TOP SELF DEVELOPMENT BOOKS FOR PARENTS
Today on the blog I wanted to share my top self development books for parents! I'm obsessed with reading especially within the field of self development and at the moment I have about 8 friends who are pregnant either with their first, second or third baby so I thought there was no better time to share the resources which I have found most valuable as a mama.
As soon as I found out I was pregnant with my first born the first thought that cropped into my head was 'what type of mother do I want to be' and that question paved the way for the next 9 months of pregnancy.
My focus wasn't so much on the nursery decor, the pram or the super cute clothes my babe was going to wear but I was more focused on throwing myself into self development so I could build my character to be as balanced, level headed and stable as possible. (This isn't to say I'm the 'perfect mum' as there isn't such thing and of course I from time to time have the odd emotional wobble) - but from reading these books I have more awareness around my behaviors, insecurities and anxieties and instead of projecting them onto other people (or my daughter) I do the inner work, striving to be a more centered individual.
So I'm going to dive straight in:
1) Conscious Parenting by Dr Shefali Tsabary. I stumbled across this book in pregnancy and Dr Shefali's work is incredible. This is a must have for any parent whether your child is young or old.
'While we think it’s our responsibility to mold and shape our children’s future, the essential premise of Dr. Shefali Tsabary’s A Call to Conscious Parenting is that our children are born to us to create deep internal transformation within us.'
Reading this book is a huge eye opener. Often we have children and view them as a 'mini me' we see them as a direct reflection of ourselves and often subconsciously press upon them our expectations, standards and insecurities letting our ego get in the way. When we can detach from these ideals we can see our child for their natural state of being, allowing them to be whoever they choose to be without trying to impose our own ego onto them. A MUST READ!
2. The Awakened Family by Dr Shefali Tsabary - another incredible book from Dr Shefali. I've taken the below straight from her website as I couldn't sum up her book any better myself. This is a book I will revisit yearly and my husband and I often have conversations about her insights. I would 100% put these two books on the top of your reading list.
'All parents have aspirations for their children. But often these turn into crushing expectations that cause real harm and disillusionment at the most important time in a child’s development. Parenting should not be a competition with winners and losers. Parents need to recognize their children for who they actually are, and in her groundbreaking new book, Dr. Shefali Tsabary challenges the modern myths of parenting that define how a child is “supposed to be.” Instead of holding our children to society’s impossible ideals, Dr. Shefali teaches us how to control our expectations, embrace the present moment, and let go of the anxiety surrounding how best to parent our children.'
3. Mojo Mum by Amy Tiemann, PHD - Dr. Amy Tiemann is a Stanford-trained neuroscientist who has taken her insight and expertise far beyond the laboratory into the wide world of human behavior. She is a sought-after parenting commentator who reinvented motherhood for a new generation of women.
'The aim of Mojo Mom is not to convince you that one path is better than the other, but rather to encourage you to honestly examine what your needs are as a person and a family, and to craft a plan that works'
Mojo Mom shows women practical ways to:
*Prepare to become a Mom without losing your identity
*Survive and enjoy the intense early years
*Save some of your best energy and creativity for your own ideas and dreams
*Reenter the workplace or take on a new path with confidence and ease
*Learn the key elements to the long-term success of your marriage
*Become a Naptime Activist-and change the world in just an hour a week
*Rise above the "Mommy Wars" between stay-at-home and working moms
*Use motherhood as an opportunity for reinvention
4. The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman - the love language books by Gary Chapman are amazing and recommended in marriage and parenting. Gary talks through the 5 different ways we liked to give and receive love. Understanding your own love language and your partners and children's can really help you express love in the best possible way.
We often try to love others the way we liked to be loved - for instance one of my top love languages is 'physical touch' so I love cuddles and such things. Even though right now my daughter is only 17 months I have recognized her most predominant love language is words of affirmation and she loves to be praised for building bricks or eating her meals. It's necessary to make the distinction between the love languages otherwise i would smother my daughter in cuddles (to meet my love language) whilst neglecting hers. It's also worth noting the love languages constantly change and evolve which is why it's worth revisiting this book as your children grow.
5. Why Love Matters by Sue Gerhardt - As I looked on my kindle to pull out the books I wanted to suggest I remember reading this one and it being absolutely fascinating so I am definitely going to be revisiting this one (I love reading books more than once).
Why Love Matters explains why love is essential to brain development in the early years of life, particularly to the development of our social and emotional brain systems, and presents the startling discoveries that provide the answers to how our emotional lives work.
Sue Gerhardt considers how the earliest relationship shapes the baby's nervous system, with lasting consequences, and how our adult life is influenced by infancy despite our inability to remember babyhood. She shows how the development of the brain can affect future emotional well being, and goes on to look at specific early 'pathways' that can affect the way we respond to stress and lead to conditions such as anorexia, addiction, and anti-social behaviour.
If your into self development and like a good read I would definitely recommend you reading each of these books, ideally in pregnancy to prepare your mind but also to revisit them as you learn and adapt to your ever changing child. Let me know if you make a start on any of them or whether you have some books you would like to share with me. Happy Reading!