(without the overwhelm, guilt, or thoughts of “I’m out of my depth”)
After all, you probably already know that responding with a level head is necessary to de-escalate a situation otherwise you just add fuel to the fire (it's ok... we've all been there!).
Responding with calm to a challenging situation means you have the presence of mind to assess the situation, problem solve with clarity and move on with your day feeling good, rather than react in a way you're not proud of and that has you stay up at night feeling guilty.
"I just can't get my kids to listen to me, and before I know it I'm overcome with white hot rage. So I'm yelling, they're yelling, and we get nowhere. And then I feel like a terrible mother and feel guilty for the rest of the day. Where on earth do I start? It's all so overwhelming."
When we parent kids who have big feelings, our good enough, 'run of the mill' parenting skills can fall short.
The problem is, we're not taught how to cope or respond to situations like this!
We're not taught what to do with our own big feelings and few of us know why we feel so triggered in the first place. The lack of clarity about what next step to take can make it feel like it's all too much. And how DO we respond to a child in meltdown?
Many parents are just like you and feel isolated and stuck in the angry parent cycle.
It's one thing to read different techniques and ideas, but it's another to dig deep, learn about YOUR particular triggers, YOUR child's unique behaviour, and develop YOUR own personalised plan to follow.
We need to uplevel our parenting skills. Not because we necessarily want to, but because we have to in order to bring us the peace and harmony that we would just love to have in our homes.
With a step-by-step roadmap, and a supportive community of parents journeying the same path as you, who are there to pick you up when you stumble, things can be different.
Learning a new way takes time. Be patient and gentle with yourself as you go.
You just haven't yet had the right tools and support.
It is also essential to adopt the mindset of a calmer parent and not continue the habits that keep you stuck and dissatisfied with parenting.
Your history doesn't have to be your destiny.
Your child's meltdowns, tantrums, refusals and back talk aren't about you. I know it feels like they are, but really they aren't.
When you understand that your child's behaviour is in response to their own needs, you are less likely to be emotionally reactive. This means you have more capacity to respond calmly and find an appropriate solution to a behaviour of concern.
A child's behaviour is communication. If you only focus on what you see and react to that, then you miss so much about your child that lies beneath the surface.
When you can et curious and really look at what's going on for your child beneath their behaviour, it's like you have found missing pieces of the puzzle.
You're busy, you're tired, you're trying to meet everyone's needs. Your energy needs to be protected, so when you are trying to create change in your family dynamic, it's vital to focus on what is in your control versus what isn't.
You can't ultimately control what your kids do, say or feel. You can influence others, but you can't control.
What you can potentially control is your responses to your thoughts, feelings and sensations about what your kids say and do. Spending time here is where transformations happen.
It doesn't matter if your child is aged 2, 12, or 22. It's not too late to change course and to learn a new way to relate to yourself and to your child.
Whatever your starting point, all you need to know is your next step. One small step, one small change.
You need to decide if it will be one day, or Day One.
The thing is, when your kids are elevated in their emotions and behaviour, you need to elevate your parenting. You need more in your toolbox than most parents. It's not that you are lacking in any way - you simply have a child with higher needs, and no-one teaches parents how to prepare for, or navigate, these waters.
I know that frustration, stress and overwhelm takes its toll on you. I also know that to improve your well-being, you need to focus your attention on the things that are within your control to change.
You can feel calmer within yourself when you stay off the emotional roller coaster that your child often rides. You can feel more confident in your parenting when you know how to respond to a mad, sad or anxious child and communicate in a way that they are receptive to. You can solve behavioural challenges more effectively when you don't take their behaviour personally.
There are many pieces that need to come together to hit that sweet spot and create the change you want so you can parent in a responsive, kind and calm way to the child you love so dearly (and see some child behaviour changes in the process).
That's what I'd love to show you how to create.
The 8 week parenting course that guides you through a framework to help you cope with, and respond to, anger, anxiety and big reactions (both yours and those of your child), so you can solve behavioural challenges and parent in a way that feels good.
I've taken everything I've learned from my training and work as a psychologist, the families I work with at my Hopscotch & Harmony clinic, findings from recent research, and the invaluable lessons my three children have taught me, to create a comprehensive, step-by-step implementation program that not only teaches you the 'why' but also the 'how' of parenting kids with big feelings (while taking care of you).
Calm & Connected is a program that…
In this program you focus on the things that are in your control. As much as you might try, you can't ultimately control what your child says or does but you can learn to control how you respond to your thoughts and emotions that arise following things they do or say. In turn your responses can have some influence over their feelings and behaviour.
Much of the current parenting advice (that isn't working for you) is unfortunately outdated and doesn't reflect our current scientific knowledge and understanding of child development.
Calm & Connected is grounded in current scientific findings, in particular, Polyvagal theory. I have also undertaken research in the field of maternal stress, well-being and child temperament.
I intimately know the challenges faced by parents when they have kids with big feelings because I'm one of these mothers myself. I have also heard many parent stories through my work as a psychologist and director of a large paediatric psychology practice where my team supports thousands of families a year - including many who are just like you.
So if you’re ready to see your child with new eyes, to shake up the way you react to challenging behaviour, and to learn some collaborative problem solving skills then...
And all of this through an easy to use membership site as well as an app so you can be easily notified of new lessons and can listen while making school lunches, driving to work, or through your ear buds while watching the kids play.
Learn to see your child with fresh eyes, with curiosity, dropping all judgements and pre-conceived notions of who this young person is that stands before you. Learn ways to relate and connect to your child so you feel good in each others company.
Learn how to regulate your own emotional state so you can respond mindfully instead of react without thought. This fundamental practice will help you stay regulated so that you can support your child through co-regulation when they are distressed.
We go in deep learning about your child's individual differences - what makes them who they are. Develop awareness of your child's underlying needs to understand the root cause of the behaviour that challenges you.
Engage in collaborative problem solving, to get both your needs and those of your child met. The sample conversation starters are really helpful if you're unsure how to start.
You show up for others but do you show up for yourself when things get hard?
Self-compassion practices are interwoven throughout the duration of the program. We parents of kids with big feelings can carry a lot of shame, blame and guilt, especially if we feel like we're not doing a good enough job helping them. In Pillar 5 we actively counter these judgements of ourselves through self-compassion practices.
Start to learn to be your own best friend and treat yourself with kindness.
Yes please! A library of strategies that you can pick and choose from to suit your needs will be developed as the course progresses. Tell us what you need, and we'll get on to it!
We will add to these even after your 8 weeks is over and you can keep coming back to see what's new.
Calm & Connected Parenting is a comprehensive 8 week online course for parents and educators who are ready to understand and cope better with their own reactions, and improve their relationships with their kids so they are better equipped to solve behavioural challenges when they arise.
Our community is filled with helpful, motivated and super-supportive members who are walking this path together. When you join, you will be part of this special group.
If you don't feel like you're well on your way to understanding yourself and your child better, just let me know at [email protected] within 21 days, and we'll refund you.
The thing is, by the end of this 21 days you will have received access to the pre-course anger busting kick-start guide as well as lessons on building connection and understanding your anger. So you will get lots of value before making that final decision.
Here are the dates of the content releases and the live Q&A sessions (all recorded for easy access if you can't listen live). Not to mention the celebration party at the end - all online to make it super easy for you!
What people asked before signing up for Calm & Connected
Some people join knowing that it's going to be a month or two before they can get started. Others dive right in! You have lifetime access to the content so can complete the course materials on the timeline that works for you.
If you want to go all in and complete the lessons, implement the ideas and attend the weekly Q&A session then I recommend reserving two to three hours a week (remembering that there are audio trainings and an app so you can listen on the go).
Absolutely. The approaches in the Calm & Connected program are drawn from the current scientific understanding of the nervous system, emotions, and behaviour.
Our focus is on helping YOU respond to the feelings, thoughts and emotions that come up for you as you parent the child you have in front of you, however they show up.
You are helped to look at your child's behaviour and emotional expression in a way that appreciates their individual differences, and to practice problem solving taking such differences into account.
All of this learning is wrapped up with a good dose of self-compassion. The self-compassion part of our program is fundamental to our Calm & Connected approach and can be enjoyed by parents who are feeling particularly challenged.
You can definitely do this program by yourself. It's not uncommon at all. You can work on developing your own skills and knowledge and you and your child (and your partner) will still benefit. Your partner might become interested when they see the outcomes of what you have been learning.
You have lifetime access to the program! You can return any time to log in and refresh your knowledge (and see anything new that's been added as we will continue to build on the strategy library).
Jessica Cleary is the mother of three children and a psychologist with a Masters Degree in Educational and Developmental Psychology. She is the founding Director of the Hopscotch & Harmony paediatric psychology clinics in Melbourne and Geelong, Australia.
Jessica and her team of clinicians have worked with thousands of families providing support to children, teens and parents regarding social, emotional and behavioural challenges.
The dedication and passion Jessica and her team have for families has been recognised at both a local and national level with Hopscotch & Harmony winning multiple awards and being classified as national finalists for their provision of paediatric allied health services.
Jessica has designed the course content in response to the many, many stories and challenges parents have shared with her at the Hopscotch & Harmony child psychology clinics.
Parents of toddlers through to teens will find the information relevant. If you are like others you might find that the learnings also help you understand the adults in your life!
That's ok! Questions are submitted a few days in advance and Jessica's live Q&A will be recorded. Many of us busy parents will be relying on catching the replay.
We don't want to risk overwhelm by giving you everything at once. So we release the content week-by-week.
Another reason we do this is that as part of this course you are part of a community of parents completing the course at the same time.
If you don't feel like you're starting to understand yourself and your child better, just let me know at [email protected] within 21 days, and we'll refund you.
The thing is, by the end of this 21 days you will have received access to the pre-course anger busting kick-start guide as well as lessons on building connection and understanding what lies beneath your child's behaviour. So you will get lots of value before making that final decision.
Calm and Connected Parenting Program - $397 Value
When you add it all up, that’s a value of $1,386
Calm & Connected is PERFECT for you if...
If you said “yes” to at least 7 of the above, I can’t wait to meet you inside Calm & Connected
When you add up all the inclusions, the value is well over $1,500