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.

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The books I picked & why

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

Why did I love 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.

By Gary Ezzo, Anne Marie Ezzo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Growing Kids God's Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book by Gary Ezzo, Anne Marie Ezzo

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

Why did I love 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.

By John Rosemond,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The New Six-Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy Children as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"In a logical, well-articulated manner, Rosemond provides many examples, making this a practical rather than philosophical reference . . . Rosemond's thorough explanations and real-life examples make this a valuable resource for parents of both young and older children." --Library Journal

Renowned and respected family psychologist John Rosemond blames child-centered parenting books from recent decades for creating a generation of dependent, often defiant children. He sets the record straight in The New Six-Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy Children, an updated version of his highly successful book published more than fifteen years ago.

Booms in technology and mass media have…

The New Dare to Discipline

By James C. Dobson,

Book cover of The New Dare to Discipline

Why did I love 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. 

By James C. Dobson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The New Dare to Discipline as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Much-needed answers to your toughest parenting questions! Why are boundaries so important? Do children really want limits set on their behavior? My spouse doesn’t seem to care about discipline; why I am I stuck being the “bad guy?” Is it okay to spank my child, or will it lead him to hit others and become a violent person? Join the millions of caring parents who have found answers in the wisdom of parenting authority and family counselor Dr. James Dobson. The New Dare to Discipline is a revised and updated edition of the classic bestseller, designed to help you lead…

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 did I love 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.

By Serena B. Miller, Paul Stutzman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked More Than Happy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the tradition of Bringing Up Bebe and Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, an in-depth look at the practices and principles of Amish parents and how they raise children who are self-sufficient, hard-working, and remarkably happy.

The more time Serena Miller spent in Holmes County, Ohio, doing research for her popular Amish novels, the more she began to notice something-Amish children were the happiest children she'd ever seen. Despite not having modern toys and conveniences, they are joyful, serene, calm, and respectful-not to mention whipping up full meals and driving buggies before most of us will allow our children…

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

Why did I love 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.

By Dr. Burton L. White,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Raising a Happy, Unspoiled Child as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Must your charming five-month-old turn into a tiny terror? Are the "terrible twos" and public tantrums inevitable? Burton White, author of the classic The First Three Years of Life, doesn't think so. Basing his recommendations on thirty-seven years of research and observation, White shows how to bring up an independent, socially secure, and delightful child.
In his groundbreaking and easy-to-follow book, White takes parents through the normal development stages of their child's first thirty-six months, recommending the best ways to: React to a child's intentional…

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