Not that moms have tons of time for beach reading, but for those who want to flip through something helpful during any downtime this summer, the child development experts at Seedlings Group picked their five favorite recent parenting books.

1. Teach Your Children Well by Madeline Levine. Rather than focusing on parenting toward achievement-based outcomes, Levine stresses how important it is to teach our children bigger-picture life skills such as empathy, self-efficacy, resilience, and creativity.

2. Sleep Consult by Marc Weissbluth and Daniel Weissbluth (for Kindle). The Weissbluths share the most flexible and appropriate of all the sleep approaches. We recommend this book to all of our clients (even though we offer our own sleep consults). This approach works beautifully.

3. How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough. While we try not to emphasize focusing on achievement and success, we like that this book highlights skills that are likely to help children in the future, such as persistence and resilience.

4. The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More by Bruce Feiler. This volume from the New York Times family columnist offers some good, straightforward, practical advice on achieving family harmony.

5. Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy by Emily Bazelon. This is another character-building book focused on the hot-button topic of bullying.