10 Parenting Books for Those Who Want to Parent Better

Whether your babies are still in the womb or living a country away, these books will help you parent against all odds. 

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  • Photo Credit: Nienke Burgers / Unsplash

Parenting is hard. And sometimes, you need to just let yourself say it. But just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it can’t be done well. Just like starting a new job, or reintroducing yourself to an old hobby, there are tips and tricks as well as general knowledge that can make the whole process easier and more enjoyable. In order to help you out, we’ve curated a list of parenting books that will help take the edge off. 

That being said, everyone is in a different stage in their journey; maybe you’ve just had kids, or maybe your kids are just now growing into who they are and you need a little advice on how to handle the change, or maybe, your kids have long fled the nest and you need some guidance on how to keep in touch. Regardless of the reason, there is an enlightening guide on this list for any type of guardian who has been brave enough to seek help in improving their parenting.

Parenting with Pride: Unlearn Bias and Embrace, Empower, and Love Your LGBTQ+ Teen

Parenting with Pride: Unlearn Bias and Embrace, Empower, and Love Your LGBTQ+ Teen

By Heather Hester

Let’s set the scene: your child just came out to you, and while your emotions are running amok, you just want to ensure they’re happy and healthy. Enter Heather Hester: Coach, advocate, and host of the #1 rated podcast Just Breathe: Parenting Your LGBTQ Teen

She’s here to tell you about her experience when her son came out, and she combines it with research, discussions with dozens of professionals, and the experiences of other families to provide the ultimate guidebook for parents navigating this experience for the first time. 

The Gender Identity Guide for Parents: Compassionate Advice to Help Your Child Be Their Most Authentic Self

The Gender Identity Guide for Parents: Compassionate Advice to Help Your Child Be Their Most Authentic Self

By Tavi Hawn LCSW

Talking with your child about puberty, and by extension, gender identity, is difficult for most. But with this handy guide, you will learn how to have healthy and open conversations about gender identity as they grow, no matter how they identify. 

You’ll learn the basics about gender identity and expression, read anecdotes from other parents that offer sound advice, and cover important topics like how to maintain open conversations and how to conquer your own biases. 

200 Ways to Raise a Girl's Self-Esteem

200 Ways to Raise a Girl's Self-Esteem

By Will Glennon

This is a collection of 200 short reflections that help people working with preteen or teenage girls raise happy and healthy women. No one wants their daughters to transition into adulthood with depression and anxiety, so this book teaches you how to boost their self esteem, how to lead your daughter into womanhood, and how to be a good example for them to look up to. 

52 Parenting Principles

52 Parenting Principles

By Miles Mettler

Based on behavior change concepts, 52 Parenting Principles is great for parents who prefer an academic learning environment. Beginning first with theory and then providing strategies for practical application and discussion questions to aid parents in that application, this book helps parents: 

  • Maintain and enhance relationships with their children
  • Teach children important life skills for when they leave home
  • Empower parents to make changes and see the transformations in their children
  • Adapt these skills to make them work for children of all ages
Act Natural

Act Natural

By Jennifer Traig

When Jennifer Traig—frazzled, exhausted, and at sea following the birth of her children—began questioning the traditional Western parenting advice she was receiving, Act Natural was born. 

Hilarious and enlightening, Act Natural explores centuries of misguided, nonsensical, and at times truly horrifying parenting techniques from Ancient Rome to modern day. She leaves no stone unturned in her insatiable thirst for answers about whether parenting has actually evolved, or if we’re still stumbling around in the dark. 

Attention Difference Disorder

Attention Difference Disorder

By Kenny Handelman

Using scientific and clinical research (but none of the confusing jargon) Attention Difference Disorder is a guide to helping parents address their child’s Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). Dr. Handelman leaves the stigmas and ignorance behind to help parents provide a strength-based approach to a condition that is often mistreated and shame-worthy to parents in 7 simple steps: 

  1. Education about the condition
  2. Ensuring a proper diagnosis
  3. Parenting strategies
  4. Educational strategies
  5. Medication treatments
  6. Alternative treatments
  7. Treatment integration
Beyond the Sling

Beyond the Sling

By Mayim Bialik

Mayim Bialik, the child star of the 1990s hit show Blossom, did not follow the typical child-star path. But she did end up having two children, reading lots of parenting books to figure out how to raise them properly, and began questioning the “right” way to raise a child. 

Instead of the conventional advice she was given, she began to follow Attachment Parenting, a philosophy and lifestyle popularized by the likes of Dr. William Sears and Jay Gordon. She found that when she followed her intuition instead of following some parenting script, her children thrived. In this book, she tells you how Attachment Parenting works, and you learn things like: 

  • Baby-Wearing
  • Gentle Discipline
  • Breastfeeding
  • Co-Sleeping
Crouching Father, Hidden Toddler

Crouching Father, Hidden Toddler

By C.W. Nevius

Wise and witty, Crouching Father, Hidden Toddler is a handy guide for dads. How can I maintain patience while I’m getting thrown up on? Or when mom is sleep-deprived? Or when I need to assemble these “no assembly required” toys? 

C.W. Nevius presents an array of short essays that provide advice, parenting techniques, and, perhaps most importantly, a good laugh. 

Devotions for Sacred Parenting

Devotions for Sacred Parenting

By Gary Thomas

This is a stand-out book for folks who want to welcome God into their child-raising, and for those who need a book that focuses more on the transformation that parents go through when raising their children, as opposed to the known transitions their child will face. This work features 52 devotions that explore the spiritual dynamics of parenting, and helps navigate parenting from the perspective of it being a holy and high calling from God, and a way to form the character of Christ within you and shape your soul. 

Don't Bite Your Tongue

Don't Bite Your Tongue

By Ruth Nemzoff

Parents put in a lot of work at the forefront of their children’s lives to raise healthy and autonomous adults—and this book is all about nurturing those relationships even after your children have become adults. Family dynamics expert Dr. Ruth Nemzoff uses personal anecdotes and provides advice to show parents how to create close relationships with their children without encroaching on their independence by: 

  • Learning how to communicate across long distances
  • Discussing financial issues without using money as a form of control
  • Speaking up when disapproving of an adult child’s partner or child rearing practices
  • Handling adult children’s career choices and other midlife changes
  • Navigating an adult child’s interreligious, interracial, or same-sex relationships 

Featured image: Nienke Burgers / Unsplash