I'm sure you have a lot on your plate so we're certainly not recommending that you read all the books below.
Rather, check out the "Who it's for:" section under each book title to easily find the ones that would be most helpful to you.
And as for the Montessori book recommendations, it's good to remember that you don't need to implement every single detail. There is no absolute "right way" to bring Montessori into your home because every child (and each family) will have their own unique needs.
These books can be read as guides but make sure to follow your own instincts too.
Our Top 6 Montessori Parenting Book Recommendations
Who it's for: New parents interested in getting started with Montessori.
Why we love it: It's easy to read and beautiful guide for parents interested in bringing Montessori into their homes from birth to age 1. Includes tips on how to prepare your home to meet your child’s developmental needs, activities to foster your child’s development in their first year and so much more.
Who it's for: Parents of children ages 1-3 that are interested in bringing Montessori into their homes.
Why we love it:Some Montessori schools include this book in their welcome packages for new parents. Its's an invaluable resource that provides insight on how to support your child’s development, including toilet learning, fostering independence, activity suggestions and more.
Who it's for: Parents and educators looking for a very thorough and specific guide on how to introduce Montessori into the home from birth.
Why we love it:The authors focus on how to foster the child’s independence from an early age and support their development of the self. A comprehensive book that outlines how and why Montessori from the start helps children to thrive.
At the Heart of Montessori: The Infant Toddler (0-3 Years) by Clare Healy Walls
Who it's for: Parents and educators that are looking for an introduction to Dr. Montessori’s philosophy and methodology from birth to 3 years of age, with a focus on the science behind it.
Why we love it: The author has summarized Dr. Montessori’s research into an easy to read format. It's a book written for teachers but I think parents interested in learning more about the science behind Dr. Montessori’s philosophy from birth to age 3 may be interested to read it.
How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way by Tim Seldin
Who it's for: Parents interested in Montessori that prefer photographs over text.
Why we love it: This is colourful guide on how to implement Montessori into your home through developmentally appropriate activities from birth to age 6. There are two editions to this book, the 2nd edition includes more up to date research, including tips on how to parent during the digital age.
Who it's for: Parents interested in taking more of a deep dive into Dr. Montessori’s research on children from birth to 6.
Why we love it: A book written by Dr. Montessori herself on the development of the child from in utero to 6 years of age, the period of life where she observed children have an absorbent mind. This book was originally published in 1949 and I would not consider it to be a light read but it is a book I’ve gone back to time and time again as an educator.
Who it's for: Parents looking to understand changes in their child's behaviour.
Why we love it: Dr. Shanker’s book helps us to look at children’s behaviour through a different lens. He has found that when a child exhibits challenging behaviour or has a change in behaviour, it is often an indicator of stress and an inability to self-regulate. Dr. Shanker provides a comprehensive framework for guiding and helping children to develop self-regulation skills that will benefit them today and in the future. You may find it helps you with your own self-regulation skills too.
Mind in the Making by Ellen Galinsky
Who it's for: Parents interested in helping their children to develop life skills, like perspective taking, focus, self control, and more.
Why we love it: In this book, Ellen Galinksy shares her research on the 7 essential life skills parents can foster in their children to help them grow into well-rounded adults. The essential life skills include focus and self control, perspective taking, communicating, making connections, critical thinking, taking on challenges and self-directed, engaged learning. The book also includes suggestions on how to foster these essential skills at home.
Who it's for: Parents looking to better understand their children's perspectives, thought processes, and reactions to situations. Helpful in guiding children through stressful or traumatic events.
Why we love it: An easy to read guide for parents that focuses on the different areas and functions of the child’s developing brain. Although that may sound like a dense subject, the authors have formatted the book in a way that makes it seem like half parenting book and half comic book. There are 12 helpful strategies included that can be used to help your child (and you!) move through challenging situations and maintain a healthy balance in the brain. Included are illustrations of different scenarios that show how the different strategies can be implemented and explained to children.
Who it's for: Parents of toddlers looking for strategies to improve communication and cooperation with their children.
Why we love it: You might have heard a lot of great things about the book How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk but this book is better for young children, ages 2-7. It doesn’t deal with any really challenging behavioural issues but it has practical strategies that can make day to day life with a toddler a little easier. They tackle topics like, getting your child to cooperate with your requests, ensuring your child is being safe and respectful to themselves and others, and managing big emotions. Siblings Without Rivalry (same authors) was also really helpful to read before bringing home my second child.
Who it's for: Parents looking to shake up their way of thinking around raising children, offering new perspectives and approaches to parenting young children.
Why we love it: This book focuses on how to navigate unique and more controversial topics related to toddler and preschool aged children in order to raise children who are both competent and compassionate. Heather Shumaker does a great job of drawing upon her own experiences as a mother, as well as other professionals in the field of child development to tackle topics like: sharing, games involving bombs, guns and bad guys, boys wearing tutus, painting off the paper, sex ed, saying ‘sorry’, and lying.
Lost At School by Ross W. Greene
Who it's for: Parents of children experiencing behavioural challenges.
Why we love it: Dr. Ross Greene focuses on his extensive work in neuroscience to provide practical ways to understand the difficulties children with behavioural challenges face in traditional education settings and why traditional discipline techniques are often ineffective. He emphasizes that children are not intentionally manipulative, attention-seeking or unmotivated but rather they lack skills needed to help them behave appropriately. When parents and teachers really understand the underlying causes of the behavioural challenges and teach coping skills in more manageable ways, the results are amazing.
No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame by Janet Lansbury
Who it's for: Parents looking to learn more about respectful parenting and discipline.
Why we love it: Janet Lansbury has had more than 20 years of hands-on experience helping parents and toddlers and she focuses on respectful parenting practices that help build bonds based on trust and respect. This book is a collection of her most popular articles pertaining to parenting and toddler behaviour and she provides practical strategies and tools to guide parents through these uncertain toddler years. She speaks about punishment, cooperation, boundaries, testing limits, hitting and more.
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