30 Best Parenting Books


We get thousands of submissions of parenting books for our teen reviewers and Vanessa Van Petten.  Here are some of our favorites for you to check out.  We have parenting books for parents of all ages with all specialties! We have included descriptions by the author about each of their books.

If you would like to submit your book, we are also looking for the Best Books for Teens.  Submit your info (Title, Author, Link, 2 Sentence Description) to manager@scienceofpeople.com.

General Parenting Books for Parents of Teens

Get Out of My Life…. but first could you drive me and Cheryl to the mall? by Anthony E. Wolf, Ph.D

A parent’s Guide to today’s teenager. Dr. Wolf does a great job telling stories and relating advice for parents.

Do I Get My Allowance Before or After I’m Grounded?: Stop Fighting, Start Talking, and Get to Know Your Teen by Vanessa Van Petten

A shameless plug, of course our teens were happy to review this parenting book, written by a teen for teens and their parents.  Traditional, and dare we say radical tips from the founder of Radical Parenting.

Take Out Your Nose Ring, Honey, We’re Going to Grandma’s: Hanging In, Holding On and Letting Go of Your Teen by Carleton Kendrick

This book is a reassuring antidote to today’s epidemic of negative teen stereotypes, a collection of real-life, inspiring and amusing stories from the true experts – POAs, parents of adolescents. Nosering helps you stay lovingly connected with your teens while remaining aware of their goodness, confusion and desperate search for identity.

“Reality Gap: Alcohol, Drugs, and Sex—What Parents Don’t Know and Teens Aren’t Telling” by Stephen Wallace,  CEO of SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions)

Reality Gap paints an alarming portrait of a modern-day adolescence filled with potentially deadly behaviors carefully hidden from the view of parents and other adults. But it is also a book about hope and inspiration, pointing to the incredibly powerful role that parents and other mentors can play in the lives of young people and highlighting the tremendous contributions that many teens are making to their families, schools, and communities.

Teenagers Suck: What to Do When Missed Curfews, Texting, and “Mom, Can I Have The Keys?” Make You Miserable by Joanne Kimes, R.J. Colleary, and Rebecca Rutledge, PhD

This book  teaches you how to pick your battles, handle curfew times, talk to a “texter”, and so much more.

“Yes Your Teen is Crazy!” by Dr. Mike Bradley

This is an extremely comprehensive book that informs parents about what teens are experiencing both physiologically and psychologically during puberty. Additionally, it teaches parents how to handle all the various challenging situations with which their teens may well present them. It emphasizes parenting with consistency, compassion, concrete acknowledgment of teens’ growing capacity for responsibility and the importance of maintaining a dispassionate demeanor during whatever emotional outbursts or rages parents are confronted.

What Kids REALLY Want to Ask: Using Movies to Start Meaningful Conversations‹A Guidebook for Parents and Children Ages 10-­14 by Rhonda A. Richardson, PhD and A. Margaret Pevec, MA

“What Kids REALLY Want to Ask provides an ingenious, fun, and effective way for parents and young people to connect. And it takes exactly this connection for adult wisdom to flow to kids–and for kids to offer their insights to parents.

Parenting Books for Parents With Kids of All Ages

Scream Free Parenting by Jenny Runkel

ScreamFree Parenting is a new approach to parenting that parents of teens and tweens rave about. The focus is on creating responsible, caring adults through improving your relationship with your child rather than just trying to “get them” to do the right thing. It contains universal principles, which teach parents to become the calm, cool, and connected influencers in their homes rather than trying to simply be game wardens or gate keepers.

Sacred Parenting: How Raising Children Shapes our Souls by Gary L. Thomas

Sacred Parenting is unlike any other parenting book you have ever read. This is not a “how-to” book that teaches you ways to discipline your kids or help them achieve their full potential. Instead of discussing how parents can change their kids, Sacred Parenting turns the tables and demonstrates how God uses our kids to change us.

Dancing with My Daughter by Jayne Jaudon Ferrer

This book touches on every aspect of motherhood, from sibling rivalry and messy rooms to first loves and driving lessons. I get fan mail from all over the world; many moms have written to tell me they’ve used some of the poems at their sons’ and daughters’ weddings/birthdays/graduations, or turned the books into a sort of scrapbook by writing memories of similar experiences in the margins around my poems. Yes, these books are collections of poems–which is a perfect genre for busy moms, since it takes less than a minute to read most of the selections.

Help! My Kid is Driving Me Crazy: The 17 Ways Children Manipulate and What You Can Do About It by Dr. R. Conti

I am a child and family psychologist and, any bias aside, I strongly feel that it is a must read for any parent wishing to feel closer to their child. This book serves a valuable guide with step-by-step interventions to put an end to each of the 17 unique strategies kids use to get what they want. After reading this book, parents will be able to put an end to the stressful conflicts they face and restore peace and loving relationships back in to their homes.

Real Love and Real Love in Parenting by Greg Baer, M.D.

Greg Baer holds nothing back. Some of what he says feels like a slap in the face, but one that parents really need to have so that we can wake up and be REAL about our responsibilities and our role in our kids’ lives. Tweens and Teens of parents applying these principles will love the change they see in their parents and how they feel happier, receive more respect, autonomy, and skills to prepare them for a lifetime of powerfully REAL relationships and happiness.

Just Tell Me What To Say: Sensible Tips and Scripts For Perplexed Parents by Betsy Brown Braun

This book provides hands-on, just give-it-to-me-straight tools so that parents gain the skills and confidence they need to handle the sometimes challenging situations that inevitably accompany raising children ages 2-6 and beyond. Hailed by the New York Times as a “parenting guru,” Braun’s down-to-earth advice is derived from her expertise working with thousands of children (from toddlers to teens) and parents for over three decades.

Parenting Books on Special Topics

Life As A Single Mom: It Isn’t Easy, Or Is It? by Stephanie M. Clark

“Learning about how our teens spend their time when they are not with us and/or are behind closed doors in their bedrooms must be a priority for the proactive parent. We must always try to be aware of attitude and behavior changes in our children and be prepared to take action to address their attitudes and behaviors. When we are more informed about teen culture, we will be better equipped to respond proactively should we need to seek help.”

Living With an… Emo Kid by Charlie Mills with Paul Tunis

This book takes a humorous approach to helping parents understand the strange new complexities of living with an Emo Kid, a subset of teen culture. This book is a funny and funky way to promote parent/teen middle ground.

The Everything Parent’s Guide to Dealing with Bullies: from preschool taunting to cyber bullying, all you need to ensure your child’s safety and happiness by Deborah Carpenter with Christopher Ferguson, Ph.D.

This guide gives parents all the tools they need to recognize the problem, treat it properly, and prevent it from happening again.

The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids by Madeline Levine, Phd

It is a must read for any parent. I would consider it almost a primer on how to raise healthy, happy children. She provides particular guidance for those parenting teenagers/tweeners.

Video Games and Your Kids: How Parents Stay in Control by Hilarie Cash, PhD, and Kim McDaniel, MA

Video Games & Your Kids helps parents who are worried that their children may be spending too much time playing video games by explaining what gaming addiction is, how much gaming is too much, and the affects gaming has on the body and brain. The authors give gaming advice on each stage of life and, where there is a problem, the authors provide parents with tools that will help them successfully set appropriate limits for their children.

16 Responses to “30 Best Parenting Books”

  1. Hope
    May 8, 2009 at 10:46 pm #


    This listWill help.
    Bookrmarking your site for future visits.


  2. Alex Capo
    May 14, 2009 at 6:28 pm #

    Thanks for the comprehensive list, really appreciate.

  3. Vanessa Van Petten
    May 16, 2009 at 8:07 am #

    You are welcome, they are great resources!


  4. Dr. Tim Wakefield
    May 27, 2009 at 7:03 am #

    Thanks you for the wonderful recognition on our book Mental Toughness: Understanding the Game of life. I was listed first in the catagory of Parenting Books for Parents with Kids of all Ages.

    I want to make sure I am interpreting things correctly and will be listing it correctly for future marketing, etc. for both your website and for me. Does that mean I was chosen first in that catagory??

    If that is the case can I state it like this: RadicalParenting.com did a reveiw of the top 50 parenting books for families with teens and tweens. According to RadicaParenting.com, Mental Toughness: Understanding the Game of Life was chosen as the first book in the catagory of Parenting Books for Parents with Kids of all Ages.

    I contacted you a few weeks ago and I have to confess, I am not real technical as of yet but I am getting better. I had a website for the purpose of selling books through my publisher. Because of you and your group I have decided to expand and get my own website for the purpose of living my dream of helping others to think well. If we think well we will live well.

    Vanessa, I have to apologize that I have not gotten back to you regarding your comments from our last email with our blogs, website, etc. Quite frankly I was not set up to do those things because I did not have a website that functioned that way. Soon i will have that and will be more that happy to do what you have requested. I appreciate all you do. I think it is awesome!!

    Please get back to me so I can post the recognition of my book properly.

    I have recemtly published my second book.

    It is called: Developing Mental Toughness: Teaching the Game of Life.

    It is a teaching book of these life skills with multiple stories, poems, etc.

    I look forward to hearing from you!!


    Dr. Timothy S. Wakefield

  5. Dr. Tim Wakefield
    May 27, 2009 at 7:07 am #

    Please read further in the email. I am trying to figuire out how to post the recoognition properly on my future website.
    Thank you!

  6. Michele
    May 27, 2009 at 8:05 am #

    Where are the book entries for the other categories?

  7. Vanessa Van Petten
    June 1, 2009 at 12:51 pm #

    you can email our manager on our contact page to submit things!


  8. Clare Christie
    October 31, 2010 at 8:51 pm #

    This is the best book I have ever read on parenting. It changed my life.

    Parent Effectiveness Training by Dr Thomas Gordon

    I truly wish my parents had known about this book when they were raising me and I may not have had the teen/adult/life struggles that I have had. But especially in my teen years. I needed firm but fair and some open and honest conversations rather than having the fear of god drilled into me about what terrible things I would amount to.

  9. Stephen G Fort
    December 5, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    Vanessa what a terrific collection of books! We parents run scared half the time, wondering how to train these young creatures who occasionally seem nuttier than any animal we’ve seen in the zoo. At least animals can be somewhat predictable–not kids. We wonder what we should teach the kids and what horrible things they may be teaching themselves. If you think too hard it’ll drive you to the state hospital within a month. My thing is the importance of reading to the entire lives of individuals. But we could even wonder whether we should ban reading since the kids will undoubtedly someday come across awful reading material that could contaminate them for life. We’ve got to take some risks and trust that in giving kids knowledge it will be used more constructively than destructively. So teach your kid to read. Most kids are book haters, so find books on my site that will grab them and not let go. Read to them til they’re hooked, then teach them how. I did your homework by finding hundreds of the most popular books on the planet. So check it out. http://www.books-to-grow-by.com


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