From Me To We: Introducing The Ultimate Parenting Course
By Jessica Williams
Nov 18th, 2011
My husband and I had three children in less than five years. After years of a hustling and bustling “me,” my children and I became a living “we.” I was never alone. I wore each baby in a sling until they were ready to crawl; I nursed on demand, well into the pre-school years; our queen-size bed never had less than three people in it (and often still has five). For six years I spent endless days with other moms and their children; we created co-ops and field trip groups and together navigated conflict, communication, and the emotional well-being of our children and ourselves. I relished life in the all-consuming, deeply connected world of motherhood.
After six years of mommy-ing exclusively, however, it was time for me to rejoin the workforce. Late at night, with my youngest nursing herself back to sleep in my arms, I took out my laptop and my new work in the world was absolutely clear to me: I would assemble a series of techniques to speak to the daily challenges of child-rearing that I had faced and that had threatened to cripple many a mother’s equilibrium around me.
My work was informed by my thousands of hours “in the field,” working with other mothers creating intentional community for our children with accountability and follow- through. The tools I wanted to share were also learned in my own childhood where I was raised by two parents, who between them had teaching credentials, an MA in human development and a license to practice psychotherapy. They parented with intention and always “leaned on the growing edge of the child.” A family saying from my recreationally rock-climbing parents was actually “leave some blood on the rocks.” I was taught to be fearless as I leapt into new experiences, and a fall was to be expected rather than avoided. My therapist-father valued self-awareness and enrolled me in communication workshops with top-notch psychologists throughout my teens. My ability to create a manageable system of techniques was also informed by my mathematical, systematic music-brain that had earned a degree in professional music. From first-hand experience, a culture of emotional fluency, and a brain that likes order, I created the L.O.V.E. Parenting Techniques.
When I launched L.O.V.E. Parenting I was immediately rewarded with overwhelming interest. I taught the L.O.V.E. Parenting Techniques at the Sanctuary Birth and Family Wellness Center, Birth and Beyond, Exhale Center for Sacred Movement, and to young mothers at a halfway house in Venice, CA. I taught workshops for the pediatric offices of Dr. Jay Gordon, Dr. Linda Nussbaum and Dr. Jody Lappin, Outside the Box Creative Academy and created course content for Conscious Motherhood’s Birthing a New Mother program. I wrote articles for LA Parent Magazine, LA Mom Magazine, the Center for Building a Culture of Empathy and Compassion, and regional Mom’s Club groups. Parents sought out my counseling: single mothers, single fathers, couples, stay-at-home moms, working mothers and celebrities. Most consistent and deeply meaningful is my weekly column for Mothering.com’s All Things Mothering. It is here that I continue to write every Tuesday to help with the daily challenges and deepening opportunities in parenting. In April, 2011, I began answering questions for the Ask An Expert forum in Mothering.com’s community forum wherein the answers are read by thousands across the globe.
Within months of writing for Mothering.com’s Ask An Expert forum, I recognized the vast global audience of parents I was reaching and I wanted to do more for them. I was teaching a class in West Los Angeles and I wanted more parents to have access to the material that was making such a difference for the parents in my community. I decided to create an online parenting course. As I was developing the course and cultivating the best way to harness the material for the long distance learner, I decided to ask a few of my colleagues to contribute an article to the course. When I threw out the query for submissions, I was honored by an outpouring of enthusiastic responses.
At once, the “me” of presenting a L.O.V.E. Parenting home study course for parents was quickly usurped by the powerful “we” of the best of today’s parenting experts together in one program. As the cadre of experts appeared before me, willing and able to lend their voices, I knew this program was going to be bigger and of more impact that my wildest dreams with parent educators co-creating in a way that had never been done before! I switched gears from focusing on text contributions and began filming interviews with the experts. I researched authors with cutting edge parenting information and asked for their participation in this course. I interviewed MDs, PhDs, psychotherapists, educators, and administrators; gathering information, insights, research, tools, and techniques to create the material for the groundbreaking parenting course that would support conscious, informed parenting in one location!
I developed the eight core areas for children from birth to seven years, and then placed the experts’ interviews into these eight themes. From the interview material, I fashioned written exercises of self-inquiry to understand the parents’ conscious and sub-conscious motivations and action exercises to be done with parent and child to integrate the material; to deepen connection and/or navigate conflict. The course wouldn’t be complete without the voice of the elders and as such, I interviewed one Native American grandfather and included lullabies from one internationally respected Brazilian elder. I even added one celebrity interview, as she is one of the most inspirational mothers I know personally. The result is the Ultimate Parenting Course.
The eight essential themes of the Ultimate Parenting Course are:
Parent Identity: integration, intention, awareness
Sleep: daytime, nighttime, routines
Feeding Your Children: breastfeeding, weaning, solids, toddler eating, go-to lunches & dinners, allergies
Attachment: creating a secure, healthy attachment and sustaining this beyond babyhood
Individuation: facilitating the child’s natural and necessary separation and autonomy
Conflict: dealing with challenging behavior with respect for all involved
Co-Parenting: effective communication under one roof or two
Community: building and sustaining community; extended family, school, spiritual community, other families.
Each essential theme contains an exclusive interview with multiple Ultimate Parenting Course experts, including:
Dr. Christine Carter, Ph.D, author of Raising Happiness
Kim John Payne, M.Ed, author of Simplicity Parenting
Elizabeth Pantley, author of No Cry Sleep Solution
Betsy Brown Braun, MA, author of Just Tell Me What To Say
Catherine McCord, creator of www.Weelicious.com
Dr. Jay Gordon, MD, lactation certified, La Leche League Advisory Board
Dr. Laura Markham, Ph.D creator of www.AhaParenting.com
Dr Linda Palmer, DC, author of the Baby Bond
Dr Jennifer Karon-Flores, DNM, www.nurtureclinic.com
Shajen Joy Aziz, M.Ed, author & co-producer of Discover the Gift (book & film)
Sheryl Paul, MA, www.ConsciousMotherhood.com
Nathalie Kunin, M.Ed, creator of www.TeamTutors.com
Victoria Melgard, M.Ed, founder of Outside the Box Creative Academy
Carrie Dinow, LMT
Catherine DeMonte, LMT
Hala Khouri, MA, creator of www.OffTheMatIntoTheWorld.org
Veronika Sophia Robinson, founder of The Mother Magazine, UK
Bill Stierle, communication specialist
It has been quite a journey from Me to We in my identity as a mother, and in my career, and I am thrilled to have the company! We is the collective, the community, the embrace of the human family and from within the We, you are never alone, always taken care of and always protected. I am part of your “we,” here for you to on your journey of parenthood, with love and compassion, and tangible tools to make your daily life more manageable––a life with deeper connection and more joy in parenting.
You can learn more about the Ultimate Parenting Course at www.UltimateParentingCourse.com.
The course contains 8 videos/8 themes, a bonus video, and a Handbook.
Every month features a different Ultimate Parenting Course expert in a free, live teleclass; the next one is December 13!
There is also a FREE QUICK GUIDE VIDEO containing excerpts from the expert interviews.
VISIT ULTIMATEPARENTINGCOURSE.COM FOR YOUR FREE QUICK GUIDE VIDEO WITH EXPERT EXCERPTS FOR IMMEDIATE INTEGRATION OF TOP PARENTING ADVICE!
Jessica Williams created the Ultimate Parenting Course with a cadre of the best of today’s progressive parenting experts together in one online program. Jessica is also an international expert for both Mothering.com’s Ask An Expert forum reaching over 1.5 million viewers per month, and the upcoming KidsInTheHouse.com. Jessica created L.O.V.E. Parenting with a series of techniques for effective communication, deeper connection and more joy in parenting and life. She maintains a private coaching practice in her native Los Angeles where she lives with her husband and their three children. www.LoveParentingLA.com and www.UltimateParentingCourse.com.