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Best Books on Parenting

There are literally thousands of books on parenting in print, not to mention the thousands of websites and blogs on the internet about parenting.

Amidst all this, how do you choose the right books for you? Which ones will provide solid, practical advice that works, based on research and an understanding of how children grow and develop and what they need?

parenting booksMy three children on holiday at Fingal Bay in NSW

The good new is that we know what children's brains and bodies need to grow and develop into joyful, confident, resilient, intelligent, compassionate human beings.

The research for this dates back nearly 70 years to the work John Bowlby, an English doctor and clinical psychologist, did with babies and children during and after World War II.

What's changed in the last 20 or so years is that new technologies are giving us unprecedented insight into the brain, confirming a lot of Bowlby's research about children's need for strong human attachments in order to develop into emotionally-healthy adults. In particular, Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), which tracks changes in blood flow in the brain, allows scientists to see brain areas light up in response to the things their carers do or fail to do. 

Over the past 20+ years of parenting my own three children, I've read more than a hundred parenting books, including books about parenting twins and parenting gifted children. Along the way, I discovered Peaceful Parenting and my family never looked back. As a result, I updated these pages and can guarantee that the books on these pages contain the most up-to-date and accurate information about how to grow emotionally-healthy human beings.

I hope you find them helpful.

Peaceful Parenting Books

I revised this page in 2014 when I discovered an approach to parenting which basically knocks all others out of the water, in my opinion.

It's called "Peaceful Parenting" and it's an approach which emphasizes gentle and respectful ways of relating to babies, children and teens.

In some ways it's a bit new, although there have always been parents who have parented this way, simply because it made sense to them and they had probably been parented this way themselves.

On this page you'll find my review of the very best peaceful parenting books.

You may also like to check out two websites which provide many free resources related to PP, as it's called. They are really, REALLY worth investigating:

Whatever age your children are, I would suggest beginning with PP books.

Best Parenting Books

The books on this list are all easy-to-read, written with humour and commonsense and offer loads of practical suggestions for dealing with a range of challenges involved in parenting today.

They're good books to read when your children are babies because they can help you think in advance about some of the issues you will have to manage as your children grow. 

Best General Parenting and Family Books

These books are mainly about family dynamics and developing a parenting style you're comfortable with.

There are some great ideas here about good parenting skills to develop and strategies to try.

These books are less about managing behaviour or problem-solving and more about creating a home environment that teaches the values you would like your children to have. 

Best Books About Parenting Teenagers

When my twin sons were babies, I couldn't imagine anything could be more challenging than dealing with twin babies.

Wrong! Parenting teenagers who are twins is just as challenging!

The issues are very different, of course, and my husband and I find it interesting to read about the strategies that have worked - and the ones that haven't - for other parents. 

My book reviews are here.

Best Books About Parenting Gifted Children

Parenting gifted children can be very challenging.

There are loads of books about parenting gifted children but I've found over the years that the best ones are actually the hardest ones to come by. Bookshops often don't stock them and, when they do, these books are usually expensive.

This list contains the best books I've been able to find about parenting gifted children. 

Best Books About Parenting Twins

When my twins were born in 1995, there were few parenting books on the subject to offer advice.

The books that were around talked a lot about the baby and toddler stage but the advice and discussion stopped short at the starting-school age.

Fortunately I have a friend who gave birth to twins 16 months before I did and she was a great source of advice and support - thanks Jane!

Parents of twins have many more books to choose from today than Jane and I did so I've only included the best ones. 

Best Books About Raising Boys

Raising boys can be challenging, especially raising teenage boys.

Our lifestyle and the way we educate our sons in Australia and elsewhere in the developed world doesn't seem to suit many of our boys and an increasing number of them have been falling by the wayside and developing serious problems.

In the past 10-15 years, quite a lot of research has been done into issues around parenting boys and a lot has been written about the challenges of raising confident boys.

The result has been a number of books on the subject of what boys need from the adults in their lives and how we can help them grow into healthy, resilient, well-adjusted young men. 

Best Books About Raising Girls

The challenges parents face in raising girls are different from those which face parents raising boys but they can be just as confusing.

This is a subject close to my hear because my daughter is now 12 and in her second year of high school. I've read lots of parenting books about raising girls and am happy to recommend the ones on this list.

Here are some wonderful books which discuss what girls need from the adults in their lives. These books provide tips to help parents develop good parenting skills so that they can raise healthy, confident, strong young women. 

Books About Raising Readers

If you're keen to encourage your kids to read or if your child seems to dislike reading, you'll find lots of helpful info on this site.

But if you're after more information or if you'd just like to read a bit further, you may like to check out the parenting books about raising readers on this list. 

Books About Raising Healthy Children

We all want to raise healthy, strong children but how do you sift through all the conflicting advice about what we should and shouldn't do?

Unfortunately parenting today involves monitoring what our children eat and the various environmental toxins they're exposed to on a daily basis.

I've read many, many books on this subject over the years and the books on this page are best of them. 

Specific Parenting Issues

Sometimes we find ourselves facing a specific problem which is a bit different to anything we've encountered before in our parenting experience.

This selection of carefully-chosen books deals with a variety of problems which are often involved in parenting today, including:

  • bullying
  • underachievement at school
  • mental health issues
  • serious behaviour problems in teens
  • disorganisation
  • the use of technology and the internet

These are very practical, easy to read books which will help you make sense of the issues and plan a strategy to deal with them. 

Talking to Children About the Facts of Life

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