Holding Tight, Letting Go

Holding Tight, Letting Go


Benjamin D. Garber, PhD

Purchase Holding Tight

We can only hold our children close so long. We must let them go slowly, one step at a time, allowing them to build identity and self-esteem, confidence and competence. We must take off the training wheels at some point and let them go, even though we know that they’ll fall and skin a knee. But how can we let them go safely in a world filled with fear and danger?

Holding Tight—Letting Go is the necessary and natural push-pull dynamic that must play out between every parent and child from birth through death. It’s the ambivalence that we experience, torn between keeping our children safe and encouraging their independence. It’s the dilemma that we all face knowing that we let our children go into a world filled with internet predators and school shootings, toxins and addictions and crime

Holding Tight—Letting Go is your resource for healthy parenting in the twenty-first century. This is the story of how identity emerges in the context of relationships, from birth through death, from Facebook to Twitter, and beyond.

When should I say no? When should I push him to try something new? Should I let him have a phone? Should I monitor his social media? What does “privacy” mean when there is none? Holding Tight—Letting Go tackles these and the hundreds of similar questions that fill every parent’s thoughts and fuel every parent’s nightmares.

Holding Tight—Letting Go is more. It speaks to each of us about who we are and how we make relationships as parents , as adults, and as children ourselves. How we hold our partners and our own parents tight and how we must eventually, inevitably, let them go, as well.

Holding Tight—Letting Go speaks to each of us as human beings trying to understand self in these times of terror and technology.

Read Chapter One here.

Book details

Publisher: Unhooked Books Publishing
Publication date: 2016
Binding: softcover
Pages:  184
ISBN (print): 978-1-936268-90-0
ISBN: (ebook): 978-1-936268-91-7


Ben Garber is a husband, son and the father of two. He is a New Hampshire licensed psychologist, a former Guardian ad litem and a Parenting Coordinator. He is an invited speaker and professional trainer across the United States and Canada, a prolific writer and a closet cartoonist.

Dr. Garber has advanced degrees in child and family development, clinical psychology, and psycholinguistics from the Pennsylvania State University and the University of Michigan. He has lived and worked in New Hampshire since 1988, opening his present practice in clinical child, family, forensic and consulting psychology in 1999. When not engaged in professional activities or involved with family matters, Dr. Garber can often be found kayaking and fishing on the remote lakes and rivers of Northern New England and occasionally scuba diving in warmer waters to the south.

Dr. Garber is a nationally renowned speaker, researcher and an award winning freelance journalist, writing in the areas of child and family development for popular press publications appearing around the world and in juried professional publications in both law and psychology. His other books are: Keeping Kids Out of the Middle, Ten Child-Centered Family Evaluation Tools and Developmental Psychology for Family Law Professionals.

Praise for Holding Tight, Letting Go

“A poignant voyage into the inner world of parent-child relationships. Drawing on many years of professional experience, Dr. Garber captures with poetic lyricism the human dance of attachment and autonomy, of security and adventure. Holding Tight, Letting Go offers a fascinating and crystal clear account of how the rhythms of development play out over the course of a lifetime. Along the way Dr. Garber dispenses solid time-tested advice—from when, why, and how to set limits, to managing bedtime routines and electronic devices—that will help parents shepherd their children to healthy maturity.”

DR. RICHARD A. WARHSAK, author of Divorce Poison, How To Protect Your Family From Bad-mouthing and Brainwashing, Clinical Professor, UT Southwestern Medical Center

Holding Tight, Letting Go is a must read for every parent who recognizes that raising healthy children in the twenty-first century means far more than time-outs and star charts. It offers practical ways for negotiating the difficult choices between protecting their children vs. supporting them as they confront the challenges of modern life. It means protecting our kids from an overwhelming and uncensored flood of media and from very real and immediate physical dangers. This book is the only guide available for the conscientious parent who wants to find a healthy balance between "helicoptering" and abandonment in this age of technology and terror. I highly recommend this book both for professionals, family law attorneys, mediators, and of course parents."

KIP ZIRKEL, PhD, Wisconsin licensed psychologist, Consultant, The Family and Children’s Center, Author, A Parents’ Guide to Custody and Placement

Garber's book Holding Tight, Letting Go is so relatable that once you open it, you won't be able to let it go. From one of the first sentences, "It’s about knowing when to hold her hand and when not to, when to stand by her side and when to watch from a distance, and when to not watch at all," to the observation that anxiety abounds in our society because with the loss of digital boundaries we are faced with so much information we don't feel safe, I was riveted and reflective. 

LYNNE KENNEY, PsyD, Pediatric Psychologist, co-author, BLOOM: 50 Things to Say, Think and Do with Anxious, Angry, and Over-the-Top Kids

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