- What are our 2 recommendations for parenting toddlers books?
- Which 2 books on child behaviour really change the game?
- How about these 2 great positive parenting books?
- Could these 2 good parenting books be lifesavers for you?
- More on parenting books
Did you know that parenting books have been a part of our libraries since 1946? When Dr Spock's 'The Common Sense Book of Baby and Childcare' exploded onto our shelves, a million copies were sold and from there casually exchanged parenting advice became a booming parenting industry.
In 2017, 21% of millennial mums in the US sought advice from parenting books.
Nowadays, a search for 'Parenting Book' on Amazon generates thousands of results with every style of parenting validated in print. Good parenting books have one thing in common, there are simply so many of them published.
Whether you'd like to learn about Montessori parenting, positive discipline or sleep training, there is an abundance of top parenting books to choose from. To avoid a bookshelf of unread parenting books, and no doubt you may be gifted the odd thumbed through copy too, let’s save your time and look at the best book on parenting to help answer your questions.
What are our 2 recommendations for parenting toddlers books?
Whether you'd like to find books on disciplining toddlers books or generally raising toddlers books, we do have the best parenting books for toddlers summed up for you:
How To Talk so Little Kids Will Listen by Joanna Faber and Julie King
This is a book providing practical tools to encourage children between the ages of 2-7 to respond positively to our requests. The book itself is crammed full of real-life examples followed by tools and strategies. The tools include some that may be familiar and some unfamiliar in your parenting toolkit, including suggestions such as ‘Join your child in their world’, ‘Describe how you feel’, ‘Be playful’ and ‘Protect, not punish’.
Ultimately the authors direct the reader to encourage cooperation and self-confidence in their child for a happy and more balanced toddler.
There’s no such thing as ‘naughty’ by Kate Silverton
Silverton’s book based on the title alone may be polarising for some parents. If you are looking for support in parenting your toddler in a child-led way, then this book has you covered. The language is very simple and easy to understand, although the author references science to explain why toddlers behave as they do and how parents should behave for the benefit of their toddlers.
Toddlers frustrating and sometimes baffling behaviour is demystified in this book, by using an analogy of a tree to describe the different parts of your toddlers personality. The key to more effortless parenting according to Kate Silverton is to step into the mind of your toddler. Whether they are biting, clingy or unable to share, your toddler is trying to communicate something to you the only way that they know how.
Which 2 books on child behaviour really change the game?
If you’re looking for a book taking a holistic approach and covering parenting from toddlers to teenagers, then these suggestions will give you helpful insights into the mind of your child:
The Whole Brain Child by Dr Tina Payne Bryson and Dr Daniel Siegel
The authors use an analogy of a canoe in a river to drive their point home in this book. On one side of the river is a bank of chaos and on the other side is a bank of rigidity. The centre of the river where your child is, in their canoe, the ultimate place of wellbeing and calm.
This is a methodical book describing that it’s up to us as parents to integrate our kids, that they can stay central on the river of wellbeing. All parts of their brain can be encouraged to work together to result in improved decision making. The authors really go into detail on the different parts of the brain including ‘Left’,’Right’,’Upstairs’ and ‘Downstairs’. Each part of the brain is responsible for different types of thoughts and each part has to be interconnected and used equally so that your child can be more balanced and improve their decision making whether at school, with friends or at home.
Nurture Your Child’s Emotional Intelligence by Dr Anne Lane
Dr Anne Lane informs you about the gap between what children say and what they mean. The book is full of practical advice that can be implemented from the next interaction with your child, making you feel empowered to help bridge the gap in communication with your child.
The book is split into two sections with the first section explaining emotions and the second section explaining how to deal with emotions and build emotional resilience in your child. The book is gentle, thought provoking and written with relatable examples. This is a parenting book with heart that encourages parents to provide a safe and calm space for their children to understand their emotions.
How about these 2 great positive parenting books?
If you are looking for an overall parenting guide book that promotes a positive approach to teaching and setting boundaries for your child, then we think that you will like these:
The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read by Philippa Perry
If you’re interested in the Positive Parenting Program or Triple P Parenting, then this book can be your perfect choice. This book at its core focuses on the quality of the parents' relationship with the child and says that this is the only thing that matters.
Philippa Perry uses a broad angle to scratch the surface on a lot of topics (pregnancy, childbirth, single parenthood, validating your child's feelings- and more!) Philippa Perry warns of history repeating itself if we do not do the necessary soul searching to repair our own past first. Once you reflect on your upbringing, whether ‘typical’ or not, we all have something to learn from it. After we learn from our parents' blunders we in turn become better parents. The biggest influence on your child is you and the author really pushes you to ask yourself ‘are you reacting to your child in the here and now, or are your responses to your child rooted in your past?’
Positive Discipline for Kids by Joanna Wells
Joanna Wells hones in her book on the idea that “Discipline should be about teaching them to choose to do the right thing for the right reasons.” This is explained to the reader, by laying out the step-by-step method, to teach this to your child so that parents are not commanding obedience from their children, but teach them about their personal responsibility and self-regulation.
Different parenting styles are broken down including Authoritarian, Authoritative, Permissive and Uninvolved. The author writes not only about methods, but also communication styles including how to communicate more clearly with your child and listen actively as a parent.
Could these 2 good parenting books be lifesavers for you?
We think that these parenting books deserved to be mentioned for their own merits, but that they didn’t fit neatly into the previous categories, so we’ll mention them here:
Siblings Without Rivalry by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
This book makes for a great reference tool parenting book that can be dipped into as and when issues arise in the home. If you’re battling with children in the fighting and you’d like to feel like a parent rather than a referee then this book will reassure you.
First of all the book acknowledges that fighting with siblings is normal and that this is our children practising how to behave in relationships. However, the authors emphasise that as parents we need to be careful to ensure that how our children relate to each other does not shape them into a role within the family unit. For example if one child seemingly excels academically while your other child struggles, you need to be conscious that your children are not defined by what they are able to do or not able to do within the family so as to not impact their confidence or place undue pressure.
The goal is not to completely avoid fighting between siblings but to learn how to respect and move through differences between siblings in childhood to give them the tools to communicate with each other in adulthood. The authors also rightly point out that parents can subconsciously provoke fighting with subtleties in the language that parents use and teach how to avoid this in the future.
The Explosive Child by Dr Ross W.Greene
If you have a child who can get easily frustrated and be particularly inflexible then this book may provide invaluable insight to manage more challenging children. This book dispels the idea that bad behaviour in children is a choice, instead shifting the narrative by saying that children are behaviourally challenging when they lack the skills to not be.
The author writes that children sincerely only want to do well and that rewards and punishments are ineffective in managing their behaviour. Dr Ross W.Greene provides an explosive child framework beginning with identifying why your child is challenging and when your child is challenging.
Ultimately the author states that explosions from challenging children are predictable and are the result of the same few triggers repeating themselves daily. After identifying those Dr.Ross W.Greene breaks down 3 types of plan which you can identify as being the most suitable way to manage that tantrum in your child. Importantly, the author emphasises that you cannot solve all the problems at one time, give yourself permission to prioritise some battles with your child over others for now.
More on parenting books
Keep in mind that reading too many parenting books can be overwhelming for you, because they’ll likely contain conflicting information and techniques and some simply may not match your child. Parenting isn’t a level playing field and each child needs support in different ways. Before buying a book take a look at some reviews online, to better understand if the book will meet your expectations.
Although the thousands of parenting books out there can send you into a spin, keep in mind that the best book for you on parenting is the book that resonates with you. It doesn’t need to resonate with your friend or neighbour, it only needs to inspire a positive influence on your parenting.
Don’t forget: Even the best books for raising children cannot master every obstacle that comes your way when parenting your child. Your firsthand experience and understanding of your child's needs trumps the experts on your book shelf.