Parenting Books: What Works?

Posted: March 9, 2012

We asked the parenting community at Women’s Web to recommend some great books about parenting. Here are the top six favourites!

By Anne John

A few days back, we asked the parents among our readers to fill in a short survey on their experiences with books about parenting. 25 people decided to help us and took up the survey – thanks to all of you dear parents!




Given that the sample size was small, this isn’t by any means statistically significant, but there are still some interesting picks to look at.

Do parenting books help?

First is the question of whether books about parenting are any help at all. It turns out almost half the people who answered our questions, didn’t think so.

Charu Katira, one of our respondents who doesn’t read books about parenting says, “I believe parenting just requires common sense and the capacity to rationally think over an issue. No one has answers from day one of being a parent. We all learn from our experiences. The only terrible parents are those who don’t observe the effect of their actions on their kids, who don’t accept their mistakes and who don’t modify their parenting based on their mistakes and observations.”

On the other hand, others like Devika Pathare are in favour of reading books about parenting. She says, “Sometimes there are doubts – like is my child the only one who is doing this. Or maybe, what should I do now? These are answered when I go through such books or articles.” Hema Pant a self-employed mother recommending Parent And Child adds, “I used to get parenting tips, cooking tips for kids and many other information from it (sic).”

6 most useful parenting books

In any case, we have compiled the following list of some useful parenting books that come highly recommended by other parents who have read them and used them in their parenting roles. So here we go:

Dr.Spock’s Baby & Childcare: Written by Benjamin Spock, this is a classic and appears to be a top pick. Tranquil Samuel, a self-employed mother says, “This book encouraged me to trust my instincts as a mother, unlike some other books which made me feel like an ignoramus. At the same time, it gave me a wealth of information as a foundation upon which I could sharpen those instincts.”

Archana Pande, another self-employed mother says that she felt reassured and encouraged, adding, “It helped deal with minor emergencies that may often need no action which was important at a time, when the help of grandparents or other seniors was not available.”

With a number of positives such as being simple to understand, relevant and actionable, Dr.Spock’s definitely seems to be one good resource to turn to.

What To Expect When You’re Expecting: This book by Sharon Mazel and Heidi Murkoff of course needs no introduction and has been quite popular with expectant mothers for a long time. Vineeta Shenoy, a homemaker states that it helped her to, “…understand the baby’s growth and behavioural pattern.”

Seven Secrets Of Successful Parenting: This book by Karen Doherty promises to, “put the fun back into family life by revealing powerful yet simple solutions to virtually every parenting problem.” It contains real-life stories from other parents as well as advice from professionals. According to Dr.Chandrima Pal, a scientific researcher turned science writer, “It helped me to understand my type as a parent and then to sort parenting issues accordingly.”

How To Get Your Teens To Talk?: This book by Connie Grigsby and Kent Julian guides parents through one of the toughest phases of parenting – the teenage years! When your adorable baby metamorphosis into the rebellious-all-knowing-adolescent fuelled by the sudden spurt of raging hormones and frustrating mood swings, it is natural to feel that you don’t know your child at all. But one survey respondent says, “Just buying this book helped me a lot, as my son changed when he saw this book on my shelf.” Wow! Now if that isn’t a good recommendation, what is!?

Johnson And Johnson Complete Book Of Mother And Baby Care: Edited by Elizabeth Fenwick, this aims to be a practical handbook from conception to 3 years. Rina Mukherji, another reader who answered our survey thinks that this book does not leave out the mother while dealing with the baby’s needs. She feels that,There were a lot of little things, especially where understanding the constitution and psychology of a baby, where the guidance given helped me overcome my nervousness in dealing with my baby.”

Developing Your Child’s Potential: This book by Abraham J.Twerski and Ursula Schwartz is Meenakshi M Singh’s choice. The authors of this book are qualified mental health practitioners and Meenakshi, a freelance writer and ex-IT professional goes on to say that the book, “…provided information on facts and the right kind of stimulation required to the respective age group to realize your child’s potential. A well researched perspective and helps building an improved attitude of parenting, to work on the child’s emotional, analytical and physical aspects.”

Have any more useful parenting books to add for the benefit of other readers? Please do in the comments section below!

Anne John plays with words for a living and would probably do the same even

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