Brain-Body Parenting: How to Stop Managing Behavior and Start Raising Joyful, Resilient Kids (Hardcover)
From a leading child psychologist comes this groundbreaking new understanding of children’s behavior, offering insight and strategies to support both parents and children.
Nominated for Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Adam Grant, and Daniel H. Pink's Next Big Idea Club
Over her decades as a clinical psychologist, Dr. Mona Delahooke has routinely counseled distraught parents who struggle to manage their children’s challenging, sometimes oppositional behaviors. These families are understandably focused on correcting or improving a child’s lack of compliance, emotional outbursts, tantrums, and other “out of control” behavior. But, as she has shared with these families, a perspective shift is needed. Behavior, no matter how challenging, is not the problem but a symptom; a clue about what is happening in a child’s unique physiologic makeup.
In Brain-Body Parenting, Dr. Delahooke offers a radical new approach to parenting based on her clinical experience as well as the most recent research in neuroscience and child psychology. Instead of a “top-down” approach to behavior that focuses on the thinking brain, she calls for a “bottom-up” approach that considers the essential role of the entire nervous system, which produces children’s feelings and behaviors.
When we begin to understand the biology beneath the behavior, suggests Dr. Delahooke, we give our children the resources they need to grow and thrive—and we give ourselves the gift of a happier, more connected relationship with them. Brain-Body Parenting empowers parents with tools to help their children develop self-regulation skills while also encouraging parental self-care, which is crucial for parents to have the capacity to provide the essential “co-regulation” children need. When parents shift from trying to secure compliance to supporting connection and balance in the body and mind, they unlock a deeper understanding of their child, encouraging calmer behavior, more harmonious family dynamics, and increased resilience.
About the Author
Mona Delahooke, PHD. is a licensed clinical psychologist with more than thirty years of experience caring for children and their families. She is a senior faculty member of the Profectum Foundation and a member of the American Psychological Association. She is the author of Beyond Behaviors: Using Brain Science and Compassion to Understand and Solve Children’s Behavioral Challenges, and is a frequent speaker, trainer, and consultant to parents, organizations, schools, and public agencies. She lives and works in the Los Angeles area.
"I adore this book! Brain-Body Parenting updates outdated lenses, offering powerful, practical ways think about and respond to children. Dr. Delahooke shows caregivers how to understand children’s emotions and behaviors, and guides us to respond in ways that are transformative both in the challenging moments, and in our child’s development over time. Parents, teachers, grandparents, and the children they love, will all be deeply impacted by this beautiful book." — Tina Payne Bryson, LCSW, Ph.D., New York Times bestselling co-author of The Whole-Brain Child & No-Drama Discipline, and author of The Bottom Line for Baby
In Brain-Body Parenting Dr. Delahooke expands on her paradigm shifting-model of treating children with disruptive behaviors. In contrast to prevailing models that dominate parenting manuals and educational arenas, Dr. Delahooke provides a more compassionate approach that addresses the needs of a child's nervous system and offers insightful examples for readers to rethink and restructure their parenting. This book is a game-changer. — Dr. Stephen Porges, author of The Polyvagal Theory
“Brain-Body Parenting is an essential guide for parents craving a deeper understanding of their child’s needs, as well as their own. Drawing on insight from her decades of experience as a clinician and mother of three, Delahooke shows readers how to be better detectives when interpreting their child’s signals and how to apply attuned, responsive care to specifics like sleep, play, and skill development. This book is a gold mine of advice." — Janet Lansbury, bestselling author of No Bad Kids and host of Unruffled
"Dr. Mona Delahooke's latest book Brain-Body Parenting is an incredible, much needed gift to the parenting world. In her gentle, wise way she explains how our little children can struggle with learning how to navigate life and relationships. She not only shows the why, she shares so many stories of how parents can support their little ones to grow and thrive. This brilliant book needs to be in every home, early childhood setting and primary school.” — Maggie Dent, bestselling author of From Boys to Men and host of the Parental As Anything podcast
“In this revolutionary book, Dr. Mona Delahooke shares powerful insights and groundbreaking research for understanding a child's challenging behavior through the lens of neuroscience and polyvagal theory. With clarity, compassion, and easy to apply strategies, she offers parents and professionals a path to move children toward self-regulation, balance and stability. An absolute a must read.” — Susan Stiffelman, MFT, author of Parenting Without Power Struggles
“In Brain-Body Parenting, Mona Delahooke translates the latest relational neuroscience research into easily readable and actionable support for parents, amplifying the importance of attuned and loving parent-child relationships. I will be recommending this book to every parent who has at times struggled with their child’s out of control behavior, or their own—which is everyone!” — Dr. Laura Markham, author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids and founder of Aha! Parenting
“This book offers a radically effective approach to parenting that will turn everything you think you know upside-down. Firmly rooted in science but also practical and insightful, Brain-Body Parenting provides an easy-to-follow pathway for parents to help their children thrive without losing themselves in the process.” — Kristin Neff, PhD, Author of Self-Compassion and Fierce Self-Compassion
“Mona Delahooke speaks to parents like no other as she responds to their concerns and questions with understanding and insight. Her ability to translate and integrate neuroscience with body signaling and a child's emotional experience unravels the mystery of behaviors, offering an exquisite integration of mind, body, and heart. Dr. Delahooke’s knowledge of behavior and development is a moving force that will continue to enhance all we do as parents and clinicians” — Serena Wieder, Ph.D., clinical director of Profectum Foundation and co-creator of the DIR model
“In Brain-Body Parenting, Mona Delahooke shares extensive knowledge about how children feel, think and act, using a remarkably astute lens to reveal how and why the nervous system affects children’s behaviors and attitudes. With thought-provoking examples and scientific underpinnings, Delahooke provides myriad strategies for fortifying parent-child relationships with love, compassion, and understanding. This book is destined to become a ground-breaking classic!” — Joanne Foster, Ed.D., gifted education specialist and author of ABCs of Raising Smarter Kids
"A fascinating and practical look at how neurobiology can be applied to parenting challenges." — Julia Reffner, Library Journal
"Brain-Body Parenting is a warm, forgiving book." — The New Yorker