Sigh, See, Start: How to Be the Parent Your Child Needs in a World That Won’t Stop Pushing—A Science-Based Method in Three Simple Steps (Hardcover)

Sigh, See, Start: How to Be the Parent Your Child Needs in a World That Won’t Stop Pushing—A Science-Based Method in Three Simple Steps By Alison Escalante Cover Image

Sigh, See, Start: How to Be the Parent Your Child Needs in a World That Won’t Stop Pushing—A Science-Based Method in Three Simple Steps (Hardcover)


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In a perfectionistic parenting culture that tells you that you are never enough no matter how much you do for your kids, this unique approach empowers you with a simple parenting technique to gain confidence, remain grounded, and connect positively with your children.

Dr. Alison Escalante is a board-certified pediatrician with more than two decades of experience who has spent the last ten years exploring ways to equip parents to meet their children's needs. She has experienced first-hand the culture of criticism and anxiety that drains parental joy and leaves parents feeling bad about what they should or should not be doing with and for their children. She calls this the parenting “ShouldStorm,” and this book is her invitation to escape that cycle and be the parent your child needs.

In this game-changing parenting book, Dr. Escalante outlines her 3-step science-based approach to escaping the ShouldStorm and embracing should-free mindful parenting. Going into detail about each step, she clearly explains how to implement this approach in everyday situations where parents may feel overwhelmed and shares real results from parents and children who use the technique:

  • SIGH: In moments of parental overwhelm, take a breath all the way into your belly. Imagine it's a sigh of relief. Sighs help you stop and center yourself instead of reacting to the "should" in your head. ​
  • SEE: Notice what’s going on. See your child. Are they happy? Are they close to tears? Are their fists balled in anger?
  • START: Then, and only then, start listening, and start thinking about what an appropriate reaction would be. Do they need a hug? Some space? Something else? 

In the vein of Good Inside, this book offers a simple approach and practical, proven strategies any parent can use. It also explores parenting culture and why it has become more and more intense over recent decades. For anyone who wants a proven toolkit for resisting a parenting culture that shames them when they can’t meet unrealistic expectations, Sigh, See, Start is your new go-to tool for joyful parenting.

Dr. Alison Escalante is a board-certified pediatrician and an Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at Rush University. She has been treating children for almost twenty years and has spent the last ten years exploring methods and workable solutions to target parental stress. She’s a regular contributor to Psychology Today and Forbes, and her work has also been featured in Inc. and USA Today.
Product Details ISBN: 9781797223667
ISBN-10: 1797223666
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press
Publication Date: February 20th, 2024
Pages: 240
Language: English
“In this fascinating and in-depth examination of the mindset of today’s parents, Escalante challenges established thinking while encouraging parents to focus on both their own and their children's strengths. Escalante adeptly writes with empathy for all involved while emphasizing that parenting styles will always be evolving.”


"What an important book! Warm, clear, and compelling, Dr. Alison Escalante presents a helpful and accessible guide for a diverse cross-section of parents: working parents and stay-at-home parents; LGBTQ+ parents and straight/cisgender parents; parents of typically developing and diverse children. I will definitely be using Sigh, See, Start!"

—Brian, C. Johnson, LGBTQ and civil rights leader and author of Our Fair Share and the upcoming book The Work is The Work


"An absolutely brilliant piece on modern parenting. Filled with empathy, experience, and advice, this parenting book summarizes incredibly well the challenges that parents face, what children actually need, and concrete ways to approach the parenting role from a position of compassion, love, and knowledge."

Kari Groff MD, board-certified child and adult psychiatrist; owner and found of Park Slope Psychiatry and Brooklyn and Beyond Mental Health Group


“Dr. Alison Escalante and her See, Sigh, Start method gives parents a doable and proactive way to deal with day-to-day parenting challenges. Based in connection and co-regulation, this simple method is easy to learn, easy to put into practice, and helps us be more present and intentional with our children.”

—Tina Payne Bryson, LCSW, PhD, New York Times Bestselling co-author of The Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline, and author of The Bottom Line for Baby.


“If we all had a pediatrician like Dr. Escalante, we would live in a kinder and more sane world. But, even if we didn't, we can learn and benefit from her years of experience working with children and parents. Dr. Escalante demystifies the challenge of raising healthy children in a chaotic world. Her pragmatic approach explores the latest scientific research demonstrating that mindful parenting does not come in a one-size-fits-all package. Instead, she guides us to trust our unique strengths while fostering the innate strengths of our children.”

Jake Eagle, psychotherapist, author of The Power of Awe


“You've heard of Stop, Drop, Roll—the valuable advice for anyone who is on fire? In this powerful book, Dr. Alison Escalante introduces Sigh, See, Start, valuable advice for anyone whose emotions are on fire. You'll love the real-life examples and actionable insights that can help you keep your cool, in the heat of the moment. Read it and reap.”

Sam Horn, author of Tongue Fu! and Talking on Eggshells


“Alison Escalante's book, Sigh, See, Start, offers a valuable approach for parents navigating the complexities of raising children in today's culture. The title represents a biobehavioral strategy that elevates parenting from practical management to an informed leadership model, acknowledging the child's abilities, experiences, and biology. As we strive to support our children in a vastly different world from our own upbringing, traditional parenting views clash with contemporary contexts and expectations. In this digital age, where the internet exposes our culture to an overwhelming matrix of anxiety, uncertainty, and worry, it becomes imperative to embrace new tools like Sigh, See, Start to navigate these challenges successfully.”

Stephen W. Porges, PhD, founding director, Traumatic Stress Research Consortium, Kinsey Institute, Indiana University Bloomington and professor of psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


“I could just tell you that this is a book you should most definitely read. But I’m not going to. Why? Because I’m in full agreement with Dr. Escalante that the last thing today’s parents need is to be further pressured towards perfection by yet one more guilt-inducing ‘should.’ Rather, I will simply tell you that this is a timely, thoughtful, and deeply insightful parenting book you’re going to want to read." 

—Laura A. Jana, MD, pediatrician, author of Heading Home with Your Newborn and The Toddler Brain


Sigh, See, Start: How to Be the Parent Your Child Needs in a World That Won’t Stop Pushing—A Science-Based Method in Three Simple Steps is a must read for parents, and professionals that work with parents. Dr. Escalante beautifully integrates the theoretical with the practical. She combines a detailed history of the ‘shouldstorm’, its implications and impact, with real examples and doable exercises. There is something for everyone! The Sigh, See, Start method takes into account both individual and societal factors, freeing parents to be their best and raise the children they have. This book is now top of my recommended parenting books! Congratulations and thank you Dr. Alison Escalante.

—Susan Birne-Stone, PhD, LCSW, individual and family therapist, relationship coach, adjunct professor of psychology 


"One of the most startling facts of American life today is the high (and growing!) number of young people with anxiety. As a good doctor, pediatrician Alison Escalante recognized that the condition is being transmitted to kids by their parents—not through genes but by behavior, which shows up in her office as a “shouldstorm” of impossibly perfectionistic parenting. It is a measure of her wisdom that Escalante is aiming to help children by curing their parents, not merely one by one as they accompany their kids to her office but all of them, with an inspired yet practical plan to shift the whole culture of parenting. It’s not a moment too soon."

—Hara Estroff Marano, editor at large of Psychology Today and author of A Nation of Wimps: The High Cost of Invasive Parenting

"This book was a wonderful tool to help parents help their children be the best versions of themselves… The author did a great job breaking down the issues at hand and how we as parents can help our children succeed at life and other things!” 

—Betsy H., Goodreads 5-star review


“I absolutely love this parenting book. It gets to the point, but also goes deep into explanation.”

—Analisa C., Homeschool Educator 5-star NetGalley review