Child(ish) Reads: The School for Good Mothers

Surprise! This is the first time Child(ish) Reads has reviewed a fiction title. So, a couple rule changes:

  1. I’m not going to spoil the ending.
  2. There will be no actual “advice”.
  3. Judgement-free zone here. Let’s call it a mix between a book review and coffee chat.

The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan

Blurb: Frida Liu is struggling. She doesn’t have a career worthy of her Chinese immigrant parents’ sacrifices. She can’t persuade her husband, Gust, to give up his wellness-obsessed younger mistress. Only with Harriet, their cherubic daughter, does Frida finally attain the perfection expected of her. Harriet may be all she has, but she is just enough.

Until Frida has a very bad day.

The state has its eyes on mothers like Frida. The ones who check their phones, letting their children get injured on the playground; who let their children walk home alone. Because of one moment of poor judgment, a host of government officials will now determine if Frida is a candidate for a Big Brother-like institution that measures the success or failure of a mother’s devotion.

Faced with the possibility of losing Harriet, Frida must prove that a bad mother can be redeemed. That she can learn to be good.

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Child(ish) Reads: No-Drama Discipline

While The Whole-Brain Child is definitely an awesome approach to child-rearing, the neurobiology can be a bit of a bear to get through. For No-Drama Discipline, the authors zero in on disciplining with the Whole-Brain approach and the result seems to be much more practical (or at least as practical as neurodevelopment can be).

No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind
by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

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Child(ish) Reads: Unselfie

There are a ton of articles about the major differences between Boomers, Millennials, Gen X and Gen Z; and how social media and screen time have driven huge cultural and sociological shifts. Now that Millennials are becoming parents, we have a very real fear: Fear that our kids could grow up to be really self-centered a**holes.

I think our most recent election is a prime example of how empathy influences our actions, our representatives, and our policies moving forward.

Here are some quick facts:

  1. Empathy means a person can recognize, understand and express their own emotions, as well as be attune to the emotions of others. Not just having touchy-feely feelings.
  2. Girls are more likely to be empathetic because parents talk about feelings more openly with daughters than with sons.
  3. Many people blame social media and screens for creating narcissistic zombie kids, but there is much, much more to the rising empathy gap.

Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World
By Michele Borba, Ed.D.

Instead of giving you a play-by-play review of this great book, I want to talk about the things that stuck with me; the great content that not only will help me raise my daughters for the future, but also can shed light on many adults in the present.

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Child(ish) Reads: The Type of Parent I Wanted to Be

If you read our first Childish Reads post on pregnancy books, you know that Bringing Up Bébé is one of my top recommendations for moms. I admit, I am a Francophile and having my daughters be prim and proper is a nice little fantasy. But, I didn’t want to pigeon-hole myself into thinking that one book was going to perfectly change my entire outlook on parenting.

To tip the scales in a different direction, I decided to read two additional and arguably polar opposite parenting titles. What could I take from all three of these books, and what could be chalked up to just parenting clickbait?

For this edition of Childish Reads, I’m giving you my takeaways of:
The Happiest Kids in the World: How Dutch Parents Help Their Kids (and Themselves) by Doing Less by Rina Mae Acosta and Michele Hutchison
Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua

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