THE NEW YORK JEWISH NEWS
A Reading List for Harried Parents
By Shira Vickar-Fox
I’m not one to read parenting guidebooks — who has the time if they’re truly parenting? — but I adore Wendy Mogel’s The Blessing of A Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children (Penguin Compass, 2001). Her book is easy to read and her approach is sensible. She and my mother are my two voices of parenting reason. I anxiously await the October publication of her new book, The Blessing of a B Minus (Scribner).
Lenore Skenazy is a humorous author and her Free-Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts With Worry) (Jossey-Bass, 2010), recently released in paperback, is a lot of fun. Skenazy blogs at freerangekids.com, and she is a firm believer in taking your kids outside and leaving them there — alone. It’s no wonder she recommends, Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2005) by Richard Louv.
If you want to know more about the harmful effects of micro-managing our children’s lives, read Hara Estroff Marano’s A Nation of Wimps: The High Cost of Invasive Parenting (Broadway Books, 2008) or The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon by David Elkind (Da Capo Press, 1981). Elkind’s book has been updated to reflect technological advances and more, but his main theme remains relevant more than 25 years after its initial publishing. Carl Honoré takes a global approach in Under Pressure: Rescuing Our Children from the Culture of Hyper-Parenting (HarperCollins, 2008).
For tools on how to remove you and your children from today’s hectic pace there’s The Overscheduled Child: Avoiding the Hyper-Parenting Trap (St. Martin’s Press, 2000) by Dr. Alvin Rosenfeld and Nicole Wise. Mommy Guilt: Learn To Worry Less, Focus on What Matters Most, and Raise Happier Kids (AMACOM, 2005) uses experiences from real moms and dads and aims to make the burden of parenting an enjoyable one.
No one said it would be easy. – Shira Vickar-Fox
June 23, 2010