alexeia_drae: (little leaf)
Title: Unconditional Parenting
Author: Alfie Kohn
Rating: 2 of 5
Briefly: Everything about how people parent is wrong. Plus a few chapters of theory about how to parent instead.

The first thing that struck me about this book, as someone who has taught parenting, is that people who spank or rely heavily on punishment are not going to get through the first 7 chapters. The first five chapters are devoted to why everything about how we parent in America is wrong. I was looking forward to chapter 6, where it looked like unconditional parenting techniques would be discussed, but there was still a lot of time devoted to everything wrong with rewards and punishment. The last two chapters were the best, but people who rely on rewards and punishments aren't going to sit through 7 chapters of everything they are doing wrong. People get defensive.

more. )
alexeia_drae: (caress)
Book: The Mama's Boy Myth: Why Keeping Our Son's Close Makes Them Stronger
Author: Kate Stone Lombardi
Rating: 4 of 5
Briefly: This book fires back at folks who claim that mother ruin their sons by being active in their lives. Not only did this help me resolve some issues I have with being married to a mama's boy, but it gave me a lot of wonderful things to look forward to as my son gets older.

The sooner psychology moves away from Freud the better. )
alexeia_drae: (caress)
Book: The Sibling Effect: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us
Author: Jeffrey Kluger
Rating: 2 of 5
Briefly: While very readable and a good overview of the research out there, the topic is so broad and the focus was on families so different from my own that I could not relate.

If I were a Bronte sister, which one would I be? )
alexeia_drae: (caress)
Wow, it's been awhile since I've done one of these! And I'm forgoing my usual format for these just because I don't feel like stressing myself out over it.

Sheryl Sandberg's book, Lean In, caused quite a stir that left me intrigued. Was it a diatribe about all of the stupid mistakes women make? Was it dissing women who didn't decide to work outside of the home and become CEOs? Or was it an inspiring call to do better? I'd trolled the website Lean In and found it to be rather inspiring and comforting.

Finally found this at my library and read it in a day. Let me say I found it to be incredibly reassuring, inspiring, and insightful. Chapter 2: Sit At the Table had me nodding and screaming "that's me! That's what I'm doing!" over and over again.

Recommended for everyone, mother or not, man or woman, I'm slipping this into my husbands bathroom reading pile. )
alexeia_drae: (Default)
Wow, been awhile since I've done one of these!

Book: Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children
Authors: Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman
Rating: 4 of 5
Briefly: This book challenges a lot of common wisdom people hold about raising children by talking to people who study child development. I'd say most people would find several common assumptions they had about children challenged in these pages.

This is a book I think every parent and school district should have. More below the cut! )
alexeia_drae: (Default)
Every Friday I take B. to the mall. We enter through Sears, grab a pretzel, play in the play area, and then exit through Sears. Last week while leaving my eye strayed to the girl's holiday dresses. My heart ached as I looked at the beautiful dresses. Purple velvet. Red velvet with a plaid jacket. Poofy princess dresses with ruffles and frills. I looked at my beautiful son and moved closer to the door, and wondered if and when I have a second one if I can finally fulfill my craving to dress up a little girl in frilly pretty clothes.

And then I felt guilty and wondered if by wanting a girl so much I am somehow rejecting my son. When I have thoughts of "if I have a girl..." I beat myself up afterwards.

That day it occurred to me that this is another way that gender roles confine and hurt. Why can't I dress my son up in a frilly dress and put big bows in his hair? There's no law against it. It will not harm him. He's too young to care about what he's dressed in, matters of comfort aside.

Note, I wanted my son desperately and would not trade him. We knew he would be a boy at the 15 week ultrasound and I was just ecstatic that he was developing fine. At a later ultrasound the doctor thought he made a mistake and thought he might be a girl and I got angry because I had gotten excited about having a boy and was made that he was telling me otherwise. )
alexeia_drae: (Default)
Book: Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys
Authors: Dan Kindlon & Michael Thompson
Rating: 3 of 5
Briefly: A thorough examination on how the narrow definition of masculinity hurts boys. There's a lot of good case studies and some interesting research, but I would have liked to see more attention focused on what you can to do raise a boy with a more broad definition of masculinity.

Review under the cut. )
alexeia_drae: (Default)
Book: Raising Freethinkers: A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief
Authors: Dale McGowan, Molleen Matsumura, Amanda Metskas, and Jan Devor
Rating: 5 of 5
Briefly: This is the much needed follow up to Parenting Beyond Belief. PBB spent a lot of time on philosphical issues, and even had some essays written by people who were not parents. Pretty much the only criticism of the former I saw was that it did not give a lot of practical solutions to problems that Freethinkers faced while raising a family. Dale McGowan was listening, and put together Raising Freethinkers to deal with the pragmatic aspects.

Good Stuff Below the Cut. )
alexeia_drae: (chiyopenguin)
Book: Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn--and They Need to Play More and Memorize Less
Authors: Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff and Diane Eyer
Rating: 4 out of 5
Briefly: Three developmental scientist strike back against the cultural trend of using flashcards and DVDs and structuring every free moment of children's lives in an attempt to turn them into the next Einstein. Instead, they show how flashcards are not helpful for learning, preschoolers are developing depression because they aren't getting into the Stanford equivalent preschool, and explores how children learn best by doing what they have for generations: unstructured play.

Yup, not every book I review is going to be about gender. )
alexeia_drae: (Default)
Book: Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture
Author: Peggy Orenstein
Rating: 3 out of 5
In a nutshell: Beware the evil corporations who, in an effort to make as much money as possible, want to exploit our girls and give them the message that their self worth is based solely on image.

Whether you're raising a girl or a boy, teaching critical thinking begins at home. )
alexeia_drae: (Default)
Book: Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood
Author: William Pollack
Rating: 4 out of 5
In a nutshell:Pollack's premise is that society straitjackets boys into narrow roles and that this is harmful and needs to stop.

Break the world's straitjacket! For the revolution of the world! )
alexeia_drae: (fez busters)
Book: The Wonder of Boys
Author: Michael Gurian
Rating: 1 out of 5
In a nutshell: The author twists science to justify grand claims of innate differences between the genders and then blames feminists for trying to feminize boys, thus causing all of the problems boys face today. His solutions are to get boys involved in organized sports and to get them mentors.

Hold on to your butts! )
alexeia_drae: (fez busters)
Book: The Wonder of Boys
Author: Michael Gurian
Rating: 1 out of 5
In a nutshell: The author twists science to justify grand claims of innate differences between the genders and then blames feminists for trying to feminize boys, thus causing all of the problems boys face today. His solutions are to get boys involved in organized sports and to get them mentors.

Hold on to your butts! )

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