Parenting & Youth

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Parenting & Youth is a blog dedicated to issues faced by teens, pre-teens and their parents that I’ve dealt with myself and as a life coach and counselor.


Parenting As You Go

Parenting is one of those things that becomes hard to see, because you are just IN it!  Ever so often, though, something happens that allows…or creates rather…the opportunity to observe yourself.  For me it is a recent shift in my son’s life that has put me face to face with judgement that I was totally unaware of.  As we faced this shift as a family, I felt as though I was able to see myself “handling” it.  I was not operating from a sense of calm & I felt that I was loosing “control”.  With this thought,  I found myself knowing suddenly that I was the obstacle…that my son was fine & even able to teach me.  I want to share because it is beautiful, but also because as parents (and as humans) we need to be willing and open to changing our minds…Read more


This Little Light Of Mine

“…I’m gonna let it shine.”  I used to love this song as a child.  I would belt out the chorus (the only part I knew) with all my heart.  There’s a simple, small, quiet truth here that I loved.  It was good news & something I already knew as a child.

Funny how in life, we often relearn the same truth.  Somehow through adulthood I had covertly diminished the value of what this little ditty points to.  We all understand intellectually what happens when we ignore our authenticity.  We all know how this feels and the result it yields.  Yet, we overlook this data as we make key choices throughout the day…throughout our life.  At what cost?…Read more


Treat me like a snowflake

“Our egos want us to think we’re all snowflakes, no two alike. But really we all want the same things: love, forgiveness… chocolate.”  ~Dr. Hadley

This quote is so simple and hilarious…all the while imparting wisdom behind each word.  It is a beautiful thing to be reminded of our own ability to be judged and to judge.  A lot of growth comes from seeing the innocence in ourselves and others…our connectedness.

Most of the time, I’m able to learn from my brilliant pre-teen clients, as we unravel their week.  I learn about them…I learn about myself & how to be a better mom.  I learn about my own kids & what they need.  I learn about my own mother.

As I sat listening to a client discuss their mother, I could hear a need for individuation…the most natural & age-appropriate thing in the world.  As this client began to lose steam, I listened more.  I began to hear a second message…quieter, but just as powerful.  It was a small voice…the voice of a child, and it said I need quality time with my mom. This young adult wanted to feel loved & wanted to feel heard…Read more


Kindness In An Unexpected Place

“Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eye for an instant? “  ~ Henry David Thoreau

This blog did not come to me in an instant.  It has instead been simmering for awhile.  It’s been one of those months that just hasn’t gone my way.  So many things have happened that I would not choose if I were in control of life.

1. I injured my elbow badly playing roller derby, and am one month in on a 3 month rehabilitation process.  I live in a brace and I am suddenly aware of the new effort it takes to keep my head in a positive space.  It would be so easy to feel bad for myself!

2. My sister is moving far away with my niece and nephew…another temptation to feel as if the world is against me.

3. My cat…my furry BFF…just passed away last week.  It was a sudden shock that I was not prepared for.  It just blindsided me and I found myself with new heartache to navigate through.

Yep, it’s been a rough one, but there is a story to tell here.  A story of how remarkable teens and pre-teens are.  A story of their creativity, courage & true empathy…Read more


Just For Me

Usually as I walk around in my corner of the world, I carry with me a love for children…a great respect for them.  Not just for my kids, but for the youth in general.  They carry with them so much faith, listening and a loyalty to what they feel is true.  They are our teachers and the light of our lives, even as they tire us each day. Most of the time, I am patient & give them the attention they deserve…my mind is open to the many subtle gifts they bring.

Being human, though, I do sometimes get in my own way.  I think I know…I listen less.  This is when these sweet children in my life get to surprise me…remind me…snap me back into awareness.  I had just such a surprise recently, and it was a beautiful reminder of how much our youth has figured out…Read more


Parenting Step One: Get Selfish

This is not a joke!  If you want to be a good parent and provide stability for your child, one good step is to do something for your own well-being. After all, you can’t teach what you don’t know.  In other words, you can’t model healthy living and well-being if you are doing nothing to insure this for yourself.

One of my favorite authors, Jack Pransky, says quite simply that, “The feeling we have at the time, is the environment that our child is living in at that moment.” (Parenting from the Heart, p 6).  And so, as parents if we are not living in some joy…something that makes us thrive, we are not offering this to our children in the most natural way that they learn…through observation.

This is quite a different way to see parenting as opposed to techniques or shortcuts that we apply onto our children.  Instead, I’m suggesting that your teen (or any aged child) will benefit wildly from a personal investment on your part in your own happiness.  It becomes the treatment, then (at least in part) to find what it is that brings you joy, and fit it in!…Read more


Self-Esteem Defined

Wikipedia defines self esteem as, “A term in psychology to reflect a person’s overall evaluation or appraisal of his or her own worth…some would distinguish how self-esteem is what we think about the self.”

Now, this is pretty clear and simple, yet when we suffer from low self-esteem we are overcome by our view of ourselves.  Our feelings have taken on a life of their own, and we cannot remember with any clarity that what we are thinking about ourselves is all that needs to be adjusted.

To me, this feeling of constantly ebbing and flowing between high and low self-esteem is never more palpable than in the teenage years.  Never do I remember feeling more beat up by myself on a regular basis…Read more


Have A Little Faith In Me

The teenage years…usually a time we all remember, and whether we remember it fondly or horrifically, it is always a tumultuous time. This is usually the first time in life that we begin to feel responsibility AND freedom…yin & yang. This is the time that we are practicing how to self-monitor…to use our free-will wisely.

Much of how we learned in order to become the adults we are today comes from trial and error during this phase of life. Now, that’s already a lot, but it all gets complicated by the fact that as teens we all quietly (or not so quietly) deal with the undercurrents of raging hormonal changes during this extraordinary phase of life. The teenage years are truly a magical and challenging time, but the question is, how can we as parents support our children through this ever-important phase of discovery? Can we do more than just hang on tight with two hands?…Read more


The Cat Years

I’ve heard it said before, that teens are in their “cat years” (Adair Lara, 1996). This is the time in life when our loyal and loving children, who used to be more like dogs, become distant and and indifferent young adults…or cats. Everything that worked before for us as parents, does not work anymore. In fact, it produces the exact opposite result! We must have faith in our young adults at this time. We must have faith in ourselves at this time. We must leave the door open and let them come to us.

But this is not what happens a lot of the time. We, as parents, often had our own reckless and/or tumultuous teenage period. We may remember it with shock and horror now that we are “the parent”. And so, already, we are approaching this with our own personal thinking. This allows us to listen less to our teens, and more to our insecure thinking. All of a sudden these natural changes that are happening in our teen become a personal issue clouded with guilt, fear, and often a need to control…Read more



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