Many people ask me how and why the Conscious Parenting Revolution started.
I guess it would be apt to say that my parenting journey began when my first child, Sam, was born.
One day, when Sam was about 2 years old, my husband and I looked at each other from across the room in bewilderment—and realized that we didn’t know what to do next. We knew we wanted to raise an autonomous, confident, loving child—but we didn’t know how.
That was when the real work began.
Both my husband and I were raised in deeply traditional families that prioritized obedience and compliance above self-determination and autonomy. Although there were many foundational elements from our childhoods that we wanted to pass on to our kids, forcing obedience and compliance wasn’t one of them.
Instead, we wanted to inspire authentic consideration for others in our children. What did that mean to us? It meant teaching them to find solutions to meet everyone’s needs (including their own), rather than insisting they ignore their own needs to meet someone else’s.
I would meet and collaborate with my childhood friend and esteemed colleague, Claryss Nan Jamieson. We reconnected in Hong Kong by chance after losing contact for many years! We were both pregnant with our first child and were raising our families together and struggling to find our mojo! We wanted to feel confident we knew how to respond to the day to day problems.
I had begun a course of study that would guide me through the techniques of great psychologists Dr. Thomas Gordon and introduced her to it and we both spent years being mentored in the approach and then training in this modality and eventually both becoming certified coaches/trainers.
Along the way we met child educational psychologist Dr. Louise Porter who wrote the book Children are People Too. Her book had some real distinctions and differences to Gordon’s and I began writing to her about it!! We became fast friends and our correspondence ended up with Claryss, Louise and I co-writing the Guidance Approach to Parenting course over about a year. This is now the core training of the Conscious Parenting Revolution.
There were two more huge influences that informed the training we created. One of them is Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, founder of the Center for Nonviolent Communication. I was blessed to get to sit in his international intensive training and to spend years being mentored by him. Both he and Gordon were students of Carl Rogers, an American psychologist and among the founders of the humanistic approach in psychology. How they each developed it was slightly different. I think of myself as the great synthesizer! Blessed to have been a student of each of them.
What did my conscious parenting journey mean for me?
It meant a lot of hard work.
It meant my husband and I had to break many habits we had picked up during our own upbringing.
It meant learning to find balance between changing negative patterns and not being reactive to past trauma.
I’ve been on the Conscious Parenting journey for over 20 years now and it has been one heck of a ride. It isn’t over either! But it’s a journey I’ve LOVED! Why? Because I have two beautiful, loving, independent, confident, and considerate children who make it all worthwhile. And, I get to support and share the work that brought about the transformation in me with all of you.
Love and Blessings,
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A 3xTEDx speaker, media contributor, parenting coach, and a mom of two - helping families thrive by using the Guidance Approach to Parenting.