From Brain, Child Magazine: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers, often referred to as “The New Yorker for Mothers.”
We posed some questions for Joshua about his new book Safe House: How Emotional Safety is the Key to Raising Kids Who Live, Love, and Lead Well. Here is what he had to say.
What was your inspiration for writing Safe House?
Inspirationally, it began with my own children. I understood the power of attachment and emotional safety from my doctoral research and counseling juvenile delinquents and troubled families for the past 15 years. Helping other families and knowing the research is one thing; applying it in your own home is quite another. The book came into fruition as a result of trying to figure out how to get our children to sleep at night! I’m not kidding!
Our firstborn was colicky and had acid reflux. Our second born had unknown stomach allergies. Neither amounted in any sleep for a long time. So from day one of bringing our first born home, we were already dealing with a major issue most parents struggle with—sleep. I knew the research on babies and brain development, particularly that babies don’t have the capacity to self-soothe in those first few months of life. I also knew our kids were in pain. Yet, my wife and I were exhausted, and quite honestly, bickering more frequently at each other. The rubber was meeting the road.
I remember during this time trying my best to pull myself out of the moment and keep the end in mind—meaning, at the end of the day, what qualities am I looking for in my son when he leaves our home as an adult?
My first answer was…