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Trees Make the Best Mobiles: Simple Ways to Raise Your Child in a Complex World
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Trees Make the Best Mobiles: Simple Ways to Raise Your Child in a Complex World

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  141 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Books like Simplify Your Life and Don't Sweat the Small Stuff have encouraged millions of readers to slow down and enjoy life more. Now, Jessica Teich and Brandel France de Bravo help new parents- who barely have time to return a phone call or wash a sock- learn to do less, listen more, and spend focused, fruitful time with their children. Practical and fun to read, Trees ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published September 21st 2002 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published December 20th 2001)
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Dec 29, 2008 Alyson rated it it was ok
This book took no more than two hours to breeze through--I don't think it's worth more time than that. I appreciated many of the principles and picked up a few tricks of the trade, but I knew it wasn't the ultimate parenting book for me when I came to the longest (by far) chapter in the book--choosing the right nanny for your child!
Christina Kessler
Oct 11, 2011 Christina Kessler rated it it was amazing
I picked this up in a used book store on a whim and was so very pleasantly surprised to find that it was written by two RIE parents and is a great low-key introduction to the RIE philosophy. It's not actually published or approved by the RIE board, but these parents clearly know their RIE stuff and have real experience implementing it in our society.

I highly recommend this very friendly book for someone that is a little intimidated by the idea of "RIE" or a structured child care philosophy but
Dec 09, 2008 Lupine rated it it was ok
I am all about simplifying things with the baby. I love the premise "trees make the best mobiles" and I think that there are a lot of extraneous things we do that make our lives more complicated than they need to be, especially once the baby arrives. We don't need to spend hundreds of dollars to entertain a 3 month old? Yesss!!And it's written in short 1-2 page chapters - perfect for a mom with limited time. That being said, I really wanted to like this more than I did.

Some of it seemed....well
Jul 11, 2015 Amy rated it liked it
This parenting book is meant to ease parents' guilt and assure them that babies/small children don't need every new-fangled toy that's guaranteed to make them smarter and develop faster. What they need is you, their parent(s). It also offers better ways of communicating with small children with regards to discipline, tantrums, and frustration.
Jun 18, 2008 Naomi rated it it was amazing
This is pretty much the one and only parenting book I have read. I have never been a fan of "how-to" books unless I am trying to learn something like Photoshop. But this book came my way and for the life of me, I can not remember if I bought it, if someone let me borrow it, or if someone gave it to me, but I am thankful for having the book none the less.

I love this book. I tells you, its okay to live a simple life and it is okay to raise your baby with simple things in this fast and demanding so
Feb 13, 2011 Callie rated it liked it
i like it at first and there were some ideas, but it got preachy and by the end i was skimming just to get it over with. no real evidence is presented to back up the ideas given but like i said, there were a few good ideas. the one point that i am trying to adopt is to really be present with your child. i find myself a distracted mommy sometimes...jumping up from playtime to write a quick email, talking on the phone while nursing, etc. i know that these times will fly by, so i am trying to use s ...more
Jan 20, 2013 Laurian rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
My children's school gave this book to me to explain their philosophy. I found myself agreeing with most of it, much like how I agree with my Chinese year animal. The advice and descriptions are so bland that they are easy to agree with. I didn't like the overall theme that children will do what they like when they like and how they like because they "naturally" develop. That goes against much of what developmental psychologists have pushed against for the last 20 years. But I think what is most ...more
Feb 03, 2011 Lori rated it it was ok
So disappointing. My baby loves looking at trees so I thought this would be helpful. And I did give it a second pity star because some of the suggestions were nice. But basically some journalist is sharing the 'best' way to raise your baby based on nothing but her personal opinion and bias. If somebody makes claims like this I need something to back it up. This is more of a 'your a bad person if you do X,Y,Z, but with nothing to back it up. I'll admit I couldn't finish it, I was too annoyed. May ...more
Jul 29, 2014 Charity rated it liked it
Unscientific and overly basic.
Jul 28, 2010 Tracyesine rated it did not like it
I didn't find anything of use in this book - other than, as another reviewer said, the title. I read it hoping that it would contain advice about how to truly simplify, but it was just preachy and demanding. It calls on parents to cater constantly to children, which, to me, is the opposite of simplifying. The tone, which sends the underlying message that most parents' normal instincts are crap, is also off-putting.
Jan 03, 2010 Denise rated it liked it
This book caught my eye at the library. It is geared towards new parents but I thought it would be interesting to skim it. I found it mostly intuitive but I probably would have liked this a lot had I read it when it was more relevant to my life. What I liked the most were the random little tidbits of information about world events and mentions of literary figures and quotes. Very random but made it even more interesting.
Apr 07, 2012 Anna rated it liked it
Although I got a couple of decent tidbits from this book (which I have learned is about as much as you can expect from most parenting books), the overall tone was too condescending for me to really enjoy reading it. I mean "sleep begets sleep." What kind of advice is that? If I could get my kid to sleep more I certainly would.

Anyway, it's easy to pick up while your nursing and read a chapter here and there.
Jun 23, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
I loved this quick read. It follows many of the principles I strive for with my parenting and lays each subject out in a short chapter with ideas and theories to model.

It is RIE parenting, a school of thought I recently came across and am loving.

If you have a toddler (or will soon) and read nothing else in this book, read the 3pg chapter "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to: temper tantrums."
Sep 11, 2007 Bonnie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: New Moms
How I learned to stop worrying and love my child...I took away: if you can do nothing else, just sitting down for 20 minutes a day and either doing something your child likes or even simply paying attention to what he's doing can make a huge difference! Parenting based on empathy & respect. Just makes sense. Trees really did make the best mobiles!
Nov 05, 2009 Sarah rated it did not like it
Maybe I am not normal, but this parenting philosophy didn't really sit for me. They discouraged using high chairs.... seriously?!?!?! They did make a few good points about babies needing one on one time with parents rather then more toys and activities, but I just wasn't a fan. Maybe it is because Will and Lily had AWESOME non-tree mobiles.
Roslyn Ross
Oct 29, 2011 Roslyn Ross rated it liked it
Some fine essays. But nothing new or revolutionary in terms of ideas. Not particularly well written. It's just one more book by some mom's who want to share their parenting philosophy with the world. Kind of annoying in that it has a whole lot of "shoulds" without scientific studies or real philosophical analyzation.
Oct 11, 2010 Katie rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting
Some suggestions I really like, some I don't. Overall, I like the idea and the theme of the book and the nice, short chapters. Yes, much of this is probably common sense, but it can be good to be reminded to slow down, enjoy life/your family, and stop accumulating too much (overstimulating) stuff.
LM Yellow
Jun 21, 2012 LM Yellow rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
this is a horrible baby book and the title is the only good
piece of advice. To be fair I only read about a third of it and skimmed the rest. The blogger who writes in The trivial pursuit of
happiness was reading it and I thought the cover looked cute so kudos to the publisher.
Oct 19, 2011 Amy rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
It got a little preachy by the end, but still a nice read with some great parenting advice/philosophy.

Thank you for this neat little book, Sarah! I'm about 1/4 of the way through it and like it a lot so far. It's very yogi, very much the type of parent I'd like to be...
Jul 01, 2009 Abbey rated it did not like it
This was very, very bad. It was like talking to a woman in the grocery store who "knows" how to raise children... but doesn't actually have any of her own. It was all rambles and opinions. I liked the sentiment but most of it is common sense or great in theory.
Apr 20, 2013 Claire rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, parenting
Meh. I like the theme of simplification, but this didn't do much for me. Every section starts kinda cheerily and forced with odd statements or quotations. The advice is not backed up with even personal experiences.
Mar 25, 2009 Anna rated it really liked it
Most of this stuff is pretty obvious, but it's a great reminder. Well-written, funny, in nice very short chapters (perfect to read while holding a baby!). Simplify, simplify, simplify.
Jun 15, 2013 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting
I expected this to be a bit more counter-cultural, but it still has a bunch of MUST DOs and outdated parenting advice mixed in with her good ideas.
Oct 13, 2012 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
Jenn Kali
Oct 09, 2009 Jenn Kali rated it liked it
interesting ideas about letting go and letting your child grow at their own pace. but poorly written, rambling, and hard to get through.
Shannon Garcia Shinn
Jan 07, 2012 Shannon Garcia Shinn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-my-kiddo
By far the best insights into parenting. Keep it simple, be present and use the natural world are key points that I reflect on continually.
Jun 19, 2012 Myra rated it liked it
Mostly really great, although I think that bits of it are a little too idealistic. Still, the goals are admirable.
Mar 12, 2009 Carissa rated it it was ok
eh, like most parenting philosophy books-- take what you will, leave what you don't like. most of it is common sense.
Sep 18, 2011 laura rated it it was amazing
a quick read - easy and short chapters of valuable insight. simple and sensible!
Feb 19, 2009 Rachel rated it really liked it
Great contemplations on slow parenting, in bite-size chunks for the busy parent!
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Jessica Teich graduated summa cum laude from Yale and received an M.Phil degree from Oxford, where she was a Rhodes scholar. Her previous book, Trees Make The Best Mobiles: Simple Ways To Raise Your Child In A Complex World, appeared in Vanity Fair, People, Us, and The Chicago Tribune, and was featured on the Today show.

For almost a decade, Teich worked as a literary manager at the Mark Taper For
More about Jessica Teich...

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