I’ve always love reading, but once I found out I was pregnant with my oldest son, my reading became hyper-focused on the best parenting books I could find. Of course, at that point, I thought I knew everything about how to be a good parent.
Then my son was born!
I quickly discovered that I had a lot to learn about the whole parenting thing. And, I also realized there was no step-by-step guide or hard and fast rules for being a parent. So, I did the best I could with the information I had, researched the stuff I didn’t know, and prayed A LOT!
You see, when I was in the midst of those first few years of parenting, the only thing I read was diaper labels, rash cream descriptions, and ingredient lists. I just didn’t have the time or energy to read books. Well, that isn’t entirely true. I’d read aloud to them all the time, but I didn’t read books outside of those written for children with lots of pictures.
Not Your “Typical” Best Parenting Books
Now that I have gotten through the exhausting newborn phase, the difficult toddler years, and the elementary years, I am even more confident in the timeless message of these four books. They are without a doubt the best parenting books I’ve ever read.
Interestingly, you’ve probably never even heard of them because these books are not your typical parenting books. They don’t contain the latest pregnancy trends, sleeping techniques, or parenting gadgets.
These books are centered on how you can grow as a parent, and they will completely transform the way you parent.
You may be thinking, “My kids are grown! Should I be reading parenting books at this point in my journey?” I want to answer that with a resounding YES!!
If you have grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or are around children in any capacity, you MUST read these books. Trust me, they are just as relevant to you as first-time parents.
This post contains affiliate links. However, these are all books that I personally own! If you click and make a purchase, I receive a commission. For more information, you can read my full disclosure policy.
Best Parenting Books
The first two books I mention are geared toward parents in general, but I feel they speak to us as mamas on a much deeper level. The last two books are for us as women, challenging us to become the very best version of ourselves. I hope you find this list to be as enlightening as I have.
Bringing Up Boys by James Dobson
Hands down, the absolute best book I’ve ever read when it comes to understanding boys. In fact, I love it so much that I buy it as a gift for new mamas expecting boys. If you are a boy mama, you MUST read this book, it will change your whole mindset. As an added bonus, it will help you understand your husband, too.
Even if you’re not a boy mama, but you teach or work with boys in any capacity, you need this book. It is a game-changer. (For those of you that have girls, there is a Bringing Up Girls book by this same author. While I haven’t read it, I’m sure it’s just as amazing as the boy version.)
Reset for Parents by Todd Friel
This book has opened my eyes and changed my approach in disciplining my boys. I want my boys to know that I don’t discipline them because I am stronger or because I am “better” than them. They now know that when they are disobeying or being rebellious they are sinning against the Lord.
The information in this book has opened up some very in-depth conversations about the implications of our actions and how mercy and grace fit into the picture. I cannot say enough good things about this book. But let me suffice it to say, you need this one!
The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst
This book is one that I had in my personal library for a long time before I ever actually took the time to read it. When I purchased it, I had intentions of reading it immediately, but that didn’t happen.
However, once I did take the time to read it, I was overwhelmed with the message. This book has been pivotal in helping me define when to say yes to something and when to say no.
I’ve learned that there are times I can say no with confidence and not feel guilty about it. There are also times when saying yes will result in having to give up something much more valuable. If you struggle with saying no, this is a must read! You’ll be so glad you did.
Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford
If you’ve ever felt guilty for the amount of time you spend glued to your phone, distracted, or simply not being present, you need to read this book.
With so many distractions in our lives, it’s easy to become absorbed in everything going on around us. Unfortunately, this means we don’t attend to the most important things in our lives…our children and families.
This book is one mama’s journey to creating an abundant, unplugged, and connected life with her husband and children. She gives you actionable steps to achieve the life that you want! And I can tell you that I will be reading this book again this summer.
Remember, if you still have little bitty kiddos running around, reading may be something that doesn’t happen in the traditional sense. But, thanks to the invention of audiobooks, you can actually “read” without reading! You can listen while you’re driving, exercising, or cooking dinner…at least theoretically. If that isn’t an option during this season, just pin this post and come back to it in a year or so because this list of the best parenting books will absolutely make you a better parent.
Are there any books you think should be added to this list? I would love for you to share your thoughts in the comments below!