One of the exciting (and unexpected) privileges of writing Minimalist Parenting has been the feeling of joining a conversation already in progress. This shouldn’t come as a surprise–after all, what is blogging and social media if not conversation? But when I was a new mom, that’s not how it felt. Parenting books and magazines and their credentialed authors perched on their pedestals, and the rest of us sat at their feet and read along. There was no Twitter, Facebook, GoodReads or blogosphere to bridge the distance.
Today, parenting advice feels more like a back-and-forth exchange between writers and readers. There’s room for tweaking, disagreement, and reality checks. The sheer volume of information causes its own problem, but at least there’s a place to talk about it.
What’s more, the tone of many modern parenting advice books has changed. Real-world experience, individual choices, and the acceptance of imperfection permeates these books. They inspire confidence, as opposed to undermining a new parent’s emerging gut sense of things (which is the MOST important skill for a new parent to hone).
I suspect the reason these books resonate with me is because of the parenting experience I already have. Had I read them at the beginning of my parenting life I might not have been able to appreciate their wisdom. Nonetheless, I’m glad these books are here now, so those just starting out can hear the message that they already have within them all they need to grow into amazing parents.
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Is there a parenting book you found particularly comforting or helpful as a new parent? Tell us about it in the comments.
Asha Dornfest is the co-author of Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More By Doing Less and the publisher of Parent Hacks, a site crammed with tips for making family life easier.