Read about my favorite parenting books that have most significantly impacted the way I love, raise, and point my kids to Jesus!
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If you’ve known me for a minute, you know one of my favorite things to do is talk about my favorite books. It brings me great joy to connect people I care about with books I love. And when certain books change my life, I can’t help but pass them along!
One of the most common requests I get, as both a real-life friend and online blogger, is for parenting book recommendations. I’m constantly seeking to learn and grow as a parent, so I’ve read a lot of books on the subject. I just can’t help myself — when I see a good parenting book, I have to read it!
I know some people avoid parenting books like the plague, criticizing them for being too prescriptive or for making parents feel like they can never do enough. And I get it! I’ve certainly read books like that.
But I know, without a doubt, that I would not be the mom I am (or the mom I will be) without the insights and advice of wiser, more experienced parents. Especially the ones who have taken the time and done the work of sharing it with the world.
Certainly, I’ve had to do a fair amount of keeping what’s good for me and my family and leaving the rest (as you should with any book). But overall, the following books have inspired me, encouraged me, and equipped me in my journey to become the mom God called me to be.
Top 10 Favorite Parenting Books
Here are my favorite parenting books that have most significantly impacted the way I love, raise, and point my kids to Jesus:
Discipline That Connects With Your Child’s Heart, by Jim & Lynne Jackson
This book completely changed the way I viewed discipline — in a good way! It helped me see the bigger picture of my discipline agenda and reframe behavior issues as opportunities to show unconditional love, build strengths, and restore hearts. When people ask me for parenting book recommendations, this is almost always the first one I mention.
Shepherding a Child’s Heart, by Ted Tripp
This is another book that reshaped the way I viewed discipline and my overall parenting goals and methods. As a (sort of) recovering people pleaser who for yearrrrrs cared more about following the rules than truly following Jesus, I’m not interested in mere behavior modification for my kids. I want to shepherd their hearts. If that’s you, as well, this book will be a great resource for you.
Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family, by Paul David Tripp
I can’t recommend this one highly enough. Using 14 gospel principles, Paul Tripp shows us that we need so much more than the latest parenting strategies — we need the grace of God. Both philosophical and practical, this book will help you parent your children as God intended — as ambassadors of His son, Jesus, and tools in His ever-capable hands.
Parenting with Love and Logic, by Foster Cline & Jim Fay
This book has been used all over the Christian and secular world by parents, educators, and other professionals. It gives practical approaches to teaching kids responsibility and character by letting them learn and grow through their own mistakes and consequences.
While I don’t follow their methods completely (mostly because I lack the necessary consistent follow-through #justbeinghonest), they made a WORLD of difference with our very strong-willed middle child. And I love the focus on building relationships and giving kids the gift of owning and solving their own problems.
This book was POWERFUL. Not only did it give me tools for raising kids who follow Jesus in this increasingly crazy world, but it inspired and equipped me to grow in God’s truth and love through His Word and prayer. If you’ve ever felt completely overwhelmed by the daunting task of raising kids with Godly character, you MUST get this book into your hands and heart.
Love-Centered Parenting, by Crystal Paine
This is not a parenting manual with magical solutions, but rather an invitation to a new way of parenting. Parenting from freedom, rest, and love.
With a humility that both astounds and inspires me, a fire in her belly you can feel through the pages, and words obviously inspired straight from the Holy Spirit, Crystal teaches us about the life-changing, relationship-building, peace-giving practice of love-centered parenting.
A definite must-read for anyone feeling weighed down by pressure and guilt in parenting and/or who longs for better, deeper connections with her kids.
Simplicity Parenting, by Kim John Payne
The premise of this book is how today’s ultra-fast-paced society full of “too much” everything is wreaking havoc on our kids’ development and mental health, and how a simplified approach can restore the beauty of childhood. While I didn’t 100% subscribe to everything he presented, the vast majority of it was riveting, informative, and profitable. This book is extremely necessary for families today, and it will profoundly impact any parent who reads it.
Live Love Now: Relieve the Pressure and Find Real Connection with Our Kids, by Rachel Macy Stafford
This was one of the most valuable parenting books I’ve ever read. While it may be directed to parents/loved ones/mentors of teens and preteens, the principles can be applied to any age. If you want to meaningfully connect with your kids and build strong, lasting relationships, this book is for you.
Let Them Be Kids, by Jessica Smartt
Reading this book was a joy for me. Much of it deeply challenged and convicted me, but her honesty and humor made it seem almost (almost) painless! I walked away from it with a completely different view of childhood and a new passion for preserving it. Expounding on 10 gifts we need to give our kids, Jessica supports and encourages us as we prepare our kids for life by letting them be kids.
Raising Kingdom Kids, by Tony Evans
I read this one quite some time ago, so I’ve forgotten a lot of the particulars. (I think I need a re-read!) However, I will never forget its impact. From the time my oldest was a baby, the messages of this book have helped me parent from a Kingdom perspective, creating an atmosphere of faith in our home, basing my identity on God’s Word, and intentionally raising the next generation of world-changers.
Because I’m terrible at making decisions, here are some of the other fantastic parenting books I’ve read and loved:
- The Lifegiving Parent: Giving Your Child a Life Worth Living for Christ, by Clay & Sally Clarkson — Read my review
- Modern Parents, Vintage Values, by Sissy Goff & Melissa Trevathan — Read my review
- Parents Rising: 8 Strategies for Raising Kids Who Love God, Respect Authority, and Value What’s Right, by Arlene Pellicane — Read my review
- Effective Parenting in a Defective World, by Chip Ingram
SHARE WITH US: What are some of your favorite parenting books? I want to know! Share them in the comments below.
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