Last Updated on July 16, 2022.
Ready to master parenting? It all starts with child development. Here are the 13 best positive parenting books to help you on your parenting journey.
The quickest way to shorten your parenting learning curve is to understand child development. Once you fully understand what’s happening inside your child’s brain and body, you’ll know exactly how to respond.
So how can you get up to speed on child development? There are a number of really great books that can help! Here are the best positive parenting books you can buy.
General Child Development
I love this book for its focus on how parents can let go of control and enable kids to be more self-sufficient. This is difficult for many parents, but in the end, the entire family is happier and healthier when kids learn age-appropriate independence. Get your copy of this book here.
This is a straight forward book that helps new parents understand the typical milestones for baby’s first year. It’s like a reference guide for new moms (and dads!) And it makes a great gift for new parents! Order this book here.
If you like data, this is the parenting book for you. Parenting is often emotion-driven, which can be difficult for analytical parents. Some might consider it more of an art than a science. But this book puts the data out there for you to make parenting decisions based on actual scientific numbers. Order the book here.
This book is often included in college child psychology courses, so it feels like a more academic read, but I’ve included it in my list because it’s jam-packed full of useful information. It includes the science behind child psychological development and in-depth discussion on how it applies to real life. Grab a copy here.
Social & Emotional Development
This is a quick read that gives you a basic understanding of child development between the ages of 4 and 14. It’s perfect for teachers, caregivers, and parents alike. Get the book here.
While this book is not Positive Parenting specific, it does do a great job of connecting the science behind social and emotional development to actual activities and behaviors in real life. It’s a good read for anyone just beginning to understand child development. Order this book here.
This book is packed full of actionable strategies you can use right now. You may feel like this book is written for teachers and caregivers, but it’s perfect for parents who struggle in the heat of the moment when your child needs you most. Get your copy here.
Dan Siegel is one of my favorite parenting authors. His research connects the dots of brain development and provides useful strategies to tackle common parenting issues. There’s a bonus activity workbook you can purchase to go along with the book. Get the book here. And add the Whole Brained Child Workbook
I love this book because it provides ‘stages’ of brain development as your child ages. It provides details on all the factors that impact your child’s brain development, and gives you actionable ways (and sometimes personal stories) to help your child grow. Grab a copy here.
I love that this book focuses on the individuality of children. We tend to compare our kids based on developmental milestones, but uses a science-backed approach to explain brain development and how each child has their own pace. Buy the book here.
This book is a little different than the others because it focuses on the brain/body connection. It provides real life examples on how you can stimulate brain development through play and activities. Get a copy of this book here.
Brain Rules is a quick read that will lay out the basics of brain development from age zero to five. It avoids technical jargon, but is based in science. Grab the kindle or audiobook version here.
This book will help you understand the inner-workings of your child’s brain. This book is less about brain development milestones and more about how a developed brain should function. You’ll also find the authors dispel common brain development myths. Get the book here.
Have you read any of these books? Do you know of any others we should add to our list of the best positive parenting books? Share with me in the comments!
What You Should Do Next…
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Connect with like-minded moms (and dads!) in our free online community. You’ll find a plethora of resources to help you through your parenting challenges. Plus, you’ll find me there! And I’d love to connect.
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