Sunshine Parenting Insights On

Favorite Books

Recombobulation

Do you have a low level of anxiety and overwhelmed feeling much of the time? I do. My fast-paced, always-on, text and email-filled days can make for the opposite of the calm, peaceful existence I ...

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Deep Work: Rules For Focused Success in a Distracted World

Cal Newport’s book, Deep Work, has positively impacted me and shifted my thinking. …all activities, regardless of their importance, consume your same limited store of time and attention. If you service low-impact activities, therefore, you’re ...

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10 Must-Read Books for Parents of Boys

Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys, Dan Kindlon, Ph.D. and Michael Thompson, Ph.D. Raising Boys, Third Edition: Why Boys Are Different–and How to Help Them Become Happy and Well-Balanced Men, Steve Biddulph The ...

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15 Books for a Happier, More Purposeful Life

    12 Simple Things DownloadSubscribe to my weekly emails, and I'll send you my 12 Simple Things Parenting Tips for a Happier, More Connected Family.​envelopeGET PARENTING TIPS NOW I love books, especially ones that ...

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Helpful Books for Raising Daughters

I wish these books had been available when my girls were younger, but they’re here now. I’ve learned from these books what it’s like to be a girl growing up in the 2010s. This is ...

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Feel like you don’t have enough time to do what you really want to do? Read Off the Clock!

Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done by Laura Vanderkam My rating: 5 of 5 stars I’ve been obsessively telling everyone about this quick read. If you, like me, feel a bit “at war” ...

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Being Boss

“You have to build a life you love as if it’s your job. Because it is.” Kathleen Shannon & Emily Thompson, Being Boss When I was four years old, my pre-kindergarten teacher wrote on my ...

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Growing Friendships: A Kids’ Guide to Making and Keeping Friends

I just read a fantastic book to help kids learn about friendship skills – Growing Friendships: A Kids’ Guide to Making and Keeping Friends (Dr. Eileen Kennedy-Moore and Christine McLaughlin). The book clearly explains simple strategies ...

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My Favorite Parenting Books of 2017

If you’re looking for some wisdom in a specific area of parenting, you might want to consider reading (or listening) to one of these parenting books I enjoyed in 2017. I had the opportunity to ...

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Parents Guide to Teen Addiction – Book Review

Dr. Laurence M. Westreich, a board-certified psychiatrist who specializes in addiction and mental disorders, has invested a quarter-century of his professional life studying addiction psychiatry.  His second work on the subject, A Parent’s Guide to ...

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Book Review: Switch on Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking and Health

Leslie Seidner This is a guest post from Leslie Seidner, a writer who researches and writes about positive psychology, anxiety, and brain health. She also happens to be my sister and favorite person to talk ...

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The Four Tendencies: An Obliger’s Story

I’ve been enjoying Gretchen Rubin’s books since my oldest daughter (also named Gretchen) gave me The Happiness Project (Revised Edition): Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, ...

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10 Lessons for Parents Raising Children in a Digital World

Those of you who’ve been hanging around Sunshine Parenting for a while know how much I love to research and talk about the benefits of getting unplugged. Getting off our screens and more focused on ...

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Reading Binge

Today is Day 30 of my Happiness Hacks series. Few things make me happier than some uninterrupted reading time, and an inspirational book makes for an especially amazing reading binge. While there was quite a bit ...

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My 2016 Reading List

If you read my post last week, you know that I’m planning to refill my parenting “toolbox” this year (especially my teen boy parenting skills). In addition to listening to podcasts and attending speaking events, ...

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Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance, Bob Buford

This is the perfect mid-life read. Buford walks through what the different seasons of life hold and how to plan for more significance during our second half. “Getting back to the center requires us to ...

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3 Simple Year-End Reflection Activities

The end of one year and beginning of the next offers a unique opportunity to both reflect back and plan ahead. Because I’ve been a journaler and list-maker since I was very young, I’ve always ...

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The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

The story in this book is timeless and thought-provoking, and the number of quotable lines is out of control. My bookstore-owner friend recommended The Alchemist, and I read it in two days. “That’s what alchemists ...

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10 Life-Changing Books

Are you looking for some inspirational reads to help you switch some things up? Over the past few years, I have been drawn more and more to books that make me stop, reassess my life ...

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One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp

The importance of practicing gratitude cannot be understated, and I need a constant reminder to focus on all that’s good in my life. Keeping track of all the simple and ordinary gifts in each day ...

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Daring Greatly, Brene Brown

The subtitle, “How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent, and lead,” says it all. “What makes this constant assessing and comparing so self-defeating is that we are often comparing ...

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Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul, Bill Hybels

Hybels gives sound advice with steps to take to gain energy, organization, and connection by focusing on what’s most important. “Simplified living is about more than doing less…It’s walking away from innumerable lesser opportunities in ...

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Flourish, Martin Seligman

Years ago, this book sparked my interest in positive psychology and started me on a path of learning that led to a master’s degree in psychology and a shelf full of books on happiness, well-being, gratitude, ...

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The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work, Christine Carter

I learned a new term—“MED” (minimum effective dose)—and have applied it to many areas, including exercise, cooking, and reading. Instead of having lofty ambitions in every area, I’ve given myself permission to do “just enough.” ...

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Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, Tony Hsieh

I took about 20 pages of notes on this book and ended up writing an article for other camp directors, because I was so inspired by Hsieh’s vision that Zappos be much more than just ...

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Coach Wooden: The 7 Principles That Shaped His Life and Will Change Yours, Pat Williams

John Wooden, the greatest coach of all time, was a man of great character who lived out his values and taught his players to do the same. This book offers a great reminder to focus on ...

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The Blessing of a Skinned Knee, Wendy Mogel, Ph.D

Like us, our kids aren’t going to be good at everything, so we can’t expect perfection. It’s important for them to experience mistakes and failures while they’re young. The Blessing Of A Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise ...

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Five: Where Will You Be Five Years From Today?, Dan Zadra

In a simple workbook format with many inspirational quotes, Five guides us to focus on our goals, priorities, and mission in life. ...

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The Connected Child, Nancy Purvis, Ph.D.

Although this book is written specifically for adoptive parents, there are many helpful insights about why we need to emotionally connect with our kids before we can correct misbehavior. ...

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Free-Range Kids: Giving our Children the Freedom we had without Going Nuts with Worry, Lenore Skenazy

Skenazy encourages us to see how our culture has made us unnecessarily fearful in our parenting and why our worrying is not beneficial for our kids’ growth and development. ...

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How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, Paul Tough

Thanks to Tough’s book, I have a list next to my kids’ desk of the character traits they need: Grit, Self-Control, Zest, Social Intelligence, Gratitude, Optimism, Curiosity. I liked this book so much that I wrote ...

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How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

Long before Carol Dweck explained the importance of growth mindset praise, Faber and Mazlish (in this classic 1980s parenting book) gave great insights on communicating with kids. ...

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The Myths of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky

Much of what is commonly believed to make us happy really doesn’t. Lyubomirsky has done the research and explains why. She also shares the data behind what really does makes us happy. ...

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Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell

“Working really hard is what successful people do.” Enough said. ...

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Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents, Christine Carter, Ph.D.

So much wisdom in this book, including, “Put on your own oxygen mask first.” Don’t feel guilty for taking care of yourself, because happy parents have happy kids! ...

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The Read Aloud Handbook, Jim Trelease

Reading with our kids from infancy and throughout their childhood is one of the best things we can do with and for them. ...

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Teach Your Children Well: Why Values and Coping Skills matter more than Grades, Trophies, or “Fat Envelopes,” Madeline Levine, PhD.

Doesn’t the subtitle alone make you want to read this book? Levine focuses on the values and character that are really important to instill in our kids and how our culture is upside down and ...

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Too Much of a Good Thing: Raising Children of Character in an Age of Indulgence, Dan Kindlon, Ph.D.

In the mid-90s, before Levine’s best-selling Price of Privilege (also a great book) came out with a similar message, Kindlon wrote about how “American children often lack the strong character that is essential for well-being ...

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The Whole-Brain Child: Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture your Child’s Developing Mind, Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

There’s so much good take-away information in this book. One nugget that stood out to me is why you can’t reason with an upset child. Their brain won’t take anything in at that point. ...

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