“But I’m too busy to…”

Posted by Dr. Paul Goddard on September 02, 2014

I have the privilege of hosting Parent Workshops in Southern Utah on a regular basis. I am often amazed by the fact that the parents who seem to be the most busy are the very ones who most often find time to travel across the country to spend two days reflecting on how to best support their child’s growth and development in the wilderness. I know that there are always more things to do than there is time to do them! And so this is where we, as part of the human “race”, must evaluate our priorities. Taking time to build our own tool box is a great part of parenting!!!

  • I reflect on a role play with a parent in a recent parent workshop wherein the mother of a troubled boy, with tears streaming down her face, asked how to best express her love and concern for her son – searching for the words that he would hear. The whole group was moved to tears, with her, as we explored nonviolent communication that holds boundaries while simultaneously expressing love and acceptance.
  • I vividly remember a workshop experience during which we were exploring the “Wellness Cycle” (if you don’t know what this is – make sure to ask one of the Second Nature therapist or staff, because this is great stuff to know!) One of the mothers spoke so movingly of her own difficult childhood, and of her pursuit of health and happiness in her own life. Together we mourned her losses and celebrated her triumphs.
  • The father who spoke with such fervor of feeling completely lost in how to help his child, and how grateful he was to begin a process of healing in that relationship. His daughter later visited the parent workshop as an alumni speaker, and shared of her many efforts to avoid and escape facing both her trauma and her subsequent poor choices that reflected her numb and broken state of mind. What joy was felt by all who participated in this session to hear of her, though often difficult, courageous path of healing.
  • In the St. George parent workshop we invite parents to watch a film that explores learning differences, and frequently parents lament that they did not have this information earlier in their child’s life. Knowledge truly is power, and being armed with a greater understanding of how different learning styles may impact every aspect of a child’s life helps parents to more effectively guide their child, and also increases the parents’ ability to advocate for their child.

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After the workshop, parents often comment on how critically important this experience was in their own journey at Second Nature, and ask why we don’t require every parent to attend. And so, to those who are in the midst of traveling the path of Second Nature Wilderness with your child, I pass on the sentiment of your fellow travelers that it truly is imperative that you take the time to evaluate and bolster your own “tool box” of parenting and life skills!

Dr. Paul Goddard works with adolescent females at Second Nature Entrada in St. George, UT.


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