This list is a work in progress, last updated February 2, 2011. I love annotated booklists, so that’s why I have one. I have some books I haven’t put on the list yet, and some I’m intending to read, but haven’t yet (probably because I’ve already spend my book allowance for the month). Check back occasionally for updates. You may also check the Book Review category, where I occasionally take the time to write a longer review of a book I’m reading.
Come,Ye Children (Charles Spurgeon) One of the best books on salvation and teaching children God’s Word. This little book is encouraging and challenging. Every Christian mother should take the time and effort to study this book.
Shepherding a Child’s Heart (Ted Tripp): A classic book that every Christian parent should read. I do have some disagreements (as anyone will with any book). The biggest problem is that there’s no guidance for applying to young children. He needs to write a companion: Shepherding a Toddler’s Heart.
Instructing a Child’s Heart (Ted and Margie Tripp): So I really liked this book better than Shepherding a Child’s Heart. I haven’t decided whether this new book is intended either to supplement or replace the earlier one. In any case, it’s clear that the softer, mother perspective is present in the book.
Parenting with Wisdom (Debi Pryde): by my mom. excellent. 🙂 I love her emphasis on wisdom, and I love her commitment to the word of God. I’ve read many parenting books, and this is far away the best. (You could accuse me of being biased, but that’s probably because you haven’t read the book!)
Everyday Talk: Talking Naturally and Freely about God to Your Children (John [Jay] Younts) This is a great topic, and the book provides a good place for a parent to start. See the longer review here.
The Young Peacemaker: Teaching Students to Respond to Conflict God’s Way (Corlette Sande): A series of peacemaking lesson plans for intermediate and middle school level. There are student activity booklets available separately. These are comic book type books that illustrate the biblical principles taught in the book. Really great for school-age children, but the materials themselves are too advanced for preschoolers. (This is part of a larger series on peacemaking by the author’s husband. See their website: www.hispeace.org) Recommended for parents of children diagnosed with ADHD.
Teach them Diligently: How to Use the Scriptures in Child Training (Lou Priolo): I like for the most part, more theory than practice. The best part of this book is an appendix where Priolo has a chart of behaviors (like anger and laziness) and verses that might apply. It’s a good reference. There’s a couple of odd statements on spanking that make it a book I’m hesitant to give to a family who doesn’t understand biblical corporal punishment. I’ll have to look these up.
Parenting with Scripture: Basically a reference book organized topically giving Scripture verses and valuable questions to ask children to help them understand. Some of the topics and definitions I would disagree with, but I do like this book. This book would be particularly helpful for a mom who is just beginning to search the Scriptures to find wisdom for her children. It’s not a substitute for systematic Bible reading, but it could be an indispensable reference.
Dangerous Parenting Detours(Walt Brock): By DH’s uncle. Much of the book focuses on aspects of a parent’s walk with God that affects his children’s walk with God. It’s not so much discussing how to parent as how to walk with God. It has study questions at the end of each chapter and would make a nice book for study and discussion. Walt and Betty have four grown children (Lee’s cousins) who are all walking with the Lord and teaching their children to love Him.
Don’t Make Me Count to Three (Plowman): Like Shepherding a Child’s Heart, but from a mother’s perspective. It’s a nice book, but I wouldn’t consider it a must read.
Big Truths for Little Kids (Hunt and Hunt): reformed, catechism and stories demonstrating the catechism truths. Even if you are not reformed in your theology, you will find much good material that will be useful. If you’re reading with preschoolers, you may have to go more slowly, and some of the catechism sentence structure may need to be simplified somewhat. Children will enjoy the question and answer format, the well-written stories, and the illustrations of illustrator Nancy Munger.
The Myth of the A.D.D. Child: secular. Great book, bad title. Its value is in giving alternatives to medicine for dealing with inattention. Please note that I am not opposed to medicine for ADHD in every case (just most of them).
ADD Success Stories: A Guide to Fulfillment for Families with Attention Disorder I give this book primarily because it helps parents understand how the ADHD personality can be an asset and an advantage. Although the book does not come from a Christian perspective, it rejects the disease model and is more compatible with a Christian World View than some approaches. At the same time, because it discusses how adults manage ADHD from a secular perspective, some portions may be inappropriate for a young teenager.
The New Messies Manual (Felton): hasn’t helped. I’m learning the most important parts of keeping things clean is saying no to my flesh and getting enough sleep.
Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems (Ferber): secular (how baby gets to sleep isn’t a spiritual issue) never needed but similar to what I did for my kids. Some readers will want to know that he does recommend allowing a child to cry at some points.
Taking Care of Your Child: secular medical reference. never needed since I live with a pediatrician, but it’s a good book
Common Sense Parenting of Toddlers and Preschoolers (Barnes, York): Secular, non-spankers, good ideas, though (Lee recommends to unsaved parents sometimes)
A Family of Value (Rosemond): favorite non-Christian parenting author, although he was saved recently. See his website. Rosemond’s main thoughts are developing a parent-centered household instead of a child-centered household. If a woman likes Sears, she probably won’t like Rosemond.
To Train up a Child (Pearl): I do not recommend. I had three copies given to me when my first baby was born. I know many mothers love the Pearls, and have “taken the good and rejected the bad” but in my experience, some of the bad remains.
What the Bible Says about Child Training (Fugate): I do not recommend. It’s basically a list of Bible verses about child rearing, but I disagree with some of his commentary so much that I don’t think it’s redeemable. (For example, he makes a statement that mercy is incompatible with justice. Chew on that for awhile.)
Babies with Down Syndrome: A New Parents Guide (ed. Stray-Gundersen): good resource, secular
A Parent’s Guide to Down Syndrome (Pueschel): another secular resource