Pediatrician and author Dr. Robert A. Saul says parenting is a lifelong process and changes as the dynamics between parents and children do.
In his latest book, he outlines what he terms the parental awareness threshold as a way for parents to gauge what they are doing right and what needs improving.
Saul, of Greenwood is a professor of pediatrics at the Ferlauto Center of the Prisma Health Children’s Hospital-Upstate in Greenville and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine campus in Greenville.
The University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville is a four-year medical school located at the heart of Prisma Health–Upstate, formerly known as Greenville Health System.
Saul has an extensive background in pediatrics and genetics and is widely published.
“I find it very rewarding,” Saul said. “It’s a natural culmination of what I’ve done over the years in general pediatrics and genetics.”
Saul is also the incoming president of the South Carolina Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He starts a two-year term this summer.
For six years, Saul worked at what was considered the largest Medicaid clinic in South Carolina, the Center for Pediatric Medicine.
“I get what it means to care for populations that have challenges,” Saul said. “I just want to expand our tools to help make a difference. You can get me talking on parenting for hours.”
When he started working in the Greenville area in 2013, Saul said the hospital system did leadership training that resonated with him and he took strategies from that experience and adapted it for what’s outlined in his latest book.
“Conscious leaders recognize where they are,” Saul explains. “Sometimes, you are above the line and sometimes, you are below the line. When you are below the line, you are defensive. You’re closed off. And, when you are above the line, you are receptive. You’re willing to learn and you are willing to listen.”
Saul, who turns 70 March 17, said he remembers one night with his own family when a shouting match ensued.
“My son had done something I thought was really wrong and it made me really angry,” Saul said. “I started yelling and then, Mom was very ticked off at me for getting so upset. We went a couple of hours with almost nobody talking. After the dust settled, and it was time to put my son to bed, I laid down and said, ‘Son, I’m so sorry about what I did tonight. I was wrong. You did something I thought was wrong, but I completely flew off the handle.’”
Keys to determining your parental awareness threshold, Saul said, are taking time, even after a family shouting match, to pause, assess the situation and choose how you want to proceed.