“Mom Milestones: The True Story of the First Seven Years” by Grace Farris (Workman Publishing)
Forget the sugar-coated tales of what it means to be a new mom. This funny, quick-to-read, graphic version gives the real story. It takes you from “Before Mom Was Born” (hint: she could take her time with meals) all the way through the early elementary years. You will accumulate toys, find places to hide out for a moment’s piece, learn how to leave the house again, and ultimately, fill your heart to bursting. This is a terrific gift for a baby shower or just to yourself.
“You-ology: A Puberty Guide for Every Body” by Melisa Holmes, Trish Hutchinson, and Kathryn Lowe (American Academy of Pediatrics)
In the American Academy of Pediatrics’ first-ever book for children, physicians, including the creators of Girl-ology, help kids learn about themselves and their peers and just exactly what is happening to them during puberty.
Melisa Holmes, a physician, mother of three and co-founder of Girl-ology, is a faculty member at the Medical of University of South Carolina, where she holds joint appointments in pediatrics and obstetrics/gynecology. She said most parents learned about puberty in groups separated by gender. This book changes that.
Puberty is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. This book lets children know that each person and when and how they change is different.
“There’s such a broad range that children experience, whether it’s their age, what’s happening to their body, their genetics – there’s just so many things that affect puberty, that we’re just trying to normalize that it’s different for everybody, even though everybody’s going to go through it,” Holmes said. “It’s going to be a unique experience for each person.”
Holmes said the book’s inclusive language, written in keeping with the AAP’s position on gender-affirming care, is written with compassion, to help children feel empathy and respect for each other. She urges parents to read the book first and to keep an open mind.
“I think every generation has had its challenges between the parents and the kids exploring new territory,” she said. “And youth today have really given us this whole new language, and it’s actually just a better vocabulary. People haven’t changed, but our vocabulary has changed.”
“Building Happier Kids: Stress-Busting Tools for Parents” by Hansa Bhargava (American Academy of Pediatrics)
It is clear that the pandemic has increased stress on kids and teens, but Pediatrician Hansa Bhargava, a mom of two teens, offers realistic tools to help families get back to the happiness of childhood. She helps guide parents and kids back to the basics – the “four pillars” of sleep, nutrition, downtime, and healthy relationships – that can not only lead to greater happiness now, but build a solid foundation for health into adulthood.
Each chapter in this book includes “toolbox takeaways” to keep families on track toward reducing and mitigating stress, as well as quizzes to assess where kids, teens, and parents might need to focus. Parents are given tips on what to look for if a child might be in crisis, how to reduce the impact of all that lockdown screentime, and even how to pull back from the tight schedules that can increase stress for everyone in the family.