Parenting Resources

Thought it was high time we take a stab at sharing some recommendations for parenting resources. At the moment, I’m thinking primarily of websites and books, but any and all suggestions are welcome.

Do you frequent any parenting websites? Here are three that I regularly visit and/or have come highly recommended…

Parent Pages
This wonderful website, billed as “resources for pregnancy, childbirth and parenting young children in Taiwan,” has about 400 registered users posting in its Family Forum, which includes discussion areas for Childcare & Education, Parenting, Life in Taiwan, Just for Fun, Travel, Virtual Library, Book Discussion, Pregnancy and Childbirth, Breastfeeding, Nutrition & Recipes, General Health & Wellness, Hospitals & Doctors, Buy / Sell, Where can I find…, Store Specials, Miscellany, Calendar, and Announcement & Feedback. There are also baby blogs, articles, reviews of shops, parks, and play spaces, and links to other resources. Check it out!

From the folks at Parenting magazine, features Pregnancy, Baby, Child, and Mom areas with online articles covering everything from Activities to Weight Issues and information on eating, behavior, lifestyle, health, etc. The Buying Guide area includes Toy Hall of Fame, Toys of the Year, Books of the Year, and a Baby Gear Guide. Parenting
A nice site developed by the BBC with several articles in sections on TV and radio, Having a baby, Kids, Dads, Family Matters, Play, Childcare, Video, Q&A, Work, Learning, Support, and an Interactive Area.

Have some parenting books you’d recommend? My parenting shelf has been slowly but steadily growing over the years. Admittedly it’s not the sort of reading I tend to do cover-to-cover, but I do regularly pick up one of the titles below and read a chapter or two – and always come away with new insights. While I don’t know which if any of these titles are available in Taiwan (I’ve been carting mine here from back home), here’s my personal Top 10…

1. What to Expect When You’re Expecting & What to Expect in the First Year
from the What to Expect series (Arlene Eisenberg, Heidi E. Murkoff, and Sandee E. Hathaway, 2002, 2003)
I highly recommend these books (I also have What to Expect the Toddler Years, but don’t particularly care for it – there are better resources below). I’ve recently gone through Expecting for the second time, and really love its sections on diet, labor and delivery, and postpartum (not to mention the chapter on fatherhood); the month-by-month chapter approach; and special sections on weight gain, exercise, medication, and special concerns – the book has really helped to ease our minds and prepare for what to, um, expect. I’m now re-reading The First Year and remembering what a great resource it is, too.

2. The Pregnancy Book & The Baby Book
from the Sears Parenting Library (William and Martha Sears, 1997, 2003)
To be honest, these are so similar to the above two titles that you probably only need choose one or the other (my own preference for What to Expect is just a judgment call). There are, however, many, many other wonderful Sears titles, such as The Birth Book, The Breastfeeding Book, The Fussy Baby Book, The Discipline Book, The A.D.D. Book, and The Family Nutrition Book. Sears and Sears also publish several mini “FAQ books,” like How to Get Your Baby to Sleep and Keeping Your Baby Healthy.

3. Ages & Stages (Charles E. Schaefer and Theresa For DiGeronimo, 2002)
One of my favorite parenting books, mostly because of its compact size, clear writing, and focus. While there are a zillion titles out there on physiology-behavior aspects of child development, this book focuses on psychological development. In fact, in each of four age ranges (0-18 months, 18-36 months, 36 months to age 6, and 6-10), discussion is broken into five areas of psychological health: emotional health, cognitive development, family and peer relationships, personal growth, and character formation. The book also suggests lots of activities for stimulating psychological development and includes “science to take home” sidebars with recent research findings.

4. Proactive Parenting: Guiding Your Child From Two to Six (Faculty of Tufts University’s Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development, 2003)
This amazing book is a collection of essays divided into two sections: Children and Parents in Relationships (conflict resolution, behavior problems, physical closeness and affection, the importance of friendship) and Children and Parents as Learners (home as the first school, the importance of play, communication, writing and reading, electronic media). Each essay includes several vignettes (many of which I can identify with either as a parent or from my own upbringing) and discusses strategies for dealing with each. Some essays are based on a particular model: Fred Rothbaum’s essay on conflict, for example, is based on the “family system approach,” in which you consider variables such as your relationship with your partner, your children’s relationships with each other, family routines, and the influence of relatives and friends, rather than just limiting focus on your one-on-one relationship with your child.

5. The Yale Child Study Center Guide to Understanding Your Child: Healthy Development from Birth to Adolescence (Linda C. Mayes and Donald J. Cohen, 2003)
This 500+ page tome covers an incredible range of topics. Its chapters are broken up into 7 major sections: preparing to be a parent (making the decision, practical realities, course of pregnancy, etc.), child development (genetics, brain development), body functions (motor skills, eating, sleeping, gender), cognitive development (play, language, books, school), social development (feelings, violence, exercise, family culture, morality), developmental “bumps” (both parents working, child care, siblings, separation anxiety), and unpredictable troubles (illness, mental health, divorce, death, and sexuality). This is definitely a “chapter once in a while” book.

6. Your Child: Emotional, Behavioral, and Cognitive Development from Birth to Preadolescence (American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 2000)
This book is divided into four parts: the Life of a Child (chapters on development in infancy through elementary school years), Day-to-Day Problem Behaviors (home challenges, school, chronic illness), Serious Problems and Abnormalities (emotional disorders, sleep disorders, developmental disorders), and Seeking Help. Also has nice appendices on medications and developmental tests. While its tone might seems more geared toward clinical problems, it does contain a wealth of useful information, and it helps to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to psychological notions of “normality.”

7. Nurtured by Love: The Classic Approach to Talent Education (Shinichi Suzuki, 1986)
The founder of the Suzuki Method (the guy who got 3–5 year olds playing violin concertos at concerts – if you’ve seen School of Rock, most of those kids were Suzuki Method students). While I don’t necessarily care for his musical taste, Suzuki’s educational philosophy – that any talent can be developed in any child from a very young age – is fascinating. Using language acquisition as a springboard, he talks about the value of daily exposure and practice (and discusses how “years of study” is meaningless next to, say, “hours of study”). Definitly food for thought. Although it repeats some of the above, also see Ability Development from Age Zero (1999).

8. Child Development (Laura E. Berk, 2006)
A PhD in Early Childhood Education friend swung me a copy of this comprehensive, in–depth, up-to-date, and very expensive hardcover textbook - she told me it’s widely considered the standard introduction to the field, (and with a seven page table of contents, I can see why). The main sections are Theory and Research in Child Development (history, theory, and application; research strategies), Foundations of Development (biological, prenatal, birth; infancy; physical growth), Cognitive and Language Development (Piaget, Core Knowledge, and Vygotsky; information-processing; intelligence; language development), Personality and Social Development (emotional development, self and social understanding, moral development, sex differences and gender), Contexts for Development (family; peers, media, and schooling).You name the study and it’s referenced somewhere inside. Also includes special sections on cultural influences, social issues, milestones, and biology and environment throughout. The sort of thing that makes me feel like I should be cramming for a test when reading it, but lots of interesting stuff nonetheless.

9. Child Behavior (Frances L. Ilg, Louise Bates Ames, and Sidney M. Baker, 1992)
I picked this one up out of respect for the work of the Gesell Institute, and while it’s not my favorite resource, it does contains some valuable insights. The emphasis is primarily on the link between physiology and behavior. For example, when it comes to discipline, the authors argue that the emotional level (spanking, shouting, threatening) and reasoning level (talking rationally through problems) are never nearly as effective as “developmental techniques” - understanding behaviors characteristic of different age levels then matching your strategies, such as “household engineering,” accordingly.

10. Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide (Anthony L. Komaroff, ed., 1999)
Picked this up this massive 1,000+ page reference book at Costco a few years ago, and it was well worth it. I’m only including it here because it contains sections on pregnancy as well as infant, children, and adolescent health (not to mention every conceivable malady you might want to read up on).

1 Like

Nice post. Should be a sticky!

I don’t have any children, but I read “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” during my best friend’s pregnancy and found it really informative and easy to read. It helped me to know how to help her.

Maybe not exactly a “parenting resource” but I have found British Medical Journal online very useful for getting indepth information about medical things, including pregnancy, birth and child-related concerns. I like that they also list the funding source for the research articles and any conflicts of interest, so you can make your own judgements about any possible bias in the research.

For websites two good ones are . Both of these have birth club forums where you can talk with other parents expecting the same month as you as well as weekly newsletters.

For books I like:

Your Baby and Child: From Birth to Age Five ( Penelope Leach)

Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood: Practical Parenting from Birth to Six Years by Jim Fay and Charles Fay

Playful Parenting by Lawrence J. Cohen

I recently purchased “Ages and Stages” and I was not so impressed with it, probably for the reasons smelltheglove likes it… I found it a bit “thin” - but I studied Human Development and Early Years Education so maybe it is more suitable for parents without that kind of background.

I also like “Playful Parenting”. It reminds me about my child’s perspective on life.

And a book I am referring to often with my toddler is “How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk”. I love the opening to the book:

The writers have great examples of how parents talk to children, and offer lots of ideas and practical examples and exercises to help improve communication and build better relationships.

:blush: Sorry! I should probably have said at the outset that my recommendations were definitely for laypeople. In fact, the only book on the whole list geared toward professionals is Berk’s “Child Development” (2006). I hope you don’t feel Ages was a complete waste. Then again, to think that I once bought “Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care” on a recommendation… :s

Thanks for the tip on “How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk,” though – sounds like a real winner, and I’ll pick it up when I get a chance.

I think the book that everyone should read is Kids are Worth It by Barbara Colloroso.

It’s a great parenting resource.

As for all the other things, I’m a resource full of information. I work in Child and Youth development feild so I’m constantly giving parents advice. Although the parents I meet and give adivce to are not invested parents. They want to quick fix for the most part. Parenting is an ever evolving thing. There is no quick and easy fix.

Someone mentioned the How to talk to kids so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk. Another great parenting book.

A number of English-speaking parents have donated their parenting resource books and set up a lending library. There are some very good books and baby magazines, as well as some children’s books, and you are welcome to borrow them, and to donate/lend any books you may have enjoyed but no longer need.

The “bookshelf” is at a studio called “Super” (they have Kindermusik, Lasse, Chinese storytelling, Art classes and so on). The manager, Evelyn, is very nice and you are welcome to stop by just to take a book or two. It’s best to call to make sure they are open before you go.

Nanking East Road Sec 3, Lane 256, No. 16, 1F (opposite Nanking/Fushing MRT station exit & Brother Hotel). Tel: 2711-1114.

[quote=“smell the glove”]Thought it was high time we take a stab at sharing some recommendations for parenting resources. At the moment, I’m thinking primarily of websites and books, but any and all suggestions are welcome.

The below is from the most recent Community Services Center newsletter –

Resource Website for Families with Special Needs Children in Taiwan

The most difficult part for families with special needs children when they first move to Taiwan have been not knowing what is available and where to start looking for assistance. Mr. Uwe Maurer, principal of Morrison Academy’s Bethany School, along with his wife and a few friends have launched a website
to serve as an information portal to help families with mentally and physically disabled children. All information, resources, support and encouragement are welcomed; the more people who participate, the more effective this site will be.

I would add this:

Check out his video collection on YouTube, as well. Great stuff.

For anyone with Taiwanese or Chinese spouses or nannies, does anyone know of any good resources comparable to The Complete Resource Book for Infants: Over 700 Experiences for Children from Birth to 18 Months. Our nanny doesn’t read English and we’d like her to play with the baby more.

I have seen one of the Gymboree books at Eslite. you can buy it in either Chinese or English and has activities for babies. … 0760782163

And the Hsin-yi bookstores sell a number of books promoting interactive activities between caregiver and child, both translated from English and locally-produced.

地址:100台北市重慶南路二段75號1樓 (Chung-Ching Sth Road Sec 2, No. 75 - in the area of the botanical gardens/post office museum)
‧營業時間:週一 ~ 週日9:00~19:00

i would also add it’s particularly handy for expecting parents; just register with your expected due date, and you’ll get an update every week on how your fetus and body are developing/changing and what to expect.

Here’s a good blog with apparently science-based information. She cites her sources, so you can always go to the source material.

The unsuspecting parent might not realize this but parenting is as ideological as American politics, I’ve found, and as commercialized as any other industry. Make sure to understand which “camp” the articles you read are coming from and which guru is promoting the ideas and why. A lot of the claims made in the parentverse do not necessarily have scientific studies backing them.

Three books that I’m a big fan of are:

What’s going on in there - How the brain and mind develop in the first five years of life by Lise Eliot (my aka: the brain book):
It has become the basis of my knowledge on baby development and what I judge all other book discussions by. A strong scientific piece of writing that is easily understood by the non-bio me.

Only downside is the binding’s not that great on the English version (hubby has the Chinese version and it’s fine there). Not a big problem here in Taiwan because it’s quick, easy and cheap to get books re-bound.

Your self-confident baby - How to encourage your child’s natural abilities from the very start by Magda Gerber:
This is a baby/toddler development/attached philosophy that speaks to me (called the RIE philosophy). I feel RIE gives a good balance to life, makes intrinsic sense to me, and is facinating. The focus is on allowing a baby to explore and develop at his or own pace and to his or her own interests.

The diaper-free baby - The natural toilet training alternative by Christine Gross-loh:
A good book on elimination communication (some other books on EC are not so good); it is balanced, not overbearing, not fanatic and not pushy. I think it goes along the lines of RIE (respecting and communicating with baby…rather than having the goal of having a potty trained infant). I thought it was great as it gave me an understanding for how we can make it work within our life-style to the degree we are comfortable with.

don’t forget

  1. common sense
  2. TLC
  3. interaction
  4. spending time with your baby doing anything and everything
    i don’t think there is a book on that . be responsible. use your brain and spend time with your baby!

I highly recommend Dr. Sears series. it’s vey rewarding to see my own child growing with joy & confidence. I am looking for an attachment parenting support group in Taipei, anyone?

baberenglish hit the nail on the head.

Hey All,
So jumping back up the page a little to the mention of Suzuki method to teach music… does anyone know of Suzuki violin or piano teachers in the Tien Mu/Beitou/Shihlin area please?