Peaceful Coaching to Take Care of Yourself!

This afternoon, I said to my husband, “I need to write a blog post but I am not feeling very inspired.” He hugged me and suggested that’s what I write about. “Write what you’re living, honey.” So here we go. We are rapidly approaching month nine of the global pandemic. My daughter hasn’t been to school since March. I picked her up not knowing when we would return and she hasn’t seen her friends since. I miss my friends, in person workshops, support groups, and private coaching clients more than I can explain. I am a hugger and I missContinue Reading…

What About Our Feelings?

“Is it okay to cry in front of my kids?” “Will it scare my kids if I tell them I’m feeling anxious?” “I don’t want to worry my children but I’m having a really hard time and it feels impossible to pretend.” I hear questions like this every day from parents in coaching sessions – especially over the last nearly nine months. We don’t live in a culture that welcomes feelings. Most of us didn’t grow up in families where we were encouraged to express our fears, worries, and sadness. We aren’t comfortable with our own feelings, don’t know howContinue Reading…

Finding Some Peace

How is your self regulation these days? So many parents (and children) are really struggling to stay calm in the chaos that is life these days. We are all having a difficult time in one way or another because we are experiencing long term toxic stress. It isn’t meant to be this way – together all of the time, mostly in our homes. The feelings of powerlessness create so much anxiety and fear. When we are feeling powerless and fearful, it’s so much harder to access your prefrontal cortex where you have all of your coping skills and tools stored.Continue Reading…

What We Learned from Distance Learning this week…

Tomorrow, we start our ninth week of distance learning and the lessons for our entire family continue to present themselves each day. For us, like everyone else, the last spring’s “crisis learning “ weeks were incredibly hard. We were all feeling scared, anxious, unsure, and overwhelmed. Schools, teachers, and families were told one day in March we were going home and most of us haven’t returned to school since. Can you imagine how our children must feel? After having the summer to re-calibrate to the best of our ability while still under quarantine with few safe options outside of ourContinue Reading…

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…