What's the one thing a parent can do to make the most difference in the long run? The research is clear: show up! Now the bestselling authors of The Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline explain what this means over the course of childhood.
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, this might sound like a tall order. But as bestselling authors Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson reassuringly explain, showing up 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:
Based on the latest brain and attachment research, The Power of Showing Up shares stories, scripts, simple strategies, illustrations and tips for honouring 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 apologising for the times we don't show up for them. Demonstrating that mistakes and missteps are reparable and that it's never too late to mend broken trust, this is a powerful guide to cultivating your child's healthy emotional landscape.
In this encouraging and empowering book, psychiatrist Siegel (Aware) and clinical social worker Bryson provide steps for parents and caregivers to help children attain success and "feel at home in the world." The single most important thing parents can do, the authors write, is to simply be present, both physically and emotionally. Based on "attachment science" and "interpersonal neurobiology," Siegel and Payne reveal that the parent-child relationship will "literally mold the physical structure of" a child's brain, greatly influencing the rest of his or her life. Readers will learn about "predictable care" through the "Four S's" helping children feel safe, seen, soothed, and secure with a separate section devoted to each "S." The authors repeatedly provide encouragement to parents who may not have experienced secure attachment behavior in their own childhoods, and provide questions in each section to help parents understand their own experiences and therefore the formative influences on their parenting style. Thanks to this excellent work, Siegel and Payne will leave readers with an empathetic and helpful philosophy to apply to their own parenting.