Today's my birthday. What I can say about my age is that I was 34 once and just beginning my parenting journey which led me to Austin from the Dallas area in 2000. Having raised two wonderful daughters, now in their early 20's, I'm nearing the Grandma end of things. Not too soon, they tell me.

So here's my parenting story:

My oldest daughter, Colleen, at age 4 had a problem at preschool that sent her clinging to my leg with K just around the corner. Lucky for me, I bumbled into the world of play therapy at a time when Dr. Landreth of UNT was just beginning to teach parents the same skills to use with their own kids in home playtimes. By fall Colleen skipped off to K without looking back! It was magic!

So I thought, why not try this with 3 YO Betsy? Week by week, her little "you can't make me" rebellion disappeared! The playtimes created such a deep connection that my relationship with both girls remained strong throughout their teen years, even though their friends fell away from their parents all around. In MS both my girls commented separately, "Why don't they feel understood? You understand me."

The amazing things I learned along the way about how to stay connected with your kids, and best of all how to see them in a way that makes it easy to be patient (me, patient?), were so powerful in my life that I've been sharing them ever since--thus this blog. My drive comes from this thought, "Every parent should have these skills; you shouldn't need therapy to get them."

So I simplified the approach, started teaching workshops, wrote a little handbook by request called SAY WHAT YOU SEE, check it out online for parents everywhere to read. (Consider it my birthday present to you.) I've held workshops in the Austin area by request since I got here (and in several other cities), and this fall am expanding the training into a real business. My goal is to take this eye-opening training around the world. You can help me by reading the little book, letting me know what it does for you, and if it speaks to you, passing the link along to others. So far it's gotten surprised responses like, "This really works," to tearful ones like, "It changed my life!"

Note: Because of my ability to simplify complicated concepts, I am now also coauthor of Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) Treatment Manual with Drs. Landreth, Bratton & Kellam and several pages of my handbook are quoted(!) in Dr. Kellam's book for parents called Parent Survival Guide. Both books are a big hit with play therapists who use them to train parents like me and are available on my website. You never know where your passion will take you!

So meanwhile, if you need any questions answered, I'm here.

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