child care (Parenting of Children) is a big responsibility. People look for different options for how to do good parenting. Any instruction manual with children (Instruction manual) does not occur. Children are sometimes very happy and sometimes sad. Sometimes they express feelings of innocence, sometimes confusion, generous, selfishness etc. What should parents do during such a confusing situation for their child? Parents often feel pressured by the guidelines to be given on the child and the environment around him. Most of the parents look for answers to such questions in books related to parenting. Parenting books are a huge business around the world. However, the big question is, do these parenting books really help?
Dennis Bodman and Bethany Bustamante van Velet, principal lecturers in social and family dynamics at Arizona State University, have written extensively on this topic. How effective these books are, he writes, can be debatable, especially when scientific evidence for their usefulness is lacking. According to limited research, problem-focused books can be helpful for parents if they offer suggestions on time management or healthy eating.
According to studies, the use of separate books for one’s own well-being is effective in relieving stress, anxiety and depression to some extent. This is called psychological bibliotherapy. In terms of quality and usefulness, there is a general understanding that reading books on parenting is beneficial.
Bodman writes, “We are scholars of human development. We have taught thousands of students about parenting and have written about family, upbringing and development in life. One of us (Bethany) is the mother of six children, while the other (Dennis) has two young children, one of whom is Bethany. We believe that parents can be critical thinkers and choose the books which are more suitable for them. Here are some important points for those looking for a parenting book.
Having more kids doesn’t mean you’re a specialist!
A good parent doesn’t need a writer or a PhD. However, an advanced degree in a field related to parenting will be helpful in understanding the research. According to a writer’s view, having one or a dozen children does not make one an expert. Parenting more doesn’t necessarily make you better at it. Not having children does not disqualify one to be an expert, but it should be considered carefully. We took parenting classes before having kids. We have incorporated the experiences of our parents into our teaching.
don’t go after big names
One’s reason for writing a parenting book can also be to provide information. The advice of writers who expressed anger about their upbringing or who failed in parenting should be taken lightly. Lastly, don’t fall for the books of celebrities. Most of these books are written by someone else and are brought in primarily to sell or brand the books.
Listen to the experts, what are they saying…
Psychology researcher and parenting expert Lawrence Steinberg writes that scientists who studied parenting for more than 75 years found the findings on effective parenting to be the most consistent and long-lasting in the social sciences. If you find some discrepancies in parenting books it is because ‘some popular books are based on well documented science’.
But how can you tell if a book is based on science? See researchers’ names, sources and indexes. In addition, learn the basic principles of effective parenting as outlined by Steinberg—setting rules, being consistent, loving, treating children with respect, and avoiding harsh discipline.
If the book you’re considering doesn’t meet these guidelines, reconsider its parenting advice. Perhaps it is not based on science but on opinion or personal belief. Opinion and belief have a place, but science is better in this area.
If the book isn’t interesting, you won’t read it completely. Before you buy a book and take it home, read the first page and flip a page in the middle to see if it catches your attention. Try to find books that you can read in small pieces, leave them around and come back in the future to read from there. A good book tells the reader that the book does not have all the answers. No parent is perfect, but recognizing weaknesses and failures leads to growth and improvement.
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