Sigh, See, Start
How to Be the Parent Your Child Needs in a World That Won’t Stop Pushing―A Science-Based Method in Three Simple Steps
by Alison Escalante
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Pub Date 20 Feb 2024 | Archive Date 20 Feb 2024
Chronicle Books, Princeton Architectural Press
In a perfectionistic parenting culture that tells you that you are never enough no matter how much you do for your kids, this unique approach empowers you with a simple parenting technique to gain confidence, remain grounded, and connect positively with your children.
Dr. Alison Escalante is a board-certified pediatrician with more than two decades of experience who has spent the last ten years exploring ways to equip parents to meet their children's needs. She has experienced first-hand the culture of criticism and anxiety that drains parental joy and leaves parents feeling bad about what they should or should not be doing with and for their children. She calls this the parenting “ShouldStorm,” and this book is her invitation to escape that cycle and be the parent your child needs.
In this game-changing parenting book, Dr. Escalante outlines her 3-step science-based approach to escaping the ShouldStorm and embracing should-free mindful parenting. Going into detail about each step, she clearly explains how to implement this approach in everyday situations where parents may feel overwhelmed and shares real results from parents and children who use the technique:
- SIGH: In moments of parental overwhelm, take a breath all the way into your belly. Imagine it's a sigh of relief. Sighs help you stop and center yourself instead of reacting to the "should" in your head.
- SEE: Notice what’s going on. See your child. Are they happy? Are they close to tears? Are their fists balled in anger?
- START: Then, and only then, start listening, and start thinking about what an appropriate reaction would be. Do they need a hug? Some space? Something else?
In the vein of Good Inside, this book offers a simple approach and practical, proven strategies any parent can use. It also explores parenting culture and why it has become more and more intense over recent decades. For anyone who wants a proven toolkit for resisting a parenting culture that shames them when they can’t meet unrealistic expectations, Sigh, See, Start is your new go-to tool for joyful parenting.
"An absolutely brilliant piece on modern parenting. Filled with empathy, experience, and advice, this parenting book summarizes incredibly well the challenges that parents face, what children actually need, and concrete ways to approach the parenting role from a position of compassion, love, and knowledge."—Kari Groff MD, board-certified child and adult psychiatrist; owner and found of Park Slope Psychiatry and Brooklyn and Beyond Mental Health Group
“Dr. Alison Escalante and her See, Sigh, Start method gives parents a doable and proactive way to deal with day-to-day parenting challenges. Based in connection and co-regulation, this simple method is easy to learn, easy to put into practice, and helps us be more present and intentional with our children.”—Tina Payne Bryson, LCSW, PhD, New York Times Bestselling co-author of The Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline, and author of The Bottom Line for Baby.
“If we all had a pediatrician like Dr. Escalante, we would live in a kinder and more sane world. But, even if we didn't, we can learn and benefit from her years of experience working with children and parents. Dr. Escalante demystifies the challenge of raising healthy children in a chaotic world. Her pragmatic approach explores the latest scientific research demonstrating that mindful parenting does not come in a one-size-fits-all package. Instead, she guides us to trust our unique strengths while fostering the innate strengths of our children.”—Jake Eagle, psychotherapist, author of The Power of Awe
“You've heard of Stop, Drop, Roll—the valuable advice for anyone who is on fire? In this powerful book, Dr. Alison Escalante introduces Sigh, See, Start, valuable advice for anyone whose emotions are on fire. You'll love the real-life examples and actionable insights that can help you keep your cool, in the heat of the moment. Read it and reap.”—Sam Horn, author of Tongue Fu! and Talking on Eggshells
“Alison Escalante's book, Sigh, See, Start, offers a valuable approach for parents navigating the complexities of raising children in today's culture. The title represents a biobehavioral strategy that elevates parenting from practical management to an informed leadership model, acknowledging the child's abilities, experiences, and biology. As we strive to support our children in a vastly different world from our own upbringing, traditional parenting views clash with contemporary contexts and expectations. In this digital age, where the internet exposes our culture to an overwhelming matrix of anxiety, uncertainty, and worry, it becomes imperative to embrace new tools like Sigh, See, Start to navigate these challenges successfully.”—Stephen W. Porges, PhD, founding director, Traumatic Stress Research Consortium, Kinsey Institute, Indiana University Bloomington and professor of psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“I could just tell you that this is a book you should most definitely read. But I’m not going to. Why? Because I’m in full agreement with Dr. Escalante that the last thing today’s parents need is to be further pressured towards perfection by yet one more guilt-inducing ‘should.’ Rather, I will simply tell you that this is a timely, thoughtful, and deeply insightful parenting book you’re going to want to read." —Laura A. Jana, MD, pediatrician, author of Heading Home with Your Newborn and The Toddler Brain
“Sigh, See, Start: How to Be the Parent Your Child Needs in a World That Won’t Stop Pushing—A Science-Based Method in Three Simple Steps is a must read for parents, and professionals that work with parents. Dr. Escalante beautifully integrates the theoretical with the practical. She combines a detailed history of the ‘shouldstorm’, its implications and impact, with real examples and doable exercises. There is something for everyone! The Sigh, See, Start method takes into account both individual and societal factors, freeing parents to be their best and raise the children they have. This book is now top of my recommended parenting books! Congratulations and thank you Dr. Alison Escalante.—Susan Birne-Stone, PhD, LCSW, individual and family therapist, relationship coach, adjunct professor of psychology
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Average rating from 4 members
Discover a groundbreaking solution to the overwhelming pressure of perfectionistic parenting in "Sigh, See, Start" by Dr. Alison Escalante. With over twenty years of pediatric expertise, Dr. Escalante unveils a revolutionary three-step technique designed to liberate parents from the suffocating grip of the "ShouldStorm." Drawing from real-life stories and science-backed insights, she empowers caregivers to find confidence and connection amidst the chaos.
In this essential guide, Dr. Escalante introduces the transformative power of her method:
SIGH: Embrace a moment of respite when the parenting weight feels unbearable. Inhale a sigh of relief, reaching deep into your core. This simple act allows you to disengage from internal judgments and center your perspective.
SEE: Delve into the world of your child. Recognize their emotions—joy, tears, or anger—through attentive observation. By acknowledging their needs, you lay the foundation for meaningful connection.
START: Armed with clarity, respond purposefully. Listen with intent and craft an appropriate reaction, whether it's a comforting embrace, granting space, or another suitable gesture.
Diverging from conventional parenting approaches, "Sigh, See, Start" is a practical handbook that equips parents with the tools to transcend societal pressures and embrace mindful, joyous parenting. Dr. Escalante's insights, coupled with relatable anecdotes and proven strategies, serve as a lifeline for those seeking an escape from the cycle of self-doubt. Akin to the success of "Good Inside," this book emerges as an indispensable resource for nurturing resilient parent-child relationships in an age of escalating expectations.
Really loved this book a lot and its given me some good ideas on what else I need to teach my children about the world around us and all the changes that's happening the good and the bad and how they can protect themselves from it all. I highly recommend this to everyone cause the world is pushing our children a lot and its not a very good thing at all.
I absolutely love this parenting book. It gets to the point, but also goes deep into explanation. I can't wait to get a hard copy.
This book was a wonderful tool to help parents help their children be the best versions of themselves. I think it is very difficult to be a child these days. The normal pressures of society and peers can leave these children puzzled and wondering "why". The author did a great job breaking down the issues at hand and how we as parents can help our children succeed at life and other things!
Thank you NetGalley for my ARC of this book!