There is no sure-fire technique to raising a good kid. A five time parent can make the same mistakes as a first time parent. Every single kid acts differently. Sure, there are ways to manage them, but no approach is perfect. Why is that? Because kids are utterly unpredictable. Some are quiet and kind. Some are loud and boisterous. Others like to eat things off the floor. They have allergies, health needs, passion, and so much more.
What are the Best Parenting Books to read?
Being a parent is the hardest job in the world. There is no true solution to raising kids. There are, however, skills that everyone can learn. They are effective most of the time, and definitely worth learning. Tips like rocking a baby when it is crying, or reading a story before bedtime are universally acknowledged. The books listed here help all kinds of parents raise their kids to the best of their ability.
Best Parenting Books: Our Top 20 Picks
Here are some of the best parenting books that you can consider to expand your knowledge on the subject:
1. Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
The greatest skill a parent can teach their kids is to read. Even though this is a great skill for children to have, it is difficult to teach them. Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Engelmann, Phyllis Haddox, and Elaine Bruner is the ultimate guide to getting a kid to read. The book is easy to follow because it has 100, straight to point, lessons. With this book, parents don’t have to worry about getting it wrong. They don’t have to worry about learning what to teach either. Everything they need is outlined in this book. The book is illustrated, too. Kids will be drawn into the pictures. They’ll get excited about reading, and parent’s will be able to get excited about teaching them. This is a fun book that really will help kids read.
- Authors: Siegfried Engelmann (Author), Phyllis Haddox (Author), Elaine Bruner (Author)
- Publisher: Touchstone; 1st Edition (June 15, 1986)
- Pages: 395 pages
2. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk
Kids are expressive beings. They love to talk, play, and have fun. Their means of expression should not be closed off for any reason. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish is a great book for learning to communicate with kids. This book is great for parents, but it is also good for those who teach, work in childcare, or are in constant contact with kids. A child’s mind is still developing. They should want to be able to talk, and be encouraged to do so. Readers will learn effective communication techniques with this book. They will also learn how to effectively listen to kids, and respond appropriately. By learning how to speak will kids, readers will be able to get them to talk about every feeling they have, like: anger, sadness, excitement, and more.
- Authors: Adele Faber (Author), Elaine Mazlish (Author)
- Publisher: Scribner; Updated Edition (February 7, 2012)
- Pages: 368 pages
3. The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind
There are so many strategies for good parenting. What every parent needs is a list that explains what those strategies are, and the context in which to use them. The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Branson don’t have all the parenting strategies in the world (there are way too many), but it is the next best thing. It includes 12 important strategies for parenting. These strategies are meant to nurture children, instead of aggressively discipling them. The book details strategies that are age appropriate. The brain of a child is constantly shifting and growing, and as such, so should the parenting techniques. A two year old should not be parented the same way as a 12 year old. This book has many great tips for parenting kids of all ages.
- Authors: Daniel J. Siegel (Author)
- Publisher: Bantam; Illustrated Edition (September 11, 2012)
- Pages: 192 pages
4. The 5 Love Languages of Children: The Secret to Loving Children Effectively
The most important technique to parenting is love. The 5 Love Languages of Children: The Secret to Loving Children Effectively discusses the importance of love, and how parents can show their kids they love them. This book will help parents do a number of things: discover their child’s love language, build a foundation or unconditional love for their child, assist their child in successful learning, and use love languages to correct and discipline more effectively. Not only is this book great for showing love, it also has a media component. Parents can study what they learned on 5lovelanguages.com. They can practice what they’ve learned through this book, and get a refresher on the tips they’ve learned.
- Authors: Gary Chapman (Author), Ross Campbell (Author)
- Publisher: Northfield Publishing; Reissue Edition (May 1, 2016)
- Pages: 224 pages
5. Parenting with Love and Logic
The best ingredient for a parent is… and a little bit of common sense. Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline will help parents achieve every level of authority. They will learn to love more, as well as learn how to appropriately discipline and parent. The focus of this book is to raise kids to be self-confident, passionate, and motivated. If these are qualities parents want their kids to have, this is a good book to confide in. Cline details steps that are easy to follow for a number of parenting problems: anger, threats, power struggles, and nagging. Parents will learn how to be in control while keeping their cool with this book. This book helps parents understand kids. They can then decide how to parent them based on their personalities.
- Authors: Foster Cline (Author), Jim Fay (Author)
- Publisher: NavPress Publishing; Updated and Expanded ed. Edition (May 3, 2006)
- Pages: 272 pages
6. No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind
No-Drama Discipline: The Whole- Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson is the ultimate book for discipling children in a calming way. Siegel and Bryson guide readers on a number of situations, like how to deal with tantrums, tension, and overwhelming emotions. There are strategies in this book for all kinds of parenting problems: philosophy strategies, help on brain development, and tips for navigating tantrums. This is “no-drama” discipline. Parents should not be stressed by discipline, and neither should their kids. All parents can gain great knowledge from this book.
- Authors: Daniel J. Siegel (Author)
- Publisher: Bantam; Reprint Edition (July 12, 2016)
- Pages: 288 pages
7. The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children
The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children by Dr.Shefali Tsabary is a doctor’s approach to parent children, helping them become the best versions of themselves. Tsabary argues that “children serve as mirrors of their parents’ forgotten self.” By understanding their own childhood, parents will be able to parent their kids better. They can relay the new information they learned about themselves, and use that to become better parents. The information parents learn from this book will help them have a mutual relationship with their kids. They will feel they can form a partnership with their kids. They won’t have such a huge ego in regards to parenting. Instead, they can use kindness and love to better their relationship.
- Authors: Dr. Shefali Tsabary (Author)
- Publisher: Namaste Publishing; 1st Edition (November 1, 2010)
- Pages: 300 pages
8. Explosive Child, The: A New Approach For Understanding And Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
Explosive Child, The: A New Approach For Understanding And Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children by Ross W. Greene is a book that helps parents understand and parent their anger-prone children. Anger is not a bad emotion. It simply means kids have lots of feelings. It shouldn’t be snuffed out, but instead controlled. This book teaches parents just how to do that. Parents will be able to appropriately discipline their children who exhibit traits of frustration, like: kicking, screaming, swearing, biting, spitting, destroying property, and more. Instead of trying to overly control their kids, parents can teach them new skills. They can teach them to be adaptable, problem solve, and be calm in the face of frustration. These tools will help parents calm their kids no matter how explosive they can get.
- Authors: Ross W. Greene PhD (Author)
- Publisher: HarperPb; 5th Revised ed. Edition (May 1, 2014)
- Pages: 304 pages
9. 1-2-3 Magic: 3-Step Discipline for Calm, Effective, and Happy Parenting
All parents are superheros, particularly calm and collected parents. 1-2-3 Magic: 3-Step Discipline for Calm, Effective, and Happy Parenting by Thomas Phelan will teach all parents to be calm parents. The book is easy to read because it follows a 1-2-3 guide. Children are not the only ones who need help understanding things simply. The contents of this book have many topics: toddlers, whining and pouting, talking back, tantrums and meltdowns, talking back, and so much more. The purpose of this book is to help parents discipline without becoming overly stressed. The author, Thomas Phelan, is a doctor. These tips are proven and scientific. He wrote this book based on research. It’s not guaranteed to work on every kid, but it certainly has a higher likelihood of reducing the stress of parenting.
- Authors: Thomas Phelan Ph.D. (Author)
- Publisher: Sourcebooks; 6th Edition (February 2, 2016)
- Pages: 320 pages
10. Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family
There are so many great techniques to practice as a parent. Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul David Tripp will outline the best tips for every parent. There is no “right way” to parent, but there are some principles that can help parents do their best. This book reassures all parents that they aren’t doing anything wrong. In fact, by researching how to be good parents, they are being good parents. The principles in this book are based on religion and the gospel. Tripp says that God has a plan for all parents, and he can shape everything parents do. This book says that God is an essential component for parenting. The book is easy to read and informative, but it has a heavy bias on religion. Those who aren’t religious should skip this book.
- Authors: Paul David Tripp (Author)
- Publisher: Crossway; 1st Edition (September 30, 2016)
- Pages: 224 pages
11. Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids
The phrase, “less is more,” can be used in an array of scenarios. One of these surprise scenarios is parenting. Kids don’t need constant discipling. Most times, they’ll learn on their own. Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne and Lisa M. Ross teaches parents to take a step back sometimes when parenting. The book explains why parenting doesn’t always have to be a hands-on job. Parents can take some time to relax and let their kids be kids. This way, when they do step in, the kids will know it is serious and that they should listen. The authors, Payne and Ross, also mean that less is more in the sense of things. They think parents should cut back on media time and toys, and establish an everyday schedule to go by.
- Authors: Kim John Payne (Author), Lisa M. Ross (Author)
- Publisher: Ballantine Books; 53651st Edition (August 31, 2010)
- Pages: 400 pages
12. Crib Sheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool
Parenting isn’t based on any specific kind of research. Some things work and some things don’t. Some work often, and some don’t work at all. Crib Sheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool by Emily Oster is a book that uses data to parent. This book uses research to prove which principles are best for parenting. There are many parenting myths circulating the world. With this book, Oster debunks those myths with facts and figures. She discusses myths about breastfeeding, sleep training, potty training, and more. Osters helps empower parents, and prove that they aren’t doing anything wrong. Whether they want to breastfeed or not doesn’t matter. The data in this book is informative and helpful. It will help parents be the best they can be, and stress less about the ways other parents parent.
- Authors: Emily Oster (Author)
- Publisher: Penguin Press (April 23, 2019)
- Pages: 352 pages
13. The Danish Way of Parenting: What the Happiest People in the World Know About Raising Confident, Capable Kids
The Danish are considered to be incredibly happy, arguably the happiest group of people in the world. But how do they raise their kids? Are their kids as happy as them? The Danish Way of Parenting: What the Happiest People in the World Know About Raising Confident, Capable Kids by Jessica Joelle Alexander answers these questions and more.
The chapters in this book follow a simple outline based on the word parent. P is for Play. A is for Authenticity. R is for Reframing. E is for Empathy. N is for No ultimatums. And T is for Togetherness. These principles will help every parent achieve a simple balance with their kids, and raise them the “Danish” way. This book has many examples and lots of great advice.
- Authors: Jessica Joelle Alexander (Author), Iben Sandahl (Author)
- Publisher: TarcherPerigee; 1st Edition (August 9, 2016)
- Pages: 208 pages
14. Parenting from the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive
Parenting from the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive by Daniel J. Siegel and Mary Hartzell is on its 10th anniversary edition. The book was created by child psychiatrists, Siegel and Hartzell. They don’t have all the answers to raising children, but they do have many. They work with kids often, and analyze the issues they are facing. With the help of this book, parents will better understand their kids and how they are feeling. In addition to learning about kids, parents can learn about themselves in this book, too. How we were raised contributes to how we parents. Parents can get a firsthand look at how they are raising their kids, and how it reflects on their own childhood.
- Authors: Daniel J. Siegel (Author), Mary Hartzell (Author)
- Publisher: TarcherPerigee; Anniversary Edition (December 26, 2013)
- Pages: 336 pages
15. Parenting Scripts: When What You’re Saying Isn’t Working, Say Something New
There is no right thing to say to a child– but there are things that shouldn’t be said. Parenting Scripts: When What You’re Saying Isn’t Working, Say Something New by Amber Lia and Wendy Speake is a wonderful resource for understanding what to say to a kid. The book doesn’t specifically tell parents what to say, but it helps them craft sentences that will help them relate to their kids. There are 31 chapters in this book, each with an important topic for conversing with kids. The book is a combination of general advice for speaking, and it also uses the bible to create speech, too. This is a book that any parent can read, and learn from. Even though it has a religious component, the gist of the book generally speaks to everyone.
- Authors: Amber Lia (Author), Wendy Speake (Author)
- Publisher: Same Page Press (November 17, 2017)
- Pages: 276 pages
16. Caring for Your Baby and Young Child
Every age should be parented differently. One of the most difficult ages to parent are those of the young child, toddlers, and babies. Caring for Your Baby and Young Child by the American Academy of Pediatrics is the perfect book for parents of young kids. The book covers many aspects of parenting. Some of these aspects are: basic care, hazards and allergies, injuries and illnesses, research on brain development, and more. First time parents will love this book because it relays information about the most crucial ages. If parents can get through year five, they can make it through anything. This is a wonderful resource for parents worrying about their young kids. It covers many, many topics. This book is only one book, but it feels like it has the information of five books.
- Authors: American Academy Of Pediatrics (Author)
- Publisher: Bantam; Revised Edition (September 24, 2019)
- Pages: 960 pages
17. Raising the Challenging Child: How to Minimize Meltdowns, Reduce Conflict, and Increase Cooperation
Raising the Challenging Child: How to Minimize Meltdowns, Reduce Conflict, and Increase Cooperation by Karen Doyle Buckwalter, Debbie Reed, and Wendy Lyons Sunshine is a great book for understanding how to work with kids who lash out quickly, and are more prone to stress. There are different techniques to working with kids like this. They have the same potential as any other kid, but are often overlooked because they are too “challenging.” This book will help parents, teaching, and child care providers help these kids. With the tips in this book, readers can reduce conflict with their kids, minimize meltdowns, and increase cooperation.
- Authors: Karen Doyle Buckwalter (Author), Debbie Reed (Author), Wendy Lyons Sunshine (Author)
- Publisher: Revell (January 7, 2020)
- Pages: 272 pages
18. Parenting the New Teen in the Age of Anxiety
The teen years are some of the hardest years to parent. Teenagers are angsty, irritated, and increasingly more stressed. On top of this, they are more likely to have anxiety and depression. Parenting the New Teen in the Age of Anxiety by Dr. John Duffy helps parents understand the way their teenager is feeling, and helps them through it. The teen years are difficult enough, but with the rise of social media, more and more are feeling insecure, worried, and stressed. Parents will be able to come up with a game plan for parenting their teenagers, and helping them cope with the overwhelming stress they are feeling. No parent should be another stressful component in their teens’ life. They should be a guide, a consultant, and someone they can trust. With this book, they can do that.
- Authors: Dr. John Duffy (Author)
- Publisher: Mango (September 15, 2019)
- Pages: 256 pages
19. Intentional Parenting: 10 Ways to Be an Exceptional Parent in a Quick-Fix World
There is no quick fix in the world of parenting. But for the rest of the world, that’s not the case. Intentional Parenting: 10 Ways to Be an Exceptional Parent in a Quick-Fix World by Doug and Cathy Fields will teach parents intentional parenting, and to avoid quick-fix solutions at all costs. Quick-fix solutions are temporary, and will result in more stress down the road. It may seem easy, especially with the fast-paced world, but they’re not. There are 10 principles for being exceptional parents included in this book. The actions in this book pair with videos online that help teach, and implement these techniques. To see some of these actions in video format, readers can check out intentionalparenting.com. The physicality of these actions help readers better understand what the points the Fields are trying to get across.
- Authors: Doug Fields (Author), Cathy Fields (Author)
- Publisher: Orange Books; 1st Edition (September 15, 2018)
- Pages: 156 pages
20. Mindful Parenting in a Chaotic World: Effective Strategies To Stay Centered At Home and On-the-Go
Parenting can be hard, especially in a world full of chaos. There are many things to think about: work, personal life, and family. Parenting is difficult in itself, but particularly when life is so busy. Mindful Parenting in a Chaotic World: Effective Strategies to Stay Centered At Home and On-the-Go by Nicole Libin is the best book for maintaining a strong parenting strategy among all the other things in life. This book is full of mindfulness strategies and exercises for being better parents, and building quality relationships with kids. The techniques in this book are fun, exciting, and easy to learn. These exercises practice empathy, acceptance, emotional awareness, and more. Families need to work together as a team. This book will help them do just that.
- Authors: Nicole Libin PhD (Author)
- Publisher: Rockridge Press (October 29, 2019)
- Pages: 126 pages
Choosing the Best Parenting Books
Parenting is a hard job, and it never stops being hard. There is so much to learn about kids. The best way to learn how to be a parent is to simply be a parent. For those who want to do more, they should read a book. The books here have a number of techniques for parents of all levels, and for those who have kids of all ages. Parents are modern day superheroes. They should never doubt themselves. By learning more techniques and reading about parenting, they can reduce their doubt and their stress.