Parenting Books/ Styles

Updated on November 21, 2010
C.D. asks from Saint Louis, MO
12 answers

What are the best books and/or parenting styles to help with a toddler that can be difficult? I have the book "Scream Free Parenting" but I would like to get another book to help us. Thanks for the suggestions.

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answers from Tulsa on

I threw them all out the window when my son was 7 in my opinion they dont work. parenting is trial and error. there is not a right or wrong answer.

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answers from Modesto on

I'm not sure any book can solve any problems. What does your child respond to? Screaming at anyone to get attention no matter what age you are is wrong. This is why you dont acknowledge it when your child does it and they learn to just block you out if you do it.
Always speak in a low tone, it forces them to listen, never let them see you sweat. Don't give them attention for doing annoying things or they will duplicate it over and over for that same attention. Do give them attention for everything they do that is good and right and wonderful. "Good job" is one of the best things a kid can hear from his parents and you cant say it enough.... and they learn to succeed and to get those "atta boys" by learning it at home. You are training an adult right now... take it seriously.

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answers from Dayton on

I like Making the Terrible 2's Terrific by John Rosemond.

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answers from Portland on

"Parenting from the Inside Out" Daniel Seigel

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answers from St. Louis on

Sometimes, the ability for a book to help you depends upon how well the philosophies and methods of that book blend into your family culture and how much the person reading the book actually understands and applies the principles. The book I always recommend to parents is The Family Virtues Guide, by Linda K. Popov. This book has proven highly effective and transformative around the world, was recognized and honored by the United Nations for its accomplishments, and was adopted by the Boys and Girls club of America.

What I look for in such a book are ideas that are based on universal principles, so that they will work in any culture. Each family develops its own culture, peculiar habits, expectations, and manners of expression. This book teaches you what respect is, not just how to say what might sound respectful to some. Some books only provide methods, leaving you to memorize lines and actions as if you were an actor rather than guiding you to develop a better understanding of the role a parent plays in their child's development. Most of the books offer some benefit, some phrasing ideas that are helpful. But, there is only one book, I found that helped me really understand the potential in myself as a parent and the a amazing potential I could help my child unfold from within himself. This book goes beyond positive discipline and encouraging language. It helps you develop the understanding that virtues (character development) are not just a behavior, but a motive force that expresses who we really are. It helps you to rely upon your own true virtue (how to awaken what is best in you) and to guide your children into recognizing how to employ the amazing potentials within themselves. The children I see raised by parents who really use this book are not simply well behaved. They exhibit a depth of wisdom, understanding, genuineness, courtesy and purposefulness that is currently uncommon.

But, I will warn you. One of the first things the book points out is that our parents did not have this book and the first thing you want to do is to use the principles in this book to sort of re-parent yourself. This really is more pleasant than it sounds. It is one of the best gifts anyone could give themselves. I found that if I learned to apply these principles to myself, I not only became far more happy and empowered within myself, but I began using those principles to raise my son rather automatically.

Learning to use that book was not only one of the best things I did for my son, but for myself, my marriage, and my grandchildren. You can purchase the book online through a variety of sources. You may find used copies via You can also find other publications and CDs recorded from workshops on developing the skills of virtue education at

As I say, other books are helpful and may even provide a program that is quicker to employ. I would not stop with just one book. But, I found that The Family Virtues Guide was the book I returned to for real understanding over and over again. My son is 24 y/o, and like any 24 y/o has areas in which he is still developing. But, he is willingly and joyfully volunteering a year and a half of his life overseas to help make the world a much happier and virtuous place for all children. We got that book when he was 7 and I know it played a powerful role in his life.



answers from St. Louis on

You might also look into the book The New Strong Willed Child by James Dobson. It is from a Christian perspective somewhat, but he makes good points either way. It has helped me alot. Also, he wrote Bringing Up Boys and Bringing up Girls, depending on which you have. The boys one gave me alot of perspective on my boys. Good luck, our strong willed little ones are a real test, but so worth it in the end, just think of all the wonderful things they can do when they are older because of will power :)



answers from New York on

1, 2, 3 Magic is excellent, as a clinical psych graduate student it was the book we recommended to all parents who came to us. Works with two-year-olds and up.



answers from Atlanta on

Raising Your Spirited Child is a good one IF you have a spirited child! You will probably have to read it to figure out if it truly pertains to your toddler, but it's been helpful to us. It contains good suggestions that seem to work with a certain type of personality.


answers from New York on

My favorite: Happiest Toddler on the Block by Karp
LOVE it and highly recommend it. I toned down some of his talking like a toddler stuff but used his advise about giving LOTS of controlled choices and putting their feelings into words and reading his explanation of ages and stages made me really understand where my child's head was at every age till four. My third child never had a temper tantrum until age 5 so I need him to write a new book!


answers from Sacramento on

My favorite parenting book ever is John Rosemond's "The New Parenting Power!" He takes a very common-sense approach. He also has a book about the Terrible Twos (Making the Terrible Twos Terrific).

I have used his methods for years and I get lots of compliments on how well-behaved my children are, and how happy they are. (And by the way, my youngest was the queen of the terrible twos - I used to think, thank goodness she's so cute or I'd sell her to the gypsies! LOL)



answers from San Diego on

"Taming the Spirited Child" by Michael Popkin was really helpful to me. Also "Positive Discipline for the Toddler Years" and "1-2-3 Magic." It really does depend on what issues you are concerned about, though.



answers from Kansas City on

I LOVE Love and Logic for Early Childhood and have recently started reading a book on Conscious Discipline recommended by my daughter's preschool and it it also really great...pretty similar. I would highly recommend the Love and Logic, it's worked out wonderfully for us. Good luck!

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