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Best Parenting Books: The 50 Top Parenting Books Of All Time (2020)

Best Parenting Books
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Best Parenting Books

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Looking for the best parenting books of all time? You’re in the right place!

New parent? Try these best books on pregnancy and best books on babies.

Feelings or emotions running high? Try these best books on emotional intelligence.

Wish you had more time with your family? Try these best books on productivity.

But otherwise, whether you’re a new parent or an experienced mom or dad; whether it’s one kid or two kids or three; whether they’re babies or toddlers or teens – look no further.

You’ll find every parenting book below stuffed with practical, life-changing research, information and advice on how to help children (and help parents) thrive.

The 50 Best Parenting Books Of All Time

Why these top parenting books and not others? The best parenting books below are the top picks from my master database, ranked by a combination of Goodreads rating, the number of Goodreads reviews and first publication date. The goal is to balance what’s most loved, what’s most popular and what’s proven timelessly relevant advice.

Think something’s missing? Leave a comment or email me and I’ll add it to the next round of updates. I honestly love hearing from you so please, do get in touch!

  1. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk (1996), Adele Faber
    286 pages. Rated 4.3 over 21,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  2. For the Children’s Sake (1984), Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
    165 pages. Rated 4.4 over 3,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  3. The Five Love Languages of Children (1995), Gary Chapman
    224 pages. Rated 4.2 over 18,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  4. Siblings Without Rivalry (1987), Adele Faber
    How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too
    288 pages. Rated 4.2 over 8,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  5. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families (1996), Stephen R. Covey
    390 pages. Rated 4.2 over 8,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  6. Between Parent and Child (1965), Haim G. Ginott
    The Bestselling Classic That Revolutionized Parent-Child Communication
    256 pages. Rated 4.3 over 1,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  7. Raising Your Spirited Child (1991), Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
    A Guide for Parents Whose Child is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic
    496 pages. Rated 4.2 over 6,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  8. The Whole-Brain Child (2011), Daniel J. Siegel
    12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help Your Family Thrive
    192 pages. Rated 4.2 over 18,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  9. Boundaries with Kids (1998), Henry Cloud
    When to Say Yes, When to Say No to Help Your Children Gain Control of Their Lives
    223 pages. Rated 4.3 over 2,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  10. Parenting With Love and Logic (1990), Foster W. Cline
    271 pages. Rated 4.1 over 11,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  11. Positive Discipline (1981), Jane Nelsen
    349 pages. Rated 4.2 over 2,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  12. Simplicity Parenting (2009), Kim John Payne
    Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids
    256 pages. Rated 4.2 over 8,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  13. The Conscious Parent (2010), Shefali Tsabary
    Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children
    300 pages. Rated 4.3 over 3,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  14. Delusions of Gender (2005), Cordelia Fine
    How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference
    338 pages. Rated 4.1 over 8,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  15. Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids (2012), Laura Markham
    How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting
    276 pages. Rated 4.3 over 5,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  16. The Blessing of a Skinned Knee (2001), Wendy Mogel
    Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children
    304 pages. Rated 4.2 over 3,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  17. Parent Effectiveness Training (1970), Thomas Gordon
    The Proven Program for Raising Responsible Children
    384 pages. Rated 4.2 over 1,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  18. Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child (1997), John M. Gottman
    240 pages. Rated 4.2 over 3,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  19. The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting (2013), Brené Brown
    Raising Children with Courage, Compassion, and Connection
    Rated 4.6 over 3,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  20. Untangled (2016), Lisa Damour
    Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood
    352 pages. Rated 4.5 over 6,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  21. No-Drama Discipline (2014), Daniel J. Siegel
    The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind
    290 pages. Rated 4.2 over 7,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  22. The Explosive Child (1998), Ross W. Greene
    298 pages. Rated 4.1 over 6,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  23. Nurture Shock (2008), Po Bronson
    New Thinking About Children
    352 pages. Rated 4.0 over 23,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  24. Playful Parenting (2001), Lawrence J. Cohen
    320 pages. Rated 4.1 over 3,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  25. How to Really Love Your Child (1977), D. Ross Campbell
    144 pages. Rated 4.2 over 900 reviews on Goodreads.
  26. Unconditional Parenting (2005), Alfie Kohn
    Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason
    272 pages. Rated 4.1 over 5,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  27. Becoming Attached (1994), Robert Karen
    First Relationships and How They Shape Our Capacity to Love
    512 pages. Rated 4.2 over 1,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  28. Making Children Mind without Losing Yours (1983), Kevin Leman
    270 pages. Rated 4.1 over 1,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  29. 1-2-3 Magic (1995), Thomas W. Phelan
    Effective Discipline for Children 2-12
    320 pages. Rated 3.9 over 7,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  30. Unequal Childhoods (2003), Annette Lareau
    Class, Race, and Family Life
    343 pages. Rated 4.2 over 2,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  31. Parenting From the Inside Out (2003), Daniel J. Siegel
    272 pages. Rated 4.1 over 3,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  32. The Smartest Kids in the World (2013), Amanda Ripley
    And How They Got That Way
    306 pages. Rated 4.1 over 12,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  33. The Second Shift (1989), Arlie Russell Hochschild
    322 pages. Rated 4.1 over 1,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  34. Bringing Up Boys (2001), James C. Dobson
    288 pages. Rated 3.9 over 6,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  35. Elevating Child Care (2014), Janet Lansbury
    A Guide to Respectful Parenting
    150 pages. Rated 4.3 over 1,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  36. The Collapse of Parenting (2015), Leonard Sax
    How We Hurt Our Kids When We Treat Them Like Grown-Ups
    304 pages. Rated 4.3 over 2,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  37. How to Raise an Adult (2015), Julie Lythcott-Haims
    Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success
    368 pages. Rated 4.1 over 6,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  38. How Children Succeed (2012), Paul Tough
    Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character
    256 pages. Rated 3.9 over 20,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  39. The Tech-Wise Family (2017), Andy Crouch
    Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place
    224 pages. Rated 4.3 over 3,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  40. It’s OK Not to Share (2012), Heather Shumaker
    And Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids
    400 pages. Rated 4.3 over 900 reviews on Goodreads.
  41. The Self-Driven Child (2018), William Stixrud
    The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives
    384 pages. Rated 4.4 over 2,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  42. The Gift of Failure (2014), Jessica Lahey
    How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed
    243 pages. Rated 4.1 over 4,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  43. Free-Range Kids (2009), Lenore Skenazy
    Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts with Worry
    195 pages. Rated 3.9 over 4,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  44. French Kids Eat Everything (2012), Karen Le Billon
    How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters
    321 pages. Rated 3.9 over 7,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  45. Why Gender Matters (2005), Leonard Sax
    What Parents and Teachers Need to Know about the Emerging Science of Sex Differences
    336 pages. Rated 4.0 over 2,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  46. Cribsheet (2019), Emily Oster
    A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool
    352 pages. Rated 4.1 over 7,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  47. All Joy and No Fun (2014), Jennifer Senior
    The Paradox of Modern Parenthood
    320 pages. Rated 3.9 over 10,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  48. The Opposite of Worry (2012), Lawrence J. Cohen
    The Playful Parenting Approach to Childhood Anxieties and Fears
    304 pages. Rated 4.3 over 500 reviews on Goodreads.
  49. The Child, the Family, and the Outside World (1964), D.W. Winnicott
    256 pages. Rated 4.0 over 200 reviews on Goodreads.
  50. The Secrets of Happy Families (2013), Bruce Feiler
    Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More
    292 pages. Rated 4.0 over 4,200 reviews on Goodreads.

Enjoyed these best parenting books of all time? You might also like…

II. Best Books Of All Time

These are the overall best books to read (by type).

III. Best Nonfiction Books (A-Z)

These are the best nonfiction books to read (by topic).

IV. Best Fiction Books (A-Z)

These are the best fiction books to read (by genre).

Or, you can read all my book recommendations.
Arthur Worsley
Arthur Worsley
Arthur is a thinker and writer who helps people who want more from their lives learn to be more productive, find more balance and live life more meaningfully. Want to know more? Take this 2-minute quiz to discover your Productivity Quotient (PQ) and learn how to get BIG things done. Take the Quiz →

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