Parenting Books

All links on this page are to detailed posts or reviews. There are summaries of some books here as well (generally the ones I liked better).

This list has gotten unwieldy, so it's now in subcategories, including my favourites.

Parenting & family - favourites 
These are my favourite parenting books at the moment, some are topic specific.
  • Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens, Paul David Tripp. An excellent book for the teenage years.  
  • Going Public: Your Child Can Thrive in Public School, David & Kelli Pritchard.  While aimed at encouraging parents to use the public school system, this is really an excellent book about parenting your children through the school years. Most of it is relevant no matter what education system you decide on - public, private, Christian and (to a lesser extent) homeschool. Their overarching message is that God is in control, even over our children’s education, and their second main point is that as parents we are also in control.
  • How and When to Tell Your Kids about Sex, Stan and Brenna Jones. Excellent resource covering 4 stages: infancy to kindergarten, pre-puberty, puberty and adolescence. Over all of these, they have developed 12 principles of sex-education which include: parents are the principle sex educators, first messages are most important, that positive messages are powerful and that we should seize teachable moments and be askable parents.
  • How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlich. By the same authors of Siblings Without Rivalry (see below).  Full of helpful suggestions for helping kids identify and express feelings, engaging kids to do the things required of them, alternatives to punishment, how to teach autonomy and other things. A practical book for parenting toddlers through to teenagers.
  • Leading Your Child to Jesus, David Staal.  Very helpful and practical book that will help you speak to your children about matters of faith, your own faith and conversion, God's plan of salvation, and how to help children pray to God to accept him as their Saviour and Lord. He also has a few suggestions towards the end about how to reach young children with the gospel - talking to them about God, etc. talking about 'God made the animals', etc.  
  • Love and Respect in the Family, Dr Emerson Eggerichs.  Very helpful book based on the premise that parents desire respect and children need love.  His message throughout is that parenting is for adults only, so step up and be an adult - take responsibility for your actions and response.  Parent with love and in the end, focus on Christ in your parenting.
  • Parenting the Wholehearted Child, Jeannie Cunnion.  An excellent book that focusses you on the grace of God and how that affects your parenting.  Aimed more at those with younger children (0-10s) but the principles that apply to all stages of parenting.
  • Praying the Scriptures for your Children Jodie Bernt. This book (aimed at mothers) helps  think through how to pray biblically and intelligently for your children, in five categories: faith, character, safety, relationship and future.  It's easy to read, with lots of anecdotes, and is ‘ready to go’ - each chapter contains the bible verses at the end to pray for your children.  It will help you to think about better ways to pray, and help you pray straight from the bible. You'll probably find you use the principles to change your whole prayer life, not just your prayers for your children.
  • The Parenting Book, Nicky & Sila Lee.  Great, all-purpose parenting manual covering how families work, how to meet our children's needs, building character and setting boundaries, helping children make good choices and how to pass on our beliefs and values.  Well-written, well-researched, detailed and very balanced.  
  • Screenwise, Devorah Heitner.   A wise, applicable book encoring you to mentor your child to digital wisdom, rather than monitor them.  She reminds us that while our children may have tech savvy, we have wisdom. We should not mistake digital proficiency with good digital citizenship and that true screen wisdom is about relationships.   

Parenting & family - general
  • And Then I Had Kids, Susan Alexander Yates (sub titled: Encouragement for Mothers of Young Children). A realistic book about the ups and downs of mothering.
  • Disciplines of a Godly Family, Kent and Barbara Hughes.  This book gives a godly perspective on many parenting issues, and gives many practical ideas of how to share your faith within your family, the establishment of family traditions and lots of useful appendices. This book, combined with Jodie Bernt's Praying the Scriptures for your Children transformed my prayer life, helping it to become more disciplined and structured. They have also written Disciplines of a Godly Man and Disciplines of a Godly Woman which both Husband and I have really appreciated. Do not feel overwhelmed with ideas reading this book, just pick and choose what works for your own family.
  • Expectant Parents, Suzanne Hadley Gosselin.  A helpful guide to becoming parents from a Christian perspective - how to prioritise your marriage, think about your role, find community, having long term goals and how the early weeks and months of having a baby look.
  • Gospel-Centred Family: becoming the parents God wants you to be, Ed Moll and Tim Chester. Not your standard parenting book about raising well-rounded, well-behaved children. Rather, it goes further and challenges us to think about how being Christian changes our parenting, our goals for our children and our priorities as a family. It emphasizes God’s word as a priority, the need for discipline but also grace, and encourages us to think about being a mission-minded family. Short and easy to read.
  • 'How to Really Love your Child, D Ross Campbell, M.D. A great commonsense book on ensuring that your children actually receive the love you give them. Easy to read and full of ideas.
  • How to Really Parent Your ChildRoss Campbell. This book encourages you to think through how to proactively parent according to your child's needs rather than reactively parent according to your child's actions, with the idea that we must be focusing on long term issues rather on the short-term cutting out of unpleasant behaviour. Lots to think about especially with regard how we show love to our children and how to help them manage anger.
  • Kids are worth it! Barbara Coloroso Part 1 and Part 2
      • Loving Life as an at-home mom Donna Otto. There were lots of helpful things in this book, including challenging women to actually be 'at-home' mothers in their children's younger years. There were other parts of it that were less helpful, or personally relevant. 
      • Siblings Without Rivalry, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlich. A great book to think through the challenges between siblings.   Helpful to think in detail about how we help children to identify feelings and for parents to let them do so; how to avoid comparisons between children; how to avoid assigning roles in families; and how to manage actual fighting. 
      • Treasuring God in Our TraditionsNoel Piper.  A helpful way to think why to have traditions in your home and what you could consider doing for "we are always teaching our children, whether we mean to or not. Our children come to believe, probably unconsciously, that whatever is repeated regularly has significance." (p34) and that "we must plan to reflect God and teach about Christ in the repeated events of our lives" (p35). She has good suggestions for everyday and regular traditions, special times (eg birthdays), Christmas and Easter traditions. Don't feel overwhelmed in reading this book, and that you have to imitate the Pipers, rather use it to get ideas for what will work for your own family. 

      Parenting & family - specific topics
      • Expectant Parents, Suzanne Hadley Gosselin.  A helpful guide to becoming parents from a Christian perspective - how to prioritise your marriage, think about your role, find community, having long term goals and how the early weeks and months of having a baby look.

      Humorous


      Parenting boys 
      (in order of my favourites)

      Parenting girls


      Some other resources: