About the Movie/Synopsis
I’m the mother of two beautiful girls. What I want most is for my children to grow up happy, confident, and kind. Yet I often feel confused, frustrated, exhausted, and at a loss when dealing my children. I find myself saying things or using parenting strategies that seem to go against my personal code of conduct (blaming, guilt-tripping, screaming, threatening, etc.) The bookstore shelves are stacked with advice for parents, where do I start?
As a filmmaker, the answer is straightforward (if not simple): I make a movie!
In my early research into parenting, I was relieved to learn that parenting is, indeed, not instinctive. Instead, parenting is a skill that can be learned and developed. I started taking classes, seeing a counselor, and began to realize the benefits in my relationships with my children and husband.
Out of these experiences came the idea for Taking Our Places: Imagine following the parenting journey of three families. Watch them as they engage the latest research in child development and parenting strategies. Hear them share their doubts, fears, and breakthroughs. Witness their joys and struggles as they practice their new skills. Imagine stepping away from expert advice and opinions and getting to see for yourself what works! Then launch your own journey by creating your own parenting group and practicing for yourself what works!
- Parenting as a Skill – My hope is to show the incredible benefits that can flow from learning and practicing new strategies and skills. All the resources that are given to the families in the documentary will be made available through this website as well, so other families can join the process.
- Parenting as an Opportunity for Deep Transformation – Parenthood is extraordinary, magical, and sometimes, exhaustingly difficult. If we dare to pay attention, it forces us to learn about ourselves, and become what we want our children to be: happy, confident, and kind. We make changes for the sake of our children and soon realize that we live more meaningful and connected lives.
- A Blueprint for Families Around the Country – I could never get a representative sample of the diversity of people and lifestyles that exist in this country. Yet, I believe parenting is a universal experience. And certainly children’s developmental stages are essentially identical no matter where they live. So, I chose to have all three families come from Beacon, NY–where I live–trusting that I could stay close and reach wide. I also chose to stay in Beacon because parenting is hard and community support is key. I want to create a model with this documentary that can be replicated. Making the documentary is just part one. Just like in FRESH, outreach and distribution will be the most important aspect of the project. I’d like parents to be able to watch the movie, be inspired, and start their own parenting group in their respective towns using resources on this website as a guide.
- I’m not a parent, why should I care? – One need not be a parent to grow! Life offers many opportunities to assess how and what we’re doing, to ask new and hard questions, to grow and change. Essentially, parenting is merely the lens through which we’ll see this process of transformation happen for the men, women and children in the documentary. I hope all of us will be able to be inspired and learn from their journeys.