If you love to read an inspiring book – here are my top five parenting book recommendations. In no particular order:
Hold On To Your Kids
- This is an amazing book, the core point is that the bond we have with our child matters above all else. Make eye contact with them, show that you are present, available listening. If you develop a strong relationship you won’t need to discipline them. “They become your disciples” they will want to follow you around and become like you. Challenging moments can be re framed as opportunities to connect with your child and teach them empathy and self regulation.
What Mothers do, especially when it looks like nothing
- It can be easy to discount or discredit the work we do as parents as often there is little social recognition or even language to describe it. The work of mothering is the work of shaping the foundations of a life and ultimately society. It deserves to be treasured and valued as such. Naomi Stadlen offers us the opportunity to recognise this. When we are apparently doing nothing we may, in fact be giving our child the precious gift of our loving attention.
Free to Learn
- This book explains how play, far from being frivolous is an integral part of your child’s learning and maturation process. Free play, especially within a mixed age setting, encourages creative thinking, problem solving and social interactions. Self directed play gives children a sense of agency within their own lives, this has the effect of reducing instances of anxiety and depression.
Why Love Matters
- The book is subtitled “How affection shapes a baby’s brain”. Keeping your baby close to you and attuning to them so that you can meet their needs effectively means that they are more likely to develop into calm, secure children. If we leave babies alone to cry they develop a strengthened stress response and are more likely to become anxious and insecure. We become secure by feeling safe and loved.
The Heart of Parenting
- This book discusses the four most common parenting styles and the effects of each. These are dismissive, disapproving, laissez-faire and emotion coaching. It is a helpful resource for reflecting on your own upbringing, how it may have affected you and highlighting any healing that you may need to do. Gottman recommends emotion coaching as the most positive style and offers guidance on how to do this.