I will start this article by saying that I’m not a mother yet, even if I love children and get along with them just fine. Even so, my childhood is not that far away so that I wouldn’t be able to tell what I wished my parents did differently, and my time as a volunteer in a pediatric hospital only confirmed my insights.
This is why I thought that I could share with you, young parents, young educators, or simply people that want to get closer to children easily some books that helped me understand better what they need from the grown-ups.
How to Talk So Kids Can Learn: At Home and in School- Adele Faber, Elain Mazlish
It is, as the title itself announces, a book about communication. Written by two professionals in the education field, it brings to the public a collection of insights and alternatives backed up by experience and science. It is also a friendly book, written in an accessible way, focusing on delivering alternatives to our most common communication issues, not on bragging about academic know-how.
This book read during my first year of college, brought a lot of light and valuable insights to me when it came to communication. It made me see more clearly what hurt me, and why it hurt when the meaningful adults of my childhood spoke to me in some ways. Even more important, it helped me see which are the alternatives that will provide the same efficiency, without the emotional harm.
It has also a whole chapter about a very important and always hot topic, the relationship between parents and teachers, and how should every side act to establish a good, effective long-term partnership.
Experience Human Development- Diane E. Papalia, Gabriela Martorell
My second recommendation is an iconic book. Written by two researchers, it tells the tale of human evolution during a lifetime, from the moment when two partners choose to have a baby, until the last days of the old age. Every period is presented in an objective, accurate manner, considering the struggles and the blessings we encounter during our journey.
It is a scientific, multi-disciplinary book, with a lot of references that can be looked for in-depth, or just acknowledged as they are, a reading that would enlighten and answer a lot of questions not only about childhood, but also about ourselves, or our loved, older ones.
The book can be found on Amazon or, for the Romanian version, here.
A Secure Base: Parent-Child Attachment and Healthy Human Development- John Bowlby
Least, but not last on my list of personal favorites, John Bowlby’s book is a must-read for anyone who wants to gain a better understanding of how our attachment patterns are born. The book provides valuable insights, helping the parents to become more aware of their own attachment issues and style, as well as showing them what should be paying attention to, in order to grow up a well-balanced adult. It is, in my opinion, a very good book, helpful regardless of your position: you can be a parent, an educator, maybe a parent-to-be or just someone willing to understand the attachment better.
I can’t really stress out enough how much it counts for the benefit of the children to have well-informed parents. Parents that are curious, that are aware that they are finding themselves at the beginning of a long, important journey, and about the importance of learning. Because, at the end of the day, the parents are the ones that learn the most about themselves, about the relationship with their children, about how to build a right relationship between the child and the society. And for that, they need to have access to the best resources, as growing up balanced children, soon to be adults, has never been a child’s play, to begin with.