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The answers to real-life situations and problems we have sometimes come in the form of books.

10 Best Parenting Books You Should Read At Least Once

When life gets too hard, especially the life of a parent, solutions may be difficult to come by. Invest in these 10 best parenting books to get the answers and insights you need: 

 

How to Talk so Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

best parenting books

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Communication is one of the key aspects that we need to establish a healthy relationship with other people. In the case of our children, it’s somehow difficult and easy at the same time. It’s easy because they’re children – they’re straightforward, they don’t know how to lie, they’re transparent about how they feel. But it’s also because of that it’s difficult for us, parents, to communicate with them – and the problem doesn’t lie on them, it’s on us.

We often underestimate kids and think that they’re not as smart and knowledgeable as older people, thus, their inability to hold a proper conversation. What happens, then, is that we don’t make the effort to actually talk to them when they approach us. How to Talk so Kids Will Listen will tell you that that’s where the deterioration of your relationship begins. The first chapter begins by saying that the first and most important step you have to take is to help them deal with their feelings. Children need to have their feelings accepted and respected. The succeeding chapters rely on this first step so we cannot emphasise enough how important it is to acknowledge and accept your children and what they’re feeling. The next chapters include learning how to avoid common arguments, affirming rather than criticizing, substituting confrontational methods of punishment, and teaching your child how to amend for negative actions.  

What this particular book does best is it takes theory into practice. It gives you skills and methods that you can use every day to help you with its corresponding issue that it aims to solve. 

Get this book on Amazon now! 

 

When Partners Become Parents by Carolyn Pape Cowan & Philip A. Cowan

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Having a child changes people and marriage in every way, as said by the Cowans. While parenthood is filled with moments of indescribable joy and love, it is also undeniably filled with the opposite. This book focuses primarily on the struggles of new parenthood. When it first appeared in 1992, this book became an instant must-read on the lists of new parents and family studies professionals alike. Its message is just as relevant, just as timely, and perhaps even more important today. 

This book is as credible as it can get – research data include self-evaluation in the roles of worker, parent, and lover-partner prior to childbirth, 6 months after the birth, and 18 months later. They also cover parent-child observations, self-description adjective checklists, and kindergarten teacher ratings. Premarital patterns of responding to stress, the sense of inner self, the quality of the husband-wife relationship, support from family and friends, and the relationship of each parent with the child all have an impact on early parenting and on later child adjustment and marital difficulty. Vulnerability issues (e.g., who does what after the birth; alcoholic grandparents) are assessed. 

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The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

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As hinted by the name, The Whole-Brain Child is a book that explains the inner workings of a child’s mind and how it manifests into behavior through science. If you’re interested in knowing how a child’s brain works in that kind of depth, this book is for you! Don’t worry about the reading difficulty of this book. Although it may have some scientific jargon, it also provides amazing graphics that expounds on the ideas within the book for a much easier read. 

The Whole-Brain Child hinges its overarching principles on the following twelve strategies: 

  • Connect and Redirect
  • Name It to Tame It
  • Engage, Don’t Enrage
  • Use It or Lose It
  • Move It or Lose It
  • Use the Remote of the Mind
  • Remember to Remember
  • Let the Clouds of Emotions Roll By
  • SIFT
  • Exercise Mindsight
  • Increase the Family Fun Factor
  • Connect Through Conflict

These twelve strategies help instill healthy brain development in children, hence, making them calmer and happier. The book expounds on the left brain (the logical part) and the right brain (the emotional part) and how children are often overpowered by the right brain which explains a lot of things – tantrums, fights and sulking. With these discoveries, the book will help you by providing skills and strategies for you to implement for healthier and more effective parenting. 

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The Second Shift by Arlie Hochschild, with Anne Machung 

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This book is still very relevant and timely in this progressive age. When it comes to gender roles and expectations, some families nowadays deviate from what was the norm. This book details its research on the beliefs and behaviors of different families including various factors such as race/ethnicity, educational attainment, and social class.

The “Second Shift” that Hochschild and Machung refer to is women’s additional work that is spent on housework and childcare as compared to men. Instead of the responsibilities being shared, the woman bears the brunt of this. There have been conflicts present between the demands of work and family that are treated as personal issues of individual women instead of social problems shared between the two parties – men and women. 

The book goes in-depth into the cultural and societal problems that people of differing genders face in the context of a family. ‘The Second Shift’ does this through anecdotes of various families of different backgrounds so you’ll really get a broad range of perspectives regarding the topic of gender roles. 

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How to Hug a Porcupine by Julie A. Ross

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Taking care of babies and toddlers is one thing, but handling budding teenagers is another. Just like porcupines, tweens are adorable but can be prickly. Every parent with kids has had this problem at one point in their lives and they know just how increasingly difficult it is. ‘How to Hug a Porcupine’ by Julie Ross tackles this problem without compromising two of the most important factors in raising kids: protection from the real world and preparation for it. 

This book uses anecdotes and real-life situations to illustrate its ideas and methods. The topics cover a broad range of issues including defiance, self-esteem, sibling rivalry, and The Talk (about sex and drugs). Ross does an amazing job at providing a new perspective on parenting – focusing on effort rather than results. This shows that building healthy relationships is much, much more important than laying down rules for them to follow. 

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Supernormal by Meg Jay

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Unlike the previous books listed, ‘Supernormal’ isn’t categorized under Parenting Books but its message still holds relevance just the same. This book tells the stories of famous people as well as Jay’s own clients, and how resilience, despite traumatic experiences, has raised them as better individuals. No matter who you are, we are all just ordinary people who are and have been placed in uncomfortable circumstances that we need to overcome – that’s what makes us ‘Supernormal.’ This book is structured through anecdotes of many people and are all written so well and effectively that you will feel hopeful for them – and, in turn, for yourself as well. Jay has written a fun and compelling book for readers of different backgrounds and this especially includes parents. You will be able to look back and ruminate on your own childhood experiences. The wisdom that you will get from that will be able to help you implement skills and strategies for more effective parenting styles. 

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What No One Tells You: A Guide to Your Emotions from Pregnancy to Motherhood by Alexandra Sacks, MD & Catherine Birndorf, MD

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“Is this normal? Is it normal for my sex drive to disappear or to go into overdrive? Is it normal to have nesting urges or an overloaded “mommy brain”? Is it normal for my parents to be acting out? Is it normal not to feel love at first sight for my baby? Is it normal to argue with my partner?”

If you’re a mom (or soon-to-be mom), you’ve most probably asked one or all of these questions. Dr. Sacks and Dr. Birndorf answers them with a confident ‘YES.’ They back this up with their accumulated data and research from their 30 years of combined experience counseling mothers. For moms and curious women out there, this book will most probably be your best friend. ‘What No One Tells You’ is your essential guide to the emotions of pregnancy and early motherhood! 

Aside from complete explanations from credible sources, this book also provides practical tips to help new mothers feel less guilt and more self-esteem, less isolation and more kinship, less resentment and more intimacy, less exhaustion and more pleasure, and learn other tips to navigate the ups and downs of this exciting, demanding time. 

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How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t With Your Kids by Carla Naumburg, PhD

best parenting books

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We’ve all lost it at least once at some point in our lives – especially for parents. Sometimes (most of the time), kids can really get on our nerves and it’s not their fault. They’re clueless, they’re energetic, they’re deviants, they’re curious, and they’re just kids! How we react to them is on us and is our responsibility. This book will guide you on how to do that in a calmer way. 

The best thing about this book is that it does not chastise. It doesn’t say, “You’re a bad person for screaming at your child over spilled milk.” Rather, it’s compassionate and pragmatic in its approach. It acknowledges that hey, sh*it really does happen. Naumburg came up with a practical guide filled with insight and wisdom for you to digest and execute. 

“Stop the yelling, lose the guilt, and become a calmer, happier parent.”

Get this book on Amazon now!

 

Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy by Angela Garbes

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There are many sources on the internet regarding pregnancy – superstitions, the do’s and don’ts, expectations, and more. We’ve all got a lot of questions and this tricky and vague topic proves to be difficult to tread into. Given that, Garbes has written a book that addresses these concerns through scientific explanations and real-life experiences all in one. This combination gives a series of credible and relatable anecdotes that give us more than answers. You will also get insights and wisdom about parenthood that will open your eyes to common misconceptions and beliefs. This book has no space for misaligned judgment but it’s reserved for introspection. 

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Diaper Dude: The Ultimate Dad’s Guide to Surviving the First Two Years by Chris Pegula 

best parenting books

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Of course, we can’t leave out the dads! This book by Pegula dives into the first two years of parenting through useful information and funny stories of a dad’s daily life. Just like mothers, it’s also difficult for dads to transition to the life of a parent – it’s not all about you anymore. You have other responsibilities and priorities that are way above your own wants and even needs. 

This book also prepares you for experiences that may be unfamiliar to you such as housework. It’s common in society that women are the main workers of the house, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t change. The burden of housework and child care should be shared between partners for a healthy household to flourish. Ultimately, Pegula balances this mindset with the notion that you really don’t have to lose yourself when you become a father. 

Get this book on Amazon now! 

Exhaust your resources especially when push comes to shove – and this means reading books! You’ll definitely get more than what you expected.