What are the best gentle parenting books out there? There are some very good options for this style of raising children
There are numerous ways one can go about raising their children. There isn’t a one-style-fits-all solution, sometimes it is a hit-and-miss-and-try-again affair. Parents sometimes lean on their upbringing as to how they want to raise their own children but on the flip side of that, they also use their childhood as how they do not wish to raise their children. There are thousands of books on the market that can help. Different styles, different ideas, different approaches. One style that could help in raising children is called gentle parenting and yes, there are gentle parenting books out there as well. So, what is gentle parenting and what are the best gentle parenting books on the market?
WHAT IS GENTLE PARENTING?
This style of parenting is where parents raise their children without any punishment. They don’t shame their children, nor do they blame their children. This type of parenting becomes more of a partnership, a collaborative effort by both parents and children.
This style is exactly what it sounds like. A gentle approach to child-rearing. This soft approach and style allow parents or caregivers to approach parenting without having to be firm, angry, or even include discipline toward their child. Instead, the gentle parenting style means parents will guide their children with boundaries that are both consistent and compassionate and not by the use of a firm hand.
According to parent coach and the Neurodiverging Podcast host, Danielle Sullivan, via Parents, “Gentle parenting, also known as collaborative parenting, is a style of parenting where parents do not compel children to behave by means of punishment or control, but rather use connection, communication, and other democratic methods to make decisions together as a family.” If you are going to use the gentle parenting style, you will see with some of the best gentle parenting books that it is comprised of four major components – respect, empathy, understanding, and boundaries.
GENTLE PARENTING BENEFITS
Before we delve into the best gentle parenting books, let us first take a look at some of the benefits of this parenting style. As you may imagine, there are quite a few benefits to the gentle parenting way of raising your kids. “Gentle parenting teaches children that they can be active in the world, set their own boundaries, trust their own needs, and make their voices heard. It offers a framework for children to learn to assert themselves clearly but respectfully,” says Sullivan. “And this parenting approach reduces their chances of being taken advantage of by bullying behavior.” There are other benefits as well. These include:
- Better Child-Parent Bond – One study found that the bond between parent and child grows with gentle parenting. What the study found to be true is that it doesn’t cost parents a thing to offer their children a most valuable gift – “love, time, and support.”
- Anxiety Reduction – Research centered around gentle parenting has shown to lessen the stress and anxiety found in many children. One study involving the gentle parenting style showed that the approach may also help shy toddlers emerge from their shells.
- Social Skill Positivity – It is well known that for the most part, babies, as well as toddlers, copy what they see and hear. With gentle parenting rooted in respect and empathy, children would have the tendency to model these positive traits. As they grow, learning these key values, they in turn become respectful and empathetic teenagers and then adults.
There are always going to be either naysayers or actual drawbacks to the many different parenting styles and even with the best books as a guide, gentle parenting has a few of its own. To some, this way of raising a child can seem as enabling. It can also be, if not careful, a very challenging way to bring up a kid. It is not uncommon to have either the parents, or the kids, and in a few instances both, struggle with the lack of structure in upbringing or discipline. Especially for those who, in their own childhood, were raised with a firm hand.
One thing you will need to have, without a doubt, if using the gentle parenting style, is patience. This approach is not for everyone and though you, as the parent, may take to it, your child may not. Along with patience, parents will also need to be persistent in how they approach their child, and even if there are a few setbacks, they need to continue the practice.
THE GENTLE PARENTING MISUNDERSTANDING
It is easy at first blush to think that this way of raising a child is without boundaries. A child with no boundaries can be a terrifying thought and this gentle approach may lead some parents to think they will lose control. Have no fear, this is where some of the best gentle parenting books come into play. What some of them will tell you is that while it might not seem like it, because of how the lack of discipline is stressed, there actually is some.
Understand, the goal in this way of parenting is the partnership that resides between parents and children. Firing off on your child with either anger or commands is highly discouraged with gentle parenting and if you are going this route, those things should not be used at all. Instead, for instance, a day at the park can look like this. You agree with your child that your child can play in a certain area where you both can see each other and together, if the child strays a little too far, they will wave at each other to acknowledge the situation and return to where they agreed upon.
THE BEST GENTLE PARENTING BOOKS
So, now we know the generalities behind gentle parenting. It seems like a style you’d like to research a bit more because the approach is something you’d like to try out. Are there any great books out there that you may be able to take a peek at that can help you maneuver your way? Yes, there are and we are going to list off a few of the best gentle parenting books on the market. We present them in no particular order.
RAISING GOOD HUMANS: A MINDFUL GUIDE TO BREAKING THE CYCLE OF REACTIVE PARENTING AND RAISING KIND, CONFIDENT KIDS
PRICE – $12.89 on Amazon.
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WHY WE LIKE IT – From the get-go, author Hunter Clarke-Fields lets readers know that if we want a kinder and more compassionate world around us, then it will most definitely start with raising kinder and more compassionate children. Gentle parenting is the start of this. Not only does Clarke-Fields steer you through the trials and tribulations of gentle parenting, but he also provides tricks of the trade that will help you calm your very own stress responses.
HOW TO TALK SO KIDS WILL LISTEN & LISTEN SO KIDS WILL TALK
PRICE – $11.99 on Amazon.
WHY WE LIKE IT – This gentle parenting book is perfect for building a trusting and communicative relationship between parents and children. It will show you how to deal with your child’s negative feelings like frustration, disappointment, and anger and offer methods to solve these issues. It explains how to set limits but also maintain the goodwill between parents and children. Alternatives to punishments will be given. Readers will also be shown how to resolve any conflicts without raising their voices.
HOW TO STOP LOSING YOUR SH*T WITH YOUR KIDS: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO BECOMING A CALMER, HAPPIER PARENT
PRICE – $12.85 on Amazon.
WHY WE LIKE IT – The book’s title should be enough to engage readers. This book is filled with insights and tips that will get parents through meltdowns without them first losing their sh*t. It offers compassionate approaches on how to deal, it removes the stigma of being ashamed if that feeling creeps up on you, and it walks parents through to not only get past it but how to carry on once you have.
THE BOOK YOU WISH YOUR PARENTS HAD READ
PRICE – $13.80 on Amazon.
WHY WE LIKE IT – Yeah, haven’t we at one time said this to ourselves – “wish our parents did this when we were young.” Well, that is what this book is all about. Gentle parenting you wish your parents had done with you. With this Sunday Times bestselling gentle parenting book, you will read the important do’s and don’ts in your relationship with your children. You will get some fantastic advice on how to begin your gentle parenting adventure and how to nurture it as you move forward.
THE CONSCIOUS PARENT
PRICE – $10.99 on Amazon.
WHY WE LIKE IT – This is one of the very first gentle parenting books on the market and even today remains one of the best. This book takes a look at how children are the mirror selves of how their parents used to be. It shines a light on how parents wished they had grown up and how, now, they can teach their kids what they wish they were taught.
We will be the first to admit that gentle parenting isn’t for everyone. You have to be a certain type of parent with a certain type of outlook to truly make this work for both you and your children. But it doesn’t mean you can give it a go. It also doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of great resources at your fingertips that can help. The above five best gentle parenting books are just a start.