In a world bombarded with opinions on parenting, it can be hard to know who to listen to. Experts have different opinions on everything from sleep habits, to manners, what to do with picky eaters, potty training, discipline, and the list continues.
In the midst of muddied parenting advice, there are some top parenting books that stand out above the others.
These books are top-rated parenting books, chosen by other parents (and teachers), and offer simple and practical advice that leave parents raving about them.
Why Read Parenting Books?
Parenting books can have a lot to offer. Just hearing someone else's story is a great way to learn from others and gain empathy. And most importantly to find ways methods that work for you and your family too. Children are made so differently, and sometimes we have to try several approaches before we see one that gives us strategies that work for our specific children or child.
When it comes to parenting books, I have a number of things I look for, as I am sure that you do too. I want to read parenting books written by experienced parents. Experienced parents with a background in helping others parents, especially professionally, is another indicator of a good parenting book.
As you'll see, the parenting books listed below are written parents who have a background in working with children and families professionally.
Where to Buy Parenting Books?
Probably one of the most popular places to buy the best parenting books is Amazon. It offers Kindle, paperback books, hardback books, audio books on Audible, as well as audio CDs. Plus, the reviews help decide if it's something that would benefit you. If you want to take a peek inside of the book, Amazon also offers the "Look inside" feature that actually shows you a small portion of the book.
Bookstores such as Barnes and Noble are also great places to find books as well as local book stores. Nothing really beats being able to flip through a book with your own hands before deciding to add it to your personal library.
The books listed below are all linked to Amazon with affiliate links for your convenience.
Best Selling and Top-Rated Parenting Books
When it comes to communicating with kids, this top parenting book is your guide to getting through to your child! The authors studied under the late child psychologist Dr. Haim Ginott and finally agreed to write the book after receiving many requests for a book with examples of how to speak to children.
It is natural as parents for us to revert to things that were said to us when we were children, whether it is good or bad. The phrases used in this book are a great way to step outside of that and to use language in a way that connects with children -- all without having to reinvent the wheel.
Even my own kids have picked this book up and found it interesting with the powerful illustrations inside. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk is loaded with practical examples and phrases that can be implemented right away. From tips on encouraging autonomy, understanding feelings, problem solving, and more.
If you've ever wanted to know what exactly is going through your child's mind, this is as close as it gets. Daniel Siegel is a clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA School of Medicine and has run a psychotherapy practice for over 25 years. Tina Payne Bryson is a psychotherapist who specializes in children, adolescents, and parenting, and she is a school counselor.
Sometimes it feels like our children are on a completely different planet, and we'll do anything to figure out what exactly is going on in there. This top-rated parenting book offers practical solutions to handling some of the toughest parenting moments from a brain science point of view.
The Whole Brain Child offers 12 strategies to help work through the hard moments, including "Connect and Redirect: Helping Kids Learn to Surf Emotional Waves"; "Name It to Tame It: Telling Stories to Calm Big Emotions"; "Engage, Don't Enrage: Appealing to the Upstairs Brain"; "Use It or Lose It: Exercising the Upstairs Brain"; "Move It or Lose It: Moving the Body to Avoid Losing the Mind."
Overall, this book is like having the best kept secrets of child therapists right at your fingertips.
After writing The Five Love Languages, a book geared towards couples, Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell wrote about how to carry that over to loving your children in this faith-based book. Dr. Gary Chapman's expertise is in family relationships, and Dr. Ross Campbell is a psychiatrist who specializes in parent-child relationships.
The five love languages that the book is based around are physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, and acts of service. When we are able to hone into the love languages that are most meaningful to our children, we are able to fill their love tanks the way that means the most to them. As parents, it's easy to quickly show our love to our children in the way that we want to receive it, but finding out what matters most to them takes a little more digging.
This book is written in a way that draws you in and is quick and easy to read. It is not only full of sage advice, but it has quotes that will leave you reaching for a pen or highlighter to have as an important reminder. Here is one of my favorites, "Unconditional love is a full love that accepts and affirms a child for who he is, not for what he does."
Whether you have a child who is explosive, stubborn, tests boundaries, or just plain difficult, this book will revolutionize the way you see behavior and respond to it. If you have ever wondered if there was a way to be more patient and understanding, reading this book will give you the tools to become that. Dr. Greene is a clinical psychologist who has been working with children and families for over 30 years and specializes in behaviorally challenging kids .
Throughout the book is the mantra kids do well if they can. With this advice Dr. Greene explains how to help find lagging skills in children, and he walks through how to teach children to problem solve throughout the process.
This book completely opened my eyes to the ways that I saw problem behaviors, as well as social and emotional issues.
If you are looking for long-term solutions and ways to help your child learn to work through things that they find frustrating, consider this book your guide.
Parenting with Love and Logic is a parenting framework based on helping children grow through life lessons. Foster Cline is a child and adult psychiatrist, and Jim Fay has a background in education who has worked as a teacher, principal, and administrator.
Love and Logic is about letting children make little mistakes now when they have much minor consequences so that when they grow older, they will use those former experiences to make wiser and better decisions.
While Love and Logic is acclaimed by many, it is also a bit controversial. Unlike some of the books listed above, this book does not delve into reasons for a child's behavior or getting to the root cause. Instead, it gives parents resources to just work on the behavior aspect.
Overall, Love and Logic is a good starting point, and at least in my family's case, it led me to find more personalized strategies for each of my children.