Vicki’s list – 15 parenting books to read this year

As a parent educator of 20 years, I’ve read the books, blogs, attended workshops and lectures. I’ve visited with experts, researchers and therapists and most importantly, PARENTS. There are incredible resources for you when you have the time to comb through all the information.

Unfortunately, there is also plenty of confusing, misleading and contradicting information that can hijack your best interests and waste your time.

For those of you who appreciate a Duct Tape Parenting approach (Less Is More) that focuses on strengthening your relationship with your kids while you raise resilient, confident, respectful grown-ups, here’s a book list for you.

These 15 books have influenced my parenting philosophy; I consider them timeless resources for any parent.

My Gold Standards:

1. Mindset by Carol Dweck

2. Children the Challenge by Rudolf Dreikurs

On Technology

3. Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World by Devorah Heitner, PhD

On Autism:

4. Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism by Barry M. Prizant, PhD

On Sex

5. Sexploitation: Helping Kids Develop Healthy Sexuality in a Porn-Driven World by Cindy Pierce
6. Girls and Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape by Peggy Orenstein
7. *Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence by Esther Perel (*for parents)

Parenting Teens:

8. Masterminds and Wingmen: Helping our Boys Cope with Schoolyard Power, Locker-Room Tests, Girlfriends and the New Rules of Boy World by Rosalind Wiseman
9. The Curse of the Good Girl by Rachel Simmons
10. Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe by Gavin De Becker

Parenting Young Children:

11. How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature by Scott D. Sampson
12. It’s OK Not to Share and other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids by Heather Shumaker
13. Nurture Shock by Po Bronson
14. Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children by Michael Thompson, PhD
15. Raising Kids who Can by Amy Lew and Betty Lou Bettner

Of course, my books are required reading!

Duct Tape Parenting: This is the book that introduced my Less is More Approach to parenting which is the remedy for all the Helicopter Parenting going on at the time. The book offers parents new ideas on how to be involved in their kids lives (without taking over) and restores balance to the parent/child relationship.

Straight Talk on Parenting: Parents who loved the ideas in Duct Tape wanted to know how I applied the ideas into daily life with kids. This is a book that details my process with dozens of stories from real parents who applied them and got results.

Parenting as Partners: If you and your partner are squabbling over what’s best for the kids, this book will help you get back on the same page. Parenting as Partners shows parents how to gather information from their own childhood and help them understand their current parenting practices. This allows parenting partners to share their stories, find common ground and come together in the best interest of the kids to create a cohesive and collaborative parenting plan they both stand behind.

What resources have positively influenced your parenting?

Please share them in the comments below. I love book recommendations:)

4 thoughts on “Vicki’s list – 15 parenting books to read this year

  1. Thanks much for the list, Vicki. In addition to your 2 books, that have been an anchor to my parenting approach, I too love Nurture Shock and Devorah Heitners’ Screenwise. I see some new ones to check out. I have also found helpful the How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, Listen So Kids Will Talk (bite sized guides in simple cartoon scenarios); Liberated Parents, Liberated Children; and Siblings Without Rivalry books all by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish. I also like Nurture By Nature, Understanding your childs personality type and become a better parent, Paul Tieger & Barbara Barron-Tieget (Do What You Are authors) – based off of Meyers Briggs personality test. And I like, Everday Blessings – The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting by Myla and Jon Kabut- Zinn.

    Happy reading folks! Thanks for letting me share.


    1. Hey Cassie, thanks for adding to my list. I had so many more but we had to slash the list back to a reasonable number. I love your recommendations and have read all of them.

      Parents – commit to reading books and blogs or listening to podcasts or web events, that support your preferred style of parenting. Education is power and sometimes we read something that helps lodge an outdated belief (that is limiting our ability to parent from our best) that is holding us hostage, and bring some new clarity into our thinking. When that happens, you suddenly find yourself ready to deal with some pesky behavior in a new and more creative and effective way. It is a liberating feeling.

  2. Thanks for this! I think on FaceBook you recommended the Genius in Every Child, and i’m reading that now. I also recommend Ross Greene’s Raising Human Beings. He has a very nice approach that feels similar to the roadmap to me.

    1. I completely agree. Another of my favorite books. Have you ever noticed that some of the best books, share a very similar message? V

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