I haven’t met Dr. Vanessa Lapointe in person (yet), but I can say without hesitation that I’d trust her to watch my child. If you know anything about me, you’ll know that I pretty much don’t let anyone watch my child. And she’s technically a stranger…so this isn’t a lighthearted endorsement. Her first book that I read, Discipline without Damage, had me at “hello”—it simply resonated with me on every level. (afflinks) Now that she’s added Parenting Right from the Start to our parenting tool kits, we all need to put it on our must-read list for parenting books.
Parenting Right from the Start is one of the closest things I’ve found to the manual we all wish accompanied our babies when they’re born.
It’s a game changer for parents who want to do better for their children. Aside from covering a lot of “basics” (among others, sleep, eating, toilet training, and positive discipline), here’s what I like about it:
- It gets us right in the feels. The way she weaves her firsthand accounts of parenting into her books makes her book entirely relatable, and therefore, enjoyable to read. She comes across as a friend confiding in us; trusting us with her heart. Her book is entirely disarming; she gives us permission to be as human as we all are, faults and all.
- She’s obviously smart. She’s a psychologist with nearly two decades of professional experience, well versed in the the steps away from behaviorism and towards attachment theory, and so much more. You won’t wonder whether she’s credible and whether her suggestions work. Her professional experience backs up everything she suggests. Moreover, the level of detail she includes about child development helps us really understand how our kids’ brains work at different stages—and what they need from us. This alone would make the book worthwhile. Knowledge like this simply makes parenting easier.
- She blends science and heart together to explain why her suggestions work. Every bit as importantly, she tells us how to implement them in our daily lives (and that’s what’s missing from so many other parenting books). This approach makes it really easy for us to internalize her message and share it with others when opportunities arise. After all, we want the parents in our social circles and elsewhere to learn about positive, respectful, conscious parenting too, right?
Dr. Lapointe understands different temperaments and how to parent different children differently.
If the book weren’t helpful enough already, Dr. Lapointe includes a section about “dandelion children” vs. “orchid children.” Anyone with a highly sensitive child might know these terms; they refer to two distinctly different temperaments and their abilities to thrive in different circumstances. This knowledge is near and dear to my heart as a parent raising an orchid (a highly sensitive child). Regardless whether this analogy speaks to you, Dr. Lapointe’s expertise about individual differences among children—and the most effective ways to parent them—is unquestionably beneficial.
Personally, one of the things I most appreciate about Parenting Right from the Start is that Dr. Lapointe makes it okay to parent differently from those around us.
She helps us examine our own “wiring” as parents. She helps us understand the beliefs with which we enter into parenthood and might not even realize we have. It’s beyond beneficial; it’s a therapeutic mindset from which we all can benefit.
One of my own struggles when I was a new mom was feeling isolated in my parenting style. Most of the other moms I knew were raising their kids in a way that just didn’t work for my heart. I longed for other like-minded adults to connect with in my parenting journey, often wondering if I was just way off base. Fortunately, I did find my proverbial tribe (and some other great parenting books along the way), but how much nicer it would’ve been to have Dr. Lapointe’s professional expertise in my back pocket from the start! I’d have felt more sure of the approach that I follow with my whole heart and with full confidence, now.
Life presents us with plenty of opportunities to make the world a better place. Parenting Right from the Start helps us do that.
If I were to sum up the book in a sentence, I’d say it’s a book about how to foster a lifelong and positive connection with your child. When it comes right down to it, that’s what’s most important. And that’s exactly what this book helps us do in big and little ways.
From a place of connection, our kids feel safe to be who they are; to embrace the goodness that we’ve imparted to them; and to carry it out into the world beyond our homes. After all, that’s a wonderful measure of success as parents, isn’t it?