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This week I visited with a group of mothers of preschool children who welcomed me as I delivered my presentation entitled, “Seizing the Moment: Making the Most of Your Toughest Parenting Challenges”. I was struck by how many of these moms are professionals who are choosing to stay home with the kids, and many of them have degrees or experience in social work, psychology and mental health. This is a perfect combination if you ask me.

I used to believe, erroneously, that mental health was the absence of overt mental illness. You know, that if you did not suffer from some obvious and embarrassing mental deficiency then you were by default mentally healthy. I have since learned that mental health is not so simple. Mental health is a bit invisible, as I thought, but it is the presence of healthy attitudes and healthy understandings of the world around us and of ourselves, and not just the absence of trouble.

The goal for me as a parent is to help my children be who they are, love who they are, and then go out into the world and share their interests and abilities with joy and passion, hopefully thereby improving the world. And that’s what I hope to accomplish through my talks as well: to share my own passions and abilities out in the world, in an effort to inspire you to think carefully and deliberately about your role as a parent. These efforts, in theory, are some of the ways in which I am trying to foster mentally healthy individuals: me, you, and our kids.

Take a look at my Thank You Notes tab above to see what this group and others have said about my talks.