It was a beautiful North Texas evening in May of 2008 when the peaceful family I thought we had worked so hard to create exploded in my face.
It didn’t take much, just a phone call from my 20-year-old son telling me he’d spent the day recovering from an alcohol binge which had left him wondering where the last two days of his life had gone.
Fortunately for me, after getting over the shock of the news that he was struggling with an addiction to alcohol (where had I been the last several years of his life while this had developed?), he expressed a strong desire for help.
Though the road to his recovery became much more challenging before taking a turn for the better, his call was the parenting moment that prompted me to take a closer look at how I’d been mothering my five kids.
Part of my journey in assessing what I had been doing right as a mom, and in where I needed improvement, led me to read several parenting books. The one which truly opened my eyes and heart, and has become like a bible to me is The Conscious Parent, written by New York Times best-selling author and clinical psychologist Dr. Shefali Tsabary.
Dr. Shefali has appeared numerous times on Oprah’s Lifeclass as well as on Super Soul Sunday. From the moment she began her interview with Oprah, everything she said made sense to me about the relationship we have with our children.
“You don’t fix your child, you create the condition for them to rise.” ~Dr. Shefali Tsabary
After devouring her book (it’s now in at least six sections and highlighted with personal notes on 80% of the pages), I took Dr. Shefali’s online courses, and then attended the three-day parenting workshop she hosted in Los Angeles last December.
Dr. Shefali’s message enlightens us on how our children come into this world, through us, but not to be owned by us. They arrive with a blueprint as to what they desire and what God’s purpose for their life will be.
Oftentimes our own agenda, be it conscious or not, interrupts their journey to become who they are truly meant to be. Through our well-intentioned, traditionally dominant child raising practices, our idea of how they should behave, achieve, and perform can crush the spirit with which they were born.
This happens, in large part, because it is how we were raised by our own parents, who may also have loved us very much, but who projected onto us their own emotional baggage when we were young and impressionable. Because so many of our own emotional needs were not attuned to when we were young, our children’s behavior is constantly triggering us where we most need to grow.
I have found Dr. Shefali’s work to be so valuable in the relationships with my own family I have teamed up with four other area mothers to bring Dr. Shefali to Dallas! She will be speaking on May 5, 2016 from 7-9 p.m. at the Omni Hotel at Park West (635 & Luna).
If you would like to learn more about Dr. Shefali and her parenting work, please visit www.drshefali.com. Tickets can be ordered through Eventbrite by searching “Dr. Shefali” and “Dallas, TX”. Prices are $36 and $49 dollars.
This is a terrific opportunity for parents, grandparents, educators, and mental health professionals to witness, in person, this transformational parenting message.
Kimberly Muench is a Flower Mound mother of five and author of “My Mothers Footprints: A story of Faith, Calm, Courage, Patience and Grace.” To see more of her work or to contact her, visit www.realifemom.com.