Recommended Books for Parenting

The Co-Parents’ Handbook: Raising Well-Adjusted, Resilient, and Resourceful Kids in a Two-Home Family from Little Ones to Young Adults

When it comes to a child’s sense of family, what divorce breaks apart, solid co-parenting rebuilds. With a tested “here’s how” approach, The Co-Parents’ Handbook helps parents confidently take on the challenges of raising children in two homes. Addressing parents’ questions about the emotional impact of separation, conflict, grief and recovery, the authors skillfully provide a road map for all members of the family to safely navigate through separation/divorce and beyond. Parents discover through practical guidance how to move from angry/hurt partners to constructive, successful co-parents.

Parenting from the Inside Out 10th Anniversary edition: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive

In Parenting from the Inside Out, child psychiatrist Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and early childhood expert Mary Hartzell, M.Ed., explore the extent to which our childhood experiences shape the way we parent. Drawing on stunning new findings in neurobiology and attachment research, they explain how interpersonal relationships directly impact the development of the brain, and offer parents a step-by-step approach to forming a deeper understanding of their own life stories, which will help them raise compassionate and resilient children.

The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind

In this pioneering, practical book, Daniel J. Siegel, neuropsychiatrist and author of the bestselling Mindsight, and parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson offer a revolutionary approach to child rearing with twelve key strategies that foster healthy brain development, leading to calmer, happier children

To explain divorce more directly, I usually start very concretely with these:

When My Parents Forgot How to Be Friends

Young children become confused and hurt when their parents constantly argue, then decide to divorce. This sensitively written book assures boys and girls that children are in no way responsible for their parents’ inability to get along together.

Two Homes

At Mommy’s house, Alex has a soft chair. At Daddy’s house, Alex has a rocking chair. In each home, Alex also has a special bedroom and lots of friends to play with. But whether Alex is with Mommy or with Daddy, one thing always stays the same – Alex is loved. The gently reassuring text focuses on what is gained rather than what is lost when parents divorce, while the sensitive illustrations, depicting two unique homes in all their small details, firmly establish Alex’s place in both of them. Two Homes will help children – and parents – embrace even the most difficult of changes with an open and optimistic heart.

As the child grows accustomed to the concept, I always recommend the following to educate both parent and child about children’s natural tendency to blame themselves.

Was It the Chocolate Pudding?

Was It the Chocolate Pudding? tells the story of divorce in a typical family from the point of view of an engaging young narrator. Readers learn about divorce, and receive age-appropriate explanations of what is happening regarding such issues as single-parent homes and joint custody. But most importantly, the narrator explains that divorce is not the child’s fault – it is a grown-up

It’s Not Your Fault, Koko Bear: A Read-Together Book for Parents and Young Children During Divorce

This easy-to-understand children’s story and parenting guide is intended for families where both parents plan to stay active and involved in their child’s life. “It’s Not Your Fault, KoKo Bear” revolves around a lovable bear who doesn’t want to have two homes.

My Family’s Changing

This easy-to-understand children’s story and parenting guide is intended for families where both parents plan to stay active and involved in their child’s life. “It’s Not Your Fault, KoKo Bear” revolves around a lovable bear who doesn’t want to have two homes.

The Magic Box is another one that tends to be good when children start visitation.

The Magic Box: When Parents Can’t Be There to Tuck You In

Casey hates it that his father has to travel so often. But this time Dad leaves a special gift that will help Casey cope with his absence and future trips as well. This upbeat and delightfully illustrated book contains many valuable tips for families in which a parent is frequently away from home. Includes a note for parents.

I also like the “When I Feel” series, in general, since kids can handle emotions better if they can identify them and there can sometimes be so many unintended messages to kids in divorce about what feelings we should not feel.

When I Feel Good about Myself (Way I Feel)

This book offers children positive and upbeat examples about being themselves. The author portrays a very young guinea pig and friends feeling good about themselves through common situations readers will relate to.

When I Miss You (The Way I Feel Books)

Young children often experience anxiety when they are separated from their mothers or fathers. In this story a young guinea pig expresses her distress when her mother and father go away. But she eventually finds ways to deal with it.

When I Feel Sad (Way I Feel Books)

Readers will recognize similar experiences in their own lives as this little guinea pig describes feeling sad when someone is cross or when something bad happens. Eventually our heroine realizes that feeling sad doesn’t last forever.

When I Care about Others (Way I Feel Books)

In this simple book, the author begins by helping children see that when they are sick, hurt, or unhappy, others care about them. Children can then begin to see that others need to be cared about as well.

When I Feel Angry (Way I Feel Books)

Anger is a scary emotion for young children, their parents, and caregivers. As this little bunny experiences the things that make her angry, she also learns ways to deal with her anger–ways that won’t hurt others.

When I Feel Scared

Children often feel afraid. This book, with its comforting words and illustrations, will help children address those fears and learn some new ways to cope with being afraid.

When I Feel Jealous (Way I Feel Books)

Children often feel afraid. This book, with its comforting words and illustrations, will help children address those fears and learn some new ways to cope with being afraid.

Tapping, also known as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), is a method which combines acupressure (applying pressure with your fingertips to specific points on the body) with modern psychology (exposure therapy and cognitive restructuring) into an easy-to-learn stress relief technique.

Tapping for Zapping Anxiety Away

What if the thoughts that trigger your child’s anxiety were neutralized? What if the butterflies in their stomach, the sweat on their palms, and the desperate look in their eyes for help were transformed? And what if they had the skills to affect this transformation themselves? This book provides a pathway to do just that.

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