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The Joy of Parenting: An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Guide to Effective Parenting in the Early Years Paperback – October 1, 2009


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The Joy of Parenting: An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Guide to Effective Parenting in the Early Years + Parenting Your Anxious Child with Mindfulness and Acceptance: A Powerful New Approach to Overcoming Fear, Panic, and Worry Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157224593X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572245938
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #200,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book will help you become a better parent by helping you to more effectively deal with parenting situations and to deepen your understanding of your own values, thoughts, and feelings. Take some time to read this work, let go of the past, and take your child’s hand to move more mindfully into the future."
—Thomas J. Dishion, PhD, codirector of the Child and Family Center, professor of psychology at the University of Oregon



"Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is one of the newest, most influential, and most powerful forms of therapy to be developed by psychologists in a long, long time. As scientific support for ACT grows, so too has the breadth of its application. This book is an example of a new frontier for that growth—parenting. By reading and carefully following the advice this book contains, you can not only become a more effective parent, but also a more effective and happier person."
—Patrick C. Friman, PhD, ABPP, director of clinical services at Boys Town, clinical professor of pediatrics at University of Nebraska School of Medicine



"For many, the joys of parenting are lost, hidden by the mind’s chatter to ‘parent the right way’ or by the heart’s desire to escape the emotional pitfalls of parenting. But the joys of parenting are found in the space that lies between parent and child—in a relationship where parents know the value of simply being with their child. Lisa Coyne and Amy Murrell wisely and gently guide readers to that space."
—Timothy A. Cavell, PhD, author of Working with Parents of Aggressive Children and You’re Not the Worst Parent in the World



"Parenting is always challenging, no matter how much we love our children. This book offers practical ways to accept the challenge, choose what matters most in our relationship with our children, and take action to build this relationship one day at a time."
—Jean E. Dumas, PhD



"Most people know that parenting is a supremely difficult job and no one ever gets it right all the time. This book is filled with examples, questions, exercises, and strategies to help you look at who you are as a parent: your values, your limits, and your fears, and thus enable you to do what’s right (for you and your child), not what’s easy."
—Carolyn Boehne, LICSW



"I was at the end of my rope with my daughter. I called around and was able to find this program, ACT, and it was very helpful. I had hope that things would work out when they gave me ways to deal with the issues at home. My daughter is doing great, and I think it’s because of some of the things I was able to use from the ACT program."
—Liz S., client



"ACT taught me that there isn’t a perfect or easy fix to my problems, but I learned not to get so wrapped up in my child’s behavior. I am calmer in most situations now, and that facilitates my understanding of myself as well as my child."
—Traci S., client

From the Publisher

In Parenting with Mindfulness and Acceptance, two acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) experts provide parents with the tools they need to cope with disruptive and oppositional behavior, acknowledge that they don't have to be perfect, learn to recognize normal childhood transitions, and alleviate their own anxieties to become more responsive, flexible, effective, and compassionate parents.

Customer Reviews

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See all 14 customer reviews
I expect to turn to this book many times in the future.
Jennifer - Reader in Boston
As a parent, it also provided me with practical techniques that I may use to increase the effectiveness of my own parenting!
Q. PERRY
I would highly recommend it as a great resource for any parent.
L. Shepherd

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Naomi Wood on March 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was fortunate enough to read this book over the holidays when I had some down time, and was so happy to get my hands on something that made perfect sense to me as a parent. I have a three year old little girl with sensory processing disorder, and although this book is applicable to any/all parents, I found it to be especially helpful to me. The daily stresses of raising a child with an ASD can be overwhelming and scary. After reading the chapters and realizing that "doing what's right, not what's easy" was a philosophy of parenting that I could subscribe to. Instead of avoiding situations that I felt could have been highly stressful, I began to embrace them. After reading this book, I saw myself as being more mindful, present, and flexible. My precious little girl's progress AND struggles have been a joy to be apart of.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chris McCurry, Ph.D. on February 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is an important book for parents and clinicians alike. Drs. Coyne and Murrell take on the vast array of challenging parenting situations and place them in a context that is compassionate, realistic, and liberating. Their approach is groundbreaking and at the same time based on many years of research and clinical experience. The concepts, exercises, and strategies presented in this book will allow you to be your best, most effective parent even when, especially when, parenting is not particularly joyful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matt on April 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
Brave is the parent who admits that he feels tense and angry when his kid is unreasonably needy. Even braver are the teachers who encourage parents to acknowledge these feelings. In "The Joy of Parenting," Coyne and Murrell bravely instruct us to accept our own frustrations and fears (that parenting might expose) with the same grace and kindness we might hope to extend to our children when they are frustrated and fearful.

ACT therapy has us acknowledge where we are, imagine where/how we'd like to be (as in how-do-we-really-want-to-live/be-remembered!), and then choose steps (goals) to get us living in line with our values. Coyne and Murrell reassure us that crafting holistic parenting strategies--and indeed, richer value out of life--involves making mistakes before finding effective methods. They remind us that strategies evolve as children grow. And they show us that the cornerstone to teaching positive and consistent behaviors and skills is to build positive, appreciative relationships with our children. With a foundation of mutual respect and consistent strategies (such as exploring "If.. then..." statements when children seek destructive behaviors, or acknowledging when children make brave choices instead of resorting to negative patterns), parents and children are poised to face inevitable challenges with presence and love.

Parenting mindfully is a beautiful but lofty concept. ACT is a specific tool to transform concept into conscious action.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Koa Whittingham on May 20, 2014
Format: Paperback
The Joy of Parenting by Lisa Coyne and Amy Murrell is a beautiful book. Grounded within Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), this book will help you to see beyond your present challenges and to identify your parenting values – what matters most to you as a parent. All parents find themselves sidetracked at times. It is easy to become overwhelmed by anger, fear, or self-critical thoughts. The Joy of Parenting will help you to get back on track. It will help you to reconnect with your own long-term parenting goals, to build a strong and loving relationship with your child and to find the joy in parenting, even when parenting is challenging. Many parents of pre-schoolers want practical and evidence-based advice on specific issues such as noncompliance, temper tantrums and child anxiety. You will find the practical strategies that you are seeking in The Joy of Parenting. More importantly, you will also find an easy to understand guide to discovering why your child is behaving as they are (i.e. functional analysis). This understanding is critical to selecting the right strategy for the right situation, and hence to meeting your parenting goals. Yet, it is often overlooked in parenting information. I recommend The Joy of Parenting to all parents. This is a book that is rich in information. You are going to want to read it again and again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ErinB on October 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is absolutely fantastic. It clearly describes behavioural management techniques for children, and places them in an ACT context that includes parent mindfulness, acceptance, and acting in line with that which is important to the reader as a parent.
A lovely approach to building flexible parenting that validates the (sometimes overwhelming) experience of being a parent, and provides strategies to assist with caring both for our children and ourselves as parents.
I can't recommend this book enough- to sincerely use an over-used cliche it is "a must-read for all parents".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kristen on December 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I do not have children of my own, so I cannot speak to that end, however I work with children doing psychological assessments. I have started recommending this book to many parents who seem to be at their wit's end. I took a graduate course, Psychopathology of Childhood, with the co-author, Dr. Murrell. She is an amazing teacher and really, REALLY knows her stuff. That expertise and practical guidance carries over to the book very clearly. Highly recommended!
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