Maybe there's nothing wrong with you. Maybe you just need more support.
Hi I'm Jenni (it sounds like "Jenna"). I'm glad you're here.
I help people with the struggles of parenting because I have been through the turmoil, exhaustion, and isolation of my own struggles. I want you to know that you are not alone. There is nothing wrong with you and there is nothing wrong with your kids.
You might feel like you're failing or like you're kid is broken because we live in a behaviorist world. It's a world where everything that happens to you is your responsibility, and everything that goes wrong for you is your fault. In a behaviorist world, if things aren't working with your kids, you're to blame.
A behaviorist world doesn't care about intentions, emotions, or hardships. It cares only about what you do, using punishment to cut you down to size and rewards to make you fit in. It's a world in which everything is supposed to be earned, even your right to exist.
We learn a behaviorist worldview in our families, and carry it into every other system of society, including education, economics, and justice.
I am committed to a developmental world, starting with developmental families.
Dr Gordon Neufeld describes the difference between behavioral and developmental parents as that between sculptors and gardeners -- we can shape kids to fit or grow them to flourish.
I help parents become "gardeners," nurturing growth in our selves, our children, our families, our communities, and our world. Because our families don't stand alone. The work of parenting is a public service. When we raise children who are compassionate, creative, resilient, and resourceful, we're helping to create a more just and caring world.
As developmental parents, we aren't just gardening for our own families, we're victory gardening for the collective good.
In victory gardening families:
We all have the right to exist, just by virtue of our being. No one has to earn space.
We feel. Our emotions are significant and valuable. They move us and inform us.
We treasure difference. We don't have to conform to be included.
We take care of each other. No one is in it alone.
We are gentle. We treat each other with tenderness.
We are firm. We hold boundaries, and we respect them.
We recognize development as rooted in relationship. We ask what's needed and what we can provide to nurture connection and growth.
We refuse to hew ourselves into what the world wants. We grow toward who we are meant to be.
If you long to cultivate a developmental family, I can help.
In the media...
I offered help for back-to-school anxiety in ParentMap's "Parent Fuel" column. Here it is.
My “Cool Job” made an appearance in the Seattle Times. Read it here.
ParentMap asked me how to handle playground upsets for their "Ask the Experts" column. Here's my advice.
I provided PEPS with ideas for “Creating a Village” of connection and belonging for our families. Here you go.