How to Parent? Hard Science, Light Humor: Parenting Books 2014
By Kathryn E. Livingston
Mar 07, 2014
Today’s parents have science savvy—they demand evidence-based information, but want it delivered with cleverness and wit (who has time to read a dry scientific treatise when baby’s diapers are wet?). To wit, the spring/summer lists include a number of meticulously researched but reader-friendly and entertaining titles parents can pick up and put down at their leisure (or rather, when junior’s schedule allows a break).
The publishing company’s lead parenting titles are indeed parent-friendly, but solidly science-based. Says Karp, “Linda Geddes brings the breezy voice of a newly pregnant science journalist to Bumpology [Mar.], in which she sorts out conflicting data and theories. In Parentology [Mar.], sociologist Dalton Conley describes the scientific experiments he performed on his own two children, and the results are likely to surprise and entertain a lot of parents.”
Psychologist David Elkind’s new release is Parenting on the Go (Da Capo, July). By the venerable author of The Hurried Child, the book is in keeping with the trend of being direct and to the point, notes Ambrosio, with practical tips for “birth to 6, A to Z” from a “credentialed source.”
Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue by Christia Spears Brown (Ten Speed Press, Apr.) probes the research on gender and child development, aiming to help parents overcome gender stereotypes and raise their kids according to each child’s individual strengths. Says Ten Speed Press assistant editor Kaitlin Ketchum, “The author uses science-based hard research, but she’s also a parent so she includes anecdotes as well as examples from her own life. She offers really doable parenting tips and ways readers can integrate the research into their own lives.”
On the topic of gender, educational psychologist Lori Day examines mother-daughter bonds and the challenges girls face growing up today. Her Next Chapter: How Mother-Daughter Book Clubs Can Help Girls Navigate Malicious Media, Risky Relationships, Girl Gossip and So Much More (Chicago Review Press, May) also combines research with personal experience. Strong Mothers, Strong Sons by pediatrician Meg Meeker (Ballantine, Apr.), on the other hand, probes the particular problems of boys, focusing on how moms can provide the support boys need to thrive.
This sampling of upcoming titles and trends points to the fact that the parenting literature continues to widen its scope, inspiring contemporary parents not only to learn more, but to relax and laugh while expanding their knowledge and expertise. And it just may be that parent/readers are buying into the same lesson they often teach their kids: “Science can and should be fun!”