I am blessed to be experiencing with my 3 daughters, ages 15, 18 and 21, a lot of the promises that Jean Liedloff made in her book The Continuum Concept. Blessed to have (mostly!) raised them in a way that is in harmony with their essential nature. Blessed to know that as a result of my parenting there are three young women in this world who are free from most of the pain that the majority of us walk around with. I wrote about this last week with the intention to inspire parents who want it to commit themselves to applying The Continuum Concept in their lives.
If you also have a sense that TCC speaks the truth, yet struggle with fully trusting it and committing yourself to doing whatever it takes to implement it in your family, or just want support in it, here are a few things that have supported me in the early part of my parenting journey, which may also help you, as well as new ones which weren't available when my children were young.
Journal / Meditate / Focus on your spiritual path
It’s easy to get focused on and consumed by the details and struggles of our daily life. And then lose tracks of our ideals, of our beliefs, and of the bigger picture. What keeps you connected to those? And connected to your core self? Is there a routine that you could create in your life that would support you?
Create a local tribe
When my daughters we little, I had 2 groups of specifically Continuum Concept families with whom I met regularly (in addition to several other groups who were also supportive, though not with a CC focus.)
One was a monthly Continuum Concept discussion group, consisting of mothers (and of course loads of children!) with whom I’d connected through various groups: La Leche League, Mothering Magazine and homeschooling groups. Having shared the book with everyone I thought might be interested in it, I was able to pool a decent group of people who were happy to come to my house once a month. We’d all brainstorm about how to apply TCC to various situations we were experiencing in our families, as well as social ones which would often play out right in the midst of the meeting! This is in large part how I figured out how to apply TCC in my family.
I also got to enjoy a weekly Continuum day which my friend Janet created. Four families would meet every Friday. One of us would be responsible for planning that night’s dinner and purchasing the ingredients for it. We would meet in the morning, somehow scramble a lunch for all of us (there was originally 9 children and eventually 12!) and together we would prepare that night’s dinner which we would split into 4 portions to take back to our individual homes and have ready to serve that night. We originally planned on also cleaning the house we were at, but quickly decided that we’d much rather take advantage of the social opportunity to be all together rather than spending a few hours in separate rooms and ending up with a clean house. Those were wonderful days where the moms had their social needs met, were engaged in adult activities, and the children were completely happy being socially engaged with children of all ages.
How can you create a local support? If you have a desire for it, brainstorm various local and online sources from which you could draw like-minded parents: LLL, meetups, attachment parenting, natural living, homeschooling, natural food coops, etc. And hold on the saying “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” It may take time, effort and creativity to create your tribe, but I have found it to be well worth the effort.
Participate in online support
You are blessed nowadays with something I didn't have when I was first raising my children, which is access to anyone IN THE WORLD!
I was excited to discover recently that there are a few CC Facebook groups, a Continuum Concept list serv, as well as a few Continuum Concept Meetup groups. There are also undoubtedly a host of other groups you could join which even if not specifically CC would offer you support.
Though connecting with people online may not be as rewarding as meeting in person, it IS a great way to connect with like-minded people. Is there a way you can use your computer to create support for yourself? What would be supportive for you and fit your personality and preferences? And if there isn't a group that specifically resonates with you, could you create one?
(I’m planning on soon creating a Facebook page connected to my website, which will be dedicated to supporting you in parenting according to CC principles, and where you’ll be able to ask me questions. Make sure that you’re on any of my email lists if you want to be notified once it’s activated.)
Create phone / Skype support
My absolute favorite new(ish) technology is Skype! I love the feeling of connection that I get when talking on Skype, being able to actually see the person I’m talking to. It’s not only been wonderful to connect with my oldest daughter who lives 1100 miles away, but has allowed me to create new friendships which are deeply supportive of my current path.
For example, my current deepest interest and resonance is in the nonduality approach to spirituality. After doing some individual and group sessions with a teacher, I was invited into her Facebook group. Through this group I have connected with a woman from California as well as a young man from Brazil. Both of those connections are supporting me in deepening my practice and embodiment of a work towards which I am currently deeply guided and is adding tremendous value to my life.
Can you find group calls in which you can participate which would offer the type support that would be most beneficial to you? Do you resonate with someone’s perspective and experience in some online group with whom you could buddy up and talk on a regular basis? Did you meet someone with whom you connected but doesn't live in your area, with whom you could still develop a mutually supportive relationship over Skype?
Again, I’m looking into creating this type of ongoing live support for parents who would like it, so stay tuned for info on this.
Meet with parents who have done it
A significant event in our parenting journey was when my husband and I got to spend time with a wonderful Continuum Concept family living in Vermont, who at that time had 4 teenage daughters. The sense of peace, ease and harmony that we experienced in that family was unlike anything we’d ever seen before and has stayed with me to this day. I vividly remember us walking out of that house 17 years ago, and saying to each other “This is who we want to be when our children grow up.” I wish I remembered the name of that family so that I could let them know what an impact they had on our family.
It’s one thing to hear about the peace in the Yequana tribe, but to actually get to be with a Western family like yours who has lived in the Continuum way, to get to EXPERIENCE it, is worth endless numbers of books. It can ground in your bones what is possible.
Parents of older children can also offer a perspective that is inaccessible to us while we’re in the throes of daily ongoing situations with little ones.
Invest in professional support
If you have a sense that you’re off track and unable to easily make the internal shift to parenting from a Continuum perspective on your own, hiring a Continuum Concept coach (or another parenting expert that you deeply resonate with) might be one of the best investments you could ever make for your family. Someone who embodies the Continuum principles (whether or not they call themselves Continuum,) who’s parented from that perspective and is skilled in supporting parents in making the shift to that approach. The benefits of more deeply embodying the Continuum principles in the context of your family will benefit you, your spouse and your children for the rest of your lives, as well as generations to come. And hiring a professional very well might be the most direct path to make that happen. (See my Home page for info on scheduling a free session if you'd like to explore the possibility of working with me.)
I've met a few parents who had easy access to naturally parenting from a harmonious, connected and effective place. But for the vast majority of us, it takes a lot of effort and time to unlearn and undo all the programming that’s in us. To access the clarity of what’s true for us. To learn to live and parent from that place. I've found that creating both inner and outer support is a key in achieve that transformation.
Do you want support in applying a Continuum Concept based approach in your family, with a tribe of committed parents? Check out my Parenting For Wholeness CLEAN PARENTING™ Program, and lots of testimonials of the impact it's had on TCC families!
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