As a writer of books for new and expectant parents, one question I get asked all the time is what am I reading? So I’m going to share to with you a list of the best parenting books I’ve found so far. I’ll admit I never expected to feel the need to read a parenting book. I was one of those completely oblivious people who supposed that getting your kids to behave the way you want them to was as simple as telling them to do so. I very ignorantly presumed that whenever a child misbehaved their parents were clearly missing some very obvious solution. Oh, how wrong I was. Once our son was entering toddlerhood it quickly became apparent how complicated children’s behavior can really be. We needed advice. Plugging into our parents hazy memories of those early years helped a little but we figured it was worth hitting the books too. As this point I’ve read a lot of parenting books over a short period of time. All have been useful in their own ways, but these are the ones I keep going back to:
The Wonder Weeks by Hetty van de Rijt, Ph. D. and Frans Plooij, Ph. D.
This book was my baby bible for the first eighteen months for both of my kids. It talks about developmental leaps that occur during predictable timeframes and gives you tips for how to support your child during these times. The main thing it gave me was reassurance that some of the toughest phases would eventually end. I have had a couple of friends tell me that this book didn’t seem to coincide with their kids behavioral patterns but for both of my kids it seemed to predict their developmental leaps very accurately.
The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.
This book indulges my inner science geek and is wonderful at explaining a lot of the “why” behind children’s behavior. While explaining the theory behind children’s emotions and actions it offers suggestions for how to deal with struggles and how to turn negative situations into positive ones.
Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman
In this book American Journalist Pamela Druckerman describes her experiences of pregnancy and bringing up a child in Paris. While I don’t agree with all of the principles presented in this book, I thought it was a really refreshing read. I especially love that it’s written in the form of a novel instead of a how-to guide.
Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids by Dr. Laura Markham
I first discovered Dr. Laura Markham over at AhaParenting.com, and after reading a few of her articles I knew I wanted more. This book is amazing for minimizing conflict and strengthening family bonds.
Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings by Dr. Laura Markham
Her second book is fantastic for parents of two of more. One third of the book is devoted to navigating the first year of bringing a new baby home so it’s definitely worth reading sooner rather than later. However, even if you’re kids are already older most of the book is devoted to nurturing sibling relationships beyond the first year.
I’ve hope you’ve enjoyed this list of the best parenting books I’ve discovered so far. How about you? What are some of your favorite books for advice and support during those first years and beyond?