5 Best Gentle Parenting Books of 2022

Family in the park reading books.

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  • Gentle parenting refers to a parenting style that focuses on the relationship between parent and child.
  • Gentle parenting offers an alternative to fear-based disciplining to get children to behave.
  • Many parents have created a more peaceful home by using gentle parenting techniques.

It is often said that children don’t come with instruction manuals. This is certainly true. However, why does it seem like some parents have a secret guide that makes parenting look easy?

Have you ever noticed a family with happy kids and parents who seem to never yell? Or have you ever watched in wonder as a friend coached her child through a meltdown with great success? I’ve been around other moms with such effective discipline and communication that it made me want to beg for their secrets. 

The truth is, these families aren’t superheroes and certainly aren’t perfect.  Chances are good that they’ve just found parenting advice that works for them. 

Psychologists are continually researching and redefining what makes a “great parent”. Gentle parenting is one of the newest trends in parenting and it’s gotten a lot of attention. This research-based parenting strategy has the ability to transform your home. 

If you’re looking for the best parenting books on gentle parenting, you’re in the right place. We’ve found the best gentle parenting books of 2022. This list will connect you with the right guide for your parenting journey. 

Best Choice
The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind
Best in Parenting Strategies
Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids
Best in Biblical Principles
Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family
The Whole-Brain Child
Raising Good Humans
14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family
$14.99
$12.89
$12.49
Best Choice
The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind
The Whole-Brain Child
$14.99
Best in Parenting Strategies
Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids
Raising Good Humans
$12.89
Best in Biblical Principles
Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family
14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family
$12.49

Our Choice: The Whole-Brain Child

After reviewing countless books on gentle parenting, we found one that stuck out from the rest. The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson is our top pick from the best gentle parenting books.

Sale
The Whole-Brain Child
  • Bantam, A nice option for a Book Lover
  • Condition : Good
  • Ideal for Gifting
  • Siegel, Daniel J. (Author)

Here’s what we think you’ll love about this book: 

Research-Based. I love when science and research give us insight into how our brains and bodies are wired. Knowing what’s going on in your child’s mind will help you to show empathy and confidence in difficult parenting situations. 

Practical Advice. When I read a parenting book, I like to be able to apply what I’ve learned. This book is full of practical advice you can begin using right away. 

Easy to Understand. Though the authors are experts in the world of child psychology, they write in a way that is easy enough for the average parent to understand.  

The Danish Way of Parenting by Jessica Joelle Alexander and Iben Dissing Sandahl

Sale
The Danish Way of Parenting
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Jessica Joelle Alexander (Author) – Kim Mai Guest (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 08/09/2016 (Publication Date) – Penguin Audio (Publisher)

If you’ve ever heard the word Hygge from trendy brands or influencers, you might have wondered what it meant. The word Hygge comes from Danish culture and describes a warm, comfortable sense of togetherness that brings joy. In The Danish Way of Parenting, we get a sense of Hygge in the home. 

It may seem odd to include a book on Danish parenting in our list of the best gentle parenting books. What’s so special about Denmark? Research shows that since 1973, they’ve been found to have the happiest people on earth.

Though we can’t prove that’s solely related to their parenting styles, it does make one wonder how they successfully raise happy adults. This book reveals the secrets behind the Danish parenting style. The Danish people put a large emphasis on play instead of achievements, ending every school day at 2 pm and sending kids outside to play.

The Danish family values time together over time on electronics or being involved in activities. They also aim to help their children learn empathy and have a positive outlook. These traits alone will strengthen family bonds and raise children’s self-esteem. 

This book might not be rich in practical advice such as how to discipline a 1-year-old who bites. However, it will leave you feeling inspired to create a family culture of community, conversations, and joy. 

The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

Sale
The Whole-Brain Child
  • Bantam, A nice option for a Book Lover
  • Condition : Good
  • Ideal for Gifting
  • Siegel, Daniel J. (Author)

You’ll love our next pick if you like to understand how your child’s brain is wired. The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind was written by a clinical professor of psychiatry and a pediatric and adolescent psychotherapist. This positive parenting book is full of evidence-based advice for raising kids. 

Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson offer different approaches to respectful parenting. Instead of just focusing on the child’s feelings, they recommend using the whole-brain way to work with the child’s natural wiring. This book offers 12 practical strategies that equip parents to navigate challenging behavior and raise calmer, more resilient children. 

The authors state that when your child is in a reactive state the reasoning part of their brain is completely disengaged. The authors suggest connecting to your child’s right brain first through empathy, physical touch, etc. When your child has calmed down, you can then redirect them using left-brain strategies.

The Whole-Brain Child is a gentle parenting book many will read and wonder why they hadn’t read it sooner. Knowing how a child’s brain works will enable adults to use a gentle approach so little kids can navigate difficult situations.

No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame by Janet Lansbury

No Bad Kids
  • Lansbury, Janet (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 162 Pages – 09/18/2014 (Publication Date) – CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)

Have you found yourself reading positive parenting books only to be left with lingering questions about specific childhood behaviors? This book will finally give you the answers you need. No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame is full of practical advice for positive discipline. 

Lansbury starts by offering helpful tips to the gentle parent. She makes it clear that parents shouldn’t take children’s behaviors personally. Instead, she encourages them to respond calmly like the CEO of the house. 

You won’t find advice like time-outs or spanking in this book. Instead, she offers positive discipline solutions that make sense. For example, a child who refuses to get dressed won’t get to go to the park that day.

Landsbury also offers plenty of respectful parenting advice on identifying normal childhood behaviors. From her perspective, parents can avoid labeling their children as “bad” when they recognize their child is acting according to their age. 

If you’re parenting a strong-willed toddler or just want to gain confidence in parenting through behavior challenges, you won’t regret reading this book. 

Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids by Hunter Clarke-Fields

Sale
Raising Good Humans
  • Clarke-Fields MSAE, Hunter (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 184 Pages – 12/01/2019 (Publication Date) – New Harbinger Publications (Publisher)

If you’re looking to become a peaceful parent who thinks before they act, this book is for you. Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids focuses on using mindful parenting strategies and raising happier children because of it.

At the start of the book, Fields offers hope for the parent who isn’t perfect by breaking down the lie that great parents are always loving, kind, and patient. She then invites us all to stop wallowing in shame and let past mistakes fuel us to change.

The strategies in this book will help parents give their children the same respect they want in return. This mutual respect is possible when parents use tools to quiet their own stress response before responding to their children. The author invites all parents to evaluate their own stories and emotions that cause them to react. 

The second half of the book focuses on teaching parents how to talk so kids listen and the home is more peaceful. Through skillful communication, the author believes parents can learn to listen so kids feel heard. After listening, they can then lead them to make wise decisions while strengthening their relationship. 

If you want to take a deep look inside yourself so that you turn away from unhealthy parenting habits, you’ll enjoy this read. 

Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul David Tripp

Sale
14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family
  • Hardcover Book
  • Tripp, Paul David (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages – 09/30/2016 (Publication Date) – Crossway (Publisher)

Our next pick is a common choice for gentle parenting among Christian parenting books. In 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul David Tripp parents will get a refreshing look at gentle parenting from a Biblical perspective. 

This book clearly outlines 14 principles that parents can adopt to help them raise children with strong character and a firm foundation in who they were created to be. With each principle, Tripp lays the foundation for parenting in a way that points to God. His goal is to help parents focus on leading the heart of the child and not just trying to change the child’s behavior.

The author also simplifies our job as parents as being faithful to the mission we’ve been called to. As parents, our mission is to care for the little hearts we’ve been entrusted with. Trip helps parents learn how to lovingly lead their children toward what is true and good.

What I love most about this book is that it steers clear of any idea that we are to control or demand behaviors from our children. Instead, we are to come alongside them as mentors, cheering them on and leading them to the path that will bring contentment, purpose, and joy.  

If you’re looking for a gentle parenting book with Biblical principles, this is a must-read. 

Other Recommendations

Here are some other topical parenting books that we think complement the gentle parenting approach: 

What Is Gentle Parenting?

Gentle parenting refers to a parenting style that focuses on the relationship between parent and child. Many parenting methods focus on rewards and punishment. This method focuses on helping your child become independent and confident by coaching them through challenging behaviors and emotional situations. 

Gentle parenting teaches parents how to clearly and calmly communicate with their children. They should set firm boundaries, but not without helping a child understand why the boundaries exist. The parents are also there to use age-appropriate strategies for discipline. 

Gentle parenting aims to strengthen the bond between parent and child while helping the child gain empathy, trust, and confidence. 

Is gentle parenting effective?

Gentle parenting is a very effective parenting strategy. Of course, there is no guarantee that this will be the magic formula that works for your family. However, many parents have created a more peaceful home by using gentle parenting techniques.

Does gentle parenting mean no discipline?

A common misconception of gentle parenting is that these parents don’t discipline and that their children run the household. The truth is that gentle parenting simply avoids using forms of harsh discipline like yelling, shaming, or spanking. Instead, it promotes the use of negative consequences to help children learn how to make different choices in the future. 

For example, a child with toddler aggression might receive time out so they can learn how to walk away and calm down. Consequences are always given with clear communication from the parent. The goal is for children to evaluate the boundaries given and their choices so they can learn from the consequences. 

Why is gentle parenting so popular?

Gentle parenting has become quite popular over the last decade. As parents turned away from the parenting methods of their childhood, they were looking for something new and “better”. Gentle parenting offers alternatives to spanking or other fear-based disciplining to get children to behave. 

Since this parenting method is evidence-based, many have found it to be reliable and a refreshing change from older parenting methods. We’re even learning how gentle parenting concepts can apply to gentle sleep training

FAQs

Which parenting style is the best?

There is no right answer to this question. The best parenting style for your family will be one that focuses on raising good humans while strengthening the family bond. It will also be a parenting style that never uses abuse or neglect as a form of discipline. 

The bottom line is the parenting style that’s right for you should help you feel confident as a parent and your child feel secure and loved. 

What are other types of parenting styles?

Psychologists have identified four major parenting styles. Most mainstream parenting books will fall into one of these categories:

  • Authoritarian Parenting (Parent demands respect and obedience)
  • Authoritative Parenting (Parent communicates and gives natural consequences)
  • Permissive Parenting (Parent rarely gives rules or discipline)
  • Uninvolved Parenting (Parent neglects the child and gives little guidance)

When parents understand which category they fall into, they can then make changes according to what they envision for their home.

Best Gentle Parenting Books


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