Like everything else, parenting is a skill that can be learned. here are some books we recommend to help parents of young children on their journey.
Behaviour & Communication
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Faber & Mazlish
Ever wondered how to get your child to listen to you without resorting always to rewards and punishments? This is the great classic that will show you how to do this, using a series of examples, practical tips and hands-on exercises. If there’s only one parenting book you ever buy, let it be this one (you can use the principles you learn here in your adult relationships too)
Between Parent & Child, by Haim Ginott
A bestselling classic by one of the world’s foremost parenting experts, this book offers techniques to help you communicate more empathetically with your child (of any age). Fundamentally, this book was the one of the earliest to provide the perspective that parenting is a skill that can be learned.
Parenting: The Art & Science of Nurturing, by Seshadri & Rao
Written by an educator and a veteran NIMHANS psychiatrist, this book takes a look at the challenges of parenting in the changing, modernising India, and makes a wide range of suggestions to parents to help them cope better with their child and the world around them.
No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame, by Janet Lansbury
Frustrated by your two-year old’s tantrums? Is your toddler constantly testing your limits? This book provides a deeply practical framework for respectful parenting practices that can be applied in the context of topics like cooperation, tantrums, hitting, biting and more. Most suitable for parents with children less than 4 years of age.
Raising Children Compassionately, by Marshall Rosenberg
In this slim and impactful book, the father of the “non-violent communication” movement provides a set of principles on how to communicate compassionately with children.
Siblings without Rivalry, by Faber & Mazlich
Want some peace at home between your kids? This book provides parents with excellent principles, strategies and tactics to help siblings increase mutual co-operation, cope with conflict, and reduce competition.
Child Development Research
How Children Succeed, by Paul Tough
For too long, we have been prioritising academic skills over character development. This book summarising the existing research on the importance of building “character” skills (such as perseverance, curiosity, self-confidence) in young children to enable them to live happy, fulfilled and successful lives.
The Gardener & The Carpenter, by Alison Gopnik
Written by a renowned cognitive scientist and psychologist, this book provides a scientific case for why parents should create a secure, loving environment (“gardening”) for their child, instead of aggressively shaping their child to their own visions of what the child should become (“carpentry”).
Mindset, by Carol Dweck
World-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, in decades of research on what makes people successful, identified that often it is not just natural talent that brings success; it is whether we approach things with a growth mindset. On being inculcated with a growth mindset, children gain conviction that their own skills can improve with practice (and not remain stuck in the “I am bad at math” fixed mindset, for example).
Grit, by Angela Duckworth
Angela Duckworth is the founder of the Character Lab at the University of Pennsylvania and a pioneering psychologist. In this book, she summarises her research into the idea of grit (the combination of passion and perseverance) as a key ingredient to success that matters as much as talent and intelligence.
Why don’t Students like School, by Daniel Willingham
Unfortunately, a lot of what happens in a traditional classroom (or during homework) is not in line with suggestions from the latest research. In this book, cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham focuses his acclaimed research on the biological and cognitive basis of learning, providing a set of principles that have clear applications for improving the child’s learning experience at school and at home.
The Whole Brain Child, by Daniel Siegel
This tender and funny book is filled with fresh ideas based on the latest neuroscience research, specifically focusing on the impact of parenting on brain development. It offers powerful tools for helping children develop the emotional intelligence they will need to be successful in the world.
How Education Needs To Change
How Children Fail, by John Holt
Published in the mid 1960s, this is the great classic that sparked the modern progressive education movement. In this book, John Holt investigates in striking detail how traditional schools are failing our children by going completely against the natural development, needs and tendencies of the child.
Creative schools, by Ken Robinson
Sir Ken Robinson is an internationally recognised leader in the development of creativity, innovation and human potential (and also delivered the most viewed TED Talk of all time). In this book, Robinson argues for an end to our industrial-era educational system and proposes a personalised approach to enable children to face the challenges of the modern world.
Mindstorms, by Seymour Papert
In this book, pioneering computer scientist (and inventor of LOGO, the first child-friendly programming language) Seymour Papert makes the case for promoting creative, experiential learning in the modern age by using computers and programming as tools for self-learning.
The Absorbent Mind, by Maria Montessori
This book, a collection of speeches and writings by Maria Montessori in India in the 1940's, is a detailed expression of the Montessori pedagogy, as well as a pioneering analysis of the child’s development from birth to 6 years. In great detail, she illustrates the unique powers of the young child which enables them to learn naturally without any of the typical aids of conventional education.
The Child in the Family, by Maria Montessori
Written originally in 1929, this is a series of short philosophically-oriented essays by Dr Montessori about the child, the family, and the school. In this book, Dr Montessori discusses the role of young children in the world and explains how, through scientific observation of children, she came to develop the Montessori method.
The Joyful Child, by Susan Mayclin Stephenson
Written specifically with parents in mind, this Montessori-inspired book helps parents discover, appreciate, and support the mental, physical, and emotional needs of the child in the first 3 years of life. It includes developmental trajectories and milestones, as well as practical activities suggested at each stage.
Montessori From the Start, by Paula Polk Lillard
How does the Montessori method of hands-on learning and self-discovery relate to the youngest infants? Based on Dr. Maria Montessori's instructions for raising infants, this book covers a vast amount of territory: from the design of the baby's bedroom to the child-sized kitchen table, from diet and food preparation to clothing and movement, the authors provide guidance for the establishment of a beautiful and serviceable environment for babies and very young children.
Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius, by Angeline Lillard
Dr Angeline Lillard is a Professor of Psychology & Director of the Early Development Laboratory at the University of Virginia. In this award winning book, Dr Lillard summarises the latest emerging scientific research that now corroborates Dr Montessori’s original insights on child education. By reading this book, parents will develop a clear understanding of what happens in a Montessori classroom and, more important, why it happens and why it works.
How To Raise an Amazing Child The Montessori Way, by Tim Seldin
A practical parenting programme for the years from birth to six, this is the book to help you build a calm and happy home life with your child. Written by Tim Seldin, President of the Montessori Foundation, and based on proven methods used in Montessori schools, this book is packed with practical advice and activities to help children discover the world at their own pace - fostering independence, concentration, and respect.