I would prefer to study up on parenting early on & have a gameplan than to just try to wing it & end up with a mess that I have to try to correct later on. I think it's harder on the child & the parents to have to try to make huge changes later on.
Add that to the fact that I am a bookworm & I love to do research & it equals me reading lots of parenting books. So this is my list of the best parenting books in my book.
"Shepherding a Child's Heart" by Tedd Tripp.
My cousin recommended this one to me. I like this one A LOT. It really emphasises to not focus on changing behaviors, but to focus on where the child's heart is at & changing their heart. I think this is so true. I have a bit of a sneak peak into the future with my stepchildren that are much older than my toddler son & I can totally see with them that you can try to force them to change their behaviors but if the heart doesn't change it's pretty pointless.
"The New Dare to Discipline" by Dr. James Dobson.
I have a tremendous amount of respect for Dr. Dobson. And this book is really great advice on basic discipline instruction.
"The New Strong Willed Child" by Dr. James Dobson.
I added this one on later on because my son sure does seem to be a strong willed child & my hubby says that his oldest, my stepdaughter, was also a strong willed child. Just a little more on discipline. Choose your battles decisively & make sure you win is a big factor in this book & I keep it in my mind daily.
"Raising a Modern Day Joseph" by Larry Fowler.
Alright, since I pray daily that my son would be a "true modern day Joseph" I felt like I needed to read thi book. However, this book seems to be geared more towards a person who oversees a children's ministry. It's REALLY great for someone in that position. However, I still liked it a lot & the fact that it had this great contrast & comparison between Joseph & the prodigal child. I found it really interesting & I do wish ALL churches would consider it's advice for children's ministry.
"The Five Love Languages of Children" by Gary Chapman & Ross Campbell.
I haven't read this one yet. I read the original five love languages book. I thought it had some good advice on relationships & did help me & hubby to be able to better show love to each other in the way we each receive it best. So I got this book also. As I started to read it, it said that you won't be able to determine your child's love language prior to the age of 5 so I put it aside for now.
Specfic to boys:
"Bringing Up Boys" by Dr. James Dobson.
This book was really good for understanding boys. I think especially as a mom, a female, the world of males is a bit foreign to us. I hadn't realized just how foreign it was to me until I read this. I highly recommend this for anyone with a son.
"That's My Son" by Rick Johnson.
This seemed to be geared towards single moms, but I read it anyways because someone recommended it highly. I did find that once again I learned some valuable insights into the world of males in this book. I actually feel like it helped me understand my hubby & stepson a little more as well. I was a little unsure of the accuracy of some of the suggestions in how to deal with your son, but when I ran it by my hubby he totally agreed & said that's how males are. So maybe MEN don't need to read this book, but I think women do, so as to better communicate with their son.
"Surviving, Teaching, & Appreciating Boys: Raising Real Men" by Hal & Melanie Young.
I just recently finished reading this book. I thought it was really great, right up there with Bringing up Boys. BUB does recommend homeschooling a boy for at least the first year or two, but this book was written by a couple with SEVEN boys & they homeschooled all of them. So since I'm planning to homeschool my son I liked this book a lot, since it included a lot of things that might only pertain to those who homeschool.
"5 Conversations You MUST Have With Your Son" by Vicki Courtney.
I haven't read this one yet, will start it soon. But it sure looks good.
And that's it for books that I felt have helped me as a parent. I do actually want to keep the list short so I should probably stop reading any others, LOL. This way I can continue to review them for each age range in the future. You can't just read the book once & think you're set for the next 18 years obviously.