9 Recommended Parenting Books

Parenting Books I Love

I’m a big fan of listening to audiobooks when I’m running and lately I’ve been on a parenting book kick. I love learning about the latest research about kids and parenting, reading advice from experts, and thinking about how I can apply some of it to my own life and be a better mom.

I’ve listened to or read the following books during the past year and found them all to be inspiring and helpful. My kids are 8 and 10 years old, but I think the advice in all of these books can be helpful no matter what parenting stage you’re currently in.

Kindness Wins
By Galit Breen
This beautifully-written, practical book is an invaluable guide and a must-read for kids and parents who are navigating the modern, tricky world of online socialization. Regardless of your kids’ ages, you’ll no doubt pick up helpful tips and be inspired to not only be a kinder person, but encourage kindness in others. I’ve recommended this book to countless parents and have re-read some sections when I needed some advice or inspiration. Author Galit Breen’s warm and supportive style makes you feel like she’s a good friend sharing the exact advice you need to hear.

The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Kids Can Succeed
By Jessica Lahey
Written by middle school teacher Jessica Lahey, this book opened my eyes to the concept that helping our kids steer clear of mistakes robs them of valuable life lessons and growth opportunities. Chock-full of research analysis and personal examples, this book is perfect mix of practical advice and thought-provoking ideas.

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids
By Dr. Laura Markham
I’ve been reading Dr. Markham’s blog and emails for years, and I finally got around to reading this fantastic book. Based on the latest research and extensive clinical experience with parents, she encourages and helps parents to understand and control their own emotions, so they can improve their emotional connection with their children and create real, lasting change. Both practical and inspiring, this book has helped improve both my and my kids’ patience and empathy.

The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Joyful Kids in a Stressful World
By Katie Hurley
No matter what your parenting style may be, we all can agree that we want our kids to be happy, right? Author Katie Hurley shows parents how happiness is the key to raising confident, capable children. Whether your kid is an introvert, extrovert, or somewhere in between, this book offers parents specific strategies and practical tips for teaching your kids the emotional and social skills they need for a happy life.

Nuture Shock: New Thinking About Children
By Po Bronson
This book really changed my perspective on some parenting concepts that I had accepted as truths since I first became a mom. Through research, analysis, and anecdotal storytelling, the author makes convincing, compelling arguments on how some well-known and accepted parenting strategies are actually backfiring.

How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success
By Julie Lythcott-Haims
This book is a how-to guide to achieving every parent’s goal – preparing your child to be an autonomous, self-reliant adult.  The author provides an excellent, insightful overview on how we’re limiting our kids by over-parenting and provides practical advice on how to remedy the situation.

The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work
By Christine Carter, Ph.D.
Although this book by socialist and happiness expert Christine Carter is not exactly a parenting book, it’s full of useful and inspiring information on how to live a more fulfilling and inspiring life. I’ve found myself applying a lot of Dr. Carter’s practical tips to help stay organized and allow for more meaningful family time.  Her advice has helped me be a better role model for my kids.

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character

By Paul Tough
What’s the secret to kids’ success in school and later in life? Author Paul Tough argues that character strengths such as perseverance, curiosity, optimism, and self-control are much better indicators of success than intelligence and test-taking skills. I found this book to be extremely compelling and informative, and the author’s storytelling skills made it an enjoyable read.

I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time
By Laura Vanderkam
Can women really have it all? Time management expert Laura Vanderkam shares specific strategies for how parents can make time for the things that really matter to them.


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