Parenting is HARD.
We’re far from being experts, but one thing we know without a doubt is that it helps to have mentors. Whether those mentors are professionals in the field or friends who have gone before you, there is a lot of sound advice out there. But where should you start?
The real trick is finding tips that align with your values. For us, we want to raise strong, confident, responsible, and respectful adults. In order to do that confidently (okay, we aren’t always confident, but that’s the goal!), we’ve read a LOT of books. There are so many options out there but if you’re looking for a few recommendations, we’ve put together a short list of our absolute favorites.
Our Top 5 Parenting Books
Feeding The Mouth That Bites You: A Complete Guide to Parenting Adolescents and Launching Them Into the World
By Kenneth Wilgus, PhD
Why we love it: This book helps us strategically and intentionally transfer appropriate responsibility to our aging teens so they are ready to FLY on graduation day!
Have a New Kid by Friday and Have a New Teenager by Friday
by Dr. Kevin Lemen
Why we love them: These books help us remember to act like the adults in the relationship. It reminds us that we get what we tolerate out of our kids and natural consequences are a great way for them to learn.
Dare to Discipline
by Dr. James Dobson
Why we love it: This book helps us find the balance between love and control and reminds us that there’s a difference between discipline and punishment.
The On Becoming Series
by Gary Ezzo (Author) & Robert Bucknam (Author)
Why we love it: This series helped us get full nights of sleep no later than 11 weeks in for ALL of our children- including our adopted daughter. It also helped us create healthy independence that allows us to have date nights and overnight trips WITHOUT our kids. We frequently got compliments on our young kids- not as much our teens.. 😉
Strong Mothers, Strong Sons and Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters
by Meg Meeker, MD
Why we love them: This series explains the profound value and unique role that moms and dads have with their opposite sex children.
Parenting Books on Adoption
And as many of you know, we adopted our daughter from foster care. There are two books we’ve read that have provided invaluable information to guide us on our journey with Evie:
20 Things Adopted Kid Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew
by Sherrie Eldridge
Why we love it: Adopted kids should NOT be parented just like your biological kids and this book explains why. It’s very helpful in giving us perspective on the unique differences that adopted kids bring with them- regardless of how young they were when they were adopted.
The Connected Child: Bring Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family
by Dr. Karyn Purvis, David R. Cross, et al.
Why we love it: We all have baggage, but foster and adopted children normally have more and it can be unique. This book gives us strategies on how to build bonds and discipline children without making them feel threatened.
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