parenting books

There are so many books out there that can be helpful in the parenting journey. The following books, organized alphabetically by title, have influenced our personal philosophy and our decision making for the better.

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Attachments: Why You Love, Feel, and Act the Way You Do

Ideal for: all parents, all humans

We recommend this book to everyone, parent or not. This book, more than any other, influences the way we parent. It provides an importance basis for understanding attachment styles and how it influences us as parents, spouses, and people in general. Kevin originally read this as a textbook for his counseling program, but don’t let that scare you: it’s insightful, interesting, and easy to read.

The Danish Way of Parenting: What the Happiest People in the World Know About Raising Confident, Capable Kids

Ideal for: parents who are looking for a new perspective on parenting

If you’re finding that your parenting journey has felt more stressed than happy, it may be time to take some advice from the Danes. Using the acronym PARENT – play, authenticity, reframing, empathy, no ultimatums, togetherness and hygge – the book shows how the values of the Danish culture impact parenting and, in turn, the nature of their children. I found this easy-to-read book to be a gem, ripe with helpful tips and ideas to make time with my children more enjoyable and life-giving.

For the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School

Ideal for: parents concerned about their child’s education

This book is what fully inspired me to homeschool my kiddos. Gleaning from the rich wisdom of educator Charlotte Mason, Macaulay’s text provides a foundation for the whys and hows of home education.

Good Nights: The Happy Parents’ Guide to the Family Bed (and a Peaceful Night’s Sleep)

Ideal for: parents considering, or are already committed to, co-sleeping

I was pregnant with my second and co-sleeping with our toddler when I picked this book up from a resource shelf at the birth center. Though co-sleeping was working well for Levi, I still felt a bit ashamed about the whole ordeal. Fortunately, though, I read this book. With a casual tone, Gordon and Goodavage address the history and benefits of co-sleeping (even its impact on sex). Reading this book actually pushed me to make the decision to co-sleep with Lucy right from the start, and I’m so glad we did.

How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature

Ideal for: any parent

This book is full of information and practical advice for getting your kids to become a lover of nature. Sampson laces anecdotes, statistics, and tips together in an extensive text that will inspire you to be a nature mentor to your kids, whatever age they are. It also will remind you of our need for nature; something that we, as a society, are forgetting all too often.

The Importance of Being Little: What Young Children Really Need from Grownups

Ideal for: parents of little ones

This book will remind you of the amazing gifts your little one has, and instruct you on, as the title says, what they really need from us adults. It will make you reframe your thinking on what’s most important in education, play, and relating to these special little people.

Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family

Ideal for: Christian parents

As a Christian, I’ve struggled with finding a harmonious union between biblical wisdom and cultural psychology and theory. I found that I have disagreed with a lot of Christian parenting advice, finding most recommendations are focused more on behavioral modification than true discipleship. Paul Tripp’s book, however, is completely founded on the principles of grace and how we use that to be advocates of God’s love in the lives of our children. It has changed the way I think about parenting on a day-to-day basis, and has reminded me that I need God’s grace in my own life in order to parent well.

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids

Ideal for: parents of toddlers and up; parents who feel their child is overwhelmed or demonstrating negative behaviors

In a culture that values stuff, busyness, and entertainment, children are beginning to suffer. Payne offers many insights into how to create a more simple life for our children, and for ourselves. With practical suggestions and the reasoning to back, this book offers a lot to the American parent and, ultimately, to our children. I found it to be highly convicting.

Unlatched: The Evolution of Breastfeeding and the Making of a Controversy

Ideal for: parents considering breastfeeding, parents of breastfed children

If you need information on why breastfeeding matters or an encouragement to stick with it, this book is for you. Personal and informative, Grayson takes the reader through a journey of the importance of breastfeeding, why it’s so controversial, and the benefits of breastfeeding for the mother, child, and society at large.

The Vaccine-Friendly Plan: Dr. Paul’s Safe and Effective Approach to Immunity and Health-from Pregnancy Through Your Child’s Teen Years

Ideal for: parents-to-be through parents of teenagers

This book is an incredible reference, based off of the experience and knowledge of Dr. Paul Thomas. It provides a different perspective on the issue of vaccines, fully backed by science and his extensive personal experience. This book revolutionized my thinking.

The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind

Ideal for: parents of toddlers through grade-schoolers

This text is so helpful for understanding the way that the mind of a young child works. So often, we put too high of expectations on our children, especially when it comes to their emotions. This text helps with understanding why our children behave then they do, and with helpful illustrations, illuminating anecdotes, and practical strategies, it helps equip parents to help young ones navigate through their emotions and make sense of the world around them.

Check out more of my recommended books for children and adults by checking out our book lists!