Heart, Mind, Parenting, Soul

5 Books That Influenced My Parenting

If you’ve been reading my blog for any time you’ll have worked out that I love reading!  I read many parenting books, especially when my children were younger.  Here I’ve chosen 5 of these books that have influenced my parenting.

Parenting in the Pew:  Guiding Your Children into the Joy of Worship by Robbie Castleman

Parenting in the Pew.jpg

A friend (who wasn’t a parent at the time), gave me this book as she knew I’d like it.  It was the book that really made me want to have my children (actually, all the children who are part of our church), in our worship services, so that they could learn to worship.

From the blurb on the back of the book: “”Daddy, I’d like you to meet my children.”  That’s Robbie Castleman’s attitude about taking her children to church.  … Children are at church for the same reason as Mom and Dad:  for the privilege of worshiping God.”

And a few quotes from the book:

  • “I was a Sunday-morning dropout in my late teens, … One reason fro quitting was that I had never been trained to worship.  I had only been told to be quiet in church.” p17
  • “Children learn to worship by worshiping – through participation, practice and patience.” p25
  • “Worship was for God’s glory, not my benefit!” p28
  • “Worship is seldom seen as “serving” God, even though the hour between eleven and noon is called the “worship service”.” p35

I think anyone who’s interested in worship, not just parents would find this book valuable.

The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman & Ross Campbell, M.D.

5 love languages of children

I first read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.  I highly recommend any of  The Five Love Languages books.

The premise behind the books is that every person expresses & receives love best through one of five different communication styles – Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch.  Every child needs love expressed in each of the five ways but one way will probably speak to them more than the others.

A person’s love language can usually be determined by age 5.  For both of my children this was true.  My daughter gave me lots & lots of presents for Mother’s Day when she was in Preschool.  A few bought things but most were handmade or drawings.  She actually used the word “I’m giving you all these presents because I love you so much.”  Her preferred love language is gifts.  When my son was in Kindy we used to take a little girl across to Kindy, from the school.  One day she wore her hair in a different way.  He noticed and commented that her hair looked pretty today.   His primary love language is words of affirmation.

It was very helpful to know the way that my children liked to express & receive love.  I still try to speak to my children in their preferred love language regularly.

Real Moms:  Exploding the Myths of Motherhood by Elisa Morgan & Carol Kuykendall

This was one of the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) theme books one year.  I could probably list every MOPS theme book, that I read during the 12+ years that I was involved in MOPS, as having an influence on my parenting.  Another memorable one is What Every Mom Needs also by Elisa Morgan & Carol Kuykendall.

However, I chose this one as I can clearly remember some of the topics covered in the book and that we also discussed at the National MOPS Conference & in our MOPS group that year.  I can clearly remember they day we talked about “Real Moms Get Angry” and how relieving it was to know that every other mother in my group got angry at their kids & that it wasn’t just me!

Each chapter discusses a myth of mothering & its corresponding reality and ends with practical application.  It has advice and stories from real Moms.  Some of the memorable and very helpful chapters for me were:

  • Monster Mom – Real Moms Get Angry
  • Doin ‘ My Best Mom – Real Moms Aren’t Perfect and Don’t Have Perfect Children
  • S.O.S.Mom – Real Moms Need Help
  • Busy Mom – Real Moms Have Too Much to Do
  • Forever Mom – Real Moms Know Mothering Gets Different, Not Easier

Sticky Faith:  Everyday Ideas to build lasing faith in your kids by Dr. Kara E. Powell & Dr. Chap Clark

Sticky Faith

A very practical book about how to help your children grow in faith.  It covers ideas useful for very young children through to transitioning to college.

From the blurb on the back of the book:

“Based on Fuller Youth Institute findings, this easy-to-read guide presents both a compelling rationale and a powerful strategy to show parents how to encourage their children’s spiritual growth so that it will stick with them into adulthood and empower them to develop a living, lasting faith.”

The Kindness Challenge by Shaunti Feldhahn

The Kindness Challenge

My husband actually introduced me to Shaunti Feldhahn when he heard her on radio speaking about For Women Only.

The Kindness Challenge is one of her newer books.  I only read it in the last couple of years but I think it helped my relationship with my teenage son.  Not that it was bad but it just helped me learn better ways to try and communicate with my son and deal with issues.

This book is great for improving any relationship in your life from those with family or friends to work colleagues.  It has a 30 day challenge that you can use for any relationship that you want to work on.  The information and practical ideas in the book are backed by extensive research with plenty of real life stories.

So that’s 5 books that have influenced my parenting.  I could list heaps more but thought that 5 was a good number.

What books have influenced your parenting?

Disclosure:  This post contains some affiliate links.  Which means if you click on a link and purchase something I’ll receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you.


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