Increasing self-awareness and emotional-regulation skills so that you can experience a more connected, effective and joyful life.

Ever wonder if you are doing this parenting thing right?

Me, too! I often hear parents like you tell me they feel so much guilt and fear on this parenting journey. Guilt that they aren't spending enough time with their kids, or giving them enough opportunities. Fear that they are saying or doing the wrong things. And, you know what? I feel those things, too! Which is why I was so relieved when I heard Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson share the results of the latest brain science and attachment research, which is this: The best predictor for how well kids turn out is whether or not they have had a secure attachment with at least one person. That's it! A secure attachment. Not the number or caliber of activities they were involved in. Not the socio-economic status of the family. Not the school they went to. Not the number of hours their parents spent with them. Siegel and Bryson went on to share how [...]

The Power of Showing Up For Yourself, Using the Four S’s

Last week, I told you about the newest research on attachment, and how you can help your child develop a secure attachment with you just by "showing up" for them on a consistent basis. If you missed that email, you can read it on the blog HERE. But what if showing up and being emotionally present for them is difficult for you a lot of the time? What if you struggle to tolerate their big emotions, let alone be present and available as they are experiencing them? I get it! As do so many others. Here is what I have been hearing from other parents and caregivers: When your kids have big emotions, it triggers your own emotional response. That response can feel overwhelming or stressful, and your natural response is to want to shut them down so you don't have to experience the discomfort. But, shutting them down goes against what [...]

One Phrase That Helps Prevent Yelling

Do you ever think to yourself, “I wish I could stop yelling at my kids”? I get it! ​​​​​​​ Yelling was my vice, and the ensuing guilt was what motivated me to parent differently. ​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​The thing is—when you are trying to do away with one behavior, you have to replace it with another, or you will just revert back to your old ways. That is where this phrase comes in. When I find myself at my wit’s end because: ​​​​​​​* they aren't listening * they are being disrespectful * they are snapping at their siblings * or a multitude of other frustrating scenarios... ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​I pause, make sure I am regulated (meaning not snappy or sassy myself), connect with them through eye contact or a gentle touch, and say to them, “Can you help me understand?” * "Can you help me understand why you are not getting ready for bed, when [...]

Love is a Choice, Not a Feeling

I’ve been thinking about something my wise aunt once said to me that was very mind-boggling to my then-16-year-old-brain: “Love is not a feeling, it is a choice.” Twenty-five years later, it now makes perfect sense. All of those Hallmark Christmas movies we recently binged on (or was that just me???) might make us question that statement, but real-life relationships validate its truth. With February being the month of love (again- thank you Hallmark…), I wanted to really break it down and see what love, as a choice, really looks like. When I think about choosing love, whether it be for my family, my friends, or myself, these are four components that are present: conscious awareness, empthay and compassion, non-judgement effectiveness, and willingness. Now, there’s a good chance I lost you right there, since those are some mysterious therapist words, but I’m confident it will all make sense once I [...]

Choosing Love through Empathy and Compassion

How did you do with last week’s challenge?  Did you choose love by being aware of, and  expressing appreciation for, the people in your life?  What about yourself – did you choose to love yourself by acknowledging a job well done, or by congratulating yourself for holding your tongue when you could have just as easily exploded at your kids?  Giving yourself kudos can be a difficult thing to do since, like all humans, you have what is called a negativity bias, or a tendency to focus on the negative aspects of yourself and your environment (you can read more about that in a Psychology Today article by clicking here).  However, that is something that can be changed with awareness and practice.  So, this week, as you continue to express appreciation to those around you, make sure you are including yourself in the praise-fest. ❤ As I mentioned in last week’s email, the second aspect of [...]

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