On the Bookshelf: Parentography

Parentography Cover

- Chantal Wiebe, M.Ed

Truth be told, sometimes I don’t like repeating the same board game three times in a row. Or playing tag in the house. Or building a fort with all the couch cushions and every blanket we own. Sometimes, playing is just not what I’m into at the moment.

One day, when my six year old, Yuri, asked if he could dump out all his toys in the living room, I didn’t feel like saying yes. I also didn’t feel like saying no, which would result in some whining (yep, even the psychologist’s kids whine). So I pulled out my DSLR and asked him if he wanted to play with me!

His surprise (and skepticism) was evident – mom really wasn’t going to really let this happen, was she?

She was. She did. And at first, it was simply a distraction from a) littering the floor and b) cleaning it up later.

But as we handed the camera back and forth, completely immersed in conversation, something happened. We were relationally connected – authentically. The way parenting was meant to be.

This wasn’t a behaviour management technique to wield in hopes of fewer tantrums (though that’s how it first started out). With genuine interest, common to both of us, the moment grew. It was original, natural to the context we found ourselves in.

Loosely conceived. Effortlessly fluid. Free.

In trusting my camera to his little hands, we built relationship, I built his confidence, and he built his locus of control. That’s a flurry of construction in a single activity. What began as a momentary diversion became a discussion that lasted the afternoon.

His shiny eyes matched my brightly lit heart – now this I could do all day everyday. To teach him everything I know may not take long (remember I’m not a pro) but this moment was like a door left ajar in a game of hide and seek – begging to be explored.

Whether you nudge it or fling it wide is up to you. Just open it.


Get your copy of Parentography on iTunes

Chantal Wiebe

Chantal Wiebe, M.Ed is a School Pyschologist championing children and their families in the public school system and in private practice. She consults on reserves and in private schools, and is a published writer. She has been awarded multi-year grants for her innovative high school social justice program that landed her in the remote North of Canada. She shares insights through her blog, and her open-hearted Instagram photos, including her series of #dearson letters. Chantal is a dealer in the realm of hope and a speaker on the little things that make big differences in parenting and in life. 

Connect with Chantal on twitter, instagram, and her website