HOME arrow RESOURCES arrow Books for Parents
Friday, 05 March 2021
Books for Parents Print
When you use the Amazon links to make purchases you help to support the cost of maintaining this site (at no additional cost to you).

Note: If you are waiting for your child or have just adopted and want a quick education, consider reading the books with ** first.

Adopting the Hurt Child; Hope for Families with Special-Needs Kids by Gregory Keck and Regina Kupecky

Although most of the parents on A4everFamily didn't consciously adopt "special needs children", over time we have realized that our children require unique parenting due to early trauma caused by separation (often repeated.) Abuse and neglect may not have been factors for our babies (as it was for many of the children highlighted in the book), yet our children still struggle with some of the same problems.
** Adoption Parenting; Creating a Toolbox, Building Connections by Jean MacLeod & Shenna Macrae

This BRAND NEW book (July 2006), jam-packed full of information on adoption parenting, is a MUST-HAVE RESOURCE book. At just over 500 pages, it's all in here! Topics include: sleep, claiming, language, food, baggage, discipline, loss & grief, transitions, siblings, narratives, learning, school, race, older child adoption, challenges, support, therapy, & journey. This book is relevant for parents at every point in the adoption journey; you'll find yourself turning to it again and again. It is destined to become a classic.
**Adoptive Parenting From the Ground Up by Katie Prigel Sharp

When many of us began our journies, resources on adoptive parenting, brain development and other issues critical for the infant who waited were found to be sorely lacking. This book explains the science behind early brain development and applies it to adoptive families in a concise, friendly, honest, and positive manner. It is available by ordering here.
**Attaching in Adoption; Practical Tools for Today's Parents by Deborah D. Gray

Highly recommended introduction to the attachment process. Read an interview with Gray here.
Becoming Attached: First Relationships and How They Shape Our Capacity to Love by Robert Karen

Ever wanted to know what studies John Bowlby did and how he drew his conclusions? Curious about the development of Ainsworth's "Strange Situation" that led to various attachment disorder types (ambivalent, avoidant)? Want to know what happened to normally attached toddlers when they were separated from their mothers due to hospitalization? This comprehensive (500pp.) volume covers the history of attachment studies from 1937 to its publication in 1994. Adoption is not mentioned since the studies were done with biological children.
**Becoming a Family; Promoting Healthy Attachments with Your Adopted Child by Lark Eshleman

An EXCELLENT, quick introduction to the topic of attachment in international adoption. This book answers just about every attachment question imaginable:

1. Why do attachment problems happen?
2. What preventative methods can the adoptive parent use?
3. Who should come to the airport?
4. How long should you keep friends/family away while you work on bonding?
5. What should you do about sleep?
6. Are young babies adopted from foster care situations at risk for attachment problems? Why?
The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog by Bruce Perry

It’s not often that a book is published on the neurobiology of trauma. It’s even less often that I would read one, be completely riveted by it, and then want to discuss it with everyone I meet. But Bruce Perry’s newly released book, The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog, meets all of those criteria and more, making it a must-read for parents, professionals and anyone who works with children. Read a complete review here.
Building the Bonds of Attachment: Awakening Love in Deeply Troubled Children by Daniel Hughes

Hughes wrote this fictional story to describe the life of a child with RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder). In it he takes you though years of failed foster homes and failed therapies until the right diagnosis is made and the child starts getting help. Commentary helps the reader to understand why some traditional parenting techniques and therapeutic methods fail while the appropriate ones can lead to immense success. It's a fascinating read and although the child is older and has more severe attachment issues than most of our families are dealing with, it aptly illustrates the principles behind good treatment.
**The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis, David Cross, Wendy Lyons Sunshine

Essential. Many strategies to use TODAY. See a complete review here.
Connecting with Kids Through Stories by Denise Lacher, Todd Nichols, Joanne May

"This book shows parents how to create their own therapeutic stories to promote increased attachment and improved behavior in their child."
The Handbook of International Adoptive Medicine: A Guide for Physicians, Parents, and Providers by Laurie C. Miller, M.D.

"Presents an overview of the medical and developmental issues that affect internationally adopted children, offering guidelines for families and physicians before, during, and after adoption." Topics include institutionalization, specific country considerations, prenatal exposures, effects of early stress, growth & development, infectious diseases & other specific medical conditions, neurocognitive and behavioral issues. Over 400 pages of information including many studies.

Help Your Child to Learn by Barbara Pheloung

Sometimes learning problems are a mystery; the child seems intelligent yet there is a block. Barbara Pheloung, a resource teacher, has worked for the past 30 years helping children to achieve their full potential through the developmental approach. Although most of the children referred to on A4everFamily aren’t learning disabled per se, many of them do have issues or blocks that prevent them from reaching their full potential without some kind of assistance. Pheloung profiles nine children, several of them adopted, that have benefited from different types of intervention: food/diet, medical, movement, communication (hearing, listening, understanding), eyes & eye movement, and organizational skills. Checklists help the parent or professional to assess development in each of these major areas. In addition, a checklist is included to assist parents in evaluating toddler or preschool development.

**Holding Time by Martha G. Welch, MD

Although this book was not written to specifically address adoption, it introduces a strategy designed to promote bonding between any mother and child. For many of us, holding time was a first positive step toward attachment.

It is important to note, however, that children who are adopted may react more intensely to the holding experience than other children. This article explains some of the differences: "Holding" - Emotionally or Physically Should be One In the Same
I Love You Rituals by Becky Bailey

Presents 70+ rhymes and games for parents and young children that demonstrate unconditional love.
Lifebooks by Beth O'Malley

Step by step instructions on creating a lifebook for your adoptive child. Includes examples of text that can be modified to fit your child's situation.
Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood; Practical Parenting from Birth to Six Years by Jim Fay & Charles Fay

Effective, warm approach to parenting. Techniques are especially effective with challenging children.
**Nurturing Adoptions: Creating Resilience after Neglect and Trauma by Deborah Gray

Someone is finally speaking up about the potential damage of moving a child—including an infant—too abruptly. Read more here.
The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Integration Dysfunction by Carol Stock Kranowitz

Many children with attachment and trauma issues also have SID, sensory integration dysfunction. This book helps parents to recognize SID, gives tips on how to help the child at home and provides ideas on finding professional assistance.
The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun: Activities for Kids with Sensory Integration Dysfunction by Carol Stock Kranowitz

Presents activities to strengthen the abilities of children with sensory integration dysfunction at home while having fun.
**Parenting the Hurt Child; Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow by Gregory C. Keck and Regina M. Kupecky

Lists dozens and dozens of concrete ideas to nurture adoptive children.
**Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child: From Your First Hours Together Through the Teen Years by Patty Cogen

In the last several months, Patty Cogen’s book, Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child, has come up in more conversations on adoptive family forums that I can ever remember happening with a new book. Now I know why. It’s quite simply, AMAZING. See a complete review here.
Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child by Nancy Newton Verrier

Explains effects of a child's separation from the birth mother. The author, a therapist and advocate for children, adopted her daughter at three days old.
Silent Tears; A Journey of Hope in a Chinese Orphanage by Kay Bratt

Details experiences the author witnessed as an orphanage volunteer from March 2003-summer 2007. The insights she provides into the daily operations of one orphanage (unnamed) in China are immensely valuable to adoptive parents. So often, children come home with behaviors that mystify adoptive parents. Why do certain noises, places, actions, people, or events cause children to shut down, act out, or react in defensive ways? Bratt’s story helps parents to understand the complexity of life in an orphanage and explain the reasons behind otherwise perplexing behaviors. See a complete review here.
Therapeutic Parenting; It's a Matter of Attitude! by Deborah Hage, MSW

This book is small, but mighty! Deborah Hage, a renowned attachment therapist, and a mother to two children by birth, seven children by adoption, and therapeutic foster parent to five other children, presents an immense amount of information on how to parent a child with attachment issues. Her experience with one of her own sons, adopted at six months of age, has given her insight into what life is like as the parent of a child with attachment disorder. The suggestions are concrete and can be used immediately. This is available in-print by ordering from the Nancy Thomas website.
**Todder Adoption; the Weaver's Craft by Mary Hopkins-Best

Although this book covers toddler adoption (and is a must-read for those adopting toddlers), adoptive parents of attachment impaired infants have found that they can relate to much of the book as their babies grow.
Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew by Sherrie Eldridge

This is a book that I know I would have resented and attempted to ignore, had I read it as a pre-adoptive parent. After having a child diagnosed with an attachment disorder, I am able to appreciate it in a different light. Eldridge has given me insight as to some of what my child may be feeling and experiencing. Although it's hard to read about the harsh reality of what some adoptees experience, it's good to know.
When Love is Not Enough; A Guide to Parenting Children with RAD by Nancy Thomas

In attachment therapy, this was the first book that our psychologist suggested we read. The first several pages explain what causes attachment disorders and lists high risk signs in infants and keys to bonding. Although later content focuses primarily on older children (although parents of preschoolers may want to check out "strong sitting"), Thomas does help parents to understand the concept of taking control in order to help the attachment impaired child to feel safe. This link is for the updated & expanded version. For further resources, visit the Nancy Thomas website.
Top! Top!