Today I am prepping and packing to leave for Long Beach, CA tomorrow to assist Dr. Shefali with her 3rd annual Evolve Conference. What an incredible weekend I know this will be. Dr. Shefali’s teachings are so powerful, not just for parents, but for everyone, because everyone used to be a child and undoubtedly has some childhood “stuff” to heal. I have seen so many incredible transformations among people who follow and learn from her work. Her work has changed me as well – as a parent coach, a therapist and most importantly, as a parent.
Applying the teachings as a parent myself
When I work with parents now, I not only have theoretical knowledge, but real-life, lived experience with my own children. I now understand deeply that the way to “get a child to listen” is not to try to “get” them to listen at all, but rather to connect with them, make sure they feel seen, heard and understood, and then the rest will naturally flow from that base. It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? And it is, yet it can also be complex. This is one of the many paradoxes of life. But once you understand and practice it, it does get easier. It is my greatest pleasure to work with parents as they learn how to do this.
A full schedule…
This week has been really busy for me, as I celebrated the release of my good friend Dr. Partha Nandi’s new book Ask Dr. Nandi in New York. The next day I left early in the morning to present a workshop called Ages and Stages of Development with my good friend Sue DeCaro. And today, I am packing to fly to LA tomorrow. All of this has left my daughter feeling clingy and expressing her displeasure about me being away from home so much.
She and I have a very close relationship and she really leans on me when she needs help. This is a wonderful thing, but can become challenging during weeks like this. I have explained to her and she understands that my work is very important to me and that I have a calling to help parents to form relationships with their children that are as special as our relationship. I reminded her that she will have Daddy and Grammy with her this weekend if she needs anything. She is working through her feelings, and we have made a plan for connecting via FaceTime each day while I’m gone. I will send her photos of the hotel, and me with my friends that will be at the conference.
Staying connected to our children when we travel
All of these things help my daughter to still feel connected to me while also allowing me to travel to do the things I love. I believe it is so important for parents to continue doing what they love after they become parents. If they don’t, they lose their own identity. And then when the kids get older and leave home to begin their own lives, the parents are left with no identity, forgetting who they were and what made them who they were. This is a recipe for a mid-life crisis.
We surely would not want our children to be slaves to anyone else in their lives. We teach our children best by modeling how to live a fulfilled life, form and nourish precious relationships with others, and to know who we truly are.
What will you be doing this weekend to remember who you truly are?