As many of you know, I used to be a Kindergarten teacher! A huge part (and joy) of my job is picking out quality children’s books that foster learning and vocabulary, but I also love seeing what sparks Gracie’s interest! We love going to the library or perusing Barnes & Noble to find new and exciting books!

I am also a bit of a bookworm myself, so I felt like it was time to share both what Gracie and I read each week! We also started our book club book this week, so scroll down to see our book club discussion questions!

What We Read | Volume 3

If you stay home with your children (or even if you don’t) chances are you do lots of reading together. You probably also go to the library now and then, and sometimes it can be a daunting task to find age appropriate, relevant material to check out. I know that after being out of the teaching game for a couple of years I had to re-immerse myself in the world of children’s literature. Here’s what we read.

What Gracie’s Reading

Here is what Gracie is reading in the photo above: The Potty Book

We potty trained Grace this past January (since Norah was due in March!) and it was quite a feat! I’m proud to report we were successful. We used the three day potty training method, and you can read more about that in this post here. But we started reading this book around six months before we potty trained… we didn’t introduce it and then introduce potty training right away, so I suggest getting it even if you aren’t going to potty train any time soon!

She still loves it even though she is potty trained! It’s about a little girl named Hannah (and the boy version is about a boy named Henry) who is going to potty training. It’s your typical potty training introduction book, but it’s very memorable for kids. It’s thorough in talking about the process and even acknowledges that accidents will happen. It also recognizes the process which I feel some books kind of skim over. I hope you enjoy this one!

 BOOK CLUB WEEK 1 (What I’m Reading)

What? POSITIVE PARENTING by Rebecca Eanes

When? Wednesday, June 20 for chapter 1 (and discussions will happen every week thereafter)

Where? My Motherhood Facebook group (click here to join)

How? We’ll read one chapter per week (not a lot of time commitment) have a weekly discussion thread about the book on my site (in the What We Read blog posts) AND in the Motherhood FB group.

How do I get started? To begin, you can purchase the book, check it out at the library, or buy it on Audible to listen to. You get the book, and read chapter one by next Wednesday. Then you join our FB group and participate in discussion! That’s it! Super easy and a great way to talk about practical application of the skills we learn in the chapters!

WEEK 1 DISCUSSION:

First impression? I really needed to reread this book amidst the season of having a three-year-old. I read it when Grace turned two but many of these things didn’t apply to her yet. I’m so glad I chose now to re-visit it.

One of my favorite quotes from the first page: “When children feel connected, nurtured, and confident that their parent is in charge and can meet their needs, they calm down and handle challenges and disappointments more easily.”

Some notes I took + things I wrote down:

“Nothing erodes the parent-child bond like a parent who throws his own tantrums or makes a child feel responsible for his big emotions.” This hit home for me, as I know that I am not always perfect in talking through my feelings rather than acting emotionally right away. Sometimes I forget that Gracie is a mini-me and she will totally copy everything I do. That includes how I react in stressful/emotional situations.

In short, Positive Parenting begins by stating the goal of the book: “a healthy, connected family unit that benefits not just the children, but the parents as well.” It reminds us that we have to get our own triggers and emotions under control before we can expect our children to have healthy emotional lives.

I love that Eanes wants us to avoid the common pitfall of “managing our kids’ behavior” and believing that children are inherently bad. Rather, we should view them as little vessels that need to be guided through infancy, toddlerhood, and into adulthood. Each stage (terrible two’s, threenager, etc) gets a bad rep within our society, yet most of it is just developmentally appropriate behavior.

She says “the more I wielded my parental power, the worse he (her son) behaved, and the more disconnected we became.” I feel this happening to me, so I really want to be proactive about changing it. I don’t want to have endless power struggles with my kids.

*Parenting “rooted in connection”*

Positive parenting doesn’t mean you’re a marshmallow — positive parents set limits and boundaries too!

5 Principals of Positive Parenting:

  1. Attachment (I feel like this is the easy part for me — toddlers are a different story.)
  2. Respect “Research has shown that children who have loving, nurturing parents grow a bigger hippocampus, which promotes better memory, learning, and stress response.”
  3. Proactive Parenting (responding during early signs of negative behavior)
  4. Empathetic Leadership
  5. Positive Discipline (discipline is different from punishment)

I really liked the idea that there’s an upstairs brain and a downstairs brain. The downstairs brain is a primal and basic human brain (breathing, sleeping, emotional feelings) but the upstairs brain gets refined and gets fine-tuned with age. Children act and react from their downstairs brain (and honestly I do this too sometimes still 🙁 ) What a great analogy for helping us understand our children’s development!

“Loving responsiveness isn’t just for babies” (I really needed to hear this.)

“Undisciplined parents cannot effectively discipline children.” (Loved reading this because my husband and I both want to work on our reactions to stressful/emotional situations in a better and more positive light to be an example for Gracie.)

QUESTIONS:

First impressions of the book? Of Positive Parenting?

Have you discussed “Positive Parenting” with your partner? Are they on board?

Do you think society views children negatively? What messages have you been fed about young children and what they need in terms of discipline?

When have you reacted to something from your downstairs brain rather than your upstairs brain?

WANT TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION? 

CLICK HERE TO JOIN OUR MOTHERHOOD GROUP AND DISCUSS THIS CHAPTER TOGETHER!

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I hope you enjoyed this post about what we read! Thank you so much for reading!

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