I found a book at the library! Imagine that!

Crappy PicturesI was so excited the other day when I discovered that my favourite blogger’s book is available right here at the library – if I hadn’t been in the middle of helping a lovely young mum  search the catalogue  for parenting DVDs I would have SQUEEEEEE!!-ed. Thankfully I managed to contain my enthusiasm  and save us both from embarrassment. I couldn’t wait to get home and start reading!

I’ve been reading Amber Dusick’s Crappy Pictures blog ever since a friend of mine shared her post about toddlers and public toilets which was not only extremely funny, but also reminded me of the time my toddler had to pee while we were shopping, and we were directed to The. Dirtiest. Toilet. Ever.

Amber’s book, which is available as an e-book through Overdrive, is just as funny as her blog. The only thing I didn’t like about it was that I didn’t realise I’d finished – I got to the end of a chapter and thought I’d save the rest for later, only to discover that all that was left was the publication details! One of the pitfalls of reading e-books I suppose.  I have since discovered that there is a little book progress bar that pops up when you tap the middle of the screen, but obviously I hadn’t paid attention to that.

If you are looking for stuff on parenting, whether you want e-booksbooks, or DVDs we’ve got it covered.

Giving up on parenting

To quote Mrs Bradley, sleuth, psychotherapist and heroine of Gladys Mitchell’s golden age detective novels:

There are three golden rules for bringing up children – sadly nobody knows what they are

I’m pretty sure that nothing has changed, but there have certainly been plenty of ideas and theories put forward on parenting since the 1930’s. You can find the latest useful ideas at your library, including help for all sorts of individual situations

I’m pretty sure any devoted parent would be ferreting out as many useful tips as possible ( remembering Nigel Latta’s “teenagers are not right in the head” has certainly help me keep me in a rational frame of mind in a difficult moment) but in the end I can’t help feeling that Mrs Bradley is right –  the most important thing to know is that you can’t be a perfect parent- and shouldn’t try to be.

Cover of Battlefield WisdomCover of How not to be a perfect mother

Taming the frenzied pace of life

Search catalogueWe’ve all heard of slow food, but what about slow parenting?

According the Carl Honore, author of Under Pressure, the concept is about keeping

… the family schedule under control so that everyone has enough downtime to rest, reflect and just hang out together.

I guess that means my parents had a slow parenting philosophy in the 50s and 60s. Our large family spent a lot of time around the dinner table debating and laughing, there was lots of hanging out with siblings of a similar age and in winter we all  played board and card games together, both parents and children.  How many families get to do that today?

Not everyone agrees that this is the ideal way to live (I note that the Wikipedia entry on slow parenting carries the caveat “the neutrality of this article is disputed”) and you might feel it is unjustified nostalgia. However, if you want to give it a try, winter would seem the ideal time to put slow parenting into practice.

Playing board games and card games is great winter fun and a good way to connect with the kids, if you can tear them away from their computer games. The library has lots of useful books including the definitive Hoyles which give the rules of a wide range of card games and guides to board games, including Asian ones (try Mah Jong if you can find a set, its great fun). We also have lots of inspiration to get children exploring games, crafts, and science .  Maybe you could even try a bit of storytelling.

Tell us what you think about slow parenting.

Parenting – gooey, milky confusion

CoverThe discussion in the news at the moment about parental leave reminds me of all the issues you are bombarded with in the early months of your child’s life. Money worries and trying to make decisions about returning to work fight it out with what nappies to use, when to wean and how to get enough sleep. It all becomes a mass of gooey milky confusion.

The library does of course have a multitude of books and magazines to pounce upon and devour as you desperately try to find your way through the parenting mine field. I do however wish the library website had been around in those early days when I was desperate for information.

CoverThere are some fabulous links. I especially like Everybody – parenting. This site has everything you could possibly need, support groups, heaps of health information, parenting tips and recipes.

Another interesting site is Babyweb NZ which is run by a mum, midwife and child birth educator and includes links to Baby friendly locations in New Zealand, equipment hire, shopping and child birth education. The links in this guide are many and varied from local community groups to larger government based organisations such as Working for Families.  It’s a one stop shop for parents and anyone else who needs  information on parenting in New Zealand.

Are your teens driving you around the twist?

coverI know my not-so-darling 13 year old is. He seems to be at the early teen stage where he alternates between sweet child and hell child. After watching The Politically Incorrect Guide to Teenagers on TV, I decided to arm myself with some good advice. So I trundled off to the library catalogue to see what’s available and found a wealth of parenting teens books for bewildered parents just like me!

CINCH, our community directory, lists parenting groups such as Tough Love and Single Women as Parents (SWAP) to give parents support through this interesting time.

Good luck! We’ll need it.