In this blog, I’m giving you my go-to toddler & child behaviour parenting books. I’m going to give you a little run down on each one and it’s main messages. This is not a definitive list and there are many many more books that I have read and own in my vast collection. This list is the most helpful list from my point of view. The boring as bat$3it books are not on this list and believe me there are way too many to list in this category!
- Nurture Shock by Po Bronson & Ashley Merriman
- The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel, Tina Payne Bryson
- The Conscious Parent by Shefali Tsabery
- There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather by Linda Akeson McGurk
- French Children Don’t Throw Food by Pamela Druckerman
- No Bad Kids by Janet Lansbury
- Co-operative & Connected by Aletha Solter
- Jo Frosts Toddler Rules by Jo Frost
- The No-Cry Discipline Solution by Elizabeth Pantley
- Children Are People Too by Dr Louise Porter
- Heart to Heart Parenting by Robin Grille
- Toddler Taming by Christopher Green
Toddler Taming by Christopher Green
The very first book I ever read on parenting and helping manage toddler and child behaviour was Christopher Green’s Toddler Taming. Whilst it may not have stood the test of time from a PC point of view and I don’t share his recommendations of smacking children. It does give you much-needed humour and a lot of his strategies do work. Christopher Green is a respected Australian paediatrician who until recently worked at Westmead. He talks about his trials and tribulations as a parent and how he approached typical parent pain points such as potty training. It is a very real book rather than a boring as cardboard academic book, of which there are way too many.
Next, I’m jumping to the very top of my list of top 10 parenting books. My background in Psychology (I have a psychology degree and in the UK we used Psychological techniques to help children with both sleep and behaviour). So a lot of my interest and reading is deeply rooted in science and fact and especially psychology.
Nurture Shock by Po Bronson & Ashley Merriman
The researchers who wrote this book are both psychologists and this book is based on scientific fact and things we as parents are getting very wrong. The very first chapter, The Inverse Power of Praise examines the effect of empty praise e.g. clever boy, good girl and why labelled praise can mean your child achieves a third better in life. Addictive reading. The other chapters cover what the lost hour of sleep is doing to our children, why parents don’t talk about race, why kids lie, Why school tests (NAPLAN for example) are poor predictors of academic success, The sibling effect, The Science of Teen Rebellion, Can Self-Control Be Taught? What does plays well with others really mean? And language skills, can you get your child to start talking earlier with flashcards and other gimmicks?
Another section I found fascinating was the one on teaching self-control and impulsivity. There are some great ideas at the end of this chapter for applications in everyday parenting life. Something you need to read especially if you have a child with a high IQ.
Once you’ve read this book it will open your eyes to some of the mistruths we are being fed.
The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel, Tina Payne Bryson
I’m currently reading this on my Kindle at the mo. Because I’ve studied Psychology there are no big surprises in this book for me. However, I think it’s a must-read for any parent. It explains why toddlers and children struggle with logic and other concepts we take for granted. Everything under 3 years is about emotion. Are you a parent who communicates with a logical left brain or are you able to only use the emotional right brain? Once you realise this it will help you communicate differently with your little one and allow for their developing brain. After all, the brain does not reach maturity until the early ’20s and there are some older adults who struggle with logic in their older years!
The Conscious Parent by Shefali Tsabery
I first discovered Shefali 3-4 years ago whilst blogging and daytime TV was on in the background. I remember David and Sonia saying Oprah thinks this lady is the best thing since sliced bread in the world of parenting and once they mentioned the word attunement they had me hooked. She’s a psychologist and mum of a teenage girl. Her books and work are deep, meaningful and highly spiritual. You will either love her as I do or it will not be your thing. But, for one thing she will most certainly get you thinking.
There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather by Linda Akeson McGurk
This is the Swedish book of parenting and concentrates on outdoor play and the benefits this has on brain development. It’s a highly optimistic upbeat book and will give you hope for the future and the world you are raising your child in. Another advantage of reading this book is the humour that comes with it. Parenting without humour is like chewing 2-month-old stale dry bread. Basically don’t do it!! It will have you going out come rain, hail or shine. As Linda says ‘there is no such thing as bad clothes’. This is basically my childhood in a nutshell. It also comes with solid evidence-based scientific reasons for doing outdoors play. It will bring joy back to your parenting with a plethora of commonsense and practical ideas. I LOVED this book.
French Children Don’t Throw Food by Pamela Druckerman
I first read this book about 7 years ago and I wanted to hate it but it’s actually my favourite book on parenting. The main message in this book is about The Pause, wait and see, don’t jump in, can your child do whatever the behaviour is by themselves? Most of the time yes they can and we jump in waaaaay too quickly. Those of you who know me and my sleep training methods very well will recognise the pause as The 3-Minute Magic Rule! A lot of dads love this book, it’s full of common-sense, highly logical and practical and best of all it works. And it’s a really easy and good read. Tick, tick, tick from me.
I’m finishing up today’s blog right here. The remaining 5 books I will blog about next. I hope you enjoyed this little saunter through my library and I hope it helped some of you decide what is worth more than a cursory glance at.