Back to School Books for the Parents

Aug 07, 2023 at 10:15 am by RMGadmin

By Emily Evans

Hello to the new school year!

Parents throughout Williamson County are busy preparing for back to school. After a summer of endless swimming and riding bikes, bare feet and flip flops, camps, new activities, relaxed mealtimes and bedtimes - the kids are living their best lives, while many parents are beginning to yearn for structure and routine that come with the school calendar. Many of us are sending our children off to a parent’s day out program or preschool, and elementary, middle, high school and even college. Our children are excited for new backpacks, lunch boxes, supplies, school clothes and even dorm room décor…even though, regardless of age, they may be lamenting that summer is drawing to a close. 
Parents of young children often face separation issues as they detach from their children at the start of the new school year. Many send their toddlers off to a parent’s day out program for the first time and are longing for a few hours of uninterrupted time to grocery shop, run errands, workout, etc., and it can certainly be a big transition for toddlers and parents alike. Similarly, elementary school can also bring on hectic mornings as parents are trying to get kids up and fed and to school when the kids are not as conscious of the clock ticking! Raising Good Humans by Hunter Clarke-Fields, MSAE, is a valuable book for parents to read that is packed full of wisdom and personal experiences to help parents create more peace within their families. The author offers skills and strategies to help calm stress responses when children are not listening, and parents are frustrated. Reacting with more patience and kindness, will have a positive impact on our children and, in turn, they will model that same behavior. 
Parents of middle school aged children are hoping the new year brings social and emotional growth as they get older and navigate more on their own. It also can be challenging as children are testing boundaries and influenced by peers. Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish co-authored the book How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, that was first published in 2004 and is in its twentieth edition. In this national best seller, Faber and Maizlish offer support and methods of communication, illustrated with whimsical cartoons, to help parents communicate more effectively with their children in a calm and respectful manner at a stage of parenting when emotions can run high.
Parents of teenagers and college-aged students are often less involved in the back-to-school preparations, but they are facing the increased level of independence in their children as well as the intense academic and social pressures that comes with this stage. One of my most favorite books for this stage of parenting is How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims, who is a former Dean of Freshman at Stanford University. In this brilliant book, Lythcott-Haims highlights the ways in which over-parenting harms us as parents, our children and the society at large. She offers strategies to help parents of children from toddlers to young adults to allow them to make mistakes and develop resilience, resourcefulness and inner strength necessary to their success. This is also an excellent time to introduce teens and young adults to personal finance and help them to better manage their money. I recommend Personal Finance for Teens and College Students by Kara Ross. 
There are so many best-selling books available to parents to help us navigate the years with children in school, but I have included some of my favorites. I hope that you will find one or more of these helpful as you begin an exciting new school year.