Parenting information abounds, yet how do you know what is worth your precious time to examine?
Each recommendation that I've provided for you comes from a familiar source, a source that parents I work with have found valuable. You can trust these recommendations and use them as a place to begin your own research. If you come across other useful books or resources, please let me know.
Books for Parents
Boys Alive! Bring Out Their Best! Janet Allison. Why boys will be boys and how to bring out their best at home and school. Book Locker, 2010.
Boys Adrift. Leonard Sax. The five factors driving the growing epidemic of unmotivated boys and underachieving young men. Basic Books, 2007.
Boys and Girls Learn Differently! Michael Gurian. Brain-based innovations to motivate and inspire everyone interested in educating kids. Jossey-Bass 2001.
Bringing the Best Out in Boys. Lucinda Neall. Communication strategies for teachers. Hawthorn Press, 2003.
Covering Home. Jack Petrash. Lessons on the art of fathering from the game of baseball. Robins Lane Press, 2000.
Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline. Becky A. Bailey, Ph.D. The 7 basic skills for turning conflict into cooperation. Harper, 2000.
Heaven on Earth. Sharifa Oppenheimer. A handbook for parents of young children. Steiner Books, 2006
Making a Good Brain Great. Daniel G. Amen, MD. Brain-centered principles to change your life. Harmony Books, 2005.
Nurture Shock, New Thinking about Children. Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman. A revolutionary perspective on childhood, upending conventional wisdom. Twelve, 2009.
The Courage to Raise Good Men. Olga Silverstein. You don't have to sever the bond with your son to help him become a man. Penguin, 1995.
The Female Brain. Louann Brizendine. Biological foundations of human behavior. Broadway Books, 2006.
Raising Boys. Steve Biddulph. Why boys are different - and how to help them become happy and well-balanced men. Celestial Arts, 1998.
Raising Cain. Dan Kindlon. Protecting the emotional lives of boys. Ballantine, 2000.
Raising a Teenager. Jeanne Elium & Don Elium. Parents and the nurturing of a responsible teen. Celestial Arts, 1999.
Simplicity Parenting. Kim John Payne, M.Ed. Using the extraordinary power of less to raise calmer, happier, and more secure kids. Ballantine, 2009.
Strategies for Teaching Boys and Girls. Michael Gurian. An essential resource for all teachers who want to improve their practice and get the most from all students - whatever their gender. [And other titles by Michael Gurian] Jossey-Bass, 2008.
The Primal Teen. Barbara Strauch. What the new discoveries about the teenage brain tell us about our kids. Doubleday, 2003.
Understanding Waldorf Education. Jack Petrash. A compelling, clearly written picture of the key components of Waldorf education. Gryphon House, 2002.
Why Gender Matters. Leonard Sax, MD, Ph.D. What parents and teachers need to know about the emerging science of sex differences. Broadway Books, 2005.
You Are Your Child's First Teacher. Rahima Baldwin Dancy. What parents can do with and for their children from birth to age six. Celestial Arts, 2000.
Your Child's Growing Mind. Jane Healy, Ph.D. Brain development and learning from birth to adolescence. Broadway, 2004.
Books for Children
These recommendations will guide you when you're feeling confused about the many books available for your children. Separated by age groups, it is a great place to begin! And I'll bet you'll find some titles you'd like to delve into for yourself, too!
Click to read my thoughts on recommending these books:
Book recommendations can guide you when you're feeling confused about the many books available for your children. Do you wonder which books have appropriate story lines and moral characters? Which books will inspire? Which books will meet the child's thirst for adventure in an uplifting way?
Michael Gurian, family therapist, esteemed author, educator, and advocate for children, has assembled one book recommendation collection entitled, "What Stories Does My Son Need?" This book serves as the jumping-off place for this list. Join me in adding to it and check back often as the list grows with new book discoveries!
I remember standing in Chartres Cathedral in France, staring at the beautiful stained glass windows. The guide told us how to "read" the stories in the glass. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims came to Chartres in the Middle Ages to share in the story of their religion. Their beliefs and moral code was imparted to them via pictures since none of them could read. From the dawn of time people communicated their history, rules and lore through oral stories. Guttenberg's printing press changed all of that in 1440. Now, a mere 568 years later, we have so many ways of imparting our histories and stories to our children.
Books for Preschool and Kindergarten Children
- The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss
- The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
- Plane Song by Diane Siebert
- The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
- Yo! Yes? by Chris Raschka
Books for Lower Elementary School Children
- The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
- Stuart Little by E.B.White
- Wingman by Daniel Pinkwater
- The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Books for Upper Elementary School Children
- Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
- Charlotte's Web by E.B.White
- The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis
- A Gathering of Days by Joan W. Blos
- The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
- The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
- Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
Books for Middle School Tweens
- The Call of the Wild by Jack London
- Animal Farm by George Orwell
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
- The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter
- Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
- Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
- Jonathon Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
- Lord of the Flies by William Golding
- Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
- The Pearl by John Steinbeck
- The Red Pony by John Steinbeck
- Sounder by William H. Armstrong
- A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin
Books for High School Teens
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D.Salinger
- The Chosen by Chaim Potok
- The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
- Night by Elie Wiesel
- The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
- The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
- Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Delicious! Do the titles and authors bring back some memories from your childhood? These are classics! Their themes are enduring, just as the stories that were passed down orally from generation to generation. Rediscover some of these for yourself. Check out two copies from the library and read along with your tween and teen! And, if they like an author, be sure to encourage them to read other titles.
Albert Einstein said, "If you want your children to be brilliant, tell them fairy tales. If you want them to be very brilliant, tell them even more fairy tales." These book recommendations are a great place to begin. Enjoy the journey!
Websites of Interest
These websites provide an interesting overview to many aspects of parenting, from brain evolution and development to Waldorf education to simplifying your parenting style. Each opens in a new browser window or tab.
Amen Clinics — Education and the latest advances in neuro-imaging: www.amenclinics.com
Bam Groups — Advocacy and mentoring. Making better contact with boys: www.bamgroups.com
Boys to Men — Created to guide boys 13-17 through their passage to manhood: www.boystomen.org
Gurian Institute — Professional dev. in awareness of gender intelligence: www.gurianinstitute.com
Guys Read — A site designed to get boys reading. Book recommendations: www.guysread.com
Laugh Your Way — For teens and parents - sex, dating and relating tips: www.laughyourway.com
Nova Institute — Fresh insights into parent and teacher education through a deeper understanding of children: www.novainstitute.net
Yellow Cupboard — Dolls, dress-ups, wooden toys, games, books, school supplies: www.yellowcupboard.com
Simplicity Parenting — Using the extraordinary power of less to raise calmer, happier and more secure kids: www.simplicityparenting.com
Waldorf Schools — Information on Waldorf schools and Waldorf education: www.whywaldorfworks.org
Interviews With Janet
Bev Martin of Inner Active Communications interviews Janet about boys and how we can mindfully communicate with our boys and men. This interview runs nearly 34 minutes. Click on the link in the Flash MP3 player below to play the audio:
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Sharon Sayler, author of What Your Body Says, interviews Janet on the topic: Why boys will be boys and men will be men. You can hear the audio here.
Janet visits with Sharon Sayler, communications coach, about the power and influence of our words with ourselves and how we have the ability as parents to inspire and uplift our children.
Janet speaks about boys and brain differences and effective parenting with Raelee Pearce of Noble Mother.com. Click on the "Raising Boys" link below: