Parenting from the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive

By Rhodes, Jeane M. PhD | Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health, Fall 2004 | Go to article overview

Parenting from the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive


Rhodes, Jeane M. PhD, Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health


Parenting from the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and Mary Hartzell, M.Ed. (2003). New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam. 258 pp. ISBN: 1-58542-209-6.

Dr. Siegel and Ms. Hartzell have collaborated to bring us a truly exceptional parenting book. This book should be required reading for all parents and for anyone working with families. Further, the insights to be gained through understanding one's own development is of great value whether or not you are a parent. The blending of neurobiology and attachment research has resulted in a comprehensive and very readable text describing how interpersonal relationships directly affect the development of the brain.

Rather than teach parents "techniques" for better parenting, Dr. Siegel and Ms. Hartzell have endeavored to guide parents to a level of self-understanding and self-acceptance that allows their own innate wisdom to emerge in parenting. Each chapter in the book provides an "inside-out" exercise to facilitate this self-understanding and self-acceptance. Each chapter also provides a "spotlight on science" section, presenting current scientific research that supports concepts presented in the chapter.

The importance of self-understanding is stated in the very first sentence of the introduction, "How you make sense of your childhood experiences has a profound effect on how you parent your own children. …

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