PARENTING MATTERS: A JOURNEY TOWARD ATTUNEMENT

Parenting Matters: A Journey Toward Attunement

Struggling as a couple can make parenting chaotic. Parenting is chaotic anyway! Many of us notice that we’re not showing up in the ways we expected to in our partnerships or as parents. Navigating this can be confusing or feel impractical when we’re already attempting to attend to the existing chaos. 

I have created a yearlong group for parents—“Parenting Matters: A Journey Toward Attunement”—to help parents address their own relational wounding and begin a journey of healing in relationship, calming some of the chaos along the way. 

If you’ve been frustrated, thinking, “I wish someone would just tell me what I’m doing wrong and how to change it,” and if you earnestly aim to meet yourself with curiosity and a willingness to adjust your approach, this program may be right for you. This program may also be right for parents who:

-Bicker or fight because they’re not on the same page or disagree, or are uncomfortable with the other’s parenting style. 

-Find family interactions to be chaotic and disorganized, especially during disagreements or transitions.

-Parent in ways they promised themselves they wouldn’t: yelling, punishing, shutting down, shaming, being mean, etc. 

-Are tired of hearing themselves complain to friends and others about their spouse, co-parent, or child(ren).

-Lack coping mechanisms to calmly and effectively deal with the normal goings on and differing opinions within the family.

-Find family time depleting, overwhelming, or dis-regulating. 

-Know they have a role in the problem but don’t know how to clean it up.

-Are embarrassed by their family’s unhappiness (and carry around loads of guilt for feeling that way).

-Feel at their wit’s end, have considered getting divorced or leaving, or have regretted the decision to be a parent.

AN OPENNESS TO FEEDBACK

When couples make the decision to show up wholly and humbly in a new therapeutic setting, it’s an incredibly brave and generous choice. They’re willing to go far out of their comfort zone, willing to take risks, willing to retrace the same relational wounds they’ve been over a billion times—all for the sake of allowing someone new to get their world, even if they have no reason to think it will go differently this time around.

It takes a leap of faith, but it also typically takes one specific attitude: an openness to feedback. Being available to truly hear the other human beings in the room in a therapeutic setting—your partner and therapist, and, in this program, fellow travelers—and being willing to change behavior, based on the observations and understandings gleaned while doing the work, is the work. 

HEALING IN RELATIONSHIP

What we are here to do in relationship is heal and become whole. In partnership, we are healing the relational wounds we experienced as children. In healing and becoming whole, we become most adult. In an ideal world, we would do this before becoming parents to avoid doing the work in tandem with parenting and potentially leaning too heavily on our relationship with our children in order to heal. But as we all know, it’s rarely an ideal world. 

It is completely normal to be parenting; to be struggling in relationship with your partner; and to be curious about your relational wounding, behaviors, and healing. It is courageous to follow that curiosity and to engage in the journey of healing in relationship.

FROM IRRITATED TO INTEGRATED

This work is a constant process of moving from irritated to integrated. We come to the therapeutic setting agitated with our partners, the issues and with ourselves-irritated with our own behavior, because we’re lacking integration. As we begin the work of healing through relationship—being open to feedback, listening and holding space, being vulnerable with one another—we begin to achieve integration. Integration in the yoking together of disparate and incoherent aspects of self. It’s the coming together of parts, parts that when working in unison yield wholeness.

GROWTH IN COMMUNITY

If what you have heard so far is resonating with you, I encourage you to consider joining my Parenting Matters group. In the program, we will explore attachment and attunement, reflect on habits and patterns, and develop inroads for integration. Through the learning material and your experiences in both group and one-on-one settings, the program will provide you the opportunity to hear feedback and heal in relationship. 

We do this in community, because we heal in relationship. And we can reflect and adjust our own attitudes and behaviors better when we can see idiosyncrasies in others. It might be difficult for us to understand direct feedback on our own behavior; but when we can see others enacting similar behaviors, we may be more easily able to say, “Oh, I see them doing the thing. I think that’s the thing I do, too. We can both adjust this.”

The Parenting Matters program is a yearlong course, because integration takes a long time. The course will begin when we reach capacity, and the meeting times will be determined by what works for the most group members. 

For more information or to register for the group, please reach out to me at [email protected].  

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