I am the host of the Great Parenting Show, the creator of Great Parenting Practices, and the proud mom of two wonderful kids, a teen and a tween, both of who will soon be taller than me!
Many brilliant thought leaders teach what they first found the hardest to learn. My strength as a parenting educator comes from the fact that I began parenting extremely poorly equipped. I looked into my son’s eyes when he was born, and vowed to be the great parent that I knew he deserved. I would have given anything to be that parent.
The reality was:
After 6 months of a colicky baby, virtually no family support, and not much support from friends (we were new to the area and I’d recently left my professional job), my great intentions were worn down by my painfully poor parenting and coping skills. I was depressed, anxious, and overwhelmed. I started battling rage at night when I was desperate for sleep, yet couldn’t get my son to settle. On the one hand I was a mess, trying to get my basic needs met, and on the other hand I was horrified with the realization of how short I was falling from my intentions to be the great parent he deserved. That fueled more self hatred, which fed the cycle of depression, anxiety and overwhelm.
Thank God for anti-depressants! Although I do not believe in their long-term use for most people, in the short-term, they were a godsend. They gave me the pick me up I needed to start making the changes I needed to turn my life around.
A new friend recommended cognitive behavioral therapy as more powerful than medicine in the long-term. Once I had some energy, I started working through David Burn’s 10 Days to Self-Esteem (which, ironically enough, is at least a 10 week program!), and life improved a lot. For the first time in my life I had skills to stop the thoughts that were dragging me down, and I was excited to find my energy and my outlook improving dramatically.
Then, just before the birth of my daughter, we moved again. Once again with little friend support, and now two little ones, I crashed. This time I had a few new challenges: my daughter’s major spinal surgery at 9 months, again with no family support before or after, and my husband and I’s unraveling relationship, that lead to a four-month long separation.
After another short stint on anti-depressants, and a ton more cognitive therapy, I realized that I needed help with parenting. As a communications professional with lots of public speaking experience, I knew I could teach. No parenting courses were offered in my area, so I decide to teach a “canned” parenting program, Adele Faber and Elizabeth Mazlish’s “How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk”. The program was powerful, and I discovered my passion for parenting education.
That lead to me studying the work of a number of different parenting experts, taking courses from Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, author of “Raising Your Spirited Child” and Gordon Neufeld, author of “Hold on to Your Kids” and facilitator’s training for Jim Popkin’s Active Parenting courses. My past time of reading parenting books began over a decade ago. I now have read well over 100 books by parenting experts, as well as interviewed over 50 different experts on almost every possible parenting-related issue.
Over the years, the issues that were troubling me in the past have faded. As I worked through my tendency for depression, I realized how much anxiety I also battled. I realized too that I qualified as a card carrying perfectionist! My daughter has similar tendencies so I’ve been helping her keep this set of behavioral characteristics under control.
I am also a public school board trustee. After years of wishing I could have more influence on the choices our local schools were making, I now can. It is an honour, a privilege, and a labour of love (note the Canadian spellings here! I was born in the US and grew up, and still live, in Canada).
During my 10 years as a parenting educator, I have been interviewed by national newspapers, radio and magazines. My passion is helping you become the great parent you were meant to be, by:
1. providing you with great tips on parenting,
2. coaching you directly with general parenting issues, as well as anxiety and depression-related issues and
3. pr0viding the support you need to make the changes you want to make, including access to the top parenting experts on the planet through the Great Parenting Show.
Contact me at info @ GreatParentingPractices.com if you’d like to work with me directly.