Parenting Books- the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Monday November 5, 2012

By Amy Morin

Parenting books are an interesting read sometimes. And other times, they are a complete waste of time. It can be difficult to weed through the bad books to find the good books.

The internet and the invention of the e-book has turned many people into would-be parenting experts. Of course, many of them have wonderful things to say and provide helpful parenting tips. However, there's plenty of parenting books out there that just aren't all that helpful.

The bad parenting books are those that I would consider to be mostly "fluff." They have a few useful tips buried deep in the book but the rest of the book is just filler. The author works hard to include extra stories, tidbits and plenty of other things that aren't needed in order to make the book long enough that anyone would consider reading it. Many people give up trudging through it before they get to the few parenting tips buried deep inside.

These books can be written by professionals or by a parent. Sometimes they include a lot of information on theories about parenting but don't offer any concrete examples of how to apply the information to the real world.

The books I consider to be ugly are the ones that offer bad parenting advice. Some parenting books are just downright scary. These books cause any good parent to cringe.

Among those books, there are also some good parenting books out there. One of my favorites for parents of young kids is Carolyn Webster-Stratton's The Incredible Years. It gives great parenting tips and provides a brief overview the underlying theories behind them. You can read my book review of The Incredible Years to see the other reasons why I often recommend this book to parents who come into my office looking for help managing their child's behaviors.


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