Real stories from real parents. All names have been changed.
Becoming the Parent I Wanted to Be
One year ago, I would have described myself as a happily married, stay- at-home mom who enjoyed caring for and being with my two children, ages 7 and 4. I would even say I felt like I was a good mom.
As my daughter approached her 8th year, however, she seemed to be becoming more defiant and more disrespectful. She was refusing to get dressed for school when I told her she needed to; she talked back, would not pick up her toys, ran through the house and constantly picked on her brother. Battles were increasing. I felt my buttons being pushed daily. I thought I needed to get tough; to nip this behavior in the bud. I got firm, lectured, yelled, threatened and punished. It did not work. In fact, it backfired and one day my daughter announced she felt that I hated her. She also said that she felt sure that I wished she was more like her brother. Hearing this broke my heart and I knew I needed to change something.
A friend referred me to Karen. My husband and I went for a few parent coaching sessions and then I attended Parenting Perspectives’ 4-week class. Karen and Lauren helped me instantly. I began to understand my daughter differently. Instead of viewing her as defiant and disrespectful (which made me angry), I began to understand her temperament and her needs. She needed more time for transitions and when I gave her a heads up, limits and choices, she became more cooperative. I also understood that she was very sensitive. She experienced my anger and disapproval of her behavior as dislike of her, which hurt her and caused her to hurt me with her angry words and actions. I worked on my relationship with her doing lots of “heart to heart moments” and deposits as I learned in the class. Being empathic, setting limits calmly and briefly, were the key tools for me.
The new parenting tools felt good and within the month, things were better and my daughter told me that she felt my love for her. It is hard not to fall back to my old habits, but I worked at it and continued to meet with Karen for support when needed. Today, I am grateful to Parenting Perspectives for helping me be the loving parent I want to be.
Chicago mother of children 7 and 4
Parenting from the Heart
Before meeting Lauren and Karen the home atmosphere was chaotic. Nothing was working: rewards, punishment, bribes, and a point system. In addition, my son was struggling with misbehavior during class. He was being disruptive, sometimes shouting out without waiting to be called on. It was happening very frequently.
The first time I met Lauren and Karen was at Northwestern University while attending a workshop for parents of gifted children. After attending the workshop I was inspired and felt this was what I wanted in my family. I wanted to teach my kids these values and for my husband and I to reassess our own core values since kids are our mirror. I struggled in the beginning and sometimes lapsed into old habits but I continued with what I learned. I decided to contact Lauren who was extremely helpful and advised me to attend Parenting Perspectives’ course, Becoming a Conscious Parent: Tools for Parenting from Your Heart. I found the course to be a luminous pathway toward true parenting. I learned how to overcome clashes with my spouse and to take care of myself in order to take care of my family.
After only two weeks of the Parenting Perspectives class, I had a meeting with the school psychologist and social worker about my son. They asked me what I had been doing differently at home lately, as his behavior had significantly improved. When I told them of my experience with Parenting Perspectives they wanted your contact information so they can send other parents who may benefit from your programs. I had a similar experience with my daughter. The teacher said she noticed that my daughter was calmer and listening better. Again, she asked what I was doing different in my home. I am so grateful to Lauren and Karen and can’t wait to learn more from you!
In short, I will say the work that Lauren and Karen are doing for parents and future generations is significant: the passion, creative presentations, their true love and respect for each other, their willingness to share their personal experiences. Above all, I was affected on a spiritual level and saw my role as a parent from a different point of view. I pray to God to give me the strength to implement what I learned each and every day and to remain a conscious parent.
Chicago mother of children 6 and 8