A Wonderful Parents’ Workshop

We had the most wonderful parents’ workshop in England two weeks ago. Marya Axner, the International Liberation Reference Person for Parents, came over from the United States to lead it, and we were joined by parents from Sweden, Switzerland, and Germany.

Marya talked about how much we love our children, and how much they love us, but how society gets between us and our children and doesn’t allow us to own and openly show our deep love for them. She encouraged us to really notice and feel it. She talked about how we as parents have this powerful contradiction to all our distress right in the middle of our life.

I loved the class she did on our children’s big struggles and what they are like for us. They can mean having to face and discharge our own chronic distress again and again and can feel like nothing gets better for a long time. Sometimes they can mean completely reorganising our lives, for example, taking our children out of school or rearranging our work so we can try to make things go better for them. It’s okay to make these big changes—society is that hard and wrong for our children. 

During the leaders’ day, Marya talked about taking ourselves seriously as leaders and how we have the “authority” to lead other parents. We have had all the experiences of being a parent and have fought hard and learnt a lot. We also have a particular perspective and the tools of RC. All this gives us great authority to lead other parents and communicate what we have worked out. Often our feelings of insignificance make us forget that we have many skills and much support and information to offer. We have figured out so much. When faced with any parenting problem, we could probably suggest at least five things that could make a difference.

There was a brilliant class on our relationships with our co-parents. Marya suggested that maybe it isn’t such a good idea to constantly have sessions at them because they have not filled our frozen needs—that we need to discharge those frozen needs instead!

We all laughed a lot about sex as part of a long-term committed relationship. It was clear that we all have a lot to discharge about this but have had little opportunity.

Marya talked about how as parents we get to encourage each other, back each other, to show everything—all our struggles as well as the depth of our love. We get to have each other with no limit, no end—all the way through everything, forever and ever. We need each other. We need parents’ liberation.

I left the workshop happy to be so well connected to other parents and involved in such a hopeful project.

Bess Herbert

London, England

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders of parents

(Present Time 186, January 2017)

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