In our most recent Uplift Live event, Uplift cofounder Drew Hansen spoke with Micheline Green, M.Ed., about the inner transformation of spiritual parenting.
Micheline started her career in child protection services and then earned a master’s degree in counseling. After working as a counselor in Waldorf and Montessori schools, Micheline trained as an integral coach and worked as a faculty member at Integral Coaching Canada, where she trains coaches. She also teaches courses — including parenting courses — at MichelineGreen.com.
Drew Hansen, who hosts the interview and is offscreen in the video recording below, met Micheline while training as an integral coach where Micheline was on staff.
By way of explanation, integral theory seeks to integrate various areas of exploration, from science to religion to anthropology, etc., into a unified whole. One key part of the theory centers around human development, which is core to Uplift.
After talking about her background and the basics of integral theory, Micheline offers insights and suggestions for parents.
Here are a few of those insights, followed by the full recording.
1. The natural curiosity of your child can lead the way. Traditional approaches to childhood education sometimes fixate on the idea that every child needs to be at a certain point educationally or they’re “behind,” full stop. Micheline suggests that by carefully observing what each child is curious about, parents and educators can sense what the child truly needs to grow in a healthy way.
2. Rhythm and routine sustain kids. Micheline talks about the importance of structure in the form of rhythm and routine, whether it’s about having conversations on the way to a soccer game or on the way to the grocery store. These repeating patterns help kids feel safe.
3. Authenticity is nurturing. “It’s okay to not know,” Micheline says. When kids hear their parents say that they don’t know and simultaneously see that their parents aren’t riddled with anxiety over it (but are instead leaning into the exploration), kids realize that they, too, don’t need to know everything. They understand that life is about curiosity and discovery rather than failing or acing a test.
4. Kids pick up on what’s beyond our words. Regardless of the words a parent uses, kids sense the attitude, mood, or energy of the moment. This idea might induce a sense of guilt (“I’ve often said that we mom’s we do guilt really well,” Micheline notes), but it doesn’t have to. In fact, as Micheline says, knowing this should do just the opposite. It can help us remember that we are doing the best we can, allowing the body to be calm.
5. Love-based parenting, rather than fear-based parenting, is the goal. Micheline tells the story of a teacher she counseled about a difficult child. At first, this teacher primarily noticed the negative things that child was doing. But Micheline invited her to observe each kind thing this child did, and say it out loud. “I see that you tucked your chair in” or “I see that you picked up your pencil” — that sort of thing. As the teacher focused on the positive aspects of the child (without externalizing the feedback with lines like, “I’m so proud!”), the student learned what it meant to be kind. This love-based process transformed both the teacher and the student. It’s at the heart of what it means to experience the inner transformation of spiritual parenting.
To see the whole conversation, watch the video below. To learn more about Micheline, visit MichelineGreen.com.