MY WORK WITH PARENTS AND FAMILIES My work with families rests in my desire to help parents and children come into a more satisfying relationship with themselves and each other. I look for what is working well for the family and at what isn’t. The work of parenting can be lonely. And it can be hard to find help that really is helpful. Our culture is awash in opinions, ideas, and judgments as to the right way to parent. I will certainly bring my expertise and ideas into the conversation, but I am most interested in supporting parents in finding and holding onto their own knowing about what works for their child. Kinds of Help Here are some of the ways that I can offer my help to families: I can help parents identify and manage their own fears and anxieties so that they are more able to tune into their child’s needs. From this more centered place, parents may be able to see their child more clearly for who their child is and find ways to respond to their child’s challenging behaviours and nourish their child’s spirit. I can help parents strengthen the sense of their own inner authority so that they are more able to set realistic limits with their children while staying in connection with them. For example, parents of 2 – 4 year olds often find themselves locked into a “battle of wills” that is frustrating for all concerned. A child’s big display of anger and temper can be daunting indeed. Parents may need support to acknowledge and value their child’s emerging emotional fullness and power while setting limits and maintaining their own authority as parents. I can help parents and kids deal with loss, deaths, and traumatic events such as car accidents, home invasions, falls or natural events such as earthquakes. Events that disturb parents will, in some way, ripple through to impact the children. Work can be done to help parents and kids find stability and balance again. The job of parenting, of fathering and mothering, is one of the most mundane, commonplace and revolutionary tasks a person can do. How we are with our children shapes the future of the world. And although the work of parenting is important, it is not about being perfect. It is about deepening our connections with ourselves and with our children through tough and tender times. It is about building a safe house for love.