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I need book suggestions

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  • I need book suggestions

    I'm looking for books that might give me some insight into my four year old son. I'm finding him quite bratty and when I start to use words like bratty it's time for me to hit the books again. (not that I'd ever say it front of him)

    Some of our issues include whinning, fascination with guns/cannons/etc., taking a long time to comply with reasonable requests, getting wild and defiant when peers are around. (As far as the guns are concerned we've tried really hard not to expose him to this kind of thing but there is always something that slips through. Water guns at a friend's birthday party, movies at a friends house, older kids playing with guns at the park. etc. etc. He's not crazily fixated or anything but it's definetly something he's interested in.)

    Any suggestions?


  • #2
    i don't know what you've read so far, but my personal favs are below:

    1. Non-Violent Communication
    2. Raising Children Compassionately
    3. Unconditional Parenting
    4. Connection Parenting

    w/your son, i'd start by trying to identify the need that is underlying the behaviors. what need is he trying to satisfy? what are your particular needs for each situation? how can you both work together so that both of your needs are fulfilled?


    • #3
      I've read "Unconditional Parenting" which really affected how I parent my son. I'm currently reading "Non-Violent Communication" which I like but I'm not sure how I'm going to make the leap from reading about it to actually doing.

      I'll definetly check out the other two as well. I've heard them mentioned a fair bit on this site.

      Does anyone know if there are any books that specifically talk about what is developmentally normal at certain ages?



      • #4
        i agree, implementing NVC can seem overwhelming. but don't give up! take it one step at a time.

        as far as developmental books, i'm not sure exactly what you are looking for. there are certainly ones that cover physical and developmental milestones, but are you looking more for those that talk about "whining, guns, complying w/requests"?


        • #5
          When I was expecting my DD I read a book called What's going on in there. I do not remember the author's name but she is (was at the time of print) a mom to 3 and a neuroscientist that studied brain plasticity(how we learn, relearn, etc). It's a bit hard core on the science, but she discussed the neuronal development of children from conception through about age 12, as I recall. It was in this book that I first read that children undergoing "developmental leaps" are not only emotionally reorganizing, they are literally undergoing a reorganization of the neuronal connections in the brain! No wonder my DD is SOO impossible for the 6 weeks it usually takes her! I doubt this book will help with any specific behaviors but it may give you a better insight into what exactly IS going on in there.
          Carrie - Anna's mommy


          • #6
            Paxmamma I guess I'm looking for a Developmental Milestone type book. For instance, most of my son's male friends also are into guns, seem to be trying to understand death, are enthralled with good guys and bad guys. I think this type of behaviour is developmentally related and I was hoping that there was a book that would help make some sense of it.

            I've found a book that sounds like it may be what I'm looking for. It's called "Your Four-Year-Old: Wild and Wonderful" by Louise Bates Ames. Described thusly:

            What is it about four-year-olds that makes them so lovable? What problems do four-year-olds have? What can they do now that they couldn't do at three? Drs. Ames and Ilg, recognized authorities on child behavior and development, discuss these and scores of other questions unique to four-year-old girls and boys, and they offer parents practical advice and enlightening psychological insights.

            I doesn't sound very AP but I may still read it and ignore any encouragements to spank etc.

            cmsobleo I will try and look at the book you mentioned as well. Sounds like it may help me in my quest as well.

            Thanks for your help. I'll keep you posted.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Jessica View Post
              Paxmamma I guess I'm looking for a Developmental Milestone type book. For instance, most of my son's male friends also are into guns, seem to be trying to understand death, are enthralled with good guys and bad guys. I think this type of behaviour is developmentally related and I was hoping that there was a book that would help make some sense of it.
              i've participated in other discussion about this recently. i have 2 boys and don't believe that playing w/guns is "developmental". cultural? yes. developmental? no. i wouldn't allow my son to play w/them b/c someone told me it was developmental, rather, i'd address the need behind his wanting to play w/them. i tell my son there is no such thing as "bad guys". everyone does things they shouldn't, but we all deserve love. i just read this yesterday in "Parenting From Your Heart". Inbal Kashtan laments about her son wanting to read about swordplay related to medieval times:

              "Yet NVC suggests that behind every strategy, however ineffective, tragic, violent, or abhorrent to us, is an attempt to meet a need. This notion turns on its head the dichotomy of "good guys" and "bad guys" and focuses our attention on the human being behind every action. When we understand the needs that motivate our own and others' behavior, wehave no enemies. We can see the humanity in every person, even if we find his or her behavior deeply disturbing. With our tremendous resources and creativity, we can and - I hope - we will find new strategies for meeting all our needs."


              • #8
                PaxMamma I fear you may be misunderstanding me (or I may be misunderstanding you). In seeking to understand what is behind my son's behaviour I'm not trying to justify violent behaviour or play. I'm not trying to condone discriminatory classifications of people into good, bad or other. I certainly tell my son that people are good. If we come across someone that has behaved badly we discuss what might have happened to cause that fundamentally good person to engage in the bad behavior. My son would not be described by anyone as a violent child. In fact, he is usally described as kind, gentle and sweet. But, I do want to address behaviours I see coming out in his and others play. It is my wish for him to become a peaceful adult.

                I can't prevent him from playing with weapons because I can't remove every stick, rock, pillow, and pot lid from the world. When he insists on playing with imaginary weapons I try and play with him. In doing so, I try and help him expand his play, learn new things, and take on different points of view. (I believe this approach to "gun-type" play is what is described in the book "Playful Parenting")

                I really feel I cannot remove all violent imagery/incidents from his life. I do my best to limit these as much as possible but we are regularily exposed to violence of some kind. Going to a restaurant, museum, library, playground and riding on the ferry have all exposed him to violence. Our culture's history and literature is full of violent themes and ideas, good guys and bad guys. Is much of my son's violent play the result of socialization? Absolutely, I have no doubt. But I suspect that there is also something going on developmentally that is causing an interest in this sort of information at his current age. This is what I'm seeking to understand.

                I remain open to the fact that something I am doing to him or am failing to protect him from is causing this behaviour. But, on the other hand, I refuse to torture myself or overly restrict my family's behaviour because of that possibility. While we are by no means the perfect parents and there has been some yelling, we have faithfully followed an AP style of parenting. There is no reason for me to immediately think he is not whole and healthy. While I do not find his behaviour acceptable or desirable, I do not think it is necessarily pathological.

                Despite the fact than I have spent considerable time explaning to him that there aren't "good" people and "bad people" he continues to avidly make that distinction. In looking at developmental issues I'm trying to understand why he persists in certain ways of thinking. Not to justify his behaviour but to help me teach him. (And, if I'm remembering that child pyschology course I took in university correctly, it's typical for children classify things as a way to understand them. And initially, the classification is very black and white, giving way to a more complex understanding of issues once this "black/white" foundation has been laid.)

                Thanks for listening.

                Sorry about he grammar and spelling, they're not my strength.


                • #9
                  i apologize if i miscommunicated, but i never meant to imply or believe that you're trying to justify gun play, etc. and i certainly did not mean to imply judgment of your son's character, either. i only offered my comments as a distinction between culture and development. i totally agree that exploring the need underneath is the issue. that's what i was trying to say.

                  i certainly hope that you are not torturing yourself, that would only reinforce violence . none of us are perfect, for sure, and i admire your introspection. while i don't wholly agree w/Playful Parenting, i don't believe you should go out of your way (and your mind) trying to shield him from all types of violence.

                  okay, hope that clarifies, or does it muddy the water further?


                  • #10
                    water is cleared