When I am in NYC, I stay with my Mom on the Upper East Side, the neighborhood where I spent many years working as an admissions director in an independent school. Interviewing 500 families a year in that job,(and having a child in a school in the same neighborhood) I know a lot of people!! I often feel like the mayor walking down the street because I always run into many people that I know. On a trip last month, I bumped into four acquaintances in one hour. That is the beauty of a walking city like NY – connections are easily made and life can be oddly public.
Now, public and parenting don’t always go so well together. Humbling, Embarrassing, Yikes having people observe your interactions with your child, can be hmmmmmmmmmm, interesting. I had an experience this weekend walking along the streets of the UES where I was privvy to three very explosive interactions between parents and their children. On Sunday, a beautiful sunny day, there was a situation on Madison Avenue where a father was yelling at his pre teen daughter with such fervor that it drew a crowd. His body language was so intense that it looked as if he might hit her. A few blocks later a mother was so frustrated and angry with her children that the Dad stepped in to mediate. Finally, the next morning, I witnessed a little girl crying because her feet hurt from walking too long and the Dad (walking many feet away) yelled in a very critical voice,” That’s cause you never walk enough, now move it”
In our house we used to have a lot of turmoil and behavioral challenges to deal with. That was before we discovered the work of Dr. Stuart Ablon of Think:Kids,(www.thinkkids.org) a philosophy of working with children and parenting that has changed our lives so dramatically. A common sense, basic mediation technique, Dr. Ablon’s approach has taught us to slow down, take each other’s perspectives into account and problem solve together. Our son, Ellis comes up with better solutions to potential conflicts than we do. He recently announced to us that he wants to be a diplomate and teach everyone how to “problem solve collaboratively”. (which is a miracle as we had terrible two types of tantrums in our house many years after he was two) Another fun example was a few months ago on a vacation in Colorado, tired after a long day of skiing I was not patient with Ellis and he looked at me, totally forlorn and said, “Mommy why are n’t you problem solving with me??? This reminded me how we almost never have power struggles anymore. This stuff really works!!!
In my professional life with Flawless, I have witnessed countless miracles with Dr. Ablon’s approach being utilized in schools, hospitals, juvenile detention facilities and residential treatment centers. This evidence based approach is revolutionary in working with children and adolescents who struggle with behavioral challenges. I was so pleased last week to hear from a school Principal who told me that half her staff is utilizing the approach and she joked that they have become “Groupies”. Once you truly embrace the philosophy and motto of Think:Kids which is “Kids Do Well If They Can”…………. life with your children is so much better!!! It is just remarkable!!
We are thrilled to be bringing Dr. Ablon to NYC for a conference on May 3rd – Come Join Us!!!