My passion in life is to change the conversation about how we make the world go ‘round for all of the kids we are growing up. I want kids to grow up in the best possible way. I want parents, teachers, caregivers, and other big people to know they are a child’s answer. I want the mysteries of brain development and the complexity of a child’s needs to feel totally conquerable. I want your kids to know that you’ve got this!

And I want you to know that it’s okay if it feels like it is hard. That’s just part of this. And we are here to figure it out. Together.

My guiding mantra is SEE it, FEEL it, BE it. The idea is that there is no magic, expert way of getting it right for our children. That step-by-step guide, or guaranteed strategy, or magic solution for a given situation doesn’t exist. And anybody who tells you different is selling you a line.

My take? When you deeply understand the needs of children (SEE it) and in turn, feel compassion for yourself and for your child as those needs present behaviorally or otherwise (FEEL it), you will be instinctively compelled to respond in a manner that is perfectly suited to the moment, to who you are as a parent, and to the needs of your child (BE it). Now THAT is how you get your big person swagger on. I wrote my books, Discipline Without Damage and Parenting Right From the Start because we’ve got access to amazing information about how we grow and learn both as parents and as children, about the science of child development, and about how minds and hearts are formed. And yet, dominant parenting pop culture often has us doing exactly the opposite of what we now know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, to be good for children. And good for parents.

Here is what I live and love…

I seek every day to have parents and other big people feel full of swagger in their most important job of growing up kids. And growing up themselves.

I want you to feel like there isn’t an expert in the world that could possibly know better than you what your child needs, or what you need as a parent.

I want you to feel, from somewhere deep inside your big person heart that you are full of know-how in BEING IT for yourself and for the child you are growing up.

I want you to get your big person swagger on and BE.

That’s right. You go on. Go and BE. You’ve got this. And if you have any questions about that along the way, then I’ve got you. We’ll get it figured out.

My World

I remember expecting our first son and saying to my physician, “I just can’t wait for him to be born so I can stop worrying!”

And she looked at me and said, “Girl, you have no idea!!!”

Happily, it hasn’t all been about worry. And it has been about a lot of honesty, some heartache, and a continued drive every day to be the kind of parent who is aware and attuned to the needs of my growing children, and of myself. I will tell you that there is nothing like actually walking your talk in all of this as a parent to keep one humble!

There are days when I feel like I am on it, and other days when I really don’t feel that at all. And one of the wonderful things about all of this growing up kids stuff is that you don’t have to be perfect in order for it to be perfect. You just have to be good enough.

My two boys are beautiful, compassionate, and deeply sensitive human beings who I have the remarkable fortune to be growing up. They inspire me, they keep my feet on the ground, and they move me to feel every day so that I can be for them exactly the kind of big person that their unique growing souls need.


Dr Vanessa