Monday, December 3, 2012

Giveaway!: What's On My Bookshelf - Parenting Books


This is a giveaway post!  Details are listed at the bottom!  Happy reading!
My new friend, K, asked me a few weeks ago about the parenting books that I have read and would recommend.  I started to list out a few when another friend, Wendy, who was sitting nearby, said that I should just post it here at the blog.  Genius.  As a mom with three kids (who hasn't run away to live in the wilderness by herself and refer to herself in the third person like a madwoman...oops...just did that), I have had this question asked of me more than a few times.  I love to read, and although I don't do everything that I have read about, parenting books really help to guide my methods and attitude about being a mom who doesn't just survive, but thrive.  Not sure yet if I am quite in the "thriving" stage, but we can always hope for that.  I have been influenced by all the books I'm about to list out, and writing a thorough book review about each one would take hours I don't if you have any more questions about a particular title, comment below or email me at and perhaps I can remember why I liked it so much! 

On the bookshelf in the picture above (left to right):

The Holy Bible - I can't go on without listing this first.  I simply would be sunk as a mom without the Bible.  If you have no spare change and no friends who can lend you their own parenting books, at least please pour over the Scriptures and see what God Himself has to say about how to be a great parent and how to raise your kids in the ways He sees as best.  I guarantee you will not be led astray.  Seems to be without saying, but for some of us, we can skip over the Bible and get onto the books with lists like: "10 Ways To Not Screw Up Your Child" and such.  Those don't hold a candle to the Bible.  Grab a good concordance and search for words like "mother, father, child, train, discipline, raise, love."  That's a good place to start.  And, if you hate the concordance, then just read through Proverbs (one chapter a day for a month is a great plan) and write down/highlight everything that has to do with parenting.  There's a LOT!

The American Academy of Pediatrics: Caring for your baby and young child, Birth to age 5 - This is a great resource that I have poured over three times now and that I refer to especially in the first two years of my kids' lives.  I disagree with a lot of their later year parenting theories/techniques (IE: their issues with discipline), but this is a great book to have when the Internet isn't working and you need some answers fast! 

Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas - I love his Sacred Marriage book, too!

No Greater Joy (Volumes 1-3) by Michael and Debi Pearl - Some people love 'em, some people don't, but the Pearls have led their five children well by my observations!  Of course, we're not BFF's, but I base my opinion off of their children's own testimonies!  I love how these three books get practical and real in their letter/answer format.  There's an article for just about every situation.  Give the Pearls a chance and read these books!

A Survivor's Guide to Homeschooling by Luanne Shackelford & Susan White - I realize this isn't simply about parenting, but it is a great mix of that and how to balance homeschooling in the midst of parenting!  I got this book for free this summer and would have paid double the retail price for it.  I loved it!  (It was printed over twenty years ago, so the sections on curriculum are quite outdated, FYI).

Created for Work: Practical Insights for Young Men by Bob Shultz - I actually haven't read this one yet!  But, I ordered it a few months ago because the title intrigued me so much.  With two boys who struggle sometimes with a motivation to work, I am excited to learn from this book!

Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches by Rachel Jankovic - This is a hilarious, Christian parenting book written by a mom with 5 kids 5 yrs. and under.  Enough said.

The Joy of Training DVD by Michael and Debi Pearl - OK, this isn't a book, but I think it is incredibly helpful resource from the Pearls.  It brings their other book, To Train Up A Child, to life in a way that's easier to understand and adds a warmth to their message.  I highly recommend it!

E-books on my Kindle:

A Love That Multiplies: An Up-Close View of How They Make It Work by Michelle Duggar and Jim Bob Duggar - I love this book so much!  Whether or not you approve of how (wonderfully!) large the Duggar family is, if you have ever seen their show on TLC or read their books, you can observe that they really know how to parent well.  Their kids not only behave well, but seem to sincerely love Jesus as they grow up.  It is beautiful to see and read about their journey. 

The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child's Heart For Eternity by Sally Clarkson - I am currently reading this book and am excited to read more, as this book comes highly recommended from several different friends and sources. 

Training Children to Be Strong In Spirit by Michael Pearl - This is the newest parenting book from No Greater Joy and I loved it.  The foundation is very biblical and he pulls from tons of real-life stories from training his own kids to not only be self-controlled (which is not our chief aim!), but to be strong in their spiritual relationship with the Lord.

Books are currently being lent out:

Don't Make Me Count to Three! by Ginger Plowman - This one isn't on my bookshelf because it is currently being lent out, but it is one of my TOP favorite parenting books!  It has been called the practical (unofficial) sequel to Shepherding a Child's Heart by Ted Tripp.  If you liked that book, then this one is a great and necessary next-read.  Also, right now it is only $1.99 on Amazon (the Kindle version - which also can be read on a mobile-device, tablet, or even just your computer!).  Skip your next to-go coffee and buy this book instead! 

To Train Up A Child by Michael and Debi Pearl - This one is a little controversial because some of the issues they discuss is very polarizing; spanking, discipline, homeschooling vs. public school, television, etc. But, I still love this book and I think it has been very foundational in the way we train our kids...and I just tend to pass over the things I personally disagree with or aren't quite sure of.  This could be a great approach to every parenting book you read...except the Bible, of course!

Books I have borrowed:

Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp - This one should be on your must-buy/borrow/check out from the library book list.  It also, ironically, is only $1.99 on Amazon for the Kindle edition.  I laughed out loud when I saw that!  Two of my fave books for less than $2 each!  Seriously!  Skip your to-go coffee next week, too!  Buy this instead.

The Duggars: 20 and Counting!: Raising One of America's Largest Families - How They Do It by Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar - This is the Duggar's first book and it covers all the normal questions..."How and why do you train?" "How do keep on top of laundry?" and "Why in the world do you have so many kids?"  It is a great, eye-opening read for those of us who feel overwhelmed because it feels like we have 19 kids, but we actually just have one, or two or five!

Bringing Up Boys by Dr. James Dobson - This is a probably already a mainstay for any household with boys.  Dr. Dobson uses some great anecdotes from his experience of raising his own son, and from stories that countless others have shared with him.  He uses several eye-opening stats about boys today that even though they are from 2005, they are still very helpful.

God, The Rod, And Your Child's Bod: The Art of Loving Correction for Christian Parents by Larry Tomczak - (One of the cheesiest titles around, but a great book, nonetheless!  And out of print!) But, you can find it on Amazon for as little as one cent or another used book store if you want to search some more.  I really should try and get some royalties from Amazon or something!  I link to them a lot!  To stay on topic, though, this is one of the very first books that I read on child training and it was very fun and very straightforward and practical.  A great read and a great help!

That's it for my list (or, at least, all the ones my brain could manage to remember!)...but, now, I want to hear about some titles I didn't mention that YOU really have enjoyed.  I wrote this post to be a sort of referencing point for anyone wanting to get a good list of resources to learn from in the journey of parenting.  I have come nowhere close to reading all there is to read, so that's where you come in!  Help me fill in the gaps!

Giveaway Details: Please comment below about one title that you have never read and are interested in reading next, and to qualify for a second entry, please list out some of your favorite parenting books that I didn't mention in my list above.  For a third possible entry, you can subscribe to my blog and then comment after you did it!   On December 16th, I will randomly select a winner from the entries in the comments and will post the results here by the end of that day.

  The winner will receive the book title that you listed in the comments - hopefully just in time for Christmas! 

Make sure to check back to see if you've won, and email me your mailing address (or email address for a Kindle edition of the book) if you are that blessed person!  And, feel free to share this with your friends!  Don't you just love giveaways?  I know your friends will too!


  1. I am interested in the created to work book. Let us know once you read that for sure! The No Greater Joy seem like the perfect thickness for me :) I would highly recommend the teachings from Antioch. I hear rumors that the Seiberts are working on a parenting book.

  2. I honestly haven't read any parenting books. I've read blogs though, and did a year of Early Childhood teaching, so did quite a bit of study on it. I would be interested in reading The Duggers: 20 and Counting!

  3. I would love to read any of the Duggars' books. The Love that Multiplies sounds great. Any woman who can stay so sweet amidst all those kids deserves the time it would take for me to read it.

  4. I would like to read "The Mission of Motherhood". I'm slowly learning that my first ministry is within the family :). A parenting book I've read and found useful is "The 5 Love Languages of Children" by Gary Chapman.

  5. I'd love to read A Love that Multiplies by the Duggars. :) When we lived in the states I followed them on TLC and appreciated seeing their testimony be so consistent, despite what other mainstream media was on before or after their show.

  6. I've read 'Raising Godly Tomatoes' by Elizabeth Krueger (it's cheapest on her website... ) and appreciate her approach to discipline, especially when it comes to the littlest ones and their new-found independence. Her advice in the book has helped make transitions through the "terrible two's" not so terrible and she's given Godly advice in other areas of training children (how to sit quietly in church, etc).

    You mentioned Shepherding a Childs Heart by Ted Tripp. He also does a audio series along with Todd Friel ( called Drive By Parenting. It's fabulous. They are 31 lectures, each lecture being around 15 mins, giving a good overview of various topics, answered Biblically. Our family has really benefited from them. I go back to these audio clips over and over again.

    'Creative Family Times: Practical Activities for Building Character' by Allen Hadidian and Will Wilson. Some things they suggest borderline "cheesy" :) but 90% of what's in there has been very useful! One thing I really like is how they instill a verse of scripture to go along with every life choice "Wisdom" has a verse, "Obeying your parents" has a verse, etc, so children are taught to think of Scripture when they encounter daily choices.

    And while this isn't a parenting book (as in helping train your child) I have really appreciated "Shopping for Time" by Carolyn Mahaney, Nicole Whitacre, Kristin Chesemore, and Janelle Bradshaw. Instead of it being a book about child-training, it's more about mom-training...and I've seen what I've learned and are now modeling to be influencing my boys too.

  7. Oh! I just would love get hold of a hard copy of the ESV Holy bible...I memorize verses from this version. (Im presently using the online ESV bible). I love to read The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child's Heart For Eternity by Sally Clarkson.

  8. I would enjoy reading Sacred Parenting. Some of my favorites have been Don't Make Me Count To Three and A Mother's Heart ( an oldie but so full of hope and practical ideas). I have gone back to reread both of these books there is just so much good counsel in both. Currently, I am working my way through Praying the Scriptures For Your Children and am really appreciating this book. Another one I would love to read some day is Give Them Grace. This is a great thread, Alina, I love seeing all the recommendations!

  9. I will let you know once I am done! You asking me for my thoughts about that one gave me the motivation to finish it within this century. Sometimes, especially during this holiday season...things get swept under the rug. And, yes, the Seiberts are working on a book. I am THRILLED!

  10. Melissa! So glad you stopped by to read a bit. I love parenting blogs as much as books! But, it is nice to be able to throw books in my purse to read at stoplights when I can't do that with the Internet. You've got a good list here to get started with if you ever want to do the same! :) The Duggar's book is superb.

  11. Seriously. And, there's only so much faking you can do with 19 kids and a TV crew. I have a feeling that she doesn't have to at all. It actually seems more like reality that most reality TV is. And the book is just the same. Thanks for commenting!

  12. The 5 Love Languages is great! I forgot I read that one! Thanks for the addition to our wonderful list of resources. And, yes, our first ministry is to our family. You have ready disciples at your feet all day!

  13. Yes! I loved it, too! They are almost the only reason why I miss cable TV. :)

  14. Katie, thanks to adding to our awesome list of resources...and to my own wish-list on Amazon. Now I have tons more to read up on. Awesome!

  15. Online bibles are a life-saver. If you have a tablet or iphone...check out the YouVersion application. It is a Bible app that has many different versions and is really handy to use. I love it!

  16. Glad to help, Merri! You gals are all helping me, too, to add to my list! Give Them Grace is on my wish-list, too!

  17. Ummm...can I say all of them? The Don't Make Me Count To Three one stands out at first glance, though (pulled it up to buy on my Kindle). We have just hit three and it is proving to be particularly challenging with our little guy. I am feeling at a loss for how to navigate him through this time, firmly and lovingly and in a (somewhat) patient and Godly manner. Feeling discouraged as a Mom today, so this makes me want to read all of these books! The book that has impacted me the most lately is Kids, Parents and Power Struggles...I am still working through it, but it is full of good practical advice. I really appreciate your list and am excited to dig into some of these! :)

  18. I have heard that Sally clarksons book is really good

    Ones I have enjoyed are managers of their homes and

  19. I'd love to read the Druggers book about multiplying love!

  20. I loved Sacred Parenting for vision for parenting. Secrets of the baby whisperer was a great one for the early years.

  21. Hi Alina: So fun you're doing this giveaway and to see what you've read! Inspiring and discipling the nations from your blog! I would love to read the Duggar books sometime. I won't list more but you have me interested!

  22. Yes! Managers of Their Homes is another great organizational tool (and inspiring resource!) for parents. I forgot I read that one, too! I am thankful for you adding that one to the list. :)

  23. Awesome. "Interested" is definitely the goal! Thanks for commenting, too.

  24. Tyler! Don't be discouraged! God is for you, will help you, and is already pleased with you as His own child. Try to parent your sweet little ones today out of a place of already being loved by Jesus, and that will help with knowing that you can't be perfect...but you can just do what you can do and let Jesus be perfect instead. That is when His strength is perfected in your weakness. Right?!
    Thanks for coming and reading today! Hope you come back again!


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