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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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Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

John Gottman

50 Best Parenting Books - Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

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Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work’s Rankings

The book: A research-based approach to improving and nurturing a couple’s relationship.

Top tips:

  • Let your partner influence you: Gottman’s research has shown that couples tend to be happier when each person (especially the husband) is swayed by the opinions of the other.

  • Soften your start-up. Healthy couples can fight just as often as unhappy ones, but couples who stay together approach difficult conversations in a softer, less aggressive tone.

  • Despite what your therapist will tell you, those ongoing conflicts (over chores and responsibilities, or sex, for example) don’t have to be completely solved for your marriage to thrive.

Why we picked it: A close, happy couple is an important piece of the family puzzle, and this book is one of the best at giving useable, psychologically sound advice.

Get it from: Amazon, $8.66

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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.

  5. Parenting technique not working for you? Teach your children self-reliance as you get happy first-time compliance, even from your strong-willed children. The book From
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