The best 32 Parenting books

Parenting is one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences in life. Whether you're a new parent or have years of experience, there's always room to learn and grow. That's why we've put together this book list to help you navigate the ups and downs of raising children.
From practical advice on discipline and communication to insights into child development, these books offer valuable tips and perspectives. So, dive in and discover new strategies to enhance your parenting skills and foster a nurturing environment for your children.

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1
Parenting Books: Parenting Beyond Pink & Blue by Christia Spears Brown

Parenting Beyond Pink & Blue

Christia Spears Brown

What's Parenting Beyond Pink & Blue about?

Parenting Beyond Pink & Blue challenges traditional gender stereotypes and offers practical advice on how to raise children in a more gender-neutral way. Author Christia Spears Brown draws on research and personal anecdotes to demonstrate the negative impact of rigid gender expectations on kids. This thought-provoking book advocates for a more individualized approach to parenting that focuses on children's unique personalities and interests, rather than their gender.

Who should read Parenting Beyond Pink & Blue?

  • Parents who want to understand and challenge gender stereotypes
  • Teachers and educators interested in promoting gender-neutral education
  • Anyone looking to raise children with a more open and inclusive mindset

2
Parenting Books: Give Them Grace by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick, Jessica Thompson

Give Them Grace

Elyse M. Fitzpatrick, Jessica Thompson

What's Give Them Grace about?

Give Them Grace by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson offers a refreshing perspective on parenting. It emphasizes the importance of extending grace to our children, just as God extends grace to us. Through practical advice and biblical wisdom, the book guides parents in raising children who understand and embrace the gospel.

Who should read Give Them Grace?

  • Parents who want to lead their children with love and grace
  • Individuals looking for a balanced approach to Christian parenting
  • Caregivers who want to understand the importance of gospel-centered parenting

What's What to Expect When You're Expecting about?

What to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff is a comprehensive guide for expectant parents. It provides information on each stage of pregnancy, common symptoms, prenatal care, and childbirth. The book also addresses common concerns and offers practical advice for a healthy pregnancy and a smooth transition into parenthood.

Who should read What to Expect When You're Expecting?

  • Expectant parents who want a comprehensive guide to pregnancy
  • People who are looking for answers to their pregnancy-related questions
  • Those who want to feel informed and prepared for the journey of pregnancy and childbirth

4
Parenting Books: Unequal Childhoods by Annette Lareau

Unequal Childhoods

Annette Lareau

What's Unequal Childhoods about?

Unequal Childhoods by Annette Lareau delves into the impact of social class on child-rearing practices. Through in-depth research, Lareau uncovers how middle-class and working-class families in the United States approach parenting, education, and the development of their children. This thought-provoking book sheds light on the inequalities that exist within our society.

Who should read Unequal Childhoods?

  • Individuals interested in understanding how social class impacts children's lives
  • Parents who want to gain insights into different parenting approaches
  • Educators and professionals working with children from diverse backgrounds

5
Parenting Books: Like a Mother by Angela Garbes

Like a Mother

Angela Garbes

What's Like a Mother about?

Like a Mother by Angela Garbes is a thought-provoking exploration of pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood. Through a blend of personal anecdotes, scientific research, and cultural analysis, Garbes challenges traditional beliefs and provides a fresh perspective on the incredible capabilities of the female body. This book offers empowering insights for expectant mothers and anyone interested in the complexities of motherhood.

Who should read Like a Mother?

  • Expectant mothers who want a deeper understanding of pregnancy and childbirth
  • Women who are curious about the science behind motherhood and the female body
  • Feminists and advocates for women's health and reproductive rights

6
Parenting Books: Kids Are Worth It! by Barbara Coloroso

Kids Are Worth It!

Barbara Coloroso

What's Kids Are Worth It! about?

Kids Are Worth It! explores the challenges of parenting and offers practical strategies to raise responsible and compassionate children. Drawing on her own experiences and research, Barbara Coloroso provides valuable insights and advice on discipline, communication, and building healthy relationships with kids. This empowering book shows that with patience, understanding, and love, we can guide our children to become confident and independent individuals.

Who should read Kids Are Worth It!?

  • Parents looking for effective strategies to raise responsible and resilient children
  • Individuals working with children, such as educators or child care providers
  • Anyone interested in understanding and supporting the emotional and psychological development of kids

7
Parenting Books: It's OK Not to Share by Heather Shumaker, Joy Kolitsky

It's OK Not to Share

Heather Shumaker, Joy Kolitsky
and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids

What's It's OK Not to Share about?

'It’s OK Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids' challenges conventional parenting wisdom and offers alternative strategies for raising independent and kind-hearted children. With practical advice and real-life examples, Heather Shumaker encourages parents to trust their instincts and empower their kids to make their own choices. This thought-provoking book will change the way you approach parenting.

Who should read It's OK Not to Share?

  • Parents and caregivers looking for a non-traditional approach to raising children
  • Individuals interested in promoting independence and self-confidence in kids
  • Those who want to challenge conventional parenting norms and explore alternative perspectives

8
Parenting Books: Bringing Up Boys by James C. Dobson

Bringing Up Boys

James C. Dobson

What's Bringing Up Boys about?

Bringing Up Boys by James C. Dobson offers valuable insights and practical advice for parents raising sons. Drawing on his expertise in child psychology and family dynamics, Dobson addresses the unique challenges and opportunities involved in nurturing boys from infancy to adulthood. With a blend of research, personal anecdotes, and biblical wisdom, this book provides guidance on discipline, education, and instilling character traits that will help boys grow into responsible and respectful men.

Who should read Bringing Up Boys?

  • Parents and caregivers looking for guidance on raising boys in today's world
  • Teachers and educators seeking a better understanding of the unique needs of boys
  • Individuals interested in psychology and child development

9
Parenting Books: What to Expect the First Year by Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel

What to Expect the First Year

Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel

What's What to Expect the First Year about?

What to Expect the First Year (1989) is a comprehensive guide that helps new parents navigate the joys and challenges of the first year of their child's life. Written by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel, this book covers topics such as feeding, sleeping, developmental milestones, and common health concerns, offering practical advice and reassurance along the way. Whether you're a first-time parent or a seasoned pro, this book provides valuable insights and support for the journey ahead.

Who should read What to Expect the First Year?

  • Expectant parents who want to prepare for their baby's first year
  • New parents who are looking for guidance on caring for their newborn
  • Couples experiencing the challenges and joys of early parenthood

What's Raising Your Spirited Child, Third Edition about?

Raising Your Spirited Child, Third Edition by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka is a comprehensive guide for parents of children with intense personalities. Drawing on real-life examples and practical strategies, the book offers insights into understanding and nurturing spirited children. It provides valuable advice on managing challenging behaviors, building a positive parent-child relationship, and helping spirited kids thrive.

Who should read Raising Your Spirited Child, Third Edition?

  • Spirited children that are intense, sensitive, and persistent
  • Parents who want to understand and support their child's unique temperament
  • Caregivers looking for practical strategies to navigate challenging behaviors

11
Parenting Books: The New Strong-Willed Child by James C. Dobson

What's The New Strong-Willed Child about?

The New Strong-Willed Child by James C. Dobson offers practical advice and strategies for parents dealing with challenging and strong-willed children. Drawing on his years of experience as a family psychologist, Dobson provides insights into the nature of strong-willed kids and offers guidance on how to effectively discipline and communicate with them. This book aims to help parents understand and nurture their child's unique personality while also setting appropriate boundaries.

Who should read The New Strong-Willed Child?

  • Parents or caregivers of strong-willed children
  • Those looking for practical tips and advice on managing challenging behaviors
  • Individuals who want to understand the underlying reasons for a child's strong-willed nature

What's The Secrets of Happy Families about?

The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feiler offers practical advice and innovative strategies to help families thrive in today's fast-paced world. Drawing on research and real-life examples, the book explores topics such as communication, decision-making, and creating a strong family culture. It provides valuable insights and actionable tips to help families build stronger, more connected relationships.

Who should read The Secrets of Happy Families?

  • Parents and caregivers looking for practical strategies to improve family dynamics
  • Individuals seeking innovative approaches to common family challenges
  • Families who want to enhance communication, adaptability, and resilience

13
Parenting Books: The Read-Aloud Family by Sarah Mackenzie

The Read-Aloud Family

Sarah Mackenzie

What's The Read-Aloud Family about?

The Read-Aloud Family by Sarah Mackenzie is a heartfelt guide to creating a culture of reading in your home. Filled with practical tips and book recommendations, it shows how reading aloud can strengthen family bonds, ignite a love for literature, and nurture a lifelong habit of learning. Whether you're a parent, grandparent, or educator, this book will inspire you to make reading a cherished part of your family's daily routine.

Who should read The Read-Aloud Family?

  • Parents who want to cultivate a love for reading in their children
  • Individuals seeking practical tips for incorporating read-aloud time into their family routine
  • Educators looking to enhance their students' literacy skills through read-aloud activities

14
Parenting Books: Free-Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy

Free-Range Kids

Lenore Skenazy

What's Free-Range Kids about?

Free-Range Kids challenges the culture of overprotection and fear that surrounds modern parenting. Author Lenore Skenazy shares her personal journey as she advocates for giving our children more independence and freedom. Drawing on research and real-life examples, she offers practical tips and reassurance for parents who want to raise self-reliant, resilient kids.

Who should read Free-Range Kids?

  • Parents who want to learn how to raise self-reliant, independent children
  • Individuals who question modern society's obsession with overprotecting kids
  • Those interested in understanding the benefits of giving children more freedom and responsibility

15
Parenting Books: Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids by Dr. Laura Markham

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids

Dr. Laura Markham

What's Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids about?

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids by Dr. Laura Markham offers practical and compassionate strategies for parents to raise emotionally intelligent and resilient children. Focusing on the parent-child relationship, the book provides insights and tools to help parents connect with their children, understand their emotions, and effectively navigate challenges. It emphasizes the importance of empathy, communication, and positive discipline in creating a peaceful and harmonious family dynamic.

Who should read Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids?

  • Parents who want to create a peaceful and harmonious home environment
  • Those who seek to understand and connect with their children on a deeper level
  • Individuals who are open to learning new parenting strategies and techniques

16

What's Operating Instructions about?

Operating Instructions recounts author Anne Lamott's humorous and poignant journey through her first year as a single mother. Filled with raw honesty and insightful reflections, this memoir offers a heartfelt exploration of the challenges and joys of motherhood.

Who should read Operating Instructions?

  • Single parents looking for relatable and honest insights
  • Readers who enjoy memoirs and personal narratives
  • People navigating life's challenges and seeking guidance

17

What's The Read-Aloud Handbook about?

The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease is a comprehensive guide to the benefits and techniques of reading aloud to children. It provides valuable insights into the importance of this practice in developing a child's literacy skills and love for books. With practical tips and a wealth of book recommendations, this book is a must-read for parents, educators, and anyone passionate about nurturing a lifelong love of reading in children.

Who should read The Read-Aloud Handbook?

  • Parents and caregivers looking to instill a love of reading in their children
  • Educators seeking to improve literacy and communication skills in students
  • Those who want to understand the cognitive and emotional benefits of reading aloud

18
Parenting Books: Elevating Child Care by Janet Lansbury

Elevating Child Care

Janet Lansbury

What's Elevating Child Care about?

Elevating Child Care by Janet Lansbury offers a fresh perspective on parenting and childcare. Drawing from her experience as a parent educator, Lansbury provides practical advice and insights on how to raise children with respect, trust, and understanding. This book challenges traditional parenting methods and encourages caregivers to embrace a more mindful and empathetic approach to child-rearing.

Who should read Elevating Child Care?

  • Parents and caregivers who want to raise children with respect and empathy
  • Individuals looking for practical and actionable advice on effective parenting
  • Those interested in understanding child development and behavior from a respectful and mindful perspective

What's How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t with Your Kids about?

How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t with Your Kids offers practical strategies and mindful approaches to help parents navigate the challenging moments of parenting without losing their cool. Carla Naumburg provides insights and tools to better understand our triggers and respond with more calm and connection. It's a reassuring and down-to-earth guide for every parent striving to be more peaceful and present in their parenting journey.

Who should read How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t with Your Kids?

  • Parents who want to improve their communication and connection with their kids
  • Individuals looking for practical and relatable advice on managing their emotions
  • Those who are open to learning mindfulness and self-care techniques to reduce stress

20
Parenting Books: Brain Rules for Baby by John Medina

Brain Rules for Baby

John Medina

What's Brain Rules for Baby about?

Brain Rules for Baby by John Medina offers practical advice for parents based on the latest scientific research. The book covers topics such as how to raise a smart and happy child, the importance of early attachment, and how to navigate the challenges of modern parenting. With engaging storytelling and clear explanations, it provides valuable insights into child development and offers evidence-based strategies for raising a healthy and thriving child.

Who should read Brain Rules for Baby?

  • Expectant parents looking to understand the science behind early childhood development
  • Parents of young children who want practical tips for raising happy and intelligent kids
  • Anyone interested in the intersection of neuroscience and parenting

21
Parenting Books: Far from the Tree by Robin Benway

Far from the Tree

Robin Benway

What's Far from the Tree about?

Far from the Tree by Robin Benway tells the story of three biological siblings who were separated at birth and raised in different families. When they finally meet, they embark on a journey to uncover the truth about their family and themselves. This heartwarming and thought-provoking novel explores the meaning of family and the bonds that connect us.

Who should read Far from the Tree?

  • Readers who enjoy thought-provoking and emotionally resonant stories
  • Those interested in exploring themes of identity, family, and belonging
  • Adolescents and young adults navigating the complexities of relationships with parents, siblings, and peers

What's Ina May's Guide to Childbirth about?

'Ina May's Guide to Childbirth' is a comprehensive book that shares empowering birth stories and provides practical advice for expectant mothers. Written by renowned midwife Ina May Gaskin, it challenges common childbirth practices and offers valuable insights into natural birthing options. Whether you are planning a home birth or a hospital birth, this book will help you feel confident and informed about the birthing process. 

Who should read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth?

  • Expectant mothers who want to explore natural childbirth options
  • Women who are curious about the physiological and emotional aspects of labor and delivery
  • Birth partners who want to support and advocate for the birthing person

23
Parenting Books: Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic

Loving the Little Years

Rachel Jankovic

What's Loving the Little Years about?

Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic offers a refreshing perspective on parenting young children. With humor and wisdom, the book delves into the challenges and joys of raising little ones, providing practical advice and encouragement for parents. Jankovic emphasizes the importance of embracing the chaos and finding joy in the everyday moments of motherhood.

Who should read Loving the Little Years?

  • Parents who are looking for practical advice on raising young children
  • Those who want to embrace a grace-based approach to parenting
  • Individuals who are seeking encouragement and support in the midst of the challenges of motherhood

24
Parenting Books: On Becoming Babywise by Robert Bucknam M.D., Gary Ezzo

On Becoming Babywise

Robert Bucknam M.D., Gary Ezzo

What's On Becoming Babywise about?

On Becoming Babywise offers practical advice for new parents on how to establish healthy sleep and feeding routines for their babies. It emphasizes the importance of a structured schedule and provides strategies to help babies sleep through the night and develop good feeding habits. Written by pediatrician Robert Bucknam and parent educator Gary Ezzo, On Becoming Babywise aims to guide parents in nurturing a balanced and contented baby.

Who should read On Becoming Babywise?

  • Expectant parents who want to establish healthy sleep and feeding routines for their newborn
  • Parents of young infants looking for guidance on effective parenting techniques
  • Those who value evidence-based strategies and practical tips from pediatric experts

What's The Blessing of a Skinned Knee about?

The Blessing of a Skinned Knee (2001) by Wendy Mogel explores the importance of allowing children to experience failure, frustration, and disappointment in order to foster resilience and independence. Drawing on insights from both secular and religious perspectives, Mogel provides practical advice for parents on how to raise confident and capable children.

Who should read The Blessing of a Skinned Knee?

  • Parents seeking a balanced approach to raising resilient and independent children
  • Individuals interested in blending ancient wisdom with modern parenting techniques
  • Those who want to cultivate gratitude, empathy, and self-discipline in their children

26

What's Last Child in the Woods about?

Last Child in the Woods (2005) by Richard Louv explores the negative effects of a "nature-deficit disorder" in children who spend less time outdoors, and the importance of reconnecting them with the natural world. It offers compelling evidence and practical solutions to inspire families, educators, and policy makers to prioritize nature experiences for future generations.

Who should read Last Child in the Woods?

  • Parents who want to understand the importance of nature in child development
  • Educators looking to incorporate outdoor learning into their curriculum
  • Anyone concerned about the impact of technology and urbanization on the younger generation

27
Parenting Books: Boys Adrift by Leonard Sax

Boys Adrift

Leonard Sax

What's Boys Adrift about?

'Boys Adrift' by Leonard Sax delves into the factors contributing to the underperformance and disengagement of boys in today's society. Drawing on research and personal anecdotes, the book explores issues such as the impact of video games, lack of male role models, and education system shortcomings. Sax offers insights and potential solutions to address this concerning trend.

Who should read Boys Adrift?

  • Parents seeking to understand and support their sons
  • Educators and school administrators looking to address the challenges boys face in education
  • Individuals interested in the impact of cultural and societal changes on boys' development

28
Parenting Books: Playful Parenting by Lawrence J. Cohen PhD

Playful Parenting

Lawrence J. Cohen PhD

What's Playful Parenting about?

Playful Parenting by Lawrence J. Cohen PhD explores the power of play in building strong connections with our children. Through insightful anecdotes and practical advice, the book offers creative ways to engage with kids, resolve conflicts, and foster their emotional development. It reminds us that laughter and playfulness can be valuable tools in parenting.

Who should read Playful Parenting?

  • Parents who want to build a strong and playful relationship with their children
  • Individuals working with children, such as teachers or caregivers
  • Those interested in understanding the benefits of playful interactions for child development

What's Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters about?

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker is a powerful book that delves into the unique and essential role fathers play in the lives of their daughters. Through real-life stories and expert insights, it offers practical advice on how fathers can build a strong, trusting relationship with their daughters, and empower them to navigate the challenges of growing up in today's world. A must-read for fathers who want to make a positive impact on their daughters' lives.

Who should read Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters?

  • Parents who want to understand and support their daughters
  • Fathers looking to build a strong and meaningful relationship with their girls
  • Individuals who are passionate about empowering young women

30
Parenting Books: Oh Crap! Potty Training by Jamie Glowacki

Oh Crap! Potty Training

Jamie Glowacki

What's Oh Crap! Potty Training about?

Oh Crap! Potty Training by Jamie Glowacki is a practical guide for parents who are ready to tackle the daunting task of potty training. With a no-nonsense approach and step-by-step instructions, Glowacki offers advice on how to prepare for potty training, recognize signs of readiness in your child, and troubleshoot common challenges along the way. This book aims to empower parents and make the potty training process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Who should read Oh Crap! Potty Training?

  • Parents and caregivers who are ready to potty train their toddlers
  • Those looking for a practical and effective approach to toilet training
  • Individuals who want guidance on navigating common potty training challenges

31
Parenting Books: Parent Effectiveness Training by Thomas Gordon, Dr. Thomas Gordon

Parent Effectiveness Training

Thomas Gordon, Dr. Thomas Gordon

What's Parent Effectiveness Training about?

Parent Effectiveness Training by Thomas Gordon provides practical and effective communication strategies for parents to build better relationships with their children. Drawing from his own experiences as a parent and his background in psychology, Gordon offers valuable advice on active listening, conflict resolution, and problem-solving to create a harmonious family dynamic. A must-read for all parents looking to enhance their parenting skills.

Who should read Parent Effectiveness Training?

  • Parents who want to improve communication and relationship with their children
  • Those looking for effective and respectful parenting techniques
  • Individuals seeking to understand and address the root causes of conflicts with their children

32
Parenting Books: Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipher

Reviving Ophelia

Mary Pipher
Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls

What's Reviving Ophelia about?

Reviving Ophelia explores the challenges faced by adolescent girls in today's society and offers insights and advice for parents, educators, and mental health professionals on how to support and empower them. Drawing on real-life stories and research, Mary Pipher sheds light on the pressures and expectations that can negatively impact girls' self-esteem and well-being, and provides strategies for helping them navigate these difficult years. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding and advocating for the well-being of young women.

Who should read Reviving Ophelia?

  • Parents of teenage girls
  • Teachers and educators working with teenage girls
  • Psychologists and therapists specializing in adolescent development

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