For September Literacy Month – books for parents and children
A POINT OF AWARENESS - Preciosa S. Soliven (The Philippine Star) - September 15, 2016 - 12:00am

Between the ‘20s to the ‘30s, most women just finished high school like my mama and mother-in-law Pelagia Soliven. They continued their schooling by reading books and magazines. The two housewives kept up with current and modern issues like college students seemingly under the tutelage of their husbands Atty. Calixto Silverio and Assemblyman-lawyer Benito Soliven. One can say that their major was cooking, housekeeping and child rearing.

It was the habit of reading which guided Mama after the liberation of Manila when polio was rampant, to have my baby cousin, Lito who contracted it, prepared to be operated at the orthopedic hospital when he was in grade school. He underwent two more operations which allowed him to walk in high school. It was also Mama’s idea to let the dentist fix braces for my front teeth during the fifties when it was just a recent dental practice.

Today, UNESCO refers to adults who continue their education outside a formal classroom as the accomplishment of post literacy work.

Observing that many adults stop reading as soon as they get married, UNESCO has encouraged the “continuum education program.” For the millions of housewives today in the Philippines, either the working ones of the stay-at-home kind, I recommend that following books for their family library.

Mothering and fathering, step-parenting and other proven child-care tips

Motherhood, The Second Oldest Profession by Erma Bombeck. Heavily laced with sense and good humor, Ms. Bombeck gives a compassionate yet critical and all-encompassing look at the sovereign state of motherhood.

The Father Factor by Henry B. Biller, Ph.D. and Robert J. Trotter. A breakthrough guide for fathers of the nineties, this how-to manual focuses on the unique contributions that only a father can make to parenting, taking him off the sidelines of child-rearing and providing him with the practical tools to become the best father he can be, while steering clear of sex role stereotypes.

How to Father by Dr. Fitzhugh Dodson. Like the book mentioned above, this is also an indispensable guide to help every father (married, widowed or divorced) to understand his essential role in his children’s healthy, happy development.

Raising the Only Child by Murray Kappelman, M.D. In this intelligent and practical book, Dr. Kappelman shows that the only child does not have to be the self-absorbed over-privileged child of popular myth if parents are prepared for the pressures and pitfalls and learn to avoid them.

First Child, Second Child by Bradford Wilson and George Edington. This book explains, in amazingly accurate detail why you have developed the problems and prejudices, the anxieties and preferences that grew out of your place in the family. It is the exciting new way to understand yourself.

Sisters and Brothers – Resolving Your Adult Sibling Relationships by Patti McDermott, MFCC. Without using too many psychological terms and instead narrating many real life anecdotes, therapist Patti McDermott leads you through the nagging issues that plague your relationships with your siblings.

Among other things, you will learn how to equalize your relationship, overcome a legacy of favoritism or abuse, and grow beyond childhood labels and family roles.

Instant Parent – The Delightfully Practical, Totally Honest and Absolutely Essential Guide for New Stepparents by Suzy Kalter. Ms. Kalter, in this book, delineates the feelings and foibles of instant parents and grandparents. She humorously identifies the problems for a new breed of parent, and then outlines a practical and workable solution.

Foster Parenting for Young Children – Guidelines From a Foster Parent by Evelyn H. Felker. This work takes in all aspects of the foster parent’s particular role with young children, through application, daily care, the biological parents, the caseworker and the agency, and the foster parent association.

The Secret of Happy Children – A New Guide for Parents by Steve Biddulph. This book shows how accidental hypnosis’ takes place in everyday family life, so that children are programmed to be losers often before they even start school.

Transactional Analysis for Moms and Dads by Muriel James. Ms. James shows how parents can use transactional analysis (TA) to recognize unpleasant feelings and behavior (your own and your children’s) and turn them into pleasant ones.

Other titles worth reading on this subject are Step-Parenting – How to Live with Other People’s Children by Brenda Maddox, It Works for Us - Proven Child-Care Tips from Experienced Parents Across the Country by Tom McMahon, Good Behavior by Stephen W. Garber, Ph.D. and Robyn Freedman Spizman, Parenting Young Children by Don Dinkmeyer, Ph.D.

Parental discipline

Assertive Discipline for Parents – A Proven Step-by Step Approach to Solving Everyday Behavior Problems by Lee Canter and Marlene Canter. Author Lee Canter presents an easy to follow blueprint which will enable parents to master the skills needed to guide their children’s behavior successfully.

Keys to Disciplining your Young Child by Eleanor Siegel, M.A. and Linda Siegel, M.D. Focusing on children from infancy to age five, the authors discuss practical ways to handle such concerns as toilet training, bedtime struggles, lying, fighting and child friendships.

Friday’s Child – The Threat to Moral Education by Carol Lee. This book will lead you to discover why the author believes that only by working with children can we hope to create a society for tomorrow which deals with the abuse, violence and exploitation we see today.


1001 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Schoolwork by Lawrence J. Greene. This is an A to Z guide to common problems and their practical solutions. This book will enable you to take positive practical steps, making learning a creative, joyous experience and give your child the essential tools for success in school and in life.

The Homework Solution – Getting Kids to Do Their Homework by Linda Agler Sonna, Ph.D. The author presents a homework program that promises to work on some scale for all students – from the most gifted to the most handicapped students, and all those children somewhere in between.

Adolescence and growing up with teenagers

Between Parent and Teenager by Dr. Haim Ginott. In this book, Dr. Ginott focuses on letting go as the key to peaceful and meaningful coexistence between parent and teenager.

Not My Kid – A Parent’s Guide to Kids and Drugs by Beth Polson and Miller Newton, Ph.D. From both personal and professional experience, the authors of this book gives parents a better understanding of how easy it is for the best of kids to be lured by the temptations of peer pressure, constant exposure and society’s message to “feel good.” Offering sound, practical advice for both prevention and cure, they will help you recognize and combat the hidden messages that make kids think drugs are okay, see the danger signals that tell your kids on drugs, where to get professional help and deal with the pain inflicted on the rest of the family.

Understanding Your Teenager’s Depression – Issues, Insights and Practical Guidance for Parents by Kathleen McCoy, Ph.D. In this completely revised and updated version, the author provides parents with the information and understanding to recognize the frequently obscured symptoms of depression and offers appropriate advice to cope with this critical problem.

Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees – A Parents’ Guide to Raising Financially Responsible Children by Neale S. Godfrey and Carolina Edwards.

This unique program for kids – from those as young as three to those in their teens – teaches them how to earn, save and spend money wisely while it lets parents clearly communicate their family’s values.

You may also want to read When Kids are Mad, Not Bad by Henry A. Paul, M.D., a guide to recognizing and handling children’s anger.

Children with special needs

Filipino Children Under Stress – Family Dynamics and Therapy by Maria Lourdes Arellano Carandang. A first Filipino child psychologist, this book gives insights into the workings of the Filipino family and its problems – those which are reflected in the child under stress.

Learning Disabilities – The Developing Child by Jerome Bruner, Michael Cole and Barbara Lloyd. This book will show you how the sciences of cognitive psychology and neurophysiology have illuminated the essential process of reading, writing, spelling, drawing and calculating.

Children with Special Needs in the Infants’ School by Lesley Webb. This book is about the work of real teachers with real children. The book aims to help teachers recognize the significance of some sorts of behavior, aid them in coming to a decision about possible courses of action in the classroom, seek the help of concerned agencies if needed, and suggest teachers’ cooperation with these agencies.

Overachieving Parents, Underachieving Children – Working Together to Help Your Child Find Success by Dorothy A. Bodenburg, MFCC. This book helps you recognize the special dynamics that keep you from getting through to your children. It shows you where the problems originate, and how to work with your child to solve them.

Aside from these, the following titles are highly recommended for those parents with special children: Gifted Children – How to Identify and Teach Them by Owenita Sanderlin, Parent’s Guide to Raising a Gifted Child – Recognizing and Developing Your Child’s Potential by James Alvino, Raising Children in a Difficult Time by Dr. Benjamin Spock, Play Therapy by Virginia M. Axline, Smarter Kids by Lawrence J. Greene, The Autonomous Child by Carol Speekman Klass, Your Child’s Growing Mind – A Guide to Learning and Brain Development From Birth to Adolescence by Jane M. Healy, Ph.D., Pricing the Priceless Child by Viviana A. Zelizer, and Educating Exceptional Children in Regular Classroom by Harold Love, Ed.D.

Enjoy the September Book Fair

If you’re looking to building a library of books or a collection of your favorite reads, this is a good time to head toward the SMX Convention Center for the 37th Manila Book Fair, which runs from Sept. 14 to 18.

This is the biggest book fair in the Philippines where all publishing houses and book stores sell a variety of local and international books.

The University Press of Ateneo, UST, UP, etc. display their collection of books published. Spiritual and religious publications like St. Paul’s, Bayard Presse and Theosophical Society of the Philippines sell their publications with good discounts.

Major dailies like Philippine STAR, Inquirer, Manila Bulletin, etc. have their own cubicles too.

Schedule a trip to the book fair and start your own tradition of reading!

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