Continuing Education: 5 Great Books on Being a Better Parent

Did you get your Master’s in Momming? A Doctorate in Dadding? How about a Ph.D in Parenting? You didn’t know those courses were available? You can learn all about them right after you read the book on parenting and pass the test! In all seriousness, while we aren’t issued a parenting manual when we leave the hospital with our first child, there are a host of good books on being a better parent out there.

The truth is, we all go to great lengths to enhance our education. Professionally, we go back to school for a Master’s Degree or for additional certifications. Trying to get back into shape? We consume all the yoga, diet, and exercise content we can find. Looking to prepare better food at home? We snap up every cookbook we can get our hands on.

But when it comes to parenting, how often do we continue our education past the prenatal and infant care classes we take before our first born arrives? Why don’t we ever go back to school for parenting?

There is an old saying, “necessity is the mother of all invention,” and for Monica and I, when we were struggling with our family, we decided to back to school — and we haven’t stopped since.

We didn’t start How Imperfect Parents Lead Great Families so we could write blogs or a book, we did it so we could be better parents and have a stronger, more cohesive family.

Let’s face it, it’s not easy being a parent (or spouse). And unlike in our careers, we can’t up and leave when things get rough. So, we’re left with a choice: we can throw in the towel, whine about and say, “it is what it is,” or we can buck up, get at it, and do what we can for our spouse and our children. What we do now as parents will influence the rest of our children’s lives, and, personally, I think they are going to have it much harder than we did with the way the world is currently moving.

So let’s get at it! At this point, you’re probably wondering where to start. First, talk to your friends, co-workers, and fellow parents — anyone who is struggling and looking for answers just like you are. Ask them what they read and what books they turn to for advice. I, for one, have been fortunate to have had many great people in my life recommended many great books on being a better parent. Here are a few that have influenced us personally.

5 Great Books on Being a Better Parent

The Collapse of Parenting: How We Hurt Our Kids When We Treat Them Like Grown-Ups by Dr. Leonard Sax — A pediatrician and child psychologist who has seen the mistakes parents make every day in his practice.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Dr. Carol S. Dweck — This book should be the one we are issued when we leave the hospital with our first born. How we speak to and praise our children matters.

The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Tell Your Family History, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More by Bruce Feiler — This book was great if you’re looking for answers; Mr. Feiler interviewed a lot of families and shared their solutions.

The Leader in Me: How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time by Stephen R. Covey — Mr. Covey shows how the concepts of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People can be instilled in a school environment through creating a common language and setting expectations.

A Game Plan for Life: The Power of Mentoring by John Wooden — Arguably one of the greatest coaches in all of sports shares the basics of mentoring and leading others. Trust me, this provides great insight for parenting.

There you have it, five great books on being a better parent. We hope that even just one of them is as helpful to you as all of them were for us.

Oh yeah, we can’t forget our How Imperfect Parents Lead Great Families. What we’ve written will assist you in putting together a structure and process to actually implement many of the takeaways you’ll glean from these books and any others you may enjoy. We show you how to turn WHAT you’ve learned into HOW you can instill values and create a culture of communication.

Happy reading, and we look forward to receiving an invitation to your parenting graduation party!

Education - Family

Learn more about How Imperfect Parents Lead Great Families, read our blog, and download our parenting resources here.

Author: Dale W. Vernon
Dale, a business and investment advisor and professed imperfect father of three children, is co-author of How Imperfect Parents Lead Great Families. He is a frequent speaker about the importance of establishing family values, creating a culture of communication in your home and being an intentional parent that understands the importance of being the best example you can for your children.
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