The Self-Aware Parent
by Cathy Cassani Adams



BookSurge Publishing, 2009. ISBN 978-1-439-25331-1.
Reviewed by Doris Anne Roop-Benner
Posted on 12/22/2011

Nonfiction: Life Lessons; Nonfiction: Relationships

I wish this book had been around when I was a young parent—back in the day! When I'm with friends my age, we talk about how we wish we could have been happier, more aware, and more present when our children were younger. The Self-Aware Parent can help parents of any age learn how.

The essays in this book are Adams' personal experiences written over the course of six years—and she wants to share them with others. They focus on self-care, shifting attention to what is working, respecting a child's individuality, practicing self-awareness, and being a role model.

Here are some highlights:

  • Parenting is the first and most important task on the list, yet it's not something that you can actually complete. It's a lifelong commitment that requires you to work through challenges and be aware of what you bring to the relationship you create with your children.

  • You are expected to teach your children so many things that it's easy to forget that they are here to teach you as well, if you're willing to observe and listen. Their set point is joy and if you pay attention, they can help you return to that state of mind.

  • Taking personal responsibility for your role in the parent-child relationship can be difficult because it's much easier to focus on your children's imperfections. Remember "discipline" comes from the word "disciple," which means "to teach." You must consistently discover and uncover the possibilities in your children and share your interests with them. Part of your job as a parent is to notice your children's skills and potential. If you don't, who will?

  • Children need to feel accepted for who they are, not just for what they do or how they look. Instead of focusing on who you want them to be, let them tell you who they are—your children are not an extension of you. Don't put your hopes and dreams on your children, you must allow them to find their own. They need to be held and kept safe, but they also need freedom to become who they are meant to be. It's a delicate balance and it is the definition of unconditional love.

  • If you constantly put your attention on things that bother you, you're going to see more things that bother you. If you begin to focus your attention on strengths and cherish the moments, you will have more moments to cherish.

I personally found something on every page that made me want to go back and start over with my children. I'll just have to use this new found knowledge on my grandchildren.


Cathy Cassani Adams is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a PCI Certified Parent Coach, a Certified Elementary School Teacher and a Yoga Instructor. Cathy has been featured in Parents Magazine, Newsweek Magazine, Chicago Tribune, Ebony Magazine, Chicago Parent Magazine, and West Suburban Magazine. She is a recurring guest on WGN Radio Chicago and was the Subject of a Fox News Special Report on the parent coaching profession. Cathy lives in Elmhurst, IL with her husband Todd and their three daughters. Visit her website.

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