Parenting workshop series works to break ‘super parent’ myth

Being a parent is not always easy and sometimes parents will turn to books or the Internet for help.

Being a parent is not always easy and sometimes parents will turn to books or the Internet for help.

But sometimes, meeting with people face-to-face is what a parent needs.

Licensed mental health therapist Lynn Tienken and life coach Debbie Lacy recognized this need, so they have teamed up to offer a series workshops for parents.

Although the two women work in the same Redmond office, they had never worked together in partnership before coming together for their Conscious Mom, Conscious Dad workshops, which will be held in and around Redmond.

One of the things their workshops focus on is the “super parent.”

“The super parent is a myth,” Lacy said. “It is a mythological parent who can be all and do all.”

She said the super parent is someone who does not get stressed, can stay calm in any situation and juggle all the balls that life throws at them.

Tienken — who specializes in family, individual and couples counseling — added that parents often deal with the cultural expectation of being able to balance work and family life and still be there for their children 24 hours a day.

Tienken said as children get older, parents sometimes lose their ability to just be in the moment with their children as they are trying to do everything and be everywhere. The workshops she and Lacy are leading will help parents learn how to listen to their children and be there as parents.

Their first workshop, Conscious Moms, was held on Saturday at Health Within in Redmond. Lacy said they hope to hold monthly workshops on various topics — some will be geared specifically toward mothers, some toward fathers and some will be for both parents. Their next two scheduled workshops will be Conscious Moms: Happier Holidays from 6:30-9 p.m. on Nov. 13 and Conscious Moms: Year End Reflections from 1-4 p.m. on Dec. 6. Both workshops will be in Redmond, but specific locations are still to be determined.

Redmond resident Regina Ball attended the workshop after she learned about it through the newsletter for Mark Twain Elementary School in Kirkland, where her daughter is a first-grader.

Ball said she decided to attend the workshop because she was looking for new ideas on how to make parenting easier.

And just as the workshop’s title implies, Ball and her fellow mothers learned how to be more conscious parents.

“I think it’s super worthwhile,” she said.

Ball said one of the things she learned from the workshop was how setting an intention for the day can help things go more smoothly. And even though it has been less than a week since the workshop, she said she can attest to this technique’s success.

Earlier this week, Ball said her daughter was playing with their new puppy and the puppy kept trying to bite her daughter. Instead of getting frustrated with the situation, Ball said she reminded herself that her intention for the day was to be a calm and loving teacher. Once she remembered those words, she felt the situation shift into a more positive light and she was able to teach her daughter how to play with their puppy safely.

“If you live with that intention, it helps the rest of your day go better,” Ball said.

Ball said another thing about the workshops that she found helpful was just being around other parents. She said it was comforting knowing there are others who are dealing with similar parenting issues — such as not getting enough sleep — and laughing together.

“Everybody’s in the same soup,” Ball said.