I recently completed the training to become a presenter for the “Connected Parents, Thriving Kids” Imago-based parenting program. Much to my initial disappointment, I didn’t leave the intensive training bursting with confidence about my skills as a parent! Much like those who attend the parenting program across the country, I had to shift my expectations about how real change happens.
But in this shift, I received a powerful message about appreciating my own willingness to be “in the moment” as a parent to my children.
Rather than emphasizing parents’ failures, those wanting to use the Imago approach to parenting are invited first to be appreciative of our own willingness to look for input and evolve. We can be grateful for this opportunity to change. The work of this program is to help a person recognize that the parent she is becoming through this challenging process is infinitely better than the flying-blind parent she once was.
As a parent to two young children I am highly aware – thanks to the media, the mom forums, playgroups, etc. – that my own behavior is a template for my daughters’ expectations of the world. Yes, this is not new to me as an Imago therapist, but as a parent who is on call 24/7 I find it hard to integrate my Imago work with my own daily life (let alone my marriage these days!). I marvel at the idea that even simply opening myself up to new material, I am starting to shift the foundation of how I view parenting. Knowing that this will, in fact, improve the relationship I have with my girls now and their relationships with others as they grow up, is so heartening and fulfilling. It’s a relief to know that just by inquiring I am evolving.