Reading Parenting books vs practicing what we read!

Reading parenting books vs Practicing what we read!⁠

I'm a parenting books junkie! I've been reading books about child's development and parenting since forever! Even as a teenager, I was reading my parent's collection of psychological books! Yes, I read some of Freud's books at 15!⁠

No wonder I became a psychologist!⁠

When I became a mum, I binged on parenting books and tried to the best of my abilities to apply what I was reading.

My main issue was sleep or lack of sleep. The only books I was finding were about how to train your baby or toddler to sleep through! It was in 2007, and gentle parenting was not even a trending term! No mention of other popular hashtags such as #consciousparenting #respectfulparenting not even a word about Montessori Parenting!

The "authoritarian and popular" books of the time were not resonating with me but it's all we had access to.

I was feeling odd with parents I was meeting in playgroups. I ditched the books and the opinion of well-meaning friends. I came back to the child's development books that I studied at University. They were about "attachment", they were about "natural needs of children" and I felt that it was more in line with what my child needed. It led me step by step to Montessori. 

The only issue is that I was feeling "alone". 

When I had my son, I was a trained Montessori teacher and at last, Gentle parenting was starting to be well-known.

I was in London where it was easy to meet like-minded parents. All of sudden, I was talking daily with parents who were struggling like me with tantrums, sibling rivalry, conflicted emotions about how to parent differently than the previous generations but didn't want to go down the road of "naughty step, reward chart, punishments, praise".

All of sudden, all my instincts, all my knowledge of Early childhood was acknowledged by a group of like-minded parents. I felt more prepared to parent the second time around and more in line with my instincts.

What helps me is to have the support of like-minded people AND the knowledge brought by those books and experts I had been lucky to train with. ⁠

And all of sudden, there were plenty of very good parenting books around! 

You are so lucky, as today's parent, to have access to so much knowledge!

Research has evolved. Now we know more about child development than ever before. 

Nowadays we have so much evidence-based information that we owe our children to learn about their development.

We must learn about the best parenting practices to become better parents.

It is important to understand that, as parents, we will never be perfect. Our parenting style will largely reflect our parent's child-rearing ways. Those were passed, unchallenged, from generation to generation.

It takes a conscious and repeated effort to change.

Parenting is a journey where we learn every day. 

I believe that we cannot parent alone and when we miss "in real life village", we can at least find solace in "online group support" to make us accountable.⁠ For me, finding a supportivenon-judgmental community, where I felt safe to share my parenting struggles was necessary to "parent in the best way I can". This is why I love running the FB group, I love your DM, and I love running my e-courses! I cannot wait to offer my local playgroup and in-person workshops! Soon I hope!

So take this as your invitation to join my Discipline course!

My Gentle and Montessori Discipline Course starts on the 12th of April

Get access to the course and join our tribe of like-minded, non-judgmental parents. 

And here is a non-exhaustive list of some of my favourite parenting books!

10 Must read parenting books

What every parents need to know by Margot Sunderland:

This book is full of info about what science tells us about parenting! It advocates attachment, respect of child development and a need for safety. 

Parenting from the inside out from Daniel Siegel:

In this book, the author explains  how interpersonal relationships directly impact the development of the brain, and offer parents a step-by-step approach to forming a deeper understanding of their own life stories, which will help them raise compassionate and resilient children.

Gentle Parenting by Sarah Ockwell-smith

This book is a good starting point, and very practical. It talks about parenting in general from a place of respect and understanding of your child. Sarah has a down to heart approach and yet everything she says is deeply research and rooted in science. 

Maria Montessori speaks to parents:

A collection of texts from the conferences Maria Montessori was giving to parents! Take the Montessori parenting advice straight from the source!

Between parent and child by Dr. Haim Ginott

Dr Haim Ginott is considered the "father" of Gentle parenting. This indispensable handbook will show you how to:
- Discipline without threats, bribes, sarcasm, and punishment
- Criticize without demeaning, praise without judging, and express anger without hurting
- Acknowledge rather than argue with children's feelings, perceptions, and opinions
- Respond so that children will learn to trust and develop self-confidence

Parenting for a peaceful world:

I have read my fair share of historical books about parenting but this one is more than that. It's about understanding our past, it's about forgiving those who raised us & how to move forward to raise children able to be peaceful.
One thing that strikes me the most is that there is no such thing as a "maternal" instinct. For centuries, we have been horrendous to children & infanticide & abusing children were commonly accepted.
That book explains that our ability to take care of our children is directly linked to our feeling of safety. We can only imagine that in the past, life was so tough & the children's chances of survival were so slim that it was better not to get attached to our offspring.
The truth nowadays is that even if we live in decent conditions, we can still feel stressed to the point of feeling unsafe. We can be stretched out with time as we work long hours and both away from our children that it's hard to connect. We may not be able to recognize it and it's why the Authoritative parenting and the baby raising with a strict schedule were so popular. Those parenting style allowed parents to cope with the stress of modern life. 

This book helps me to be more emphatic, to move away from judging my own parents, or other random parents who raise children differently. It helps us to reconcile with past generations and our parenting "heritage". 

Peaceful parents, happy kids

Dr Laura Markham has many years of experience as a clinical psychologist. Her website Aha parenting is full of info for parents. And her books are so helpful!

How to talk to kids so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk

Parenting experts Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish provide effective step by step techniques to help you improve and enrich your relationships with your children. This book was one that my parents rely on when I was little. I remember reading it as a teenager! Not sure they were applying it to the letter but they tried their best! I go back to this book often to troubleshoot my relationship to my children! I like the activities provided and scenarios to help you to apply all the tips. 

Simplicity parenting:

Not a discipline book but a book about making your parenting life easier! How to get rid of toys, clutter, heavy schedule, overwhelming info to create a simpler, calmer, happier family life! 

The whole brain child:

Another book by Dan Siegel which explains in simple terms how our children's brain works and how we can parents, knowing this!

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About the Author Carine Robin

Carine Robin has a Master’s Degree in Psychology, specialising in child psychology. She worked for various social services in her home country of Belgium, before moving to Ireland in 2006. It was there that she started working in a nursery and discovered Montessori education. After having her first child, her passion for the philosophy grew and she qualified as a Montessori teacher and managed a preschool. Carine has been running a Montessori based parents and toddler group and coaching families for 9 years. She now also runs an online group for over 14000 parents, sharing her knowledge and passion with people from around the world. In 2018, Carine realised families needed more support and launched her popular online parenting courses and monthly subscription boxes, full of personally designed Montessori materials.