I am thrilled to be introducing my readers to Casey O’Roarty, a Positive Discipline Trainer and Coach, and the author of JoyfulCourage.com. Casey is writing today about choosing love – something that sounds easy enough in theory, but can be challenging when our buttons are being pressed, or external stressors are weighing on us.

Please read down to the end of this post to learn about Casey’s exciting new venture!


You all know that feeling – that feeling that shows up in your body when you are about to LOSE IT? When you have had ENOUGH and are ready to let to people around you HAVE IT?

Yes, I know that feeling too. If I was going to get really specific, I would describe it as really tight, rigid legs, shoulders up and in, hands gipping my hips, lips pursed, eyebrows to the sky… I am familiar with this. Deeply.

And this can often be when I have those really proud parenting moments, the ones where I think to myself “maybe I won’t blog about this…”

Following the emotional/physical experience of being triggered are a bunch of thoughts:

“These kids are so disrespectful, they don’t care about anything!”

“They won’t listen unless I get mad!”

“I will show them who’s boss!”

We all go there, right? Your freak show may look, sound, or feel a bit different than mine does, but we can all relate to those moments when we feel as though we are going to completely lose our sh*t. And the guilt and shame that follows when we do…

When I work with parents, they talk a lot about this – this reaction¬ to their kids challenging behavior – and they feel terrible about it.

I want to share a tool that I have found so helpful on the path of more connected, respectful parenting.


Yes, love. Love for ourselves, and love for the child in front of us. You see, each and every one of us is doing the best we can with the tools we have. Each one of us have formed unique beliefs about the world, and how we fit in it.

So the first step in choosing love when our head is about to explode is choosing self love. Choosing to recognize that we have moved away from who we want to be as a parent, away from our values and qualities that are important to us.

And it can feel as though we have been taken over.

Hello mean mom…

When I find myself here – in this triggered, unregulated, not-my-best-self state – it is like a red flag has gone up and is waving around, letting me know that I am out of alignment. My body is shouting at me –

Warning! Warning! You are about to do/say something that will be unhelpful and hurtful!! Get it together mama!!!

Choosing to love myself in this moment is choosing to do whatever I need to do to calm down. Choosing to step out of the emotional overwhelm of the moment and to take care of me. Choosing to love myself in this way is courageous, and required me to trust that this is the best first step for the situation.

Choosing to love myself also allows me to love my child. Yes, of course we all love our children, even when we are really upset with them – but that isn’t always what our children are perceiving as they witness our tirade. They aren’t thinking, ”wow, mom must really love me if she is getting this mad…” No, more like “I can’t do anything right,” or “I don’t matter” or “I’ll show her!”

Choosing love changes that conversation. Choosing to love ourselves by calming down and returning to a calm centered state, allows us to then engage with our children from a place of love. This is when we can access compassion, when we can listen deeply, and when we can find solutions.

If you are reading this and you are thinking, “yeah, I get the concepts, but I can never access them when I need to,” I totally get it.

Really, I do.

Because I have a seriously pissed off mama that shows up sometimes and can wreak havoc all over my family. And it takes a serious commitment to practice, and support from others to keep her in check.

Which is exactly why I created this gift for you:


It’s called #JoyfulCourage10 – a FREE 10 day program that will guide and support you on your journey to love yourself to show up better for your kids.

“Taking the joyful courage 10 was a truly enlightening experience. Reflecting on the meditations throughout my day helped me to stay in (or return to) a place of calm. It really kept me in touch with the parent I want to be. It was nice to have a ‘goal for my heart’ to focus on …”
– Maria A, mama of one

#JoyfulCourage10 is 10 days of exploring and practicing the parent you want to be through daily support and inspiration. You will receive text messages to encourage and inspire you around the daily theme, as well as deeper conversations and live support in the Joyful Courage Facebook group. Best of all? YOU decide your level of engagement.

Check it out and join us!!

Peace, love and parenting, Casey

Casey O’Roarty, M.Ed, is a wife, mama, Positive Discipline Trainer and Coach, doing her best to walk her talk on the daily with her own two kids. For more information on offers, her blog, or to check out the podcast, head over to http://www.joyfulcourage.com.

Dr V