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Parenting from the Inside Out

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  1,447 ratings  ·  137 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 ac ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published March 31st 2003 by Tarcher (first published January 1st 2003)
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Jul 07, 2009 K rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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.
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.

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
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
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
Sophia Dunn
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
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
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
attachment focused parenting and the impact on the child's brain
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 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
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

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
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
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
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
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
Not being a parent, I never would have read this book had a friend not recommended it as a good book for relationships in general. I found it to be so. It was a good review of some of what I learned from Bruce Perry's lectures on attachment and from Ron Henke, my former father-in-law about attachment. Most memorable were the points that the important thing about current relationships is the story you bring to it of your formative relationships. That making sense of your early relationships, havi ...more
This book has too much plain scientific style that makes the book boring because it lacks more examples or anecdotes to make it more enjoyable. This is not the kind of book with parenting tips and tricks. Instead it's full of lectures about how the brain works and how our lives are affected by memories, experiences, fears, shames, or security feelings.

The main idea of the book is "by making sense of our own childhoods, we have the opportunity to bring mindfulness to our experiences and choice to
Jul 17, 2007 Katey rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: neurotic new parents
I am a bit of an armchair psychologist so this book was right up my alley. Intelligent, thoughtful but not too clinical, this book explains why we find ourselves repeating the behavior patterns of our parents, good and bad, with our own children. It discusses implicit and explicit memory, brain development and the importance of a healthy parental attachment. Importantly (for me), the authors urge parents to examine their memories of childhood closely and to determine what type of attachment they ...more
Wow. This book is good. It really challenges you to be introspective about who you are as a parent and what experiences as a child or adult got you there. Also, if your interested and nerdy like me, you can read about the sections at the end of each chapter on how this stuff is backed up by brain science studies.
Emily Cullen
I gave up on this book because it wasn't specifically what I was looking for. The premise of the book is that in order to be a good parent you have to first examine your own childhood. I need to read books that address my child's issues specifically, not books on overall parenting.
Charlie Parramore
This book contained a lot of interesting insights. Its basic premise is that we can become better parents by examining how we ourselves were parented and learning from it. It also goes into great detail about how our brains develop and function. This was the most interesting part of the book to me. It wasn't exactly a page turner although its contents was interesting for the most part. There were sections which seemed a little too cerebral for practical parenting but an informative book overall.
Goodness gracious, what a dry read. Not what I was expecting at all! I only made it through about one chapter. Did not think this was going to be an academic text about neuroscience but that's what it is, so if you're up for it it's probably interesting. Too dry for me.
Jimmy Pryor
This is very good. Daniel Siegel is a psychiatrist that specializes in trauma, child development and social neuroscience. After publishing this book his readers and workshop attenders asked him to teach them meditation. He didn't know what they were talking about. He had written about "mindfulness"; they read it as "meditation".

So, he began to explore the research on meditation and the brain and discovered amazing similarities with his research on healthly attachments and the brain.

In this book
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  • Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting
  • Connection Parenting: Parenting Through Connection Instead of Coercion, Through Love Instead of Fear
  • Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child
  • Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves
  • Becoming the Parent You Want To Be
  • Playful Parenting
  • Above All, Be Kind: Raising a Humane Child in Challenging Times
  • Positive Discipline
  • Becoming Attached: First Relationships and How They Shape Our Capacity to Love
  • Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason
  • Parent Effectiveness Training: The Proven Program for Raising Responsible Children
  • Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids: 7 Keys to Turn Family Conflict into Cooperation
  • Between Parent and Child: The Bestselling Classic That Revolutionized Parent-Child Communication
  • Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting
  • Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent
  • The Natural Child: Parenting from the Heart
  • Healing Trauma: Attachment, Mind, Body and Brain
  • The Attachment Parenting Book: A Commonsense Guide to Understanding and Nurturing Your Baby
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
More about Daniel J. Siegel...
Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help Your Family Thrive The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-Being No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind

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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.” 0 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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