Hey, don't just take my advice!

Photo by mrgao/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by mrgao/iStock / Getty Images

Did you know not everyone LOVES reading parenting books, WHAT?   A couple weeks ago,  I was being walked out of a school by a lovely and experienced educator with grown children, she said to me, "Oh, I never read those parenting books, they made me too nervous."  

Sometimes we take advice, any kind of advice, parenting, medical, working out, cooking advice as a message that we aren't good enough.  Even worse, we see new information as a scary hornets nest that if we hit it (read it) we'll get stung by all the things we are doing wrong or don't know!   

I consume parenting books like cookbooks (back in the day, when we cooked from cookbooks).  I used to get them out of the library, stacked them next to my bed and perused them after the little ones were snug in bed. I never, not once, didn't even consider feeling bad about not cooking every recipe out of any of those cookbooks.  If I got just one good dish out of the 300 provided, well that was time well spent.  May I suggest that's how we read parenting books?  Peruse, laugh, roll your eyes and get one little life expanding, empowering and encouraging nugget.  

I wanted to share my favorite, tried and true parenting books and resources with you.  I truly believe that parenting is just one of many, many hallways you can go down to discover yourself.  Come check out a few new destinations with me!

Duct Tape Parenting:  Vicki Hoefle is equal parts wise and hilarious.  She cooks down  parenting issues into delicious and easy to manage bite size pieces.  Direct, forthcoming and practical, I recommend this book almost weekly and she has a new one coming out in April, The Straight Talk on Parenting, do I sound dorky if I say . . . "I CAN'T WAIT!"?

Blessing of a B- and Blessings of Skinned Knee:  Wendy Mogel takes ancient lessons found in Judiasm and overlays them onto our everyday modern lives.  Blessings of a B- is my go to recommendation for parents of teens who come to me, under the cover of shame and fear, whispering for help. Wendy shines the light on teens and wrings out the lessons and magic that parenting teens brings to us.  Blessings of a Skinned Knee does the same  for the elementary school age kids.

Scream Free Parenting E-Quips:  If you want a daily dose of parenting inspiration, Hal Runkle dishes up a literary quote (so you feel smart) followed with a short paragraph on parenting or relationships (so you feel inspired).  His take is that our kids are here to help us grow ourselves up, and he holds our hands with humor, encouragement and just that wee bit of tough love.

Parent Encouragement Program:  Nothing supports transformation more then ongoing education, information and encouragement.  PEP provides this in spades!  I am of course biased, being a PEP Leader and all, but the tools, insights and support parents can get from a workshop or a long class can literally be life changing.  I've seen too many parents faces shine with delight as they describe breakthroughs with their families (and themselves) to not believe that a parenting class can bring in fresh air and creative ideas that last a lifetime.