For a parent, the very thought of raising confident and strong children can be an overwhelming challenge. There are so many ways you want to help them to become confident and strong, but it is not always easy to know what steps to take. With all of the pressures on parents today, there is an even greater need for you to help your child.
In determining what kind of book to read on parenting, you must choose a book that understands the modern family and how families work today. The family dynamic in this country has changed dramatically over the last few decades. No longer are families defined by the “traditional” model. Many families are single parent families or multi-generational households where there isn’t always a nuclear family unit. That’s why it is important for books on parenting to be sensitive and open minded about this new paradigm of parenting.
If you are looking for a book that has been written by experts in the field then The Parenting Breakthrough by Merrilee Browne is the perfect choice for you. This book offers a wealth of information about the different aspects of being a parent today, including brain development and how critical it is during childhood years, as well as basics such as how to nurture your child’s emotional health as well as his or her intellect.
When it comes to raising a child, there are dozens of different parenting styles and techniques. In order to get the best of what’s out there, it’s best to look at the parenting books that have stood the test of time—the ones that will continue to be useful for years to come. I’ve compiled our list of the best parenting books out there based on their helpfulness, popularity, and staying power.
While there are many different kinds of parenting books out there, we’re focusing on those that are most effective and helpful. We took into account the number of readers who rated a book 4 or 5 stars out of 5, then used Amazon’s own recommendation system to determine which books were most frequently recommended based on reading lists made by previous buyers. This gave us a collection of some of the most popular and well-liked titles.
If you’ve ever felt like you’re not doing a good job being a parent, that perhaps you’re not up to the task of teaching your kids the lessons they need to learn to grow into well-adjusted adults, then you need to check out some of these great parenting books. There’s something for every type of parent here—whether you want a book with practical advice or one with deeper meaning and values, whether you want something lighthearted and fun or more serious and challenging.
Whatever your parenting style is, there are probably books on this list that will help you improve it, and the sooner the better!
Here are our top 15 Parenting books picks for 2022:
As a young professional, your main concern is to keep your children happy and healthy. But, as any parent might tell you, this can be a challenging task. After all, every child is different, and every child has a different set of needs. Some children thrive on routine and structure, while some others need constant care and attention.
To guide you through these difficult situations, I have prepared a list of the most useful parenting books that you should read if you are looking for advice about raising kids. These books are written by experts in the field who have successfully raised their own children and know exactly how to guide you with yours. Let’s take a look at our top picks for the best parenting books of 2022:
1. ‘Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting’
The book I recommend most often is ‘Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting’ by Laura Markham.
It’s hard to imagine a more practical and readable parenting book than Laura Markham’s Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting. Using her own life experiences, as well as the wisdom of the ages, she discusses how children learn what love and respect are, how to raise respectful children, and how to deal with misbehavior appropriately.
She illustrates this through real-life examples from her life as a parent and from her clients who have sought her advice. Her book includes a substantial list of questions you can ask yourself when your child is acting out that can help you pinpoint the root of the problem. She also encourages you to use positive discipline techniques that help kids develop good behavior without punishment or reward systems. There is even a chapter on how to use conflict resolution skills with your spouse if you’re in a fight over discipline techniques!
One of my favorite parts about this book was that it was written by someone who has been in our shoes before—Markham is raising her children, just like us! She understands what it’s like to be both the “calm one” and the “yeller” in her house.
One of my favorite concepts from the book is “the power pause,” where you take a moment to breathe before reacting with your children and then after your child has left the room or calmed down, have a conversation with them about what happened instead of just sending them to their room or spanking them for misbehaving. The authors really give you concrete ways to implement these strategies in your own life and I have seen many positive changes in my relationship with my children after reading it.
In Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting, author Laura Markham presents a theory on why so many parents struggle with setting limits and laying down discipline. According to her research, over the past several decades, there has been an influx of mothers who were raised by single or workaholic parents who were never able to set healthy emotional boundaries while they were growing up. These women didn’t learn the skills they need to raise good kids themselves, so they are forced to rely on discipline instead of emotional connection and communication—not only with their own children, but with their husbands and other family members.
Overall, this book offers a variety of techniques that can help parents to raise well-adjusted children. The techniques can be tailored to specific situations encountered in day-to-day parenting and are not difficult to implement. The tone is academic and geared towards the serious parent, but anyone who has ever been a parent (or who plans on being one) could benefit from this book.
2. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
Daring Greatly is a book that every parent should read. Brown, in her signature style of research and storytelling, takes us on a journey from vulnerability to authentic leadership. She shares the story of how she came to understand what vulnerability means and how it has helped her as an individual, and then she describes how this truth can be applied to our personal lives and our relationships with others.
Brown writes about the different ways we shut ourselves off from each other—how we hide behind our fears and our perceived imperfections. She shows us how we can dare greatly by being brave enough to be honest with others, by allowing ourselves to be seen, by making mistakes and taking risks, by building trust and asking for help when we need it.
One of the most important parts of the book is where Brown talks about shame—the one emotion she says we must overcome if we are going to change things in our society. Shame turns people into perfectionists who are afraid to try new things or share their gifts with the world. It makes them feel alone and disconnected from others. The antidote, she says, is empathy. Empathy allows us to see ourselves as part of a larger group of human beings who struggle with similar issues.
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Daring Greatly is the culmination of a decade’s worth of research on the nature and effects of “vulnerability”–the only emotion we have to experience in order to grow. In this incredibly honest and moving book, Brené Brown, Ph.D., questions the way society teaches us to shrink from vulnerability.
As counterintuitive as it sounds, she shows us how we can face our fears, embrace our failures, acknowledge our sorrow, and open ourselves up to love and belonging. Dr. Brown interweaves her own compelling story with those of many individuals who live their lives “bravely.” A mix of thought-provoking quotes, stories from her personal life experience, and humorous pop culture references make Daring Greatly applicable for just about anyone looking for a meaningful life lesson.
This book is a game-changer. Ever since The Oprah Winfrey Show featured Brené Brown’s powerful TED talk, I’ve all been Daring Greatly. Our inboxes are filled with her advice about vulnerability, and we’re all trying to be more authentic in our work and personal lives. This book is an essential read for anyone who wants to improve their relationships or the way they parent (or both). The research and stories in this book will show you how to let your guard down in order to reach your full potential.
Daring Greatly is Brené Brown’s follow-up to her breakthrough book, The Gifts of Imperfection. Brown’s first book examined the importance of embracing our imperfections as a part of living wholeheartedly and finding happiness. In this book, she focuses on how we can find courage to embrace life fully by daring greatly and leading from our whole hearts. She writes about what it means to find your voice and how to use it to call out to the world in order to make a difference.
In an age of overparenting, this book challenges the way we think about parenting. Why do we fear letting our children face their fears? Why are we so quick to step in when they are struggling, rather than observe and support? Based on Brené’s powerful principles and stories, this book will spark meaningful conversations in your family, helping you to raise a braver and more compassionate generation.
This is a must read for anyone wanting to challenge their assumptions about what it means to be vulnerable. It’s not about getting soft or being easily hurt. It’s about learning to connect with people in ways that bring joy, love and belonging.
3. Permission to Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive by Marc Brackett
Marc Brackett, the director of Yale University’s Center for Emotional Intelligence, builds on the groundbreaking program that he and his team developed over two decades at the university to help educators and parents focus on every child’s emotions instead of solely on achievement. Permission to Feel offers a 5-step strategy that has been proven effective in helping children and adults recover from trauma, manage stress more effectively, increase empathy, and support one another in times of need.
Dr. Brackett’s approach is powerful because it blends education with hard science. He demonstrates how not just teachers but also parents can teach their children the skills they need to build emotional intelligence so they can make better decisions, be happier, and achieve greater success in life.
This book helps parents and other caregivers to recognize the role of emotions in their lives, and it offers five steps that can be used to develop emotional intelligence skills:
- Identify emotions
- Express emotions in a positive way
- Understand your feelings
- Listen to your feelings
- Use your feelings to help others
This book gives practical advice on how to recognize and manage emotions in children, but also how to do this for yourself as a parent. The basis is that “Emotion matters,” and by acknowledging and understanding your own emotions, you will be better able to empathize with your child’s emotions and help them develop a healthy emotional intelligence.
In his book Permission to Feel, Marc Brackett—director of Yale University’s Center for Emotional Intelligence—shares an approach based on research about the importance of emotions in the lives of children, families, schools, and society. He explains the five steps necessary for developing a positive emotional climate: 1) acknowledging the importance of emotions; 2) teaching children how they feel; 3) helping them cope with negative emotions; 4) supporting resilience; 5) encouraging empathy.
Brackett presents this step-by-step approach as a “game plan” so that parents can teach their kids how to manage their own emotions. In doing so they will create an environment where kids feel safe expressing themselves.
Mental health is not just the concern of mental health professionals; the definition of mental health should include everyone. Permission to Feel highlights some of the most basic and important insights from psychology, neuroscience, and social science research and organizes them into a useful and easy-to-implement method that can help anyone deal better with their problems. It’s not going to magically fix anything overnight, but it’s a tool that can help people work on their issues.
4. How To Raise Successful People: Simple Lessons for Radical Results
Esther Wojcicki’s “How to Raise Successful People” is one of the best parenting books I’ve ever read. She uses her unique position as the Godmother of Silicon Valley, legendary teacher, and mother of a Super Family to share her tried-and-tested methods for raising happy, healthy, successful children using Trust, Respect, Independence, Collaboration, and Kindness.
Wojcicki emphasizes that she isn’t an expert, but she bases these principles on her experience over the past 40 years working with brilliant and successful people who grew up in various different environments. Her simple rules for raising a smart and kind generation are short and easy to implement at home—a quick read that will change your life for the better!
There are thousands of parenting books out there—how do you know what’s worth reading? I’ve read hundreds of them in my time as a parent and a school teacher and have come to the conclusion that most are just junk to be quickly discarded. Those books that are truly worth reading are a rarity—often they’re buried under mountains of self-help fluff.
Wojcicki’s book is one of the best parenting books I’ve ever read. She distills what works and boils it down into principles that can be applied to any family in any way. Her insights about how we interact with our children and how we trust them to learn for themselves rather than overprotecting them or pushing them too hard is refreshingly honest and practical. Really excellent stuff.
“How to Raise Successful People: Simple Lessons for Radical Results” is divided into three parts: “Tools,” which covers how to get your child ready for school; “Routines,” which shows how to provide a strong structure; and “Investments,” which focuses on helping your child become a high achiever.
In part one, titled “Tools,” Wojcicki focuses on creating a strong foundation so that children can thrive in the classroom. This section introduces the six C’s: Trust, Respect, Independence, Collaboration, Kindness and Consequence. Each chapter contains Wojcicki’s personal stories and anecdotes from her experience as a teacher and parent.
The stories are effective because they come from an individual who has seen first hand how effective these principles can be. Wojcicki describes herself as a lifelong learner who has learned lessons about parenting through trial and error.
Gradually, as the children grow older, they begin to understand and hold each other accountable for following these principles consistently. They learn that this is a way of life for them as a family. Each principle will be discussed and explained when a new one is added to their family culture. This way the children learn about various topics slowly over time rather than all at once in short bursts like most other topics in their lives such as math or geography.
5. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk – by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish, is the number one practical guide to making your family life less stressful and more rewarding.
This book is based on a simple concept, that in order for your child to learn how to communicate, you need to provide an environment where they feel safe and valued. The book provides practical step by step techniques for solving problems from a child’s point of view. The authors suggest that positive reinforcement is the best way to make sure your children are behaving the way you want them to. They believe if you can show your children that you care about their feelings and opinions, they will be more likely to cooperate.
In this international bestseller, experts Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish provide effective step by step techniques for solving everyday problems with kids ages 4 through 12. It addresses issues like sibling rivalry, homework battles, back talk, whining, lying, stealing and bad attitudes. In addition it teaches parents how to motivate their children with praise instead of punishment. Even parents who are already raising well-adjusted kids will find useful strategies within its pages—and parents of less-than-well-adjusted kids will discover new ways of handling their most pressing problems with patience.
The authors provide both parents and children with a variety of tools that can be used to improve the relationship between parent and child, whether it involves basic daily interactions or more serious issues such as discipline and education. They offer tips for solving problems by avoiding power struggles, overcoming negative feelings about your child, rewarding good behavior, and setting up clear punishments for misbehavior. As the subtitle suggests, this book is a useful guide for anyone looking to improve their parenting skills.
If you want to raise kids who will be responsible and independent people who will listen to you and respond constructively to you, no matter what the situation is, this book has helped millions of parents do just that. Millions of copies have been sold and it’s still considered one of the most important parenting books on the market today.
6. For the Children’s Sake – by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
The author lays out her fundamental beliefs and then builds a theoretical framework around them in the first chapter: “Education as a Moral Act.” This framework becomes the backdrop against which she considers twenty-five different practical suggestions for implementing this philosophy in everyday life.
For example, when discussing parenthood she emphasizes such things as the need to build trust with our children, helping them understand their responsibilities toward others, and encouraging moral courage in our children. Later chapters discuss topics such as teaching citizenship, preparing for marriage and family life, developing an appreciation for cultural diversity, developing curiosity and imagination through reading, enriching learning environments by exposing students to culture through travel or living abroad, and promoting learning through teaching.
The first part of the book focuses on the nature of children and the parent’s role in their development. Ideas include listening to children, helping them grow through play, giving them responsibilities at home and at school, avoiding helicopter parenting, having faith in children’s ability to learn, and battling the culture war against childhood. The second part focuses on learning, arguing for a holistic approach that includes all the elements of learning: body movement (dance, games), music (singing and instruments), drama (acting), language arts (reading and writing), science (observation) and math (number sense).
These ideas include the following:
- Education is more than information; it is transformation. It involves the growth of body and mind together. Such growth occurs best through play.
- A school should not only teach verbal language but also facilitate the development of personal language—a way of thinking, speaking, doing things, and living that is unique to each child and each situation. This includes silence as another form of language as well as personal rituals such as grace before meals or saying goodbye to friends.
- A school should encourage collaboration between children and between children and teachers by using natural settings as learning environments-the entire world as classroom where children can learn about themselves and about their relationship with others in the real context of everyday life.
In addition to exploring the general principles behind good education, Macaulay addresses important topics such as teaching language arts, math and science; helping children learn self-control; recognizing giftedness; developing compassion; integrating faith and learning; respecting differences; allowing time for creativity; creating an atmosphere of fun and affection; and much more.
7. The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell
The 5 Love Languages of Children is a book written by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell that simplifies the complexity of figuring out how to connect with your child. The five love languages are acts of service, physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, and receiving gifts. Each has its own chapter in the book and examples are given for children of different ages. Having a general idea about your child’s love language will help you to know what actions or words will be most meaningful to them.
Attitude. Behavior. If you have more than one child, then you understand that each of them may behave quite differently. It is important to know how your children communicate, and it is especially important to know the five love languages of children: Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.
The first step in learning their love language is to identify what type of language they speak best—by observation. Do they feel loved when you give them gifts? Or maybe they would prefer that you spend time with them? Maybe words are their thing? When your child accomplishes something great at school or on the soccer field, tell them how proud you are. When they clean their room without being asked, take a moment to tell them how much you appreciate it.
If you don’t know what your child’s love language is—and chances are good that most parents don’t—you can find out by using the quiz in The 5 Love Languages of Children . If all else fails, you can create a list for each child and have him/her pick their top three choices. Then, choose one from their list and focus on developing that type of relationship with them. Doing so will make a world of difference.
The book presents specific strategies for each love language and some helpful examples from families who have applied them. The book also includes tips for how to connect with kids (and parents) who speak different love languages so as to address various problems in families. For example, if you’re drawn more strongly to words of affirmation than your child is and you don’t express your love in that language, then he or she might start to feel unloved because you aren’t speaking his or her language. While this can be an intimidating read at times, it ultimately has a lot to offer parents who want to learn more about the nature and needs of their children.
8. Siblings Without Rivalry – by Elaine Mazlish and Adele Faber
Parenting is a challenging job, and it’s even harder when you have more than one child. Elaine Mazlish and Adele Faber have spent the last several decades helping parents around the world deal with their childrens’ behavioral issues—and now they’re ready to help you. Siblings Without Rivalry is packed with the tips, tricks, and strategies necessary to ensure familial harmony both within the home and outside of it.
The first half of the book focuses on how to prevent sibling rivalry from starting in the first place, then tackles common problems once they’ve arisen. Using stories from real families and lots of examples from everyday life, this book will help you understand how your children think and act, why they behave as they do, and how you can make sure that everyone grows up happy and healthy.
Mazlish and Faber cover everything from sharing to fighting to holidays to parent-child relationships—including ways to handle yourself when your ex remarries or has a new baby, which can be a devastating blow for children who are already hurting over sibling rivalry.
Siblings Without Rivalry is an indispensable guide to family life that will appeal to virtually any family with more than one child—whether they have problems or not!
They believe that rivalry between siblings is “a product of what happens between them and their parents.” Parents can foster healthy relationships between siblings, rather than fostering rivalry, by following five principles: 1) one child at a time, 2) respect for feelings, 3) same rules for everyone, 4) no comparison or competition, and 5) no negative comparisons.
This is my absolute favorite parenting book and the one that I thought of first when I set out to compile this list. Siblings Without Rivalry is timeless, applicable to all parents, and so easy to read that you wonder if you’re reading a self-help book or listening to your best friend talk—and that satifies parents’ need for a message that resonates with them personally.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your parenting, or just maintain a positive parenting relationship with your children, then this book is a great resource. It encourages parents to use the Siblings Without Rivalry Method, which focuses on communication and cooperation between siblings, rather than force and punishment. The author literally wrote the book on successful sibling relationships. I really don’t think you can go wrong with this one.
9. Between Parent and Child – Haim G. Ginott
One of the most influential bestsellers of all time, this classic guide to communicating with children has sold more than three million copies since it was first published in 1965. Now, Dr. Haim G. Ginott’s timeless wisdom is available in a newly updated edition that will help parents raise healthy, happy children while preserving the positive relationships between parent and child.
This best-selling parenting book has been revamped for the 21st century, with updated studies and a fresh, contemporary design that turns this classic into a must-have for parents who want to build strong, respectful relationships with their children. Based on the theory that all children want the same thing—to feel respected, accepted and loved—Between Parent and Child shows how parents can use their skills and instincts to motivate children to achieve more than they ever thought possible. Based on the timeless wisdom of psychologist Haim G. Ginott, this invaluable handbook will show you how to:
• Praise without judging or criticizing
• Acknowledge feelings and opinions instead of arguing
• Express anger in ways that don’t hurt or demean
• Discipline without threats, bribes or sarcasm
• Encourage rather than dictate
In Ginott’s words, this book is “an attempt to deal with the many problems which confront parents in the course of their daily lives.” In his introduction, Ginott explains that this book is “not a ‘how-to’ manual—how to get your child to stop crying or how to teach him how to read or how to toilet train him.” Rather, he states that this book is about helping parents develop “a better understanding of children” and “a better understanding of themselves.”
He believed that one of the most important things parents can do is understand the child’s frame of reference—to see things from their point of view, because children learn through imitation.
He also advocated a method of effective communication between parent and child that he called “the jar.” To illustrate this method, he used a metaphor in which you’d be sharing something with your child but you want them to know it’s your gift to them rather than something they can take away from you. So you put whatever it is in a jar: some special treat, perhaps, or a toy they really like. You give the jar to the child—but don’t hand it over. Instead, you put it on a high shelf out of reach. You tell the child that when he does something you approve of, he can have whatever’s in the jar. It doesn’t matter whether it’s money or an expensive toy.
10 Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
Raising Your Spirited Child is the book I recommend most often to parents. This book is based on the original “Spirited Child” article in Parenting magazine by Kurcinka, which I also recommend. It’s great because it’s not only written from a parent’s point of view but from the point of view of someone who has also worked with spirited children professionally. The book discusses all aspects of raising spirited children including what it means to be a spirited child along with how different personality traits of spirited children can manifest in different situations.
It covers all areas of parenting from dealing with emotions and behavior problems and helping you understand your own temperament as well as your child’s temperament. It gives helpful suggestions for how to cope with issues like tantrums and aggression. The book also discusses sibling dynamics in families that have more than one child with a different temperament. Lastly, the book offers practical suggestions for how to deal with everything from sleep problems to discipline without letting your child’s temperament dominate your family life.
Overall this is an excellent resource both for parents of spirited children and people.
11. Positive Discipline: The Classic Guide to Helping Children Develop Self-Discipline, by Jane Nelsen
Positive Discipline: The Classic Guide to Helping Children Develop Self-Discipline, by Jane Nelsen is a book that has been used in many schools and homes for over 20 years. It’s a great resource for parents who are looking for a different and more effective way to help their children learn good behavior and self-discipline. Rather than punish children when they misbehave, Positive Discipline encourages parents to teach their kids positive ways to deal with conflict and discipline, so that the whole family can live together happily.
In this book, Jane Nelsen shares her method of Positive Discipline. She’s an expert at helping kids learn how to focus their energies on constructive activities, rather than acting out or developing destructive habits like lying or stealing.
In fact, she was awarded the National Parenting Product Award as the Parenting Expert of the Year! In this book, she explains her method of teaching kids how to deal with the challenges they face at home and in school, using easy-to-understand language that doesn’t require any special training or education on the part of parents or teachers. If you’re looking for a reliable resource that you can use yourself to help your children grow up into well-behaved, happy adults, look no further!
12. The Whole-Brain Child – 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson is a book that combines the principles of typical parenting with the best practices of cognitive neuroscience. The authors focus on educating parents about how the brain’s structure and function create unique learning styles and how each person learns in different ways.
The book focuses on how to apply this knowledge to everyday situations with children, including everything from getting them to sleep through the night, dealing with tantrums, or getting them to do chores around the house.
Beginning with a look at the human brain and its evolution throughout history, the authors delve into how that has affected our ability to learn new things and think critically. They stress an understanding of why many people struggle as parents when it comes to raising kids, but also offer some solutions on how to overcome these obstacles.
The book covers all ages from infancy through adolescence and offers advice on a wide range of issues for different stages of development. Some chapters discuss setting up your home for success by making sure you have everything you need for your child, like bookshelves for reading or special things for napping; others talk about discipline techniques that work best depending on if you have an introvert or extrovert personality.
It focuses on helping parents understand the way children develop so that they can parent in a way that fosters positive mental development. The book has twelve separate chapters that focus on different aspects of child development, and each chapter highlights what is known about how children develop in certain areas, as well as how parents can nurture positive development.
Each of the twelve strategies is given its own chapter, including one called “Meet the Whole-Brain Child,” where Siegel and Bryson set up the reader for thinking about child development in a new way.
The book includes sections on emotions, mindfulness, sensory processing, relationships, family chaos, attention span/focus, self-control/regulation, language development/speech difficulties/auditory processing disorder, trauma/abuse/ neglect (including ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), learning disabilities (LD), and giftedness.
In addition to each chapter focusing on how a certain area of child development can be nurtured through positive parenting techniques such as acceptance or being a good role model through your own behavior for example, mindful eating or dealing with emotions appropriately.
The Whole-Brain Child, by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson, is the first book I’d recommend for anyone looking to nurture their child’s developing mind. The two of them are a psychologist and a school principal respectively, and their combined experience in the field clearly shows in their approach to teaching parents how they can help their children learn more effectively.
The authors’ main premise is that we need to understand our child’s brain as a whole system—we can’t just focus on our child’s rational brain, or his emotional brain, or any other one part of his brain. We have to look at the whole thing together and understand how each part affects every other part.
There are four sections covering different aspects of the whole brain: emotional self-regulation, social intelligence, language and literacy learning, and executive functioning (which refers to problem-solving—like figuring out how to study for an exam). Within each section there are strategies that the authors believe will help us use the parts of our child’s brain that are already developed while simultaneously encouraging the development of parts that may not be as strong. The authors give helpful examples from real-life experiences with both children and adults showing how we can apply these strategies in everyday life.
13. The Gift of Failure – How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed Book by Jessica Lahey
I’ve read a lot of parenting books, and I don’t think I could have picked a better one than The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed.
Jessica Lahey offers fantastic insight into how we can raise children to make wise choices for themselves by giving them the freedom to make mistakes—even when that means letting them “lose” at things like sports or schoolwork. Lahey has served as both an educator and a parent, so she knows firsthand that kids need to experience failure to develop resilience, responsibility, and motivation.
Lahey believes that we, as parents, have been taught by a society that fears failure and where only the best is good enough that we are creating an environment in our homes where children are never allowed to fail. She argues that many of our children’s problems stem from this lack of failure, which she says is necessary for them to learn how to cope with problems. She covers parenting advice for everything from toddlers to teens and how both parents and teachers can allow their children to face failure in a healthy way.
She also appreciates the importance of having high standards for our kids that challenge them to reach their full potential. It’s not about raising little trophies—it’s about raising capable people who will be able to handle life’s tough situations with grace and confidence. If you’re looking for some fresh perspective on how you can raise your kids to be smart, independent adults, this book is worth checking out.
14. All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood Book by Jennifer Senior
How do you retain your sanity as a parent? That’s the question Jennifer Senior asks in All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood. The book is about what it means to be a parent now, in the 21st century, and how the role has changed over the years. It’s not just about parenting in the digital age or how technology has changed parenthood (though it does touch on these subjects), but also how our attitudes have shifted. Senior highlights how society “celebrates and rewards parents almost everywhere they turn, while they themselves feel overwhelmed, exhausted and like failures”.
Senior shows that there’s “a growing sense among many middle-class parents that their lives as parents are joyless and difficult—often at odds with the blissful picture of family life on display everywhere from TV commercials to Facebook feeds” .
She argues that many aspects of modern parenting have contributed to this paradox, including “the expectations we hold for ourselves as parents, the pressures we feel from society, and the ways that our own identities are shaped by our roles as mothers and fathers”. Parents’ feelings of inadequacy result from being encouraged to become Super Parents—perfectly nurturing their kids while maintaining fulfilling careers.
In it, she asserts that parents are experiencing an identity crisis that is leading to increased stress and burnout for parents. Many once-cherished aspects of life have vanished for parents, who are now living their lives under a fog of fear, a cloud of constant stress, and the looming threat of failure.
It is this threat that makes parenting so stressful; if parents don’t do everything perfectly, they risk doing irreparable harm to their children. While Senior points out that there is plenty of research that shows children need structure, discipline, consistency and boundaries while they are growing up (all things which are interlinked), she also notes that it is not helpful or healthy to constantly tell our kids what not to do or what not to think.
Instead, Senior asserts it’s important to provide children with the skills they need to be successful adults while at the same time encouraging them to explore and express themselves with confidence and without fear. In her book she provides several real-life examples of parents who have found ways to provide their children with these opportunities while still holding up the values that will make for successful adulthoods.
Jennifer Senior’s All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenting is a thought-provoking look at modern parenthood. It’s an examination of the unique stresses and pressures that come with being a parent in a world where children are raised to be little more than extensions of their parents’ own egos. Her writing is witty, insightful, and refreshingly honest. This book will make you laugh, cry, and rethink how you treat your children. I would recommend it to anyone who is a parent or who plans on becoming one.
15. Transforming the Difficult Child: The Nurtured Heart Approach by Howard Glasser and Jennifer Easley
Howard Glasser and Jennifer Easley’s “Transforming the Difficult Child: The Nurtured Heart Approach” isn’t just a parenting book; it’s a modern-day parenting bible. This book will guide you through your child’s development from birth to adulthood, teaching you how to teach your child to be a happy and healthy person.
One of the main concepts taught in this book is what Glasser refers to as the “Nurtured Heart Approach.” The authors describe this approach as a way to “nurture the whole child by helping him or her develop inner resources, skills, and virtues.” In other words, they don’t believe that punishment should be the primary method of guidance for children because they feel the more effective and happier adults will come from those who learned how to build up their good qualities rather than simply being beaten down.
The Nurtured Heart Approach involves recognizing your child as an individual with his or her own personality, which is a key part of developing strong self-esteem. Glasser and Easley do not recommend that parents use praise very often because it can be harmful if used too often or if it simply isn’t true. Good manners are also emphasized in this book, but parental expectations are not so high that children feel underachiever’s.
The authors explain that a child’s misbehavior is often a call for attention from their parent, and that the parent must learn not just to give attention but also to listen to what the child has to say. They also state that a child will often feel unloved due to the way they are being parented, and this is why they act out in ways that are damaging to them (and others). By learning how to give unconditional love, parents can help their children find their own inner peace. This will help them act in ways that are more constructive than destructive.
The book is divided into three sections: understanding your child; guiding your child; and raising your child. In the first section, the authors explain how temperaments are not controllable but can be understood, and how temperament is not related to intelligence at all. In the second section, they go through the process of identifying which temperament category your child fits into (the categories are emotional dysregulation, emotional withdrawal, sensory processing sensitivity, sensory seeking/avoiding,
The authors discuss the importance of establishing rules for children early on and allowing them to gain an understanding of these rules by breaking them. They also describe how it’s important for parents to be consistent in their parenting and not to get caught up in giving into their child’s every demand. This can ultimately lead to the child feeling validated in their behavior if they feel that they can manipulate you into giving them what they want whenever they want it. The book also discusses how praising your child shows them how worthy they are of having good things happen to them, while criticizing your child only gives them an idea of how unworthy they might be.
The authors offer suggestions that parents can use to redirect negative behaviors, including counting out loud and telling the child to take deep breaths when he or she starts acting out. They also suggest using visual aids like a point system or an incentive chart so that your child knows what behavior is expected of him or her and has a way of working toward rewards.