What if you had a simple framework and a few key principles that could get you back on track when life and parenting feels hard?
That's what the Adlerian-based Positive Discipline principles – plus mindfulness, self-compassion, and habit hacks – do for me; they give me a way to correct course when I've lost my way.
5 Principles for Effective Discipline
1. Is it kind and firm at the same time? (respectful and encouraging)
2. Does it help children feel a sense of belonging and signficance? (connection)
3. Is it effective in the long run? (punishment and reward often "work" immediately, but have negative long-run results)
4. Does it teach a child valuable life skills and social skills so they can contribute in positive ways? (Skills like respect, concern for others, problem solving, cooperation, resilience)
Too often, our disciplinary approaches invite resistance, power struggles, or a sense of inadequacy in our children. It can be hard to change what we do, even when we see it's not working very well.
As a parent of a strong-willed child, I struggled with discipline early on. And by that I mean I struggled with constructive ways to teach my child what to do instead – and I struggled with self-discipline in the heat of the moment!
I had high standards, but knew little about development (a recipe for unrealistic expectations).
I thought, "Surely if I keep repeating the message, or say it louder, or stronger, it will sink in!" A perfect storm.
After being introduced to the Adlerian-based Positive Discipline philosophy by the head of a Montessori school in 2004, I attended a Positive Discipline parenting class and began to make immediate progress with the tools (in spite of doing it imperfectly, even badly at times!). It was better than what I was doing before, and I was hooked.
I'd spent nearly a decade in corporate banking (Fortune 500), primarily in marketing and analysis roles, giving me a love for quantifiable results.
In 2000, I stepped away from corporate life to focus on raising children - and moved 4 times in the next 7 years.
The transition to parenting was full of challenges. The roles and routines I'd so carefully established as a professional were turned upside down when I became a parent. It required finding new mentors, creating new habits, and a new support network.
It took time for me to realize that my parenting behaviors were frequently making things worse, not better. The shift in perspective that Positive Discipline facilitated was seismic.
I've come to believe that courage is the fuel that moves us, and that courage begins when a child feels a sense of belonging and knows he or she contributes in positive ways; and when these contributions are acknowledged and appreciated at home and at school.
Because adults cannot "give" children self-esteem - it can only be developed as children see their competence and skills grow - it's crucial that we don't undermine our children's courage and self-worth with harsh criticism when they make mistakes. We need to teach skills.
Parenting is a marathon, not a sprint
I view presence (attention + attunement), clarity of purpose, and respectful, encouraging communication as cornerstones of successful parenting and successful relationships.
To go the distance and enoy the journey, parents need a compelling vision of what "success" looks like - a vision that's aligned with their own values, not blindly conforms to the culture around them.
Parents also need to be able to sustain their attention and energy for the long run, and this requires attending to their own needs. In short, parents need a whole lot of support along the way.
In 2010, I founded Parenting 4 The Long Run, a coaching and parent education firm located in the San Francisco Bay Area. My clients are located in the US, Canada and China; parents, professionals, schools and community organizations serving families.
Positive Discipline principles and tools plus regular self-care practices will help you go the distance on this parenting journey. These tools will help you parent for the long run - and thrive - not just survive while you raise capable kids.
Credentials & Education
Professional training, research backed practices, and real life experience.
- Married 24 years
- Mindful Schools Educator
- Tiny Habits Certified Coach
Certified Positive Discipline Trainer (CPDT)
I train therapists, social workers, psychologists, school personnel and others who work with children and families. I've trained extensively with Positive Discipline authors Jane Nelsen, Ed. D. and Lynn Lott, M.A., M.F.T., and presented at the Positive Discipline national conference in San Diego, CA as well as the 2016 NASAP conference (North American Society for Adlerian Psychologists).
Community I serve as an active volunteer in our school district, Los AyudantesWomen Together
ICF Accredited Coach
Certified Positive Discipline Trainer
Mindful Schools Educator
Tiny Habits Certified Coach
I'm a professionally trained coach specializing in purposeful presence, leadership, and encouraging communication for parents who want to thrive at home and at work.
My coaching methodology is grounded in research-based best practices from the fields of psychology, education and neuroscience. In addition to the Adlerian-based Positive Discipline focus, I support clients in the practice of mindfulness, habit formation, and self-compassion practices.
I'm married and have two children, ages 18 & 14. Life with teens is always interesting!
I understand the pressures of life in Silicon Valley, with demanding stakeholders of all ages.