I love reading so any chance I get I do. When the kids were way younger, I was on the hunt for helpful parenting books that would give me a better understanding of my children. I had 2 under 2 for a while and I really wanted to make sure I was setting them up for success and I wanted to make sure as a parent I was doing what I needed to do to respond and be their for them emotionally, physically, and mentally so they can develop to their fullest potential. I read tons and tons of parenting books but my top 6 are a must READ!!! Especially, during the early years.
I have learned early on when your child is having behavioral issues and being difficult there is an unmet need they are having. So we as parents need to pay attention and figure out what we can do better. Maybe it is a simple chat with them, or more one on one time, or they are overstimulated from too many busy days. Whatever it is there is usually and underlying reason they are acting out. Some children may need more positive attention or simply more love. I hope you find these books helpful because they really helped me thrive as a Mamma and I love love love being around my kids.
1. Janet Lansbury. NO BAD KIDS and ELEVATING CHILD CARE. These books are a must read today. In these books, Janet talks about ways to talk to toddlers and how to discipline them. She believes we should never take our children’s “limit-pushing behavior” personally. I love how she explains the importance of validating your child’s feelings. She gives amazing examples on how to do this and how when a toddler feels understood by you he or she also feels safe.
There are so many AH HA moments in her books that hit hard. When I started using certain techniques in her book, it changed my life. It change my responses and the way I parented and you could immediately instantly see a change and difference in my wild childs behavior. Children want to know you are always in their corner.
She is big on Magda Gerber, RIE (pronounced “rye”) philosophy. Janet encourages speaking to babies and children in adult voices and showing them respect and acknowledging their thoughts and feelings daily. She helped me see the importance of sitting back and being the observer in your child’s life. Letting them play and explore and learn on their own is key.
After reading her books, by the time our second child came around I completely changed the way I looked at parenting and incorporated the RIE philosophy. My first born still needs more attention from me but my second is extremely independent and needs zero entertainment. She is for sure a product of these two books. The RIE approach refers to giving babies more independence, allowing their natural abilities to flourish with minimal intervention. If you have not read these books. I would invest in them today. They are worth every penny. They were Game Changers.
2. Adele Fabre. Siblings Without Rivalry. This book is a major part of why both of my kiddos are best friends and get along most all the time. She explains how you intervene in fights, help children channel their emotions, and how to treat them “uniquely” not necessarily equally. She really hits on loving each kid for their own special self and treating children not as the are but as we hoped they would become, and again acknowledging their feelings. She gives lots of stories and examples from other families. This is the perfect book to read especially if you have siblings who are not getting along lately or not meshing well. I find myself re reading this one here and there.
3. Dr. Laura Markham. Peaceful, Parent Happy Kids. This book is amazing. She explains that when you have a true emotional connection with your child it creates a lasting change. You don’t have to threaten or nag or even punish. It is a beautiful book that helps parents understand their own emotions so in return we can parent with healthy limits and so we can raise self disciplined children. If you are struggling with tantrums and powerful struggles, I would suggest starting with this book.
4. Kim Payne and Lisa Ross. Simplicity Parenting. This book is eye opening. It really helps you to stream line your home by explaining ways you can reduce the amount of toys and clutter. I love this book because it reminds you the importance reclaiming the space and freedom your child needs for their individuality to flourish. What a perfect book to read during quarantine. She thinks too much stuff deprives kids of leisure and the ability to explore their worlds deeply. I love this book so much. The author really takes you through four levels of simplification. She believes, “Children are clearly the happiest when they have the time and space to explore their worlds, at play” Wow. Let that sink in a little. She really touches on the beauty of simplifying and the impact it can have on your family life. I love re-reading this one. It always motivates me to clear out the play room.
5. Jamie Glowacki. Oh Crap, Potty Training. I had zero road map for potty training and I followed things from this book and had both of my kiddos potty trained at 22months. I would say this book made the process less stressful and more successful. She gives you a 6 step process and says ideally toddlers are ready between 20-30months. If you are thinking about potty training this is the perfect book to help guide you. Take it with a grain of salt. It may help you or you may have your own method but it helped me potty trained both of mine within a week.
So there you have it, all of my favorite parenting books. There are a lot of others I love too but these make the top 5. I hope you take the time out and look into reading a few. They really did help shape my mindset as a parent and really influenced our family life in a more positive manner. Don’t forget to subscribe to Mamma-Tribe.