It’s OK Not to Share by Heather Shumaker

When I first saw it in the Netgalley catalog, I was startled by the title It’s OK Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids by Heather Shumaker (Tarcher, 2012). Not share? Isn’t that the first thing we teach our babies during play dates? I was delighted by some of the concepts in this parenting book, not because I agreed with it all, but because it opened my mind to different ways to approach teaching my children about relationships, compassion, and dealing with the ups and downs of life.

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Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman

It has been more than a month since I finished reading Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman (published 1998). By waiting to write my thoughts, I may not have as many specific examples and quotes to share with my readers. However, by letting the book percolate in my mind as I went about my life, I can even better declare that Gottman’s slim volume is a helpful and essential reminder of the role of parents in the lives of young children.

While parents and teachers often devote lots of time to teaching academics and well rounded activities (from music to athletics), how often have parents considered the ways they are helping their children develop emotional intelligence? In a world were people are increasingly pulled in a variety of directions, the ability to regulate emotions and control one self in a complicated world is essential. Gottman’s book helps me see my opportunities for teaching my kids. It also gives me realistic ways to implement the teaching of emotional strength. Continue Reading

(Kids Corner) Three Great Rocking-Chair Picture Books

One great thing about having a little baby is the cuddling. Not to say that Raisin doesn’t cuddle with me every now and then, but Strawberry is just the right size for a sweet cuddle in my arms as we rock in the chair.

Many times when I try to read to Strawberry, she tries to grab the book and eat it. This is pretty normal, since seven months old is just the age of chewing on everything in site. But occasionally, as I mentioned before, Strawberry really loves to listen to my voice, cuddle into my arms, and listen to what I’m saying. A few of the books are favorites of mine for such moments because they are especially wonderfully for rocking back and forth in a rocking chair.Continue Reading

1000 Books: Project Completion

About two years ago (December 2009), I started a project I titled “1000 Books” in which I hoped to read 1000 different books with my son before his sixth birthday (fall 2013): picture books, chapter books, or essentially any books that we read in full. Originally, I said I wanted to read the books by his fifth birthday, but then I panicked because that was too soon and changed it to his sixth birthday. The purpose of this goal was to nurture his natural interest in reading, to expose him to a variety of good books, and to help him gain the literary exposure necessary to learn to read at age 5 or 6.

It’s been quite the wonderful experience for us.Continue Reading