For parents at their wit's end...
THE STAND ALONE SESSIONS
Dear Overwhelmed Parent,
Are you the parent or primary caregiver of a child between the ages of 2 - 15 who is facing challenges with your child’s behavior? Then there’s a good chance that you may feel like you’re standing alone with these challenges.
Perhaps you’ve come here looking for help. Let’s start with five questions to see if I might be a fit to help you, OK?
Question #1: Does your child have more extreme, frequent or longer lasting behavioral reactions that seem like they are out of proportion to what is actually happening?
Question #2: Do you find yourself in a power struggle with your child more than 50% of the time when it comes to any of the following?
*Getting out the door
Question #3: Have you struggled for three months or more around any of the following issues?
*Your child won’t listen to you.
*Your child has become withdrawn and won’t talk to you.
*The kids are constantly fighting with each other
*There are frequent tantrums, whining & crying
*You can’t enjoy being together as a family
*More severe behaviors have started to emerge:
Question #4: Do sticker charts, time-outs, and consequences make things worse?
Question #5: Do you often feel undermined or unsupported by your partner (current or ex) when it comes to handling discipline with your child?
If you answered, “Yes” to at least 2 of the above questions, then there’s a good chance that I might be able to help.
Perhaps the most important thing I can underscore here is this:
You are not alone.
But many parents feel like they are.
They don’t realize how many parents are struggling on their own, without support, when their kids’ behavior is driving them to their wit’s end and they have no idea what to do next.
Parenting is hard enough without the thought that ‘all other parents have got this figured out’.
In my professional experience, having worked with hundreds of other parents over the past decade in workshops and dozens one on one with in depth, ongoing coaching...No they don’t.
Most parents I meet are deeply struggling. As they fall asleep at night, they say to themselves…
“I’ll be more patient tomorrow."
"I’ll try harder not to yell."
"I can’t even do the one job I’m supposed to do."
For what it’s worth: I believe you could not (and should not) be trying harder.
Trying harder and harder to keep doing the same thing without understanding what’s driving your child’s behavior is like running harder and harder into the same wall. It not only becomes more and more frustrating and exhausting, it can give you a really big headache and actually make things worse.
Action without understanding is like sticking a band aid on your child’s cut without assessing what caused it and getting your doctor’s opinion about whether it needs stitches or antibiotics to treat it before you put on the band aid. It might help once in a while. But in other cases, no matter how many band-aids you put on, things will keep getting worse, if you don’t treat the underlying cause.
But maybe it’s just a phase…
Often parents wonder if their child is just going through a phase. In my experience, if a negative behavior has gone on more than 3 months, it’s no longer just a phase. Even if it started as a phase, it’s on its way to becoming a negative habit rather than a positive life skill.
Let me tell you a bit of my story…
I found myself in a consuming, exhausting, and seemingly inexplicable struggle over homework with one of my kids who had just begun 3rd grade. I tried being creative about when, where and how we did homework. I asked other moms how they handled it, but no one else seemed to be going through what I was. Homework rarely got done and each day became water under the bridge. This struggle created chaos at home and was very hard on my other two kids.
I’d like to say it was just a phase, but it wasn’t. The voices of conventional wisdom kept saying, “Your kid just needs to do what they’re supposed to do,” and “Take away enough things that matter to them and your child will do what you want.” It sounded so simple, but something inside me knew that wasn’t right and believe me, if that was going to work on my kid, it would have already happened! Even though I didn’t yet know what was right for my child, I did know that conventional wisdom was wrong for my child and I continued to quest for answers.
My child became more and more oppositional and unreachable until, by the time they were 18, it felt like there was an uncrossable chasm between us. Then I found a friend who shared similar struggles. For the first time, I felt I wasn’t alone. She introduced me to a new understanding of child behavior through the eyes of stress, brain science and emotional regulation. I came to see that my child’s behavior wasn’t a matter of “wouldn’t,” but a matter of “couldn’t.” My heart opened up and an entire childhood of struggle made sense. I know that sounds dramatic, but it truly was like seeing something that had always been there, but that I was blind to. Finally there was something to validate my inner voice and the job of repair could begin with me.
Hi, I'm Kathy
I’m a registered nurse, parenting coach, mom & grammy. Over the past 10 years of working with parents, one of the things I hear most often is, “It feels good to know I’m not alone.”
Raising my kids, after divorce, I felt very alone. It seemed like no one else was having the struggles I was having with my kids’ behavior. I was exhausted and overwhelmed much of the time. It took years for things to begin to turn around at home for me, and it was only because I finally connected to the right support. As a result, I was finally able to make sense of my child’s behavior, know what to do, and feel connected again.
If loving your child and trying hard were enough, you’d already be the parent you want to be. Because, my dear, you could not be trying harder!
We’re conditioned in our culture, to believe we're supposed to be able to do it all. If we can’t, we're conditioned to feel shame. This has led to an epidemic of perfectionism. Doing it all ourselves could not be further from the truth of how we're wired biologically. We were never meant to do this parenting thing in isolation and without support.
Here’s the thing...
I believe we must move toward a parent-centric approach and away from a child-centric approach to parenting. Why? Because I believe parents are the most effective agents of change in a family. They hold the real power. Therefore, I focus on supporting and empowering parents to be in control of their relationship with their child without getting sucked into the vicious “here we go again cycles” and the feelings of guilt and failure that come with them.
Brain Science and a larger understanding of family dynamics are not typically part of many popular child-centric parenting techniques. In other words, you ARE doing your best but I believe you may be missing a key piece of the parenting puzzle which has to do with the core understanding what your child’s behavior is really telling you in order to respond effectively.
That paragraph above may be worth reading again a few times to let it sink in. That paragraph
above took me 20 years to be able to write. The understandings in it are what allow me to help
parents in situations that have felt utterly hopeless and impossible to them.
The Parent-Centric approach places the keys to change in the parent’s hands and in the power of the relationship. It’s rooted in ‘understanding what your child’s behavior is telling you' so you can respond effectively.
Child-Centric approaches place the keys to change in the child’s hands. They’re rooted in ‘trying to get your kid to do what you want them to do’ and often use techniques that utilize rewards and consequences to motivate a child’s behavior, even though these techniques have been shown to negatively affect the self-esteem of some kids.
What is No-Yell™ Parenting?
I developed No-Yell™ parenting to provide a parent-centric solution to improving child behavior. Think of it like a parenting GPS, the guiding principles of which are grounded in brain science and the dynamics of family relationships. It sets you up to make effective parenting choices about all different situations and nurture a relationship with your child that will take you through the teen years and beyond.
The No-Yell™ Parenting Guiding Principles are as follows:
Connection matters more than perfection.
The better you do, the better your child does.
Your child wants to please you.
Behavior is an SOS, not an attack.
Small changes lead to big results.
What you focus on increases
Families are dynamic systems where all members affect each other.
You’re here because you love your child and want to be the best parent you can be. You’re also here because you’re at your wit's end with your child’s behavior, and worried about whether your child will be OK down the road.
Perhaps you’re frustrated by advice from books, peers, blogs and friends, that doesn’t seem to work on your child and you don’t know what to do next. Maybe things are even getting worse the harder you try.
If any of this sounds familiar, then you’re in the right place to try something different. So, I’d like to formally invite you to consider signing up for...
The Stand Alone Sessions:
What is it? An 80 minute one-on-one session designed to set you up to successfully move toward the change you are wanting.
How much does it cost? The fee for this session is $150. Payment by check, cash or credit card is due before your session. Should we decide it’s a fit to continue to work together in my No-Yell™ Parenting Foundation program then this session and $150 will be rolled into the total price of that program.
Where is it? The session can be conducted live at my office (if you live in the Boston area) or virtually by voice or video call.
Why do I offer them? I know that signing up for a big coaching program isn’t always the right fit, a good idea or advisable. Sometimes we need to actually talk with the coach in question to see if we connect, and if we like them and their approach. I deeply support and recommend this approach. But, for years, I haven't offered something like this.
This session is my way of giving you a chance to get some immediate help, empathy and relief without the pressure of signing up for a larger package. And it’s a good way for me to meet potential clients too because I want to be sure that you're a good fit for me too. So the Stand Alone Session is a good chance for you to get some practical help right away and to see if we might be a good match to work together further.
Why do you call it the Stand Alone Sessions? Two reasons. The first is that, as I shared in the beginning of this letter, most parents feel like they are ‘standing alone’ in dealing with their children’s difficult behavior.
The second reason is that, in recent years, I didn’t do ‘single’ sessions. I would work with parents over multiple sessions in different packages I offered. And so this session stands alone. It’s not a part of any of my packages (though it functions well as the first call of my 7 Step Foundation program, should you choose to continue) and there’s no pressure to sign up for anything (though, if I think something I, or someone else, has to offer might be a fit, I’ll let you know).
If we click and I want to work more with you, what are my options?
If we click, I'll let you know what the various options are to work together and we'll discuss what might be best for you.
No-Yell™ Parenting Programs include the following:
One-on-One Coaching (Starts with a Stand Alone Session)
What You’ll Get From Your Stand Alone Session:
Here is a general sense of how the flow of the session will go:
Identify your biggest parenting challenges
Explore the impact of these challenges on your family
Get really clear about your personal goals and intentions for the change you want
Have the opportunity to feel heard by your partner and to listen to them (if applicable)
Learning the 7 principles of a parent-centric parenting approach (and have time to ask questions about them).
Begin to make sense of your kids’ behavior and where it might come from (the answers may surprise you)
Learning some simple approaches to avoiding power struggles and nurturing deeper, more connected family relationships.
Look at solutions for moving forward in light of these principles.
Determining if we would be the right fit to work together
Connecting you to the best resources to help you move forward.
Here’s What I Ask Of You Before Your Session:
Be Focused: You will only ever get one of these sessions so I ask that you schedule 90 minutes in case session starts late or runs a bit late, make sure you have 100% focused time with water, pen and paper available away from the kids and any distractions.
Schedule Time To Reflect: That you schedule an hour within a week of the call to reflect on what we discuss. If the call is a total bust for you, well… you’ll have a free hour on your hands. If the call is really helpful for you, then you’ll have some time set aside to implement what you’ve learned.
I hope to meet you soon.
Simply put your information in the box below to request your Stand Alone Session. Once you hit "submit" you'll be taken to a link to schedule your session. If none of the available times work for you, simply email me at and we will find a time that works!
PS: I'll be in touch via email within 48 hrs to confirm your registration and give you all the logistical details you require to set up a virtual or in-person session. Please be sure to check your spam folder in case my email gets misdirected (which seems to happen!) Mark it "Not Spam" and then add me to your contacts so you don't miss any important info about your session.