100 books like Work, Parent, Thrive

By Yael Schonbrun,

Here are 100 books that Work, Parent, Thrive fans have personally recommended if you like Work, Parent, Thrive. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of How to Raise Kids Who Aren't Assholes: Science-Based Strategies for Better Parenting--From Tots to Teens

Emily Edlynn Author Of Autonomy-Supportive Parenting: Reduce Parental Burnout and Raise Competent, Confident Children

From my list on books for feeling better about your parenting.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a child psychologist, mother of three, and parenting writer who reads way too much parenting content. My personal mission is to be a voice of science-based, compassionate, and realistic parenting guidance to counteract the pitfalls of modern parenting advice. As a psychologist, I know much of this advice lacks good science and even common sense. As a mother, I find a majority of parenting advice oppressive in its unrealistic expectations and a source of unnecessary guilt, shame, and feelings of failure—especially for mothers. I love highlighting the work of other parenting experts who share my mission: to empower and uplift parents with good information and authentic support. 

Emily's book list on books for feeling better about your parenting

Emily Edlynn Why did Emily love this book?

I love Wenner Moyer’s warmth and humor interwoven with good old-fashioned science about how to parent kids to be decent human beings.

I devoured the book on Kindle and then immediately bought a hard copy so I could easily pull it off the shelf for reference. And I often do.

She is the furthest from preachy or self-righteous while giving rationales and tips for how to raise empathic kids who aren’t racist, sexist, or completely self-absorbed. It’s a must for every parent’s bookshelf.

By Melinda Wenner Moyer,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked How to Raise Kids Who Aren't Assholes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As featured in The Guardian, How to Raise Kids Who Aren't Assholes is a clear, actionable, sometimes humorous (but always science-based) guide for parents on how to shape their kids into honest, kind, generous, confident, independent, and resilient people . . . who just might save the world one day.

As an award-winning science journalist, Melinda Wenner Moyer was regularly asked to investigate and address all kinds of parenting questions: how to potty train, when and whether to get vaccines, and how to help kids sleep through the night. But as Melinda's children grew, she found that one huge area…


Book cover of The Tantrum Survival Guide: Tune In to Your Toddler's Mind (and Your Own) to Calm the Craziness and Make Family Fun Again

Emily Edlynn Author Of Autonomy-Supportive Parenting: Reduce Parental Burnout and Raise Competent, Confident Children

From my list on books for feeling better about your parenting.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a child psychologist, mother of three, and parenting writer who reads way too much parenting content. My personal mission is to be a voice of science-based, compassionate, and realistic parenting guidance to counteract the pitfalls of modern parenting advice. As a psychologist, I know much of this advice lacks good science and even common sense. As a mother, I find a majority of parenting advice oppressive in its unrealistic expectations and a source of unnecessary guilt, shame, and feelings of failure—especially for mothers. I love highlighting the work of other parenting experts who share my mission: to empower and uplift parents with good information and authentic support. 

Emily's book list on books for feeling better about your parenting

Emily Edlynn Why did Emily love this book?

I laughed the whole time I read this book, even though my kids’ tantrums make me cry in real life.

Dr. Hershberg is the type of expert I completely trust and really like because she’s so human and relatable. I read this book when my children were beyond the typical tantrum stage, but I found it helpful even for dealing with their older kids' tantrums. And I recommend it to every parent of a toddler I know because it would have changed my life in those toddler years.

Tantrums can make me feel like the worst parent ever, but this book made tantrums so normal and not really about me while also giving me tools to help make tantrums less painful for everyone.

By Rebecca Schrag Hershberg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

If you are the parent of a toddler or preschooler, chances are you know a thing or two about tantrums. While those epic meltdowns can certainly be part of "normal" toddler behavior, they are still maddening, stressful, and exhausting--for everyone involved. What can you do to keep your cool and help your child calm down? Rebecca Schrag Hershberg, child psychologist and mother of two, has a unique understanding of both the science behind tantrums and what works in the heat of the moment to nip blowups in the bud. With her customizable plan, you'll learn:

*Why your toddler's developing brain…


Book cover of Differently Wired: A Parent's Guide to Raising an Atypical Child with Confidence and Hope

Emily Edlynn Author Of Autonomy-Supportive Parenting: Reduce Parental Burnout and Raise Competent, Confident Children

From my list on books for feeling better about your parenting.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a child psychologist, mother of three, and parenting writer who reads way too much parenting content. My personal mission is to be a voice of science-based, compassionate, and realistic parenting guidance to counteract the pitfalls of modern parenting advice. As a psychologist, I know much of this advice lacks good science and even common sense. As a mother, I find a majority of parenting advice oppressive in its unrealistic expectations and a source of unnecessary guilt, shame, and feelings of failure—especially for mothers. I love highlighting the work of other parenting experts who share my mission: to empower and uplift parents with good information and authentic support. 

Emily's book list on books for feeling better about your parenting

Emily Edlynn Why did Emily love this book?

I loved this book because Reber makes it all about the parent in service of an easier parenting experience. And she takes on what can be a highly stressful and isolating parenting experience – raising neurodivergent kids.

This book is for parents who feel like parenting experts don’t “get it.” I felt so understood and supported while also learning some fundamental ways to better care for myself while also understanding my children better.

By Deborah Reber,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Differently Wired as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's time to say no to trying to fit square-peg kids into round holes, and yes to raising them from a place of acceptance and joy. A how-to, a manifesto, and a wise and reassuring companion for parents of neuroatypical children, who often feel that they have no place to turn, Differently Wired offers 18 paradigm-shifting ideas-what the author calls "tilts"-that will change everything, including how to Get Out of Isolation and Connect, how to Help Your Kids Embrace Self-Discovery, and how to Show Up and Live in the Present. And through theses "tilts," how to stay open, pay attention,…


Book cover of Middle School Superpowers: Raising Resilient Tweens in Turbulent Times

Emily Edlynn Author Of Autonomy-Supportive Parenting: Reduce Parental Burnout and Raise Competent, Confident Children

From my list on books for feeling better about your parenting.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a child psychologist, mother of three, and parenting writer who reads way too much parenting content. My personal mission is to be a voice of science-based, compassionate, and realistic parenting guidance to counteract the pitfalls of modern parenting advice. As a psychologist, I know much of this advice lacks good science and even common sense. As a mother, I find a majority of parenting advice oppressive in its unrealistic expectations and a source of unnecessary guilt, shame, and feelings of failure—especially for mothers. I love highlighting the work of other parenting experts who share my mission: to empower and uplift parents with good information and authentic support. 

Emily's book list on books for feeling better about your parenting

Emily Edlynn Why did Emily love this book?

I read Fagell’s first book, Middle School Matters, before my oldest child started middle school and this one, Middle School Superpowers, the summer before my middle child started middle school and found both eased the rocky transition.

I felt so reassured by this book that middle school years do not have to actually be the worst, and my kids this age are capable of pretty amazing things. When I opened my eyes to that possibility, instead of dreading the doom-and-gloom stereotypes, I could see my own kids’ strengths and superpowers.

Reading this also reminded me that when they falter it’s part of normal growing up and not because I messed up. 

By Phyllis L Fagell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Middle School Superpowers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Being There: Why Prioritizing Motherhood in the First Three Years Matters

Kimberly Ells Author Of The Invincible Family: Why the Global Campaign to Crush Motherhood and Fatherhood Can't Win

From my list on smart moms.

Why am I passionate about this?

Throughout my teen years, I heard the narrative that mothers are powerless doormats who should be doing something better with their lives. But in time, I realized motherhood is a position of profound power. And I knew that the prevailing messaging on motherhood needed to change! As an author, speaker, and policy advisor for an NGO at the United Nations, I have spent the past 10 years inspiring women to embrace their potential—including their irreplaceable roles as mothers. I have a degree in English, but my finest education came from raising my four college-age daughters and my one young son. Mothers are miraculous!

Kimberly's book list on smart moms

Kimberly Ells Why did Kimberly love this book?

This is the most impactful book on motherhood I’ve ever read. It is filled with compelling data supporting what most people already know: Moms are important to their children. The book opened my eyes to WHY mothers are crucial to the early cognitive, emotional, and social development of their babies and how a mother’s impact can last a lifetime.

Erica Komisar is a rockstar in her field with over 25 years in private practice and has a wealth of wisdom to share about the most important job in the world: Mom. I think this is an ideal baby shower gift, but even old moms can benefit from reading it. In my opinion, no mom should face motherhood without this book in her back pocket! 

By Erica Komisar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Being There as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A powerful look at the importance of a mother’s presence in the first years of life

**Featured in The Wall Street Journal, and seen on Good Morning America, Fox & Friends, and CBS New York**

In this important and empowering book, veteran psychoanalyst Erica Komisar explains why a mother's emotional and physical presence in her child's life--especially during the first three years--gives the child a greater chance of growing up emotionally healthy, happy, secure, and resilient.  

In other words, when it comes to connecting with your baby or toddler, more is more.

Compassionate and balanced, and focusing on the emotional…


Book cover of You Are Not a Sh*tty Parent: How to Practice Self-Compassion and Give Yourself a Break

Jessica L. Borelli Author Of Nature Meets Nurture: Science-Based Strategies for Raising Resilient Kids

From my list on people who want to connect with their child.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by relationships since I was a kid. I grew up a keen observer of the relationships in my own family, mostly focused on the way in which the dynamics were difficult for me. This led me to develop a strong interest in psychology, a passion I pursued in my undergraduate education. I became acutely intrigued by an idea a professor exposed me to early on – that experiences of safety and security within attachment relationships are essential in order for children to thrive, and that without safety/security, they can experience chronic struggles. This early interest paved the way for what developed into my career as a psychology professor and therapist.

Jessica's book list on people who want to connect with their child

Jessica L. Borelli Why did Jessica love this book?

Dr. Naumburg’s books, including this one, offer a fresh perspective on parenting.

In this book, she compels parents to practice radical self-compassion. I find her message comforting and welcome, especially in an era when parents get messages from literally everywhere about all of the things they need to do better. Ironically, our feelings of guilt and anxiety about parenting can actually get in the way of good parenting, so finding a way to tune out these voices is important.

Dr. Naumburg is here to tell parents to accept that we are human, that parenting standards are impossibly hard, and that we should be more understanding of ourselves. This just feels really good to hear, especially on the heels of the pandemic, and I think we all need this message.

This is the kind of book I frequently recommend to friends and clients. 

By Carla Naumburg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked You Are Not a Sh*tty Parent as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Life is chaotic, parenting is hard and many of us know that what we're currently doing just isn't working for anyone. Most of the time we just end up feeling like we're doing a sh*t job.

But it doesn't have to be that way. Social worker, parent coach and mum Carla Naumburg presents her own experience of self-compassion to show how this simple evidence-based practice can transform the way you parent. From navigating difficult emotions and dealing with everyday stresses, You Are Not a Sh*tty Parent shows how a bit of self-compassion can lead to a more engaged style of…


Book cover of Anxious Parents: A History of Modern Childrearing in America

Paula S. Fass Author Of The End of American Childhood: A History of Parenting from Life on the Frontier to the Managed Child

From my list on understanding American parenting.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a social historian, I have helped to direct scholarly attention to the history of family life and helped to create the field of history of children. I'm the editor of a pioneering three-volume encyclopedia on the history of children and the author of six books and editor of three others based on extensive research about children’s experiences in the United States and the Western world. I've also been widely interviewed on the subject. The End of American Childhood brings this research experience and broad expertise in the field to a subject of urgent interest to today’s parents who want to understand how their own views about children and their child-rearing perspectives are grounded historically. 

Paula's book list on understanding American parenting

Paula S. Fass Why did Paula love this book?

Anxious Parents: A History of Modern Childrearing in America probes what I consider to be the basic dilemma of modern American parenting – how the love for children and concern for their welfare has led to growing anxiety among parents eager to do it right. 

In imaginative research into different dimensions of culture, Stearns shows that middle-class parents became increasingly self-conscious and self-questioning about meeting the needs of their children starting in the early twentieth century. The book probes the emotional consequences of modern parenting’s commitment to encouraging child expression and individual happiness.

Stearns’s exploration demonstrates one of the consequences of the revolution—from viewing children as having utility to having only emotional value—first defined by Zelizer. It suggests how even the best-intended changes can have unexpected consequences.

By Peter N. Stearns,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Anxious Parents as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An examination into the history of modern parenting
The nineteenth and twentieth centuries saw a dramatic shift in the role of children in American society and families. No longer necessary for labor, children became economic liabilities and twentieth-century parents exhibited a new level of anxiety concerning the welfare of their children and their own ability to parent effectively. What caused this shift in the ways parenting and childhood were experienced and perceived? Why, at a time of relative ease and prosperity, do parents continue to grapple with uncertainty and with unreasonable expectations of both themselves and their children?
Peter N.…


Book cover of The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children

Alyssa Campbell Author Of Tiny Humans, Big Emotions: How to Navigate Tantrums, Meltdowns, and Defiance to Raise Emotionally Intelligent Children

From my list on raising emotionally intelligent humans.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been drawn to babies and toddlers and fascinated by the development that happens in the early years of life. This fascination led me to become a teacher, parent, and emotional development expert with a master's degree in early childhood education. Eventually, my passion for this field led me to co-create the Collaborative Emotion Processing method and research it nationwide. The research results were compelling, and so began my mission to share it with the world.

Alyssa's book list on raising emotionally intelligent humans

Alyssa Campbell Why did Alyssa love this book?

I loved this book because it tackled the idea of shame and blame in parenthood. It also helped me to release fear-based parenting. So much of discipline and punishment in parenthood is related to fear.

Dr. Shefali challenged me to reframe my ideas about raising a conscious, emotionally well child. 

By Shefali Tsabary,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Instead of being merely the receiver of the parents' psychological and spiritual legacy, children function as ushers of the parents' development. Parents unwittingly pass on an inheritance of psychological pain and emotional shallowness. To handle the behavior that results, traditional books on parenting abound with clever techniques for control and quick fixes for dysfunction. In Dr. Shefali Tsabary's conscious approach to parenting, however, children serve as mirrors of their parents' forgotten self. Those willing to look in the mirror have an opportunity to establish a relationship with their own inner state of wholeness. Once they find their way back to…


Book cover of Between Parent and Child

Lawrence J. Cohen Author Of Unplug and Play: The Ultimate Illustrated Guide to Roughhousing with Your Kids

From my list on to help you remember what it was like to be a child.

Why am I passionate about this?

One of the main things I do for work is encourage parents to awaken their playful and empathic hearts and play with their kids—roughhousing play, dramatic play, games—and really listen to their kids. The connection this brings is unmistakable, and irreplaceable. Because so many adults, myself included, seem to have forgotten what it was like to be a child, I am always amazed when someone gets it. These are five books that brought me back there, from writers who somehow remembered, and share that understanding with compassion. (I was limited to books, but if I could have included a movie I would recommend C’mon C’mon.)

Lawrence's book list on to help you remember what it was like to be a child

Lawrence J. Cohen Why did Lawrence love this book?

If you have read a parenting book or taken a parenting course in the last sixty years, chances are you have been influenced by the wisdom of Haim Ginott, even if you didn’t realize it.

He and his students, including the authors of How to Talk So Children Will Listen, set the groundwork for what is known today as connection parenting, conscious parenting, gentle parenting, playful parenting, and authoritative (but not authoritarian) parenting.

When my mom passed away and I looked through her books, I saw she had a first edition of Between Parent and Child, first published when I was a young boy.

When I read it, I felt a strong flash of recognition about the way she raised me. Ginott gets children, and he gets parents.

By Haim G. Ginott,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Between Parent and Child as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Strengthen your relationship with your children with this revised edition of the book by renowned psychologist Dr. Haim Ginott that has helped millions of parents around the world.

In this revised edition, Dr. Alice Ginott, clinical psychologist and wife of the late Haim Ginott, and family relationship specialist Dr. H. Wallace Goddard usher this bestselling classic into the new century while retaining the book’s positive message and Haim Ginott’s warm, accessible voice. Based on the theory that parenting is a skill that can be learned, this indispensable handbook will show you how to:
• Discipline without threats, bribes, sarcasm, and…


Book cover of How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

Jessica L. Borelli Author Of Nature Meets Nurture: Science-Based Strategies for Raising Resilient Kids

From my list on people who want to connect with their child.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by relationships since I was a kid. I grew up a keen observer of the relationships in my own family, mostly focused on the way in which the dynamics were difficult for me. This led me to develop a strong interest in psychology, a passion I pursued in my undergraduate education. I became acutely intrigued by an idea a professor exposed me to early on – that experiences of safety and security within attachment relationships are essential in order for children to thrive, and that without safety/security, they can experience chronic struggles. This early interest paved the way for what developed into my career as a psychology professor and therapist.

Jessica's book list on people who want to connect with their child

Jessica L. Borelli Why did Jessica love this book?

This book is the best, hands-on guide for how to talk to children that I have ever seen. It’s kind of like a how-to-talk to children for dummies.

It’s as though the authors spent years dissecting every aspect of what makes conversations between adults and kids go well and what makes them flop and then put that down in a book. And then the authors convey this information so clearly and concretely, including through the use of cartoons and worksheets.

The book also clearly exposes (in a humorous, light-hearted way) why certain ways of talking to kids fail. This is an old book but one I wish I had discovered before I had my own kids. I now intend to give it to all of my clients and friends when they become new parents. 

By Adele Faber, Elaine Mazlish,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

30th Anniversary Edition updated with new insights from the next generation. You can stop fighting with your children! Here is the bestselling book that will give you the know-how you need to be more effective with your children--and more supportive of yourself. Enthusiastically praised by parents and professionals around the world, the down-to-earth, respectful approach of Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish makes relationships with children of all ages less stressful and more rewarding. Now, in this thirtieth-anniversary edition, these award-winning experts share their latest insights and suggestions based on feedback they've received over the years. Their methods of communication--illustrated with…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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