Parenting the Soul is a grassroots organization to provide parents and child care professionals with tools, techniques, and new perspectives to help them better care for children and the “child” within themselves.
My husband, Joe, and I founded Parenting the Soul in 2000. Our goal was to find other like-minded families to create a support system because we felt very alone on our parenting journey.
We launched Parenting the Soul in St. Petersburg, FL, by sponsoring and organizing two workshops by international speaker Aletha Solter. Solter is the author of three books based on a philosophy called Aware Parenting, which advocates attachment-style parenting, non-punitive discipline and the acceptance of emotional release.
The two workshops were titled: “Discipline Without Punishment or Rewards,” and “Helping Your Child Heal From Stress and Trauma.”
We offered the two workshops for free because we understood how our economic system makes it difficult to survive, especially if you don’t have a support system and/or one parent chooses to be a stay-at-home parent. Joe was working at a dot.com at the time and making good money. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have been able to pay for everything.
To get the word out about the workshops, I placed an ad in a local women’s magazine. The editor later asked me to write a parenting column. Our son, Justin, was 4 years old. I spent the next two years writing a monthly parenting column on a variety of issues, including my challenges as a parent embracing a new parenting style.
Below are some comments from some of those who attended Aletha’s workshops:
Pamela Goldsmith, a mental health therapist in Orlando, who attended with her husband.
“We learned so much. Her workshops really made me think about some of the things I would like to change about my parenting style. I have been much more patient with (my son) since attending. … Her work has helped me become a better parent as well as a better therapist. Much food for thought.”
Cheryl Pollock, Regional Coordinator with The Family Source:
“As a parent and a professional in the social service field, it is very challenging at times. I always strive to become a better parent and learn new ways to handle tough situations. Like you, I am very passionate about helping others while strengthening my own abilities! I have applied some of the skills I learned already with my boys, and I was amazed at the results!!!! I even logged onto Aletha’s web site and read many of the articles. What fabulous information.”
Carolina Bailes, A Tampa stay-at-home mom of two boys, who attended with her husband:
“We didn’t go expecting it to change our lives. We went to learn to be better parents, but it changed our lives. … I’ve been so much more patient.”