The Six Best Parenting Books To Read This Summer

The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness by Ned Hallowell

A wonderful book, practical and uplifting.  Hallowell suggests a five-step plan to provide children with the ultimate gift of happiness.  He argues that these five qualities- connection, play, practice, mastery and recognition hold the key to future healthy and happy children. This book is a celebration of the child.

All Joy and No Fun by Jennifer Senior.

Senior takes us deep into the life of today’s parents, showing us up close the  day-to-day reality of life with kids. Senior argues that parents today possess a sometimes misplaced heavy emotional investment in their children, and yet, they do not have the emotional and practical resources to fall back on for support. Our 24/7 parents are exhausted and anxious, and the expectations and responsibilities placed on mothers, in particular, seem to have increased as our attitudes toward women in the workplace have evolved. We are in a change world where too much is being asked of our parents, and yet, in some ways not enough.

Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne

Payne argues that parents are too stressed, too busy, too focused on achievement, and not enough on health, happiness, and well-being. What Payne calls for is a common sense approach to parenting: provide fewer toys, allow less TV and electronics, ensure more of a “daily rhythm,” involve the child in fewer stressful extracurriculars, and stop treating the family as one consisting of equal members.  Payne’s underlying idea: that it’s worth revisiting our long-abandoned parenting ideas and to focus on a return to parenting basics. It is a cry for a return to a simpler time, that may be impossible to achieve, but that contains elements that are well worth re-examining.

The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

Neuroscience and neurodevelopment have emerged in the last decade as essential fields for understanding your child and how every part of his/her experience is impacted by the strengths and challenges of the domains of the brain. This book takes the general approach of acceptance of your child as an individual, but makes use of basic neuroscience to back it up — for example, knowing what parts of the brain are activated mid-tantrum, might change how parents confront one when it happens.

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Fab and Elaine Mazlish

The authors are clear: yelling at, and pleading with, your children doesn’t work. This book offers respectful advice for ways to speak to children. If you want less stress in your family and more love and goodwill, this is for you.

Parenting With Love and Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay

This is a wonderful old stand-by for parents. Parents can embrace mistakes as wonderful learning opportunities to raise respectful, responsible, and caring children.  Lots of practical advice to help you to nurture your child while, at the same time, as the authors urge you to set appropriate limitations on behavior.

There are a million books out there about parenting; it would be easy to become overwhelmed. Find a few that fit with your view of family and parenting. At Confident Parenting, we will continue to steer you towards books and articles that seek to support you rather than criticize.