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Child Caring

Books for a recently separated mom of a 3 year old

Barbara,

What books would you recommend for the Mom of a three year old boy who wants to focus on better and more predictable behavior? The boy is an only child and he attends nursery school several days a week. The parents have recently separated, and share custody, but I think some of the discipline issues have been ongoing.

From: FavoriteAuntie, Newton, MA.

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Dear FavoriteAuntie,

Recommending books is one of my favorite past-times! Here goes:

1. Kids thrive when they feel safe. They feel safe when parents set age-appropriate limits and follow through with consequences. This is often a really hard thing for separated/divorced parents to do consistently. This book will help: "No -- Why kids of all ages need to hear it and ways parents can say it," by David Walsh. Similarly, the classic by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish (I've called this the parenting bible): "How to talk so kids can listen and listen so kids will talk."

2. Kids thrive when parents feed into their strengths. In order to do that, you need to have a sense of what's going on developmentally for your child. Read "touchpoints, three to six, Your child's emotional and behavioral development," by T. Berry Brazelton and Joshua D. Sparrow. For a meaty (but readable) read on the brain development: "Your Child's Growing Mind," by Jane M. Healy.

3. Kids thrive when parents are tuned in to the world as they see it. Read my book, "Put yourself in their shoes, Understanding how your children see the world." Kids also thrive when parents aren't intimidated by today's world and its culture. Read "Taking Back Childhood, Helping your kids thrive in a fast-paced, media-saturated, violence-filled world," by Nancy Carlsson-Paige.

Lastly, I think every parent going through divorce needs "Mom's House, Dad's House," by Isolina Ricci.