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Parenting Books: Can't Live With 'Em, Can't Live Without 'Em

After my first baby was born, I was obsessed with doing it all "right." The only problem was clueless as to how to accomplish "right." I had good examples from my family, as did my husband, but I sought out more "expert" opinions by way of reading parenting books.

I was crazy about it! I wanted to know who thought of this idea or that, and why it was a good idea. I read every scrap I could from our small town library. Some things really resonated with me and others were easy to disregard. I was a sponge-- a sponge with a new baby, a husband in grad school and two jobs of my own who was stressed about doing it all RIGHT.

It got to the point that my grandmother looked me straight in the eye and said, "Stop reading and start parenting."
It woke me up. I did not stop reading. But I did start parenting.

I have continued to read and learn and grow as I parent. I've lost count of the number of books I've devoured on the subject over the years. It's a lot.

And from all that reading, here is what I have learned about parenting books:

1. Get reading recommendations from people who's parenting skills you admire. If you want to be like them, study like they did.

2. Read everything with a grain of salt. Not every parenting book was created equal. Some are really awful. Others are pearls.

3. Don't feel bad for disagreeing with things you read. Experts are great, but YOU are the parent.

4. Don't disregard a book immediately just because you *think* you don't agree with it. Read on, perhaps you'll be surprised. Perhaps you'll change your mind. I know this has happened to me.

5. Do not ever EVER follow a suggestion in a parenting book that makes you uncomfortable. EVER. Trust your parenting instinct. I don't care what study says you should, do not do it if you aren't comfortable with it.

6. Check parenting books out from the library before you buy them, if you can. Then you're not wasting money on the ones you deem to be less than helpful. The ones you love and want to be able to refer back to again and again are worth owning. Buy two so you can lend one out to friends.

7. Pray and use the inspiration you receive to make good parenting decisions. The Holy Ghost is the very best guide.

When you have a question, turning to a parenting book is a great option. They are wonderful resources. Just be smart, and follow your instincts. You won't go wrong! 


Morgan blogs about boys and life in general at The -Ing Family. Boy, would she love it if you click on that link!

*Photo credit: Morgan's

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