Parenting books

Planning with Kids

By Nicole Avery
Publisher: Wrightbooks
RRP $29.95
ISBN: 9780730375647

Subtitled “A guide to organising the chaos and making time for family fun” this gem of a book is written by a mum of five kids aged 2 to 12 whose blog of the same name is huge among blogging mums. Nicole wasn’t always a master organiser, but after the birth of her second child she decided to apply the same sense of order and organisation she had in her job, to her family life. While her blog contains plenty of tips and tricks to organising a household, the book goes a whole lot further with ideas on family rosters, timetables, meal planning, budgeting and more, so you have more free time for the fun stuff. It will show you how to plan a month’s worth of evening meals in less than an hour; use routines to make mornings manageable, evenings easier and “me time” a reality; and organise your children and your partner to share in the housework without you nagging! There’s also a section dedicated to YOU – how to make time for yourself, your partner, and your interests. What I really liked about this book is that Nicole doesn’t present herself as the perfect housewife and mother, and there is certainly no condescension in her writing. Instead, she is honest yet inspiring, and her book covers a huge scope of family issues from cleaning to finances, babies to schoolchildren, birthday parties to Christmas. This is one book that is not a dust collector - use it and reap the rewards.

By Michael Grose
Publisher: Random House
RRP: $29.95
ISBN: 9781741669480

Parenting educator and author, this is Grose’s eighth book for parents of children aged three to 12. This time, he focuses on how the world is wrapping its kids in cotton wool and how dangerous over‑protecting children can be, with about one in 10 children struggling with anxiety. Grose sets out a series of ideas and practical, common-sense strategies that will enable kids to develop coping skills, as opposed to protecting them completely. Some of his tips include ways to achieve great family communication, even when you’re busy; how to get co-operation from your kids without tears, fears or bribery; and building self-esteem and resilience in your children. Thriving! is easy to read, and useful for busy parents who want to read a small amount at a time.

Politically Incorrect Parenting
By Nigel Latta
Publisher: HarperCollins
RRP: $27.99
ISBN: 9781869508654

Clinical psychologist and father of two, Nigel Latta is already making a name for himself with his new television series due to air soon on Channel Nine, but the book of the same name is equally as entertaining. Latta believes there are too many experts, too many theories and too many parenting books making mums and dads feel like failures. “If I can reassure people that they’re doing okay, that their kids don’t need them to solve every last little problem for them, and that with a little common sense and a few simple tools you can deal with just about any parenting dilemma you’re likely to face, then I’d consider it a job well done,” he says. Latta offers up logical and realistic strategies to parenting problems including real-life examples, and while much of his writing is blunt, sometimes shocking, it can also be very funny and written with his tongue firmly in his cheek. 

Make Your Child Brilliant
By Bernadette Tynan
Publisher: Hardie Grant Books
ISBN: 9781844005796
RRP: $35.00

Child psychologist Bernadette Tynan is an international expert in gifted children and has advised parents worldwide about how to unlock the natural gifts in every child. In this book, she argues that every child is talented and that school exams are not necessarily the best way to find out where our child’s skills lie. Using a variety of techniques, she helps parents find their child’s full potential, something particularly useful when choosing the right school for your child. This is a very colourful, easy to read manual, and topics covered include brain training, different ways of learning, choosing a school, goal setting and making every day count.