Books on Parenting & Child Development for Adoptive Parents
Parenting With Love and Logic and Parenting Teens With Love And Logic: Preparing Adolescents for Responsible Adulthood by Foster Cline and Jim Fay – A tough love parenting guide based on the idea that children need both love and discipline to thrive. Parenting with Love and Logic teaches parents how to establish control through easy-to-implement steps without anger, threats, nagging, or power struggles and how to raise self-confident, motivated children. The follow up book, Parenting Teens With Love And Logic focuses specifically on teaching parents to help their teens make decisions responsibly―and do so without going crazy or damaging the relationship. You can listen to an interview with Foster Cline on the Creating a Family Radio Show/Podcast.
Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish – Siblings can be the best of friends, the fiercest of enemies or anything in between. This wise, practical book teaches parents how to cope with conflict and rivalry, encourage cooperation, reduce competition, and make it possible for their children to experience the joys of their special relationship. With humor and understanding–much gained from raising their own children–Faber and Mazlish explain how and when to intervene in fights, provide suggestions on how to help children channel their hostility into creative outlets, and demonstrate how to treat children unequally and still be fair. An oldie but goody!
Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control: A Love-Based Approach to Helping Attachment-Challenged Children With Severe Behaviors by Heather T. Forbes, LCSW – Another great book which goes beyond the theory of why some children struggle to attach and offers a guiding hand and a heavy dose of hope for loving and parenting these children. The first four chapters help parents clearly understand the neurological research behind “The Stress Model”. The next seven chapters are individually devoted to seven behaviors typically seen with attachment-challenged children, including lying, stealing, hoarding and gorging, aggression, defiance and lack of eye contact. We have interviewed Heather Forbes several times on the Creating a Family Show/Podcast.
Beyond Time-Out: From Chaos to Calm by by Beth Grosshans, Ph.D. and Janet Burton, LCSW – This is a wise book, and I don’t say that lightly. It is a general parenting book that lays out a discipline strategy that takes the time-out technique to the next step. The book shines in the details it provides and the very realistic parenting scenarios described. Although not fair to reduce the book to a one-sentence buzz line, Dr. Grosshans makes a persuasive argument that many families have an imbalance of power between the parents and the children. Children thrive when their parents exert their authority. Although this book is not expressly geared toward adoptive parents, I believe a parent that owns their authority and power is better able to foster attachment in their children and general well being within the family. You can listen to an interview with Dr. Grosshans on the Creating a Family Radio Show/Podcast.
The Soul of Discipline: The Simplicity Parenting Approach to Warm, Firm, and Calm Guidance – From Toddlers to Teens by Kim John Payne, M.Ed. – We loved the loving gentle wisdom of this parenting book. While not written specifically for adopted kids or children who have experienced trauma or neglect, this book is directly applicable to attachment style parenting. It flips the script on children’s challenging or defiant behavior and offers a simple plan to support parents in establishing loving, age-sensitive boundaries that help children feel safe and settled. In short: What looks like misbehavior is actually a child’s signal that they’re feeling lost, that they are trying to find direction and looking to their parents to guide them back on course. It is encouraging without expecting perfection of the parent or the child. You can listen to an interview with Kim John Payne on the Creating a Family Radio Show/Podcast.
Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles: Winning for a Lifetime by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka – Every one of Kurcinka’s books are great and this is no exception. In Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles, Kurcinka focuses on how to cope with the everyday challenges of disciplining your child, while understanding the issues behind his or her behavior. She offers unique approaches to solving the daily, and often draining, power struggles between you and your child, which she views as rich opportunities to teach your child essential life skills, like how to deal with strong emotions and problem solve. You can listen to an interview with Mary Sheedy Kurcinka on the Creating a Family Radio Show/Podcast.
Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka – This book offers ALL parents a glimpse into what makes their children behave the way they do. Through vivid examples and a refreshingly positive viewpoint, this invaluable guide offers parents emotional support and proven strategies for handling the toughest times. Dr. Kurcinka has devised a plan for success with a simple, four-step program that will help you discover the power of positive—rather than negative—labels, understand your child’s and your own temperamental traits, cope with tantrums and blowups when they do occur, develop strategies for handling mealtimes, bedtimes, holidays, school, and many other situations. This was one of the best books I read that seemed to fit my “high maintenance” kid. You can listen to an interview with Mary Sheedy Kurcinka on the Creating a Family Radio Show/Podcast.
Raising Adopted Children: Practical Reassuring Advice for Every Adoptive Parent by Lois Ruskai Melina – Written by an adoptive mother, Raising Adopted Children draws upon the latest research in psychology, sociology and medicine to guide parents through all stages of their adopted child’s development. It provides an overview of many of issues surrounding adoptive parenting such as attachment, contact with biological family and adopting older children, as well as answering parents’ most frequently asked questions. A fantastic resource!
Parenting in the Eye of the Storm: The Adoptive Parent’s Guide to Navigating the Teen Years by Katie Naftzger – An empathetic and heartfelt guide to your child’s teen years by adult adoptee and family therapist Katie Naftzger. Naftzger outlines the essential skills parents need to help your adopted teen confidently face the challenges of growing up and outlines four key goals for parents navigating the unique challenges adopted teens face: move from rescuing to responding, set adoption-sensitive limits and ground rules, have connecting conversations and help your teen envision their future. You can listen to an interview with Katie Naftzger on the Creating a Family Radio Show/Podcast.
Beneath the Mask: Understanding Adopted Teens by Debbie Riley, M.S. and John Meeks, M.D. – Working with adopted adolescents is complex. The key to successful therapy and healthy development is to help the adolescent discover and accept the person within. This book is aimed at helping adopted teens and strengthening the family unit. It offers a step-by-step assessment process, clinical intervention strategies, a wealth of case histories, treatment resources and therapy tools, and writing & art therapy samples. It also discusses the six most common adoption “stuck-spots” for adopted children as they age. You can listen to several interviews with Debbie Riley on the Creating a Family Radio Show/Podcast.
Lying up a Storm by Julia Cook- (Ages 5- 10) Talks about the temptation to lie and the problems with lying. Does so in a way that does not shame the child. Was suggested as a resource on the Creating a Family Radio Show on Handling Lying, Stealing, and Cheating Without Losing Your Cool.
Ricky Sticky Fingers by Julia Cook- (Ages 5-10) Deals with stealing without shaming. Uses empathy for how other feels as a way to teach that stealing is a bad idea. Was suggested as a resource on the Creating a Family Radio Show on Handling Lying, Stealing, and Cheating Without Losing Your Cool.
Healing Stories for Challenging Behaviour by Susan Perow- (Ages 4-10) Helps parents become storytellers to help their children understand the realities of challenging behaviors such as lying stealing and cheating. Was suggested as a resource on the Creating a Family Radio Show on Handling Lying, Stealing, and Cheating Without Losing Your Cool.
A Spoonful Of Stories: An A – Z Collection of Behavior Tales for Children (Book 1 and 2) by Susan Perow- (Ages 4-10) If becoming a story teller is a little intimidating and you’d rather use someone else’s stories to help build your child’s moral compass, then this is the book for you. Was suggested as a resource on the Creating a Family Radio Show on Handling Lying, Stealing, and Cheating Without Losing Your Cool.
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