Parenting ~ Families

Becoming a Family

The First Three Years

Margaret Shaw



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Raising children is a lifelong journey and is never what you imagine it to be. Becoming a Family explores the first three intense and joyful years of the family journey. This is also a profound personal journey: Parents need to trust their own inner sense as a guide for health and truth. After all, mothers and fathers have been raising children successfully long before childcare experts came along!

Babies arrive ‘trailing clouds of glory’, creating a profound spiritual and human presence during their first three years. Margaret Shaw offers a sensitive and helpful window into how to welcome babies into this earth with warmth, love, insight, joy, rhythm, structure and sensitive care. This helps lay healthy physical, psychological and spiritual foundations for life. The book follows the incarnating process of the child, starting before conception through the first three years of the family up to the third birthday.

Themes covered include: home making, pregnancy and birth, motherhood and fatherhood in prospect, parents' first year, the child's first, second adn third years, the twelve senses, guardian angels and grandparents.  Parents' stories offer thought-provoking personal experiences of different ways of becoming a family.

Simplicity Parenting

Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids

Kim John Payne, M. Ed., with Lisa M. Ross



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Our daughter-in-law, Kaye Lathe, is not only a librarian by profession, she is also the mother of our twin granddaughters, Margot and Remy.  She wrote the review below which I found to be so immediate and to-the-point, that rather than write my own review, I will share her's with you here.  My only added comment:  Everything she says is true and awaiting your own discovery.  I can't recommend this book highly enough!


It's a rarity when you read some sort of improvement book, and actually take action immediately after reading it. I'd have to say that this is the first time ever that I've delved into action mid-book!  This book is prescriptive and addresses how to incorporate simplicity and routine into your child's life, whether you and your partner both have busy careers, or if you are a stay at home caregiver.  Simplicity Parenting deals with simplifying your child's environment (which may calm an anxious child), but it also delves into the issue of sports and children, busy schedules, and how to give your child the right amount of information. It may be the only behavior parenting book you will ever need.  Ultimately, it is a guide to how less is more, in terms of toys, television, engagements, and explanations.  It also shows how easily the adult world can encroach into the world of children, and serves as a reminder that even if your child can understand/participate/own, it doesn’t necessarily mean he or she should.  Academically, that makes sense, but Simplicity Parenting is prescriptive, and will help the reader to sort out the application of how to simplify your environment, for both you and your family.

All the Dear Little Animals

Ulf Nilsson

Illustrated by Eva Eriksson



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I never expected to like, let alone be charmed and delighted by, a book for children about death.  But, All the Dear Little Animals has won my heart!  This story is so lightly, sweetly, humorously told; and so true and calming and hopeful.  It is, really, everything that any of us would want in a children's story.  It just happens to be about death.

On a rather boring summer's day, so the book goes, three children decide they'll  start a business called Funerals Ltd., to help bury the poor dead animals of the world.  Esther did the digging, the author wrote the poems for the graveside services, and Esther's little brother, Puttie, cried.  In an off-beat, playful way, these children explore the fact of death in the world and address its reality with an earnestness that at the same time is in no way morose or intellectualized.  This is really just a perfect book for children about a subject we adults often find difficult to discuss.

Recommended for children ages 5 and up.

This captivating book takes us on a safe, funny and deeply meaningful adventure.
- Julie Stokes OBE, Founder and Clinical Director of Winston's Wish

The best book I have seen perhaps in years. I just love it.
Kate de Goldi, NZ National Radio

Trust and Wonder

A Waldorf Approach to Caring for Infants and Toddlers

Eldbjørg Gjessing Paulsen



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Trust and Wonder is a resoundingly beautiful book, filled with the love and warmth that we all want each child to receive.  To read it is to be bathed in a caring that enlivens as it nurtures - it is to experience in your heart that which the author is teaching: how to love a child such that they themselves grow confident, strong and loving.

Eldbjørg Paulsen's experience as a mother, grandmother and Waldorf kindergarten teacher in Norway, and as a mentor teacher trainer and founder of a baby care project in South Africa enables her to gift us all with insights, practical suggestions, examples and so very much that makes her book go far beyond the theoretical and straight to the heart of what we need in order to do what she has done.

I can't recommend Trust and Wonder highly enough - it is a gem and a gift to anyone who is raising or caring for an infant or toddler.

A Child's Way

Slowing Down for Goodness Sake

Sharon Elliott & Carrie Ferguson

Beautiful black and white photos throughout, glossy paper

Hardbound, dust jacketed


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A Child's Way is a beautiful, artistic lovesong and guide to parenting at the speed of a child.  That is to say, slowly, as if every new thing was a universe in and of itself, which, of course, it is to our little ones.  This is one of the finest books you could give a new parent, and one of the most useful you could give to yourself if you are that parent.

The beauty of this book, the rhapsody of its message might make you expect that it is the sort that will make you feel really good (which is, of course, useful), but won't really give you the solid information you might be seeking.  The good news is that there is as much guidance and practical suggestions as there is beauty between its covers.  You'll find suggestions for daily rhythms, activity suggestions and lots and lots of practical tips for warm and healthy childrearing.

This is a wonderful book.

To Change A Mind

Parenting to Promote Maturity in Teenagers

John A McKinnon, MD



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In this companion to his first book, An Unchanged Mind, Dr. McKinnon provides invaluable advice to all parents of teenagers and young adults. Using case studies gathered from his years helping parents with troubled adolescents, the author explores the ways that adolescent development can be derailed in today’s complex culture and how parents can prevent this from happening in the first place.

Dr. McKinnon writes about how parents need to recognize their children as individuals, with their own feelings and opinions, as they start to establish their separate identities as young people and begin to negotiate their way through high school and beyond. He also makes clear that parents must continue to establish limits. These allow children to flourish and further their goals within boundaries that enable them to learn the consequences of their actions (both good and bad), thus providing a fundamental lesson of being an adult. The book explains that parental recognition and limit-setting work together to promote maturity.

Packed with examples and sensible and practical advice for parents of pre-teens and teenagers, To Change a Mind is an essential guidebook for parents seeking to make their lives—and the lives of their children—richer and more fulfilling, as the family navigates together the potentially treacherous seas of adolescence.

Making a Family Home

Shannon Honeybloom

Photographs by Skip Hunt



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Making a Family Home is a book of real beauty, one both personal and universal. In describing her home and family life, Shannon Honeybloom shows how she made—and how we can make—a house into a real home as she shares her own efforts, hopes, and lessons in making a safe and healthy home that provides warmth and intimacy for the whole family.

One small cautionary note from my own life: the author's home is beautiful and warm. It is also large and requires a level of prosperity that not all of us have when raising our children. I raised my children in homes that ranged from tiny houses to apartments (also tiny) to rental houses and at that time I might well have looked at the author's home and decided that her suggestions were beyond my means.

I'd like to say clearly that although not everyone can live in such a house, we can all make such a home. It is not at all beyond the means of most parents to use whatever space they have in ways that nurture their children and their family life - and it is here that the author's suggestions coupled with the beautiful photographs can be a real help. If you look to the detail and the spirit of what is being said, what emerges are hundreds of ways we can do little things that have large, heartwarming results. And believe me, your children will thrive in the midst of it.

I very highly recommend and applaud Shannon Honeybloom's contribution to the health of families everywhere.

Homemaking as a Social Art

Creating a Home for Body, Soul and Spirit

Veronika van Duin


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I longed for a book like this when I was a young mother and wife. I felt so alone in my desire to create a home in which my entire family could thrive. I also felt rather lost and uncertain in the face of the enormous responsibility that entails - I often simply did not know how to go about things, what to do. Such a book, of course, didn't exist 20 years ago - fortunately for all, it does exist now.

Veronika van Duin was trained as a nurse and lived for many years in a community with people with special needs, her own family and, later, teenage boarders. She and her husband live with young children with special needs. Her own children are now grown. Needless to say, she has had ample experience in making a home for diverse personalities with extremely different needs. She shares her experience and insights in Homemaking as a Social Art.

Her perspective is that the task of homemaking is at the center of our social existence - a role that creates the heart of society and is nothing less than an art. She never claims that there is a blueprint for creating the perfect home, but rather offers principles and observations based on a study of what she calls the seven "life processes" and how they affect us. She addresses the significance of rhythm, relationships, artistic environment, caring, self-development, and much more besides.

This is a welcome and supportive work - one which I believe will be embraced with gratitude by those who read it. Highly recommended.

Veronika van Duin is also the author of A Rainbow over the River - Experiences of life, death and other worlds.

Homemaking and Personal Development

Meditative Practice for Homemakers

Veronika van Duin



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Veronika van Duin has made it her life's work to help others create homes that can contribute to the creation of a healthy society.  Her first book, Homemaking as a Social Art, remains a beloved companion and source of inspiration to homemakers throughout the world.  It is generally the first book we recommend to anyone seeking support and direction to their task of creating and keeping a home.

In Homemaking and Personal Development, Veronika explores the need of homemakers to find personal balance amid the delights and disappointments of daily life.  Truly, there are few tasks in this world that are as "real" as homemaking, and the opportunities for arriving at exhaustion, depression, self- and other-blame and more are legion.  Veronika is able to help because she has 'been there and done that' as a homemaker of more than 40 years experience.  Happily for all of us, she has found multiple pathways to joy and balance that are realistic for homemakers in the course of their busy days.

We very highly recommend this book:  There is truly something in it for every stage of homemaking and for every homemaker.  Out of Veronika's experience, you can find exercises that can be "sandwiched" in between diaper changes and meals, imaginations and awarenesses you can hold to restore your balance and warm your soul when sleep-deprived, deeper meditations you can undertake to strengthen your soul and spirit when your life gives you that sort of time.  Most especially, Veronika is there to support your homemaking by supporting your inner life in every way she knows how.

Thank you, Veronika, for a book that is truly a seed for a better future.

The Spiritual Tasks of the Homemaker

Manfred Schmidt-Brabant


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Manfred Schmidt-Brabant helped organize the first-ever Conference for Homemakers at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland. This book presents the three lectures he delivered at this gathering which drew thousands from all over the world (instead of the hundreds that were expected), eager to come together to consider a fundamental aspect of human life that has become everywhere neglected.

I am so grateful that he honored homemaking as the life-giving art that it is - especially when I consider that even now, at a time when I would have thought we'd all "know better," such honor is rarely bestowed upon those who truly rock the cradle of the world. I find his lectures fascinating in their connections of daily life with cosmic reality. I also deeply appreciate the practicality of his answers in the question session at the end and his emphasis on understanding as the foundation for creating today's homes.

This is a wonderful antidote to our modern, pedestrian view of homemaking ("Ward, I'm worried about the Beaver.") - an invitation to crown our homes with grace and gratitude.

Under the Sky

Playing, Working and Enjoying Adventures in the Open Air

Sally Schweizer

A Handbook for Parents, Carers and Teachers



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Sally Schweizer presents a fresh world of possibilities for children in both urban and rural areas, opening doors to expanded experiences of life in the open air. Packed with anecdotes, games and practical activities, Under the Sky is a vibrant resource for parents, teachers and carers.

What can children do outside? How about singing, whittling, chatting, climbing, digging, and making dens? They can build, run, watch small creatures, count tree rings, listen to stories, perform puppet plays, learn woodworking, and investigate the many forms of bark. Outside, children can enjoy quiet conversations or make a big noise, be alone or be with others. And that's just the beginning ...

Under the Sky is an invaluable guide for everyone who wants to help children cultivate play and imagination. It features ideas for planning expeditions and adventures, toys and equipment, and activities for the four seasons and the four elements! It includes plans, tips and advice on child-friendly outdoor design, materials, surfaces, seating, gardening, pets, wildlife—even campfires, picnics and train journeys. Under the Sky also includes a chapter on how educators can work toward formal “early years” government goals.

Well, I Wonder

Childhood in the Modern World

Sally Schweizer

A Handbook for Parents, Carers, and Teachers



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In our modern world, imagination, play, wonder, and even fun itself are in danger of being left behind. We have surrounded children with technology and early learning, television and computer games, and then top that off with premature intellectualization, early reading, and tests.

Sally Schweizer calls for a reevaluation of childhood and an awakening to the real needs of children. Being a mother of four and having spent more thirty years in education (as a kindergarten teacher, teacher trainer, and advisor), she is qualified to ask the hard questions and offer real solutions. Well, I Wonder is packed with practical suggestions, anecdotes, humor, and delightful quotes from Schweizer’s students. Her approach is based on the study and practice of Rudolf Steiner’s educational philosophy, as well as personal, firsthand knowledge gained from long experience.

The author guides us through the stages of childhood development, explaining children’s need for daily rhythm, movement, and play. She emphasizes the importance of guarding children’s imagination and the significance of festivals and celebrations. She offers helpful tips and wise advice throughout this well-illustrated book, which also features an eight-page color section on the evolution of children’s drawings.

Adventures in Parenting

a support guide for parents

Rachel C Ross


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Adventures in Parenting is such a lovely book. It is like having a wise grandmother at hand, one who answers so many of the perplexing questions that young parents find themselves puzzling over as they raise their children.

Rachel Ross beautifully discusses the joys and concerns almost all new parents experience and goes on to discuss everything from parenting styles and the patterning we carry from our own parents to discipline and boundaries, developmental issues, and how to create a home that fully nurtures your children while it also nurtures you.

I want to add that her section on developmental issues is brilliant (Rachel is an remedial movement/eurythmy teacher). Her list of difficulties and solutions is unlike anything I've ever seen in print - I think if this were the only thing in the book, it would still be a treasure of priceless worth and will be comforting and liberating to parents everywhere.

What Babies and Children Really Need

Sally Goddard Blythe



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This book represents a milestone in our understanding of child development and what parents can do to give their children the best start in life. The author uses the latest scientific research to demonstrate how a baby’s relationship with the mother has a lasting and fundamental impact. She emphasizes ways that changes in society over the past fifty years—such as delayed motherhood, the limited practice of breastfeeding, and mothers’ early return to work—interfere with important developmental milestones that are essential to success and well being in later life.

“We need a state,” says Sally Goddard Blythe, “that gives children their parents and, most of all, gives babies their mothers back.”

What Babies and Children Really Need is an important book for parents of young children.


  • Conception and Society: The Politics of Fertility
  • Does Early Development Matter?
  • Events Surrounding Birth
  • Events Following Birth: Risk Factors
  • Breastfeeding
  • Movement Instinct
  • Language Instinct
  • Building on the First Year: The Neuroscience of Developing Emotions
  • Factors Parents Can Control
  • What Needs to Be Done?

The Genius of Natural Childhood

Secrets of Thriving Children

Sally Goddard Blythe



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Young children love creative play, stories, nursery rhymes and games.  These are not only good fun, but are also good for the brain.

Sally Goddard Blythe analyses why early movement matters, and how games develop children's skills at different stages of development.  She offers a handy starter kit of stories, action games, songs and rhymes, and explains:

  • Why movement is an essential ingredient for healthy brain development
  • Why music, song, lullabies and nursery rhymes prepare the brain for language
  • How fairy tales can help children face their fears in in safety
  • How rough and tumble play develops the neural circuits for creativity and self-regulation
  • The links between learning problems and sedentary lifestyles and overexposure to electronic media
  • What to look out for if your child does not seem to be "ready" for school.

By special invitation, Jane Williams of Toddler Kindy GymbaROO offers her favorite baby massage rhymes, with action songs, finger play and more rhymes to inspire families.

Why Children Don't Listen

A Guide for Parents and Teachers

Monika Kiel-Hinrichsen



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What can you do when a child just won't listen? How we speak to one another is at the very heart of human relationships. Children are frequently much better than adults at reading between the lines and deciphering the messages we send out through body language and our tone of voice.

Here is an invaluable handbook for parents and teachers on how to communicate better with children. It covers all aspects of talking and listening to children, including speaking to children of different ages, the effect your voice has, and understanding the wider situation in which the conversation is taking place.

The author translates the theory into practical, everyday solutions. She argues that it's not what we say, but how we say it —and more important, how well we listen to the answers — that matters.

Childhood's Garden

Shaping Everyday Life around the Needs of Young Children

Helle Heckmann

Book and DVD



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I have been basking in the glow of both the film and book that are Childhood's Garden every since reviewing them. My, oh my, what goodness lies within!

First, about the film presented on the DVD: amazing, warm, wonderful, inspiring - I could go on and on with superlatives. The more people who can see it, the better for the world.

The filmmakers managed to blend into the background so well that the children simply go about their day as though they aren't there. And what a day it is! Helle Heckmann has created a true garden for young children (Nokken): they spend 5 hours of their 8 hour day outdoors, rain or shine (this was a summer day - she doesn't mention in the film what they do on truly frigid winter days). They are given the freedom to imitate the work of the garden and more as their child's heart. The little ones (ages 1-3) take naps in specially made cribs that are also outdoors - this is a Danish tradition which I believe should be looked at closely in other parts of the world where it may also benefit children who spend so much of their life indoors.

Nokken offers the children a midday meal which is made from biodynamic grains, vegetables, oils and syrups. The diet has been chosen to provide the children with types of food they are unlikely to receive at home, thus effecting and overall balance in their diets. I'm a bit less certain as to whether her diet would be effective in balancing children's food intake in the US, as my observation in Waldorf kindergartens has been that many of the parents already eat in similar ways and that offering more of the same might prove to create an overall imbalance. However, this, too, should be examined closely -- Helle's approach is sound and beautiful, but her exact solutions for her area may or may not translate well in other situations. Nonetheless, her food is highly nutritious and looked so good I found myself getting hungry just watching the children eat.

In the small book that comes with it, Helle Heckmann expands on things seen in the movie, but not necessarily described in depth. You'll learn more about the thinking and feeling that has gone into every detail of the life she and her coworkers have created for the children in their care. It is packed, simply packed with valuable ideas that carry so much inspiration that I am confident they will live and grow in this world of ours.

Childhood's Garden is one of the most significant, beautiful, healing works to have emerged in the field of early childhood education. Please watch the DVD (invite your friends, make popcorn!), talk about it, read the book - this is must see/read material!

Heaven On Earth

A Handbook for Parents of Young Children

Sharifa Oppenheimer



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I really can't do any better than this review by Carla Hannaford, so I'll just pass it along to you and echo her assessment of Heaven on Earth as a "must read" book for anyone working with or caring for young children.

Sharifa Oppenhiemer has given the world a great gift in the pages of this book. The important child-development information is exquisitely combined with the best ‘How-to’s’ I have seen in any book for parents. Her book, is a ready guide that insures joyful, enthusiastic children who learn easily and contribute to their families and society for a lifetime. I have delighted in every page and feel this is absolutely a must read for parents, grandparents, teachers, and perhaps everyone who will ever touch the life of a child.

—Carla Hannaford, Ph.D., biologist and international educational consultant to 32 countries and author of Smart Moves: Why Learning Is Not All in Your Head and Awakening the Child Heart, Handbook for Global Parenting

Your Reincarnating Child

Welcoming a Soul to the World

Gilbert Childs and Sylvia Childs



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“One of the main purposes of this book,” write the authors, “is to demonstrate that human beings are primarily of spiritual nature, and only secondarily of bodily nature.” They explain how these two natures complement each other in the processes of maturation and development, from the period before birth and incarnation into maturity. With a firm philosophical grounding, the authors discuss key questions related to prenatal and antenatal phases, including those connected with clothing, food, play, work, technology, and discipline.

The primary contention of this book is that, as spiritual beings, we all live beyond death and eventually return to earth in new human bodies. With this in mind, the authors give sound practical advice as to how parents—or anyone who spends time with children—can welcome souls into the world and help them grow into healthy, responsible human beings.

Mainstream educational policies and practices can cause children to be pushed prematurely into adulthood before they have a chance to truly experience childhood. The authors demonstrate that a true understanding of the human being as body, soul, and spirit leads to the knowledge that every child should be allowed to grow gradually into the world.

The Wonder of Childhood

Stepping into Life

René Querido



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This is such a dear little book. René Querido invites us along on two lovely excursions: the first, into the world of the child between ages 0 and 3; the second, into the world of Raphael's Sistine Madonna and then further, to explore what that painting means to a child's eye. Both these edited lectures paint warm and deep pictures that not only deepen our understanding, but evoke a warm caring for young children in our hearts. Wonderful for parents and teachers.

In a Nutshell

Dialogues with Parents at Acorn Hill, A Waldorf Kindergarten

Nancy Foster



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What an absolutely wonderful book! Nancy Foster has not only given us great explanation of just about everything parents new to Waldorf education ever wonder about, but she has gone on to give some of the best parenting advice ever written down. In other words, she has poured over 30 years experience as a Waldorf kindergarten teacher into the most concise, readable and useful wee book every printed on the subject teaching and parenting young children. This is a genuinely must-have book for anyone working with or raising young children.

Table of Contents:

Our Classroom Environment

  • Color in the Classroom
  • Why Curtains?
  • Teachers' Dress
  • The Significance of Candles
  • Naming the Teacher
  • No Cars and Trucks?
  • What about Puzzles?
  • Musical Instruments in the Classroom

Work and Play at School

  • The Rhythm of the Morning
  • Saying "You may . . . "
  • Ironing in the Classroom: Danger?
  • Boys and Waldorf Education
  • Playing Cats and Dogs
  • Music in the Mood of the Fifth
  • Can Energetic Boys Enjoy Handwork?
  • Gun Play at School
  • Field Trips?
  • Fairy Tales for Young Children
  • The Challenge of Circle Time
  • Puppetry and "Told" Stories

Children at Home

  • Colors for a Child's Bedroom
  • Older and Younger Siblings
  • Boredom
  • Telephone
  • Bedtime Ritual
  • Feeding a Child
  • Swords vs. Guns
  • TV Away from Home
  • Barbie
  • Forbidden Words?
  • Appropriate Gifts
  • "What did you learn in school today?"
  • Toys in the Neighborhood
  • Helping Children in a Time of Trouble - A Few Thoughts
  • Is the World a Good Place?

Baby's First Year

Growth and Development from 0 to 12 Months

Paulien Bom and Machteld Huber



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A baby's first year presents parents with many different challenges. The initial excitement of pregnancy is followed by the child's birth and subsequent development, but many parents feel the need for significant support and information related to the everyday areas of life, such as nutrition and health.

This practical guide takes a holistic approach to the growth and development of a baby. Written by doctors qualified in both allopathic and anthroposophically extended medicine, it deals with all aspects of caring for a small child up to the age of twelve months.

Divided into short comprehensive chapters that cover the various stages of development, Baby’s First Year discusses subjects such as feeding and growth, diet and weaning, and bathing and sleeping. It includes sections on physical and spiritual development and presents an overview of childhood vaccinations.

Baby’s First Year is an ideal reference for people embarking on parenthood for the first time, or as a refresher for those having a second or subsequent baby. Veteran parents in particular may find its holistic approach refreshing and inspiring in comparison to standard baby-rearing texts.

Crying and Restlessness in Babies

A Parent's Guide to Natural Sleeping

Ria Blom



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Note: This book is currently out of print. We are looking for a replacement!

Here's the book I wish I had when my children were babies. Every parent knows the sound of a baby who won't settle down to sleep. Crying and restlessness, especially in young babies, can be both distressing and tiring.

Ria Blom is an expert in swaddling—ways of wrapping babies securely and helping them relax naturally into sleep. Swaddling works by inducing a sense of safety and comfort for the baby—and it can work wonders for the parent as well.

This insightful book offers quick solutions for parents under stress, as well as plenty of background information on sleeping patterns and baby routines. Sweet Dreams!

Navigating the Terrain of Childhood

A Guidebook for Meaningful Parenting and Heartfelt Discipline

Jack Petrash



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What an insightful and practical guide to the journey of parenting! Every parent can benefit from this artful blending of wisdom and experience, no matter what ages their children are.

- Rahima Baldwin Dancy author, You Are Your Child's First Teacher

Jack Petrash has again succeeding in giving us a guidebook in clear language that is so true and practical it can't help but be helpful. With an eye for what both parents and children need, he has crafted this book as a map through charted territory -- some of landscape offering easy passage, other parts presenting challenges, even dangers. All of it must be travelled by parents as their children grow to adulthood -- with a bit of preparation, knowledge ahead of time as to the lay of the land, even the more precarious terrain can be crossed confidently.

This is a great book -- one that will make you smile as it gives you firm footing on the parenting highway.

Seven Times the Sun

Guiding Your Child through the Rhythms of the Day

Shea Darian



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Seven Times the Sun is a simply the best parenting book I've seen.

Shea Darian's approach is radically different from any other I've found in print: where other's have offered considered, often good, advice, Shea sprinkles the magic of stories, songs, simple rituals whimsy and celebration into daily life, then seasons this mixture with quiet times and a few parenting tips for helping your child feel secure.

The result? As you bring her gifts, one after another into your life and especially into that of your children, you'll find your home becoming a happy place to live, a place where all of you -- children and adults -- come to know you are loved, a place you all look forward to being in when away and are at peace with when you are there.

Will this banish every storm cloud that overcasts your life? No, of course not. But in a home with song and simple ritual and stories, storms are only part of the landscape, seldom devastating.

This is an approach from the heart, for the heart. You'll find it's healing magic is just what you've always wanted.

Seven Times the Sun - CD

A Homespun Collection for Parents & Teacher to Learn Songs by Ear

a cappella vocals by Shea Darian

Audio CD


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Here's a 'learning tool' that will make your heart sing as your voice sounds forth! Shea Darian is an accomplished musician with a voice that must cause the angels to bend nearer to earth whenever she sings. She created her companion CD as a way to share these simple songs with adults who may not have any musical training, but would like to learn these songs so they can sing for their children. As Shea says, "When young and old life our voices together as one, our ears and our hearts become more greatly attuned to one another. May these songs inspire moments of intimacy and joy!"

You may also be interested in "Celtic Quest" by Avalon a cappella, a CD collection of songs by Shea Darian as well as traditional songs and performed by the Mary Thienes Schunemann, Shea Darian, Amy Chevalier, and Suzette Nelson. It's one of my favorites.

Sanctuaries of Childhood

Nurturing a Child's Spiritual Life

Shea Darian



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St. Paul enjoined his communities to "pray unceasingly". I have come to conclude that he didn't mean to train ourselves to repeat prayers 24/7 -- rather, I believe he meant to turn everything we do into a prayer, into a way to make manifest Love on the earth, into a way to connect ourselves to that which is Divine while remaining connected to that which is of the Earth, into a gift from Heaven to Earth and Earth to Heaven.

Shea Darian's Sanctuaries of Childhood shows us how to do just that - create a life for our children and ourselves that honors the spirit as it heals the soul and nourishes the body. More, she has done it deeply and truly, but has done it in a way that will unite parents rather than divide them, and can be practiced by families of all faiths, including mixed-faith families.

This is the best, most open, most beautiful and most healing approach to this crying need of our society which I have seen. May it find its way into every heart and home who seeks what it offers.

We live in a society that makes it ever more difficult for children to find access to these sanctuaries on a daily basis. More consistently, entrance to such sacred spaces is being barred by the obstacles of busy schedules, our overuse of television and electronic media, and a lack of understanding for a child's genuine spiritual needs. Parents and caregivers can help to unbolt the doors of these sanctuaries, and make it possible for children to experience divine comfort and inspiration

As we make room in our lives for children to share with us the sacred qualities of childhood, no doubt young and old will find that within the sanctuaries of childhood, we serve one another as rabbis, ministers, and spiritual teachers. So let us open wide the doors. Let us remember what it is to be a child . . .

- the author, from the book.

Waldorf Parenting Handbook

Useful Information on Child Development and Education from Anthroposophical Sources

Lois Cusick



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This is a classic, deservedly beloved handbook for any parent wanting a helping hand in understanding how to bring the Waldorf approach into their homes and hearts. Originally published in 1979, the present 3rd edition (1992) brings Cusick's work up-to-date without sacrificing its heartwarming good advice or compromising her straightforward answers to important questions.

The Waldof Parenting Handbook is like having a wise grandmother to help you nourish your children as the travel through their school years -- it's really a pleasure to offer this book!


  • The Child is Born - Hereditary/Genetic Stream and the Self; Embryonic Sheaths and the Threefold Nature of the Child
  • The First Three Years - Growing Down; Walking, Talking, Thinking; Play and Fantasy
  • The Temperaments - Fourfold Bodily Nature; The Developmental Sequence of Juvenile Temperaments
  • Fantasy and Fact in Early Childhood - Circle of the Senses; Mechanical Fantasy and Language; Nursery School
  • How: Methods and the Three R's - Writing before Reading; Arithmetic; Main Lesson; The Spoken Word; Arts and Crafts
  • The Magic Years: First to Third Grade - Fairy Tale Meaning and Language; Sequence of the Curriculum
  • Grades Four to Seven - Animal Study; History; Plants; The Twelfth Year and the Fall into the Point; Acoustics; Color
  • Puberty: Birth of the Self - Seventh and Eighth Grade Polarities; Adolescence; High School

Parenting a Path through Childhood

Dotty Turner Coplen



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Introduces an understanding of parenting by asking: What is a child? What is a parent? And why does a child need a parent? This book leaves dogma behind and brings readers to the reality of daily life.

Combining her experience as a mother and grandmother with her studies in psychology and social work, the author presents a warm and human way of understanding the nature and needs of children. Parents and professionals working with children will find this a helpful book for understanding children, developing an awareness of their individual differences and observing how behavior is learned.

Parenting for a Healthy Future

Dotty Coplen



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Here is a commonsense approach to the challenging art of parenting; an offer of genuine support and guidance to encourage parents to believe in themselves and their children. Dotty Coplen helps parents gain a deeper understanding of children from both a practical and spiritual perspectives. Her invaluable insights help bypass the inevitable hurdles of parenting without compromising the enjoyment of the process.

Topics covered include:

  • knowing the child
  • finding the way
  • relating
  • allowing individuality
  • learning boundaries
  • from discipline to self-discipline
  • learning values
  • affirming and building self-confidence
  • calm mealtimes
  • happy bedtimes
  • listening to your child
  • growing social
  • experiencing differences

Bringing Out the Best in Boys

Communication Strategies for Teachers

Lucinda Neall



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Although it is true that some of the material in this book is directed especially toward classroom teachers (the parts, for instance, about constructive ways to handle parent meetings), the better portion of the book contains gems that will be valuable to all teachers (whether at home or in the classroom) and parents.

Neall offers time-tested communication strategies that help get the best out of boys. The tips for tackling difficult behavior wil result in more cooperation and learning to the benefit of everyone.

The author works with teachers and schools to identify what helps boys learn. The result is this handbook, packed full of techniques, examples, and tips. Topics include:

  • Affirming and channelling boys' energy, so you can get them on your side
  • Improving boys' emotional literacy, so they gain in confidence and self-awareness
  • Using boundaries and appropriate discipline to calm classes
  • How to encourage boys so that they can be at their best
  • Getting boys to cooperate without nagging and shouting
  • Engaging boys with hmor and playfulness.

I feel strongly that this approach is something almost everyone involved with educating or rearing boys in this world of ours has been longing for - it is clear, practical, warm and, best of all, effective. Very highly recommended!

The Good Sleep Guide - Fully Revised, 3rd Edition

for You and Your Baby

Angela Henderson



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After my first child was born I was astonished at how little sleep I got because she slept so fitfully. At that time the available advice on the subject ranged from "just let the baby cry" (with the "guarantee" that babies could cry for at most 45 minutes - something my baby disproved absolutely when I tried this in desperation) to "just sleep with the child, then everything will be alright" (unless you have a child who would literally nurse non-stop all night long . . . and did I mention restless?).

Anyway, it was months and months before anything that resembled a real night's sleep came my way (or hers). Having reviewed this book and Sound Sleep, I have to say that had I known these techniques, and had I had these balanced voices in my life, we would have been sleeping soundly much earlier.

This book has been available throughout Europe for quite a while - in fact our grandson benefited from it a few years ago. It's a gem and covers everything from the techniques that sooth babies into a sound sleep to diet considerations to room temperature - and at each turn there is an assessment you can apply to discover if your baby is really having trouble sleeping or if you are (both) merely going through a normal period of intermittent sleep.

A wonderful, welcome contribution to the good health of babies and the good rest of mothers!

Set Free Childhood

Martin Large



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A Parents' survival guide for coping with computers and TV.

Children watch TV and use computers for five hourse daily, on average. But electronic media demands conflict with the needs of children. The result? REcord levels of learning difficulties, obesity, eating disorders, sleep problems, language delay, aggressive behavior, anxiety - and children on fast forward.

Set Free Childhood shows you how to counter screen culture and create a calmer, more enjoyable family life with:

  • striking research on how the TV "tunes out" the brain and affects child growth
  • why doctors and educators say 'the later the better' for electronic media use
  • successful media coping strategies for families to prevent electronic addiction
  • countering pester power by making childhood a commercial-free zone

Covering Home

Lessons on the Art of Fathering from the Game of Baseball

Jack Petrash



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I am actually not a baseball fan (give me a good basketball game any time!), but I love this book. I'm also not a father - I'm a mother - but I still love this book. This is the first book on parenting that is such an engaging read that I felt like I had found a long-lost friend - one who spent the years of our separation the same way I did: raising children. Jack Petrash has managed to give the most realistic account I have thus far read of the process, the glory, and the gritty REALITY of parenting - and, he had me rolling in the aisles with laughter all the way through.

Whether you're a father or a mother, even if you don't like baseball, I suspect you'll love this book as much as I did. It is a great book for new parents or for old, tired parents. It uplifts, informs, entertains and energizes - what more could any parent want? Plus, you can learn one heck of a lot about baseball, too!

You give 100 percent in the first half of the game, and if that isn't enough in the second half you give what's left.

- Yogi Berra

The Great Discipline Debate

Alan Whitehead


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An outrageously funny, extremely well-considered look at the very serious topic of disciplining and caring for children and teenagers. Includes: the role of humor, parenting, family breakup, 7 canons of teaching, corporal punishment, expulsion, exclusion, forced labor, punishment, record keeping, teacher conduct, college of teachers, uniforms, smoking, delinquency, new stories, violence, nature and art therapy.

Mothering with Soul

Raising Children as Special Work

Joan Salter


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This portrait of motherhood and its gifts is at one and the same time both an affirmation of value and a guidepost for those wishing to find their way out of society's conflicting viewpoints. The soul of the child, the heart of the family, the vocation of Mother are all portrayed through real life stories enhanced by Joan Salter's special quality of understanding. Topics covered are pregnancy, birthing, mothering, breast feeding, milks for weaning, daily rhythms, development of consciousness, work outside the family, childcare, love, grandmothers. A warm, heartfelt presentation.

Raising a Son

Parents and the Making of a Healthy Man

Don and Jeanne Elium

3rd Edition


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Having raised two boys, we think that the ideas presented in Raising a Son are so powerfully true that we only wish we had known of them when our sons were younger. The Eliums base their book on their observation (we agree) that boys need to know three things: Who's the boss? What are the rules? And, are you going to enforce them? What sons need is leadership that is both firm and kind. Raising a Son leaves theorizing behind and gets right down to what works. Excellent!

Raising a Daughter

Parents and the Awakening

Jeanne and Don Elium


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Anyone else ever notice that girls are different from boys? We thought so. Give a girl a clear sense of her own uniqueness and the worth of that uniqueness, and she is well on her way toward a healthy womanhood. However, in our modern world, this is no small challenge. The Eliums unravel many of the conflicting messages and relationships that beset girls and their families and pave a clear path for parents and their daughters. We are raising three teenage daughters. This is a good book!

You Are Your Child's First Teacher - 3rd Edition

Encouraging Your Child’s Natural Development from Birth to Age Six

Rahima Baldwin


NOTE: Imperfect copies currently discounted on the clearance page.


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You Are Your Child’s First Teacher was one of the first books in America to popularize the insights of Rudolf Steiner, founder of the Waldorf schools, regarding the developmental needs of young children. This revised and updated edition offers new ways for parents and educators to enrich the lives of children from birth to age six.

From Nancy:
This book beautifully covers just about everything I remember experiencing as the mother of three young children. Unfortunately for me, I didn't have this book to help balance my perspective and offer one creative suggestion after another. If you feel somewhat alone and maybe a bit confused about how to sensitively raise your children, I really think Rahima's insights will help you find your own positive direction. It would be wonderful if we all arrived at parenthood knowing everything we need to know, but many of us do not - that's why this book is such a gem.

Rahmina warns abainst rushing children through childhood. She advocates a 'slow parenting' revolution which will allow children to develop at their own pace, and crucially, will help parents discover confidence in their own ability to parent and enjoy the magical first years of raising a child.

"Our children need us for the heart connection, but they don't need constant adult input and intellectual stimulation," she says. "Allowing children to be children today means recognising their need for creative play, which is the wor of childhood."

Rahima's practical, down-to-earth advice will help parents to:

  • understand their child's unique personal, mental, soul and physical needs at each stage of development
  • nourish their child's imagination with simple, homemade toys and materials from the garden and kitchen cupboard
  • enjoy storytelling, arts, crafts and musical activities with their child
  • create their own family rituals to ease the daily routine
  • use imitation, repetition and setting limits to promote positive discipline
  • value their own ability to understand and care for their child

From the Publisher:
Some of the most important learning years happen before your child reaches school. In You Are Your Child’s First Teacher, respected Waldorf educator Rahima Baldwin Dancy explains the different stages of learning that children go through from birth to age six, giving you the wisdom and understanding to enrich your child’s natural development in the right way at the right time. Today’s society often pressures us into overstimulating young children with flashcards, workbooks, videos, and electronic gadgets in a well-meaning attempt to give them a head start. But children are not little adults—they learn and grow in radically different ways at different ages, and what we do to help could actually hurt instead.

A trusted classic for over twenty years, this newly revised edition contains updated resources and additional information on discipline, early childhood programs, toilet training, using home life as curriculum, and more. From language and cognitive develop-ment to appropriate toys and nourishing your child’s artistic abilities, Dancy speaks up for a rational approach to child-rearing, one that helps children be children while we fulfill our important role as parents and first teachers.

This edition replaces You Are Your Child's First Teacher - 2nd Edition.

336 pages, 6 1/8" x 9 1/4", 2012.

NOTE: Imperfect copies currently discounted on the clearance page (scroll down to find them).

Brothers and Sisters

The Order of Birth in the Family: An Expanded Edition

Karl König, MD


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Brothers and Sisters is one of the first books that I read when learning about Waldorf Education and Anthroposophy. I can still remember how strikingly valid I found the ideas to be. Later, I discovered how very helpful Dr. König's insights into the importance of birth order and family constellation were to both my parenting and my self awareness. This is a study of the meaning of birth order that is unlike any other I've read, as it takes into account the spiritual destiny and the soul needs of the various children. I recommend placing Brothers and Sisters high on your list of books to read - you won't regret it!

Raising a Teenager

Parenting and Families

Jeanne Elium & Don Elium


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Jeanne and Don Elium, authors of Raising a Family, Raising a Son and Raising a Daughter have turned their expert eye to the challenges of parenting our teenagers in the midst of our modern world. They focus on two goals most parents have for their teens: graduating from high school and becoming decent human beings. They recognize that the tools for achieving these goals are active and continuous communication combined with unconditional, loving support. Then they offer those tools to us, the parents of teenagers, and help make clear the path for us to walk toward a successful adulthood with our teens. Highly recommended.

Tribal Childhood

Growing Up in Traditional Native America

Adolf Hungrywolf


More than 40 vintage photos and illustrations.


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I found this book to be simply fascinating and think that anyone interested in child development, parenting, or teaching will feel the same.  First hand accounts of growing up in several different North American native tribes are coupled with history, photos, comments by elders as to how these traditions continue or have changed: all of this paints a picture of ways of bringing young people into the world with respect and spiritual awareness.  While none of these approaches may translate directly into something viable for modern non-tribal life, all of them have something to teach in terms of how to educate children with love and tend them with the wisdom of nature.  As I said, this is a fascinating book.

Natural childbirth, a respect for elders and spiritual practice, a sense of responsibility for family and tribe, and training in stillness and attentiveness (especially when interacting with the natural world) were important aspects of childhood in these tribes.

Tribal Childhood recounts stories of:

  • Naming ceremonies and the "dreaming" of names
  • Birthing practices adn remedies for nursing problems and other difficulties
  • Approaches to discipline
  • Cradleboards: their construction and use
  • Initiations into puberty and special societies
  • Courting and marriage customs

The Parallel Process

Growing Alongside Your Adolescent or Young Adult Child in Treatment

Krissy Posatek, LICSW



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The Parallel Process is an essential primer for all parents, whether of troubled teens or not, who are seeking to help the family stay and grow together as they negotiate the potentially difficult teenage years.

For many parents of troubled teenagers, a therapeutic program that takes the child from the home for a period of time offers some respite from the daily tumult of acting out, lies, and tension that has left the family under siege. However, just as the teenager is embarking on a journey of self-discovery, skill-development, and emotional maturation, so parents too need to use this time to recognize that their own patterns may have contributed to their family’s downward spiral. This is The Parallel Process.

Using case studies garnered from her many years as an adolescent and family therapist, Krissy Pozatek shows parents of pre-teens, adolescents, and young adults how they can help their children by attuning to emotions, setting limits, not rushing to their rescue, and allowing them to take responsibility for their actions, while recognizing their own patterns of emotional withdrawal, workaholism, and of surrendering their lives and personalities to parenting.



Working with Family Questions: A Parents' Anthology

Gudrun Davy and Bons Voors


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Now that this original, great resource is back in print, we all have reason to celebrate! Lifeways is about children, about family life and about being a parent. Most of all, it is about freedom - and how the tension between personal fulfillment and family life may be resolved. Lifeways originated amongst groups of women - and some men - who were seeking a renewing spirit for family life. They sought to create a new vision of the tasks of mothers and fathers, a new eye for the meaning of home as a place which supports all those involved, children and adults, in their "life-ways."

More Lifeways

Finding support and inspiration in family life

Patti Smith and Signe Eklund Schaefer


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More Lifeways is parents talking to parents, sharing personal accounts of their life-journeys, their times of rejoicing and times of tears. I always find that first person stories, "How I got through it," can be deeply heartening and often encourage me to take my own next step. More Lifeways is filled with this sort of strength.