Posts Tagged ‘ Joshua Glenn ’

Best Parenting Books of 2012

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Whenever I got down about parenting this year–i.e. when my 5-year-old only wanted Daddy to put him to bed and my 7-year-olds started painting their own nails (and the dog’s)–I turned to advice books for advice and wisdom.

Luckily, there were so many authors with witty, strong and fun opinions. The following parenting titles made me sure of a few things. First, I’m not a bad parent–and neither are you, Jenny Lawson. Second, it’s super easy to do better without stressing out–thank you Heather Shumaker. Plus, who doesn’t want to have a whole lot more fun? Below, see my picks for the best parenting books of 2012.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened
by Jenny Lawson
Whatever problems your family has, author Jenny Lawson can probably top them. Her hilarious memoir takes you from her raucous, offbeat and bloody childhood to her attached-by-a-marriage-document relationship with her long-suffering husband named Victor. She overcomes a life-threatening pregnancy, a fight over a metal chicken and the zombie apocalypse with messed up insight that totally and completely enlightened me.
Favorite line: “When Hailey was born my first thought was that I needed a drink and that hospitals should have bars in them.”

It’s Okay Not to Share
by Heather Shumaker
This book makes it okay–even preferable–to invite my friends with kids over for dinner and totally ignore the munchkins. So what if they argue over a toy? As long as no one is getting hurt, they’ll work it out more efficiently on their own. And what if my daughter doesn’t like the girl who keeps asking her for a playdate? That’s okay. Adults don’t like everyone we meet, so why should little kids? All we really have to do is be polite, nice and compassionate. I love the no-nonsense advice for parenting in today’s overprotective, helicopter world. Shumaker untangles tightwad adult rules and makes perfect sense.
Favorite idea: Kids don’t have to say, ‘Sorry.’ Overuse of the word is a cop-out and has no meaning. Instead, children should take action to set things right.

by Joshua Glenn and Elizabeth Foy Larsen
This book makes a great case for saving yourself some serious money and not buying your kid a Wii. Even if you, like me, already caved on that one, you’ll still love Unbored. It’s filled with activities that you’ll really want to do with your kids. For my little kids, I liked making the no-sew stuffed animal and becoming a yarn bomber. But this book is great for tweens, too. It even has a section on how to “Train Your Grownup to Let You Go Solo.”
Favorite chapter: “Train Your Grownup to Curse without Cursing”

What were your favorite parenting books this year?

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Never Be Bored Again: Have Serious Fun with the Book ‘Unbored’

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Today’s a cold and rainy day where I live. I’ve got plenty to do, I just don’t plan on doing it. Instead, I’m loving a brand new book called Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun. It’s got a great message, “Use the world, or let the world use you.” I’m down with that.

The authors, Joshua Glenn and Elizabeth Foy Larsen, show us that we can always be up to something. We just need to take time to goof off, craft, play games and prank each other. Forget tutoring and extra homework. Instead, use your hands and brains (and old batteries) with your kids to feel feel instantly happier and more connected.

This is the ultimate craft and curiosity book. The illustrations are vivid, funny and, best of all, super clear. Have you ever heard of “The Game?” Oh boy, I wish I hadn’t read about that one. Unbored also talks about how to roughhouse in the section called “Rules of Combat.” And you know that crazy You Tube video with the exploding Coke and Mentos? (I posted it on the next page.) Unbored tells you exactly how to repeat the explosive experiment at home with your kids. (Outside, preferably near a water hose.) The balancing poses for two people, called “Circus Tricks,” will keep my young children busy for hours this weekend.

From recycling old things to learning how to curse without cursing, this is the coolest activity book for all ages I’ve seen in a long time. Build a tipi or an igloo. Giggle while you short sheet someone’s bed. Fix your bike and make a secret book safe. Unbored includes 344 pages of seriously fun stuff to do.

The kids will love the activities–younger ones need supervision but older ones can take this book and run. Mine will just have to pry Unbored away from me first. After all, I may short sheet their beds, but I don’t want them to figure out how to do it to me! (more…)

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