Recently a parent asked me about my background for offering parenting support and classes. Here’s my response…
At heart, I’m a philosopher – a curious seeker and aficionado of truth and wisdom.
As a person offering support and consultation services to parents and others, it is my intent to help people determine what is true and meaningful to them – as well as helpful for humanity as a whole. Most often, this is done through experiential activities and workshops, but also takes place in conversations, private consultations and written interactions.
My background is broad… I started learning about life, philosophy, social work and family structures when I was a child. Mostly through observation, but also from my mom who is a retired social worker and my grandmother who was a very giving woman with six children.
When I started my family (I now have 5 kids between the ages of 2 and almost 14), I took a hiatus from college where I was studying social work and philosophy. Shortly after my first was born I recognized the need for support and community. Within months I trained to become a La Leche League leader to help families with breastfeeding (2003).
It became very clear through working with parents on a regular basis that broader parenting support is needed. There can be a lot of tension in the adult-child relationship and I really wanted to find some answers to address all of what I was experiencing myself and observing in others.
Punishment was taking our family down a dark road so I started looking to alternatives. I read books, lots of them. I knew I needed to change the way I was responding (especially when angry) and I needed to learn how to guide my children skillfully. The in between can be maddening, though, and confusing.
My mindfulness and meditation background started in 2007 when I decided I had to change the way I was dealing with anger – no other options were working for me. I couldn’t run from my feelings anymore. It continues to be life changing for me, which is why I share it with others.
I transitioned out of the La Leche League leader role in 2008 as I continued to learn all I could about non-punitive, positive parenting. In 2009 I trained to become a certified parent educator with Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller of The Parent Talk System. Shortly after I trained with Sarah Wood, author of Sensational Meditation for Children, to facilitate meditation with children.
Most recently, I completed the Positive Discipline Parent Educator certification and the Mindfulschools.org Mindfulness Fundamentals and Curriculum Training to share mindfulness with school age kids, teens, parents, teachers and caregivers of children. I haven’t decided if I’ll complete my undergrad studies in human services and psychology (which is what I switched to when I returned a few years ago to gradually work my way through). I’m only ten courses away from the completion of a bachelor degree, and six are general education, but right now I feel my time (and money) is better spent with my family and sharing helpful skills with parents that they can apply to their lives.
I feel my main qualifications to facilitate parenting support and mindfulness instruction are honesty, a compassionate desire to alleviate suffering and determination — along with personal practice and continuing education. Please feel free to ask questions or let me know if you need clarification. I’m happy to chat with you and look forward to supporting you!
Are you struggling as a parent? If so, I’d like to share something with you: a story and some hope.