Kathy with her grandson, Augie
As a trauma-informed Behavior Specialist, Kathy Whitham, RN, provides empathy, support and education for parents and caregivers at their wit’s end. Problematic behaviors like defiance, disrespect, tantrums, “attitude,” not listening and poor school performance can show up at any point in a child’s development. Kathy believes they are red flags that a child needs help.
Using her No Yell™ model for positive behavioral change, Kathy helps parents make sense of their child’s “negative” behaviors, and build on their strengths with effective tools and strategies to help their child and restore peace at home.
In 1993, Kathy became a single mother of three, the oldest of whom was only 11. The bumpy road that followed was often overwhelming and fraught with chronic power struggles which seemed resistant to every parenting technique she tried. It wasn’t until her youngest was in high school that she learned the fundamental concept, and the brain science behind it, that behavior is communication.
The turning point came in the middle of yet another vicious fight with the kid she most struggled with. Suddenly, she saw her overwhelmed, hurting child rather than just the overwhelming, difficult behavior. The missing piece had been this core understanding. Even though her kids were older, she felt hope again and knew it wasn’t too late to turn things around. The radical changes that followed in her relationships with both her kids and herself, that continue to this day, inspired her to create Parenting Beyond Words in 2008 to help other parents and caregivers.
Kathy’s multifaceted coaching style draws from over 30 years of maternal-child nursing, holistic practices, trauma education, yoga and the arts, as well as having imperfectly raised her three children to happy, successful adulthood. Her Parent-Centric approach, based on the understanding that behavior is communication, lies at the intersection of brain science, attachment theory, family dynamics and parents’ inner wisdom. According to Kathy, the key to being the best parent you can be is to remember, Connection matters more than perfection!