As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Parent Coach, I have specialized in working with parents and families for over 20 years. I am a Positive Discipline Parent Educator, a Certified Redirecting Children’s Behavior (RCB) Parent Educator and a Mindfulness Facilitator.
Inspired by my own parenting challenges raising two very strong-willed kiddos, I made it my mission to help parents navigate the daily challenges of raising their kids in a way that ends the power struggles, improves “listening” and builds connection.
My Story – Why I Do What I Do…
One of the hardest parts of parenting was coming to the realization that so often, it wasn’t my kids that were the “problem.” It was ME!
Here’s the thing…My parents did the best they could, but they most definitely had their limitations. The unspoken vibe in my home was that there was a “right” way and a “wrong” way of doing things. Choosing the “wrong” way wasn’t pleasant. It often involved criticism, long lectures, shame, anger, lots of yelling and silent treatments.
As most of us do, I brought this baggage from my childhood into my parenting. Among other things, I carried the belief that there was a right way for my kids to act and when they didn’t act in the way I thought they “should,” well, I didn’t handle it so well. I got impatient. I got frustrated. I yelled. I became the parent I swore I would never be. And I had so much shame around this…especially because I was a therapist who “should” know better. Let’s just say I hit a low. I was struggling and needed to figure something out. All the behavioral methods I was trained in (consequences, punishments, rewards, bribes etc) weren’t working.
They say timing is everything and I was so fortunate to have stumbled upon Positive Discipline and positive parenting at a time I was feeling so lost and alone. I was in awe of the approach and dove in headfirst. I took classes. I read books. I joined parent groups. I got my own coach. And eventually, I became certified in Positive Discipline so I could guide and support other parents in learning the skills that had completely transformed my relationship with my family.
More specifically, I learned it wasn’t about controlling, correcting and fixing our kids. It was about connecting with them; trying to understand life from their perspective. It was about understanding that these young amazing humans had immature brains that were still developing and that they’re doing the best they can to navigate this complicated world with the (very limited) skills they have.
It wasn’t all about me and how *I* needed them to be and behave. It was about learning to understand their needs and how I could show up for them as the calm, patient, compassionate parent they needed and deserved. I learned how to set boundaries without using consequences, punishments, bribes and rewards. I learned I could be kind AND firm at the same time.
Little by little, I started to see shifts – in myself as I began feeling more grounded, less anxious and impatient. And guess what? As my behavior was changing, so was theirs! We started having way less tantrums, less power struggles, less meltdowns, less sibling fights, less defiance. Was it perfect? Heck no! But it was a dramatic improvement. We finally had more connection and more fun in our family.
Trust me, this didn’t happen overnight. It took a lot of practice and doing the inner work on my own “stuff,” with many ups and downs. But, the work paid off! I finally got to a place where I felt more confident and calm instead of constant dread over what the day would look like. I’m still a work in progress, but am so grateful for how far I’ve come and all the tools I have that helped me get there.
If you’re feeling exhausted, frustrated, overwhelmed and just ready to pull your hair out, I see you and I get it – you are not alone. As someone who’s been in your shoes and found a way out, I would love to support you in getting unstuck and calming the chaos, so that you can actually enjoy parenting your kids!
I’m so glad you’re here.
(In case you’re interested, I received my BA in Psychology and Family Studies from the University of Arizona and my Masters Degree in Social Work from San Diego State University. :))