dy’s media connections are a plus in marketing her as a speaker to companies interested in a Lean In–type approach for
For fathers, dad-gear entrepreneur
Chris Pegula follows up 2014’s From
Dude to Dad, which sold 23,000 print
copies, according to Nielsen BookScan,
with Diaper Dude (May). Positioned as a
lighthearted guide to surviving the first
two years of fatherhood, the book is
meant to encourage men as they slog
through the anxieties and joys that come
with being a parent.
Mindfulness has gone mainstream, and
several forthcoming parenting titles tap
into meditation and other spiritual practices and traditions in an effort to soothe
Meditation teacher Ali Katz self-published Hot Mess to Mindful Mom in 2015.
Skyhorse picked up the title for publication in April;
book, Get the Most
Out of Motherhood,
follows in July.
self-care in an effort to promote
among the perennially frantic.
Leah Zarra, assistant editor at Sky-
horse, says such books provide “helpful,
relatable stories about Mom focusing
on herself rather than putting everyone
In Mothering with Courage (Familius,
May), Bonnie Compton, a parent coach
and adolescent therapist, offers interac-
tive journaling exercises meant to guide
mothers to calm and connectedness with
their offspring. The Empowered Mom by
Lisa Druxman (Fair Winds, Aug.) is laid
out in a similar workbook style, aimed in
this case at helping women balance their
lives in order to feel uplifted and re-
freshed for the job of mothering.
Shamanistic Wisdom for Pregnancy and
In 1980, Rawson & Wade published How to Talk So Kids Will
Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine
Mazlish. The authors advocated an approach called humanistic parenting, which advises compassionately guiding a child
in his actions rather than influencing him with rewards and
More than three million copies later, according to current
publisher Scribner, Faber’s daughter, Joanna, and coauthor
Julie King have written How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen
(Jan.), a guide to living with children ages two to seven.
What accounts for the continued popularity of Faber and Mazlish’s methods
amid continually shifting parenting trends? Joanna Faber, a parenting and
education expert who leads humanistic workshops for families, explains.
Why is your mother’s parenting approach still relevant today?
One of things that always amazes me is how long information [about humanistic parenting] has been around. And yet, all these years later, people are still
struggling with the mechanics of how to get the kids into the tub and out of
the tub and into PJs and into bed, how to get them not to kick the dog or shove
the little sister. We still have the challenge of getting through a day without
it feeling like a series of conflicts that wear you down.
What do you think your book offers a contemporary readership?
Our book has a very nuts-and-bolts interpretation of [my mother’s] ideas and
principles, and it plops them right down into the middle of the 21st-century
family home and says, okay, what do you do when your kid insists on throwing sand in the playground? It’s not just a parenting treatise. We have stories
from our own families, and groups we’ve led, and classrooms where teachers
have resolved conflicts with humor and engagement, without punishments,
threats, or bribes.
Why haven’t parenting books moved beyond the evergreen topics?
Why aren’t they common sense? They should be; they should be in our DNA.
But here’s a trend you don’t need me to tell you about: There are so many
families now where both parents are working full time, and the kids are
scheduled up to their necks. The time pressures are enormous, and there’s
more stress than ever. Parents are also dealing with all the electronics, and
schools where young children are expected to do an hour of homework or more.
The stresses now are different.
Do these sorts of changes affect fundamental parenting advice?
Nonupdated books are a distraction. People have commented on things in my
mom’s book, which assumes Mom is home and Dad is off to work. That’s not
our world anymore. I can’t even tell parents, “Let your kids rewind.” We don’t
rewind now; tapes are outdated technology. In another 20 years, [our book’s]
stories will be old and useless, and we’ll have to update them again. —L.N.
The coauthor of How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen introduces humanistic parenting to millennials.
Q&A WITH JOANNA FABER