The parents I work with often want something to read, something to study, a source for good information that they can look at on their own. But there is just one problem: a lot of the information for parents is not based on sound research or clinical experience. How to sort through the Below are some great books and other resources that work wonderfully and have solid expertise behind them.



Taking Charge of ADHD 

Barkley is known among psychologists as one of the foremost researchers on ADHD. This book is a basic step-by-step approach for parents to increase positive behaviors and limit problem behaviors with well-researched methods that have been shown to work.

Parenting Children with ADHD: 10 Lessons that Medicine Cannot Teach

Solid information on ADHD for parents. Begins with a clear description of ADHD symptoms and ties this to how parents should respond so that children learn and succeed. This book also has information about educational rights, which is always confusing for parents. The author presents the information clearly and cuts through the confusion so that parents can make informed choices.

Mrs. Gorski, I Think I have the Wiggle Fidgets

This book on the experience of ADHD will help a child feel understood. What especially recommends this book is its positive tone and reframing of “symptoms” into strengths. For children who feel ashamed or isolated by ADHD, this can help them understand that thinking different can be a very good thing.



The Kazdin Method for Parenting the Defiant Child

Based on top-notch research from a leader in the field, this book sums up the techniques pioneered by Alan Kazdin. Highly recommended for parents struggling to manage defiance. The book comes with a DVD illustrating some of the main skills for parents.


10 Days to a Less Defiant Child

This is an exceptionally easy-to-read book about a complicated topic: how to nurture and discipline defiant children. Dr. Bernstein uses case examples to illustrate a step-by-step approach in ten parts. It is an approach that helps parents not only change behavior, but understand their children even better.


How to Talk So Kids Will Listen

My clinical psychology internship was at Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital in Illinois, and in the child psychology program the book “How to Talk so Kids Will Listen” was stacked on a table near the entrance. Parents were encourage to take a copy home, for free, because it was considered that helpful. Now considered a classic, this book has a way of teaching complicated behavior management skills to parents in wonderfully down-to-earth language.


Bed wetting


The Malem Bedwetting Alarm

One of the most effective ways of helping children who wet the bed is to use a bell and pad device like the Malem. A moisture-sensing pad is placed on the bed and is wired to a bell, which wakes the child if the pad senses moisture. Children learn to wake themselves and use the toilet at night through classical conditioning.

I recommend this one because the child does not need to pin the alarm to clothing (it rests next to the bed) and there are a variety of alarm sounds, including a recording of the parent’s voice reminding the child to go to the bathroom.


Social Skills

Friends Forever

Young children: Based on the empirically-supported Children’s Friendship Training program, this book helps parents identify what social problems are coming up for your child, and then what works to solve the problem.

The Science of Making Friends

Adolescents: Based on the empirically-supported UCLA’s PEERS Program, the skills in this book work to help kids make and keep friends. Especially useful for kids on the Autism Spectrum.