Looking for a Good Book...

Updated on February 25, 2008
K.B. asks from Wyoming, MI
39 answers

Hello :) Being a Mom is a lot tougher emotionally than I ever thought it would be. I feel as though I need some parenting/self guidance and am not sure where to find it. I'm hoping you all can help by suggesting books you've read that have helped you in your quest to be a great parent to your children. Also, any books you could suggest as far as being your best self, being at peace with your life - I'm having trouble recently feeling whole and secure - I feel as though I'm struggling every day to be "happy". Any suggestions are truly appreciated!

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J.B.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I love the book by Lisa Whelchel (Blair from the Facts of Life) called Taking Care of the Me in Mommy.

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A.H.

answers from Detroit on

I enjoy the parenting magizines. I have found so many useful ideas from how to deal with stress and great ideas how to become a better parent. Not to mention fun family ideas they give. You can read the "real stresses" moms and dads have even write in and ask questions.

http://www.magazines.com/ncom/mag?id=4036447739172&mi...

http://www.magazines.com/magcom/covers/0/06/071/0060715.jpg

http://www.magazines.com/ncom/mag?id=4036447739172&mi...

http://www.magazines.com/ncom/mag?id=4036447739172&mi...

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E.K.

answers from Kalamazoo on

Try Saving Ophelia, its mostly about teenage girls, but a lot of the stories in the book ring true for all women and the unique problems we face in society. It deals a lot with body image issues, and self esteem, I loved it and found it to be very uplifting. Also, it is a lot of short stories piled together, so it is easy reading for a mom, as you can read a few pages and then stop and go back to a new story.

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M.H.

answers from Detroit on

Hi K.,

I am sorry to hear this. I don't have any books that I can recommend, but I will tell you that sometimes I have days like this and it passes for me, but I find time alone with my husband for a good movie or dinner helps make me feel better. Also, I find working out in the morning helps me feel good through out the day. I can't seem to do it everyday, but just those few days a week make me feel satisfied that I took care of myself by working out that week. Is it possible to get a sitter this weekend? Go out with your hubby for a nice dinner and maybe a glass of wine to refresh yourself and then maybe try to set some time aside a few days a week for a light, comfortable workout to get your heart rate going. I hope this helps and I wish you luck! We all go through times like this! ~M.

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S.C.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I have several. For help in raising my children, "Don't Make Me Count To Three" by Ginger Plowman. For help/encouragement in how to be a mom, "A Mother's Heart" by Jean Fleming. For help/encouragement in how to be a mother and wife, "Heaven at Home" by Ginger Plowman, and "A Woman's High Calling" by Elizabeth George.

I hope these help! They definitely have helped me through the years. I love having them on hand so I can reread them when I find myself in the same ruts over and over again.

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L.N.

answers from Detroit on

The best book I ever read that helped me understand about feeling whole, and understanding children was called "The Five Love Languages." It is by Gary Chapman. This book helps you see that you have a special language that you speak to help you feel whole as a person. And if you and your spouse read it together, you can communicate to each other in your love languages and it really does make you feel whole.

I also love Jim Faye's "Parenting with Love and Logic". THere is an early childhood book for kids birth to 6 and then there is one specific for teenagers too. This book really helps take the weight off the parent for their kids problems and gives the parent the opportunity to really teach responsibility to the kids. When all of their weight is off, the burden doesn't feel as bad!

Good Luck!

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C.J.

answers from Lansing on

K.,

I know you are looking for a book, but I have a more important question. Have you been taking care of yourself?

All moms need pampering. You need to pamper yourself: go to the doctor regularly, get your haircut on a regular basis, take a bath once or twice a week, hobbies, dates with friends, etc.

Part of the emotional problems you may be feeling right now probably stem from your two-year-old. He is very likely to be struggling against the rules and wanting to be very independent. He doesn't realize that many of the rules are in place to keep him safe. Yes, this is emotionally demanding on your part. Just remember that you need to validate yourself with YOU time.

One of the best books my DH and I ever read is called "The Five Love Languages", I forget who the author is, but they have also written a love languages book for kids. We found it helped our relationship and we were able to take the principles outlined in the book and apply them to our son (6 now). David sees love in the form of receiving gifts, as do I. The gifts can come in any form: flowers from the garden, a hand-made card, a video from the store just for him. Anything as long as it is a surprise.

My husband sees love through acts of service. So every evening I get his coffee ready for the next day and try to streamline his morning routine as much as possible.

You might also want to check out the house fairy: www.housefairy.org. Pam from "The Sidetracked Home Executives" has created this program to teach parents and children how to clean their rooms and help out around the house with a reward system delivered by the House Fairy. My son loves the House Fairy and has been doing a great job keeping his bedroom and playroom clean, he has also been doing his chores with fewer arguments and less whining. =)

Also, if you have been having problems with behavior and can't seem to figure out what punishments will work for your son (if timeouts don't work) here's a great website:
http://www.disciplinehelp.com/parent/list.cfm?cause=All

I love this website because it not only loosely defines children's behavior, but the tools they suggest are based on specific personalities. The list is really long and I have found the tools to be very effective with our son.

Last, but not least, check out the book "The DQ Quotient", I don't remember the author, but this book looks at the different types of discipline you can use based on your son's personality. This is a great book for all ages, but also for further down the line as both your boys get older.

I know it may seem like the emotional journey is just too much, but this phase will pass. Your challenges will change, but it will get easier as your children are able to fully express themselves and you can interact with them more.

I used to work part-time when our son was born and then we moved down-state and I couldn't find work and became a stay-at-home mom. I love being home now, but it was an adjustment and took me awhile to get my emotional balance back and feel like I had found satisfaction in my life. It also helps that I was finally able to make a few friends and have joined a book club, I volunteer at the local library, and try to work on a few hobbies.

I hope these ideas work and I hope you are feeling better soon.

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D.K.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I have three children ages 4,6,and 9. I have always said that being a mom was and is the hardest job I've ever and will ever have. It is very difficult when they are young and I think certain things get easier as they get older but other things become harder as they get older. Keep lots of understanding friends around to talk to and even join a play group if possible. It really helps to talk with other moms and spend some time away from the every day same ole' routine. I have found that winter time is especially tough because you cannot get out as much and enjoy the warmth of the sun! If your husband is able and willing, ask him to watch your children for a little while for you in the evenings so you can have some "me" time. Just be yourself and remember what is important in life and enjoy your kids because they really do grow up too fast! Just remember this is only a short period in your long life and take one day at a time. :)

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N.T.

answers from Detroit on

K., I have an excellent book for you. The Complete Marriage and Family Home Reference Guide bu Dr. James Dobson. It's comprised of questions and answers provided by Dr. Dobson, and it is Christian based. It may sound boring, but I had to read it for one of my ministry classes and it has been enlightening.

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S.L.

answers from Detroit on

I am reading a really good book called Five Star Families.  It is really good and funny too and may not only set your mind at ease about your parenting but also gives you some food for thought about raising your family. another resource for you may be to join a MOPS group (Mothers of Preschoolers). It is a christian-based organization of support for mothers of children up to age 6. I am in one, and it is very helpful especially for what you are describing. Look up MOPS international for more info and to find a local group.

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M.S.

answers from Detroit on

K.,
I know what you are going through. I am a mother of 4 and it seems that during the years I was pregnant I lost a huge part of who I am and I was no longer happy. After I read this book She's Gonna Blow: Real Help for Moms Dealing with Anger

Author:Julie Ann Barnhill
It not only helped me with Anger but it also helped me get through all the self doubt and insecurities. This book has given me and my family our lives back.
You can buy this book at CBD.com
Have a great day!
Missy

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A.H.

answers from Detroit on

I'm a SAHM too, and find what I need is a change of routine. Some time to do something different. The working person gets up and goes to work, has a lunch break, more work, decompression time driving home. And then the home routine. Much of the SAHM stuff feels like days of the same pace. I need time to switch gears, it refreshes the mind. I found it's also about value, I had a $ that I was worth working. And it took a while to switch gears and see my value in this role. It helps me to have a picture, sticker, figurine that reminds me of an ideal, goal, inner state of Grace, where I work the most. Like on the kitchen window I had an egg I'd blown the insides out of. And every time I looked at it I thought of the abundant possibilities it represents to me.
Book - I like Natural Family Living by Peggy O'Mara she also does Mothering Magazine
Food - I look at what I'm eating, see if I need to add more fruits and veggies. Hippocrates said Let Food Be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.
Exercise helps me a lot too. My daughter and I dance in the living room. Try the Flaming Lips song Yeah Yeah Yeah Song
http://www.myspace.com/flaminglips_/
Spring will be here soon. Hippy Mama, A.

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J.O.

answers from Detroit on

If your a Christian- The Purpose Driven Life is a great book. It's not a parenting book, but helps with your whole self.

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K.O.

answers from Detroit on

I can recommed a few books that really enspired me by James Dobson. Since you have boys read "Bringing Up Boys" which is also available on DVD. A few others include:Dr. Dobson on parenting,Temper your childs tantrums,Parents Answerbook, and dare to Dicipline. You can purchase these online new or used from Amazon. There are also some awesome books on marriage from him. Let me know what you think.

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T.W.

answers from Lansing on

These are books I have read and are wonderful:

Dr. Laura Schlessinger- 10 Stupid things parents do to mess up Their kids. ( She also has the same title for Marrige,and Women's lives). Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands/marriage. Any book by her I would recomend.

Also try Raising Kids For True Greatness By: Dr. Tim Kimmel.

You should check out The Love and Logic web site--wonderful books! http://www.loveandlogic.com/

GL:)

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K.T.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Hello K., This will sound silly, but a book will never replace the human factor. Find a good friend to walk through these days with you. Someone with young children will give you lots of play dates later on. Friendships formed at this time of your life will be so important 10-15 years from now. I understand that it is hard with your children the ages they are to get together with other, but even a phone call to a trusted friend can really lift your spirits and theirs too!

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S.B.

answers from Fort Wayne on

Dear K.,
Sounds like you have a nice little family. I'm close in age to you(26 yrs.) and am married with an 8 mo. old little girl. As to a good book on being a good parent, there are probably many out there. The best would have to be the Bible. It is the greatest instruction manual for every aspect of life. God can help us to be the wives, mothers, and friends we ought to be. And true joy can only come from him. Happiness often is determined by circumstances, but joy can be with us even when the days are long and drear. The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about life and relationships. You might want to start there. The book of John has a lot to say about our relationship with God. I would love to talk to you if you have any questions. You can e-mail me at [email protected]____.com

Sincerely,
S. B.

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H.G.

answers from Grand Rapids on

"Mom, You're Incredible" by Linda Weber. They have used copies for .01 on Amazon.com. This book was life changing for me. It made me realize that I have the highest calling job in the world!! I get paid with hugs, kisses, banged-up knees, tears and "mommy, I love yous." A must read!! Being a mother is the noblest of callings!! A wonderful book for ALL mothers!! I hope this helps you out. P.S. you can borrow my copy if you like.

H.

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T.B.

answers from Detroit on

I agree with K. T who said you need to look to friends (and websites) for some of that support you need. I, too, have struggled with feeling happy since #2 came along. She is now 3 and things are better but there were some really blue spots. I thought the babycenter.com website was awesome and websites like this help you get lots of ideas on specific parenting topics, which is great when you are dwelling on a problem.
My one book I have read (I read lots of websites and people have listed good ones) that would be helpful is "How to make your children mind, without losing yours" that my sister gave to me. When I got really low, it helped me see that I am responsible for me and your kids are eventually responsible for themselves. We just need to lead them to making good choices. Great examples in that book and very easy to read through.

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L.B.

answers from Kalamazoo on

Hi K.--I am also a stay at home mom and when my first son was born (1996) and I quit working full time to stay home, I felt as if I wasn't making a 'real' contribution to our household. I was jealous of my husband for getting to leave the house and go to work and be with adults. I was having a hard time being happy when I felt very isolated. We lived in a neighborhood where the lots were wooded and houses far apart. No one seemed very friendly and most weren't home during the day like I was. I seriously nearly went nuts and it went on for almost a year. One thing that helped me was talking to a counselor and figuring out exactly what I needed and was missing. My husband didn't understand my feelings since I really did want to stay home. He always said he would gladly change places with me (still does--he'd last a week guaranteed!). People think you are so lucky to be able to stay home and raise your children (and you are) but what they don't realize is HOW HARD it really is. You spend your day with a person that can't hold an intelligent conversation and climbs your leg and when your husband comes home some days you have nothing to talk about other than what you cleaned and how many diapers you changed. What helped me at that point was going back to work part time and found a job that was 2 days per week when my son was about 18 mos. old. Mother in law offered to babysit (free but I paid her $20 per week out of MY paycheck to make me feel better about the arrangement). I worked until the day I had our 2nd son (1999) and have been home full time since. With another child it was easier to stop working completely. For some reason after #2 I didn't feel the way I did before. Now that all 3 are in school all day (child #3, daughter is in 1st grade), I have gone back very part time as a fitness instructor at the gym where I work out regularly. Working out on a regular basis starting when #3 was 8 months old (in 2002) gave me what I needed for 'adult time'. I was able to leave my kids in a well supervised child care at the YMCA (they made friends too) and spend an hour thinking about nothing other than not tripping over my aerobic step or hurting myself lifting weights. The positive changes in my body did wonders for me both physically and mentally. Now I am a 40 yr. old mom with a better body than I had before I had kids. Exercise turned out to be my biggest saving grace and made me a much more patient, happier, better mother. I wish I had a reccomendation for a book to read but I found exercise instead and I applaud you for choosing to look for a book and ask for advice from other moms who have "been there, done that" over going straight to your DR. for a prescription. Take care and you will get through this.

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K.

answers from Detroit on

Jim Fay's books Love and Logic offer a lot of good parenting advice told with humor.

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L.D.

answers from Detroit on

Hi K.,

Well, you've received a lot of good advice so far! My favorite child-rearing author is John Rosemond. He is a loving parent and has a great sense of humor, but most of all he has such great sense. He gives you simple solutions to problems, and works to have what he calls a "benevolent dictatorship" in your home; meaning that the parents are in control in a very loving and supportive way.
As far as a personal book goes, I have a great recommendation for you! It's called "You Can Believe" by Grant Schnarr. It talks about all the important things in life, and makes them make sense. It's very uplifting and satisfying. The spirituality in this book is the same that has been embraced by Dr. Oz (often seen on Oprah). You can find this book on amazon.com, as well as a bunch of books by John Rosemond.
I wish you well!
L.

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S.R.

answers from Detroit on

Hi, I don't know of any good books out there. I just wanted to let you know your not alone. I also feel the same from time to time. I wish you the best luck.

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M.C.

answers from Grand Rapids on

The books I've read recently which have helped me are:

Love and Logic: birth - 6 years by Jim Faye (LOVE this book!)
We Should Do This More Often by Lorilee Craker (a book about putting the romance back in your marriage)
The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Orman

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B.Z.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I like the book "I was a realy good mom before I had kids" it is not about how to raise kids, it focuses on you as a mom and the expectations we feel and helps to organize your priorities as a mom so we don't feel so overwhelmed.

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T.

answers from Detroit on

What has helped me is getting together with a friend that you can tell anything to and just talking..............it helps to get things out in the open and hear someone elses perspective on it

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V.A.

answers from Saginaw on

Hands down, looking for peace in your life and feeling whole, would be the book, Search for Significance. You can get it at Christian bookstores for sure, maybe Borders. Good Luck!

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L.Y.

answers from Saginaw on

My sister is a parenting coach and she suggests getting out of the house to me when I have felt that way in the past. Remember it takes a village to raise a child and we are now living in a society where for some reason we think we can do it all. So... remember you need to go out. Find a friend and go to her house with your kids at least once a week, have her come to your house once a week. Get plugged in with some play groups. Honestly seeing other parents make mistakes makes me more confident! LOL

Hope that helps!

Good luck!

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B.Z.

answers from Detroit on

Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas is very good. hopefully you'll find that to be helpful!
and yes, being a SAHM mom is a tough and demanding job, but worth it!!! :)
a good book for yourself might be "our sufficiency in Christ" by John MacArthur.
also, are you in any mom's groups or anything? if not, let me know and i can recommend one!

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P.R.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I recently checked out at our local library supernanny "how to get the best from your children and supernanny "what every parent wants to know..They are great!!

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A.A.

answers from Toledo on

It is stressful being a wife & mother. Take some time for yourself. Get hubby to play with the kids and take a bubble bath with music on for 1 hour. Get out of the house: meet up with your girlfriends... do whatever you want for you, not for the kids or the hubby, you.

As for books: I really like the "Your Best Life Now" by Joel Osteen. Right now i am reading "Become a Better You" Joel Osteen. You could also check out "Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren

Good luck

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A.B.

answers from Detroit on

The parenting book "Love and Logic" is wonderful for taking stress off of the parent and giving your child choices and consequences. I use the techniques very often and they work wonders in my stress level and my children's behavior. Also " The Feeling Good Handbook" by David Burns M.D. is great when you are feeling down. My son has medical issues and our social worker gave it to me and it's wonderful. Hope you feel better soon, this weather doesn't help either.

Take Care,
A. B.

SAHM of 3 beautiful children ages 7, 5, and 2.

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M.H.

answers from Atlanta on

I know exactly how you feel! I am constantly reading things to try to improve on myself and raising my children! I love the Joel Osteen books for myself. They are so encouraging. Recently, I have been getting hooked on XM Radio Oprah & Friends ch 156. They have such great speakers and discuss various topics. I love Dr. Robin and Rabbi Schmuley who talks about parenting...he also has a few books. They also have Oprah's Soul Series and Marianne Williamson teaching A Course in Miracles. I feel that I am getting food for my soul everyday! The great thing is that you can listen to it instead of trying to find the time by yourself to read. My first two children were 20 months apart so I can understand your struggle to feel "happy" when life is a whirlwind of cleaning, feeding, changing, etc... don't forget yourself! Do you have gym membership? Just being able to take the kids to a daycare and have time to work out did wonders for me. Okay, I've gotten off track, but I hope this helps. Listen ing to XM also makes me feel as if there's another adult around during the day! Very helpful! All the best to you!

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S.S.

answers from Detroit on

The Bible always works for me. Find a good church with Women's Ministry and Small Groups and you are set for a relationship with Jesus and a lifetime of peace!

Good luck!

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L.N.

answers from Benton Harbor on

K.~
You need a devotional book. At first glance, I would recommend the bible...but it won't help you if you don't know where to look for specific guidance to help you through day by day. Get a book of self-devotionals or child aimed devotionals and do one a day, or even one a week if its easier at first. It really helps me throughout the day to focus on changing my thinking on only one thing at a time...not the hundreds of things that it sometimes feels like I need to tackle! When my youngest was born and I thought I was going crazy, I focused on my married couples devotional book and tried to apply one at a time to keeping my marriage strong. Let me tell you it did wonders. Even if you are not Christian, you will benefit greatly!

Aside from the 'self-talk' that we all need, what would it hurt to talk to your doc. Depression goes undiagnosed so often b/c women (usually) are afraid to mention it. My advice? Make an appointment and as soon as the doctor walks in the door, say "I think Im depressed", or have the receptionist put it in the appointment notes so it will be there even if you don't have the guts to say it. You're right, parenting is hard and it's relentless! But you don't have to feel sad...or guilty!!!!
~L.

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W.M.

answers from Detroit on

Hi K.,

I only have one suggestion.
The Giving Tree.
It not only became my kids favorite, but if that tree could do it, so could I.
Your babies are so close in age and so young, it is hard I know. I am hoping you have a supportive husband who would not mind taking over for a few hours so you could take care of you. We moms forget to do that especially when our kids are so young. But taking care of you is also very important, you know the saying "When mom isn't happy, no one's happy" well....it's true.
You can do this. Always remember how much you love them when times get frantic, and they no doubt do.
Wish I had more for you love.

God Bless,
W.

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A.D.

answers from Detroit on

Boy can I relate to what you're saying. I also have two children, older now - but I have a lot of guilt about not feeling totally fulfilled just because I am their mom. Until this past year I have always worked and thought that all I ever wanted was to be a stay at home mom. Now that I am, I see that it is not the "end all be all" either. I think you will get a lot of responses from women who are feeling similar things. Two books that I would recommend to you are "The Birth of a Mother" by Daniel Stern and "Becoming the Parent you Want to Be" by Laura Davis & Janis Keyser. Both are very readable, practical looks at how becoming a parent changes us. You can check them both out at Amazon to get a more in-depth idea of what they address, and you may find them at the library. I'll be sending lots of positive energy your way and hope that you can find something of value and support.
A.

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J.G.

answers from Lansing on

Great book series is the 5 languages of love, there are several a husband/wife one, a child one and a teenager one. They are wonderful and will change the way you and your husband love show love for each other. Hang in there, your boys must keep you busy!

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S.F.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Dearest K. B.
Here is one of my most favorite books, also available on audio, which can be very helpful with little ones. John Rosemond's Six-Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy, Children. I have purchased probably 15 of these books so far, because I am always lending it out. I love this book. So much common sense, not always so common. Have great read, and don't forget to take care of yourself too.
S.

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