30 Favorite Parenting Books (Reader Recommendations)

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Remember when you thought parenting would be so fun and easy?

Yeah. Me, too.


Aaah, the confidence we had in those pre-kid days!

Parenting is much harder than I could have ever imagined. That’s why I can always use a good book to help me become a better parent to my unique and special children —and to get me though the rough patches.

Can you relate?

I recently asked you on Facebook what your favorite parenting books were. Wow! You suggested so many books, many of them new to me. So, being a blogger, I decided to make it into a blog post. Of course.

Our Favorite Parenting Books

Backtalk: 4 Steps to Ending Rude Behavior in Your Kids by Audrey Ricker

“Follow the steps in this book for about a week will end back talk and general rudeness. Repeat as needed.” – Jeri Shaffer

Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five by John Medina

“a must-read for every parent” – Melissa Taylor

Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World by Tony Wagner

“very insightful on what we can do as parents to allow our children to keep their natural curiosity and creativity into adulthood” – Melissa Taylor

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown

– Susan Michael

Did the Sun Shine Before You Were Born? (Books for Young Readers) Sol & Judith Gordon

“it’s from 1992 though and perhaps not enough information for today’s world.” – Virginia Foley

Different Learners: Identifying, Preventing, and Treating Your Child’s Learning Problems by Jane M. Healy, Ph. D.

“I learned so much” – Melissa Taylor

Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn–and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less by Roberta Michnick Golinkoff and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek

“I refer to this book so much because it documents the research on how awful academic preschools are compared to play-based ones” – Melissa Taylor
Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting by John Kabat-Zinn

– Amanda Blue-Powell

Festivals Family and Food by Diane Carey and Judy Large

– Tanya Wesolowski

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

– Ann Chensri
– Susan Michael Barrett, Parental Gleanings

I Love You Rituals by Becky Bailey

– Tammi Schwartz-Van Hollander (child therapist)

I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids: Reinventing Modern Motherhood by Trisha Ashworth and Amy Nobile

– Anne Grisenthwaite

It’s OK Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids by Heather Shumaker

REVIEW HERE – Melissa Taylor
“love it” – Becky Sawielski

It Takes a Village, Tenth Anniversary Edition by Hillary Rodham Clinton

– Susan Michael Barrett, Parental Gleanings


“one of my favorite parenting books, that is a classic in my opinion.” – Cassie Bayly

Parenting With Love And Logic by Foster Cline and Charles Fay

“genius” – Joan Donovan

Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood by Karen Miller

– Carole LaPorte

Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up by Harriet Lerner

“Not really parenting directly, but sure helps family” – Susan Michael Barrett, Parental Gleanings

Mind in the Making by Ellen Galinsky

“I find the sharing on suggested activities for each of the life skills insightful.” – Michele Foo
“helpful book!” – Melissa Taylor

MotherStyles: Using Personality Type to Discover Your Parenting Strengths by Janet Penley & Eiane Eble

– Anne Grisenthwaite

NurtureShock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman

– Riverside Rhymes Family Daycare
“excellent!” – Melissa Taylor

Parenting from the Inside Out by Dan Siegal

– Tammi Schwartz-Van Hollander (child therapist)

Positive Discipline by Jane Nelsen Ed.D.

– Susan Michael Barrett, Parental Gleanings

Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child The Heart of Parenting by John Gottman

– Susan Michael Barrett, Parental Gleanings

Raising a Thinking Child by Myrna Shure and Teresa Foy DiGeronimo

– Tammi Schwartz-Van Hollander (child therapist)

Redirecting Children’s Behavior by Katheryn Kvols

– Susan Michael Barrett, Parental Gleanings

Siblings Without Rivalry by Faber and Mazlish

– Susan Michael Barrett, Parental Gleanings

The Family ADHD Solution by Mark Bertin, M.D.

review here – Melissa Taylor

The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

“The Five Love Languages taught me so much about how to best show love for everyone in my life, including my children.” – Rebecca McGeary

The Hurried Child by David Elkind

“It reminded me that children need time to play and develop naturally – not be racehorses galloping towards adult goals.” – Kathleen Fogarty

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

– Amy Marshall

Trust Me I’m A Toddler by Samantha Vickery

– Jen Randall

anything by Katharine Kersey
– Kathlene Fogarty

Isn’t this an incredible list!?

Anything you want to add or tell us about – love it or hate it? We’d love to hear!

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  1. The Blessing of a Skinned Knee by Wendy Mogel, along with her other book for parents of Tweens and teens, The Blessing of a B Minus.”

  2. I would add Growing Grateful Kids by Susie Larsen and A Mothers Heart by Jean Fleming.

  3. Shepherding a Child’s Heart is one of the best books I’ve read on parenting. Also, Bringing Up Boys by James Dobson and Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys.

  4. I don’t see 2 of the best books I found on discipline “1,2,3 Magic and Setting Limits for Kids (they also have setting limits in the classroom)