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13 Books That Shine a Light on Parenting

best parenting books

We’ve carefully selected these books because they educate, inspire, and empower their readers with high-quality information and personal stories. If you would like to tell us about a book you love, email nominations@healthline.com.

Becoming a parent is relatively easy. Being a parent is hard. When trouble arises, parents can turn to support groups, friends, and family for direction and help. But sometimes, the best advice comes from outside sources.

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From humorous to quite serious, these books come from bloggers, psychologists, educators, and parents themselves. They’re filled with valuable advice to help guide parents through difficult times.

Parenting with Love and Logic

Parenting with Love and Logic

Parenting with Love and Logic” is written by psychologist Dr. Foster W. Cline and educator Jim Fay. Together, the two take readers on a journey of love and care in raising confident, well-adjusted children. It includes actionable advice and step-by-step techniques for effective parenting.

The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind

The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind

A child’s brain doesn’t stop developing until they’re in their early 20s. “The Whole-Brain Child” understands your child is growing and changing and offers real-world advice on working with them where they are at this point in their life. With a particular emphasis on emotional health and control, authors Dr. Daniel J. Siegel and Tina P. Bryson, PhD, use their backgrounds in psychiatry and psychotherapy to help parents raise emotionally intelligent kids.

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How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk

Parents know all too well that communicating with their children can be difficult. Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish have some guidance that makes the two-way street of communication easier. In “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk,” they teach parents how to better communicate so their children understand and respond. They include tips on raising children with skills that will carry them into adulthood.

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids

Today’s world is an onslaught of information, noise, and distraction. It’s enough to cause anxiety in anyone. In “Simplicity Parenting,” parents can learn how to better raise children in the modern age. Written by Kim J. Payne and Lisa M. Ross, the book gives tips on simplifying home life, establishing rhythms to reduce tension, scheduling breaks in life’s routine, and scaling back on modern media.

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1-2-3 Magic: 3-Step Discipline for Calm, Effective, and Happy Parenting

1-2-3 Magic: 3-Step Discipline for Calm, Effective, and Happy Parenting

Disciplining children is hard. Rarely are parents given guidance on how best to do it. In “1-2-3 Magic,” you can find that guidance. Written by Thomas Phelan, PhD, a psychologist and expert on ADHD, the book spells out how you can help your child deal with their emotions, encourage good behavior, and strengthen the parent-child relationship. He includes clear advice for many roadblocks you find in a day of parenting.

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting

Most parents have lost their temper at some point. For some, however, the yelling can become second nature. In “Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids,” Laura Markham, PhD, teaches parents how to let go of this bad habit and find better communication skills for dealing with their children. Parents will learn they don’t need to yell or nag to get action from their child; parenting doesn’t have to be a power struggle.

Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide

Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide

Rebecca Eanes is a popular parenting blogger who writes about parenting with a positive mindset and attitude. In her book “Positive Parenting,” she teaches parents how to better communicate with their kids. She also discusses her own struggles with emotional control and support as a mother raising two children. The result: a guide that comes from a helpful friend rather than a stuffy expert.

Parenting Without Power Struggles: Raising Joyful, Resilient Kids While Staying Cool, Calm, and Connected

Parenting Without Power Struggles: Raising Joyful, Resilient Kids While Staying Cool, Calm, and Connected

Susan Stiffelman is a family therapist who has seen her share of difficulties between parents and children. Many of those difficulties come down to a power struggle. In “Parenting Without Power Struggles,” she guides parents on how to approach communication with their child so such difficulties are rare. Learn how to manage your own emotions and expectations while helping your child manage theirs and how to gain cooperation without nagging them or yelling.

Strong Mothers, Strong Sons: Lessons Mothers Need to Raise Extraordinary Men

Strong Mothers, Strong Sons: Lessons Mothers Need to Raise Extraordinary Men

Pediatrician Meg Meeker has seen her share of mothers and sons. In “Strong Mothers, Strong Sons,” she helps mothers understand that raising boys is unique. She offers advice on how mothers can support their sons in ways that will carry them to manhood, teaching them about hard work, respecting women, and raising their own children one day.

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Raising Your Spirited Child, Third Edition: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic

Raising Your Spirited Child, Third Edition: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent,

High-spirited children are always loaded with energy, have the ability to make you laugh to tears, and the ability to frustrate you to no end. In “Raising Your Spirited Child,” Mary Sheedy Kurcinka gives parents the tools for better managing the swings of a spirited child. She talks about handling meltdowns, power struggles, disciplining, and other problems. She also discusses how to find the right school for your child, an important issue often left out of parenting discussions.

Screamfree Parenting

Screamfree Parenting

Have you ever met those parents that always seem to have it together? Those who can ask nicely for their kids to help out around the house or do their homework — and have their kids comply? In “Screamfree Parenting,” Hal Runkel, LMFT, teaches you the magic behind these parent-child relationships and how to better communicate as a family.

Go the F**k to Sleep

Go the F**k to Sleep

Need some humor to break up parenting stress? You may not want to read this book to your child at bedtime, but it can certainly provide some comic relief after the kids are in bed. In “Go the F**k to Sleep,” Adam Mansbach and illustrator Ricardo Cortés have put together a satirical bedtime story that pulls no punches. It says what many parents have thought for years.

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Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason

Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason

Parenting author Alfie Kohn teaches parents how to think differently about their role in their children’s lives. Rather than asking, “How can I get my child to do what I want?” he urges parents to think about how they can better support their children and fulfill their needs. The carrot and stick parenting model teaches children they have to earn our love and approval. But according to “Unconditional Parenting,” if you start with unconditional love, you won’t need to rely on the sometimes-frustrating system of punishment and reward.

 

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We pick these items based on the quality of the products, and list the pros and cons of each to help you determine which will work best for you. We partner with some of the companies that sell these products, which means Healthline may receive a portion of the revenues when you buy something using the links above.

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