“Top 15 Must-Read Parenting Books for Raising Healthy Kids”

It wasn’t that long ago when the only resource that parents could reliably turn to for parenting advice were books. Nowadays, flipping through a book may not be most parents’ first instinct when looking for parenting advice. Instant access to blogs, websites, and forums provide multitudes of answers and “expert opinions,” which can either be helpful or contradicting and overwhelming. However, books are still a valuable resource when it comes to parenting. Just because information is printed in a book does not mean it is infallible.

The good news is that it is much easier to find reliable reviews and criticisms of published works from reputable sources than of websites or blogs. The following parenting books discuss topics about parenting that start at conception and cover all the way to young adulthood. Whether you are looking for advice about disciplining your toddler, how to parent your spirited child, or cross-cultural parenting techniques, you will find everything you need in this list:

1. Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong – and What You Really Need to Know, by Emily Oster

Expecting Better delves into the widespread pregnancy beliefs and produces statistics and facts that spell out the actual risk associated with each. The book is laid out by in chronological order, from conception to delivery, and describes many of the most common worries that expectant mothers have.

The overarching message of the book is that there is no right or wrong answer for anything when it comes to pregnancy.

2. The Science of Mom: A Research-Based Guide to Your Baby’s First Year, by Alice Callahan

This book addresses many of the questions that new mother have about their babies in the first six months of their lives. Many controversial topics are addressed, such as vaccines, breastfeeding, and sleep.

A variety of scientific studies are used throughout the book to serve as support for the author’s opinions, and Callahan also explains how the average person can discern the validity of studies and their claims.

3. No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame, by Janet Lansbury

As a new parent, it can seem like your tiny baby grows into a toddler overnight, and a new element of parenting is suddenly required – discipline. This book is a compilation of the author’s most popular and widely read articles that she first published on her own website.

The articles cover a wide range of topics, including tantrums, hitting, boundaries, and more. This book might be just what you need if you are struggling to find effective ways to discipline your tenacious toddler.

4. Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic, by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka

All kids are not created equally. Some children are born with a natural tendency to be more strong-willed, and it is not at all a reflection of the way they have been parented. This book recognizes that these children need a slightly different approach and give parents strategies on how to deal with challenging situations.

Kurcinka teaches parents how to re-frame their thinking to see the positive components of their behavior. It’s crucial that parents try to understand why their children are behaving the way they are and this book gives you tools to nurture challenging kids successfully.

5. Above All, Be Kind: Raising a Humane Child in Challenging Times, by Zoe Weil

Living in a society where senseless violence and animosity have become the new normal, the task of raising a kind and loving child can seem almost impossible. Weil advises parents on how to guide their children towards living a more humane life, but most importantly, living their own as a message and an example.

The four key elements that Weil emphasizes in raising human children are providing information, teaching critical thinking, instilling reverence, respect, and responsibility, and offering positive choices. Being kind is not synonymous with grand gestures. The little things people do on a daily basis will make the biggest difference.

6. The Whole Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind, by Daniel J. Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson

The book gives you 12 strategies to transform challenging emotionally driven reactions into opportunities to help your children cultivate healthy development and productive behaviors for life.

7. Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, by Rebecca Eanes

Eanes does not claim to be a parenting “expert,” but rather, a real mom, fully entrenched in the joy and hardships of parenthood. The first half focuses solely on the parent and provides many tips on how to work on our response and emotions and increasing self-awareness before engaging with our children.

So often, children are punished for being human. They are not allowed to have grumpy moods, bad days, disrespectful tones, or bad attitudes. Yet, we adults have them all the time. None of us are perfect. We must stop holding our children to a higher standard of perfection than we can attain ourselves.

8. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish

This book helps parents to navigate the complicated but fragile methods of communication with their children that will tremendously impact their behavior and development.

It’s crucial that parents acknowledge the feelings and views of their children, even if they don’t necessarily agree or understand them. This book offers practical advice and examples of how to open up lines of communication to foster a strong and positive relationship.

In conclusion, books remain a valuable resource when it comes to parenting. They allow for an in-depth exploration into various issues, and often come with scientific evidence and statistics that are not readily available elsewhere. The above parenting books can make for a great starting point for parents who want to expand their horizons, deepen their knowledge, and refine their parenting techniques.

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