Episode 1 –
Introduction to the
Raiseology Podcast

Episode 1

“I choose to focus my energy on modeling the behavior that I want them to absorb and to try to make the changes in myself.”

In the first episode of the Raiseology Podcast, Sharon shares who she is, her parenting philosophy, and the most common parenting struggles she has seen over the last 10 years as a pediatrician!

Sharon challenges you to implement one specific tip for better parenting- listen to the end to hear what that is!

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Welcome to the Raiseology podcast with your host, pediatrician and parenting mentor, Sharon Somekh here to empower parents to raise resilient and independent children. Grab your coffee or your Margarita and let’s get started. This podcast is for informational purposes only and should be used to supplement rather than substitute the care provided by your physician.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Sharon Somekh. I’m a pediatrician, loving wife and mom to four amazing daughters so you can imagine it gets pretty busy over at our house and after 10 years of practicing pediatrics, I decided to embark on a new adventure in helping parents with their parenting rather than with the medical needs of their children. And the reason that I made this big change was because I felt that what I was seeing in the office was upsetting me in terms of the amount of anxiety I was seeing amongst parents and the fact that very few parents were truly taking the time to enjoy their children. And at the same time I felt that I was making a small dent in that and that I was really helping some parents with their struggles. In that way I was limited by the number of people I could reach and the amount of time I had in the office to truly make an impact. So in today’s episode I’m going to talk a little bit about what my parenting philosophy is, what I think is going on in this country right now and how I’m hopeful we can make a change. And then we’ll talk a little bit about what you guys can do even right after you listen here to make small changes that can really make a difference in your family life.

Over the last 10 years in practice, I was really fortunate to have met and supported a diverse group of families. While many of them came from different cultures and different socioeconomic statuses, I found a few common themes. They all really loved their children. They are all trying to be the best parents they can be. And many of them are so nervous about screwing up that they’re not able to truly enjoy their parenting journey.

So why is this happening? I was recently reading a book called The Confident Parent by Dr Jane Scott with Stephanie Land and I’ll put the link to that book in the show notes at www.Raiseology.com/episode1. While I’ve read many, many parenting books and I sometimes agree and sometimes disagree with the advice. This author in particular, a fellow pediatrician, who has experience living as both a child and a parent in many different cultures around the world, discusses something early on that I happened to really agree with fear has caused us to become so anxious as a society that we’ve lost all sense of perspective. Some of that fear comes from the media and how they portray certain stories or really how they focus on negative stories rather than highlighting the positive most of the time and some of that fear comes from the unknown and not knowing what to expect as a parent or not knowing how to react when the unexpected occurs.

As a parent, I have worries just like we all do. I hear about the awful things happening in our society and it makes my stomach churn and my heart sank as a pediatrician. I heard about and treated children with unimaginable illnesses and comforted parents as they grieved the unfathomable, but these experiences have also helped me to really keep things in perspective for my own family. I try as much as possible to be grateful for what we have and when things don’t exactly go how we planned or hoped. I remember that we really are still so fortunate. I teach my daughters that while there are always going to be people who seem to have it better, there are also people who struggle more and we really need to maintain perspective and appreciate what we do have and our experiences for what they are and for how they help us grow.

I was raised in a home where positive thinking was a family mantra. We were simply raised to be glass half full kind of people and I truly believe that that has helped my parents achieve much success. My parents both came to this country with nothing and in their early years as a married couple, had financial struggles and worked very hard to try to overcome them and thinking back, I can see how their lives could have been played out in a very different way. If they had focused on the struggle rather than on how to overcome the struggle, then perhaps my life would’ve been very different today, but they didn’t. They worked hard. They looked forward to what the future could bring and they sought opportunity and took advantage of it. My philosophy as a parent is largely shaped by my childhood experiences and refined by my experience as a pediatrician and furthermore, as a parent, as my children grow, and I continue to learn about what it will mean for me to feel that we have truly been successful as parents, I continue to focus on the few important values that shaped my decisions and conversations with my children.

First, every situation can be looked at through two lenses. You can either choose to look at the positive or look at the negative and you will find it no matter what you were looking for. You will find it, but if you can try to look for the positive and situations or for opportunities for learning. You will also teach your children that same skill and it’s not always easy. Sometimes we experience tragedy or adversity and it’s hard to really focus in those moments on where the positive may be or where that silver lining is and there are certainly situations where you look at them and think, there’s no way there’s a silver lining here, but do the best you can to really think through all of those instances and if there isn’t a silver lining in that moment, perhaps there is a learning opportunity. Something you can take away from the situation that will be a positive thing for you and for your children.

Two, my children are fortunate to have our experiences to learn from and therefore we may have discussions about decisions that we have to make as a family and we certainly take their opinions into account. The final decisions of most things really are ours to make and our children may or may not agree with the outcomes, but they do understand that we make every decision with their best interest in mind.

Three, my relationship with myself and my relationship with my husband are no less important than my relationship with my children, so what does that really mean? That means that I value the need for self care. I can appreciate that my husband has that same need and that there are times where my husband and I may make decisions that are important for our relationship and may seem selfish to those looking on, but our children need to see that we value ourselves and our relationship as much as we value them for our relationship and our own personal well-being. It’s really important for their future as well for it is important for my children to develop skills of independence and for my husband and I to help them develop confidence and resilience as these are the skills that they will need most.

When it comes time for them to weather this world as adults, I strongly believe that it is how we treat them today that will largely shape their success in their future, but I think of it in a very different way than what I see others doing. I focus less about what activities they’re involved in or how many extracurriculars they are exposed to and more on the types of people that I want them to become. Because the truth is that in their adult lives, they are the people I want to be surrounded by and so I choose to focus my energy on modeling the behavior that I want them to absorb and to try to make the changes in myself. Where I feel I’m not doing so successfully isn’t always easy and that’s why I say parenting can be hard work. It’s about self reflection and focusing on my true end goal. It’s about focusing on the future rather than just on the moment and what our decisions in those moments mean for our children’s future. I apply these principles to all of my parenting challenges, whether it be figuring out a bedtime routine with my toddler that works or making the decision of whether or not my 11 year old should be allowed to stay at a birthday party that ends past her bedtime.

These challenges can appear to be endless, but the real challenge in my opinion, is to pause and reflect on what is happening so that your decisions are not abrupt. It’s okay to take a deep breath and assess the situation before you respond to it, and I challenge you to do that. After listening to this episode, I challenge you to not give an answer to your child for a question the first time they ask it and really realize that it is okay to say, you know what? That’s a good question. Let me think about that and I promise to give you an answer when I’m ready and really wait until you’re ready to give that answer because they’re going to ask again and you need to know that when you’ve given them the answer, you’re giving the answer that you think is the best answer for them and for you.

So that brings us to the end of this podcast episode. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope it made you think a little bit. I invite you to join the Raiseology Parenting Facebook Group! In this group we will continue the discussions from the podcast and support each other on the journey to feel empowered to raise resilient children in a modern world. I look forward to continuing the conversation.

Thanks for listening to the Raiseology podcast. Head over to www.Raiseology.com, where you’ll find plenty of You’ve Got This resources for parents and any links or tools mentioned in today’s show. Be sure to hit subscribe on your podcatcher so that you can listen to the next episode the minute it’s out. Until next time, have an empowered week!

Meet Your Mentor

Sharon is a general pediatrician, loving wife and mother to 4 daughters.

 After a decade of practicing general pediatrics and working with families, she realized there often wasn’t enough time while tending to children’s medical needs to help parents in the way that would be most helpful in shaping their children’s futures.

 The Raiseology Program was developed to teach parents how to raise their children with the love and authority necessary to promote resilience and responsibility.

Sharon’s experience with hundreds of families as well as her own help her meet you where you are on your parenting journey to help you make it what you want it to be.

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Copyright Raiseology 2018.

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This site and the information contained therein is for educational purposes only. This site is not a substitute for medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. The use of this site does not create a doctor-patient relationship.

Your privacy is important to us so we want to let you know. This site uses tracking technology, such as cookies and pixels to enhance your user experience and provide social media features. You can find out more here.