28 answers

Advice for Child Psychology/Gentle, Positive Discipline Books/Other Resources?

Hi! I'm almost 6 months pregnant and want to learn as much as I can about being a good parent in guiding our child through the usual behavioral issues and in growing up emotionally secure, confident, kind, responsible, and all of the other things we parents hope for our children.

What resources have you moms found to be wise, insightful and really helpful in real life?

Thanks!
L.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks, everyone, for all of your advice and book recommendations! I have a lot to work with now, and will spend some time at the library looking up some of these books.

Featured Answers

The Baby Wise books are good, Dr Spock, and Baby whisperer.
Google Authoritative Parenting and strive to abide by those principles. Psychologically speaking, that is the parenting type that is the best and raises the happiest, most mentally sound children.

You've got some good advice from Anna M. Read BabyWise (& BabyWise II), John Rosemond is good, along with James Dobson, who wrote Dare to Discipline and The Strong-Willed Child (and more).

Starting early with BabyWise (a little intense for some) or the BabyWhisperer (a toned down babywise). I like John Rosemond who has a syndicated column and a website (www.rosemond.com); sometimes he can be condescending but he does have good advice and overall message.

More Answers

The best book that I have found is by a christian author. It discusses Foundations for Biblical Childrearing and Shepherding Through the Stages of Childhood. This book covers communication, discipline, what is going on with your child's heart, how to protect their hearts while still raising them to be Christ like, etc. I sent the book to my husband while he was deployed. He could not put it down and came back with such a fire to begin a new way of raising our children. The book is called Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp. Good luck with finding the right book for you, I hope this helps.

You're on a great track already! I believe that consistency, follow-through, being a good role model, and communication are truly essential. I subscribe to several parenting magazines as well as on-line newsletters, and they are always full of great information, too. To be honest, you'll know in your heart of hearts what is right for you and your family. God bless and happy parenting!

One of the important things to remember is that what works for someone else won't necessarily work for you or your child. Each child, even if you have more than one yourself, requires individual treatment for their individual personalities. Also, whatever discipline you choose to use, remember that it must be something you can live with as a parent: like if you tell your child he or she isn't allowed to do something but keeping the child from it interferes with something you do yourself.
I found myself reading anything and everything I could get my hands on and going to every parenting class I could attend. You have to take everything with a grain of salt, so to speak. But I personally, don't think you can learn too much and the learning never seems to end no matter how old the child becomes.
The public library and parenting magazines were great resources for me.

Hands down, the best discipline book is "Dare to Discipline" by Dr. James Dobson. Sounds like you are doing things right already! Congratulations on your little one!

Just that you are so open to advice and so concerned about giving your baby all the best is already a good indicator that she's being born into an emotionally secure home with loving, devoted parents. You can read all the books you can find (I did) but I found that the best advice and best information came from my friends and co-worker who have children of their own. Alot of the people who write those books are doctors who don't even have children. Although you can find lots of good facts, the best advice comes from those who have been there and done that.

Just remember that children are products of their environments. And they are products of genetics. So some things you can't control. But if you decide from the beginning that you want to use positive re-inforcement, then stick to it. If you decide you want to incorporate spanking or time-out into punishment when necessary, stick to it. Kids need routines and as little confusion as possible; consistency. You have to let them know that you are their parents and you want the best for them. And when you need help, you shouldn't be afraid to ask someone. Children are smart and it starts very early. You will be very surprised. But the more loving and patient you are with them, the more likely they are to be calm children that you can be proud to take to a restaurant and not worry about getting thrown out.

Good luck on an easy delivery.

It sounds like you are off to a good start. Before I had children I read that 85% of a child's psychological being is formed by the age of five. So, much of what a child experiences the first five years will determine how your child turns out as an adult. It helped me decide to stay home with my children through those early years. The love of a mother and father cannot be replaced...God planned for "the family" in the beginning with Adam and Eve. The sacrifice you make will all be worthwhile! A child must bond with his/her mother. MOPS is a ministry for moms at East Leesville Baptist that encourages mothers, and gives them a break from time to time. So lots of love and consistent discipline is a good start. Your child is worth it!

I think you have already made a good start I've found the more positive you display to your children they will pick up on it so make sure you all display what you want in your child. They learn by what we do not just by what we say. Good Luck!! God Bless!!

My husband and I read "The New Dare to Discipline" by Dr. James Dobson when we were pregnant with our first child. Our boys are 10 and 13 now, and they are wonderful.

we love the whole series of Dr. Sears books at our house...pregnancy, baby, etc. We are first time parents also and like the practical words and attachment style of parenting that the Sears promote.
Congrats and enjoy pregnancy!

From a Christian standpoint, please refer to Josh McDowell. Relationships, love, affirmation, acceptance, etc... is key here. Good luck and God bless! Sounds like you guys are going to make wonderful parents.

My best advice to you is to realize that no matter how much you prepare your child is going to challenge you in ways the books can not prepare you for. With that said, you will be amazed at how you adapt to the needs of your very unique child. With each of my children i had to change my parenting child because each shild is different. You and your husband are a team and must decide to back each other up now. because your precious angel will at some point figure out who to ask for what. you must respect your spouse's ability to properly parent and he you.
A great resource is 1,2,3 Magic. A must read for parents of the terrible three's(Believe me 2 is not bad)

Read, READ, REAd!!!

We've read Dr. Sears books and Babywise. We've implemented some of both. My husband read and loved Babywise and helped us implement it from the moment our son was born. It was simply fantastic for us.

I'd like to respond to this quote below left by another mommy.

"The Babywise books seem to be recommended by many, but please know that during the early months of breastfeeding that this method can cause issues with milk supply. The American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as Dr. Dobson, have some against some of these methods as potentially harmful."

Read the book from cover to cover. Have your husband read it too. Don't be legalistic! Let the method work for you. Don't be a slave to it. From what I have read those who had issues with milk supply or harmful situations were excessive and rigid.
Using this method made my milk supply plentiful! I could've fed the nation of Africa! Ha Ha

After observing friends and their families over the years, I found that the families I most wanted to model were the ones who used Babywise / Growing Kids God's Way.
Another good recommendation for the toddler years and beyond is Sheperding a Child's Heart.

Just read a lot and do what seems most appropriate for you and your family. Definitely get your husband in on the decision. His support and participation will make all the difference.

Congratulations! You will LOVE being a mommy!!!

Congradulations, L.! Babies are a blessing from God. I love the WWJD method. Our babies start to imitate us at a very early age. If we are emotionally secure, confident, kind, responsible, and all those other things, I believe our children will learn from our example. "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not depart from it."

I'm sure you will be a great mom.

I liked the books Babywise and Toddlerwise, plus the Lullaby sleep plan book. Also the Power of a Praying Parent is awesome. Just remember above all else to enjoy your time with your little one, because one day very very very soon you will suddenly realize she is starting her first day of school and you won't know where the time went. It is a precious and sweet time for you to experience together, as you start this new chapter in life. Sounds like you are already off to a great start!

I use 123 Magic which is a book that teaches how to gently discipline a child (usually age 2 and up). May be a little early for that book ,but it was a great resource.

The number one thing I can recommend is to pray for yourself and your child regularly. I wish that I could give you a book of child-rearing that tells you exactly what to do, but every child is different. Just love them, let their personality shine through, and you will discover what works best for your family. There isn't a special formula for raising a family. You will probably do things differently than you think right now. The important thing is that you love her, and it sounds like you do. Congratulations!
And I do have to put it out there that I do not agree with the Babywise series. I don't condemn those who use it, just use it carefully if you choose to. Do what feels right and natural for you and your baby. I am a huge fan of Dr. Sears' books.

I have never been a super religious person but the best book you could get is the bible. I know that sounds like I am a fanatic or something but really it does have all the answers. Parenting is tough...24/7 and the older they get the harder it is. Books are just other people's opinions on how you should raise your child. The fact that you are worried about parenting shows a great first sign! The best parents worry daily about how they are parenting... Just be consistent, let them know they are loved and give them structure. Kids need guidelines. Don't set them up for failure as adults in catering to their every need, we all know the real world doesn't do that and how aweful to set your child up for such a disapointment later on...
Good luck! I don't think you need too many books...follow your gut and as problems arise, ask for suggestions...but you are on the right track.

You've got some good advice from Anna M. Read BabyWise (& BabyWise II), John Rosemond is good, along with James Dobson, who wrote Dare to Discipline and The Strong-Willed Child (and more).

Hi! We just did an assignment in my Guidance and Discipline class at SWOSU. It is for Early Childhood. We had to find and read a parenting book and give a report over it. I have read several parenting books but I found one that I absolutely love. It is called Toddler 411 (my child is 2 1/2). They also have one called Baby 411 and I will be purchasing it with my next child. It covers everything you could ever think of and puts it in an awesome format that is interesting and super simple to read. It also has a lot of medical stuff in it. You might check out the baby one, but I definitely recommend the toddler one. The James Dobson books were some that people did theirs over and the teacher recommended that one, especially the one about having a strong willed child. Of course, I agree with everyone that the Bible is the best. P.S. The Toddler 411 is written by a woman doctor and a mom team. That was important to me.

The Baby Wise books are good, Dr Spock, and Baby whisperer.
Google Authoritative Parenting and strive to abide by those principles. Psychologically speaking, that is the parenting type that is the best and raises the happiest, most mentally sound children.

As several people have said, there's no "one way" that works for every child, but I personally have found the following titles helpful in parenting: Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp, James Dobson books (Parenting Isn't for Cowards, Dare to Discipline, Strong-willed Child), Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian & Creative Correction by Lisa Whelchel. Wish you the best!

My husband and I loved the Baby Whisperer book by Tracy Hogg. That’s the philosophy (respect is the main theme) we try to use as parents (with some personal adjustments, but generally we try to stick with it). I didn’t start reading it until she was already here, if you have time, I’d highly recommend reading any books beforehand (because once your baby is here, you’ll be really limited on time to read). Once we started applying it and moved her from the bassinet to her crib (around 6 weeks) she started sleeping 7 – 10 hours per night. We think it’s a great guide on how to get to know your baby. But, do what works for you - find the parenting style that fits with your beliefs and goals. Then, we read the Baby Whisperer for Toddlers and felt it fit with our family values and respectful yet set boundaries parenting style - we loved the Baby Whisperer books and made a few minor adjustments for what we felt comfortable with. We have a 25 month old and always get nice comments on how sweet and well behaved she is (from family, friends and strangers too). Of course she tests at times, we remain calm and do time outs, we did this starting at 18mos - and she knows what to expect now, and is rarely in time out. I think the best thing you can do is love your child, treat them with respect and set limits and you'll be good to go, but if you're seeking a helpful guide through that process I highly recommend the Baby Whisperer books. We also believe in the positive parenting approach - where everything isn't "No", because kids just tune you out. Positive parenting meaning tell your child what they can do instead - we use makers to color on the paper, we use walking feet in the house, etc. I will say it's harder to come up with those alternatives to what they're doing, it's easier to always say "No", but children still need direction and saying "No" don't do something only keeps that behavior in their mind, so re-direct with what you want your child "to do". My daughter does hear the word "No" but only when it's something serious, I'm not against the word, just it's over use. And I praise my child for good behavior, like sharing on her own, listening well (when she follows directions), etc. Parenting is a learning process and you'll find what works best for you and your family. Also, try to soak up your daughter’s littleness, they grow fast. Best of luck.

The Babywise books seem to be recommended by many, but please know that during the early months of breastfeeding that this method can cause issues with milk supply. The American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as Dr. Dobson, have some against some of these methods as potentially harmful. I have been told the the BW books have been revised, but have not read the revisions. Dr. William Sears, also a Christian, has many good books, and we have found them to be helpful. You might also try "The No Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley, "The Happiest Baby on the Block" by Dr. Harvey Karp, and others.

Start with On Becoming Baby Wise - I know a lot of people who found this book amazingly helpful including me. It is a short read but is extremely helpful! Good luck and congratulations! We are expecting our third son in June.

Starting early with BabyWise (a little intense for some) or the BabyWhisperer (a toned down babywise). I like John Rosemond who has a syndicated column and a website (www.rosemond.com); sometimes he can be condescending but he does have good advice and overall message.

Check out anything by Dr. Sears or Becky Bailey. Becky Bailey's books are mostly geared for teachers, but there is still some good stuff in there and I'm pretty sure she has a book for parents.

Also, look for Happiest Baby on the Block videos/books

My daughter and her husband have a wonderful 21 month old boy who knows his letters, colors, numbers & says things like red triangle, green square. When he eats he points out the shapes in his food. Of course he is the only child, but will soon be a big brother (next week). Micah is blessed to have parents who do not turn on the television*. We've read to him since he was about 3 months old. They believe in discipline and have referred to Debi Pearl's books in the early months.
He is a joy to be around. Busy & all boy, but can be corrected. I've learned a lot from watching them parent.

*They do watch some videos occasionally, but Micah would rather play with blocks or read his books.

I pray you'll grow with your child into being all she can be.
Proud Gramma

Hi L., as you well see that Bsbywise is a popular suggestion, I would have to agree and tell you that I have 3 wonderfully behaved children from the advice from that particular book. It really is common sense and I certainly could not appreciate the book while I was pregnant but sure pulled it out from the first night my first child was born. I am a VERY scheduled type person and I had all of my babies on a schedule from the very first day they were born and it was extremely effective for me and my husband. If you ever have any questions, I would be happy to answer them. Best wishes!!

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