Paperback: 322 pages
Children need adults to survive. This, despite the profound change our digital era has wrought on family life, remains the essence of parenthood. Being the Grownup The Natural Authority of Parenthood begins not with what should be, but with what is: If you are a parent, it is your job to provide shelter and safety, to make decisions about education, childcare, health and nourishment, to create the habitat that is the context and crucible of family life. Being the Grownup helps parents translate their determination to care for and protect their children into the clarity they need to communicate authority with a firm confidence, whether for bedtime, screen-time or mealtime. Just as she would in a clinical conversation, the author shifts the focus away from disciplinary strategies and back to the core of parenthood, the relationship between parents and children as it evolves, moment-to-moment, from the dependence of infancy to the autonomy of young adulthood.
There are a host of reasons that contemporary parents might feel uneasy about embracing their natural authority. There have always been parents who doubted themselves, often blaming their children, who may seem determined to challenge every limit. If authority is natural, why is that so? Looking for the answer in the characteristics of developmental stages or parenting strategies often leaves parents frustrated, because being a parent is not something you do to a child but something you are with a child. Parental authority is not simply a matter of discipline with time-outs, or even skilled negotiation and conflict resolution. Parent and child are two human beings whose bodies and voices, experiences, perspectives and emotions shape their interactions with each other. Like everything else about relationships, it’s complicated.
Being the Grownup zeroes in on the core challenge for every parent, the hard work of building a relationship that combines trust and connection with confident authority children can feel and rely on. Relationships take time, and so does learning about relationships. Readers will not find bullet points or formulas. Instead, to more fully understand what happens moment to moment between parents and children, and what patterns between them may strengthen or undermine parents’ authority, my readers will find moments in the parent-child relationship examined from a variety of angles. Each chapter delves deep into a topic, including attachment, temperament, family systems theory and body language, making connections from theory and research to everyday family life.
No one book can tell you what to do in every situation with every child. There are simply too many variables. That’s why it’s important to know more about what to think about parenthood and the relationship you have with each of your children: Being the Grownup helps you do that.
About Adelia MooreAdelia Moore, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in New York City specializing in therapy with couples, parents of children of all ages, and families. She also works with young adults still working out relationships with their parents. Moore received her BA in English from Harvard, a master’s degree in Child Development from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Cincinnati. Moore has worked in diverse settings including a community health center, a homeless shelter, a children’s hospital in Newington, CT, and private practice. She was an adjunct professor of psychology at Trinity College, Hartford, CT, St. Joseph’s University, West Hartford, CT, and New York University. Moore’s essays have appeared in the Christian Science Monitor and HuffPost. She has four grown sons and five grandchildren. She lives in Manhattan and Upstate New York with her husband.
Find out more at her website, and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Children are a gift from God, but they will also be the one stress factor that can drive you to the edge of insanity, at least in my opinion.
I think every age comes with it's own share of obstacles, frustrations, learning curves, and as parents we are not exactly born with a manual to guide us or help us through many of these interactions. The truth is that we are all born with different personalities and traits, and it is quite often not easy to know exactly how to parent.
I can tell you that from personal experience, even though my children have been raised in the exact same manner, they are both similar in some things, but very different in others. One reacts one way, the other reacts completely different, and it is in learning to go with that natural authority of parent and child, that you can better develop a relationship and work through every step in your children's journey to adulthood.
I do like the fact that Adelia Moore, as a parent herself and a psychologist, instead of giving us yet another parenting strategy book or guide, chooses to focus more on helping you to tap into the unique relationship you share with your children, and how to work with those different stages of development, as two individuals, while also allowing your natural authority to come through.
Relationships, whether romantic, friendly or a parent and child, are complicated and require nurturing, love and understanding on both sides.
The only thing I will say is that it's not exactly an easy read, and it wasn't something I could read, stop and pick back up at a later time and go right into where I was before. It requires some concentration, at least to be able to take in the ton of information that is provided.