For as long as women have been giving birth, there have been books dedicated to the job of raising children. There are several titles which stand the test of time.
Books by Dr. Spock and the What To Expect series come will be around forever and will always be gifted and suggested to new parents but there are more than a handful of newer books that deserve attention.
Here’s a quick list of some of the best parenting books of the last 10 years that new, and even older parents and grandparents, should read and pass onto other parents.
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk
What’s the book about? Internationally acclaimed experts on communication between parents and children, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish “are doing for parenting today what Dr. Spock did for our generation” (Parent Magazine). Now, 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.
About the Author(s): Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish are #1 New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors whose books have sold more than three million copies and have been translated into over thirty languages. How to Talk So Kids Can Learn—At Home and in School, was cited by Child Magazine as the “best book of the year for excellence in family issues in education.” The authors’ group workshop programs and videos produced by PBS are currently being used by parent and teacher groups around the world. They currently reside in Long Island, New York and each is the parent of three children.
Average Stars On Amazon: 4.5 stars out of 1,474 reviews
Best Editorial Review: “Practical, sensible, lucid…the approaches Faber and Mazlish lay out are so logical you wonder why you read them with such a burst of discovery.” –Family Journal
What’s the book about? Our biggest enemy as parents is not the TV, the Internet, or even drugs. Our biggest enemy is our own emotional reactivity. When we say we “lost it” with our kids, the “it” in that sentence is our own adulthood. And then we wonder why our kids have so little respect for us, why our kids seem to have all the power in the family. It’s time to do it differently. And you can. You can start to create and enjoy the types of calm, mutually respectful, and loving relationships with your kids that you’ve always craved. You can begin to revolutionize your family, starting tonight. ScreamFree Parenting is not just about lowering your voice. It’s about learning to calm your emotional reactions.
About the Author: Hal Edward Runkel is a licensed marriage and family therapist, relationship coach, and international speaker. He is founder and president of ScreamFree Living, Inc.—dedicated to calming the world one relationship at a time. Hal’s principles have already helped thousands of families revolutionize their relationships. He lives with his wife, Jenny, and their two children just outside Atlanta, Georgia.
Average Stars On Amazon: 4.5 stars out of 347 reviews
Best Editorial Review: “The book gives many principles for overcoming anxiety and to start a new path of connection with your kids. It includes thought-provoking questions at the end of each chapter.” —Parents
NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children
What’s the book about? One of the most influential books about children ever published, Nurture Shock offers a revolutionary new perspective on children that upends a library’s worth of conventional wisdom. With impeccable storytelling and razor-sharp analysis, the authors demonstrate that many of modern society’s strategies for nurturing children are in fact backfiring–because key twists in the science have been overlooked. Nothing like a parenting manual, NurtureShock gets to the core of how we grow, learn and live.
About the Author: Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman’s New York Magazine articles on the science of children won the magazine journalism award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as the Clarion Award from the Association for Women in Communications. Their articles for Time Magazine won the award for outstanding journalism from the Council on Contemporary Families. Bronson has authored five books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller What Should I Do With My Life?
Average Stars On Amazon: 4.5 stars 547 reviews
Best Editorial Review: “The Freakonomics of child rearing… a fantastic read… a wake-up call for parents.” ―Good Morning America
The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind
What’s the book about? In this pioneering, practical book, Daniel J. Siegel, neuropsychiatrist and author of the bestselling Mindsight, and parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson offer a revolutionary approach to child rearing with twelve key strategies that foster healthy brain development, leading to calmer, happier children. The authors explain—and make accessible—the new science of how a child’s brain is wired and how it matures. The “upstairs brain,” which makes decisions and balances emotions, is under construction until the mid-twenties. And especially in young children, the right brain and its emotions tend to rule over the logic of the left brain. No wonder kids throw tantrums, fight, or sulk in silence. By applying these discoveries to everyday parenting, you can turn any outburst, argument, or fear into a chance to integrate your child’s brain and foster vital growth.
About the Author: Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, co-director of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center, and executive director of the Mindsight Institute. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, he is the co-author of Parenting from the Inside Out and the author of Mindsight and the internationally acclaimed professional texts The Mindful Brain and The Developing Mind. Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., is a pediatric and adolescent psychotherapist, parenting consultant, and the director of parenting education and development for the Mindsight Institute. A frequent lecturer to parents, educators, and professionals.
Average Stars On Amazon: 4.5 stars out of 465 reviews
Best Editorial Review: “Simple, smart, and effective solutions to your child’s struggles.”—Harvey Karp, M.D.
No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind
What’s the book 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.
About the Author: Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, the founding co-director of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center, and executive director of the Mindsight institute. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Siegel is the author of several books. Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., is the co-author (with Dan Siegel) of the bestselling The Whole-Brain Child, which has been translated into eighteen languages. She is a pediatric and adolescent psychotherapist, the director of parenting for the Mindsight Institute, and the child development specialist at Saint Mark’s School in Altadena, California.
Average Stars On Amazon: 4.5 stars out of 245 reviews
Best Editorial Review: “With lucid, engaging prose accompanied by cartoon illustrations, [Daniel J.] Siegel and [Tina Payne] Bryson help parents teach and communicate more effectively.”—Publishers Weekly
How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character
What’s the book about? Early adversity, scientists have come to understand, can not only affect the conditions of children’s lives, it can alter the physical development of their brains as well. But now educators and doctors around the country are using that knowledge to develop innovative interventions that allow children to overcome the constraints of poverty. And with the help of these new strategies, as Tough’s extraordinary reporting makes clear, children who grow up in the most painful circumstances can go on to achieve amazing things. This provocative and profoundly hopeful book has the potential to change how we raise our children, how we run our schools, and how we construct our social safety net. It will not only inspire and engage readers, it will also change our understanding of childhood itself.
About the Author: Paul Tough is the author, most recently, of “Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why.” His previous book, “How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character,” was translated into 27 languages and spent more than a year on the New York Times hardcover and paperback best-seller lists. His first book, “Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America,” was published in 2008.
Average Stars On Amazon: 4.5 stars out of 827 customer reviews
Best Editorial Review: “In this absorbing and important book, Tough explains why American children from both ends of the socioeconomic spectrum are missing out on these essential experiences. … The book illuminates the extremes of American childhood: for rich kids, a safety net drawn so tight it’s a harness; for poor kids, almost nothing to break their fall.” —Annie Murphy Paul, The New York Times Book Review
Best Parenting Books Just For Moms
Strong Mothers, Strong Sons: Lessons Mothers Need to Raise Extraordinary Men
What’s the book about? From the moment a mother holds her newborn son, his eyes tell her that she is his world. But often, as he grows up, the boy who needs her simultaneously pushes her away. Calling upon thirty years of experience as a pediatrician, Meg Meeker, M.D., a highly sought after national speaker, assistant professor of clinical medicine, and mother of four, shares the secrets that every mother needs to know in order to strengthen—or rebuild—her relationship with her son.
About the Author: Meg Meeker, M.D., is the author of Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters; Boys Should Be Boys; and The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers. She has been a physician practicing pediatric and adolescent medicine, working with children and their parents, for more than thirty years. Dr. Meeker is the mother of four children and lives and works with her husband in northern Michigan.
Average Stars On Amazon: 4.5 stars with 167 customer reviews
Best Editorial Review: “Reassuring and challenging . . . a helpful road map for concerned fathers [that] tackles difficult issues.”—National Review
Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us
What’s the book about? Sh*tty Mom is the ultimate parenting guide, written by four moms who have seen it all. As hilarious as it is universal, each chapter presents a common parenting scenario with advice on how to get through it in the easiest and most efficient way possible. With chapters such as “How to Sleep Until 9 A.M. Every Weekend” and “When Seeing an Infant Triggers a Mental Illness That Makes You Want to Have Another Baby,” as well as a Sh*tty Mom quiz, this is a must-have, laugh-out-loud funny book for the sh*tty parent in all of us.
About the Author(s): Laurie Kilmartin is an Emmy-nominated writer for CONAN on TBS, and, as a stand-up comedian, has appeared on CONAN, Last Comic Standing, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Comedy Central. She lives in Los Angeles with her son. Karen Moline is a journalist and author who has written more than two dozen nonfiction books, as well as two novels. Karen and her son live in New York City. Alicia Ybarbo is a four-time Emmy award–winning producer. She has worked on NBC’s TODAY show since 2000. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Three-time Emmy award–winning producer Mary Ann Zoellner has worked at NBC news for 16 years. She lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.
Average Stars On Amazon: 4.5 stars with 333 customer reviews
Best Editorial Review: “A totally hilarious and uncensored look at some of the impossible situations we mothers find ourselves in.” —TheBump.com
Confessions of a Scary Mommy: An Honest and Irreverent Look at Motherhood – The Good, The Bad, and the Scary
What’s the book about? Based on the hugely popular website, ScaryMommy.com, Confessions of a Scary Mommy digs deep into the underbelly of parenting and tackles the issues many mothers are too afraid to expose. In a culture that idealizes motherhood, it’s scary to confess that, in your house, being a mother is beautiful and dirty and joyful and frustrating all at once. Admitting that it’s not easy doesn’t make you a bad mom; at least, it shouldn’t.
About the Author: Jill Smokler is a New York Times bestselling author and domestic satirist whose candor about marriage and parenting has made her an unlikely hero among a new generation of women. She holds a degree in graphic design and psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and has three children. Married to her college sweetheart, she and her family live in downtown Baltimore.
Average Stars On Amazon: 4.5 stars out of 295 customer reviews
Best Editorial Review: “Smokler’s “scary mommy” version of motherhood makes no apologies, which is precisely why it succeeds … If motherhood is starting to feel like a story without a plot, my advice is to pretend you’re sick and lock yourself in the bathroom with this book. Highly recommended.” —Library Journal
Moms Who Drink and Swear: True Tales of Loving My Kids While Losing My Mind
What’s the book about? Based on her hugely popular Facebook page, “Moms Who Drink and Swear,” this book reveals why family dinners are like herpes, how to avoid smashing toys that are being fought over, and the joy of hearing that your son has murdered his imaginary friend. As Nicole rants and raves about caring for children (without crushing their souls), family togetherness (without too many tears), the saving grace of girlfriends (and wine), and love and marriage (and all the baggage that goes with them), she gets to the heart of what every exasperated mom is thinking, just much funnier.
About the Author: Nicole Knepper is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the fields of substance abuse, trauma, dual diagnosis and autism spectrum disorders and the mom to two. In addition to running her Facebook page, “Moms Who Drink and Swear,” she blogs for The Chicago Tribune and works to spread awareness about special needs.
Average Stars On Amazon: 4.5 stars with 280 customer reviews
Best Editorial Review: “If Facebook existed when Erma Bombeck was alive and writing bestsellers, she would be Nikki Knepper. Maybe with less drinking and fewer f-bombs.”—Bill Adee, VP Digital Media, Chicago Tribune Media Group
Best Parenting Books Just For Dads
The New Dad Dictionary: Everything He Really Needs to Know – from A to Z
What’s the book about? Are you ready for cluster feedings and cradle cap? How about meconium and jaundice? With The New Dad Dictionary, you no longer have to page through parenting tomes to understand what everyone is talking about. From engorgement to independent play, author Chris Illuminati offers a crash course in today’s parenting language, guiding you through the foreign territory of doctor visits, magazines, and conversations with Mom. Featuring hundreds of real-life explanations for popular words and phrases, each entry not only translates these textbook terms into plain English, but also teaches you what changes to expect from your baby–and Mom–during this time.
About the Author: Chris Illuminati is a writer, humorist, and dad and the creator of the popular parenting blog Message With a Bottle. When he’s not making parenting jokes on Post-It notes, he’s writing for publications like Rolling Stone, Man of Attack, FHM and Men’s Health.
Best Editorial Review: “New dads now have one handy guide to help them figure out the difference between meconium and Mongolian spots. They can read textbook definitions and cheeky “dadfinitions,”…and, of course, keep their sanity and good humor intact.” –Parents.com
Dad’s Playbook: Wisdom for Fathers from the Greatest Coaches of All Time
What’s the book about? This gift book for dad collects more than 100 inspiring quotes from the greatest coaches of all time. After all, dads do what the best coaches do: they motivate, mentor, discipline, and love. Author and parenting expert Tom Limbert takes wisdom from John Madden, Vince Lombardi, Tommy Lasorda, Phil Jackson, and many more, and applies it to fatherhood. With a foreword by Steve Young and photos of famous coaches in action, dads will find a wealth of inspiration in these pages.
About the Author: Tom Limbert is a Parent Coach and the co-creator of Studio Grow, a children’s play space with locations in Berkeley, Concord, and Danville, California. He lives with his wife and son in El Cerrito, California. Tom can be found online at parentcoachtom.com. Steve Young has been named the Most Valuable Player of the NFL and of Super Bowl XXIX. He holds the NFL record for the highest career passer rating and won 6 NFL passing titles.
Average Stars On Amazon: 4.5 stars out of 118 reviews
Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad!: How to Get (Both of You) Through the Next 9 Months
What’s the book about? She’s pregnant. She knows that. You know that. And her 152 baby books tell her exactly what she can expect. Your job is to learn what you can do between the stick turning blue and the drive to the delivery room to make the next nine months go as smoothly as possible. That’s where John Pfeiffer steps in. There are approximately 3,712 ways for a guy to look stupid during pregnancy – this book’s here to help you avoid all(most) of them. And here’s your first hint: Focus on what you can be doing for her rather than what’s happening to her.
About the Author: John Pfeiffer is a married father of three. With a stepdaughter, a naturally conceived daughter, and a baby by way of a threesome (with an IVF specialist), Pfeiffer is especially qualified to take expectant dads all the way through pregnancy’s home stretch. He lives with his wife and kids in Georgia.
Average Stars On Amazon: 4 stars out of 599 reviews
Best Editorial Review: “Pfeiffer’s goal with the book is to…provide some relief to the growing pains that are so familiar to experienced dads. If you are willing to give the effort, you can become your child’s favorite superhero. Isn’t that what we all wanted to be when we grew up? Here is your chance.” –NewParent.com
Did we miss a book on our list of the best parenting books of the last ten years? Let us know in the comments and we’ll gladly check it out.