As we progress through the three parts listed below, perhaps surprisingly, we discover that we are all dealing with virtually the same basic issues in the same way. No matter our philosophy or training, they do not address the following:
We are all using a Hidden Parenting Manual (you already have it, but …)
The Parents’ Dilemma (getting to the source of resistance)
The Children’s Dilemma (it was once ours, too … is it still?)
If you take no other parenting class, this is the one to take. It will set you up for a fresh start.
This session begins with a look at the process of early learning, and, just as importantly, what - specifically - are our children learning from birth to three? What did we learn that early that impacts our point of view about life, about people, about relationships, and about learning itself? Are there constraints on our view that if lifted, would result in more openness in our communication, more understanding, compassion, and intimacy in our relationships, and less confusion or guilt in our responses?
We act, feel, and imagine without any recognition of the influence of past experience on our present reality. - Dr. Daniel J. Siegel, The Developing Mind
We will explore this influence, and add a little more about human neurology, memory, and meaning. We examine the occurrence of trust, fear, and emotions. We also learn a new tool: “listening for” something, an active rather than passive act (note: this is different from what is known as “active listening”).
In our earlier sessions we looked at human behavior as those things we and our children (learned to) say and do, and how they became automatic and unnoticed. In this session, we are going to look at our “relational environments” as “contexts” within which we say and do everything. We could say that these contexts (the way we say and do what we say and do) have an overriding influence on the responses we get from others when we say whatever we say. Once we learn to see (notice) differences in contexts within which our family life occurs and their impact on our relating to others, we can begin to create new ones that call for more communication (sometimes, more talking; sometimes, less talking; almost always more listening), trust, collaboration, and accomplishment. Participants will practice describing already-existing contexts, and create new ones that can replace (transform) problematic ones.
This final session is the heart in the series. We re-examine an ancient behavioral paradigm, one that shuts down communication without our realizing it. Participants will understand how and why this unnoticed shutting down of communication got started and how it works, and why a unique and simple shift in our current behavioral assessment paradigm causes a natural increase in meaningful and satisfying communication. A quick review of our disciplinary strategies leads to a uniquely powerful solution to behavioral problems. Participants will practice using this new information and see former problems disappear as if by magic. Participants can then begin to discuss the really big or stuck issues in our families, communities, and nations, accelerate our children’s growth and development, and increase our own productivity in our work in the world within lasting and fulfilling partnerships.
Upon completing this curriculum with Marty and your classmates, you will see your children - all children, and all others - in a new and moving way. You will know exactly what Rumi meant when he wrote:
Graduates of this curriculum will have access to ongoing practical discussions and practice in turning any relational and learning problem into an opportunity for new learning while building closer, cooperative, and more joyous relationships.