Parenting Recent Picks for June

Another great selection of parenting books this month. My pick is 100 family adventures by Tim Meek, which compiles a range of outdoor activites for kids and categorises them according to location and difficulty.  (The Meeks already have a successful blog, so the book is just building on this).  It’s called a handbook for family adventures, which sounds great and just might inspire me to get out and about a bit more with my family this winter!

Syndetics book coverPeaceful parent, happy siblings : how to stop the fighting and raise friends for life / Dr. Laura Markham.
“As any parent of more than one child knows, though, it’s challenging for even the most engaged parent to maintain harmony and a strong connection when competition, tempers, and irritation run high. In this highly anticipated guide, Dr. Markham presents simple yet powerful ways to cut through the squabbling and foster a loving, supportive bond between siblings, while giving each child the vital connection that he or she needs.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTeaching kids to think : raising confident, independent, & thoughtful children in an age of instant gratification / Darlene Sweetland, PhD, Ron Stolberg, PhD.
In Teaching Kids to Think , Dr. Darlene Sweetland and Dr. Ron Stolberg offer insight into the social, emotional, and neurological challenges unique to this generation. They identify the five parent traps that cause adults to unknowingly increase their children’s need for instant gratification, and offerpractical tips and easy-to-implement solutions to address topics relevant to children of all ages.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStitch, wear, play : 20 charming patterns for boys & girls / Mariko Nakamura.
“Stylish, yet practical sewing patterns for playful young ones. Hop, skip and jump your way through over 20 practical and stylish clothing designs for children ages 3-8. This year-round collection was designed with active boys and girls in mind, and includes shirts, dresses, skirts, pants, jackets and charming accessories. The cuts are classic and the fabrics are kid-friendly cotton, linen, knits, and fleece.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRaising the shy child : a parent’s guide to social anxiety : advice for helping kids make friends, speak up, and stop worrying / Christine Fonseca.
“The fear of being judged by others in social activities is a common human experience, especially during childhood. But when the fear becomes all-consuming, it can disrupt daily functioning and the development of social competency. Raising the Shy Child: A Parent’s Guide to Social Anxiety takes a fresh look at social anxiety disorder, coupling the latest in research trends with evidence-based strategies and real-world stories to untangle the complexities of this disorder.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover100 family adventures / [Tim Meek… et al.].
“100 Family Adventures provides a valuable resource bank of tried and tested outdoor activities to enjoy with children, swapping ‘screen time’ for ‘green time’. Particularly inspiring for people who want to get started, but don’t know how, the book shows how any family, anywhere in the country, can enjoy time together outdoors. Activities are grouped into themes: Woodland, Water, Close to Home, Hills and Mountains, Exploring, By the Sea, Extreme Weather.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Parenting Picks for May

There a brand new selection of great parenting books this month. Definitely something for everyone this time! They cover a wide variety of topics – from cakes and sewing to tougher parenting problems such as dealing with autistic teens and procrastination. Also, Victoria Young’s truths about motherhood just in time for Mother’s Day!

Syndetics book coverThe gentle sleep book : a guide for calm babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers / Sarah Ockwell-Smith.
“This new book from Sarah Ockwell-Smith, founder of BabyCalm, will be an indispensable guide for parents, whatever challenges they are facing with their child’s sleep – from the day they bring their newborn home until their child is settled into school. Examining everything from frequent night waking in babyhood, through bedwetting in toddlerhood, to nightmares and refusal to go to bed in pre-schoolers, this book provides extensive scientific and anecdotal information, plus plenty of gentle suggestions, to help everyone get a good night’s sleep.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThings I wish I’d known : women tell the truth about motherhood / edited by Victoria Young.
“Look at the front cover of any parenting book and what do you see? Glowing mothers-to-be, or pristine, beautifully-behaved children. But the reality is, your pregnancy might be a sweaty, moody rollercoaster, and your children will almost certainly spend the first few years of their lives covered in food, tears and worse. In this no-holds-barred collection of essays, prominent women authors, journalists and TV personalities explore the truth about becoming mothers.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSimply perfect party cakes for kids : easy step-by-step novelty cakes for children’s parties / Zoe Clark.
“Simply Perfect Party Cakes for Kids is a stunning collection of 12 easy-to-achieve novelty cakes for children from internationally renowned cake decorator Zoe Clark. The easy-to-follow step-by-step photography will show you in detail how to create and build up each of the cake designs and with Zoe’s tried and tested cake recipes, you’ll soon be making amazing party cakes at home that you will be proud to show off!” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEssential sewing basics for babies and children / Jenny Benjamin.
“Essential Sewing Basics for Babies and Children is a collection of sewing projects for babies and children, complete with patterns and instructions. As you work your way through the projects, you will become more confident in your sewing and will be amazed at just what you can make.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRaising stress-proof kids : parenting today’s children for tomorrow’s world / Shelley Davidow.
“Stress is rising alarmingly in our children, both at school and at home. Drawing on cutting-edge research from the Institute of HeartMath, California, as well as Shelley Davidow’s extensive experience in working with children and teens, Raising Stress-Proof Kids explores the powerful and potentially long-term effects of stress on our children. Most importantly, it offers simple but effective steps that parents can take to minimise the impact of stress at home and at school.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverParenting ASD teens : a guide to making it up as you go / Andrew Schlegelmilch.
“A straight-talking guide to parenting teenagers on the autism spectrum, this book offers a school psychologist’s perspective on coping with the issues that can arise during the difficult adolescent years. Andrew Schlegelmilch draws on his experiences working as Head Psychologist at a college preparatory school for teens on the spectrum to provide savvy advice on common parenting challenges including falling grades, adolescent tantrums, relationships with authority figures and peers, sex and sexuality, social media safety, mental health issues, and the transition to life after high school.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover7 secrets of raising girls every parent must know : from birth to 18 onwards / Judy Reith.
“Never before have parents been under so much pressure to produce confident, happy and successful daughters, but the new and unexpected challenges of parenting in the digital age can be overwhelming. With easy-to-follow advice, quotes and tips from parents and daughters, this indispensable guide will help you navigate the tricky stuff and show you how to leave your daughter with a legacy of values you’re proud of.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNot now, maybe later : helping children overcome procrastination / Joanne Foster, Ed.D.
“Parents and teachers will appreciate this guide to understanding procrastination, primarily in children, and to providing straight-forward strategies for helping children develop skills to improve productivity. Not Now, Maybe Later provides over 250 tips on battling procrastination for both children and adults to use now (not later).” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Parenting Recent Picks for April

This month’s recent picks (accidentally) include two hot topics.  Firstly, a handful of new books on sleep – which is certainly a subject many new parents are obsessed with! – so you can read up on all the new theories about how to finally get that baby to sleep.  Secondly, and at the other end of the spectrum, teenagers – a few new interesting titles on the challenge of parenting adolescents.  Along with the usual assortment of great new books, I’m sure you’ll find something to enjoy!  Also don’t forget to check out our wonderful magazine database Zinio.  At the beginning of March we added two new parenting magazines – Practical Parenting and Prima Baby.  Zinio provides access to the very latest magazines for free and they can be downloaded onto your computer, tablet or smartphone.  (You can learn more about it here).

And one more thing – due to the popularity of Baby Rock and Rhyme, the Central Library will adding another session time for parents, caregivers, little ones and babies. The new sessions will run on Thursdays at 2pm, starting from the 23rd of April. We look forward to seeing you there!

New Books of Interest

Syndetics book coverThe good sleeper : the essential guide to sleep for your baby–and you / Janet Krone Kennedy, PhD.
“A refreshingly straightforward method for training infants to become great sleepers for life, inspired by clinical psychologist Janet Kennedy’s popular psychotherapy practice, NYC Sleep Doctor.  For something so important, there’s too much conflicting information about how best to get your baby to sleep through the night and nap successfully during the day. This book is a straightforward, no-nonsense answer to one of the biggest challenges new parents face when they welcome a brand new baby home. Reassuring and easy to understand, Dr. Kennedy addresses head-on the fears and misinformation about the long-term effects of crying and takes a bold stand on controversial issues such as co-sleeping and attachment parenting”. (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe happy sleeper : the science-backed guide to helping your baby get a good night’s sleep–newborn to school age / Heather Turgeon, MFT, and Julie Wright, MFT 
“Many parents feel pressured to “train” babies and young children to sleep but kids don’t need to be trained to sleep, they’re built to sleep. Sleep issues arise when parents (with the best of intentions) over-help or “helicopter parent” at night–overshadowing their baby’s innate biological ability to sleep well. In The Happy Sleeper child sleep experts Heather Turgeon and Julie Wright show parents how to be sensitive and nurturing, but also clear and structured so that babies and young children develop the self-soothing skills they need.”  (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSweet sleep : nighttime and naptime strategies for the breastfeeding family / Diane Wiessinger, Diana West, Linda J. Smith, and Teresa Pitman.
“Sweet Sleep is the first and most complete book on nights and naps for breastfeeding families. It’s mother-wisdom, reassurance, and a how-to guide for making sane and safe decisions on how and where your family sleeps, backed by the latest research. It’s 4 A.M. You’ve nursed your baby five times throughout the night. You’re beyond exhausted. But where can you breastfeed safely when you might fall asleep? You’ve heard that your bed is dangerous for babies. Or is it? Is there a way to reduce the risk? Does life really have to be this hard? No, it doesn’t. Sweet Sleep is within reach. This invaluable resource will help you.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverChasing ideas : the fun of freeing your child’s imagination / Christine Durham.
“In this beautiful new edition of Chasing Ideas, Christine Durham shows how to help children be better, brighter thinkers. She encourages parents and teachers to discover the joys of discussing ideas with children and provides ways to show children aged 3 to 15 how to explore ideas, think, judge, make decisions and communicate more effectively – all important life skills for them to take into adulthood. This imaginative book helps adults and children to enjoy playing with ideas. Christine’s treasure trove of techniques, tips and activities will help children: Let their imaginations fly!” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverParenting your powerful child : bringing an end to the everyday battles / Dr. Kevin Leman.
“Powerful kids don’t just happen. They’re created. Whether loud and temperamental, quiet and sensitive, or stubborn and manipulative, powerful children can make living with them a challenge. But it doesn’t have to be that way.  “New York Times” bestselling author Dr. Kevin Leman offers a fail-safe action plan for redirecting power surges into positive traits that will prepare the powerful child for a successful, happy, productive adult life.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGratitude : a positive new approach to raising thankful kids / Dannielle Miller, B.Ed. with Vanessa Mickan.
“Do you want to teach your children how they can focus more on what they are thankful for, and less on the negatives in their lives? Children are not always very good at saying thank you or feeling grateful. That is because none of us is born understanding gratitude – we have to learn and develop it.  Gratitude is packed with practical, common-sense tips and hints that have been shown to work. It offers a positive new approach to nurturing thankfulness in children by making gratitude an everyday habit of family life.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLove in the time of contempt : consolations for parents of teenagers / Joanne Fedler.
“When it comes to teenagers, truth is way scarier than fiction. Joanne Fedler draws upon her own current experiences as the parent of two teenagers, as well as interviews with other parents of teenagers to explore some of the numerous issues that one confronts as a parent of a teenager. In Love in the Time of Contempt, she skilfully guides us through the myriad of issues that come before you – from their changing, developing bodies, drinking and drugs, sex, friendships, appearance, relationships within the family, attitudes and ethics, schooling and authority and more.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTeenagers 101 : what a top teacher wishes you knew about helping your kid succeed / Rebecca Deurlein, Ed.D.
“As a parent, you want to see your teen succeed in school and in life – and you do your best to help. But how do you know what will make a difference? In Teenagers 101 , veteran high school teacher Rebecca Deurlein examines how we can support our teens as they cope with the challenges of the modern world. In an age of instant gratification, how do they learn to work hard? How do they become self-reliant when Mom and Dad are quick to step in? How do they make the transition from kids to adults?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Parenting yadults : how to set up your young adult for independence and success in life / Yvonne Godfrey.
“Is your young adult equipped to make it in the real world? This book contains the tools to ramp up your final parenting years, guaranteeing your 16-24 year old yadult enters adulthood confident, capable and motivated. Whether you’re in crisis mode, or things just need a little fine-tuning, you’ll discover: Simple, easy ideas to inspire your yadult to be self-motivated – instead of nagging. How to impart the right values without your yadult rolling their eyes at you. Why your parenting style may not be working and how to make a fast breakthrough. Foolproof ways to give your yadult the winning edge to get the job they want. Practical solutions to solving conflict and building a healthy relationship. How to outsmart your yadult’s weird, aggro or dysfunctional behaviour. How to guarantee family harmony using a contract that everyone will want to sign. The dangers of over-parenting – when helping could be hurting. Clever ways to protect your retirement fund and preserve your kids inheritance. How to know the right time for your yadult to leave the nest.” (Publisher description)

Parenting Recent Picks for March

This month I wanted to highlight some of the new books on babies and infant care, as well as including a great selection of other new parenting books available on various topics.

Baby focus:
Syndetics book coverGuilt-free bottle-feeding : why your formula-fed baby can grow up to be happy, healthy and smart / Madeleine Morris with Dr Sasha Howard.
“This title examines the guilt that faces mothers who bottle-feed their babies – confronting the stigma attached to formula and the myth that bottle-feeding leads to fatter, less intelligent and unhealthier children.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBaby’s first skills / Miriam Stoppard.
“Encourage your child’s development through learn and play bonding activities with Baby’s First Skills. You’ll be able to follow the month-by-month progression of your baby’s skills in their journey from newborn to one year old. Dr Miriam Stoppard’s simple Golden Hour of Play plan provides you with age-appropriate activities for each stage of development that fit into just one hour. There are also suggestions for activities that develop specific areas, such as nursery rhymes, games and how to massage. Her unique at-a-glance Baby Skill Map shows you exactly what skills your baby will be developing when and a month-by-month guide helps you know what kind of stimulation is most appropriate for your child at every stage.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe kind mama : a simple guide to supercharged fertility, a radiant pregnancy, a sweeter birth, and a healthier, more beautiful beginning / Alicia Silverstone ; photography by Amy Neunsinger.
“When did making babies get to be so hard? Infertility is on the rise globally, affecting as many as one in six couples. In The Kind Mama, Alicia Silverstone has created a comprehensive and practical guide empowering women to take charge of their fertility, pregnancy, and first 6 months with baby. Silverstone offers advice on getting one’s “baby house” in order through nutrient-rocking foods that heal and nourish, and, once pregnant, gentle ways to boost comfort, energy, and health during each trimester. The result is an authoritative, one-stop guide that empowers women to trust their instincts during this vital milestone.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverYoga mama, yoga baby : ayurveda and yoga for a healthy pregnancy and birth / Margo Shapiro Bachman.
“The time of pregnancy is an extraordinary season of transformation, a profound rite of passage that requires special care and guidance. The complementary tools and practices of Ayurveda and yoga have been used together for thousands of years to support a healthy body, balanced mind, and higher consciousness. With Yoga Mama, Yoga Baby, Margo Shapiro Bachman brings readers the first book to show how these “sister sciences” can support the miraculous journey of pregnancy. For women everywhere, Yoga Mama, Yoga Baby is an indispensable resource for “treasuring every moment of pregnancy with health, happiness, consciousness, and love.”” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBaby play for every day : 365 activities for the first year / author, Susannah Steel.
“New parents take heart — you can boost your baby’s development, bond with your newborn and infant, and get back into shape after pregnancy through play! Baby Play for Every Day highlights a simple baby play activity for every day of the year, so you can combine bonding and baby development while having fun with your new baby. The games are paired with baby ages, so you’ll make the most of your baby’s emerging interests and abilities, from newborn to infancy. And Baby Play for Every Day includes energizing smoothie recipes for new parents, diaper-bag tips for best packing, and parenting quizzes. After all, the best possible tool for baby development is happy, confident parents!” (Syndetics summary)

Other books of interest:
Syndetics book coverParenting difficult children : strategies for parents of preschoolers to preteens / Michael Hammond.
“Parenting young children is a challenge, and dealing with difficult or problem behavior can set up an atmosphere of tension and strife—not just between the child and the parents, but between parents as well. Parenting Difficult Children provides a method of removing that tension with specific strategies for parents of children age three to twelve who are exhibiting difficult or common negative behaviors.” (Adapted from Amazon)

Syndetics book coverTop bananas! : the best ever family recipes from Mumsnet / Claire McDonald and Lucy McDonald ; photography by Jill Mead.
“It can be hard feeding a family, and it can be even harder to come up with new, healthy and exciting ideas that will inspire you, let alone your children. But there’s no reason to fret. Top Bananas! brings you a collection of 120 tasty and hassle-free recipes – recommended, tweaked, tried and tested by real-life mums.With a sprinkling of wit, a foreword from Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts, and beautiful colour photography throughout, this sassy book will add excitement and fun to family cooking – and you’ll never be stuck for ideas again.” (Syndetics summary)

babyNo bad kids : Toddler discipline without shame ; Janet Lansbury.
“Janet Lansbury is unique among parenting experts. As a RIE teacher and student of pioneering child specialist Magda Gerber, her advice is not based solely on formal studies and the research of others, but also on her twenty years of hands-on experience guiding hundreds of parents and their toddlers. No Bad Kids is a collection of Janet’s most popular and widely read articles pertaining to common toddler behaviors and how respectful parenting practices can be applied to benefit both parents and children. Armed with knowledge and a clearer sense of the world through our children’s eyes, this period of uncertainty can afford a myriad of opportunities to forge unbreakable bonds of trust and respect.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGet the behavior you want … without being the parent you hate! : Dr. G’s guide to effective parenting / Deborah Gilboa, MD.
“Deborah Gilboa, MD, aka Dr. G, draws on her experience as a family physician and a mother of four to provide practical, age-appropriate strategies for parents of children between the ages of 18 months and 12 years dealing with the most common parenting problems, including, How can I get my child to stop whining? Why can’t these kids get along? Should we pay our children to do chores? Plus over 60 more challenges. With her signature blend of humor and real-world advice, Dr. G offers a roadmap of quick concrete ways to help parents use everyday opportunities to create respectful, responsible and resilient children-without screaming, nagging, guilt, or guesswork. Book jacket.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover20 tips for parents : the realistic parent’s guide to understanding and shaping your child’s behaviour / Kim Oates.
“A realistic, practical, and down-to-earth look at dealing with many of the common concerns that parents have in managing the behavior of children from two to 10. Based on his extensive years of work with parents and children, a pediatrician offers his advice on such common concerns as coping with tantrums, dealing with fussy or picky eaters, using discipline that works, and loving unconditionally. He also addresses how to identify bad advice and a parenting myths, and how to manage “helpful” advice from family member and friends. Catering from toddlers to early adolescence, the book’s main message is for parents to stop trying to be perfect parents, as this often causes unnecessary pressure and anxiety. Instead it advises parents to focus on being a “good enough” parent.” (Syndetics summary)

Parenting Expo at the Central Library

parenting expo 5 May

Brush up your parenting skills, ask questions and get advice – this free Parenting Expo brings together organisations and resources on raising children and child development.

You will have the chance to get personal advice and discuss aspects of childcare and family life with parenting experts, in a safe library environment.

Participants include:

Wellington City Libraries – discover our parenting and children’s resources

Wellington Community Law Centre – find out about their services relating to family law and schools

NETSAFE – learn about cyber-safety and how you can secure your wireless network

Child, Youth and Family – talk to them about the help they provide for children and families.  They are helping families to get the support they need to care for their children

Parents Centres New Zealand – their services can help with child development and teenage parents special needs

Plunket NZ – find out more about children’s safety and nutrition – helping your children learn during their play

Family Planning – learn about their services relating to parents and families

Come along. All welcome!

Saturday 5 May, 11am–3pm
Central Library
65 Victoria Street
Wellington

Troubled by your baby’s taste in music?

Rockabye Baby U2If you are a proud parent of a baby you may be becoming all too familiar with the wonderful world of music for babies and other small people, and it may be driving you a bit mad.

Never fear! While your baby is still at the captive audience stage, and before he or she starts expressing musical preferences (The Wiggles, again and again and again), you can treat them to lullaby renditions of your favourite rock bands, thanks to the Rockabye Baby! CDs in the children’s CD collection.

Are you into classic rock and metal? There’s Pink Floyd, Metallica, AC/DC, U2 or Queen, for example (yes, there’s a lullaby version of ‘We will rock you’).

If you’re a punk or alternative purist you may shudder to hear there’s also The Pixies and The Ramones (‘I wanna be sedated’), and for people who like things a bit more current there’s also Coldplay or Radiohead (no surprises).

These are all one week issue, and free on a child’s card.

Wellington City Libraries has a large collection of lullaby (and other music) CDs for children. Have a look the next time you’re in the library, or have a look on the catalogue here for a selection.