And then it hit me that I had to sign up for this five day training thing for no other reason than to nurture my own heart. I had to do it for me.
When I got there I think I was one of two women and one grandmother who were “just” parents. Most everyone else had a professional connection to this work. It was a transformative week. The fact that I knew this was going to benefit my children and our relationship was at this point merely a plus.
I found NHA about 8 months prior. I had wanted to present a whole different set of parenting techniques to parents at my childrens’ school, a set of techniques that had gotten me out of some deep dark woods (ie, fights, threats, meltdowns, and showdowns) and into a more stable disciplined environment. The only trouble now was that we (my son, my daughter, and I) basically hated each other. So when the principal suggested I listen to some tapes by Howard Glasser based on his book, “Transforming the Difficult Child” I did.
Now, over more than two years, I’ve immersed myself in this work either as a parent or a coach to other parents -- sometimes just fitting it in amidst my responsibilities as a caregiver and a bookkeeper, sometimes devoting hours to it in a volunteer capacity, but always applying it to my life because it is about so much more than transforming a difficult child, although it needs not be anything more than that to be fantastic, and it is. (Believe me, I know from years of experience that nothing can be sweeter than transforming a difficult child if he or she happens to be yours….except taking that transformation and applying it right to your own self. That is equally sweet.)