I think you might consider dipping into the classic works on human development, Erik Erikson’s Childhood and Society, John Bowlby’s great trilogy on Attachment, and Daniel Winnicott’s work on mothers and children. In this cluttered landscape, they still hold up as deep thinking about fundamental matters.

There’s a book by an expert for every aspect of child rearing and family relationships. And then there are chat rooms, websites, and blogs. Information swirls around parents today, and there may be no one authority to count on. Grandparents relied on one or two books, their friends, and maybe a doctor or two. The generation gap is increased by the vastly different sources of information we rely upon.

So here’s my recommendation for resources you might explore.

Grandparents, find out the chat rooms, blogs, and websites your kids tend to visit. On whom do they rely? Check them out. You’ll get a sense of their world, and also perhaps a notion of how demanding parenthood is these days.

Parents of the grandchildren, find out the books your parents read when you were growing up, and take a look at them. They will seem outdated, but writers like Dr. Spock, Dr. Berry Brazelton, and Penelope Leach held the wisdom that helped raise you.  You’ll get a sense of what our generation was thinking, and what many of us still believe.

Then go read the great novelists, since they are the wisest students of family dynamics.