Parenting books we love

Books, books and more books!

There are so many good books out there, for kids, for parents, for parents to read to their children, and vice versa. But which ones are the best to read, and which will help the most?

It differs for every parent and every family dynamic. As stages change with ages, there are always new things to learn!

So we asked our Team for some of their favourite books, and have come up with the list below. Please let us know of any other goodies?

If you don't want to buy a hardcopy of the book, you could always check if it is available at your local library, or available for download as an e-book or audiobook (available through the Christchurch City Libraries' e-resources, or online book services such as Audible). 

Books we love - an assortment!

Anxious Kids, by Michael Grose

How children can turn their anxiety into resilience. Sooooooo extensive so go easy, but great information. See book

Siblings without Rivalry, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

How to help your children live together so you can live too. The #1 New York Times best-selling guide to reducing hostility and generating goodwill between siblings. See book

Mindset, by Carol Dweck

Not really a parenting book, but good for us as parents to read.

The information in this book applies everywhere. See book

Resilient Grieving, by Dr Lucy Hone

Finding strength and embracing life after a loss that changes everything. This book aims to help you relearn your world, to help you navigate the grieving process as best you can — without hiding from your feelings or denying the reality, or significance, of your loss. See book


The Danish Way of Parenting, by Jessica Joelle Alexander & Iben Sandahl

What makes Denmark the happiest country in the world--and how do Danish parents raise happy, confident, successful kids, year after year? This upbeat and practical book presents six essential principles, which spell out P-A-R-E-N-T. See book

Brainwave Trust Books & Resources

We recommend anything by these guys, especially relating to early years and teens. Have a good read of their website to discover some valuable information. Visit website

The Good Ancestor, by Roman Krznaric

While not a parenting book, this is a favourite for our team because it forces us to look at ourselves as an ancestor and consider 7 generations beyond us. It is an immensely powerful read. 

Four Thousand Weeks, by Oliver Burkeman

Another favourite for the team in considering our precious life as four thousand weeks (on average) and how we want to spend it. This a meaningful and really gentle way to reconsider planning and to-do's.

The Health Fix, by Dr Ayan Panja

This book isn't what you think - it's not a health guide, or how to get health or lose weight - yay! It's about looking at our health in a more wholelistic way, and what contributes beyond what we eat or how active we are.

The Happiness Trap, by Russ Harris

A fun 'workbook' type book that looks at how our search for happiness is letting us down. This is a really practical and positive way to re-approach how we perceive things, and how we can better support ourselves to thrive.

See What You Made Me Do, by Jess Hill

This an incredible book that helps define domestic abuse, especially in terms of coercive control - that is emotional abuse. We found this book absolutely incredible in understanding abuse from a woman's (as the victim's) perspective. 

What To Do When You Worry Too Much, by Dawn Huebner

A cool little workbook that we've used to support kids when they're finding it challenging to manage their worry. We'd recommend you do this alongside your kids so that you're working together to find great ways to support each other when times are tricky. 

What To Do When Your Temper Flares, by Dawn Huebner

Another cool little workbook we've used to support kids when they're finding it tricky to manage their anger. Again, work with your kids on this book - it's got good ideas for us all!


The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting, by Brene Brown

We're big fans of Brene Brown - she's all about having integrity and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. You can see how this fits well with parenting. Often parents get caught in the trap of wanting to get everything right... impossible! This book fits with our mantra of 'good enough is perfect'!

Books for, and about, older kids

Brainstorm, by Dr Daniel Siegel

The author illuminates how brain development impacts teenagers' behaviour and relationships. See book

The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults by Frances E Jensen

Now this book removes all the assumptions we make about a teen's brain just like an adult's with less miles on the clock! Paper Plus has this available, otherwise a quick google search will find it (or audible)


The Good Teen, by Richard M Lerner

Changed our lives as parents of teens and we keep going back to it. See book


How to talk so teens will listen and listen so teens will talk, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

The authors share their advice and expertise with parents and teens in this accessible, indispensable guide to surviving adolescence. See book


Queen Bees and Wannabes, by Rosalind Wiseman

Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and the New Realities of Girl. Especially great when our girls are facing school challenges with peers groups and social pressures. See book


Starving the Anger Gremlin, by Kate Collins-Donnelly

Work through with kids. A Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Workbook on Anger Management for Young People. See book

The 10pm Question, by Kate de Goldi 

A fab reminder of childhood, worries and stuff that happens when it comes bedtime (covering stuff that we, as adults, might've forgotten about). See book

Books for, and about, younger kids

Aroha’s Way, by Craig Phillips

Not so much a parenting book, but a super cool, New Zealand way of talking about worries with our kids. See book


From Worrier to Warrior, by Dr Dan Peters

Highly recommended as a work-through your worries book for kids and parents. The best we've seen. See book

The Carpenter and the Gardener, by Alison Gopnik

A goodie that was recommended to us, we read and we loved too. See book


Mindsight, by Dr Daniel Siegel

The author explains how to reach your child, redirect emotions, and turn a meltdown into an opportunity for growth. See book


No-Drama Discipline, by Dr Daniel Siegel

"The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind." This is where most of the brain stuff comes from here in New Zealand. When you hear someone speak about the brain of a baby or teen, it's almost guaranteed that Dr Dan Siegel will be a reference point. See book


The Strength Switch, by Lea Waters

"How the New Science of Strength-Based Parenting Helps Your Child and Teen to Flourish." This game-changing book reveals the extraordinary results of focusing on our children’s strengths rather than always trying to correct their weaknesses. By showing us how to throw the ‘strength switch’, Dr Lea Waters demonstrates how we can help our children build resilience, optimism and achievement. See book

How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish

A fave of our at Real Parents and one we refer to often in our parenting groups. It's a lovely book to support us to reflect on our parenting, see things from our kid's perspective and learn alongside them. It's another book emphasising that good is enough is perfect. 

Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child, by John Gottman

John Gottman is the researcher and practitioner that gave us all the emotional coaching resources we use in our programmes and coaching. He's highly regarding in the field across 'relationships' and here supports us to connect with our kids. 

Raising a Secure Child, by Kent Hoffman, Glen Cooper & Bert Powell

This is a ground-breaking book in terms of attachment, supporting our kids to feel good and be curious and reflect on what things we bring with us into our parenting that can get in the way. This has had a phenomenal impact on parents we've worked with over the years. We are total fans of this book and its practices.

Want fast answers around your child's behaviour?

Well that's what we're here for! We've read the books, trained in the field of psychology, education or social work and work with hundreds of worried parents every year. We'll support you to find your confidence and enjoy parenting. Promise!