Book Review: The Gifts of imperfect parenting

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If you’ve been following me on Facebook, then you may have noticed that I have been quoting Brenè Brown quite a lot :)

I stumbled across this audiobook and have been hooked ever since, she really does talk my kinda parenting language! And so of course I just had to write a review!

Sharing your imperfections with your child is a huge gift that you give him (or her).

When you share your mistakes with your child, you give them permission to share their mistakes too – both within themselves and aloud.

writes Brene Brown in The Gifts of Imperfection.

Most of us parent from a place of good intention, when we tell our kids, “do your best”, “go after what you want”, “give it your all”. Yes, that’s inspirational, but do we also give our kids words to tell themselves and attitudes to cope with life when they make mistakes?

We all know that perfect parenting does not exist; however, we still struggle with the social expectations that teach us that being imperfect is synonymous with being inadequate. These messages are powerful and we end up spending too much precious time and energy managing perception and creating carefully edited versions of families to show to the world.

Based on 12 years of research, Dr. Brene Brown offers a new perspective of the subject of perfect parenting. She states,

It’s actually our ability to embrace imperfection that will help us teach our children to have the courage to be authentic, the compassion to love themselves and others, and the sense of connection that gives true purpose and meaning to life.

Dr. Brown proposes that the greatest challenge of wholehearted parenting is being the adult that we want our children to grow up to be.

The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting is a practical and hopeful program for raising children who know that they are worthy of love, belonging, and joy.

Drawing on her research on vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame, Dr. Brown invites listeners on a journey to transform the lives of parents and children alike as we explore how to cultivate wholeheartedness in our families.

This two-hour audiobook reads more like a workshop by author/narrator Brené Brown.
It’s Broken down into simple “guideposts” and with a very friendly, conversational tone, The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting is refreshingly optimistic and realistic. As Dr. Brown says, it’s never too late for wholehearted parenting.

My favorite aspect about this book is that it’s not just the advice of some parenting guru. It’s not a lot of theory from a psychologist with no children. It’s not new-agey, touchy-feely Kinda thing. It’s solid, research-based, practical advice for creating a culture in your home and family that will allow your children the safety and the space, and the safe space, to grow into well-adjusted adults.

As Dr. Brown reiterates at the end of the book, there are many ways to be an engaged parent, and we need to stop judging and shaming one another for our differing choices.

I think whether you consider yourself a Tiger Mom or an Attachment Parent, there is much to be gained from this, and it will be two hours of your life well-spent (especially since you can listen while doing chores, like I did!).

More of my favorite quotes here. But really, go listen for yourself!

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