The best old-fashioned traditional parenting books for Christians

Katie Ely Author Of Parenting with Focus
By Katie Ely

Who am I?

When I had my twin boys 29 years ago, I started reading every parenting book I could. I was shocked at what I felt was really bad advice. It was permissive, indulgent, and lacked instilling virtues. It was then that I birthed the idea of writing parenting books with traditional Christian principles. Since then, I’ve spent the last 28 years learning all I could about raising well-behaved children. I also have done much research on the harmful effects of screen time on children. Other works include Rubric Rules: A Cleaning System for Kids and The Parenting with Focus Video Course.


I wrote...

Parenting with Focus

By Katie Ely,

Book cover of Parenting with Focus

What is my book about?

Parenting with Focus is the ultimate guide to biblical child training. Featuring a unique technique called “Training Sessions,” this practical guide will teach parents how to intentionally train their children’s behavior and their hearts. Also included in this well-researched book is the latest data on the impact of screen time on children, and what parents can do to prevent harmful effects. 

This book can be read alone or used with the Parenting with Focus Video Course.

The books I picked & why

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Growing Kids God's Way: Reaching the Heart of Your Child With a God-Centered Purpose

By Gary Ezzo, Anne Marie Ezzo,

Book cover of Growing Kids God's Way: Reaching the Heart of Your Child With a God-Centered Purpose

Why this book?

I love the Growing Kids God’s Way series! The first book saved my sanity when my twins were infants. The sleep training and daytime routines helped me go from 2 ½ hours of non-consecutive sleep each night, to both twins sleeping 12 hours per night with four 2-hour naps during the day.

I read the entire series which goes from newborns to teenagers. These are very practical books with topics such as potty training, highchair manners, and structured routines. They also have all their parenting videos on the site which are fantastic.


The New Six-Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy Children

By John Rosemond,

Book cover of The New Six-Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy Children

Why this book?

I love John Rosemond! I used to read his weekly parenting columns in the newspaper in the 90s. Rosemond is a Christian parenting expert who gives old-fashioned, common-sense advice. You won’t get any permissive nonsense in his books. He gives very practical advice to raise responsible, independent children. This is an older book from 2006, but the advice is timeless.


The New Dare to Discipline

By James C. Dobson,

Book cover of The New Dare to Discipline

Why this book?

You really can’t go wrong with a parenting book by Dr. James Dobson. I’ve listened to his radio show Focus on the Family for years, and he is a godly man full of parenting wisdom.

There are actually two versions of this book — the original and The New Dare to Discipline. I first read the original and really liked it. However, I could tell on the newer, revised version that Dobson had made it less strict, I assume to appease those who thought he was an authoritarian. I personally liked the original version better, but both are good. Dobson is a good storyteller and basically gives lots of examples of why you must be consistent with discipline. 


More Than Happy: The Wisdom of Amish Parenting

By Serena B. Miller, Paul Stutzman,

Book cover of More Than Happy: The Wisdom of Amish Parenting

Why this book?

Serena Miller is one of my favorite fiction writers. However, once when researching to write a novel based on the Amish, she couldn’t help notice that the Amish had the happiest, nicest children she had ever seen. So, she changed from writing a fictional novel to writing a book about how the Amish parent.

I recommend this book because it reminds you that your children don’t need video games, smartphones, or tablets to entertain themselves. The Amish children can easily, happily entertain themselves with very few simple toys. And they know how to cook and do practical skills as small children. Great inspiration.


Raising a Happy, Unspoiled Child: How Parents Can Help Their Baby Develop into a Secure and Well-adjusted Child

By Dr. Burton L. White,

Book cover of Raising a Happy, Unspoiled Child: How Parents Can Help Their Baby Develop into a Secure and Well-adjusted Child

Why this book?

This book is great for parents of babies and toddlers under the age of three. Dr. White contends that if you don't have your babies under control by the time they are 14 months old, you're headed for those terrible twos. Under control means: Do they lie still for you while being diapered? Do they hit and kick? Do they take no for an answer? He believes that basic obedience should be established by this young age.

In addition to training your child to obey, he also goes through the stages of development for children up to 36 months. He goes over things like how to react to a child’s intentional cry, sleep problems, and whining. I found this to be a very practical book.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in parenting, Amish, and Christianity?

5,887 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about parenting, Amish, and Christianity.

Parenting Explore 116 books about parenting
Amish Explore 9 books about Amish
Christianity Explore 350 books about Christianity

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Achtung Baby, Free-Range Kids, How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry), and How to Raise an Adult if you like this list.