Friday, July 24, 2009

Favorite Things Friday: Your Baby and Child from Birth to Age Five

For today's edition of Favorite Things Friday, I bring you one of my favorite parenting books. (Okay, it is also the only parenting book which I have read cover to cover. Okay, almost to cover. I'm in the final stage of development it covers right now, probably 75 pages from the end. And as long as I am giving caveats here let me remind you that all Favorite Things Friday items are purchased with my own hard-earned dollars. None of which, btw, come from blogging because I do not have ads. Whew!)

So back to this great book. I received it as a gift shortly before going on maternity leave from our administrative assistant at my previous job. She told me she had given it to many new mothers over the years and thought I would enjoy it as well. Not only was she right about me enjoying it, I have now given it to several soon-to-be mothers myself.

In Your Baby and Child from Birth to Age Five, author Penelope Leach discusses children at various stages of development: newborn, settled baby, older baby, toddler, and young child. My favorite aspect of her writing is that things just make sense. There is no talk of this method or that method for insert issue here. There is just practical, common-sense, this-might-work-for-your-family-and-if-it-does-then-use-it thinking.

Much of the book focuses on why your child is doing this or that. Why is she saying "no" to everything? Why does he go from one emotional extreme to the other in mere seconds? Why is she suddenly truly terrified of monsters? Then, with that development perspective in mind, Leach counsels on how a parent might handle the situation.

One thought that really resonated with me as I was reading the other night was Leach talking about the young child (approx. 3-5 years old) exploring the capacity of his body. She said, he knows that he can run to the end of the block but is curious just how far he could possibly run. Ah ha! So, that is why Lucas takes off at full speed and--it seems to me--might never stop. Now I'm on a quest to find a space where I can let Lucas safely run as far as he heart desires so that he truly can explore the capacity of his amazing little body.

I've been reading this book (and often re-reading sections like the discussion of potty training) since before Lucas was born. I slowly make my way through the developmental stage that he's in while he's in it. I decided last night to finish the book in the next few months so I can start again on page 1 before the new baby is born. Four years between newborns is a long time--I fear I may have forgotten everything!

I'd love to know about any of your favorite parenting books. Please share in the comments.

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!

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