Priorities for Parents

  Last month I led a day-long parents’ liberation workshop for twenty-two parents in the southern California (USA) Regions.[1] The following seemed to resonate strongly with them, so I’m sharing it here.

  When you boil it down, there are basically three things we parents do to support our young people’s re-emergence. I think of them as three parts of a pyramid:

  1. At the base of the pyramid is having sessions ourselves, getting ongoing support in the face of parents’ oppression, and cleaning up the early distresses that complicate our parenting, our relationships with our children, and our intentions to provide solid support to young people. This is where we should put the majority of our effort.

  2. In the middle of the pyramid are things like “special time,”[2] play listening, and RC family classes, playdays, and workshops—all the things we do to build trust and closeness with our young people and help them feel more confident.

  3. At the top of the pyramid is thinking about and paying attention to young people as they struggle and have hard times—encouraging discharge, setting limits and staying close in the aftermath, providing contradiction[3] and perspective, and so on. 

  Too often the pyramid gets inverted—at least in our minds. We put the bulk of our attention and spend most of our energy on “giving children sessions” and thinking about their struggles and how to lend a hand. We put less time into things like “special time” and play, and even less into our own re-emergence—having Co-Counseling sessions, being part of an RC class, attending RC workshops.

  I encouraged us as parents to not invert the pyramid and to keep aiming at putting significant time into and attention on ourselves—for our own sake as well as for the sake of our young people. 

Randi Wolfe
Pasadena, California, USA
Reprinted from the RC e-mail
discussion list for leaders of parents

[1] A Region is a subdivision of the International Re-evaluation Counseling Community, usually consisting of several Areas (local RC Communities).
“Special time” is an activity, developed in RC family work, during which an adult puts a young person in full charge of their mutual relationship, as far as the young person can think. For a specific period of time, the adult lets the young person know that he or she is willing to do anything the young person wants to do. The adult focuses his or her entire attention on the young person and follows his or her lead, whether the young person tells, or simply shows, the adult what she or he wants to do.
Contradiction to distress

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00