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  • Writer's pictureKelly Stever

Parenting Support That Really Helps

Updated: Jan 27, 2020

We live in an age of informational overload, and so much of it is frankly, meaningless. Since starting my psychotherapy practice, I have been inundated with ads promising me secret formulas to catapult my business to wild success in days. I'm sure there is good advice out there, but I am also sure that most of the keys to success can be found in the form of books (and podcasts), advice from colleagues, and sheer hard work. If you've ever typed a question into google (or lets be honest, spoken about an issue your struggling with in earshot of your phone), you've likely experienced the same thing. An absolute avalanche of offers to help you "fix" your problem. It can be hard work to side-step these often very enticing (as they're designed to be) offers. And real help can feel hard to find. One of the things I will try to do in this blog, is share resources that I have found to be truly helpful.

As you may know, I am the proud mother of three amazing children. You may be wondering: "Are you supposed to say that?! My therapist won't share details of her personal life!" And that's fair. Traditionally, therapists are instructed to limit their self-disclosure, for good reason (and for another blog post). But these days, its almost impossible to hide the basic facts of your life, and let's face it, psychotherapy has changed a bit from Freud's day (thank goodness). I believe my life experience makes me a better therapist and when I believe it benefits my clients, I will share insights from my own life. Being a parent is absolutely, positively, the most wonderful, terrifying, exhilarating, frustrating, and rewarding experience I've ever known. (Yes, it is basically all the things.) It pushes me to understand myself, others, and how I want to be in the world on levels I could have never imagined, and it humbles me regularly. One of the best things I've done in recent years has been to identify REAL sources of support and education. When I read these books, or listen to these interviews, I feel less alone, my perspective shifts, new understanding develops, and I feel empowered to bring renewed connection, leadership, and LOVE to my relationships.

Along those lines, today I wanted to share an interview with Dr. Tina Payne Bryson as part of the Happily Family Conference. Dr. Bryson is also a mom of three, the Founder and Executive Director of The Center for Connection, and author of multiple eye-opening parenting books, including my favorite, The Power of Showing Up, which she co-wrote with renowned parenting expert Dan Siegal. I love this interview because it describes those things every child must feel from their caregivers in order to be successful in building emotional confidence, competence, and resiliency. This topic is useful for anyone with a child in their life they are looking to support or nurture with greater impact (i.e. parents, teachers, coaches) AND for anyone seeking to further understand their own attachment patterns that emerged from their childhood experiences. As Dr. Bryson points out, the attachment style we inherited as children does not have to dictate our adult relationships, including and especially our relationships with our own children. Taking time to reflect on and understand our attachment stories allows us to find new (and better) ways of relating. In the rush of our busy lives, it can be difficult to find the time, motivation, and proper support to do this work, and here's where therapy can help. If you're a parent whose finding themselves feeling overwhelmed or reacting in ways that seem to be making things worse, but you don't know what else to do, please reach out. Having the right support can make all the difference!

Please note: You do have to provide an email address to access the interview I referenced, along with 24 other interviews as part of the conference happening now. This particular interview was posted yesterday, January 27, 2020 (day 5 of the conference). I have no affiliation with Happily Family or any speakers I've just found this to be a helpful resource and for that reason I'm sharing it with you! Happy parenting :) Kelly

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