Jun, 11 2013 | julie | No comments
Today is my birthday. I turned 43. Here are 43 things you may or may not have known about me.
1. I am a Gemini.
2. I believe that every year / decade gets infinitely better than the last.
3. I love the color purple.
4. I also love the color green.
5. I am more of a cat person than a dog person.
6. I have a dog and two cats.
7. I want to get a bird.
8. I am a counselor, coach, parent educator and more.
9. I am taking a huge exam this weekend.
10. I was up until 1am last night.
11. I like to watch Toddlers & Tiaras and come up with therapeutic interventions. (i.e. what would I do if I was counseling them.)
12. I do the same thing with Real Wives of New Jersey.
13. and Super Nanny families.
14. I read zombie novels.
15. I have a zombie apocalypse plan.
16. If zombies come, I’m heading to Ikea, Super Target or the grocery store to hide out.
17. I’ve watching ZombieLand more than I’ve watched Fight Club.
18. ZombieLand and Fight Club are two of my favorite movies.
19. I’ve watched Willy Wonka more than either.
20. My sister and I watched Wizard of Oz every Thanksgiving when we were growing up.
21. We also watched the Jerry Lewis telethon every Memorial Day.
22. We would try to stay up for the full 72 hours. We made it 6.
23. I have lived in 58 different apartments, homes in my life.
24. I am moving to house #59 in a month.
25. I am an exceller packer and mover.
26. I dream about working on or with a college campus.
27. I think middle schoolers are awesome.
28. Some of the coolest people I know are in high school.
29. I had a heart procedure last year.
30. Before I had a heart procedure, I ate like a 17-year-old boy.
31. I eat like a 43-year-old woman now.
32. Cross-fit scares the crap out of me.
33. I like to hula-hoop.
34. and jumprope.
35. and run through sprinklers.
36. New York City is my soul city.
37. I cry at least once a week – could be from frustration, sadness, anger or happiness. Depends on the week…or the commercial on TV.
38. My favorite musicians are Van Morrison, Beastie Boys, P!nk and Enimem.
39. My first concert was Willie Nelson. I fell asleep.
40.My second concert was Def Leppard. I stayed up all night.
41. Being a mom is the second most natural thing for me.
42. Being me is supposed to be the most natural thing but sometimes it isn’t.
43. I am ready for whatever this next year brings me…and I hope that one thing it brings is you and I closer. xo
May, 06 2013 | julie | No comments
Parent educators have the unique task of educating diverse groups of parents about a multitude of topics, each related to understanding their child’s development and building the parents’ skills. A parent coach will help you identify your strengths as a parent, and build upon these strengths.
A parent coach believes that every parent has his/her child’s best interest at heart. Furthermore, he/sho believes that every parent is doing his/her absolute best, based on the resources available. A parent coach’s goal is to support parents as they tackle tough parenting issues. She will carefully listen to each concern, assess the individual needs of a child and his/her family, build on the strengths of both the parents and the child, and offer and demonstrate realistic suggestions based on the specific needs of the child and/or family.
A parent coach is a highly-trained and knowledgeable professional whose primary role is to support and gently guide parents and caregivers as they deal with the challenges of raising healthy, happy, and successful children. A parent coach builds a relationship with the parents in order to provide a constant source of encouragement, compassion, and positivity.
A parent coach will help you identify your strengths as a parent, and build upon these strengths.
A parent coach will offer practical, research-based recommendations that take into account your time, schedule, resources, cultural and spiritual beliefs, and family structure.
Common parenting concerns that can be effectively addressed with the support of a parenting coach include:
・power struggles and temper tantrums
・bedtime and sleeping issues
・eating and mealtime rutines
・behavior in public
・establishing authority as a parent
・concerns with developmental delays
・aggression/acting out behavior and social behavior with peers
・dealing with life transitions including separation, divorce and death of a family member
・advocating for your child at their school or daycare
There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to parenting; every child is an individuals and therefore need an individualized approach to addressing behavior. Often, parent educators must create their own programs and research hundreds of resources to compile the right combination of topic modules to fit their needs. For more information on parent coaching, please contact us today.
Apr, 06 2013 | julie | No comments
Often, I hear parents say, “I’m just not getting through. I don’t see a change in my son/daughter.” Please, don’t despair. The following story, which my mom sent me in 2006), is an ideal example of how just one small act can make a longterm difference.
With love and gratitude,
Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, “Mother, you must come see the daffodils before they are over.” I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead.
“I will come next Tuesday,” I promised, a little reluctantly, on her third call.
Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and so I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn’s house and hugged and greeted my grandchildren, I said, “Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in the clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see bad enough to drive another inch!”
My daughter smiled calmly and said, “We drive in this all the time, Mother.”
“Well, you won’t get me back on the road until it clears, and then I’m heading for home!” I assured her.
“I was hoping you’d take me over to the garage to pick up my car.”
“How far will we have to drive?”
“Just a few blocks,” Carolyn said. ”I’ll drive. I’m used to this.”
After several minutes, I had to ask, “Where are we going? This isn’t the way to the garage!”
“We’re going to my garage the long way,” Carolyn smiled, “by way of the daffodils.”
“Carolyn,” I said sternly, “please turn around.”
“It’s all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience.”
After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand-lettered sign that read, “Daffodil Garden.” We got out of the car and each took a child’s hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, we turned a corner of the path, and I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight. It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it down over the mountain peak and slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns-great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron, and butter yellow. Each different-colored variety was planted as a group so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers.
“But who has done this?” I asked Carolyn.
“It’s just one woman,” Carolyn answered. ”She lives on the property. That’s her home.” Carolyn pointed to a well kept A frame house that looked small and modest in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house. On the patio, we saw a poster. ”Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking” was the headline.
The first answer was a simple one. ”50,000 bulbs,” it read. The second answer was, “One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and very little brain.” The third answer was, “Began in 1958.”
There it was, The Daffodil Principle. For me, that moment was a life-changing experience.
I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than forty years before, had begun-one bulb at a time-to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountain top. Still, just planting one bulb at a time, year after year, had changed the world. This unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. She had created something of indescribable magnificence, beauty, and inspiration. The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration.
That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time-often just one baby-step at a time-and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world.
“It makes me sad in a way,” I admitted to Carolyn. ”What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five or forty years ago and had worked away at it ‘one bulb at a time’ through all those years. Just think what I might have been able to achieve!”
My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. “Start tomorrow,” she said. It’s so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask, “How can I put this to use today?”
– Author Unknown
Apr, 02 2013 | julie | No comments
“‘Because’ is a not a very good answer, mom.” This is exactly what my 9-year-old daughter said to me when I responded because to her query of ”Why can’t I take private dancing, acting and guitar lessons? And, she is right. “Because” is not a very good answer.
Kids are inquisitive by nature. When they are younger, they want to better understand something. Once they hit the tween-to-teen years, they want to better understand why YOU think something. They are exploring to see what you find important, what you believe in and if they should believer in the same things.
Regardless of the age, when a child asks you the question “Why?” or “Why not?,” they are looking for an direct, honest explanation of why you find something important. (Notice I didn’t say lengthy!) Answering with “Because I said so” adds to their frustration, confusion and, quite frankly, chips away at their trust in you.
Though your child may challenge you by asking your reasoning why a rule has been put in place, it also shows their growth as an individual thinker. So try not to get angry or frustrated when they do so; realize it’s their way of understanding their world around them. Why? Because I said so.
Mar, 19 2013 | julie | No comments
In today’s fast-paced, hectic often unpredictable world, I am often comforted with the relationship I have with my family I feel like I know them inside and out. My son is fascinated by molecules and megabytes. My sister’s middle name is Suzanne. My dad’s is left-handed. Or is he? My mom’s favorite hobby is – hmmm, I guess I don’t know that either. My nine-year-old still wants to be a singer, I think. My daughter’s least favorite food is lasagna. At least it was last week, when she threw a fit over what I made for dinner. Maybe I don’t know my family as well as I thought. What about you? How well do you know your family?
Family’s share the same genes, and, if you have tween-to-teens, sometimes jeans too. We hug, and we fight. We squabble, and we make-up. We cry, and we celebrate. But do we talk? Or rather do we ask? As hard as it is to admit, no, we don’t ask as much as we should. I don’t know who my mom’s first boyfriend was, or where my dad held his first job. I’ve never asked my sister about learning to drive a car or my children’s dad about his favorite subject in school. I’m assuming my son still loves the color blue and bubblegum ice cream, but I don’t know with absolute certainty. And, quite frankly, not knowing these things is wrong. It’s not that I am unfamiliar with these individuals – they are my family, for goodness sake. I’m often dumbfounded to think that with the amount of time I spend with them that I often know so little. Truth be told, most people know more about Hollywood celebrities than about their family.
Why is that? Well, if you are like me, year after year, the time with your family seems effortless. You see them daily, and feel very familiar with who they are, right? Wrong. That feeling of familiarity is often mistaken for authentic connections and knowledge. More often than not, we may spend our time avoiding discussions of consequence. We discuss the budding bed of petunias with Aunt Mary and the new set of cookware with Grandma. We may debate about what color to paint the living room or about what the best television show is this season. The list goes on and on, but non the topics are necessarily the memories we will want to pass from generation to generation. The topics describe our day-to-day but they don’t necessarily lay the foundations families are built upon.
So, how do you get to know your family? How do you gain that intimacy? Basically, how do you “meet” your family? It alls start with a question – actually a lot of questions, meaningful questions about life, love, sadness and more. Have your Grandmother share about her first love. Query your son about his favorite childhood memorable. Ask your daughter to share her dream house with you.
And, after you ask the questions, listen. Just listen. Don’t judge or criticize. Listen to the words as they paint a picture of feeling, of sadness, of love. (You may also want to document these moments with audio recordings or video tapes to preserve the memories for future generations.) Don’t wait until you have everyone together. Start connecting today through emails, Skype, phone calls, letters – even text messaging. Get to know the people who helped raise, guide and influence you – those who have helped defined you, and let them know, it’s a pleasure not only to meet you, but to know you.