7 Great Books For Your Parenting Toolkit

As co-authors of two parenting books (Parenting for the Launch: Raising Teens to Succeed in the Real Worldand Wings Not Strings: Parenting Strategies to Let Go with Confidence), we greatly enjoy (and benefit from) the writings and perspectives of our peers. We especially appreciate books that discuss the state of children and young adults and those offering practical parenting tips to add to our quiver. Truth be told, writing parenting books is a convicting experience because neither we, nor anyone else, is a perfect parent. As such, the works of others provides new insights and reality checks on the guidance we give through our writings. 

In the past several years, we have read numerous books that we wish we had while our children were under our roofs. Each offers unique insights and thoughtful advice and wisdom. So, with a spirit of gratitude to these authors and our desire to encourage and equip those of you who are parents, we offer these book recommendations to add to your parenting quiver. 

Parent on Purpose, by Amy Carney. Amy offers compelling wisdom and strategies to help parents lead, love, and launch their children to fulfill their dreams and purpose. It’s an inspiring and practical guidebook to building and sustaining a strong family.

Get the Behavior You Want without Being the Parent You Hate! by Deborah Gilboa, MD. Dr. G guides readers to raise children who are responsible, respectful, and resilient—her 3 R’s. Geared toward parents of young children to pre-teenagers, she offers practical tips for growing these leadership skills in different stages of childhood. 

Boy Mom, by Monica Swanson. Don’t be fooled by the title because this book is just as compelling for moms of girls! Monica tackles challenging issues like focusing on the big picture, setting boundaries, building a strong relationship, fostering confidence and emotional health, cultivating strong character, and teaching the value of work, with uncommon wisdom and flair. 

How Children Succeed, by Paul Tough. Paul takes head on the fallacy that success is about smarts. Rather, it’s about non-cognitive (character-related) skills such as grit, optimism, resilience, motivation, integrity, social agility, gratitude, and resourcefulness. It’s a healthy reminder to parents of the importance of building a leadership foundation in our kids. 

Your Teenager is Not Crazy, by Dr. Jeramy Clark and Jerusha Clark. The teen years are filled with angst and wonder. This book shares the changes teens face, and with uncommon compassion and empathy, offers practical advice to help them navigate their biggest worries and challenges. It’s a book every teen would want his/her parent to read. 

How to Raise an Adult, by Julie Lythcott-Haims. With the uncommon perspective of a former dean of freshmen at Stanford University, Julie understands the young adult landscape like few others. With this firm foundation, she attributes many student challenges to the way they are parented. This is a no-nonsense challenge to helicopter parenting in order to build independent, competent, and confident young adults. 

Connect with Your Kid: Mastering the Top 10 Parent-Child Communication Skills, by Dennis E. Coates, PhD. An expert in brain research, Dr. Coates expands his territory into the softer aspects of parenting: building an enduring relationship and communicating effectively in the often-charged teen years. He offers essential skill-building tips in areas such as listening, coaching, encouraging, appreciating, giving feedback, engaging, and resolving conflict. 

We strongly endorse these books and are confident that they will help you become the best parent you can be. 

Happy Reading,

The LifeSmart Team

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