What is the best advice someone has given you?
Jim Fay, my co-author has a wonderful phrase that he uses: “We need to be careful to not addict our children to a lifestyle they won’t be able to afford as adults.” That is a profound statement that I use in my practice.
What inspired you to go into parental counseling, considering you have no children of your own?
When I was teaching, I worked so hard with one of my students to build up his self confidence during the day when I had him in the classroom. But then I realized that it could all be undone at night when he went home to his parents. I guess you could say I had an epiphany and that’s when I made the switch to helping parents raise their children.
Do you feel pressure from the people around you to act a certain way?
I try to be myself as often as possible. I think sometimes if I see a mom I’ve counseled at the grocery store with her children, she will feel pressure to act a certain way. But that pressure is not coming from me. That’s coming from her.
Describe an experience that has led you to where you are today in your career.
I was a young child and my mom took me to the library to see Robert McCloskey, who wrote Make Way for Little Ducklings. After he read the book, I stood in line for him to sign my book. I was so wide-eyed, and in that moment I decided I wanted to write a book. I didn’t know what I would write about or when, but it was a defining moment in my childhood.
What parenting advice would you give Britney Spears?
It’s kind of a day late and a dollar short. But if she still had her children, I would help her love herself so that she could love her children.