Hello Everyone! I hope this Newsletter finds you a little closer to BETTER this month!

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This Month’s Issue:

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Don’t Beat Yourself Up: A Journey to BETTER Parenting

One of the hardest things for me to hear is parents beating themselves up; especially when it occurs in one of my seminars or training sessions. I often hear parents and caregivers, when learning about “ideal” or “effective” parenting. Say things like, “I can’t believe I do those things”; “I’m such a bad parent!”; “Everything your saying not to do, I do!”. The silver lining in this uncomfortable but wonderful cloud is that, I know it usually comes from a good place, good intentions; a desire to want and do the best for their children.

It is important for parents and caregivers to cut themselves some slack. Don’t Beat Yourself Up! The “Shoulds” and the “Shouldn’ts” stack up and become a big pile of Should! It’s a mess and can cause a great deal of stress for caregivers. Now, I’m not saying that it isn’t important for us to reflect on our parenting to consider the impacts of what we do and say with our children but, it is also important that we not judge or blame ourselves too harshly.

There is a diverse range of parenting ways, manners and even methods that are out there and available to choose from. Some of us try out the parenting that we were raised with or accustomed to. Some of us try parts and pieces. Some of us caregivers throw off everything that we experienced growing up and try to work hard to “not do” what was done with us! And others may just “wing it” and hope for the best. Regardless of the approach, I have come to learn that almost ALL parents want good things for their children.

There are several important messages I want to convey in this brief discussion. First, it is important for parents and caregivers to know that they are doing some great things in raising their children. You are doing way more “right” than you are doing “wrong”. Second, something I say to parents who’ve learned that their particular (or parts of their) approach may not be helpful for what they want as parents or what they desire for their children is, “You Can Not Be Responsible For Something You are Not Aware Of!” Most of us do not want to intentionally mess up our relationships or, our kids for that matter. This is important because I have come to learn from so many parents that once they learn that there is a “better” way they are willing to consider trying it out.

This brings me to a very key point that all parents and caregivers need to hear. It is imperative to acknowledge that parenting, over the generations has changed due to many economic, social and political “things” and, that it will continue to change. It is so unfortunate that parents of decades gone by are often judged by our current standards and parenting practices; “How could they think such things?! How could they do such things!?”

I’ll tell you how; they were (just as most of us are) trying to do their best, at that time, with what they knew and with the resources, support and community they had. We may look back 20, 30 or 40 years from now and be judged for what we are doing and saying as parents and caregivers; what we consider are the “best” ways to raise our children. There is one thing that no one will ever be able to take away from parents and caregivers of all generations, any of us; we all wanted and continue to want the best for our children. Period.

So, what is the “best” way? I am not sure what “best” is. I know what “better” is for me and, I’m sure most children, youth and parents can define what’s better for them. This I believe is where we can start as parents, caregivers and families. What do we value? What do we know we are doing well? What does a little BETTER look like, for us, our children and our family?

Future Newsletters will attempt to offer continued resources that may help on your journey to BETTER. For now, I will leave you with some important questions to consider.

  • What are the goals that you have for your children/youth? Now? For the Future?
  • What are the goals that your children have for themselves? Now? For the Future?
  • What do you want for the relationship with your children? Now? For the Future?
  • What do your children want for their relationship with you? Now? For the Future?

Give these questions some serious thought, consideration and discussion – yes also with your children. You can not guess on the answers. The responses to these questions will help you as anchors and can guide you on your journey to BETTER parenting and BETTER relationships. Once you have the above questions worked out, consider how your actions and inactions (doing/saying or not doing/not saying) will help you achieve what you and your family hope for. In the simplest way, if you are doing or saying things that are not going to help you reach those goals, you have one of two choices; change what you want for your children and your relationships (this can be difficult, if not impossible) or, change what you are doing or saying in order to get closer to what you hope for; closer to BETTER.

The Greatest Leadership Experience Ever: 4 Key Factors > Read the Blog HERE

Getting to Better™ Kindness Partners and Friends:

Life Vest Inside: I am overjoyed to announce that founder of Life Vest Inside, Orly Wahba made it to the stage at TED 2013, in Long Beach, California. I was honoured to accompany her to the BIG show. She was amazing; sharing her story and her impassioned vision/mission for a KINDER world. Her presentation was met with a standing ovation from a packed TED audience. Because TED 2013 talks will not be released until the summer, we will have to wait to hear about the details, the talk and the important messages from Orly’s presentation. We at G2B™ and the whole Life Vest Inside Board are proud of her! A future Newsletter will be dedicated to Orly’s inspiring message.

See Beautiful™: Not many people know this, but the founder of See Beautiful™, friend and colleague Lydia Criss Mays, does what she can to increase the capacity of people and the world overall to See More Beautiful in themselves and others. If you have time, take a moment to check out her Vision and Mission. It is no accident that we are partners in this whole world changing thing! We love it!

Dr. Jean Clinton: Dr. Jean and I have been talking about joining forces for a while. Last week in Kingston I joined her in an evening presentation at Holy Cross High school, with hundreds of parents and caregivers. It was awesome! We are planning to be in Toronto on April 3rd providing a presentation for YJO: The Teenage Brain Under Construction. If you have a moment, check out her cute and informative video on the brain, bullying and parenting HERE.

Dr. Michael Ungar: Dr. Michael Ungar is indeed one busy individual. He works tirelessly to support parents and professional caregivers to develop the resilient capacities of children, youth, families and communities. He also writes articles and books. Great ones, by the way! Michael has written a full length fiction novel, The Social Worker. You can check out the book and an interview with Michael, about the novel HERE.

MYRIAD Update

We are pleased to announce that due to many requests MYRIAD is offering some independent, non-agency sponsored training opportunities.

  • Check out Training Opportunities in Australia for Frontline staff and Supervisors/Managers HERE.
  • Check out the Training in Winnipeg for ALL supervisors and managers in human services (health, child welfare, justice, child and youth care, etc.) HERE.

If you are curious as to how the MYRIAD trainings have been received by others, check out the Endorsements Page and/or Participant Feedback Page.