There are so many books that have helped me become a better parent, so it’s hard to choose just one.
When our children were little, we read a lot of books together. One of our favorite series were the OLIVER AND AMANDA PIG books written by Jean van Leeuwen and illustrated by Anna Schweninger. The stories mirrored our life together, cooking, cleaning, gardening, playing, and resolving conflicts. I learned so much from Mama Pig! When I accidentally stepped on a toy car in the kitchen and landed on my backside, I remembered how Mama Pig controlled her anger when she slipped on the wet bathroom floor. She joined in the soapy fun. Later, they all mopped and dried off the floor. Likewise, after a good laugh, we all picked up the toys.Over and over, the depictions of simple family life reinforced my desire for simplicity and the value of cherishing all the small moments. I learned from Mama Pig to be patient as we baked bread together, flour dusting the entire kitchen. I learned to spend time throwing rocks in the pond for the fun of hearing the plop and watching the ripples. I learned to hug harder and more frequently. Mama Pig *showed* me how to be a mother who was firm, yet gentle, hard-working, yet fun, in control, without being overbearing.
As the children grew and parenting became more challenging, we turned to Christ. The Bible has many passages on raising Godly children. The books we have found most helpful in this regard are BE A MAN! by Fr. Larry Richards and ADVICE FOR SUCCESSFUL FAMILIES by Fr. Alain Dalagneau. We have read and discussed these books with our teenaged children and I am thankful they are growing up to know, to love, and to serve God.