Parents, Ready To Make Some Changes?

Family session

One of my favorite parts of being a therapist is helping parents become better parents. I love talking about the challenges and finding solutions to what can seem like insurmountable problems.

Parents can feel afraid of therapy. What will Sierra think if I tell her what my child is doing? Will she judge me? Will she think I am crazy?

Let me just put it out there. I won’t judge you. I will think you are a parent who is trying to do your best. And no, I won’t think you are crazy.

Especially because we all come from some place, and that some place modeled for us how to be an adult and parent. Hopefully some of that modeling was stellar. However, because we are human, some of the modeling we received might not have been the healthiest and unfortunately this can impact how we parent. This way of modeling may have been passed down for generations.

Maybe you come from a family where no one ever talked about their feelings, or the only way one ever got heard was to get angry. Maybe your parents weren’t emotionally available for you, or they were super permissive leading you to be a wild child.

Whatever the way of parenting that got passed down, I believe we owe it to our children to do our best to do it better.

This is where I come in. A parent can have great success in shifting their child or teen’s behaviors by doing their own work in therapy. Yes that’s right. One way I help families work with their child is through working on themselves.

If you aren’t sure who could benefit in coming to therapy, then let’s talk. If you are ready to start your journey to becoming a better parent, email me here, and let’s get started!

2 Things to Definitely Do This Summer FOR Your Kids and Teens

While watering our garden the other night, my nearly 7 year old said to me, “Mom, will you be home with us this summer all the time?”

Totally wishing I could pull from the money tree blossoming in our backyard and say yes, I said, “No little one, I have to work.  But I will be around more, and we can go to the pool and do fun things together.”

Point blank she said, “Well if you can’t be around all the time, can you please be off your phone when you’re with me?”  

Really tuning in I said, “I will do my best.  I have to do some things for work on my phone sometimes, but I will really try.  I hear you and thank you for telling me what you want.”

Then squeezy hug.  I love this kid.

I bet you can guess 1 of the 2 things to do this summer FOR your kids and teens.

#1 Get off your phone mom and dad.

Now that I have really got your attention (unless you just got a text on your phone you are now looking at…remember #1 people), let’s move onto #2.

Keeping up with other families and relatives is not always in your children’s best interest.  Some families are constantly on the move and some barely leave the house.  Neither of these ways of being are right or wrong.  They’re just different.

What is important though is while you are doing nothing or doing something, pay attention to if it is working for your family.  Doing back to back to back outings might be too much for your kids.  They may need some R&R.  Or maybe they are so bored and fighting all the time because they haven’t been stimulated enough.

Many parents can get swooped up in the FOMO (fear of missing out) and push their kids to the brink.  So when little Johnny is having a meltdown because he is super fatigued from sun and fun, you may want to rethink what Johnny really needs.  

Sometimes our children’s needs might not coincide with what we want.  That fact can be a bummer to miss out hanging with another family you really enjoy or not getting to stay home all day when that is what you had in mind.  This life is full of compromise.

Please remember this:

#2 Tune into your kid and do what they are needing more of and less of this summer.

Wishing you all a wonderful summer!

Summer Activity for Girls in Petaluma

I am very excited to announce the opening of The Gathering: A supportive girls’ book club fostering connection and community in Petaluma.  The group is for 6th-8th grade girls and 9th-12th grade girls kicking off Summer 2012.

Why a Book Club for Girls?  Growing up on the East Coast allowed for many hot summer days, laying on the beach, and reading stories with my girlfriends as a teen.  I remember the close connection I felt to my friends as we laughed, cried, and embraced a story together while eating food and our beach blankets in a circle as we were transported to another place and time in our minds.  This time of my life was such a gift and I hold these memories close to my heart.  I am hoping to create this feeling through the The Gathering.

Photo By infinitas infinitio

What to Expect?  Come enjoy stories as we lie in the sun on comfy blankets in the grass, eat delicious snacks, and embark on an adventure reading books together and discussing the messages and thoughts around the stories we are being told. Build friendships and learn to voice your ideas in a safe and kind environment. Books, snacks, comfy blankets, and a good time are all included in the fee. No reading prior to the group expected and there is no homework. We will read and discuss books together as a group.

Where:

134 Howard Street

Petaluma, CA 94952

Facilitated By:

Sierra Dator, LCSW

When:

Summer 2012

Tuesdays, June 5, 2012-August 21, 2012 (6th grade + Junior High group)

Thursdays, June 7, 2012-August 23, 2012 (High School group)

Time:

10AM- 11:30AM

Cost: $30/session

Cash, Check, Credit Card accepted

*Please contact Sierra prior to attending the group at sierradator@gmail.com or 707-478-4351.