The Power of Showing Up by Daniel Siegel [Book Summary – Review]


The duties of being a father or mother can look overwhelming. Caregivers not just have to make sure that a kid’s most primary needs are regularly satisfied – they also have to qualify kids for the unknown future, sophisticated relationships, struggles, and inescapable disappointments. In addition to the idea that plenty of adults didn’t have this consideration and qualified themselves, the mission doesn’t look possible.

In this summary, fathers, mothers, and caregivers are the same who will find out the experience and equipment they require to be there in ways that exceed existing in person or giving material staff. By considering the working steps outlined, anybody can acquire connections with kids and present them with the assistance that will enable them to rise into elastic and trusting adults who have positive relationships with themselves and people in their lives.


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Chapter 1 – The relationships we build with our parents impact us all the way to adulthood.


Developing in age, didn’t you ever see how your fellows’ relationships with their fathers and mothers were usually totally unlike yours? They might have been more intimate, more separated, or even divided.

Such prominent relationships begin to exist since the day we’re brought to life, and their character relies mainly on the care we get in that early time and throughout childhood.

Kids who get their demands comprehensively provided have the best relationships with their fathers and mothers. This is what psychologists know it as a secure attachment.

Developmental psychologist Mary Ainsworth’s “Infant Strange Situation” trial – that tested what occurs when caregivers broke from their baby kids in a separate room by themselves or with another person – illustrated this during the sixties. Monitoring the families at home, Ainsworth and her associates revealed that baby kids whose parents gave tenderness and fulfilled care were the most secure. When the parents went out of the room, these kids have been marked for the behavior of missing the parent, yet were capable to proceed their playing; when parents got back, the kids joyfully received them before turning to their games.



Sadly, few kids get a lack of care and love, at the time when others’ demands aren’t provided at all. In the worst situations, parents are seriously separated from their kids’ demands. Seldom, they even scare them or express marks of being scared themselves, which can be intensely disturbing to a kid.

When this occurs, kids witness a kind of progress of insecure attachment that takes them to negative habits such as the suppression of their demands and feelings, whole anxiety which continue if their fathers and mothers are there for them or not, or also being terrified of them.

Sadly, it can be hard for kids with insecure attachments to overcome such bad results; attachments types hunt us in adulthood and affect our relations with others, our kids included.

Insecurely attached kids turn into grown-ups who are detached from their emotions. They sense danger in the atmosphere around them and fight to trust and get in touch with people, which prevents them from having positive and encouraging connections with their own kids.

Kids who are securely attached, on the other side, raise – and acquiring to value – positive connection. They can handle their feelings and are capable to know themselves and people, which facilitates their relationships with their kids so easily.

Adults are not fated to be bad fathers and mothers due to the circumstances under which they were grown up, though – you can acquire a secure attachment with time. To achieve this, you should consider your childhood, with the assistance of a therapist if you need to, and confirm the bad influence it left on you. Just in that case can you go further to recover and begin to build an atmosphere in which you can progress secure connections with your kids.


Chapter 2 – Creating a solid and secure connection with kids begins with sustaining their physical and mental safety.


Do you recall being injured in the park when you were a kid? Perhaps you rasped a knee or surprisingly broke a bone, yet, you at last recovered and have unexpectedly let go of all such incidents.

There are some childhood anecdotes that aren’t that simple to let go of, though, and as such they keep harm us also as adults. When kids are faced with a dangerous or bad experience, it leaves an impact on their social, emotional, and mental advancement. It influences their well-being as well.

The Adverse Childhood Experience Study was performed for two years period at the centers for Disease Control and Prevention and health care firm Kaiser Permanente. In the research, more than 15,000 human subjects were met to know about ordinary incidents such as emotional and physical mistreatment, carelessness, and dysfunctional families. The meetings demonstrated that those who faced like these bad incidents being kids who lack the ability to connect with others saw it harder to adopt with struggles, and had more health issues with shorter lifetime when compared to kids who weren’t.

Thus, keeping a kid-safe from both physical and mental danger doesn’t only concern their current health – it concerns their later advancement too.



Sadly, fathers and mothers can sometimes be dangerous to their kids’ security. Hostility – if it’s physical, verbal, or unexpectedly revealed by facial expressions and body language – can drive kids to be scared and insecure. As fathers and mothers, we’re forced to get angry with the staff here and there. Yet, we must keep a careful eye on our feelings and watch it to avert being hostile. A piece of good advice is to practice breathing to relax at the time of tension. 

Nevertheless, surprisingly most fathers and mothers will unleash their frustration here and there – we’re just human beings, in the end. When such a thing occurs, we can assist our kids to feel secure once more by saying sorry right after it and making a point of having some time with them as much as we can, to take the bond back to normal. Such incidents give an important lesson that relationships are not the best all the time, yet, can be fixed every time.

The final important phase about sustaining kids’ security is communication. When you speak to your kids openly and assist them to understand issues that occur to them – if they’re getting dominated at school or being abused by anyone at home – they know that they can come to you every time and get security.


Chapter 3 – Seriously watching and understanding kids makes it simpler to react to their demands and assist them to understand themselves.


Can you speak of a person who understands you more than your best friend? The answer is possibly negative. Your best friend and you might be totally unlike each other, but you two maintain to understand and accept who you are.

Looking up for kids needs the same sort of relationship; fathers and mothers should get to know their kids from the inside and outside, and then react to their separated demands.

Yet, this isn’t as simple as it looks. A quite number of fathers and mothers allow their wishes and thoughts to block them from actually understanding their kids. Only consider a parent so found in the thought of growing a college athlete that he totally averts the idea that his kid has a talent for music and wishes to choose an instrument. Or a parent who believes her kid doesn’t achieve good marks because she isn’t active enough, while she’s, in fact, suffering to adopt at school, consequently, is the sense of anxiety and indolent.

Such an issue causes more than destruct the parental relationship. Kids can estimate what their fathers and mothers think of them and create unnormal thoughts of themselves. For instance, the kid with low marks might begin believing that she’s not active enough.



To better know your kids and be more caring about their demands, you need to be interested in getting to know them and watch over them. When doing this watching, you must avert doing quick assessments or revealing clear or preconceived thoughts. Rather, mine more inward and question yourself about the reason behind your kids’ specific behavior.

Watching over kids is just one method to reach relevant views. A second way is taking information right from the source.

Through granting your kids the opportunity to talk for themselves and communicate their ideas, you can acquire plenty of things about their characters and inside selves. Adjust a time routinely to grab talk, accord incidents that happened during the day, and investigate it. This could be by the end of the day, on taking them back from school, or over sopper. Kids won’t reach amazing views all the time around these sessions, and few might require more triggering before they start to talk. Yet, easily by making the chance, you can start with understanding your kids and knowing the best way to stand by their side.


Chapter 4 – Comforting kids in trouble shows them how to manage bad incidents and feelings later in the future.


Imagine the following: you’re in a shopping center and passed by a kid who expresses great anger. At the time when the kid boots and yells, the mother seriously gives warning after warning to seize the anger. Yet, the kid just gets more furious. 

This may not happen to the angry parent, yet, comforting her kid would do better- and could also decrease later episodes of anger. This is due to the case when kids’ emotional disturbances are faced by sympathy and relief, the turn to be more flexible and more capable to handle their suffering.

The writer saw this at the time of working with a Texas school district which began to react to kids with a history of uncontrolled disturbances with comforting habits. The tutors shortly understood that kids were at ease faster using this method than after they were disciplined or taken a time-out. Moreover, yet the intensity, length, and frequency of disturbances decreased with time as well as the kids managed to comfort themselves.

A method fathers and mothers can use to support their kids to make this behavior of self-comforting is by telling them that they can pass extensive feelings every time through specific “tools” when they sense confounded. 



Tool one is a created area at the house where kids can go a the time they get confounded. This is a peaceful area – not to be mixed with a discipline or “time-out” place. Then, kids must have a preferred peaceful chant or playlist to listen to. A new physical activity such as dribbling their ball, or running around for a time, can do magic too; motion makes people tackle their emotions and is usually confirmed as a methodology of treatment in its own right. Lastly, it’s crucially important that kids learn that they can come to their fathers and mothers all the time for assistance, this is why they can have a sign or magic word.

When your kid gives a sign that they’re in trouble, or when they experience an emotional disturbance, it’s prominent that you react in an alert and sensitive manner. Meaning that you shall be completely there for them, getting your kid involved through positive listening, and revealing influence with utterances and gestured clues such as touch and voice tone. You need to be the root of peace in the stance, also if you’re angry too. Descending to your kid’s face approach can assist in spreading any pressure.

The last tool in comforting is to be empathetic all the time. If kids live this frequently, ultimately, they know the way to return with themselves back to a comfort condition – unexpectedly when their fathers and mothers aren’t there.


Chapter 5 – The feeling of safety that kids receive from being secured, watched, and comforted lets them experience happy lives.


Think of yourself at a skatepark, attempting to skateboarding as a beginner. Your fellow teaches you some basics and then hands you the board, yet, you wait for you don’t wish to get injured.

Now, if you were given a helmet and knee pads as well, you’d possibly more encouraged to commit your attempt to skateboard. There’d remain a danger of falling, yet, the protection tools would comfort you with security and grant you more trust.

When you frequently appear and lead kids to sense security, watched, and comforted, the whole impact is pretty well as having kneepads and a helmet in the skatepark – it gives kids the feeling of more safety to jeopardize in the globe. Furthermore, this feeling of safety impacts the brain, making an elastic nervous system that can pass the pressure that life will definitely bring. And as the securely attached baby in the “Infant Strange Situation Test”, such kids raise up to flourish and get better communications with people.

To improve this feeling of security and sustain it entirely throughout a kid’s life, you need to progressively give in the relationship.



Which means being alert and search for times when your kids want you. It might be when they’re confused in front of their first huge sports event, or when they’re experiencing relationship failure. It might surprisingly be when you’re the reason for their disturbance! Every time you appear to them, you strengthen the kid’s sense of being cared for and encouraged, and you increase their feeling of security.

A strong feeling of security makes kids go out to the world supported to discover and learn, trust that they get a person to rely on when situations are bad. A good instance of this is a timid kid on his first playdate whose parent chooses to remain and encourage him. The kid will temporarily accompany his new fellow, yet, when a sense of anxiety comes in, he’ll see his return path to his parent’s arms.

This might occur many times along the play session, yet, ultimately, the kid will trustfully engage with his companions, relieved by the ides that his parent will be beside him if he faced anything he can’t deal with.

The virtue of this sort of encouragement is that when kids live it one time after another, they build emerged connections to their brains, and their feeling of security turns to be acquired. They raised up to be adults who feel accredited, appraised, and certain that no matter what happens to them, they can pass it.


The Power of Showing Up: How Parental Presence Shapes Who Our Kids Become and How Their Brains Get Wired by Daniel J. Siegel Book Review


By carefully looking at their kids’ inside worlds, feelings, and demands, fathers and mothers and caregivers can know to react in manners that best fit them as individuals. When this occurs, a profound connection builds and kids raise to feel appraised and secured – both of which are necessary features for encountering life.


Stick to the behavior of verifying your kid’s feelings.

Knowing kids also reveals recognizing and acknowledging their senses. For instance, when a kid shows that they’re afraid, it might sound of assistance to say to them that there’s no reason to be afraid. Yet, what the kid receives is that their senses aren’t verified – or that there’s something not right with them for sensing this. Rather, learn to allow them to realize that how they sense is prominent and that you are here for them all the time to stand by their side.



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Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I like reading books and writing summaries. I like to play soccer too :) Good Reads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/106467014-sava-ate

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