Parenting as a Practice
Without a doubt, parenting is one of the most important and rewarding of life’s experiences. It can also be one of the most difficult and trying experiences. Parents are often met not with understanding, but with well-intended, sometimes conflicting, and often unsolicited advice. It is hard not to feel alone, overwhelmed, exhausted, helpless, and inadequate when facing the enormity of the task of raising children. This sense of overwhelm can be compounded if your child is struggling. Together, we can address your parenting challenges, helping you feel supported and empowered in your important role.
I see parenting as a profound "practice", not as a "perfect". Being real, wading through the muck; dealing with burnt toast and toys strewn down the stairway, minor day-to-day and major mishaps, the purple rage meltdowns (parent or child); making big and small mistakes; forgiving yourself and repairing with others; feeling raw vulnerability; experiencing great sadness and heartwarming joy; living, laughing, loving - these are the types of experiences that make up the core of a parenting practice. The primary ingredient, central to parenting, is an authentic relationship between caregiver and child. We grow and heal in relationship!
“In order to form successful relationships with others, we must first establish a stable emotional foundation within ourselves. This stable foundation is called “emotional wellbeing” and is dependent on the skill of self-regulation.” – Dr. Beck A. Bailey, Managing Emotional Mayhem
Integral to my parent coaching is helping parents develop skillful and practical tools which support the parent-child relationship. As a retired play therapist I have extensive experience working with children and parents to gorw together and professional understanding of the complexity of child-parent dynamics. I approach parenting support from what I call a brain-wise, whole-heart perspective. I draw on many sources. (Please see my suggested reading list.). I work from a neurodevelopmental model for brain-based parenting, which focuses heavily on, and supports, secure attachment. The skills I teach and the tools I suggest are designed to enhance and support emotional and self-regulation of the parent first, and also the child. We are biologically designed to co-regulate.
I am an imperfect, very human, parent of a teenager. I have had parenting moments of sheer inspired brilliance, and many other much more humbling moments that make me grateful for the importance repair plays in creating secure attachments! I hold a deep compassion for parents, and a direct understanding of the struggles of parenthood. Building on what is already working (and serving as a reminder that there is more to parenting than problems!), I will provide nurturing guidance and support you in strengthening and developing a meaningful, more joyful, and highly effective parenting practice!
“Love isn't a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.” - Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Roger