Book Report: How To Stop Losing Your Sh*t With Your Kids by Carla Naumburg, PhD
When I asked my 10-year-old, non-speaking Autistic daughter for her input on a topic for my first real blog post—something that might help parents of other kids like her—she wrote, “Stop yelling.”
“Do you think that’s a problem for a lot of parents and kids?”
“Yes” she wrote. “I see it all the time.”
It reminded me of a book I read recently by Dr. Carla Naumburg: How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t With Your Kids: A Practical Guide to Becoming a Happier Parent. I think this is the perfect way to help parents with yelling and generally to avoid reacting in ways they don’t want to. This book is not a book directed towards parents of children with disabilities or differences, but the content is absolutely useful to ALL parents.
Naumburg is a licensed clinical social worker and mom of two. She writes in her book about the factors that cause us to lose it and how to prevent it from happening—at least to prevent it from happening as often.
Without judgement, Naumburg explains why we might be having a hard time not losing it—because everything is crazy all the time, right? She makes a Very Important Point about the keys to not losing it—it’s support and care for yourself. (This is the basic premise of my book that is looking for a publisher right now.) Using research, she defines the big 4 ways to prevent losing your sh*t: single-tasking, sleep, support, and self-compassion.
As a mom with ADHD, I have a hard time single-tasking, but I also intimately know how hard it is to get interrupted while completing two or three other tasks at once. Shifting to a single-task slows me down so much that an interruption is much more easily tolerated.
Not getting enough sleep is associated with so many issues from our health to our behaviors. When we are well rested, we do everything better, including parenting. That can be especially challenging for parents and caregivers of children with disabilities and differences. Some conditions, like Autism, often come with sleep disorders. A whole night of uninterrupted sleep is hard to come by in my house, but I also know that if I go to bed right after my daughter, my next day is much better than if I stay up writing or watching spooky TikToks for hours.
Support is vital to our survival as people and parents. All manner of support matters: our friends saying, hey, nice job, a relative doing kid duty for a few hours, a spouse picking up our wet towel from the floor without comment. When we know we have people backing us up, hyping us up and ready to take our tapout, we life differently.
Self-compassion is treating yourself warmly, recognizing your self-talk, and turning it into kindness. We have all kinds on internal thoughts or dialogues about ourselves, and we are usually kinda jerks to ourselves. Self-compassion is a practice of inner kindness.
These points make up only a part of the book, but what I saw as a very important part. There’s more goodness and irreverent, real observations, and priceless information throughout the pretty fun to read self-help book.
Verdict: Read it! It’s an excellent primer on how to stay calmer as a parent in modern life with tools and tricks at every turn.