After I posted my collaborative parenting series for ADHD and autistic families, I got a few emails asking me for further resources to learn about collaborative and gentle parenting. I've put together a guide of my top 3 favorite books about gentle parenting that I hope will help you out.
These are all books that I love and refer to constantly in my own home. If you have any recommendations on this topic, please put them in the comments to help other parents!
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(This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on one of my affiliate links and make a purchase, I may receive a commission for referring you. Please know that I only recommend resources I believe in and highly recommend.)
My Top 3 Books on Gentle Parenting
The Explosive Child: A New Approach For Understanding And Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
I had already recommended The Explosive Child to several people even before I'd finished it, and it's base of my parenting practice.
It assumes that kids are doing their best, and that kids who "explode" are missing the skills that help them to adapt to changing situations.
The book then offers methods of problem-solving so that parent and child can work together to improve the situation for everyone, reducing tantrums.
The method is similar to those I've read in other books, but the explanations of what's going on from the child's point of view are superior.
The Explosive Child also has very good, accessible advice for how to apply these methods to neuroatypical kids (ADHD, autism spectrum, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, etc.), and kids who are non-verbal.
It generally assumes that all kids can contribute to identifying and solving their problems themselves, which I deeply appreciate.
This is the OG book on collaborative parenting for kids with autism, ADHD, executive processing issues, or any kind of challenging behavior or condition.
And, this book saved our lives.
I am not over-exaggerating. Our family was in shambles due to the number and intensity of my kiddo's tantrums around 2 years-old. I had tried so many other parenting plans with no success, and sometimes more worsening of symptoms.
Then, I read this book. It empowered me to change how I was responding to the tantrums and other challenges. We saw huge progress in my kiddo's ability to talk through issues, and tell me what was making her anxious, instead of just immediately tantruming.
Since we got better at listening to her and trying to work with her to solve the issues, she's begun to have more trust that we're on her side and will help her.
And, since she feels more connected, her overall behavior is so much better! I would not have been able to make these changes without this book, and I'm really grateful for it.
Dr. Laura Markham is a great authority on gentle parenting, and she has a weekly newsletter that I've been getting for years at this point. She tackles issues for families with toddlers through teenagers with empathy and grace.
Her book is a wonderful how-to for creating sustained connection with your kids, and I highly recommend it.
This list is ever-growing. View my most up-to-date recommendations on gentle parenting, introductions to neurodiversity, autism, ADHD, and social justice at my Bookshop page here!