There are almost as many parenting books as there are parents. No other topic in literature has been covered so widely. All well-meaning, some with years of research, some based on experience and most with the promise to help you make parenting easier and more fun. I’ve had my share of falling for many such books as a new parent and later as a not-so-new one. The learning doesn’t really end. Most books made me feel worse than when I first started out and many didn’t seem practical. So if I can offer you a list of the top 3 parenting books you must read, you can take my word for it. These have great insights, a lot of ah-ha moments and practical advice you could put into practice right away.
Between Parent and Child
This book by Dr Haim G.Ginott is a classic parenting book. Although written decades ago, the philosophy and guidance in this book have withstood the test of time. The book gives you eye-opening insights about interacting with your child, treating them with respect and a straightforward approach to being empathetic while also disciplining them.
Strongly believing that parenting is a skill that can be learnt, the revised edition arms you with skills to raise children who feel seen, heard, loved and confident in themselves. The key focus of the book is improved communication between parents and children, with a strong focus on empathy and positive parenting. Dr Ginnot also addresses self-defeating patterns that parents often get trapped in. You might find some language in the book outdated, but everything else about it is truly perceptive.
A book that looks into the brain development of children and adapts a whole-brain approach to disciplining without drama or damage. This book provides a compassionate approach to dealing with your child’s tantrums, meltdowns and defiant behaviour. The authors, Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson look at tantrums and similar incidents as teachable moments, thereby breaking the negative cycle of emotions.
Packed with personal accounts, interesting illustrations and relatable situations, this book teaches parents the key to understanding a child’s developing mind and the best way to react to situations that usually get the better of us. Keep those highlighters ready, you are bound to underline statements on every page or two as you read through.
No Regrets Parenting
Isn’t this what we all want at the end of the day? To have no regrets about our parenting and to know we did it right. While this book can’t guarantee you that, what it does deliver is the key to enjoy parenting. There hasn’t been a book I’ve enjoyed reading more. Written by Harley A Rotbart, this book gives you doable ideas of how to steal in moments of connection with your child amid the daily chaos of life.
Filled with humour, personal anecdotes and practical tips, No Regrets Parenting can help parents make the most of their time with their little ones. Although not a book of parenting philosophy, this book focuses on something equally important; being there for our children.
Takeaway: Despite these books coming with a “Highly Recommended” status, remember, that you must adopt what fits into your own parenting philosophy. It’s easy to get carried away and equally overwhelmed with all the advice you read, so make sure you take it one at a time, incorporating little changes, starting with areas that need the most attention and intervention. Parenting is hard and changing our patterns overnight is not an easy task. I’d say, read the books, often, more than once, make notes of the statements and lessons that strike you as insightful and surely you’ll be on your way to being a better parent.
If you have come across parenting or other books that have inspired you, do share in the comments. We could probably showcase them next!