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Best Parenting Books
Thursday, July 15, 2010


We asked MyMommyManual's publisher to put together a list of the best/most impactful parenting books. Here is her report:


I've always been a reader. Perhaps it's because I was raised in the pre-Google era. If I am faced with a parenting problem or question, I'll first turn to my girlfriends but mostly to ask what books they have read on the topic. So I'm thrilled with the opportunity to share my favorite, and in my estimation, most helpful parenting books with you.

Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline

by Becky Bailey, Ph.D.


I first read Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline when my first child was 20 months old. It has been my parenting Bible ever since. Now that my child is eight and my younger one is six, I still find myself pulling it off the shelf for refreshers. Becky Bailey's Loving Guidance principles are powerful. I know this because my children attended a preschool that regularly supported her work by training its teachers in her method of guidance. Here's an excerpt on The Power of Positive Intent that I find particularly compelling:


When you attribute positive motives to yourself and to others, you achieve an amazing number of good ends. Among them:

You uphold the highest image of yourself and of others


You foster a sense of security to your child up for a teaching moment


You convey healthy responses to your child that will help him handle and embrace diversity


You encourage your child to develop his own will by acknowledging that he does not need to obey you in order to keep your love


You model unconditional love

I recall being blown away by the simple (yet not easy) idea that you can actually teach unconditional love to your children. That's right—they don't have to wait until they're grown-ups and learn the hard way! Perhaps other parents are more enlightened than I am, but this was a radical shift for me. Sure, people talk about feeling unconditional love for their children. It is something that is given lip service in play date conversations, but really and truly living it is a completely different story. Are you unconditionally loving the toddler who is having a meltdown at the grocery store? Are you unconditionally loving your kids as they kick each other in the back seat of the car?

So what does Loving Guidance look like? Let's take an example: your baby whacks you on the arm. You have a choice. You can get angry and say, "We DO NOT hit!", or you can say, "You wanted my attention so you hit my arm." And then follow it by saying, "You may not hit because that hurts. When you want my attention you can touch my arm or my hand or say, "Mama! Let's try it now." This is paraphrasing an example from the book but one that I have experienced myself many times as I redirected my own children.


So what's the difference? If I am angry, I can usually bet that the sponsoring thought is something like, "You are driving me nuts! Why are you so difficult?" If I am centered and calm, the sponsoring thought is more along the lines of... "I'm distracted. He wants my attention and I'm not being fully present. And he is frustrated." And I can be grateful that he wants my love! Obviously, the latter is ascribing positive intent and it changes the way I respond to my child.


Parenting from a place of centeredness and balance is truly a blessing. This book was a part of the inspiration for the Yoga Parenting course and this idea of starting from a centered place is, I believe, the secret to more joyful, less stressful parenting.


Read the rest of the article here.


Conscious Discipline® is a registered trademark of Loving Guidance™ Inc., (800) 842-2846.


 > VIDEO: See what happened at our seaside retreat bringing the principles
of of Conscious Discipline® to life... co-hosted by Conscious Connections.