My Favorite Parenting Books & Why I Love Them

These days parenting books seem to get a bad rap. I’m on the fence about them too but I still typically have one parenting book on my nightstand every month. It challenges my thinking and adds skills to my parenting tool belt as we enter each different stage of childhood.

If you are interested in seeing what I enjoyed, I’ve listed out my top eleven favorite parenting books below in alphabetical order…

favorite parenting books

All Joy and No Fun | My friends are probably sick of hearing me talk about this book, haha! I recommend it to everyone. The author encourages us to reconsider some of our basic cultural beliefs about parenting today. This book also helped me to feel like I wasn’t alone in my challenges. The way she incorporates hard data with family narratives (most based in Houston, TX) will keep you engaged!


Daring Greatly | I’ve never met a Brene Brown book I didn’t love. Her Whole-Hearted Parenting Manifesto from this one has been laminated and taped up in our kitchen. We read it daily and let it soak into our souls. It’s basically my parenting anthem. Brene always tackles the hard issues but this book about vulnerability and courage is a must-read for anyone raising children (but it’s also just as much for the parents themselves).


The Five Love Languages of Children | I’m sure most of you have heard of the 5 Love Languages franchise. This one is geared specifically to children and aims to help parents get to know their children more deeply.


Hands-Free Mama | This book was such a gut-check for me and the distracted lifestyle I was living. Emails while cooking dinner, text messages while playing with my kids plus the never-ending to-do lists. The author challenges us to find balance with technology so we can engage more fully in the beautiful moments happening right before us. It’s a must-read if you find yourself struggling with overwhelm!


How to Celebrate Everything | While this book isn’t a parenting book per se, I loved the way the author brings up ideas for creating traditions and cultivating a rich family life. It’s one of the things I have been working on this year since moving back to Richmond. In my mind, one of the best parts of parenting is creating magic for our children – and this book gives so many great ideas!


The Lifegiving Home | This is a book I plan on returning to year-after-year. Sally Clarkson created a home for her four kids that I’m sure many of us aim to provide – one of love, joy, meaning, and purpose.  This book gives practical tools and ideas to nurture a family that loves others well and God the most.


Mindset | This book dives deep into the power of mindset and how it can dramatically improve our lives. As parents, it is imperative we raise our children to have a growth mindset vs. the fixed mindset which is so common. The author gives you tangible ways to do just that. And like so many things in parenting, it challenges the parents to be the model and look inward to their mindset practices.


The Opposite of Spoiled | When you have two finance majors under the same roof, you know one of our favorite books is going to deal with teaching kids how to have a healthy relationship with money. The author tackles topics like allowance, chores, charity, savings accounts and cell phones. Most importantly, it identifies how we launch children into this world who are more generous and less materialistic. There were so many practical tools and I plan to revisit it at different stages of parenthood.


Siblings Without Rivalry | As a mother of twins, this book popped to the top of my list. One of my greatest challenges is raising siblings that encourage each other and do not feel competitive (which is especially hard when they share most of the same friends and activities). This book gives practical tools for things like how and when to intervene during fights. If your house was anything like mine, add this one to your list.


Simplicity Parenting | I wrote more about this book in my playroom post. It speaks to how to use “the power of less” to raise more secure, calmer kids. My biggest takeaway from the book inspired us to do the huge playroom cleanout! It’s not the most engaging book but the thoughts and sentiments ring true.


The Whole-Brain Child | Saving the best for last. This book has the most underlined and ear-marked pages on my bookshelf. I think this means it is our favorite! The authors show you how to cultivate healthy emotional and intellectual development so that your children can lead meaningful and connected lives.


Okay, I think that does it. Here are a few that I would love to read next: Parenting From the Inside Out, The Tech-Wise Family, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. Happy reading, friends!

I would love to hear your favorite parenting books in the comments below! Also, would it be helpful for me to do a pregnancy book post?

PS: I added a books section to my website here. I keep it updated with my favorite recent reads.

*Affiliate links are used in this post

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