Recently, I commented on a Facebook post about a study citing that spanked children are more likely to be violent with future partners. In my thoughts, I mentioned the book What to Expect the First Year, and someone responded basically dissing me for reading parenting books.
It got me thinking…
This was my comment (broken into paragraphs for easier reading):
“What to Expect the First Year has a great passage on spanking. I don’t have the book in front of me right now, but from what I recall, the big takeaway is moreso that spanking isn’t really effective as far as a means for discipline goes. It teaches the child to fear spanking, instead of actually learning the difference between right and wrong behavior.
It does mention studies showing it can lead to violent behavior later on; it also acknowledges that plenty of people have grown up having been spanked to be perfectly normal/nonviolent adults. But, why take the chance when it’s not really a successful form of discipline anyway?
That being said! I do not think spanking equates to abuse, and I wouldn’t judge someone for choosing to parent that way. We all have to do what’s right for our individual families and rein in all that parental judgment of others.”
Of course, even though I indicated I A) Do not equate spanking with abuse and B) Do not judge others for spanking and C) Emphasized that we all need to do what’s right for our own families, I still had a pro-spanker come at me.
I’ve seen other comments on social media along the same lines that basically gets broken down into the following (the first one is the recent one):
- You go read your book. I’ll go with what’s worked for hundreds of years.
- I’ve had X number of kids and I haven’t read any books.
- I don’t believe in crying it out and don’t believe books saying it works.
But It’s Worked Before
If something has indeed worked for hundreds of years then sure, of course that is worth considering. Although, I’d want to argue with the notion that spanking has definitely “worked,” but, for argument’s sake, let’s say that’s true.
Even still. We have experts in the areas of child behavior and development. Professionals in this industry who are working behind the scenes and utilizing up-to-date information that we might not have access to.
Research, history, personal experience – it all needs to be taken into account. You can’t just dismiss the “research” part of this equation.
Anyone who digs their heels in on change, on learning, on growth – well, I just don’t think that’s the best way to go through life, let alone parenting.
I Raised Kids Without Books
I don’t doubt for one second that many, many women and men have raised upstanding human beings and did so without books.
We also lived a really long time without Smartphones and the internet.
Can you raise a kid without books, without articles, without doing any research? Sure. Assuming you’re at least listening to your pediatrician.
But what if you could do better? What if things could be easier? What if bedtime could go even smoother?
I Don’t Mind Getting Four Hours of Sleep
I am a big proponent of crying it out, but that’s another topic. There is a fabulous book called Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child that delves into an entire world of sleep training.
Not just sleep training, but sleep itself – how important it is, how it touches every aspect of our lives, how we’re all happier, better, healthier people when we’re getting proper sleep. Babies, children, adults – everyone.
This book offers different ways to try sleep training, including methods that involve little crying or even no crying.
If your baby is past the newborn stage, and is still not sleeping through the night, I couldn’t possibly recommend this book more.
It is full proof? No. Will what worked for my kid work for yours? Maybe not. It is worth it to at least take a look, without necessarily committing to anything? I’d say yes.
They’re Literally Experts
Here’s my big reasons for reading parenting books:
- They’re literally written by experts – or at least top professionals – in their fields.
- Some of them are updated periodically with new editions printed as more information becomes available.
- You can take what’s in the book or leave it.
On the last thought: I don’t consider the information in these books to be gospel truth. Pretty much everything comes with a grain of salt. You take it all in, and keep what makes sense. If something doesn’t speak to you or feel right for your family – again, assuming you’re in compliance with your pediatrician – then don’t do it.
However, let’s just look at a couple of things.
What to Expect the First Year is now in its third edition, with over 10.5 million copies sold. What to Expect When You’re Expecting is now in its fifth edition, with over 19 million copies sold. Author Heidi Murkoff has been named one of the most influential people in the world.
Dr. Marc Weissbluth, author of Happy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, is a pediatrician, father of four, a leading researcher on sleep and children, and has had decades of experience.
I didn’t even just list all of their credentials.
It’s truly baffling to me that parents think these people have absolutely nothing constructive to say, can’t bring anything to the table, and it’s not worth hearing them out.
What Have You Read?
Have you read any parenting books? In addition to the two above I’ve also read All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood. I plan to read Toilet Training in Less Than a Day, and of course, What to Expect the Second Year.
Funnily enough, as a kid, I read Get Out of My Life, But First Could You Drive Me & Cheryl to the Mall, which is obviously geared towards parents of teenagers.
What parenting books have you read or would recommend? Comment below!
Or on the flip side, if you’re anti-parenting books, let us know that too – and why.