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5 parenting books I recommend + a new one!

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This was originally sent out in my weekly newsletter, but is being republished here to make it easier for readers to relocate it.


When the eldest started moving into the teen years, I started feeling less confident and a bit stuck with strategies. This had a peak at 14 years, so I dutifully went back and read He’ll Be Ok: Growing Gorgeous Boys Into Good Men by Celia Lashlie. It helped me tremendously and while I still felt on a steep learning curve with adolescents, I felt I had something to work with.

Around the time the eldest turned 16 (only 9 months ago), I felt very unsure of parenting skills. Teenagers can do this do you! They challenge, debate and demand in ways not experienced with younger kids before. On the recommendation of a blogging friend I devoured Yes, Your Teen is Crazy!: Loving Your Kid Without Losing Your Mind by Michael J Bradley a book that has changed my teenage parenting life. If not for this book I am sure I would be stuck in a cycle of constant fighting with my teenager and it would have been mostly me causing the issues.

When the producer of The Project asked me if they should introduce me as a parenting expert, I blurted out a passionate NO! A parenting expert is never something I consider myself. What I share on the blog and in my newsletters is simply my experiences. My goal is that others can learn from my experiences whether they are successes or mistakes.

Every time I get stuck in this gorgeous but sometimes tricky world of parenting, I turn to books from experts! If you are having a stuck moment and I think we all have them, seek out knowledge from experts to help you. In my experience it is always worth the effort and helps make family life much more enjoyable.

Below are a list of parenting books that have helped get me unstuck over the years:

Yes, Your Teen is Crazy!: Loving Your Kid Without Losing Your Mind
To help with: crazy teenager behaviour
Readability: easy read. Confronting in parts about how extreme some teenager behaviour can be.
My thoughts: Don’t read the book expecting to find strategies on how to change the teenager’s behaviour. The focus is squarely on the parents and how we can best communicate, interact with and parent our teenage kids.
Click here to read full review.

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk
To help with: communicating with kids of all ages
Readability: short and simple read.
My thoughts: It is a very simple and relatively short book, but it is so incredibly helpful. It didn’t offer up any thing startlingly new for me, but it reinforced the importance of thinking before I speak and highlighted areas I need to work on.
Click here to read full review.

He’ll Be Ok: Growing Gorgeous Boys Into Good Men
To help with: the start of the adolescent roller coaster – good to read before it starts so from about 10 onwards.
Readability: The book is easy to read and is only 217 pages long. Lashlie has broken the book down into 11 small chapters and each has a succinct but powerful summary at the end.
My thoughts: The book challenges some preconceived stereotypes and ideas that I held. And I am sure that not all would agree with Lashlie, but I respect her willingness to say what may be unpopular or unconventional based on her experiences through The Good Man project.
Click here to read full review.

Children are People Too 
To help with: the earlier years of parenting. Particularly good for the 2 – 6 year old stage.
Readability: Short and practical. I do remember reading the first half of the book, then wanting to cry thinking I was doing everything wrong! It was a turning point book for me so was worth the pain.
My thoughts: It is a book that I went back to frequently and would name it as the most useful parent book I read for the early years of parenting.
Click here to read full review.

The Challenging Child 
To help with: some kids are just more challenging than others. If you have one child who you find more difficult to parent, this book is worth the read.
Readability: A longer read and more detailed (science filled) than the others.
My thoughts: This book helped me to get an better understanding as to why, although parented almost exactly the same as my first child, my second son behaved so very differently and what I could do about it. Truly very helpful.
Click here to read full review.

2020 inclusion

I have just finished reading The Modern Parent – Raising a Great Kid in the Digital World by Martine Oglethorpe and felt I had to add this book to this list straight away. Technology is such a big part of kids’ lives now, meaning that is now a key area for parents to educate themselves on.

Martine’s book is essential reading for all families as soon as kids start entering the digital world. You can read my full review here.

5 parenting books I recommend