Parenting is one of the best jobs in the world, and the toughest one too. Just like marriage, most people become parents without any prior training. But you’re expected to deliver anyway. Before you know it, you’re having to juggle between attending to your toddler and taking care of your other equally-demanding tasks.
If you weren’t prepared adequately for these onslaughts (as is often the case), you may find the pressure a bit overbearing. No need to fret, though. There are scores of parenting books you can invest in, which come with actionable tips and techniques on how to be an excellent parent.
The following are the 10 best parenting books every parent should read.
1. Parenting from the Inside Out by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D
Parenting from the Inside Out by Daniel Siegel is a book that explains how deep self-understanding can help us to excel at parenting. In the book, the author attempts to discuss how our childhoods affect our parenting abilities. The book takes inspirations from neuroscience and studies on attachment to help the reader understand their life stories for better parenting.
Daniel Siegel argues that even people who had happy childhoods could be dealing with unresolved issues that affect their ability to become the best parents. Parenting from the Inside out also explores the connection between interpersonal relationships and brain development. If you’re looking for a parenting book that will help you to create solid foundations for secure relationships, this is the book to buy.
2. What to Expect When You’re Expecting, 4th Edition by Heidi Murkoff
Parenting begins right from conception, and What to Expect When You’re Expecting understands that all too well. That’s why the book explores everything you can ever expect out of parenting, while answering some of the most frequently asked questions about parenthood.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting will walk you through various critical stages in the development of the fetus, up until delivery, and even how to take care of your toddler post-delivery. It will then introduce you to some of the physical, emotional, social, sexual, nutritional, and workplace challenges you can expect as a new parent.
In the book, Heidi incorporates some of the new and cutting-edge research developments in obstetrics. There are sections that address how to prepare yourself when carrying multiples. Popular lifestyle trends touching on parenthood, such as aromatherapy, belly-piercing, and Botox, are also discussed in detail.
3. Positive Discipline A-Z by Jane Nelson, Ed.M
Positive Discipline focuses on how to raise your child to be a resourceful, responsible, and respectful person in future. Jane Nelson starts by stating a few obvious parenting facts. That for the most part, the job of parenting is enjoyable and fulfilling.
However, there will always be moments when you’re angry, frustrated, or depressed. How you react during such times is what defines you as a parent. The author highlights several challenges that you’ll have to deal with as a parent, and how to handle each one of them soberly and impartially.
Some of the parenting challenges the book addresses include;
• Sibling Rivalry;
• Eating Problems;
• Tattling and Lying;
• School Problems;
• Homework Battles;
• Getting Chores Done;
• Procrastination, etc.
4. The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp
As a parent, one of your lowest moments is when your baby cries incessantly and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s worse if you’ve tried every trick in the book to calm down your little one, but to no avail. Well, your solution lies in The Happiest Baby on the Block parenting book by Harvey Karp. In this book, Dr. Karp shares some of the most actionable baby-soothing techniques, inspired by both modern science and ancient wisdom.
A few highlights in the book include;
• The Missing Fourth Trimester, where the author attempts to explain that some babies cry due to pre-term birth;
• The Calming Reflex, which expounds on how to automatically stop your baby from crying; and
• The 5 “S’s”, which include the techniques that trigger the calming reflex, which include swaddling, shushing, swinging, side/stomach position, and sucking.
5. The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D
Daniel J. Siegel is known for his smart, practical, and effective way of addressing parenting issues. In The Whole-Brain Child, he explores 12 actionable strategies that parents can implement for the healthy brain development of their kids. Taking inspiration from scientific findings, the author explains how the brain of a child is wired and how it develops.
For instance, you’ll learn that a child’s right brain, which controls emotions, always triumphs over the left brain, which controls logic. That explains why your little one overreacts to anything. The author then goes ahead to unpack some tips on how parents can tap into their children’s brains to help their little ones lead a happy and calm life.
6. Siblings Without Rivalry by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
Siblings without rivalry! Is that even possible? Well, it is, at least according to this New York Times best-selling parenting book. Co-authored by two successful parents, Siblings Without Rivalry is special recommendation for parents that are struggling to have their children to get along. The book contains practical tools that parents can use to manage sibling rivalry and encourage a harmonious coexistence among their children.
Siblings Without Rivalry is the go-to resource if you’re looking to foster cooperation among your children so they can enjoy the happiness of their special relationships. Most of the tips in the book are inspired by the authors’ real-life experiences dealing with their own children.
7. How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen by Joanna Faber and Julie King
Are you struggling to connect with your little ones? Do you often face communication breakdowns even while addressing common family issues? If you answered to all of these questions in the affirmative, then you deserve a copy of the parenting book How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen. As grown-ups and young children live in different worlds, effective communication can often be elusive. And it’s worse if you’re blessed with strong-willed children.
In this book, you’ll discover several parenting strategies for effective communication and instilling discipline in your children. Besides being excellent parents themselves, Joanna Faber and Julie King have held numerous workshops on parenting. Some of the lessons and challenges they’ve learnt from previous workshops are carefully incorporated into the book. And the inclusion of storytelling and cartoons make for an entertaining read.
8. Peaceful Parent Happy Kids by Laura Markham
Peaceful Parent Happy Kids focuses on positive psychology. It teaches parents the importance of problem-solving as opposed to punishment. Now, children learn a lot from their parents, which explains why poorly-raised kids often wind up as failed parents in future.
Peaceful Parent Happy Kids observes that as a parent, your actions and behaviors significantly shape your kids’ characters when they’re fully grown. The author explains that the mental state of a parent significantly impacts the behavioral patterns of their children.
She bases most of her arguments from the latest scientific findings on brain development as well as her clinical experience dealing with parents. It’s an excellent read for parents who are struggling to foster emotional connections with their kids.
9. What No One Tells You by Dr. Alexander Sacks and Dr. Catherine Bindorf
Most parenting guides focus on addressing the physical changes to a woman’s body as well as fetal development during pregnancy. However, What No One Tells You takes a whole new approach to pregnancy and parenting. In the book, two of America’s most celebrated reproductive psychiatrists attempt to address the rarely-tackled issues related to pregnancy and parenting.
Some of the interesting questions the book seeks to answer include;
• Why most expectant moms panic upon discovering that they’re pregnant, and why the reality takes time to set in;
• Whether it’s normal for an expecting mother to fight with her partner or parents;
• Breastfeeding challenges; and
• Issues of postpartum depression, such as being indifferent to the baby a few days after delivery.
10. Weird Parenting Wins by Hillary Frank
Even after reading countless books on parenting, you might still experience challenges raising your kids and coping with the whole idea of being a parent. But what do you do after reading 10 books on how to calm a baby down, implementing the tips religiously but the little one just keeps crying? Those are the times you’ll resort to the weirdest things to try and pacify your child.
Some of those weird parenting wins are highlighted in Weird Parenting Wins by Hillary Frank. Examples of highlights within the book include “The Art of Getting Your Kid to Tell You Things” and “The Art of Getting Your Kid to Act Like a Person”. This book borrows from the fact that every family is unique, and what makes most kids tick may not necessarily work for your child.
Parenting may be a challenging task, seeing as no kid comes with a manual. Thankfully, the books we’ve reviewed here will go a long way in helping you to appreciate your new status as a parent. Above all, you’ll discover numerous strategies on how to cope up with your kids as you raise them to be responsible adults.