- - Sunday, July 14, 2013

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Culture challenge of the week: Parenting pitfalls

Have you ever been around a woman whose calm wisdom and gentle confidence uplift everyone around her? A woman who confronts the toughest parenting challenges with practicality, patience and peace?

My friend Marianne Clyde is that kind of woman. But she will be the first to tell you that she developed that peaceful perspective (which leads to the most effective parenting) only after foundering for years in the choppy waves of guilt, anxiety and endless self-criticism.

We’ve all been there, right?

We want to be good moms and dads, but we sometimes get lost in a fog of confusion and conflicting advice. We demand perfection of ourselves — and our children — so we turn ordinary parenting mistakes into endless opportunities for self-doubt and discouragement. And our children’s moments of immaturity, disobedience and limit-testing become ugly, negative confrontations instead of valuable moments of teaching and formation.

Through it all, we can’t help but compare ourselves to other parents, compounding the difficulty of the already-difficult task of parenting well in a challenging world.

It’s too easy, then, to lose sight of where we’re going and what we’re trying to do and end up paddling around in circles — or missing the beauty and joy of family life.

Marianne found a better way — and you can too.

In her book, “Peaceful Parenting: 10 Essential Principles,” Marianne draws upon her years as a family therapist — and her real life challenges as a wife and mom — to map out a life-changing approach to successful parenting.

“Being an effective and loving parent has very little to do with what others think about you,” she observes. “It is not about controlling your child but controlling yourself: your thoughts, your words, your actions. It is about an awareness of how your words and actions in the present moment can affect your kids for the rest of their lives.”

It’s a book that’s inspiring and honest, because Marianne’s “been there.” She says, “I retired from being perfect when I got my divorce. Perfection caused too much pressure: always trying to be what I thought everyone else thought I should be.” But she discovered the secret to being the mom that her creator wanted her to be — not the mom that she imagined everyone else wanted her to be.

“It’s been a long, hard, fun, crazy, and interesting trip from insecure wife and mother to MommyZen,” she writes, “but I want to share what I have learned along the way with you.”

How to save your family: Begin ‘Peaceful Parenting’

Through her book, Marianne shares her core insight about the incredible influence you can have as a parent, and then offers “10 Essential Principles” for more peaceful parenting. But that’s only the beginning.

Story Continues →