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Anyone who knows me, knows I love to get my hands on any parenting book I can find. It is always interesting to find different authors’ takes on child behavior, discipline, and parenting. Of course, some books end up being keepers and others aren’t. And being a child behavior coach that focuses on positive discipline and gentle parenting strategies. I always love the ones that teach parents the more authoritarian style of parenting.

If you don’t want to check out the entire parenting section of the library, as I do, check out this list of the best gentle parenting books.


What is gentle parenting?

Gentle parenting focuses on the parent-child relationship and being a calm parent who can respond confidently without using strategies like punishment and fear-based discipline.

Gentle parenting books

Our favorite gentle parenting books:

The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson.

Written by neuroscientist Daniel J. Siegel and parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson, this book covers is researched based, easy-to-read book that balances both the science and practical advice. Providing parents 12 age-appropriate parenting strategies for dealing with day-to-day struggles. This is a must-read for all parents (and anyone working with children).

No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame by Janet Lansbury.

Written by popular podcast host and respectful parenting educator Janet Lansbury, providing parents with practical advice for responding calmly and confidently to their child. This book is a great read, covering topics such issues as tantrums, hitting, cooperation and so much more.

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting by Dr. Laura Markham.

Written by a clinical psychologist and the author of the Aha! Parenting website, Dr. Laura Markham. She is a big proponent of peaceful discipline. This book walks parents through common parenting situations while emphasizing the need to be calm and respectful. She advises parents to first work on themselves so that they are better able to handle their children’s behavior peacefully.

How To Talk Series by Joanna Faber and Julie King.

There are multiple different books in this series aimed at toddlers, elementary school kids, and teens. These books are a practical guide for interacting with children and include a wide variety of topics including engaging cooperation, alternatives to punishment, encouraging autonomy, and handling feelings. Every book in the series is easy to read with little cartoons providing a step-by-step guide for putting their advice into action.

How Toddlers Thrive: What Parents Can Do Today for Children Ages 2-5 to Plant the Seeds of Lifelong Success by Tovah Klein.

Tovah Klein has a Ph.D. in psychology and has years of work experience with toddlers at the Barnard Center. She gives insight into what happens in a toddler’s brain during the toddler years that sparks the behavior parents find particularly difficult. She couples this with information on the best way to handle these moments. She provides practical suggestions for common issues like picky eating and establishing healthy eating habits, power struggles, sleep, welcoming a new sibling, moving, and potty training.

The Gentle Discipline Book: How to raise co-operative, polite and helpful children by Sarah Ockwell-Smith.

Written by Sarah Ockwell-Smith, a well-known parenting expert, this book offers practical tips for handling children’s behavior. She explains the current science behind why not to use punishment and instead use a gentler approach. The book is split up into age sections so parents can read only the section that they require at the time. She also includes a chapter on how to transition to gentle parenting for readers who are new to gentle parenting.

No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel Seigel and Tina Payne Bryson.

Written by the authors of Whole Brain Child, this book is on the New York Times best sellers list. Dr. Siegel and Dr. Bryson explore the neuroscience of a developing child’s brain so parents can understand the most effective discipline methods and maintain a healthy, thriving parent-child relationship. Their big theme throughout the book is to “connect and direct.”

gentle parenting books

We hope this helps you decide which gentle parenting book will be your next read. And if you’d prefer to skip the book and have a consultation instead, we would be more than happy to schedule a child behavior consultation where you can ask all your child behavior and child development questions and receive a written plan. Our goal is to provide parents with the confidence to handle those difficult moments and break the cycle of reactive parenting so that you can maintain a strong emotional connection with their children as they grow.

Postive Parenting Coaches

Gentle parenting books