Maria Gavriel’s new book, Love Centered Parenting: Contributing to Your Child’s Wellness by Living from the Heart and Cultivating Your Inner Wisdom, is a must-have for any conscientious parent or parent-to-be. Love Centered Parenting is unlike any parenting book I’ve ever read. It’s an eloquent story of personal discovery and transformation, balanced with concrete advice and resources to help you discover your own unique parenting style.
Like many women, Maria Gavriel thought that when the time was right, she would just get pregnant. She pictured an easy transition to motherhood, while maintaining her career. Needless to say, it didn’t turn out quite like she expected. (I know many parents can relate to this!) Maria quickly realized that nothing adequately prepares us for parenting; there is “no training, schooling, or master apprenticeship” for the biggest responsibility we have as human beings. But instead of staying mired in vulnerability, confusion, and resentment, Maria discovered a path to parenting that brought self-empowerment, knowledge, and, ultimately, peace of mind.
I appreciated the way Maria delivers her information in Love Centered Parenting. It’s a much-needed contrast to current norms—medicalized and overly materialistic—where few parents question C-sections scheduled for convenience, enforced vaccination, or overindulging their children. Yet instead of preaching a dogma or filling pages with righteous indignation, Maria gently presents her views, encouraging the reader to get in touch with and honor his or her intuition when considering each issue.
Love Centered Parenting is a meticulously researched book, with an extensive resource section. From working with a doula to advice about sleeping, breastfeeding, diet, decorating the nursery, choosing toys and clothing, and deciding how much media exposure is too much, Maria presents documented information you can use to make decisions that are right for your family.
Maria and her husband, Cyrus, walk their talk, too. Their precious daughter is a firecracker, whose intelligence and communication skills are encouraged. They also support their son’s creativity and natural propensity to greet the world with wonder and kindness. Are these children perfect all the time? Of course not! But instead of scolding or reprimanding, Maria and Cyrus approach challenging moments from a place of loving guidance—and their real-life stories offer a model from which we can all learn.
The working title of Maria’s book was “Wholistic Parenting”—a blend of the concept of holistic health with a parenting style that respects and honors the whole child—their mind, body, and spirit. One day Maria realized that because her book is really about parenting from the heart, Love Centered Parenting might be a more apt description. She was surprised when she searched the Internet and found that no one had written a book with this title—clearly, there was a place for her love-based approach.
Love Centered Parenting is a book many of us have been waiting for. Maria’s journey took her deep into her roots. I believe it will inspire you to find the answers that you need while showing you how to parent from the heart.
Judie Harvey was editor of the book Love Centered Parenting.