Parents: Top Ten Books to Read — Or to Gift

Parenting is hard work.  Those of us who have been parents for a while know how difficult it can be.  And as parents, we sometimes seek advice from the ”experts,” whether those experts are our friends, our own parents, our medical providers, or sometimes those who make it their business to work with and study parents.

We all need a little advice — and a little perspective.

Here’s a list of our top ten picks of good reads for parents as they think about their teenage, college age, or young adult.  But the key is that it helps to start thinking and building the foundation early.  Some of the experts tell us that our parenting style when our children are very young can influence how they function and cope as young adults.

We’ve reviewed all of these books and we think they can provide parents with guidance — or at least plenty of food for thought.  If you’re already a college parent, it’s not too late!  But if you have younger children, use these to get a head start.  If you know someone with younger children, consider one (or more) of these as gifts to give them a head start.

Read our reviews.  Pick one or two or three.  Read them. Share them. Form a book club. Start conversations.

Foundational books for parents of younger children (but it’s not too late for college parents!)

The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey   Read our review

How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims   Read our review

Building Resilience in Children and Teens by Kenneth R. Ginsberg and Martha M. Jablow   Read our review

For parents of older children, teens, and young adults (but you can’t start too early!)

 A Survival Guide for Parenting Teens by Joani Geltman   Read our review

It’s the Student Not the College by Kristin M. White   Read our review

Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens Through the Twenties by Jeffrey Arnett   Read our review

The i-Connected Parent: Staying Close to Your Kids in College (and Beyond) While Letting Them Grow Up by Barbara Hofer   Read our review

Making the Most of College: Students Speak Their Minds by Richard Light   Read our review

The Naked Roommate: for Parents Only by Harlan Cohen    Read our review (note: this book was formerly titled The Happiest Kid on Campus)

You’re On Your Own, But I’m There if You Need Me by Marjorie Savage   Read our review

These are a few of our favorites, but don’t take our word for it.  Check out our Resources page for many more options.  There’s good reading out there for everyone!

Note: Some links in our post are for affiliate products. If you use our links, College Parent Central receives a small percentage of your purchase price. This does not change the cost to you.  We think it’s only fair to let you know that.


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