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books to help me understand

(13 Posts)
hatsoff Sun 03-Apr-05 20:35:15

DDs are leaving me and dh really at the edge of breaking at the moment. I wondered if anyone can recommend some reading to me. I don't particularly want something with an emphasis on how to be a good parent. I know a lot of that (in theory anyway, whether or not I put it into practice is another q!) But what I'm after is something to help me actually understand my 3 and 5 year old. If I could understand why they do what they do, I think I could teach myself not to take it all so personally and could stop getting so stressed about it all. My main problem, I think, is not them - I suspect they're kind of average in the behaviour ranks - but my own stressed and emotional reactions to them. Any suggestions?

WideWebWitch Sun 03-Apr-05 21:22:33

Hi hatsoff, I just saw your post on MI's thread. Have you read Toddler Taming? I know it's really for younger ones but there might be some useful stuff there, I re-read it when ds was about 4 and realised I hadn't been giving him enough attention and that was at the root of some of our problems at the time. I like the Secret of Happy Children too although I don't agree with Biddulph on everything. Aloha's often recommended a book called the Social Toddler, which I haven't read but she rates, I keep meaning to look at it in bookshops.

aloha Sun 03-Apr-05 21:23:57

Also The Heart of Parenting is quite good, if a tad American.

aloha Sun 03-Apr-05 21:25:56

I also liked How Babies Think, but it's quite dense and has a lot about babies and less about toddlers, but good on why they repeat themselves, do things over and over and why they deliberately do things you've asked them not to!

Enid Sun 03-Apr-05 21:27:57

The Secret of Happy Children is lovely - didnt think it was by Steve Biddulph though, think its a woman isn't it (I dont like SB much).

I didn't like Toddler Taming much either.

Would you try a relaxation tape for yourself? Could you have a bit of time away from them?

ScummyMummy Sun 03-Apr-05 21:30:05

I like this book . Nice easy read, lots of ideas, very child centred and focussed on positives, without denying how tough things can sometimes be. (Plus Jan Parker was mumsnet's resident parenting expert at one point in the very distant past!)

Enid Sun 03-Apr-05 21:31:17

oh drat, thats the book I meant! Not The Secret...whatever it is.

Lovely, kind, thoughtful book and the one about Siblings is good too.

franke Sun 03-Apr-05 21:32:57

I found Penelope Leach quite helpful - she's quite down to earth. There's a big fat book by her, Your Baby and Child where the last chapter would cover your 2. Also you might find articles by her online. I've found in the past that just reading a couple of articles helps puts things into perpective and calms me down. hth

happymerryberries Sun 03-Apr-05 21:34:32

Dorothy Einon (sp) is good, especialy on the psychology of older children

Issymum Sun 03-Apr-05 21:36:34

Hi hatsoff. Somebody on MNet (3Princesses I think) recommended 'The Manipulative Child' by Swihart and Cotter. It's a horrible title and something of a tough read, particularly the early chapters, but it is the only parenting book that really resonated with me and has somehow made it easier to stand up to and stand back from the girls, to be a confident parent. I'm sure that I've recommended the book before on MNet.

I'd be happy to lend it to you - I'll need it back though as every now and then I go back to it and re-read a few chapters to steady myself.

hatsoff Sun 03-Apr-05 22:26:45

Hi everyone - thanks for these. I've actually got the Penelope Leach one but it hadn't occured to me that it goes much beyond the baby stage - will have a quick look at it in bed tonight. And I think I'll allow myself some lunch-time book shop browsing tomorrow (will be at work, could get a whole half hour to myself. Luxury.)

SamN Mon 04-Apr-05 22:57:51

Can I tentatively suggest "The Child's Discovery of the Mind" by Janet Wilde Astington? It's not in the same vein as the previous suggestions, being most definitely written by and for psychologists. However it has a few gems (e.g. the typical age at which children are able to lie and to understand that other people are deliberately lying) and may be an interesting read if you have the time!

hatsoff Mon 04-Apr-05 23:34:18

thanks Sam - that does sound interesting - tho' not sure I'll be up to it, as it were. But I did find Winston wotsisname on lying absolutely fascinating - it's all about developing theory of mind isn't it? ie working out that other people have a mind that is different - ie contains different information - from your own. Maybe I'll try that along with one of the others

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