Self-help books are an easy read at the library

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 24, 2014

Less Doing, More Living: Make Everything in Life Easier is by efficiency expert Ari Meisel. These days we all seem to have very busy lives. The only way to get more done is to put in more time—at the office, running errands, and spending time with the family. However, there are only twenty-four hours in a day and something or someone always seems to be left out; usually family time. What if we could do less and free up more time for the things and the people that we love? Ari Meisel is a TEDx speaker, efficiency consultant, and achievement architect who has designed a program for getting more done in less time. Meisel explains the fundamental principles of his “Less Doing” philosophy and educates you on how to optimize your workflow with twenty-first-century apps and tools. You learn how to create an “external brain” in the Cloud to do things like keep track of appointments, meetings, and ideas. The author also teaches us about the three fundamentals of wellness—fitness, sleep, and nutrition—and how technology can help us improve these areas of life. Meisel uses technology to give you new tools and techniques for streamlining your workload, bringing more efficiency to day-to-day activities, and making everything in your live easier.

iRules: What Every Tech-Healthy Family Needs to Know About Selfies, Sexting, Gaming, and Growing Up is by Janell Burley Hofmann. The author is a parent coach who writes about parenting and technology for The Huffington Post. When her thirteen-year-old son wanted an iPhone, Mrs. Hofmann drew up a list of rules for her son to follow; she called them her iRules. Her editor at the Huffington Post learned of these rules and posted the contract online, it went viral. Parents were inspired. Her first rule reads, “It is my phone. I bought it. I pay for it. I am loaning it to you. Aren’t I the greatest?” Rule number nine says, “Do not text, e-mail, or say anything to someone that you would not say out loud with their parents in the room. Censor yourself.” Her final rule, number eighteen, says, “You will mess up. I will take away your phone. We will sit down and talk about it. We will start over again. You and I, we are always learning. I am on your team. We are in this together.” Hofmann gives families the tools they need to find a balance between technology and human interaction. She educates parents about the online culture tweens and teens dive into the moment they go online. She explores issues like cyber bullying, sexting, and friend fail, and she helps parents to create their own iRules contract to fit each family’s needs. Hofmann helps parents figure out when to unplug and how to keep up-to-date with the ever-changing world of technology, while teaching their children self-respect, integrity, and responsibility.

Is That Me Yelling? A Parent’s Guide to Getting Your Kids to Cooperate Without Losing Your Cool is by Rona Renner, RN. It is hard being a parent and when your child refuses to do even the little things you ask, it is easy to become frustrated. Sometimes you may overreact and wind up asking yourself, “Is that me yelling?” Renner presents a gentle, effective way for you to get your kids to cooperate without losing your temper. Her powerful technique is based upon temperament theory and mindfulness which help you to reduce conflict and foster cooperation, respect, and understanding within your family. Also included in this book are strategies to help parents manage their own stress when frustration levels are at their highest, as well as practical solutions to help you center yourself and communicate effectively and compassionately with your child in a way that will benefit both of you.

8 Keys to End Bullying: Strategies for Parents & Schools is a book by Signe Whitson. There are some exceptional books that explain the psychology of bullying and the social climate that give rise to such cruelty and aggression. Signe Whitson takes the research into bullying and synthesizes eight simple, targeted truths to equip educators, professionals, and parents with practical ways to tackle bullying head-on. Social media bullying has given new avenues for bullies to ply their cruelty against would-be victims. While there is no one cure-all, adults can implement several different quick and easy techniques like creating a positive school climate, addressing cyber bullying, building social-emotional competence, and reaching out to kids who bully.

Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain is a book by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. Between the ages of twelve and twenty-four, the human brain changes in important and sometimes challenging ways. Renowned psychiatrist Siegel busts some commonly held myths about adolescence only to reveal how this time is in fact a vital time for us to chart the course for the adults that we ultimately become. During adolescence, we learn important skills like how to leave home and enter the larger world, how to connect deeply with others, and how to safely experiment and take risks. All of these experiences prepare us for creating strategies for dealing with the world’s complex problems. Siegel presents an inside-out approach to focus on how brain development affects behavior and relationships. He also explores ways in which understanding how the brain functions can improve the lives of adolescents, ultimately making their relationships more fulfilling and less lonely and distressing for them and the adults in their lives. Teens and parents are given a road map for understanding the adolescent mind that will help families make it through the “teenage years” and beyond.

Evangeline Cessna is a history librarian at the Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library.

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