You’re Not Alone! 17 Parent-Recommended Books to Help With Common Challenges

Posted by Cybil on January 23, 2019
"Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do."
-Benjamin Spock

Calling all parents who have ever found themselves wondering: Where's the roadmap for how to deal with this?! We asked our Goodreads colleagues to recommend the parenting books they found most helpful in navigating unfamiliar territory and dug into our data to find a few more books winning thanks and kudos from parents on Goodreads.

All of them have earned four stars and above. Read on to find some parenting gems. And if there's a book that you think is a standout, let us know what it is and how it helped you in the comments. Your fellow child raisers will thank you!


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Reader Rave: "A powerful tool. Recommended by my pediatrician to help us communicate more effectively with our ADHD twin boys. But this is a great resource for all children and their parents."



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Reader Rave: "So many books about parenting report all sorts of research and don't provide practical examples of how to do it. This book provides you with clear cut techniques that really do work and are helpful."


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Reader Rave: "If you want to actually get through to your kids and teach them the skills they will need to make appropriate decisions throughout their lives, this book will change yours. It was recommended to us by our pediatrician and had proven to be one of the best things she has ever said to us."


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Reader Rave: "What if everything that you take for granted about parenting (time-outs, stickers for toilet training, praise and accolades) might actually be hurting your relationship with your child, or even your child him/herself? Alfie Kohn says that these traditional punishment and reward systems are extremely damaging to children's development and psyches."


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Reader Rave: "I like the way this book made me re-evaluate how I react when my kids squabble, and I like the suggestions and examples of how to get the kids thinking toward positive solutions they come up with themselves."


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Reader Rave: "Chapman and Campbell explain each of the five ways a child expresses and receives love. They explain how to identify your child's primary love language and provide numerous examples of how to speak it through various actions targeting specific age groups."


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Reader Rave: "Each page is packed with intelligent thought-provoking ideas and sometimes very serious issues, all of which are embedded in such simple and funny anecdotes from his own practice that there is never a dry or 'heavy' moment. There are suggestions HOW to play, how to enjoy it as a parent and how to make the most of it for your child as well as your connection with your child."


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Reader Rave: "I can't speak highly enough about this book. It explores the link between a child's neurological development and the way a parent reacts to misbehavior."


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Reader Rave: "Best parenting book I've read. And really more than a parenting book, this a book about how to live life well in modern times...To simplify (which is the theme of the book), we've become too busy, and that busyness is particularly bad for children."



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Reader Rave: "The author demonstrates that your child's explosions are probably predictable. You have to sit down and find the patterns, the situations. You have to sit down with him or her and create a solution. Sounds simple enough, may sound impossible, depending on your child, but the transcripts are very illuminating."



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Reader Rave: "This tells it like it is, with the science and research and sociology to back it up. I laughed, I underlined, I wrote in the margins. I only wish I’d had this when I was pregnant."



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Reader Rave: "Her basic premise is that children need limits and structure, and a place in both the family and wider community. She breaks her parenting advice into nine lessons and most, if not all, would apply to parents of many faiths and even of no faith in particular."



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Reader Rave: "I would definitely recommend this guide to parents, especially new parents, to arm them for the battles ahead. Doesn't everyone need a good night's sleep after all?"


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Reader Rave: "I highly recommend this book because it explains at length how the brain develops during childhood and how trauma and nurturing can affect development, and the author manages to deliver the message in simple terms and very clearly."


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Reader Rave: "This book will inspire parents to prioritize reading aloud and the author gives great tips on how to start—whether you're a new parent or just new to reading aloud."


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Reader Rave: "Every parent should read this—rich parents, poor parents, controlling parents, free range parents—all of them. I feel like we have become a generation of parents who want this bubble of protection around our kids yet we want them to grow up to be responsible and successful adults."


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Reader Rave: "My child is definitely more intense and sensitive than many other children—but now I've learned to value and appreciate her in a new way. I also know how to be an advocate for her in preschool and future school settings. Seriously, I am a better mommy due to the facts and advice found in this book."



Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)

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message 1: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Wells This list needs books for parents of young adults!


message 2: by Phillipa (new)

Phillipa Buchanan Agree, parenting teens book suggestions please.


message 3: by Jo (new)

Jo Cooper 10 conversations to have with your son, written by Dr Tim Hawkes.

The book is very earthy. It’s foundation is based on talking to our children to build trust explain acceptable standards. Whilst the book is aimed at boys developmentally, the principles can also be applied to daughters.


message 4: by Jessica (last edited Jan 23, 2019 09:49PM) (new)

Jessica The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block by Harvey Karp. Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear in the Refrigerator by Max Wallack, for helping kids understand and cope with a family member living with dementia. EDIT: The Bully Vaccine by Jennifer Hancock.


message 5: by Julie (new)

Julie Harding How to raise an adult is a useful book for parents of young adults


message 6: by Carli (new)

Carli Heintzel Jim Fay has a love and logic book for teens as well, and his philosophy is my Bible. Over 8 years of using it with kids (and adults) and it’s been life changing!


message 7: by Libbydale (new)

Libbydale Jenny wrote: "This list needs books for parents of young adults!"

The authors of the first book on this list has one dealing with teens. Their "How to Talk" books are excellent. Such life changing ideas! Also anything by Michael Gurian is excellent on raising girls or boys. He writes a lot of gender specific stuff that touches on young children AND teens. There's a lot out there.


message 8: by Katrina (new)

Katrina Dombrowsky I would add Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting
by Janet Lansbury to this list! :) It's all about treating your baby/toddler like a real person, which leads to happier, healthier, more well-adjusted children.


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* The best, realistic parenting book:

Science of Parenthood Thoroughly Unscientific Explanations for Utterly Baffling Parenting Situations by Norine Dworkin-McDaniel


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