When Dayna and Jim Guido set out to assemble the tools and skills they’ve developed over 40 years of family counseling practice into an actionable guidebook for parents, they didn’t know the effort would turn into a family project. But once they’d reached the decision to self-publish — as well as create a website, podcast, e-book and audiobook version — their 33-year-old son, Lucio, a graphic designer based in Portland, Ore., also got involved.
Now Lucio will join his parents at their book celebration and signing event at Malaprop’s Bookstore and Cafe on Thursday, Feb. 21. He’ll talk about growing up in Western North Carolina as the child of two therapists and provide a window on how the strategies shared in The Parental Toolbox played out in practice.
Structured around the three R’s — reframe, replace and rewire — any chapter of the book can serve as a starting point or provide inspiration, Dayna says.
Reframing a negative thought, action or word and replacing it with something neutral or positive lays the groundwork for rewiring our brains through practice, she explains.
Although Dayna and Jim’s careers have included work with families whose children were receiving therapeutic services in schools or settings such as treatment programs, the skills and strategies in the book are helpful for any parent/child dynamic. In fact, Dayna says, practicing the three R’s can improve all of our relationships.
Asked about some of the most common parenting challenges she’s encountered, Dayna names power struggles and shifting expectations for parenting in the 21st century.
“We’re being bombarded in so many ways with technology, and our kids are going out there and getting out into the world much sooner than we want them to be. It’s kind of scary,” she says. Suggestions for dealing with the issues posed by technology are threaded throughout the book.
The busyness of modern life also presents challenges, Dayna adds, making it difficult to focus on building the kinds of harmonious relationships parents dream of having with their kids.
In her own life, Dayna says, “It’s been rewarding to be a parent. It’s been very hard, and I didn’t always feel successful at it and made lots of mistakes. But yet the challenge and the opportunity to parent somebody and to help them in their life is really amazing.”
WHAT: Book event and signing with Dayna, Jim and Lucio Guido for The Parental Toolbox
WHEN: 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21
WHERE: Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe, 55 Haywood St.