What are the best books on education

raising children : These are the best guides for parents

The topic of educational guides (I actually much prefer to call them “books about children”) divides German parents into three camps. There are those who find it completely superfluous and say: I educate purely according to gut instinct, then there are those who say that they don't really need any advice, but if they have special problems they do read up on them, and finally those who like it very much which read.

It won't be a surprise that I am in the third group. It was actually planned differently - at the beginning I assumed that I would be able to handle having children very easily and I was determined to just listen to my gut feeling. But it went horribly wrong and I started reading different books pretty quickly.

I had a lot of fun reading through various literature on babies and children - my “library” now contains more than 50 books. There were great books and terrible ones. An overview of the books that have impressed, enriched and had a lasting positive influence on me.


The Danish family therapist Jesper Juul, who just turned 70, doesn't write parenting guides - he writes books about children and our relationship with them. Because that's what it's all about for him: instead of education. Juul assumes that children basically cooperate with their parents. If they do not do that, the fault is not with the child, but with us.

This book moved a lot in me because it clears up common educational ideals and shows relentlessly that what we do as a matter of course does not always make sense. The book is compact and full of wow effects. Therefore I give an unreserved reading recommendation. There are a lot of books by Juul - but this is the best starting point for me, as the individual books overlap thematically. Here you have a very compact insight into a world of thought that is completely new to many, which in my opinion you should definitely take a look. Juul has already influenced many on their way.

“Your competent child” by Jesper Juul, 208 pages, rororo, 9.99 euros


This book has made a reasonably satisfied child out of my writing baby, because she was finally well rested. I had always thought that children just sleep when they are tired - that evening screaming is often based on tiredness and the inability to regulate themselves, I would never have thought of that. In this book, Karp describes various measures that can be used to calm screaming children. The method triggers a calming reflex that causes a bitterly crying baby to fall asleep within seconds.

That sounds like magic - but it works almost 100 percent if the screaming was triggered by tiredness. Of course, pain cannot be “carved away”, but it is seldom the cause of screaming (as well as gas). Unreservedly recommended for parents of cot babies, but also interesting if the baby is only occasionally dissatisfied.

"The happiest baby in the world: This is how your crying child calms down - this is how it sleeps better" by Harvey Karp, 384 pages, Goldmann, 9.99 euros


After “The happiest baby in the world” had helped me, I immediately bought “The happiest toddler in the world” without actually knowing exactly what it was about. I had no idea at the time that that would help me a lot more. The book describes various methods of improving communication with your (defiant) toddler. They help to lovingly support children in a tantrum. This book offers many helpful and, above all, practical, easily applicable means that have improved parent-child interaction with us to such an extent that "tantrums" hardly ever occurred and when they did, they almost never lasted more than a minute (and my children are very strong-willed). There are also a few things that I am critical of, including recommending time offs. But I think everyone reads the book with common sense and pulls out what is right for themselves, so it really is highly recommended!

“The happiest toddler in the world” by Harvey Karp, 384 pages, Goldmann, 9.95 euros


This book has fundamentally revolutionized my upbringing. My upbringing basically corresponded to the generally practiced (loving consistency, authoritative upbringing) - until I read “Love and Independence” - but I didn't really feel comfortable with it. I didn't understand why that was the case until after reading this book. Alfie Kohn - himself a father of two - often asks parents about long-term goals for their children. The same ones are always mentioned: Almost everyone wants their children to be “happy, balanced, independent, fulfilled, productive, self-confident, mentally healthy, friendly, considerate, responsible, loving, inquisitive and confident people”. But why do we often behave in such a way that our children learn to obey and be docile?

The aim of this book is to suggest an alternative perspective. Instead of using the usual parenting strategies that treat children as if they were objects, ways of working with them should be found. And that should happen through the way we behave towards our children. Alfie Kohn shows us why upbringing is often so laden with conflict and how one can bring up differently - without blackmailing the child, without threatening and punishing, but also without praise. The book upset me because it showed me how unfair we sometimes deal with our children, how we blackmail them and use their love to force them to cooperate. This is the best book on the subject that I have read. Thanks to Kohn, I've now arrived and I'm happy with myself and the world.

“The art of unconditional parenting, beyond reward and punishment” by Alfie Kohn, 304 pages, arbor, 19.90 euros


This is definitely one of the very best books on the subject of children - if you are looking for a book that covers pretty much all topics, you should buy this excellent standard work for the first two to three years of life. Herbert Renz-Polster looks at the development of our children from a biological / evolutionary point of view and offers explanations for their behaviors that really help us to understand our children better.

Especially his comments on baby sleep really helped me with my two bad sleeper children. And if it was only to the extent that I understood that it is perfectly normal and sensible for babies not to want to fall asleep alone or to wake up all the time. That gave me a lot of serenity.

Renz-Polster also deals with topics such as breastfeeding, complementary food, screaming, getting clean, bonding, strangers and encouragement. The subject of upbringing is rarely dealt with - it is primarily about development.

“Children understand. Born to be wild: How evolution shapes our children ”by Herbert Renz-Polster, 512 pages, Kösel, 19.95 euros


“Growing in Love” is a wonderful book. I am very annoyed that not every bookstore takes for granted books about children. Gonzáles explains why children behave the way they do. Why they sleep badly, why they don't want to be alone, why they want to be fooled all the time.

In addition, he takes apart common prejudices such as the fear of tyrants for pampering and other widespread views of upbringing. The topic of upbringing is dealt with in a comparatively detailed manner - definitely worth reading because it illuminates many things in a completely different light.

“Growing in love - loving upbringing for happy families” by Carlos Gonzáles, 256 pages, 18.90 euros at La Leche Liga Deutschland e. V.

The author, Danielle Graf, has written two very recommendable parenting guides herself with Katja Silk:

“The most desired child of all time drives me crazy. The relaxed path through phases of defiance ”(14.95 euros) and“ The most desired child of all time drives me crazy. Let through the years 5 to 10 "(16.95 euros). Both books are published by Beltz. The two authors also write on their blog gewuenstestes-wunschkind.de about parenting and other parent-child issues.

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