October 02, 2023 3 min read

Parenting books that are actually quite helpful

Becoming a parent for the first time can be overwhelming because, quite simply, children don’t come with an instruction manual. So it is difficult to know when you are doing it right and it is a rare time in life when (requested) guidance or advice can be quite helpful. The trick is to know which books to read and to not lock yourself into one set of advice, there are some great books on parenting so take what you need from each. Here are some popular choices.

‘Parenting by Heart’ by Pinky McKay

Australian author and parenting expert Pinky offers some poignant advice on how to stand up for yourself against the pressure to be a perfect parent (as well as partner and lover). Her book is all about exploring your options as a parent and taking charge. It is also quite funny.

‘The First Six Weeks’ by Midwife Cath

The first six weeks generally provide the greatest challenges for parents as you are getting used to caring for a tiny human while sleep-deprived and constantly questioning yourself. This is the book you will want to read before that happens. Cathryn Curtin has delivered more than 10,000 babies over the last 40 years, so she understands how the first six weeks of a baby's life are vital for establishing habits that help create a healthy, happy routine for your baby. She covers everything from sleeping and feeding to bathing with the calm voice of a woman who knows what you are going through. Do yourself a favour and give this one a read.

‘Raising Boys in the 21st Century’ by Steve Biddulph

An updated version of Steve Biddulph's classic book, ‘Raising Boys’ provides insights into the unique challenges and needs of boys in this ever-changing world. As one of Australia's best-known psychologists, Steve has introduced a generation of fathers to hands-on engagement with kids and helped thousands of mothers gain confidence in their ability to raise sons well.

‘Raising Girls in the 21st Century’ by Steve Biddulph

Not to leave anyone out this is a companion book to ‘Raising Boys in the 21st Century’ by Steve Biddulph. Steve brings the very best help from around the globe to build girls’ self-belief in a world that often wants to tear them down. It is insightful and filled with unforgettable stories.

The Danish Way of Parenting’ by Jessica Joelle Alexander and Iben Dissing Sandahl

This book explores the Danish approach to parenting and a balanced and harmonious family life. Filled with practical takeaways and inspiring examples from the happiest country in the world. Sharing the secrets of Danish parents for raising happy, confident, successful kids, year after year.

‘The Happy Child: Everything You Need to Know to Raise Enthusiastic, Confident Children’ by Linda Blair

Linda Blair, a clinical psychologist and this book has quite a serious feel as she shares her expertise on raising happy and confident children. Aimed at parents of children 1- 7 years it provides quite strong parenting guidelines as well as encouraging parents to trust their own instincts.

As I said earlier, when you are a new parent it can be difficult to know which advice to take, believe me, you will be inundated with unsolicited advice from everyone. Your family, friends, people you meet in the park, complete strangers in supermarkets. In the end, it is about what you believe is right for you and your family.