Yesterday and today it’s been excellent being back in Portland and taking in the fabulous spring showers. To make things even better, I’ve been at the National Parenting Education Network (NPEN) annual meeting along with an interesting mix of people who are immensely dedicated to helping and supporting parents. It’s hard to get any better than that, but to add even more frosting to the cake (I use this only metaphorically because I’m not really a frosting fan), I got to be here with Chelsea and Nora and Rita and . . . even Waganesh!
Here’s NPEN’s Vision Statement: The vision of the National Parenting Education Network (NPEN) is that all parents/families will have the information, resources and support needed to provide a nurturing relationship and an optimal environment that will encourage their children’s healthy growth and development.
What still surprises me is that very few people seem to understand the deep importance of parenting and even fewer seem to know about NPEN. Just in case you don’t know about NPEN, here’s the website address: http://npen.org/
In this coming year, NPEN will be turning the corner and beginning to incorporate and post original content on it’s website. You can become a member (it’s cheap, only $25) and join the listserv. Additionally, at some point in late summer or early fall, Sara Polanchek and I, along with the many experts and parents associated with NPEN, will be launching a series of parenting podcasts underwritten by the fabulous Engelhard Foundation. So . . . be watching for that.
In the meantime, tomorrow night Families First Missoula is having a fundraiser. Check it out here: https://www.childrensmuseummissoula.org/events/go-mad-spring-soiree/
And FF Missoula asked me to write a short parenting philosophy. . . and so here’s that: Parenting is a balance of many things; it includes balancing joy and disappointment and love as well as anger. This makes consistently parenting well an immense challenge. Perhaps the biggest parenting challenge of all involves being able to simultaneously set limits while communicating empathy. This is difficult because often children need (but don’t want) their parents to be an authority—and it’s easy for parents to become too authoritarian and consequently lose the ability to respond empathically to their children’s developing emotional struggles.
And finally, here’s a photo of my two daughters engaging in the balance of conducting some sort of smell check with each other. Don’t ask me why.