Best Parenting Books 2023

Being a parent is one of the most important jobs one can have, but many of us enter with little or no education. Once you become a parent, you suddenly have little free time to learn how to be a good parent, and that’s where the best parenting books can help. Download some to your Kindle or keep one in your bag to pull out when you’re waiting for the pediatrician. One of our favorites is The whole brain childa book to help you understand how your child’s brain works.

The best parenting books can help at any age and at any stage, from navigating a newborn to figuring out how to talk to a teenager. “Quality, evidence-based parenting books can help parents have developmentally appropriate expectations and help them feel armed with and respond to what to expect based on a combination of what feels right for them and what is tailored to the development of your child. “, explains Dr. Aliza W. Pressman, developmental psychologist, co-founder of the Mount Sinai Parenting Center and host of the Raising Good Humans podcast.

Once you have decided on a parenting book to read, remember that there is no one right way to parenting, just as no two people, including children, are the same. You don’t have to take every word of a book to heart. “Whether you’re looking for science, support, or wisdom, there are many approaches and no science says there is one right way,” says Pressman. Use parenting books as a resource, but try not to get stressed or feel less than a parent. After reading this list of the best parenting books, you might want to snuggle up in the glider, reading chair, or bean bag chair to read alone or share stories with the kids, and one of the best baby books.

After reading this book, I felt I had a better understanding of how my children’s brains work, which helped me to be a better parent. Although very evidence based, it is written in an accessible way that makes it easy to apply to your life. For example, you will learn not only why children throw tantrums, but also how to respond effectively during a tantrum. The authors also offer a dozen strategies to help parents relate to their children in developmentally appropriate ways.

Although this series was first published in 1983, it was authored by the late psychologist Louise Bates Ames, a pioneer in child development and co-founder of the Gesell Institute of Child Development. It does a good job of laying out some of the basics of child behavior and development and serves as a guide for parents. There are 10 books in the series, each dedicated to a child’s age – your 2 year old, your 3 year old etc. to the last book dedicated to 10 to 14 year olds and their development. For all ages, the book covers common issues children face and offers ways to connect with your children and enrich their lives. Whether you’re looking for a preview of what the next year has in store or are struggling with a behavior or concern at your child’s current age, these books offer measured advice and explanation.

Based on the principle that we are all good inside, this book teaches parents how to connect with their children. You’ll learn how to navigate tricky but everyday situations as Dr. Becky, as she is known, takes on the voice of a supportive friend, a friend who has years of experience as a clinical psychologist. The author has a popular podcast, more than a million Instagram followers, and her book rocketed to #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list when it was published in September 2022. Her approach offers suggestions and even actual language for parents to use to talk to children about their daily challenges and frustrations, from putting on their shoes in the morning to bedtime.

This was one of the first parenting books I read, and one of the biggest takeaways was the concept of the “fourth trimester.” It helped me understand that babies would rather stay in the womb for the first three months of their lives. Because of this, these three months can be filled with crying, excitement, and wanting to be held all the time. “Without it I would have been lost The happiest baby on the block with my first child,” adds Rose Gordon Sala, babies and children editor at Forbes Vetted. In addition to educating parents about the fourth trimester, the book also shares strategies for calming even the pickiest of newborns.

What to expect in the first year

Is this what I want my baby’s poop to look like? How much spit is too much? Why does my baby’s skin look like a teenager going through puberty? Instead of googling all those questions that come up in the first year, you can grab this book, which has proven itself (but has also been updated to reflect best practices). What to expect in the first year serves as a comprehensive guide to everything to do with babies. Again, it’s a classic for good reason. Sala said it was particularly useful to her when she was worried about the baby’s milestones and given a basis for the schedule. “It was nice to have a solid source in the middle of the night instead of bombarding my pediatrician with questions outside of business hours,” she says.

Potty training can be one of the most difficult parts of parenting for toddlers. With a little help from this book, the process could go a little more smoothly. Glowacki’s wisdom helped me potty train my firstborn when he was about 2 years old, and the methods in this book have worked for many other parents too. It is recommended again and again in many parent groups. Full of humor, the book offers a no-fuss, six-step approach to potty training your toddler.

When my firstborn was a toddler, I referred to this book often because I wanted to encourage her independence. It offers many simple and easy-to-apply tips for making your home a place for toddlers to thrive. It’s also designed to help parents understand why toddlers behave the way they do and how we can focus on where they are in their development rather than fight it.

How to speak for children to listen and listen for children to speak

Getting kids to open up and talk to you can be a huge accomplishment, and as they get older and more independent it becomes even more important (and harder at the same time). This book offers tips on how to make your children feel seen and heard and how to set firm and loving boundaries. If your kids are not quite school-age yet, you might be interested too How to speak so young children will listen.

If you have more than one child, you’ve probably experienced sibling rivalry, when personalities clash and children compete for your attention. This book will show you how to help your children through conflict and stay fair even when things aren’t always the same. It’s a great resource when trying to raise children to bond well into adulthood.

The transition from girl to woman isn’t always easy and doesn’t always go smoothly. This book is designed to help parents understand and connect with their teenage daughters. It answers questions that often arise for parents of teenagers, reminiscent of the baby books you probably referenced in the newborn days, but it does so with real-life examples from teenagers and families, who met with author Lisa Damour, a psychologist specializing in teenage girls and their development. “When my tween suddenly started withdrawing, this book helped me understand that it was normal,” adds Sala. “I also really appreciated gaining insight into the modern life of these teenagers so I could better understand and appreciate the world my daughter was entering.”

Fourteen Conversations from Age Fourteen

I don’t have teenagers (yet), but I’ve heard that one of the hardest parts of raising teenagers is getting them to talk to you. This book teaches parents to address sensitive issues such as sexuality and hygiene. It also offers valuable information on when, where and how to talk to your tweens and teens, an age group that often doesn’t like sitting down with their parents to chat.

We all want to raise good people, but it’s hard in the rush of everyday life. It’s tempting to yell at your kids when you’re late or be rude when they trigger your own strong emotions. In this book you will learn how to control your own reactions so that you can be kinder and more patient with your children. This in turn teaches them how to be kind and patient so that they can become good people.

Happy parents, happy children

If you’re trying to break the cycle of yelling, threatening, and bribing, this book is for you. Like many gentle parenting methods, it first teaches parents to understand and control their own emotions. Once you can do this, raising your children compassionately becomes much easier. The book provides examples of how to deal with everyday situations and provides language that is effective for children.

How we picked the best parenting books

As an education writer with two degrees in education, I have read many of the books on this list and have interviewed many of the authors over the years. Most of the books I haven’t read are in my queue. I’ve also spoken to parents of children of all ages about their favorite parenting books and consulted lists of best-selling parenting books. I also spoke to two experts: Dr. Aliza W. Pressman, co-founder of Mount Sinai Parenting Center and psychologist and author Dr. Lisa Damour.

In selecting the books, I considered the authors’ credentials, particularly if they had a background in child development. I have also selected a variety of books that approach parenting from different angles and actively tried to compile a list that represents different approaches and appeals to different needs and ages or stages of childhood.

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