parent coaching

Find Your "It"

I haven't been able to stop thinking about the notes Patrick Turner, age 16, left for his parents, friends and teachers before he took his life last week. On the outside, Patrick seemed like a regular kid. Active in sports, worked hard in school, lived in an affluent community. On the inside there was a different story going on. One that is playing out more frequently these days. One that has made me take pause at my "why" to focus on my "it."

When I started coaching, the popular marketing thing was to find your "why" - your reason for why you do what you do. I started coaching because I wanted to make an impact on other people's lives. To help them find their own "why," to have my own business, to have a better schedule for my family, etc. As I was reading Patrick Turner's notes, I realized it shouldn't be about "why" it should be about "it." 

I recently created a presentation for Tween and Teens - it focuses on five key foundations we all need to help create our life path. I started it with women, and based on feedback I got from some of my clients, they wanted to share the content with their own teenagers. One of them said to me "for as much as your content is helping me, I think my son needs to hear it too." I was humbled and excited that she wanted to share it with him. Please do! That led me to making a few updates to the course I originally created and now I have a version for our children. 

In the presentation I focus on things like why it's important to have big dreams and how to work for them. I talk about diversity, inclusion and the importance of focusing on your "it" - what are you good at? What do you love to do? You see, not all of us are built to be top academic achievers (Lord knows I wasn't). Not all of us are gifted athletes or musicians or artists. Not all of us have a way with words. But we all have something. We all have an "it." The key now, especially with our children is to encourage that. Encourage "it." Support "it." 

I worry all the time about my boys. Are we being too demanding of them? Are we putting too much stress on them to be "well rounded?" We recently started touring high schools in NYC - talk about pressure. You want to know what my husband said to my son as we toured a top school? He said "Wyatt, I want you to know something. I went to high school, your mother went to high school. We both went to college. We both tried a few different jobs before we decided on what we wanted to do. We got married, had a couple of kids, built a life we both wanted together. I'd say we've been pretty successful. I'm saying all of this because the most important things in life are not based on a grade you get or a school you go to. As long as you're happy, that's what matters. That's what we want - for you and your brother to be happy. And whatever that is, we will support it." 

He's a smart cookie that husband of mine. I've been telling my kids the same three things everyday since they were born - be happy, make good choices and I love you. You guys, we have to be better for our children. The amount of pressure we are collectively putting on them is too much. What happened to letting kids be kids? Letting them play outside in an unorganized fashion? To allowing them down time that's not scheduled? Why are WE being competitive for them? 

I'm going to a high school in Massachusetts in March to talk to 400 kids about finding their "it" and I can't wait to tell them how amazing they all are. I can't wait to talk about having big dreams and working for them the right way. About supporting their passions and empowering their friends. About learning the power of mindset and communication and that not one of them is less than the other. We are all equal. We should all celebrate that.

What's your "it?"

My heart is broken for Patrick Turner's family and community. I pray that this tragedy can be turned into something more, but what that is, I don't fully know. We need more dialogue and less shame. We need more support and less criticism. We need more optimism and hope and love. 

I found my "it" after a few tries, and now I'm sharing it in ways I never thought possible. I'm privileged to be able to do what I do. Share motivation and optimism with the world. To help others find their "it." The world needs your stories, we need your "it." If you're struggling and don't feel like you have someone to turn to - find me. Find a friend. Call someone. Talk to a stranger. But please, don't give up. 


Suicide Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255


Why I'm Bringing My Son To The Women's March.

T-minus 4 days and counting until one of the largest rally’s in the country takes place and I for one could not be more proud to participate. I‘ll be in New York City sharing the experience with many friends and most importantly, my eleven year old son.


I know for a lot of us the last few months have been hard. Hard to digest, hard to explain and hard to navigate.


Especially with kids.


Especially with boys.


I’ve chosen to include my son for a lot of reasons but mostly because I want to expose him to knowing what it feels like to use your voice to stand for your rights. Yes, I know there are naysayers out there rolling their eyes saying this is all futile and ridiculous. But I disagree. I coach people every day on how to use their voices through effective communication, it works.


In an effort to find the optimism in this message, I’ve decided to not call the march a protest. As I was explaining it to my big guy the other day, I told him we’re not going there to call anyone names and be mean ― that would be counter productive and wrong. We are going there to support the causes we so strongly believe in. So instead of protesting against the establishment, we’re going to support the people who believe deeply in their rights ― rights that quite frankly, as a young man, he won’t have to fight for. That’s the beauty of democracy ― using your voice for good.


My husband told him as much a few weeks ago when he was questioning the election outcome. We explained to him that women don’t have it as easy as men do ― our healthcare, paychecks and general equality hang in the balance. We have to do everything in our power to make sure that stops. It’s important that he knows the impact of these decisions.


He was genuinely upset that in 2017 this is a topic of discussion. Just like he doesn’t understand racial divide because he’s lucky to live in a place where diversity exists peacefully (for the most part), he doesn’t understand why his female friends should be treated any differently than his male friends.


“That’s so dumb, Mom”...yes son, it is.


Would I rather be spending a quiet Saturday with my family not having to think about these things? You bet your ass I would, but unfortunately that’s not where we need to be. Our voices are too important to sit this one out. Our voices need to be heard for all the voices yet to speak. Our voices are speaking for our friends, mothers, sisters, nieces. Our voices are speaking for ourselves, for our integrity, for humanity.


We’re taking part in the Women’s March on Saturday in NYC in SUPPORT of women’s rights ― we will have our signs ready and our chants prepared. We will walk peacefully along side women and men of all ages. We will make new friends along the way. We will wear pink in honor of women everywhere. We’re ready, and we can’t wait!

Pay It Forward Friday - 48XXXY


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You guys!! It's another week closer to summer vacation and I'm not even close to ready!! This week especially has been riddled with curve balls, mostly good, so I'm not complaining but a few that needed some attention. One of them is the cause I'm highlighting today. You're probably wondering what the hell 48XXXY means! Well I'll tell ya, it's a rare genetic syndrome in which males have two extra X chromosomes. And my little cousin Colton has it and was diagnosed with it last year. Colton's deficiencies were caught early on by his parents, Michelle and Erik and they were addressed immediately. Boys who have 48XXXY have physical struggles due to low muscle tone, complications with language and speech, developmental and behavior problems, and varied health issues. Colton is extremely fortunate in that he has available to him the best doctors and therapists working in this very, very small field. They've been able to consult and work with Dr. Sprouse, a X & Y Variation Specialist located in Maryland (Colton lives in Upstate NY) via the Focus Foundation. We are encouraged by Colton's progress and know it's due to the early detection and attention he has received.
Michelle and Erik have been working tirelessly to create a foundation in Colton's name to raise awareness around his genetic syndrome. They've launched Colton's XXXtraordinarY Cause which aims to spread awareness of 48XXXY and other X & Y Variations, as well as assist with the medical funds of children who are battling rare diseases and/or syndromes.  While Colton's specific syndrome is rare, current research indicates that 1 in 500 births have X &Y Chromosomal Variations. Of those born with this variation, 7 out of 10 children will never be diagnosed and therefore will not receive the appropriate treatment. A lack of diagnosis and treatment can leave children struggling with learning disabilities, language impairment, motor planning deficits, reading dysfunction, attention disorders and behavioral problems that will affect them for a lifetime.
During Colton's journey to diagnosis, Michelle joined a private Facebook Group created for support and information sharing about 48XXXY and she has cultivated friendships with other mom's who are having a similar experience. That's where she met Kaitlin, mom to Wylie. Wylie is a 2 year old boy living in Colorado who was diagnosed with 48XXXY last year (around the same time as Colton). Kaitlin seemed lost when it came to treatment for Wylie. Her local doctors were not familiar with 48XXXY Syndrome and advised her to see specialists. Kaitlin contacted a doctor on the west coast but they were not able to fit Wylie in for several months. Michelle urged Kaitlin to contact Dr. Sprouse and make the trip to Maryland. She was dedicated to trying to make the trip with Wylie, but she wasn't sure if it was realistic for her. Kaitlin is a single mom, studying to become an EMT without a stable income who did not have the resources to get to Maryland.  Michelle reached out to another mom in the group for help. Together they pooled some resources together and were able to cover the flight and hotel for Wylie and Kaitlin to go to Maryland. They were able to get some really great medical treatments for Wylie by taking the trip, but since then they have learned that Wylie has a brain tumor.  The neurologist in Colorado was not able to give her any clear cut answers as to what they should expect. The don't know if the tumor is stable, or if it will continue to grow. Continuing growth will further impact his development or possibly cause death.  The doctors are now calling it a waiting game.   The X&Y specialist in Maryland has arranged for Wylie to see an endocrinologist and neurologist that she works close to at Children's National in Washington DC at the end of June (like RIGHT NOW).
Wylie needs our help. As a mother, I have one major fear. Not being able to help my children if they were to become sick. Helpless is not something I can relate to and I don't believe any parent can when it comes to our children. We want to fight for them every single day. If there's a will, there's a way. Well, there IS a way for Wylie. Michelle and Erik launched Colton's XXXtraordinarY Cause just this week in conjunction with his Second Birthday (Happy Birthday Colton!!) via a fundraiser. They are taking all of the money from this fundraiser and supporting Wylie and Kaitlin so they can make the trip to Maryland to see the specialists Wylie needs. The details of the fundraiser are here: Colton's XXXtraordinarY Cause you can buy a tee shirt for a very reasonable $18 or make a flat donation to supporting Wylie on his medical journey.
Today is Pay It Forward Friday - if you're a follower of this blog you know Friday is dedicated to giving back, to making a difference no matter how small. Sometimes I ask to pay it forward by doing a good deed, giving a hug, making a new friend...but today I ask for a donation. NO PARENT SHOULD EVER HAVE TO STRESS OVER HEALTHCARE FOR THEIR CHILD. EVER. (yes, I'm YELLING!). One of the goals for WHY AM I YELLING? is one day have our own charity for these exact reasons. Until we can make that a reality, I will continue to highlight causes, especially for children that are imperative to contribute to. Today please give up your latte and make a donation to a VERY WORTHY cause. For more information on X & Y Syndromes go here
Please share this message wtih your friends...48XXXY is a very rare syndrome and it needs some attention! These are the boys you're helping...Colton on the left and Wylie on the right.
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Jump In

[et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text"] You guys, I've been spending the last several weeks making changes, lots of changes. Overcoming fears and diving head first into uncharted waters - scary for sure but exhilarating and exciting! I started this journey almost 2 years ago...the one where I needed to make a change in my life because I was drowning in unhappiness even though I didn't really know it. I hated my job, but stayed because I loved the people. I stayed because it was easy. I stayed because it was convenient. I died a little more every day back then. I was on auto pilot. Then I woke up and realized that if I didn't make a change I would make everyone around me miserable.

So I jumped - out of the plane without a parachute. I had no idea what I was going to do. No idea what I wanted to be. I had dreams but no solid plan on how I was going to achieve them. I interviewed with companies that I had zero desire to work for. I did personal marketing plans, resumes and updated all of my social media accounts. I paced the floor with worry. I looked at my children and wondered what they thought of me. I felt fear.

Then I woke up. One day I woke up and realized that the only way I was going to be able to find myself was to pay attention to myself. So I got a coach and she helped me peel back the onion. She helped me realize that I didn't want to do it any other way but mine. That my dreams and goals were too big for me to follow someone else's rules. That I needed to be helping other people reach their dreams too. And that's what I do. I found my purpose. I found my sense of self, I found my direction, I found my calling. I found it through the most important people in my life, my husband and my boys. I want to give that gift to every parent on the planet. I want them to have that security, that serenity, that place where yes, sometimes it sucks but most of the time it's really great.

Parenting is hard. Relationships are hard. Marriage is hard. But when you find a stable footing, it's all worth it. When you have a partner who is in the trenches with you on the same page as you are, it's all worth it. Will there be bad days, yep there will. But there will be way more good ones - if you focus on the right stuff.

I've learned a lot of lessons over the last month, about myself and about my business and I forgot to be afraid of it. I was so damn excited about it that fear never played into the equation. When balance happens things shift. Confidence emerges, peace enters and fearlessness takes over. I can do anything I set my mind to - in my relationships, in my parenting, in my business. I have that power, and I have that support. That's what I give back. Power to parents who feel like they're flailing, like they're treading water barely able to stay afloat. I give them hope and encouragement to make changes that will empower them to have their dreams fulfilled.

If you're harboring any doubt about where you want to be in your relationship or your parenting, jump in. Make the change. Find your power. It feels so damn good!

Pay it forward to yourself today, find a quiet space, meditate, take some time to think about who, what and where you want to be. Listen to your gut, because that's where it all begins.

Happy Friday! xo