10 of My Favorite Books For Parents

Two adults stand with their backs turned to the camera in front of bookcases full of brightly colored books

As the days get shorter and cooler, it’s perfect weather to curl up with a new book. Enjoy some time for yourself to learn, grow, and reflect. Here’s a list of some of my favorite books for parents and families. 


1. What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing by Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD and Oprah Winfrey

Dr. Perry and Oprah have a compelling back-and-forth in this page-turner about what it means to be resilient and heal from trauma. They are both captivating storytellers who break down the effects of trauma on children and adults. This book will change how you approach people who have experienced traumatic events.

Find it on Amazon here.

2. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD 

Dr. Van Der Kolk is an internationally recognized expert on traumatic stress. In this ground-breaking book, he examines how trauma changes the brain and body. Also, he looks at how relationships can hurt and heal, as well as other ways to recover from trauma. 

Find it at Barnes & Noble here.   

3. No Bad Parts: Healing Trauma and Restoring Wholeness with the Internal Family Systems Model by Richard Schwartz, PhD

Such a compassionate look at how we handle things like depression, trauma, and substance use. Not only does Dr. Schwartz explore why we have different parts of ourselves, but he also identifies ways to become whole. A very easy-to-read book. 

Find it here.  

Parenting and Discipline

4. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown, PhD, MSW

Another thoughtful and well-researched book from Brené Brown. In “Daring Greatly,” she discusses how shame influences us and how to tap into the strength of vulnerability. Not a parenting book exactly, but the book has many ideas for reflection and growth which can help make us better parents.

Check it out here.

5. The Whole Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help Your Family Thrive by Daniel J. Siegel, MD and Tina Payne Bryson, PhD

An easy read for any parent or caregiver. Using neuroscience research, the authors provide clear strategies on how to handle tantrums, manage conflict, and foster social skills in children. I regularly refer to this book! 

Find it on Dr. Siegel’s website here.

6. Parenting from the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive by Daniel J. Siegel, MD and Mary Hartzell, MEd

Another insightful book from Dr. Siegel, this time with co-author Mary Hartzell, a former nursery school teacher. This book offers a step-by-step approach for parents to explore their own childhood experiences in order to gain insights into why they parent the way they do. Through research on attachment, communication, and neurobiology, this book offers a bridge from self-understanding to raising healthy children.

Check it out here.   

7. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish

A classic parenting book that provides strategies on how to strengthen your communication skills with your child. In addition, you’ll learn how to cope with your child’s emotions and support them in making healthy choices.

You can find it on Amazon, here.


8. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, MD

I’ve learned so much from this book over the years! Whether for a newborn, toddler, or tween, Dr. Weissbluth provides information and recommendations on how to support a child’s healthy sleep. The science is so compelling, it might even motivate you to make improvements to your own sleep routine.

Check it out here.

Stress and Anxiety

9. The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook for Kids: Help for Children to Cope with Stress, Anxiety & Transitions by Lawrence E. Shapiro, PhD and Robin K. Sprague, LCPC

This is such a handy workbook for helping kids learn how to better manage feelings of stress, worry, and anxiety. Full of great handouts, activities, ideas, information, and resources. I use this book all the time.

Find it here.

10. Helping Your Anxious Child: A Step-by-Step Guide for Parents by Ronald Rapee, PhD, Ann Wignall, DPsych, Susan Spence, PhD, Heidi Lyneham, PhD, and Vanessa Cobham, PhD

I really like this self-help book for parents wanting to learn new ways to help their children manage anxiety. It has techniques for very young kids up through adolescents. Grounded in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy research and techniques, parents and caregivers will get a lot out of it! 

You can find it on the publisher’s website here.

Of course, these are only the beginning and barely scratch the surface of helpful books out there. Hope this is at least a place to start and… more to come! Happy reading! 

A black child faces the camera and smiles, with an orange in his mouth; A black man sits behind him at a table with breakfast food