by Beth Leyba
I am really excited about teaching Parenting with Joy: The Gentle Discipline Series at the mama’hood, offered in DENVER and BOULDER. I have been a mama for 17 years - I have a teen, a tween, an adult stepdaughter, two step-grandkids who are 5 and 4, and an adult stepson who passed away in 2014 at the age of 22.
Over the years I have watched with interest the ever-changing parenting landscape in our culture. I was very young when I had my first, and parented her in a very instinctive way. It was years later and another baby before I realized that the ways of mothering that felt best to me had names and rather large followings: attachment parenting, nonviolent or peaceful parenting, gentle parenting, and playful parenting.
While a combination of these different philosophies have been what’s worked for me, I believe firmly, as does the mama’hood, that YOU are the expert on your child(ren), and what works for one family may not work for another. With that in mind, our goal with Parenting with Joy is to give parents lots of ideas, tools and strategies to add to their parenting toolbox.
A lot of people mistakenly think that a “gentle” approach toward discipline translates to “permissive,” and that’s not the case. Our overriding philosophy is about creating limits, boundaries and guidelines for your household and children, then lovingly and respectfully enforcing them through connection, empathy and playfulness.
I feel very fortunate to have been raised by parents who consciously made a decision to emphasize connection and communication. My two brothers, my parents and I are very close and we even geek out when we get together, talking about personality types, interpersonal communication, and relationship strategies.
I highly enjoy exploring different parenting philosophies and ideas, and feel quite confident in my “take what works for me and leave the rest” way of moving in the world, and I encourage other parents to do the same, even when it comes to my class!
In addition to Parenting with Joy: The Gentle Discipline Series, I offer a Parenting with Joy Support & Play Group once a month at each of our locations—it’s an all ages playgroup where we watch and analyze the often hilarious and inexplicable behavior of toddlers and discuss any issues that families are currently facing. Your first Support & Play Group is included in the series tuition, but anyone is welcome to attend—regular group rates apply.
I’m also excited to announce Parenting with Joy: The Book Club! We’ll meet every other month to discuss a parenting book. Our first selection for September is Mindful Discipline: A Loving Approach to Setting Limits and Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by Shauna Shapiro, PhD and Chris White, MD, and is available for purchase at both of our locations. For planning ahead, our next book selection is No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame by Janet Lansbury, and is available for purchase at both of our locations as well. We’ll meet in November to discuss.
You do not need to have completed Parenting with Joy: The Gentle Discipline Series in order to attend. Our regular group rates apply: $14 drop-in per person, or use a punch on your card. Please register and pay in advance in order to reserve your spot, as there is limited space.