When I travel to other cities or countries, I try to act like I am not a tourist, even though I am. That’s how I’ve always approached parenting, I’m winging it but do read a guidebook now and then. Books like “Babywise” and the “Happiest Baby on the Block” always seemed too gimicky, while Dr. Ferber’s “Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems” seems downright mean. I’ve taken a few pages from Dr. Sears books (as I’ve been known to snuggle a baby in my bed) but am not such an attachment parent that I wear my baby. “The What to Expect” series just pisses me off (it is always on that freaking New York Times best seller list). For anxious moms to be or new moms, it is way too stringent and impersonal and not very well-written. But it is a best seller, probably partly because of the title.
The book I love the most is Touchpoints by Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, a legend around our parts here in Boston. Dr. Brazelton doesn’t judge us, he is gentle, he really understands babies and children and how to parent or follow their lead during different stages of development. “Touchpoints” focuses on Birth-3 and there is a follow up to Touchpoints that focuses on ages 3-6. I loved his approach so much, I tracked down his book “Infants and Mothers”. Don’t let the dated photos in the books make you think the information is not timely or relevant, because it is. And it is comforting.
Now what I need is a book to help me understand the emotional development of my second grade girl. She’s developing a lot of independence, but is still very young. I want to treat her like a second grader, not a baby. Striking the right balance of parenting at this age is much harder to me than parenting a baby or a toddler. So, where’s “The Happiest School-Aged Child on the Block?” Does anyone have any suggestions on a great book to read for this stage between baby and teen? What are your favorite parenting books?