Parenting books are everywhere.  The shelves of our local bookstore, my nightstand and especially the blogosphere are congested with advice.  I find it altogether noisy.  It seems that everyone has opinions about how to do this primordial-yet-eternally-beguiling thing called, “raising a kid”.

I for one, am grateful for the advice of SOME of these parenting books, since my personal tribe of elders is few and far away.  That said, having read a lot and worked with many incredible developmental and clinical psychologists, I have pretty strong opinions about what is worth my time to read.

My favorite parenting books are unfussy, no-nonsense works from folks who are experts in their field.   Generally this means doctors or journalists are the authors.  Additionally, I appreciate when the emphasis is on science and data with realistic means to execute the options presented in the book.  For example, if we are talking about building mindfulness, I like a few great bedtime routines that really work kid-friendly meditations into a sleep-routine.  If the parenting books are about building grit, I appreciate some personal anecdotes that go deep into the ways that grit can fuel great parenting. While science is important, I am fond of good stories and storytellers.  If a book is too dry or the tone is condescending, I’d rather pass.

Watch this video for the parenting books I’m loving at the moment.

The following is a list of the books that are inspiring me at the moment.  Please add your favs to the comment section at the bottom. Search for the books using Biblio – an online independent bookstore that connects you with used books and sellers internationally while supporting local stores too.

Books that Teach Us About our Kids’ Brains

The Whole Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind

by Daniel J. Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson
parenting books, the whole brain child

Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs

by Ellen Galinsky
parenting books, mind in the making

The Gardener and the Carpenter

By Alison Gopnik
parenting books, the gardener and the carpenter

Your Fantastic Elastic Brain

Book by JoAnn Deak

Although this is technically a kid’s book, I love it for adults to read together with their children too!  Check out Friends Seminary’s Librarian, Paula Zamora-Gonzalez, and her thoughts on why this is such a useful tool for all ages!

Parenting Books that Shake Us Up


by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
parenting books, nurture shock

The Awakened Family: A Revolution in Parenting

By Shefali Tsabary, Ph.D

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

By Angela Duckworth
parenting books, grit, duckworth

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character

By Paul Tough

 parenting books, how children succeed

Empathy, Independence and other Great Skills We Need More

UnSelfie: Why Empathic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World

By Michele Borba, Ed.D
parenting books, empathic kids

How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Over-Parenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid For Success

By Julie Lythcott-Haims
parenting books, how to raise an adult

Why Play is Where It’s At

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination

by Stuart Brown
parenting books, play

Unplugged Play

By Bobbi Conner
unplugged play, parenting books, kid activities

Don’t forget to chime in below with the books you love that make this whole journey a little less daunting and a little more inspiring!

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