Or I'll tell you what I read and doing so will most likely speak volumes about my theological leanings. I was asked on my last post what some of my favorite parenting books are. My shelves are not filled with parenting manuals per se. I find that I can't separate out the job of parenting from other facets of my life and worldview. It is all of a piece and something that influences one part of my life also influences the parenting part of my life. So, with that in mind, I give you my "top 10" parenting resources. They are all so different that I find I can't put them in order as to which I find the most useful, consequently, they are in the order in which I pulled them off of my bookshelves.
1. The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer -- In my head I slot this book in the same category as the Proverbs 31 passage... depending on my mood, I find both either highly motivating or highly demoralizing. To me, Mrs. Schaeffer portrays an ideal of homemaking; something to aspire to. I know there has been some talk about the memoir which her son, Frank, wrote about how she did not quite measure up herself. But just because someone does not measure up to an ideal does not make what they have to say invalid.
2. What is a Family? by Edith Schaeffer -- Mrs. Schaeffer talks about the primacy of the family.
3. Parenting in the Pew: Guiding your Children into the Joy of Worship by Robbie Castleman --If you've ever needed encouragement to keep worshipping with your children or need instruction as to how to begin, this is the book you need to read. It is highly practical and also has some great teaching about the act of worship itself.
4. Family Driven Faith: Doing what it takes to Raise Sons and Daughters who Walk with God by Voddie Baucham -- Have you heard of Voddie Baucham? If not, you really need to read this book (or anything else by him). I find his teaching on faith and family to be some of the clearest I've read or heard. But be warned, he pulls no punches. He takes the teaching of the Bible to its logical conclusions and is unwilling to acquiesce to the pressures of the prevailing culture.
5. Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends: How to Fight the Good Fight at Home! by Sarah, Stephen, and Grace Mally -- This book is written by a brother and two sisters and is one we read as our lunch time read aloud. While it is not a cure-all, it helps provide conversation openers and new ways of thinking for everyone in the family. I'm not sure I can draw a direct correlation between reading this book and how well our children get along, I'm sure it didn't hurt.
6. Passionate Housewives Desperate for God: Fresh Vision for the Hopeful Homemaker - by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald -- While this is not really a parenting book, I find it encouraging in my role of homemaker. And if I am feeling fulfilled in my role, then I am also able to be a better parent. If you need encouragement in the often looked down on, but incredibly important job of making a home, you may want to read this book.
7. Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow by Gregory Keck and Regina Kupecky -- Even though this book's purpose is to teach parents how to raise traumatized children, I found it to be a highly useful book for parenting any child. While not everything in the book pertains to non-adopted children, I did find I looked at all of my parenting differently after I read it.
8. Books by Jane Healy. I know I already mentioned Endangered Minds, but I find her other books useful as well.
9. Books by David Elkind. The Hurried Child and All Grown Up and No Place to Go are two titles that come to mind. I don't always agree with his conclusions, but his information about children's development is very interesting.
10. Bible study guides by Nancy Campbell. Once again, these address the role of homemaker which encompasses parenting. My favorite is The Family Meal Table and Hospitality.