Here is a round-up of what I’ve read in recent weeks. I’m linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Twitterature link-up.  Enjoy!

simplicity parenting

Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne, M.Ed. with Lisa M. Ross

“Simplification establishes an unspoken emphasis on relationship.” p.110

I loved this book. It laid out clearly many of the beliefs I hold about parenting in regards to how we organize our life. The chapter that moved me to action was “Environment.” It gave me the OK that I needed to get rid of some obnoxious and useless toys that we’d accumulated as well as some books that were unnecessary. I have more thoughts about simplifying further so that Nathan’s environment can be rich and healthy not cluttered and distracting. The chapter I identified with was “Rhythm.” We already parent that way and it works amazingly well. Payne gave me a word, though, for how we help Nathan understand our daily rhythm – transparency. We make sure life stays as predictable as possible and in the areas that are unpredictable we make sure the schedule is transparent and that he always gets a heads up about what will be coming up. The chapter that prompted the most discussion between Jason and I was “Filtering Out the Adult World.” Most of that chapter was not news to us. We are not likely to over expose Nathan to things he’s not equipped to handle. But his comparison to children and bridges that ice before the road is worth reading the book for – so good and true (p.191). We mostly discussed the little section about husbands taking on roles in the home that are theirs primarily so that the child knows to go to them about that issue and the wife gets a full break. This is something we are working on intentionally but we have room to grow and I thought his wisdom helped us better understand “why” this is necessary and not just that it “is” necessary.  I would recommend that all parents, no matter the age of their children, grandparents, and people who work with children read this book. It’s excellent.

whole brain child

The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind, by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, PhD.

This book gives parents powerful tools to help their children integrate the various parts of their brain so they can develop “mindsight” – the combination of insight and empathy that gives the ability to see their own mind and the minds of others. The goal is a healthy happy child who is able to connect with others. This book is easy to read and is full of practical methods to help children of all ages integrate their right and left brain and upstairs and downstairs brain, their implicit and explicit memories and their emotions and thoughts.

queen lucia

Queen Lucia, by E.F. Benson

This is a hilarious book filled with the antics of small town divas competing to be the leader of social life. The plot was so funny that when I told my husband some of it he laughed and we all know how un-funny it is to be told the plot of a funny book.

my stroke of insight

My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientists Personal Journey, By Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D

Jill Bolte Taylor was a neuroanatomist at Harvard when she woke up one morning and suffered a stroke. Because of her training she can offer a unique inside perspective of what happens in the brain when the cells are dying. As the mother of a stroke survivor I found this compelling, but I think anyone would find her story to be fascinating. It gives me so much respect for my son, our brains, and the healing process.