Tell me about your family! Where do you live? How many kids? What do you do for fun?
I live in Sacramento, CA and have two girls 4 and 11 years old. I have a passion for helping teens and their parents navigate the difficult transition to adulthood with an emphasis on reducing alcohol and other drug use by youth. That’s the mission of my non-profit, Omni Youth Programs.
For fun, we love to go to outdoor concerts, travel up to the mountains, visit community events at parks and small communities, and swim in our pool 🙂
I have kids in these age ranges:
10-15 Years Old
Was your father or grandfather an integral part of your childhood?. What do you remember most about them?
Yes, my father is still an inspiration to me every day in my professional life and his unconditional love and pride in me are an inspiration to my parenting life. Both my grandfathers were two of the grandest people that ever lived. Hard work, love for the Lord, and laughing whenever possible are all things I remember most and try to pass on every day.
Was your mother an integral part of your childhood? What do you remember most about them?
Yes, my mom is my partner in raising my girls. My girls look to her for love, fun, and guidance on a daily basis. I remember my mom always being my biggest cheerleader while also holding me to her expectations.
What is one thing your family used to do growing up that you feel was sort of unique? Any family traditions? Customs? Activities?
Camping and getting REALLY into Halloween are two things that my family did often and VERY well 🙂
What do you think the biggest challenge our kids face today? What about five years from now?
The biggest challenge kids are faced with today is being thrown into situations and challenges that require tools that we, as a society, do not give them. Younger and younger a child’s brain is supposed to handle situations only suited for an adult brain. In five years, the age of “teen years” will be 9 years old, not 13.
If you were able to give one piece of advice to every single parent in the world, what would that advice be?
Listen and show up. Do a lot of unconditional listening without comment, judgment, or advice. If you get turned down by your child when you ask how they are don’t give up. Keep trying by asking different questions at different times and keep your mouth shut. Be comfortable with silence and ask open-ended questions so the conversation goes where the teen wants it to go instead of where you want it to go. Talk early and talk often. And, just be there. Be a physical presence in your kid’s life. So often all you have to do is just be there where they can see you. Show up for the small things and the big things. Show up.
As a busy parent, how do you balance all of the demands on your time? Do you use any tools, any techniques?
I use other family members and I use the word “NO” in my professional life. I have reached a level of great success professionally even though I say “no” sometimes. It can be done. Explain that your kids are a priority and also explain that a “no” answer isn’t the end it’s more of a “not now”. Meaning that I can’t do that for you right now, but I will get it done. Having my husband be my partner in this is soooo key. I don’t know what I’d do without him.
On average, how many nights a week is your family ‘busy,’ meaning going to and from sports/activities / etc.
2 – 3
What motivates your family? Do you have any mutual hobbies you all enjoy?
Our faith binds us. As well as our love for the outdoors. We are blessed with a great backyard that we enjoy often.
What do you do to recharge yourself and your family?
Movie nights are great. As are “clear calendar days” we make a point to try and have one day a week (usually Sunday) that is totally free on our calendar to do whatever the mood strikes us.
What is your Resource?
I have a video channel!
What motivated you to start your website/ book / conference / vlog / podcast / etc?
We made a video channel on YouTube for teens and their parents to help them stay away from drugs and alcohol.
What is your goal and vision for your community?
A reduction in youth alcohol and drug use and an increase in parental and community capacity to support our youth.
How long have you been writing? Do you leverage other media like video or podcasting? If so, where can we find those?
We have a blog, a newsletter, and a youtube channel that has been going for almost 2 years.
So, tell me what motivates you each day? What are your passions?
Raising my children in the image of the Lord and with the tools they need to thrive motivates me. My passion is my wonderful husband, my family, and the youth and families I serve at my non-profit.
What is the last song you listened to?
Bob Segar’s greatest hits…”Against the Wind”, “Night Moves, “Like a Rock”
Do you belong to any groups that help you keep your goals? Church groups, parent groups, etc?
Church groups, community coalitions, non-profit groups and networks
Do you have anything else you would like our readers to know about your resource?
We train and certify individuals, agencies, organizations, school, etc in several NREPP and SAMSHA certified Model programs that focus on preventing bad choices and promoting responsibility. Free to anyone who offers programs in Sacramento City and County and available for a fee to those outside Sacramento.
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