A key part of the Healing Hooves practice is parenting support and I love to share good common sense resources that are attachment friendly.
This is my top ten list with brief explanations of why I recommend each one.
Please feel free to add your own favourites in the comments section below and explain why you recommend them!
1. Hold On To Your Kids by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate
The approach to parenting and understanding attachment and human development taught by Gordon Neufeld and explored in this amazing book is a key part of the foundation of all of our work at Healing Hooves. We teach this at our trainings, integrate it into our equine therapy and parenting sessions, and it informs both how I parent my own kids (now teenagers) and even how I work with my horses!
Dr. Neufeld also has many training courses and other resources for parents, teachers and counsellors: Neufeld Institute which I encourage you to check out!
2. Play, Rest, Grow: Making Sense of Preschoolers and Those Who Act Like Them by Deborah MacNamara.
As the title suggests this book is aimed at parents of younger kids, but the principals it explores have applicability to all. Dr. MacNamara also has an amazing blog I highly recommend: kids best bet blog
3. The Highly Sensitive Child by Elaine Aron.
I love this whole series. A high proportion of the people I work with (young and not so young) are highly sensitive; many are misunderstood – including by themselves.
Working with animals can be very effective with highly sensitive people because animals tend to be both highly sensitive themselves and to respond well to people who are highly sensitive.
This book is a wonderful resource to understand sensitivity and how to both celebrate it in yourself and others, and manage the impact of being highly sensitive in a world which does not tend to understand, invite or embrace heightened sensitivity.
The author also has a wonderful website with questionnaires you can complete for yourself or your child to determine if you are highly sensitive: Highly Sensitive person website
4. The Gentle Parent by LR Knost.
I love everything LR Knost writes!
This book, and it’s Christian version, Jesus the Gentle Parent, is a great attachment resource and also a very brave and sound resource for Christian parents who want to parent in both a biblical AND attachment informed way.
5. Five Love Languages for Children by Gary Chapman.
This is a great series that I believe can improve understanding and communication in most relationships.
6. Parenting From the Inside Out by Daniel Siegel and Mary Hartzell
A great book which explores the extent to which our childhood experiences shape the way we parent.
Drawing upon stunning new findings in neurobiology and attachment research, the authors explain how interpersonal relationships directly impact the development of the brain, and offer parents a step-by-step approach to forming a deeper understanding of their own life stories, which will help them raise compassionate and resilient children.
7. The Hurried Child by David Elkind
This is an older book about the dangers of growing up too fast which I believe has even more relevance now than it did when it first came out.
The latest edition has been updated to include the effects of Internet, classroom culture, school violence, and movies and television.
8. The Power of Play by David Elkind
This one explores the value of true, creative spontaneous play for healthy mental health.
Animals are wonderful role models for play – and offer us wonderful and numerous opportunities to find play. This is something we regularly talk about – and practice – at Healing Hooves.
9. Positive Parenting An Essential Guide by Rebecca Eanes
I have to be honest and admit I have not read this one (yet!) but I have read the author’s blog and love her focus on connection. I anticipate this one will be a good read!
10. Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman
I did not like or agree with everything I read in this book (I rarely do!) but there is much of value in there and certainly enough to include it in this top ten list!
Thank you for reading our top ten list – I hope you found some new ideas and resources.
I encourage you to share some of your favourites, and why you like them, in the comments section below and also to look out for our blog posts on Top Ten Attachment Informed Kids Books and Top Ten Non Fiction Books for Adults.