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10 Important Parenting Books Every Parent Should Read

10 Important Parenting Books Every Parent Should Read

“Parents are teachers, guides, leaders, protectors, and providers for their children.” – Iyanla Vanzant

Parenting starts from the moment your test result comes back positive. After the delivery, it becomes a full time job for both parents. Whether you are the parents of one child, or multiple, it is always a frantic business, but of course enjoyable too! You just have to know the right time to do the right thing. Otherwise, you are in a tight spot.

Look, I am not trying to alarm you. I am a mom of a toddler and a baby so I know that sometimes you need guidance to show whether you are raising your kids the right way, or whether you are doing the right thing. It does not matter if you are experiencing parenthood for the first time or you have been parenting for a long time, it is always beneficial to learn a thing or two. It is said that a worried mother does a better research than the FBI. Here is a list of 10 parenting books I think are important for you and your partner.

1. What to Expect When You’re Expecting, 4th Edition

expecting

    This is a perfect book for the new generation of expectant moms. This book contains relevant informations on everything and includes answers to bundles of questions, detailed week-by-week fetal development in each of the monthly chapters, and sections on pre-conception and on carrying multiples. The fourth edition deals with the most recent developments in obstetrics, addresses current lifestyles, and is overflowing with tips, helpful hints, and humor.

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    2. The Happiest Baby on the Block

    happiestbaby

      Dr. Harvey Karp discloses an incredible treasure, sought after by almost all parents: how to automatically “switch-off” your baby’s crying. This star doctor has not only successfully influenced pediatricians and working mothers, but also made superstars like Madonna and Pierce Brosnan, turn to him for help. This book will make both the parents and the babies happy since, according to Dr. Karp, calming babies now is as easy as turning off the lights!

      3. The Whole-Brain Child

      brainchild

        Daniel J. Siegel, neuropsychiatric, and Tina Payne Bryson, parenting expert, teamed up to produce a constructive book that offers a state-of-the-art viewpoint to child educating, with 12 key strategies that contribute to healthy brain development leading to calmer, happier children. According to the authors, this book talks about the new science that shows how a child’s brain is wired, and how it matures. This will definitely aid you to the path of nurturing your child to a healthy, emotional, and intellectual development so that your child can lead a proper, balanced, and an equate life.

        4. How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

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        kids talklisten

          This book literally talks about all the points covering common problems, and building a foundation for lasting relationships in very innovating ways. The book covers coping with your child’s negative feelings, expressing your strong emotions with hurting your child, punishments, self-discipline, and resolving internal conflicts. Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish did a brilliant job in making relationships with children of all ages less stressful and more fruitful. According to The Boston Globe, this is the ultimate “parenting bible”. This is a book every parent should have.

          5. Einstein Never Used Flash Cards

          Eiinstein-never-used-flashcards

            Every parent should read this before admitting their child to pre-school. More or less, parents seem to fret over the fact how much children should learn. The research, done by three highly talented child psychologists, shows the difference in how play plays a vital role in developing children in maths, reading, verbal communication, science, self-awareness, and social skills. And it is not through academics! This is a very captivating book.

            6. Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings

            happysiblings

              It is accepted that siblings fighting with each other is just a way of life. In a way it’s referred to as sibling love. Well, I can already see my kids fight with each other every single day. Dr. Laura Markham has hands-on, research-based solutions for us, the parents. In this highly anticipated guide, she talks about the methods of cutting through the fights, bridging love for the siblings, and most importantly, how parents should maintain harmony, and a strong connection when siblings are going through disputes. The presentation is simple, yet powerful, and gives equal importance to each child. A significant book for the parents who are having trouble controlling rowdy kids all the time!

              7. Design Mom

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              designmom

                This is a handy book for all the moms out there who are struggling to keep the house sane from the stream of toys and clothes and what not! The author provides a detailed analysis of how to utilise the smallest of the spaces in your house, how to have a child-friendly environment, and how to design and decor your house with taste so that it tells your family’s story.  This book is a room-by-room guide to keeping things organized, creative, and stylish.

                8. Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters

                fatherdaughter

                  A girl’s growing up depends a lot on the role her father plays. The author emphasises how a young woman’s relationship with her father is far more important than you can ever imagine. It talks about the beautiful bond fathers and daughters share, the life lessons a teen should learn from her father, which includes, self-respect, drugs, sex, and alcohol, and the importance of becoming a hero to the daughter, amongst other points. To become a strong, confident woman, she needs her father’s constant support, attention, courage, protection, and wisdom. This is the ideal book to give a helpful roadmap for concerned fathers.

                  9. Strong Mothers, Strong Sons

                  strongmomsson

                    Just like a father’s role can mold his daughter’s upbringing, a mother plays a vital role in bringing up her son. A mother needs to be strong enough to strengthen her relationship with her son. With the amount of challenges a young man faces nowadays, the burden falls on the mother to properly guide her son through them–which can feel overwhelming. A mother must be courageous, bold, and confident in guiding her son. One of the most crucial roles for a mother is to be someone to whom the son can look up to. This helps him gain respect for all of the women in his life. This book provides encouraging, educating, and practical advise for the mothers in building up their sons with self-esteem, support, and wisdom. This book is perfect for all the mothers who have a growing son at home.

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                    10. Mothering and Daughtering

                    index

                      The teen years are the most sensitive period of a girl’s life. This is where a mother can come and guide her through this transition.This book is divided into two parts. In the first part, the mothers are advised on how they should stop the cycle of separation and anxiety that bothers so many, and how to nurture the skills of listening, boundary setting, mirroring, containing, and more. The next part addresses the teens. It advises how they should keep it real with their mothers, while trusting them, and also finding strength in their intuition, friendships, and dreams. This book is packed with practical informations on this kind of relationship, a perfect fit for both mothers and daughters.

                      Parenting books are like the holy books: you read them and you follow them. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “There is no school equal to a decent home, and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent”. Be that virtuous parent, educate yourself, educate your children. There is no such thing as a perfect parent. So just be the real one.

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                      Sumaiya Kabir

                      Sumaiya is a passionate writer who shares thoughts and ideas to help people improve themselves.

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                      Last Updated on January 15, 2021

                      7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                      7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                      The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

                      Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

                      Posture

                      First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

                      • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
                      • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
                      • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
                      • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

                      All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

                      Facial Expressions

                      Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

                      • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
                      • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
                      • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

                      If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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                      1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

                      A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

                      The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

                      This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

                      2. Relax Your Face

                      New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

                      The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

                      To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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                      3. Improve Your Eye Contact

                      Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

                      The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

                      To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

                      3. Smile More

                      There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

                      Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

                      4. Hand Gestures

                      Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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                      It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

                      5. Enhance Your Handshake

                      In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

                      “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

                      It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

                      6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

                      As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

                      Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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                      Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

                      Final Takeaways

                      Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

                      If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

                      More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

                      Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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