SELF: Good Parenting—A Moving Target

14 parenting audiobooks that will awaken hope and offer attainable perspectives on the paradox of modern parenthood.

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Audios about parenting have done a good job of keeping up with the astounding changes we’ve seen in our culture in the past 20 years–changes in the way authority is distributed in families, changes in how boys and girls define themselves, and changes in what it takes to prepare kids for the adult challenges of work and family.

“Parenting today is incredibly hard . . . here are some audiobooks that will awaken hope and persuade parents that there is an order to the madness of raising children that we can unlock with a little listening.”

These audios offer perspectives that may help you keep your balance and improve what goes on between you and your children.

Listening for Parenting

THE CONFIDENT PARENT
by Jane Scott, Stephanie Land, read by Susan Boyce (Dreamscape)
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A pediatrician offers back-to-basics tools for helping parents relax and feel more confident about raising their children.

IT’S OK TO GO UP THE SLIDE
by Heather Shumaker, read by Laurel Lefkow (Dreamscape)
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Not your traditional parenting advice, it’s a softly argued manifesto that shows parents how to avoid overcontrolling  risks and complying blindly with prevailing cultural norms.

THE DANISH WAY OF PARENTING
by Jessica Joelle Alexander, Iben Dissing Sandahl, read by Kim Mai Guest (Penguin Audio/Books on Tape)
The stark contrasts between Danish parenting and the overstriving practices we see in the U.S.

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RAISING HUMAN BEINGS
by Ross W.  Greene, read by Jonathan Todd Ross) Simon & Schuster Audio)
This thoughtful audio discusses helping your children become who they are while learning important life skills.

MOTHER & SON
by Emerson Eggerichs, read by Emerson Eggerichs (Thomas Nelson Publishers)
The message in this helpful audio is that male children have more pride issues and doubts about their worth than most mothers realize.

HAVE A HAPPY FAMILY BY FRIDAY: How to Improve Communication, Respect, & Teamwork in 5 Days
by Kevin Leman, read by Fred Stella (Brilliance Audio)
Create a safe place for families to stay connected and do the hard stuff.

OH BOY, YOU’RE HAVING A GIRL: A Dad’s Survival Guide to Raising Daughters
by Brian Klems, read by Stephen R. Thorne (Tantor Media)
Humorous stories and reassurance for dads entering the world of daughters

WHOA, BABY! A Guide for New Moms Who Feel Overwhelmed and Freaked Out (and Wonder What the #*$& Just Happened)
by Kelly Rowland, Tristan Bickman, with Laura Moser, read by Kelly Rowland, Tristan Bickman (Hachette Audio)
The singer/actress’s unfiltered questions, with answers from her OB/GYN

POSITIVE DISCIPLINE PARENTING TOOLS: The 49 Most Effective Methods to Stop Power Struggles, Build Communication, and Raise Empowered, Capable Kids
by Jane Nelsen, Mary Nelsen Tamborski, Brad Ainge, read by Kimberly Farr, Kathleen McInerney, Fred Sanders (Random House Audio/ Books on Tape)
Keeping things orderly requires more than ordering kids around.

THE GIFTS OF IMPERFECT PARENTING: Raising Children with Courage, Compassion, and Connection
by Brené Brown, read by Brené Brown (Sounds True)
Universal truths about being parents and helping kids become good people

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1-2-3 MAGIC TEEN
: Communicate, Connect, and Guide Your Teen to Adulthood
by Thomas W. Phelan, read by Paul Costanzo (Tantor Media)
Accessible advice on handling what’s normal and not normal in your teen

MAKE YOUR KID A MONEY GENIUS (EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT
): A Parents’ Guide for Kids 3 to 23
by Beth Kobliner, read by Julia Whelan (Simon & Schuster Audio)
Help children of all ages learn how to be smart about money.

IT’S OK NOT TO SHARE AND OTHER RENEGADE RULES FOR RAISING COMPETENT AND COMPASSIONATE KIDS
by Heather Shumaker, read by Laura Lefkow (Dreamscape)
Children learn best through their experiences rather than being told.

ALL JOY AND NO FUN: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood
by Jennifer Senior, read by Jennifer Senior (Harper Audio)
An enlightening historical overview of how raising children has changed.

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Browse personal growth audiobooks in  Contemporary Culture or find other titles in our 17 subject categories.

Self Sunday: Women Work

12 Audiobooks on How Women Actualize Their Talents and Balance Their Lives

women-work-360x360.jpgWomen work to overcome cultural and internal barriers. Listeners will think about the abundance of career options for women today, the stubborn persistence of workplace insults and obstacles, and the empowerment women feel to break through and correct these barriers as they explore these audios. All written and performed by women, they focus on women’s continuing struggle to actualize their talents, balance their lives, and contribute in the public arena as respected, capable players.

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THE BITCH IS BACK by Cathi Hanauer, read by Teri Schnaubelt, Harper Audio

DARING: My Passages by Gail Sheehy, read by Bernadette Dunn, Harper Audio/ Blackstone Audio

EARNING IT: Hard-Won Lessons from Trailblazing Women at the Top of the Business World, by Joann S. Lublin, read by Kirsten Potter, Harper Audio

FEMINIST FIGHT CLUB: An Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace, by  Jessica Bennett, read by  Bahni Turpin, Harper Audio

#GIRLBOSS: How to Write Your Own Rules While Turning Heads and Turning Profits, Sophia Amoruso, read by Sara Jes Austell, Penguin Audio / Books on Tape

HOW TO WIN AT FEMINISM: The Definitive Guide to Having It All–and Then Some!, by Beth Newell,Sarah Pappalardo, read by Anna Drezen, Nicole Silverberg, Harper Audio

LEAN IN: Woman, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg with Nell Scovell, read by Elisa Donovan, Random House Audio/ Books on Tape

LEAP: Leaving a Job with No Plan B to Find the Career and Life You Really Want, by Tess Vigeland, read by Tess Vigeland, Blackstone Audio

SHRILL: Notes from a Loud Woman, by Lindy West, read by Lindy West, Hachette Audio

WHAT I TOLD MY DAUGHTER: Lessons from Leaders on Raising the Next Generation of Empowered Women, by Nina Tassler, Cynthia Littleton [Eds.], read by Madeleine Maby, Janina Edwards, Fiona Hardingham, Amanda Carlin, Joy Osmanski, Simon & Schuster Audio

YEAR OF YES: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person, by Shonda Rhimes, read by Shonda Rhimes, Simon & Schuster Audio

YOU ARE A BADASS: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Live an Awesome Life, Jen Sincero, read by Jen Sincero, Tantor Media

A few of the writers are accomplished female executives, like television producer Nina Tassler (WHAT I TOLD MY DAUGHTER), screenwriter Shonda Rhimes (YEAR OF YES), and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg (LEAN IN). Some are by younger authors whose snappy writing and counter-culture tone make their messages sound revolutionary, energizing, impossible to ignore. Combining such messages with the distinctive power of the human voice creates audiobooks that go beyond intellectual stimulation; they’ll help a lot of women take notice, take names, and take on anyone who gets in their way.

What makes the audio productions of these books so arresting is that the stories they tell are not only personal but also delivered by voices that sound engaged and empowered by what they are sharing. These voices make the audiobooks sound as authentic as they are enlightening.

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Self Sunday: Come In, We’re Open

Opening up to possibilities in life and work—part 2.

We’re included more listening titles on the topic of exploring how we think, make decisions, and impact the world around us. Heather Havrilesky’s subtitle “…Guide Through the Paradoxes of Modern Life” seems to sum up our choices nicely.

109223.jpgLIVE HAPPY: TEN PRACTICES FOR CHOOSING JOY
Intuitive, well-crafted advice for making your life more joyous
Deborah K. Heisz, read by Karen White
Harper Audio

114678.jpg HOW TO BE A PERSON IN THE WORLD: ASK POLLY’S GUIDE THROUGH THE PARADOXES OF MODERN LIFE
Advice on becoming a good person, partner, worker, and citizen
Heather Havrilesky, read by Heather Havrilesky
Random House Audio

114664.jpg THE POWER PARADOX: HOW WE GAIN AND LOSE INFLUENCE
How empathy and collaboration can increase the difference you make in life
Dacher Keltner, read by Kaleo Griffith
Penguin Audio

114450.jpg OLD AGE: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE
Thinking about your life, getting ready for death—in a good way
Earphones Award Winner
Michael Kinsley, read by Danny Campbell
Random House Audio

108052.jpg MEET THE NEW YOU: A 21-DAY PLAN FOR EMBRACING FRESH ATTITUDES AND FOCUSED HABITS FOR REAL LIFE CHANGE
A Christian coach shows how to find your value and purpose.
Elisa Pulliam, read by Renee Ertl
Oasis Audio

For more SELF recommendations, browse AudioFile’s newest personal growth reviews!