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The 50 Greatest Self-Help Books

Best Self Help Books

















Parenting Self Help Books: Toddlers to Pre-Teens

This middle period of your child’s development spans a number of wonderful years as you watch your child becoming increasingly autonomous and competent at mastering the many tasks of being part of your family. Continue to article on Parenting: Toddlers to Pre-Teens»

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These recommended self help books offer wise guidance on how to traverse this period in your child’s life, paying attention to discipline, communication, childhood developmental processes, adjustment to school and relationships with peers, and how to support your child’s emerging sense of self.

See also: Communication Skills; Self Esteem and Self Confidence; Resilience; Men's Issues; Women's Issues; Family Issues; Blended Family

Best Self Help Books on Parenting: Toddlers to Pre-Teens

The Optimistic Child: A Proven Program to Safeguard Children From Depression and Build Lifelong Resilience by Martin SeligmanWhat Every 21st Century Parent Needs to Know by Debra Haffner"These are the self help books on Parenting: Toddlers to Pre-Teens I recommend most frequently."
David Yarian, Ph.D.






More Recommended Self Help Books on Parenting: Toddlers to Pre-Teens

The Balanced Mom: Raising Your Kids without losing Your Self by Bria SimpsonThe Balanced Mom: Raising Your Kids Without Losing Your Self
Bria Simpson

You can be a great mom and still have a life of your own. Your kids will only benefit from seeing you as a whole person and will develop greater independence and a stronger sense of who they are as people. This self help book offers dozens of simple tips to help you maintain strong relationships with your kids and live your life in ways that reflect your true values. 2006, New Harbinger


Between Parent and Child by Haim Ginott, et.al.Between Parent and Child
Haim Ginott, et.al.

Based on the theory that parenting is a skill that can be learned, this self help handbook will show you how to discipline without threats, bribes, and punishment; criticize without demeaning, praise without judging, and express anger without hurting; acknowledge rather than argue with children’s feelings and perceptions; and respond so that children will learn to trust and develop self-confidence. 2003, Three Rivers Press


The Confident Child: Raising children to Believe In Themselves by Terri ApterThe Confident Child: Raising Children to Believe In Themselves
Terri Apter

This self help book focuses on the age span from 5 to 15, the time in life when self-esteem and confidence are most delicate and at the same time most sensitive to nurturing. Chapters cover assessing a child’s self-esteem, being an imperfect parent without ruining your child’s life, maintaining a delicate balance of discipline, helping the child deal with success and failure at school, the effects of sibling rivalry, social confidence, and the early teen years. 2006, W. W. Norton & Company


The Difficult Child by Turecki and TonnerThe Difficult Child
Stanley Turecki and Leslie Tonner

This classic and definitive self help work on parenting hard-to-raise children includes new sections on ADHD and the latest medications for childhood disorders. Temperamentally difficult children can confuse and upset even experienced parents and teachers. They often act defiant, stubborn, loud, or aggressive. They can be clingy, shy, whiny, and impossible at bedtime, mealtimes, and in public places. Dr. Turecki offers a step-by-step approach showing you how to identify your child’s temperament, manage common conflict situations expertly and gently, and make the most of the tremendous potential and creativity that many “difficult” children have. 2000, Bantam


Familes by Gerald PattersonFamilies: Applications of Social Learning to Family Life
Gerald Patterson

This self help book presents a clear and concise explanation of how children’s problem behaviors arise and how they can be dealt with. Time-out procedures and behavioral contracts are encouraged for parents to implement with their children. 1975, Research Press


For Lesbian Parents by Suzanne Johnson, Elizabeth O'ConnorFor Lesbian Parents: Your guide to Helping Your Family Grow Up Happy, Healthy, and Proud
Suzanne M. Johnson, Elizabeth O'Connor

The authors, both developmental psychologists, are co-parenting two daughters. Their book offers help on explaining lesbianism to children and explores what lesbian parents can do to help children explain their family situation to their peers. This self help book also addresses the complexity of dealing with the attitudes of the outside world, including relatives, school, and doctors or mental health specialists. 2001, The Guilford Press


The Happiest Toddler on the Block by Harvey KarpThe Happiest Toddler on the Block: How to Eliminate Tantrums and Raise a Patient, Respectful, and Cooperative One- to Four-Year-Old
Harvey Karp

Dr. Karp believes that toddlers often act like uncivilized little cavemen, with a primitive way of thinking and communicating that is all their own. His innovative approach to parenting begins with learning to speak and interact in ways which they can easily understand. Combining his trademark tools of Toddler-ese and the Fast-Food Rule with a highly effective new green light/yellow light/red light method for molding toddler behavior, Dr. Karp provides fast solutions for today’s busy and stressed parents. As you discover ways to boost your child’s good (green light) behavior, curb his annoying (yellow light) behavior, and immediately stop his unacceptable (red light) behavior you will learn how to soothe his stormy outbursts with amazing success—and better yet, prevent these outbursts before they begin! 2008, Bantam


Helping Your Anxious Child: A Step-By-Step Guide for Parents by Sue Spence, Vanessa Cobham, Ann WignallHelping Your Anxious Child: A Step-By-Step Guide for Parents
Sue Spence, Vanessa Cobham, Ann Wignall

All kids get scared, but some fears can escalate into paranoias with long-term ramifications. This step-by-step self help guide tackles the why, how, and what now of anxiety disorders. Written in everyday language, it describes in detail strategies and techniques parents can combine into a comprehensive self help program for managing a child's worry while building confidence and self-control. 2000, New Harbinger


Helping Your Child Overcome Separation Anxiety or School Refusal: A Step-by-Step Guide for Parents by Eisen, Engler, SparrowHelping Your Child Overcome Separation Anxiety or School Refusal: A Step-by-Step Guide for Parents
Andrew R. Eisen, Linda B. Engler, Joshua Sparrow

This self help book offers parents effective techniques for dealing for both normal separation anxiety issues and with Separation Anxiety Disorder. The authors break down separation anxiety behavior into four subtypes and prescribe intervention techniques specifically for each. Step by step strategies for confronting and easing a child's fears are given throughout the book. 2006, New Harbinger


How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine MazlishHow to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk
Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

This self help book is an excellent communication tool kit which provides a step-by-step approach to improving relationships in your house. The book’s down-to-earth and respectful approach makes relationships with children of all ages less stressful and more rewarding. 2012, Scribner


The Minds of Boys by Michael Gurian and Kathy StevensThe Minds of Boys: Saving Our Sons From Falling Behind in School and Life
Michael Gurian and Kathy Stevens

Gurian and Stevens investigate the "male learning style" that is so often at odds with current educational practices, leaving the mistaken impression that boys are difficult to manage and teach. They offer advice to parents and teachers on how to encourage learning based on the particular strengths of boys, from bursts of attention and physical play with infant boys to appropriate discipline as they grow older to developing a more boy-friendly curriculum at schools. Parents and teachers concerned about teaching and disciplining boys will appreciate this thought-provoking perspective. 2007, Jossey-Bass


The Optimistic Child: A Proven Program to Safeguard Children From Depression and Build Lifelong Resilience by Martin SeligmanThe Optimistic Child: A Proven Program to Safeguard Children From Depression and Build Lifelong Resilience
Martin Seligman

According to noted psychologist Seligman, thirty percent of American children suffer from depression. His studies demonstrate that pessimistic children are at much higher risk for becoming depressed than optimistic children. His purpose in this self help book is to teach parents how to instill in their children a sense of optimism and personal mastery. He proposes that self esteem comes from mastering challenges, overcoming frustration, and experiencing individual achievement. This self help book offers a concrete plan of action based on techniques of self-evaluation and social interaction. 1996, Perennial

Pick of the Month Self Help BookThis book was a Pick of the Month Self Help Book! Read David's full Book Review.

 


Parenting the Strong-Willed Child by Rex Forehand and Nicholas LongParenting the Strong-Willed Child: The Clinically Proven Five-Week Program for Parents of Two to Six Year Olds
Rex Forehand and Nicholas Long

This hands-on self help guide provides you with a step-by-step five-week program toward improving your child’s behavior as well as the entire family’s relationship. The book covers specific factors that cause or contribute to a child’s disruptive behavior and provides you with the necessary tools for successfully managing the difficult child. 2010, McGraw-Hill


Raising Resilient Children by Brooks and GoldsteinRaising Resilient Children: Fostering Strength, Hope, and Optimism in Your Child
Robert Brooks and Sam Goldstein

The authors conclude that a child’s resilience grows its deepest roots in the home, nurtured by parents who incorporate healthy doses of empathy, practical optimism, respect, unconditional love, keen listening skills, and the patience to administer these values every day. This self help book includes detailed steps for rewriting negative parenting scripts, teaching and modeling empathy, and creating opportunities for kids to act responsibly and compassionately. 2002, McGraw Hill


The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook for Kids by Lawrence ShapiroThe Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook for Kids: Help for Children to Cope with Stress, Anxiety & Transitions
Lawrence E. Shapiro

When you feel overwhelmed and stressed, it can be hard to help your child feel balanced. The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook for Kids offers more than fifty activities you can do together as a family to help you and your child replace stressful and anxious feelings with feelings of optimism, confidence, and joy. You'll learn proven relaxation techniques, including deep breathing, guided imagery, mindfulness, and yoga, and then receive guidance for teaching them to your child. By completing just one ten-minute activity from this workbook each day, you'll make relaxation a family habit that will stay with both you and your child for a lifetime. 2009, New Harbinger


Sexuality Talking PointsSexuality Talking Points
Melanie J. Davis

This downloadable ebook is the perfect guide for parents who want to raise sexually aware and confident children. Sexuality Talking Points includes engaging text, illustrations and exercises to help parents clarify the sexual values and information they want to discuss with their children. Talking Points are conversation starters that help parents nurture their kids into becoming sexually healthy adults. 2011, Melanie J. Davis


To Listen to a child by T. Berry BrazeltonTo Listen to a Child: Understanding the Normal Problems of Growing Up
T. Berry Brazelton

Fears, feeding and sleep problems, croup and tantrums, stomachaches, asthma – these are some of the problems that every parent worries about at one time or another. According to Dr. Brazelton, most of these are a normal part of growing up. Only if parents add their own anxieties will these normal problems become laden with tension and deepen into chronic issues. This self help book guides parents to learn to listen for the stress that may lie behind psychosomatic complaints and to help their children toward self-understanding. 1992, Da Capo Press


What Every 21st Century Parent Needs to Know by Debra HaffnerWhat Every 21st-Century Parent Needs to Know: Facing Today's Challenges with Wisdom and Heart
Debra Haffner

Instead of a media-hyped view of the challenges parents face in the 21st century, Rev. Haffner concludes that most kids are on the right track; in fact, she claims that they are smart, committed, and engaged in their families and communities, and that they are making better choices about health and related issues than many of their parents did at the same age. The author stresses that parenting style can have a significant impact on whether kids go down undesirable roads. Utilizing what she calls the Affirming Parent style, she offers a number of viable solutions to common problems, ranging from Internet use to overscheduling. 2008, Newmarket


What to Expect: The Toddler Years by Arlene Eisenerg, et.al.What to Expect: The Toddler Years
Arlene Eisenberg, et.al.

Parents of toddlers will find this a refreshingly detailed and comprehensive presentation on what to expect during the second and third years of a child’s life. From toilet training and tantrums to providing proper learning experiences, parents receive insights on the child’s mind at this age. Easy to use and reassuring, this self help book encourages parents to enjoy their children. 2011, Workman Publishing


When Parents Disagree and What You Can Do About It by Ron TaffelWhen Parents Disagree and What You Can Do About It
Ron Taffel

This self help book is a hands-on practical guide to understanding child rearing differences between parents and how to work through conflicts arising from these. It is filled with real life examples from Dr. Taffel's practice and offers practical and reasonable guidance that helps both parents feel that they are, after all, on the same side. 2002, The Guilford Press


Your Baby and Child: From Birth to Age Five by Penelope LeachYour Baby and Child: From Birth to Age Five
Penelope Leach

Each developmental stage – newborn, settled baby, older baby, toddler, and young child – is discussed in terms of feeding, teeth and teething, growing, excreting, crying, sleeping, playing, and everyday care. With her commonsense child-positive approach, Leach carefully dispels negative parenting attitudes and teaches readers how to stop, listen, and learn from their children. 2010, Knopf


Parenting Self Help Resources