Sneak peek: My list of child development books for parents that will offer insights into your child’s behavior.
I’ve been on a new mission this year to read more…and not just on a glowing screen but actual books. I read an article that some of the most successful people around (Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates) read at least 1 hour per day. In other words, the pattern of their success is all about ongoing learning. They spend at least 5 hours per week in some sort of deliberate learning (usually reading). To emulate this (if even a little) I’ve put together some of the child development books that are most helpful for parents.
The thing I love about these child development books is that they combine both research-based insights and real-life examples. Although I deeply value research, some child development and parenting books are heavy on research but do not offer enough actionable advice. On the other extreme are the parenting or child development books that are primarily based on first-hand experience (and maybe a little psychology jargon) but are not really based on real research. The books on this list strike a nice balance between providing enough research to be reliable but also offering helpful tips to parents on actually challenges they experience in real life.
This list is a work in progress so check back often. Enjoy!
Child Development Books For Parents
If you’ve seen Dr. Becky Kennedy on Instagram, you probably love her relatable and practical tips just like I do. This book is all that goodness expanded and fully explored in book form. It falls more in the “parenting book” category than child development but it’s a great read when you have parenting questions.
One of my all-time favorite parenting and child development books. It focused on helping kids manage their emotions and how to foster empathy and resilience in kids.
This book take a new approach to looking at children’s behaviors—as signals of a deeper issue rather than just the problem themselves. Dr. Delahooke uses the latest findings in neuroscience to help us understand the root causes of our children’s behavior in their nervous systems.
My book! A wonderful guide for moms with new babies (first-time or not). This book walks with moms through the first months of motherhood. It provides research-based guidance, developmental guidelines and real-life inspiration. Don’t journey those first months of motherhood alone–this book can help. Now also available on Amazon for the Kindle.
A wonderful book by a well-known parenting coach who works with some of the most challenging kids. Her system of understanding children’s behavior has helped thousands of kids and their families.
A book to help you put the big picture of parenting back into focus. Real-life wisdom about how to create connections with kids while still taking care of yourself.
A classic in the child development field. This book has helped millions of parents learn the power of words and how our language can help build a strong relationship with our kids.
Another modern-day classic book for parents. Using the science of child development, parents learn how to discipline effectively through teaching, not harsh punishment or demeaning kids.
If your child has a strong-willed or spirited temperament, this is a must-read! Learn how to approach all aspects of parent so your child will respond better to you.
An eye-opening book that I return to again and again. It really helps you see what the goal of parenting really is–to nurture and guide our child to become who they are meant to be. A must-read for all parents!
If you have a child nearing preschool and have started considering what type of educational setting they need, this book is for you. It walks parents through the ideal preschool situation and what the goals of preschool should be.
A wonderful book for moms to help us see how we can balance giving of ourselves to our kids with actually caring for ourselves too.
Another book that is a great starting point for parents or teachers. It uses research (in a friendly way) to help uncover many common child development myths.
Do you struggle with knowing when to step in and help your child figure out a tricky situation and when to step by and allow them to problem-solve on their own? From toddlers to teens, this book helps you understand how to support your child’s development by fostering autonomy and independence (in all the best ways).
Another new favorite. By examining decades of research on attachment theory and attunement, this book shows us how the discord and disconnect we find in our relationships can actually help build stronger bonds.
This is the book we all need right now to help us make research-informed parenting decisions. It helps us get past all the misinformation and answer many common parenting issues.
If you have a toddler, this is the first book you should read. It offers a gentle, but effective way of disciplining toddlers while keeping their development in mind.
Written by a top expert in the field, this book helps parents focus on building a strong relationship with their kids (which, by the way, helps their behavior too).
A great book if you are concerned about parenting kids during this high-anxiety time. Wonderful advice from the founder of Child Mind Institute. Full of helpful examples from clinical practice.
Related reading: Best Books for Baby Brain Development
Perfect for Pinning: