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Recently I sent out a survey inquiring about issues parents wanted help with. The feedback I received entailed learning how to manage tantrums, dealing with resistance to transitions and coping with parent guilt.
As each parenting situation is different, I thought it be best to start off with listing a few books I believe are helpful to any parent who wants to feel more in control and less guilty.
1) Parenting from the Inside Out by Daniel Siegel and Mary Hartzell - The essence of this book is to help you as a parent understand the science behind your emotions and how your childhood is currently influencing your parenting.
What I loved about this book is how much it normalizes what many of us parents are feeling at one point or another. I also loved the parental self-reflection exercise that personally gave me an opportunity reflect on who I was as a child. Forewarning- this part was difficult, at least for me, because it did tap into some pain from my childhood. Be that as it may, I strongly encourage every parent to consider the importance of some of these questions. Once you decide to take on the questions in this book, be sure to also bring a notebook and a box of tissues.
2) Hold On To Your Kids by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Maté - this book is geared to parents who are interested in learning how to keep their child close especially during the teen years.
What I love - it gives hope to those of us who believe it is normal for teens to detach from us and want nothing to do with us. It also informs us of how certain behaviors from toddlerhood end up feeding into this sense of teenage detachment. I also love how real it is about topics surrounding peer pressure and sexuality.
What I don't love about this book is some of the verbiage that may spark insecurities within a parent. There were moments where I thought some people might feel like they are being shamed. Overall though, I would recommend parents read this book even if you don't have a teenager yet because laying the foundation now with your young child can help make things better by the time they reach the tween and teen years.
3) Parenting with Theraplay by Vivien Norris and Helen Rodwell - this book is particularly helpful in understanding how children and parent attach anmd detach both verbally and non-verbally.
What I love about this book - it explains four different ways we can connect with each other, signs to look for that indicate we are having trouble connecting and games we can play with our child to help facilitate a stronger bond.
What I don't like about this book is how overwhelming it may be for some parents because of how much information it provides through the lens of a therapeutic approach that some may not be familiar with. Guidance from a therapist trained in Theraplay can help with reducing any sense of overwhelm. I would recommend this book for any parent who is looking for tips/strategies on how to connect with your child and feel more in control as a parent.
Overall, there is no shortage of parenting books on the market. The three aforementioned, are ones that have helped me on my parenting journey and as a result I have recommended to some of the parents I worked with and have seen it help them.
Would you like to share you the names of books that have helped you on your parenting journey? Feel free to share them below.
If you are you interested in taking the survey to let me me know how I can help you, click here.
Thank you for reading!
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3 Ways to Build Your Self-Confidence
Having low confidence/self-esteem is something many people struggle with, especially in this social media era. Feeling as if you are not good enough, caring too much about what others think, discrediting and/or minimizing compliments you receive are just a few ways low confidence manifests itself. Building your confidence isn't impossible. It does require practice and in some cases, guidance from others. Below are a few tips I often share with my clients to help them build their confidence.
1) Create an Accomplishment List - if you struggle to remember your positive qualities, then it is time to create a list of positive feedback you receive. Whether it is about your grades, your cooking, sense of style, personality, career, etc., listing your current and past accomplishments can help lift your spirits. This list is meant to keep handy. So, when you are feeling unworthy or "down" about yourself, review it and remind yourself how great you are doing.
2) Pay Attention and Interact - nowadays we are so connected and involved with our devices that taking a moment to explore our surroundings is often considered a luxury. If you believe, even for one second, that no one is interested in you, I challenge you to take a moment to disconnect from your device, remove your earbuds and observe your environment. The purpose of this challenge is to get you to take notice of the things around you and the connections that are currently being made (i.e. other people smiling, people saying hello, strangers helping strangers, etc.). Yes, that sounds like something out of a movie, but it is happening. It is through connection with others that we often feel good about ourselves. Have you ever noticed the difference you feel after coming back from hanging out with friends vs. "hanging out" online? If not, start paying attention and add hanging out with family & friends part of this challenge.
3) Increase Positivity, Decrease Negativity - building your confidence takes practice and insight. Knowing what you like and dislike, sticking to your truth regardless of what others may think are key ingredients to building your confidence. Eating well, developing good sleep habits and surrounding yourself with positive people are all crucial to this equation too. People who support who you are and are willing to help support your true self can work wonders. Surrounding yourself with negative people/things, on the other hand, may make you feel like an outcast and/or unworthy; Attributes that can ultimately hinder your confidence and self-esteem. So, minimize how much you surround yourself with negativity and focus on being around things that put a smile on your face.
These three tips are by no means end all, be all of building confidence but they can be a great place to start. The road to building your confidence is not easy and sometimes there are some road blocks, but, it is possible. Good luck!