Inside: A list of the best parenting books with advice on how to raise kids who are grounded, self-sufficient, and successful.
This post contains affiliate links, see my Disclosure Policy.
Before giving birth to my first daughter I didn’t read a single parenting book. Not one.
In my over-confident pre-parenting state of mind, I knew everything I need to know. I didn’t want to be influenced and swayed by seeming “experts” who probably had no idea what they were talking about anyway.
Enter baby #1 and my naivety became apparent. I had no idea what I was doing.
My mind was swarming with questions:
If I can’t see how much breast milk my baby is getting how do I know it’s enough?
Do infants REALLY go through 12 diapers a day?
How in the world am I supposed to teach this tiny creature to sleep?
My husband and I had our own theories and sometimes found ourselves in heated debates. With no answers of our own, we reluctantly cracked a few parenting books and suddenly those irrelevant experts had a lot more knowledge than me.
Ever since these first few days of parenthood I’ve been a bit more open to parenting advice. Not all of it is stellar and not all of it works for our family, but I’ve certainly learned a thing or two.
Among my most cherished takeaways from parenting experts is that less is often more. Meaning, less hands-on parenting often leads to kids who are more self-directed, creative, and grounded. Parents need to guide and yes, even discipline, but too much structure and kids won’t develop the ability to think for themselves.
The follow are a few books I’ve found helpful for my parenting journey – hopefully they’ll prove to be as insightful to you.
The Best Parenting Books to Raise Grounded, Successful Kids
A few years into parenthood, I’d read a few books, learned a thing or two but hadn’t really found a philosophy that resonated with me – until I came across The Successful Child.
Picking up this book, I had no idea it was written by the founder of “attachment parenting” – a philosophy I envisioned being used by back-to-the-earth hippies who not only had their infants tied to them all day long but indulged their babies every whim and need.
Boy was I wrong. Attachment parenting is often associated with infants, but I soon discovered that its message is relevant for kids of all ages. The main objective of Dr. Sear’s philosophy is to help kids feel a sense of security – with their parents, teachers, and the wider world. This security is accomplished through empathy and responsiveness but also trust and reasonable boundaries.
The ideas I gleaned from this book stay with me to this day. I’m certainly not the poster-child for attachment parenting, but The Successful Child helped me better understand how I can connect with my kids.
Sure, I want my kids to be successful – which parent doesn’t? But what truly makes a child successful? There are lots of ways parents define success, but the definition outlined in “Raising Can-Do Kids” best summarizes what I hope for my kids.
Rende and Prosek, a developmental psychologist and entrepreneur, define successful kids as those who are able to adapt to change, aren’t afraid to roll-up their sleeves and get dirty (so-to-speak), and can brush themselves off after a failure and continue to progress forward. Essentially, kids who have the same character traits as successful entrepreneurs.
And how do parents encourage these traits in kids? Instead of signing kids up for numerous extracurriculars and scheduling every minute of their days, kids need an environment of freedom that fosters curiosity, independence, and a willingness to figure things out on one’s own. Only in this environment will kids gain the seven traits that make for a successful adult, the authors say.
See a full review here: Raising Can-Do Kids
Teaching kids about money is important, but even more important is raising kids who are grounded and generous – anything but spoiled.
In his book, “The Opposite of Spoiled”, Ron Lieber sets out to show parents how despite first assumptions, teaching kids to manage money doesn’t spoil them but actually makes kids less entitled. Through stories, research, and guidance Lieber shows how parents can both teach their kids about money and inspire gratitude for what they have.
See a full review here: The Opposite of Spoiled
Raising kids is hard. Raising kids who are grateful and show few signs of entitlement can seem downright impossible at times.
In the book, “Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World”, Kristen Welch takes the reader on a journey of her family’s mission to raise kids who are grounded, grateful, and above all else show few signs of entitlement.
Their story is inspiring – like when their son shows his gratitude again and again for a cherished present. But most of the time the Welch’s story highlights how challenging it is to not give in to our children’s every desire. Such as their decision to not let their kids have smart phones until high school while most kids were getting them in middle school.
Welch’s message is very much rooted in her Christianity but people of all faiths are sure to gain insight and inspiration about how to raise grateful kids.
See the full review here: Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World
You May Also Like: