Friday, January 21, 2011

Where do you find your parenting support?

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jacobcranky said...

hello rebecca
i really enjoyed listenting to some of the talks on the recent conference. unfortunately my computer happened to crash a few days before the conference. i managed to borrow computer and got to listen to a few of your talks ( and hope to buy the audio of your course you ran soon) and also lu's talk. i was feeling pretty overwhelmed, lonely and some despair about how i had parented recently. i found listening to the audio helped me shift to a place of self compassion. in particular lu's words that parenting is messy, and we will fall out with our children and disconnect and then we connect and then we disconnect and then re connect. i realised that i had been having these unrealistic expecatation and had this story that i should not be disconnecting from my child.

i live in a rural town in north west ireland. it is pretty conservative here. i do not know any parents in my local community who practise conscious parenting. i find it hard at times to hold my focus on my intention to parent with consciousness and my desire to parent using a partnership approach. i single parent an only child with very little support. i see that if i am to parent the way i woudl like, i need much more support. i need to find more community. i want to be more in the company ( life rather than syber company) of like minded parents. i want my child to experience being around other adults who hold his needs as important. i want to be around other people who remind me that my child is jsut a child, and often the way he behaves is because he is a child. i see the mainstream power over approach tries to break his spirit, train him to be good and obedient, loose his natural inclination. i need more parents around me modellingn how it is done. to practise this approach in isolation is really challenging. and i am still don't know how to find that community. for 4 years,( since my son's birth) i have been saying consistently, I need more support. I am still saying it, and have not yet found any way near the support or community i need/ want that would allow me to parent the way i want to. :(

samuela said...

Hello Rebecca,

you touch on a very important problem, one I have suffered for such a long time. Now my children are older and right at this moment I have found some resources, especially, as you say, somebody who will listen and not judge...this is the most difficult to find! I could not listen to the conference, did not have the time, and time is my biggest problem now, since I am working and homeschooling. I don't know how feasible or useful this could be, but perhaps meeting to talk together over the internet might be helpful - I agree with you that so many probably feel alone out there.
Many greeting and thank you for your mail

val said...

I would love to have meetings in my community where parents can gather together to support each other in their consciously parenting efforts and even to offer information and guidance to parents who feel that things just aren't going the way they had hoped. Maybe you could offer some advice on how to start something like that, some discussion topics to consider, and some suggested reading materials. I do not have any support for the way I parent and I never have. (My youngest is 11). It has been difficult at times to stand strong and stick with what I feel is right rather than what everyone else thinks I should do. I have a feeling that there are others in my community that feel the same way, it's just a matter of finding each other.

Rebecca Thompson, M.S., MFT said...

Jacobcranky, I really appreciate hearing what is happening for you in Ireland. So many people are feeling isolated, no matter where they are in the world- big city, rural areas. Nearly every parent I speak to says the same thing. I think there are many parents out there in the same situation- we just need to figure out how to connect people locally somehow. And thank you for your feedback about the conference.

Val- I'll work on some resources and ideas for my next blog post, so watch for that. You're so right- it is so hard to do what no one else is doing and in a way that you have no support as a parent. But being out there in the world doing what you're doing in the way you know best is still making ripples in the greater consciousness. Thanks to all of you for being out there making a difference in your own families. It matters!

For all of you who posted, one of the best resources I have ever found for finding our tribe is's Find Your Tribe in the forums. I met some women who were actually able to support me in my individual choices and who were able to connect me with others in my local community. You may want to check there to start. And scroll back to older posts or post your own there to see who else is out there.

Samuela- I'm definitely open to creating something else where parents can support one another. There is a Consciously Parenting FB group that has the discussion area. You're welcome to see if we can get something going there.

rasajac said...

sara here. not sure where or when i put jacobcranky as a username. ( jacob is my son). it is more of a 'mumcranky' situation at my house. i just tried to change the user name but cannot even see this username in my profile.

i look forward to looking up more on the finding your tribe.

i would love to have a course offered looking at this 'finding/creating the community and support that you need to parent the way you yearn to'.

i hear so often, that parents needs support, and i hear myself say on a daily basis, i need more support, companionship and community. as one of the other posts said, it is challenging to stand apart. I find it risky to consider putting myself out there ( again) in the hope of reaching other like minded parents. do i organise a course that might attract parents of shared values like a creative course or dance ; or do i invite someone to this region to give a workshop on parenting; or do i try start a group ( again- the last parenting group i tried to set up after my son jacob ( now 4)'s birth, orginally was to be called the natural parenting group. then someone told me that calling it naturaly suggested that other ways of parenting was unnatural, and so i renamed it the donegal parenting group. tho it did meet need for companionship, a lot of the parents who came along, leaned towards a more power over style of parenting. and i did not connect with many parents who tended to think about how they parent. and if i did start a group, what would that group be about. or shoudl i try setting up a nvc parenting group as i have been practising that approach for the past three years, or is that too specific. should i try an attachment parenting group. or should i try a consciously parenting group? or ??? so many decisions. i feel overwhelmed when i consider why i might do to try creating that communtiy i yearn for. i need support and community in order to do all that i might need to do to meet my need for local support and community. and how do i become aware of my own inner obstacles to this support. i realise more and more that i have a common script that i am on my own and that there is no one out there or i do not belong. these beliefs, i imagine block me finding my tribe. i like this term. finding my tribe.

i look forward to your blog that will soon appear.

Rebecca Thompson, M.S., MFT said...

Thanks for your comments. There, of course, is no one right way to proceed. Sit with what would be the easiest for you to do where you are in this moment and do that. So if you're studying NVC, it might make the most sense to see if you can find other parents interested in NVC. You might consider starting with something general to get people together and then ask what they're most interested in learning about by giving them a sampling. I attended a movement based women's group in the fall and it was wonderful. But I also would love the idea of meeting together to learn something or just to meet informally to talk about parenting. You may want to focus in on what you most need yourself right now and ask what step you can take to make that happen. Chances are that if you need it, then other parents in your community need it too. But start with one idea, as it is really easy to become overwhelmed.
And your own internal messages are also really important, so I'm glad that you brought that up! When working to change something like that, always embrace how you felt in the past. In the past, I believed that I am on my own, there is no one out there to connect with regarding my parenting, and I do not belong in any group. Now I know that it is not true. I know now that I am designed to be in relationships with other parents, that there are many parents out there who are seeking the same things I am seeking, and that I belong. This is just my example, so change the words around so that they feel good to you. To identify your own beliefs, just pay attention to what you are thinking when you think about finding your community without judging it. It is there for a reason.

Can't wait to hear what you decide to do on your journey to finding others! Do let me know if you have any more questions. I'm thinking about some way of making the information into a class.

Thanks for your comments!