I am proud and honored to be a co-founder of Natural Parents Network (NPN), a community of natural-minded parents and parents-to-be where you will be informed, empowered, and inspired — and to work with the many fabulous volunteers who keep NPN running.
When you visit NPN’s website you can find articles and posts about Activism, Balance, Consistent Care, Ecological Responsibility, Family Safety, Feeding With Love, Gentle Discipline, Healthy Living, Holistic Health, Natural Learning, Nurturing Touch, Parenting Philosophies, Practical Home Help, Preparing for Parenting, Responding With Sensitivity, Safe Sleep, and so much more!
The volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to make NPN the outstanding resource it is also spend countless hours informing and inspiring others on their personal blogs.
This month, the Natural Parents Network volunteers are sharing posts that celebrate books and reading! You will read posts that share some of our volunteers' favorite books and books they recommend you read for the sheer joy of reading. Other posts outline recommended reading as it relates to a wide variety of natural parenting topics. You will also find posts that outline favorite children’s books as well as books that inspire learning or have an educational focus. And, of course, no reading list would be complete without our volunteers' favorite cookbooks and health resources!
Lauren at Hobo Mama shares her review of two anthropologically minded books on motherhood and child rearing: "What Our Babies, Ourselves taught me about my baby & myself," a look into the attachment parenting our babies have been biologically primed to expect in a book by Meredith F. Small, and "Maternal ambivalence … and why it's ok," sort of the darker or more realistic side of attachment parenting based on a reading of Mother Nature, by Sarah Blaffer Hrdy.
In Our Babies, Ourselves, Small writes not just as an anthropologist, wanting to observe and record human behavior and how it relates to our biological and evolutionary roots as mammals, but also from an ethnopediatrics perspective, which seeks to advise us as parents how to integrate babies' innate needs with our culture in an infant-appropriate way. It's one of Lauren's favorite books for giving scientific justification for the benefits and longstanding history and cross-cultural popularity of attachment parenting.
Mother Nature, also by an anthropologist, shares experiences of motherhood as witnessed across the world and various cultures, across history and a variety of time periods, and even across species. The text is often dark and disturbing — an unflinching look at how mothers don't always live up to what we've decided (as modern Western humans) is their "nature." While we might aspire to be self-sacrificing and perfectly nurturing, we have to acknowledge this salient truth: What babies need and what mothers need or want can be in conflict. Mothers don't always live up to the ideals of "maternal nature" — and, Lauren would argue in this review, that can be perfectly acceptable.
You can purchase the books from these Amazon affiliate links: Our Babies, Ourselves and Mother Nature. Be sure to follow Lauren on Hobo Mama, LaurenWayne.com, her newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google +.
Julia at A Little Bit of All of It shares her review of The Hour That Matters Most, a book that explains why the family dinner around the table is so important. She loves this book for providing families with the tools they need to get family dinners on the table and get to know your family on a deeper level as well. The book is available from Amazon. You can also find A Little Bit of All of It on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+
Julia also shares her review of The Other Baby Book, her absolute favorite baby book. She loves this book for presenting information on how to parent your baby outside of the mainstream and for the gentle, sometimes humorous way it is written. The book is available from Amazon.
Joella at Fine and Fair shares her review of I Love Me!, a children's book of Affirmations filled with simple but powerful phrases that help children build self-confidence and shape a positive world view. She loves this book for its simplicity and uplifting messages; it quickly became a favorite both in her home and to give as a gift!
Joella also shares her review of Mama, Talk About Our New Baby, an attachment parenting friendly way to introduce to older siblings-to-be what it will be like to have a new baby in the house. She appreciates the inclusion of breast feeding, baby wearing, and co-sleeping, which she found absent from mainstream "big sister" books. This book was instrumental in preparing her daughter to welcome to her new baby brother into their family and home! Be sure to follow Joella on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and tumblr.
Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children shares her review on Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball, a picture book by Vicki Churchill and Charles Fuge. The book has been a favorite with all of her children and is one she often gives to other families. While it works for families of all styles, it particularly appeals to attachment parenting families and those exploring the joys of toddlerhood. You can purchase the book from Amazon. Be sure to follow Mandy on her blog, Facebook, and Pinterest.
Mandy at also shares her review on Parent Effectiveness Training P.E.T. by r. Thomas Gordon. Styled on non-violent communication, the book is a wonderful guide with effective techniques for communicating with your children and others. It is one of Mandy's favorite, and most recommended, parenting books. You can purchase the book from Amazon.
Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama is a research bug, lover of all books, and someone who has a hard time putting a good book down! Today, she shares two of her favorites; Beyond the Rainbow Bridge and a collection of books about...poop.
Beyond The Rainbow Bridge, Nurturing Our Children From Birth to Age Seven is a beautiful book by Barbara Patterson and Pamela Bradley. First, it is a very concise book compared to a lot of parenting books. The authors cut right to the chase and get to what really matters without a lot of fluff and fancy philosophical BS. Although their approach to parenting is heavily influenced by the work of Rudolph Steiner, the way that they share information on development, discipline, play, and health is palatable for any parent whether interested in Waldorf or not. There is so much more that I adore about this book and it really has inspired me to retool my mothering ever so slightly. I think that it is a worthwhile read for any mama who wants to create a more harmonious and gentle environment for her child(ren). By implementing many of the techniques offered by the author as well as gaining a better understanding of development and play, an opportunity to better connect with and mindfully engage your child opens up.
In the post Books About Poop, for Children and The Adults in Their Lives, Jennifer shares her top 10 books about poop! Come on! You know you are curious. And trust her, these books are all great reads and lots of fun! Who doesn't love poop?
We hope you enjoy reading the above book reviews as much as we enjoyed writing them. At Natural Parents Network, we are always looking for new authors and volunteers in the areas of editing, social media, and volunteer support, so please, contact us if you are interested. We take great pleasure in the close-knit community we have at NPN, and we'd be happy to welcome you in. Just a few hours per month can help other mamas in a huge way!
You can connect with the NPN family on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and Pinterest.