Favorite Parenting Books

Someone recently asked: “What are Linda’s top 10 or 20 books on parenting and spiritual growth for moms? “ Great question! Problem: On this one, I have too many answers—way too many!

But let me give it a try anyway.  I will limit myself if you promise to understand that this is by no means an exhaustive list.  In fact, it is somewhat random—a combination of all-time favorite “classics” on parenting and spiritual growth and recent good reads.  They are coming to you in no particular order.

Parenting Books

439124: How to Really Love Your Child How to Really Love Your Child By Ross Campbell, M.D. / David C. Cook A short, common-sense classic that is possibly my all-time favorite if you can read only one book on parenting.
905480: Grace-Based Parenting Grace-Based Parenting

By Tim Kimmel / Thomas Nelson A grace-filled book that helps us see our kids through the eyes of grace with which God see us. It’s all grace, sisters!

Shame-Free Parenting Shame-Free Parenting

By Sandra D. Wilson / Intervarsity Press In order to be good parents, we must first be whole, healthy women. Sounds a little like Mom to Mom, yes?

47343: Sacred Parenting: How Raising Children Shapes Our Souls Sacred Parenting: How Raising Children Shapes Our Souls

By Gary L. Thomas / Zondervan I often think of parenting as the “ultimate spiritual discipline.” So I love Thomas’ subtitle: How Raising Children Shapes Our Souls.

73652: The Five Love Languages of Children The Five Love Languages of Children

By Gary Chapman, Ph.D. & Ross Campbell, M.D. / Moody Publishers Great help in “becoming a student of your child” and how he/she best receives love.

Family Building Family Building: The Five Fundamentals of Effective Parenting

By John Rosemond / Andrew McMeel Publishing Good basic principles on common-sense parenting which establishes healthy boundaries on “who’s the parent here.”

69945: Temper Your Child"s Tantrums Temper Your Child's Tantrums

By James C. Dobson / Tyndale House

Not really just a book about tantrums, this is a short, helpful distillation of a few basic Dobson principles.

731050: Making Children Mind without Losing Yours, repackaged edition Making Children Mind without Losing Yours, repackaged edition

By Dr. Kevin Leman / Baker Don’t you love the title? Typical Leman—funny (sometimes very funny) but very practical on “reality discipline” which helps consequences do the talking.

513690: Boys Should Be Boys Boys Should Be Boys: 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons

By Meg Meeker / Ignatius Press Very realistic but encouraging reminders of the really big difference YOU (yes, mothers, too!) can make in your child’s life even amidst our cultural maelstrom.

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know

By Meg Meeker / Ballantine Books Another great book by Meg Meeker.

0811960: How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

By Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish / HarperCollins A secular book which was a great practical help to me in communicating with my kids—and my husband, extended family, and friends!

Happy Sleep Habits, Happy Child Happy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

By Marc Weissbluth, M.D. / Ballantine Books And happy mother, I might add! I wish I’d had this one with my babies! An indispensible help to all my kids in parenting their newborns—and toddlers and beyond.

Two Favorites for Moms with Older Kids:

071553: Prodigals and Those Who Love Them: Words of Encouragement for Those Who Wait Prodigals and Those Who Love Them: Words of Encouragement for Those Who Wait

By Ruth Bell Graham / Baker Books A wonderful triumph of a book which pours encouragement into the hearts of those still waiting . . .

074201: Parenting Is Your Highest Calling: And Eight Other Myths That Trap Us in Worry and Guilt Parenting Is Your Highest Calling: And Eight Other Myths That Trap Us in Worry and Guilt

By Leslie Leyland Fields / WaterBrook Press A realistic and biblically grounded perspective (except for the omission of my favorite Deuteronomy 6 passage on parenting!) on our role—and God’s—in raising our children. Their role, too. Good doses of reality, hope, truth and grace.

A Few Favorites That Have Nurtured My Soul (in addition to the Book)

The Seeking Heart The Seeking Heart

By Francois de... Fenelon / Seedsowers An all-time favorite. I should re-read it once a year.

835160: The Attentive Life: Discerning God"s Presence in All Things The Attentive Life: Discerning God's Presence in All Things

By Leighton Ford / Inter-varsity Press I love this book—I re-read it as soon as I finished it the first time!

950790: The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith

By Timothy Keller / Penguin Putnam Inc. A fresh look at a familiar parable. Read anything by Keller.

829541: Tell It Slant: A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in His Stories and Prayers Tell It Slant: A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in His Stories and Prayers

By Eugene H. Peterson / Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. A fresh look at the language of Jesus in parables and prayers which will revitalize your language. Read anything by Peterson.

46952: The Life You"ve Always Wanted, Expanded Edition The Life You've Always Wanted, Expanded Edition

By John Ortberg / Zondervan I really enjoy Ortberg's writing. This one is a very well-balanced book on spiritual disciplines.

253497: God Is Closer Than You Think God Is Closer Than You Think

By John Ortberg / Zondervan Practical advice on how to experience the presence of God in the day-to-day routines of life.

253518: Faith & Doubt

Faith & Doubt By John Ortberg / Zondervan Another wonderful book by John Ortberg; in fact, I recommend anything he writes, really.

Devotionals:

54061: Daily Light Devotional (NKJV), Bonded Leather, Burgundy Daily Light Devotional (NKJV), Bonded Leather, Burgundy
By Samuel Bagster, edited by Anne Graham Lotz / Countryman
601864: My Utmost for His Highest: An Updated Edition in Today"s Language My Utmost for His Highest: An Updated Edition in Today's Language
By Oswald Chambers, James Reimann / Barbour Publishing
282754: Streams in the Desert Streams in the Desert

By L.B. Cowman, edited by Jim Reimann / Zondervan

Reliving the Passion Reliving the Passion (for Lent) By Walter Wangerin Jr. / Zondervan
06448: Preparing for Jesus Preparing for Jesus (for Advent)

By Walter Wangerin, Jr. / Zondervan/HarperCollins Publishers

061059: The Message Remix Solo: An Uncommon Devotional The Message Remix Solo: An Uncommon Devotional

By Eugene H. Peterson / NAV Press

OK, I knew it.  This is getting too long.  And I haven’t  even gotten to my “study mentors”—the sections on my bookshelves for Philip Yancey, Walter Wangerin, Frederick Buechner.   I’m really just getting started.

You may be surprised that there are not more specifically “mom” books.  Maybe another time . . . But one thing I found crucial to keeping my sanity as a mom was to continue to nurture and grow my whole self—my soul.  These are just a few of the books that have helped me do that.