In preparing their children to excel in our competitive world, parents often provide everything but the one thing their children need most: accepting them for who they really are, according to parent coach, speaker, author and local parent Nancy Rose.
Rose, a former attorney and CPA, calls herself an “acceptance advocate” for children.
On a mission to make sure “every child is given license to shine,” Rose wrote “Raise the Child You’ve Got — Not the One You Want,” released last week.
In her 222-page book, published by Braeside Press, Rose teaches parents how to move past frustration and quarrels with their child by using acceptance.
She drew upon her work with families, her own life and from 25 years of study. Among her influences for raising healthy, authentic children are Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, Michael Gurian, Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow and Wendy Mogel.
Rose has been teaching her new model of parenting called Leading with Acceptance in her workshops and it now forms the core of her book.
“Parents are not necessarily aware that they don’t accept who their child is, or even that they should accept who their child is,” Rose said in an interview.
In spite of her use of humor, Rose doesn’t sugarcoat the pain parents can inflict.
“Acceptance must be the starting point in our parenting,” she said. “If we don’t feel accepted by our parents, we spend a lifetime trying to gain that acceptance from others, which leaves us vulnerable to addiction, gangs and other harmful influences.”
The power of acceptance is so important that, if parents withhold it, children will try to hide the things about themselves that their parents don’t seem to like, she said. This leads to inauthenticity and a big disconnect between parent and child, she explained.
Accepting a child for who he or she is does not interfere with a parent’s duty to teach their child how to behave.
“Acceptance must be coupled with leadership,” Rose said. “One without the other is problematic. Parents need to step up as leaders, to guide their children to become the best version of who they are.”
“It is through effective parental leadership and being part of something bigger than themselves that children learn values, morals, and appropriate behavior,” she said. “The warm, connected parent-child relationship that is created from acceptance is what makes children care about what their parents try to teach them.”
She offers a step-by-step method for parents to understand their child’s inherent and unchangeable characteristics, referred to as the “CoreSelf” and helpful strategies for those parents who feel challenged to accept who their child is.
Rose said she included real-life stories from other families as well as her own family to help readers connect with her and hear her message.
“I never set out to write a parenting book,” Rose said. “Leading with acceptance evolved out of my life experience, finding the path to healing with my own mother and blessedly ending the toxic legacy when I became a mother.”
As a child, Rose said she was an academic super-achiever in school and then became an attorney and CPA so “her mother would like her.”
“This book contains examples from my growing up years, as well as from parenting my two sons,” she said. “My mother and sons have been so gracious, allowing and even encouraging me to write about them, in order to illustrate the principles in the book.”
Acceptance can mean something different to everyone. “That’s why the book contains practical strategies based on guidelines that are easy to understand,” she said.
Her goal is to make sure children receive the validation and guidance they need in order to become the best version of who they are, rather than who they think they should be in order to be loved.