Saturday, August 16, 2008

Weekend Parenting Retreat

Here in La Jolla, the Weekend Parenting Retreat takes place over the next two days. At first, I debated whether or not to call this a retreat, but after reviewing the definition I decided that it is the perfect word for this event.

re·treat [ri-treet] – noun
1.the forced or strategic withdrawal of an army or an armed force before an enemy, or the withdrawing of a naval force from action.
2.the act of withdrawing, as into safety or privacy; retirement; seclusion.
3.a place of refuge, seclusion, or privacy: The library was his retreat. asylum, as for the insane.
5.a retirement or a period of retirement for religious exercises and meditation. withdraw, retire, or draw back, esp. for shelter or seclusion.
Now, don't get me wrong. I don't see parenting the same way I view the military (although I do agree mostly with definition #4). However, in all honesty, I do believe that the withdrawal from the "enemy" is similar, emotionally, as it is to withdrawal from "the trenches" of parenthood.

Parenting is challenging. It's liberating, amazing, spiritual, uplifting and very rewarding. It's also hard work, emotionally and physically. It even affects our sexual selves (as most parents will argue).

My goal over the weekend is to help parents reduce the stress in their homes. I will accomplish this through educating them about unique strategies that have worked for many others (including myself). We will also use role play to help enhance the "usability" of these practices. And, of course, they will walk away with additional support, resources and references to refer to for years to come.

The parents that are going to be attending this weekend are fabulous parents. How do I know this? Because they're committing themselves to this Practical Parenting Program, which is an investment in both time and money. They're stepping aside from their duties as a parent, giving up their weekend to learn, support one another and renew their promise to be the best parent and/or spouse they can possibly be.

We're all trying to be the best we can be. But, we all make mistakes and have been known to make bad decisions, myself included. If we encourage one another, learn from our own - and others' - mistakes, we'll all be better off because of it. And our kids will thank us for it twenty years from now (I guarantee it).

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