Parenting Outside the Lines: Forget the Rules, Tap into Your Wisdom, and Connect with Your Child (Paperback)
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No-nonsense, sanity-saving insights from the Washington Post on Parenting columnist--for anyone who's drowning in parental pressure and advice that doesn't work.
Ever feel overwhelmed by the stress and perfectionism of our overparenting culture--and at the same time, still look for solutions to ease the struggles of everyday family life? Parenting coach and Washington Post columnist Meghan Leahy feels your pain. Like her clients and readers, she grew weary of the endless "shoulds" of modern parenting--along with the simplistic rules and advice that often hurt more than help.
Filled with insights based on child development and hard-won lessons in the trenches, this honest guide presents a new approach, offering permission to practice imperfect parenting with a strong dose of common sense, empathy, and laughter. You'll gain perspective on trusting your gut, picking your battles, and when to question what's "normal" (as opposed to what works best for your child).
Forget impossible standards and dogma, and serving organic salmon to four-year-olds. Forget helicopters, tiger moms, and being "mindful" in the middle of a meltdown (your child's or your own). Instead, discover relatable insights for staying connected to your child and true to the parent you want to be (and already are).
About the Author
Meghan Leahy is the On Parenting columnist for The Washington Post, and a certified parenting coach. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, three school-age daughters, and her dog. Leahy has appeared on NPR and ABC, as well as in numerous other publications.
“The unique structure of this wonderful parenting guide brilliantly simulates a live coaching session. Leahy, the expert, casts competing parenting theories aside in favor of empowering the reader to draw upon our intuition and common sense. She frees us from our fears by confessing to the challenges she herself has faced in raising her own kids. She reassures us that by connecting deeply to our own selves, we can show up more meaningfully and effectively with our kids. The reader emerges feeling supported, and with a journal of deep insight about ourselves. Liberating, hilarious, tender, frank, and instructive, this book is a comforting companion.”
—Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of How to Raise an Adult
"What do parents need now more than ever? The tools to know and trust our intuition, manage the discomfort of uncertainty, and connect in ways that inspire and don’t repel our kids. Parenting Outside the Lines shows us that we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”
—Rachel Simmons, author of Odd Girl Out and Enough As She Is
“In this great read, Leahy encourages parents to stop worrying about whether they’re doing parenting “right” and to instead tap into their own parenting intuition and enjoy building a loving connection with their children. Great insight in fourteen practical (and funny!) chapters.”
—Susan Stiffelman, author of Parenting Without Power Struggles
“For years, I have howled in laughter, nodded in agreement, and marveled in wonder at the wit and wisdom that Meghan Leahy has offered parents as a parent educator and writer for the Washington Post. In Parenting Outside the Lines, Meghan shares a deep dive into her thinking, offering parents of all ages not only guidance of how to handle the inevitable challenges of parenting, whether for tots or teens, but more importantly a “true north” of connection to guide us when we invariably find ourselves in the unchartered terrain that defines modern parenting. A gift to parents, whether to yourself or others, this a book to learn from, laugh at, and live with, helping you be the parent Meghan confidently assures you already resides within you.”
—Ned Johnson, co-author of The Self-Driven Child
“Meghan Leahy’s book Parenting Outside the Lines reads like a reassuring chat with your older, wiser sister, helping pare away the anxiety that can surround parenting today. Leahy’s deep appreciation for the challenging process of growing a human shines through the no-nonsense writing. With wisdom won through years of working with families, she helps readers understand how they may be sabotaging happy family life. Packed with common sense and road-tested ideas, Parenting Outside the Lines is the insightful, compassionate book that today’s parents need to raise their children more confidently and joyfully.”
—Katherine Reynolds Lewis, author of The Good News About Bad Behavior
“A book for every parent who needs the courage, guidance and kick in the pants to stop what's not working and start over. Refreshingly honest and deeply wise, a blend of brain science and stand-up, this one's a lifesaver.”
—Karen Maezen Miller, author of Momma Zen and Hand Wash Cold
“The truth is, no one knows more about parenting our children than we do ourselves—but it's so hard to hear our own voices above the cacophony of information. Fortunately, no one knows more about helping parents learn to trust themselves than Meghan Leahy. You've always known you have the capacity to build a joyful family life. Parenting Outside the Lines will help you find it.”
—KJ Dell'Antonia, author of How to Be a Happier Parent