This month, on Mondays I’m sharing with you some of my favorite parenting resources. Last week I introduced you to my favorite podcasts and this week I want to share a book from from my personal bookshelf that has helped to guide my steps on this parenting journey: The Natural Child by Jan Hunt.
The Natural Child
The Natural Child: Parenting From the Heart by Jan Hunt was one of the first parenting books I picked up after my first child was born. My mom subscribed to Mothering magazine for as long as I could remember and so editor Peggy O’Mara’s familiar name and endorsement in the forward was comforting to me while scanning the shelves at the bookstore.
It is a book about attachment parenting, yes, but also about creating a nurturing environment and parenting with trust.
As a new mother, Jan Hunt’s words were reassuring to me. My newborn’s crying wasn’t because I was doing something wrong or incorrectly or because she didn’t like me but because babies cry: my infant daughter was simply acting her age, being a normal newborn. What a relief that was during that fragile emotional time!
Today, this book confirms for me my belief that I need to allow my kids to be kids and not rush them through childhood.
Some of the choices that my husband and I have made in our parenting have been different from those in Hunt’s book. However, so much of the content of the short, easy to read chapters speaks right to my heart as a parent. It is a book I re-read and highlight and underline and mark the pages of.
The Natural Child Project
The Natural Child Project website showcases more of Jan’s parenting advice as well as articles by other mental health professionals. You can also listen to some excepts from the audio book of The Natural Child.
The site is also the home of the Global Children’s Art Gallery, a display of artwork by children ages one to twelve from all over the world.
From the site:
“Our vision is a world in which all children are treated with dignity, respect, understanding, and compassion. In such a world, every child can grow into adulthood with a generous capacity for love and trust. Our society has no more urgent task.”
Update: A few of you asked about the other books in my photo. Here are the titles to those books, all of them resources I call upon time and again while navigating this path. Perhaps some of these are your favorites, too?
- The Your Child (Ages and Stages) series by Louise Bates Ames
- Steady Days by Jamie Martin
- Beyond the Rainbow Bridge by Barbara Patterson
- Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne, MD
- Heaven on Earth by Sharifa Oppenheimer
- Making a Family Home by Shannon Honeybloom
A Book for the Journey
I didn’t know it at the time, but The Natural Child was a stepping stone for me on my journey to create a simple, natural childhood for my kids. It continues to be a book that I pull from the shelf nearly nine years later, a familiar companion on this parenting journey.
Do you have a parenting book you turn to again and again? An author who started you thinking about parenting in a different light? Who are your favorite parenting authors?