Best Books for Intentional Parenting, plus some good fiction

An in-the-car conversation with my 12-year-old, book-loving daughter…

She: What is a bookkeeper?

Me: It’s someone who takes care of the finances for a company.

She: (disappointed) Oh.

Me: Why?

She: I thought it would be a viable career option. You know, someone who keeps books.

Me: I think the word you’re looking for is ‘librarian.’

As you can see, we really love books at our house. So for this end-of-the-year post, I offer you three of the best books for intentional parenting. Put any or all of them on your TBR (to be read) list for 2016.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think about them? Want to add or change anything? Have any suggestions for my 2016 TBR? Let me know in the comments below!

Three Great Books on Parenting

On Becoming Baby Wise by Gary Ezzo and Dr. Robert Bucknam

Some potential and new parents really resist the principles presented in this book, but I am so thankful that people in my church recommended it to me before my first child was born. While we didn’t strictly adhere to every element (especially not with our second child), we found that following Ezzo’s suggested practices gave us peace of mind and helped us establish a routine that was family-centered, not child-centered. Baby Wise II (also very helpful) has a great chapter on potty-training. Here’s what I’ve observed: There are non-Baby Wise children who are pleasant and well-behaved, but I’ve never met a Baby Wise child who wasn’t pleasant and well-behaved. I even think our kids were healthier because of their ability to sleep and follow routines.

Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp

This has been by primary parenting resource for more than twelve years now. I’ve probably read it at least five times and referenced it many more. Here’s the main point: The condition of a child’s heart (that is, his/her relationship with God) is far more important than his or her behavior. It’s about parenting with a bigger purpose in mind—intentional parenting (applying my phrase to Tripp’s work). I wish this were required reading for Christ-follower parents around the world.

Age of Opportunity by Paul David Tripp

I really wanted to finish this one before I posted the list, but I haven’t yet. We’re about to have a teenager in our home, and it felt like time to address that age group more specifically. Two factors drew me to this book: the subtitle, which is “A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens” and the author’s name. Turns out that Tedd (of Shepherding… above) and Paul are brothers. I’m about one-third through, taking my time to absorb the teaching. I already know, however, that it needs be on this list. Thankfully, it looks like we’re headed in the right direction; read my posts, Wait, Wait, Don’t TELL Me and Where My Kids At? to see what direction that is.

Next to read: Sacred Parenting: How Raising Children Shapes Our Souls by Gary L. Thomas. If this book is as good as his Sacred Marriage, it will definitely be on my “Best Books” list next year!

5 Best Newbery Award Books (that I’ve read)

In no particular order…

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham

5 Children’s/YA books that should have won Newbery Awards (in our opinion)

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt

Moccasin Trail by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus

You can read my reviews of most of these and the Newbery winners *here*. Also, sorry I didn’t put Amazon links for all these books. We’re still in holiday mode here!

4 thoughts on “Best Books for Intentional Parenting, plus some good fiction

  1. Is it better in a conversation with a parent to mention a book title you herd that would be helpful or is it best to actually give the book to them. I seriously want to be careful because I don’t want them thinking they are bad parents. But from this list it sounds as if a couple of these would be very helpful.


    1. Hmm…It all depends on the depth of relationship you have with them and your own experience in parenting. It’s so easy to forget a book title, so a follow-up text message (with an Amazon link, possibly) would be best if you simply suggest. If you give them the book, include a gentle explanation–more than, “You need to read this!” People–especially mothers–are really sensitive about parenting (probably because we all feel like we don’t know what we’re doing).
      Thanks for the question!


  2. Pingback: Reflections on Sunday School Songs: The B-I-B-L-E – Intentional Parenting

  3. Pingback: Find a Parenting Role Model – Intentional Parenting

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