See our Stretch Goal update here!
TAKING OUR PLACES follows three families as they explore new parenting strategies and learn tools to build more trust and connection within their family. You'll take the journey with them as they reveal the universal stress of parenting, but also witness their excitement as they discover new ways to relate to themselves and to each other. TAKING OUR PLACES is ultimately a film about transcending the day-to-day struggles to become the mindful, joyful parents we want to be.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF PARENTING?
People often believe that the opposite of authoritative parenting is permissive: if you’re not in charge, then your children must be! To surrender control must mean spoiling our children, surrendering to chaos, threatening the well-being and future of our children! And yet, these are not our only two choices -- to control our children or let them control us. Instead, we can choose to partner up, to share power. This kind of parenting is referred to by many names, including democratic, partnership, mindful, or compassionate parenting, among others. What they all have in common is the belief that everyone’s need matter, parents and children. This approach emphasizes building trust and connection.
WHY AM I MAKING THIS FILM?
Four and a half years ago, I became a parent. I had no idea what I was getting into. My parenting was mostly reactionary, dealing with issues as they arose. But when my daughter, Maayan, was almost a year and a half, I felt like I hit a brick wall.
Before becoming a parent, I would watch a parent struggle with a toddler and think, “That won’t happen to me, my child is going to know who the boss is!” And yet, here I was, unable to get my little girl to get dressed! I came to dread trying to get out of the house, no matter how desperate I was to do so, because it would be such a struggle to get her to put her clothes on. Sometimes, I would force her, and she would fight me so hard that I would be left feeling beat. What was I doing wrong? How do I parent this willful little girl?
A friend of mine recommended a few books. I started with the thinnest one: Parenting from your Heart by Inbal Kashtan.
I read the whole book one evening and was thrilled with what I read, with the possibility of stepping out of the power struggle and, instead, building trust, connection, and cooperation. BUT, the next morning, I still couldn’t get my child dressed! In order to learn how to apply these principles to my daily life, I sought out a counselor and started by-weekly counseling sessions.
My counselor’s commonsensical advice shook my world. For instance, my counselor, Kathy, pointed out how behind every NO, there’s a YES. What is my daughter saying YES to when she refuses to get dressed. Turns out she was saying yes to choice. All I had to do is provide two choices of clothing to my pre-verbal child, and my struggles were over! She also taught me the difference between needs and strategies. Maayan would also never agree to put her coat on, no matter how freezing it was outside. Kathy helped me understand that my need was for Maayan to be healthy, and that my strategy was to put a coat before leaving the house. Once I could see that putting the coat was just a strategy, I could imagine new ways to meet my need for Maayan to stay healthy. I could take her outside and wait for her to feel the cold and then put the coat on. Or I could bring a blanket and cover her on the stroller… Struggle over.
What happened next totally took me by surprised. Turns out, the book I read, the advice I was getting, the strategies that were working so well and transforming my life, are not what other people do! On the contrary, this was pretty counter-cultural and radical. and I started getting a lot of push-back. I was warned that my child would become a bully, and spoiled, that she was going to rule over me, because if I’m not in control, she is. I was too soft, too permissive, I would live in chaos. It is this realization that lead me to start making this movie. I want to break the myth surrounding partnership parenting and show what really happens when families learn this new approach. That’s why my movie is not a series of interview with “experts” but an intimate portrait of three families. I also want to show that parenting is a skill that can be learned and practiced. And finally, I hope that TAKING OUR PLACES, by showing the universality of our joys and struggle will help break the compare-judge-blame cycle parents are too often caught in. My message is simple: no, you are not alone, and yes, there are tools out there that can really help!
WHAT WE'VE ACCOMPLISHED SO FAR!
In the Fall of 2012 I advertised that I was looking for families interested in “learning new parenting strategies.” Within a month I had selected three families who had agreed to participate in my documentary. I started right away to shoot in order to get to know them and capture their realities. In February 2013, the families participated in a three-day intensive parenting training and soon thereafter, they started bi-weekly counseling sessions via Skype. In addition, the families all came together once a month to discuss reading material and to give each other support. We now have hundreds of hours of footage covering TWO years of life and counseling! With all this footage, we're ready to move into the next stage of production: editing. We're thrilled to announce that we've just hired the amazing Jane Brill to edit TAKING OUR PLACES. Welcome Jane!
WHY SUPPORT THIS MOVIE?
Perhaps like me you have felt isolated in parenting, wondering if you’re alone struggling. Perhaps you are, like I was, thrilled by the thought that you can reconnect with the joy of parenting and struggle less. TAKING OUR PLACES will show you the possibility. You will get to see that your struggles and joys are universal and be inspired to start your own journey.
Or perhaps you have already learned about the work of Inbal Kashtan, Bonnie Harris, Scott Noel, Ah-Ha Parenting and so many others. Perhaps you’ve already ripped the fruits of their amazing approach and would like to see more people exposed to this kind of parenting? TAKING OUR PLACES aim is to inspire more and more parents to do the same until we can reach a tipping point and transform the culture of parenting - so we are no longer the minority!
TAKING OUR PLACES is also a website and integrated media outreach campaign. The website is a portal for interested parents to join the TOP community and support their own journey toward more connected and joyful parenting. Among other resources, the website will allow parents to: organize or locate screenings of TOP in their area, read articles about parenting topics, participate in online workshops and classes, and find counselors and parenting coaches.
Democratic parenting is still very much a counter-cultural, even perhaps radical, approach to parenting. Help me make a movie that will break the myths, raise awareness, inspire, and create change!
A FEW DETAILS...
HOW DOES KICKSTARTER WORK? When you donate to TAKING OUR PLACES via Kickstarter, we only get the donation if we meet our goal. If we don't reach our goal, we receive $0! And you donate $0!
IS THIS DONATION TAX DEDUCTIBLE? When you donate via Kickstarter, your donation is not tax-deductible. If you wish to do a tax-deductible donation, we have tax exempt status via IFP our non-profit sponsor. Please go to our website,www.parentingthemovie.com for directions on how to donate directly to the film.
CAN WE EXCEED OUR KICKSTARTER GOAL? Absolutely! If we make more than our $25,000 goal, we will be able to continue shooting AND start post-production.
REWARDS Once we are funded, we will be sending out follow up emails, and will ask you for mailing addresses.
Thank you so much for your support.
Risks and challenges
The money raised here will be sufficient to get us to a rough cut, allowing us to raise finishing funds from various foundation. It will also allow me to continue shooting as I'd like to follow the families for a total of 4 years.
Finally, once the movie is completed, it'll be time to make sure it reaches its audience.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (27 days)