Please welcome author, podcaster, and speaker Cindy Wang Brandt today. We are giving away 3 copies of her book, Parenting Forward: How to Raise Children with Justice, Mercy and Kindness.
How do we build a better world? One key way, says Cindy Wang Brandt, is by learning to raise our children with justice, mercy, and kindness.
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I read an article the other day that essentially said something like all parents are winging it and that reading parenting books is actually BAD for parents because it makes them feel like they’re not doing enough. As in all genres, there are good and bad parenting books, but to wholesale critique parenting books by saying they are damaging, admittedly bruises my own ego as I have written a parenting book, but also dismisses many wonderful works by thought leaders in parenting spaces. Parenting authors write because we genuinely want to help make parents and children’s lives better, and some of us are very successful at doing just that.
5 Empowering Parenting Books
Here is a list of five parenting books that have been paradigm shifting for me as a parent and a great resource as I wrote my parenting book. They all have the capacity to strategically change the way you parent your children and promote their human flourishing. None heap shame or guilt, they are empathetic voices to parents, empowering you to extend love and compassion into your parenting.
Parenting for a Peaceful World by Robin Grill
This book masterfully argues the strategy of parenting as the key to sustaining world peace. And this isn’t being hyperbolic or snarky. Robin Grill shows his receipts on research proving inherent links between healthy emotional treatment of children to peaceful societies. For me, it validated my instinct of parenting as a key strategy in social justice, and that the foundation of building a just world begins and is informed by treating children justly.
Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne
My parenting book is concerned with children’s spirituality, and reading this book made me realize our parental responsibility to declutter our children’s schedules in order to make space for them to access their own spirituality. It made me aware of the forces acting against our children that have been normalized by our increasingly frantic pace of life. It was a giant permission slip to slow down and enjoy the present moments with our kids.
The Spiritual Child by Lisa Miller
Science and religion are often at odds in the culture war rhetoric of politics, but they become allies in Dr. Lisa Miller’s book on the science of spirituality in raising children. I grew up religious and later realized there was a lot of toxicity in the fundamentalism of my childhood faith. Sometimes it is tempting to raise my own kids far away from any institutional religion just so they would not be harmed in the same way. But Dr. Miller argues spirituality contributes to the health and well being of our children, and she helpfully lays out the how-tos of healthy spirituality. And it’s backed by science!
Raising White Kids by Jennifer Harvey
This is a fantastic primer on anti-racist work for all people, not just parents, even though it is written for parents of white kids. The reality of racism is that it doesn’t happen overnight, it is embedded in all the subtle and blatant forces in everyday family life that a child absorbs day in and day out. In order to make meaningful resistance in a racially unjust society, raising white kids is a must-read to expand our imagination on how to dismantle white supremacy.
Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle
This isn’t a parenting book, it’s actually about marriage. But like any good memoir, it reaches deep into our universal experiences of being human. I include this book on my list because I found it was especially poignant for raising children with gender equality. Glennon has two girls and a boy, she has since divorced her husband and married a woman, so her insights on gender, gender identity, womanhood, and parenting is an invaluable contribution to the conversation on raising feminists.
Now that I’ve finished my list, I’m realizing all five of these are by white authors. This needs to change. If anyone knows of good parenting books by people of color, please let me know. In the meantime, I’ve humbly written one of my own, and would love to give three copies away!
3 Book GIVEAWAY of Parenting Forward: How to Raise Children with Justice, Mercy and Kindness
Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter. We can only mail to U.S. addresses.
Cindy Wang Brandt is an author, podcaster, and speaker. Her book, Parenting Forward: How to Raise Children with Justice, Mercy and Kindness, will be published in February 2019. She’s the founder of the popular Facebook group, Raising Children Unfundamentalist. She writes at cindywangbrandt.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.