Being a parent is scary – you’re thrust into the world with this new little life, and for some reason, they forgot to give you the instruction manual. Just under four years ago, I got my first glimpse at this incredible, but overwhelming, experience. At any point, during any given day, I find myself wondering, “Am I doing this right? What do the experts say? How on Earth am I supposed to explain that to a 3.5-year-old?”.
Being someone who loves to absorb information, and with my background working in a library, I find myself turning to books to try and wade my way through this thing we call parenting. Just a few weeks ago, a parent had stopped in to choose some titles to read to their family. As they were checking out, I let them know that one of the books they’d selected dealt with a difficult topic – the death of a loved one. The parent was excited because it was a topic that they were actually dealing with at home in that instance, but they hadn’t considered the option of using books to work through some of the overwhelming feelings that accompany such a difficult time in life.
Books can be incredibly useful tools to help children share experiences and feelings in a non-threatening environment and provide ways that they can relate to others with similar experiences.
This is where the concept for the Picton Branch Library’s newest book club stemmed from. There’s a Book For That: A Book Club for Parents will meet the first Wednesday of the month at 10:30 am starting Sept. 4, 2019. Mums and Dads can join me for a hot beverage, a chance to chat, and book club where we will discuss some of the biggest struggles we encounter as a caregiver. Attendance is never mandatory (because let’s be honest, sometimes as a parent, you’re lucky to get yourself dressed, let alone out of the house!), and new members are always welcome. Although this isn’t a children’s program, we recognize that often parents may not have childcare, and welcome young ones to accompany whenever necessary.
During this first session, special guest Heather Lemon – retired literacy specialist, will be in attendance to discuss the value of reading to children, and how books can help address issues that families may be going through, as well as how they can provide emotional support to those listening to the stories.. My goal for this book club is to tailor the reading materials to fit the needs of the group. I will have suggestions for topics to cover but I am looking for feedback as to what parents in our community are needing. Really struggling to prepare your only child to be a big sibling? There’s a book for that – like One Special Day by Lola M. Schaefer. Trying to decide if breastfeeding, pumping, combination feeding, or formula is right for you and your family? There’s a book for that – like Dr. Jack Newman’s Guide to Breastfeeding. Pondering homeschooling instead of the public education system? There’s a book for that too – like Homeschooling Methods: seasoned advice on learning styles by Paul Suarez. We will use a variety of sources to supplement our lived experiences including picture books, parenting resources, special guests, and referrals to community partners when appropriate. For more information, or to submit a suggestion, please feel free to touch base with me at 613-476-5962 or firstname.lastname@example.org.