Being a parent is such a rewarding experience, but it is also fraught with worries, doubts and insecurities about whether you are following the right path in your parenting. Like most moms, I've read lots of child rearing books and some are full of practical application while others leave a lot to be desired. I have highlighted three books (series of books) that I have found to not tell me "what to do", but give me some insight into what makes kids tick or people in general for that matter.
The first book is "The Birth Order Book" by Dr. Kevin Leman. I personally find this subject matter fascinating. It not only gives you an idea of the positives and negatives of each birth order, but it really helps you to see how responses to a similar situation could be different given where someone falls in the family birth line. Not only for applying the information to parenting, but I also found it helpful in regards to friendships, work relationships and my own reactions. It was interesting to note that the birth order of the parents can affect their parenting style and expectations of children.
The Birth Order Book
"The Five Love Languages of Children" by Gary Chapman is the next book from which I have gleaned a lot of parenting direction. The book gives advice on how to understand and make practical applications on how your child gives, receives and interprets love. Based on the five love languages: receiving gifts, words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, and acts of service, there are illustrations of how your own love language and your child's might affect one another.
The Five Love Languages of Children
The third book is actually a series of books Dr. Louise Bates Ames based on studies from The Gesell Institute of Human Development. Even though the books were primarily written from a late 1970s perspective and some scenarios reflect that time, I have found a lot of useful knowledge and peace of mind. Each book focuses on a certain age and tells parents what to expect both good and bad for that age. Backed by data from studying thousands of children, the author sets up the scenario for the normal developmental strides and bumps you will more than likely encounter. I believe that in today's society we are quick to try and classify any little perceived abnormal behavior, but these books really put the "norm" in proper perspective. It is not so much
telling you what to do, but describing what to expect with each age. It also details what happens as the child rides into their half birthdays as well. The following link is a good synopsis for each age and the books are listed at the top.