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HAPPY PARENTS HAPPY KIDS


Renée Peterson Trudeau Explores Soulful Parenting


by Meredith Montgomery T


There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children. ~Nelson Mandela


he oldest of seven Montessori-inspired children and mother of one, Renée Peterson Trudeau serves as a life balance coach, speaker and president of Career Strategists, a coaching and consulting firm. Thousands of women in 10 countries participate in Personal Renewal Groups based on her first book, The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal. Now, in a new book, Nurturing the Soul of Your Fam- ily, Trudeau helps empower families to handle the challenges of everyday life with harmony and ease.


How can individuals achieve more peace? We realize peace by nurturing our hearts and souls with self-care, by slowing down and being gentle with ourselves. It requires us to attune and respond to our own needs and desires in the present moment. Am I responding with compas- sion when I make mistakes? Am I saying no when I need to say no? Did I ask for and receive help when I needed it? This is self-care in day-to-day life. When we feel nurtured in ways aligned with our deeper needs, we’re able to more fully express our potential and relax into be- ing who we truly are.


How does such caring show up in family dynamics?


When I’m feeling grumpy or irritable, I know that my inner cup is empty and I’m out of sync with my needs. When we practice self-care, we are more


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present with our partner and children. We feel more generous, loving and playful, and it’s easier to weather crises and un- certainties. I believe that modeling self-love is one of the best ways to influence children’s self-esteem.


Why is it important for families to define


what they value most? It’s empowering for a family to anchor together around one key core value. Once you identify it, you all can make more conscious decisions. The value that my own family has chosen is compassion for one’s self and others. Creativity, spirituality, service or learn- ing are others.


As kids grow into adolescence, it becomes more challenging to maintain balance; there are so many demands on a family’s time and attention. Mentally, we’re often overwhelmed by an expand- ing scope of activities and decisions. At any age, a lot of us are just reacting to whatever comes at us. But when we identify the values most important to us, it’s easier to know when to say yes and no to things, so that our actions become aligned with our priorities.


What is behind the rising appeal of living more simply? Simplicity is alluring at a most basic level of our being; we crave it. We want to invest less energy in making decisions and have more space for life to organi- cally unfold. We want to hit the pause button because we are overscheduled,


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