It’s a special day. The first day on the Virtual Blog Tour of my newest book, The Potato Chip Champ.

Each day for two weeks, a different blogger buddy of mine will post a review on my new book and will offer a giveaway. It is a great way to win prizes as well as meet new teacher and parent bloggers out there. The network I am part of is amazing. They are generous and knowledgeable people. I honestly can’t believe what I have learned from these women (any guy bloggers that want to join in? I don’t know any!!!!) since I joined the blogging community.

My first blogger buddy was Barbara. Barbara is a National Character Coach and counselor. She blogs regularly (probably 360/365 days a year, and all posts are truly worthwhile reads) and introduced me to a ton of my connections. Then I started meeting other people on my own who knew Barbara and I soon learned that it truly is a small world after all!

As I finished writing this book, I wanted to give not only to the children out there reading the story, but to parents as well. I wanted to provide parents with a simple set of ideas on what they could do at home to support their children. I knew exactly who I wanted to collaborate with, Barbara. I consider her the guru on character and she proved it in a stellar page of resources for families!

Barbara wrote a book review on Friday on her blog. Today she is helping kick off the tour with a super swell post. Thank you Babara.

Go check out Barbara’s post and come back to read my book review (below) on Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. I wanted to get this review in on the first day of the tour because it goes along so nicely with the premise of my children’s book. Brene Brown writes about the importance of paying attention to our own character and behaviors when it comes to parenting.

Book Review:

Daring Greatly by: Brene Brown

For years I measured my worthiness on the opinions of others. It affected me in so many ways. I bent over backwards to succeed. Often times missing out on what was happening around me because I felt I needed to overachieve to win the approval of others. Unless I added to my list of achievements, I didn’t feel good enough.

Pretty deep huh? What happened next changed me forever. I trusted a friend when she told me to invest some money into a weekend long workshop. It rocked my world. So much that my husband wanted whatever it was that I got out of that weekend. I was transformed and free from so many heavy, complicated feelings that sat on my shoulders for years. You see, it’s hard to put into words. You just walked away having a sense of peace, assurance, confidence, awareness of who you really were and what your true purpose was…and most importantly, I was given the gift of COURAGE to make a difference in my career, my marriage, my friendships, the world!

As I read Brene Brown’s book, Daring Greatly, I found myself slowing down, highlighting, re-reading and comparing so much of what she said

to my experience at Landmark Education. Brene spent years researching vulnerability and shame. She recaps her findings in an extraordinary book. Below are some quotes from the book that will stay with me. If any of the following bits speak to you, I recommend you check out the book. And if you get tired thinking about all the time you waste on worrying and thinking about what others are thinking about this and that and you and them, get this book. You deserve something better than that.

Shame: To practice shame resilience, we must practice authenticity when we experience shame, to move through the experience without sacrificing our calues, and to come out on the to other side of shame experience with more courage, compassion, and connection than we had going into it.

Empathy-It’s connecting with the emotion that someone is experiencing, not the event of the circumstance.

Judgement-We are hard on others because we are hard on ourselves. That’s exactly how judgement works. Finding someone to put down, judge, or criticize becomes a way to get out of the web or call attention away from our box. If you’re doing worse than I am at something, I think, my chances of surviving are better.

Worthiness-the greatest lesson is this: If we’re going to find our way out of shame and back to each other, vulnerability is the path and courage is the light. To set down those lists of what we’re supposed to be is brace. To love ourselves and support each other in the process of becoming real is perhaps the greatest single act of daring greatly.

Wholeheartedness-The opposite of scarcity is enough, or what I call “Wholeheartedness”…at its very core is vulnerability and worthiness: facing uncertainty, exposure, and emotional risks, and knowing that I am enough.

Vulnerability-is uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. It is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.

Parenting-That’s why parents are so crtical of one another-we latch on to a method or approach and very quickly our way becomes the way. When we obsess over our parenting choices to the extent that most of us do, and then see someone else making different choices, we often perceive that difference as direct criticism of how we are parenting.

Most of us are wading through uncertainty and self-doubt when it comes to raising our children…my underlying fear of not being the perfect parent is driving my need to confirm that, at the very least, I’m better than you. Somewhere buried deep inside our hopes and fears for our children is the terrifying truth that there is no such thing as perfect parenting and there are no guarantees.

The most important parenting truth (that Brene learned from her research) Who we are and how we engage with the world are much stronger predictors of how our children will do than what we know about parenting.

I have no doubt, however, that when it comes to our sense of love, belonging, and worthiness, we are most radically shaped by our families of origin-what we hear, what we are told, and perhaps most importantly, how we observe our parents engaging with the world.

In terms of teaching our children to dare greatly in the “never enough” culture, the question isn’t so much “Are you parenting the right way?” as it is “Are you the adult that you want your child to grow up to be?”

We need to separate our children from their behaviors. When we shame and label our children, we take away their opportunity to grow and try on new behaviors. If a child tells a lie, she can change that behavior. If she is a liar-where’s the potential for change in that?

By the time children are four and five, we can explain to them the different between guilt and shame, and how much we love them even when they make bad choices. (from Maria-They are not “a bad boy” they made “a bad choice”)

Hope: is learned. Children with high levels of hopefullness have experience with adversity. They’ve been given the opportunity to struggle and in doing that they learn how to believe in themselves.

Finally-Brene offers free downloads on her website. Her parenting manifesto is one I printed to hang in our kitchen as a beautiful reminder of what I want for my children and how being a good person myself will help me be the parent my children so deserve.

You can find out more about Brene Brown on her website.

I highly recommend watching Brene’s 18 minute TED Talk. I watched it twice.

It was that good.