I have never been a fan of parenting books. They all seem to say different things and everyone is an expert with the perfect kid. Either way with so many books and so many different kids out there, I wouldn't know where to start. I found reading books to improve me as a person actually became the best strategy for stepping up my dad game.
Prompted by the question, what if it's not the child that needs to change, what if it's you? I found that by improving myself I, in turn, improved my parenting, making my life a lot easier. Reading books on personal growth helped me tremendously to see fatherhood from different angles. Here are three books that I recommend every dad read.
If you want a book to make you step up as man and stop blaming everyone and everything in your life for your troubles, this is the book for you. Written by a true champion and that has faced some of life toughest situations. Jocko is a retired US navy seal who commanded navy seals during the battle of Ramadi in Iraq. This book will make you take complete ownership of everything in your life. It will show you that you have full control over how you see the world and how you act. By taking ownership of myself I have been able to create a calm and confident relationship with my kids. Added bonus, it is a very entertaining book, guaranteed to keep you turning pages.
A true classic about structuring your life with the long game in mind.
Covey gets you to evaluate where you want to take your life and how you want to be remembered. The question Covey asks early on in the book "at your funeral what would you want your family and friends to say about you?" has been one of the most powerful questions I have asked myself. The exercises in the book give you an opportunity to structure what is most important in your life and create values to live by. Live your life the way you want to be remembered NOW.
This is the only actual parenting book I will mention because it's entertaining with funny stories of kids losing it. Made me feel like I'm not the only one with a crazy toddler. The book breaks down that kids are just like adults, only with a shorter emotional tolerance. The book explains that when kids are melting down, it’s comparable to an adult melting down after their car has been stolen or their house is on fire. I would recommend this book to anyone to help understand what kids are going through. I now support my daughter as she goes through ALL the emotions during a tantrum, knowing that I am creating a more emotionally secure child.
There are so many books out there on parenting, each with different styles that contradict each other. I found that reading books that make me a better person, has allowed me to not feel so helpless and crazy during the whole parenting journey. In becoming a stronger more resilient and patient man I have in turn become a better dad.
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