Have you checked out our parenting resources?
Connected Families has many fantastic parenting books and e-courses. If you’ve never checked out those resources, take a look at those first. Many are even free!
The parenting resources you’ll find on this page
However, from time to time, we also suggest the resources of the other amazing individuals and organizations that are helping parents lead their families with grace.
This page includes some of the best parenting resources we like to recommend.* It’s a bit of a hodgepodge. We’ve got children’s books on growing in empathy, to help deepen their faith, and on learning to understand people who are different. We’ve also got books for you to read yourself, as you learn to accept the grace that you want to give to your kids. Some of these resources are explicitly Christian parenting resources. Others aren’t, but we believe you’ll find them helpful.
And, just for fun, we’ve got our team’s favorite podcasts. They’re pretty random, but we hope you enjoy them! Scroll through and see what resources might support your family’s journey or bring a bit of joy into your life.
*Most of the links on this page are affiliate links and we will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on the link we’ve provided. Thank you for supporting our work here at Connected Families!
The best parenting (and some non-parenting) books to support the framework
Here are several of the books we love that support building a foundation of safety in your home. These are great books to read as you focus on sending a consistent message to your kids, “You are safe with me.”
- Tired of Trying to Measure Up: Getting Free From The Demands, Expectations, And Intimidation Of Well-Meaning People – Jeff VanVonderen
- What’s So Amazing About Grace? – Philip Yancey
- The Pressure’s Off: Breaking Free from Rules and Performance – Larry Crabb
- The Whole-Brain Child – Daniel Siegel, MD and Tina Bryson, PhD
Here are several of the books we love that help parents focus on demonstrating both their love and their “like” toward their kids.
- The Blessing: Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance – John Trent, Gary Smalley, & Kari Trent Stageberg
- Playful Parenting: An Exciting New Approach to Raising Children That Will Help You Nurture Close Connections, Solve Behavior Problems, and Encourage Confidence – Lawrence J. Cohen, PhD
- The Connected Parent: Real-Life Strategies for Building Trust and Attachment – Lisa Qualls & Karyn Purvis, PhD
- How to Really Love Your Child– D. Ross Campbell, MD
Here are several books we love that will help you guide your kids in wisdom and prepare them for good decision-making. These books all aim toward teaching you to instill the message of being called and capable in your children.
- The Opposite of Worry: The Playful Parenting Approach to Childhood Anxieties and Fears – Lawrence Cohen, PhD
- Gist: The Essence of Raising Life-Ready Kids – Michael Anderson, LP & Timothy Johanson, MD
- Sensational Kids: Hope and Help for Children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) – Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTR
- Dreamers, Discoverers & Dynamos: How to Help the Child Who Is Bright, Bored and Having Problems in School (Formerly Titled ‘The Edison Trait’) – Lucy Jo Palladino, PhD
These books are to help you learn to be an effective corrector when your kids misbehave. Because kids do misbehave!
FOR KIDS: Our favorite children’s books to build up the messages of the framework
Books are a great way to instill the core messages of the Framework in children.
Author: Rebecca Patterson
Description: Bella has a terrible day, and she’s not very nice about it. She yells about her egg and how her friend wants to play. She screams through the grocery store, hates her bath, and tantrums over bedtime. But her mother remains steady. She doesn’t lose it, and she patiently reminds Bella that maybe tomorrow will be a better day. She demonstrates safety and loving a child at her worst! Every child will relate to Bella’s day and find reassurance in the kind words of Bella’s mother.
Author: Barbara M. Joosse
Description: With beautiful paintings depicting an Arctic landscape, this book both puts Inuit culture on display and shows the love between a mother and her child. The child starts by asking if and how much her mother loves her. But then she moves into questions, such as “What if I turn into a walrus?” or even misbehaves. Still, her mother affirms she will love her just the same.
Author: Jennifer Plecas
Description: Jimmy and his dad spend the day pretending together, first on a boat/couch, then climbing the mountain of a deserted island/the stairs, and finally building a fort together. In the end, they decide what’s not pretend is their enjoyment of each other.
Author: Phil Vischer
Description: Sidney and Norman are next-door neighbors, but they couldn’t be more different. Norman’s always on time, looking neat, and following every rule. Sidney’s a mess, disheveled, and always late. Norman looks down on those like Sidney, and Sidney cowers in shame. Then God asks to meet with each of them. And a message of deep, deep grace and love for every person, regardless of their behavior, is brought to life.
Inspire your kids with what they can do and how. Whether stories, visuals, or apps, these resources help your children feel empowered to succeed behaviorally.
Author: Jessica Sinarski
Description: Riley the Brave is the story of a little bear with big emotions. With the help of his friends he learns healthy ways to navigate his emotions, ask for help, and learn more about letting someone into his heart.
Authors: Stephanie Madrigal & Michelle Garcia Winner
Description: Help your child gain a new vocabulary for mastery flexibility. If your child loses every time plans change or things don’t go his way, introduce him to Superflex (the hero) and Glassman (the villain that makes people fall apart like glass). Expect great conversations and a chance to refer to the book at those moments when you ask your child to show extra flexibility. Key Message: You are called and capable of going with the flow.
Authors: John Trent & Gary Smalley
Description: A lion, an otter, a golden retriever, and a beaver must set out on a journey to find the golden keys to the treasure tree. The book invites your kids to discover their own personality strengths and to appreciate the personalities of those different than themselves. Key Message: You are called and capable of problem-solving as a team.
Authors: Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke
Description: If you’ve got a young child that struggles with social skills, this funny comic book can help. The book goes through the social clues that all of us can use to figure out what other people are thinking or about to do. Key Message: You are called and capable of noticing other people’s feelings.
Author: JoAnne Deak, PhD
Description: Just like your other muscles develop with exercise, so does your brain! And what’s one of the best ways of strengthening and stretching your brain? Making mistakes.
In this book, your child learns a bit of brain anatomy and is introduced to a growth mindset (ie. the idea that if you’re not good at something now, you might be later with enough perseverance).
A great book for kids afraid of making mistakes or prone to beating themselves up over what they’re not good at. Key Message: You are called and capable of learning new things.
Zones of Regulation, app or chart
The Zones of Regulation uses a systematic, cognitive-behavioral approach to teach self-regulation. If your child struggles with self-regulation (and most little children do), this system can be a great support for teaching self awareness.
Author: Dai Hankey
Description: Eric gives a powerful kick to his soccer ball, sending it over the hedge and smashing into his neighbor’s pansy pots. At first he does what many kids will do: hiding his mistake, shifting the blame, lying, etc. When he gets around to confessing, his father offers grace and a plan to make things right again. It’s a great lesson for kids still struggling with how to apologize and take responsibility well.
Author: Jane Yolen
Description: “Even though friends may occasionally fight, there’s always a way of making everything right.” The book starts with a bunch of humorous anti-examples of things a child might do after a fight, but tells us those are not what dinosaurs do. Instead, dinosaurs work at reconciling and we’re given all sorts of ideas for what that might look like: writing a nice note, giving gifts, hugging their friend. This book sets a great standard for kids that they can make things right again, even after a big fight.