For anyone looking for more information on positive parenting, there are tons of resources available. I think I subscribe to all of them. No, I’m just kidding. In fact, I know there are many more resources out there than I am currently aware because it seems like every day I discover a new one. I’ll read a book I hadn’t heard of before, or become a new fan of someone’s Facebook page. Add it to the list. While I don’t love every site out there, I find that if the authors truly understand the philosophy of unconditional, relationship-based parenting, they are all usually at least a little bit helpful.
But I do have my favorites, and I want to share some with you. If you haven’t heard of these resources before, go check them out. If you are already fans, fantastic (yes, pun intended). And if you have a positive parenting resource that you like that is not on my list here, even more fantastic…stick with it, and I’m glad it’s helping you. Feel free to let me know what it is; it might already be somewhere on my list, or might become my new “like” today.
These are just my favorites; the ones that helped me the most in learning positive parenting, and the ones that I continue to enjoy:
Associations. These are organizations that offer a variety of different services such as classes, support groups, training, conferences, teleseminars, podcasts, publications, online forums, etc. It’s helpful to at least subscribe to the email lists of these organizations, and membership is a plus.
- Attachment Parenting International
- Positive Discipline Association
- Center for Nonviolent Communication
Books. I’ve read many, and these are my favorites, in no particular order:
- Unconditional Parenting, by Alfie Kohn
- Hold On to Your Kids, by Gordon Neufeld
- Nonviolent Communication, by Marshall Rosenberg
- Connection Parenting, by Pam Leo
- Kids Are Worth It, by Barbara Coloroso
- Playful Parenting, by Lawrence Cohen
- Positive Discipline, by Jane Nelsen
- Attached at the Heart, by Barbara Nicholson and Lysa Parker
- How to Talk so Kids Will Listen, by Adele Faber and Elizabeth Mazlish
Programs. These are training programs; classes you can take to learn a particular approach to parenting, usually based on a book. They are taught by local, certified trainers.
- Positive Discipline; based on Positive Discipline by Jane Nelsen
- Nonviolent Communication; based on Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg
- Parent Effectiveness Training; Based on Parent Effectiveness Training by Thomas Gordon
- Connective Parenting; based on When Kids Push Your Buttons by Bonnie Harris
- Parenting by Connection; from Hand in Hand, founded by Patty Wipfler
Discussion Groups. There was a time when I belonged to 17 Yahoo parenting discussion groups. This was back when Yahoo was “in” for social media and discussions. Now I’ve moved over to Facebook for most of my group conversations, but I still have a few Yahoo groups on my list (none of which happen to be parenting-related anymore, and all of which seem pretty antiquated).
With all of my online discussion groups, I read far more than I post. But that’s just me. I’m a pretty quiet person in general, and in real-life-groups I listen more than I talk. 🙂 But when I was beginning my parenting journey, I loved knowing that whenever I did have a question or frustration to share, there was a group of like-minded moms available online to ask.
If you’re learning about positive parenting, I encourage you to find a discussion group to join. It helps so much to be able to have somewhere to ask questions, gain perspective, and hear examples from others. What’s most important is the expertise of the blog/ page/ forum owner(s) and the tone that is set for the discussions. Here are some options:
- Positive Parenting Toddlers and Beyond; A Facebook page that is dedicated to questions & answers
- Positive Discipline Discussion Forum; A formal and well-organized discussion forum hosted by Jane Nelsen of the Positive Discipline Association
- Facebook pages; you can post a question on almost any group’s wall and get responses from other members or the page owner. You can also participate in conversations on other people’s posts.
- Blogs; Conversations can occur in the comment section of any blog. This, of course, depends on the size of the readership (only a small percentage of any blog’s readers post comments), as well as the dedication of the blogger (meaning, do they ever intend to respond to comments on the blog? Many bloggers adopt a “talk amongst yourselves” approach). Bloggers all have different styles, intentions, and levels of readership, so comment conversations will certainly vary. The point is, comment bars can be a helpful place to ask and answer.
Blogs. I subscribe to a bunch of positive parenting blogs, but these are the ones I enjoy a lot and get the most out of:
- Dr. Laura Markham of Aha! Parenting
- Scott Noelle and his Daily Groove
- Driving Lessons, written by Lu Hanessian, author of Let the Baby Drive
- Positive Parenting Toddlers and Beyond, written by Becky Eanes, mother of two.
- Bonnie Harris; of Connective Parenting.
These are a few resources in a variety of categories to get you started, but like I said, there’s more. Chances are, if you look into some of these, you’ll find others (programs, classes, books, blogs) that you’ll like, too. For now, happy reading, and here’s to parenting mindfully.