Staying sane at home with kids (COVID-19)

Question of the Day:

Any suggestions for how we all survive the next 3+ weeks without school due to COVID19? How do we stay sane?


Parent Educator Answer: 

Staying home with kids for 3+ weeks is actually a neutral circumstance. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with this even though most moms would agree it’s a recipe for insanity. What Jacqueline’s question showed me, is that her brain had gone into fight, flight, or freeze. 

The fight, flight or freeze response is our brains natural instinct when faced with a life threatening situation.  Our brain can’t differentiate between real life and imagination. Whatever she is thinking and imagining how the next few weeks would be, it’s a very fear inducing picture. 

The way fight response shows up for Supermoms during Covid 19:

  • Yelling at your family to wash their damn hands, not go outside, disinfect, etc.
  • Getting annoyed with kids for not doing enough school work, making too many messes, just about everything.
  • Fighting with husbands over the distribution of labor in the home, leaving the house…everything.
  • Arguing with reality. Blaming. Rebelling against recommendations. 


The flight response shows up for Supermoms by:

  • Busily moving from one task to the other, anything with a sense of urgency. 
  • Getting annoyed with kids for not working hard enough.
  • Emotional eating, drinking, or other avoidant activities.
  • Calling everyone you know.
  • Ignoring requests to stay home.
  • Intellectual action: researching, worrying, planning, anticipating future problems.

The freeze response can look like:

  • Moving slowly, not really accomplishing anything.
  • Binge watching netflix or news channels 
  • Over sleeping, feeling lethargic, zombie mommy mode
  • Not feeling fully alive or present. 
  • Difficulty making decisions or thinking clearly. 


I can’t help Jacqueline unless I know what exactly she is scared of.

If Coronavirus social distancing is leaving you worried or anxious, the first step is to ask yourself what specifically you are afraid of and why you are afraid of it. Sometimes you need to ask “why” a few times to get down to the core fear. 

Here’s Jacqueline’s response to my question, “What specifically are you afraid of?” 

“For me, I am most concerned with staying patient, especially with my 6 year old who struggles to follow instructions and is often very needy.

With school and camps in the summer we get a break from each other regularly enough to stay sane. Several weeks together seems daunting!

I don’t want to resort to screen time but need to get my own work done. Setting boundaries with her about time for me is challenging. 

I wish this could feel like a gift of time with the kids but I don’t enjoy parenting much, so it fills me with dread. So many people are going to be worse off so I hate to complain.”

Now that we know her main concern is “losing patience” we can dive into the life coaching answer. 


Life Coaching Answer:

What Jacqueline doesn’t realize is that the thing that’s scaring her the most is what she is going to say to herself about herself when she loses her patience. It’s always the biggest fear. We think our children dying is our biggest fear, but people die. Death and grief are normal parts of the human experience. The WORST thing that will happen is what we will say to ourselves if they die: “I shouldn’t have let her go to the park.” “I should have been more diligent with the hand washing.” “I failed as a parent.”

What are the scary things Jacqueline will say to herself when she loses her patience with her daughter? I don’t know, but I’m going to guess it’s something like, “I messed up.” “I’m not a good mom.” “I’m failing.” It’s the shame and guilt that follow that kind of self berating, that is making this shelter-in-place seem unbearable.

Jacqueline says, “I don’t enjoy parenting much so it fills me with dread.” But the cause of dread is the thoughts she will have about herself in the future. When she attempts to do something like set a boundary with her child but are filled with dread, worried about the beating you will give yourself after, it makes it really hard to set that boundary. 

Kids can sense our wishy-washy energy and dismiss it. When we’ve got an “inner mean girl” inside our heads that we don’t have control over, it makes it hard to parent from calm confidence. 

What I work with my clients on, is recognizing this “inner mean girl” and learning how to work with her. Say hello to her, but don’t let her be in charge. This is your brain and your life and you get to decide how you want to feel about your parenting. 

Feeling guilty sucks. Sometimes we think guilt is a sign of being caring and conscientious but it doesn’t help you parent effectively. Your daughter deserves to have a mom who is confident, peaceful, and joyful. Make a decision to speak nicely to yourself no matter how imperfectly you parent. Set the intention to support yourself with kindness and compassion, especially during this crazy time. 


Supermom Kryptonite: Thinking life should be “business as usual” 


So many moms are stressing themselves out trying to be the perfect homeschooling parent while continuing to do a seamless job working from home. If ever there has been a time to let perfectionism go it is NOW. 

We are so accustomed to following orders and doing what we are told that it’s natural we would try and bring that into a pandemic. We learned how to be successful in life by jumping through hoops, getting good grades, doing what others expected of us, and obeying expectations. 

The SCARY and BEAUTIFUL thing is that there is NO RIGHT WAY to move through a global pandemic. Other than STAY HOME, we get to figure out what works for us. There is no right or wrong here. 

Can you have kids playing in the background during client calls? of course! 

Do you have to homeschool? Absolutely not. 

Can you be in the kitchen during conference calls? How else will your kids eat? 

Won’t your children fall behind if they don’t stay on top of their school work? Every child will fall behind.

Can your kids go a week without bathing?  MINE DID!

There are no rules to surviving a global pandemic; and that’s ok. Create a structure if that feels good to you. Let your kids sleep, cry, play, and do whatever they need to do to adjust to this new normal. 

We have no idea what will happen at the end of this. Our economy is falling apart. Certain infrastructures will not survive. The skills you and your kids will need in the future are resourcefulness, passion, curiosity and being open to opportunities. 

My highest hope is that kids will use this time to explore their own interests and discover their passions. With this break from school as we know it, I would love to  see a mini-renaissance. Children will discover their own creativity, explore art, music, and other pursuits ignited by curiosity and passion, not from external authority. 

Our children will remember this “Coronavirus Quarantine” for the rest of their lives. Let’s do whatever it takes to make it a positive experience for them, and US. Let it be a time where you softened and they had freedom to explore. A time of independence where they learn to cook, do laundry, and trust that the answers they need to be successful in life have always been inside them. 


Supermom Power Boost – Netflix Party Workout 


My 15 year old daughter introduced me to a Netflix Party Workout. You can get the free Netflix Party Chrome Extension which allows you to watch a show while interacting with your friends. Once you and your friends have picked a show to watch together, go on Pinterest and search “Netflix workouts.” There you will see fun creative ways people have been turning their favorite shows into exercise programs. 

“Squat during every surgery on Gray’s Anatomy and plank when they talk about sex.” 

“Do a burpee every time Jim from The Office looks at the camera.”

“Five pushups when Sheldon states a scientific fact on Big Bang Theory.”

“Do ten lunges every time someone on Survivor finds an immunity idol”

“Ten jumping jacks every time ‘He who must not be named’ is named.” 


I love how this combines socialization, exercise, and entertainment. What I love even more is that this is something the younger generation made up on their own, demonstrating their resourcefulness, desire to stay connected and have fun.


Quote of the Day:

“The greatest danger during times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” Peter Drucker


Just go to bed already so I can get some peace!

I get home from a long day at work. After commuting home in bumper to bumper traffic, I am exhausted. I pull into my driveway and begin my second job: trying to get my kids fed, cleaned, and into bed. If they would just do everything I say, then I could relax. But they don’t. They goof around, ignore me, dawdle, meanwhile I get angrier and angrier. I’ve tried to create systems and be organized to keep the evening running smooth but my family sabotages my attempts at organization. How can I get them to frickin’ GO TO BED ALREADY so I can have a moment of peace?!



Parent Educator Answer:

Jessica, I can hear your frustration, but after coaching hundreds of Supermoms just like you, I have a hunch that what really is going on for you is exhaustion.

It sounds like you’ve been listening to advice with creating organizational systems, but no amount of organizing can solve a problem of fatigue. 

You want the kids to go to bed so you can relax. You think the only way you can relax is by finishing your tasks. But when we treat kids like tasks on our list, they rebel. They act silly, naughty – whatever they can do to shake us out of “task mode” and connect with them in meaningful ways. Many Supermoms have stressful beliefs that make them resistant to relaxation:

“There’s too much to do.”

“More work will pile up later”

“I can’t relax until everything is done”

When you feel tired but you push through your fatigue ignoring your own body, it creates tension and pressure. This self imposed pressure causes us to snap at kids and act impatiently. It creates tunnel vision. The only thing you can see is getting through to that finish line at the end of the day. 

This isn’t a problem of getting kids to bed as much as it is a problem of you feeling exhausted. 

The only solution for fatigue is rest. You are trying to get to it by getting all your tasks done, but as a busy working mom, this will never happen. There will always be more work to do. You need to learn to rest while work remains undone. 

Learning to relax, before your chores are done, is really quite simple. Here are some easy options 

  • Listen to a 10 minute meditation before you go into the house. 
  • Take 3 deep breaths and say the word “release” with each breath.
  • Do a body scan. Notice what you are feeling and where you feel it.
  • Repeat a mantra like, “In this moment, all is well.” 
  • Do 5 minutes of yoga poses, focusing on breathing and balancing.


Your energy goes where your attention goes. When you are thinking about clients and colleagues all day, your attention gets pulled outside yourself, draining your energy. When your kids are pulling on your attention saying “Mommy look at me!” “Listen to me!” it drains your energy. Even if you leave the house to get a break, if your thoughts are still on work or kids, it will drain your energy. The only way to restore balance is to turn off your busy brain and focus your attention on your physical body. 

Life Coaching Answer:

What gets in our way from taking short breaks during the day to focus on ourselves? 

The strange cultural idea that a good mom should be self-sacrificing, efficient, clean, and put everyone else’s needs before her own. We are not robots. We are not a cog in the machine of productivity. We are humans and we need to respect the human body as it is designed. Rest when you are tired. Work when you have energy. Play to restore your spirit. Please fight against this ridiculous notion that we are BETTER mothers when we IGNORE our bodies and our humanity. 


The other BIG obstacle to getting Supermoms to rest when they are tired is the 3 P’s. 

  1. Perfectionism
  2. People-pleasing
  3. Pushing to power through


All three of these create enormous amounts of PRESSURE. This pressure robs us of our creativity and our problem solving. It makes bedtime feel like walking through mud, trying to catch slippery fish. When we feel pressured to get it all done, do it right, make people happy, and ignore our own fatigue, it brings out the worst in us. We can’t even see that it’s possible to relax before the kids are in bed. We can’t imagine leaving the dishes undone and feeling peaceful about it. These 3 P’s are toxic to our happiness and our ability to feel in control of our lives. 

Try this for a minute. Think about your evening routine with the kids: dinner, homework, baths, screen time, bed. Can you notice the pressure you feel? Imagine it like sandbags sitting on your chest and shoulders. Now imagine that you can lift these sandbags off your chest and just move them to the side. You can always put it back on, but let’s just see what your evening routine would be like without the pressure. Do you notice that it’s easier to breathe without the pressure. Without carrying so much pressure, this bed time routine can be lighter, easier, possibly even enjoyable. 

Without the perfectionistic, people pleasing and pushing to power through your fatigue, you might be able to come up with relaxing ways to connect with your kids. You might find amusement in their goofy bedtime antics. You might use your creativity to discover wind down activities that work for your kids like audiobooks or giving hand massages.


This does take some time but it is worth it. Once my clients are able to remove their self imposed pressure, they start relaxing, respecting their bodies needs, releasing the frustration and enjoying their evening routine. 


Supermom Kryptonite – worshipping productivity


Some of us have a default setting in our brains that prioritizes productivity above all us. Whether it’s the role modeling we got from our moms who never rested, the old protestant work ethic, or cultural programming like “If you’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean” or maybe you just like being productive? Either way, these messages about productivity being the most valuable use of time and energy are today’s supermom kryptonite. 


I used to love going to my kid’s volleyball tournaments. These are long, twelve-hour days, an hour or two from home. For me, it was a no guilt, no obligation holiday. My cultural programming agreed that watching my kids play was “good mommying” but there was a lot of down time in between games. I loved that I wasn’t in charge of anything. I could hang out and chat with other parents, I could read, go for a walk, sometimes I would sit in my car and write a blog or take a coaching call, run errands, whatever I felt like doing. It was a lovely way to spend a day, until I ruined it.

This last tournament was up in the wine country, two hours away. I met up with a friend for lunch who I hadn’t seen in a while. It was lovely. But the whole time I kept thinking, “I should be getting my work done.” Just because in the past I had occasionally been productive during these tournaments, now I was pressuring myself to get work done while there. Listening to this voice in my head telling me I SHOULD be working made the tournament much less enjoyable. 


Intellectually, most of us would agree that worshipping productivity doesn’t sound ideal, yet at the end of the day, we judge ourselves based on how much we accomplished. Very rarely do I

 evaluate myself by asking: Was I kind? Did I uplift the energies of the people around me? Did I push outside my comfort zone today? Did I act aligned with my values? 


Instead, I’m focused on what I did or did not accomplish. This is worshipping productivity and I say we stop by doing today’s Supermom Power Boost. 

Supermom Power Boost: Do Nothing


Pick a day on your calendar and declare it a DO NOTHING DAY. Much like the volleyball tournaments used to do for me, having a day off to do whatever you feel like doing is nourishment for the soul. If you relate to Jessica and feel tired and cranky at the end of your days, it is especially important. For some of you, this will be hard to do inside your home. If so, you can go to a spa, check into a hotel, go for a drive, wander around the city, whatever feels delicious to you. 

The purpose of the DO NOTHING DAY is to get you back in balance. You don’t have to stare into space for 12 hours, unless that is what you feel like doing. You just want to listen to your own body and spirit. Nap if you feel like napping. Eat when you feel like eating. Move when you feel like moving. It’s too easy to ignore yourself when others are around, so make this a day just for you. 

I have had many delightful DO NOTHING days that stand out in my memory. 12 hour spa days. Driving around listening to a great audiobook (Anita Moorjani’s, Dying to Be Me). Wandering up and down the aisles of libraries or bookstores. Reading my book while being brought food that I did not have to cook or clean up after. Falling asleep on a park bench in the sunshine. Whatever you do on your DO NOTHING DAY, make sure it is UNPRODUCTIVE, feels delicious and nourishes your body and spirit. 


Go into our Facebook group and tell us about it. Let’s change the cultural programming to start celebrating moms who care for their bodies and souls. 


Quote of the Day: “Rest until you feel like playing, play until you feel like resting. Never do anything else.” Martha Beck

Interview with Dr. Dan Peters

Interview with Dr. Dan Peters

When I was raising my sensitive, anxious, intelligent little boy, Dr. Dan Peters was a god send. He had an incredible way of explaining what was happening in my child, without making me feel like I wasn’t doing enough. So many parenting books triggered my inner perfectionist and left me feeling inadequate but I loved learning about the inner working of children’s brains from Dr. Dan. (I can tell I was nervous/excited because I said “you know” a million times!)


Dr. Dan Peters is a psychologist, author and co-founder of Parenting Footprint, a podcast and online community with the mission to make the world a more compassionate and loving place, one child and parent at a time.

Dr. Dan is an author, speaker and contributor to many books and articles related to parenting, family, giftedness, twice-exceptionality, dyslexia, and anxiety.

He is Co-Founder/Executive Director of Summit Center (CA), specializing in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents, and families, with special emphasis on gifted, talented, and creative individuals and families as well as anxiety.

I mentioned him on my podcast interview with Debbie Reber because he also has a sleep over summer camp for gifted youth.


Book: Dyslexic Advantage 

Documentary: The Big Picture


Listen to hear the answers to these questions:

How do you define giftedness, dyslexia?

What is 2e or twice exceptional?


Client question: What do you do with an angry outburst like this…?

“My 9 year old son thinks his life was perfect before his sister was born. She recently won an award at school and he LOST it! Saying she ruined his life and he wants to kill her.”

Client question: How do I manage a 16 year old who is obsessed with video games? 

“Left to his own devices, my 16 year old will play 12 hours of video games. I’m worried he is ruining his life. How much intervention and management is appropriate for a 6’4″ teenage boy.” 


What are signs of anxiety in teens and tweens?


When is a good time to consider medication?


Why do you think anxiety is on the rise in todays kids?

What are 3 things parents can do to encourage brain health?


Friendship conflicts: “You can’t come to my birthday party”

“You can’t come to my birthday party” – Dealing with friendship conflict

Episode #59

“Our daughter seems to have good friends in general but somehow, at 5, there’s already drama! Every day someone tells another girl they won’t be their friend anymore or that they’re not invited to their birthday party next month etc. She also has a terrible time when she’s not in charge of what she and her friends are playing. How do you coach a young girl through communication and understanding they’re thoughts and feelings? She is a very sweet and kind girl with a stubborn and hard headed streak. Right from birth the doctor and nurse told us she’s going to let us know what she thinks.”

“She comes to life when she gets to direct everything that’s going on and has full attention on whatever she wants to play. She has flourished with kindergarten and is always excited about her day at school and can’t wait to go back.”



Parent Education Answer:


It sounds like you are interested in teaching your daughter some emotional management. The reason she is saying, “You can’t come to my birthday party” or “I’m not going to be your friend anymore” is because she is experiencing an emotion she doesn’t know how to deal with. 


Your daughter sounds like a natural born leader. She comes to life when she is in charge and is very vocal and communicative. These are excellent qualities we don’t want to squash. We do however, want her to have friends while she climbs her way to the top so the trick is to teach her some emotional management techniques. 

When other kids aren’t obeying her, I imagine she gets frustrated, annoyed and disappointed. Can any Supermoms relate to this? It’s a pretty typical reaction. Our kids or husband won’t pick up after themselves, we feel frustrated and powerless, so we snap, yell or manipulate them into doing what we want. Hurt people will hurt people. Annoyed people say annoying things. Disappointed people, disappoint others. 

There are a few ways you can help your daughter deal with her feelings of frustration, disappointment, or powerlessness.

  1. Talk about your own feelings. An emotion is one word, a thought is a sentence in your mind. Start describing your emotions with the phrase, “I feel _______.” (sad, mad, happy, scared). Put a poster on the wall with different emojis and work together to expand her emotional vocabulary. Make sure you model using vulnerable emotions like “I feel disappointed” or “I feel embarrassed”. Notice what your daughter is feeling and say out loud, “You feel excited” or “You feel defeated”. 
  2. Role play with her. Use her dolls or lego people to work out common disagreements. Show how sad the doll is when she hears she won’t be invited to her birthday party.  Make a rule that they aren’t allowed to say “You can’t be my friend anymore”. Instead, teach them to say, “I’m feeling frustrated” or “I’m sad and need a break”. Model how to take deep breaths, apologize and forgive.
  3. Teach the girls how to have a conflict. It is not only normal, but important for kids to learn how to have conflict. Playing with other kids is the perfect opportunity to teach them how to compromise when you don’t get your way. When it gets heated, point out what you are seeing and hearing: “It sounds like Sophia wants to play with the kitchen, and you want her to play dress up. I’m sure you will figure out a compromise.” Or “It sounds like Julia would like to play by herself for a while.”
  4. Help your daughter understand herself. Make comments like, “I see your fists clench and you hold your breath when your friend isn’t playing the way you want her to.”  “I notice you really like to be in charge but Emma also likes to be in charge. Is it hard when you both like to be the boss? “Which of your friends appreciates it when you take charge and is happy to follow along with your ideas?” 

Life Coaching Answer:

What gets in our way from helping our children learn to resolve conflict? Our inner people pleasers. 

So many Supermoms get stuck thinking that good friends never fight or say mean things. When you hear that YOUR DAUGHTER is emotionally blackmailing other girls, withholding friendship and birthday parties, we get embarrassed! Moms often think this is TERRIBLE because we view our child’s behavior as a reflection of ourselves and our parenting. 

When our child is flourishing academically, socially, physically, we feel like successful moms. We relax and feel satisfied in our job as parents. But as soon as there is a problem, we blame ourselves. It’s just SO EASY to think, “I’m not doing it right” or “I should have done better”.

If this motivated us to take productive action, it wouldn’t be a problem. The problem comes because thinking, “I’m not doing it right” or “I should have done better” makes us feel inadequate and embarrassed. When we feel this way, we blame. We get mad at our kids, ourselves, we avoid conflict, we stop inviting kids over. We try and get our kids to behave so that we don’t have to feel like lousy parents. When we are avoiding our own negative emotions, we aren’t going to be teaching effective conflict resolution skills.

In order to follow the parent educator advice of patiently observing, modeling and teaching kids that it’s ok to have a conflict, your ego can’t be involved. This kind of teaching requires a mom to feel calm and confident. Can you imagine there is another mom out there in the world, raising a bossy 5 year old who withholds friendship and parties, that you think is a really good mom? Create that image in your mind. How does that mom talk to her daughter? How does she talk to other moms about the kid conflicts? 

It is totally possible to be a good mom and have a bossy daughter. 

Supermom Kryptonite: Downplaying awesomeness

Do you struggle to accept a compliment? Do you downplay your achievements and deflect praise when it comes your way? How are you at receiving and appreciating gifts? If you have a pattern of dodging positivity, you may subconsciously be draining your energy. 

The reason some people get uncomfortable with compliments and positive attention, is that it doesn’t match what we say to ourselves inside our own head. We spend all day thinking, “I’m not doing enough” or “I’m failing as a mom”. We can’t wrap our brains around someone contradicting our inner dialogue.

When we attach our ego to our children’s behavior, it means we struggle to accept praise about our children, too. It’s more comfortable to throw our kids under the bus sayin, “I’m sorry my daughter is so bossy” or “My daughter should be nicer.” 

We don’t want to brag about our kids so we err on the side of humility, which sometimes turns into pointing out children’s flaws.

There is a difference between bragging and being proud of your children. Bragging means, “My kid is better than your kid.” Pride means, “I think my kid is amazing, and I don’t take credit. I think your kid is amazing, too.” There is plenty of awesomeness to go around. No need to minimize, deflect or downplay. We are all moms in the trenches, parenting perfectly imperfect children, all of us worthy of praise.


Supermom Power Boost – Consider Banning Bossy

There is a movement to ban the word bossy when describing a girl’s personality. Popularized by Sheryl Sandburg and supported by Beyonce, Condoleeza Rice and the Girl Scouts of America, this movement says that bossy undermines female leadership. Boys aren’t called bossy, they are called strong leaders. 

Support girls leadership by banning the word bossy from your vocabulary. I want to live in a world where girls who are strong willed, powerful leaders, feel proud and confident to show this side of themselves without a negative social backlash. 

Teach your daughter to be an effective leader. Join the movement, buy t-shirts and tote bags, by going to

Quote of the Day:

“Let me take a minute to say that I love bossy women. Some people hate the word, and I understand how “bossy” can seem like a shitty way to describe a woman with a determined point of view, but for me, a bossy woman is someone to search out and celebrate. A bossy woman is someone who cares and commits and is a natural leader.” ― Amy Poehler


Entertaining a young child so mom can work from home

Coaching Call – How to entertain a young child so mom can get work done?

Episode #58

Listen in as I coach a mom trying to keep her 5 year old entertained while she works from home.

Question of the Day:

Today’s Question comes from Carola Fuertes. Carola is a weight loss coach looking for parenting help for her 5 year old son. If you are ready for a compassionate approach to weight loss contact her at or

“My husband and I both work from home and our five year old is out of school for the summer. He is reckless, climbing up on counters, finding things that we’ve hidden, dangerous things like medications. For his own safety, I need him to stop getting into everything but he won’t listen to me. 

I explain to him why I have boundaries and he doesn’t listen to me or my rules. I like that he cares about what he wants and goes after it, but for safety reasons, we need him to obey. I can’t seem to make him do what I say. I feel powerless, frustrated and defeated. Sometimes it feels like he’s doing it to spite me which makes me mad. I might yell, throw a fit, put him in time out, but then I’m parenting in a way I don’t like.”

How can I stop my son’s reckless behavior without yelling?




Disrespectful kids leave stuff everywhere

Disrespectful kids leave stuff everywhere.

Question of the Day: Dealing with Disrespectful Kids

“My kids are so disrespectful! From the second they walk in the door, they throw their backpacks, shoes, jackets all over the house. They KNOW they are supposed to hang them up and put their lunch leftovers on the counter but they don’t. They leave it in their backpack until the food starts to smell disgusting. I am constantly on them to pick up their stuff, it’s exhausting. What do you when your perfectly reasonable requests are constantly ignored?” Jane

disrespectful kids leaving stuff everywhere


Parent Educator Answer: 

My first answer is to come to the Raising Responsible Kids online workshop on Saturday, February first! Here, I’m going to go over everything you need to know to delegate effectively. 


You didn’t say how old your kids were, but I’m going to guess they are school-aged and clearly old enough to master the task at hand. 


With little kids, you would want to be more instructive, “Put your sandwich bag in the trash and rinse your lunch box out in the sink.” With older kids, ask them before you get into the house if they know what your expectations are for their backpack, shoes, jacket, and lunch. If they say they do, then remind them with just one word. 


If you are like most Supermoms, we use way too many words. We nag, lecture, complain and it just makes our kids tune out and ignore us. It also annoys them, which makes them NOT want to do what we are asking. A simple one-word reminder: “shoes” or “lunchbox” should do the trick. 


If you watch them walk into the house and remind them with a word as soon as they drop their stuff on the floor, soon it will become a habit and they will do it automatically, If not, go back to the first step and ask them before they walk into the house if they know what to do with their stuff. 


Simple, easy, boring. So why is it such a challenge for SOOOO MANY OF US?


Life Coaching Answer: 

The reason these simple instructions are so hard to follow is because you are pissed! 

When we perceive our children’s behavior as disrespectful, we get MAD. The positive side of anger is to help us notice injustice. But to get kids to clean up, we need to be calm, patient, and confident. So what gets in our way from teaching our kids how to manage their belongings is our perception that the kid’s behavior is disrespectful. 

Are you absolutely sure that your kids are trying to disrespect you by dumping their stuff? If a handyman walked into your house and dumped his toolbox and coat by the front door, would you think it was disrespectful?

When you were lugging around a baby in a car seat, did you ever dump your diaper bag and car seat by the front door when you walked into someone else’s house? If so, were you trying to disrespect the homeowner? Of course, not. 


When you think your kids are disrespecting you, you get mad. You are short with them, you yell, nag, your tone, and posture changes. You lose the leadership energy that makes kids do what you ask. 


So often we want to quickly switch to a better feeling thought. We think, “anger is bad, patience is good. From now on, I will be calm and patient until they learn the routine.” and you do it for a day or two, but a week later, you are right back to feeling disrespected. Has this ever happened to you? 


If so, it’s time we honor the anger. It is true that the distribution of duties in the home is unjust. You have WAY more on your shoulders than anyone else, and it isn’t fair.

When we learn how to turn the dial up on our anger and allow it (away from the kids), then we also learn how to turn it down. Trying to suppress anger can last forever, but allowing anger to move through your body in a physical way, can only last for 90 seconds. 


Think about a toddler throwing a tantrum. Notice how PHYSICAL it is for them. They cross their arms, scrunch their face, clench their fists and stomp their feet. Find a private place and do it with me now.

Anger is a healthy and normal human emotion but, societally, women are not given permission to feel it or express it. Put your body into a position of anger: stand up, clench your fists, stop, hit the pillow on your bed.

It is 100% unfair that you do so much for these kids with so little appreciation in return. They will never know how much work you do for their lazy butts all day long. Really let yourself go there, feel the fire in your belly, swear, let it all out. 


After 90 seconds you might notice you feel better. Emotion is energy in motion. When we suppress it and try not to feel it, we distance ourselves from ALL the emotions. When we can fully allow anger, disappointment, and shame, we also get full access to joy, love, and peace.


This is what we are trying to get when we complain to our husbands. We get annoyed because they tell us how to fix our problem when really we just want to feel felt. We want to feel like he gets the struggles and frustrations we went through that day. When we vent to our girlfriends or cry or go to a kickboxing class, we feel better after because we processed the emotion and moved it out of our system. 


Teaching kids to take responsibility for themselves is really quite simple. The problem is there are a lot of barriers that get in our way from delegating to them. We:

  1. label their behavior as disrespectful.
  2. think a good mom should be able to do all the work.
  3. don’t want to watch our kids struggle or suffer. We’d rather rescue them.
  4. want them to do it “right” the first time without the learning curve.
  5. feel bad putting more on their to-do list. 
  6. resist relaxation. We pride ourselves on being busy and overwhelmed. 
  7. want to feel needed. 


We will be working on these at the Raising Responsible Kids workshop, so please join. You will leave there with a clear strategy and an experience of being in calm, confident energy. You will learn how to talk to kids in a way that makes them want to obey you! 

Go to:


Supermom Kryptonite: Over-parenting. Doing too much for our kids. 

I ran into my friend at the hardware store the other day, she was buying light bulbs for her son’s bathroom after noticing they were out. I asked if she was going to replace them herself or have him do it. She paused and looked at me incredulously, “Should I have HIM do it? I should! I shouldn’t even say anything, I’ll just leave the lightbulbs on the bathroom counter!” 

Mamas, her son is 20 years old. 

When our kids are little, we show we love them by taking care of them. Care and love are intertwined. As they grow into adolescents, we need to separate the two.

We need to stop caring FOR them so much. Continuing to do things for them that they are capable of doing themselves can delay their maturity and lessen their self-esteem. 

When we continue to take care of them, we treat them like the child they were instead of the adult we want them to become. Many teens will push back against our over-parenting and show us that it’s time to back off, others will not.

Many teens will continue to ask for our help because they lack confidence in their own abilities. Confidence comes from competence and the only way to build competence is to make lots of mistakes. 

If my friend’s son was living in a house with other 20-year-old men, they might live in a dark bathroom for weeks before someone thought to change a lightbulb. They might light a candle or use their cell phone flashlight before one of them decided to take action. This seems ridiculous to us as responsible adults!

The problem is so easily solved with a simple trip to the hardware store! But here’s the thing: something magical happens on that day he decides to go to the store, buy a light bulb, and screw it in without anyone telling him what to do or how to do it. The magical thing that happens when our teens do things by themselves without our input is self-efficacy. 


Self-efficacy refers to an individual’s belief in his or her capacity to execute behaviors necessary to produce specific performance attainments. It reflects confidence in the ability to exert control over one’s own motivation, behavior, and social environment. 


Self-efficacy is a superpower. We know. We’ve got loads of it. We are super responsible and capable and it feels good! But, without even realizing it, we can rob our kids of self-efficacy because we aren’t willing to let them live in a dark bathroom, or get a bad grade on their report card, or go away to summer camp, or make a mess trying to cook something in the kitchen. 


Supermoms don’t like to watch their kids struggle. We feel like we have to do everything right, and having kids who suffer and struggle doesn’t seem right to our perfectionistic brains. Combine that with our need to feel needed and our love of taking care of our babies, it becomes really easy to stay stuck in a habit that feels good to us but is problematic for our child’s self-efficacy.

Over-parenting drains your energy because it keeps all the burdens of responsibility on your shoulders. It also creates this nagging voice in the back of your mind that says, “Shouldn’t my kids be doing more by now?” 

Learning how to watch your kids make mistakes and not make it mean anything has gone wrong, is one of the things we’ll work on in the Raising Responsible Kids workshop this weekend. 

If you think you err on the side of over-parenting, you need to join my workshop this weekend. 

Supermom Power Boost:  Get sneaky to restore balance

I have a client with a husband who loves golf. She gets annoyed that he takes off for 5 hours on a Saturday to go do his own thing. When we dug deeper, we discovered that if she was to take off for 5 hours on a Saturday to do something she loved, she would feel guilty.

She had the belief that a good mom should want to be with her kids every weekend. So instead of taking turns with her husband to do activities she loved doing on weekends, she just wanted her husband to be stuck at home with her. If she isn’t going to have fun, then he shouldn’t either. 

The problem with this belief that “self-sacrifice is good and self-indulgence is bad” is that Supermoms end up totally out of balance. Our instinct is to restore balance so we end up sneaking our indulgences, behind our own backs.

Since we struggle to proclaim, “I’m going to a spa for 5 hours every other Saturday” we indulge unconsciously by drinking wine, eating sweets, and staying up later than we mean to binge-watching Netflix. We mindlessly scroll through our phone as a way to give ourselves a break, instead of saying, “I’m going to order myself DoorDash and face time with a girlfriend for an hour.” 

Mommy Time

Instead of letting our subconscious try to restore balance in a way we don’t actually want, I recommend an illicit affair. I’m not saying to go cheat on your husband but go have an affair with your creativity. Call it “Mommy’s special time” but don’t tell them what you are doing.

Explore an interest, write your novel, paint or draw, wander around the city with no agenda, visit museums, eat whatever you feel drawn to, indulge in something frivolous and nourishing to your soul. The key here is it cannot be noble. It must feel indulgent in order to restore balance. 

Tell your family you are traveling for work, but really just enjoy the quiet cleanliness of a hotel room by yourself. 

Put your kids in the gym daycare, then lie in a lounge chair and read a book. 

Go on a silent retreat or yoga retreat. Take 5 hours and go dancing, skiing, or golfing. Park your car somewhere, write in your journal or listen to an audiobook while looking at a beautiful view. Tour open houses in a beautiful neighborhood.

I walk my dog on a popular trail near my house. Sometimes, when no one is looking, I start skipping. You cannot skip as an adult woman, without also laughing at yourself and feeling joyful. Or, if I’m listening to some catchy music, I’ll sneak in a few dance moves when I think no one is looking. 

I’m hoping this three-hour online workshop will be a stepping stone for you. If you can carve out three hours for a workshop on a Saturday to do something that is good for you and your kids, maybe next time you’ll take thee hours to do something fun and frivolous just for yourself. 

Deliberately sneaking in an indulgent pleasure will help you feel balanced. When we feel some equanimity, we don’t need our husbands and kids to suffer along with us. They can have frivolous fun and so can we. Next time you go to a hotel room, try dumping your stuff on the floor, kicking off your shoes and not caring where they end up and see if it feels like indulgent fun to you. 

Quote of the Day:  “Do anything, but let it produce joy.” Walt Whitman

How do I help my “differently wired” kid make friends

Today’s Topic: How Do I Help My “Differently Wired” Kid?

Here to help me answer this question is Debbie Reber, author of Differently Wired: Raising an Exceptional Child in a Conventional World

Differently Wired author Debbie Reber


Debbie Reber is a parenting activist, New York Times bestselling author, keynote speaker, and the founder of TiLT Parenting, a website, top podcast, and social media community for parents who are raising differently wired children. Her newest book, Differently Wired: Raising an Exceptional Child in a Conventional World, came out in June 2018. After living abroad in the Netherlands for the past five years, Debbie, her husband, and 15-year-old son recently moved back to New York City.


Words to Ponder on from Debbie Reber, Author of Differently Wired

  • Remember that there is no one right way to be a teenager or have a social life. Check your expectations and don’t compare to yourself at that age or other kids.
  • Play the odds. Try different interest-based camps and classes. They may not go well, but you never know what will click.
  • Focus on the long game.
  • There’s nothing wrong with socializing online.
  • One friend is all they might need.

I took the opportunity to ask Debbie about a few other common scenarios my Supermoms struggle with.

What advice do you have for a mom who is just starting on this journey? Her 5-year-old is getting into trouble in kindergarten and the (private) school is talking about asking him to leave? 


Do you have advice for moms whose child got through elementary school but now that in middle school, they are having difficulty. They’ve been diagnosed and have trouble managing the complex workload and now mom feels like she has to sit with them for hours after school to help them focus on homework?



Supermom Kryptonite:

Thinking that your son’s friendships should look like your own. Not only might there be a brain-centered difference, but there may also be a gender difference.

Boys, as they grow into men, tend to be more project-oriented. They might have one or two friends they get together with for certain activities: online games, working on a project, and that’s enough.

Girls and women can sit around and talk for hours without needing to have something to show for it. Be sure to check your expectations and realize there are many ways to feel socially satisfied and your son’s might be very different than your own.


Supermom Power Boost:

Go for a walk, learning and listening to (my suggestion) Debbie’s self care podcast!

Quote of the Day:

“I can predict that life with my differently wired kid will be unpredictable.” Supermom of an adult daughter with autism.