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Welcome to our page. We are moms, educators and therapists who hold a firm belief in gentle, mindful parenting. We hope to empower you with current research, personal stories, and inspired readings to help you approach parenting through a mindful awareness of how your connection to your children affects their present and future behaviors and emotional intelligence. When children are treated with kindness, respect and unconditional acceptance they have the freedom to grow in to healthy, compassionate and responsible adults.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Parenting From a Place of Abundance

We've been working with parents online for over two years now via our Parenting Beyond Punishment Facebook page. We understand the struggles facing parents intimately. And in the face of so many stories of struggle and disconnect we learned to take breaks to replenish ourselves.

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
...guilty for needing a moment to themselves
...out of control
...disconnected from their children
...resentful, frustrated, and angry, and feel guilty for feeling that way
so they...
 ...get angry and lose their patience with their children
...remain stuck parenting in reaction to their own childhood experiences
...struggle daily to parent respectfully
when they actually want to...
...set boundaries that support themselves and their children
...feel a sense of connection with their children
...parent from a place they fills their heart
So how do we apply our understanding of needs and behaviors to truly empower parents?
Maybe if we start with the basics: every human needs to feel a sense of belonging and significance no matter their age. Humans are biologically wired to long for emotional connection, to have a sense of power over their own lives, to be capable, and to make meaningful contributions. A child will show her need for belonging and significance isn't being met in the same way a parent will shows her need for belonging and significance isn't being met.

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.**

When we become parents our own needs grow exponentially because we are giving so much to our children. And for those of us whose intent is to parent from a place of love, respect and connection, it is essential for us to learn to meet our own needs, to replenish ourselves so that we can live the life we want, full of connection, meaning, and joy.


 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.

In this program you will
Identify your personal parenting goals
Identify your self-care needs
Increase your confidence as a parent
Reduce distressing emotions
Free yourself from feelings of shame, criticism, overwhelm and hurt
Decrease the friction and stress between you and your children
Create the freedom you want inside your busy day
Empower your children to be active willing participants in family life

As a participant you...
Have community support in a private forum where participants share their struggles and successes;
Have professional support from the collaboration team;
Bypass traffic, babysitters, and additional schedules to juggle;
Engage in a personalized parenting consultation that is only 25% of the cost of traditional modes of consultations and family counseling*.
If you're ready to have support on your parenting journey please join our community today!
Need a reason to invest in yourself and your children?
Mother's Day
Father's Day
Your parent-child relationship
Your sanity
...the list goes on and on...
I hope you'll join us on the Conscious Parent journey
beginning on May 6, 2013.
*For more information about my colleagues Neca and Francoise click on their names.* 
**I read a version of that quote from "The Organic Sister," also on Facebook, and it landed right inside my heart**

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