Why am I qualified to teach parenting?
So, why am I qualified to talk about parenting and relationships? First, I’m a mother. I gave birth to children of my own and raised them from infancy, while being a single-mother and college student for some of their childhood. Second, I’m a stepmother. I have been given the opportunity to be part of someone else’s children’s lives and help raise them to be good upstanding human beings, just like my goal for my biological children. I married my current husband in 2008, but I inherited four additional children when I started dating my him in 2006. Plus, besides seven children between the two of us, my best friend’s daughter lived with us for most of her high school years, taking our total number of children to 7.5 with his, hers, and not ours. Even though we have seven children total between the two of us, some of the children were part-time and some were full-time at home, but we still had a “herd” of children either way.
I’ve been able to enjoy many wonderful memories and be the “step-monster” at times. It has never been easy. My husband and I have never fully agreed on parenting strategies and the children constantly pushed limits, but we all have survived! And now I’m a grandmother! With having so many children and a ten-year age span between them, grandchildren have arrived while some of the children are still living at home. This has been a much more challenging stage in life than I had imagined, since I am trying to balance meeting the needs of adult children, children still living at home, and grandchildren! However, I wouldn’t change any of it.
Lastly, and most importantly to some, I am a licensed clinical psychologist who has focused my career on children and families for more than a decade. I started my career path in psychology before I had children, which was definitely a positive when it came to figuring out how to be a parent and how to parent my own children.
I earned my bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Southern Indiana and my doctorate in clinical psychology from Ohio University in 2005. I then moved back to my hometown of Evansville, Indiana and began working at Luzio & Associates Behavioral Services in August of 2005. I have continued to work for this same agency since 2005 and actually purchased the business on the exact day of my ten-year anniversary with the company.
What can you learn from me?
I have a lot of education and experience. I have been working with children and families for over a decade and I have the real-life experience of dealing with the ups and downs of parenting as the parent. I may be a clinical psychologist, but I have children who act like children. They make mistakes, get into trouble, argue with their siblings, push limits, and believe they are mistreated because they have chores and must eat whatever food is prepared for mealtime.
Additionally, I have the clinical experience to understand the concepts and strategies that work well with managing child behavior. I have the real-life experience of seeing how these strategies work, both with clients and with my own children.
I have spent my life helping others and my book is just a continuation of that. So, how can I help my readers? I can help my readers by assisting them with learning real parenting strategies that work and that work well for real parents.
Who is this book for?
First, it should be noted that this book is not just for people with “bad” kids. This book offers strategies that work for most children and most families no matter what behavioral problems they are dealing with or how old or how young their children are.
All children exhibit behavior problems and make poor choices at times. Children are….children. They are learning. They are growing. They are testing limits. They must learn what is acceptable and what is not acceptable, and parents have the privilege of being the first teachers of this and everything else!
Some children have more frequent behavior problems than other children, but all children make mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes are mistakes and sometimes those “mistakes” are limit pushing behaviors that are called mistakes because “I didn’t know” seems to be the better answer than getting into trouble for that misbehavior.
Additionally, all parents become frustrated with their children from time to time. Sometimes one child is more difficult or creates more stress in the home than the other children. Sometimes parents expect too much or too little from their child and behavioral issues arise because of inaccurate expectations. Other times parents cannot agree on what is best for the children and conflict arises between the parents.
Problems will be fewer at some points in life and more excessive at other times. This could be due to many factors including life changes, the age of the child, the temperament of the child, and the parenting choices of the parent. However, all families struggle from time to time. Some parents struggle more and some struggle less, but parenting is never easy every day of a child’s life.
Besides parenting stress there are also many reasons why parents can be experiencing stress and frustration in their lives. Maybe the parents are dealing with relationship problems? Maybe one parent lost a job or had a big cut in income? Maybe a grandparent passed away, more time at work is required, someone in the family has health-related issues, or a new baby has been introduced into the family? There are endless possibilities as to why parents may be stressed, but even if the stress is not directly related to the family, the family is likely to be feeling the stress too. However, no matter what the cause of the stress and frustration, being able to lower the stress in any part of your life will help to make all of life easier to manage.
Plus, everyone can learn something new. Everyone struggles at times. Everyone has bad days. Everyone makes mistakes. Thus, everyone can learn something new to better cope with the life stresses and struggles when they occur.
The objective of this book is to help parents grow in their parenting abilities and strengthen their relationships with their children. These improvements lead to less stress because they are more confident parents and better able to manage child’s wild emotions and misbehaviors when they occur. This book is meant to give helpful techniques that have worked for many families and in many situations, including the clients at my office and with my own family at home.
This book starts by focusing on building a relationship with your children and then move on to learning specific behavior management strategies. We will discuss the importance of trust and bonding, as well as managing behavioral issues. You will learn ways to improve and strengthen the relationship you have with your child, decrease your child’s behavior problems in frequency and intensity, and decrease your own stress.
Each chapter in this book will add more parenting tools to your parenting toolbox. You will have additional strategies to choose from when dealing with our children’s misbehaviors and additional ideas on forming good, lasting relationships with your children.