positive parenting books

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Every parent wants to raise happy and confident kids, but finding the right parenting tools to do this is not always easy.

Ever since I became a mom, I read a lot of books written by parenting experts to find out more about child development and the right ways to educate and discipline my kids. I also discovered a lot of lists of “must-read parenting books” on other sites, but many of them were focused on how to use punishments effectively and how to implement time-outs.

This is why I decided to write about the positive parenting books that changed my life as a parent, inspired me to become a better mom, and helped me build a strong relationship with my child.

It is never too late to change the way you parent your children, and finding positive ways to handle difficult situations can be the best thing you do for them.

If you want to discover gentle ways to parent your kids, I hope you will find the answers you are looking for in the positive parenting books I recommend in this post.

1. Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting

I had the chance to meet Laura Markham (the founder of AHAparenting.com) at a parenting conference, and reading her books was really inspiring for me. She promotes gentle parenting and emphasizes the importance of the connection between parent and child.

When kids are emotionally balanced, they are able to interact better with other people, and their behavior improves significantly.

Here is a part of the book’s description:

A groundbreaking guide to raising responsible, capable, happy kids

Based on the latest research on brain development and extensive clinical experience with parents, Dr. Laura Markham’s approach is as simple as it is effective. Her message: Fostering emotional connection with your child creates real and lasting change. When you have that vital connection, you don’t need to threaten, nag, plead, bribe—or even punish.

This remarkable guide will help parents better understand their own emotions—and get them in check—so they can parent with healthy limits, empathy, and clear communication to raise a self-disciplined child. Step-by-step examples give solutions and kid-tested phrasing for parents of toddlers right through the elementary years.

If you’re tired of power struggles, tantrums, and searching for the right “consequence”, look no further. You’re about to discover the practical tools you need to transform your parenting in a positive, proven way.”

You can find the book here: Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting.

2. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

The authors of the book (Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish) are worldwide known experts on communication between parents and children. Their book offers tips on how we can get to understand our kids and communicate effectively with them.

Most of the issues between parents and children start with wrong communication, so fixing this problem can make a big difference in the relationship we build with our kids.

Here is a part of the book’s description:

This bestselling classic includes fresh insights and suggestions as well as the author’s time-tested methods to solve common problems and build foundations for lasting relationships, including innovative ways to:

  • Cope with your child’s negative feelings, such as frustration, anger, and disappointment
  • Express your strong feelings without being hurtful
  • Engage your child’s willing cooperation
  • Set firm limits and maintain goodwill
  • Use alternatives to punishment that promote self-discipline
  • Understand the difference between helpful and unhelpful praise
  • Resolve family conflicts peacefully

Enthusiastically praised by parents and professionals around the world, the down-to-earth, respectful approach of Faber and Mazlish makes relationships with children of all ages less stressful and more rewarding.”

You can find the book here: How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk.

3. Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason

I read Alfie Kohn’s books after attending one of his conferences, and I was so glad to discover his approach!

His book promotes a style of parenting based on unconditional love, without punishments and rewards. And his methods really work!

Here is a part of the book’s description to help you get a better understanding of his approach:

One basic need all children have is to be loved unconditionally, to know that they will be accepted even if they screw up or fall short. Yet conventional approaches to parenting such as punishments (including “time-outs”), rewards (including positive reinforcement), and other forms of control teach children that they are loved only when they please us or impress us.

Kohn cites a body of powerful, and largely unknown, research detailing the damage caused by leading children to believe they must earn our approval. That’s precisely the message children derive from common discipline techniques, even though it’s not the message most parents intend to send.

More than just another book about discipline, though, “Unconditional Parenting” addresses the ways parents think about, feel about, and act with their children.

It invites them to question their most basic assumptions about raising kids while offering a wealth of practical strategies for shifting from “doing to” to “working with” parenting–including how to replace praise with the unconditional support that children need to grow into healthy, caring, responsible people.

This is an eye-opening, paradigm-shattering book that will reconnect readers to their own best instincts and inspire them to become better parents.

You can find the book here: Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason

4. No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind

This is one of the best books I ever read about disciplining children.

The authors are presenting a lot of effective methods of disciplining kids in a gentle and positive way. It’s a perfect book for every parent who wants to replace punishments with better methods and needs the exact tools to help them do this!

Here is a part of the book’s description to help you get a better understanding of what it is all about:

Highlighting the fascinating link between a child’s neurological development and the way a parent reacts to misbehavior, No-Drama Discipline provides an effective, compassionate road map for dealing with tantrums, tensions, and tears—without causing a scene.

Defining the true meaning of the “d” word (to instruct, not to shout or reprimand), the authors explain how to reach your child, redirect emotions, and turn a meltdown into an opportunity for growth. By doing so, the cycle of negative behavior (and punishment) is essentially brought to a halt, as problem solving becomes a win/win situation. Inside this sanity-saving guide you’ll discover

  • strategies that help parents identify their own discipline philosophy—and master the best methods to communicate the lessons they are trying to impart
  • facts on child brain development—and what kind of discipline is most appropriate and constructive at all ages and stages
  • the way to calmly and lovingly connect with a child—no matter how extreme the behavior—while still setting clear and consistent limits
  • tips for navigating your child through a tantrum to achieve insight, empathy, and repair
  • twenty discipline mistakes even the best parents make—and how to stay focused on the principles of whole-brain parenting and discipline techniques.”

You can find the book here: No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind.

More parenting tips:

These 4 positive parenting books will make parenting easier and help you raise happy and confident kids! They are packed with practical tips that you can start implementing right away and can make a big difference in your parenting!

--- Parenting tips

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  1. What a great guide! I’ll have to keep this in mind for when I have kids!

  2. I don’t have kids yet, but I’ll keep these tips in mind! Very helpful.

  3. Wow. Awesome recommendations to be a mindful parent. Such lovely books to make parenting a fruitful endeavour!!

  4. I have read Alfie’s Kohn Unconditional parenting. It has some good ideas! I sure hope I’ll be able to apply it in real life. Nevertheless by reading a book you always learn something, some new knowledge sticks to your head 🙂
    I am happy to read more books of the kind, the more parenting philosophies I am expose to the better 🙂 I have a little one now and I have so much to learn about life, about raising a child! Thank you for sharing your list with us.

    1. I feel the same! Having a child made me want to learn more about life and parenting and each new book I read brings me something new to try in my life! 🙂