Self-Compassion for Parents : Nurture Your Child by Caring for Yourself book cover
1st Edition

Self-Compassion for Parents
Nurture Your Child by Caring for Yourself

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ISBN 9781462533091
Published August 23, 2019 by Guilford Press
246 Pages


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Book Description

"I yelled at the kids again--and feel so ashamed." "I barely have time to shower, let alone exercise; no wonder I’m so out of shape." "I'm just not the dad I hoped I would be." Parenting is hard. That's why self-compassion is so important. In this empathic resource, mindfulness expert and psychologist Susan M. Pollak helps you let go of constant self-judgment and treat yourself with the same kindness and caring you strive to offer your kids. Simple yet powerful guided meditation techniques (most under three minutes long) are easy to practice while doing the dishes, driving to work, or soothing a fussy baby. Learn to respond to your own imperfections like a supportive friend, not a harsh critic. You will find yourself happier and more energized--and will discover new reserves of patience and appreciation for your kids.

Table of Contents

1. “Make It Stop—I Can’t Keep Up!”: Parenting Is Overwhelming
2. “Why Is This So Hard?”: Using Self-Compassion as a Life Raft
3. “Where Did That Come From?”: Dealing with the Baggage We Bring to Parenting
4. “I’ll Never Be Good Enough”: Avoiding the Comparison Trap
5. “What Should I Do?”: Working with the Inevitable Uncertainty of Parenting
6. “Why Can’t Everyone Just Calm Down?”: Handling the Inevitable Hot Emotions
7. “It’s All Too Much”: Tapping the Power of Compassion When Times Are Particularly Tough
8. Roots and Wings: The Gifts We Give Our Children
Self-Compassion for Parents Toolbox

Audio Downloads:
1. Tending to Yourself--3 minutes
2. Self-Compassion Life Saver for Parents--2 minutes
3. The Baggage We Inherit--11 minutes
4. Soles of the Feet--4 minutes
5. Having Your Back--9 minutes
6. You Don't Have to Control Everything--9 minutes
7. Three-Minute Compassion Space--4 minutes
8. Mindfulness at 4 AM--5 minutes
9. The Warm Blanket--8 minutes
10. Appreciating Yourself as a Parent--6 minutes

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Susan M. Pollak, MTS, EdD, is cofounder and senior teacher at the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion at Harvard Medical School/Cambridge Health Alliance, where she has supervised and taught since the mid-1990s. She is past president of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy and a psychologist in private practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A longtime student of meditation and yoga, Dr. Pollak teaches about mindfulness, compassion, and self-compassion in psychotherapy and has been integrating the practices of meditation into psychotherapy since the 1980s. She is author of Self-Compassion for Parents (for general readers) and coauthor of Sitting Together: Essential Skills for Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy (for mental health professionals).


"This book goes to the heart of what parents struggle with--feeling deficient--and offers expert guidance in healing ourselves with self-compassion. You'll nod your head reading the stories, and will transform your relationship with your children by following the guided reflections and meditations. Parenting can be a more light, fun, wise, and loving path--Dr. Pollak shows us how."--Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge

"How we wish we'd had this book during the years of hands-on parenting! With infinite warmth, kindness, and 30+ years of experience, Dr. Pollak offers a wide range of playful, creative tools to help parents explore the inner and outer landscapes of raising children in wondrous new ways."--Trudy Goodman, PhD, mindfulness teacher, and Jack Kornfield, PhD, author of A Path with Heart

"Reading this wonderful book is like talking with a warm and wise friend who happens to be a world-class parent educator and therapist. Applying the healing power of compassion to ourselves makes us better parents and partners, and happier along the way. Chock-full of practical tools, clear examples, and tremendous encouragement, this book offers real help for the most important job in the world: raising a family."--Rick Hanson, PhD, author of Resilient

"This should be a required self-care book for all parents! Dr. Pollak takes on the mighty job of parenting and the everyday struggles modern families face. She offers easy-to-implement exercises that are helping me to bring more kindness to myself--and my kids. The book is easy to read all at once or in smaller chunks. I appreciate Dr. Pollak's honesty and down-to-earth humor, especially at the end of a hard day."--Laura W., Cambridge, Massachusetts

"Consider this book a gift to yourself and your family. There is well-earned wisdom and authenticity on each page. You will find yourself going back to this book throughout your entire life as a parent."--Christopher Willard, PsyD, author of Growing Up Mindful

"After reading this book, I find myself reacting differently to my children's behavior. Instead of tension, there is connection and compassion. This book is a life changer!"--Daniel F., Boston, Massachusetts

"Ever feel inadequate raising your kids, like you can’t quite get it right? There’s hope! Seamlessly weaving together insights from ancient wisdom traditions, modern psychological research, years of clinical practice, and vivid firsthand experience as a mother, Dr. Pollak has created a lucid, practical guide to parenting as sanely as is humanly possible. Filled with warmth, humor, kindness, and sage advice, this book provides time-tested practices anyone can use to have a richer, happier, more rewarding experience raising kids--and helping them to flourish."--Ronald D. Siegel, PsyD, author of The Mindfulness Solution