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Books to Help With Child Behavior and Discipline

by Ivy B

Parenting can be so difficult when we’re not equipped to handle negative or unwanted behaviors.  I can’t tell you how many times I wondered why my child was so disobedient or wouldn’t listen to me.  My husband kept trying to tell me that he’d heard of lots of moms and toddler daughters having the same issues as we were having.  A lot of it was that I was a stay at home mom and our daughter was tired of me.

I get that.  It’s hard being with the same person all day everyday.  We probably take each other for granted more often that I’d like to admit.  But, at the worst of it, I still couldn’t help but feel like I was a failure.  My daughter wouldn’t listen to me.  I was pretty sure she hated me.

But, as is mommy’s nature, I won’t be beaten!  I read and employed every tactic I could find until something worked.  Something was bound to work!  It just had to!  

This is what I read to help with her behavior and to help me discipline more effectively.

Why won't my child listen or do as he's told? These 7 books may help with your child's behavior as you learn to discipline effectively. Understand your child's behavior before tackling it! via www.sahmplus.com
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Books to help with child behavior and discipline

General Parenting

Even though I have high needs kids, I found these general parenting books useful.  Getting your child to listen or to do what you ask isn’t nearly as difficult if you have some strategies in place.  By far, my favorite parenting book was 1-2-3 Magic!  But, there are other great suggestions here too.

1-2-3 Magic
  • The gold standard of parenting books and a 2016 Family Choice Award winner!
  • Thomas W. Phelan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 226 Pages – 06/17/2024 (Publication Date) – Parentmagic Inc (Publisher)

This book was the most simple to employ when my daughter was a toddler.  And, though I now use a consequence and reward jar system, I still find TONS of use in counting to three to get my child to listen.  This tops the charts, in my opinion, when it comes to general books to get my kid to cooperate.

The Happiest Toddler on the Block: How to Eliminate Tantrums and Raise a Patient, Respectful, and Cooperative One- to Four-Year-Old: Revised Edition
  • Learn how to eliminate tantrums & raise a patient, respectful & cooperative 1 to 4 year old.
  • Not only helps reduce tantrums but makes happy kids even happier by boosting patience, cooperation, and self-confidence.
  • Dr. Karp provides fast solutions for today’s busy and stressed parents.
  • Contains thirty-item glossary of Dr. Karp’s parenting techniques.
  • Harvey Karp (Author)

We were fans of The Happiest Baby on the Block, so it made sense to try out the toddler version!

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk (The How To Talk Series)
  • Paperback
  • Faber, Adele (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 384 Pages – 02/07/2012 (Publication Date) – Scribner (Publisher)
The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind
  • Bantam, A nice option for a Book Lover
  • Condition : Good
  • Ideal for Gifting
  • Siegel M.D., Daniel J. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

If you’re like me, scientific type explanations for your child’s behavior may really hit home.  This book helped me make sense of the why when my daughter would behave a certain way.  Then, I was better equipped at how to handle the particular behavior.

Parenting High-Needs Kids

As a parent of not one high-needs baby, but TWO (lucky me), I can tell you there absolutely is a difference in babies.  You’re not alone mama.  I know it’s hard and I’ve borrowed plenty of books and employed many strategies I never thought I would have tried.  When you have high need kids, you’re constantly tested and feel like your consistently failing.  What in the world are you doing wrong?


But, you have to be willing to keep trying new things until you find something that works.  And something will, I promise!  For me, it’s the consequence and reward jars.

Until then, these are some of the things I’ve read (or listened to) that helped me make better sense of my children.  These books help:

The Fussy Baby Book: Parenting Your High-Need Child From Birth to Age Five
  • Sears MD FRCP, William (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 250 Pages – 09/01/1996 (Publication Date) – Little, Brown Spark (Publisher)

The Fussy Baby Book, was less about discipline, and more about learning how to handle high-needs babies! The baby phase isn’t easy, and when you have high-needs babies, it feels as though you are failing as a new parent.

Parenting Your Powerful Child: Bringing an End to the Everyday Battles
  • Dr. Kevin Leman (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 272 Pages – 09/02/2014 (Publication Date) – Revell (Publisher)
Raising Your Spirited Child, Third Edition: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic (Spirited Series)
  • Kurcinka, Mary Sheedy (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 528 Pages – 09/08/2015 (Publication Date) – William Morrow Paperbacks (Publisher)

Have you read other parenting books to help with child behavior and discipline?  What would you recommend?

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