The Best Three Parenting Books I’ve Read This Year

How can I love my kids better, make discipline easier, and raise them to be confident decision makers before they leave home?

These were the questions I sought to answer as I choose which parenting books to read and review for Read Your Way Home.

If you’re looking for the best parenting books to read or gift this year, here are recent reads on building confidence, discipline, and love languages I’d highly recommend.

One of my daughters has been struggling with confidence. She’s an incredibly bright girl, but as school has progressed her voice has gotten more and more timid. Teaching her to know her worth and speaking like she means it has been on the forefront of my mind.

For me, Parenting with Love & Logic was the perfect read.

Many kids arrive at their challenging and life-threatening teenage years with no clue as to how to make decisions. In Parenting with Love & Logic, Foster Cline, M.D. and Jim Fay argue that many self-destructive decisions teenagers make are because they are the first real decisions they’ve ever made.
By being helicopter or drill sergeant parents, they argue we fail to equip our kids to think for themselves.

Check out my book review series to learn the third type of parenting they propose to move our kids from total dependence on us to independence, how to offer choices to prepare our kids for a lifetime of decision making after they leave home, and how showing empathy when our kid’s unwise decisions result in consequences is a recipe for success.

Since reading, I’ve trusted my daughter with more freedom and choices and, brick-by-brick, I’ve begun to see her confidence build. If any of your kids are struggling with confidence, I’d highly recommend a read.

With three kids under seven, we’ve tried every discipline approach under the sun. We’ve used time-outs, going to the corner, rewards for good behavior, consequences for bad behavior, and the “mama means business” tone.

Trying one of the approaches they use in The Well-Behaved Child: Discipline That Really Works! was a game changer

Parents today are stressed far greater than any other time in America. In The Well Behaved Child, John Rosemond argues that by choosing compelling consequences for our children’s misbehavior, i.e. greater than time out or losing a toy for a day, we make them an offer that they can’t refuse.

This book has revolutionized the way we discipline and greatly diminished my parenthood stress level.

Check out my book review series for a simple question to ask yourself before giving an instruction to your kids, how you can use his tools to take yourself out of the discipline equation and put the responsibility for solving the misbehavior on the children’s shoulders, and why calling fouls consistently when we discipline brings greater certainty into our children’s lives.

Using his checkmark approach has led to much better behavior in our house. If you’re struggling to find the right discipline approach for your family, check this one out.

Finally, many of my kid’s personalities and interests radically differ from mine. Finding a way to meet them where they’re at and connect on their level is of utmost importance to me.

Learning and using their unique love languages after reading The Five Love Languages of Children has made it far easier to connect to them each in their way.

In his first book, Dr. Gary Chapman identified five types of love languages that drive people – Words of Affirmation, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. As our children begin to grow, they argue one language emerges as speaking your love more deeply.
In this book Chapman pairs with Ross Campbell to show how to discover and speak your child’s primary love language.

This book has helped change my misbehavior knee-jerk response from, “How many times do I have to tell you this?” to, “How can I better love this kid?”

Check out my book review series to learn how speaking your child’s love language fills their “emotional tank”, how to discover and speak your child’s love language, and two questions to ask before disciplining a child.

Seeing misbehavior as a plea for love can shift our response from anger to empathy and remind us that, after all, they are still children. If you’re having trouble connecting with a child, this one’s a good read.

I most definitely don’t have this parenting thing down and am still very much figuring it out as I go. One thing I have learned, though, is there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

By reading these books and applying the techniques of parents who’ve walked this road before me, I’ve found my path has gotten a bit easier to go down.

What other parenting books would you recommend? If you grab one of these and give it a read, I’d love to hear any other insights you glean in a comment or message!

Happy parenting, friends.

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