Books for Parenting Under Pressure

Positive Parenting Book Recommendations

You are surrounded by gasoline jug and you are staring at a digital display which reads 1.5 minutes until detonation.  Desperately you are attempting to clip three unlabeled wires in the correct order to interrupt detonation….

This past week has felt like I've been constantly (and not always successfully) defusing a bomb.  One of my children is particularly intense and through a combination of reacting to food allergens, Papa traveling for work, and just normal growth he's been thrown way off kilter.  I learn so much by parenting him, but, whew, it can be exhausting.

At difficult phases in parenting I have a few books I tend to go back to for encouragement and ideas.  They offer tools to help preserve your relationship with your child and spend more time enjoying it rather than struggling.


Raising your Sprited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka is validating, compassionate and helpful.  I appreciate her realistic assessment of the challenges of parenting these kids as well as her practical suggestions for meeting these challenges.  Her writing gives you a better understanding of how your child sees the world, what they need to hear from you, and ways you can encourage the best attributes of your child to shine.


Love and Limits introduced me to the idea of “granting in fantasy” what the child cannot have in reality.  I am still blown away by the effectiveness of this little game of imagination for my nearly four year old.  For instance, he might start to melt down when I've told him he can't have more chocolate chips, so I'd say something like, “You wish you had more chocolate chips!? Like a bowl full?  Or what if the whole house was filled with chocolate chips?! Ooh! What if the house was MADE of chocolate??”  We get into the silly imagining, he feels validated and hopefully has deescalated some so we can move on in our day.


The Out of Sync Child Has Fun is filled with play activities that meet children's sensory needs.  This book may give you just the tool you need to turn a crummy afternoon into a peaceful one.  Each activity includes an explanation of why it may benefit the child and the book also has a chart listing each activity and what sensory needs it meets.  Best of all- it has really fun ideas regardless of where you are with sensory stuff.

Edited to add these great titles from Bonnie Harris who has become one of my favorite parenting authors:

Bonnie Harris writes about Connection based Parenting and her words help guide me every day.  She has a way of helping you find a way forward that will work for your particular circumstances, whatever they may be.

I know there are shelves full of parenting books out there. What books help keep you focused on parenting lovingly and intentionally when the pressure's on?