I’m so pleased to share this recently published book by my friend and colleague, Dr. Saliha Bava, and her partner, Mark Greene.
Although we might agree in theory that parenting is indeed a relational endeavor, our language belies this perspective. For example, we describe the child as “oppositional defiant” as though she existed in a relational vacuum, without that ‘other’ person she must oppose.
Diagnostic criteria focuses on the individual and obscures the parts of the relational system that promote imbalance and ill health. This extends beyond the family system to the school, community and environment in which families are situated. But responses to poverty or racism are not part of our diagnostic nomenclature. We focus instead on the interiorized pathology of the individual, as if divorced from her community and relational world.
Bava and Green eloquently describe what happens in the relationship between parent and child:
“As we are shaping them, they are shaping us”
Indeed, we are changed as we parent, uncovering parts of ourselves as we are buffeted from one intense emotion to the next.
Green talks about the opportunities in this process:
“for me to discover that I have some agency in those relationships, in those spaces, that there are ways I can operate that help me not fall prey to my own doubts, fears or concerns. “
The doubts, fears and concerns we harbor as parents are openings for change:
“If we have more flexibility, if we can look at problems from more angles, if we can hold our fears and concerns more lightly, if we can be more playful and collaborative,
If we can wait and see what’s emerging before we name and define our responses, all of these things are possible .”
I invite you and yours to hone your “family relationship superpowers” by engaging with this brilliant and captivating guide. The Relational Book for Parenting: Raising Children to Connect, Collaborate, and Innovate by Growing our Families’ Relationship Superpowers is now available.
Enjoy this video by the authors https://player.vimeo.com/video/267271358“>video by the authors and you and your family can grow your relationship superpowers!