Empathic Parenting Counseling and Coaching

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Top Five  Must Have Parenting Books


I read a lot of parenting books. It’s a bit of an obsession, actually. People know this about me, so it’s not uncommon for a friend to call me and ask, “What’s the best book for ___?” Sometimes it’s discipline, sometimes it’s self-care, sometimes it’s overcoming a difficult childhood. Odds are I’ve read a book on the topic or one is patiently waiting on my bookshelf to be read (and yes, that is one of my bookshelves in the picture below).

Here’s my list of the top five must have parenting books, along with some honorable mentions. 

1. Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids by Dr. Laura Markham 

This is the best book for parents who are new to the concept of peaceful parenting and need a crash course. It’s written by a child psychologist, and it’s comprehensive and highly readable.

Read my full report on this book here.

2. Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn

Alfie Kohn is my guru. He’s insightful, he always supports his theories with a plethora of research, and he’s one of those authors who makes me question everything I know about parenting.

Read this to find out why you need this life changing book.

3. Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne

I heard people rave about this book for years before I actually read it. There was no way it was going to live up to the hype. Except that it did. This book changed how I manage my time, how I view my son’s childhood, and how I work with parents. It hasn’t stopped inspiring me since I first picked it up.

Read my full review here.

4. The Awakened Family by Dr. Shefali Tsabary

Dr. Shefali is nothing short of a visionary. She writes beautifully, and she challenges parents to shift the focus from raising our children to be the absolute best they can be and rather focus on being the best we can be and trust that our children will find their own path with our love and support. She has inspired a paradigm shift in my life in countless ways.

I gush more about this book here.

5. No Drama Discipline by Dr. Dan Siegel and Dr. Tina Payne Bryson

I’ve been a Dan Siegel groupie since grad school. His work on interpersonal neurobiology and the brain has changed the way we think about relationships and the concept of the mind. This book is my touchstone in so many ways. If I hear a concept like timeouts being defended, I return to this book, and my confidence is renewed. I suppose you could say my personal motto is “WWDSD” (What Would Dan Siegel Do?).

I’ve yet to write a review of this book, and that will be remedied soon.

Honorable Mentions

There’s a wealth of high quality parenting books out there, and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention some of my other favorites (titles listed in green are links to my review).

1. Playful Parenting by Dr. Lawrence J. Cohen 

2. Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide by Rebecca Eanes

3. The Myth of the Spoiled Child by Alfie Kohn

4. The Conscious Parent by Dr. Shefali Tsabary

5. The Whole Brain Child by Dr. Dan Siegel and Dr. Tina Payne Bryson

6. Parenting from the Inside Out by Dr. Dan Siegel and Mary Hartzell

Happy reading!

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