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1. Classics noted in Wisdom for Parents;
recommended parenting books

2. Others mentioned/recommended parenting books

1.  Classic Books That Have Endured, listed in Wisdom for Parents (p. 200), with links to BUY the books if desired.
 “Many of the early books directed to parents have remained as classics though the years and are still being published as subsequent editions or reprints. Here are some of the major ones” (p. 200).

Special note to read: To truly get the real feeling and meaning of the basic ideas presented in the following books, rather than reading about them in other present-day books, it can be beneficial to read the primary, original writings by the authors who developed the ideas, where the basic ideas are elaborated upon, often in far greater depth or clarity than as re-described by contemporary authors.

Listed below in order of the oldest classic to the more recent.

Dr. Spock’s Baby and Childcarx(8th Edition, 2004), by Benjamin Spock and Robert Needlman.  This is the updated version of Benjamin Spock‘s 1946 book, Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care.   BUY

Children: The Challenge: The Classic Work on Improving Parent-Child Relations—Intelligent, Humane & Eminently Practical (1991), by Rudolph Dreikurs and Vicki Soltz.  This is the reprint version of the 1964 classic which includes Dreikurs’ own rationale of the concepts of logical and natural consequences and his primary thoughts and reasons for a discouraged child to misbehaviors. BUY

The Magic Years: Understanding and Handling the Problems of Early Childhood (1996), by Selma Fraiberg and a forward by TK.  This is the reprint of the 1959 classic by Fraiberg which seeks to take the parent into the mind of the child to understand the early stages of development. BUY

Between Parent and Child: The bestselling classic that revolutionized parent-child communication(2003), by Haim G. Ginott, Alice Ginott, & H. Wallace Goddard. This is the revised and updated revision of Ginott’s 1965 classic, Between parent and child, which stressed the use of understanding, empathy, sensitivity, compassion, and communication skills, especially involving reflection of feelings. It was revised and updated by his daughter and Goddard. BUY

Parent Effectiveness Training: The Proven Program for Raising Responsible Children(2000), by Thomas Gordon. This is the reprint version of Gordon’s 1970 classic, Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.), in which he introduced concepts of “I feel” messages (in contrast to accusatory “You … did … (or should) …” messages) and the use of “active listening” and the “no-loss” method of problem solving with children. Many parenting programs today which stress communication skills utilize those principles Gordon presented and expanded upon in this classic. Although Gordon does not lay basic claim to the origination of these ideas, he was the first to expand upon their meaning for parents, with numerous examples. BUY

Families: Applications for social learning to family life (1975), by Gerald Patterson, still available. It presents the behavior management or behavior modification approach. Primarily, it seeks to direct parents’ attention to a child’s desirable behaviors and reinforcing them with positive outcomes as a means to encourage the child to repeat the behavior. Often simply designed charts or checklists are used to focus on problem areas, which are resolved in a matter of several weeks, whereby parent and child just forget about the charting since the desired behavior has been achieved.  One Amazon reviewer, Alyssa A. Lappen, noted: “The book was suggested to us many years ago, and although it is itself more than 30 years old, the lessons here are timeless. … In addition to outlining behavior modification techniques, the book provides excellent suggestions as to how to otherwise ‘reinforce’ the good behaviors and discourage the bad ones.”
Parenting books like this one on behavior management are now rare to discover, since authors of this approach tend to write programs for the institutional setting. BUY

Others mentioned/recommended parenting books

Attached at the Heart: Eight Proven Parenting Principles for Raising Concerned and Compassionate Children (2009), by Barbara Nicholson and Lysa Parker. The book stresses the importance of the early development of emotional bonds between children and parents, offering strategies to help parents respond to children with compassions and love in their early critical years. BUY 

NurtureShock: New Thinking about Children (2009), by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. Any parent will find very interesting and useful information in this book, dispelling some common beliefs. It provides a thorough and interesting reporting on the research and findings about the use of praise, issues of sibling interactions, teaching children about race, aspects about child aggression, helping children learn language skills, and more. BUY

Our inner conflicts: A constructive theory of neurosis (1945), by Karen Horney. If you have ever known a child or an adult who either tended to express a high degree of aggression, or a seemingly excessive need for affection or approval, or tending to withdraw from others, keeping an emotional distance, this book offers an understandable explanation. BUY