Maria Berbeo describes her experience with SCCC’s Best Practice Parenting course

The Southern California Counseling Center offers a unique 10-week parenting class called Best Practice Parenting.  In this post, one of the facilitators describes her experience with the program and why it is meaningful to her.


Best Practice Parenting

By Maria Berbeo, SCCC Counselor and Best Practice Parenting facilitatormother&daughter

Having come from a childhood of abuse, divorced parents, and six other siblings, when I had my daughter, and on top of it all, being a single parent, I knew it would take effort to feel comfortable with my parenting skills. I found myself questioning and judging myself a lot.

I found the most meaningful help through three major processes:

  1. Learning to connect with my daughter on a daily basis. It was a challenge for me to be able to tolerate her feelings, because I didn’t have an example of that.
  2. Learning to communicate with my daughter in a positive, non-threatening, non-shaming way.
  3. Learning not to beat myself up so much if I wasn’t a “perfect” mother, and learning to look at what I was doing well, and giving myself credit for it.

That’s why when I heard SCCC had the Best Practice Parenting program, I knew it was the training site for me. Working with parents and children became my dream when I decided I wanted to train to be a therapist, and the program style and content is in line with all of the hard work I’ve done (and continue to do) to be the parent I want to be.

The classes start out by focusing on the best the parents are doing right now. And somehow, owning that part of yourself that knows you’re doing a good job for your child gives you all the more energy to keep doing well. In addition, parents are given exercises that help them learn to connect with their children, and notice what they love about that connection. And lastly, parents learn new skills to regulate their own emotions, communicate well with their children, and build empathy and compassion for themselves and their children.

It is an incredible honor to watch the parents connect to a deep love for themselves and their children when they realize how to notice their strengths and recognize that being a “good” parent is within their grasp because they’re already there. It’s amazing to watch hope and confidence grow in them over the short 10 weeks.

Another amazing thing to watch is the walls of shame coming down when parents really open up to other group members, supporting each other in the courage, sadness, joy, and vulnerability it takes to be a parent. There are always tears, hugs, advice and encouragement between group members by the end of the 10-week program, which is also an honor to witness.


If you are interested in enrolling in our Best Practice Parenting 10-week course, please call 323.937.1344 and inquire about when the next round will be starting. 

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