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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 August 19, 2019

                                How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

                                How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

                                We live in a world that constantly tells us what to do, how to act, what to be. Knowing how to be true to yourself and live the life you want can be a challenge.

                                When someone asks how we are, we assume that the person does not mean the question sincerely, for it would lead to an in depth conversation. So telling them that you are good or fine, even if you’re not, is the usual answer.

                                In an ideal world, we would stop and truly listen. We wouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves. Instead, when we answer about how we are doing, our mask, the persona we show the world, tightens. Sometimes even more so than it might have been before. Eventually, it becomes hard to take off, even when you’re alone.

                                Imagine a world where we asked how someone was doing and they really told us. Imagine a world where there were no masks, only transparency when we talked to one another.

                                If you want to live in a world that celebrates who you are, mistakes and all, take off the mask. It doesn’t mean you have to be positive or fine all the time.

                                According to a Danish psychologist, Svend Brinkman, we expect each other to be happy and fine every second, and we expect it of ourselves. And that “has a dark side.”[1] Positive psychology can have its perks but not at the expense at hiding how you truly feel in order to remain seemingly positive to others.

                                No one can feel positive all the time and yet, that is what our culture teaches us to embrace. We have to unlearn this. That said, telling others you are ‘“fine”’ all the time is actually detrimental to your wellbeing, because it stops you from being assertive, from being authentic or your truest self.

                                When you acknowledge a feeling, it leads you to the problem that’s causing that feeling; and once you identify the problem, you can find a solution to it. When you hide that feeling, you stuff it way down so no one can help you.You can’t even help yourself.

                                Feelings are there for one reason: to be felt. That doesn’t mean you have to act on that feeling. It just means that you start the process of problem solving so you can live the life you want.

                                1. Embrace Your Vulnerability

                                When you are your true self, you can better self-advocate or stand up for what you need. Your self-expression matters, and you should value your voice. It’s okay to need things, it’s okay to speak up, and it’s okay not to be okay.

                                Telling someone you are simply “fine” when you are not, does your story and your journey a great disservice. Being true to yourself entails embracing all aspects of your existence.

                                When you bring your whole self to the table, there is nothing that you can’t beat. Here’re 7 benefits of being vulnerable you should learn.

                                Can you take off the mask? This is the toughest thing anyone can do. We have learned to wait until we are safe before we start to be authentic.

                                In relationships especially, this can be hard. Some people avoid vulnerability at any cost. And in our relationship with ourselves, we can look in the mirror and immediately put on the mask.

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                                It all starts with your story. You have been on your own unique journey. That journey has led you here, to the person you are today. You have to be unafraid, and embrace all aspects of that journey.

                                You should seek to thrive, not just survive. That means you do not have to compete or compare yourself with anyone.

                                Authenticity means you are enough. It’s enough to be who you are to get what you want.

                                What if for the first time ever, you were real? What if you said what you wanted to say, did what you wanted to do, and didn’t apologize for it?

                                You were assertive, forthcoming in your opinions or actions to stand for what is right for you, (rather than being passive or aggressive) in doing so. You didn’t let things get to you. You knew you had something special to offer.

                                That’s where we all should be.

                                So, answer me this:

                                How are you, really?

                                And know that no matter the answer, you should still be accepted.

                                Bravery is in the understanding that you still may not be accepted for your truth.

                                Bravery is knowing you matter even when others say that you do not.

                                Bravery is believing in yourself when all evidence counters doing so (i.e. past failures or losses)

                                Bravery is in being vulnerable while knowing vulnerability is a sign of strength.

                                It’s taking control.

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                                2. Choose Your Attitude in Adversity

                                You can take control of your destiny and live the life you want by being true to yourself. You can start anytime. You can start today.

                                You can start with one day at a time, just facing what happens that day. Most of us get overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of a big change. Even if the only thing we change is our attitude.

                                In one instant, you can become a different person with a change of attitude. When you take control of your attitude, you become able to better understand what is around you. This allows you to move forward.

                                Originally, you may have had a life plan. It could have started when you were little; you were hoping to become a mermaid, doctor, astronaut or all three when you grew up. You were hoping to be someone. You were hoping to be remembered.

                                You can still dream those dreams, but eventually reality sets in. Obstacles and struggles arise. You set on a different path when the last one didn’t work out. You think of all the “shoulds” in your life in living the life you want. You should be doing this…should be doing that…

                                Clayton Barbeau, psychologist, coined the term “shoulding yourself.’[2] When we are set on one path and find ourselves doing something different. It becomes all the things you should be doing rather than seeing the opportunities right in front of you.

                                But in all this disarray, did you lose sight of the real you?

                                It may be in our perceived failures and blunders that we lose sight of who we are, because we try to maintain position and status.

                                In being who we really are and achieving what we really want, we need to be resilient: How to Build Resilience to Face What Life Throws at You

                                It means that we do not see all possibilities of what might happen, but must trust ourselves to begin again, and continue to build the life we want. In the face of adversity, you must choose your attitude.

                                Can attitude overcome adversity? It certainly helps. While seeking to be true to yourself and live the life you want, you will have to face a fact:

                                Change will happen.

                                Whether that change is good or bad is unique to each person and their perspective.

                                You might have to start over, once, twice, a few times. It doesn’t mean that everything will be okay, but that you will be okay. What remains or should remain is the true you. When you’ve lost sight of that, you’ve lost sight of everything.

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                                And then, you rebuild. Moment after moment, day after day. We all have a choice, and in this moment, that matters.

                                You can choose to have a positive attitude, seeing the silver lining in each situation and, where there is none, the potential for one. Maybe that silver lining is you and what you will do with the situation. How will you use it for something good?

                                That’s how you can tap into yourself and your power. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. It can happen when we aren’t even looking for it, or it can be your only focus. Everyone gets there differently.

                                You can rise, or you can remain. Your choice.

                                When the worst happens, you can rely on your authenticity to pull you through. That’s because Self Advocacy, speaking up to let others know what you need, is part of finding the real you.

                                There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Or sometimes, helping others can help us deal with the pain of a hurtful situation. You decide how you’re going to help others, and suddenly, you become your best self.

                                3. Do What Makes You Happy When No One’s Looking

                                Being the best version of you has nothing to do with your success or your status. It has everything to do with your Character, what you do when no one’s looking.

                                In order to create the life you want, you have to be the person you want to be. Faking it till you make it is just a way to white knuckle it through your journey. You have the fire inside of you to make things right, to put the pieces together, to live authentically. And Character is how you get there.

                                If you fall down and you help another up while you’re down there, it’s like you rise twice.

                                Along with attitude, your character is about the choices you make rather than what happens to you.

                                Yes, it’s about doing the right thing even when obstacles seem insurmountable.  It’s about using that mountain you’ve been given to show others it can be moved.  It’s about being unapologetically you, taking control, choosing your attitude in adversity and being the best version of you to create the life you want.

                                How do you know what you really want? Is it truly status or success?

                                Unfortunately, these things do not always bring happiness. And aspects of our image or “performance driven existence” may not achieve satisfaction. Materialism is part of our refusal to accept ourselves as enough. All the things we use to repress our true selves are about being enough.

                                “Enoughness” is what we truly seek, but ego gets in the way.

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                                Ego is the perception of self as outer worth. It’s not REAL self worth.

                                Ego represses our true self with a new self— the self of chasing ‘“Am I ever enough?”’ questions. And instead of filling our true selves with self-love and acceptance, when we “should ourselves” and chase “enoughness,” we feed the ego or our image.

                                It’s important to realize YOU ARE ENOUGH, without all the material trappings.

                                Stanford psychologist Meagan O’Reilly describes the damage of not thinking we are enough. One of her tactics for combating this is to complete the sentence,[3]

                                “If I believed I were already enough, I’d ____”

                                What would you do if you felt you were enough?

                                By believing you are enough, you can live the life you want.

                                So many fake it to try to get there, and they end up losing themselves when they lose more and more touch with their Authenticity.

                                Final Thoughts

                                By being yourself, you are being brave. By acknowledging all you can be, you tell the universe that you can until you believe it too. The steps are easy, and you are worth it. All of it is about the purpose you are leading and the passion that is your fuel.

                                Being true to yourself is all about mastering how to live life authentically rather than faking or forcing it. Having the life you want (and deserve) is about being trusting in yourself and the purpose you are living for. Both need passion behind it, fueling it each second, or you will experience burn out.

                                When you are authentic, you can call the road you walk your own. When you live your life for you and not just the results of all your actions (faking it till you make it), you can let go of what you don’t need. This clarifies and pushes purpose to you, living for something that is greater than you.

                                You will find that making decisions based on what will actually achieve your goals, will help you attain the life you want, and your success with each step, will allow you to enjoy the process. Good luck!

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                                Featured photo credit: Ariana Prestes via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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