Today's post is a guest blog by my friend and colleague Penny Mayo. Penny offers practical solutions for parents of challenging children from her home in Ottawa, Ontario. Although we've never met face-to-face, Penny has become part of my parenting "tribe"!
When life is hard, we need a tribe. When life is good, we need a tribe. Basically we always need a tribe!
When my boys were young, I found myself going through a divorce and ended up as a single mom. I was told it was important to get out and socialize. While I had a great support system who would absolutely support me in this, “going out” was easier said than done. Paying the babysitter, taking friends away from their families, finding places to go…just felt too hard on top of the job of solo parenting and working. My solution was to turn to the internet after the boys were in bed and I was ready for the next day. I was searching for those places to socialize.
It was also around this time that I was introduced to Dr. Ross Greene’s method of collaborative problem solving. It resonated so I put it into action with my boys and the successes were incredible. I wanted to talk about it but the parents I knew either didn’t agree with it or didn’t need a “parenting strategy”, it felt isolating to believe in this so much yet not have people to talk to about it.
One day, quite by accident, I found a Facebook group of parents whose focus was on this exact strategy. I quickly joined! It was so amazing to finally have a place to talk about this way of parenting; a place where they got it and they understood.
Then slowly, some of us started chatting outside the group, some of us “friended” each other, some of us talked privately on a regular basis. We started by sharing a little bit of our personal selves and then a little bit more until we became friends for real. Some of us have talked on the phone, some of us have met in real life and some of us are planning to meet soon. We have formed our tribe – on one simple foundation of wanting to parent our children in a collaborative way.
I have heard experts say that you can’t build human connection in the online world. I beg to differ…Vicki and I’s partnership is proof of this. Please “Like” our new Partners for Parenting Solutions Facebook page to hear all about our new project that has developed through this most unlikely path.
You can find my guest blog on this topic on Penny's website here!