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The Best Parenting Books That Coaches Recommend

Stack of colorful books.

Many, MANY years ago I covered shifts at a phone answering service at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis and St. Paul as a Parent Resource Volunteer. I answered questions, offered support, advice, and tips and resources. This was so many years ago, that the internet was not quite yet the go-to place for parent advice and help. My background as an Early Childhood Family Education teacher prepped me for the role but I received intense formal education and training from Childrens Hospital as well. Part of the training was discerning parenting books and resources for validity and usefulness. I was reminded by my supervisor that "anyone can publish a book." All of us trainees sat there for a moment, soaking up that info. She was trying to impress upon us that just because something is written, that doesn't automatically mean it is useful, accurate, or appropriate information to pass on to parents.

So what does qualify as a good resource? A good resource comes from an author with experience, formal education, and training.

For parents searching for support and advice, it's tempting to do a quick google search, find what the loudest voice is proclaiming, and follow it. Often that works but sometimes it doesn't. If you want more information, here are the best parenting books that coaches recommend and that I use myself.

  1. Present Moment Parenting by Tina Feigal A simply wonderful guide to harmony in your home. This book is the backbone to my parent coaching and helpful for any parent or caregiver.

  2. The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. An easy to read explanation of your child's developing brain and how to communicate effectively with them. You will see positive changes as soon as you use what they teach.

  3. Parenting from the Inside Out, by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and Mary Hartzell, M.Ed. More in depth than the first two books on this list, this one is a comprehensive look at parenting styles, attachment styles, and how your own childhood influences how you parent.

  4. The Explosive Child by Ross. W. Greene, Ph.D. Don't let the title scare you. This book offers hope for tired parents who love and want to better understand their feisty kids.

  5. The Collapse of Parenting by Leonard Sax, M.D., PhD. This book is less a parenting guide and more a look at American Parenting Culture but still informative. Dr. Sax emphasizes the important role that parents have in shaping their child's future and the delicate balance between being too firm and too gentle.

Happy reading! If these resources are encouraging for you and/or you still want more support or child development insight, don't hesitate to reach out. I'd love to hear from you.

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