Hands Down Absolute Best Favorite Parenting Books

These are the greatest hits from our family's perspective -- from getting some sleep, to building resilient and finance-saavy kiddos, and maintaining healthy relationships, I found something of value in each of these books, and I hope you do too!

The Sleepeasy Solution: The Exhausted Parent's Guide to Getting Your Child to Sleep from Birth to Age 5 by Jennifer Waldburger and Jill Spivack.

I have a video of myself, enormously pregnant and on bedrest with Diddy, this book in hand, saying to my husband, "We are not doing this. Who would let their baby cry themselves to sleep? That's terrible!"

Fast forward a few months and I was giving copies of this book to every new parent in our lives. 

The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Raising Self-Reliant Children by Wendy Mogel, Ph.D.

 

My father saw this in the Wall Street Journal and sent it to me before our kids were born. Fast-forward 15 years and our kids can handle disappointment and even maybe learn a little bit from screwing up or falling short.

It can be really hard not to jump in and fix everything for your kids, but this book is a big part of the reason why my kids can advocate for themselves when they have to and for allowing us all to maintain healthy emotional boundaries that will keep them from hating me someday. (We live in hope ;))

The Happiest Toddler on the Block by Harvey Karp, MD

This is the follow up to "Happiest Baby on the Block," but I think it's a more useful book because toddler's are impossible and this book is serious about taming their inner beasts using "natural consequences" rather than getting into constant fights with tiny little people whose brains don't work as well as they should yet.

 

For the same reason, I found this book very useful for managing my relationship with Mr. Big Ideas. 

The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feiler

This book is chock-o-block of systems and checklists, and I adore all of it. This book is why we hold family meetings and helped us figure out how to handle allowance. It's also the reason all my kids started doing their own laundry when they turned 8, doing the dishes by 9, and can all keep themselves alive in the kitchen, too. I'm pleased with my little army. My mother, who did everything for us recently remarked, "Your house is every man for himself." She's in her seventies still cleaning up after people, so personally, I think Bruce Feiler wins on this point.