Thursday, September 25, 2014

What I'm Reading

First of all, I'm sure you noticed my AWESOME new blog design!  Thank you Amber Butler!!!  You did a fantastic job. :)

Last week I wrote about what my kids are reading.  And I have shared a bit about our read aloud time.  Now I want to share with you what I am reading.  I'd love to start a dialogue about what you are reading as well.

I pulled this book out last week, after I removed Camden's arms from around his buddy's neck.  Putting friends in the headlock is not ok around here.  I promptly put Camden in time out, but I wasn't sure he really "got it."  So I pulled out this book, and flipped to the chapter titled, "The Explorer." (The author has named each stage of a boy's life by certain traits boys usually display).

Wild Things, the Art of Nurturing Boys, by Stephen James and David Thomas has been one of my favorite reads.  This book has given me so many great ideas for how to be a better parent.  It also affirms the fact that my boys are right where they should be.  When I read, "As strange as it sounds, boys in the Explorer stage demonstrate love and affection through wrestling, head butting, and sometimes even hitting," I breathed a sigh of relief, realizing Camden was doing just what he was developmentally ready to do.  It made me feel better about Fight Club  storytime as well.
(Mike, Leah's husband, renamed storytime when Camden started stealing pacis and knocking children down--turns out this is all normal).

Camden is trying to give Abby a toy that looks like a paci to him.  He has a paci, why shouldn't Abby have one?

 There are three things that make this book a "must read."

1. The "tips" at the end of each chapter that help put the authors' suggestions into practice.  An example from "The Explorer" stage is Keep it Short and Simple.  They say one of the mistakes parents of 2-4 year olds make is asking their child if he/she wants to eat lunch.  Instead, we should let our children know it is time for lunch.  "It's time to eat lunch now."  Then we have removed the temptation for them to say NO, one of their favorite words.

2. The authors encourage "natural consequences."  I thought of this one just the other day when Camden was trying to wrestle a book our of a little girl's hands at storytime.  I was about to step in when the book snapped back and hit Camden in the chin.  He let go and rubbed his chin.  That was a natural consequence.  And Leah always enjoys telling the story of how I made Carson pay for the mulch he kept playing with in the front yard.  I did warn him.  I told him if he kept taking the mulch out of the mulch bed, he was going to have to buy the next bag of mulch.  So he paid me out of his allowance.

3. The end of several of the chapters recommends books/movies that kids at that stage would enjoy.  The authors suggest using these movies and books as discussion starters to talk about themes.  Some good questions are, "How did it make you feel when..." and "What did you think when..."  These movies and books can help our boys begin to connect with the outside world.  From this list, we have enjoyed some old favorites like The Princess Bride and E.T.  It's so much fun to watch movies we enjoyed as kids!

Other books I am enjoying now are Anything, by Jennie Allen (current momsanity bookclub book) and Among the Hidden, by Margaret Peterson Haddix.  Among the Hidden is the first book in the Shadow Children series.  The boys and I are reading this book together at night and I can hardly wait to read it each time.  I almost snuck a few chapters in today when they were at school!

What are you reading?

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