Positive Psychology + Parenting = More Love

The connection between Positive Psych and Positive Parenting

An excerpt from The Idea of Winning, Chapter One of The Winning Family:

Much has changed since I became a mom. Mental illness is no longer a dirty secret, and mental health is considered as important as physical health. Neuroscience has validated all of this book’s wisdom, and studies on psychological strengths have, in fact, created a new field of psychology focused on flourishing—the state of growth above and beyond recovering. In fact, the term positive parenting, which we coined in one of Mom’s brochures over thirty years ago, is now widely used for reinforcing positive behavior. Positive parenting isn’t about making kids behave. Instead of the outside-in word behavior, we prefer the inside-out word agency. We focus on building inner authority, creativity, and positive self-esteem. We focus on connection.

Today, writers, bloggers, coaches, and teachers offer many parenting styles: helicopter parenting, gentle parenting, good-enough parenting. What we want to encourage in this book is real enthusiasm for the power of love in a family—empathy and understanding; belonging and strength.

Positive parenting is based on the foundational concept that nurturing positive emotion makes us more capable and happy. The goal of this book is to “improve family life by better understanding the dynamics of love, parenthood, and commitment,” which positive psychology textbooks cry out for. However, our philosophy goes even further than that; the tools we teach can help end cycles of trauma and violence that have gripped humanity for millennia.

My blended win-lose family was nothing unusual. Among the many changes to this edition is the addition of a chapter on broken or divided families, with insights into what makes re-mixed families work. I don’t know much about my stepmom’s upbringing, but my father’s was certainly traumatic and tumultuous, in spite of his cheerful spirit. Of my three parents, my mom was the only one who transformed herself, by taking the time to examine and release her own dysfunctional patterns. She worked hard to free herself from the trauma that shaped her, and now she shows others how to do it. One of her readers said, “This book is better than years of therapy.”

Currently, the world is having an awakening about the intergenerational effects of ancestral, generational, and childhood toxic stress, trauma, and violence. A Kaiser study changed the world when it revealed that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)3 negatively affect our mental, emotional, and physical health all our lives, even into old age, and into the lives of our grandchildren.

The Winning Family has always been about creating Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs or PACEs) that build resilience. Many of us have experienced childhood trauma, and our “natural” responses to the world are “off,” but we now know more about overcoming, healing, and well-being. In trauma, we lose. In resilience, we win.

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The Winning Family: Return of an Inspiring Parenting Classic

The 35th Anniversary edition of Dr. Louise Hart’s parenting classic revived with Kristen Caven

Kristen Caven and Dr. Louise Hart are a mother-daughter writing team who teach social and emotional well-being for parents and children of all ages. Their latest book, The Winning Family: Where No One Has to Lose helps readers develop the win-win life skills that build self-esteem, confidence, and unconditional love in family relationships. First published in 1987 by Dodd, Mead, this book (formerly subtitled Building Self-Esteem in Your Children and Yourself) broke ground for the self-esteem movement in the 1990s, and the authors coined the term “positive parenting” to describe the philosophy and techniques that bring out the best in children and help them reach their full potential and flourish.

Adding new chapters on bodies and brains, boundaries, and media addiction to the original chapters — on communication and empowerment; guidance, touch, and play; self-care, self-talk, and beliefs; problem solving and perfectionism; extended family, leadership, divorce and power dynamics—this book delivers information parents want and need. A welcoming, inclusive narrative addresses cultural and self-esteem issues—related to race, gender, religion, special needs and spectrum diversity, poverty, crime, abuse, and broken/blended families—in the full context of trauma recovery, emotional intelligence, and ACEs, (adverse childhood experiences). This book shows how to build PACEs (positive childhood experiences), which build lifelong health. Engaging and accessible personal stories make the concepts highly relatable.

“By supporting this beloved book, you are getting behind the idea that families should be places of positivity and growth for kids and parents alike,” said Kristen Caven in the team’s pre-launch video. “This book is an updated edition of a beloved parenting classic that can help a new generation to look beyond behavior, and empower kids as they themselves grow.” According to Caven, whose voice leads this edition, this project has deep roots in her own family, a vivid contrast of toxic and healthy relationships. Conflict resolution skills, anger management, healthy child development, and expectations management are skills she, as a child of divorce, wishes all parents could be knowledgeable about and skilled in, a problem this inspiring, hopeful book addresses.

About the Authors:

Dr. Louise Hart is a community psychologist and motivational speaker who has delivered over 400 presentations around the US and internationally. Kristen Caven is a credentialed trainer in positive psychology, who also leads the founding branch of the California Writers Club. Together they founded Uplift Press & Programs in Oakland, California. New editions of their other books, Wings of Self-Esteem and The Bullying Antidote, plus emotional health books for kids Liking Myself and The Mouse, the Monster, and Me by Dr. Pat Palmer are forthcoming through Uplift Press.

The Winning Family: Where No One Has to Lose will be available everywhere books are sold on September 1st, 2022.

Source: AB Newswire