Triple P Wednesday, First Installment

Triple P stands for Positive Parenting Program.  Developed out of the University of Queensland in Australia, this is a research based program which is used globally.  As an accredited Triple P practitioner I have helped many families of 2-12 year olds who are experiencing chronic behavior issues.  I love that I get to help caregivers create the family life they long for – with less yelling and more positivity.  Together during the in-home sessions, we uncover and discard parenting patterns which are not working and replace them with habits that do.  This is not a one size fits all program – you choose what works for you.  It all starts with a free consult.  Your family is worth it!

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Quiet Stillness

I want to share with you a poem called “Tenderness of Heart”, written by Patricia Brown. She and her husband host the silent retreats that I have attended for the last 3 years. Having just returned from this year’s retreat, I am reminded of how pushed and pulled we can feel in our daily lives. Feeling controlled by schedules, heartache, to-do lists, worries, causes we hold dear, mistakes we’ve made, and the list goes on – we are constantly on the move – constantly reviewing, planning,  and analyzing. But inside each of us is a quality that connects us to one another, even in this world that seems so divided into us and them. This quality, our quiet stillness, is always there – regardless of how rushed we are – waiting for us to listen, to connect us to what matters most. When I find this stillness and let my “knots” unwind, there is a peace I cannot aptly describe with words, so I’ll leave it to Patricia.
 
Tenderness of Heart
 
I am not afraid of stepping
across the threshold
into the fire of the unknown
of sitting while the body pulsates
with undigested particles of this life
of staying while the knot unwinds.
 
It is the quality of attending I bring to
these moments, I know less about.
The way of the heart
that knows only
of openness and infinite, silent gentleness.
 
THIS
ever-available suspension
around and in everything
inviting me
to simply
 
Be Here
with life
just as it is.
 
~Patricia Brown

Have you heard?

Have you heard what has been happening in the Wilmington Public Schools lately?  

Superintendent Mary Delai is leading Wilmington Public Schools in addressing the mental and behavioral health issues that our youth face.  Superintendent Delai’s approach to mental health issues is a refreshing combination of authenticity, vulnerability, innovative ideas, and active listening. 

Village Parenting’s part of this work is but one small piece of the district wide effort. It has been my pleasure to collaborate with the Wilmington schools over the last few months. 

  • By the end of the school year, I will have taught approximately 200 students the mindfulness curriculum from Mindfulschools.org. 
  • I have provided trainings for very open and welcoming  school staff on both Mindfulness and Family Engagement.   
  • As a result of our combined efforts, a district wide survey was administered to families in order to gauge school climate and other topics related to Family Engagement.  
  • Last week I participated in Wilmington’s first Behavioral Health Fair. 
  • I will also be offering two parenting workshops at the end of this month:  Intentional Parenting on May 24th, and Parents as Educators on May 31st.

In the midst of Mental Health Awareness month, I would like to share with you one of the latest blog posts from Superintendent Delai.  She highlights an important truth when it comes to mental health:  We all struggle.  All of us.  The truth of what we are each going through is not only ok to share, but sharing it is usually vital to our own healing.  Though it may feel like we are the only one who is going through something, that’s never true.  Ever.  I am a living example of this.  When it serves our work, I am open with my private clients about my own struggles with mental health.  Struggle is simply part of the human experience.

Here is the post from Superintendent Delai:

https://wilmingtonsupt.wordpress.com/2016/05/01/observing-mental-health-month/

Parenting Today


parenting is an art pic

Parenting is an art.

The norms of parenting have shifted over the decades. There has always been a range of styles within a generation of parents, but for the most part, parenting from over 40 years ago was more on the “Seen and not heard” or “Speak when spoken to” side of the spectrum.  Rules were rules.  Authority wasn’t questioned.  Kids didn’t question parents without a consequence for having the question itself. Along the way, however, emotional expression and autonomy became increasingly recognized as healthy components of the development of self.  Raising kids who question the status quo and think outside of the box has become more and more of a desired outcome. 

Where does this leave us as parents?  No longer as prescribed as it once was, parenting has become an art.  Rules are questioned, emotions are expressed, and kids are pushing boundaries.  Each family has its own culture and set of values.   We need to raise our kids with our family culture and values as well as our children’s unique set of needs in mind.

I am so grateful that my husband and I are raising our kids in an era when greater value is placed on emotional expression.  If given the choice between a prescribed set of rules to parent with versus a blank slate, I will take the blank slate every time.  But, there’s no denying it has become a more difficult and nuanced task.  

The current age of parenting has left many of us feeling directionless.  How do we get kids to do what we think they should do?  I have even heard someone say, You can’t really say ‘No’ to kids these days.  It’s just not how it works anymore.  To that, I say, not only can you say no, but you must say no.  We just don’t have to say no to everything.  And there are many positive parenting strategies to use which minimize the need for “No” in the first place. 

Parents tell me, My kids do things that I would never have done!  When I ask if they would like to duplicate their own parents’ approach, they do not.  They want a different way.  Here’s the thing.  Once you know what your set of parenting values are, it gets to be a Both-And.  That is, you get to BOTH allow your kids to express themselves AND set a firm, loving boundary where you choose to set it.  Figure out which rules help keep them safe and meet expectations.  Figure out where you can loosen the reins so they can think outside of the box.  Join your kids with compassion when they are struggling, and still set the boundary that you have intentionally chosen.