Self-Compassion for Parents

Nurture Your Child by Caring for Yourself

Susan M. Pollak
Foreword by Christopher Germer

HardcoverPaperbacke-bookprint + e-book
August 15, 2019
ISBN 9781462539536
Price: $50.00 $42.50
236 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
August 15, 2019
ISBN 9781462533091
Price: $14.95 $12.71
236 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
August 15, 2019
ePub and PDF ?
Price: $14.95 $12.71
236 Pages
print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (ePub and PDF) ?
Price: $29.90 $16.45
236 Pages

"I yelled at the kids again—and feel so ashamed." "I barely have time to shower, let alone exercise; no wonder I’m so out of shape." "I'm just not the dad I hoped I would be." Parenting is hard. That's why self-compassion is so important. In this empathic resource, mindfulness expert and therapist Susan M. Pollak helps parents let go of constant self-judgment and treat themselves with the same kindness and caring they strive to offer their kids. Simple yet powerful guided meditation techniques (most under three minutes long) are easy to practice while doing the dishes, driving to work, or soothing a fussy baby. Parents learn to respond to their own imperfections like a supportive friend—not a harsh critic. In the process, they not only will find themselves happier and more energized, but also will discover new reserves of patience and appreciation for their kids. The companion website features audio downloads narrated by the author.

“Ever feel inadequate raising your kids, like you can’t quite get it right? There’s hope! Seamlessly weaving together insights from ancient wisdom traditions, modern psychological research, years of clinical practice, and vivid firsthand experience as a mother, Dr. Pollak has created a lucid, practical guide to parenting as sanely as humanly possible. Filled with warmth, humor, kindness, and sage advice, this book provides time-tested practices anyone can use to have a richer, happier, more rewarding experience raising kids—and helping them to flourish.”

—Ronald D. Siegel, PsyD, author of The Mindfulness Solution

“After reading this book, I find myself reacting differently to my children's behavior. Instead of tension, there is connection and compassion. This book is a life changer!”

—Daniel F., Boston, Massachusetts

“Reading this wonderful book is like talking with a warm and wise friend who happens to be a world-class parent educator and therapist. Applying the healing power of compassion to ourselves makes us better parents and partners, and happier along the way. Chock-full of practical tools, clear examples, and tremendous encouragement, this book offers real help for the most important job in the world: raising a family.”

—Rick Hanson, PhD, author of Resilient

“Consider this book a gift to yourself and your family. There is well-earned wisdom and authenticity on each page. You will find yourself going back to this book throughout your entire life as a parent.”

—Christopher Willard, PsyD, author of Growing up Mindful

“This should be a required self-care book for all parents! Dr. Pollak takes on the mighty job of parenting and the everyday struggles modern families face. She offers easy-to-implement exercises that are helping me to bring more kindness to myself—and my kids. The book is easy to read all at once or in smaller chunks. I appreciate Dr. Pollak's honesty and down-to-earth humor, especially at the end of a hard day.”

—Laura W., Cambridge, Massachusetts

“How we wish we'd had this book during the years of hands-on parenting! With infinite warmth, kindness, and 30+ years of experience, Dr. Pollak offers a wide range of playful, creative tools to help parents explore the inner and outer landscape of raising children in wondrous new ways.”

—Trudy Goodman, PhD, internationally known mindfulness teacher, and Jack Kornfield, PhD, author of A Path with Heart

Table of Contents


1. “Make It Stop—I Can’t Keep Up!”: Parenting Is Overwhelming

2. “Why Is This So Hard?”: Using Self-Compassion as a Life Raft

3. “Where Did That Come From?”: Dealing with the Baggage We Bring to Parenting

4. “I’ll Never Be Good Enough”: Avoiding the Comparison Trap

5. “What Should I Do?”: Working with the Inevitable Uncertainty of Parenting

6. “Why Can’t Everyone Just Calm Down?”: Handling the Inevitable Hot Emotions

7. “It’s All Too Much”: Tapping the Power of Compassion When Times Are Particularly Tough

8. Roots and Wings: The Gifts We Give Our Children

Self-Compassion for Parents Toolbox



About the Author

Susan M. Pollak, MTS, EdD, is cofounder and senior teacher at the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion at Harvard Medical School/Cambridge Health Alliance, where she has supervised and taught since the mid-1990s. She is the president of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy and a psychologist in private practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A longtime student of meditation and yoga, Dr. Pollak teaches about mindfulness, compassion, and self-compassion in psychotherapy and has been integrating the practices of meditation into psychotherapy since the 1980s. She is author of Self-Compassion for Parents (for general readers) and coauthor of Sitting Together: Essential Skills for Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy (for mental health professionals).


Parents of kids or teens of any age; also of interest to mental health professionals.