As a parent coach I seek to improve the interpersonal relationships among all members of a nuclear family. I have found that many parents feel unprepared for the massive responsibility of raising children, and worry that their current strategies of behavior management are ineffective or even damaging. And sometimes they’re right.
Often, when I observe parent-child interactions in public, I see adults making mistakes I remember making myself when I began working with children. I empathize with the decisions we all make in frustration or anger, and so I see my job as one of encouraging reflection as a means of arresting the force of these negative emotions, and replacing them with empathy and connectivity as motivations for our actions.
This act of arresting and replacing strong emotions is very difficult and requires time and perseverance. Any parent who is interested in my services must be dedicated to engaging in frequent reflection and empathy.
How Does It Work?
I start by meeting with a family for part of a day, preferably including a meal and/or homework time, to develop an understanding of the interpersonal dynamics at play. I then meet with parents and children separately to discuss perceived issues. Following this initial assessment, I arrange times with the family when we can set up schedules for daily routines, develop discipline models, and discuss strategies for nourishing healthy relationships.
My favorite method of discipline is what I call “Empathic Discipline.” You can read about it in detail here, but the general idea is two-fold. First, we aim to use empathy as often as possible when responding to conflict. Second, we aim to appeal to the child’s innate capacity for empathy as a means of aligning our goals. Children are naturally humanitarian, and desire fairness. We can use these tendencies to motivate children toward pro-social and obliging behavior. I’ve seen it work many times!
I aim to improve sibling relationships where needed, and am happy to work closely with other caregivers like nannies and babysitters so that discipline can be consistent.
Experience & Education:
- 20 years babysitting.
- 17 years teaching.
- 18 years working at summer camps and after school programs.
- Two years assistant teaching at Hunter Elementary.
- Eight years attending Hunter Elementary (foundation for divergent thinking skills).
- Six years attending Hunter High School (foundation for writing skills).
- Studied Education at Barnard College (Columbia University), and SUNY New Paltz.
- Volunteered at Hogar de Vida, an orphanage in Alajuela, Costa Rica.
- Link to my full CV