Saturday, July 16, 2011

*that* mom's bookshelf - July 2011 Edition

This was originally going to be the June edition but I find myself taking weeks to get a book finished lately. Here are a few of my latest reads.

While reading this book, I felt this constant feeling of having the wind knocked out of me. I was overwhelmed by how much it resonated with me. I've never read a lot about depression and a few lights went on while reading this. Depression is exhausting.  Physically so. It's not just in my head.  The constant anger and irritation I feel when I'm not feeling quite so down-in-the-dumps is not normal or me, it's still the depression. This made me realize how often I feel the effects of depression even times when I thought I wasn't having symptoms.  For many people, living with and recovering from depression is really hard and a lifelong endeavor. I won't lie, this terrifies me.  The frank discussion of the effects maternal depression has on children was both upsetting and awakening.

This book deserves a blog post of its own, and I have about 3 drafts started and abandonded. I was overwhelmed by how much this book made sense to me, and yet how it turned everything I've been taught about children upside down. It really defines a difference between what some call gentle discipline or gentle parenting with this radical look at unconditional parenting, where the goal is not simply to have a child who listens or who behaves as you'd like but to have a child who grows up confident, strong, compassionate, and joyful. Kohn asserts that rewards are as bad as punishments and that manipulating our children with behavior management fails to help them develop their own moral compass. With a rewards and punishment system, they are listening, behaving, or displaying manners for selfish reasons, for the reward or to avoid the punishment. Whereas, Kohn suggests we cultivate an awareness of the results of our actions, how others feel, and above all else focus on the child knowing that no matter what they do or how they do it, they will be loved. They do not need to earn that love or attention with behavior or accomplishment. It's been a few weeks now, and I feel like I need to read the book again. I feel like it really embodies what my husband and I would like to embrace in our parenting and lines up with what we believe theologically and the way we have been called to raise children. (It's not a religious book; I just found it in line with our own spiritual and religious perspectives.)

I struggle with food, eating, and weight. I have most of my life. I am continually trying to read on the subject of emotional and compulsive eating. I enjoyed the second half of this book much more than the first.  It is very Christian, as in conservative, Bible-belt-ish Christian. It regularly compares our struggles with food with other struggles like that of premarital sex. While my theology does not line up completely with the author's, I did take some good tools and perspective from what she wrote. I felt comforted from hearing another's story and inspired to continue to deepen my faith and reliance on God while making healthy choices for my body. I had been looking for a text that connected our healthiness journeys to faith and spiritual discipline and this did that.

 I love Jennifer Weiner. It was love at first chapter when I read Good in Bed in college. Laugh out loud funny and real. From that point on, I was getting every book she wrote the day it was released. Since then,I've gotten behind on my fiction reading. My husband got me this one for Christmas and I finally got around to reading it. It was good. It wasn't the laugh out loud and cry at the same time experience I've had in some of her other books. This one was a little more mellow, but that was ok. I read it quickly when I haven't been able to get past the first few chapters in other fiction lately. I always love Weiner's characters. They are vivid, real, and always quirky. Certainly worth a read!

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe I actually read a JW book before you did! Got this one out of the library last summer. Good, mindless summer read...

    And thanks to this post, I picked up Made to Crave yesterday from the Kindle book sale on amazon for $2.99!


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