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Monday, April 1, 2013

SoMoms #sessions: Dialogue within the Family

I had long wanted to attend a Coach Pia session but was unable to do so because of personal reasons.  With the popularity of the internet, there is just so much information that needs to be filtered and processed!  Added to this would be parenting seminars from "experts" popping up all over the metro, being a discerning consumer is a prudent trait that a parent must have.  Imagine my excitement when I found out that Unilab was sponsoring a SoMoms Sessions on Creating Structure for Dialogue to be conducted by Coach Pia's One Core Institute.

UNILAB is one of the best known local pharmaceutical companies.  Despite being a relatively young company (they started post-war), it has expanded its reach to countries in the Asia-Pacific.  UNILAB prides itself as providing not just quality but affordable products for Filipino families.  Because their emphasis is to promote and enrich life for all communities, I was pleased to learn that they have also decided to sponsor activities which they believe can uplift and promote family values - such as this SoMoms parenting session.

As a mom with young kids, a top concern is to have open communication lines to promote exchange of ideas and to allow us to dialogue.  During the session, we learned how to create a space conducive for a family dialogue and how to make each member of the family open to dialogue.

First is to identify the leader in the family.  Even if you are a parent, it does not mean that you are the leader in your own family.  It is possible that there could be other influencers e.g. an aunt, a grandma, et. etc. To succeed, I learned whoever the leaders in the family are, they themselves must be open to dialogue.

Coach Pia asked us to look back on our own relationship with our parents - which fortunately was excellent for my family.  I was lucky that I am able to refer or talk to my parents when I have parenting issues with my own kids.

We were also able to identify the natural tools that that we used to lead our own families.   These natural tools come with our own upbringing - which would include the issues we had with our own family.  More importantly, I learned how to use my frustration and turn it into an area of energy - very helpful during trying times with a preschooler and a toddler.

With our attachment parenting lifestyle, the principle of positive discipline is most challenging for us.  The seminar made me realize how important this was to ensure success of a dialogue.  Coach Pia emphasized that children should be encouraged to approach and talk to you.  Physical closeness and maintaining a positive relationship are just some of the ways to inculcate this in the family.

I also learned the importance of simplifying my lifestyle and expectations.  Big expectations come with dealing with more.  Dealing with more comes with having even more expectations to fulfil.  It is a vicious cycle and thus, we need to shed what the non-essentials and focus on what is really important - definitely less is more in this case!

It was a very enlightening session and I would like to share with you some points I took away that I hope would help our family create a structure for dialogue:
1. Be accepting - define what is within your control and what is not.
2. Choose to be present at the moment.  Do a reality check on lifestyle expectations and standards.
3. Choose to listen and take away the burden to respond.
4. The most challenging for me - Expect your children to be children.  Children are not extensions of yourselves and they are naturally questioning, exploring, experimenting, curious and overly excitable.

As parents, we have to be discerning in choosing which seminars to join.  I would highly recommend One Core Workshop Series.  The facilitators are backed with years of expertise and have excellent credentials.  If you are unsure whether the paid workshop is right for you, you can opt to try out the free monthly learning sessions.

Do you attend parenting workshops?  What do you look for when you sign up for one?

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