The Best Parenting Books

Ella’s Favorite Parenting Books (Part II)

May 31, 2023

Oh Crap! Potty Training

One of my most recommended book to parents is Oh Crap! Potty Training by Jamie Glowacki. I have listened to this book at least ten times. The first time I made my way through the book it was on a solo road trip for a girlfriends weekend in Wisconsin at a cabin. Jamie Glowacki describes her book as, “Everything modern parents need to know to do it once and do it right.” I couldn’t agree more with that statement. Her potty training method really worked for my two children and we only had to potty train once for each kid. Everyone is always shocked to find out that our two year old was fully potty trained but so I would recommend this book. I followed Jamie Glowacki’s potty training method and it worked out for us. Why I loved this book so much is that it really empowered me and helped to reframe potty training to teaching an important life skill that our young children are 100% capable of. If your child can talk, wash their hands, feed themselves, count to ten and walk… they are more than capable of learning to put their poop and pee in the potty. One of the things she mentions that really resonated with me too is that it is giving your child the most important skill, self respect, dignity and autonomy. It is one of the first times as parents we teach our children to mindfully listen to their body and move with intuition too. I loved this book and if you are preparing for potty training and need a solid plan and pep talk listen or read this book.

How to Raise A Wild Child

I found this book back in 2018 when I was navigating the first year of becoming a parent. I was really focused on what kind of a parent I wanted to be and the type of children I wanted to raise. I knew I didn’t want to do a lot of screen time and incorporate technology too early into their life. I wanted my kids to be free range and outside as much as possible in nature. The average north American child spends about seven hours a day looking at a screen and about seven minutes outdoors. The extinction of experience is happening in the next generation of our children with raising levels of ADHD, obesity, depression and suicidal thoughts. Our children are suffering and need to spend more time outside and in nature. This books helps to encourage you and give you simple tools to incorporate the outdoors into your lifestyle. Like this simple tip of NEW. Notice nature, take a mindful walk and notice the air, smells, bird sounds, clouds, animals sounds, flowers blooming. Engage. Full body engagement with nature, getting messy, and being in nature with engagement. Wonder. If children are going to fall in love with nature, we need to value nature and show them how much we value it by giving our children experiences outdoors. Tell stories of being outside in nature can help bring more new experiences to life. This book is so incredible and the next one on my list is 1000 Hours Outside.

How to Talk so Little Kids will Listen

Okay, every one of these books has positively impacted and changed my life and role as a parent but this one really does take the cake. The reason why I love this book so much is that it is “A Survival Guide to Life with Children ages 2-7” it has such a realness and tactical approach to giving parenting tips. All of my children are under six years old so this is so relevant for me. It is great to theorize being a better parent and think bigger picture but this book is very feet on the earth, deep in the trenches with you support for those hard times as a parent. I have deeply struggled with one of my children being very strong willed and have needed extra support as a parent to feel like I can support them. This book provides tools, strategies, phrases, questions and prompts to help encourage connection and listening from your littles. We truly want them to be their own little beings and not always just do what they are told right? Having a strong willed character is a really beautiful thing – BUT we also still need to put our shoes one. This book truly helps!

The Danish Way of Parenting

The Danish Way of Parenting by Jessica Joelle Alexander and Iben Dissing Sandahl description is “What the Happiest People in the World Know About Raising Confident, Capable Kids.” There are so many good parts in this book and I really identify with the Danish Way of parenting as a parent. It is hard though as our American society is so much different and truly an unhappy and depressed group of people. You kind of feel like you really have to go against the grain and find your like minded people to surround yourself with here in America and want to cultivate this same type of lifestyle. Some of my favorite parts of the book were the chapters on Hygge and overall happiness and stress levels. Their way of life and how they parent is about singing, playing, good food, family time and togetherness. One of the parts that truly made me cry was the part in the book about new motherhood culture and how moms will form support groups on their own and look out for one another. “The other mothers in the group also act as sponsors and will check in on a mother if she doesn’t show up. They will call her or go to her house to make sure she is OK and has contact with others she can share with. These groups are a fundamental support during a very challenging time and an essential part of being a new mother in Denmark, helping both mothers and babies feel happy and secure.”

Good Inside

Good Inside by Dr. Becky Kennedy has been a life changing book that I most recently finished about two weeks ago. I listened to it on walks, solo car rides, grocery runs and a plane ride to and from Palm Springs. It took about a month to get through and I plan to re-listen to it soon and take some more notes. Dr. Becky Kennedy helps to remind us that we are all good inside even when we are having a hard time. She starts off the book encouraging us to claim the role or title as a cycle breaker. That we may have been handed down generational trauma or a way of parenting that doesn’t feel right to us and we need to consciously break that cycle and not pass it down to our children. Dr. Becky encourages us to do the deep inner work and healing to stay regulated and help our children co-regulate. We can do this with self love and care, connection and empathy. I love how Dr. Becky offers up scripts, real moment examples and how to navigate specific situations in parenting in her book. One of my favorite chapters is when she talked about frustration tolerance and the importance of building this within our children. Another chapter that was a favorite was Chapter 29: Deeply Feeling Kids. If you have a child that you might consider “strong willed” or has a lot of big feelings, this is the chapter for you.

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