As a family and child therapist, I often recommend books to parents. The summer time is a great time to pick up a book and gets some ideas for how to stay connected with your child through the ups and downs of school, friendships, conflict, and stress. One of the books I often recommend to parents is Brain-Based Parenting-The Neurosciece of Caregiving and Healthy Attachment by Daniel Hughes and Jonathan Baylin.
Brain-Based Parenting provides a great introduction into understanding your own brain as a parent and how our interactions with life impact our relationship or connection with our children. Most of us are aware of the importance of the mind-body connection but we often forget that that is also true of parenting. One of my favorite chapters in the book is called “Blocked Care & How it Happens.” This chapter explains the four most common types of stressed-out parenting: chronic, acute, child specific, and stage specific. Reading this chapter will give you a better understanding of why you find yourself parenting from a stressed-out place.
My second favorite chapter in the book is the chapter that directly follows it because it lays out a roadmap for getting back into an open, engaging, and reciprocal relationship with your child through playfulness, acceptance, curiosity, and empathy (PACE). Connection is paramount to overcoming and pushing through stress. Dan Hughes provides sample dialogues to illustrate these four concepts. If you only read these two chapters of the book, you will have gotten your money’s worth!!
For Adults Who Want To Work on Self-Acceptance:
All you need is already within you, only you must approach yourself with reverence and love. Self-condemnation and self-distrust are grievous errors…all I plead with you is this: make love of your self perfect. -Sri Nisargadatta
Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach is another great book that I recommend because it is a guide to working on your relationship with yourself. We all experience a sense of not-being good enough at work or in our families, self-critical of our abilities, and/or caught in our endless to-do list. Tara Brach breathes kindness and compassion into our common human experience of suffering in a way that frees and empowers you. Tara Brach also has a great podcast of guided meditations and teachings and you can experience her live through her workshops and teachings through the Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC.
I hope you enjoy these books, as much as I have! Happy Summer.