Top 5 Positive Parenting Books
I recently put together a list of parenting books that I love for a few friends with new babies and one who is expecting and thought I’d share the list here. I never thought I’d have an official declared parenting style however I knew from my teaching experience that I was into positive behaviour discipline and have naturally gravitated towards books and experts advocating this style of parenting.
The word discipline often gets mixed up with the word punishment but in fact it comes from the Latin word disciple, which means to teach. All behaviours have a motivation behind them and I believe it’s our job as parents to understand the reason for certain behaviours to be able to help our child the best we can.
One thing I have learned as a teacher is that children thrive with boundaries and clear expectations from their leaders (this could be a parent or teacher). They love consistency, predictability and routine and when systems are in place and they can rely on them, children flourish.
I like to borrow what I like from a variety of resources, as not every approach will work for every family every time.
With any learning, I don’t think we should ever rely too heavily on one particular source for information, as that would limit our learning and development. I like to borrow what I like from a variety of resources, as not every approach will work for every family every time. There are so many parenting books out there telling us how to parent but at the end of the day it comes down to the connection we build with our child. Making meaningful connections is the basis for building a strong relationship with anyone in our life. Not every parenting moment is going to be perfect but if we aim to educate ourselves and seek guidance from the right people we will be equipped with the knowledge, tools and resources to help us feel more confident and prepared for the challenges that arise EVERYDAY…and boy do these arise daily!
Making meaningful connections is the basis for building a strong relationship with anyone in our life.
Here are 5 positive parenting books, which I have found to be so helpful and have strongly influenced the way we parent our daughter.
No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline without shame Janet Lansbury
This is the first parenting book I read after my daughter was born and I wish I had read it before she arrived! It is so wonderful for new parents. Janet Lansbury has had a huge impact on the way I parent my daughter as she has provided me with so much wonderful parent education. Her teachings are based on the RIE philosophy of parenting that is premised on respectful parenting. It sees the baby/child as an individual who is a unique and separate person. It encourages parents to observe their baby/child to determine their needs and respond accordingly without getting ‘ruffled’ by a baby or child’s demands. The book covers how to deal with most toddler behaviours and gives practical and helpful advice and what to SAY and DO which I love.
Janet Lansbury also has an amazing blog, podcast and Instagram account that answers specific parenting questions. If you have a question related to parenting a child 0-5 I’m pretty sure she’s answered it on one of these platforms!
The Montessori Toddler Simone Davies
I would recommend this book to all families even if you don’t follow a Montessori approach to parenting or education. It is a go to manual for setting up your home in a Montessori way to make it super toddler friendly but not in a prison bumper kind of way ;). It breaks down so much of a toddler’s development and how you can best support them through their changes.
The book acts as a guide and is broken up into practical sections and can be used as an everyday reference material to easily find information pertaining to a particular question you might have at that time. The premise of this book is that we are the leaders of our families and children need us to act as guides to help them flourish into respectful and responsible human beings.
Simone Davies is on Instagram and also has a wonderful website with loads of free resources and courses to help families implement Montessori learning and positive communication and discipline at home.
Simplicity Parenting Kim John Payne
Feeling super busy and overwhelmed by all the things a parent has going on? This book is all about slowing down family life and empowering parents with the knowledge and skills to establish rhythms and rituals to reduce overwhelm in our busy lives. It speaks about de cluttering our homes with regards to not only things but also schedules. It encourages presence and quality time over stuff and shiny distractions by providing ideas and inspiration on how to implement these changes. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by everything (as most parents do) and want to learn ways to reduce overwhelm to create a calmer home and reduce tensions, this book is for you!
The Awakened Family Dr Shefali Tsabary, Ph.D
This book completely inspired a new way of thinking about the parent child relationship for me. It looks at this special and unique relationship and how our behaviour as parents affects that of our child. So many books discuss the child’s development but this one focuses more so on the parents’ evolution and how our behaviours, experiences and beliefs shape us as parents for good or bad. It challenges you to look within and change your expectations (basically let go of them as expectations only make us disappointed when they’re not met) on what it means to be a parent. Our society has a heavy focus on achieving and doing which creates anxiety for parents and children, whereas we should be focusing on each individual’s needs. This book will help you face your fears and teach you how to work on yourself to be the best parent you can be for your child. We have to fix ourselves before we look to fix our children!
The Whole Brain Child Daniel J. Siegel, M.D and Tina Payne Bryson, P.h.D
This book takes more of a scientific approach to explaining a child’s brain development. It breaks down how the brain develops and how we can explain this development to our child to help them get a stronger grasp on their emotions and behaviours. It encourages an open dialogue between a parent and child and provides loads of visuals and language to help parents navigate their child’s developing needs. What I love most about this book is the section where it discusses the importance of using stories and storytelling to help children better understand difficult situations they may have experienced. Allowing a child the opportunity to go over a situation and discuss a scenario that played out, is how they gain a better understanding of how things unfolded and how to move forward. As parents, it’s difficult to see our child in pain and we often want to tell them they’re ok or we try and deflect from talking about a bad situation, when in fact it is so healthy for our child to be able to relive these difficult situations in order to move forward and learn from them. There’s a wonderful example in the book and it’s something I adopted straight away after reading it and it’s worked so well!
What are some of your favourite parenting books? I’m always on the look out for new ones to add to my collection!