1. 365 TV-free Activities you can Do with your Child by Steve and Ruth Bennett As much as possible, electronics are limited in our household and is strictly enforced especially when Mommy and Daddy are around. I have read countless research about child development and how media via electronics, specifically ( iPads, TV, Handheld devices such as phones etc), should be constantly monitored by parents. Thus, I like to give my children activities that encourage them to shut down all screens. It really is a bonding experience to sit down with each of them and guide them through a fun activity. This book gives countless tips on what kids can do using inexpensive household items.
2. Madonna Madonna has always been to me the epitome of reinvention. She signifies someone who is not just defined by static roles of what a woman should be. As a woman and mother, that's important for any woman to remember. I am a mother, but I am also an artist, a wife and sister , a daughter a friend. I am many roles that are evolving daily. That constant reinvention that Madonna epitomized inspires me to do the same in my life.
3. The Baby Dance by Jane Anderson This play is very dear to me as it is a story between two couples, one wanting to adopt and another who needs to give up their fifth child up for adoption because of economic reasons. As a reproductive health advocate, this story is very relevant to our society which is why I want to share and perform it to as many people as possible.
4. A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf A Room Of One's Own is a fictional essay that discusses feminism and the importance for a woman to be educated in order to attain freedom from a patriarchal society. The text is certainly empowering and was really the catalyst for my turning into a writer professionally.
5. Mother A Cradle to Hold Me by Maya Angelou Prior to Maya Angelou passing, I was very familiar with her poems because they speak of love and compassion in the face of being a minority. Her work is a dose of positivism that will make one stand a little taller when the blues come their way.
6. Fatherhood by Bill Cosby Bill Cosby defines my generation as a child. I remember watching a show he did in the eighties where he would ask children random questions on life. His take on fatherhood is engaging, funny and touching.
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7. Make your Kids Smarter by Erika Karres Who doesn't want smarter kids? Parents really have a big hand in nurturing and helping children develop their full potential. This book gives age-appropriate tasks to help parents navigate the plethora of activities that engage a child's intelligence.
8. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, Children are from Heaven by John Gray I read this when I was pregnant and the notion of children being born with their own persona and aura really makes for understanding why our children behave the way they do.
9. Aristophanes Lysistrata by Sarah Ruden This play is a classic greek text that uses comedy to shed light on the power of a woman who uses her sexuality to help stop the "Peloponnesian" war. It doesn't have so much to do about parenthood than it has to do with being a woman, which in my opinion goes hand in hand. Reading text like this inspires me to stand up for what I believe in despite what society confines about what a woman should be.
10. Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld I can't tell you enough how amazing this book is!!!! When you take the time to plan what your child's diet consists of, you will notice definitive behavior shifts towards a more mannered and calm disposition. Giving children the nutrition they need is integral to making them healthy, and this book is a sneaky mom's guide to making dishes that children love without alienating them because it tastes good!
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