Tamara Cotton is unwaveringly present. She won’t pretend that she has all the parenting answers; she’s refreshingly honest, and opened conversations about vulnerability before self-help aisles were filled with books on the subject. Cotton remains resolutely herself, talking honestly with kids and parents about her life – inspiring the next mom/kid/dreamer/thought leader to ignore an inner critic, and know that their voice matters to the world.
“I want children to know they are accepted – with all their bumps and bruises, anger and sadness, happiness and joy,” she says. Ask the teacher about her favourite Chi School moments and her eyes light up, “I love seeing the younger children release their emotions or disruptive thoughts – they are so imaginative! You can watch their bodies and their eyes change as they do the work of letting go of what no longer serves them.” Cotton values self-awareness, adding,
“kids have an amazing capacity to deeply reflect on their own thinking and behaviour patterns.”
As a certified Life-Cycle Celebrant and certified Child Life Specialist, she knows the importance of strong community support. She encourages her Chi Students to find the courage to share their stories with their peers. “Just being witnessed is so powerful for these brave little humans – it helps them to feel a sense of connection and strength,” she says. She believes in collaborating to create a village where children and youth can flourish, and commits wholeheartedly to bringing children together with an intention of cultivating compassion.
Next up for Cotton: supporting parents towards a family ecosystem of wellbeing. She knows that every parent holds expertise about their own child. “I believe that children learn more, and are able to integrate their learning on a deeper level, when parents come alongside their children and practice, practice, practice,” she tells us. She encourages time for silence, stillness, and nature, supporting families towards lives that value both rest and play.
Ask Cotton what she wants most for Chi Kids and Parents and she doesn’t hesitate, “I want them to know that they are strong and capable, to experience compassion for themselves and others and to feel the support of our attachment community.”