As parents, one of our greatest resources is a good book. My husband and I used to say that having kids is getting new roommates every 6 months to a year. Children may need entirely new wardrobes and shoes every few months, and about every 6 months to a year or so when you are not at all prepared (Surprise!), they enter new emotional territory. It is unnerving to be caught off guard and not know what happened to your little poopsie. Parents, books can save your sanity and fill you with love, patience and understanding.
Here are some of what I consider the best books on parenting:
Hold onto your Kids helps us understand the significance of the parent-child relationship over the peer/child relationship. We learn why the parent relationship should be the primary relationship and how to retain that important attachment and trust. An important book full of insight and effective strategies for keeping and restoring the parent-child relationship.
Visit, Neufeld Institute for additional resources.
Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe, is probably the most important book that I read as a parent. I am so grateful for this book. I think of it regularly. Because of this book, I don’t obsess over all of the unlikely danger scenarios that other parents might worry about because of this authors fantastic work.
This book brings critical thinking to parenting fears. After reading Protecting the Gift, I feel like I’m prepared for the likely more probable risks as well as risks that are mostly unlikely. I would recommend this book to parents, guardians, and other caretakers. As an aside, though it offers no training in self defense, the principals or thinking that comes across in the book, also made me enjoy this book as a martial artist – it just made sense to me.
No more Nagging, Nit-Picking, & Nudging is perhaps a lesser known book but it shouldn’t be. If you have a preteen or teenager, this is your book. The author has a great deal of respect for teens and works to help us adults understand where their teens are at while giving us some fantastic tools for communication.
Communication and understanding seem to be a central focus in this book. Since I think communication is the make or break it feature of any relationship, I find this book extremely useful.
We started giving our kids a decent allowance at age 3 because of this book. By age 6/7, my daughter was making sophisticated consumer choices with her allowance. Our son by age 6/7 was considering return on investment of his toy purchases. By merely having a reasonable allowance, our kids have at a young age been able to negotiate many economic positions from a state of plenty rather than from a state of want.
I rarely meet another parent who is in favor of a healthy allowance. Most parents I speak to are worried about creating a consumer driven child by giving their kids a decent bit of spending money regularly. From my experience, deprivation of cash does does not train economic intelligence.
Give your kids a decent allowance and allow them to make their mistakes now when financial mistakes are smaller and much easier to fix. This book continues to reward us.
Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman is “about parenting with relationship in mind”. It’s as much about having healthy relationships as it is about parenting. I imagine that John Gottman would suggest that those two things are not separate topics. The book is accessible and full of effective strategies for creating and restoring the parent-child relationship. This book is great if your child is 2 or 42. I noticed that a DVD lecture copy was also available at my local library.
We learned about scaffolding from Dr. Gottman.
If you want to get a sense of Dr. Gottman’s work, search YouTube for the Gottman Institute. His talks are very enjoyable.
- Helping Young Children Flourish
- How To Talk So Kids Can Learn
- Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason
- Your Seven-Year-Old: Life in a Minor Key
- Your Eight Year Old: Lively and Outgoing
Do you favorite parenting resources? Add your comments below!
– Barbara de Briere