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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Book Reviews

I have been doing a little bit of reading lately. I love reading. Always have. I just haven’t always made the time for it. But now I carve out time in the evenings before bed to read and sometimes other snippets throughout the day. And it’s so nice. Lately I have been reading some parenting books. We’ll start with one I finished several months ago and wanted to blog about, but for whatever reason, never did.

I’m Chocolate, You’re Vanilla: Raising Healthy Black and Biracial Children in a Race-Conscious World by: Marguerite A. Wright
I LOVED this book. It wasn’t written for adoptive families. So it’s not an adoption book and I want to make that clear. But it is full of great information. It opened my eyes to so much. I wish that all of you would read it. ALL OF YOU! Children are exposed to race, color and even prejudices so early on. Racism is learned. Children hear it in their homes. Slowly, we start exposing our children to color and race and things that they do not even notice yet. Not that the difference in color and race is negative in any way. It’s beautiful and I love it! We embrace it, obviously. It’s just the stereotypes that I believe children are fed. On all sides of race it can happen. Our children are listening to everything we say. The book was full of statistics. 3 years olds are given pictures of moms, dads, and children and then asked to place families together. Most of them would create completely interracial families (such as Asian father, black mother, white daughter) with the photos for reasons such as: that mommy and daddy love each other. Ah. So simple. So innocent. If everyone in the world read this book . . . well it might just be amazing. Hmmm, I should have written the foreword.

Bringing Up Boys by: James DobsonAnother fabulous read that has given me a better idea of what to expect in the next 18+ years. I grew up with only sisters. Little boys are new to me. But this book was full of information from: instructions for a father, relationships between mothers and sons, advice on schooling, tips for single parenting, avoiding predators (ugh!), discipline, etc. It’s a good one that is going on the bookshelf and will probably be pulled out 100 more times in the next 20 years. So to all of you parents of little boys, this is my recommended reading to you.

Shepherding a Child’s Heart by: Tedd TrippYep, I have already had to start on discipline books. I’ve got a busy, opinionated, independent 14 month old boy on my hands. Unfortunately this book will be more beneficial in about 3-4 years. It doesn’t give a whole lot of information on discipline for this stage that we are in the midst of now. But Tedd talks about guiding the heart to change rather than only correcting behavior. I learned some ideas that we have begun putting into practice, such as disciplining in private as to not embarrass and humiliate the child. I haven’t read the entire book since it did seem more appropriate for older ages. But I began highlighting like crazy, as early as the introduction. One of my favorite quotes:
The purpose for your authority in the lives of your children is not to hold them under your power, but to empower them to be self-controlled people living freely under the authority of God.
Amen anybody?
Another one that I liked:
It should be habit to say yes to a request unless there are good reasons to say no. It is easy to make authoritarian choices simply out of convenience.
Ouch anybody?
This book is full of scripture as guidance. And I know that in 3 years or so, I will pull it back out from the bookshelf and read it cover to cover.

So there is the end of my book reviews. Whatever they’re worth to you! I think I will now be taking a break from the parenting books to read something fun. Anyone have any suggestions for me?


Molly said...

I LOVE I'm Chocolate You're Vanilla. It's one of my favorites and I agree that it's a great read for anyone.

I need to read the others seeing that I have kids that age! Although you said you are going to take a break from parenting books, a great one for Holden's age-6 years is Love and Logic. It's been a life-saver for us and made every stage so much more enjoyable as parents!

Kelly said...

I was thinking of checking out I'm Chocolate You're you've motivated me :) A book I LOVE and recommend is "Don't Make me Count to Three" by Ginger Plowman. It really is so practical and really "puts feet" on Shepherding a Child's Heart, which, like you said is excellent, but sometimes hard to apply. Thanks for your example in growing in knowledge for God's glory in caring for you little one!

everyday graces said...

Well you've encouraged me. I've started bringing up boys like 3 times and never finished. I just need to stick with it. Same w/Sheparding book. I really need to refresh myself on the discipline front. I thought about love and logic too. I also need to read A strong-willed child by dr. dobson b/c I think I have a strong-willed little girl on my hands. eek. sorry now I'm just rambling.

Aubrey said...

Thanks for the book suggestions! I really want to read the I'm Chocolate You're Vanilla book. They all look good!!

Amanda said...

You know I have a few suggestions for fun ones. :) Get a Sisterchicks book from the library by Robin Jones Gunn. They are JUST for fun. If you are looking for a good read but not what I would necessarily call "fun" get "My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Piccoult. Wow...that's all I can say about that one. Also, I just read one by Maria De Los Santos called "Belong to Me". It is a follow up to her first book, "Love Walked In" but you don't need to read the first to enjoy the second. They are both really good, though. Just a couple of suggestions...and I'll be taking some of yours too!