Seasons of Parenting Books for the Ages & Stages

Parenting is a job that no on really prepares you for. There aren’t really classes or instruction manuals for parenting our children! There are however many parenting books that can help us along the way on our parenting journey.

Seasons of Parenting Books for the Ages & Stages is a compilation of many of the parenting books I have read, used, and loved along my parenting journey.

Seasons of Parenting Books for the Ages & Stages

Throughout my many years of parenting three children I have hit many milestones, obstacles, and challenges along the way. Whether in seemingly easy patches or in the rough trenches, I typically have a non-fiction book I am reading. Very often parenting books are what you will find on my nightstand for reading.

You can find parenting books on almost every topic from What to Expect When You’re Expecting to The 10 Myths of Teen Dating and everything in between!

Here you will find a collection of books (some with personal reviews) I have found helpful so far on my parenting journey. An * marks the books linked to a more lengthy, personal review of the book by me.

Parenting Books Pertaining to Younger Children

1 -2 -3 Magic Effective Discipline for Children 2-12

I truly believe our sons childhood was saved by this book! I remember being at my wits end with him, struggling on a ledge trying to find a way to manage my mischievous, active, into everything child. I was tired of yelling (which wasn’t working) and needed something! 1-2-3 Magic was my lifeline. It worked! It helped me by means of three easy-to-follow steps, to learn to manage troublesome behavior, encourage good behavior, and strengthen my parent-child relationship with him.

*Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Became Parents – While not pertaining directly to younger children, this is probably a good read for sooner rather than later along your parenting journey!

In this book Gary Chapman and Shannon Warden share wisdom gained from raising their own children and from the many families they’ve counseled through the years. They explore numerous topics like how children change your life, how to accept your child’s uniqueness, potty training (yes!), why kids need boundaries (starting as infants), the importance of modeling, why social skills are as important as academic skills, and why emotional health is critical.

*Growing Up Social – Raising Relational Kids in a Screen Driven World – In Growing Up Social the authors focus on raising kids who know how to relate in our screen driven world. They offer practical advice on how we as parents can better relate to our children, thus helping us to help them navigate this world. Then they go another step beyond that by giving REAL LIFE examples, conversations and real words to use with your kids in your own house.

Parenting Books Pertaining to Tweens and Teens

*The 10 Myths of Teen Dating – My first thought about this book was, YES, a book that sticks to solid moral values but doesn’t bog it down with the mention of God in every sentence! Instead they take moral values, put them into real life words and practice so that even those who are not religiously based can use and find great value in the advice and action points in this book. Kids need real life, practical advice for facing the world around them, and this book has it! Not only does it give good advice for teens, but it does it by helping you to be the messenger of that good advice. The 10 Myths of Teen Dating is based in research, experience, and insight from Daniel, and brought together with perspectives and insight from his daughter, Jacquelyn.

*A Teen’s Guide to the 5 Love Languages – is geared towards helping our teens understand themselves as well as their relationships with others. Because it is geared toward teens it speaks to teens on their level, uses examples they can relate to, includes graphics that are fun and relevant for teens,  and gives solid, concrete examples of what each language looks like, from both sides!

Parenting Beyond the Rules: Raising Teens with Confidence and Joy

One of my favorite quotes from this book, “How do we speak so our teen listens and understands? We need to start by monitoring our mouth! It’s not always what you say but how and when you say it that matters.”

I got out my highlighter, well really my pen, because there were so many things to take in! From action points I wanted to do, to encouraging quotes I wanted to hang on to! Connie does a wonderful job of speaking from the heart as she shares her own family stories to paint a picture for us.

Parenting teens can be tough. But as Connie points out, creating and holding your relationship with them with care will carry you farther than any strict rules or planning will!

Listen. Watch your mouth. Give them space to make decisions and figure things out…with you as their safety net.

General Parenting Books

*8 Simple Rules for Raising Great Kids – What I love about this book is the non-judgmental, we have all totally been there, kind of approach that is taken. Todd uses specific examples to highlight each point he is trying to make and then gives you a little food for thought. The short chapters make it easy to read a few pages, mull it over, and then try to put it into practice.

*Just 18 Summers – This is the only fiction book on my list but the message is SO important.

*No More Perfect Kids – “Before you had children, you most likely dreamed of children. You dreamed about what it would be like, who they might resemble and how your family life would be with them. These expectations can lead to disillusionment and disappointment for you and your children. No More Perfect Kids was written to help you shatter your preconceived notions and learn to see and love them for who they actually are.”

Not Just About the Kids

Parenting isn’t just about the kids. Parenting is a way of life. You need to be comfortable in your own shoes, and your home environment needs to be a positive, safe space to live and grow. Here are a couple of books that aren’t just about the kids.

The DIY Guide to Building A Family That Lasts – 12 Tools For Improving Your Home Life{I recently received this book for review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

I have to say that the first thing (well two things) that attracted me to this book were: the author (I LOVE Gary Chapman), and the DIY home improvement theme they are working off of!

The book is broken down into 12 Tools

  1. Building Kindness
  2. Increasing Gratitude
  3. Cultivating Love
  4. Seeking Compromise
  5. Choosing Forgiveness
  6. Improving Communication
  7. Enhancing Trust
  8. Developing Compassion
  9. Increasing Patience
  10. Getting Organized
  11. Creating Fun
  12. Building Connections

Each of these chapters has personal insights and stories from the authors. Then they Draw Up A Plan, help you Do-It Yourself, offer ideas on how to get your whole family to be All-In, discuss the Sweat Equity – that’s the hard work and sacrifices that may be needed to reach the goal and then end with the results, The Big Reveal.

I love that they acknowledge how tough it will be, but also how worth it. “You and your family are embarking on major home improvements right now. It’s hard but valuable work. Keep moving forward!”

I highly recommend taking this book and breaking out down over a year, covering one chapter each month.

7 Habits of Highly Effective Families – shows how and why to have family meetings, the importance of keeping promises, how to balance individual and family needs, and how to move from dependence to interdependence.

*The Secrets of Happy Families – It is so interesting to me how Bruce finds principles used elsewhere for other things and adapts them to the family. While he offers many different ideas, he states in the book, “My hope is that if you take just one idea from each chapter in this book, your family will be transformed in less than a week.

What I took away from this book was sort of a “toolbox” of ideas to try in my family. Some of the main themes I recall are flexibility, family time, and a feeling of belonging to something bigger than yourself.

The Power of a Positive MomThe vocabulary of a positive mom generally does not contain the word perfect. A Positive Mom is one who realizes that neither circumstances or people are perfect. She is realistic in her expectations, recognizing that her husband and children have weaknesses as well as strengths. And most important, she humbly acknowledges that she has a fair amount of flaws herself. ~ Karol Ladd, The Power of a Positive Mom

More on Parenting

Unconditional Love & Parenting from Starts At EightParenthood from Starts At EightAre You a Yes or No Mom? from Starts At Eight