Everyone who is a parent knows that it can sometimes get overwhelming particularly when the kids are home for holidays, or when one has a child all through in the house (such as in the case of new mothers).
While asking friends and relatives for pieces of advice is an option, it is not a very desirable option for many people. Indeed, many would prefer to get views that are from a more neutral and objective point of view.
Many moms turn to the expert advice found in parenting books. The authors of these books are often parenting specialists and parents, and they often have valuable tips and advice. Far from that, these books are often a good way for moms to unwind and have a good laugh while at it. However, with so many parenting books in the market and more coming in rapidly, finding a good and informative book is often a strenuous task.
This article narrows them down to 8 quality parenting books across a range of topics and issues and some with a sense of humor.
1. Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, M.D. ($21.95)
This is one of the best books for new moms. Some critics have even hailed this book one of the most important parenting books of modern times. Its author, Harvey Karp is one of the most respected pediatricians in the nation as well as one of the foremost experts on child development.
Perhaps the most important issue tackled in the book is that of newborns crying endlessly and tirelessly for hours for no apparent reason. According to Karp, such babies suffer from a condition he calls the “fourth trimester”.
The book offers a solution comprised of a series of five stages known as the 5S’s; swaddling, side/stomach position, shhh sounds, swinging and sucking. The book also provides valuable tips and advice on each of these steps.
Additionally, Karp also advises moms to get help from friends and relatives. He particularly reminds readers that all through history, young parents never cared for babies alone. The book also reminds moms to enjoy and cherish the experiences of the first few months; including those challenging moments.
2. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson (from $8.12)
(Source: Jenny Lawson)
This is probably one of the funniest parenting books for moms and also one of the realest. Some critics have hailed it as “adorably offensive” while others have called it “graspingly funny and wonderfully inappropriate”. Yet, one thing that many will agree is that the author uses this technique to talk in a real and raw manner.
Jennifer Dawson, a journalist, author and blogger takes on an entirely different approach to writing about parenting writing. She starts by taking the reader back to her childhood spent in the outskirts of one small town in West Texas.
She talks about her experiences as a child and particularly delving into intricate details of her gloomy childhood and her struggles with trying to fit in as well as how her unbalanced father made it difficult for her to fit in.
Moms suffering from anxiety issues will also like the fact that Jenny writes about her own anxiety disorder which sometimes makes her hide in bathrooms when she embarrasses herself at parties Occasionally, Jenny also writes about her daughter and her long-suffering husband. Most importantly, Jenny uses these rather tough experiences to show the readers how to find humor in the daily struggles and challenges of life.
This book is funny, deeply entertaining and informative. Additionally, it offers moms a chance to give themselves a break from the complexities of daily parenting.
3. A Single Mother’s Guide to Raising Remarkable Boys by Gina Panettieri & Philip Hall (from $8.03)
It is often said that single mom is not as well placed to raise boys as they are to raise girls. Indeed, raising a kid or in some cases, boys, is often a huge challenge for single moms and more so when the boys grow into adolescence.
This book seeks to equip single moms better to help them cope with the challenges of raising boys. It starts with the recognition that single mums are often required to take up multiple roles when raising boys. For example, a mom may have to act as a teacher, disciplinarian, buddy and coach for her son (s).
Additionally, the book provides useful tips and pieces of advice meant to help single mothers juggle the different roles and responsibilities expected of them when raising sons. Single mothers will get enlightened on how to help their sons perform better in school, excel in sports, find an appropriate male role model (father-figure), socialize, deal with peer pressure and also deal with issues such as sex, drugs and even video games.
The reason this parenting book is so important for single mothers is because it reassures them that their love and care is enough to help the boy develop healthily. It is empowering and highly uplifting.
4. Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us by Laurie Kilmartin, Karen Moline, Alicia Ybarbo and Mary Ann Zoellner (from $6.49)
There is nothing like a mother’s love, or at least that’s the common feeling among many people. However, the truth is that motherhood is often overwhelming and deeply exhausting. To add on that, motherhood sometimes involves dilemmas and scenarios that bring out the worst in moms.
Well, this book represents the views and opinions of 4 moms all of who double up as TV writers and comedians. Ultimately, they talk about motherhood in a crazy and often politically incorrect manner. Despite this foul language, this parenting book is a New York Times bestselling humor book and probably one of the best books celebrating imperfect parenting.
The book is about those moments when moms are tempted to give up but know they cannot. It is about sharing shortcuts and simpler ways of doing things to make parenting easier and more effortless.
Moms will learn how to do things, how not to do things, how to ignore, how to avoid and even how to threaten; all of which are vital for moms. This parenting book is for those moms who sometimes get fed up with their children and is a comforting reminder that they are not alone.
5. Mothering and Daughtering: Keeping Your Bond Strong Through the Teen Years by Eliza Reynolds & Sil Reynolds (from $9.38)
Just like raising boys, raising daughters especially when they are in their teenage years is a huge challenge for many moms. Many moms think that they know best about girlhood particularly because they are also girls and presumably went through the same experiences.
However, the truth is that girlhood is constantly changing and many agree that contemporary girlhood is edgier, more fragile and much scarier than it was when many moms were girls. These differences in ideas and generations may sometimes pose a risk to the bond between mom and daughter.
Sil and Eliza Reynolds assert that mothers and daughters share a special bond that lasts throughout one’s life and one that can deepen with time and remain positive. They then provide a set of tools and techniques meant to help moms nurture this bond.
It also provides valuable advice to moms who do not read from the same script as their daughters giving mom tips on how to improve their relationship and establish a healthy, deep and lasting relationship.
The book also offers advice on how moms can enhance vital skills such as listening, setting and respecting boundaries and mirroring among many other skills. What makes it such a good parenting book is that teenage girls can also read it to get tips on how to maintain healthy relationships with their moms. They can also learn how to trust their intuitions, develop positive friendships and set and pursue their dreams.
6. Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures by Amber Dusick (from $3.49)
Parenthood is fun, and there is no doubt in it. However, many moms can also attest to the fact that parenting is tiresome, annoying and sometimes very frustrating. Dusick is the owner of Crappy Pictures, a blog named among the funniest Parents magazine’s blogs of 2012. According to Dusick, the blog was a way for her to talk about her funny and sometimes frustrating experiences of day to day life as a mom.
Many other moms suffer the same fate as Dusick, and this book reaches out to them. Dusick writes about her crappy baby, crappy boy and crappy papa (husband) using some captivating humor. Dusick sees the humor even in the strangest of places.
Dusick transforms even the most cringe-inducing characteristics of parenting to emotional and meaningful experiences. For example, poop is presented as a hilarious subject as long as one is not wiping it up. Dusick also talks about her boobs and even of family vacations that have gone wrong.
The overall lesson for moms in the book is that even crappy moments can make the best and memories. Moms who are stressed as a result of raising children are highly advised to read this book. Just like the title says, the pictures are crappy but help moms understand why seeing the silly side of things is good for parenthood.
7. How to Talk, So Kids Will Listen and Listen so that Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish (from $9.11 for an audio-book)
Communication is important in any parent-child relationship. It starts right from the moment a child is born and continues all through the growth and development of the child. Research suggests that children learn things such as attitudes, values, behaviors, and knowledge through communication.
Open communication is an important precursor to health parent child relationships. Open communication involves providing an environment that allows people to talk and listen to each other freely and openly.
Adele and Elaine give moms valuable advice on how to effectively parent children and maintain healthy and positive relationships built on open communication. The book teaches moms to accept and acknowledge the feelings of their children and most importantly, encourage cooperation rather than punishment for bad behavior. The book also delves into the importance of encouraging autonomy and self-confidence in children.
So important is this parenting book that some critics have dubbed it “the parenting bible.” The fact that the book is over 30 years old does not take away the fact that it offers one of the deepest and most useful insights into the art of communicating with kids. It remains one of the classic parenting books. Moms can expect to have a house with fewer tantrums, more respect and less stress in family interactions when they use the techniques prescribed in this book.
8. Love and Anger: The Parental Dilemma by Nancy Samalin & Catherine Whitney (from $2.19 Hardcover)
Published in 1992, this book has stood the test of time. It is especially meant for those parents who face struggles with feelings of anger in their homes. Indeed, it is not uncommon for moms and dads to get extremely angered as a result of the behavior of their children. However, most parents tend to think that feeling angry is not okay and may, therefore, experience challenges in finding ways of expressing and releasing this anger.
Nancy and Catherine use this parenting book to show moms and dads that getting angry is okay and that acting in anger is undesirable. The book highlights day to day situations that ordinary parents face that may lead to feelings of anger.
Further, it highlights some of the mistakes parents make when handling such situations and ultimately, provides techniques of successfully dealing with such situations while keeping one’s anger in check.
The book also looks into special situations such as the experiences of divorced moms and dads and even experiences of parents of disabled children. In addition to that, the book also provides guidance on how parents can deal with the anger of children toward the parents, or toward siblings.
An important take away is that children are allowed to get angry and that it is the responsibility of parents to help their children vent this anger out in responsible and acceptable ways.