“When you parent it’s crucial you realize you aren’t raising a ‘mini me’ but a spirit throbbing with its own signature.”

 - Dr. Shefali Tsabary, The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children

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My Story: How I Became a Parent with Perspective and Life Coach

As a parent coach and educator, I combine my academic training in developmental psychology, positive psychology and the science of happiness, with my personal orientation towards health and wellness practices that integrate the mind, body, and spirit, drawn from the wisdom traditions.

I have always been interested in how children think, learn, play, develop, and most particularly what makes them flourish. My passion for understanding children at every stage of development — from infancy through childhood, and the teenage years into young adulthood — inspired me to study what it takes to guide children to become their best selves, and what role parents, teachers, mentors, media, and technology can play in helping them thrive.

In my professional life, I conducted studies in developmental psychology and education as an undergraduate at Brooklyn College, as a Master’s and Doctoral student at University of Michigan, and as a research psychologist at Harvard University. As a corporate executive, I promoted educational children’s books at Random House, developed the children’s advertising guidelines and family viewing policies for ABC Television Network broadcasts, and advised television producers, writers and programmers. Throughout all of my professional experiences I saw myself as an advocate for children’s well being, finding ways to apply insights from research to support their positive growth and development.

It wasn’t until I became a parent that I personally understood the value of these insights and how they could help guide me in the sometimes overwhelming decision making process that we as parents face on a daily basis. Like many children in today’s standardized world, mine “walked to the beat of a different drummer,” never quite conforming to the traditional mold. Although generally delightful and enthusiastic about life and learning, he often made it difficult for me to celebrate his uniqueness, especially when he pushed the boundaries, didn’t always obey rules, or was seen as annoying by teachers and classmates.

In my heart I knew that if we shifted our focus from what was going wrong to recognizing what was going right and building on his strengths, my child could not only succeed but would ultimately flourish. After all, a tendency to push the boundaries, for example, is a necessary ingredient of creativity, and the ability to make up your own rules is an essential quality for true leadership. With this perspective in mind, I continued to read the developmental psychology research, poured over parenting books, spoke with other parents, educators, and other experts, always with the goal of helping my child thrive. What I discovered was that scientific research findings and expert advice were indeed valuable but the experience of really getting to know my own child, with his unique gifts, talents and strengths, as well as his challenges, was just as, if not more, important. I could not have maintained my focus on what was going right in my child’s life and how to help him build on his strengths to reach his potential if it not were for the community of friends, neighbors, educators and holistically oriented practitioners that I had assembled to support our perspective.

Through Parent with Perspective it is my goal to bring you useful and practical solutions to your own parenting challenges, to help you get to know who your children really are, nurture their strengths, celebrate their uniqueness, and to help you navigate your parenting journey with perspective. I look forward to supporting you as a Life Coach and welcoming you to our community.

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