I‘m bringing you the top parenting books 2020, because we all want to be the best parents in the world!
We want to bring up children who will be happy, well-adjusted, confident, resilient, sensitive little humans. We want our children to grow up to become independent and successful in their chosen field of endeavour.
Reasonable expectations of us and them, right?
Absolutely, but not without effort, hands-on trial and error, successes and failures, fortitude and support!
It goes without saying that each child comes into the world with their own temperament and personality. And we as parents are not the only ones influencing our children. This is especially so once they enter school. Nevertheless, we want to give our children the best possible start.
So without further ado, I offer a list of books that will hopefully give you some support whilst you struggle to understand what’s going on in your child’s mind. Provide guidance whilst you try to figure out a way to discipline that’s as far away from ‘reward and punishment’ as possible. And teach you how to teach your child skills in a way that is practical, affirming and empowering.
There are 5 different categories in this first post. This is so that you can quickly pick a book that addresses your greatest need right now without ploughing through a long list. These are:
- Understanding Your Child’s Mind
- How To Teach Your Children Skills
- Guides for Dads
- ‘Training’ Mode
There are a further 4 categories of books in my second post. These are:
- Parenting Styles & Techniques
- Sibling Rivalry
- Working Mom
- European Parenting Styles
I’m happy to say that all these books come in Kindle as well as Paperback.
In conclusion, I hope you find just the right book to lighten your load of parenting in what has to be the most challenging of times!
Top Parenting Books 2020 – Understanding Your Child’s Mind
The Whole-Brain Child
This is a New York Times Best Seller and on multiple lists of top parenting books for 2020.
Published in 2012, it’s available in Paperback and Kindle – US$13.99
Importantly, this book features 12 simple development strategies you can use to raise emotionally healthy, calm, and compassionate kids of all ages.
Moreover, when it comes to tantrums, drawing upon basic neuroscience, this book teaches you what parts of the brain are activated mid-tantrum. Understanding what’s going on in your child’s brain will help you to get through day-to-day tantrum struggles and cultivate healthy emotional and intellectual development in your child.
The Whole-Brain Child Workbook
Published in 2015 and available in Paperback and Kindle – US$13.04.
This workbook was created to take the Whole-Brain ideas deeper.
Furthermore, the interactive approach allows you to think more deeply about how the ideas in the book fit your own parenting approach and how to develop specific and practical ways to implement the concepts and bring them to life.
Mind In The Making
Based on child development research, this book focuses on seven critical areas that children need most: (1) focus and self-control (2) perspective taking (3) communicating (4) making connections (5) critical thinking (6) taking on challenges and (7) self-directed, engaged learning.
For instance, you will learn what the author’s studies have proven and she provides numerous concrete things you can do today to strengthen these skills in your child.
Published in 2010 and available in Paperback and Kindle – US$8.59
Einstein Never Used Flash Cards
Whilst we all may secretly want our child to be super smart, we may also be inadvertently overwhelming our child’s brain development by stimulating their brain too much with toys, gadgets and flash cards.
Fortunately, this book gives you pages of games and creative play that will inspire rather than overwhelm your child’s growing brain.
Available in Paperback and Kindle – US$13.99
Updated in 2017 and available in Paperback – Kindle – AU$12.99
The premise in this book is that our success is based upon whether we have a fixed or growth mindset. A fixed mindset manifests in the belief that our abilities are fixed.
Understandably, as parents, we want to teach our children that their abilities can be developed, thus nurturing the development of their accomplishments.
Importantly, this book guides people towards adopting a truer, deeper, growth mindset.
Top Parenting Books 2020 – How To Teach Your Children Skills
How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen
Written by Joanna Faber, daughter of Adele Faber, one of the authors of How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, and Julie King and published in 2017, this book has over 200,000 copies in print.
This is a user-friendly guide for parents facing every-day challenges such as a refusal to brush teeth, screaming in the car seat, won’t eat veggies!
Most importantly, it also addresses the special needs of children with sensory processing or autism spectrum disorders.
Are you trying to cope with terrible two-year-olds, truculent three-year-olds, ferocious four-year-olds, foolhardy five-year-olds, self-centred six-year-olds or the occasional semi-civilized seven-year-old?
This book has you covered!
Available in Paperback and Kindle – US$13.99
How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk
Published in 2012, this #1 New York Times bestseller is regarded as the ‘Parenting Bible’.
The book is easy to read and packed with practical steps to resolve conflict.
Starting with how to help children deal with their feelings, and using real-life examples and exact scripts, this book guides you on how to talk with your kids to diffuse their anger and reconnect with their loving side.
It’s a ‘must-read’!
Available in Paperback and Kindle – US$13.99
If I Have To Tell You One More Time…
If you’re wanting to know how to get your kids to listen without nagging, reminding or yelling, then this book’s for you!
Fundamentally, it’s all about power-struggles. For example, your child’s refusal to get ready for bed or do their homework and how to diffuse the situation.
This book is written by Amy McCready, who is the founder of the online parenting course Positive Parenting Solutions. Drawing upon Adlerian psychology, she provides step-by-step tools and instructions on how to be compassionate yet effective in correcting your child’s bad behaviour.
The ultimate goal is for your child to feel connected and empowered.
Published in 2012 and available in Paperback and Kindle – US$9.30
Helping Your Anxious Child
This book is for parents whose children suffer from more extreme forms of fear or worries, such as separation anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks and phobias.
The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) approach taken in this book gives you practical, scientifically proven tools that can help you to parent with compassion. At the same time, you are helping your child to overcome his or her anxious feelings or intense fears.
Second Edition published in 2008, available in Paperback and Kindle – AU$15.39
Unselfie – Why Empathic Kids Succeed
In this book, Dr Borba pinpoints the forces causing the empathy crisis. Dr Borba informs us that teens today are forty per cent less empathic than they were thirty years ago. This lack of empathy leads to more bullying, less resilience and correlates with cheating and poor academic performance.
Founded in the belief that empathy can be taught and nurtured, Dr Borba’s book includes a 9-step empathy-building program with tips to guide kids from birth through to college.
Available in Paperback and Kindle – US$8.59
The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic
This is another great book written by Amy McCready and published in 2016.
If your child has to be given a ‘treat’ to behave when out and about, or your teenager is constantly posting selfies all over social media, then it looks like the ‘entitlement epidemic’ has hit!
Fortunately, this book offers proven strategies to effectively empower kids without indulging them. When you parent in powerfully positive, proactive, life-changing ways, you will fuel your child’s spirit without indulging them or funding their wish-list.
Available in Paperback and Kindle – US$9.3
The cover of this book says it all! Cut back on all the infant gear and the expensive Montessori toys and media. Turn instead to ‘back-to-basic’ ideas and flexible strategies offered in this book.
Furthermore, rather than extended equipment use or overexposure to technology, use Dr Zachry’s ideas to boost your baby’s development with simple activities you can do with items you have around the house.
Importantly, this will give you lots of one-to-one time with your baby and create that special bond that will last a lifetime.
Available in Paperback and Kindle – US$11.34
If you want to know how excessive screen time can negatively impact young children and the importance of play during the toddler years. Or understand how language and social, fine and gross motor skills develop during the toddler years, then grab this book.
And better yet, since the best way for your toddler to learn is through daily, active play, this book gives you more than 100 fun, age-appropriate, “old-school” toddler activities.
Available in Paperback and Kindle – US$11.47
Top Parenting Books 2020 – Guides For Dads
Humour from the front lines of fatherhood!
This book is a resource for new dads, covering everything over the first two years of your baby’s life. For example, bonding to babyproofing to toddlerhood and tantrums.
Published in 2017 and available in Paperback and Kindle – US$5.01
The New Father
Published in 2015, this is another book that covers aspects of fatherhood during the first 12 months.
Importantly, you’ll learn how technology is changing fatherhood and how being an involved dad rewires a man’s brain. You’ll also learn the special impact dads have on girls and boys, how to understand what your baby is telling you and heaps, heaps more!
Available in Paperback and Kindle – US$4.40
And as an added bonus, check out this excellent article ‘The 19 Things in One (Part-time) Stay-at-home Dad’s Survival Kit’ – Oct, 2019.
Top Parenting Books 2020 – Discipline Not Punish
If your goal is to learn discipline techniques that emphasise compassion rather than resorting to yelling, then this book’s for you.
And yes, this book is by the same authors who wrote the first book on this list, The Whole-Brain Child!
Moreover, if you are looking for an effective and compassionate roadmap for dealing with tantrums, tensions and tears, without the drama, then this is definitely for you.
Published in 2014 and available in Paperback and Kindle – AU$15.38
Positive Discipline for Preschoolers
This is one of a whole series of ‘Positive Discipline’ books and tools.
Completely updated and published in 2019, this book shows you how to teach appropriate social skills from an early age and avoid power-struggles around sleeping, eating and potty training.
Furthermore, misbehaviour is seen as an opportunity for you to teach non-punitive discipline – as opposed to resorting to punishment.
Available in Paperback and Kindle – AU$5.99
No Bad Kids
Janet Lansbury, the author of this book, has twenty years of hands-on experience guiding hundreds of parents in respectful parenting practices.
The book is based upon Lansbury’s widely read blog posts and a philosophy that we should treat children with respect and try to meet them where they are. Lansbury covers toddler behaviours such as testing, tantrums and hitting.
In addition, cooperation and boundaries are just two of the common topics for which her respectful parenting practices can be applied. You need to know your limits before you let your child cross them.
After all, she argues, they’re kids and they want to know that you are in charge – the ‘unruffled’ CEO of the household!
You will also find this author on Instagram @janetlansbury.
Published in 2014 and available in Audiobook and Kindle – AU$6.39
Top Parenting Books 2020 – In ‘Training’ Mode
Oh Crap! Potty Training
Published in 2015 by Jamie Glowacki, known as the Pied Piper of Poop!
Bid ‘goodbye’ to diapers for good with this 6-step toilet training plan – commenced ideally between 20-30 months.
The good news, it’s already worked for tens of thousands of kids without any bribing or gimmicks. Just real-world, from-the-trenches, potty training that avoids the ‘potty power struggles’!
Available in Paperback and Kindle – AU$9.99
The Sleep Lady’s Good Night Sleep Tight
This is the 2020, updated, revised edition of this popular 2009 book.
If you are a tired parent, this book will provide a step-by-step guide that has already helped thousands of parents tackle infant to bigger kid’s bedtime routine.
Moreover, this updated version includes expanded information on nighttime potty training (bonus!) and ending co-sleeping. There’s even sleep training for twins and multiples.
This new edition is only available in Paperback AU$32.28
However, the 2009 edition is available in Kindle – US$11.99
This brings us to the end of my first list of 2020 parenting books.
I do hope you’ve found the perfect book, or books, to help you crack the parenting code that combines clear behavioural expectations with warmth and sensitivity.
The goal to aim for!