The Power of Showing Up: How Parental Presence Shapes Who Our Kids Become and How Their Brains Get Wired (Paperback)
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“There is parenting magic in this book.”—Michael Thompson, Ph.D., co-author of the New York Times bestselling classic Raising Cain
One of the very best scientific predictors for how any child turns out—in terms of happiness, academic success, leadership skills, and meaningful relationships—is whether at least one adult in their life has consistently shown up for them. In an age of scheduling demands and digital distractions, showing up for your child might sound like a tall order. But as bestselling authors Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson reassuringly explain, it doesn’t take a lot of time, energy, or money. Instead, showing up means offering a quality of presence. And it’s simple to provide once you understand the four building blocks of a child’s healthy development. Every child needs to feel what Siegel and Bryson call the Four S’s:
• Safe: We can’t always insulate a child from injury or avoid doing something that leads to hurt feelings. But when we give a child a sense of safe harbor, she will be able to take the needed risks for growth and change.
• Seen: Truly seeing a child means we pay attention to his emotions—both positive and negative—and strive to attune to what’s happening in his mind beneath his behavior.
• Soothed: Soothing isn’t about providing a life of ease; it’s about teaching your child how to cope when life gets hard, and showing him that you’ll be there with him along the way. A soothed child knows that he’ll never have to suffer alone.
• Secure: When a child knows she can count on you, time and again, to show up—when you reliably provide safety, focus on seeing her, and soothe her in times of need, she will trust in a feeling of secure attachment. And thrive!
Based on the latest brain and attachment research, The Power of Showing Up shares stories, scripts, simple strategies, illustrations, and tips for honoring the Four S’s effectively in all kinds of situations—when our kids are struggling or when they are enjoying success; when we are consoling, disciplining, or arguing with them; and even when we are apologizing for the times we don’t show up for them. Demonstrating that mistakes and missteps are repairable and that it’s never too late to mend broken trust, this book is a powerful guide to cultivating your child’s healthy emotional landscape.
Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., is the founder and executive director of the Center for Connection, a multidisciplinary clinical practice, and of the Play Strong Institute, a center devoted to the study, research, and practice of play therapy through a neurodevelopmental lens. She is a licensed clinical social worker, providing pediatric and adolescent psychotherapy and parenting consultations. Dr. Bryson keynotes conferences and conducts workshops for parents, educators, clinicians, and industry leaders around the world. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children.
“Parenting at this moment in time and at today’s pace feels hard. But that makes it all that much more important that we try to simplify the process of parenting and not put quite so much pressure on our own parenting shoulders. The Power of Showing Up will help you do just that. Siegel and Payne Bryson are master teachers when it comes to helping parents react and respond to kids in ways that communicate ‘I hear you.’ They articulate and quantify how to make your parenting easier—and better!”—Christine Carter, Ph.D., author of Raising Happiness
“Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson have written their best book yet—and that is saying a lot. They have distilled their parenting wisdom—based on neuroscience research and a deep empathy for children’s needs—into a profound concept: showing up. It is one of those great ideas that seems so obvious—but only after someone has shown it to you and spelled it out clearly. Best of all, Siegel and Payne Bryson ‘show up’ for the reader of this book. They know parents, know their fears and anxieties, hopes and dreams, and they provide an accessible path to seeing and soothing children and providing them with safety and security.”—Lawrence J. Cohen, Ph.D., author of Playful Parenting
“An essential book for every parent who yearns to be more effective and present and, simply, better. It shows us that we don’t have to be perfect, but we can make our kids feel more secure and confident (now and in the future) if we are present and aware as parents. This important book gives us the steps to follow to make this happen.”—Harold S. Koplewicz, M.D., president, Child Mind Institute
“Rarely does a book so broad and deep of subject give you the small doable steps to find your way to success, confidence, and connection with your children. The Power of Showing Up brings to life the Zulu greeting ‘Sawubona’ (I see you) and the refrain ‘Ngikhona’ (I am here), which are essential for the parent-child connection.”—Kim John Payne, author of Simplicity Parenting and The Soul of Discipline
“Drs. Siegel and Payne Bryson teach us how a parent can make a child feel safe, seen, soothed, and secure, even if he or she didn’t have that in their own childhoods.”—Michael Thompson, Ph.D., co-author of the New York Times bestselling classic Raising Cain
“Siegel and Bryson provide relatable real world examples and . . . specific advice for handling various situations. . . . Parents looking for solid research delivered in an accessible manner will find Siegel and Bryson getting the job done well yet again.”—Booklist