongoing literature review… the one that began about eight years ago. 

Back then, when my boys were two and three years old, I hired a very competent babysitter to watch my two young boys while I went to the library to figure out why my eldest son acted the way he did.  I would sit in between the stacks and pore over parenting and childcare texts.  I had already breezed way past the rudimentary ones for the usual parenting of average kids.  Let’s just say there was no instant discipline magic.  I wanted to know more about my particular child — the child who could not go anywhere and tantrumed daily. 

The first book I found that helped asked you to label your child’s personality as an animal and go from there.  I determined my wildest child was a tiger and as such, according to this book, I was supposed to live as if there was a tiger in your home.  Well, it really wasn’t news to me; we were already living this way.  We were careful not to make sudden movements and we spoke in soft voices around him.  Above all else, we tried not to upset him.  However, in figuring out his personality, I felt a profound sense of hope. I thought that maybe someone else out there was living with a tiger and maybe, just maybe, managing their own three-ring circus. 

It was a little bit of hope.  It was also the beginning of an endless booklist of parenting help and child understanding.  I am never done with my research; my child grows and changes and new behaviors occur.  I need the support to keep myself going.  This summer I am rereading and highlighting important tips from Transform Your Child by James Lehman.  I also had the opportunity to read two of my favorite best-selling authors tackling subjects near and dear to my heart.  Jodie Piccult offers this amazing wisdom in her book, House Rules, “If you are worried about being good mom, you already are one.”  Just the salve I needed after a not so good day with my son.  Emily Giffen espouses eliminating the truly unnecessary practice of moms comparing themselves to other moms, in her book The Heart of the Matter. Really, what good does that do?  It is hard enough comparing yourself to the standards you have set for you. 

Isn’t it?


Kim Stricker is a mom to two boys, an elementary school teacher, and freelance writer. She also writes a blog called lifeslikethis about the daily experiences of raising a child with Asperger’s and ADHD.

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  1. Kim Stricker Report

    Thanks for the tips and the kind words. As always, I find such a comfort in this forum of being and knowing others who are seeking out and trying their best to raise these more challenging kids. Melody, your posts always hit home with me! Right there with you most days:) As far as following my lifeslikethis blog, I think you just need a google account and then you can click follow on the actual blog page.

  2. Melody Report


    Thank you so much for your wit and wisdom. YOU ROCK ON!
    Thank you for suggesting Jodie Piccult’s book, House Rules. I love her and it would likely be a great break from the intensity of reading I’ve been immersing myself in. I’ve finally acquired the TTP (just yesterday) and spent a few hours last night transferring the discs to my computer and ipod so I can take them with me everywhere. I intend to return the survey/feedback form in the next several weeks in hopes of receiving $$ back, but I am willing to bet it is priceless information.

    I do know that there is nothing certain about any program or form of discipline for our kids as can be “predicted” with other families, but I believe (as I see you do) the more “tools” I can acquire the better. Have you been able to utilize the TTP and have you found results with your son with Aspergers? I hope your summer is going well…
    BTW, I love to read your blog posts here and would like to follow your lifeslikethis blog as well; although I can’t figure out how to automatically get updates for new entries, and I can never remember to “go check” other people’s blogs, so it would be great to set that up. Do you have any insights on how to do that?

  3. ellenlebowitz Report

    For digital parents and their digital families, there is Dr. Eitan Schwarz’ “Kids, Parents & Technology: A Guide for Young Families.”

    This book is about empowering parents and other caregivers in helping manage their kids’ electronic media.

    The book is pretty easy to read and an excellent resource for empowering parents who may feel a little overwhelmed.

    I hope this is useful.

    Thank you.



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