*** This post is your invitation to an empowering FREE webinar next Wednesday ***
“5 Tools for Transforming from Stressed Out to Sane & Centered”
I thank you ten times a day for the depth and richness
yet simplicity your work has introduced into our already
thriving little family. ~ Elizabeth Bolden, mother of two sons
It seems epidemic these days: an undercurrent of stress and anxiety thrums at the heart of parenting, even for the most “conscious” parents (and probably even more for the really conscious, attuned ones — ever more conscious and attuned to our shortcomings!)
How about you — do you feel this parenting stress? Do you perpetually feel like you’re a just a little behind the 8-ball, missing some crucial opportunity that’s going to put your child behind? Yikes, we didn’t play Mozart through speakers on our pregnant belly… we didn’t use the latest pre-reading iPad app… we didn’t get in on that whiz-bang college-prep (or high-school prep, or for that matter, pre-school prep) program!
Or if it’s not that, then it’s the “life-with-kids-as-a-series-of-tactical-maneuvers” form of parenting stress. I remember so much of the time feeling vaguely (or not so vaguely) uneasy and thrown back on my heels — just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Waiting for my son to start fussing, waiting for him to want something he couldn’t have. And so much of the time feeling like I wasn’t the mom I wanted him to have.
The “Child-Centered” Trap Awaits Well-Meaning Parents
That’s when we slip into the “happiness trap.” We fall all over ourselves keeping them happy. Keeping them placated. Keeping them entertained. We cajole, we tap-dance, we take on the role that reminds me of the audience warm-up guy who makes every little development sound like the most exciting thing since Barnum & Bailey.
We play five games of hide-and-seek when we had originally set the limit on two. We keep dinner warm twenty minutes past when it was ready. We buy the third American Girl doll even when the second one is still in the wrapper.
If this rings a bell, I feel nothing but compassion for you. We’ve all been conditioned to jump (or get jumpy) when the endless smorgasbord of choices glistens before us, beckoning with a glut of possibilities for that perfect something that will fill in the gaps of our parental insufficiency.
I had the privilege of becoming friendly with the late Jean Liedloff (author of The Continuum Concept) in the months before her passing. One of the many insights we’ll explore in our webinar time together is one that Jean articulated so well: that children should revolve around adults, not the other way around. In her time with the indigenous Yequana culture in South America, she noticed something missing from typical family life with children (something that has continued to get more extreme in the 20 years since her observations):
Where were the “terrible twos”? Where were the tantrums, the struggle to “get their own way,” the selfishness, the destructiveness and carelessness of their own safety that we call normal? Where was the nagging, the discipline, the “boundaries” needed to curb their contrariness? Where, indeed, was the adversarial relationship we take for granted between parent and child? Where was the blaming, the punishing, or for that matter, where was any sign of permissiveness?
The 5 Tools webinar will empower you to engage some of the Yequana “magic” without leaving civilization!
Ditch Perfection, Embrace Striving
In my year of traveling on the wings of my book Parenting for Peace, I’ve met many parents in many lands. The theme in my talks that has received the most enthusiastic embrace — sometimes even tearful relief! — is the idea that it is not perfection that nourishes our children, but rather our striving. And by striving I don’t mean it in that “pushing for perfection” sense…but in that sense of following the inner pull we all have toward our own most vibrant unfolding — like how a plant just naturally turns toward the sun, if allowed to. Here is a snippet of a conversation I had during a coaching call offered by myself and Kathy White, founder of Joyful Parents, about what that means — to “strive” as a parent: Striving-As-A-Parent-and-March-7th-workshop-details
There are cultural norms in our life — and especially in the realm of parenting and education — that don’t always allow us to turn toward the sun of our own instinctive and intuitive knowing. We’ll cover some of those in the webinar as well.
Let’s Figure This Out Together!
There is power in numbers. There is empowerment in community. That’s what we’ll ignite in this webinar. If you’re overwhelmed or feeling less than adequate as a parent, please know that you are NOT alone…and it’s NOT your fault!
One of the first things we’ll cover is why stressed-out is the new black: there are good reasons for it, and understanding those reasons will help you move past guilt and worry…and allow you to parent with more ease and joy — the way it’s meant to be!
My book Parenting for Peace is based on 7 principles — Presence, Awareness, Rhythm, Example, Nurturance, Trust, and Simplicity. I’ve now developed and refined 5 user-friendly parenting tools that engage and harness all 7 principles — and you will learn all 5 in the course of this 60-75 min. webinar!
The best antidote for anxiety is action — particularly action that cultivates mastery. Participants in this webinar will emerge with practical tools to immediately begin transforming stressed-out into sane & centered — to bring more ease, confidence and joy to day-to-day parenting.
And this in turn fosters your child’s most vibrant thriving!