Feeling Left Out

One of my favorite parenting authors, Heather Shumaker, introduced me to her phrase “We need to take off our adult lens” and it has really stuck with me. She reminds us we often assign adult motives and agendas to our children’s words and behavior. Not only are they generally not capable of that higher level thinking (what many parents call manipulation) but doing so prevents us from seeing things from our child’s perspective. When our children are young, it can be very difficult to see things from their perspective. As I like to say, I don’t care what color mugContinue Reading…

W.A.I.T

One of my frequent refrains in both workshops and private peaceful parenting coaching sessions is “Stop talking!” The truth is we parents talk way too much. We launch into long diatribes or lectures without even realizing it and I can promise you this… Your child has shut you out and only hears the sound of the adults from the Charlie Brown cartoons… Your message is lost, they aren’t listening which then triggers us even more. Before you know it, you’ve launched into your standard “You never listen!” lecture. It never ends well, does it? I am a huge fan ofContinue Reading…

A Little Story About Listening

I want you to think about how you felt the last time you sat down with a good friend and poured your heart out to them. Maybe it was over a parenting or relationship struggle. Maybe something is going on at work or maybe you have a sick relative. Your friend didn’t jump in to solve the problem, they didn’t interrupt to tell you their even bigger problem, they didn’t minimize, or tell you to calm down. They just listened. Maybe there were a few carefully placed “Mmmhmms” or “Tell me more about that…” Silence can be just as effectiveContinue Reading…

Why I Do What I Do

People often ask me why I am became a social worker. Of course, there’s many reasons why I wanted to help people – part of it is just who I am. I was always the person my friends came to for a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. I’m also insatiability curious. I want to know about people and why they do what they do and about their lives. I believe people are doing the best that they can and I believe people are good at heart and are capable of change. It’s not always on my timelineContinue Reading…

Perspective

One of my favorite questions to ask parents in parenting coaching sessions is “How do you think your child felt in that moment?” This often comes after they’ve recounted a challenging interaction or a meltdown or a time when they felt like they couldn’t do anything right. Those things happen to every parent. One happened to me this morning. We can’t always see things from our child’s perspective in the moment – maybe we are tired, frustrated, triggered, or just too worried about something else like getting to work on time – it’s human. None of us get it rightContinue Reading…

How to create a better start to your days!

One of my most frequently asked questions is how to improve mornings – whether it’s getting out of the house or navigating drop-offs at daycare, preschool, or grade school. Parents often say, “I am not a peaceful parent in the mornings!” It’s hard to have empathy and patience when you have PLACES TO GO! Mornings are hard. I’m right here in the trenches with you. Here are my best suggestions! Snuggle Up! Spending even five minutes of the morning filling your child’s love cup with some cozy time gives you both an oxytocin burst – that bonding hormone is profoundlyContinue Reading…

Four Agreements for Parenting

I remember the first time I read Don Miguel Ruiz’s book “The Four Agreements”. It was recently out and was getting a lot of buzz. Oprah was talking about it on her show (I’m showing my age…) and it kept coming up in conversation. Every time I read them; I was struck by how impossibly hard they sounded. They are hard. But they are not impossible. Like everything I share, it’s a one day at a time suggestion. Sometimes, parenting feels like more like one hour or one minute at a time and that’s okay too. For now, let’s startContinue Reading…

Minding Our Expectations

Recently I was out to dinner with my daughter on a date. The restaurant we went to is very family friendly and had a great play area for kids. My daughter was off exploring and I was sitting at the table people watching. I am fascinated by people and always very curious about what they are up to – this is why I became a social worker – I want to know all of the things about all of the people. Along with being family friendly, the restaurant has a creative little solution to help you flag down your server.Continue Reading…

The Nuclear Option

Now that the winter holidays have come to a close, I’m taking a look at all of the similar challenges a variety of families have brought to their coaching sessions in the last six weeks. I am always reminded we are more similar than we are different. Parenting is no exception. In every single parent coaching session I’ve had since just before Thanksgiving, something has come up for every family. My child is saying mean things to me! The holiday season is a wonderful time for lots of family time, extended family visits, delicious special meals, presents, and time spentContinue Reading…

What if it’s an opportunity rather than an obligation?

During a yoga class recently, the teacher shared a mantra which I immediately applied to my practice as it was so helpful. She invited us to think of getting to our mat as an opportunity not an obligation. As I was driving home, I realized how much it might help parents to use the same mantra as it applies to parenting. If you’ve taken one of my workshops or we’ve worked together in coaching before, you know I spend a lot of time and focus on preventative maintenance. My mentor, Dr. Laura Markham, outlines the tools of preventative maintenance as:Continue Reading…