When you first stumble upon mindful or positive parenting, it can be overwhelming to attempt to learn more and dive deeper into those topics. Parents are sometimes reluctant to openly discuss their parenting styles and parenting experience with others.
I mean, have you seen a Facebook comments section on any parenting-related meme or post, recently? The “debates” held there can get heated quickly and no one seems to be willing to have a real, honest conversation about why more traditional parenting methods involving yelling, hitting, time-outs, and punishment don’t always work the way that the parents of yesteryear swear that they do.
Today, more adults than ever are no longer speaking to their parents because of the trauma they were exp[osed to during their childhood amount other issues that can surface because of an authoritarian parenting style.
So, this post is about the best mindful parenting and positive parenting books out there. I’m hoping that you may find this helpful if you’re currently trying to rewire your brain about how parenting can work and you’re open to hearing new perspectives on raising children respectfully and with empathy.
Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend stuff I love and would recommend to a friend.
What’s the difference between mindful parenting & positive parenting?
Mindfulness and positive parenting are two terms that are often used together but what do they actually mean?
Mindfulness is the practice of present moment awareness and can be applied to parenting in many ways. Positive parenting, on the other hand, is a parenting style that focuses on the positive aspects of childrearing instead of the negative.
Both mindful and positive parenting is beneficial for both parents and children. Mindful parenting can help parents to reduce stress and be more present, while positive parenting can help children to feel loved and valued.
Both mindful and positive parenting styles can help to create a stronger bond between parent and child.
The benefits of mindful and positive parenting
One of the benefits of mindful parenting is that it can help you to be more patient with your children. Another benefit of mindful parenting is that it can help you to connect with your children on a deeper level.
The benefits of positive parenting include that it can help you to be more optimistic in your parenting, which can, in turn, lead to better behavior from your children. It can also help you to be more energetic and enthusiastic about parenting, which can make it more enjoyable for both you and your children.
Positive parenting can also help you to build a stronger bond with your children. Ultimately, both mindful and positive parenting has many benefits that can make parenting more enjoyable and rewarding for both parents and children.
Both types of parenting can help children to feel loved and valued, and they can also help them to develop self-confidence and high self-esteem.
How to be a more mindful and positive parent
Becoming a mindful parent is a long journey that really never ends. That being said, I can still outline some steps for you to take to move forward.
First, here’s a link to the Ultimate Guide to Mindful Parenting, where I’m adding as many resources as possible for parents who want to learn more about it.
But if you don’t have time to read a giant post right now, here’s some quick tips:
- Try to practice mindful breathing or meditation for a few minutes each day.
- Start trying to recognize what triggers your anger, frustration, or anxiety when it comes to your kids’ behavior.
- Explore healing your childhood trauma and parenting yourself if you believe that your own childhood experience may be negatively affecting your children and your own experience as a parent.
- Read books about mindful parenting or take a class on it.
- Join mindful and/or positive parenting groups on social media even if you don’t plan on asking questions. This way, you’ll see more positive parenting content in your social feeds.
- Be patient with yourself and your child as you learn this new way of parenting.
Remember that there are no perfect parents or children; we are all just doing the best we can with what we have.
List: The best mindful parenting books
Reading books and listening to audiobooks is an effective way to learn more about mindful, positive parenting and how to make it work for your family. There’s such a large amount of helpful information about how to make positive parenting work for you in these kinds of books.
Even if you just work on listening to one while you’re doing the dishes or working.
What are the criteria for the books in this list? When I’m reading a book, I don’t like a lot of fluff or low-value content and while anecdotes are great for storytelling purposes, I appreciate books that have some data or science available to back up their points.
I’m also interested in keeping this list of books secular and free of most woo-woo topics or spirituality. That’s kind of a personal preference, but this list is more on the practical and utilitarian side of things than the spiritual side.
The best mindfulness and positive parenting books that I’ve found that meet these criteria are:
- Raising Good Humans by Hunter Clarke-Fields, MSAE: Many parents react in times of stress without thinking—usually by screaming. But what if, rather than always reacting on autopilot, you could respond thoughtfully at those moments and maintain your composure? You’ll discover strong mindfulness skills for quieting your own stress response while difficult feelings arise in this book. You’ll learn how to develop compassionate communication, effective conflict management, and reflective listening as a result of this research. You’ll also discover methods for nurturing courteous conversation, resolving disputes effectively, and listening reflectively. You’ll learn how to examine your own unhelpful tendencies and entrenched reactions that have been influenced by your parents’ generations in order to break the cycle and react appropriately to your children.
- The Mindful Child by Susan Kaiser Greenland: These innovative age-appropriate mindfulness skills will help your youngsters guard themselves. Mindful awareness enables you to focus more attention on what is going on inside of you – your thoughts, feelings, and emotions – in order to better comprehend what is going on around you. The Mindful Child incorporates age-appropriate activities, songs, games, and fables created by Susan Kaiser Greenland over a decade of teaching children aged four to eighteen years old.
- How to Stop Losing your Sh*t With Your Kids, A Practical Guide to Becoming a Calmer, Happier Parent by Carla Naumburg: Stop the screaming, get rid of the guilt, and learn to be a more calm and happier parent. This is a thought-provoking and tip-packed plan for how to stop parental rages that draws on proven strategies. Its caring, pragmatic approach will allow readers to feel less guilty and more in control of their lives instead of losing it.
- Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide by Rebecca Eanes: Eanes provides her learned experience with overcoming limiting thought patterns and recognizing emotional triggers, as well as guidance for connecting with children at each stage from infancy through adolescence. This heartfelt, informative counsel does not come from a professional; rather, it is the result of a learning and evolving parent.
- The Little Frog Awakes Mindfulness Exercises for Toddlers (And Their Parents) by Eline Snel: It’s difficult to raise toddlers, but mindfulness can assist! Providing parents of toddlers with strategies and tools to respond effectively and mindfully in challenging situations, especially when things get tough. “The book and the accompanying audio include activities, practices, and stories for both you and for your toddler that cultivate mindful moments and action and self-compassion.”
- Mindful Parenting in a Chaotic World: Effective Strategies to Stay Centered at Home and on the Go by Nicole Libin: Life becomes a lot easier when parents and children practice mindfulness together. There are no perfect parents or perfect children; rather, there are only special moments. Mindfulness techniques and activities that may be performed anywhere are included in Mindful Parenting in a Chaotic World. It’s a mindful parenting manual for caregivers to use while engaging in activities with their kids so that everyone feels acknowledged, respected, and heard.
- Mindfulness Journal for Parents: Prompts and Practices to Stay Calm, Present, and Connected by Josephine Atluri: Perfect for parents who feel like they might need some extra support with unpacking their triggers and stress responses. You’ll find insightful writing prompts and thought-provoking ideas and exercises designed to rework your thinking around you and your children’s behavior and enjoy your time together more.
- Perspective Parenting: A Mindful Approach for Single Parents: A Mindful Approach for Single Parents by Caroline Smith: Here’s a mindful parenting book for the single parents out there. I know that sometimes parenting books can come off as unrealistic or unreliable to parents who do not have a live-in partner to help them with everything. This is one specifically for single parents and it’s an important addition to this list.
The best time to start being a mindful and positive parent
The best time to get started with positive parenting is kinda like the best time to plant a tree. The best time was 5-10 years ago. But the next best time is now!
Don’t try to convince yourself that it’s too late to switch to positive and mindful parenting if your kids aren’t babies or toddlers anymore. It’s never too late to make a change.
You can still use mindful and positive parenting techniques with your kids no matter their age. It might look different than if you had started when they were younger, but it will still be beneficial for both you and your children.