Here are my favorite parenting/marriage books from 2011, as part of my series, “The Year of Books.” The books with extended reviews are the ones that I rated as “5”; the ones without reviews, I rated as “4”. The reviews themselves are what I wrote at the time I read them (edited slightly for the blog).
1. Grace-Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel
I think this book will prove to be transformational in the way I think about parenting and being a parent. I highly recommend this to any parent, with kids young or old.
2. Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne
I’ll probably be writing about this book a lot more on our blog [which I haven’t done but I hope to in the future!] so I’ll just say that I’m so glad that I read it. I think it’s going to be highly important to Nik and I as we try to shape how we want our family to be. The book helped us verbalize/crystallize a lot of our instincts/vaguely formed ideas for the feeling of our home and family. I’m sure it will take a long time for us to implement what is contained in the book but I’m really glad we can start now while Ellie is so young. Every parent should read this. And honestly, I think there’s a lot in this for people who are not parents too. I think every person would be better off if we implemented much of what is recommended here, related to rhythm and simplicity in our lives. Thanks Eric for the recommendation!
3. Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents by Christine Carter
Many practical suggestions in this books for parents. Also a good read for anyone who has children in their lives (as close friends, nieces, nephews,etc). I know I will be rereading this one! We especially like Step #10 – have dinner together at least five nights a week!
4. Loving Our Kids on Purpose by Danny Silk
Similar in thought to Grace-Based Parenting, but with more practical ideas for how to actually put the theories into practice. I particularly liked Silk’s emphasis on knowing and connecting to the heart of our children. Also, I wish that I had known some of his techniques when I was in the classroom. I think it would have saved me a lot of frustration and heartache.
In addition, I also enjoyed the following books in 2011:
Nighttime Parenting: How to Get Your Baby and Child to Sleep by William Sears
Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn – and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less by Roberta Michnick Golinkoff and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek
Baby-led Weaning: Helping Your Baby Love Good Food by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett
NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
Sacred Marriage: Celebrating Marriage as a Spiritual Discipline by Gary L. Thomas