A therapist’s parenting how-to list



Books, podcasts and apps that offer parenting support

therapist, parenting, books, apps, podcasts, help

There’s a wealth of books and videos on how to parent. But how to sift through all that information? Marriage and family therapist Kelsey T. Chun examined what has worked best for her as a mom and as a family therapist for her clients. She recommends the following six items: 

First off there’s Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting (book)by Janet Lansbury and Respectful Parenting: Janet Lansbury Unruffled (podcast). She loves the short, distinct three-page chapters and how Lansbury “explains and breaks down perhaps the fundamental therapeutic concept for parenting—validation—as well and simply as I’ve seen anyone do.” And for those not into reading, the podcast is even more simply organized. 

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids (book), by Kim John Payne with Lisa M. Ross teaches “how keeping life simpler via our family’s routines, toys, mealtimes, activities, and more leads to a happier home life.” Chun likes the book’s practical tips you can implement to move toward simplicity and use of family case studies while addressing “children’s behavioral issues, ADHD, or anxiety as well as everyday concerns such as power struggles, tantrums, and how to be more tuned-in to your child’s needs.” 

The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind (book), by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson makes key neuropsychiatric concepts “accessible” and “immediately helpful” according to Chun, who adds that, “their skill is made obvious by the sections at the end of each chapter that break down how to talk to kids as young as four about these concepts and that help you apply each chapter’s strategy to your own adult life.” 

The podcast episode My New Life, “Talking to Your Child About Race and Racism” (podcast episode) features Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of How to Raise an Adult and Real American: A Memoir and famed TED talk speaker, discussing what is wrong with the “colorblind” approach to dealing with race, arguing that you want to help your kids “see that differences do exist, but there is no value of one over the other.” She also addresses practical situations, such as what to do when your toddler makes an awkward comment about race in public. 

Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect, and Communicate with Your Baby (book), by Tracy Hogg with Melinda Blau focuses on recognizing a newborn’s communications with his or her parents, stressing “baby whisperer” Hogg’s belief that we all need to “respect your baby.”  

Finally, Chun recommends the app The Wonder Weeks, geared toward the first 18 months of your child’s life via the various distinct “leaps” your child will take. “Anything that helps us do that as parents ultimately aids us in becoming more attuned parents, and raising more secure children by forming a stronger attachment with them, she adds.



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