While picking up some travel books at the library, it occurred to me that they probably also had some books on parenting that might be helpful for our upcoming foster adventure. So, I made my way over to those stacks of books. As I was flipping through titles, Karen Levine's A Survival Guide for Child Care Providers caught my eye. It was slim, and bright yellow - I was sold enough to rent it from the library.
I have to say, I am really impressed with this little volume. The book is made up of bite-size chunks of advice for folks who run child care centers. While some of the advice was specific to running a daycare (something I'm not planning on doing anytime soon), most of it seems to apply to caring for children in general. There were actually a number of things I liked about the book:
- It's a super fast read
- It talks about my favorite psychological state - Flow, which automatically gives the author points in my book
- It's mostly practical advice, but there's also a smattering of child development theory too. This theory helps explain why some practices make as much sense as they do
- An impressive range of topics is covered, especially given the size of the book
- The language and strategies discussed in the book seem to dovetail well with the training we received
- It's interesting to get a day-care provider's view of children, and if nothing else, gives you a sense as to how a well run child care should function
From a foster parenting perspective the book is nice for two reasons. First, it covers a whole range of ages from infant through toddler. So regardless of the age of our first placement, I'll feel like I'm just a little bit more prepared. Secondly, because the book is written from a child-care provider's perspective, it assumes that there are other interested parties in the picture (such as parents!) who you'll need to work with. This is also the case with foster parenting, where there are birth parents, social workers, and others who play key roles in the child's life.
Is this the only book on parenting you'll ever need? Definitely not. And of course, I have no idea if the advice will actually be useful or effective. But, given its size, how well it's written, and the range of advice it covers - I think it's a winner. I give it a 9.5/10.0.
What books on parenting do you recommend?