By loving parenting.
Loving Parenting is a 6-session, structured support group series for parents living with children/youth who are experiencing mental health challenges. This support series aims to connect parents with other parents in similar situations, reduce stigma of mental illness, draw on strengths of children and families to accept their current struggles while simultaneously working to support their child and family by using the gifts and strengths of their faith community.
Loving Parenting involves a practice of approaching our parenting through a loving lens, to do it more lovingly, and to find more ways to love the beautiful act of parenting children who are struggling.
We also aim to do this using the familiar format of the Episcopal Church. From “The Lord be with You” to “Go in Peace,” from the Intercession to the Eucharist, we will wrap these familiar words and rituals around meaningful parenting experiences to incorporate what we already do on Sunday into the everyday of raising children.
Themes addressed in the series: Acceptance, Gifts, Attention, Asking for help, Needs, and Resilience
- Draw on the strength of the church community to cope with the complexity of raising children/youth with mental health-related issues.
- Learn new practices to incorporate components of Christianity into our parenting and into the loving of our children.
- Create a support community to reduce the stigma of mental illness.
- Share resources among parents in the same community with similar concerns and values.
- Model vulnerability, sharing, listening in group context.
- De-stigmatize mental illness and normalize the emotions, reactions, and relationships of those experiencing mental health challenges.
- Introduce Christian practices of prayer and reflection that will help individuals and communities discern where love moves in their lives, and where it is leading them.
(A note about our resources: We decided to offer these to our community, free-of-charge, because we believe the more people talk and learn about love, the better. It’s always helpful for us to know where our resources go, how many people are using them, what’s the most popular resources, etc. So if you haven’t already, please join our mailing list so we can stay in the loop — and keep you in it, too!)