We know you’re very busy, Mom, but we guarantee that these books are worth your precious time and bedside-table space.
How Toddlers Thrive: What Parents Can Do Today for Children Ages 2-5 to Plant the Seeds of Lifelong Success by Tovah P. Klein, Ph.D. Available at Fully Booked
You already know that the toddler years are crucial (and also an uphill battle). Dr. Klein (“the toddler whisperer”) encourages parents to take your tot more seriously and to think twice about how you react to his behavior. This book explains what’s going on in your toddler’s brain and body and why it can sometimes drive you up the wall. More than that, it helps you raise your child to become a successful and fulfilled adult while making sure his growing-up years are happy for you both.
Your Baby, Your Way: Taking Charge of your Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Parenting Decisions for a Happier, Healthier Family by Jennifer Margulis Available at Fully Booked
Moms-to-be and new moms, investigative journalist (and mother) Margulis has a message for you: “The more you inform yourself about your birth options and parenting choices, the healthier and happier you and your family can be.” You’re bombarded with unsolicited advice, parenting information, and marketing messages—this well-researched book encourages you to challenge them instead of blindly believing them, no matter how credible the source may seem. Margulis motivates you to be more inquisitive for the sake of your family.
NurtureShock: New Thinking about Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman P640, Fully Booked
If you’re looking for a cerebral parenting read, this is it. The authors show how the “modern” way of nurturing children may not be the right way—and there’s science to prove it. NurtureShock tackles topics such as praising children, the long-term effects of your kids’ playtime dynamics, and boosting Baby’s language skills. This book just might encourage you to radically change the way you parent—for the better.
You Are Not Special: And Other Encouragements by David McCullough Jr. P880, Fully Booked
English teacher and dad McCollough said in his commencement speech to the Wellesley High School class of 2012: “You’ve been pampered, cosseted, doted upon, helmeted, bubble-wrapped—but do not get the idea you’re anything special. Because you are not.” He expands his simple speech into a book, also addressed to teens, about how not to grow up entitled. Parents of younger kids can still pick up a thing or two from this tome, making you stop and think: Am I teaching my kids how to lead a truly happy and fulfilled life that’s not according to so-called standards of success?
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Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW P680, Fully Booked
Is the pressure to be a perfect parent getting to you? Relax. According to Dr. Brené Brown, giving in to vulnerability is not actually a sign of weakness but of courage. She writes, “When we shut ourselves off from vulnerability, we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives.” Through her book, this thought leader encourages us to step out of our comfort zone and risk failure, hurt, and criticism, and to dare greatly.
Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs by Ellen Galinsky P680, Fully Booked
Galinsky, president and co-founder of the nonprofit Families and Work Institute, lists down seven life skills parents must teach their kids: (1) focus and self control, (2) perspective taking, (3) communicating, (4) making connections, (5) critical thinking, (6) taking on challenges, and (7) self-directed, engaged learning. Sounds hard? Galinsky also teaches parents simple things—backed up by scientific research, of course—that you can do today to help prepare your kids for the future.
Got any recommendations you'd like to add to this list? Leave a comment below!