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Parenting books – do they help or hinder?

throw away parenting booksOK, hear me out, I’m not saying we should all burn every book on parenting and pregnancy, because they do hold so much valuable information, but how can we navigate through them?

Think about it, you’re walking through the parenting and pregnancy section of a book store and there they are, the endless supply of information, from how you can raise your child to the different birthing techniques.

You mistakenly pick up a book on labour and give it a quick flick through… big mistake. There it is, a picture of something that looks like kitchen tongs apparently being used down there?! In a fit of shock and horror you throw the book back on the shelf and hastily make for the exit, wondering how much you don’t know and will you ever understand what is going on.

So are these books doing more harm than good?

A lot of new parents believe they are, some even wishing they hadn’t read them at all. This is due to overwhelming information that quickly becomes daunting and deters parents from these books altogether.

Alternatively parents are turning to respected family members and friends to discuss what areas they need more information in.

So is it time to put the books down?

Unless you have a set idea of the information you want to know, it may be beneficial to stop reading and perhaps talk to your doctor to find out what area you would like more information in. If you attack a parenting book without the goal of what you hope to find, you may stray off course and end up getting confused about something that previously made perfect sense.

An easier way to look at the daunting selection is to cut pregnancy and parenting books into four categories.

  1. Starting with conception, this range will help you better understand what is happening or alternatively, what is not, and what you can do about it. These books are more detailed than the beginning chapters of many pregnancy books, and will be very beneficial to those who are having some difficulties.
  2. Next is antenatal and prenatal. These provide you with information of the pregnancy and pre birth, be warned this is a large section and will host a lot of information, so stick to the more basic books, and gather more information as you need.
  3. Then we have the post-natal section, this is related to the period after childbirth. You can expect some of this to be covered in most pregnancy books, although some are tailored to this specific period, with detailed information about sleeping routines, breast feeding, formulas etc.
  4. Finally we reach parenting, here you will find information on how to raise children and different methods and techniques that are available. Ultimately you will need to have a clear question in mind for these books, does your child wet the bed? Is getting them to eat vegetables a nightmare? Will you ever sleep again?

Within these four there are endless sub-categories of special interest, these are valuable for those with a specific area of concern and are best approached with a specific goal in mind.

The idea of books has always been to educate, but somewhere along the way, people found hundreds of thousands of different ways to help relate to you and your experience. These books are beneficial and each and every one serves a particular purpose, however as we are already limited for time, it has become somewhat of a burden.

If you take the simple approach and read what you need to, and discuss with your doctor your area of concern, you will be able to navigate through the endless selections, and hopefully will come out feeling pleasantly informed.

At least that’s one area that is made a little bit easier.

, auremar/123RF Stock Photo

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