Parenting Books I Need To Read

Raise your hand if you’ve ever purchased a parenting book. Keep your hand raised if you discovered the secret to successful parenting in the book’s 150 (or so) pages of print.

Don’t worry if your hand isn’t still up — mine isn’t, either. I imagine most of us are in the same boat. We’ve all purchased book after book, hoping to find parenting advice that will make everything click and help us rock the parenting gig. Ultimately, our hopes of finding the book that will make everything clear are dashed, and we’re back to facing the reality that our kids will end up in therapy in 20 years, complaining about where we went wrong.

There is a parenting book for just about every subject — potty training, dealing with temper tantrums, raising happy children. Most of these books — like the one where you successfully potty train a toddler in 72 hours or less — sound too good to be true, but it’s hard not to give it a try, right? Just like the multi-level marketing schemes where you’re promised to secure your financial future and drive a BMW by the end of the calendar year, the allure is there. It’s tough to pass up the opportunity to become a parenting rock star.

So we buy the books. We pour through the pages, read the mostly regurgitated content, and yet again come to terms with the fact that we’ll never be on top of our game. Our kids will be in diapers until they start first grade, we’ll never get our kids to listen without raising our voices, and getting them to sleep through the night in their own beds won’t happen until college.

It’s not all for nothing, though. The good thing about all of these parenting books is that they make fabulous paper weights. As evidenced by my toddler’s scribbles in a book about raising defiant children, they make for great coloring sheets. I imagine that they’d be useful as fire starters. And, if all else fails, you can toss them in your donate pile and get a twenty-five cent tax write-off. Someone else will get the opportunity to have their hopes raised — and ultimately dashed — for the price of a candy bar.

Recently the topic of parenting books came up in a discussion my husband and I were having with another relative. I pulled out a few of the books I’ve purchased over the years. I had books on positive parenting, parenting the whole-brain child, raising a strong-willed child, raising a gifted child, and parenting a defiant child. We had a laugh over the titles, as my toddler had done at least a dozen things during the past hour to show that the book on raising strong-willed children hadn’t helped.

And then my husband made the comment, “If they really wanted to help parents, they’d make a book called How Not To Kill Your Kids.”

My husband’s comment made me think a little bit about parenting books I wish I would’ve read. Maybe none of them would make me feel like I’m winning at parenting, but they would be a lot more helpful — and realistic — than something like Potty Training Your Toddler In 3 Easy Steps. Here are a few titles that might have made for better reading:

Maybe these titles wouldn’t help me win any parenting awards, but at least I would’ve been prepared for the horror that was my toddler picking up a piece of poop and tasting it.

(I’m totally gonna use Shut The Fudge Up when I write my bad mom parenting book.)


I forgot to put the parenting books back on the shelf last week. Baby Girl ripped the page out of the book about positive discipline. Minutes after I corrected her, she used a crayon to scribble in the book about the defiant child.

What book title would you like to see? 

Want to connect on social media? You can find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Author: Erika

I’m a SAHM to two kids. When I’m not doing all the typical mom things (diapers, soccer, etc.), I like writing, reading, and playing games. Clearly I live the life of a rock star.

154 thoughts on “Parenting Books I Need To Read”

    1. I’d love to reassure you all by saying they grow out of this behavior eventually but I work at a junior high school and I caught myself yelling down the hallway recently to “Stop licking your friends!” As a 7th or 8th grader thought it’d be funny to randomly lick passers-by as if he were a dog. I then followed up with a harrowing lesson on Herpes and mono and how they last forever and there’s no cure!

      Liked by 7 people

  1. A short book … “50 No-Nos of Parenting” The book would start with one I recently wrote about: ‘Never leave your child alone in a car, hot or otherwise, and especially not for 15 hours’. And from there … perhaps: ‘Do not pick your child up by his/her hair’. Just little key tips that we all think should come naturally, and to most of us they do, but apparently some were deprived of the common-sense-gene. 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Yup! Lucky for me NY daughter was (and still is) in daycare full time during the potty training days so they did most of the work! 😊 were still kinda working on staying dry at bedtime….a couple nights ago she had an accident and when I entered her room she was way to one side curled up and her comment was “Chandler ( our amazingly large cat) peed my bed!!!”

      Liked by 3 people

  2. 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂🙃🙃🙃😂😂😂😂. I tell you what, parenting is like an on going circus; at times we are laughing hard and other times we are in tear confused what to do next. Of course I started out with the “What to expect when expecting” and then came a whole line of books hoping I had the perfect kid manual laid out for me. Boy was I wrong!😂. We are still trying to figure it all out; one day at a time. 💝

    Liked by 5 people

  3. “How to Toddler-Proof Your Man Cave”

    I have no kids so my entire house is a man cave. A couple of years ago my godson’s big sister (about 5 I guess she was then) and her mum came round to drop something off. Within 3 seconds the kid had tripped over the rug and crashed into the surround sound system. Fortunately it was okay 😉 So was she 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I really like the other commenter’s bathroom pod thingy. I still announce, “I’m going to poop. Alone.”
    And when I don’t, when no one seems to be around, I’ll be on the potty and I get “Marco!” and I holler back, “Pooping!” Which would deter most people from coming to sit and talk to me, but not my kids, no.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. LOL I never read any parenting books. Decided to wing it. Kids turned out alright thank goodness. Your books, however, I might have picked up, at least to skim through the pictures 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  6. As a first time mom…I would have to say “Idiots Guide to the Baby Poop Rainbow.” We have spent I don’t know how long determining if the strange color coming out of our little guy’s butt is worrisome…*facepalm*

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Don’t Like That!! Omg… Reminds me of that Futurama episode when Leela is making up a kids cartoon and one of the songs is “If It’s Alive Don’t Lick It!”
    If you write a humor book, I will buy it in a hot minute!!!
    A title I’d like to see would be something like, “No, You Can’t Have Cookies For Breakfast (But I MIght Have Wine).”

    Liked by 5 people

  8. I would love to see ‘How to stop your children from permanently damaging each other’ and ‘how to tell your kids that you can do what you like because you are an adult, but they cannot do what they want because they are a child’

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Too funny! Have you read the Hurray for Gin blog? She wrote a book (also called Hurray for Gin) and it’s really funny…complete with stick figure illustrations. I think you’d appreciate it. Author’s name is Katie Kirby and it’s available on Amazon. I bought a few copies for friends after I read it.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I single parent 6 & 8 year old girls since my wife moved 3 hours away for work. We’re now downsizing as I prepare to retire and move onto a cruising sailboat with our Great Dane. It’s a handful. I have some of those parenting books but threw some away last year cause they’re bull. We sail, write about adventure travel and travel with kids at Please come by and say hi when you’ve got time

    Liked by 2 people

  11. This is great!!! If I wrote a book about parenting it would be entitled ” Bribery – A Parent’s Best Friend”, because honestly, that is the only thing that has ever worked at our house.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I am not a parent, so maybe my opinion is unwarranted, but this is a public blog and so here I am, going to leave my comment anyway (lol). Anyway, I feel like books that label types of kids is just as limiting and hindering as parenting books of today are as a marketing scheme. I was raised by great parents. I can see as I am much older that they tried their absolute best and maybe didn’t always do their best, but they damn well tried. My mom just kind of figured it out and learned by observing other parents in the military spouse world of what to do and what not to do when raising your kid, and she also picked up on that from her mom (as I am sure I will continue the tradition if I have kids). So my point is, and rather it is a question – do these parenting books ever make you feel super self aware of everything you’re doing as a parent rather than just following your instincts (not to say you don’t follow your instincts, because I am sure you do, thus probably why you reached for a parenting book in the first place – you felt inclined to search for some help and knowledge)? Also, since the internet is full of trolls – I am not trolling, but asking my question in absolute earnest. I hope you understand me. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. BTW I nearly choked on my coffee when I read : It’s not all for nothing, though. The good thing about all of these parenting books is that they make fabulous paper weights.

      You have a great sense of humor that translates very well through the internet.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. They do make me second guess everything. There’s so much contradictory stuff from one book to the next. I already overthink things too much, so that doesn’t help much. I probably would have been better served to just read forums where parents talk about their experiences for certain issues I’ve had than buying books. Thank you for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. There are not only parenting books for just about every subject, but parenting books with a variety of ideas on how to parent. In my day there was Doctor Spock. In my day the experts were the parents who brought us up. They weren’t always right, but they were mostly an influence for good in our lives. For example, mine never smacked me, I never smacked my children and they, now, do not smack theirs.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Children fortunately or unfortunately do not come witha guarantee how to manual or handbook.

    A parent wings it does their best and hopes they have done a pretty okay job.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s hilarious. That one wouldn’t do well at my house, either. Even though my kids are 6.5 years apart, that so does not stop the fighting.


  15. Just found your blog, and I am so amazed with this post XD I’m going to have a baby soon and already know that most of these so called “parenting books” doesn’t help anything.. Your titles tho.. I would totally read ” Shut the Fudge Up”, it’ll be pretty helpful living in a family of potty mouths XD Nice job!!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Not a parent yet, but I’m looking forward to it when I’m older. Most likely a few years after I graduate. I have a lot of experience after taking care of my younger siblings. I’d still definitely read “How Not To Kill Your Kids” lol. My siblings definitely make me feel like I need that book. I guess I’d be fine if I did end up pregnant. After all, my mom was pregnant with me in high school. Unlike my classmates, I turned out fine. At the very least I know better than to eat Tide Pods. Maybe they should read a book called, “Don’t Eat That!!!” Lol

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t really pay much attention to my peers but I do know about a few of them. Mainly from my parents but still. They’re very stupid lol

        Liked by 1 person

  17. We went through an exceptionally, enjoyable child rearing . We decided before they were 2, that we would go through the Terrific Twos. After that, it was a skate. We liked the kids so much it was difficult for us to do anything without them. . . until they were late teens and early 20’s. Then I wish I had a real heavy book on disappointment that I could throw at them real hard.

    Liked by 1 person

Write some words, yo.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s