Jessica Silverman is a Certified Parenting coach, Positive Parent Educator and an early intervention speech-language pathologist, and she joins Laura Greco in an interesting discussion around compassion as the secret to positive parenting. Jessica takes great pleasure in serving the needs of children and their families. She is the founder of Parenting with Clarity, which is a heart-centered business designed to help parents experience greater ease and positive and lasting changes in their families. She shares much wisdom and heart as you will hear and she herself is a parent of 2 children. Join us for this compassionate discussion and gain the wisdom shared here.
Hello. I’m Laura your host, and you are listening to SuperPower Mamas. I’m so excited to have both you and my guests with me. Today, we are talking on the topic of compassion, the secret to positive parenting. I have Jessica Silverman with me. She is a certified parenting coach, a positive discipline parent educator, and an early intervention speech-language pathologist, who takes great pleasure in serving the needs of children and their families. She is a founder of Parenting With Clarity, a heart-centered business designed to help parents experience greater ease and positive lasting changes in our family, and she’s a mom of two children.
I’ve known Jessica for about a year now. We’ve interacted in mutual groups, and I just love Jessica’s energy. She is such a sweetheart, and you could see that her sincerity is truly there and shines through everything that she says and does. So, Jessica, I want to say thank you for being here and welcome.
Laura, thank you so much for having me, and thank you for that beautiful introduction. You just warm my warm. Thank you.
Aw, so glad to have you here. We also start with a very first question, and this is for everyone. So, when you think about your superpowers, what is your greatest mama superpower?
When I think about my superpower, the first thing that comes to mind is compassion. Compassion is what allows me to stay calm and centered when my kiddos are acting in a less than ideal way. You know what I mean, right?
Yes. Yeah. Yes. And, you have a boy and a girl, so you have a mixed family there.
I do. Yes. My son is in 7th grade, and my daughter is in 9th grade right now.
Yeah. In addition to being a mommy yourself, you also, as a coach, work with other families in their journey, as far as parenting goes.
I do. I do.
How do you see these superpowers as assisting you, not only yourself and your family, but I’d like you to address both yourself and your family, but also the parents, or the families that you help.
Yeah, absolutely. So, in addition to being able to stay calm, having compassion for my children, I look at their behaviors differently. I look at what I see them do, whether it be rolling their eyes or raising their voices or slamming a door, I look at them as symptoms of something deeper. I look at them as like a cry for help or that they need me on a different level, and when I look at these behaviors through the lens of compassion, I’m able to give them the empathy that they need, and look at them understanding the struggle that they’re having in that moment, even if they can’t put words to the struggle I know that it exists. It allows me to support them in the most effective manner because I can respond to them rather than reacting. You know that knee jerk reaction that we can have when we take a behavior personally?
When what they do we think is them trying to get back at us or looking at their behavior as something mean or rude, and rather I like to look at it as they need me. There’s something that is missing for them, and they need me in that moment. Or, maybe they don’t have a certain skill, maybe that skill isn’t developed yet, and I need to support them in that development.
That’s what I want to help other mothers do as well. I want other mothers to look at their child’s behaviors through a new lens, through a different lens.
I love that. I love that because often we look at our, we want to look at our children, of course, as individuals, and little people who have such value, right? However, as you mentioned, their development may not be in a place where they can appropriately verbalize what’s going on for them.
Right. Right. When those big emotions show up, we don’t necessarily react in the most desirable fashion.
To say it in the nicest way possible.
Well, right, and often isn’t it true … I think of the word react. Reaction is like a react, like we are basically going off something we’ve maybe have learned ourselves, or developed ourselves as we go through life dealing with different things.
Right. Absolutely. And oftentimes, children’s reaction trigger us. Maybe it’s bringing up a memory of something that’s happened in our past, or it could be from our childhood, it could be some other experience, and it’s bringing up some old feelings that we may not necessarily be aware of.
True. True. Our little mirrors, aren’t they?
They are, Laura. They are.
And yet, what a blessing.
I’m sure you would agree with me, although it may be challenging in the moment, and we think of when you’re in the moment of something happening that you may feel like you’re about to react to. Often times if we just pause as moms, it gives us a chance to, as you said, exercise that compassion or look at it in a new way.
Oh, right. That pause that you mentioned, that is so critical.
It allows us to take time to breathe and to center ourselves so we can respond in a more helpful manner.
Yeah. I remember hearing a saying … Maybe you remember this too … Of the count to 10 first. How true that is though, right? Count to 10, just to have that opportunity to pause. So, as you help your children and learn to exercise these kinds of skills of compassion in your family, you’ve also developed your skills as a way to also help other families.
How did you begin that journey?
Well, as a parent, you discover how much you don’t know, how much you don’t know. You know, Laura, I started working with children at a very young age, as a babysitter, and I was a babysitter. I worked in camps, and I worked so much with children, and I knew that when I was going to choose a profession I wanted it to be related to working with children. I choose the field of speech-language pathology. I always joke that my clients have gotten progressively younger because I did start out working with adults, and I now I work with children who are as young as one. I work with the birth to three population.
So, I thought when I became a parent that, “I got this. I got this. I’ve worked with so many kids, and I’ve worked with so many parents that when I have my own that …” I didn’t think it was going to be easy, but I thought, “I got this.”
Intuitively, I understand children. I understand child development, and I will tell you that I experienced more challenges than I thought I would.
So, I was on this personal journey, this personal quest to find answers, to find the most effective ways, the most helpful ways to support my children.
I knew that I could not just keep this information to myself, and I wanted to share it with other parents, with other moms. That’s really how I then became certified as a parenting coach, and also a parent educator, and I’m always learning because there’s always more. There’s always more to learn. There’s always more areas of growth that is necessary. Especially, as our children get older and the challenges change.
The challenges that I’m experiencing now with my children are different than they were when they were toddlers and preschoolers and in elementary school. Now, we’re in middle school and high school, and it’s different.
That is true. I really appreciate that you brought that out, as well as you shared your experience of working with children all through your young life and then the experience of parenting was a different journey. More or less like you embarked on what Joseph Campbell calls the Hero’s Journey. It was just a new chapter.
We have to take a quick break, Jessica, but I would love before we go to have you share your website or how people can get in touch with you.
Great. When we come back, we are going to talk a little bit more with Jessica about this topic of compassion. Compassion, the secret to positive parenting. What I’d like to do is turn our attention when we come back, Jessica, to the idea of how this really begins with the mom. So, we’ll have our listeners wait for that, and we’ll be right back. You’re listening to Super Power Mamas, and we’ll be right back.