If you think astrology is only for late-night television and 1-888 dial-in numbers, think again. There's more to how the stars align than just reading your daily horoscope. In fact, astrologists believe your sign can help you understand your own emotional and physiological makeup and that of your children.
It might even quell potential points of contention like those nasty temper tantrums.
Sylvia Friedman, a certified graphologist in Chicago, is the author of The Stars in Your Family. The book guides you through all the signs of the horoscope and what they mean with regards to the way you want to parent. It also provides a baseline for dialogue and understanding between spouses who may have compatible signs, but differing parenting styles.
Chicago Parent sat down with Friedman and her daughter,
Alissa, to discuss how families can benefit from charting their
I have to ask because it's an obvious question, how did you get started in this field?
Sylvia: I've always been interested in astrology. I had two kids to support after I got a divorce and so I began to study the field. My interpretive skills developed after a lot of study. And I have good intuition! Believe it or not, but Carl Jung was very into astrology-he felt astrology provided a tremendously valuable insight into human beings.
So what kind of information can our charts provide?
Sylvia: The birthday, year, time and place are all really important. The position of the 11 planets at the time of your birth helps explain who you are in that it shows fundamental traits and how you interact with the world. Kids will grow up and will react based on their pre-disposed traits, which are different for each of them.
What is your approach to evaluating a child's astrological makeup?
Sylvia: You need to understand that your baby is emotional and the parents are logical. If a parent looks at things logically and the child responds emotionally and you don't understand the emotional aspect, it will be troublesome. By studying the astrological signs of personalities, I can help coach parents because I know how each sign's personality approaches life.
Can you give me an example of this coaching in action?
Sylvia: I was at the grocery store line checking out behind a mother whose toddler was screaming how he wanted candy and she was telling him he couldn't have it. I asked what his sign he was-a Virgo-and I told her Virgos are very demanding and that if his demands were ignored and she was strong with him, he'd stop crying. But the mother was a Pisces and couldn't tell him no-Pisces are pleasers. Then I went on to tell the boy on my own and he stopped crying. They both have to learn each other's astrological-based personalities.
In that light, how have the two of you managed each other's personalities amidst your differing signs and how can our readers learn from your experience?
Sylvia: Our total charts have compatibility, actually. I'm an Aries-I'm black and white and very quick. Alissa is a Taurus where there is lots of gray. She is more methodical.
Alissa: I bring practicality and a foundation to the business. We love and get each other, but still, as a mother she's had to learn how to back off and not overwhelm me.
Sylvia: Sometimes I wish her to move quicker! But that is a mistake-I had to understand that I was raising someone that didn't approach life like I did.
Any advice for parents who may want to use astrology as a guide?
Sylvia: It's a wonderful added dimension to understanding your children that gives insight into their personality so that you won't have to go and figure it all out.
Alissa: There are people who think it's bunk, but it's not about predicting the future-it's about seeing different patterns in people. It gives a base to understanding special characteristics a person is born with.
Sara R. Fisher is a Chicago mom of two, a freelance writer and featured blogger at ChicagoParent.com.
Sara Fisher is a mother of two living in Roscoe Village. She also blogs at selfmademom.net.
See more of Sara's stories here.