As a parent coach, my podcast guest Cara has guided countless families through the toughest waters. Hear her own story of kindness, love and forgiveness that inspired her work, and her own family life today. It'll make your day.
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There's a magical place for children and parents in Old Irving Park where movement, music and art collide. Catering to children six months and up, Away We Play offers mom & me classes, musical theatre, dance, art, preschool play, birthday parties and parenting coaching services. It's truly a one stop shop to get your children's creative juices flowing and get some guidance for yourself.
"Keep the child's personality, disposition and attention span in mind," says Cara Pollard, Parent Coach Institute-Certified parent coach and owner of Away We Play: Movement Music & Messy Art. "The party is to celebrate the child, not to impress friends," Pollard says. She suggests limiting the event to one and a half hours, and inviting more 3-year-olds than adults. "Three-year-olds are starting to enjoy socialization with one another and love seeing their friends," says Pollard. "Have a separate family party, if necessary."
I am a parent with my own firm, Cara Pollard Parent Coach. I love coaching because it works: it transforms people's lives for the better. To be a part of this transformation is such an honor. When I begin working with a new client, and hear the situation, I feel the parent's pain but I can also imagine the child's pain. It's exciting to know that I can help my clients. I believe that if they dedicate themselves to the process, they will obtain miraculous results and their lives will be changed. I also know that their child's world will be transformed at the same time. Coaching is a gift that I receive because I enjoy creatively joining forces to come up with a way for families to live more joyfully, happily, and positively.
From 9am to 1pm, Cara operates the storefront as Away We Play, awash in tots under the age of 3. In the late afternoon to early evening, Scott Barbeau transforms the space into Upbeat Music and Arts, which offers group music lessons to kids ages 7 to 17.
The similarity in their services enables the two to cross-promote their businesses among the older and younger siblings of their students.
"For us, being small business owners can be a challenge, you're doing everything yourself," said Barbeau. "She's my best advocate."