By launching the Conscious Parenting Festival and the deepening course “Raising our children, Raising ourselves” with Naomi Aldort, Ängsbacka has created a space to empower parents and children. We talked with some course participants about their impressions.
By Isabelle Borg, Volunteer at Ängsbacka
Sharing stories to heal and connect
For Calle, who joined the course with his wife and children, it was an opportunity for learning about parenting together and exchange with other participants in group exercises. Ana, mother of two boys, also enjoyed Naomi Aldort’s open and honest sharing of her own experiences. One of the exercises involved sharing one’s life story with a group of total strangers, which Ana experienced as one of the most touching and liberating experiences. “It made me realize that we are essentially all the same. We make mistakes. We are vulnerable and as a parent we want to do the best of what we have learned.”
Turning challenges into joyful moments
Among the participants was also Philip, father of three, who attended the course together with his wife. His goal was to learn tools to create a better atmosphere at home. It can be challenging to fulfil all children’s needs in a good way without turbulence when all coming home from school and daycare, often hungry and tired. Instead of arguing, he learned how he can consider and respect what they want. His realization that he does not need to control everything, is a big relief to him. According to him the course opens for alternative ways of raising your children and moreover also to understand yourself. The course experience supported him to let go of other people’s expectations. He is now looking forward to turn what he previously saw as challenges into joyful moments.
Anna, single mother of a 2-year-old daughter, shares that she feels much lighter about her own childhood. She states that there is already more laughter and joy in her home and even that her daughter is sleeping better thanks to the course.
Anna, single mother of a 2-year-old daughter, shares that she feels much lighter about her own childhood. She states that there are already more laughter and joy in her home and even that her daughter is sleeping better thanks to the course.
A space where children can observe and be themselves
Carolyne was struck how calm the children, even the babies and toddlers, behaved during the course. Parents were very present with their children, who were given space to observe, where they could come in and out as they wanted. No one seemed to be bothered by them but instead they were met with respect and kindness. Having raised three children by herself, she feels that Ängsbacka is a wonderful place for children to see a loving and caring community for children and adults, where life is celebrated without the need of any alcohol. For her, the space and magic of Ängsbacka ranges from the joyful work of volunteers, to beautiful nature and a gorgeous garden, providing healthy food that children can pick themselves.
A transformational experience
Cornelius, father of 2 boys aged 9 and 11, attended the course to learn how to raise his children to be authentic instead of what others expect them to be. The course gave him a completely new view of his role as a parent. It helped him to understand himself and the limitations experienced in the way he was raised. For him, the space created by Ängsbacka makes half of the experience. It defines freedom in a new way. “Life is not just about yourself”. He feels that a lot of people here in Ängsbacka live this message.
For Ana the experience was truly transformational. She overcame a lot of her own misconceptions. From wanting to escape this strange, scary place in the darkness at the first evening, she now wants her family to join her and experience the authenticity, vulnerability and softness to life she has been exposed to during the last three days. For her, there is no better gift than the experience of relaxation and kindness that Ängsbacka provides. She will go home with more confidence and stop worrying so much about being a good mother. The course helped her to distinguish between the actual needs of her children and her own perceptions.
/ Text by Isabell Borg
Pictures by Maria Obed and others
Welcome back nest year
Dates for next years Conscious Parenting are not set yet, but from Ängsbacka’s side we are very inspired by this addition to our program, and hope to deepen and widen this work in the future. If you have questions about the festival or about Naomi Aldorts work, or suggestion on workshop leaders etc for next years festival – do please contact the Lin, Vero and Magnus in the program team at firstname.lastname@example.org