Top parenting books you absolutely have to read

top parenting books

Around a year ago I wrote a post about how for the main part – I thought that many parenting books were not really worth reading. I have read a LOT of parenting books in the last five years, and although I do still maintain that there is a LOT of guff out there – especially when it comes to the baby days – there are some books whichreally do stand out from the crowd; top parenting books which have quite frankly, changed the way I parented. Today I wanted to shine a light on those books which I really thought, yup – this is a top parenting book which I can absolutely get behind and am happy to keep on my shelf for ever after and recommend to everyone. So let us begin my lovely readers….

Happiest Toddler on the Block– Dr Harvey Karp

It’s no secret that toddlers are basically like obnoxious drunk people and can drive you to the brink of insanity. I for one found the toddler years EXTREMELY difficult. My saviour? This book. Reading this book was like learning magic spells for toddlers and gives you the tools to turn the “nos” and “don’ts” which you are battered with day in and day out as a toddler parent into – holy moly – yeses, love and hugs! If you’re struggling with a toddler who is currently driving you bonkers I would highly recommend you get yourself a copy of this.

top parenting books

Inside Out Parenting: How to Build Strong Children from a Core of Self-Esteem – Dr Holan Liang

Reading this book really was like an epiphany for me. Before I read this book, I strived for so many things as a parent, and as a result, often lost sight of what was really important. Having read this book which focuses on bringing up children from the inside out and setting aside exterior results in favour of building a core of self-esteem, resilience and social ability; I have realised that really only one thing matters when it comes to raising happy and confident children –  and this is nurturing their self-esteem.

top parenting books

Now Say This: the right words to solve every parenting dilemma – Heather Turgeon and Julie Wright

This is a book I know I will keep coming back to again and again – that is after I’ve got it back after lending it out as soon as I finished it! Sometimes, it can seem like our children are out to drive us totally bonkers, but this is a seriously powerful book which gives stressed out and frustrated parents the exact words to entice cooperation in any situation and at any age whether it be in the toddler, preschool, school or teen years; so that your child will listen to you. Soon after starting this book I quickly implemented some of the suggested strategies and words and let’s just say….our house is a far more cooperative place for it!

child won't listen13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do: Raising Self Assured Children and Training Their Brains for a Lifetime of Happiness – Amy Morin

I know some people might baulk at the title of this book but hear me out – this book really rocks! The follow up to the New York Times Best Seller 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, this book really spoke to my concerns about today’s children who for the most part lack seem to the flexibility and mental strength to cope with today’s challenges. It really opened up my eyes as to how much of this is down to the way we tend to parent these days, but thankfully also that we can reverse this trend as parents by helping our children develop mental muscle to develop into healthy strong people. Again, there are so many fantastic practical examples of how to make that happen in any given situation that I would highly recommend you devour this book by the end of this year!

best parenting books 3

Raising Girls – Stephen Biddulph

I say Raising Girls here because I have a girl…but obviously if you have a boy or boys then it will be all about Stephen’s other book Raising Boys for you.  But back to the girls….because that’s what I really know about – if you’re worried about where the world if going for girls and how to raise girls then there is something you can do to help steer the path for your own by empowering them to be confident, well-rounded daughters in an exploitative world and this book lays out exactly how you can do that. A must read for all parents of girls, or if you have boys – go grab the boy version!

top parenting books

The Strength Switch – Dr Lea Waters

In a world where we can be so critical of ourselves and others, it can be tempting to focus on our children’s weaknesses as opposed to their strengths. This book  will show you how by focusing on our children’s strengths rather than their weaknesses we can help them build resilience, optimism and achievement…After reading this book I applied the “Strength Switch” myself and can personally vouch for this game changing approach which makes parenting so much easier and more rewarding.

top parenting books

Playful Parenting – Lawrence J Cohen Ph.D

Can you remember the last time you got down on the floor and played with your child? How many times do you find yourself making excuses not to play with your children because you have a massive pile of laundry and chores to be getting on with? This book will make you stop and think again next time you try to shirk that play opportunity. It places play at the centre stage of developing strong, close bonds between parents and children and give some great practical advice on how you can help your children express complex emotions, break through fear and shyness, cooperate and overcome power struggles amongst others things – all through the power of play.

top parenting books

So my fellow parents have you read any of the above books before? Or perhaps you have some other books to share that really made an impact on your approach to parenting? Do share in a comment below.

top parenting books

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19 comments

  1. I have the Raising Boys on my kindle but haven’t started it. And I’m intrigued by the “Now Say This”. I started reading a book called how to talk to your kids but found it a bit wishy-washy so am wondering should I get this one instead.

  2. I have not read any parenting books – i have studied childcare though so have a good idea of milestones and techniques to use with kids

  3. Thanks for the list. I have only read books on resilience so I cannot wait to check these out. I think a lot of what is difficult is breaking habits or even instincts about things you almost do automatically. The hardest part is changing yourself.

  4. I must admit I’m one of those parents that thinks instincts are the best tools we can have, but these books do sound like helpful tools for particular issues. I’m raising 2 girls and I have to say it does worry me that they grow up with confidence and self respect

  5. I have read ‘Raising Boys’ a long time ago. I have seeked lots of advice from other parents but I do feel that I may just need to up my reading matter on my full time job, as I’m getting a bit rusty again on some of my parenting strategies! Thanks for doing the research on these #coolmumclub

  6. I’ll be honest I have never read a parenting book, but then I don’t read anything these days. As soon as my head hits the pillow at night I am gone! But I do have two little girls, so ‘Raising Girls’ could be one to keep note of. They are only 4 and 2 but I already worry like crazy about them and their futures!! #CoolMumClub

  7. I really love the sound of some of these. I’ve never read a parenting book before, I always thought they were for parents who were having issues with feral children – ridiculously naive, I know! #coolmumsclub

  8. I’m so happy to have helped so many of your discover these fantastic books. I really hope you all get a couple for your bookshelves because they really have made me a better parent all round x

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