The Power of Showing Up: How Parental Presence Shapes Who Our Kids Become and How Their Brains Get Wired

Ballantine. Jan. 2020. 256p. ISBN 9781524797713. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781524797720. CHILD REARING
Best-selling authors Siegel and Bryson are well known for their work on attachment theory (The Whole-Brain Child, No-Drama Discipline; The Yes Brain). Here, they attempt to answer the question: What’s the single most important thing I can do for my kids to help them succeed and feel at home in the world? The response is a resounding, show up for your kids. For Siegel and Bryson, this is translated as helping a child to feel the four Ss: safe, seen, soothed, and secure. They dedicate this book to parents who obsess that they need to do and be better (they offer a message of consolation to the constant “should”-sayers), those with a child in crisis, overwhelmed expecting parents, and, finally, the growing population of parents becoming less present in their children’s lives owing to long work hours, demands, and an excessive amount of time spent using technology. The authors also address childhood-attachment patterns, as well as share possible scripts for parent/child interactions and steps to help children learn how to cope during tough times.
VERDICT A fitting volume that expands on the authors’ previous work, filled with cartoons and straightforward strategies that will appeal to their fans as well as a wide range of general readers.

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