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Best self-help books for parents


couple is seated together on a couch back to back

couple is seated together on a couch back to back

Getty Images/iStockphoto

couple is seated together on a couch back to back

Whether you love them or loathe them, self-help books and parenting guides have a huge market. We take a look at some of the best books available at the moment, all of which aim to help parents at all stages.

The early years

We featured an interview with Kate Carbery last month but loved it so much we feel it merits another mention here.

Becoming Mum: How to Survive Childbirth and the Early Months of Motherhood is a powerful book, which features 40 mums and dads talking about their experiences of the early days of parenthood.

The book offers an insight into the different experiences of parents, and tackles everything from labour to dealing with public health nurses, with breastfeeding, sex and the effects of pregnancy on the body in between.

Our readers’ panel gave it a big thumbs up last month. Available for €14.99 from Easons.

Going to school

Britain’s bestselling childcare author Gina Ford has released her latest offering, which gives advice on preparing your child – and yourself – for school.

The Contented Baby Goes to School was released in July. Ford’s first book, The Contented Little Baby, has sold over a million copies, and has been a bible for many new parents.

She has gone on to write a range of other books, from Top Tips for Weaning to the Contented Baby with Toddler Book, and she also launched a website, contentedbaby.com.

If you’re struggling to come to terms with your baby going to school this week, or even preparing for it next year, Ford’s latest publication could help calm your fears.

It offers practical exercises for developing skills, suggests possible scenarios you could face, and deals with everything from separation anxiety to changing routines. €10.99 at BookDepository.com.

Family life

Clinical psychologist David Coleman knows his stuff, and in his latest book The Thriving Family: How to Achieve Home-life Harmony for You and Your Children, he draws on his experience of working with families to offer valuable advice.

Coleman takes six core principles for ensuring your children grow up to be happy, healthy adults.

He talks about recognising and embracing the ever-changing nature of life, acknowledging individuality and creating a nurturing environment. The Thriving Family is available for €12.81 from BookDepository.com.


It’s been out a few years now, but 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12, is certainly worth the read if you are having difficulties when it comes to discipline.

The revised edition of this number one bestseller, published in 2010, takes a humorous approach to talking parents through disciplining children without arguing or smacking.

It not only looks at discipline, but also examines how to encourage good behaviour and strengthen the child-parent relationship, as well as providing 10 strategies for building a child’s self-esteem.

You can buy the e-book for €7 at Easons.com.

The future

Another international bestseller, How Children Succeed: confidence, curiosity and the hidden power of character, is a book that will make you think twice about what defines success in life.

Author Paul Tough argues that instead of “fixating on grades and exams”, parents should pay more attention to their children’s characters. He encourages them to unlock their child’s true potential by fostering a sense of curiosity, boosting confidence and encouraging an inner resilience. Available for €12.99 from Easons.

Mother & Babies

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