Name: Aparna Venkataraman
Location: Morgantown, West Virginia
Tell us about what you do. I am a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and a ParentTeens Certified Member. I am also a big advocate for DoTerra Essential Oils, because they are natural solutions for families’ needs for immune support, stress relief, skincare and help both children and adults to learn more about the wonderful uses for plants and flowers!
How long have you been working with parents and children? I started volunteering at non-profit organizations that serve families when I was just 15-years-old. I have always loved working with children, and as an adult, I have been able to have a professional career in doing so. I’ve been working with children of all ages in schools, children’s hospitals and non-profit organizations for the past 12 years.
Why were you drawn to working with parents and children? My mother is a very compassionate person who has both worked for, and volunteered at many non-profit organizations. She encouraged me in my teen years to get involved locally. I studied psychology during my senior year of high school and LOVED it. I went on to receive a B.A. in that area, as well as a social work educational certification. I am very drawn to human behavior and humanitarianism in general!
What is the biggest misconception you think parents have about parenting? That they will have the energy to be everything for everyone 24/7.
What do you think is the hardest part of parenting today? Children as young as 5 years of age now have knowledge and access–through social media, entertainment, etc–to topics that I did not know about until I was a pre-teen. On the one hand, there are benefits, as children can become very knowledgeable in many different areas, but on the other hand, they socially develop at a much faster pace than parents can sometimes handle.
What’s one piece of advice you can share with us today? I find that when parents and children are able to have regular self-care practices that suit their own needs, and not ones that they feel pressured to do by peers or family, they are best able to have a life filled with moments that feel flowing, joyful and easy!
What are your favorite resources to share with parents? I love sharing tips and resources in my weekly newsletter and free companion e-guides on parenting with essential oils. It is incredibly fun to regularly reach parents, grandparents and educators of children of all ages, and to know that people all over are enjoying the benefits of aromatherapy! I also recommend journaling to creatively express and help heal yourself. Take a look at “Practice You” by Elena Brower. She is really great and also has a youth journal coming soon!
Which topic will you be speaking about at the Revolutionizing Parenthood conference? I will be presenting on fun self-care and beyond for families. My discussion will incorporate essential oils and 8 simple techniques, including breathwork, for both parents and children to take a pause in your day.