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Parenting from the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive

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An updated edition—with a new preface—of the bestselling parenting classic by the author of "BRAINSTORM: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain" In Parenting from the Inside Out, child psychiatrist Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and early childhood expert Mary Hartzell, M.Ed., explore the extent to which our childhood experiences shape the way we parent. Drawing on stunning An updated edition—with a new preface—of the bestselling parenting classic by the author of "BRAINSTORM: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain" In Parenting from the Inside Out, child psychiatrist Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and early childhood expert Mary Hartzell, M.Ed., explore the extent to which our childhood experiences shape the way we parent. Drawing on stunning new findings in neurobiology and attachment research, they explain how interpersonal relationships directly impact the development of the brain, and offer parents a step-by-step approach to forming a deeper understanding of their own life stories, which will help them raise compassionate and resilient children. Born out of a series of parents' workshops that combined Siegel's cutting-edge research on how communication impacts brain development with Hartzell's decades of experience as a child-development specialist and parent educator, this book guides parents through creating the necessary foundations for loving and secure relationships with their children.


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An updated edition—with a new preface—of the bestselling parenting classic by the author of "BRAINSTORM: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain" In Parenting from the Inside Out, child psychiatrist Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and early childhood expert Mary Hartzell, M.Ed., explore the extent to which our childhood experiences shape the way we parent. Drawing on stunning An updated edition—with a new preface—of the bestselling parenting classic by the author of "BRAINSTORM: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain" In Parenting from the Inside Out, child psychiatrist Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and early childhood expert Mary Hartzell, M.Ed., explore the extent to which our childhood experiences shape the way we parent. Drawing on stunning new findings in neurobiology and attachment research, they explain how interpersonal relationships directly impact the development of the brain, and offer parents a step-by-step approach to forming a deeper understanding of their own life stories, which will help them raise compassionate and resilient children. Born out of a series of parents' workshops that combined Siegel's cutting-edge research on how communication impacts brain development with Hartzell's decades of experience as a child-development specialist and parent educator, this book guides parents through creating the necessary foundations for loving and secure relationships with their children.

30 review for Parenting from the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive

  1. 4 out of 5

    K

    I didn't enjoy this book the entire time I was reading it, but when I found myself summarizing the parts I found relevant and photocopying the exercises, I knew I needed to give it at least four stars. Many of my clients come in with difficulties around childraising, and it's always a struggle for me between giving them childraising "tips" versus helping them uncover the deeper issues that are making it difficult for them to parent effectively. Parents who come in often request these tips and fee I didn't enjoy this book the entire time I was reading it, but when I found myself summarizing the parts I found relevant and photocopying the exercises, I knew I needed to give it at least four stars. Many of my clients come in with difficulties around childraising, and it's always a struggle for me between giving them childraising "tips" versus helping them uncover the deeper issues that are making it difficult for them to parent effectively. Parents who come in often request these tips and feel dissatisfied when they don't receive them, whereas the deeper work is slower and often feels less directly relevant to the problem. On the other hand, as my supervisors frequently point out, the tips are only helpful if the parent is in a place where they can hear and internalize them, and deeper work is often necessary to get the parent to that place. So here is a parenting book with few tips or guidelines -- a "how-we rather than a how-to," as the authors put it. Their point is that, in order to parent effectively, you need to be in a position where your own issues don't get in the way. Most parents want to be good parents and even have a lot of the knowledge of how to do it "right," but find themselves unable to access and apply their knowledge in the moment when things are intense. The authors draw on psychobiology, attachment theory, and some Bowenian concepts to illustrate how greater self-knowledge can get you to a point where you can parent optimally as opposed to going with your knee-jerk reaction and simply putting out fires. Much of this book was review for me, as I am pretty familiar with the theories. I suppose the review was helpful, as was having language that I might be able use when I explain these concepts in a session. But for me, the book didn't really take off until Chapter 7 which discussed the "high road," when we're feeling rational and choosing our reactions from a calm place, versus the "low road," when we're reacting from a place of intense emotion and responding on auto-pilot rather than choosing our reactions. This book describes the process of entering the low road and guides you in terms of recognizing when this happens and becoming more self-aware so that you can circumvent it or at least minimize the impact. I also liked Chapter 8, which discussed ruptures (communication breakdowns) between parents and children and how to deal with them. Finally, Chapter 9 discussed ways parents can build mindfulness and empathy in themselves and in their children which will help everyone operate less from the low road and more from the high road. In addition, this book offers some introspective exercises designed to build self-knowledge in this realm (these exercises may also be helpful for therapists to use with their clients) and some psychobiology sections which are interesting if you like that sort of thing and easy to skip if you don't. Overall, even though I didn't feel that I was gaining from the book all the way through the reading process, I did appreciate the final chapters and feel that the concept is an important one.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    Another excellent book. Read it starting with chapter 7, then going to the beginning. Read it when you find yourself dealing with your child in a very unideal way, knowing it at the time, and still not being able to do otherwise. This book will explain to you why. And explain what is going on in your brain (fight or flight) that makes you unable to be the warm creative loving or patient at that moment...and what to do about it. Wisdom: when your brain gets stressed in certain ways it gets "vaporl Another excellent book. Read it starting with chapter 7, then going to the beginning. Read it when you find yourself dealing with your child in a very unideal way, knowing it at the time, and still not being able to do otherwise. This book will explain to you why. And explain what is going on in your brain (fight or flight) that makes you unable to be the warm creative loving or patient at that moment...and what to do about it. Wisdom: when your brain gets stressed in certain ways it gets "vaporlock" and it's really unable to think. What ways? Experiences that remind our subconscious mind (sounds flaky, I know, but they explain the hard science behind it beautifully) of other experiences we didn't like and never took the time to really work out before. So we're having a "gut reaction" and our brain doesn't work. Book has wonderful detailed scientific/medical sidebars for each chapter explaining how the brain can be involved in building relationships and responding to emotions. About chapter 8 there are a set of questions everyone should think about regarding our parenting and childhood experiences. By recognizing our "gut reaction" moments just as they start we can modify them...and by figuring out what is triggering them we can sometimes get over having them in the first place.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Marcia Call

    My friend, Wendi, recommended this book and I'm glad that I read it. I had thought that parenting was all about unrecoverable mistakes that would be permanent dings against you and your child, however, Siegel talks a lot about recovery - immediate actions that can be taken to mitigate words said in anger, etc. as well as strategies for recovering years later. This is a very encouraging read for parents like me who don't have it always together in the moment. My friend, Wendi, recommended this book and I'm glad that I read it. I had thought that parenting was all about unrecoverable mistakes that would be permanent dings against you and your child, however, Siegel talks a lot about recovery - immediate actions that can be taken to mitigate words said in anger, etc. as well as strategies for recovering years later. This is a very encouraging read for parents like me who don't have it always together in the moment.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Erin Henry

    Great book for learning how to connect with your child. Scientifically rigorous with great descriptions of the brain and its functions. At times a little dense but well worth it. Great for anyone who was left wanting by Shepherding a Child's Heart. Great book for learning how to connect with your child. Scientifically rigorous with great descriptions of the brain and its functions. At times a little dense but well worth it. Great for anyone who was left wanting by Shepherding a Child's Heart.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jules

    I consider myself very lucky to have been raised in a way that made me feel heard, supported, and valued -- an upbringing that I believe led me to be conscious and conscientious of other people's desires and emotions as an adult. I'm about to become a parent myself, and as a former psych major, I was interested to learn more about the practical side of attachment theory, and how parents who had more difficult childhoods could develop the skills to have secure relationships with their own kids. Fo I consider myself very lucky to have been raised in a way that made me feel heard, supported, and valued -- an upbringing that I believe led me to be conscious and conscientious of other people's desires and emotions as an adult. I'm about to become a parent myself, and as a former psych major, I was interested to learn more about the practical side of attachment theory, and how parents who had more difficult childhoods could develop the skills to have secure relationships with their own kids. For someone who wants to have a more loving and thoughtful relationship with their child, this book offers some tools and dialogues to do so, starting with the parents' own understanding of their personal history. It blends psychological research and neurological science (which the authors break into skippable chunks for the uninterested reader) with questions and exercises that encourage individuals to better know themselves, evaluate their innate responses to their kids and the reasons behind them, before taking the "low road" of highly reactive, insensitive parenting. Cheaper than therapy, I think this book could provide helpful context for an adult who had a childhood that they struggled with, about how to be the parent you always wish you had. This one might be worth me re-reading when my kid eventually arrives and, you know, learns to speak and stuff.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Brynn

    This is an amazing book. All about how experiences and loss in our earlier lives affect our parenting, and what we can do about it. I highly recommend! Daniel J. Siegel's other parenting books are amazing also. This is an amazing book. All about how experiences and loss in our earlier lives affect our parenting, and what we can do about it. I highly recommend! Daniel J. Siegel's other parenting books are amazing also.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    How your parents treated you, and how you internalized that, affects how you treat your kids. Hmm, not really a surprising statement there, is it? A lot of psychological mumbo-jumbo thrown about, complete with cross-sections of the brain. At one point in my life (fresh out of college) I would probably have found it fascinating and read each word, but now I just felt thickheaded so I skimmed and tried to pick out the key concepts. I feel like I didn't really need all that theory, I just needed to How your parents treated you, and how you internalized that, affects how you treat your kids. Hmm, not really a surprising statement there, is it? A lot of psychological mumbo-jumbo thrown about, complete with cross-sections of the brain. At one point in my life (fresh out of college) I would probably have found it fascinating and read each word, but now I just felt thickheaded so I skimmed and tried to pick out the key concepts. I feel like I didn't really need all that theory, I just needed to know what are some things I shouldn't do so I don't fuck up being a parent. The few examples, like about collaborative talk, were brilliant. Don't invalidate their feelings, but try to talk it out. I also heard on a Radiolab episode that our internal voice when we're thinking is actually based on how our parents talked us through something. So I was pretty interested in this. Like if a child falls down and isn't injured but starts crying, don't say "You weren't hurt. You're a big boy. You shouldn't cry." but instead "Looks like you got surprised when you fell down. Are you hurt?" I wish there had been more anecdotes, so I could get the hang of how to react and talk to children. I think I get the idea, but I could really have used more examples, especially about discipline and setting limits. A summary of the concepts at the end of each chapter would have been helpful (like a For Dummies) book. Because, you know, I'm a dummy. And I doubt a sleep-deprived new parent can clear the mind fog enough to appreciate psychobabble. My oversimplified summary: Empathize with your child, and describe back a situation to him in they way you think he/she sees it. And don't lie (saying you're fine when actually you're not), because they can pick up on nonverbal signals. I wish there were workshops based on this where people present a scenario, have parents act, then guide them on what might be a better way to act and what to say.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. If you read one book read this one..... I’m going to read this annually. I will need a top up. Loved the examples and loved the metaphors. Have had great results for incorporating the night time narrative stories of my 3 year kid’s day. I also discuss his emotions. I was only discussing his emotions that felt good at night time. Now we discuss all of them and also discuss the body sensations too. Thank you to the authors of this book. I feel this really help bring more meaning & joy to the relat If you read one book read this one..... I’m going to read this annually. I will need a top up. Loved the examples and loved the metaphors. Have had great results for incorporating the night time narrative stories of my 3 year kid’s day. I also discuss his emotions. I was only discussing his emotions that felt good at night time. Now we discuss all of them and also discuss the body sensations too. Thank you to the authors of this book. I feel this really help bring more meaning & joy to the relationship with me & my son.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    A lovely book. As I began reading I felt like there wasn't going to be anything new for me in this book after already reading so many attachment oriented books. However, I learned a lot and uncovered a lot of forgotten childhood history that was playing a role in my frustration and difficult motherhood moments. I feel inspired to keep improving myself and my relationships and growing from the reflections I made because of this book. A lovely book. As I began reading I felt like there wasn't going to be anything new for me in this book after already reading so many attachment oriented books. However, I learned a lot and uncovered a lot of forgotten childhood history that was playing a role in my frustration and difficult motherhood moments. I feel inspired to keep improving myself and my relationships and growing from the reflections I made because of this book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Stefanie Unertl

    This book was incredibly helpful for me to identify some "learned" parenting strategies that I had picked up from my own upbringing... some which were simply a norm for that generation, but that we now know how to do better from the science behind what children really need. An invaluable resource to grow as a parent and as a person, as well as to learn how to forgive the mistakes of our own parents that probably learned them from their own parents... and so on. A positive way to break unhealthy This book was incredibly helpful for me to identify some "learned" parenting strategies that I had picked up from my own upbringing... some which were simply a norm for that generation, but that we now know how to do better from the science behind what children really need. An invaluable resource to grow as a parent and as a person, as well as to learn how to forgive the mistakes of our own parents that probably learned them from their own parents... and so on. A positive way to break unhealthy cycles, and just less than ideal cycles, without feeling like you are placing blame on your own loving parents for the way they parented. It was uncomfortable to work through at some points, but SO necessary for growth and to give the best to our children.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sonal Apte

    If you're looking for solid examples of how your parenting is affected by how you were parented, this is a solid place to start. There's detailed scientific explanations of why we do what we do as parents. And while some of it is very dense to read through, overall I thought it was helpful. Chapter 5 on attachment, chapter 6 on adult attachment, and chapter 7 on keeping to together/falling apart were the most useful for me. If you're looking for solid examples of how your parenting is affected by how you were parented, this is a solid place to start. There's detailed scientific explanations of why we do what we do as parents. And while some of it is very dense to read through, overall I thought it was helpful. Chapter 5 on attachment, chapter 6 on adult attachment, and chapter 7 on keeping to together/falling apart were the most useful for me.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Brett Barnes

    The best book on parenting I’ve ever read. The title may deceive. The “inside” is not the child’s heart but rather the the parents self-awareness. Great book for any parent or soon to be parent.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I wish I read this before my kids were 11 and 13! So much valuable, USABLE information.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Clauson

    Recommended reading from my therapist to spark conversations about starting a family with my husband.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Laurie Summer

    An excellent book to increase parents’ awareness as to how our own childhood issues require conscious attention and reflection, so that we can parent from a more emotionally nurturing place.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Iulia

    Wonderful book! So many aha moments while reading it. Honestly, it is more a self development book than a parenting book, because first of all we need to make peace with our own childhood. Emotional coherence is the concept that has completely changed my perspective. It is true that we can not change the facts from our own past, but we can always change our mindset about them. I will definetely read other books written by D. Siegel.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Autumn

    This book came highly recommended to me, and I tried my best, but I found it too dense to get into. I wound up getting through chapter two, and have to put this down. The examples, the style it is written in, the length of the chapters- it is more of a clinical style of narration/for professionals than actually for parents. I did make copies of the exercises at the end of each chapter to save for later.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Drake Hyman

    At the outset, Parenting from the Inside Out feels like one of those books that’s going to be a cold scientific approach to a universal human endeavor. The authors clearly have an understanding of the human anatomy, developmental psychology and neurology that far exceeds that of their target audience. Yet, in the way they bring the information to the table, the authors succeed in effectively communicating the findings of their research in a way that educates as much as it does encourage the read At the outset, Parenting from the Inside Out feels like one of those books that’s going to be a cold scientific approach to a universal human endeavor. The authors clearly have an understanding of the human anatomy, developmental psychology and neurology that far exceeds that of their target audience. Yet, in the way they bring the information to the table, the authors succeed in effectively communicating the findings of their research in a way that educates as much as it does encourage the reader, providing practical applications as well as a general sense of hope and optimism throughout. It's what I like to classify as "scientific common sense", in that it deals with normal human experiences and relationships from an objective standpoint, not removed from reality and not so subjective as to take any conceivable truth derived from anecdotal evidence as a rule. The premise of this book is clear and reiterated helpfully throughout: healthy, effective parenting requires that a parent first understand himself so that he can better help his child understand herself. The book is divided into what the description calls "workshops” with a group seminar in mind. Each chapter focuses around an idea that the authors flesh out in great detail, discussing the relevant research and their own interpretation of the subject matter. Each chapter ends with a set of practical questions for the reader (or audience, if done in a "workshop setting") to consider and apply. (Note for Audible listeners: These questions/application points go by quickly, so if you really want to take advantage of their utility, hit pause and reflect after each question). The topics discussed include (but are not limited to): - child-parent attachment (in its various forms: Secure, Avoidant, Ambivalent and Disorganized) and the predictable effects on adulthood thereof - mindsight (or the ability of an individual to "see inside the mind" of another individual empathetically) - control in parental responses ("low-road" responses [characterized by unproductive emotional impulses such as anger, frustration, violence, etc.] versus "high-road" responses [based on reason, rationality, relationship and one's goals and values]) - nonverbal communication - empathy - repair and recovery (after explosive conflict) - coherence (the ability of an individual to make sense of one's life story) - and integration (the ability to "integrate" both positive and negative life experiences in a health manner), to name a few. In dealing with each of these topics, the overall premise is further reemphasized: as a parent begins to understand their own mental and emotional processes through intentional reflection (and perhaps counseling and/or psychotherapy), the parent gains emotional intelligence that allows him or her to better understand what it is their child is experiencing and, thus, better help the child deal with it. The authors often employ hypothetical situations or refer to real-life stories from their own lives as examples to illustrate their points. One such example involves Siegel's own son who, in a fit of rage while at a video game store after being denied to make a purchase using his own money, begins to threaten his father. Siegel responds angrily and goes into the "low-road" mode, verbally berating his child. Later, after calming down and returning to the "high-road", he reflects on how he completely missed what his son was feeling in the moment. His son had been wanting to purchase a game so that he could play it together with his father who, preoccupied with a meeting he had later that week, failed to empathize with his son and instead denied him what he deemed an unwise, unplanned purchase. Siegel reflects that had he recognized the reasons behind his son's excitement at the prospect of the purchase of a new game, he may have been able to avoid an explosive argument and instead encourage his son to make a better decision rather than condemning him for what he deemed to be foolish and impulsive. This example helps illustrate the point that empathy is necessary at all times if parents are going to effectively teach their children how to control their emotional impulses and develop critical thinking skills. A chapter I personally found to be quite poignant was that which dealt with the types of childhood attachment. Hartzell creates several hypothetical scenarios for each of the attachment styles: Secure, Avoidant, Ambivalent and Disorganized. Secure is the desired style, in which a child's expressed needs are consistently met by the parent in a way that fosters stable, secure attachment and confident, happy children. From there, things get complicated. Avoidant attachment occurs when a parent is distant or disengaged, and thus the child is uncertain if his or her needs will be met, resulting in insecurity and emotional distance. Ambivalent attachment results from a parent that expresses inconsistency in her interactions with the child; sometimes she meets her needs, other times she doesn't, resulting in a child that is distrustful, anxious, insecure or even angry. The last category is Disorganized. This is perhaps the most disastrous category, as it results when a parent morphs randomly from extreme or erratic behavior (abuse, violence), to being distant or frightened and at times even warm and "normal". Such an extreme case is possibly the most damaging to a child, and is often seen as a factor in cases of catatonic schizophrenia or other severe mental disorders. It is in the Ambivalent example that I found my own life experiences as a child and, now recently, as a new parent. Coincidentally the example was of a dad of a 4 month old baby girl, which happened to be true of me at the time of reading, making it sink in that much more deeply. I found my father to be generally consistent and secure, yet with periods of emotional distance and momentary lapses into anger or neglect throughout. In my life I have experienced much anxiety, insecurity and anger, perhaps as a result. Though I fear making the same mistakes with my children, I am encouraged by the authors' remarks at the end of this chapter: It is never to late to start making attempts at positive, secure attachment with your children. This is a great book on parenting and a great resource for counseling and psychology in general. It is a great resource to any parents seeking to help their children develop emotional intelligence so that they may be best equipped for healthy social relationships throughout their lives. My only critique is that the chapters consist of a fair amount of recapitulation. This helps solidify the information in the reader's mind, but also makes reading it feel a bit cumbersome and repetitive. I recommend this book to any current, new or soon-to-be parents that are willing to go a little deeper than a superficial or super-spiritual book on parenting. For being purely secular, this book has a lot of wisdom and a good bit of scientific research and data to boot. Don't shy away from some of the jargon or the difficult self-reflection the authors encourage, but put in the necessary work and thought to understand what they're advocating. I think you'll find it's worth it, and I think you'll find yourself more empathetic towards others, especially children, by the end. (4/5)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Susan Young

    I would alternately title this book "How not to pass your own crap on to your kids". We all have issues that can become toxic generational cycles and this book helps prepare parents for the inevitable time when a situation with their child causes an unpleasant memory to come up or causes an emotional reaction we may or may not understand in the moment. This book addresses the need to stay in the moment with your child and how to repair the damage if, or rather when, mistakes are made. What I app I would alternately title this book "How not to pass your own crap on to your kids". We all have issues that can become toxic generational cycles and this book helps prepare parents for the inevitable time when a situation with their child causes an unpleasant memory to come up or causes an emotional reaction we may or may not understand in the moment. This book addresses the need to stay in the moment with your child and how to repair the damage if, or rather when, mistakes are made. What I appreciate most are the real life examples of situations parents can get into and how to handle them as well as examples of how to foster an environment of open communication. While I highly recommend this book, one thing to note is that because it was published in 2004, there is a bit of outdated science, some of which is referred to heavily. Specifically the right brain vs. left brain theory that has now been debunked. While the science can be a bit off, the points being made remain valid.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Zac Stojcevski

    Gwenyth Paltrow is quoted on the cover, "Parenting from the Inside Out is a must have for any parent". I don't disagree with her at all. I go further. This is a book to read for anyone- parent or not - who's ever had a bad run, a meltdown or a crisis and got blindsided by the experience. The book will prompt some insight into the origins and etiology of the event. It's a book we suggest to be read by clients/ patients early in their therapy particularly if someone wants to do some homework or pr Gwenyth Paltrow is quoted on the cover, "Parenting from the Inside Out is a must have for any parent". I don't disagree with her at all. I go further. This is a book to read for anyone- parent or not - who's ever had a bad run, a meltdown or a crisis and got blindsided by the experience. The book will prompt some insight into the origins and etiology of the event. It's a book we suggest to be read by clients/ patients early in their therapy particularly if someone wants to do some homework or preliminary exploration. A great primer into becoming a better person.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ashish

    The examples/anecdotes felt a bit simplistic, but this is not a scientific journal - and I assume parables are a long established way of communicating complex ideas. The thought that parenting requires more work on ourselves than on our kids is a really profound one. I really liked the framework of the 4 patterns of attachment - and what parental habits leads to that. I would highly recommend this book to all current and future parents.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sophia Dunn

    A wonderful neurobiologically-based parenting book, which offers us a humane reason and modus to sort ourselves out in order to parent our kids. 'Physician, Heal thyself' is eloquently and engagingly re-stated, 'Parent, Parent Thyself'. For everyone who is afraid they will make their own parents' mistakes. Daniel Siegel knows his onions. A wonderful neurobiologically-based parenting book, which offers us a humane reason and modus to sort ourselves out in order to parent our kids. 'Physician, Heal thyself' is eloquently and engagingly re-stated, 'Parent, Parent Thyself'. For everyone who is afraid they will make their own parents' mistakes. Daniel Siegel knows his onions.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lara Semaan

    This is a very good book that really helped me reflect on how I sometimes feel or behave with my son. I think it is a must read for people who plan to become parents and think they might need some help figuring out some of their unresolved issues.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Harriet Showman

    Wow. A fresh look at how children's brains develop and what adults can do to help them be fully present. For more information: http://drdansiegel.com Wow. A fresh look at how children's brains develop and what adults can do to help them be fully present. For more information: http://drdansiegel.com

  25. 5 out of 5

    Travis

    Great first two chapters. Skim the rest.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Chava

    attachment focused parenting and the impact on the child's brain attachment focused parenting and the impact on the child's brain

  27. 5 out of 5

    Raymond Crane

    Fiction Writing and Parenting The writer or reader of fictions may not at first glance see any correlation between the two ideas. An inkling that there is value in comparing them persuades me to pursue in an investigative manner the similarities and differences, and to see if defining these two apparently unrelated conceptual indicators can provide a new idea of both in relation to each other, and the bigger picture. Let’s start from a truth. I very rarely have written about parenting in my novel Fiction Writing and Parenting The writer or reader of fictions may not at first glance see any correlation between the two ideas. An inkling that there is value in comparing them persuades me to pursue in an investigative manner the similarities and differences, and to see if defining these two apparently unrelated conceptual indicators can provide a new idea of both in relation to each other, and the bigger picture. Let’s start from a truth. I very rarely have written about parenting in my novellas and it is only recently with my two volume novel that my attentions have been focused in that direction. This is, you may be saying, because Raymond has no experience with parenting and has never been a parent himself. Now though this be true, the reason is another matter. You see I made a conscious decision when I was 20 years old not to be a parent. At age 16 I had subconsciously made the same act of non-commitment for I could see at that time that powers being as they were I could have my responsibilities as a parent usurped, undermined, that is, I could not be free to be the guide and role-model that I would wish to claim as my natural right. I remember those days very well. My child could be taken from me, conscripted and sent off to war – that is beyond control. Also a child who should be mine until the age of 18 could be thrust into a rude world of unemployment or attacked in the street by gangs of resentful and violent dissidents with racial grudges against person’s such as my child, of a certain colour of skin. Most people of my age then, who were having families seemed to regard their children as only bodies and could not see their responsibility to their offspring to shape them psychologically and provide moral guidelines. Today, 50 years later at least, the situation appears better on the surface but in actual fact it is worse. A child today would consider themselves to be a cultural freak if they did not from an early age play violent video or internet games like all other children, and their parents made to feel too restrictive if they so much as lifted a finger in the way of advising their child to play such games responsibly and with extreme caution. This is only the surface scenario of what we all accept as the natural state of the world, but it is unsatisfactory enough for me not to feel confident that a grand-child of mine would grow up to be a distorted form of what I would otherwise recognise as being a natural human. People are socially conditioned and constructed with peer group pressure on both children and between parents with huge multi-national companies foisting values upon us all that I neither condone nor approve. So as a fiction writer how do I go about handling this less than delicate situation in the form of representing persons young and old as they face the challenges of the current everyday world. It has been a matter of avoidance on my part, I do not portray young children and neither older adults but naturally find an affinity with what is known in marketing terminology as – ‘New Adults,’ between the ages of 18 and 30 years. I could ramble on for pages about how people were from 100 years ago until the present in relation to international affairs and people’s attitudes towards the terrific occurrence of wars, wherever. Most people have no voice in what wars their sovereignty obligates them to participate in and they are not even considered knowledgeable enough to make any decision on their own behalf as to what goes down in the world theatre where unmentionable individuals march us off to fight without a second thought as to how they don’t really possess the authority to command anyone to fight, to kill and to allow our offspring to be involved in actions totally beyond control. Therefore I advise all writers to avoid the situation of parenting in their writings unless they can positively influence a bad and worsening scenario. Let N/A’s be advised that they enter the state of parenthood at their own peril and that their very own child will not be theirs in fact but belong to the big irresponsible abstract picture that is the fate of humans in history, but need not be so, if only we could grasp the reigns of control from anonymous masters who blindly hase the holy dollar, at our expense. If my attitude seems extreme just think about the situation as I have outlined it, and prepare yourself for the worst, even worser than you can actually predict at present, for as all mature adults and fiction writers know, the representation of families is often simplified, without confronting the actual circumstances that we all will, or did, have to face, and abide with as if we were in control of our lives and not the pawns of historical pseudo sociological reasoning’s or even the lack of such. Peace be with us all – Raymond Crane

  28. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

    My Goodreads shelf tells me this is the 35th book on parenting I've read. 35 books on a single topic. I would be an expert by now on any other topic, but still a novice on this one. This one had helpful information. One thing that really blew my mind was that a lack of a connection to a primary care giver is a cause of having few childhood memories. Absolutely fascinating. I never understood why certain people I've known had so few childhood memories. They all had distant or distracted mothers, My Goodreads shelf tells me this is the 35th book on parenting I've read. 35 books on a single topic. I would be an expert by now on any other topic, but still a novice on this one. This one had helpful information. One thing that really blew my mind was that a lack of a connection to a primary care giver is a cause of having few childhood memories. Absolutely fascinating. I never understood why certain people I've known had so few childhood memories. They all had distant or distracted mothers, and I finally get it now. The developing brain literally needs connection to thrive, and early memories are only present when that process occurs. The "science" background at the end of each chapter was way too technical and over my head (and I'm usually comfortable with that sort of thing - could have been my mood?), but here are my notes on the highlights for my future reference. "Children need to be enjoyed and valued, not managed." (WOW!!!!!!!) "Awareness (of your emotions as a parent) creates the possibility of choice. When we are able to choose our responses we're not being controlled by our emotional reactions." Meditation and mindfulness play a big role here. "Resonance occurs when we align our states, our primary emotions, through the sharing of nonverbal signals. Even when we are physically separated from the other person, we can continue to feel the reverberations of that resonant connection." (Yes!!!) "A child needs a "good enough" parent." (Yes again!!!) He suggests giving yourself a time out, counting to 10, breathing deeply, to calm yourself when you're on what he calls "the low road" (aka meltdown status), and never touching a child when you're in that state. To repair a breach in a relationship after an argument, go to the child and say that you're sorry you're arguing (without blaming anyone), and you want things to be better again.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shawna

    As a mental health professional, and parent, this book was helpful in understanding how we experience disconnection with our children, why it may happen, and how to reconnect. The book is divided into the explanation of topics (i.e. how we perceive reality) and a section on the science behind it. While it took me a while to finish the book, partly due to its density, it has become an important informant to my work with families. Of particular help is the High Road/Low Road discussion. As a paren As a mental health professional, and parent, this book was helpful in understanding how we experience disconnection with our children, why it may happen, and how to reconnect. The book is divided into the explanation of topics (i.e. how we perceive reality) and a section on the science behind it. While it took me a while to finish the book, partly due to its density, it has become an important informant to my work with families. Of particular help is the High Road/Low Road discussion. As a parent, I could think of plenty of examples of how this idea has played out hundreds of times in interactions with my own children. If I knew then, what I know now...The authors assure readers that all is NOT lost and reconnection with our children is possible, no matter how damaged we think the relationship is. Of course, there is great work to be done: working through our own childhood experiences, putting them in context within our lifelong experiences, and how to use them for the good of the relationship we wish to have with our children. This book would benefit all mental health professionals-all professionals, really, that work with families (i.e. schools and churches). This would be helpful for families who find themselves struggling with bonding and attachment to their children.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    This book was a great extension of the authors other book ‘the whole brain child’ in its explanation of how the brain works, makes connections and how parenting impacts your child’s development. Some of the main take aways for me were that while you have to set boundaries with your kids, it’s never good for them to feel like they are afraid of you. This makes it hard for them to ‘make sense’ (as the authors put it) of their home life. It’s also very helpful to understand when you or your child i This book was a great extension of the authors other book ‘the whole brain child’ in its explanation of how the brain works, makes connections and how parenting impacts your child’s development. Some of the main take aways for me were that while you have to set boundaries with your kids, it’s never good for them to feel like they are afraid of you. This makes it hard for them to ‘make sense’ (as the authors put it) of their home life. It’s also very helpful to understand when you or your child is getting into a ‘low brain’ mode, when you get angry, and you really can’t think rationally anymore. This concept is pretty powerful as a parent because you can recognize it and either calm your child down first before you try to reason with them or calm yourself down first before you escalate a situation. The stories they tell in the book to illustrate their points about brain development really hit close to home for any parent and offer great perspective on how to deal with challenging situations as a parent or just in life in general. These 2 books are a must read for any new parent and can really help you with your day to day parenting.

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