cover image Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting

Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting

Jon Kabat-Zinn. Hyperion Books, $22.45 (416pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-6176-7

By learning to respect our children for their innate wholeness, the Kabat-Zinns say in this wise guide--by teaching them that it is safe for them to be open with all their feelings and to ask for what they need--we can allow them to find the inner resources to deal with the challenges of life. ""When has parental disapproval, in the form of shaming, humiliating or withholding, ever been a positive influence on a child's behavior?"" ask Myla Kabat-Zinn, a childbirth educator, and Jon Kabat-Zinn (Wherever You Go, There You Are), parents of three. ""For it is in our honoring of their whole selves that inner growth and healing take place."" For the Kabat-Zinns, the key to cultivating the acceptance and empathy that are needed to parent effectively is to be found in the practice of mindfulness, which they define as ""moment-to-moment, nonjudgmental awareness."" As we learn to look beyond our own habitual judgments and reactions, claim the authors, who write as longtime students of Zen, we experience children of any age as Zen masters, so naturally open that they show us how to live in the present. Through the Kabat-Zinns' own mindful teachings, readers may learn to appreciate the innate goodness and beauty of children. Author tour. (June)