Mercedes Samudio LCSW is a parent coach who is changing the world with the End Parent Shaming movement. She is on a mission to inspire Shame Proof Parents and counter the way that feedback from other parents, extended family, schools, and organizations so often diminishes a parent’s own inner knowing about their kids.
When someone says “I’m failing my children,” it’s almost always because an external party is telling them they’re doing something wrong. The End Parent Shaming philosophy asks us to become aware of how we look at parents, understand that each parent has their own story, and step away from the deeply ingrained human propensity to judge others.
Mercedes introduces us to the idea a “parenting identity” and we talk about how it’s formed. “Shame” is a recurring word in this conversation. Mercedes credits Brene Brown for helping her frame how shame influences parents. There’s the external pressure to fit into boxes in order to look good in the moment rather than to understand one’s own parenting identity. We talk about how family therapist Terry Real’s work reveals that shame and grandiosity share the same energy. Both are reflections of contempt.
We dive into our relationship with technology as parents and as individuals. We talk about the “digital pacifier” and what is it like to parent in the digital age when we don’t have a village to support us. Mercedes challenges us to consider our kneejerk reaction to “technology bad.” Ultimately, it’s about looking at what we’re modeling and how we’re pacifying ourselves.
Mercedes bring us into her own origin story of why she’s passionate about ending parent shaming. She helps us see parents through a different lens so we’re able to understand where they’re coming from. Mercedes doesn’t have children and does not plan to. She does this work because she wants to speak for the children and fully understand their perspective. Drawing on Brene Brown’s use of Teddy Roosevelt speech about the arena, Mercedes talks about being in the arena with parents, but she wears a different armor and shield. She stands beside them, dedicated to understanding the perspective of the kids.
We close the conversation by examining what our role is out in the world when we’re bystanders. Helping parents build enough reserves to recover from being shamed. She doesn’t necessarily believe we can be shame-free, but we can be resilient if and when others do judge our parenting.
Mercedes’s brand new book, Shame Proof Parenting that was just launched this week! Get your copy and learn more about her coaching services: https://shameproofparenting.com/
This episode is brought to you by our sponsor Brighter Vision Web Solutions, the worldwide leader in custom therapist website design. For only $59/month, you get a website that’s as unique as your practice, unlimited tech support so you never have to deal with those headaches, and complimentary SEO, so your website can be found by your ideal client through a Google search. POBScast listeners can get one month free. Visit https://www.brightervision.com/try/seen/ and enter the special coupon code: SEEN
And please note that registration is open for the Practice of Being Seen Retreat for Therapist-Healers that is coming up August 13 - 16, 2017.
(Re)Vision: Explore Your Stories, Shape Your Future will be held at the Menla Mountain Retreat New York’s gorgeous Catskill Mountains.