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Monday, November 11, 2013

Mama Education

I hope you caught my last Village Moms post, Thriving Families. If not, then check it out here. One of the ways I keep my family thriving is by educating myself and I wanted to elaborate on the different ways I do that. I think it’s extremely important to keep updated on all the different research studies that are published, in addition to following other mom bloggers, reading books and keeping in touch with different experts on various issues that we as moms face. I am also a big believer in simply asking friends, family, teachers and pediatricians their opinions or ideas on solving problems.

I love reading. I don’t get to read as often or as much I would like to but that’s how life is as a busy mom. I am very thankful for my library and utilize it frequently. It helps save money and space in my home. (If I love a book and think I’ll use it as a reference then I’ll go ahead and purchase it. I use and to buy used books.) I set aside time each morning and evening for the purpose of reading. It takes me awhile to get through books but when I am focused on setting aside time, even if it’s only ten minutes a day, I make slow but steady progress.

Favorite Books
Most of the books on this list are straight forward parenting books, some are Bible studies and some are a combination of the two. 

Love & Logic by Jim Fay & Foster Cline
Love & Logic is based on using choices as a way of getting your children to do what you want. For example, “Do you want help cleaning up the blocks or would you like to clean up alone?” I used this philosophy in my daycare and always had good luck with it. It definitely takes practice to get in the habit of offering choices. It really made me examine how I word questions or demands to my children. There are other points in this book that definitely make it worth reading. Plus, it’s filled with pretty funny stories! They have a variety of books designated for different age groups as well.

This is more of a parenting book and Bible study rolled into one. I liked this because I could read it very slowly. I didn’t have to finish the entire book straight through. I could read a chapter and put it away for awhile, if life got busy. My favorite chapter was “Jacob’s Mood Toward His Brood”. The book gives the background on Jacob and his family and the favoritism he had experienced as a child and how that influenced his own parenting. Very interesting stuff! The book was more about what these parents really screwed up and how to learn from it. 

Married Mom, Solo Parent by Carla Anne Coroy 
This is a good book for those of you who have husbands that work alot or are away from home due to traveling for work or being in the military. It’s full of encouragement and different ways to combat the loneliness, anger and frustration of being married but not necessarily feeling like it. Carla's website has great information and other resources. 

Bad Kids Of The Bible by Thomas Craughwell 
This is also another parenting book/Bible study. Each chapter tells the story of the “Bad Kid” and then explains what we can learn from the problem and how it applies to parenting.

The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman & Ross Campbell 
I highly recommend this book! The Five Love Languages is such an interesting break down of how we all give and receive love. The Five Love Languages for Children applies the concepts to our children. You can take a quiz here to better assist you in understanding your love language. I think the first step is understanding your own love language and then understanding your child’s love language. It can truly transform any relationship in your life!

Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Theodore A. Tripp 
I read this book before I began my parenting journey. It was very educational for me because I was about to become a mom so I really had no idea of what the future would hold. It is a book that you’ll want to really be able to focus and concentrate on.

The Duggars: 20 and Counting! by Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar 
Yes, I am a huge Duggar fan! No, I do not want 18 of my own children but I absolutely love alot of their parenting philosophies. Jim Bob & Michelle cover alot of different issues from their debt-free living, potty training, feeding a huge family on a budget and really great organizing tips. Be prepared when you read this because their viewpoint is dramatically different from most of society. You will be truly touched at how they love each and every one of their children. Check out their website as well.

Your Child’s Health by Barton D. Schmitt, M.D., F.A.A.P. 
Our son’s pediatrician actually gave us this book. It’s a great reference tool for medicine dosage, how to handle fevers, sleep regression, breastfeeding and a multitude of other health issues. It's very handy and I really am able to trust this information since our doctor gave it to us. You can also ask your child's pediatrician if there are any reference books he or she recommends.

I read this when my son turned 2. Gosh, that was such a hard year! I was having so many problems with my son and I thought that I had to be missing something when dealing with him. This book really helped me understand the natural tendencies of my boy and how to deal with them. I have not yet read “Bringing Up Girls” but I would guess that it is equally as educational. 

The Preschooler’s Busy Book by Trish Kuffner 
This is a great tool to have to solve boredom. Kuffner also has many other books. I have the Toddler Busy Book also.

This is filled with encouragement, funny stories and parenting help for every mama out there. 

God’s Promises and Answers by Word Publishing Staff 
I got this for my high school graduation and have referenced it frequently. It isn’t a parenting book but I always feel the Word of God is filled with applicable lessons and this book helps me find them.

Grace For The Moment by Max Lucado 
This is not necessarily a parenting book either but we could use a little grace as parents. We should offer a little more grace to ourselves as well as to our children. We all make mistakes and it’s what we do with them that counts.

There are many wonderful parenting books out there that address many issues so this is not a complete list of everything I would recommend. If you’re a new parent or about to become one then I also suggest you do a little research on Piaget’s Cognitive Stages of Development . This was one of my favorite topics to study in school. I think it’s really interesting and a good measure of how much you should expect from your child. 

Favorite Websites & Blogs 
These are a collection of sites that help me run my household more efficiently, be a better mom or are strictly Biblical. If I’m not connected to God then I am hopelessly lost as a parent. 
  1. Stacey Makes Cents  She’s funny, has great recipes and will teach you how to save money.
  2. Money Saving Mom This is a great one to help save money. Obviously!
  3. The MOB Society Sounds scary but it’s The Moms Of Boys Society. I love the encouragement, crazy stories and monthly prayer calendar. 
  4. Proverbs 31 Ministries Uplifting help and hope to navigate life.
  5. 100 Days Of Real Food To be honest, this one made me feel overwhelmed and guilty at first. However, if you want to make real changes to your family’s diet then this is a great tool. I take it with a grain of salt because I have neither the time, budget or interest to be able to 100% feed my family the way that Lisa does. I give her credit for being able to do it though! It’s definitely a great one full of recipes and free meal plans.
  6. Jen Thorn  Jen’s goal is to educate us and help bring us closer to God. 
  7. Focus On the Family  Great resource!
  8. Parenting Magazine Website  I used to get the magazine but the website is so great that I really didn’t see the need to continue my subscription, especially when the baby just loves to tear up my magazines anyway.
Parenting Classes
I do try to take parenting classes to continue my education. You can take a CPR/first aid class at any hospital. If your child attends daycare then you might even be able to join in when the teachers renew their certification. I recommend asking your daycare provider about it. Most hospitals offer other parenting classes like breastfeeding help, infant massage and how to talk to your kids about sexual issues.

I also take classes through my local Child Care Council. Most of the classes offered are evenings and weekends so even if you’re a working parent you can still attend. 
If you aren’t in the Detroit area then I would be happy to look up a Child Care Council for you. Just leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you.

My children are growing and changing every day. New issues arise constantly so I am always trying to find ways to better myself and the quality of life my children receive. With the technology at our fingertips, it really isn’t too difficult to do. I hope you have gotten some good ideas and found inspiration to continue educating yourself.

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