51 Best Parenting Books to Raise Skilled and Intelligent Children

What's Covered

Every parent’s dream is to have an intelligent and smart child and one of their ways is being involved in their child’s education. In fact, 8 out of 10 parents participate and manage their child’s activities at home and in school. If you are one of these parents, here is a list of books you might want to consider in order for you to raise a skilled and intelligent child.

Best Parenting Books to Raise Skilled and Intelligent Children of Ages 0-3

1.      Your Two-Year Old

If you want a child development parenting book, this one might be your best choice. Some children refer to their parents as monsters and if you do not want to be this kind of parent, take some time to read this book.

Your two-year old
This book will make you feel better about your child. Surely, after reading this, you will be able to deepen your relationship with your child, as a parent and as a friend.

2.      The Child, the Family, and the Outside World

This book will actually teach you how to bond properly with your child.[1] It will explain to you the proper ways of dealing with your child in order for you to avoid damaging them.

3.      No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline without Shame

It does not mean that when your child is bad, he or she is no longer skilled and intelligent. However, when your kids do things that wreck your nerves, you tend to discipline them in a shameful way. Sadly, this way makes them vulnerable and this vulnerability makes them less interested in life.[2]

4.      Oh Crap! Potty Training! Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do it Once and Do it Right

If you think that this book is all about potty training, you are having the wrong idea. If you look at the bigger picture, this book actually teaches you how to make your child become a quick-learner. If they have this skill, they will surely grow smart and diligent.

Oh Crap! Potty Training
This book will give you peace knowing that your child will be able to learn easily wherever he or she is. Additionally, it will teach you how to properly make your child become an independent person.

5.      Parenting Apart: How Separated and Divorced Parents Can Raise Happy and Secured Kids

Separation affects a child.[3] For parents who are separated but still want to be able to raise a successful and intelligent child, this one is what you might be looking for! Also, if you are just planning to divorce, this is a great book for you to learn how to properly speak about it to your children. This book also gives guide to every family member on how to manage changes in their family.

6.      The Expectant Father

This book is perfect for fathers especially for those single-parent-fathers. It teaches you how to manage your child and what are the great ways for you to raise and make them skilled and intelligent. If you are an expectant father, you might want to read this in advance so that when your baby is born, you will some wimple ways of taking care of them.

The Expectant Father
This book will help you train your baby on how to become a skilled and intelligent person even at a young age. Surely, as your baby grows older, you will feel confident because you know that you did well as a father!

7.      Ages and Stages

If you want to optimize your child’s development, this book might be one of your choices. It offers lots of stuff such as researches and articles on child development and tips on how to properly raise an intelligent and skilled child.

8.      You Are Your Child’s First Teacher: Encouraging Your Child’s Natural Development from Birth to Age Six

The title itself is very true for me because I truly believe that it is us who will first teach our babies simple lessons in life.[4] I find this book great because it goes very natural and it is actually easy to read and understand.

9.      Your Child’s Growing Mind: Brain Development and Learning from Birth to Adolescence

To be able to raise a skilled and intelligent child, it is a must for every parent to understand how the brain develops. So, if you want to know how the brain develops in order for you to help your child become a smarter one, this book must be on your list.

10.  What’s Going on in There?

This book will actually teach you many ways how to help your child develop a better brain. One good thing about it is that it is written from a perspective of a mother that is why you will surely be able to relate and you will understand the ways easily.

11.  Einstein Never Used Flash Cards: How Our Children Really Learn and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less

Some parents want their child to become smart even if they are below 2 years old and honestly, I am guilty of this. However, after reading this book, I was able to understand that my baby’s development should never be forced. Eventually, I allowed my child to play more and enjoy the time while he is not yet required to go to school.

12.  Raising a Screen Smart Kid

Screen time is very common nowadays that even toddlers have their own smart phones or tablets! Because of this, social media is able to interfere with a child’s smart developments[5] and so, if you want to help your children understand and optimize the digital age properly, you may want to consider reading this book.

13.  The Philosophical Baby

Babies’ skills are limited and their thinking is very irrational.[6] However, it is during babyhood where babies can learn, create, care, and experience more! For these reasons, it can be said that babies are actually smarter and more conscious! You can consider reading this book in order for you to keep these wonderful abilities of your child.

14.  The Emotional Life of the Toddler

Toddlers are very emotional and if you want to enhance your toddler’s emotional skills and intelligence, you may want to consider this book! Additionally, this book teaches you how to handle your toddler’s behavior properly.

15.  Brain Rules for Baby

If you want to raise a smart and happy child, this book is a great option! This book teaches you how a brain works so you can use this as your guide in helping your child develop a healthy brain.

16.  How Toddlers Thrive

The toddler age is very crucial because this age is the start of the foundation of success of every child.[7] When you read this book, you will learn how to raise an intelligent child but not just by using simple ways.

17.  Oh Crap! I Have a Toddler

Honestly, as a parent, we desire to make our child intellectual and sometimes, we are lost and we do not know how to do it. Fortunately, this book allows us to learn some ways!

18.  Becoming Brilliant

Becoming brilliant is a book that does not just focus on one developmental area of your child. Instead, it also nurtures six developmental areas such as collaboration, communication, critical thinking and decision making, innovation, and confidence.

Best Parenting Books to Raise Skilled and Intelligent Children of Ages 4-7

19.  Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting

Having a great emotional connection with your children is a great way to make them smart and skilled because they learn how to understand.[8] If you want to nurture this connection with your children, you can do it by celebrating their uniqueness without the need of punishment. To know more on how to nurture this connection, you may try this book.

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids
This book will guide you on how to understand emotions. Also, this book will teach you about positive parenting. Surely, you will be able to raise a skilled and self-disciplined child.

20.  How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

This book acts like a weekly support group for parents and it is a workshop for a real-life parenting. Sometimes, as a parent, we talk improperly towards them and unfortunately, we are not aware of this attitude of ours. Sadly, this might draw away our child and it might make them aloof from us. If this happens, our child development is affected negatively, and this might make them less smart and less skilled.

21.  The Whole-Brain Child

If you want to make your child become intelligent, the brain is the one you develop.[9] Fortunately, this book helps you with that! It teaches every parent about how the brain works in order for them to understand their child’s behaviors. Surely, if they you the logic, you will be able to address your child’s struggles properly.

22.  NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children

This one is a magazine-styled book and it talks about acceptance of a child’s one skills and intelligence. It teaches strategies on how to not force or pressure a child to become smarter because a child develops on his or her own time.

23.  Achtung Baby

This book is perfect for those families who are experiencing changes such as moving into a new home our country. It will help parents how to thrive intelligently in a new environment.

Achtung Baby
This book will give you peace knowing that you are able to raise a child with self-reliance. Surely, when you impart the things you learned from this book to your child, you will be able to raise a responsible and independent individual.

24.  There Is No Such Thing as Bad Weather

Sometimes, as a parent, we think that the only way for us to be able to raise a skilled and intelligent child is through reading books or getting a great education. However, this book tells us that small things and outdoor activities are also great educational tools for our child.

25.  Raising a Happy, Healthy, Eater

The food your children consume affects their intelligence and if you want to know the food your child must eat and how you will make them do it, this book must be on your list.[10] This book will teach you how to enhance your child’s skills, abilities, and health, including their emotional health by giving the right food for them.

26.  The Honest Toddler: A Child’s Guide to Parenting

This book has a lot of sense of humor and you will surely enjoy reading it while learning about parenting and how to raise a skilled child.

27.  The Opposite of Spoiled

This is actually a practical guidebook for every parent. It helps the parents how to teach their child the basics in life especially the importance of saving.[11] This book is in this list because I believe that when you speak of skill and intelligence, it is also about how to deal properly with life. Since, finances are important, being intelligent in handling finances is a must for everyone that little children must learn about it, too.

28.  Balanced and Barefoot

Cognitive difficulties such as ADHD are linked with lack of exercise[12] and if you do not want this to happen to your children, you may want to consider reading this book in order for you to learn some ways to avoid this to happen.

Balanced and Barefoot
Reading this book will ensure you that your child is fully engaging their body and mind. Surely, when they do this, they will not just keep their body healthy but they will also enhance their cognitive skills that may make them skilled and intelligent individuals.

Best Parenting Books to Raise Skilled and Intelligent Children of Ages 7-12

29.  Permission to Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society to Thrive

There is this emotional intelligence that can be considered as a skill of every child. This book does not just focus on how to deepen the emotions of a child but also focus on how to deepen the emotions of every parent.

30.  Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

If you want to raise a successful, intelligent, and skillful child, this book must be on your shelf. It focuses on your child’s and your skills and abilities in order for you to nourish them more and have that “growth-mindset” in life.[13]

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
Having this book will make you an accomplished parent because you know that you will be able to raise an intelligent and skilled little one. Surely, this book will not only transform your life but will also transform the lives of your children.

31.  The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children

When we empower our children, we also make a way for them to grow skillful and intelligent. Moreover, when we start to be conscious, we pass this consciousness onto our children and they will learn from it. [14]

32.  The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Can Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed

We cannot deny the fact that sometimes, when our children fails, we also get sad. However, when our children see this sadness and disappointments, they also get affected and they tend to lose their confidence which will lead them to become less intelligent and less skilled.[15] So, in order for you to learn how to embrace your child’s failure and use them as your tools in making them smarter individuals, you might want to consider reading this.

33.  The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic: A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Capable, Grateful Kids in an Over-Entitled World

This book will teach you different techniques on how to fuel your child’s spirit by making them understand that the world is not just all about them. It will help you teach your children how to stop focusing on their own and start considering other people.

34.  Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World

This book teaches you how to make your child more empathetic. Empathy is a trait that you need to nurture in order to make you child become a diligent and intelligent person as he or she deals with the people around them.[16]

35.  If I Have to Tell You One More Time: The Revolutionary Program that Gets Your Kids Listen Without Nagging, Reminding, or Yelling

Raising a skilled and intelligent child does not mean that a child is great academically but it also means that a child is skilled in dealing with people.[17] Fortunately, this book will help you make your child become more skillful as they grow older and you can start teaching them this at home.

36.  1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12

This book teaches parent how to improve their relationship with their child in order for them to enhance their cognitive and behavioral skills which are necessary for what we call success in life.[18]

37.  SOS: Help for Parents

If you want a little help in parenting children from 4 years old to 7 years old, this one is the right book for you. You will learn the best strategies in improving your child’s skills especially his or her behavioral skills.

38.  Confident Parents, Confident Kids

Confidence is a skill and it is a sign that a child is intelligent.[19] For you to be able to teach this to your child, you might want to consider reading this. Surely, you will be educated on your child’s development and you will be able to cultivate your child’s skills and abilities.

Best Parenting Books to Raise Skilled and Intelligent Children of Ages 13 and Above

39.  How to Raise Successful People: Simple Lessons for Radical Results

This book is like a manual which includes researches and stories/experiences. Parenting causes anxiety sometimes and this anxiety hinders them to raise their child properly. Fortunately, this book teaches every parent how to raise children to their highest potential during their anxious times. Additionally, there is this trick method which will surely help a parent to raise a skilled and intelligent child.

40.  Siblings without Rivalry

Sibling rivalries are caused by competition for emotions, attentions, and resources.[20] However, this system makes your children less confident especially when they feel like they are losing from their siblings. If this happens, one of your children may feel like he or she is less skilled. So, to address these issues, this book might help you.

41.  The Drama of the Gifted Child

Sometimes, we pressure our kids without knowing it and our kids also pressure themselves in order to receive the love from us. Sadly, this might make them feel that their skills are not enough. After reading this, you will surely be able to help your children embrace their own skills and intelligence.

The Drama of the Gifted Child
This book will give you peace knowing that your child will never feel being empty and unable. Surely, you will be able to help your kids enhance their own talents and abilities in life.

42.  How to Hug a Porcupine

This book will teach you how to properly respond to your child’s attitudes as these attitudes will determine how they will turn out in life.[21] Personally, I find this book very mature to deal with which is good for me because it teaches how to deal with real-life activities such as sex, alcohol, and drugs. If your child knows about these at a young age, your child will surely turn into an intelligent one.

43.  Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life

Sometimes, class and race influence the development of a child. If your family has enough money, you can nurture your child’s development more![22] However, sometimes, poor or low-class family depends on the natural development of a child. To shape you child’s life without having to consider these differences, you might want to read this book in order for you to learn more about them.

44.  How to Do It Now Because It’s Not Going Away

Sometimes, procrastination can be damaging and it affects your child’s skills and abilities. In order for you to teach your child to not procrastinate, you must also know the real meaning of procrastination.

45.  Middle School Makeover

This book is perfect for parents who have children in middle school as it teaches parents about neurological development and identity analysis of tweens. Some children may find it hard to be in middle school but with this book you will be able to help your children how to become a confident and smart individuals.

46.  Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life

One way to raise a skilled and intelligent child is by being helped by your family members including your other children. When siblings are involved, there is a great possibility that your child will grow smarter.[23] However, it is important to know how to make your other children understand their role. For this reason, you might want to consider reading this. because I really find it worth the read.

47.  No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident, and Compassionate Girls

We cannot deny it but insecurity between girls will always be there and this insecurity makes other girls feel that they have the right to put other girls down. Fortunately, this book will help every parent how to raise kind and confident girls. Intelligence is not about academic performance but it is also about how your kids treat other kids kindly.[24]

48.  The Parents Handbook: Systematic Training for Effective Parenting

Creating a family is easy but raising is what makes it hard especially when challenges appear. In this book, you will be able to learn how to manage and handle your children especially how you can help them become a responsible and smart individuals.

49.  The Power of Showing Up: How Parental Presence Shapes Who Our Kids Become and How Their Brains Get Wired

If you want your child to succeed and become intelligent person, you do not just simply provide. It is also important for them to see your presence physically and emotionally.[25] Of course, this is not easy especially when you are loaded with chores and works. Fortunately, this book will help you focus on this.

50.  Ready or Not: Preparing Our Kids to Thrive in an Uncertain and Rapidly Changing World

Anxiety hinders a child from developing his or her skills and to address this issue as a parent, this book might be of great help.[26] This book teaches a lot of things including how to nourish and child and how to not put pressure on them.

51.  Decoding Boys: New Science Behind the Subtle Art of Raising Sons

This book is perfect for parents with little boys. Some boys tend to close their communication with their parents as they grow older and this may hinder their parents to guide and raise them in becoming skillful and intelligent individuals. So, to keep the communication open, try to read this book and you will get a lot of insights.

Final Thoughts

From the list above, you will surely be able to learn how to raise a skilled and intelligent child. Personally, I recommend these three parenting books because I find them very useful and helpful: , , and .


How do you raise a highly intelligent child?

Always remember that if you want to raise a highly intelligent child, you should focus on enhancing a lot of his skills and it is important to understand that you must never force your child to study especially if your child is still young. Understand that you must also respect the natural development of your child.

How do I know if my child is gifted?

During infancy, you will see that your child is very alert and his or her memory is extraordinary. Also, you will be able to know if your child is gifted if you have observed advanced progression in his or her development.

Do smart babies sleep less?

It is not about the number of sleep hours but it is about the quality of sleep. Some children need fewer hours to operate while some children need more hours so that they can start their day right with full of energy.

[1] Gottman, John. Raising an emotionally intelligent child. Simon and Schuster, 2011.

[2] Larzelere, Robert E., and Jack A. Merenda. “The effectiveness of parental discipline for toddler misbehavior at different levels of child distress.” Family Relations (1994): 480-488.

[3] Furstenberg, Frank F., and Kathleen E. Kiernan. “Delayed parental divorce: How much do children benefit?.” Journal of marriage and family 63.2 (2001): 446-457.

[4] Dixon, Armendia P. “Parents: Full partners in the decision-making process.” NASSP bulletin 76.543 (1992): 15-18.

[5] Baptista, Joao, et al. “Social media and the emergence of reflexiveness as a new capability for open strategy.” Long Range Planning 50.3 (2017): 322-336.

[6] Woodhouse, Barbara Bennett. “Of Babies, Bonding, and Burning Buildings: Discerning Parenthood in Irrational Action.” Virginia Law Review (1995): 2493-2521.

[7] Howes, Carollee. “Can the age of entry into child care and the quality of child care predict adjustment in kindergarten?.” Developmental psychology 26.2 (1990): 292.

[8] Gottman, John. “Meta-emotion, children’s emotional intelligence, and buffering children from marital conflict.” Emotion, social relationships, and health (2001): 23-40.

[9] Lu, Huimin, et al. “Brain intelligence: go beyond artificial intelligence.” Mobile Networks and Applications 23.2 (2018): 368-375.

[10] Doctor, Ask, et al. “How Picking The Right Food Can Make Your Kids Smarter?.”

[11] Tobin, Joseph Jay, David YH Wu, and Dana H. Davidson. Preschool in three cultures: Japan, China, and the United States. Yale University Press, 1989.

[12] Vysniauske, Ruta, et al. “The effects of physical exercise on functional outcomes in the treatment of ADHD: a meta-analysis.” Journal of attention disorders 24.5 (2020): 644-654.

[13] Macnamara, Brooke N., and Natasha S. Rupani. “The relationship between intelligence and mindset.” Intelligence 64 (2017): 52-59.

[14] Mueller, Claudia M., and Carol S. Dweck. “Praise for intelligence can undermine children’s motivation and performance.” Journal of personality and social psychology 75.1 (1998): 33.

[15] Ng, Florrie Fei-Yin, Eva M. Pomerantz, and Shui-fong Lam. “European American and Chinese parents’ responses to children’s success and failure: Implications for children’s responses.” Developmental psychology 43.5 (2007): 1239.

[16] Björkqvist, Kaj, Karin Österman, and Ari Kaukiainen. “Social intelligence− empathy= aggression?.” Aggression and violent behavior 5.2 (2000): 191-200.

[17] Brown, Jane R., and Judy Dunn. “Talk with your mother or your sibling? Developmental changes in early family conversations about feelings.” Child development 63.2 (1992): 336-349.

[18] Ross, Robert T. “Behavioral correlates of levels of intelligence.” American Journal of Mental Deficiency (1972).

[19] Hall, Janet. Confident Kids: Helping Your Child Cope with Fear. Seven Hills Book Distributors, 49 Central Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45202., 1993.

[20] Leung, Alexander KD, and Wm Lane M. Robson. “Sibling rivalry.” Clinical Pediatrics 30.5 (1991): 314-317.

[21] Lowe, Jane, and Alan Thomas. Educating your child at home. A&C Black, 2002.

[22] Hauser, Robert M. “Measuring socioeconomic status in studies of child development.” Child development 65.6 (1994): 1541-1545.

[23] Leung, Alexander KD, and Wm Lane M. Robson. “Sibling rivalry.” Clinical Pediatrics 30.5 (1991): 314-317.

[24] Neifert, Marianne. “Raising a Self-Confident Child.” Parenting 86 (1997): 88-90.

[25] McNeely, Clea A., and Brian K. Barber. “How do parents make adolescents feel loved? Perspectives on supportive parenting from adolescents in 12 cultures.” Journal of Adolescent Research 25.4 (2010): 601-631.

[26] Hudson, Jennifer L., et al. “The impact of brief parental anxiety management on child anxiety treatment outcomes: A controlled trial.” Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology 43.3 (2014): 370-380.

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Tiffany Biondi

Tiffany Biondi

Mother of 4 kids, Tiffany is a certified childcarer and during her free time, she write posts in thebabychoice to share her hands on experience and knowledge.

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