Unlocking Parental Intelligence

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Title: Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child’s Behavior
Published by: Familius
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Pages: 254
ISBN13: 978-1942934042

With a Selection of Stories About
Mothers and Fathers Who Discover
Wisdom in a New Parenting Mindset


Some parents are invigorated by their children, some are alienated. But, they all think about them, love them, and want to like them. Faced with distressed children, parents often lose their compass. They search for a path that will help them understand and get to know their children better. Quite often misbehaviors are the beacon to a child’s emotional struggles. Parents ask, "Why does my child behave that way?" When parents understand that there are meanings behind these behaviors, underlying problems are revealed, and solutions naturally follow as parents and child grow together.

My plan is to help parents experience the heightened energy and deep satisfaction that comes with becoming meaning-makers empowered to read their child’s actions by unlocking their Parental Intelligence.

How can parents find meaning in their child’s behavior? The reader will take away a new style of parenting life that will sustain them through happy and distressing times with their children through all stages of child development. Parents will be able to understand what’s happening in their child's mind. The key lies in the Five Steps to Parental Intelligence that looks at the parent's and child's unconscious mind when solving problems.

Parental Intelligence is a concept I created when working with parents in my private practice who learned how to “read” non-verbal as well as verbal communication and enjoy open dialogue. The steps are a guide for the parent who faces baffling behaviors and hard-to-reach children, including those with special needs.

Parents should never be underestimated even when they doubt themselves. Learning how to harness the knowledge they have about their child by following the five steps reviewed below leads them to unlock their Parental Intelligence and find resolutions to their children's problems.

  • Stepping back helps a parent to review what has happened.
  • Self-reflecting encourages parents to revisit the ghosts from the past that influence their own reactions.
  • Understanding your child’s mind opens windows onto the child's world with its own particular point of view.
  • Understanding your child’s development clarifies what to expect cognitively and socially from your individual child.
  • Finally, problem solving will lead to long-lasting solutions to the pressing problems that seem, at first, to have no possible resolution.

Experience compassionate stories of mothers and fathers using Parental Intelligence that reveal how they resolve problems with their children. Examples range from infants to toddlers, from tweens to adolescents, from the typical--if there is such a thing--to those with special-needs.

Included are stories about:

  • a baby’s first six months
  • an adopted child’s first two years
  • a four-year-old with high functioning Asperger’s
  • a six-year-old identical twin
  • an eight-year-old with ADHD
  • an outgoing thirteen-year-old
  • a depressed fifteen-year-old
  • and a brilliant seventeen-year-old.

You will meet a stay-at-home father, a single-parenting mother, couples whose marriages are holding on by a thread, and intact families that cross the boundaries of economic levels, social class and education. Half the stories focus on the father as the pivotal character.

All the while, learn about contemporary research on the intrauterine environment, the “new wave of scheduled socialization,” “the new adolescent autonomy,” autistic communication, fatherhood and more. The similarities and differences between how mothers and fathers carry out the Five Steps to Parental Intelligence are explored.  The once often overlooked parent, the father, is fully revealed with respect to his importance as a sensitive, responsive, nurturing parent for newborns, children, and adolescents.

Finally, imagine the future where Parental Intelligence is the norm, as you get immersed in an essay about its broad effects, not only on the family, but on society as well.


Winner of the Gold Mom's Choice Awards

"This is a well-written, easy-to-understand book that offers parents useful tools for reflecting on their relationships to their children."
Publishers Weekly

"Unlocking Parental Intelligence is a fantastic resource for parents, whether you are raising infants or Millennials. In an easy to read format, Dr. Hollman reassures parents that they can find meaning in their child’s behavior and nurture love at home. By overcoming our own weaknesses and reaching out in love to our children, our homes will be strengthened. Confidence in family relationships will flourish."
Joyful Family Life

"This is a very admirable parenting book. I strongly recommend this book to mental health professionals and educators working with children and adolescents, who could also use it as a text book for child therapists."
Phyllis Beren, PhD, Co-Director, Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Program, NY, NY; Training and Supervising Analyst at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research and the Contemporary Freudian Society

"This book will undoubtedly foster the kind of connections that will position us to better prepare our children to navigate their lives safely and successfully."
Kenneth R Ginsburg, MD, MS Ed., Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Adolescent Medicine, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; Author, Building Resilience in Children and Teens and Raising Kids to Thrive

"Just as Dr. Hollman teaches parents to interact more effectively and empathically with their children, she writes with empathy and understanding as she teaches parents this proven and user-friendly method of parenting. Dr. Hollman’s book is an essential guide for every parent."
Rena Greenblatt, PhD, Psychoanalyst; Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychologist; Learning Disabilities and ADHD Specialist; Faculty, New York University

"We need an expert voice, like Dr.Laurie Hollman’s, who can help break through the clutter and give us easy-to-follow advice that tells us what to think about as we parent. This is what our readers want, and it is presented in Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child’s Behavior."
Judy I. Cohen, Managing Editor, Moms Magazine

"Dr. Hollman has mapped out an approach to parenting that has already saved me countless heart aches. This book is a must for any concerned parent interested in their children’s well-being and capacity to become responsible adults.”
Bruce Wichard, Divorced Father of Eleven-Year-Old Twin Boys

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After years of writing nonfiction, I have become determined to become a storyteller, so I can write about mothers and fathers who strive to gain parental intelligence in order to reach and connect with their distraught, befuddled, acting-out children. An account of the vulnerabilities and love of these parents has to be told to feel more connected to the truths of family life.

I have found this writing immensely gratifying. After thirty years of practice, I have reached back into the lives of people I have known and cared for to find inspiration for these stories. They are people whose lost dreams of the parents they wanted to be are recovered when they discover misbehaviors that signal distress, catapulting them to learn how to get to know their children and find their love.

Over the years, I have developed and used techniques that eventually became the steps outlined in PARENTAL INTELLIGENCE: Finding Meaning in Your Child’s Behavior. After engaging so many parents in the process of gaining parental intelligence, I felt I had to share this process with others so they, too, could be guided to experience the rewards of successful parenting: grateful, thinking, loving children.


Chapter Four:
At-Risk Parents Misread Infant’s Fussy Behavior: Reese’s First Months

“Lidia appeared promptly the next morning, cheerfully ignoring the disheveled young mother’s appearance and her disorganized household. Piles of laundry, overflowing baskets of garbage, dishes in the sink, and infant toys scattered about didn’t ruffle her. She instantly observed a strained and exhausted teenage mother who was unprepared for her maternal role. She noted immediately that Claudia fed her baby without looking into her eyes and that she talked to her as if she was a young child, not an infant. Lidia knew at once that she had two babies to care for and was sensitive to their anxious bonding. She noticed that Claudia carried her baby around almost all the time, suggesting how much they both needed to feel held.”

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