The very best parenting books every parent should read are better than the intentions we bring to them. The good ones are both consoling and challenging, reminding us that to be a parent who is present, and forgiving, and kind, you must first be all of these things to yourself. (Harder than you’d think.) The parenting books listed here are some of the best of the best.
I believe that if you’re going to invest your time and money in reading a parenting book, it should leave you feeling better than you did before — but not in an easy or cheap way, with ten steps or a “plan” for success. Instead, the best parenting books should make us feel better in a complicated, hard-truth way. We can’t really control things (like our kids), but at least we aren’t alone.
So here are my Top 10 recommended Parenting Books to have within reach for help in navigating what are often those bewildering early years? What to read when you don’t really have time to read:
Inside, you’ll find the strategies you need to help your daughter navigate through her world of school cliques, confusing media messages, and pressures to be a “good girl.” With smart, comprehensive advice on the trials and triumphs of raising a daughter with patience, this concise guide explains how you can:
Deal with cliques, bullies, and peer pressure Communicate effectively and sensitively with your daughter Strengthen self-image, resist peer pressure, and promote self-esteem Build emotionally healthy relationships Rebecca Branstetter, PhD, and Erika V. Shearin Karres, EdD, provide you with the information and support you need for parenting with mindfulness, flexibility, and resilience. You’ll be able to create a calm and centered emotional environment for raising well-adjusted, confident girls.Buy now
The tools you need to foster a positive, supportive relationship with your son!
Concerns about self-esteem, peer pressure, and behavior can make raising healthy, happy boys seem overwhelming–but it doesn’t have to be. With the help of The Conscious Parent’s Guide to Raising Boys, you can encourage open communication with your son.
With patience and everyday mindfulness, you can guide your boys from childhood through those challenging developmental years. This easy-to-use guide explains how you can help your son:
- Communicate effectively with others
- Strengthen self-image and resist peer pressure
- Define and exhibit acceptable behavior
- Keep their commitments to family, community, and themselves
Family therapist Jennifer Costa provides you with the information and support you need for parenting with flexibility, resilience, and love so you can create a calm, happy environment for raising well-adjusted, confident boys.Buy now
This easy-to-read, comprehensive guide contains what you need to know on how to parent with confidence. Packed with advice and powerful tips, using the latest research on child development and parenting techniques, it offers a mine of information on how to let children flourish, take the frustration out of parenting and develop happy family relations.
Authors provide guidance on developing character, knowledge, values, and skills, as well as a faith-based outlook in children, benefitting parents with kids of all ages. The many strategies and techniques offered include: teaching children how to problem-solve, make decisions, and develop self-esteem. Raising God conscious, moral, successful children, with a sense of civic responsibility in today s world is not easy. It is also not impossible. Effective parenting is the key.Buy now
What I Told My Daughter
In What I Told My Daughter, a powerful, diverse group of women reflect on the best advice and counsel they have given their daughters either by example, throughout their lives, or in character-building, teachable moments between parent and child.
Empower yourself and the latest generation of girls with this collection of inspiring reflections from notable, highly accomplished women in politics, academia, athletics, the arts, and business, including Madeleine Albright, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and more.Buy now
The New York Times bestselling author of Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire shares his proven methods for creating compassionate children
During twenty-five years of teaching at Hobart Elementary School in inner city Los Angeles, Rafe Esquith has helped thousands of children maximize their potential—and became the only teacher in history to receive the president’s National Medal of Arts. In Lighting Their Fires, Esquith translates the inspiring methods from Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire for parents. Using lessons framed by a class trip to a Dodgers game, he moves inning by inning through concepts that explain how to teach children to be thoughtful and honorable people—as well as successful students—and to have fun in the process.Buy now
In Talking to My Daughter About the Economy, activist Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s former finance minister and the author of the international bestseller Adults in the Room, pens a series of letters to his young daughter, educating her about the business, politics, and corruption of world economics.
Yanis Varoufakis has appeared before heads of nations, assemblies of experts, and countless students around the world. Now, he faces his most important—and difficult—audience yet. Using clear language and vivid examples, Varoufakis offers a series of letters to his young daughter about the economy: how it operates, where it came from, how it benefits some while impoverishing others. Taking bankers and politicians to task, he explains the historical origins of inequality among and within nations, questions the pervasive notion that everything has its price, and shows why economic instability is a chronic risk. Finally, he discusses the inability of market-driven policies to address the rapidly declining health of the planet his daughter’s generation stands to inherit.
Throughout, Varoufakis wears his expertise lightly. He writes as a parent whose aim is to instruct his daughter on the fundamental questions of our age—and through that knowledge, to equip her against the failures and obfuscations of our current system and point the way toward a more democratic alternative.Buy now
How to Raise Kind Kids: And Get Respect, Gratitude, and a Happier Family in the Bargain
Can you teach a child to be kind?
This vital question is taking on a new urgency as our culture grows ever more abrasive and divided.
We all want our kids to be kind. But that is not the same as knowing what to do when you catch your so
n being unkind. A world-renowned developmental psychologist, Dr. Thomas Lickona has led the character education movement in schools for forty years. Now he shares with parents the vital tools they need to bring peace and foster cooperation at home. Kindness doesn’t stand on its own. It needs a supporting cast of other essential virtues—like courage, self-control, respect, and gratitude.
With concrete examples drawn from the many families Dr. Lickona has worked with over the years and clear tips you can act on tonight, How to Raise Kind Kids will help you give and get respect, hold family meetings to tackle persistent problems, discipline in a way that builds character, and improve the dynamic of your relationship with your children while putting them on the path to a happier and more fulfilling life.Buy now
Many of us find the challenges of family life, especially the early years daunting and overwhelming. The task of raising children is not easy, the stakes are high so how can mindfulness help us parent better? What is it? How do you do it? And does it help? This book will teach you how to become a better more patient parent using mindfulness. It will help you to:
– Stay calm in a crisis
– Feel more connected to your children
– Be patient
– Throw yourself into an activity
– Not say something you may regret
– Keep a sense of perspective
Written in a friendly and accessible style Amber Hatch, author of Nappy Free Baby and Colouring for Contemplation includes tons of practical information alongside anecdotes, tips and insights that will help any parent, whether they are new to mindfulness or well practiced, to achieve a calmer, more relaxed family life. Topics covered include: dealing with the early weeks, including responding mindfully to your baby’s cries, joining your child in play and preventing mealtime and bedtime stress, screentime, encouraging outdoor play and saying no, developing positive qualities and managing difficult behaviour and introducing mindfulness to children.Buy now
This game-changing book shows us the extraordinary results of focusing on our children’s strengths rather than always trying to correct their weaknesses. Most parents struggle with this shift because they suffer from a negativity bias, thanks to evolutionary development, giving them “strengths-blindness.” By showing us how to throw the “strengths switch,” Lea Waters demonstrates how we can not only help our children build resilience, optimism, and achievement but we can also help inoculate them against today’s pandemic of depression and anxiety.
As a strengths-based scientist for more than twenty years, ten of them spent focusing on strengths-based parenting, Waters has seen how this approach enhances self-esteem and energy in both children and teenagers. Yet more on the plus side: parents find it a particularly exciting and rewarding way to raise children. With many suggestions for specific ways to interact with your kids, Waters demonstrates how to discover strengths and talents in our children, how to use positive emotions as a resource, how to build strong brains, and even how to deal with problem behaviors and talk about difficult situations and emotions. As revolutionary yet simple as Mindset and Grit, The Strength Switch will show parents how a small shift can yield enormous results.
The expert guide to girl talk.
How to Say I
t(r) to Girls provides a wellspring of practical advice for parents on how to broach uncomfortable subjects with girls of all ages, or how to simply open the lines of communication. This book offers concrete words, phrases, and sample dialogues to help parents figure out what to say and how best to say it.Buy now
How Electronic Media-From Baby Videos to Educational Software-Affects Your Young Child
As a mother, Lisa Guernsey wondered about the influence of television on her two young daughters. As a reporter, she resolved to find out. What she first encountered was tired advice, sensationalized research claims, and a rather draconian mandate from the American Academy of Pediatrics: no TV at all before the age of two. But like many parents, she wanted straight answers and realistic advice, so she kept digging: she visited infant-perception labs and child development centers around the country. She interviewed scores of parents, psychologists, cognitive scientists, and media researchers, as well as programming executives at Noggin, Disney, Nickelodeon, Sesame Workshop, and PBS. Much of what she found flies in the face of conventional wisdom and led her to conclude that new parents will be best served by focusing on “the three C’s”: content, context, and the individual child.
Advocating a new approach to television and DVDs, Guernsey focuses on infants to five-year-olds and goes beyond the headlines to explore what exactly is “educational” about educational media. She examines how play and language development are affected by background and foreground television and how to choose videos that are age-appropriate. She explains how to avoid the hype of “brain stimulation” and focus instead on social relationships and the building blocks of language and literacy. Along the way, Guernsey highlights independent research on shows ranging from Dora the Explorer to Dragon Tales, and distills some surprising new findings in the field of child development. Into the Minds of Babes is a fascinating book that points out how little credible research exists to support the AAP’s dire recommendation. Parents, teachers, and psychologists will be relieved to learn positive approaches to using videos with young children and will be empowered to make their own informed choices.Buy now
Good parenting means talking about money with our kids. Children are hyper-aware of money, and they have scores of questions about its nuances. But when parents shy away from the topic, they lose a tremendous opportunity—not just to model the basic financial behaviors that are increasingly important for young adults but also to imprint lessons about what the family truly values.
Grounded in real-world experience and stories from families with a range of incomes, The Opposite of Spoiled is both a practical guidebook and a values-based philosophy. The foundation of the book is a detailed blueprint for the best ways to handle the basics: the tooth fairy, allowance, chores, charity, saving, birthdays, holidays, cell phones, checking accounts, clothing, cars, part-time jobs, and college tuition. It identifies a set of traits and virtues that embody the opposite of spoiled, and shares how to embrace the topic of money to help parents raise kids who are more generous and less materialistic.
But The Opposite of Spoiled is also a promise to our kids that we will make them better with money than we are. It is for all of the parents who know that honest conversations about money with their curious children can help them become more patient and prudent, but who don’t know how and when to start.Buy now
“Parents . . . you will be wowed and awed by [Dr. Shefali].” —Oprah Winfrey
As seen on Oprah’s SuperSoul Sunday, a radically transformative plan that shows parents how to raise children to be their best, truest selves, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Conscious Parent.
What if I told you that you can put an end to all of your parenting struggles?
That you can learn to parent without fear or anxiety?
That you can end conflict with your children?
That you can create close and connected relationships within your family?
…Would you accept this invitation to a revolution in parenting?
We all have the capacity to raise children who are highly resilient and emotionally connected. However, many of us are unable to because we are blinded by modern misconceptions of parenting and our own inner limitations. In The Awakened Family, I show you how you can cultivate a relationship with your children so they can thrive; moreover, you can be transformed to a state of greater calm, compassion and wisdom as well.
This book will take you on a journey to transcending your fears and illusions around parenting and help you become the parent you always wanted to be: fully present and conscious. It will arm you with practical, hands-on strategies and real-life examples from my experience as a parent and clinical psychologist that show the extraordinary power of being a conscious parent.
Everyone in your family is ready to be awakened.
Will you take this journey with me?