Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Parenthood: A bibliography

I am a firm believer that what new parents need most is unconditional support. A lot of smiling and nodding and rah-rah, good for you. There may be folks out there with the right answers about breast/bottle, co-sleeping v. crib-sleeping, slings, baby bjorns, maya wraps, immunizations, sticky socks, chlorine-free diapers and all the rest of it.. but me? No I am not one of those people. If you have a kid as far as I'm concerned you are the go-to-guy or girl for said kid. Taking on that responsibility is daunting enough without some rabble wrecking your confidence. I have wanted to patent the phrase unconditional support ever since I became a parent. It is certainly what I need most and can best offer my peers.

When new parents enter my orbit I am eager to get this message across. One thing I keep wanting to do is give them the cacophony set of expert books out there with an annotated bibliography and a large salt shaker. This is indicative of not just my parent side but also my professional librarian side. I love my librarian side for a couple reasons 1. I do believe that books can help anywhere/anytime and 2. I am non-judgemental. Did you know librarians are trained to be non-judgemental? Good library school profs are all over that. They challenge us to look at our work as something apart from some straight-jacket of good choices. They tell that while it is ok to try and promote really good works it is not for us to chose but rather to provide choice. I love my job. It is a handy backstory on being a parent, too.

Our extended family got a new addition last week and another new Mom is on the horizon. I think I will do my best to finally write that bibiliography so what can you tell me? What titles would you include. Sears? Baby Whisperer? Weissbluth? Who else?

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Blogger kittenpie said...

Damn right. I've kept a straight face through all sorts of odd questions at the library, and while I think people's choices are their business, I do think they should have the info to look over and make their choice based on having info on both sides. That said, my favourite method was to read both the What To expect nazis and the Girlfriend's Guide "whatever" attitude and strike a balance somewhere in the area in between where it seemed best for me and my kiddo.

10:18 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would add Penelope Leach, "Your Baby and Child".

2:50 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Ann Douglas series is my fave.

3:46 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Faber & Mazlish -- YES, even at the stage of a pregnant parent!

Dr. Sears

Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate

I second Penelope Leach

Unconditional Parenting : Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason by Alfie Kohn

Playful Parenting by Lawrence J. Cohen

Kid Cooperation: How to Stop Yelling, Nagging, and Pleading and Get Kids to Cooperate by Elizabeth Pantley

5:46 p.m.  
Blogger Mad said...

I'm thirding Penelope Leach. The What to Expect Books (to my mind) were way better once the pregnancy book could be dispensed with. They made decent, quick'n'dirty reference sources.

There were a # of books I HATED but I will check my librarian self and refrain from spouting off on those.

Yes, as librarians it is our job to be non-judgemental but it is also our job to help patrons acquire the critical skill set required to formulate sound judgements (or at least it is in library instruction sessions).

8:48 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Child's Health by Barton Schmitt. As a new parent, I could never figure out whether to call the doctor about something, when to call the doctor or whether to take them to the ER; it caused me a lot of anxiety when they got rashes and colds and fevers and such. This book says, "If you have this situation, call the doctor within 24 hours." "If you have this situation, take them to the ER." So I had some guidance, and support, that the decisions I was making about my child's health was correct.

9:37 a.m.  
Blogger N. said...

Dr. Spock. I know he's out of fashion now, but his revised editions are great. He does backtrack on his 'spoiling a child' theory that garnered A LOT of criticism. But he is very pragmatic and stresses that you know your child better than anyone and should put faith in your judgment.

10:00 a.m.  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

The What To Expect books. Straight up, straight ahead info, well- organized. The other books hurt my head, though I did consult them at length.

Oh, and The Happiest Baby On The Block *DVD*. Book, useless. DVD, gold. I know. SO sue me.

1:45 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will add Positive Discipline by Jane Nelson. Among other things, it offers insightful explanations for various types of behaviour.

9:01 p.m.  
Blogger mamakie said...

What to expect books were great resources - especially the first time around.

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth - sleep is a sensitive topic, but this method worked for us.

How to Talk so kids listen, etc....need to go back and read this one again, especially now that I'm in the preschooler years.

The Girlfriends Guides were fun too - a bit more laid back.

11:40 p.m.  
Blogger Bon said...

i had a range of books, from the Baby Whisperer through Ann Douglas and Weissbluth's sleep book. used bit of 'em all. thought other bits were ridiculous. valued all of them mostly for the sense that "hey, i'm not the only one who thinks this parenting stuff is a challenge" and for that reason alone, found them entertaining reading.

12:32 p.m.  
Blogger mo-wo said...

Wow. Thanks everyone the results are making up a very good and tidy review of the pantheon of (non)experts. I'll share the bib. with you asap!

10:31 p.m.  
Blogger kittenpie said...

OH OH OH! I forgot the one I loved as a great guide for early baby care when I didn't know what I was doing and for checking on medical symptoms and whether to worry or not - it's from the Canadian Medical Association and it's called the Complete Book of Mother and Baby Care. I loved it because they literally show you in pictures how to hold and bathe and dress a baby, which is the kind of thing a new mother unfamiliar with babies might need. And at the back, it lists symptoms and has notes for when to call the doctor, when to go to the ER, and so on.

9:37 a.m.  

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