Parenting is an incredibly important responsibility and so we wanted to get a conversation going with input from parents in the community. We asked them: what is the most important thing you’ve done as a parent? We’ve highlighted some of the responses below.

Lisa Tenney | Creative, Visual Artist, and Spiritual Director

I suppose that one of the most demanding and rewarding roles that I have played in life would be as a parent to six human beings. (I should say that parenting with a solid partner made it possible for me to also develop an artistic life alongside motherhood…thank you David!) As parents, we can get lost in the role of taking care of our children. For me, turning parenthood into an opportunity for making art was a way to connect with my young children when they were growing up and it also fed my soul. Developing my own visual voice in the background of raising our kids gave them a different view of me. I was not just their mom, but I was being creative and influencing others to be creative. Relationships and community, enlightenment and growth all happened while doing art, teaching art, talking about art and life. Read more>>

Anna McKay | Return to Work & Leadership Development Coach

As a parent, I think one of the most important things that you can teach your child is about empathy. It is an important skill in life for building deep and meaningful relationships. It is also an important skill in a professional setting as a leader building a productive and cohesive team. This can be a hard skill to learn, but luckily as parents we have lots and lots of opportunities to practice using empathy and modeling this for our children. At home, I try to foster an environment where my children learn to understand their own feelings and those of their friends and family members. As an entrepreneur and parent, I also have the opportunity to talk through what it is like to “fail” and learn from those experiences. If things don’t go the way I had hoped, then I can share that with my kids and model getting back in the game and trying something different next time. Read more>>

Sarah Sudhoff | Artist & Educator

I am a single mother of two kids–7 and 8. I have shown my kids that although I have gone through both personal and professional struggles in the last few years, that I am still here. I am still working towards a better and more fulfilling life for myself and for them. I recently started reading Glennon Doyle’s book, “Untamed”. I wish this book had been written when I was in high school although ironically the author and I are the exact same age. It would have set me on a slightly different course or at least provided more insight and support to the path I chose back then and continue to follow today. I choose to swim upstream and define for myself my worth and impact in this world, not the other way around. I am saving this book for both my children to read when they are older. I want them to understand that there is no one right way to be. Read more>>