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15 Inspiring Books Every Parent Should Read

15 Inspiring Books Every Parent Should Read

Some parents avoid reading parenting books because they say the books promote formulaic ways of parenting. That is an understandable concern especially considering that children aren’t robots. Children are special individuals with their own minds and character traits. However, there are some books that are just too helpful for parents who want to understand their kids’ better and raise them right. These books aren’t necessarily all parenting books—they are just good books that every parent has to read to draw inspiration and learn ways to become a better parent.

1. The Magic Years: Understanding and Handling the Problems of Early Childhood by Selma H. Fraiberg.

The-Magic-Years-Understanding-Childhood

    This is a classic book that was first published about 40 years ago. It offers a distinctive way to look at how kids think and why they act the way they do based on their emotional and cognitive abilities. It’s an eye-opening read that will help you appreciate that your child isn’t driving you nuts just for fun.

    2.   The Ten Greatest Gifts I Give My Children: Parenting from the Heart by Steven W. Vannoy

    The Ten Greatest Gifts I Give My Children

      Sometimes we don’t realize we are being patronizing to our children and are actually the cause of why children become rebellious and insubordinate. This book reminds us what it means to be a parent and teaches you how to employ the power of positive reinforcement and other techniques to establish a healthy, pleasant relationship with you children. A very good read.

      3.  The Five Love Languages for Children by Chapman, Campbell & Campbell

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      The Five Love Languages for Children

        Because children are unique individuals, they experience and show love in different ways. This book tells you more about the five love language for children and helps you determine which love language best suits your child. The more you understand your child’s love language, the more effectively you can communicate and the stronger you can bond with your child.

        4.  How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

        How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

          Like all other relationships, your relationship with your child requires effective communication to thrive. That means learning to not only be the one speaking and giving instructions, but also the one who listens and hears what your child has to say. This heartfelt book delves into this dynamic and offers valuable lessons on how to effectively handle this critical aspect of parenting that is, sadly, often badly overlooked.

          5. The Irreducible Needs of Children: What Every Child Must Have to Grow, Learn, and Flourish by T. Berry Brazelton, and Stanley Greenspan.

          The Irreducible Needs of Children_What Every Child Must Have to Grow Learn and Flourish

            How much time do children need one-on-one with a parent? What is the effect of shifting caregivers, of custody arrangements? This informative book written by two renowned child advocates answers these and other thorny questions parents often grapple with. You will even learn the seven irreducible needs of any child, in any society. A must read for anyone who cares about the welfare of children.

            6. No Regrets Parenting: Turning Long Days and Short Years into Cherished Moments with Your Kids by Harley Robart, M.D.

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            No Regrets Parenting

              An excellent quick read with irrefutable nuggets of wisdom for busy parents about being present in the life of your children. The book’s size alone means that you have no excuse not to read it no matter how busy you say you are if you truly want to avoid common areas of regret as a parent.

              7. Get Out of My Life, but First Could you Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall: A Parent’s Guide to the New Teenager by Anthony E. Wolf

              Get Out of My Life but First Could you Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall

                If you are the parent of an adolescent, you’ve likely had those moments when you genuinely feel your relationship with your child is suddenly going down the tubes. This well crafted book make good use humor to explain the basic issues of adolescence and offers practical guidance on how to salvage your relationship with your teenager and get the parent-child relationship back on track.

                8. Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne and Lisa M. Ross

                Simplicity Parenting

                  This fantastic book written by internationally renowned family consultant Kim John Payne offers inspiration and ideas to reduce clutter, as well as a blueprint to live with a greater sense of ease as you raise your child. It’s an amazing read that will help you change your routine so you worry less and hover less while enjoying life more in parenthood.

                  9. Siblings without Rivalry by Faber and Mazlish.

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                  Siblings without Rivalry

                    It can be quite frustrating and exhausting if you are constantly forced to play referee because your kids are always fighting. This #1 New York Times bestseller is one of the best books you’ll read on how to handle sibling relationships. It challenges the notion that constant conflict among siblings is natural and unavoidable and shows you how to teach kids to get along.

                    10. Fun on the Run!: 324 Instant Family Activities by Cynthia L. Copeland

                    Fun on the Run

                      This is an excellent travel activity book that’s written in a fun-to-read style – one of the best you’ll read, actually. The author offers tons of fresh ideas for things to do anywhere with your kids, such as when held up at restaurants, the doctor’s office or on those “booooring” car rides.  Best of all, all ideas seem like real activities that real parents would actually do. No Martha Stewart craft projects for the backseat. Hurray!

                      11. Heroes for My Son/Heroes for My Daughter by Brad Meltzer

                      Heroes for My daughter

                        An inspiring collection of heroes from whom our sons and daughters can learn from with an extra page at the back to add your own hero for your child. It’s a brilliant little book you have to read for yourself and with your child to highlight people who truly exemplify the characteristics you are trying to help your child develop and show how great humanity can actually be if we only cared enough.

                        12. 100 Promises to My Baby by Mallika Chopra

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                        100 Promises to My Baby

                          Mallika Chopra, the daughter of well-known author Deepak Chopra, reflects on motherhood by recording a series of 100 promises that she made to her baby, which we can all relate to. It’s the perfect read if you are a new parent and even more powerful to revisit as your child grows. It will help you reflect on the amazing hopes and dreams you have/had for your child and remember just the kind of parent you set out to be.

                          13. The Heart of Anger: Practical Help for Prevention and Cure of Anger in Children by Lou Priolo

                          The Heart of Anger

                            If you have an angry child and you’d like some practical, biblical-based help to correct or prevent the development of chronic “behavior problems” stemming from this anger, this is the book for you. Priolo, an experienced counselor, delves into anger’s root causes, gives you sound advice for the prevention of anger in children and even lists ways in which as parents we often unwittingly provoke our little ones to anger. It’s a great read that will help you examine the heart for anger and bring it under control.

                            14. The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids’ Favorite Meals by Missy Chase Lapine

                            The Sneaky Chef

                              As a parent you will do almost anything to get your child to eat healthy. Unfortunately, begging, pleading, bribing and threatening doesn’t work. This cookbook will teach you sneaky ways to effortlessly ensure your young picky eaters eat healthy. While there are some who question the author’s methods, the book is filled with neat tips and tricks you can use to provide nutrition in the cuisine your children usually crave for.

                              15. What Every 21st Century Parent Needs to Know: Facing Today’s Challenges With Wisdom and Heart by Debra W. Haffner 

                              What Every 21st Century Parent Needs to Know

                                Parenting in the 21st Century has evolved tremendously with new sets of challenges emerging, such as cyber security. Debra W. Haffner, a parenting educator for more than twenty-five years, offers one of the most authoritative guides yet on how modern parents can navigate the challenging times we live in today that are characterized by ever-evolving technology and media. As she says in the book, “The choices we make can greatly increase our chances of raising a child who becomes a happy, productive adult.”

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                                David K. William

                                David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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                                Last Updated on July 8, 2020

                                How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

                                How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

                                Do you say yes so often that you realize you aren’t really happy about this, wondering how to say no to people?

                                For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

                                But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

                                It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

                                The Importance of Saying No

                                When you learn the art of saying ‘no,’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

                                In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

                                Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, I finally got to this question: “What do I want?”

                                Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

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                                Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. He said,

                                “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

                                When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

                                How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

                                It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

                                From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

                                We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

                                And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

                                The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

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                                How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

                                Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest, using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

                                The 3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

                                1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

                                Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

                                2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

                                Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it, who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

                                3. Saying ‘No’ Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Something That Matters

                                When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

                                6 Ways to Start Saying No

                                Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

                                1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

                                One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

                                Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

                                2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

                                Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

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                                Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

                                3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say ‘No’

                                Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

                                Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

                                4. When the Request Comes In, Sit on It

                                Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

                                Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time, or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

                                5. Communicate Your ‘No’ with Transparency and Kindness

                                When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

                                Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

                                A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

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                                6. Consider How to Use a Modified ‘No’

                                If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

                                Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

                                Final Thoughts

                                Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

                                Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

                                Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

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                                Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

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