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5 Parenting Books We Want to Read in 2016

One of the biggest ways to encourage our children to be readers is to share our own love of reading with them. Of course, we all have our favorite genres, but it seems that there's also a slew of parenting books that promise to give us new tips and insights to raise the happy, well-adjusted little people. I know what you are thinking, the Internet has enough parenting advice you want me to read too? We did the hard work for you and curated a list of books that will please a variety of tastes. We are adding these to our shopping cart or e-reader as soon as we have time to read for fun again.

1. No Bad Kids: Toddler discipline without shame

Those of us with toddlers should crack open this one immediately. Lately there's been talk that timeouts are not as effective as the Super Nanny told us they were back in the early 2000s. But what to do instead? This book gives you alternatives.

If you liked reading about RIE parenting when your son was an infant, you'll love the approach in this book. It follows a similar philosophy, focusing on how to treat your toddler with love and respect while setting healthy boundaries. If you are into positive parenting like I am, you'll really find this one useful.

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2. The Collapse of Parenting: How we hurt our kids when we treat them like grown ups

At the other end of the spectrum is this book, which offers up research supporting the approach of parents who are not afraid to be the Alpha in their homes. In fact, the author argues, children of "authoritative" parents become better adults and are more likely to be gainfully employed and less likely to depressed and anxious.

I kept thinking of my mom when I read this one. She always used to say, "If you don't respect me, then maybe you will fear me." My Latina mother has always been a force to be reckoned with. I turned out pretty great, so I am intrigued by this book.

The author highlights a common parenting struggle: how to be nurturing without letting the children run the show. There is a great review of the book in Maclean's that caused a huge uproar.

Sure, the book apparently contradicts how millennials were raised, but it's worth a look, if only to get another perspective on effective parenting.

3. The Whole Brain Child: 12 revolutionary strategies to nurture your child's developing mind

This book is all about raising emotionally intelligent children. There's a focus on how brains develop and the subsequent behavior at various stages, which his really helpful for understanding why kids behave they way they do. The authors tackle a huge developmental timespan: toddlerhood to the early 20s.

One nugget was eye-opening for me: Did you know that toddlers are ruled by the right side of their brain, which processes emotion, and this is why it is hard to rationalize with them? Just knowing that has helped me to respond more appropriately to the many needs of my little guy.

Too bad it stops once the brain reaches adulthood. I'm pretty sure my son's dad would love a book that explains all of my various moods but he will have to settle for this one.

4. How to Raise An Adult: Break free of the overparenting trap and prepare your kids for success

An alternative title for this book could be "How to Not Be a Helicopter Parent." We hear all the time how millennials are the product of parents who coddled us, which might be why this book has received so much acclaim. It was written by a former Stanford dean of admissions and undergraduate adviser, who witnessed an epidemic of "over-parenting." She saw parents who were obsessed with getting their children into a top tier school, regardless of whether their children even wanted that for themselves.

Her book promises to alleviate some of the pressure parents feel that compels them to curate a perfect childhood, which they think will ensure a "successful" outcome (i.e. acceptance to an elite university). She argues that the best thing for our kids is for us to take it easy on them and ourselves.

Read more about it in this The New York Times review.

5. Clutterfree With Kids: Change your thinking. Discover new habits. Free your home

Think of this as a parenthood version of Marie Kondo's popular book, "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Organizing and Decluttering." Written by an American, it encourages readers to embrace the art of minimalism, spend less time picking up toys and more time interacting with kids, and doing things that bring them joy and peace.

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The reviews are mixed, but I'm intrigued by anything that promises fewer chores and less clutter. If you are curious about exploring minimalism and the concept of owning less, this is a more realistic place for parents to start.

I know what you are thinking, "This sounds great. But when am I supposed to find time to read any of this?" I'm trying to figure that out myself. Anyone know a book about that?

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