It Starts with You

How Imperfect Parents Can Find Calm and Connection with Their Kids

It Starts with You

How Imperfect Parents Can Find Calm and Connection with Their Kids

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As parents, we want to shape our children into emotionally mature and healthy human beings. But we cannot effectively shape our children's emotional well-being until we've addressed our own traumas and emotional needs.

In It Starts with You, marriage and family therapist and parent coach Nicole Schwarz offers a nonjudgmental, shame-free guide to parenting children with a calm confidence. Working from a place of grace and compassion, she encourages us to explore how our history, thoughts, and assumptions impact our parenting decisions. Moving away from traditional discipline strategies, Schwarz focuses on the importance of having a calm brain, connected relationships, respectful conversations, and a coaching mindset with our kids.

It Starts with You lays out a five-step process you can turn to whenever you're stuck in a difficult parenting situation. Each step is grounded in research and presented in a way that is easy to understand. Rather than adding unnecessary pressure, we learn that kids do not need perfect parents, but parents who are willing to learn, grow, and move forward with them in a positive direction.


"The guidebook parents need to end generational patterns, silence shame, and parent from a grace-based perspective."

Kim Lange, MA, LCMHC, founder of Emotionanigans and Growing Up Confident

"A must-have resource for parents. . . . With a gentle, steady hand--never shaming, never blaming--Nicole Schwarz teaches what she calls parenting grace, a connection-based approach to calm, compassionate parenting."

Dawn Huebner, PhD, author of The Sibling Survival Guide and What to Do When You Worry Too Much

"This heartfelt book is not about adding more to your parenting to-do list but rather about where to put your energy so that it truly counts. With great warmth and wisdom, this book weaves together personal stories, science, and practical tips."

Ashley Söderlund, PhD, creator of Nurture and Thrive

"In her engaging and honest writing style, Nicole Schwarz helps parents get out of the shame spiral and focus on the power of grace when raising their children. The focus is on connection, not perfection, which is a breath of fresh air!"

Janine Halloran, LMHC, founder of Coping Skills for Kids

"It Starts with You belongs on every nightstand. Instead of creating unrealistic ideals that are useless in the real world, Schwarz gives parents real and actionable ways to change their own behavior, embrace their imperfections, and improve their parenting skills."

Traci Smith, author of Faithful Families: Creating Sacred Moments at Home 

"It Starts with You is like having a knowledgeable, supportive friend walking along with you through your parenting journey. Instead of focusing on 'hacks' or 'tricks,' Schwarz focuses on parents and their emotional background."

Amy Webb, PhD, writer at The Thoughtful Parent

Product Info

  • Publisher Broadleaf Books
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506472478
  • eBook ISBN 9781506472485
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 261
  • Publication Date February 15, 2022