Last month I only finished one book but it was a really really good one! I read The Danish Way of Parenting by Jessica Joelle Alexander and Iben Dissing Sandahl and seriously loved it so much. The book covers the obvious...the way Danish parents parent their children. Danish people tend to rank the highest on the world happiness scale and there must be a reason for it. In my December book review, I mentioned that I read The Little Book of Hygge and how it helped me to learn the Danish way of Hygge. I actually found out about this book thanks to The Little Book of Hygge!
The Danes have an acronym for their parenting theory, and it is PARENT. It stands for play, authenticity, reframing, empathy, no ultimatums, and togetherness. Each chapter explains the importance of each part of PARENT and how to incorporate it in to your parenting style and children's lifestyle. A short run down of it all is it is important to just let your kids play. Nothing fancy involved. Let them truly use their imagination and interact with each other. The act of authenticity is important in encouraging your kids to be comfortable in their own skin. Being true and authentic with them goes a long way for their self esteem and learning to trust you and others around them. Reframing helps kids learn how to deal with negative situations and life's disappointments. It basically is teaching them to always look on the bright side. Teaching empathy is so important early on because it really is a learned skill. In the end we all end up with kind and caring children. The no ultimatum part is essential to prevent power struggles and hopefully keep any resentment from building up between parent and child. And lastly togetherness is hygge. It is about spending time together as a family and creating a close bond between everyone in your household.
Guys, every word of this book resonated with me. I was basically nodding and saying "yep" the entire time I was reading it. I honestly agree with every single thing this book has to say with every fiber of my being. That's how much I loved it. As I've mentioned before, I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and this book is heavily based on a child's psyche. The PARENT philosophy fosters good and happy behavior in all children. Every aspect of PARENT is so important to helping our children grow in to kind, loving, and happy people. I have made a vow to myself to parent with PARENT every day. If I catch myself deviating from it, I make a mental note and reframe myself! I know I can personally work on being more empathetic and try harder to look on the bright side of things. It all starts with me as a mom and how I can be the best model for Kai. I personally feel like by parenting Kai with PARENT, I will only become a more loving and happy person myself! Now that to me is a huge win. I actually feel like it has helped me with any baby blues I was experiencing postpartum, too. Just by thinking about how I can look at the upside of something or empathize with whoever or whatever is upsetting me, I have been able to overcome a lot of difficult emotions. As Kai gets older, I'm looking forward to really incorporating PARENT in to our lives. He is already such a happy baby, and I'm so excited that I've found the tools to hopefully keep him that way forever!
You can buy The Danish Way of Parenting on Amazon.
Make sure you add me on Goodreads so we can be book buddies! I love seeing what you all are reading these days, too. I'm still currently reading Jane Eyre...give me a break, it's a long one! But I'm really enjoying it so far!
Happiest of Mondays to you all! We had a nice weekend relaxing and spending time with family. Kai is becoming more and more fun by the day! He's so much more alert and smiles so big when he looks at Caleb and I. He's started cooing and sometimes has a little cackle when he smiles. I know we still have some time before he laughs but I can't help but get so excited when he makes noises when he's smiling. We can tell he wants to laugh so bad, but we're not quite there yet. Soon enough though, right!?
So I read a couple of great books last month that I want to share with you all! I've really been enjoying non-fiction books lately, especially parenting books. I find them to be fascinating because the ones I've been diving in to are heavily psychology based. If you didn't know this about me, I actually have a BS degree in Psychology! I'm big on cognitive development and behavioral patterns, which I've got to say, has really worked in my favor with becoming a mom! Anyways, on to the books I read...
Bringing Up Bebe -Pamela Druckerman
This parenting book is about an American mom's experience of raising her children in Paris, France. She decided to write this book because she was fascinated with how well behaved Parisian children always are. She did a lot of research on French parenting and how and why it works so well. The book follows along mostly with her first daughter growing up and how French parents incorporate their techniques based on the child's age.
This book isn't a straight forward parenting guide, it's written like a French parenting book actually. French parenting books aren't designed to tell you exactly what to do every step of the way. They give theories and ideas for French parents to put to the test and figure out how they work best for you children. One of the biggest things this book promotes though is treating your children as functioning people. Even babies can comprehend what you're saying to them, so they are owed to be talked to like a human being. It's suggested to steer clear of lots of baby talk and treat them with respect. French children know that adults are in charge but when they feel respected they are more willing to cooperate for you. I really like this point in the book and 100% agree. Just because Kai can't speak to me, doesn't mean he isn't trying his best to listen to what I have to say. I've been trying to calmly talk to him, and I've really noticed, especially when he's crying really hard, that after a few seconds he starts to calm down and listen. He might not understand what I'm saying but because I'm talking to him like a human and not a cute puppy, he tends to settle and listen better. The book also dives in to a lot about self soothing and how it's important to start on that technique as early as possible, allowing children to play and use their imagination on their own without parent intervention, and helping your babies sleep through the night, all of which I find extremely important. I also really enjoyed how it touched on mom guilt and how French mothers are not ashamed of taking time to care for themselves. We all struggle with that mom guilt of wanting to take care of ourselves but not take time away from our kids, so to be told that it's ok to take time out of your day for you is really nice to read.
The downside to this book though is it obviously really favors Parisian culture. Unfortunately, the US government doesn't subsidize state run daycares that every parent wants their children to attend like the Paris government does. As awesome as this sounds, it's just not how things work here in America. It also talks about the difference in interaction between parent and child of French parents versus American parents. You can try all you want to be like the French parents at the playground but in the end we live in the US, and the way parents interact with their kids here is just how they interact. You can try to change how you do it, but you can't change everyone else.
I definitely recommend this book to all moms but with the point of keeping in mind that it doesn't all work here in the US. The author lives in Paris, we don't.
You can buy Bringing Up Bébé on Amazon.
The Little Book of Hygge -Meik Wiking
The Little Book of Hygge is a book all about the hygge way of life in Denmark. Denmark is repeatedly ranked as having the happiest people in the world, so they must be doing something right! Hygge is definitely the answer to why they are so happy. The author works for the Happiness Institute in Copenhagen and touches on all the different aspects of hygge. There isn't a clear cut translation for what hygge is in English, but the closet you can get is "a cozy lifestyle." The book goes in to the best way to achieve hygge with the importance of candles, togetherness, sweets & good food, and more. Each aspect is broken down in different chapters to thoroughly explain the importance of them to having hygge.
I absolutely loved this book. It is one of my favorite books ever. It made me so happy every morning to read it while sipping my coffee, having Kai in his baby wrap on me, and having some candles going with our fireplace lit. I looked forward to this ritual every morning and just by having this ritual made me feel like I was achieving hygge myself. I really liked how there are some recipes in the book for great food to make with friends and family that bring happiness as well as fun ideas of things to do to really enjoy that closeness with the important people in your life. They are all so simple, too. Hygge isn't about being extravagant and spending a lot of money. If anything, it's about being simple and enjoying what you have. If you are in need of a pick me up, I can't recommend this book enough. Like I said before, just reading it made me feel happier. I try to implement hygge in to my life every day now and I've got to say, I can feel the happiness inside me, which I hope to pass on to all those around me.
You can buy The Little Book of Hygge on Amazon.
I just started reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte! Have any of you read this classic? I can't wait to get further in to it. What are you all currently reading? Leave me a comment below and let me know!
Happy Hump Day, everyone! I hope you're having a great week! We're just trudging along with your typical newborn stuff. As soon as you think you've got things figured out...something changes! Kai went through his first growth spurt a couple days ago and wow, it was a tough long day and night. The next day was pretty wonderful though because he slept sooo well! However, today is Caleb's first day back at work, and I'm a little nervous for it. Thankfully my mother in law is still visiting and isn't leaving until this afternoon, so I still have one last day of help. Tomorrow though, Kai and I are on our own and it's going to be an interesting day, but we'll get through it just fine!
So last month I was only able to get through one book since the end of the month was pretty crazy with giving birth to Kai. But the one book that I did finish was a really good one and here are my thoughts...
Capital Gaines -Chip Gaines
I really enjoy reading autobiographies and motivational books, and Capital Gaines was basically a hybrid of these two kinds of non-fiction books. Chip told lots of stories about his past and how his experiences helped mold him in to being the successful business man, boss, and father that he is today. He was honest about everything that goes on with Fixer Upper and Magnolia and how it's not all bows and rainbows yet he still keeps the tone of the book upbeat and motivating.
This book wasn't what I expected it to be but I really loved it. I looked forward to reading it every day and every time I would sit down to read it, it motivated me to be the best version of myself in all areas of life. I laughed a lot while reading it, which is to be expected because I think Chip is hilarious on Fixer Upper. I also really loved the way he spoke about Joanna throughout the book. The love he has for his wife makes my heart swell. I love their partnership and it's so motivating for my own marriage. I am definitely going to miss Fixer Upper when it ends after this season, but hopefully Chip and Joanna will continue to put out great things in this world like Capital Gaines. I highly recommend reading this book, especially if you are in a funk and need a good read to kick start some motivation in your life!
You can buy Capital Gaines on Amazon.
I am currently reading Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman and I'm almost done with it! I will definitely share my thoughts on it next month in my book review for February with all of you. What are you currently reading? Leave me a comment below!
Happy Monday, everyone! We made it through the first week of 2018! I hope you all had a warm and cozy weekend with all the crazy weather we've been having in the States. Saturday was still freezing here and that was the day we had our maternity photoshoot scheduled for. My body was numb by the end of the it but it was so worth it because I know those photos are going to hold a special place in our hearts forever. I can't wait to see them and share them all with you! Other than that we ran some errands, which if you live in the Chicagoland area, the World Market in Northbrook is closing and everything is on sale right now! I've been twice in the last week and have found some really awesome stuff for our house, so if you have the time, go check it out...their last day open is January 20th. Yesterday we had a nice quiet day in with our family and played Monopoly. I love game nights so much and am really looking forward to having them with our kids for years to come.
So one of my favorite hobbies is reading and I really love to share what I've read with everyone! I thought I'd start a little book review series every month on what I read the previous month, so we'll start now with what I read this past December.
For Whom the Bell Tolls -Ernest Hemingway
I love a good classic, and I think we can all attest that anything written by Hemingway falls in to the category of being a GREAT classic. Not going to lie, I'd been reading this book for awhile, but it wasn't because it was bad. It was just a mixture of not being able to read every day and it being a bit long.
The plot of the novel is set during the Spanish Civil War where an American is helping to fight with the republic. The American, Robert Jordan, is supposed to help a band of republic fighters blow up a bridge during an attack on the city of Segovia. The novel tells of his journey on how he formulates his plan to proceed with his orders while he has a budding romance with a woman who is a part of the Spanish group he is working with.
I really loved this novel. It kept me intrigued the entire time, and I was always excited to pick it up and read more. I wouldn't say it was the ultimate page turner where I couldn't put it down, but I definitely didn't dread picking it up either. If you like war stories and romance, this is a great pick for you!
Buy For Whom the Bell Tolls on Amazon.
On Becoming Baby Wise -Gary Ezzo & Robert Buckman
I've recently switched over to more parenting reading material over pregnancy material. As I'm coming to the end of my pregnancy, I've wanted to prepare myself for the next stage...raising our baby! I had been recommend this parenting book by multiple people, so I figured I would give it a quick read and see how I felt about it. Well I can tell you this much, I already feel great about it and Nugget hasn't even been born yet!
This book uses the parenting philosophy called PDF (Parent Directed Feeding). To put it simply, this is what it promotes; you feed your baby, you have wake time with your baby, you let your baby sleep. It's a very simple and natural routine. As time goes on, you start to lessen the amount of feedings and naps to get them to eventually sleep throughout the entire night. The goal is to have your baby sleeping 8 hours by the time they are 8-12 weeks old.
So as you can imagine, that would be any parents dream and from the statistics in the book as well as what I've heard first hand from friends who have followed this parenting style...it works! Not only does it sound extremely appealing to have our child sleeping through the night by the time I go back to work so that I'm getting a decent amount of sleep, I think the most important thing is that he is getting the proper amount of sleep, too. We all need a good nights sleep for cognitive development, so if this philosophy is going to help our baby get the proper development he needs, I am definitely on board. I also love a schedule. It makes me feel more comfortable to try to have our baby on the same routine over and over again so that we'll both get the hang of things. Practice makes perfect, right? I believe being on such a great schedule will also help promote my breastmilk production and cause less stress when it comes to that aspect of being mother, too. This is all just speculation though! I will be sure to do an update post on how this PDF philosophy actually plays out for our family and let you know our personal experiences and struggles with it.
You can buy On Becoming Baby Wise on Amazon.
I'm currently reading Capital Gaines by Chip Gaines and I can't wait to share my thoughts on it with all of you next month! What are you currently reading? Leave me a comment below! Also, if any of you use Goodreads you should add me as a friend, so we can keep up with what we're all reading together!
I’m Diana; curator & author of Tiny Dapper Fox. Here you’ll find posts on motherhood, home life, travel, & fashion/beauty as well as City Guides for places all around the world. Make yourself cozy and let’s be friends!
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