Deliberate Self-Help Mothering + Book Reviews

It’s a good word: deliberate. I really like what it makes me feel like when I say it. It makes me feel planned, dependable, organized, ready, proactive, and motivated. When I use this as the adjective before mothering it is a bit overwhelming too! But I still like it nonetheless. Something I love to do for a past time is read a lot of self-help books. I’ve decided that the reason I like it so much is because I take my job as a mother very seriously and I’m always looking for ways to perfect it. Since circumstances and needs of 5 children are ever changing, I’m sure that it is a quest and need that will never go away. I love being a mom, but it is stinking hard. HARD! I didn’t know it would be such a challenge when I signed onto the job as a new mom at age 21; but if it wasn’t such a challenge I’m certain the joy and rewards, when they come, wouldn’t feel as amazing! I’ve learned through the course of my study and planning that parenting/mothering is not for wimps. I have to be strong and not care when my child says, “I hate you” or glares at me then rolls her eyes. I can’t take it personal when the tantrums, pouting, and sulking pour out abundantly, nor be humiliated and embarrassed when mistakes happen in public and both of us forget the things we know we should do. I just have to say that what I do know for sure is that I am an imperfect mother who loves her imperfect children. The family quest is to be our best selves (whatever it is for the given day). This sure is a healthy approach and I will need to refer back to this paragraph when the pressure is turned on again and emotions are flaring. 🙂

As stated above, I have sort of an obsession with self-help kinds of books. Again as I think about this, I’m always trying to look for ways to make what I do everyday better. I also like to have fresh and new ideas to try and see what possibilities are out there. I also enjoy learning and seeing things from many different perspectives. So I would like to take a second and give a shout out to some great books that I’ve gleaned ideas from through the past years.


#1 – First off the bat, I cannot stress enough the importance it has been for me to read the scriptures! When I read from the scriptures I am inspired by the kinds of parents found in there. The amount of faith needed many years ago is probably the same amount of faith that I need now to teach my children the ways of God. Through reading the scriptures I understand my own nothingness and the need for acknowledging that these children in my home are actually God’s children – that they are on loan to me here on earth. With this in mind it becomes paramount that I use the life-line that prayer can be in giving me the inspiration needed to reach the spirits that have come to live in my home. If I can keep focused on where we all came from and what our purpose and goal is in being here, I will be able to be like the parents I read about in the scriptures. Right now my favorite advice given in the Book of Mormon is from Lehi. It is found in 1 Nephi 8:37-38, it is a great couple of verses, but the last line says it all for ME personally, “and he did cease speaking to them.” LOVE this advice. Sometimes I just need to trust my kids after I’ve said & done all I can, then let them decide for themselves.

#2, #3, #4 – Three books from Richard and Linda Eyre: The Entitlement Trap, Teaching your Children Values, and How to talk to your child about sexThe Entitlement Trap came at a time in my life when I needed to learn about teaching and expecting ownership in my children – ownership is the remedy to entitlement. I needed to know that when they make mistakes it is good and ok for them to own up to them and I don’t have to take them on and feel the guilt from them. I also learned that ownership is linked to many different life experiences, such as: our health, money, testimonies, relationships, etc… The book, Teaching your Children Values gives parents the idea of focusing on specific values each month for a year. Honesty is the first value and we learned that honesty is the foundation of all other principles. I LOVED teaching this and focusing on it and now we are building. This month we are teaching about peace-ability – something that our home could greatly benefit from. I typed & printed off the suggested monthly word and magnetized it to our fridge where it can be stared at every time we eat as a reminder. How to Teach your Child about Sex – a super uncomfortable and awkward subject before reading the book and a less super uncomfortable and awkward subject afterward. It gives great dialoguing and suggestions to teach appropriate ways to explain where babies come from.  It treats the subject as “the most wonderful beautiful and awesome thing in the world” – I think that is cool. If you think about it, it really shouldn’t be embarrassing, we need to be the ones to teach this NOT the radio, TV/movies, friends, school, or internet. I want my kids to know they can talk to Stephen and I about this and that we treat this subject as respectful, special, wonderful, and sacred.

#5 – The Child Whisperer – by, Carol Tuttle. This book has really given me a new way to look at all people not just my children. Carol Tuttle teaches that we all are born with a “nature” something we generally call our personality and that our nature and facial/body features are connected. She has broken it down into four “types” – very much like the color-code book (think red, blue, white, & yellow) but on a much deeper level. I really appreciated reading this book! It helps me be much more patient and understanding as a parent. It helps give me ideas of ways to connect with the different needs/natures of my children and reasons to why they behave and act certain ways. It also empowers me with what I can do to support them in living true to who they are. I also learned a lot about myself and am more gentle, accepting, and content with my own “Type 4/1” nature. I don’t feel such a need to try to be like “so and so”, but just focus on being my best self. If we were all the same it would be a boring world. I like how this book teaches us to appreciate the wonderful attributes that others have to offer and be ok with ourselves.

#6 – The Parenting Breakthrough, by Merrilee Browne Boyak. I LOVE this book – it is my most recent read. It gives the reader great ideas on why its important to have kids work! She explains that when kids learn how to work, and provide for themselves and acquire other necessary life skills they need to know before they are 18 and leave our homes,  that they will have more confidence and better self-respect and esteem.  She has a comical way of taking the reader through the book so it is light hearted, yet important. She comes across as a REAL mother, even though she clearly has it all together. Favorite things from this book are the idea of creating a family time line, not being afraid to have tough love and expect kids to work, and teaching skills that will in turn give our children the confidence they need to navigate life when they leave the comforts of our home and need to be independent. I highly recommend that ALL parents read this book.

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