Reading time: 2 minutes
Have you ever felt listened to, I mean really felt you were heard? How often does it happen? Especially in my early parenting days, I often felt alone and overwhelmed. While I had good friends, they were all in the same boat as me. When we would meet, we were always with our babies and toddlers in tow, so our conversations were interrupted and disjointed. Occasionally we would meet for ladies nights, which were great fun and good stress relief, but they weren’t the right forum for getting deep into the issues I struggled with every day.
So I did what many of the moms I knew ended up doing. I focused on surviving each day, perhaps with the help of a glass of wine during the witching hour! At the same time, I scoured the internet and books for tips and tricks to get through each day with a little more grace. When I stumbled upon Hand in Hand Parenting, a lot of their articles and tools resonated with me. They weren’t quick behavioural fixes, but offered tactics for building deeper relationships with my kids and feeling more supported in my various roles as Mom, wife, daughter, etc.
I have tried so many tactics over the years, and Hand in Hand’s are the ones that I find my kids respond to best and that leave me feeling the most competent as a mother. What’s very different from other approaches is that Hand in Hand encourages parents to find another parent to partner up with and listen to each other, allowing each person time to vent before things build up inside and become overwhelming or unmanageable. Being truly listened to, in confidence with another parent, was such a novel and helpful life tool!
I am still in the process of learning to listen to my children and to communicate with my partner in a way that we listen to each other and resolve issues peacefully. As with most big changes, it takes times, but seeing progress is so encouraging. I am so encouraged by this approach that I want to share it with other parents. I want to not only feel supported myself, but to help other parents feel that way too.
I am grateful to have gotten to know Kate Orson, another expat in Switzerland who also happens to be a Hand in Hand Parenting instructor and author of the book “Tears Heal: How to Listen to Our Children”. Kate and I would like to build a parenting support community with regular meetups that are guided through a series of workshops. Each workshop will focus on a hot parenting topic. The first workshop will focus on how to deal with our children’s big emotions while at the same time taking care of our own needs. She will offer tools to use with your children and introduce you to listening partnerships.
If this speaks to you, see the event details and contact for me with any questions. If you made it this far, thank you so much for reading and I really hope to meet you in Jan!
Michelle Borner, a mom on 23 missions, blogs about her Deep Thoughts on a wide range of topics from parenting to conscious living to lessons from brain cancer.
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