Last Updated on June 29, 2021 by Sarah
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On the hunt for the best peaceful parenting books?
View My Top Pick: Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids
As Laura Markham, of Aha Parenting, points out, in the ‘noise’ of today’s lifestyle, it’s often hard to find the space to listen to, hear and have the confidence to act upon our natural parenting instincts.
And so often, this can lead to ‘disconnecting’ from our kids, leading to arguments and yelling. This is where a peaceful parenting approach can work wonders.
Peaceful parenting is an approach to parenting that aims to foster happy, connected, confident kids, without resorting to yelling or some of the more modern parenting strategies, such as rewards or punishments.
With a focus on meeting the needs of parent and child, peaceful parenting aims to model emotions, accept kids’ ‘big emotions’ with compassion and set limits with empathy, rather than force.
Peaceful parenting is also often associated with practices such as breastfeeding & baby wearing.
For a highly accessible book on peaceful parenting that also offers simple, actionable tips you can use right away, I’d recommend starting out with Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids, by Dr Laura Markham.
Saying that, all the following books have been monumentally helpful to me as a parent and are the books I come back to again and again…
I hope they can do the same for you.
6 Of The Best Peaceful Parenting Books To Help You Raise Happy, Connected Kids…
Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids – How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting, Dr Laura Markham
If you want to yell less and connect more, so you you ‘don’t need to threaten, nag, plead, bribe—or even punish’, try implementing some of Dr Laura Markham’s ideas in Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids.
Laura runs the highly successful www.ahaparenting.com and she’s an expert in teaching parents how to connect with their children, through actionable, practical tips, rooted in the latest brain development research.
If you want an accessible book on peaceful parenting, with practical tips you can start implementing immediately, this is it.
The Continuum Concept, Jan Liedlof
Jean Liedloff spent two and a half years in the South American jungle living with Stone Age Indians, which completely shattered her Western understanding of parenting (I know, stay with me!).
Liedloff discovered that many indigenous communities, such as the Indians she lived with, simply don’t experience many of the issues we face in the West, such as cot deaths, colic or tantrums. And she put this down to their child centred, connection based practices such as baby wearing, breast feeding and co-sleeping.
In The Continuum Concept, Liedloff shows us practical ways to regain life as nature intended, not only for our children, but also for ourselves. The book won’t be for everyone, as it’s a book like no other really. It’s also not really a ‘how to’ guide, although some of the key principles can certainly be followed. However, if it does just one thing – it will make you question things.
For me it’s essential parent reading.
Playful Parenting, Lawrence J Cohen
I love this book. In fact, I almost guarantee Playful Parenting will transform the way you look at play, which can help our children:
- express and understand complex emotions
- break through shyness, anger, and fear
- empower themselves and respect diversity
- play their way through sibling rivalry
- and cooperate without power struggles.
Play is kind of children’s ‘work’ after all. It’s how they learn and it’s how they make sense of the world. And this book invites you to connect with your child through playing ‘with’ them, helping them to work out complex issues and challenges without resorting to instant ‘tellings off’ or shaming.
Lawrence Cohen is a trained psychologist who writes with deep warmth and compassion, offering lots of actionable, real life examples of his ‘playful parenting’ ideas in practice, for you to follow.
Parenting From the Inside Out, Daniel J Siegel and Mary Hartzell
Written by child psychiatrist Daniel J. Siegel and early-childhood expert Mary Hartzell, Parenting From the Inside Out explores how our childhood experiences shape the way we parent.
Drawing on neurobiology and attachment research, the book presents the idea that, armed with a deeper understanding of our own upbringing and life stories, we’ll be better equipped to raise compassionate and resilient children.
Parenting From the Inside Out isn’t necessarily the easiest peaceful parenting book to take on, as it asks you to examine your own childhood, in order to determine why, as parents, we do some of the things we do.
But if you’re up for taking a look in the mirror and don’t mind a bit of science, this book can provide you with some amazing and invaluable insights into your own behaviour as a parent. More importantly perhaps, it will also offer you some solutions for when things aren’t quite going to plan!
How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
This is often hailed as one of the best peaceful parenting books out there. Another highly accessible book, it lays out effective step by step techniques to help you improve and enrich your relationships with your children.
The book will guide you through ways to:
- break a pattern of arguments
- cope with negative feelings
- engage your child’s cooperation
- set clear limits and maintain goodwill
- express your emotions without being hurtful
- resolve conflicts peacefully.
If we’re brutally honest, I think most of us disrespect our children every day, often without realising it. We lecture them, often fail to really listen or we jump in and solve problems for them, rather than giving them tools to work it out themselves.
The essence of this book is quite simple really – respect your children and they will respect you.
If you like books with straightforward actionable ideas or are having power struggles with your child, this is a must read.
Magical Parent, Magical Child, Michael Mendizza and Joseph Chiltern Pearce
I’m not sure how I originally came across this book, but I love it. I spent 2 days in bed ill and just consumed it.
I just love the concept of the subtitle – ‘The Art of Joyful Parenting’. Because parenting should be joyful. I think a lot of the joy of parenting has been lost in today’s frenetic society and this book examines how to get it back.
In Magical Parent, Magical Child the authors present seven principles for guiding and teaching children, rejecting traditional modern parenting approaches, such as rewards and punishments, in favour of playful interaction, creative intelligence, and insight.
What’s interesting about the book is the way it incorporates strategies that have led top athletes to perform at their peak levels, which the book terms as “zone,” “flow,” and “play.”
By employing these same concepts, Magical Parent, Magical Child demonstrates how parents can create ‘Optimum Learning Relationships’ with children of any age.
The book is written in a very conversational tone between the authors, so if you want a ‘how to’ guide with practical, actionable tips, this isn’t it.
But the ideas are wonderful. Compassionate and child centred, they promote joyful, peaceful parenting over the punishment and reward based approaches so prevalent today.
I love it.
I hope you found my peaceful parenting book recommendations helpful – let me know your own favourites below!