The Power of Showing Up – Daniel J Siegel MD and Tina Payne Bryson PhD

What’s the one thing a parent can do to make the most difference to their child? The research is clear: be present, show up!
One of the very best predictors for how any child turns out is whether at least one adult in their life has consistently shown up for them. In an age of scheduling demands and digital distractions, this might sound like a tall order. But as bestselling authors Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson explain, showing up doesn’t take a lot of time, energy, or money, and it’s simple to do once you understand the four building blocks of a child’s healthy development: making them feel safe, seen, soothed, and secure.
Based on the latest brain and attachment research, The Power of Showing Up shares stories, scripts, simple strategies, illustrations, and tips for 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 apologising for the times we don’t show up for them. Demonstrating that it’s never too late to correct mistakes and mend broken trust, this is a powerful guide to cultivating your child’s healthy emotional landscape.

My review

This is an honest and realistic look at parenting and how we can truly be there for our children as they develop. The key is to ‘show up’. Daniel Siegel and Tina Bryson have created the answer for parents, children, teachers and students. Here is a book which delves into how we can be present in children’s daily lives, providing the ‘Four S’s – Safe, Seen, Soothed and Secure’. As a parent we often worry about how our daily interactions could be better or how we can help our child more. There are lovely ways in which the authors express their points of view, which will stay with me. This is the type of book that I will read again. I will pick it up and read a quote or a page when I feel I need to. I love being a mum, have a beautiful son who I adore and am always learning from him. This book in many ways expands on my point of view as to parenting. These days I often hear comments such as ‘You’ll be right’ or ‘Toughen up’. As the authors explain, our children are only young once. They need to feel that you are there for them when there is a problem and that you care about their feelings. We can still discipline whilst soothing our children. They need to feel comforted by us. ‘Truly seeing a child means that we pay attention to their emotions, both positive and negative.’ As a child, I grew up in a loving home and one with my mum and dad who provided me with the Four Ss. I love that this book comments on parents who did not have the childhood they would have chosen or their parents did not provide their child with one of the Four S’s. The focus is that everyone can show up for their child and can realise that they have the ability to. The authors provide strategies, examples and scenarios. I particularly liked the diagrams and visual examples within the book. The Refrigerator Sheet at the back of the book is fantastic. It is a summary of the main concepts discussed and I intend to place a copy on my fridge. The Power of Showing Up is much more than a parenting book. I became very emotional near the end of the book as the authors acknowledged the need for self care and mindsight skills. I particularly connected with the comments on adult emotions and reactions to big events impacting upon our children. Children come to realise that times of sadness are moments in time, there is a way through sadness and we experience many emotions in one day. This particularly applied to me, as when I grieve for my mum, my son will ask if I am ok, give me a cuddle and treat me as I treat him when he is upset. He is already such a caring little boy. I agree completely with modelling behaviour we hope our child or students will copy. The metaphors within are beautiful. ‘Instead of getting pummeled by every emotional wave that comes their way… kids can learn to dive down and find the calm that lies beneath.’ I love that this book resonates with me personally. I love that it provides a realistic view with research to back it up. Thank you to Scribe Publishers for your giveaway. I am grateful to have won such a fantastic prize. I would highly recommend this book for parents and teachers.


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