5 Great Parenting Books by Psychologists
- The Whole-Brain Child
- Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child
- How to Talk so Kids will Listen, and Listen so Kids will Talk
- The Explosive Child
- The Awakened Family
Parenting does not come with a manual…or does it? It is true that there is no one-size-fits-all golden book on how to be the perfect parent. Just as parenting is not the same for everyone, every child is different. They have their own individual personalities, strengths, challenges, behaviors, and emotional tendencies. When it comes to parenting books, this is taken into consideration.
We understand that parenting is no walk in the park. Every year of your child’s life is different. Actually…every day is different! Fortunately, these five psychologists have each written down some solutions to a few pieces of the parenting puzzle.
1. The Whole-Brain Child
One of the major pitfalls of parenting is an inability to keep up with a developing child’s ever-changing brain. Kids’ brains change faster than their shoe sizes, and consequently so do their moods, thoughts, and behaviors. Fortunately, neuropsychiatrist Dan Siegel and psychologist Tina Payne Bryson teamed up and wrote The Whole-Brain Child. This book offers parents an explanation of what is taking place inside their children’s’ beautiful heads, why it manifests the way it does, and what to do about it in order to help children develop and improve parent-child relationships.
2. Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child
John Gottman is one of psychology’s founding fathers of relationship well being. He and his team are famous for developing the Five Love Languages. Gottman’s career was built on a foundation of work in the area of emotional intelligence, or one’s ability to manage one’s own emotions and emotional reactions to those of others. Gottman firmly believes that the capacity for emotional intelligence, and its importance, begins in childhood. Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child is his written contribution to parents everywhere.
3. How to Talk so Kids will Listen, and Listen so Kids will Talk
Many parents do not know how to talk to their children or any children for that matter. Long ago, we as a society abandoned the notion that kids are just miniature adults. We accepted them as distinct, but we did not know the best way to communicate with them. In the 1970s, Adele Faber and the late Elaine Mazlish revolutionized parent-child communication with How to Talk so Kids will Listen, and Listen so Kids will Talk. This book has been so successful that How to Talk to Little Kids so They will Listen has recently been added to the authors’ repertoire.
4. The Explosive Child
Every honest parent will tell you that while they always love their children, they sometimes do not like the way they behave. Being a kid is hard. They have complex thoughts that they cannot always communicate, they suffer growing pains and mood swings caused by changes in body chemistry. This can result in explosive behavior. Whether your child’s outbursts are chronic or catch you off guard, Ross Greene explains why they happen and how to put out the fire without tarnishing the relationship in The Explosive Child.
5. The Awakened Family
From the moment their children are born, parents live under a tremendous amount of pressure. The pressure to keep their children safe and pressure to leave the world a better place for them often cloud their vision of and for their children. The older children become, the more space parents need to provide them to make their own decisions, and yes, their own mistakes. When the blurred lines of guidance and control become difficult to navigate, Shefali Tsabary’s The Awakened Family serves as a powerful source of perspective.
Parenting is a dance you learn as you go. There will be plenty of encounters with the unexpected. It is less about having all the answers as it is about wading through the uncertainty, struggling together, and coming out stronger. These five parenting books by psychologists provide stepping stones for the unsteady stretches of the journey.