Who is Caroline Hexdall?
Foremost, I am a parent. Much of my writing on this blog is borne out of my joys, struggles, successes, failures and humanity as a parent. I also am a psychologist working with children – babies through young adults – and their families who may or may not have the added layer of having a developmental disability. My practice is holistic, strengths-based and grounded in mindfulness.
The initial spark for Real. Good. Parenting. came from several conversations I had with dear friends and fellow moms about one particular notion that was being spread across the Internet about how moms could be better mothers if they stopped yelling. Now, my close friends and family members would not put me in the category of “yeller” but by golly, there are some days when I have full-on yelled at my children. I regret every minute of it and wish it hadn’t happened but I am, at the end of every day, yelling or not, human. In my conversations with my dear friends, we came to the conclusion that such promotions of not being a yeller only bolstered the guilt felt by nearly every mother each time they started to get angry and their voice notched up on the decibel chart. Getting angry is a very normal human reaction. While I applaud parents who strive to not yell (and of course it is never OK to verbally abuse children, yelling or not) and may use some of their tips to channel the anger in a more adaptable way, I believe in showing my children my humanness and repairing any icky feelings afterwards, also showing the power of kindness and compassion through sincere apology.
So, with the spark to spread the notion of being authentic and real to fellow parents, it developed further as I built on my knowledge and practice of positive psychological constructs such as hope, life satisfaction, well-being, optimism and mindfulness to include others such as self-compassion, kindness and vulnerability. These are all good. Many of these ideas represent goodness in general but they also promote goodness in individuals and help spread goodness to others. Good, good.
And lastly, if it is to be a blog about parenting, there should be some tips, ideas, words, references, strategies, etc. about parenting itself. So such thoughts on parenting are shared as well. Importantly, I believe parents are often given too many tips and strategies that most of the time center around discipline and especially the notion that discipline means punishment. In fact, most parenting books center around disciplinary tips (which are good and useful) but miss the importance of understanding of one’s own parenting background in addition to the importance of the deep, positive connections children must have with their parents for any of the disciplinary strategies to work.
I welcome your thoughts, critiques, questions, answers, tips, etc. Enjoy and be well.