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50 Best Parenting Books

Once upon a time, we parented in communities, with the accumulated wisdom of generations of family members at our disposal. Now parents are more isolated, but the fact remains that we aren't meant to do this job on our own. For many of us, parenting books have helped fill the gap.

They say that kids don't come with an instruction manual - it's true - but if you're like me, you've found parenting books that speak to you. To meet the daunting task of picking and ranking the top 50 parenting books, I've considered a slew of texts in terms of how relevant and popular they are, how scientifically sound, how challenging or fresh their perspective, and how influential they have been to other books in their genre.

Just remember as you stock your library that while we know a lot about psychology and medicine, parenting is not an exact science - it's an art form. - Heather Turgeon

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Raising Children Who Think for Themselves

Elisa Medhus

50 Best Parenting Books - Raising Children Who Think For Themselves

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Raising Children Who Think For Themselves’ Rankings

The book: A guide to raising kids to be “internally directed” rather than “externally directed,” written by a pediatrician and mom of five.

Top tips:

  • Use probing questions to help your kids flesh out their own logic instead of imposing yours.

  • Let siblings work out their own issues; don’t get involved unless it comes to blows.

  • Kids should talk to themselves – having an internal dialogue for vetting ideas and working through arguments is a huge asset. Parents can model this by having their own internal debates out loud (meaning yes, you should talk to yourself, too).

Why we picked it: This is a smart, powerful parenting model. Medhus’ argument for kids’ self-direction makes sense, and she lays out specific ideas for encouraging your child’s powers of introspection instead of her constantly looking to others for validation and opinions.

Get it from: Amazon, $17.55

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5 thoughts on “Top Parenting Books 2011

  1. Rufus Griscom says:

    I just bought “what’s going on in there” on amazon — so up my alley — and I am checking out the others. Nurtureshock is wonderful … highly recommended.

  2. Heather McDuffy Tristan says:

    I love What’s Going on in There! It is one of my go-to baby shower books! That and The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease (how did this not make the list?) and Aden and Anais swaddling wraps. Although I think NurtureShock is going to have to go on my to-give list too after reading it.

  3. shawna says:

    all the spam listed below.. Horrible. :(

  4. Julissa says:

    Going to put this atrcile to good use now.

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