Child Development & Parenting Books Recommended by Child Development Institute

Dr-Myers-BlogThere are several thousand books written for parents.  Because good parenting advice is so important yet parent’s time to get the information they need can be limited.  That’s why I have taken the time to list and provide brief reviews of the books I believe will be worth the read.  These books are written by experts and based on sound psychological foundations and backed by scientific research.  They not only serve as great reads as they are easy to understand as well as written in a conversational style with real-life examples and occasional humor to present a balanced perspective.  You will find that they become great references that you will find yourself frequently referring to for encouragement and problem solving tips.

With useful information and tips you will be able to better understand your child and be equipped to provide the encouragement, support and guidance they need for healthy growth and development through each stage of development.

Robert Myers, PhD
Child Psychologist

Child Development & ParentingAges & StagesChild Psychology

Child Development

Ages and Stages: A Parent's Guide to Normal Childhood DevelopmentAges and Stages: A Parent’s Guide to Normal Childhood Development  By Charles E. Schaefer, Theresa Foy DiGeronimo  Written in an engaging, practical style, Ages and Stages offers you the benefits of the most current research on child development, featuring helpful tips and techniques to foster your child’s maturation.
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Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to FiveBrain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five  By John Medina Written by a respected scientist who is also a parent, this books shares practical advise on how to help your child feel safe, develop age appropriate skills and self-confidence to name a few.  Despite being a “developmental molecular biologist” by trade, Medina is a refreshingly savvy writer, opting to avoid much of the jargon that would make the book impenetrable for the untrained layman like me. The book is divided into five clear, topical sections: – Pregnancy (how to help your baby develop while in utero) – Relationship (how to avoid the relationship pitfalls many couples experience postpartum) – Smart Baby (how to optimize your child’s brain development and intelligence) – Happy Baby (how to raise a happy, well-balanced child) – Moral Baby (how to help your child develop and nurture their moral compass)
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You Are Your Child's First Teacher, Third Edition: Encouraging Your Child's Natural Development from Birth to Age SixYou Are Your Child’s First Teacher, Third Edition: Encouraging Your Child’s Natural Development from Birth to Age Six  By Nahima Baldwin Dancy  In this easy to read and understand book, the authors explains the different stages of learning that children go through from birth to age six, giving you the wisdom and understanding to enrich your child’s natural development in the right way at the right time.  amazon-button

Your Child's Growing Mind: Brain Development and Learning From Birth to Adolescence Your Child’s Growing Mind: Brain Development and Learning From Birth to Adolescence  By Jane Healy This recently updated classic provides a window into the fascinating process of brain development and learning. It looks at the roots of emotion, intelligence, and creativity, translating the most current scientific research into practical suggestions for parents and teachers.  amazon-button

 

NurtureShock: New Thinking About ChildrenNurtureShock: New Thinking About Children  By Po Bronson, Ashley Merryman A best selling book based on sound child development research this book is “one of the most influential books about children ever published, Nurture Shock offers a revolutionary new perspective on children that upends a library’s worth of conventional wisdom. With impeccable storytelling and razor-sharp analysis, the authors demonstrate that many of modern society’s strategies for nurturing children are in fact backfiring–because key twists in the science have been overlooked. Nothing like a parenting manual, NurtureShock gets to the core of how we grow, learn and live” (publisher review).  amazon-button

What's Going on in There? : How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life  What’s Going on in There? : How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life  By Lise Eliot  This wonderful book is written by a child development researcher from a mother’s perspective and and shows parents the innumerable ways in which they can actually help their children grow better brains.  amazon-button

 

Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn--and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize LessEinstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn–and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less  By Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Diane Eyer  These child psychologists provide a much needed perspective on how children were meant to learn and develop. It teaches parents how to help their child tap into their natural curiosity and learn by exploring and interacting with their environment.  The authors offer parents 40 age-appropriate games for creative play. These simple, fun–yet powerful exercises work as well or better than expensive high-tech gadgets to teach a child what his ever-active, playful mind is craving to learn.  amazon-button

Child Behavior: The Classic Child Care Manual from the Gesell Institute of Human DevelopmentChild Behavior: The Classic Child Care Manual from the Gesell Institute of Human Development  By Frances L. Ilg, Louise Bates Ames, Sidney M. Baker  “Since it was first published, Child Behavior has become classic reading for parents and professionals around the world. This authoritative guide offers the basics of child development, addressing exactly how children’s bodies can affect their behavior. The authors not only discuss what to do to treat specific behavior problems but actually advise parents on how, in many instances, they can prevent many common and more serious problems” (publishers review).  amazon-button

Parenting

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will TalkHow to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk   By Adele Faber, Elaine Mazlish  This is one of my favorite books to recommend to parents.  Communication is so important in establishing and growing cooperative and loving relationships.  The advice will help you develop a strong bond with your child as well as mutual respect.  This is definitely parenting 101.  amazon-button

 

The Whole Brained ChildThe Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind  By Daniel J. Siegel, Tina Payne Bryson This book is based on the latest brain research and provides easy to use strategies that foster healthy brain development, leading to calmer, happier children. The authors explain—and make accessible—the new science of how a child’s brain is wired and how it matures.  amazon-button

Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child The Heart of ParentingRaising An Emotionally Intelligent Child The Heart of Parenting  By Ph.D. John Gottman, Joan Declaire  There are many skills a child needs to develop.  The ability to regulate emotions can be learned.  This approach helps the child learn to understand and accept their feelings as well as express them appropriately.  This changes the game of parenting from how to control your child to teaching them self-control.  amazon-button

The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible ChildrenThe Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children   By Ross W. Greene PhD  This book is great for parents who find they are raising a challenging child.  It helps you discover the lagging developmental skills behind your child’s inability to cope and interact appropriately in different situations.  You will learn how to help them gain these skills while resolving conflict and solving mutual problems.  I recommend this book frequently to parents in my practice.  amazon-button

1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 By Thomas W. Phelan  A well written book that provides the basics of creating a positive parent-child relationship with the tools to motivate children to master the basic communication, problem solving and behavioral skills necessary for success at home, school and in the community.  You’ll find tools to use in virtually every situation, including advice for common problems such as: • Whining • Sibling rivalry • Reluctance to do chores • Refusing to go to bed or getting up in the middle of the night • Talking back • Stubbornness  amazon-button

SOS: Help for Parents, Third Edition SOS: Help for Parents, Third Edition  By Lynn Clark  A great set of tools for helping parents work with young children (3 – 7) to master the art of self-control, cooperation and motivation to engage in age appropriate activities.  I have been using this book with parents since the first edition was published.  You learn the best methods for improving your child’s behavior and for reducing stress in your life. You learn essential child rearing rules, how to avoid four common child rearing errors, primary methods for increasing good behavior, major methods for stopping bad behavior, active ignoring, Grandmas Rule, how to avoid nine common time-out mistakes, time-out for toys that misbehave, how to handle children who rebel against time-out, using points and contracts, logical consequences, natural consequences, behavior penalty, and helping your child express feelings.  amazon-button

The Parent's Handbook: Systematic Training for Effective ParentingThe Parent’s Handbook: Systematic Training for Effective Parenting  By Don Dinkmeyer Sr., Gary D. McKay, Don Dinkmeyer Jr. One of the country’s most popular parenting guides. Helps parents meet the challenges of raising a family today. The Parent’s Handbook shows parents how they can become more knowledgeable, confident and successful in relating to their children. Discusses misbehavior, communication, encouragement, natural and logical consequences, family meetings, drug and alcohol abuse prevention.  amazon-button

Parenting Teenagers: Systematic Training for Effective Parenting of TeensParenting Teenagers: Systematic Training for Effective Parenting of Teens  By Don Dinkmeyer Sr. PhD, Gary McKay PhD, Joyce L. McKay, Don Dinkmeyer Jr.  Parents know the challenges of raising teenagers. This popular STEP (Systematic Training for Effective Parenting) guide is filled with easy-to-understand-and-apply skills that helps parents connect with teens and deal with their “issues.” From the STEP/teen program, with practical guidance on social pressure, dating, grades, career plans, and alcohol, tobacco, and drug abuse prevention. This handbook is an excellent choice for parents who want to improve their relationship with teens.  amazon-button

Babies (Infant to Two)
Toddlers (Two to Three)
Preschoolers (Three to Five)
School Age (Six to Twelve)
Adolescents (Thirteen to Seventeen)

I have a selected a few books on child psychology to help parents understand and support their child during their developing years.  I have also selected a few books for kids and teens that help them acquire some useful coping skills and develop a positive self-concept.  You will find more useful books in the other tabs on this page.

Children

Between Parent and Child: The Bestselling Classic That Revolutionized Parent-Child CommunicationBetween Parent and Child: The Bestselling Classic That Revolutionized Parent-Child Communication  Over the past thirty-five years, Between Parent and Child has helped millions of parents around the world strengthen their relationships with their children. Written by renowned psychologist Dr. Haim Ginott, this revolutionary book offered a straightforward prescription for empathetic yet disciplined child rearing and introduced new communication techniques that would change the way parents spoke with, and listened to, their children. Dr. Ginott’s innovative approach to parenting has influenced an entire generation of experts in the field, and now his methods can work for you, too.  amazon-button

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will TalkHow to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk   By Adele Faber, Elaine Mazlish  This is one of my favorite books to recommend to parents.  Communication is so important in establishing and growing cooperative and loving relationships.  The advice will help you develop a strong bond with your child as well as mutual respect.  This is definitely parenting 101.  amazon-button

 

The Whole Brained ChildThe Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind  By Daniel J. Siegel, Tina Payne Bryson  This book is based on the latest brain research and provides easy to use strategies that foster healthy brain development, leading to calmer, happier children. The authors explain—and make accessible—the new science of how a child’s brain is wired and how it matures.  amazon-button

Temperament Tools: Working with Your Child's Inborn TraitsTemperament Tools: Working with Your Child’s Inborn Traits  The most recent and respected research on how temperament can affect a child’s progress toward developmental milestones and responses to new experiences.  This book describes many types of children and offers strategies to help deal with behavior resulting from inborn temperament. Parents fill out a temperament chart to help define and understand their child, then consult the appropriate chapter that refers to that type of child. Temperament Tools avoids the use of psychological jargon while featuring the extensive practical understanding of children and their parents’ questions and needs for skills.  amazon-button

How To Raise Kids To Have Confidence In Themselves And Their Own AbilitiesHow To Raise Kids To Have Confidence In Themselves And Their Own Abilities  This book will help you learn how self-esteem develops in children. It will also give you step-by-step instructions for building up your child’s self-esteem in a natural way. The ultimate goal of this book is to help you build and maintain your child’s self-esteem, as well as help raise their self-esteem if it has fallen to an all-time low.  amazon-button

Stress Free Kids: A Parent's Guide to Helping Build Self-Esteem, Manage Stress, and Reduce Anxiety in ChildrenStress Free Kids: A Parent’s Guide to Helping Build Self-Esteem, Manage Stress, and Reduce Anxiety in Children  Kids today are more stressed, overwhelmed, and struggling with anxiety than ever before. Children are not born with the coping strategies needed to navigate today’s increasing demands of technology, bullying, academics, and family dynamics. You yourself might wonder how your own stressed-out lifestyle is affecting your children. Based on Lori Lite’s award-winning series, Stress Free Kids provides relaxation techniques you can use to free your child from stress.  amazon-button

Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents: 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous and Independent ChildrenAnxious Kids, Anxious Parents: 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous and Independent Children  Using current research and contemporary examples, the book exposes the most common anxiety-enhancing patterns—including reassurance, accommodation, avoidance, and poor problem solving—and offers a concrete plan with 7 key principles that foster change. And, since new research reveals how anxious parents typically make for anxious children, the book offers exercises and techniques to change both the children’s and the parental patterns of thinking and behaving.  amazon-button

Being Me: A Kid's Guide to Boosting Confidence and Self-esteemBeing Me: A Kid’s Guide to Boosting Confidence and Self-esteem  Dr. Moss’s kid friendly book provides strategies aimed at learning to like who you are and how to deal with everyday “growing-up” issues. Topics ranging from getting through “tough stuff” and meeting new kids, to asserting yourself to adults are presented in short attention-grabbing segments. Kids and parents alike can use this guide to help navigate the stormy waters of growing up.  [For Children 9 and up]  amazon-button

Adolescents

The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers: The Secret to Loving Teens Effectively The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers: The Secret to Loving Teens Effectively  Socially, mentally, and spiritually teenagers face a variety of pressures and stresses each day. Despite these peer pressures; it is still parents who can influence teens the most.  Are you equipped to love your teenager effectively? Get equipped to be a better parent as The Five Love Languages of Teenagers explores the world in which teenagers live; explains the developmental changes; and give tools to help you identify and appropriately communicate in your teens love language. Get practical tips on loving your teen effectively and explore key issues in your teen’s life including anger and independence. Finally learn how to set boundaries that are enforced with discipline and consequences, and discover useful ways for the difficult task of loving when your teen fails.  amazon-button

The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young AdultsThe Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults  Drawing on her research knowledge and clinical experience, internationally respected neurologist—and mother of two boys—Frances E. Jensen, M.D., offers a revolutionary look at the science of the adolescent brain, providing remarkable insights that translate into practical advice for both parents and teenagers.  amazon-button

Parenting a Teen Girl: A Crash Course on Conflict, Communication and Connection with Your Teenage DaughterParenting a Teen Girl: A Crash Course on Conflict, Communication and Connection with Your Teenage Daughter  It’s not easy to be a teen girl, and it’s definitely not easy parenting one. Parents everywhere struggle to respond appropriately to challenging behavior, hit-or-miss communication, and fluctuating moods commonly exhibited by teenage girls. More than previous generations, today’s teen girls face a daunting range of stressors that put them at risk for a range of serious issues, including self-harming behaviors, substance abuse, eating disorders, anxiety, and depression. Is it any wonder that parents are overwhelmed?  amazon-button

Teenage Boys: Surviving and Enjoying These Extraordinary Years Teenage Boys: Surviving and Enjoying These Extraordinary Years  A teenage boy’s world is a dynamic, unpredictable place. That’s why stringent parenting “techniques” don’t always bring about the results we expect. Though we know there’s a lot riding on our ability to wisely parent teenage sons, it’s hard to know the best way to proceed–and parents are often overwhelmed by the challenge. But now, in this fun and down-to-earth guide, Bill Beausay offers six fresh principles that can help you overcome your fears and powerfully shape the man inside your teenage boy.  amazon-button

The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens  Being a teenager is both wonderful and challenging. In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, author Sean Covey applies the timeless principles of the 7 Habits to teens and the tough issues and life-changing decisions they face. In an entertaining style, Covey provides a step-by-step guide to help teens improve self-image, build friendships, resist peer pressure, achieve their goals, get along with their parents, and much more. In addition, this book is stuffed with cartoons, clever ideas, great quotes, and incredible stories about real teens from all over the world. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens will engage teenagers unlike any other book.  amazon-button