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fa m i ly

Dr. Brené Brown and New Trier principal Tim Dohrer

different parent

kind of

B y Ke l l y K o n r a d

Can you dare to be different? Dr. Brené Brown is a very popular “researcher/ storyteller,” as seen millions of times on YouTube in her TED Conference talks. Her research on vulnerability and shame have led to several books, with her newest, “Daring Greatly,” published in September and topping the nonfiction best seller charts. She’s also a mother and offers interesting insight from her research on families and parenting.

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A lot of lip service is paid to new educational and parenting paradigms. It’s easy to have that “a-ha” moment and then fall back into old behaviors. For example, a parenting expert may tell a roomful of parents that tutoring for the ACT is really unnecessary, leading everyone to swear off tutors—only to be on the phone the next day hiring one, to make sure your kid has that leg up on the neighbors. Her advice? Back off on the comparisons. “When we hear something that is right and true, I think the biggest thing that gets in the way is comparison,” says Dr. Brown. Instead of comparing your kids and your families to the neighbors, Brown says to recognize there’s not one right way. “There are a million ways to be a great parent…there are so many different ways to do what we try to do …(comparing) takes us away from the bigger questions—Is there joy in our family? Is there laughter?”

Own it and be thankful for it Dr. Brown acknowledges that in affluent communities, there’s a tendency to be overly concerned about how much our children have and how that impacts their development. “(Parents are) so worried about entitlement,” she says. “We have to own the fact we’re raising kids that

Photo by Eric Dynowski

daring to be a

Stop comparing

makeitbetter.net

11/6/12 6:23 PM

Make It Better December 2012: Better Gifts  

2012 Gift Guide, Brene Brown, Holiday Theatre & more!

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