We had the good fortune of connecting with Lital Feldman, founder of Life Parenting and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lital, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
During my Parent Education courses, I came across the quote “Everything can always be different” by Dr. Alfred Adler. It has stuck with me as a reminder that there is always hope and that what I do and how I react to others is my choice. It comes up frequently in my conversations with parents that it really is up to us to decide how we behave, teach our children and interpret different behaviors and experiences. As parents, we’ve all had the thought at least once that things are getting out of control, that we are not the parents we wanted to be or that we are not good enough. Adler’s quote reminds me that it is never too late to change. We can make different choices, and we can learn to become better parents.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
When my twin girls turned two, I learned the hard way why parents call this stage the “terrible twos.” I called it the “me do!” phase. You can imagine how chaotic our morning routine was with toddlers demanding in stereo to do everything by themselves. It wasn’t long before they moved to the “I said NO!” phase. I slowly realized that our precious time together as a family felt like a constant battle. Then it dawned on me that all the theories and knowledge I gathered during my Psychology and Child Development studies in college lacked key practical aspects. I needed to know what to do in the moment of conflict. I searched for a discipline method that would help me provide my children with the emotional support and opportunities they needed at that age while still maintaining control over the situation without drama or feeling like I was a bad mom. A friend told me about the Adlerian approach. It’s a discipline model that eliminates all punishments and rewards in favor of encouragement that addresses the children’s basic needs to belong and feel capable and significant. I had never heard of this before and was skeptical, but after listening to parents’ success stories, I decided to give it a try. I participated in an Adlerian parenting class and was amazed to see that things started to change at home after only a few meetings. We learned how to set healthy boundaries while providing the kids the opportunity to practice their independence and sense of capability. My twins cooperated – and thrived! The success of this approach intrigued me. I started to read more books and participate in professional webinars and classes. Friends who saw the change in my kids’ behavior asked if I could share “the recipe.” I loved sharing the model, and I was thrilled when they got to witness the impact it made on their families. It wasn’t long after when I decided to make this a profession and become a parent educator to help more parents with their parenting challenges: from setting healthy boundaries for toddlers, screen time management, sleeping, and potty training to successfully resolve teenage dilemmas and more. With our busy lifestyles, it feels as if we parent on autopilot. We react to incidents and put out fires, but we don’t take the time to proactively manage, lead and steer our family in the right direction. It seems that there is always something more urgent that prevents us from spending our time and energy on our parenting skills and what we want our children to learn. Fortunately, “everything can always be different,” and with a little help, we can take back the steering wheel.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love Orange County, and there are countless places to explore within two hour’s drive! One day you can walk on the beach and enjoy dinner with an ocean view. The next day you play in the snow at Big Bear or go for a hike in the desert. There are also great malls in Orange County. Irvine Spectrum Center, Fashion Island, and South Coast Plaza are among my favorites. If you love nature, there are many beautiful trails to hike or bike. We enjoy Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park. It has incredible kid-friendly trails with gorgeous ocean views along the way. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
With most kids struggling with lack of familiar routines, distance learning and social isolation this past year, parents had to take on the roles of teacher and entertainer on top of everything else. My shoutout goes to all the parents who, as challenging as this year was (and still is), found creative ways to keep all the balls up in the air!
Gil Marom, Sky Peak Photography Nurit Shteinberg photography