15 Parenting Books for Every Parent

Parenting - Parenting Books

Parenting is one of the toughest jobs in the world. Most of us didn’t have any training or classes before becoming parents.  Every parent goes through growing pains at each stage. Parents count on family and friends for advice on topics such as pregnancy, sleep solutions, and discipline issues.  But the advice is usually doled like a long and stressful to-do list! And one solution does not fit all! Many parents nowadays look up to books for their parenting queries.

Parenting books can entertain, inform and enlighten without being prescriptive and preachy, as well as make parents feel calmer!  Though some parenting books do present content with “steps” or a “plan”, there are a few parenting books that are both reassuring and challenging! They remind us that to be a parent who is present, and forgiving, and kind, you must first be all of these things to yourself!

Most parenting books are written by parenting specialists and encourage positive parenting. So whether you’re dealing with the terrible twos or arguing with an adolescent, these classic parenting books are the best guides to turn to.  Here are 15 best parenting books every parent can benefit from. You can help facilitate learning, growth, and creativity in your children with these parenting books. Read them, think and apply as needed.

  1. Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder by Mariah Bruehl

Books on Parenting - Playful Learning
Books on Parenting – Playful Learning

Children are natural scientists, artists, mathematicians, authors, and scholars. From the time they are born they seek out information about the world around them in an effort to construct meaning and further their development. While children have an inherent drive to make sense of their reality, parents have a unique opportunity to harness their children’s curiosity and channel it into a love of learning.

  1. The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

Books on Parenting - The whole-brain child
Books on Parenting – The whole-brain child

In this pioneering, practical book, the authors offer a revolutionary approach to child rearing with twelve key strategies that foster healthy brain development, leading to calmer, happier children. The authors explain—and make accessible—the new science of how a child’s brain is wired and how it matures. By applying these discoveries to everyday parenting, you can turn any outburst, argument, or fear into a chance to integrate your child’s brain and foster vital growth. Complete with age-appropriate strategies for dealing with day-to-day struggles and illustrations that will help you explain these concepts to your child, The Whole-Brain Child shows you how to cultivate healthy emotional and intellectual development so that your children can lead balanced, meaningful, and connected lives.

  1. No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame by Janet Lansbury

Books on Parenting - No Bad Kids

Janet Lansbury is unique among parenting experts. As a teacher and student of pioneering child specialist Magda Gerber, her advice is not based solely on formal studies and the research of others, but also on her twenty years of hands-on experience guiding hundreds of parents and their toddlers.

No Bad Kids is a collection of Janet’s most popular and widely read articles pertaining to common toddler behaviors and how respectful parenting practices can be applied to benefit both parents and children. It covers such common topics as punishment, cooperation, boundaries, testing, tantrums, hitting, and more. This book provides a practical, indispensable tool for parents who are anticipating or experiencing those critical years when toddlers are developmentally obliged to test the limits of our patience and love. Armed with knowledge and a clearer sense of the world through our children’s eyes, this period of uncertainty can afford a myriad of opportunities to forge unbreakable bonds of trust and respect.

  1. Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five by John Medina

Books on Parenting - Brain Rules for baby
Books on Parenting – Brain Rules for baby

In this book, the author shares what the latest science says about how to raise smart and happy children from zero to five. This book is destined to revolutionize parenting. Brain Rules for Baby bridges the gap between what scientists know and what parents practice. Through fascinating and funny stories, Medina, a developmental molecular biologist, and dad unravels how a child’s brain develops — and what you can do to optimize it. You will view your children–and how to raise them–in a whole new light. Brain Rules for Baby is an indispensable guide.

  1. The Calm and Happy Toddler by Dr Rebecca Chico

Books on Parenting - The Calm and Happy Toddler
Books on Parenting – The Calm and Happy Toddler

Child development expert Dr. Rebecca Chicot shares with you the secrets to calm and stress-free toddler parenting. Based on her unique parent–toddler approach, she reveals that by understanding how your toddler thinks and what changes he is going through, you can respond with confidence and stop sweating the small stuff. Whether you need help with tantrums, night waking, potty training or fussy eating, you’ll find it in this book! The Calm and Happy Toddler is the ‘how to’ and ‘why’ of toddler parenting: read this book to understand your toddler, get on the same team and thrive together.

  1. The Gardener and the Carpenter by Alison Gopnik

Books on Parenting - The Gardener and the Carpenter
Books on Parenting – The Gardener and the Carpenter

In this book, the pioneering developmental psychologist and philosopher Alison Gopnik argues that the familiar twenty-first-century picture of parents and children is profoundly wrong–it’s not just based on bad science, it’s bad for kids and parents, too. Drawing on the study of human evolution and her own cutting-edge scientific research into how children learn, Gopnik shows that although caring for children is profoundly important, it is not a matter of shaping them to turn out a particular way. “Parenting” won’t make children learn―but caring parents let children learn by creating a secure, loving environment.

  1. Teenagers Translated by Janey Downshire and Naella Grew

Books on Parenting - Teenagers Translated
Books on Parenting – Teenagers Translated

The authors of this book, Janey Downshire and Naella Grew have developed a programme to help parents get the best out of the teenage years.  Their approach is positive and straightforward, providing simple strategies for nurturing better behaviour and providing a happy, supportive home environment. This book provides a positive, enthusiastic and inspiring approach to the teenage years, showing how parents can help their teens develop the skills they will need for a happy adult lives.

  1. NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman

Books on Parenting - Nurture Shock
Books on Parenting – Nurture Shock

This is a book that discusses numerous strategies and techniques related to guiding your children and bringing them up in a way that allows them to reach their maximum potential. The book has been perceived as revolutionary in the sense that it questions the existing strategies that parents have been following since time immemorial to nurture their children. It explains that nature and nurture are closely related and goes deep into the basic nature of a child and the kind of nurture every child needs to develop into a mature adult.

Several important aspects of child development have been discussed in the book, such as sibling rivalry, the age at which a child should be enlightened about the different races, the reasons why the best students often don’t make it to the best schools, the causes of an aggressive nature in children and innovative ways of developing language skills in children.

  1. Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn – and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph.D. & Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Ph.D.

Books on Parenting - Einstein never used flash cards
Books on Parenting – Einstein never used flash cards

In Einstein Never Used Flashcards highly credentialed child psychologists, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, with Diane Eyer, offers a compelling indictment of the growing trend toward accelerated learning.  Drawing on overwhelming scientific evidence from their own studies and the collective research results of child development experts, and addressing the key areas of development-math, reading, verbal communication, science, self-awareness, and social skills-the authors explain the process of learning from a child’s point of view. They then offer parents 40 age-appropriate games for creative play. These simple, fun–yet powerful exercises work as well or better than expensive high-tech gadgets to teach a child what his ever-active, playful mind is craving to learn.

  1. No Regrets Parenting: Turning Long Days and Short Years into Cherished Moments with Your Kids by Harley Robart, M.D.

Books on Parenting - No Regrets Parenting
Books on Parenting – No Regrets Parenting

For tiger moms, free-range parents, helicopter parents, soccer moms, single parents, stay-at-home dads, and every other lifestyle du jour, No Regrets Parenting focuses on the simple truth that long days of busy parenting race quickly by and teaches parents how to stretch and enhance the time they spend with their kids.  No Regrets Parenting is a book for busy parents in our busy times.

  1. Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne and Lisa M. Ross

Books on Parenting - Simplicity Parenting

Internationally renowned family consultant Kim John Payne helps parents reclaim for their children space and freedom that all kids need for their attention to deepen and their individuality to flourish. Simplicity Parenting offers inspiration, ideas, and a blueprint for change. A manifesto for protecting the grace of childhood, Simplicity Parenting is an eloquent guide to bringing new rhythms to bear on the lifelong art of raising children.

  1. Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka

Books on Parenting - Raising your spirited child
Books on Parenting – Raising your spirited child

This book offers strategies and ways for managing kids through updated research and real-life stories. A difficult or strong-willed kid is termed as the spirited child. They usually possess the traits that are appreciated in adults but parents find it quite challenging when such traits are found in children. However, research proves that such kids are sensitive, intense and persistent to an extent that they are agonised due to change as compared to an average child.

The book offers examples for parents to understand their child’s temperamental traits. It encourages them to cope with tantrums and power struggles when they occur and to discover the power of the positive instead of the negative. It also covers strategies and approaches to situations like handling sibling rivalry, mealtimes, bedtimes and holidays.

  1. How to Hug a Porcupine by Julie A. Ross

Books on Parenting - How to hug a Porcupine
Books on Parenting – How to hug a Porcupine

Yesterday, your child was a sweet, well-adjusted eight-year-old. Today, a moody, disrespectful twelve-year-old. What happened? And more important, how do you handle it? How you respond to these whirlwind changes will not only affect your child’s behavior now but will determine how he or she turns out later. The author shows you exactly what’s going on with your child and provides all the tools you need to correctly handle even the prickliest tween porcupine.

Use this book to find out how other parents survived nightmarish tween behavior–and still raised great kids. Break the “nagging cycle,” give your kids responsibilities, and get results. Talk about sex, drugs, and alcohol so your kid will listen.  Discover the secret that will help your child to disregard peer pressure and make smart choices–for life. This excellent book lets parents peek into the underlying, confusing thoughts and perplexing decisions that young tweens are constantly facing.

  1. Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn

Books on Parenting - Unconditional Parenting
Books on Parenting – Unconditional Parenting

Most parenting guides begin with the question “How can we get kids to do what they’re told?” and then proceed to offer various techniques for controlling them. In this truly groundbreaking book, internationally respected educator Alfie Kohn begins instead by asking, “What do kids need—and how can we meet those needs?” What follows from that question are ideas for working with children rather than doing things to them.
More than just another book about discipline, though, Unconditional Parenting addresses the ways parents think about, feel about, and act with their children. It invites them to question their most basic assumptions about raising kids. And offers a wealth of practical strategies for shifting from “doing to” to “working with” parenting. This includes how to replace praise with the unconditional support that children need to grow into healthy, caring, responsible people. This is an eye-opening, paradigm-shattering book that will reconnect readers to their own best instincts and inspire them to become better parents.


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