Kevin Salwen, coauthor of The Power of Half.
Topic: One family’s decision to stop taking and start giving.
Issues: Realizing how much each of us has; what can you give away? The importance of volunteering; starting a family conversation; tapping into anger; experiencing the lives of others.
Joan Friedman, author of Emotionally Healthy Twins.
Topic: A new philosophy for parenting two unique children.
Issues: Recognizing each twin as a unique individual; fostering each child’s separate friendships and activities; coping with the stress that comes with caring for two babies at the same time.
Alan Kazdin, author of The Kazdin Method for Parenting the Defiant Child.
Topic: Parenting a defiant child without pills, therapy, or battles.
Issues: Why most of the parenting advice we get is guaranteed to fail; a research-based and proved approach that is guaranteed to work.
[amazon asin=0307884848&template=thumbleft&chan=default]John Elder Robison, author of Raising Cubby.
Topic: A father and son’s adventure with Asperger’s, trains, tractors, and high explosives.
Issues:How an unapologetically eccentric dad raised his equally eccentric son. A tender, suspenseful, and laugh-out-loud funny story of a father and son who grow up together.
[amazon asin=0062208969&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Andrea Buchanan, author of The Double Daring Book for Girls.
Topic: A guide to everything a girl needs to know
Issue: Camping to schoolyard games, great women in history, shooting pool; how to throw and catch; making sand castles, the Greek alphabet, how to spin a hula hoop, and much more
[amazon asin=0520258444&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Allison Pugh, author of Longing and Belonging.
Topic: Parents, children, and consumer culture
Issues: How parents decrease their own power in the home by putting their children’s needs first; how to handle kids’ consumer desires in a down economy; what really drives consumer desires.
Dear Mr. Dad. I’m the single father of a six-year-old girl. How do I balance being a parent and a friend? I don’t want to lose her by being strict all the time, but I also don’t want her to grow up as a spoiled brat.
A: Somehow people got the idea that parenthood and friendship are mutually exclusive—that it’s one or the other—and that we should always be the parent and never be the friend. That’s absurd. In fact, it’s not only possible to be both, it’s actually a really good idea.
Since I became a father, my wife and I haven’t been able to spend as much time with our friends as we used to. Some of them seem to understand that we’re new parents and our time is limited, but others don’t. They think we should be able to go out as a couple and socialize just as much as we did before we had a child. Is there anything we can do to keep our friendships alive?
Considering how small and helpless babies are, it’s really amazing that they can have such a powerful impact on the lives of the adults around them. Simply by being born, your baby has already transformed you and your partner from a “couple” into “parents” and your parents and in-laws into, gasp, “grandparents.” Even more amazing is the impact that babies have on the pre-existing relationships between the adults in their lives. Babies can bring a couple together, for example, or they can create a lot of stress (or at least magnify it). They can reunite families and mend old wounds or they can open new ones. They can even change the nature of your friendships.