How to Obtain Support for Aware Parenting

A message from Aletha Solter, Ph.D.
(Founder of the Aware Parenting Institute)

Aletha Solter is a developmental psychologist who is recognized internationally as an expert on attachment, trauma, and non-punitive discipline. Her books have been translated into many languages, and she has led workshops for parents and professionals in 18 countries.

Don't expect quick, simple answers

I realize that it is not easy to raise children according to principles of Aware Parenting. It is probably quite different from the way you yourself were brought up, and you may not know any other parents who are trying to raise their children this way. Many parents have questions about this approach, feel isolated or overwhelmed, and need advice or support.

Please do not e-mail me for personal advice. Unfortunately, I do not have the time to send personalized replies. Even if I did have the time, my advice would be a repetition of the material that is printed in my books unless I had extensive background information about your particular child and family situation. Furthermore, Aware Parenting does not consist of quick, simple answers. Sometimes the key to solving a problem lies in something that you may not initially be aware of.

Private consultations

I offer consultations by telephone, Zoom, or in person for people who have read at least one of my books and filled out a pre-consultation questionnaire. This questionnaire gives me important background information. When I talk with parents, I am often able to use this information to get at the root of a problem and make helpful suggestions. This is impossible to do by e-mail.

Other sources of information and help

1. Read my books: The Aware Baby, Cooperative and Connected, Tears and Tantrums, Raising Drug-Free Kids, Attachment Play, and Healing Your Traumatized Child. If you have read only one or two of them, you may find answers to your question in one that you have not yet read.

2. Read my articles posted on this website. One of them may address your particular question or concern.

3. Check the list of Aware Parenting instructors to see if there is someone in your area who is teaching a class, support group, or workshop where you can ask your questions and find support. Some of the instructors also offer private consultations.

4. Join an online discussion group. There are several Aware Parenting discussion groups at Facebook. Some are closed groups, so you will need to ask to join them. Please note that these Facebook discussion groups are neither sponsored nor moderated by me, but some are moderated by certified Aware Parenting instructors. (The official Facebook page for the Aware Parenting Institute is not a discussion forum).

5. Create an Aware Parenting support group or find a listening partner with whom you can take turns sharing experiences and expressing emotions. Everyone needs someone to talk to and a shoulder to cry on. The lists of exercises in my books will help you explore your childhood and your feelings and perhaps even help you find solutions to your problems.

6. Try to obtain help with the daily work of parenting and with housework. Remember that parenting is a difficult job. Don't try to do it alone. If you have no extended family nearby, try to create your own "tribe" of friends, including parents with children the same age as yours. Perhaps you can form a playgroup or exchange childcare with other families. Remember that we human beings evolved in extended family clans where no adult was ever expected to be the sole caretaker for a child.

7. Have realistic expectations for your children and yourself. You don't have to be perfect. A few mistakes are not going to damage your children forever. With the tools of Aware Parenting, you can always repair and heal whatever damage you may have caused. Remember that being a parent is a continual learning and growing process.

8. If you feel frequently angry or impatient with your children, you may not be getting enough help or suppport to meet your own needs (see number 6). You may also find it helpful to look for the sources of your anger in your own childhood rather than in your child. Consider seeing a therapist to help you heal from your childhood traumas.

9. If your child has serious behavior problems or is involved with drugs, consider taking him to a psychologist or a substance abuse counselor. Don't blame yourself for your child's problems. Remember that you have always done the best you could, given the resources and information available to you, and that you are not the only influence on your child. With your help and loving support, however, you can always be an important part of the solution to the problem.

My wish for all parents is a lifetime of joyful connection with your children!

Aletha Solter


This page was last updated on August 25, 2023. Copyright © 1996 to 2023 by The Aware Parenting Institute. All rights reserved. No part of this web site may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical (including copying to other web sites, and including translations and photos), without written permission from Aletha Solter.