I grew up in a house with very little communication and basically no emotional support whatsoever. I have very minimal contact with my parents now, but I want to break this cycle for my kids (ages 2 and 5). Is there a book or method you would recommend that I study to learn a healthy method of emotionally supporting my kids and spouse?
You are absolutely not destined to repeat the experiences of your childhood. What matters most is actually not what happened to you, but whether you have been able to make sense of your experiences. There are a few resources that I can recommend to support you with this,
One I really love is
“The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read” by Philippa Perry.
It explores relationships and helps readers to understand how their upbringing has shaped them as adults in their relationships with their children and their partners. It covers “Your Parenting Legacy,” and dives deep into “feelings”, so, based on your question, this could be a really great starting point for you.
Another book I often recommend to parents is:
“Parenting from The Inside Out” by Dan Siegel.
This book explores the extent to which our childhood experiences shape the way we parent. It encourages parents to reflect on their own life experiences in a way that helps them understand their parenting behaviors.
If you prefer to listen to podcasts than read books:
Cath Counihan has a podcast called Grow Yourself Up.
“A weekly mental health podcast supporting you to better understand and tend to yourself for more heart-centered, connected, authentic and resilient living.”
Finally, Dr. Markham has a great workbook:
“Peaceful Parents Happy Kids Workbook.”
This interactive and practice-filled workbook gives parents so many tools to deeply connect with their children.