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Coffee with Parenting Counselor and Educator, Susie Garlick

"It's not about raising perfect children, it's about how we react to our imperfect ones."

Between the three of us, we have 8 children, spanning in ages from 6-14. We’ve been through the infant and toddler stages and have cracked the door open to the teenage years. Needless to say, we are three caring, compassionate moms trying to do the very best we can to raise 8 responsible and wonderful humans. Gulp. To say it’s not always easy is an understatement! Getting help and guidance from a licensed professional can give you some tools for the times when your teen yells, "I hate you!" but also some breathing room to know that angst is normal and it's going to be okay at the end of the day. Or...once they’re in their 20’s or 30’s (insert a little sarcasm here) we must keep our sense of humor, right?

We first met Susie Garlick when she taught a wonderful parenting class. We attended faithfully when our kiddos were little. One of her famous "Susie-isms" is, "It's not about raising perfect children, it's about how we react to our imperfect ones." How about that for a peaceful exhale? With that thought in mind, Susie takes a parent-forward approach, counseling parents on their reactions, how to control emotion, and speak to their kids so it's impactful, firm and also loving.

Susie will be the first to tell you, as a parent, that we are raising our children in difficult and unprecedented times. "Fear-based living, a technology-saturated world, and over-the-top expectations are taking a toll on children and parents," she says. There's a lot to navigate and it's not surprising that we all could use some help!

We reached out to Susie and asked her to sit down with us over coffee for a "round-table" Q & A of sorts to help us talk through some of the issues we experience with our kids. And by "our kids" we mean all of us in the JTI Community. We asked you to submit questions and you delivered. The questions ranged from bullying (Susie has a definition of what bullying truly is, by the way) to setting boundaries for your teen, to technology, to what to do if they refuse to wear a bike helmet. Susie happily came over - with copies of her new book, "The Parenting Backpack: Strategies and Tools to Help You Parent with Confidence," and answered many of our and your burning parenting questions. Tune in for the full Q & A below!

For more information and to learn more about Susie Garlick, visit her website or check out her latest (and extremely helpful) book, The Parenting Backpack.


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