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Key Takeaways:

  • Parenting books aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution but can provide valuable information and techniques for raising a healthy child.
  • Different parenting books tackle different circumstances, such as first-time parenting, raising children with autism, and managing anger in kids and teens.

Parenting manuals don’t exist—the job title of mother or father often demands lots of trial and error, which can quickly become overwhelming. Fortunately, the best parenting books can give caretakers the guidance they need to develop impactful methods for raising a happy, healthy child.

Whether you’re a first-time parent, doing it over again, or just need a helping hand, these parenting books are here to help.

10 Best Parenting Books in 2024

Are you looking for evidence-based literature to add to your parenting book arsenal? Here are the ten best parenting books to read in 2024.

  • Best Parenting Book Overall - The Whole Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind
  • Best Parenting Book for Newborns - What to Expect the First Year
  • Best Parenting Book for Toddlers - Tiny Humans, Big Emotions
  • Best Gentle Parenting Book - Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting
  • Best Parenting Book for Children with ADHD - Smart but Scattered
  • Best Parenting Book for Children with Autism - Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism
  • Best Parenting Book for Children with Anxiety - The Opposite of Worry: The Playful Parenting Approach to Childhood Anxieties and Fears
  • Best Parenting Book for Children with Depression - Depression and Your Child: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers
  • Best Parenting Book for Children with Anger Issues - The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
The Whole Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’sDeveloping Mind

1. The Whole Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’sDeveloping Mind by Daniel J. Siegel, MD and Tina Payne Bryson, PhD

Understanding how the brain functions can give parents valuable perspective on how children interact with and respond to their surroundings. This book takes a unique approach to how children make decisions and balance emotions, imparting lessons on managing outbursts, arguments, and fears to parents.

It’s a valuable child-rearing resource backed by neuroscience and provides tips on how to react to children compassionately.

$11.99 on Amazon, $16.99 on Barnes and Noble

What to Expect the First Year

2. What to Expect the First Year by Heidi Murkoff

Many first-time parents call this book the “Baby Bible,” as it answers every question about raising a child. Wondering when you should start your child on solid foods? Not sure what toys are appropriate for a newborn? Is it colic or something more? This book will tell you everything you need to know.

$12.94 on Amazon, $16.53 on Barnes and Noble

Tiny Humans, Big Emotions

3. Tiny Humans, Big Emotions by Alyssa Blask Campbell, MEd, and Lauren Stauble, MS

Toddlers have a notoriously challenging time managing intense emotions. They might throw tantrums, experience anxiety, or simply become overwhelmed. This book aims to equip parents and caregivers with the tools to regulate their child’s nervous system, respond meaningfully to outbursts, and keep their child calm.

$17.09 on Amazon, $18.99 on Barnes and Noble

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting

4. Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting by Dr. Laura Markham

Gentle parenting isn’t just a trend—it’s a research-based approach to fostering healthy emotional connections with your child. This remarkable parenting method helps parents and children better understand each other’s emotions.

This book focuses on how parents can respond to their children appropriately instead of finding the appropriate “consequences” to bad behavior.

$9.99 on Amazon, $15.99 on Barnes and Noble

Smart but Scattered

5. Smart but Scattered by Peg Dawson, EdD and Richard Guare, PhD

A wandering mind and forgetfulness aren’t uncommon in children until they disrupt your child’s executive functioning. This book aims to discuss with parents the value of nurturing their child’s planning, organizing, and time management skills to curb the challenges presented by ADHD and related disorders.

$11.36 on Amazon, $15.95 on Barnes and Noble

Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism

6. Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism by Barry M. Prizant, PhD

Many people perceive autism as a pathology, but this book aims to dismantle that stereotype, instead encouraging parents to build upon their autistic child’s strengths and prioritize understanding why they behave the way they do.

Author Barry M. Prizant is an adjunct professor of communicative disorders at the University of Rhode Island and focuses on a more “humane” approach to neurodivergence.

Discover more social skills books in our guide.

$14.99 on Amazon, $14.99 on Barnes and Noble

The Opposite of Worry: The Playful Parenting Approach to Childhood Anxieties and Fears

7. The Opposite of Worry: The Playful Parenting Approach to Childhood Anxieties and Fears by Lawrence J. Cohen

Anxiety isn’t just challenging for children—it’s equally difficult for parents to manage. If your child suffers from anger outbursts or executive dysfunction as a result of anxiety, this book will teach parents the basics of keeping their child physically and emotionally safe [*].

It advises finding lighthearted ways to release emotions and tackle their own anxieties when their child needs to stay calm.

$17.00 on Amazon, $17.00 on Barnes and Noble

Depression and Your Child: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers

8. Depression and Your Child: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers by Deborah Serani

Depression and Your Child prepares parents to manage and tackle the difficulties associated with depression and related mental illnesses. It explores the stages of child development and how to spot the warning signs of depression.

This book doesn’t read clinically—reviews say it’s a pleasant and personable read that makes the scary waters of depression more approachable for parents and children alike. It’s reassuring, informative, and features real-life case studies.

$10.99 on Amazon, $29.00 on Barnes and Noble

The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children

9. The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children by Ross W. Greene, PhD

When left untreated, anger issues in young children can develop into aggression and even violence [*]. This groundbreaking, research-based book aims to help parents recognize and understand signs of anger in their children in a kind and compassionate way.

Author Dr. Ross Greene is a distinguished clinician with decades of experience treating kids with social, emotional, and behavioral issues. In this guide, he dismantles the idea that angry children are attention-seeking and manipulative, instead reinforcing more progressive approaches like behavioral therapy.

$13.47 on Amazon, $17.99 on Barnes and Noble

The Bottom Line

When you invest time and money into reading parenting books, you should come out on the other end feeling equipped and ready. The best parenting books should be consoling but realistic, outlining the potential challenges you may face under various circumstances.

For more tools to add to your parenting toolbox check out our collection of therapeutic handouts and worksheets to support your child’s social emotional development.

Sources:

  1. Warren SL, Heller W, Miller GA. “The Structure of Executive Dysfunction in Depression and Anxiety.” Journal of Affective Disorders, 2021.
  2. Hubbard JA, McAuliffe MD, Rubin RM, Morrow MT. “The Anger–Aggression Relation in Violent Children and Adolescents.” Routledge eBooks, 2023.

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