Revival Parenting Shares New Perspectives on Childrearing

by | Mar 2024

Amanda Carrara

Amanda Carrara. Photos: Chris Emeott

Amanda Carrara helps clients learn new ways to relate to their kids—and to their own childhoods.

When Covid-19 hit in early 2020, most parents found themselves navigating the strange limbo of lockdown. Mahtomedi’s Amanda Carrara and her family? They were not only locked down, but also far from home.

“Our entire family had moved to Costa Rica for my husband’s job,” Carrara says. “Costa Rica was very shut down for a very long time because they didn’t have the [medical] infrastructure,” she says. She noticed her kids—Julia, now 15; Elsa, 13; and David, 7—struggling with so much togetherness, as well as the strain on her own nerves. “My coping mechanism with the anxiety of being locked down was to learn something,” she says. “I decided to get my parent coaching certificate.”

With experience as an elementary educator, Carrara had a solid foundational knowledge of how kids’ brains work, but she had never really investigated her own parenting techniques. Her virtual training, via the Jai Institute for Parenting and the Positive Discipline Association, “completely altered the way I parent,” she says. “I learned how to do boundaries and daily values and to respect our children’s voices.”

Carrara Family

When the family ultimately returned to Mahtomedi, she decided to launch her own parent coaching business. At her Revival Parenting workshops and private sessions, Carrara walks parents through the fundamentals of what she calls “conscious parenting.”

“When children feel safe, soothed, seen and understood, they have the safety to become an adult, and they can take risks,” Carrara says. “There isn’t a magic age where kids earn our respect. They deserve the same respect, privilege, love and care as a full-grown adult.”

One area where Carrara is frequently asked to help—and where she’s made lots of observations with her own kids—is sibling dynamics. “If kids are close in age, the older ones might feel that their primal, survival-based attachment to their parents is threatened by a younger sibling,” she says. For siblings farther apart in age, an elder sibling might struggle with the upending of their established role in the family structure. Either way, “it’s completely natural and normal,” Carrara reassures. She first asks clients to think about their own sibling dynamics from childhood. “Were you the funny one? The smart one? And maybe, are you projecting some of what happened in your own story onto your children’s stories? We sometimes take the fear of our past and try to fix our kids,” she says.

So how to help with sibling scuffles? Be a “sportscaster,” says Carrara; describe what’s happening in a neutral way. “Safety is always first. After that, if everyone is safe, your role is to be neutral. There’s no judgment. I might say, ‘David, you took the toy from Elsa. Elsa’s face looks really sad. Did you notice that?’ If we give our kids the tools and space, they rise to those expectations.”

And Carrara knows parents can rise to those expectations—because she’s done it herself. “My girls were already 9 and 11 when I started learning about this,” she says. “It’s never too late.”

Revival Parenting offers private coaching sessions via Zoom, virtual mom groups and an in-person parenting group at Substance Church in Spring Lake Park.

Revival Parenting
Instagram: @revivalparenting


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