Parenting with promise
Talking by phone, you can hear the really big smile on Shelley Klaas’ face when she talks about her two adult daughters.
She talks about family meetings when they were growing up, and stealing moments of conversation in the car, and how she needed to work to listen more, and talk less, to her kiddos.
“You want to be successful as a parent,” Shelley said. “It’s really not about that. It’s about enjoying your kids and having them enjoy you.”
Shelley spent the majority of her career as a school counselor at Neil Armstrong Elementary School in Bettendorf. Recently retired, she now works at the Child Protection Response Center at Genesis Medical Center.
She will be the first speaker in a five-week series, Parenting with Promise, that begins Sunday, Jan. 11, 10:45 a.m. in Luther Loft.
The idea for a parenting series has been brewing for quite some time, said Pastor Peter Marty.
“I am excited for the church to be engaging a whole host of parenting topics,” he said. “The shape of a family’s overall life — its rituals, disciplines, and togetherness — these comprise the soil by which faith in a family can actually take root.”
Pastor Marty continued: “Parenting is such a complex endeavor. The tricks, the strategies, the learning from mistakes — these are the sorts of things we need to be conversing about together.”
So often, Shelley said, it is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day challenges of parenting.
“Sometimes we are so busy, but there are opportunities to listen, to be mindful with our kids, whether it’s them chattering away at dinnertime or in the car on the way home from school,” Shelley said. “A big part of mindfulness is listening. When we listen, we can be more present with our kids.”
Shelley also will talk about the importance of family traditions, having expectations yet expecting those expectations to change, consistency, and unconditional love.
“We have a saying in our family that there’s no problem so big it can’t be solved,” Shelley said. “It’s important for your kids to know your love has no conditions.”