Posted by: coachingparents | December 8, 2007

Wholistic Parenting

Do I smile enough?

That seems an odd question for parents to ask themselves, but it is one of many such probing questions that Dr. Caron Goode, author of Nurture Your Child’s Gift, suggests parents ask themselves when evaluating their skills as wholistic parents. Here are some others:

  • Does my child have adequate time and space for play or relaxation?
  • Do I spend at least 15 minutes each day with my child that are unambiguously hers?
  • Do I give my child appreciative feedback for the positive contributions he makes to the household or family?
  • In 90% of my conversations with my child do I: nag, scold, support, affirm, structure, complain, build up, put down?
  • Do I ask my child questions that cause her to think through options, consider consequences, develop compassion?
  • Do I help my child feel grateful for life experiences?
  • Does my child take quiet time to pray, meditate or listen inwardly?
  • According to Dr. Goode, wholistic parenting means caring for children’s bodies, emotions, minds and spirits—the interrelated elements of the whole self. “Daniel Goleman made this point in his book Emotional Intelligence,” says Dr. Goode. “Positive emotions equate with good health while negative, traumatic or unexpressed emotions correlate highly with mental illness and poor health. So caring for our children’s emotions or feelings mustn’t be overlooked. It is critical for their health and success in life.”

Parents care for their children’s physical needs almost as a matter of course. Parents look after food, shelter, clothing and safety. Most also teach their children how to maintain good health and vitality. Caring for their minds, says Dr. Goode, means helping children develop mental skills such as attending, focusing, asking, thinking through options, deducing and analyzing. These skills serve children all through life.

Dr. Goode, Ed.D. teaches seminars in leadership skills and self-empowerment through the International Breath Institute, which she co-founded with Dr. Tom Goode, and is a respected researcher in the field of mindbody science.

“Now that mindbody science has had the opportunity to study degenerative mental problems in the aging population,” says Dr. Goode, “we have learned that reading, communicating, working crossword puzzles, and other mental exercises keep the mind sharp and agile.”

Caring for the physical, a mental and emotional aspect of children is challenging enough. But how does one care for a child’s spirit? Dr. Goode defines spirit as “the inner fire, passion or sense of self that a child portrays.” When children are connected to their sense of inner self, she says, it becomes the intrinsic motivation for their productivity and relationships. Children connected to their inner spirits are curious and exploratory, motivate themselves, and have minds of their own. Though such children may need to be given boundaries and structures, says Goode, they may resist restrictions until you help them understand why such boundaries are needed.

“Our job is to nurture our children so that they feel good about themselves,” says Dr. Goode. “We can make this happen in our homes by conscious effort. As parents, we are the agents of change for society, and parenting decisions we make now will affect subsequent generations.”

For parents serious about developing and acting on their whole parenting skills, Dr. Goode created the “Parenting Pledge.” Why would such a pledge be necessary? “Of course I assume that all parents want to do their level best by their children,” she says. “But stating that commitment aloud and signing the pledge makes it real. The pledge helps parents remember to find positive and inspiring attitudes and to approach parenting from that place.”

About The Author …
Copyright ©James Venis

Dont forget:  Join Dr. Caron Goode, Founder of the Academy for Coaching Parents, in the FREE Truth about Parent Coaching Teleconference on Wednesday, December 12 at 5:30 pm (Mountain Time).  This one hour Truth about Parent Coaching Teleconference will answer all of your questions!



  1. Very interesting … and needed!

  2. C.L.–Thank you for stopping by. Please feel free join us often.

  3. I’m very interested in attending a Teleconference by Dr. Caron Goode. Unfortunately I just bumped into your site and it’s Dec 22nd… would you please let me know if this will be given again? Thanks!

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