I’m a reader. I read a few books every month, and often, there’s a handful of books in there every few months dealing with one of the topics I’m passionate about – parenting. I’ve read a lot of parenting books. Some were terrible, some just felt weird, or weren’t our style, and some were the best parenting books I’ve read. These are some of the best parenting books of 2014, the best parenting books of 2015 and the best parenting books that I’ve read to help quash the yelling, help us to effectively communicate with the kids and generally give us the wisdom of how to be the best version of ourselves.
How to Talk so Kids While Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk
One of my biggest issues is getting the kids to listen when I’m talking. I was doing it wrong. Reading through the book, I learned to effectively communicate with Olivia, and now Violet, and even learned tips and techniques to communicate with adults. When I was tired of yelling, and wanted to create a house where we didn’t scream and yell as much, this was the book that did just that.
5 Love Languages of Children
Within a few days we could see the difference in how the kids were responding to us. Just as adults have ‘love languages’ children do too. I was fairly certain that I had the ids love languages nailed down, but one surprised me. I would suggest reading the book for your own relationship too. My love language? Definitely cupcakes.
Raising Free Thinkers
Jamie’a more agnostic than atheist and I’m more atheist than agnostic. Olivia’s relationship with religion doesn’t go further than thinking Jesus was living, physically, in her heart after well meaning door knockers chatted her up about religion while we played outside last summer. Putting religion in terms that she can understand, and perhaps simplifying too much, helping her to draw comparisons with her favorite books, there are certainly a lot more questions that come with raising a child. This book has provided the guidelines to do just that and has helped to address questions in a way that works – and has created some very thoughtful conversations. The book maintains a very respectful tone towards religion, something that’s important to us, as parents of an agnostic child and parents trying to separate an ethical and religious identity.
Bringing up Bebe
A must read for every single first-time mother than I know, I’ve learned some of my proudest parenting triumphs from this book to getting Olivia through her picky stages with the simple reality that she must at least try everything and the value of patience in children (let’s face it. that one’s tough) it’s a fun read, but will leave you with some insight to make toddler years easier.
The Attachment Connection
Maybe a little bit crunchy, but not granola, we found ourselves in a kind-of-attachment-parenting lifestyle, with the co sleeping and the extended breastfeeding and the wanting to develop a secure attachment with the kids – but finding a book that delved deeper into the topic, explaining the background, the how, the why and one that was still interesting to read was easier after the Attachment Connection. The breakdown by age of the child, in months, and then up to the age of five was one of my most helpful resources as a parent.
Raising Your Spirited Child
I often get caught up in the differences of the two girls. We’ve got a mellow younger child and a spirited older child. The entire dynamic changes when one of them is missing, and this book gave me more insight into Olivia and the behavior that comes with the whole ‘spirited’ label. I stopped trying to change it, and learn the techniques to work with it.
The Last Child in the Woods
Our kids have spent a healthy amount of time with the iPad from the first time they were able to play Endless Alphabet. Now they’ve moved onto Minecraft and Youtube videos, this book has been on my favorites list for a long time. It’s lengthy but resonated with me in the importance of getting outside, and all of the essential development milestones that can come from getting outside. It showed me the importance of having nature smart children and encouraged me to spend more time in the woods, getting out of the city as often as possible for an enriched childhood.
Einstein Never Used Flash Cards
Filled with practical tips, to help parents understand the importance of play, and even experiments, it will teach you the value of play, rather than flash cards. I still used the flash cards with Olivia (and they didn’t work) and this book resonated with the fact that the kids don’t need to learn every piece of information as quickly as possible – I needed to have this resonate as a first time mom, and that they were learning valuable things through play. It may have also helped to influence my feelings about preschool being unnecessary.
Mind in the Making
I like the fact that the seven steps in the book are easily adapted to how you are going to parent. It’s a lot of information, but the information is separated into seven different aspects that make it easy to implement. The seven steps are in line with our own parenting styles, but be warned that the book is quite lengthy. From focus, to critical thinking, I think this book is one that should be in the toolkit of every parent and contains practical theories, from a trusted source.
Baby Owner’s Manual
We went into parenting by touch, by feeling and without all of the pregnancy and baby books. This was the only baby book that we read, and loved the easy to absorb outline, and it’s hilarious. The hilarious outline is entertaining, but also contains really valuable information that we actually used. It’s a must-give book for new parents in your life (and Dads will find it especially awesome).
There you have it, a collection of the books that have resonated the most with me during my parenting journey of babies, toddlers, and young children. I would love to hear some of your favorites – share them below!