As parents, we do have an innate sense of what our child’s needs are, at any point in time and it’s a matter of merely tuning into that connection that exists. If we can centre ourselves emotionally any time we want, sure, we would need no external help. It’s not impossible. It’s just incredibly hard.
The way life in modernity has been set up; rarely do we experience the luxury of not being overburdened with occupations (home or work related) especially with a newborn or a toddler in the house.
What can a book offer a parent?
In these times, a Guru, a guide, can do miracles for you and the baby. And an easy way to have access to these guides is through books!
The books that we find most useful are the ones that:
- give you accurate information that you need just now to help you know that ‘You got this!’
- fill you up with confidence
- that give you real success stories from parents who once struggled just like you
- help you choose actions and environments that are helpful for your child’s development
- help you see the bigger picture to take holistically beneficial decisions in the ‘here and now’
The 7 books that made a difference to us:
Baby Led Weaning by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett
Every newborn is naturally in charge of her breastfeed intake. She decides when she wants to feed and when she wants to stop. She would neither over-eat and nor under-eat. That’s nature taking care of itself. When it comes to introducing solid foods, usually at 6 months, parents usually end up feeling like they need to take full control of the child’s eating, resulting in the loss of independence that the child already possessed. This book talks about a safe and natural process through which the child stays in charge of her intake of solid foods and in the process gradually decides all by herself when she wants to stop asking for breast milk. In the age where eating issues in young children are growing by the minute, this is a gem!
Dr Weissbluth has spent the better part of his life researching the various aspects of a baby’s sleep The book is full of insights and real life parenting success stories. The book offers sleep solutions in a systematic and research based manner and the information ranges right from a few weeks old babies to teenagers.
No Bad Kids by Janet Lansbury
This book is love in practice. Janet weaves carefully researched knowledge about developmental needs of toddlers and advises various clearly practicable actions for any caregiver of a toddler. Say bye-bye to the so called “Terrible Two”s with this book at hand. The book is full of parents’ anecdotes which are easy to relate to and then Janet’s careful, compassionate explanation of possibly the most respectful action to take in the described situation. She skillfully advises on many day to day, moment to moment issues that parents face on topics such as toilet learning, sleep, toddler push-back (tantrums), eating habits and many more.
Montessori From the Start By Paula Polk Lillard, Lynn Lillard Jessen
The authors of this book are a mother- daughter duo and they are literally legends in the Montessori Community. They have diligently practiced the Montessori philosophy in their own Forest Bluff School at Lake Bluff, IL, USA. The book beautifully captures the work of Madame Maria Montessori in the context of a newborn to a 3 year old. It’s full of vital information that evokes an awe at the developmental process of a newborn and focuses on creating conducive environments and removing obstacles to our child’s development.
The Absorbent Mind by Maria Montessori
This is the Word on what a young child of the age 0 to 6 years is. This is the work of a lifetime of Maria Montessori and this reveals to us, in great detail, the developmental stages and needs of a young child. Deeply rooted in theory and the Truth of the child, it talks about the development of not only the physical organs and abilities of the child, but also the psychic organs of the child. If you are a parent who has curiosity beyond just parenting and day to day actions, this is the book for you. (Buy the Kalakshetra Press version for the authentic copy of this precious book.)
The Happy Child by Steven Harrison
Another gem that we do not tire on reading and re-reading. Steven Harrison runs a school called The Living School in Colorado, USA. The book breaks the world of child down into tiny chapters. Written in a poignant manner, it allows an opportunity to the reader to soak in the beauty of a child’s world and look at it in a holistic developmental perspective. For us, the special quality of this book is that in the fewest number of words, it can convince you of all the magic in every child.
Totto Chan by Tetsuko Kuroyanagi
This book is all about the author’s world when she was a young child. It mainly features stories related to her everyday life and her aspirations. Her home, her dog and her quirky school are big parts of her world. Every story is a quick read and at times gives a flash of an insight into our own child’s world. There’s a lot to learn from the way her mother and the school principal (Mr Kobayashi) be with her and the way they look at her world with utmost respect and trust. A beautiful narrative that disarmingly teaches so much about children, their world, their needs and the role of trust and respect in their upbringing.
A Chartered Accountant by chance and a school teacher by choice, Aditya is an AMI Montessori trained guide. He owes his parenting philosophy and values to Dr Maria Montessori, Magda Gerber & Janet Lansbury and tenets of Buddhist philosophy; though he believes that his most insightful parenting moments have come with his kindest teacher – his two year old son.
Helping parents and being a school-teacher are his ways of bringing more respect, choice and freedom to children.