With an almost four year old and a bit over a year old (as of November 2011), I am not even sure if I qualify for being an expert on Advanced Parenting. I expect that this section will be the one that will expand the most of all the books recommended, as I will evolve myself as a thinking and reflecting parent. Where does a new parents end and the advanced parent starts? It is probably very much a personal feeling, and then again, you might feel like you are advanced on some topics be it potty training or solid foods and totally inexperienced on others (discipline is my big one). So I am intending to make a list of books here that I personally have found helpful and reflective beyond the immediate birth of my children.
Love and Limits: Guidance Tools for Creative Parenting by Elizabeth Crary. It is a short book that even very busy parents would have time to read. I go back to from time to time to be inspired to parent more compassionately and creatively. My immediate response to my kids misbehavior is usually emotional, this book helps me to turn these emotions into positive discipline rather than negative.
Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv. It is a bit of a melancholic book on how children used to be much freer to bond with the nature before, but it has a point. Don’t keep your children indoors, go out there, explore (with them nowadays), otherwise they might acquire what the author calls a “nature-deficit” disorder. I have to re-read that book to tell you if the 101 practical suggestions were any good. Will let you know. It was thoughts provoking in any case.
Siblings without Rivalry. How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. Because of the anthropologist inside me, I am inclined to question anything purely Western, including conventional Psychology. On the other hand, I am a product of the Western Society and thus I have to confess that this purely book written by two psychologists, has been a life-saver to the way I conceptualize my children’s sibling relationship. Even when my daughter was a tiny baby being scratched on daily basis by her big brother, this book inspired me not to get too depressed about it and to find the words and the actions for the situations that came up. Whether my response was right, I will probably never find out, but at least I did not feel powerless. There are some annoying things about the book, like the style of writing or the fact that they have blended their four kids into two and their experiences into one, but all in all I highly recommend this book for parents of children of all different ages.
Real Boys by William Pollack, Ph.D.
This is a book about raising your male child in the rapidly changing world. The book is subtitled “Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood”. It lives up to the subtitle, being fairly predictable liberal parenting book for boys, how they need their pampering, should express their emotions etc. It is quite surprising though how many parents and non-parents still expect boys to behave like little oppressed men. This book will give you some arguments in case you want to engage those people in a discussion (which I mostly don’t).