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Powerful Books About Motherhood

5 Books | by Real Simple

The Teenage Brain

The Teenage Brain

Books

A New York Times BestsellerRenowned neurologist Dr. Frances E. Jensen offers a revolutionary look at the brains of teenagers, dispelling myths and offering practical advice for teens, parents and teachers.Dr. Frances E. Jensen is chair of the department of neurology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. As a mother, teacher, researcher, clinician, and frequent lecturer to parents and teens, she is in a unique position to explain to readers the workings of the teen brain. In The Teenage Brain, Dr. Jensen brings to readers the astonishing findings that previously remained buried in academic journals. The root myth scientists believed for years was that the adolescent brain was essentially an adult one, only with fewer miles on it. Over the last decade, however, the scientific community has learned that the teen years encompass vitally important stages of brain development.  Samples of some of the most recent findings include:Teens are better learners than adults because their brain cells more readily "build" memories. But this heightened adaptability can be hijacked by addiction, and the adolescent brain can become addicted more strongly and for a longer duration than the adult brain.Studies show that girls' brains are a full two years more mature than boys' brains in the mid-teens, possibly explaining differences seen in the classroom and in social behavior.Adolescents may not be as resilient to the effects of drugs as we thought. Recent experimental and human studies show that the occasional use of marijuana, for instance, can cause lingering memory problems even days after smoking, and that long-term use of pot impacts later adulthood IQ.Multi-tasking causes divided attention and has been shown to reduce learning ability in the teenage brain. Multi-tasking also has some addictive qualities, which may result in habitual short attention in teenagers.Emotionally stressful situations may impact the adolescent more than it would affect the adult: stress can have permanent effects on mental health and can to lead to higher risk of developing neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression.Dr. Jensen gathers what we’ve discovered about adolescent brain function, wiring, and capacity and explains the science in the contexts of everyday learning and multitasking, stress and memory, sleep, addiction, and decision-making.  In this groundbreaking yet accessible book, these findings also yield practical suggestions that will help adults and teenagers negotiate the mysterious world of adolescent development.

Toddlers Are A**holes

Toddlers Are A**holes

Books

Toddler a**holery is a normal part of human development—not unlike puberty, except this stage involves throwing food on the floor and taking swings at people who pay your way in life. For parents of toddlers, it's a "you better laugh so you don't cry" period. Bunmi Laditan's hilarious, satirical guide to toddlerhood offers parents instant (and very welcome) comic relief—along with the very good news that "It's Not Your Fault." Chapters cover the cost of raising a toddler, feeding your toddler, potty-training, tantrums, how to manage the holidays, and "how not to die inside." Parents will see themselves in the very funny sections on taking your toddler to restaurants ("One parent will spend their time walking your toddler around the restaurant and outside like a cocker spaniel, while the other, luckier parent will eat alone."), Things You Thought You'd Never Say That You Now Say As a Parent of a Toddler ("I can tell you're pooping because your eyes are watering."), and how to order pizza ("Spend $40 on pizza delivery. Listen to your toddler cry for 30 minutes about how the pizza is all wrong. Watch your toddler take a small bite of crust. Google 'can anger give you a heart attack?' Start the bedtime routine."). Laditan's wildly funny voice has attracted hundreds of thousands of fans of Honest Toddler on social media; here she speaks parent-to-tired-parent, easing the pains and challenges of raising toddlers with a hefty dose of adult humor and wit.

Beloved

Beloved

Books

Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding New York Times bestseller transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.

Babygate

Babygate

Books

Moms-to-be get tons of advice on strollers, sleep training, and post-baby workouts. What they don't get is straight talk about navigating the workplace during pregnancy and new parenthood - factors that put many women's jobs in jeopardy. That's why Babygate is essential: the first and only guide to supply parents with the tools they need to keep their jobs. Babygate breaks down the laws on topics across the parenthood spectrum in clear, conversational language, and includes a state-by-state guide so readers know exactly how they're protected (or not) in their hometowns. Best of all, Babygate includes a road map for confronting family-responsibilities discrimination, and a concrete plan for creating a more family-friendly nation. In Babygate, three legal experts share practical tips, real-life stories from moms and dads, and key legal information to spotlight the protections expecting and new parents have (and don't have) in the workplace. This step-by-step guide covers everything from morning sickness to maternity leave to confronting discrimination on the job. Includes quizzes, charts, checklists, sample letters to employers, and a comprehensive breakdown of individual state laws on pregnancy, parenthood, and the workplace.

Bringing Up Bébé

Bringing Up Bébé

Books

“On questions of how to live, the French never disappoint . . . . Maybe it all starts with childhood. That is the conclusion that readers may draw from Bringing Up Bébé.” —The Wall Street Journal“I’ve been a parent now for more than eight years, and—confession—I’ve never actually made it all the way through a parenting book. But I found Bringing Up Bébé to be irresistible." —SlateThe runaway New York Times bestseller that shows American parents the secrets behind France's amazingly well-behaved children, from the author of There Are No Grown-ups. When American journalist Pamela Druckerman had a baby in Paris, she didn't aspire to become a "French parent." But she noticed that French children slept through the night by two or three months old. They ate braised leeks. They played by themselves while their parents sipped coffee. And yet French kids were still boisterous, curious, and creative. Why? How?       With a notebook stashed in her diaper bag, Druckerman set out to investigate—and wound up sparking a national debate on parenting. Researched over three years and written in her warm, funny voice, Bringing Up Bébé is deeply wise, charmingly told, and destined to become a classic resource for American parents.

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