As a homeschooling mother of ten, who is with my children 24 hours a day, seven days a week, parenting books always catch my eye. Over the years I have read what seems like hundreds of them. I have read books that promote ‘philosophies’ that some people want to adhere to to the letter. I have come to realize that there is rarely a one size fits all type of parenting, so I glean what would seem to help me, given our different personalities.
There are a few that stand out in my mind and that I come back to again and again.
Here are some of my favorites, along with a short description:
1. To Train up a Child by Michael Pearl This book can be a bit controversial, as Michael Pearl is a very outspoken man. He seems to especially like to write about boys. That was a huge help to me, as I had grown up in a house of girls, then in my 30’s, I had four boys in eight years time. Eleven years later, we adopted two more, giving me a total of six. His advice has been invaluable to me as I reared this strange (to me) bunch of little people. Remember, no book has all the answers. If this book seems a bit rough to you, use what seems good, and don’t worry about the rest.
2. No Greater Joy, vol. 1, 2, &3 by Michael Pearl This book is a continuation of the last one, in fact, Michael and Debi Pearl have put out a few of these. The NGJ books are mostly answers to the parenting questions this family has received. The Pearls also have website at nogreaterjoy.org, where you can download their newsletter. You can also receive this newsletter in the mail. I would recommend it.
3. Jumping Ship by Michael Pearl I guess you can tell I really like Michael Pearl’s writing. This book started out as a series of articles in his newsletter, and was later compiled into a book, with some new material added. It addresses the fact that some homeschooling children, in spite of the best efforts of their parents, will end up rebellious and discontent, and want to leave home as soon as possible. Michael Pearl addresses what he sees as the cause of this – parents who do not win their children’s hearts. It’s an eye opening book; I devoured the series of articles.
4. Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Ted Tripp This is another book about keeping your child’s heart. It gives Biblical approaches to child training. I thought it was very good.
5. How to Raise a Healthy Child In Spite of Your Doctor by Robert Mendelsonh This is a book I turned to again and again. Written by a pediatrician, it gives a lot of really good advice on when to take your child to the doctor, when not too, and why. It helped keep me from running to the doctor all the time as a new mother, and gave me the confidence I needed to treat my children at home. This book never let me down.
6. Let’s Have Healthy Children by Adelle Davis This is another book I used until it was dog eared. It is not only for sick children, but is actually a preventative type book, as it advises how to feed a child for their upmost health.
7. Training Children in Godliness by Jacob Abbott This book mainly addresses bringing up your child to know and love God. It’s a shorter book with only five chapters, but it holds a lot of really good information.
8. Hints on Child Training by H. Clay Trumbull Henry Clay Trumbull is considered the founder of what we know as Sunday school today. He lived in the 1800’s, but his advice is timeless today.
9. Keys to Parenting an Adopted Child by Kathy Lancaster Our family adopted our last three children from the foster care system. This is not something done in our extended family, so I didn’t really have many people to go to to learn how to address my children’s issues with what had happened to them. Keys to Parenting an Adopted Child was one of the first books I bought on adoption. It deals with many different areas, including nature vs. nurture, helping children accept adoption, speaking about adoption positively, and other vital areas. It was quite a help to me.
10. Twenty Things Adopted Kids With Their Adoptive Parents Knew by Sherrie Eldridge This book gives 20 statements that adopted children might have trouble with, and tells how to deal with each one. It covers areas such as “I suffered a profound loss before I was adopted. You are not responsible.” “Just because I don’t talk about my birth family doesn’t mean I don’t think about them.” “Even if I decide to search for my birth family, I will always want you to be my parents.” This is another book that has been an eye opener for me, and helped me deal with the grief and issues of my adopted children.