Psychology is a field of incredible depth and breadth, and it’s impossible to learn everything about the topic in a single lifetime. It’s no easy task to put yourself in the shoes of another human being to learn about why they make the decisions that they make. However, this level of complexity is what draws many people to the field. For anyone who is curious about the possibility of becoming a child psychologist, there’s a lot of great books out there to get you started. Here is a list of five of the most popular.
1. How Children Develop
The title of this one pretty much tells you exactly what you’re getting. It’s more of a textbook type format, so it’s definitely more on the academic side. However, the authors and people quoted throughout the books are leaders in the field, and it’s a great way to introduce yourself to the way that children develop.
2. The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook – What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love, and Healing
This is the kind of book that all types of people can get into. It’s less academic research and more narrative style, so it’s able to capture the interest of a wide range of readers. Written by child psychiatrist Bruce Perry, it tells the stories of all types of children who had traumatic experiences. This ranges from genocide survivors to extreme cases of abuse to children who were raised in closets.
3. Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary “Executive Skills” Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential
We all knew some of these kids when we were younger, or maybe you were even one yourself. There are plenty of children out there who are highly intelligent but just can’t seem to get their act together. They lose their papers, forget assignments, and struggle to get by. This book explores the root of these issues and how to work on them with children.
4. The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind
While this book is directed more toward parents than professionals, it is certainly a helpful resource for thinking about the best ways to nurture a child’s development. Since child psychologists deal with parents as much as often as children, it’s important for you to understand the parent’s perspective of raising a child.
5. How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character
What creates success? How is it achieved and defined? These are difficult questions to answer, but Paul Tough takes a crack at it in this book. The formative years that make up childhood are an important time to make sure that children understand the fundamentals of perseverance, how to ask questions about the world, and that they develop a strong sense of morality. This book unpacks what it takes to help a child find success.
These books are just the mere tip of the iceberg that is child psychology. There are thousands of books out there about this topic, and they become more and more specific and obscure the more you read. However, this is a great place to start for anyone interested in studying child psychology as a career. Pick one of these up, see if it’s for you, and get started on your journey.