RIDGEFIELD, Conn. -- For the nearly 15 years that Ridgefield social worker Lauren Wolfe has been in practice, she has observed many instances where parents put their children's needs over their own, and in doing so, neglect themselves.
"Very often, when I'm in a parent session, I would ask the parent, 'What do you do for fun?' and there is silence," Wolfe said.
Parents give their love, their time and their attention to their children, and at times they are giving so much that they are putting their own needs on hold or ignoring them entirely, Wolfe said.
"Part of successful parenting is being able to pay attention to your own needs," said Wolfe, a Newtown resident and mother of an 11-year-old and a 13-year-old.
Wolfe feels so strongly on this topic that she has created a workshop for parents called Mindful Parenting. The workshop's goal is to teach effective and positive parenting techniques for common misbehaviors. It also helps parents to reconnect with themselves, Wolfe said.
The workshop will begin Thursday, Oct. 6, and will meet for six Thursdays from 10 to 11 a.m. The fee is $150 for all six groups.
The dates of the workshops are as follows:
- Oct. 6
- Oct. 13
- Oct. 20
- Oct. 27
- Nov. 3
- Nov. 10
"Each week I will present a theme and often pull from the teachings of popular parenting books," Wolfe said. "Staying with that theme, I will also have parents complete a short journaling exercise to connect with themselves."
At the end of the workshop, participants will take part in a round of EFT, which is also known Emotional Freedom Technique or Tapping.
"EFT is very effective at releasing limiting beliefs and decreasing the intensity of negative feelings. So as you can imagine it is very useful in parenting challenges," she said. "Very often parents get into power struggles with children because their own emotions are being triggered.
"When those triggers are eliminated, parents are better able to be mindful and present even in difficult situations."
Wolfe said it's her goal for parents to allot time and space for themselves. "They should make time to do activities on a regular basis that fill them creatively and spiritually. And the bonus of this will be that the better they feel, the better they will be equipped to also meet their children's needs.
"And when parents are happier, children are happier and the home becomes more harmonious," Wolfe said.
"You know that expression, 'If mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy?' Well, it's true. Children can truly only be as emotionally healthy as their parents," she said.
According to Wolfe, "This group will not only equip parents with new, effective parenting tools but also help them to become more fulfilled in their role as parents."
During her professional career, Wolfe has focused on supporting children and their families. Wolfe has worked with children struggling with anxiety, depression, grief, trauma, social skill difficulties and eating disorders.
"I am so honored to work with incredible families and witness their emotional growth and healing," Wolfe said. "I have dreamed of doing a program like this for years and the time is now right for me to launch it."
To register for the parenting program or to learn more information, call 203-438-4848 or click here.
The workshop will be held at the office of Roseann Capanna-Hodge, 898 Ethan Allen Highway, Suite 6, Ridgefield.