What Kind of Parent Am I?


Toxic stress can occur in any home, rich or poor, regardless of age, education, or walk of life.

Research has shown that adaptive, supportive parents are the best
at insulating their children from all but the biggest catastrophes.
Exposure to “toxic stress” in childhood can cause depression,
alcoholism, obesity, violent behaviour, heart disease, and even
cancer in adulthood. Parents who are less sensitive or attentive
or who regularly misinterpret their children’s needs can let too
much stress trickle through, or even cause it in the first place,
which can carry on to the next generation.

What Kind of Parent Am I? uses specially created surveys
to identify problem areas for parents. With recommended
resources and advice throughout, Dr. Letourneau informs and
empowers parents to deal directly with their unique risks and
challenges, helping them become the best parents they can be.


Discusses the significance of social support for promoting positive parenting strategies and stimulating healthy child development … I applaud Dr. Letourneau’s insights based on scientific evidence and innovative ideas for encouraging parents to seek support for themselves and their families. This book is timely and transformative.

Dr. Miriam Stewart, former Scientific Director at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research

A must-read, refreshing look at what is really essential for parents to know, with intricate viewpoints presented in a comprehensive, easy-to-read format, including informative do-it-yourself surveys. This book also does a superb job highlighting Reflective Functioning (RF) — an extremely important yet unfamiliar concept to many parents. Both moms and dads will enjoy learning what RF is and how it underpins healthy serve and return interactions, which can help children overcome even the most difficult stressors. Encouraging parents to seek help when they need it is very welcome advice too!

Dr. Martha Hart, U of Calgary Research Analyst, Social & Developmental Psychology

If you have a lot of stressful situations going on in your life you may be saddened by some of your test results BUT the book doesn’t just say “that’s not good for your child” and leave it at that. It delivers the results gently and most importantly, gives suggestions for where to turn to improve things.

SMS Nonfiction Book Reviews

About the Author

Nicole Letourneau

Posted by Kendra on December 6, 2014

Nicole Letourneau

Dr. Nicole Letourneau is a research chair in parent–infant mental health at the University of Calgary. Her research has been featured in the Globe and Mail and Huffington Post and on CTV News, Global News, and the CBC. She lives in Calgary, Alberta.