My Favorite Books on Parenting Young Children

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Barbara Rouse, UPAT Parent Educator

Parenting young children is the most challenging job you’ll ever love. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, your child will do something new that sends you back to square one. A young child’s brain is rapidly growing and changing and wise parents grow and change right along with their child. Reading a parenting book can help give you confidence and teach you techniques that will help you raise a happy, healthy child. There are many good books in the library or available at your favorite bookstore. Here are a few of my favorites:


Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood: Practical Parenting from Birth to Six Years by Jim Fay and Charles Fay (Love and Logic Press; 1 edition (2000) ).  The Love and Logic parenting curriculum has been around since 1977 and it is an excellent resource for parents who want the building blocks to create children who grow up to be responsible, successful teens and adults. This book contains practical tips on potty training, temper tantrums, bedtime, whining, time-out, hassle-free mornings, and many more everyday challenges. This book is easy to read and understand and it’s also available on CD.


Parents in Charge by Dana Chidekel, Ph.D (Citadel (April 1, 2003). Targeted to parents of newborn to school-age children, Parents in Charge is packed with observations and practical strategies. While parenting is always a challenge, the author believes that it can be stressful and traumatic if parents don't have the right approach. Most parents, she argues, bring their own baggage to their skills as parents, which can affect their childrearing and their child. "To be the best parent you can be," she says, "you must develop your awareness of yourself. The better you know yourself and the more awareness you have of what has influenced you, the better able you are to see yourself and your children and to make the best choices for you and your family." To help readers navigate through the many issues parents face, Chidekel offers brief examples followed by a suggested course of action.

The book also sweats the small stuff: writing thank you notes, calling adults by their first names, and the need to rethink birthday parties with bulging party bags. Parents will be reassured and reinvigorated by Chidekel's wise counsel.

Touchpoints Birth to 3 by T. Berry Brazelton, M.D. (Da Capo Press; Second Edition edition (September 26, 2006) ) and Touchpoints 3 to 6 by T. Berry Brazelton, M.D. and Joshua D. Sparrow, M.D. (a Capo Press; First Paperback Printing edition (October 15, 2002) ). These are excellent reference books for any home library. Dr. Brazelton helps parents understand their child’s behavior and teaches them how to prevent future problems. Touchpoints are the universal spurts of development and the trying periods of regression that accompany them throughout childhood. These books offer a complete understanding of child development from a physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral point of view. They cover a wide range of topics such as asthma, childcare, chores, manners, sleep, television, toys, sibling rivalry, safety, etc.

Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline by Becky Bailey, PhD (Harper Paperbacks, 2001). In this book, Becky Bailey teaches parents to provide children with love and guidance by first learning self-control. She teaches seven powers for self-control, seven basic discipline skills, and seven values for living and gives parents the tools to stop policing and pleading, and start being the parents we want to be.

Good luck in your parenting journey and happy reading!

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