Before Getting Professional Parenting Help…

Although I am a parent coach in the greater seattle area, I find that mothers seeking professional parent help often overlook one of their greatest resources – their own mom. Even if you don’t feel that your mom did a great job raising you, she has still seen what worked and what didn’t, and can have some valuable wisdom to share…

Video: Moms are Valuable Parenting Resources

Video Transcription


So I might be shooting myself in the foot here because I am a professional. I am a parent coach. I have experience. I have education to really be able to help guide parents, but I’m here to tell you today you don’t always need the professional’s help. If you have a mom or a mother-in-law or maybe an auntie, someone in your life, a mother that’s older than you are . . . I guess I’m talking to moms here because dads are helpful too, but I’ll just talk specifically to moms right now.

As you are seeking help, seeking that expertise, I encourage you to talk with your mom. Moms have a lot of wisdom because they have experience, and we learn through experience. So you might think your mom didn’t do a great job raising you, she still has expertise because she knows what not to do. And sometimes it’s easy to look from the outside in. Oh, you should have done this. You should have done that, but by golly when you get there yourself you realize, wow, my mom did a really good job under the circumstances.

So I really encourage you to ask and seek out those wise adults around you, people who have went this path before. And then if you need some professional help, go for it. There’s a lot out there. There’s good books. There’s parent coaches which is really a new field, and that is what I do. I act a lot like an informed educated older mom/grandma/help person. So there’s nothing better than someone who has walked the path before. Lean in to the resources that you naturally have around you. They’re most of the time excellent resources.

Great Parents Notice the Positives

I was in Costco this weekend returning something, long lines but I had to get it done.

I was behind a dad and his two children. His son was about 7 and his daughter about 4 years old. As normal, one child was touching the other child. The dad responded with good boundaries and directions. BUT, here is what I also saw. He gave many commands but no praises. He never noticed when a command was followed. When dad said, “if you touch your sister again, all your treats will go away” his son stopped bugging his sister and moved to play with the cart. Dad never noticed the positive behavior.

So my question to you is “Do you have anything good to say?”

It takes intention to notice the positive behavior. It hardly takes any effort on our part to notice the negative behavior, our children command us with negative.  And we wonder why kids are always acting up.

Take 30 minutes today and be aware of how many times you correct or direct your child verses how much you notice the good behavior. Good parents do direct and correct, but great parents notice when their child behaves well.

When we notice the good stuff, we will get better behavior from our children. Best of all, we will have a closer relationship with them. Here is a quote that I have in my office:

True obedience is a matter of love, which it makes voluntary not compelled by fear or force.

Dorothy Day, Peace Activist



Back to School Parenting: Sports and Chores

Have you struggled with this conflict between sports (or other activities) and chores around the house?

Video: Extracurricular Activities vs Household Responsibilities

Well, I live in Washington state; actually western Washington, and September is the best time of the year because it’s sunny. But I wonder how many of you maybe on the Midwest or the East Coast have been out on a soccer field, maybe a football field already this September. It might be raining. It might be uncomfortable for you. In Washington it’s the best time of the year to have your kids in sports. It’s always sunny. There’s no other place I’d rather be than on a soccer field.

Now I don’t like to do that in November. I’ll just tell you straight up, pouring rain.

So sports, we’re back in school and sports are here and really a fun time. But I really encourage you as a parent to keep the sports in check. If we focus too much on the sports with the kids, we keep our focus all about the child and not about the family or the family system.

So it’s very important for you to step back and make sure that above all chores are still in your child’s life. And we’re talking about a kiddo who’s high school and below, okay? Because, you know, I’ve talked about how when kids are in high school we start to remove those chores if they’re responsible. So if you have a child that’s under 15 years of age go ahead and make sure that they stay doing their chores even when they have sports going on. It’ll help to balance kind of the demand or the focus on the sports because that’s not real life, is it?

As an adult I do sports, but I also have to work, have to maintain the family. How many adults can do full time sports all the time, go to school and go to the practice, go to games, have people drive them all over the place, cheer for them? It can get to be a really big dysfunctional focus totally on your child.

So my handy hint to keep things balanced, keep chores in your child’s life. Number one way to increase self-esteem and self-concept is through chores.