Imagine if every parent could see themselves in their child's eyes...
...and, in that reflection, not react, recoil or shut down, but feel compassion, empathy, patience and respect for their children because they have learned to feel it for themselves. This is the heart of vulnerability. When we bury our own, we struggle with our child's helplessness, needs and dependency because they feel so distressing, uncomfortable, and threatening. When we can heal our own wounds, make sense of our own stories and cultivate our own self-compassion, we can tolerate even welcome our own vulnerable feelings, and, because of that, we can embrace our children's needs as authentic, present, human and a rich and powerful source of information about who they (and we) are in this precious snapshot of time.
We learn to approach, not avoid. We learn to glean the lessons in our journey through the bumps in the road, the places that frighten and test us, the inevitable conflicts and crossed wires that will call up our defenses again and again (and teach our children the same) until we get curious about what we're trying to protect, prevent or avoid. We embrace our fears as signals, flares on the road, marking our growth and telling us where the fire is burning.
Fear is a compass. If we let our fears guide us, we will gain such powerful and important insights about ourselves--our stories, struggles, stressors and states--that we will eventually become less fearful, less inclined to control, less anxious and angry, less apt to react to perceived stressors and more receptive, more centered, more connected, more present, and therefore, more open to joy, the natural by-product of honoring our needs and embracing our humanity as parents.
We become the whole version of ourselves, the people our children have unknowingly raised... through trial and teachings, through ruptures and repairs, through their bids for connection and re-connection, through the messes and mistakes of our most profound and life-giving relationships. This is our shared journey.
Parent2ParentU is an educational resource through which we can explore these many doors with new eyes, a place to turn our wounds to wisdom, to repair the breaks with our children, to learn the incredible power of forgiveness and the joy of growing up with our kids. Letting them raise us as we raise them.
As we build our relationships from within, we cultivate our authentic power together. This true power comes from developing our courage in the face of our fears, unearthing our true selves conflict by conflict, and discovering what we really need in order to nurture our most authentic and secure connections with our kids.
When we allow our children’s growth to inspire our own, we learn to enjoy the ride without riding the brakes.
All site content, course curricula, and WYSH photographs are copyrighted material. Copyright 2009 Lu Hanessian. All rights reserved. Photos by Lisa Trakis for WYSH, LLC. No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission from Lu Hanessian.
Lu Hanessian is an award-winning science journalist, author of several books, certified parent educator, and active speaker, with more than 25 years of experience and study in attachment science, neuroscience, family systems, conflict resolution, trauma and resilience. She is a certified applied positive psychology (CAPP), mindfulness teacher, parent educator, and trained in trauma healing (Brainspotting), with extensive studies in interpersonal neurobiology (IPNB, Mindsight Institute), learning and education, special needs and autism spectrum "gifts."
She is the author several books, including the acclaimed "Let the Baby Drive: Navigating the Road of New Motherhood" (St. Martin’s Press, 2004), a former NBC anchor, host of “Make Room for Baby” on Discovery Health Channel, former host of The Science Show, syndicated in 110 countries and translates into 17 languages, and education and parenting guest expert on FOX5 and WABC radio in New York.
She is the author of a children's book about the power of connection called "Picnic on a Cloud," the bestselling illustrated parenting parable "The Garden: A Parenting Parable," and two upcoming books out in 2017.
As a pioneering parent educator, she has been called a "parent visionary," as she integrates from many disciplines and fields of study to offer parents a chance to "see with new eyes." Lu calls this creating our parent-digm shift. She is the founder of several initiatives including "Raising Mindful Families," "Raising the Future Now," and Parent2ParentU.com, an online self-growth educational resource for parents, and leads unique integrative workshops and programs LIVE and online.
She's the founder of WYSH Wear your spirit for humanity, a conscious living company founded in the science of positivity, based on 9 pillars for thriving. She is an award-winning entrepreneur, (Soho Happening Entrepreneur of 2015), retreat and workshop leader, and presents dynamic, interactive workshops for women, teens, parents and partners.
A veteran writer and journalist for more than 30 years, Lu;s articles and essays have been published in the New York Times, Parenting, Child and Fit Pregnancy. She writes for Mindful magazine and has been a regular columnist and feature writer for the Courier Post-Gannett News/USA Today Network for ten years and writes about the science and practice of creating positive change to thrive.
She moderated PBS's This Emotional Life with her guest panel including Dan Siegel, Sue Johnson and Ed Tronick; "Pathways to Flourishing" conference at Notre Dame University; and the UNESCO education conference in Hamburg, Germany, which she also reported for CNN Intl. She sits on the advisory board of Attachment Parenting International.
You can read more about her and her work with parents at
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