Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Three Best Books for Parents

I've been thinking about getting back to blogging about books. My lifelong dream of owning a bookstore has to start small, and this blog has sort of been lagging of late... so maybe I need to get back to the business of telling you what I've been reading and why, and what I think of what I've been reading.

These three titles have come to mind, not because I've read them recently, but because they've influenced my thinking about parenting in a major way. And, I've been thinking about parenting a lot recently, not just because I'm surrounded by children at home, at work, and at church; but also because I've never seen such an epidemic of people wanting babies so desperately but not having a clue what to do with them afterwards.

Here are three of my favorites that deal with three areas of childrearing. If I could, I would hand them to every parent I know, although some of them are obviously more relevant in specific age groups.

1. Education. Nothing quite revolutionized my thinking about homeschooling until I read Susan Schaeffer MacCaulay's For the Children's Sake. Also recommended is everything Charlotte Mason ever wrote and the blog called Ordo Amoris where Cindy Rollins posts regularly.

2. Family life
If Edith Schaeffer were alive today I think I would ask her to come to tea. And then I would take notes! Thankfully, although she is no longer with us, she did leave us her books. What is a Family by Edith Schaeffer is about how I want my family to be. How I want people to feel when they walk in my door, and the atmosphere I want my children to be raised in. Don't mind the dated cover. Buy a copy anyway.

3. Parenting in a digital age
Oh my goodness, every parent needs to know what to do about this. I haven't read anything quite so eye-opening as Talking Back to Facebook by James P. Steyer. When it comes to limiting media, limiting screen time, and not allowing certain things to be watched, this book is a great starting place and it's applicable for all ages. Although it is not written from a Christian viewpoint, yet it is all relevant. This has helped us more than anything to educate our children about digital responsibility. It has helped us set screen limits, limits on social media, and we even used their media contract for Jessie and us to sign before she got her own facebook page. THIS IS IMPORTANT, PARENTS!!

Endnote: If there's a common thread though all of these, and if you're looking for one place to start today, it's this: Turn of your screens and spend time with your children doing something creative, educational, spiritual, or just plain fun. Don't let media raise your children. Eat dinner together today!

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