4 Interesting & Informative Reads for Parents

  1. Masterminds & Wingmen by Rosalind Wiseman

Wiseman is known as an expert on a number of topics like social justice and ethical leadership. However, it was her expert status on parenting, children, and bullying that drew me in.

I enjoyed reading Masterminds & Wingmen. I found it to be informative and educational. I also found the tone wonderful, and pleasant. Wiseman’s use of students (about 11 – 24 years old) as editors/contributors for the book gives credit to the content, and it adds voice to ages and experiences that are too easy for us as parents to forget.

If you are raising boys, teaching, or coaching boys this book is a must read because it opens the eyes to the rules/expectations that govern what Wiseman calls “boy world.” For me, there were things I didn’t know, things I had forgotten, and things I knew but Wiseman explained them in a way that I had never thought of. I particularly enjoyed the recommendations for communicating as a mother and son. Some other topics that I found interesting were as follows: lying, social networking, video games, girl trouble, and popularity.

If you are interested in something similar for girls instead of boys. Wiseman wrote Queen Bees & Wannabees. I have not read this book, but if it is anything like Masterminds & Wingmen I imagine it will be a good read. However, I am not actually sure if it is written for parents, or for the girls.

I would like to follow-up with another of Wiseman’s book, and I have placed the title on my future reading list: Queen Bee Moms & Kingpin Dads.

I recently started reading The Guide: Managing Douchbags, Recruiting Wingmen, and Attracting Who You Want. I was surprised to find that it is actually written as a tool for boys, teenage boys, to read. I think this is a great idea for boys who will take the time to read it, or read the sections that they personally might want to read. That said, I have only read the first couple of chapters but I plan to read finish reading it. Similar to Masterminds & Wingmen Wiseman uses students as editors/contributors, and discusses the box and the roles around it. I am curious to see what follows.

  1. Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv

“Passion is lifted from the earth itself by the muddy hands of the young; it travels along grass-stained sleeves to the heart. If we are going to save environmentalism and the environment, we must also save an endangered indicator species: the child in nature.” – Richard Louv

“Nature Deficit”

Richard Louv is a journalist and author. I loved his take that children in nature are endangered, and the connections made between this and health issues in children. I thought there were interesting points made about a technological generation and its distance from nature both presently and in the future. Personally, my children love being outside, and they love their technology. It is a balance, and I think there are learning opportunities offered from both activities.

Last Child in the Woods is an interesting read. I found humour in it as well as sadness. I felt a bit nostalgic a few times as I remembered being barefoot and loving the feel of the summer grass under my feet, or squishing cool mud between my toes, as well as time spent reading my favourite book perched high up in my favourite tree… Anyway, I believe that it is a book worth reading.

  1. 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 by Thomas W. Phelan

I have referenced this book in a couple other posts, but I don’t believe I talked in depth about it. Thomas Phelan is a clinical psychologist, and he is a nationally renowned expert on child discipline and attention deficit disorder. The book itself was easy to read, and the program it outlined was easy to use and follow. Previous to reading 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 I hadn’t known that there was a science to counting, but there is and this book sets it out clearly for parents. It cleared up misperceptions about why counting works sometimes and not others, and it explained how to use it for stop behaviour. I found it took the messiness out of discipline because there were times when I felt frustrated because I would request a behaviour stop, and it would be ignored or heeded for a bit then restarted. This helped eliminate that problem, and my own frustration. It gave us a concrete point to work from as well as an understanding as parent and child.

The counting method steers away from yelling, arguing, fighting, spanking, etc. In my opinion discipline isn’t a discussion, nor should it be an argument. If a behaviour needs to be corrected, it needs to be corrected in a manner that is safe and healthy for parent and child, and it needs to be correct while the behaviour is happening.

It has been a great tool for the parenting tool box!

  1. Life Times: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children by Bryan Melionie and Robert Ingpen

I have referenced this little book as a resource in a previous post called “It’s Okay Mom!” Children’s exposure to Death, A positive note on a very emotional topic. Life Times is a book you can read directly to your children. It is a great book to use for explaining death to children because it is sensitive, and it is matter-of-fact in explaining of the cycle of life: beginnings, middles, and ends. Cycles of life occur for everyone, and Life Times touches on humans, animals, and plants. It is described as being a good resource for children of all ages, including adults, and I would agree with that description.

Thanks for reading!

By Shari Marshall – 2016