Parenting Book Recommendations

Raising children is meaningful work, and like many meaningful tasks, it is not always easy. Parents and caregivers need a wide variety of tools in their toolbelts to keep up with the changing stages and unexpected situations that arise.

For today’s post, I’d like to share with you a few of the many valuable resources for parents. The following books have helped my husband and me as we bravely take on this job of helping youngsters grow into (hopefully someday) civilized adults. I do not necessarily agree with every statement made by these authors, but I do agree with much of the material in these books. I hope you also find them helpful.

8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids by Dr. Todd Cartmell Throughout this easy-to-read book are ~40 tips that I found helpful enough to copy onto notecards and hang around the house.

What Dads Need to Know About Daughters; What Moms Need to Know About Sons by John and Helen Burns This little book is an excellent guide for parents of a child of the opposite gender. It provided interesting data and helpful ideas for strengthening family relationships.

Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys by Stephen James and David Thomas The title says it all, folks.

Dear Mom – Everything Your Teenage Daughter Wants You to Know But Will Never Tell You by Melody Carlson  We do not have teenagers in the house yet, but I plan to reread this when the time comes in our home. The book is told through the narration of a teenage girl telling her mom what she most needs from her mom and how to strengthen their bond (and what embarrasses her, inadvertently pushes her away, etc). At times I definitely thought the narrator came across as sassy (the stereotypical moody teen), which doesn’t apply to all young adults; but seriously, if you’re looking for how-to-parent-a-teen books, your teen may not be sweet 100% of the time, so no need to take offense.

The Everyday Parenting Toolkit by Alan Kazdin I consider this a must-read as it plainly lays out a conversation template that parents may find themselves utilizing many times each day. Basically, you ask yourself what the desired outcome is (example: Child picks up her toys), and then you state your expectation, reward the good, and watch your child’s behavior improve (yes, it discusses appropriate consequences for the inevitable misbehavior, too). It’s fantastic UNLESS you have a child with a behavioral disorder. If you have a child with a behavioral disorder such as ADHD or ODD or another seemingly-impossible-to-parent-challenge, then I recommend you read The Explosive Child by Ross W. Greene, Ph. D.

What resources have helped you in your parenting journey? Please post your positive comments and suggestions!

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