Do you want to raise emotionally healthy kids and have great relationships with them? Check out these 4 easy-to-read gentle parenting books!
As a mom of 2 little girls, I want to make sure I can be the best mom I can for them.
Reading about another parent’s struggles and successes can be encouraging and motivating.
I know that it’s important that I foster a close, loving relationship with each of them, and that parenting and discipline should flow from this bond.
After all, if you don’t have a close bond with your children, how can you expect to deeply and personally influence and guide their lives?
These 4 gentle parenting books are easy to read and full of helpful ideas for managing conflict, guiding with discipline, and fostering a close relationship with your kids.
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1. How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen: A Survival Guide to Life with Children Ages 2-7 by Joanna Faber and Julie King
I listened to this book on tape while running errands in the car. There were different actors reading the part of each author as well as the parents quoted in the book.
Having different people read each part helped me follow along, making it easy to listen to and also humorous.
My kids are 3 and 5 and this book is geared toward parents of children ages 2-7.
There is a companion book focusing on older kids – How to talk so kids will listen & listen so kids will talk and a version geared for teens – How to talk so teens will listen & listen so teens will talk
The authors give many examples of possible problems that you might have with your kids, as well as real-life solutions from real parents.
The problem-solving approach is based on building a relationship with your children and communicating with them honestly (and listening to them and receiving feedback in return).
2. How to Really Love Your Child by Dr. Ross Campbell
This book is very short and easy-to-read.
Dr. Campbell gives simple, practical suggestions to increase connection with your child and help her feel loved by you. He emphasizes the importance of:
- eye contact
- physical contact
- focused attention
He also discusses anger and discipline.
Although many of his suggestions are simple and may seem intuitive, they require effort to implement them in your life. When I read this book, I realized how important these tips are, and yet how difficult to follow them!
3. Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting (The Peaceful Parent Series) by Dr. Laura Markham
(and the companion book that addresses issues between siblings: Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life (The Peaceful Parent Series)
Both of these books emphasize the importance of the parent maintaining a calm, peaceful presence in order to model appropriate behavior for their kids.
When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions, it’s our job to share our calm, not to join their chaos – L. R. Knost
Dr. Markham emphasizes the importance of modeling calm behavior and gives examples of ways to help you keep your calm. She also discusses practical solutions to situations.
As parents, we need to model how to remain calm and how to handle difficult emotions.
This does not mean that your toddler (or 4-year-old or 6-year-old…) will not have tantrums or emotional outbursts, or even be able to control his emotions and responses.
It DOES mean that as you model how to behave and control your own emotions, your child will learn how to manage his emotions through your example.
In addition to modeling, you must also actively teach your child how to manage his or her emotions. This can be very hard.
I have noticed that when I model calmness (or anything else really) my daughters imitates me automatically when I least expect it. (They’re watching everything I do!)
4. No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Dr. Dan Siegel & Dr. Tina Payne Bryson
Throughout this book, the authors talk about a child’s developing brain. Their explanations and solutions are based on brain science.
They stress the importance of modeling good behavior and teaching your child mature ways of handling out-of-control emotions. I appreciated the authors’ personal examples of mistakes they made and their emphasis that we all make mistakes (even the experts).
These parenting books will help you raise healthy kids and develop great relationships with them! Your children are dependent on you. Keeping a solid, warm, consistent connection with them throughout each day is the key to a great relationship. You’ll also find practical suggestions for a wide variety of problems.
I’d love to hear the names of your favorite parenting books!