15 Books on Positive Parenting That Will Help You Have a Happier Home
Growing up, my mom always called me and my siblings "ma'am" or "sir." I asked her why once — I mean, we were just kids — and she told me that it's important to treat everyone with respect, no matter their age. This philosophy is exactly what positive parenting is all about. According to Positive Parenting Solutions, "positive parenting holds children to realistic standards by using clear expectations and empowering children to become the resilient and capable children you hope them to be." In other words, it's all about being respectful without spoiling, disciplining without being mean, and holding positive expectations to encourage your children to behave.
To learn more about this awesome parenting strategy, based on the pioneering ideas from psychologist Alfred Adler, check out a few of these positive parenting books in the slides ahead. Get ready for less screaming and more understanding in your homes!
Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide
Rebecca Eanes offers advice for connecting with kids at every age, teaching parents to be emotionally aware and recognize triggers, and offering practical, solution-oriented strategies to help parents end yelling and negative behaviors and focus on positivity and meaningful connections. Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide ($15, originally $16) is everything you need to know to get started on this journey.
Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids
After extensive clinical experience and tons of research, Laura Markham, PhD, compiled this book called Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting ($16, originally $17). She wants to help parents create lasting change through healthy limits, empathy, and clear communication.
Positive Discipline: The First Three Years
Your babies are never too young to begin positive discipline! Positive Discipline: The First Three Years ($16, originally $17) by Jane Nelsen, EdD, Cheryl Erwin, MA, and Roslyn Ann Duffy focuses on the first three years, a critical moment of development that has implications for the rest of your child's life. This book has tools for setting boundaries and building a strong foundation for healthy communication and respectful relationships.
Positive Discipline For Preschoolers
Jane Nelsen, EdD, Cheryl Erwin, MA, and Roslyn Ann Duffy's Positive Discipline For Preschoolers ($16, originally $17) focuses on understanding your preschooler and offering practical tips on child development, social skills, power struggles, misbehavior, and emotional growth.
If I Have to Tell You One More Time . . .
The founder of Positive Parenting Solutions Amy McCready wrote If I Have to Tell You One More Time . . . ($16, originally $17), a book about getting kids to listen without nagging, yelling, or timeouts. She suggests that kids need to feel "connected and empowered," and when those needs aren't being met in positive ways, they will act out in negative ways.
Discipline should be more about teaching than punishing, according to Daniel J. Siegel, MD, and Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, authors of No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind ($16, originally $17). This book highlights the link between a child's neurological development and the way a parent reacts to misbehavior, offering tools to stop the cycle of negative behavior and punishment through calmly connecting with your child.
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk
I don't know why it's easier to yell than connect with my toddlers some days, but Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish's book can help. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk ($17, originally $18) is about how parents can cope with your child's negative feelings, how parents can express strong feelings without being hurtful, how to set firm limits while maintaining goodwill, and how to use alternatives to punishment that promote self-discipline, among other things.
Positive Parenting in Action
Looking for practical tips on using positive parenting each day? Pick up Laura Ling and Rebecca Eanes' book, Positive Parenting in Action: The How-To Guide For Putting Positive Parenting Principles Into Action in Early Childhood ($9). This book is a resource to help parents create cooperation and peace in their homes, with more than 40 scenarios to show you what it looks like in practical terms.
Out of Control
Written by Shefali Tsabary, PhD, Out of Control: Why Disciplining Your Child Doesn't Work and What Will ($18, originally $19) is an insightful book on why discipline doesn't work. She dares readers to let go of fear-based ideologies, and instead teach kids in a way that draws them closer to parents.
Calm Parents, Happy Siblings
How do you utilize positive parenting techniques to help siblings get along? Calm Parents, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends For Life ($22) by Laura Markham, PhD, offers insights into fostering a loving bond between siblings, while still showing your individual love for each child.
How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t With Your Kids
I'm a parent, so I know how easy it is to lose your sh*t. That's why I appreciate the honesty in Carla Naumburg's book, How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t With Your Kids: A Practical Guide to Becoming a Calmer, Happier Parent ($15, originally $16). This book draws on evidence-based practices to give easy-to-follow tips on stopping parental meltdowns and helping you feel more compassionate with your kids.
Discipline Your Kids With Positive Parenting
Learn how to be present and mindful with your kids in Discipline Your Kids With Positive Parenting: A Practical Guide to Building Cooperation and Connecting With Your Child ($15, originally $16) by Nicole Libin, PhD. This book teaches parents how to model appropriate behavior for your child, step-by-step instructions for a variety of situations, and helpful Q&As.
Practical Positive Parenting
With plenty of research and studies that back positive parenting included, Practical Positive Parenting: How to Raise Emotionally Intelligent Children Ages 2-7 by Empowering Confidence ($23, originally $25) by Hannah Brooks is a great resource. It offers five simple steps for positive parenting, understanding of how children think and feel at different developmental stages, information on healthy discipline and parent personality styles, simple-to-fix mistakes, exact steps with dealing with anger, in-real-life examples, and more.
Susan Garcia admits that she had a fear of discipline (and its negative connotations) in her book, Positive Parenting: The Essential Guide to the Most Important Years of Your Child's Life ($18, originally $20). But she learned to reframe her think by using positive discipline to improve connection and communication with her children.
Positive Parenting For Autism
Victoria Boone's Positive Parenting For Autism: Powerful Strategies to Help Your Child Overcome Challenges and Thrive ($17, originally $18) helps parents of kids with autism to utilize positive parenting in their homes. This book uses scientifically supported strategies based in applied behavior analysis to offer personalized tips to increase your child's positive behaviors.