Parenting isn’t easy. Showing up is. Your greatest impact begins right where you are. Now the bestselling authors of The Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline explain what this means over the course of childhood.
“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.
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.