Welcome to PARENTING PATHS.
Aki with her Daughter. Photo by Alpana Aras King
Hi. I'm Aki.
I believe that life can become richer every day: NOT IN SPITE OF HAVING CHILDREN, BUT ALONGSIDE OUR CHILDREN.
My professional and personal life aren't separate. Both are about rejecting the idea that to live is to survive. It's about discovering what it takes to thrive.
Whether facilitating workshops, speaking to groups, or collaborating one on one through coaching, I encourage families to meet kids where they are now and help them to develop into the best versions of themselves. In the process of discovering who their children are and the kind of parent they want to be, adults think about who they themselves are and what kind of choices will lead to the lives that they want to move toward. The thriving thing starts to happen when perceptions shift. Decisions are made that result in forward movement toward a path that each individual must create for his or herself.
I am an adventurer, an entrepreneur, a traveller, a lover of life, and the mom to the best kid ever. On paper my life isn't perfect but I have found my unique blueprint for happiness. I believe that it is a human right to be happy, and so I suppose I am something of a quiet activist, and connection and love are my causes.
I have always loved children. For over ten years I have dedicated my professional life to strengthening families. My extensive experience runs the gamut, and includes work as an in home childcare provider, Therapeutic Shadow Aide, classroom teacher, family clinician serving families with disabilities, Positive Discipline Educator, and mental health consultant at a low-income urban preschool. For the past several years I have also been providing consultation and education privately to schools and to families. My MA in Infant Mental Health has armed me with scientific knowledge of child development, social-emotional growth, and the psychology of parenting young children.
Most important for you to know is that I am a parent too. It is the joy, the confusion, and sometimes the fear that I felt as a new mom that led me to this type of work. My own research has focused on understanding what parenting methods not only get results, but leave parents feeling good about the choices that they have made for their families and children.
Many of us in the West have had limited contact with babies before having our own. Although there is a lot of information out there, much of it is contradictory and is presented in a way that undermines the confidence of new parents. The reality is that there are benefits and costs to every parenting method, and despite what many parenting "experts" would have you believe, no method is right for everyone. As the child of a father whose work took me all over the world, I have seen firsthand that there are many ways to parent effectively. My main goal as a coach is to help you find the unique path to successful parenthood that works for you and your family.
My experience with young children and trauma has taught me what a difference relationship-based early care can make. The way that children are parented in the early years has a direct effect on future relationships, brain development and learning, and resilience in the face of life's challenges. Of course our work together will focus on behaviors that are of concern to you right now. What makes my approach different is that I never lose site of the need to support the emotional bond between you and your child, and all of the long term benefits that go along with that bond.
As a parent I know that we all want what is best for our kids. There is nothing more important than modeling healthy relationships and teaching them how to function in the world with empathy and purpose. These are gifts that can never be bought, and they will carry them long into the future.
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