Option B is an international bestseller, a hot new title in every way, a deeply disturbing, and equally comforting book about coping with loss and building resilience in ourselves and our children.

It is disturbing because it reminds us that no one is immune to tragedy and everyone has to cope with loss, sooner or later, one way or another.

It is comforting because it assures us that we can do it.

Moreover, we don’t have to wait for tragedy to happen—we can prepare ourselves and experience pre-traumatic (as opposed to post-traumatic) growth , what is even more important, our children can, too. It is in our power to help them build resilience.

In the chapter called “Raising Resilient Kids” Sheryl Sandberg says:

 

The third belief that affects children’s resilience is mattering: knowing that other people notice you, care about you, and rely on you. Many parents communicate this naturally. They listen closely to their children, show that they value their ideas, and help them create strong, secure attachments with others. In a study of more than two thousand adolescents between the ages of eleven and eighteen, many of whom faced severe adversity, those who felt they mattered were less likely to have low self-esteem, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

The sense of mattering is a powerful source of inner strength at any age – and is also in the core of attachment parenting. What so many attachment parents successfully do is actually this: we make our babies feel they matter from the very first day. We nurture their self-confidence by showing them we are always there for them. That way, they know they matter, they grow up to be kind, dependable (as we are for them), and resilient human beings.

What do you think is the key to children’s resilience?

ScaryMommy’s Christine Organ spreads up an important message from Australian mom and doula, Peta Tuck: the real, human side of parenting does include co-sleeping.

The Facebook post bearing this incredible photo was originally posted as a reaction to another clickbait article which stated that “Research has shown that having a baby sleep with you will decrease their ability to self-soothe, increase tantrums & childhood obesity.”  This article has been published by Australian mainstream media, causing fear and confusion to rise among many inexperienced mums.

Tuck highlights that being with our children is in our DNA and scorns the widespread idea that babies “don’t need to learn to self-settle at 6 weeks, 6 months or 16 months.”  When did it become an essential objective of successful parenting for babies to sleep through the night?  Our babies wake for a reason – to communicate to us hence we should be listening to them, and responding to their needs.

This amazingly brave woman encourages all mums not to be afraid to cosleep; a valuable way of promoting bonding between children and parents.  Moreover, Tuck objects to mothers being judged for their parenting choice and advocates that they need to feel supported no matter their parenting style.  They have the right to make an informed choice, whether to self-soothe or co-sleep; formula feed or breastfeed depending on their family’s needs.

The ScaryMommy article advises; Trust your instincts and be gentle on yourself and your baby. Don’t watch the clock, and know that you are the best mother for your children. Your journey is unique to you and you need to own it. Messy house, full beds, tantrums and tears, it’s all a part of this crazy ride we call parenthood.

Bright from the Start: The Simple, Science-Backed Way to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind from Birth to Age 3 offers scientific reasoning behind some of the simplest truths. What makes this book stand out is DR Stamm’s academic background; a PhD in neuroscience and a very unique life experience.  She is a mother of two grown-up daughters.  One of them is severely intellectually disabled, and the other holds a PhD in neuroscience, just like her mother.

I was not initially blown over when I read the first couple of pages.  However, when I read the introduction in which Dr Stamm describes her experience in great detail, my eyes filled with tears.

She tells how her first daughter was born extremely premature and that it is a miracle that she even survived as she was still foetus at birth. She had been advised that her child would die soon and even if she survived, she wouldn’t be able to walk or talk.   It is difficult to imagine what she must have been going through.

The baby had to undergo a series of surgical interventions.  However, because her heart was very tiny and weak, they would operate without anaesthetics, as there was a risk she would not wake up if they did. They said that babies don’t feel pain and comforted her by saying that the baby would not remember anything (if she survived).

One thing is for sure,  Dr Stamm didn’t need the over-cited example of famous Romanian orphans to depict the kind of consequence an early trauma can leave on an infant’s developing brain.

This book is actually bright just like the title says. It brings the clear message that, regardless of our children’s natural potential, we are able to support brain development.

The author’s first daughter grew up to be a happy individual; she is my age now and is able to talk. Her second one is extraordinarily intelligent. Dr Stamm raised them both with an exclusive knowledge of a neuroscientist and true motherly devotion; willing to give her best effort to help her children thrive.

So, what did she do? What is her secret? According to Dr Jill Stamm, what babies really need is as simple as ABC – Attention, Communication and Bonding. She teaches us how to increase a child’s attention span, and how to keep a delicate balance between stimulating activities and the peaceful ones.

Dr Stamm emphasises the significance of developing emotional attachment between a child and a parent, pointing out the firm connection between attachment parenting and cognitive development of the baby. She also offers revolutionary advice on directing the link between verbal engagement with parents and higher IQ rates among children.

This book is definitely eye-opening; I would recommend it as an essential read for all parents and future ones too.