Teach Me

Originally posted on June 24, 2011 A little phrase I have been using lately, when my kids seem to escalate (whether it is some sort of trauma trigger or just normal kid/sibling stuff) is to simply ask them to “teach me.” It’s one way to be curious with their behavior, instead of escalating it or joining a battle. Just this morning, in a very small way, we experienced this over breakfast. One kid got pretty tootie with another. As I […]

You Can Control You

You Are Not Ugly

Originally posted in February of 2011   Children who come from the hard places hate themselves. Their very young brains try to make sense of how all of the horrible things could have possibly happened, and they come to one conclusion very early on: it must be me. I am the problem. I am bad. I am unlovable. And they believe it. Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and […]


Thinking On Your Feet

Originally posted in February of 2011   “The basic rules of improv theater … are key and fundamental to therapeutic parenting.” – Billy Kaplan, LCSW I keep munching on this. The basics of improv theater are: Learning a new way of thinking Respect for others in negotiations or transactional relationships Being “in the moment“ Make positive choices that keep doors open Proactive listening as opposed to passive or even responsive listening Trusting one another to do the right thing Benefiting […]


Dance With It

Originally posted in January of 2011   We just survived a tough two weeks with the trauma (which is now triggered regularly by full-on puberty). I understand why the therapists encourage us to work our tails off on the healing before puberty, if at all possible. Our kids are already onions, with many, many layers of issues and hurts. Puberty takes that onion, genetically modifies it, and turns it into a County Fair prize winner. A freakishly bigger onion, but […]


The Role of Forgiveness in Parenting

Originally posted July 10, 2013 Forgiveness. Blerg. I have come to a conclusion about life:  forgiveness is really difficult and will always be difficult. You can quote me on that brilliance.  Hell, make a Facebook meme. I have a very hard time with forgiveness in general because, well, I’m human.  Also because I feel things deeply and intensely.  Forgiveness is not forgetting (if someone has told you that, I hope you’ve politely cackled at such absurdity).  Forgiveness is having a […]


But They Behave SOMEtimes

Talking about why our kids (and even WE) can behave well in situations one day but not the next … “The truth is that for all of us, our capacity fluctuates given our state of mind and state of body, and these states are influenced by so many factors — especially in the case of a developing brain in a developing child.” – from Dan Siegel’s “No-Drama Discipline”

It’s PACE, Not Just ‘P’

Originally posted June 17, 2013   (photo by Katherine Evans; used with permission) My friend, Billy, always tells a story of one of his clients who was having some very big feelings during a session.  Billy became very playful again and again, to see if he could help the child pull out of the “stuck” place he appeared to be in.  The kid finally called him on it and said something to the tune of, “You couldn’t handle it!” He got […]



Originally posted May 31, 2013   I currently feel like I’m drowning in life. Probably because I am.  It’s been mollasses thick, lately. I believe that the hardest things we experience are always easiest to tackle if we can find a way to live in a vacuum.  Life would be so much easier if we were just handed one big problem at a time.  Yet, the second one other tiny piece of your life has a complication, then the other, […]


Join and Follow to Lead

Originally posted November 8, 2005   Sir, I See That You’re Waving a Gun – Are you Angry? Ahhhhh … foster care training. Another class last night. This was actually the Part 1 of last month’s class (see the whole “Do you like it on top or on bottom” post). We missed it last month because we were running our son to the ER with what the dr. said would turn out to be either a serious medical condition …. […]