Books that Help Parents Connect With Their Kids

Books that help parents connect with their children.

I like to read books about parenting and education in my free time. Here are a few recent favorites that contain wonderful advice and ideas of ways to help parents connect with their kids. I find that connecting with my children is the richest gift of being a parent – the piece of the puzzle that makes parenting the world’s most rewarding job.

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I started reading this book after I received it in a giveaway package from lovely Mia at Pragmatic Mom, and it’s the book I’ve been recommending to my family and friends! I love Dr. Laura Markham’s approach to parenting! Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids is a must-read for any parent who wants to have a close relationship with their child – throughout their lives – and I believe that the approach she recommends is also ideal for raising emotionally intelligent children. This book is a parenting philosophy rather than specific parenting steps, and it’s designed for the imperfect people that all parents (and children) are.

Dr. Markham’s book is all about the importance of connecting with your child; Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking provides fun and engaging activities that make connecting with your young children (her target age range is 2-5 years old) easy! Author Vivian Kirkfield sent me a copy of this book to review after we connected on Google+, and I am really impressed! The book picture books with activities – perfect for reading your way through summer! If you’re on a tight budget, the Kindle edition is a very affordable $2.99! My eight-year-old is helping me run a home summer camp this summer, and she has been going through this book picking out books and activities she wants us to do together – the book makes planning very easy, and even includes a sample schedule for your day.

The Curiosity Cycle: Preparing Your Child for the Ongoing Technological Explosion is a great read for parents who want to raise critical and creative thinkers. Author Jonathan Mugan (who sent me a digital copy to review) thinks that modern technology will make critical and creative thinking more important than ever for getting an enjoyable job as our children grow up. I think he’s right, and I also think that being able to think critically and creatively is part of living a happy life. Mugan’s book is a little bit intense to read, but it’s a great source of information and also provides many concrete examples of simple ways you can inspire your children to think critically and engage creatively with the world around them.

What are your favorite ways to connect with your kids? Do you have a parenting book that I should add to my summer reading list?

Update: Here are the book recommendations I have so far from readers, both in the comments here on this blog and from social media:

Have you read any of these? What do you think of them?

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

27 thoughts on “Books that Help Parents Connect With Their Kids”

  1. MaryAnne, Thank you for the list. i haven’t read any of these. I’ve added “The curiosity cycle” along with “socialsklz :-) ” to figure out what to do with technology and social media for kids.

  2. Elisa | blissfulE

    I recently read and enjoyed “Discipline that Lasts a Lifetime” which has been very helpful and encouraging. It’s extremely practical and the Q&As range from parenting toddlers to teens. Like you, I enjoy reading these types of books for fun!

  3. These are all nice suggestions. I particularly like the first two, as I’m myself not too much into technology (I’m already lagging behind at 27). I’m not a parent but am interested in parenting books, and in kids’ activities too, usually because they’re easy enough for me to do, lOL.

    1. I find parenting books helpful for parts of life that aren’t directly related to parenting – so I don’t think you need to be a parent to get something out of them.

  4. Thanks for the shout out! Glad you liked the parenting book! The Curiosity Cycle looks great! I think critical thinking combined with creativity are the skills needed for this next generation!

  5. Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids is my #1 favorite parenting book as well. LOVE it and Live it! Thanks for sharing.

  6. So great to have a great parenting book roundup! I read lots of books when my kids were younger but haven’t read as many lately. The last one I read, Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours, was especially helpful.

  7. Great post MaryAnne – there are so many parenting books on the market that I get overwhelmed every time I go searching for one. It’s really nice to get a recommendation – Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids sounds like one I would enjoy.

  8. Thanks so much for featuring Show Me How, MaryAnne…I’ve read a number of the other books on your list and they are GREAT! There are a lot of resources out there – it is definitely hard for parents to make a choice…and you’ve helped. :)

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