Lately I've been reading several parenting books. I'm a consummate researcher (for this, I blame my parents - their answer to my childhood questions was always, "Go look in the encyclopedia"), and I like to have as much knowledge as possible in every interest I have. Before we decided to start a family, I read every book I could get my hands on about conception, nutrition, prenatal care, and so on. I have a library of pregnancy, labor, and breastfeeding books. And now that Eamon is growing into a young boy, I feel it's time to read parenting books.
Our style of parenting is natural and obvious to us, and we don't use it because it's gimmicky or popular (though it has been getting a lot of press lately). We use it because it makes sense for our family. We treat our child the way we treat each other.
My parenting philosophy is simple - I treat Eamon as a person, a human who has feelings and needs and a free will. I respect him and expect him to do the same. He's a contributing member of our family, and I make sure he knows how he can best contribute (right now, he helps with laundry, cares for the chickens, and sometimes helps to tidy up). We don't use coercion, threats, or rewards.
Already, the fruits of our parenting style are showing. Eamon is an even-tempered, gentle, fair soul. He is generally cooperative, and responds well to reasoning and redirection. He has little tendency toward violence, as he has no example of violence in his life. He's loving and free with his affection. He's an explorer, but knows we are here when he needs help. He fully understands our family unit, and prefers when we are all together. He's bright and sensitive, and helps me to know every day that my patience and loving parenting style is working for him.
I really don't need a book - or several - to teach me how to parent, but it's very reassuring to know that other people out there are doing it the same way. I like seeing the science behind my parenting style, the research that shows I am raising the best child I can.
I just finished The Natural Child, by Jan Hunt. It's a collection of essays on a variety of subjects, and so many passages spoke right to my heart. Now I'm working on Attached at the Heart by Barbara Nicholson. It's my first ever Kindle book, and so far it's a great read. I'm trying to get my hands on a copy of The Continuum Concept, one of the first books written on attachment parenting. I'm always on the look-out for new book suggestions, so let me know what your favorites are.