In the library or the bookstore, you can find a seemingly endless selection of books on parenting. In today’s blog post, we’d like to share a few books that we have found to be useful.

Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline: The 7 Basic Skills for Turning Conflict Into Cooperation by Becky A. Bailey, Ph.D. (amazon)

If you’ve been around TPK for a while, you have probably heard about Conscious Discipline. Conscious Discipline is such a useful tool for helping promote positive decision-making both in the classroom and at home. We have discovered that it works with younger children and with older children both, because it’s based on sound strategies: for the adult to keep control of their own emotions, and for adult and child together to approach a potentially contentious situation with positive decision-making and healthy choices. This book includes chapters on empathy, consequences, encouragement, saying no, and other strategies for getting out of power struggles and moving towards modeling positive problem-solving with your kids.

The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman & Ross Campbell, M.D. (amazon)

The Five Love Languages series is a phenomenal resource – for married couples, for you as an individual, for you as a parent. Chapman has identified five “love languages” – quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch – which represent the spectrum of actions which express love. Understanding how the people closest to us express and receive love helps us to relate in meaningful ways. We know that every parent loves their child – this is what we do. But we also need to understand how our child experiences love – what do we do that helps our children deeply experience our love for them? Learning your child’s love language helps you tune into their needs.

The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel (amazon)

The development that occurs in early childhood is unique and nothing short of amazing. The connections our children make in their brains at such a young age are beyond any other stage of development. This book explains the science behind the ‘upstairs brain’, which makes decisions and balanced emotions and ‘downstairs brain’, where basic functioning live, including breathing, or reactions to danger — flight, flight, or freeze. Due to the brain’s plasticity- or elasticity-experiences, daily conversations and activities have the power to actually change the architecture of the brain. The book has age-appropriate strategies for dealing with daily struggles, as well as insight into your child’s early development.

Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp (amazon)

Many parenting books are based on hit-or-miss theories steeped in secular thinking. This one draws from Pastor Tripp’s seasoned experience as a father-and from God’s Holy Word. Grounded in the Bible’s divine plan for parenting, this guide defines your goals as a parent and provides the Scriptural methods for accomplishing them.

And Then I Had Kids by Susan Alexander Yates (the wife of Rector John Yates, The Falls Church Anglican) (amazon)

This book ‘hit the spot’ for me when I was a new Mom of 2 active boys.  Before children I had an idea of how it would be having children and how I would raise them.  All of my expectations went out of the window once I had them.  This book became a great source of encouragement and took a lot of the guilt away from the unrealistic expectations I had set on myself.  It is an older book so it may be hard to find.  She has also written a book addressing teens and pre-teens titled And Then I had Teenagers.