The best book on parenting and raising children will be different for every parent, but the steps you need to take to determine which one is right for you are the same. The following tips will help you work out what you’re looking for in a parenting book and assess the credibility of the many possible books you can choose
Determine the type of information you need: First work out exactly what type of information you’re after, for example if you want a birth to 18 years parenting bible, a book that looks at a specific stage of childhood or adolescence or one that deals with a specific health condition (e.g. attention deficit hyper activity disorder) or an aspect of parenting (e.g. helping children learn through play).
Make a list: When you’ve determined which information you want the book to contain make a list of some books which seem appealing so you can assess their credibility.
Check the author credentials: Check out the author information. Do the author’s qualifications sound like the qualifications you want the person giving you advice about how to raise your children to have?
Check the publication date: If you’re happy that the author has appropriate expertise, check the publication date and go for something published recently, in the last few years. That way you’ll ensure your book contains the latest scientific knowledge, advice and regulations.
Look for previous editions: Check whether there are earlier editions of the same book (it’s a good sign if it has been re-printed in one or more new editions) or if the book that takes your fancy is a little old, check if there is a more recent edition available.
Asses the publisher’s reputation: Bear in mind that different publishing houses have different expertise- look for one with experience publishing scientific information and information on parenting, or go for a book published by a relevant government department or professional association (e.g. of paediatricians or child psychologists).
Check which country the book was published in: Remember that advice and regulations relating to parenting (e.g. seatbelt laws) are different in many countries.
Read some reviews: Find out what others thought of the book. You may be interested in hearing from other parents or from health professionals, depending on the type of books you’re thinking about buying.
Get recommendations: Ask health professionals, friends, family members, teachers and librarians to recommend their favourite parenting books.
Look at a preview: Finally, go to the book shop and have a quick flick through or look at a preview online, to check that the book is easy for you to read and presents the information in a way that works for you (e.g. in pictures, checklists or diagrams).
Parenthub is a free online resource for Australian parents. Parenthub provides current and relevant parenting and health information and is also home to a secure social network. Information is designed to support that provided by your health professional and never to replace it. For more information, see About us