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Top 5 Parenting Books

1. The book: Mind in the Making by Ellen Galinsky

About the book:

This is a great read for any parent wanting to learn about supporting and encouraging the seven essential skills to helping your child thrive emotionally, socially and relationally in this day and age. The chapters are broken down into the seven skills, based on research along with applicable practices or ideas as to what you can do.

Who should read this book?

Any new parent with ideas for child from toddlerhood through elementary school and beyond.

Why do you recommend this book?

I recommend it as a teacher and mama because it is practical, research based, and written in short entries/increments to make the read digestible no matter how busy you are.

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Recommended by: Jessica Elliott, M. Ed., Educational Consultant

2. The book: Playful Parenting by Lawrence J. Cohen, PhD

About the book:

The author brings his extensive experience as a licensed psychologist and play therapist to this informative, eye-opening, and entertaining book. It's a research-grounded guide to using play to build strong, close family bonds and to raise confident children.

Who should read this book?

This is a helpful book for any parent, as it has suggestions for fun and effective ways to interact with children of all ages, from infancy through the teenage years.

Why do you recommend this book?

More than any other book, Playful Parenting changed the way I think about childhood and my role as a parent.

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Recommended by: Teri Sperry, M.A., Educational Consultant

3. The book: How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

About the book:

This book gives short suggestions for communication tips along with cartoons illustrating the concepts.

Who should read this book?

Any parent wanting to be more effective in their communication with children from toddlers to adults.

Why do you recommend this book?

I love this book because it's highly digestible and very practical. I have found great success with the communication tips in this book, in particular, leading with empathy and process centered feedback.

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Recommended by: Aleza Berube, M. Ed. - 2018, Social and Emotional Learning Consultant

4. The book: Following Ezra: What One Father Learned About Gumby, Otters, Autism, and Love From His Extraordinary Son by Tom Fields-Meyer

About the book:

After a therapist suggests Fields-Meyer grieve for the child his son, Ezra, “didn’t turn out to be,” the dad sets out to do the opposite: love his child for exactly who he is. This sweet memoir depicts his bond with his son through the first 10 years of Ezra’s life, giving readers glimpses into the tender moments as well as the struggles that accompany raising a child with autism.

Who should read this book?

Parents or loved ones of a child with Autism, especially for those who are struggling to understand the perspective and behaviors of the individual on the spectrum.

Why do you recommend this book?

Whether you've just received a diagnosis, or have been living with the label "AU" for years, you've no doubt been drowning in recommendations on various how-to manuals, diagnostic journals, behavioral modification guidelines, etc. from well-meaning loved ones, therapist or doctors. So, I invite you to read something totally different! This is a first-person memoir that lends a glance into the quirky, beautiful, but sometimes painful experience of neurodiversity.

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Click for more memoir recommendations on Autism.

Recommended by: Melissa Jones, M. Ed, Special Education Consultant

5. The book: Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life by Glennon Doyle Melton

About the book:

The author, Melton, recounts some of the hilarious, sad, beautiful, hard experiences of her life before and after kids in a way that is relatable to any parent, while embracing life through faith, love, and kindness.

Who should read this book?

I would recommend this book for any parent, but particularly mothers.

Why do you recommend this book?

The author is a thoughtful, conversational writer and connects you to the stories in ways that you can't believe. Get ready to laugh and cry with this beautiful memoir.

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Recommended by: Natalie Poulos, PhD, RD, LD, Nutritional Consultant