With a mental health practice primarily serving young families, I predictably face questions about parenting. I routinely bear witness to the distress that accompanies insecurity, fear and overwhelm in parenthood. This distress is often amplified by pregnancy/postpartum depression and anxiety (or the lingering symptoms and effects of PPD/A as children grow). Plus, we're all familiar with the plethora of expert (and novice) advice ranging dramatically in approach, adding to (causing?) the confusion and frustration.
This is why I have much gratitude for the groundbreaking work of the Walsh family: Erin, Dr. Dave, and Monica. Their business, Mind Positive Parenting, has become one of the "go-to" parenting resources I enthusiastically offer my clients and community--I highly recommend this to parents, professionals working with parents, and anyone (parent or not) who's part of a "village."
Erin Walsh is a friend from college, where we grew together in friendship and feminism while working at the university's Campus Women's Center. A skilled educator and a natural leader with unrivaled Midwestern warmth, Erin joined her parents' institute, its mission to "equip parents and communities to raise children and youth who can thrive, meeting the challenges of the 21stCentury." Using brain science to inform their work, these folks are leaders in the conversation about raising healthy, empathic children (read more about them here).
Mind Positive Parenting helps deepen our understanding of the intersections of child development, media and research, while empowering families to effectively translate and use this information. Perhaps most profoundly, they insist upon each family's uniqueness, a truth that challenges sweeping generalizations and rigid measurements of "success." They openly speak to the tricky balancing act that is parenthood with a smart, nonjudgmental and refreshing approach. Find them on Facebook and follow their blog to keep up with their useful, compassionate work.
I've chosen one quote (of many I love) to feature on my website.When I'm able to engage with this tension, increase mindfulness and reach out to my supports, I can find my way back to the field of healthy critical analysis, empathy and deep listening. Of course this process is fluid, and my own abilities continue to evolve--they ebb and flow based on my internal and external resources, current stressors, distractions and triggers.