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15 Inspiring Books Every Parent Should Read

15 Inspiring Books Every Parent Should Read
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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 

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                              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 20, 2021

                                How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

                                How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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                                You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

                                Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

                                Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

                                Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

                                1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

                                According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

                                “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

                                Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

                                Warming up

                                If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

                                If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

                                Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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                                1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
                                2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
                                3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

                                Stay hydrated

                                Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

                                To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

                                Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

                                Meditate

                                Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

                                Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

                                Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

                                Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

                                2. Focus on your goal

                                One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

                                Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

                                Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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                                Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

                                If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

                                3. Convert negativity to positivity

                                There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

                                ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

                                It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

                                Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

                                Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

                                Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

                                4. Understand your content

                                Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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                                However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

                                “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

                                Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

                                Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

                                One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

                                5. Practice makes perfect

                                Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

                                In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

                                Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

                                6. Be authentic

                                There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

                                Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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                                Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

                                To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

                                With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

                                Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

                                7. Post speech evaluation

                                Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

                                Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

                                We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

                                You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

                                Improve your next speech

                                As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

                                Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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                                • How did I do?
                                • Are there any areas for improvement?
                                • Did I sound or look stressed?
                                • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
                                • Was I saying “um” too often?
                                • How was the flow of the speech?

                                Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

                                If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

                                Reference

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