The thought of becoming a parent for the first time can fill us with insecurities, which is why one of the first things expecting mums and dads usually do when they discover the good news, is to surf the Internet for the world’s best-selling parenting skills books. All families have their philosophies, beliefs and issues to deal with. Therefore, books which are treasure troves for one set of parents may not be considered useful by another. Having said that, we present you with a list of best-selling books which we hope will tackle some of the most important issues you may have to face as a parent.
1 The New Contented Little Baby Book: The Secret to Calm and Confident Parenting by Gina Ford: Considered a classic for parents who value routine, this parenting book offers a very strict schedule to be followed if you want baby to be sleeping through the night within a few weeks of birth. The author goes against the notion that waking baby up every few hours for a feed, is cruel. Her basic tenet is simple and effective: if babies are well fed and have not slept too many hours during the day, they are more likely to get a good night’s rest.
2 The House of Tiny Tearaways with Dr Tanya Byron: This highly readable parenting book is highly popular the world-over, since it teaches readers how to transform their parenting skills in a positive, practical, effective manner. The book highlights the typical issues parents have to deal with, including sleeping difficulties, problems with food, tantrums and phobias. Byron’s view is simple yet highly effective: reward good behaviour, ignore bad behaviour. She also encourages us to understand how our own fears and past experiences shape the parenting style we adopt.
3 Raising Boys by Steve Biddulph: This best-selling gem is an absolute must if understanding your sons better is key. Delving into science and psychology in a very readable, entertaining manner, it provides information on how boys’ and girls’ development differs, the different stages of boyhood, the importance of sport, how mums and dads are important in different ways and much more. It also stresses the importance of bringing up your sons in an atmosphere where equality, independence and self-esteem are valued.
4 How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish: If we had only one book to take along to a desert island, this would be it. Often the most tattered and torn book at most public libraries, it provides handy tips on how to listen and communicate with children in an effective manner. It is also highly readable, offering useful comic strips in every chapter to illustrate all the techniques suggested previously. Some useful tips include acknowledging your child’s feelings, inviting the child to join in the process of finding a win-win situation and using short commands (not long, nagging phrases) to obtain the reaction you want from your child.
5 Teaching Your Children Responsibility by Linda and Richard Eyre: Parents often complain that there are too many books on babies and toddlers on the market and not enough books for older children. This useful book emphasises the importance of teaching children that life is not all about taking; it is also about being responsible to one’s parents, community and above all, oneself. The book provides useful tips and exercises aimed at building a peaceful, loving home in which everyone has rights and responsibilities.
This is our top five, do you recommend any others? Let us know!