Balancing your family’s priorities
Why prioritizing play is paramount for your child & an announcement about an upcoming workshop free with your purchase of Advanced Parenting
Before I dive into this newsletter, I have two very exciting book events coming up to celebrate the release of Advanced Parenting next week!
A morning launch at The Corner Bookstore, Tuesday, April 11, from 8.30-10 am. A conversation with Lindsey Robertson, LCSW at The Connection, Wednesday, April 12, from 6.30-7.30 pm. (Childcare is provided with advanced registration!)
I hope to see you there!
Upcoming Advanced Parenting Workshop
Every family has moments where the parents disagree or the kid is fighting with the mom. And it's not because someone's right or wrong, it's because they have different perspectives and different priorities. Mindfulness about all the different priorities can help you to be more thoughtful about the balance you choose.
In my upcoming “Balancing Your Family’s Priorities Workshop,” I’ll be giving you advice on how to reconcile these priorities with confidence. I’m offering this as a free gift with every purchase of Advanced Parenting. Simply pre-order your copy to save your spot.
Below, I share a personal story about why taking a holistic approach to your child’s needs can help them thrive. I’d love to hear what approaches have worked for you or what you find most challenging when it comes to balancing your family’s priorities. Share in the comment section and I’ll do my best to address these in the workshop!
Learning what matters most
When I was first diagnosed with cancer at age four, my parents tearfully sat me down. They explained my diagnosis and told me a bit about what would come: procedures, chemotherapy, and radiation. But as a four-year-old, only one thing mattered to me. Amidst this very serious and stressful conversation, I grew wide-eyed and asked,
“But I can still play, right?”
To understand how a challenge will affect your child, you first have to understand where they are and what matters to them most. For my family, as I was going through the appointments, surgeries, and chemo schedule, prioritizing my play was paramount. They knew the open hours for the hospital playroom and used toy-store trips strategically to bribe me through painful or unpleasant parts of my challenge.
However, my needs were just one part of the family's needs. My mom had just signed up to go to school at night on top of her full-time job. My dad was living a few hours away to take advantage of a job opportunity that meant increased income for my family. We didn’t have family nearby who would help take care of me, so they had to make decisions about what would give and what wouldn’t. My mom wanted to try to make her plan to study for her MBA at night work, because in the long run it would be good for all of us.
Understanding all the perspectives and needs of your household can feel like peeling back layers of an onion. Sometimes you may need to be clear and selective about what your priorities are so that you can make necessary choices. Most parents instinctively keep their child’s priorities centered to anchor their thought processes.
But to make the best choices, you have to balance your child’s needs with those of the broader family too—the parents, the siblings, and any other household members. Every family has multiple balls in the air. Some are bouncy balls and if you drop them the show will go on. But others are glass and require more attention to keep intact.
Some of these particularly tough choices have difficult but necessary solutions. I’ve worked with countless families who had to make hard decisions around a parent’s job. In one case, the mother of one of my patients could not stay with her daughter in the hospital because if she missed more work, she would lose her job, and if she lost her job, she’d lose the family health insurance.
But outside of these obvious, important, urgent priorities, there is a whole spectrum of other priorities. Some for you, some for your co-parent, some for your children, some for your work, friends, or other family members.
While their health is essential, one of your most important jobs as a parent is to help your child identify and protect their priorities. I will help you develop and hone this important advanced parenting skill in my upcoming workshop - I hope to see you there!
Thank you for your support!
Since I first started promoting my new book, Advanced Parenting, online, I’ve received a huge wave of support from many of you, and in return I’d like to say a huge, warm thank you. The “Balancing Your Family’s Priorities” workshop is just a small way to show my thanks for your early support by pre-ordering the book.
I love the community we’ve built on instagram, facebook, and substack and still find time to read every single message even if I don’t always get a response. I am always learning from considering your perspectives.
And I’m really excited to read all the messages you send with your thoughts about the book, what you’d like to see more of, and even what messaging just doesn’t feel quite right to you. I wrote Advanced Parenting to be a resource that any parent or caregiver can reach for to find the answers you can’t readily find online, at school, or in the doctor’s office, and your feedback helps to refine the kinds of information I share.
This book - and the content I share about it - is for YOU, and I’d love to hear what’s resonating with you most.
PS. Don’t forget to save your spot for the workshop! More details to come soon!
If this newsletter resonated with you or made you think, please consider pre-ordering the book and sharing with any friends or family who may be interested. Pre-orders are SUPER important for the success of new books and I want as many parents as possible to be able to learn from the information I share.
Thank you for your continued support, encouragement, and constructive feedback!