It’s a good thing that the first Parenting on Track pitch I heard wasn’t “its based on love.” My love was never really the question…my boys’ survival to their teen years was. A friend told me aboutVicki’s class, and when I visited the Parenting on Track website I was promised that I could stop nagging and being a sherpa. (Right on!)
Arriving at class Vicki clapped as she followed us to our seats in a no holds barred display of what we do with our praise addicted kids…”oh good for you, you sat down, look at that sip of water that you took, yeah for you!”
It was ridiculous. And true.
So I won’t tell Vicki “good job” on her Real Parents, Real Progress ebook. I will tell you to read it.
Through 20 years of teaching she has culled stories that bring her philosophy to life. We can dissect the concept of a “mistaken beliefs,” and what it means in Adlerian psychology, OR we can talk about carrying a screaming kids to the car because of our intense desire to be on time for everything. Let’s talk tantrums. In class we add on to the initial tale with our own stories of buried alarm clocks, log rolls to the car, and backpacks stuffed with 3 week old homework while library books look longingly from the bench.
Illustrating each of the core lessons from Parenting on Track with stories from families is the format of RP, RP. It is an easy read. And an inspirational one. After taking her class, collaborating on an app, watching her DVDs, and traveling with her I didn’t imagine that this book would teach me anything new, yet after reading it in one sitting I had three scrawled pages of notes. Finally, the elusive fourth C. Start Road map with Leo. Re-do Family mission now that boys are older. Explain ABCDE. On and on they went. I was reminded of things I had started, techniques that would help, entertained by stories of families like ours.
The biggest gift was being shown that our parenting is never done…the settings and dialogue changes, but the motivation doesn’t. That image of the grown independent child, who chooses to have us be part of his life. He’s 18 months and asked to sit through family meeting while we appreciate him. He is three and chopping vegetables for dinner. He is five and riding the bus to school with the lunch he made himself. He is 7 and choosing his after school activities. He is 9 and planning and paying for his own birthday party. He is 13 and traveling across the state with a cousin. He is 19 and in college, calling home and managing his study time. He is 22 and employed. He is 30 something and parenting on track.
Thank you Vicki.
It is based on the love we have for our children that means we believe in them, we encourage them to make their own choices, we hold them accountable for those choices, we listen to them on a deep level, and we include them as the integral part of our families that they are. And it is based on the love we have for ourselves that means we believe in ourselves, we encourage ourselves to make sometimes really hard choices, we hold ourselves accountable for these choices, we listen to our own inner programs on a deep level (and often deprogram them!), and we see ourselves as individuals in a democratic partnership with our children. – Vicki Hoefle, closing of Real Parents, Real Progress.
Parenting on Track has shown up extensively in my past posts:
- Mistaken beliefsLunches