Summer reading is right around the corner friends and these are all parenting books I think you should add to your list. We all have different parenting styles and this list is here to help you feel inspired, gain tools and learn what your specific parenting style is. I love parenting books and growing as a parent, cycle breaking and creating a loving and nurtured relationship with my kids. These are some of my favorite parenting books and I will share part II with six more books next Tuesday!
If there is only one parenting book that you read or add to your list, my vote is The Whole-Brain Child by Dr. Daniel J. Siegel MD and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. I love this book because it gives you the science behind why our children behave and react the way they do and how we can work with their brain vs. against it. The book outlines that the brain is either in a reactive brain state or a receptive brain state. When they are in a receptive brain state that is where they can learn and grow. Often times as parents we want to correct or change behavior in the heat of the moment when our children are dysregulated. The book teaches us that we need to first build co-regulation with our children, they are unable to regulate on their own and we do this through connection, empathy and validation. Then after we connect and the brain is in a receptive state we can teach. This book is perfect for any parent wanting to build their toolbox for handling challenging moments in parenting and desire to better understand their child’s brain and work with it vs. against it.
The Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline were the first parenting books that I picked up recommended by my then family practice doctor. I loved how they reclaimed the word “discipline” and teach us how it truly means teaching and building skills for our child’s life. Most people hear the word discipline and think “punish” and that is not it at all… it means TO TEACH. Being a parent is truly being a teacher. The whole point of discipline is to teach. Our children need to be in a receptive state in order to learn and take in the lesson. We get them into a receptive state by connecting with them and validating their feelings. Discipline and teaching really happens out of those big heated moments too. Some of the tools they teach in the book are the 4 S tactics… allow your child to feel safe, secure, seen and soothed. If you want to change behavior, connect better with your kids and feel empowered to handle and situation that might come up in your parenting journey… pick up this book!
Parents hold an incredible responsibility and how we are currently parenting in the US is not working for our children. 1 in 4 children in America have a mental health disorder. 250% increase in ADHD medication. 1 out of 10 children over 8 reported that they were unhappy most of the time. The relationship we nurture with our children this is where parents hold transformative power. Shefali Tsabary explains that parents can be unconsciousness and passing down cycles and triggers. She explains that when we find lack in our kids or get triggered by their behavior it is actually a response to the lack we see in ourselves. Generational trauma that we keep passing down unconsciously. “Our children come to us whole, complete and worthy they are happy with two sticks a stone and a feather. You can’t simply play, you must achieve. You can’t have a hobby, you must excel at it. It is time for us to change the spotlight. The time to awaken is now. No more the parent is greater than. Our children our are awakeners.” If you feeling a calling to find a new way to parent that centers our children’s minds, wholeness and creativity… cycle break and become more of a conscious parent, then this is the book for you. This book changed my life and continues to change my life.
I read this book in 2020 during the pandemic when I was basically a preschool teacher and solo parenting my two babies all day while my husband worked from home. This book gave me so many good resources and tools on how to incorporate Montessori teaching methods in our home. Montessori really at its core centers children’s ability to be independent and care for themselves and others. Simple changes made a huge difference for me being an overwhelmed mom of 2 babies under 3. Simple changes like having a water station available, benches and stools so he could reach things on his own and toys accessible and within reach. If you have been curious about what the whole hype of Montessori method has been about and looking to foster independent and happy children this book will help with that! I still reference a lot the activities mentioned and encourage all of our nannies and babysitters we have had to flip through this one.
If I remember correctly, I think this was the very first audio book I ever listened to. Maybe?! It is such a great listen and/or read. Just a quick little side note that parenting books are perfect for audiobooks when you are out on a walk, solo car ride/commute, etc. Okay, Bringing Up Bebe was my rabbit hole to learning about how other countries raise their children and how collectively as a community really take responsibility that it is not just the parents job like in the US. Brining Up Bebe is a book about an American who lives in Paris and is raising her children there. The book is about the differences between the French style of parenting to the American style. The summary of the book is that the French see children as an addition to their existing life and maintain their lifestyle more and Americans transform their life for their children and center them. The mom’s needs are as important as their babies needs. French parents are relaxed, happy and so are their kids! It is such a great read and honestly you need to read this book. She even goes into prenatal care, childbirth, pelvic floor physical therapy, food and nursery school! I 100% relate and work towards parenting this way but it is freaking hard in a country that is not supportive of this.