A List of the Ten Best Parenting Books (And Why You Should Read Them)

Parenting books provide valuable guidance for parents as they navigate the often challenging journey of raising children. They offer helpful tips, strategies, and advice on how to handle different situations and develop positive relationships with their kids. In addition, parenting books can help parents become more aware of their own parenting style and the needs of their children, leading to better communication and understanding.

Choosing What to Read

However, this is the age of information – anyone can write a parenting book and put it out for sale. How do you determine which ones are the best and which ones have harmful practices?

Start by researching reviews. Reading reviews from other parents is one of the best ways to figure out which books are actually useful and provide valuable advice. Next, consider your parenting philosophy. For example, if you’re a strict parent, look for books that focus on safe discipline strategies. Look for recommendations from experts. Don’t hesitate to ask your pediatrician, teachers, or family therapists for suggestions on the best parenting books and resources. You can also check online for expert-recommended titles as well.

It is also important to make sure the content is up to date. Some older parenting books may offer outdated advice that could potentially be harmful to children today, so make sure you get something written within the last few years that takes into account current research and trends in parenting styles.

10 Parenting Books to Check Out

Here are some highly reviewed books.

  1. The Whole-Brain Child – Written by the psychiatrist and neuropsychiatrist Daniel J. Siegel and parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson, this book is a must-read for parents wanting to better understand how their child’s brain works and how to nurture their whole being.
  2. Parenting with Love & Logic – By Foster Cline and Jim Fay, this book offers practical tips on teaching children responsibility by using an approach that nurtures healthy emotions while also setting limits.
  3. How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk – Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish share valuable wisdom in this classic book, which gives parents advice on how to communicate with their children in a way that builds self-esteem, cooperation, understanding, and respect.
  4. The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children – Through his extensive research, Dr. Ross Greene provides effective strategies for teaching kids the skills they need to become more flexible thinkers who deal better with frustrations by understanding why they are frustrated in the first place.
  5. Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide For Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent And Energetic – Mary Sheedy Kurcinka shares her experiences as a parent of a spirited child in this book which offers compassionate guidance on how parents can identify and meet the needs of highly sensitive or strong-willed children without sacrificing warmth or discipline.
  6. Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How To Stop Yelling And Start Connecting – Dr. Laura Markham provides simple yet effective techniques for establishing a secure emotional connection with children so that yelling and frustration are unnecessary for getting the desired behavior from them.
  7. Siblings Without Rivalry: How To Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too – Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish provide real-life examples from families living all over the world as well as numerous activities to help siblings get along peacefully in this informative book about sibling relationships written from a nonjudgmental perspective.
  8. Brain Rules For Baby: How To Raise A Smart And Happy Child From Zero to Five – With insights from over 500 scientific studies spanning psychology, neuroscience, pediatrics, sociology, and economics; John Medina delivers an easy-to-follow guide on how parents can set up their child’s environment in order to optimize the development of their brains during the precious early years of life.
  9. Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me & Cheryl to the Mall? – This book by Anthony E. Wolf, Ph.D., goes a long way in helping frustrated parents understand why teens disconnect from their parents – and the mayhem this normal development can cause. Parents that feel isolated by the constant fights and backtalk find solace in learning what is normal pushback and what needs professional intervention.
  10. Positive Discipline – Jane Nelson, Ed.D., is a psychologist, educator, and mother of seven. In her book, she outlines how to discipline, not punish, so children can feel the pathways of open communication, accountability, love, respect, and cooperation.

Four Parenting Books to AVOID

While well-intentioned, these books have fallen out of favor due to questionable content and practices.

  1. The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua is a book that promotes strict, harsh discipline and exceedingly high expectations with little regard for the emotional development of children.
  2. A Perfect World: Creating Better Schools for Our Children by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner proposes radical solutions to modern schooling and ignores the importance of play, creativity, and social skills for young learners.
  3. Babywise: Giving Your Infant The Gift of Nighttime Sleep by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam suggests a rigid feeding schedule that conflicts with the needs of newborns and infants, which can disrupt their sleep patterns and impede healthy attachment with their parents.
  4. The Learning Revolution: A Guide to Movies, Television Shows, Music, Magazines, Books, & Role Models That Can Achieve Success And Happiness in Your Life! by Genevieve Behrend advocates removing children from social settings like school in favor of watching movies or attending tutoring sessions, which eliminates important developmental experiences such as peer-to-peer interactions.

Guided Choices for the Best Parenting Success

Choosing the right parenting book can be a challenge. But with the right tools, resources, research, and advice from professionals, it’s possible to make an informed decision that is tailored to your unique parenting needs. Learning from experts helps parents appropriately deal with matters of education, safety, behavior, and discipline. With this knowledge, you can set yourself up for success in your journey as a parent. Contact us for more information.