The best books on intentional parenting

The Books I Picked & Why

Screen Kids: 5 Relational Skills Every Child Needs in a Tech-Driven World

By Gary Chapman, Arlene Pellicane

Screen Kids: 5 Relational Skills Every Child Needs in a Tech-Driven World

Why this book?

I’ve found that to parent with intentionality, I first have to purge away distractions. Parents today are facing challenges that were never an issue in past generations. Likewise, kids today face overwhelming challenges around technology and screens. In Screen Kids, I discovered freedom from guilt and encouragement for how to parent against the current. It’s ok to raise my kids differently. It’s also worth it. This book equipped me with incredibly important ways to take back our home and parent on purpose.


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Almost Amish: One Woman's Quest for a Slower, Simpler, More Sustainable Life

By Nancy Sleeth

Almost Amish: One Woman's Quest for a Slower, Simpler, More Sustainable Life

Why this book?

Parenting with intentionality necessitates a certain degree of extremism. It takes a lot of effort to do things differently from the society around us. In Almost Amish, we gain a glimpse into Amish communities and why they do what they do. We’re not challenged to overhaul our lives and do as the Amish do, but rather to consider the heart and purpose behind their ways of life and how we can implement some of those principles to strengthen family ties and purposefully raise our kids. My main takeaway from this book was the importance of slowing down and enjoying my kids — not making them the center of my world, but rather doing life alongside them in a meaningful and fun way.


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Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

By Richard Louv

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

Why this book?

This book was the catalyst for my family moving to the Rocky Mountains. It completely changed our trajectory in life. Nature has a phenomenal way of grounding our thoughts and focusing on all that is good and worthwhile. Each generation seems to be distancing itself farther from this connection to nature. Taking our kids outside, we can preserve this crucial connection. We can create lifelong habits of learning, responsibility, curiosity, discovery, and wonder. Spending time in nature benefits our kids on a physical, emotional, and spiritual level. Last Child in the Woods challenges us to change things up and return to the nostalgic days of outdoor play. It offers phenomenal research on the benefits of outdoor play, and hope for a brighter future of “opting outside". 


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Mama Bear Apologetics(r): Empowering Your Kids to Challenge Cultural Lies

By Hillary Morgan Ferrer

Mama Bear Apologetics(r): Empowering Your Kids to Challenge Cultural Lies

Why this book?

Our kids are being fed overwhelming amounts of information and countless differing opinions. It’s dizzying to sort it all out and help them discern fact from fiction. Mama Bear Apologetics taught me not how to pre-program my kids' mindsets but rather how to coach them in thinking for themselves. They don’t have to be vulnerable to everything they hear. Instead, they can apply intellect to break down an argument and measure it against sound evidence and what makes sense. This book helped me develop a more solid worldview and showed me in practical ways how to help my kids do the same.


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The Read-Aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections with Your Kids

By Sarah MacKenzie

The Read-Aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections with Your Kids

Why this book?

I wasn’t sure how an entire book could be written on the topic of reading to my kids. I also thought I knew how to read to my kids. This book took our time together to a new level! The Read-Aloud Family challenged me to make the most of our reading time, equipped me to ask the right questions, and created an incredibly precious space in our days to share together in the delight of stories! Our Read-Aloud time is now my favorite time of the day. This book encouraged me that “Ten minutes matters.” If all I have is ten minutes, it’s worth it to pick up a book and read with my kids. Quickly, that ten minutes turned into one hour a day. This book also includes a very helpful resource guide with lists of suggested reading for each age group.


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