One would think that after thousands of years of practice, parenting should be perfected. Well, we all know that is not the case – and probably will never happen.
Most of us, at least periodically, wonder if we’re parenting well, all the while experiencing anxiety and sleepless nights worrying about our progeny. This brings me to one of our newest clients. Author Amy Alamar, whose fascinating new book is entitled: Parenting for the Genius: Developing Confidence in Your Parenting through Reflective Practice (For the Genius Press, 2014) addresses all of the above – and much more. Her book is as much about the care and feeding of the parents as it is about bringing up children.
Amy, a mother of three, has taken her 15 years of experience working with children and parents within the educational system, and developed a blueprint, of sorts, for raising healthy, independent kids with character. What makes Amy’s approach so refreshingly different from other parenting experts is her use of Reflective Practice, an established educational concept that encourages us to reflect, in order to understand what we do, how, and why we do it. Sounds simple – but it’s incredibly helpful to take a step back, even in the middle of chaotic events, to put things into perspective and understand what’s really happening and not just how we feel about what’s happening. That kind of clarity lets us make better, calmer decisions.
Before we started work on this project – I didn’t know a thing about Reflective Practice, but there’s certainly an appeal to the possibility that we (OK, I) could stress less. The other great thing is how Amy enables parents to feel confident about their own skills. It’s OK to be human. It’s OK to make mistakes.
Stress-reduced parenting – what a concept! I felt that Amy needed a descriptor, a tag line for our media outreach, and I suggested “parenting expert,” or “parenting coach,” maybe even “parenting guru.” Ultimately, she decided on a deceptively simple term: “parent educator” – and what parent couldn’t use a little of that?