6 Misinterpreted Behaviors That Are Actually Anxiety

One of the most common factors behind challenging behavior is anxiety. According to the Oxford Dictionary, anxiety is defined as, “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.”[1] The tricky thing is that anxiety isn’t always obvious. Sometimes anxiety in kids comes out in behaviors that may look disrespectful without […]

How to Use Books to Increase Emotional Intelligence

Being a kid can feel hard! Our kids have BIG feelings but don’t understand them. These big feelings often come out in challenging behaviors because they haven’t developed emotional intelligence. If your child came through adoption or foster care, he may have missed out on developing an emotions vocabulary. Whether your children came by birth […]

What Every Family Needs

Actually, I should say, “Who.” Meet Andrea. She regularly kicks her friends (who are foster parents) out, tells them they can’t home any earlier than 10 PM, and asks for nothing in return. She notices needs like a worn out pack ‘n play and has the Amazon fairy deliver a new one. She gifts bags […]

How to Practice Effective Self-Care

It’s easy when parenting to be controlled by the urgent. Tantruming toddlers, teacher conferences, markers on the wall, mouthy teenagers. It all feels like it needs our attention…pronto! We figure once we put out the fire, meet our kids’ needs, and correct them until we’re sure they’re not going to jail, THEN we can take care […]

parenting using compromises effectively

When the Popular Compromise Can Backfire and What To Do Instead

When parents feel like they are constantly butting heads with their child, we often talk about using parenting tools that help our kids feel like we’re on their team. One popular way is to collaborate with our kids using a compromise. We’ve told our kids repeatedly, “When we tell you to do something, you may […]

Simple Pleasures…Even When Life’s Hard

Another mom asked me last week how I could possibly have any margin for helping other moms when I’m living in the same chaos. Good question. I’ve been thinking about it ever since she asked. On a practical level, I have the best husband E.V.E.R. who is doing a lot of the practical things such […]

special needs, adoption, foster care, thanksgiving

When Giving Real Thanks Is Hard

When you’re raising a child with extremely challenging behaviors, it can be hard to face a holiday all about giving thanks. Sure, we can all find small gratitudes each day. We have food to eat. We only called the police once last week.  The sun came out today. But what about deep gratitude for the […]

punishments aren't working

How To Use Natural Consequences Instead of Pointless Punishment

One of the biggest misnomers for parents when they first encounter trust-based or connected parenting is that it seems like there are no consequences. It feels too permissive. This is actually the reason I tossed the Connected Child aside after reading it pre-placement. Honestly? It made me want to gag. Then we attempted to parent […]