What are your favorite parenting books?

I recently got a question from one of my blogging friends, Stephanie over at Metropolitan Mama.

I love what she asked and I’m looking forward to hearing what your answer to her question would be too. Thanks for sending it my way, Stephanie!

She asked:

What are your three favorite parenting books?

My answer to this actually changes over time, depending on what phase my kids are in and what parenting books I’m reading. So, right now–with an 11 and 9 year old–I’d have to say my three favorite parenting books are:

1. The Dream Manager by Matthew Kelley:  I’ve already written a post about this book so I won’t repeat myself except to say, even though this isn’t a parenting book, to me it is. Reading this book inspired me to focus more on helping my kids dream and encouraging them to reach for those dreams.

Just a couple weeks ago, all on his own, my son grabbed his dream journal off his nightstand and wrote… “Be a wrestling state champion.” He recently started wrestling, and it was awesome to see him at 9 years old already dreaming big dreams about it!

2. Grooming the Next Generation for Success by Dani Johnson: I’m reading this book right now and all I can say is… wow. This no-nonsense book on raising your kids to be successful in whatever they do has really impacted me. I’m only halfway through the book and I’m already implementing some of the things it talks about… and seeing results.

3. The Father Connection by Josh McDowell: Even though this book was written for dads, I think it’s a great read for moms too. It’s about making a difference in your child’s self-esteem and sense of purpose, and it’s written in a really down-to-earth way. It also has 60 things a dad can do with his kids, which I think is great. Loved this one!

What about you? What are your favorite parenting books? Leave a comment and share so other moms can find out about some great books!


  1. Great question!Our girls are only 10 and 7, but our book choices now are looking forward from books like "Making Them Mind Without Losing Yours" by Kevin Lehman (which was excellent!) to ones that are guiding us toward preparing them for the future in different ways.#1 – Growing Strong Daughters by Lisa Graham McMinn. This book was encouraging to both my husband and myself. It talks about how to teach daughters to be independent, how to view themselves as beautiful (wonderfully and fearfully made), and how to develop proper relationships with others (including a future husband).#2 – I Want to Enjoy My Children by Henry Brandt, PhD and Kerry L. Skinner. This was a healthy reminder to us that even though we are to be disciplining and training our children, we should also be enjoying them. Self control, discipline, and the concept that mom and dad have to be a united front are covered among other things.#3 – This is one that's been staring at me from the bookshelf for some time now and one I want to get into soon. "Preparing Your Daughter for Every Woman's Battle" by Shannon Ethridge. Of course, I'll be checking out the other books mentioned here too!

  2. Oh, these are much better than the usual "parenting" fare! I've become disillusioned with parenting books–the ones about discipline and getting good behavior, you know–those books. I always end up rolling my eyes, thinking that they present far too oversimplified a version of parent/child relationships. And so many of them involve you condescending to your kids (hence the eye rolling). I love your take on what kind of books to read!

  3. Thanks for all the reading suggestions! One of my favorites is Raising Great Kids by Cloud and Townsend. I am looking forward to reading Bringing Up Girls by Dobson as well.

  4. Great books Genny! I dont really read parenting books… other then my all time favorite, "Grace Based Parenting". AWESOME book!

  5. I will be checking out your recommendations. The dreaming book sounds like one I should read for sure. I like Tim Kimmel's books- Grace Based Parenting, Raising Kids for True Greatness, etc.

  6. I'm enjoying your readers' recommendations…I just added "I Want to Enjoy My Children" to my book list too. :)stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

  7. How about suggestions from a dad? 1) Family of Value by John Rosemond2) Parenting Isn't for Cowards by James Dobson3) Daddy's Home by Johnson and YorkeyRosemond's book is particularly good. I'm using it extensively right now for some writing projects.Genny, I'm doing a series right now of reader suggestions for favorite books on marriage. It is posting every Monday. Link over and look at it. Feel free to send one in for a future guest post. At the conclusion of this I plan on doing one for parenting books, too. So, it was interesting to see your post here today on the subject. Very good!WB

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