What People Are Saying...
Mom & Facilitator
M.A., CCC, RCC
This is a game-changer. Research-based, clinically sound, super practical, engaging to watch and fun to learn. Families can't go wrong.
I am so thankful for Karen's work, and her efforts to pour meaningful information and tools into the lives of families, in such a convenient and accessible way. I love that she focuses on activities that bring families together, creating shared learning and shared growth. I hope that these resources make a difference for families far and wide.
Foster, Adoptive and Biological parent of neurotypical and neurodiverse children.
President of the Fraser Valley Foster Parent Association and Vice President of Home for Every Child Adoption Society
More About The Mission:
Oh, parenting. I thought I knew what to expect. I don’t know about you, but I grew up with a lot of kids around. I watched and participated in caring for kids my whole life. I studied child development through an undergraduate and master’s degree, and specialized my career in working with kids and families.
Before having kids, I would have said that I understood parenting would be a challenge, but I am also a naturally determined individual, and believed that I would be able to thrive in the challenge and overcome any mountain thrown in my path.
…You know how they say there’s a difference between “book smarts” and “street smarts”? Looking back now, what I thought was street smarts was just a whole lot of book smarts.
Turns out, it is truly impossible to really know what it's like to parent and how tough it can be in advance of being in it yourself. Because, in spite of all of the experience gleaned prior to parenting, here's what you can't know: all those times in your life when you learned you could overcome hard things you were rested, had independence, had breaks, had time to recharge and had other things going on to balance out the stress.
In parenting, all of those things change, along with so much more. The dynamics in your couples relationship (if you're in one) become challenging, the personality of your child may not be what you imagined or expected, the external supports may not be there the way you had anticipated, there is no sleep, little time to recharge, if you get sick you can't "take time to get well", and the parenting books and resources out there can feel like they shame you, fail you or just don’t fit your family.
The compounded experience leaves you hypervigilant, anxious, depleted, exhausted and done - except you can't afford to be those things. Someone needs you. All. the. time. Right!?!
Parenting neuro-typical children is hard enough, but when we consider added complexities like a child or children with special needs, this can further compound the challenges. Often the resources you seek out either turn you away, don't really hear you or don’t have services to solve any of the real-life problems. The amount of effort, vulnerability and risk it takes to keep reaching out is a lot.
You do all the things, go to all the appointments, sit on all the waitlists, try all the advice, and most of it fails you. The worst part is that in those moments we tend to get caught in feeling, and being perceived as being the one who is failing, rather than the family that has been failed. And when this happens, we tend to retreat, or put on that well rehearsed "things are great" face to avoid hearing other parents say oversimplified remarks like "oh, you just need to...." because they can't handle hearing the reality and complexity of the situation.
If this is you, I see you. I hear you. I feel you. Heck, I’ve been you. I know that until you're truly inside that story, living it out, you cannot imagine the experience or its' impact. I don't want anyone inside that story to feel they are going it alone. I want you to know, it's not you. You aren't crazy.
You are brave and persistent, trying to be all the things in what feels like a never-ending loop of impossible demands. Real life, well grounded and practical tools are needed. Ones that bring relief. Ones that help you sustain things through the toughest of phases. And you need compassion and understanding, not judgement.
These are the things I have in mind as I develop all of the resources you see here – I have families just like yours in mind as I create each tool and activity. I know it needs to work, in the messiness of real life. I know because I am right here in the trenches alongside you.