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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 March 30, 2020

                                What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

                                What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

                                Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

                                You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

                                This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

                                What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

                                According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

                                Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

                                There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

                                How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

                                When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

                                Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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                                1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

                                One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

                                The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

                                Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

                                2. Be Honest

                                A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

                                If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

                                On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

                                Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

                                3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

                                Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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                                If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

                                4. Succeed at Something

                                When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

                                Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

                                5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

                                Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

                                Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

                                If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

                                If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

                                Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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                                6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

                                Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

                                You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

                                On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

                                You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

                                7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

                                Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

                                Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

                                Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

                                When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

                                Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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                                In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

                                Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

                                It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

                                Final Thoughts

                                When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

                                The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

                                Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

                                Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

                                Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

                                More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

                                Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

                                Reference

                                [1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
                                [2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
                                [3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
                                [4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
                                [5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
                                [6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
                                [7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
                                [8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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