PARENTING

You Are Not a Sh*tty Parent: How To Practice Self-Compassion and Give Yourself a Break

Workman Sept. 2022. 224p. ISBN 9781523517114. pap. $16.99. CHILD REARING
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Social worker Naumburg (How To Stop Losing Your Sh*t with Your Kids) received dozens of interview requests from media outlets in spring 2020, a moment when many parents were feeling desperate as they managed kids learning remotely, the expectations of their own workplaces, and the unprecedented stress and challenges of a pandemic. Naumberg’s book is a guide to easing parents’ stress that uses humor as a tool to deliver truth and emphasizes that self-compassion, forgiving oneself, and getting support are the keys to navigating these struggles. Naumburg recognizes that parents may turn to distractions or denial instead of dealing with the core of their issues. She explains that unhealthy f-words reactions—no, not that f-word but flight, freeze, flip out, fix, and fawn—can be counteracted by the c-words: calm, clarity, creativity, and confidence. She shows that growth in parenting is quite possible, as parents learn to live in the present moment, notice unhelpful reactions, connect to their own humanity, or perhaps reach for a therapist.
VERDICT It’s easy to see why Naumburg’s side-splittingly funny and relatable work resonates so strongly during a challenging time. Essential reading.
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