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Parenting in the Present Moment: How to Stay Focused on What Really Matters Paperback – September 15, 2010

4.9 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a book written by a parent in the trenches who gets how hard it is to parent (and how hard it is to add anything to the to-do list) and offers some gentle and immediately impactful suggestions on how you can make the experience easier and more enjoyable for you and your kids. I am not exaggerating when I report that reading it has changed my life.”—Parade.com

"Great for moms who want to yell less and relax more. Author and clinical social worker Carla Naumburg, Ph.D. takes the philosophical and ancient ideas of consciousness and awareness and makes them easy to understand and use."—Parents magazine

“This book will help all parents who read it, and become a blessing in the lives of their children.”—Edward Hallowell, MD, The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness

“Parenting in the Present Moment offers a highly-achievable approach to parenting that can bring peace and connection back to the most challenging and distracted times of life.”—Rachel Macy Stafford, Hands Free Mama

“I’m not normally a fan of parenting books—I always seem to end up more defeated than inspired by the end. Parenting in the Present Moment, however, spoke to me—Dr. Naumburg has a ‘been there, done that’ way of communicating her message which didn’t make me feel like a failure and, instead left me wanting to make some positive changes in my life. Imagine that!”—Jill Smokler, Confessions of a Scary Mommy

“Want to shush that inner voice that keeps telling you you’re parenting all ‘wrong’? This book helps parents get out of that rut and into the moment, not a moment too soon!”—Lenore Skenazy, Free-Range Kids

“Dr. Naumburg is a wise and insightful mother who can only talk the talk because she has walked the walk of mindful parenting. This book brings a fresh and potentially transformative message to modern parents. Parenting in the Present Moment is a must-have for the library of any parent who is sick and tired of being sick and tired with the way they have been parenting and want to truly change the way they treat their children and themselves for the benefit of the entire family.”—Mayim Bailik, PhD, Mayim’s Vegan Table, actress, neuroscientist

“In today’s high-pressure parenting climate, it’s refreshing to read a message like Carla’s that assures us that raising children is not about what we do, or don’t do, perfectly. Instead, as she shows us, it’s a constant practice, and this simple shift in mindset will help parents to understand how to stay present, connected and grounded. Reading this lovely, warm book is like having a cup of tea with a compassionate and wise friend.” —Christine Gross-Loh, Parenting Without Borders

“Thanks to Carla Naumburg’s wonderfully engaging tone, honest and relatable personal anecdotes, and tips that are both simple to remember and to implement, Parenting in the Present Moment gave me the confidence and hope that I could finally be the ‘more present’ parent I have always struggled (yet dreamed) to be.”—The Orange Rhino, Sheila McCraith, Yell Less, Love More

“Full of wise insights, wonderful storytelling and practical guidance, this book should be on every parent’s reading list.”—Elisha Goldstein, PhD, The Now Effect

“Be here, now. Even if Carla Naumburg just wrote it over and over, Bart-Simpson-style, for 200 pages, this would be a deeply useful and inspiring book. But of course she offers so much more: practical advice, from-the-trenches reporting, and compassionate wisdom about how to raise a family intentionally. Or, as she puts it, mindfully—attentive to all the moments, and to the fact that the moments are all we ever have.” —Catherine Newman, Waiting for Birdy

“Carla Naumburg reminds us of the great value that exists in our relationships with our children, and the importance of taking care of ourselves while we juggle all that life throws our way. She guides us to be present in these relationships, both with others and ourselves, and provides a humorous and honest approach to raising children.”—Kristen Race, PhD, Mindful Parenting

“Honest and disarming, Carla Naumburg’s Parenting in the Present Moment is a must-read for all parents. Grounded throughout by Naumburg’s poignant personal anecdotes, the book is infused with useful tips, moving quotes, and powerful practices. The ultimate message? Parenting is hard, mindfulness can help.” —Brian Leaf, Misadventures of a Parenting Yogi

“Being ‘mindful’ seems like just another thing parents have to master, along with pureeing their own baby food and teaching a toddler the basics of French. But Carla Naumburg doesn’t approach it that way. In her wry, accepting way, she tries to instill in parents a basic attitude which allows them to make each parenting day—no matter how they choose to spend that day—more calm and fulfilling. Whatever kind of parent you choose to be, Naumburg’s book will help you do it with more grace.” —Hanna Rosin, The End of Men

“Humorous, heartfelt, and most of all, honest, Naumburg makes clear that parenting is about progress through practice rather than some kind of perfection we can achieve.”—Christopher Willard, PhD, Child’s Mind

“Wise, tender, honest, sweet, smart, practical, engaging. . . what a beautiful book, a book every parent should read. Dr. Naumburg writes as Carla, a fellow flawed parent, and opens her arms to parents and children everywhere. This book will help all parents who read it, and become a blessing in the lives of their children.”—Edward Hallowell, MD, The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness

“Each day we are inundated with distractions. From the noise of the outside world to the dialogue in our head, moments of meaningful human connection are becoming harder and harder to grasp. Parenting in the Present Moment reminds us that we have the ability to step off the merry-go-round of chaos and immerse ourselves in the present moment. Through realistic examples and down-to-earth language, Naumburg shows us we have everything we need to respond to our children and ourselves with compassion and kindness. Parenting in the Present Moment offers a highly-achievable approach to parenting that can bring peace and connection back to the most challenging and distracted times of life.”—Rachel Macy Stafford, Hands Free Mama

About the Author

Carla Naumburg is a clinical social worker, writer, and most importantly, a mother. She is the mindful parenting blogger for PsychCentral.com and a contributing editor at Kveller.com. Carla's writing has been featured in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, and Parents.com, as well as in a number of academic articles and online magazines. Carla holds a B.A. from Middlebury College, an M.S.W. from Smith College School for Social Work, a PhD from Simmons College School of Social Work, and she has an advanced certificate in mindfulness and psychotherapy. Carla grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the Bay Area of northern California, and she currently lives outside of Boston with her husband and two young daughters.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Parallax Press (September 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1937006832
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937006839
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Parenting is hardest job I have ever taken on and I am constantly looking for the best advice to make the job easier. Parenting in the Present Moment instilled a sense of confidence in me, more so than any other parenting book I have read. (and I have read many!) Clearly stated and explained, Naumburg suggests reasonable advice to help see passed the screaming and chaos to understand where your child could be coming from to help solve their problem/confusion.

As a mother of two young boys, the noise level in my house can be deafening and there is a great deal of yelling to get over the noise. Naumburg, an admitted reformed yeller, explains how yelling doesn't fix the problem and offers suggestions how to handle the situation without yelling.

Remembering to take care of yourself is encouraged as well. I appreciated this ... as a working mother of two boys with multiple activities (school, soccer, guitar, playdates), I often neglect myself and realized a good walk or cup of coffee with a friend would go a long way. Naumburg encourages in a gentle way to remember yourself. She is an advocate of meditation but doesn't say it will fix the chaos, only offers it as another resource. She also encourages you to reach out to your support system (family and friends) for help and support.

Naumburg offers sound parenting advice in a gentle way - advice that is useful with your crying baby to crazy children to moody teenagers. Isn't being a parent great?
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Format: Kindle Edition
It is not an understatement to say that this book is changing my life. First off, the author's approach is so understanding and compassionate. She is honest about her struggles and completely relatable. And then all of her suggestions for how to be more present are realistic. She is not suggesting you spend 30 minutes of your day writing in a journal or some other advice that is totally unreasonable in the life of a busy parent! Mostly what she offers are simple ways to stay grounded, stay connected to your kids and take care of yourself. I have started applying her approach and I already see huge differences in how I related to my children and how I handle stressful moments with them. And then, right away, I have seen differences in them and their behavior! Amazing! And it does not require memorizing a table of behaviors and responses like so many other parenting advice books. It's just about taking your time, staying focused, and accepting the present moment. That last part is so key for me, because I tend to have a lot of anxiety about whatever difficulties my kids are having. But this book's approach just normalizes the challenges of parenting and makes struggle seem like an ok place to be. It does not mean things are going horribly wrong with you or your kids. I need that kind of calm, accepting approach.

I also think this book is perfect for the times we are living in. Though it is not a preachy book about social media and smart phones, it has helped me realize that our overly-connected world has been sucking me in unnecessarily and making things harder for me and my kids. With this book as inspiration, I have been stepping back to be more present in the here and now, and less pulled away by my seemingly urgent (but often not) online life - from work to Facebook. Oh, I just loved this book! I am going to give it to all my parent friends!!!!!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just devoured this gem of a book! As an avowed avoider of almost all parenting "advice" books, I was drawn in by Carla Naumburg's approachable style and simple yet profound ideas about what exactly it means to take a mindfulness-based approach to parenting. I can point to multiple moments over the days since I finished the book where I felt more in control of my thinking at stressful parenting moments, more able to make clear-headed decisions, and more empowered to make taking care of myself a priority too.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are a lot of parenting books out there. As the mother of a special needs child, so many of them make me feel as though they were written for other parents. The ones whose lives might have a modicum of chaos but otherwise appear relatively "normal." What I especially appreciate about Dr. Naumberg's book is that she acknowledges (repeatedly) how appreciably different and difficult it can be for moms like me. I felt as though my particular challenges were respected and that I too, even with the additional struggle, might find her strategies and suggestions completely doable.

While I can't say that my life has changed (yet) in any earth-shattering way, I CAN state that reading the book has already challenged me to shift some of my perspectives about my life as a mom, wife, friend, etc. Having had a particularly rough few days, referring back to certain passages was like relying on the calming presence of a wise friend.

Though they don't know it yet, some of my closest friends will be receiving this title as a gift in the very near future.
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Format: Paperback
This is a gem of a book. Carla has an authentic, down to earth perspective on parenting. She brings all of her experiences as a mom and a social worker and student of mindfulness. She is not preachy, like some parenting experts but rather a fellow traveler on the path who has figured out that what really matters for both parents and children is staying mindful and staying connected to each other. Of course that is easier said than done in the rush of daily life. Carla is doing the hard work for herself and by bravely sharing her journey and her expertise helping us all along the way. This is the parenting book I wish I had when I was a new mom. No matter, I have it now and I will be reading and re-reading it and using it to help myself deepen and grow my connection to my children as much as possible.

This is the book that I will be recommending to my friends. This is the book I will be giving to new parents. This is the book I will be recommending to my clients. It is truly my new favorite parenting book and it is hard to imagine that will change anytime soon.
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