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Parenting From the Inside Out

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,707 Ratings  ·  152 Reviews
How many parents have found themselves thinking: I can't believe I just said to my child the very thing my parents used to say to me! Am I just destined to repeat the mistakes of my parents? In Parenting from the Inside Out, child psychiatrist Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and early childhood expert Mary Hartzell, M.Ed., explore the extent to which our childhood experiences actu ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 26th 2004 by TarcherPerigee (first published January 1st 2003)
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Jul 07, 2009 K rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Parents who have difficulty applying parenting tips; therapists working with parents
Shelves: professionallit
I didn't enjoy this book the entire time I was reading it, but when I found myself summarizing the parts I found relevant and photocopying the exercises, I knew I needed to give it at least four stars.

Many of my clients come in with difficulties around childraising, and it's always a struggle for me between giving them childraising "tips" versus helping them uncover the deeper issues that are making it difficult for them to parent effectively. Parents who come in often request these tips and fee
Mar 01, 2009 Julia rated it it was amazing
Another excellent book. Read it starting with chapter 7, then going to the beginning. Read it when you find yourself dealing with your child in a very unideal way, knowing it at the time, and still not being able to do otherwise. This book will explain to you why. And explain what is going on in your brain (fight or flight) that makes you unable to be the warm creative loving or patient at that moment...and what to do about it.
Wisdom: when your brain gets stressed in certain ways it gets "vaporl
Marcia Call
Dec 26, 2012 Marcia Call rated it really liked it
My friend, Wendi, recommended this book and I'm glad that I read it. I had thought that parenting was all about unrecoverable mistakes that would be permanent dings against you and your child, however, Siegel talks a lot about recovery - immediate actions that can be taken to mitigate words said in anger, etc. as well as strategies for recovering years later. This is a very encouraging read for parents like me who don't have it always together in the moment.
Feb 13, 2013 Maddy rated it liked it
How your parents treated you, and how you internalized that, affects how you treat your kids. Hmm, not really a surprising statement there, is it? A lot of psychological mumbo-jumbo thrown about, complete with cross-sections of the brain. At one point in my life (fresh out of college) I would probably have found it fascinating and read each word, but now I just felt thickheaded so I skimmed and tried to pick out the key concepts. I feel like I didn't really need all that theory, I just needed to ...more
Sep 04, 2012 Jules rated it liked it
I consider myself very lucky to have been raised in a way that made me feel heard, supported, and valued -- an upbringing that I believe led me to be conscious and conscientious of other people's desires and emotions as an adult. I'm about to become a parent myself, and as a former psych major, I was interested to learn more about the practical side of attachment theory, and how parents who had more difficult childhoods could develop the skills to have secure relationships with their own kids.

Nov 16, 2013 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenthood
A lovely book. As I began reading I felt like there wasn't going to be anything new for me in this book after already reading so many attachment oriented books. However, I learned a lot and uncovered a lot of forgotten childhood history that was playing a role in my frustration and difficult motherhood moments. I feel inspired to keep improving myself and my relationships and growing from the reflections I made because of this book.
Maurizio Codogno
Una delle maggiori fregature del diventare genitore è che prima della nascita del pupo si giura a sé stessi che non ci si comporterà certo come i nostri genitori hanno fatto con noi... salvo poi accorgersi che ricadiamo esattamente negli stessi errori. La cosa non è poi così strana, se uno ci pensa su un attimo: in fin dei conti conosciamo fin troppo bene quel modo di comportarci. In questo libro gli autori mostrano come è possibile accorgerci dei nostri comportamenti e applicare delle strategie ...more
Jan 31, 2016 Ashish rated it really liked it
The examples/anecdotes felt a bit simplistic, but this is not a scientific journal - and I assume parables are a long established way of communicating complex ideas.

The thought that parenting requires more work on ourselves than on our kids is a really profound one. I really liked the framework of the 4 patterns of attachment - and what parental habits leads to that.

I would highly recommend this book to all current and future parents.
Zac Stojcevski
Feb 04, 2016 Zac Stojcevski rated it it was amazing
Gwenyth Paltrow is quoted on the cover, "Parenting from the Inside Out is a must have for any parent". I don't disagree with her at all. I go further. This is a book to read for anyone- parent or not - who's ever had a bad run, a meltdown or a crisis and got blindsided by the experience. The book will prompt some insight into the origins and etiology of the event. It's a book we suggest to be read by clients/ patients early in their therapy particularly if someone wants to do some homework or pr ...more
Susan Young
Apr 12, 2016 Susan Young rated it it was amazing
I would alternately title this book "How not to pass your own crap on to your kids". We all have issues that can become toxic generational cycles and this book helps prepare parents for the inevitable time when a situation with their child causes an unpleasant memory to come up or causes an emotional reaction we may or may not understand in the moment. This book addresses the need to stay in the moment with your child and how to repair the damage if, or rather when, mistakes are made.

What I app
Aug 14, 2014 Jen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting
Loved this book for its perfect mix of neuroscience explanations (for the lay person), attachment parenting principles, and early childhood development approaches. Plus, it gives you questions to pause you at the end of each chapter - giving you an opportunity to reflect on your childhood, what you liked, and didn't like, what you experienced or didn't experience.

A very thoughtful, easy-to-read approach to parenting and self-reflection.

The Inside Out approach gives you reason to look for what wo
Harriet Showman
Nov 23, 2015 Harriet Showman rated it it was amazing
Wow. A fresh look at how children's brains develop and what adults can do to help them be fully present. For more information:
May 08, 2016 Edgar rated it really liked it
This is a good book on how to raise a healthy, grounded child who will grow into a mature adult who seeks relationships with others with the same frame of mind. There are two caveats to this book: 1) it has exercises which force the reader to dig deeply to one's own painful memories when one was a child and experienced times when needs of comfort, security and reassurance were not met (these exercises dredged up feelings of sadness, frustration and anxiety for me), but it is a necessary reminder ...more
Sophia Dunn
Dec 17, 2012 Sophia Dunn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: neurobiology
A wonderful neurobiologically-based parenting book, which offers us a humane reason and modus to sort ourselves out in order to parent our kids. 'Physician, Heal thyself' is eloquently and engagingly re-stated, 'Parent, Parent Thyself'. For everyone who is afraid they will make their own parents' mistakes. Daniel Siegel knows his onions.
Lara Semaan
Feb 15, 2015 Lara Semaan rated it really liked it
This is a very good book that really helped me reflect on how I sometimes feel or behave with my son. I think it is a must read for people who plan to become parents and think they might need some help figuring out some of their unresolved issues.
Steve Warren
Feb 13, 2014 Steve Warren rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting
Excellent Resource for parents, clinicians and educators. It has three helpful parts to each of the chapters. The first is a geared toward introducing the topic with examples of the parenting skill discussed as well as some great examples of failed parenting moments (very relatable). The second is a useful reflective section that helps parents begin to reflect on their thoughts, feeling and emotions to begin to integrate the material in the real world. The last part is the science behind the cha ...more
Dec 14, 2013 Chava rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
attachment focused parenting and the impact on the child's brain
Robyn Castles
May 17, 2016 Robyn Castles rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: PARENTS
Recommended to Robyn by: Psychologist
A fascinating insight into the effects of our childhood on our own parenting abilities.
Containing thorough chapters, detailed scientific learning, exercises, personal and real life examples this book is an absolute must for parents who feel they are missing a link in their parenting chain.

It is not the easiest book to get into, especially for anyone who, like me, does not have any biological or neurological knowledge. Siegel and Hartzell do their best to provide concise and easy to follow info
Jason Dias
Nov 03, 2015 Jason Dias rated it it was amazing
My opinion, this is Seigel's best work - and that's out of a lot of good work. It makes a great replacement for a lot of the age/stage theories we have to learn in human development in psychology school. In my school, this book was touted as a rapprochement between neuro and humanistic psychologies, but I think that's just confirmation bias on our part (I'm a humanist). Actually, it's just a great description of how the brain internalizes and represents attachments and relationships.

Anyway, read
Sep 24, 2014 Michelle rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This book is so incredibly important that I am disappointed it isn't more accessible. Parenting From the Inside Out describes the role of attachment in raising happy, healthy children (or, if you do it wrong, unhappy, suffering children). Siegel describes the styles of attachment and their specific impact on children and, later, those same children when they become adults. He makes a compelling case for the importance of strong, healthy attachment parenting and gives hope to those who were not l ...more
Jan 07, 2013 Sueij rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sueij by: Melanie Sobocinski
This book is simply outstanding. If, as a parent, you ever react to your children based out of your history instead of your current intentions, this book offers practical information and advice for how to shift the dynamics and parent the way you WANT to parent.

Two of the particulars that I found most fascinating were that children (and you can think of your children with you and your partner, or you with each of your parents) form separate attachments with each major caregiver, and so can easil
Jun 17, 2013 LuAnn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting, emotions
I have only read 3-4 chapters of this book, but I am loving what I am getting out of it. This is a great book for all parents to read. It helps you examine your emotional world in relation to your child, which I find key to any successful attachment/relationship. I think this is one that I'm going to want to spend some real time with.

I love that there are exercises at the end of each chapter. Here are a few samples:
1. Think of an experience from your own childhood where your reality was denied
May 02, 2012 Elise rated it really liked it
I really liked the philosophies in this book even though it was quite academic and took about 4 months for my post-twins-mommy-brain to really get through its depth. I wanted to read a book about parent-child attachment and this was recommended to me. In short summary, this book was about the way we tell our life stories, and how that influences others. The simple take-away was that the way we process our own life stories (the good, bad and everything in between) really impacts the way we intera ...more
Sonya Feher
Jun 01, 2009 Sonya Feher rated it it was ok
Shelves: parenting
Though Parenting from the Inside Out is categorized as Parenting, it is only kind of written for parents. The author couldn't seem to decide who his audience was. Much of the book is written in such scientific language that it would only be readable for other psychological professionals, and even then, it might be hard to decode. All of the mamas I've spoken to about this book said they couldn't get through it.

I finally gave myself permission to skim to try to find anything that might be helpfu

Jul 11, 2011 Sacha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-about-baby
The main message of this book is the importance of listening to our children, reflecting their story back to them, and helping them to make sense of it. We can't do this when we are distracted by unresolved issues from our past. There's nothing like having a baby or child completely dependent on you 24/7 to unearth issues from one's own childhood.

Particularly poignant for me was the example of a shy girl who managed a brave feat on the playground. A new teacher saw her, was excited for her, and
Sarah Ryburn
Aug 02, 2008 Sarah Ryburn rated it really liked it
Shelves: counseling
you'll not find parenting tips, per se, in this book, but it is provocative. examines the fundamental basis of parent-child relationships which isn't about tips, skills, or strategies. siegel prompts the reader to consider how healthy and adaptive are his or her responses to life situations, specifically parenting scenarios. i think he's asking parents, readers, to consider "how healthy and whole am i?" the basic assumption, a sound but too often neglected concept, is that my personal sense of w ...more
Aug 10, 2012 Myridian rated it did not like it
So I finally gave up reading this book. I made it about half way through and just couldn't justify the time I'd have to put in to complete it. The book is a mixture of information about how our own early histories affect our parenting styles and brief snippets of research literature. Overall I felt this book was pretty disappointing. I'd recommend reading The Joy of Parenting: An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Guide to Effective Parenting in the Early Years instead.

On the one hand I do believ
May 15, 2016 L added it
Very hard to rate. Normally power through books but this book took me 8 months to finish with long pauses needed. A solid wealth of psychological, science, "interpersonal neurobiology" and counseling information so far from a light read. Everything about this book is going to make you think, ponder or honestly want to ignore. Goes in depth into brain functioning on key themes of social development, brain functioning, etc. Due to this, I found it difficult to read when a) tired, b) right after a ...more
Jul 01, 2014 Paula rated it liked it
A parenting book that actually could be read before you have children, because it's not so much strategies for dealing with the child you have in front of you as it is looking back at your own childhood and resolving issues you had then so you don't repeat the mistakes of your parents. Of course, if you had a mostly sunny childhood with pretty great parents, parents whose style you hope to emulate as closely as possible, you might not need this book so much.
Jamie Holloway
Jun 05, 2011 Jamie Holloway rated it it was amazing
Finally finished! Took me 8 months to read it, but was so worth the read. The reason it took me a long time was all the processing through the valuable information this book presented. Yes, it's a parenting book, since I am not a parent, I initially started reading it with my sister in law Kris and sister Carri for the soul purpose of learning to build healthier relationships with the people in my life.
The last chapter a new door opened up for me, a chance to help a 12 year old girl and the las
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Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., is an internationally acclaimed author, award-winning educator, and child psychiatrist. Dr. Siegel received his medical degree from Harvard University and completed his postgraduate medical education at UCLA with training in pediatrics and child, adolescent and adult psychiatry. He is currently a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, where he also ...more
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“When parents don’t take responsibility for their own unfinished business, they miss an opportunity not only to become better parents but also to continue their own development. People who remain in the dark about the origins of their behaviors and intense emotional responses are unaware of their unresolved issues and the parental ambivalence they create.” 1 likes
“Taking time to reflect opens the door to conscious awareness, which brings with it the possibility of change.” 0 likes
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