Parenting

The Whole-Brained Child

Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson Ph. D.

Here are some takeaways:

  1. When your child gets upset, you should use empathy to make headway by connecting right brain to right brain. Then, once they are more receptive, you can redirect to the left brain by involving the child to make amends and find a solution, on their own or together.
  2. When your child gets upset, the upstairs part of the brain (the part where they can make decisions, have self-control and show empathy) is not available. Therefore, in order to connect, you need to wait for your child to calm down or help them calm down, before you try to rationalize with them.

Pair The Whole-Brain Child with Daniel Siegel’s other bookNo-Drama Discipline and you’ll have a better road map to handling tantrums, outbursts, back talk and other challenging behavior as your kids move from the toddler to school age years.

The Gift of Failure

Jessica Lahey

The Gift of Failure focuses on the critical school years when parents need to take a step back and allow their children to experience the disappointment and frustration that occur from life’s inevitable problems so that they can grow up to be successful, resilient, and self-reliant adults.

When kids experience failure, it gives them the opportunity to learn to solve their own problems.

Lacey gives you a blueprint with advice for how to handle homework, report cards, social dynamics, and sports. Most importantly, she sets forth a plan to help parents learn to step back and embrace their children’s failures, as hard as that may be for you to do, you’ll soon see how important it is.

All Joy and No Fun

Jennifer Senior

New York magazine writer Jennifer Senior looks at the many ways in which having children reshape their parents’ lives, whether it changes a marriage, their jobs, their habits, their hobbies, their friendships, or their internal senses of self.

Senior writes in All Joy and No Fun of the ‘experiencing self’ vs the ‘remembering self’, and this notion can be freeing for many parents; liberating you from the constant parenting guilt of sacrificing yourself and your time for your child.

In the end, Senior writes, “Mothering and fathering aren’t just things we do. Being a mother or being a father is who we are.”

Raising Your Spirited Child

Mary Sheedy Kurcinka

I have to include this parenting book on my list of best parenting books because it’s gotten me through a couple of intense years with my son, who, bless his heart, rises to every challenge and pushes me further than anyone in my lifetime ever has.

Raising Your Spirited Child is a helpful parenting book for anyone with a child who is just a little bit more and likes to test your resolve. 

It’s all about practical parenting strategies to handle big emotions, big temperaments and big situations. The book talks about the intensity of parenting a spirited child affects the way you parent, but how to keep from being discouraged with the intensity of your relationship.

Full of positive language and perspective, it helps you see your child as not stubborn, but tenacious. 

Transforming the Difficult Child: A Heart Nurtured Approach

Jennifer Easley

My copy of this book has worn edges and a torn cover, if that says anything about how many times I’ve read and re-read all the helpful information inside for my intense son.

The bookTransforming the Difficult Child is a must-read for parents with intense children (and all children) as as  way to help treat children labeled as difficult, or challenging, by giving you strategies to help them channel their energies in inspiring ways – always with love at the core.

You’ll have actionable ways to shift negative behavior, build upon your relationship and help your child thrive.

No Bad Kids

Janet Lansbury

Lansbury’s approach to parenting and handling difficult situations, is that we should treat children with respect, and, whenever possible, do our best to meet them where they are. She uses respectful and caring responses to handle situations and doesn’t use the time out approach.

As the title of her book suggests, everything she offers is to avoid shaming your child. No Bad Kids will teach that lectures, emotional reactions, scolding and punishments do not give our toddler the clarity he needs, and can create guilt and shame, but gives you real-life examples of what to do instead.

The book covers such common topics as punishment, cooperation, boundaries, testing, tantrums, hitting, and more. It’s a helpful guide for the critical years when toddlers are developmentally obliged to test the limits of our patience and love

Parenting from the Inside Out

Daniel J. Siegel, M. D., and Mary Hartzell, M. Ed.

Child psychiatrist Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., explains the extent to which our childhood experiences shape the way we parent, no matter how much we want to deny it does. Even for those who have had an wonderful childhood, they may still have unresolved issues preventing them from optimal parenting.

Parenting from the inside Out uses neuroscience findings and attachment researches to help parents make sense of their life stories, and deal with day-to-day struggles in better ways. Age-appropriate strategies to everyday challenges and also shows you how “brain integration” can help children grow and thrive.

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

The focus of the book is how parents can show empathy towards their child(red) by listening to them, and then validating their feelings. It gives you example after example of how to use language that will help you better communicate with your kids, so when you speak, they listen (and you don’t yell or have to repeat yourself 2.3 million times.)

It’s all about using gentle solutions to deal with behavior and discipline problems in a calm way.

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids

Dr. Laura Markham

Dr. Laura Markham is one of the most popular and recommended parenting experts out there. Her bookPeaceful Parent, Happy Kids helps parents understand the importance of having a strong connection with their toddler and focuses on problem-solving and not punishment.

Markham talks about how the parent’s mental state greatly affects their children. For example, if you yell at your child, expect that your child will yell. If you want to have calm, respectful and kind children, they learn this from their parents and you need to work on yourself first.

The book will walk you through many common parenting situations such as your toddler not listening or following directions. You’ll have a better understanding of children’s behavior and what’s going on inside, so you can forge a strong connection for better behavior in the future.

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids

Dr. Laura Markham

Dr. Laura Markham is one of the most popular and recommended parenting experts out there. Her bookPeaceful Parent, Happy Kids helps parents understand the importance of having a strong connection with their toddler and focuses on problem-solving and not punishment.

Markham talks about how the parent’s mental state greatly affects their children. For example, if you yell at your child, expect that your child will yell. If you want to have calm, respectful and kind children, they learn this from their parents and you need to work on yourself first.

The book will walk you through many common parenting situations such as your toddler not listening or following directions. You’ll have a better understanding of children’s behavior and what’s going on inside, so you can forge a strong connection for better behavior in the future.

Positive Discipline

Jane Nelsen, Ed. D.

Positive Discipline is a positive parenting principle focused on having mutual respect and positive guidance. It focuses on seeing learning opportunities instead of punishing mistakes.

Nelsen coaches parents and teachers to be both firm and kind, so that any child–from a three-year-old toddler to a rebellious teenager–can learn creative cooperation and self-discipline with no loss of dignity or feeling shame.

One Minute Mindfulness

Donald Altman

The Mindfulness Code

Donald Altman

You Do You

Sarah Knight

The Happiness Advantage

Shawn Ancor

Light is the New Black

Rebecca Campbell

Codependent No More

Melody Beattie

Boundaries Where You End and I Begin

Anne E. Katherine, M. A.

Attached.

Amir Levine, M. D. and Rachel S. F. Heller, M. A.

Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

Lundy Bancroft

Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

Karyl McBride, Ph. D.

The Dance of Intimacy: A Woman's Guide To Courageous Acts of Change In Key Relationships

Harriet Lerner, Ph. D.