The number of parenting books out there is incredibly overwhelming and those in the positive discipline category are no exception. The sheer numbers in existence are enough to send any caregiver running for the hills.
Before I had my daughter, I spent over 20 years working as a nanny, teacher, and coach. I can recall spending hours in library’s and bookstores over the years attempting to navigate all them to determine which were worth a read. I ended up reading way more than I needed just to get a handle on it all.
Once I became a parent I went back and read some again, found updated versions, and new gems on the shelf to enjoy. I don’t subscribe to any one of these books as the best, nor am I suggesting that everyone needs to read all of these amazing books. I am simply sharing the favorites that I used to form my own discipline style over the years, even though I may not agree with every word written in each book.
My suggestion is to read the books that speak to you as a parent (or caregiver) and use what works best for you and your family. You may fall in love with one style and commit to it, or you may pick and choose several techniques that work to form your own style as I have done. All that matters is that you do what works for you and the children in your care.
I always recommend you look for these at your local library or used bookstore first. If you have difficulty finding any of them I have provided Amazon affiliate links for your convenience — I earn a very small commission with no extra cost to you.
12 Positive Discipline Books for Parents and Caregivers
Positive Discipline: The First Three Years, Revised and Updated Edition: by — This is a great book for both parents and other caregivers. I read the first of her many books on positive discipline below when I worked as a nanny caring for other people’s children long before I had my own. I read this one after I gave birth to my daughter to gain perspective on disciplining the young child. Both have provided a fantastic framework to begin to lay a positive foundation for discipline as a caregiver and a parent.
Transforming the Difficult Child: The Nurtured Heart Approach by — Transforming the Difficult Child places the focus on reinforcing positive behaviors and playing down the negative behaviors. This book has a simple, gentle, loving and supportive plan of action that will change your Family for the better, even if your child isn’t difficult. The Nurtured Heart Approach puts a refreshing spin on both parenting and teaching and reveals new techniques and strategies that create thoroughly positive behaviors.
Transforming the Difficult Child Workbook: An Interactive Guide to The Nurtured Heart Approach by — This workbook presents nurtured heart philosophy and techniques in an easy to read format. It will walk you through the process of fully understanding the approach, then it will introduce the strategies and will encourage you and support you every step of the way. The exercises are great, and I love how celebrated parents and caregivers are. Anyone can pick this book up, begin using the approach and have immediate success.
Parenting With Love And Logic (Updated and Expanded Edition) by — Parenting with Love and Logic helps parents teach their kids to think and problem-solve from a very young age. By reading this book parents can learn to embrace mistakes as wonderful learning opportunities to raise respectful, responsible, and caring children. This book helped me to form an integral piece of my discipline strategy, but I did not agree with everything written. I loved the concepts of natural consequences, enforceable choices, and encouraging children to think through their problems. I can see myself using these principles with my own daughter, but not always in the way the authors did it. I found some of the examples encouraging while I found others harsh. With that said, it is still well worth the read.
Mindful Discipline: A Loving Approach to Setting Limits and Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child — Parents today are bombarded with endless information that creates an atmosphere of anxiety and self-doubt. This book provided a lesson in mindfulness as a parent that I both needed and respected. Reading this book served as a powerful reminder that each moment is an opportunity, to stop, regroup and be mindful of how I would like to proceed as a caregiver. This book redefines discipline and outlines the five essential elements necessary for children to thrive: unconditional love, space for children to be themselves, mentorship, healthy boundaries, and mis-takes that create learning and growth opportunities.
Out of Control: Why Disciplining Your Child Doesn’t Work and What Will by — This book clearly lays out why it is we enter dysfunctional patterns with our children and what we need to do to prevent these. The author brilliantly lays out what initially seems to be a revolutionary idea — that discipline and punishment don’t work. Why? Because the behavior we think we are correcting usually isn’t the core problem, and we often unwittingly just make matters worse. Dr. Tsabary explains exactly how this works as she guides caregivers towards getting what we really want for our children — a strong foundational center from which their own inspired actions can arise naturally.
I hope you and your family find these books as wonderful and helpful as we have — Enjoy!