We've come up with a number of ways to reach out to parents who desperately want to parent with love, respect and connection: blog posts, pictures with quotes, individual messaging, book recommendations, status updates, educational articles, etc. And our readers continue to request online workshops, mp3 recordings, online chat sessions, and other ideas that we continue to consider. When it comes down to it, parents face a number of obstacles on their parenting journey which we simply can't help them address through articles, quotes, blog posts and online learning sessions that only address the behaviors of children. Sure, those things help, but there's more to what's going on than behavior.
We find ways to write the same basic principles in order to help parents better understand the specific behaviors of their children:
- Children communicate to us through their behavior
- Children's behavior reflects their needs - when they "mis-behave" it is because they are behaving in ways they "mis-takenly" believe will get those needs met.
- Children are communicating their needs in the only ways they know how.
- Once we meet the needs behind a child's behavior we can then guide them toward more pro-social ways to communicate with us, and we can help them learn to meet those needs themselves.
The thing is, children aren't the only ones whose needs aren't being met and who are communicating those unmet needs through their behavior.
Many parents feel...
...overwhelmed, unfulfilled and disappointed
...feel a sense of connection with their children
But here's the thing...
The hardest thing we have to learn as parents is that it's no one else's job to meet our needs.**
So, we need to figure out what it is parents really need in order to move from a focus on their children's behaviors to a focus on the child's unmet needs.
I believe in order to truly parent from a place of love, respect and connection we need to parent from a place of abundance. And to do this we to nurture ourselves in many of the same ways we nurture our children: empathy, compassion, self-care....
To this endeavor, I've been gathering data and working with two amazing colleagues to develop an online program to help people who are looking to approach parenting from a intentional place of love, respect and connection.*
We started with a free introductory course in April, Healing Anger and Guilt Through the Parent-Child Relationship, where we asked people to join our conversation on navigating the personal struggles we face as parents. In addition to addressing some specific behaviors in our question and discussion sessions, we focused on 3 main points:
- Using anger and guilt as an internal GPS
- Ways to reset ourselves when we're triggered
- The freedom found in collaborating with ourselves and our children
Now we're offering The Conscious Parent Online Program - a 6-part workshop series to help parents learn to bring greater ease, freedom, and fulfillment into their parent-child relationship. We created the program with a couple of things in mind: family counseling is expensive, and parents are already busy, stressed, and juggling multiple schedules! So we wanted to provide an affordable service that was also convenient.