The best books to help you be the parent you want to be

Betsy Brown Braun Author Of You're Not the Boss of Me: Brat-Proofing Your Four- To Twelve-Year-Old Child
By Betsy Brown Braun

Who am I?

My whole life I have loved working with children, corny though it sounds! (I guess that’s why I wasn’t so surprised to give birth to triplets 43 years ago!) For the past 50 years, my work has been with children and families. I have been a teacher, a school head, and I even founded an early childhood center. I am deeply committed to children and families, helping parents along the often rocky but so fulfilling parenting pathway. I provide the support for parents I wish I had had when I raised my brood.

I wrote...

You're Not the Boss of Me: Brat-Proofing Your Four- To Twelve-Year-Old Child

By Betsy Brown Braun,

Book cover of You're Not the Boss of Me: Brat-Proofing Your Four- To Twelve-Year-Old Child

What is my book about?

Every parent wants to raise a child with the character traits that enable her to thrive in a world increasingly filled with temptations and distractions, traits like honesty, respect, self-reliance, and a host of others. Written in a down-to-earth, supportive, even humorous voice, this book really is the ultimate hands-on guide to raising the child you want!

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Parenting from the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive

Why did I love this book?

This beautifully written book invites us to examine ourselves in order to be the parents we want to be. As we each bring to our role of parent our own childhood and our current relationships and experiences, this book teaches you how to look at these. It enables our awareness and purposeful choices in the parenting of our own children. You just can’t parent your child without knowing yourself.

By Daniel J. Siegel, Mary Hartzell,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Parenting from the Inside Out as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An updated edition—with a new preface—of the bestselling parenting classic by the author of "BRAINSTORM: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain"

In Parenting from the Inside Out, child psychiatrist Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and early childhood expert Mary Hartzell, M.Ed., explore the extent to which our childhood experiences shape the way we parent. Drawing on stunning new findings in neurobiology and attachment research, they explain how interpersonal relationships directly impact the development of the brain, and offer parents a step-by-step approach to forming a deeper understanding of their own life stories, which will help them raise compassionate and…

Book cover of The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness: Five Steps to Help Kids Create and Sustain Lifelong Joy

Why did I love this book?

This was my favorite book for years and years. Truth be told, anything Ned Hallowell writes sings to me. He is brilliant and so readable. This book is not only tremendously reassuring, but it makes being the parent you want to be entirely attainable. Hallowell deconstructs the path towards a child making himself happy. What more could you want?

By Edward M. Hallowell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's never been easy to raise children, and arguably it's even more difficult now. In this measured and humane book Dr Edward Hallowell offers a sensible strategy for raising happy children. In his plan he has two primary goals for children: 1) that they develop a sense of 'connection' with those around them and 2) the development of a sense of mastery over one or more areas of their lives. When parents guide their children towards these goals, the outcome will be good. Other key issues he raises are:

- Don't push your child too hard in school
- High…

Book cover of The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind

Why did I love this book?

From toddlers to teens our children mystify us, often making being their parents tremendously challenging. This easily understood book gives rhyme and reason to why our kids do what they do from the perspective of their brain development. It teaches us to respond with their brains in mind and grow them at the same time. It is one big “Ah Ha” experience.

By Daniel J. Siegel, Tina Payne Bryson,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Whole-Brain Child as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this pioneering, practical book for parents, neuroscientist Daniel J. Siegel and parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson explain the new science of how a child's brain is wired and how it matures. Different parts of a child's brain develop at different speeds and understanding these differences can help you turn any outburst, argument, or fear into a chance to integrate your child's brain and raise calmer, happier children.

Featuring clear explanations, age-appropriate strategies and illustrations that will help you explain these concepts to your child, The Whole-Brain Child will help your children to lead balanced, meaningful, and connected lives using…

Book cover of The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids

Why did I love this book?

Over and over I urge my clients to read this book before they think they need to…even if they’re not “privileged.” In it we learn the real-life effects of over-privilege, of giving our kids too much, and more, of not expecting enough from them. Learning the critical connections between the choices we make for our kids and their emotional development certainly helps any parent to be the parent she hoped to be.

By Madeline Levine,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Price of Privilege as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Madeline Levine has been a practicing psychologist for 25 years, but it was only recently that she began to observe a new breed of unhappy teenager. When a bright, affluent 15-year-old girl, a seemingly unlikely candidate for emotional problems, came into her office with the word 'empty' carved into her left forearm, Levine was shaken. The girl and her cutting seemed to personify a startling pattern Levine had been observing among her teenage patients, all of them bright, affluent, and clearly loved by their parents. Behind a veneer of strength, many of them suffered extreme emotional problems: depression, anxiety, and…

Book cover of The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed

Why did I love this book?

It’s hard to feel like you are being the parent you want to be when you feel like you are letting your child down. Jessica Lahey teaches us otherwise. Based on research and sharing personal experience, she convincingly teaches us the why and how of letting our children fail. She gives help for the business of daily life, turning failure into success for the long haul.

By Jessica Lahey,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Gift of Failure as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


“Gripping…how can teachers snatch back their critical role and give children the necessary space to fail? They could start by making parents read Lahey.” — New York Times Book Review

In the tradition of Paul Tough’s How Children Succeed and Wendy Mogel’s The Blessing of a Skinned Knee, this groundbreaking manifesto focuses on the critical school years when parents must learn to allow their children to experience the disappointment and frustration that occur from life’s inevitable problems so that they can grow up to be successful, resilient, and self-reliant adults.

Modern parenting is defined by an…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in parenting, life satisfaction, and self-perception?

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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