book reviews: parenting books

As much as us yoyomamas and yoyodadas love it, you don’t have to tell us twice that raising children is tough beans. Books are amazing resources to help us further understand our roles in raising children, but there is a dizzying amount of titles out there – how do you choose which books are best-fitting for you and your parenting style?

We’ve rounded up some interesting parenthood-lit to help you in your search for parenting enlightenment. Here are some of our recommended reads:

The Gardener and the Carpenter | by Alison Gopnik

the gardener and the carpenterDr. Alison Gopnik is a renowned developmental psychologist and professor at the University of California at Berkeley. Her latest book, The Gardener and the Carpenter, explores what the new science of child development tells us about the relationship between parents and children. Dr. Gopnik explains that parents need to be like gardeners, creating sustaining environments for their children and enjoying them for their own development, rather than like carpenters, who follow sets of rules to produce something according to a blueprint. She backs her theories with science by tying in her experience as a child psychologist, but she also brings in her own personal experience as a daughter, mom, and grandmother. This is not a parenting “how-to” book; instead, The Gardener and the Carpenter provides insight about a philosophy on raising kids that just feels right.

Mothers of the Village: Why All Moms Need the Support of a Motherhood Community and How to Find It For Yourself | by C.J. Schneider

mothers of the villageHaving moved to a new neighbourhood and recently given birth to her third child, Alberta-based author and mother, C.J. Schneider of Mothers of the Village, openly discusses how her feelings of isolation, exhaustion and loneliness – all potential risk factors for postpartum depression – motivated her to connect with other moms and eventually form her own support network. Sharing examples of “communal mothering” around the world, as well as her own personal experiences, Schneider emphasizes the importance of strong social networks during all stages of life, including motherhood, to help families connect and also offers suggestions on how to start building their village efficiently and with purpose.

Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why | by Paul Tough

helping children succeedPaul Tough’s previous New York Times’ bestseller, How Children Succeed, focused on how qualities such as persistence, self-discipline, focus and confidence are important to a child’s success. His latest book Helping Children Succeed compliments his first book, reminding us not to overlook social and emotional behaviours which are equally (if not, more) critical, especially for those facing adversity. Recognizing that these qualities are harder to “teach” than noncognitive skills, Paul Tough shares insights on how teachers and parents can help create positive environments at home and school to help these traits thrive.

Parenting is a constant evolution – books like these help encourage us to think outside the box and have open conversations with each other. Have you read any good parenting books lately? Please share them with us in the comment section below. We’d love to hear about it!

Yo, mama! Looking for other book suggestions? Check out yoyomama’s bookstore for our top reads!

By: Marjolyn “MJ” Dimapilis

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