Raising a child these days is more time-consuming, more expensive and more demanding than it was back in the days. It can be really difficult keeping up with modern parenting and making sure we’re making good choices for our children. And while unconditional love, safety, love and respect will always be priorities, here are a few parenting books that will help navigate tantrums and raise strong, respectful, confident children.
The Whole Brain Child:
If you’re going to read just ONE parenting book, make it The Whole Brain Child. The book helps you understand why your child says and does certain things by helping you understand how their brain works during certain age periods.
There are 12 strategies in the book, and if you implement them, you’ll help raise calm and happy children. It’s all about fostering healthy brain development. I often find myself going back to this book and references certain points.
How to Raise Successful People: Simple Lessons for Radical Results:
If anyone knows how to raise successful people, it’s Esther Wojcicki--mother of three amazing, super successful daughters- YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, 23andMe founder Anne Wojcicki and UCSF doctor and researcher Janet Wojcicki.
Most of her book is storytelling and using examples of when she used certain parenting strategies. It’s not a typical ‘how to be a good parent’ manual, it’s more about how she parented and her own experiences.
There were moments in the book when she lost my attention, and for that reason alone, I would suggest getting this book on audio tape.
Siblings Without Rivalry:
To be completely honest I only purchased this book because it was highly rated for parents expecting their second child. I personally found most of the advice in this book a little too simple--don’t compare your children to one another because that’s how you create rivalry.
A lot of the advice was common sense, but one thing did stand out to me, which is why I put it on my list, and here it is: imagine your husband says to you, “honey, you’re so amazing, I love you so much, I decided to get another one of you, so I’m going to have two wives and split my time between the both of you and love you the same.”
That’s exactly how your first child feels when a new sibling comes along. Instead of constantly telling your children you love them the same (key word being SAME), you can try saying, ‘I love you because you’re so sweet, sensitive and smart, and I love your sister because she’s so creative, thoughtful and loving.’
Highlighting their individual strengths helps them avoid being in competition with each other. There you go, now you can skip reading the book.
Bringing Up Bebe:
This cute parenting book is about the differences between how Americans raise children and how the French raise them. The basic principle is that your baby should fit into your life, not the other way around. So what does that mean? It basically means you should make sure that your children understand that the universe doesn’t revolve around them.
It highlights the importance of patience when raising children, commonly known as the French Pause. If a child is crying or fussing, parents pause a moment before responding. If your child is crying or being fussy and there’s nothing really wrong, doing "the pause" gives the baby a moment to self-soothe, a very important life skill.
However, if she keeps crying, then the parents pick her up. It’s a cute, fun, quick read.
The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives
I’m a type A parent. I’m not even going to pretend that I’m laid back. But this book is helping me realize that I should trust that my kids are capable of making good decisions and they don’t need me to micromanage them.
The book reassures you that anyone can be a good parent, and gives you easy tips and tricks you can use to help your child navigate through problems, without taking care of the problems for them.