How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm by Mei-Ling Hopgood
"I'm a citizen of the world, so why should my parenting style only be influenced by Western culture? This book takes you on a trip around the world through various perspectives and practices and opens your eyes to other parenting options. Even if you don't agree with them, it's cool to learn about other cultures.” —Jess Teutonico, CEO of Under the Acacia
Parenting Without Power Struggles by Susan Stiffelman
“This book is amazing. She takes such a refreshing approach to dealing with the myriad of issues that come up when trying to raise an independent child while setting some limits. She uses the metaphor of a ship: you maintain your role as the captain, but treat your children with the respect that they deserve while you support them in approaching life’s challenges. Her book offers practical, easy to implement techniques that really allow parents how to reach their end goal—as she coins it ‘raising joyful, resilient kids while staying cool, calm, and connected.’” —Vanessa Karubian Saxe, owner of Babytalk LA
Give Peas a Chance by Kate Samela
“In a world where junk food is ever-present, I feel healthy options at home are so important to teach children how to enjoy good food and make good food choices in today's junk filled world… I love her sensible approach on how to introduce texture, aromas, and tastes to developing palates. She stresses family time around the table and the importance of healthy relationships around food. This book also helps mothers transition kid food into healthful options kids will actually want to eat, should your little guys be caught in a habit of chicken nuggets and hot dogs.” —Cheryl Najafi, New York Times best-selling author, and lifestyle and entertaining expert
Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us by Laurie Kilmartin et al.
“I'm not a huge fan of parenting books. I like to give things the old college try, screw them up, and then feel guilty the old-fashioned way! However, I do LOVE the book Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us. With chapters like ‘How to Sleep Until 9 A.M. Every Weekend’ and ‘When Seeing an Infant Triggers a Mental Illness That Makes You Want to Have Another Baby,’ this is a laugh-out-loud must-read for anyone who is a parent or plans to be. Plus, it contains really helpful information, like how to find other moms who will want to have a glass of wine at a play date instead of judging you. This is important, useful stuff.” —Melissa Carr, founder of The Thirties Grind
Unplugged Play by Bobbi Conner
“This book is full of ideas on how to engage your child with good old-fashioned play. In a society where we all are wired all the time, this book stresses the importance of developing the imagination, heightening the senses, and encouraging curiosity in your children through play. Set up as more of a reference guide, divided by age group, it is my go-to guide for ideas on how I can encourage my children to use their minds and create fun activities. One of my son's favorite game ideas from this book was rolling his ball into a big paper grocery bag. I can still hear the giggles as he would score a 'goal!'” —Cheryl Najafi, New York Times best-selling author, and lifestyle and entertaining expert
Free-Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy
“This book may be filled with tongue-in-cheek humor, but she’s serious about giving our kids a little more freedom. Raising your kids ‘free-range’ is about giving them some of the play experiences we cherish from our own childhoods, and the happy by-product of that independence are kids who are able to handle themselves confidently and have the resilience to manage the risks they’re faced with themselves. The best part of Skenazy’s book is that it leaves you feeling excited rather than stressed, which is certainly not always the case with parenting books!” —Annemarie Templeman-Kluit, founder of yoyomama
Teach Your Children Well by Madeline Levine
“I love this book because it espouses a much-needed sensibility on nurturing children to have an intrinsic motivated sense of self, rather than developing their self-esteem from rewards or external positive markers such as grades, trophies, or honors. In a world where I have to remind myself every day that I'm an OK mom because I'm not driving my children halfway around the world for world-class training in the sport du jour, this was a breath of fresh air.” —Cheryl Najafi, New York Times best-selling author, and lifestyle and entertaining expert
Book Club: What Are You Reading?
We’ve got the best parenting book picks from Elizabeth Street moms.
Parenting trends have always existed, but sometimes it seems like there are way more things to consider these days. There are so many dos and don’ts: Do make sure your child never touches anything that is not organic—but don’t be a helicopter mom! There are tons of fascinating books out there about parenting, and even if you don’t take all the advice to heart, there’s always a tip or two that stands out. We asked six Elizabeth Street moms about the parenting books they’re reading these days, and we got a great list. CEO of Under the Acacia Jess Teutonico loves How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm by Mei-Ling Hopgood, and New York Times best-selling author Cheryl Najafi is a fan of Give Peas a Chance by Kate Samela. Flip through the slideshow to see all of the books our great Elizabeth Street moms suggested. (Looking for more book ideas? Click here.) —Hally Wolhandler