C-Suite Network™

Growth Personal Development

OWN IT: Own Your Power, Presence, Profits, and Success As A Global Thought Leader – Celebrating International Women’s Day And Week!

OWN IT: Own Your Power, Presence, Profits, and Success As A Global Thought Leader™.
By Kathleen Caldwell, Founder, C-Suite Network Women’s Coaching & Consulting Council and Caldwell Consulting Group, LLC

Celebrate International Women’s Day and Week in March 2023 with C-Suite Network Women’s Coaching & Consulting Council to OWN IT: Own Your Power, Presence, Profits, and Success As A Global Thought Leader™.”

C-Suite Network Women’s Coaching & Consulting Council is excited to announce a four-session Women’s Success Summit™ on Tuesday, March 7 – Friday, March 10 at 1PM ET to celebrate International Women’s Day and Week. Our 2nd Annual Success Summit is designed to empower you, as a woman coach, consultant, trusted advisor, or thought leader, to “OWN IT: Own Your Power, Presence, Profits, and Success As A Global Thought Leader™.”

We invite you to attend our Women’s Success Summit and take advantage of a unique opportunity to learn world class strategies and gain the tools and confidence needed to grow your thought leadership business. You’ll gain valuable insights to help you achieve your goals and OWN your success!

Our summit will feature esteemed faculty members of the C-Suite Network Women’s Coaching & Consulting Council, who will inspire and prepare you to cultivate your power and create a strong personal brand that enhances your profitability, presence, and authority.

Throughout the summit, you will learn how to break through the “Profit Ceiling,” and maximize your income, confidence and power. You will also gain insights on what is working now to be Seen, Heard, and Richly Rewarded™ in a crowded and noisy world. Our summit will provide actionable steps to help you tell powerful and engaging success stories with authenticity and engage a global community of fans and clients.

The Women’s Success Summit is not just about acquiring knowledge and information; it is also an opportunity to build relationships with like-minded and committed women. You will have the chance to share your insights and experiences, receive feedback, and Co-Accelerate™ with a supportive community. By the end of the four sessions, you will have a clear vision of your next level of success, the skills and tools to achieve it, and the confidence and business sisterhood to make it happen.

The Women’s Success Summit presented by C-Suite Network Women’s Coaching & Consulting Council is a thrilling way to celebrate International Women’s Day and Week. We invite you to join us and celebrate the progress that women have made and continue to make. Together, we will “OWN IT: Own Your Power, Presence, Profits, and Success As A Global Thought Leader™!” Register and receive the replays at: https://tinyurl.com/C-SuiteWCCCMarch72023

Questions? Contact Kathleen Caldwell, founder, C-Suite Network’s Women’s Coaching & Consulting Council and Caldwell Consulting Group, LLC through a DM on LinkedIn at: https:/tinyurl.com/KathleenCaldwellLinkedIn or at: https://tinyurl.com/C-SuiteNetworkWCCCLinkedIn


Kathleen Caldwell is CEO of Caldwell Consulting Group, founder of the Women’s Success Accelerator ™ and C-Suite Network’s Women’s Coaching & Consulting Council. Kathleen is the author of the soon to be released book, “Success Mindpower: Use Your Powerful Mind To Play And Win YOUR Game Of Success.”

Ms. Caldwell is a philanthropist, credentialed success coach, professional speaker and author who has mentored and advised thousands of entrepreneurs, executives, leaders and business teams around the world to greater success and profitability.

Kathleen has received numerous awards and honors including the designation of “Woman of Distinction” and “Influential Woman in Business” and was recently honored as a GEM – Generous, Enthusiastic and Motivated leader in her community.

Awards, aside, Ms. Caldwell is known best as a connector and is excited to share her alliances and new business strategies to support leaders and organizations in their business and career success.

In her spare time, Kathleen is a certified Zumba instructor, health coach, and success hypnotherapist and has a passion for international travel and ballroom dancing with her sweetheart and husband, Michael.

Body Language Growth Leadership Negotiations Parenting

Are You Listening to Your Child’s Side of the Story?

Stop me if this scenario sounds familiar:

You’re minding your own business when suddenly the phone rings.

The person on the other end of the line—perhaps a teacher or a camp counselor—has called to inform you that your child is acting out.

Your face flushes with shame and humiliation and embarrassment. You assume their account must be accurate.

When our children display inappropriate behavior in public (getting into a fight at soccer practice or throwing a toy at a daycare teacher), our first impulse is often to apologize on their behalf, then shamefully slink away to reprimand or punish them at home.

How often do you stop and ask for your child’s side of the story?

Anger and Shame Prevent Parents from Listening to Their Kids

I remember a time when I was on my way to my daughter Pia’s Girl Scout camp.

There had been a fight with another girl in which Pia allegedly shoved her. To punish Pia, the camp counselor put her in “detention” in one of the cottages.

I drove to the campground upset and concerned.

I know my daughter, and she doesn’t just push people out of nowhere.

What was Pia’s unheard side of the story? How was she managing her feelings about being isolated, made to think she was the “bad one”?

I wondered what could have been the catalyst in order for this response to be evoked.

As soon as I saw Pia, upset and sitting alone, I knew my gut feeling had been spot on.

When I asked  “Honey, what happened?” between her tears she said, “I just want to go, I just want to go!”

Even though she just wanted to get out of there, I knew that if we did, she would leave with her tail between her legs.

Her side of the story would never be acknowledged or understood,  At such a young age, she would already begin to develop a bad reputation.

This is when I used what we call the protective use of force.

I said, “I won’t let you develop a negative reputation, and I know your side of the situation and your perspective has not been heard or understood. I will take you home, but we can’t leave until your side is understood too.”

“Mom, she was bullying me and calling me names in front of all the other girls. I was so embarrassed and humiliated, and I asked her over and over again to stop calling me names. But she wouldn’t stop bullying me!” Pia explained between her big sobs.

“I didn’t know what else to do and so I swung my arm out and said stop it! Then I was the one who got in trouble!!” My daughter sobbed and sobbed. She was so confused about what she should have done when someone was bullying her.

You can imagine what happened next.

I talked to the camp counselor (who didn’t think of asking my daughter her side of the story!) and facilitated a reconciliation between the two girls.

Needless to say, Pia didn’t need to be put into detention.

I learned a valuable life lesson that day: there are two sides to every story.

If I had barged into the scene angry and humiliated, Pia would have felt attacked and more misunderstood and she wouldn’t have trusted me enough to tell me what really happened.

That’s not to say that every time your child does something “wrong” it will be a misunderstanding or an honest mistake.

But there will be an unmet need causing their behavior.

If you can get their side of the story, you’ll find ways to resolve the situation and move forward.

As parents, it’s our duty to put aside our own feelings of shame about what other people might think and always, always listen to our children.

Love and Blessings,


P.S. The wise Brené Brown says “shame cannot survive being spoken.” If you’ve got shame or guilt you need to unburden, check out our private Facebook group to find a safe environment of other parents ready to support you.

Body Language

Why Being Your Child’s Best Friend Doesn’t Work

Has your home turned into a warzone? For many parents, after a long year of being stuck indoors—sharing the same space for work, school, home, and recreation—the pressure may have built to a boiling point. Add in the normal worry and stress many families feel on a day-to-day basis, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

When a disagreement hits the boiling point, things get ugly. There’s screaming, crying, swearing . . . and that’s just the parents. And after it’s all over, we often feel ashamed and regretful. It’s only then that we remember we’re supposed to be the adults in the room.

That “out of control” feeling isn’t your fault. In the moment, when your child’s just done something that drives you nuts, your emotions get the best of you. But when you’re running hot, you don’t act like the parent you want to be. And that’s because you may not have the right tools to be able to respond instead of react.

First, take a breath. Find some compassion for yourself, and forgive yourself for that behavior you’re not proud of. None of us are perfect. When you show kindness to yourself, you model that kindness for your children, too.

Then, follow this 3-Step ACTion Plan next time you find a discussion going south. It can help you prevent a difficult situation from accelerating into a full-fledged meltdown.

1. Acknowledge your kid’s feelings and needs.

Children often have a hard time naming the emotions that they’re feeling. Ask them leading and compassionate questions. If your kids are fighting over a toy, for example, ask: “Are you feeling angry that your sister took your toy without permission?” Their answer will help you understand their response and give clues about how to remedy the situation.

2. Communicate.
Once you validate their feelings and identify the unmet needs that drive the feeling, check in with them to be sure they feel understood before switching to wanting to share your perspective and expecting them to hear you. Failing to do this may result in them tuning you out!  We all want to turn it into a teachable moment and explain why certain behaviors are not acceptable with more depth than “Because I said so.” Knowing that the teachable moment is NOT at the time of the issue is VERY important. It is okay to explain to your child that hitting their sibling is hurtful and doesn’t fix the problem of the swiped toy—or resolve the anger they’re feeling.  AND you get that it would really help them to practice some skills before these kinds of flashpoints occur so that there is more choice for them to respond differently. My experience is that the key is to teach the skills for self-regulation in heated situations more than lecturing them; most kids know already that hitting isn’t okay. The issue is more about tools for impulse control when they are experiencing high emotion.

3. Target another option.

Ask your child to help identify a solution to the problem at hand. Maybe your children can agree to take turns sharing a favorite toy. If you catch your teenager sneaking out to meet their friends, maybe you help them find a safe space for a socially distant hangout instead of sending them straight to their room. The goal is to build your child’s ability to objectively problem-solve and to let them know that the two of you are on the same team. Solo problem-solving is rarely effective. Collaboration sets the tone for your child to feel that you’re invested in them meeting their needs and want to find a solution that meets your needs too—but not at their expense of getting to meet theirs.

Learning to defuse disagreements is challenging, and it requires commitment and effort to overcome your own emotional response. But the 3-Step ACTion plan can help both parents and children learn to treat each other with love and respect.

If you’re looking for more tips on maintaining a peaceful household, download my free ebook, 7 Strategies to Keep Your Relationship with Your Kids From Hitting the Boiling Point.

Love and Blessings,


P.S. Check out Conscious Parenting Revolution on Daytime NBC WFLA where we discuss the guidance approach to parenting!


Best Practices Culture Women In Business

‘Twas the Night Before…

‘Twas the night before Christmas,

And all through your home,

Your little ones are stirring,

They won’t leave each other alone!

You went the extra mile

To bring holiday joy

But it’s not what you pictured

…it’s all about toys!

If that isn’t how the poem goes…it really should be!

A quiet, peaceful Christmas Eve isn’t the reality for many families. Your children have probably consumed copious amounts of sugar and are low on sleep. It’s not a recipe for success!

Whether you have little ones who are on a sleep strike or refusing to eat anything that isn’t covered in frosting, here’s a quick tip you can use to guide your child without raining on their parade:

“I can tell you’re really excited about Christmas, and it’s great to see how happy you are! And you’ll feel best in the morning if you _____ and _______.”

Remember always to use AND and not BUT to start a conversation that takes both their side and yours into consideration.

Fill in the blanks with: you get a good night’s rest, you eat some veggies, you and your sibling aren’t fighting… adapt this script to whatever situation you find yourself in.

Remember, both you and your child want the holidays to be a time of merriment and memories. You’re on the same team!

My wish for you this Christmas Eve is that you feel confident in your parenting. No matter where you are in your conscious parenting journey, I admire and applaud you.

To set up your 2023 to be the best year ever, I’d like to gift you with 70% off our Ultimate Parenting Toolbox between now and Jan 1st! Just use the code HOLIDAY when checking out to receive this incredible offer. This Conscious Parenting starter kit will help you gain the skills to amplify your parenting wins by responding differently to behavioral challenges.

Merry Christmas 🎁 Happy Hanukkah 🕎

Cheers to you and your family!

Love and Blessings


P.S. Don’t get lost in the image you expect your child to be. Remember to be thankful for who your child is, not who you want them to be. For more on this, check out my tips on The Motherside ABC7 – and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel so you don’t miss out on any other parenting hacks! Happy Thanksgiving!





A Thanksgiving Message About Community

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate!

Parenthood gives us so much to be grateful for every day—even in its most challenging moments. Feeling gratitude is important, especially at this time of year. But at Thanksgiving, I find myself thinking about another core value that ties into this holiday. . .


Thanksgiving is a celebration of our communities, familial or otherwise. We gather to share food and enjoy each other’s company. It’s one of the few holidays that isn’t centered around gifts or greeting cards. Instead, it’s all about togetherness—and, yes, eating yourself into a post-dinner food coma. 😉

As a parent, the concept of community means so much to me. The old saying we’ve all heard holds so much truth: it takes a village to raise a child.

 Building a supportive community is key to conscious parenting. You need people you can rely on who understand your parenting goals and have your children’s best interests in mind.

That’s why we started the Conscious Parenting Revolution Facebook group. In this space, you have the opportunity to meet and interact with like-minded parents who support each other in raising independent, responsible, well-adjusted children.

But community isn’t just important for parents. It’s important for children, too.

Raising your children to build their own community is vital to their success in life.

Community-building begins earlier than you might think. Your child finds a buddy to share crayons with on the first day of kindergarten; they join the local t-ball team. The communities children build for themselves in these formative years have an enormous impact on the kind of people they grow up to be.

I know what you’re probably thinking: “Whoa, Katherine! That sounds like a lot of pressure.”

It doesn’t have to be.

As a conscious parent, you have the tools to help your children build healthy communities that will fulfill and support them as they grow older. . .

When you encourage your child to advocate for their needs, you help them find friends and support systems that can take care of them.

When you build a foundation of trust with your child, you show them how a loving relationship looks and feels so they can seek that out in their other relationships.  

When you encourage your child to be independent, you teach them how to establish and maintain healthy boundaries.

 The little things add up. Trust your gut, and as we navigate this holiday season, remember to demonstrate the value of strong communities to your children. They learn best by example!

Love and Blessings,


P.S. Don’t get lost in the image you expect your child to be. Remember to be thankful for who your child is, not who you want them to be. For more on this, check out my tips on The Motherside ABC7 – and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel so you don’t miss out on any other parenting hacks! Happy Thanksgiving!


Human Resources Parenting Personal Development Skills

5 Mindfulness techniques you can use with your kids

What is mindfulness? If it’s something you have never tried before, it’s a way of focusing your awareness on the present moment. And at the same time, you calmly acknowledge and accept your feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. It’s used as a therapeutic technique. So right now, it’s something that can really help you stay calm as we deal with all the uncertainty around us.

Mindfulness has lots of amazing benefits. From decreasing your stress to improving your mood. It can also help with emotional regulation. And that’s not just for adults. Your child can experience these benefits, as well. However, you are no doubt thinking, ‘Get my kids to sit down and meditate? Are you crazy?’ Well, there are ways you can help your children be mindful. You just have to make it fun.

While your kids don’t have the same stresses as adults, they often don’t connect with their feelings. With all the activities they do and the time they spend on their phones and tablets, they are often mindlessly going through the day. This means the only time they are checking in with themselves is when they have a tantrum or meltdown. And that leads to you being even more stressed out than you were before.

Mindfulness can help your children check in with their emotions and recognize them. Research shows that practicing mindfulness with children helps them increase their focus, decrease stress and anxiety, and can enable positive prosocial behavior. It can also be a great way to connect with your child and find a moment of tranquility. And they can be few and far between right now.

Here are five great ways you can introduce mindfulness to your children. And you will both reap the rewards.

5 Easy Mindfulness Techniques For Your Kids

  1. Breathing exercise

Meditation is essentially about sitting down and focusing on your own breath. What does it feel and sound like? Now your child might struggle with sitting still for longer than a matter of seconds. How do you combat that? You can use colorful pillows and play some soft music to create an atmosphere of calm and love. This will also get them interested. You can ask them to pretend they can smell something really nice, like flowers or a cake. As they take a deep breath in, they can then pretend to blow out candles or a ‘dandelion clock’ as they breathe out. Ask your child to think about their tummy rising and falling. Start by keeping it short, aim for 10. Then you can increase the time.

  1. Notice 5 things around you

When you consciously notice the world around you, it can help bring you back to the present. This is very helpful when you are feeling overwhelmed by stress or emotion. Noticing five things you can see brings you back to the present.

You can turn this into a game for your kids. Sit down with your child wherever you are and explain you want to play the “notice five things” game. Then you call out five things you can see around you, and ask your child to try it too. Then you can explain this can help if they are ever feeling upset. You can also try saying, noticing five things you can hear.

This game brings your child back to the now. It works really effectively if your kids are already relaxed and ready to learn. With regular practice, your child will soon be calling on this tool to help with stress or losing control.

  1. Encourage your child to embrace all their feelings

No matter how hard you try to keep your children calm, they w

ill, at some point, throw a tantrum. Mindfulness can enable them to learn how to accept their feelings without judgement. As a parent, you need to set an example in this.

Of course, if your child is in the middle of the grocery store screaming blue murder, you are just as upset as they are. So easier said than done. But if you try and see past their behavior, acknowledge your reaction, take some deep breaths yourself, that is the first step to calming everything down.=

Don’t try and get them to do meditative breathing while they are throwing a hissy fit. This will not go down well! And it won’t work. Instead, wait until they have calmed down a little. Then talk to them about their feelings, and the unmet needs behind those feelings. You can then do some breathing and discuss how you can both look at solutions for dealing with it the next time. And there will be more than likely, next time!

  1. Drop anchor

In this exercise, you stand across from your child. Stand with your feet firmly on the floor around shoulder-width apart, and show them how to do it. Then demonstrate how to push down through your feet so you can feel the ground steady beneath you. Ask, ‘How do your leg muscles feel when you push down?’

Then ask your child to tune in to different parts of their body

, starting with the head. Ask, “How does it feel?’ You work down through the whole body so your child can feel the weight of gravity connecting them to the earth.

Once you have done that together, ask what they can notice around them. This is essentially a way of linking back to the earth around you and feeling more grounded in the present.

  1. Silence game

The silence game has been practiced in Montessori classrooms around the world for many years. This mindfulness practice asks children to be as quiet as they can. And it’s not just with their voices, it’s with their bodies as well. It’s good to aim for a minute, to begin with, asking kids to be as quiet and still as they can.

When the game ends, speak in a soft voice and ask your kids what they heard or saw while they experienced the quiet. Then ask them to keep that calm, peaceful feeling during their next activity, and if they can for the rest of the day.

In conclusion, these simple games and activities are an excellent way for you and your child to connect differently. They will help them build tools to center themselves when they feel stressed or out of sorts.

Mindfulness is a way you and your child can experience calm to

gether. It will also alleviate those feelings of nervousness and anxiety, which we are all dealing with during the coronavirus.

Don’t approach mindfulness with too many expectations. This means you’re living in the future, and mindfulness is about the present.

But if you encourage your child to embrace these methods, they will also start learning the necessary tools to self-regulate. If you practice regularly, your kids will feel happier and more peaceful. And so will you.

Love and Blessings,

Katherine Sellery

PS: It’s a crazy time of year – the overstimulation, the weather changes, the time off from school. Read my entry on how to introduce structure to your children’s life if you are dealing with chaos. Click on the link here now.


Growth Technology

First Female CTO Of The U.S. Megan Smith Hopes Tech’s History Can Repeat Itself

Megan Smith addressing a gathering of residents of Cheyenne, WY to discuss job opportunities in tech.

American talent is ubiquitous, with entrepreneurial wunderkinds as likely to be born in our heartlands as on our coasts. The problem has been that we’ve done a really unequal job of scouting and scaling it. There are 6 million young people not in school or working, 12 million experienced skilled workers who need to re-train, and 1.5 million veterans who are unemployed or reentering the civilian workforce, all at a time when we have 500,000 open American tech and programming jobs. This matters for more than just the tech sector; who fills these jobs will dictate who sits at the table for many of our key cultural and political decisions over the next generation. Enter Megan Smith and the Tech Jobs Tour. Smith is a former Vice President at Google and the 3rd and first female Chief Technology Officer of the United States. Despite her ever-changing and ever-more-impressive titles, Smith would be the first to tell you she has the same job now she’s always had: evangelist. To watch her work a room is magic, instilling in anyone within earshot both that technology is a large part of our future and that there are no barriers to participation.

Most central to her message, however, is the key insight that is most often lost: not only is inclusivity a part of technology’s future, it was also a seminal part of its past. Ada Lovelace, for example, an English woman born in 1812, was the first computer programmer; Katherine G. Johnson, an African-American woman featured in the Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures, helped put NASA astronauts on the moon and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015; Grace Hopper invented coding itself; in President Obama’s words: “If Edison is light and Wright is flight, Hopper is code”.

History books often overlook and under-tell these stories, opting instead to lionize male inventors; for all the stereotypes of the “brogrammer,” we forget that technology – like most things – was birthed by remarkable women. They forgot to teach you all this in 11th grade. As Smith tells it: “So much of my work…


Growth Health and Wellness Leadership Parenting Personal Development

5 Steps to Ace the School Year

If you’re a parent or caregiver to a school-aged kid, chances are you’ve found yourself learning grammar or long division again — and sometimes, the teacher is on Zoom. And you’re fighting with the technology of uploading your child’s digital work. And trying to run a household. And maybe attempting to work yourself.

While it’s not easy to juggle all those priorities, it’s possible to make the experience a little better for both you and your kids.

The expectations around school and the pressure parents put on their kids can create a lot of stress. Whether your child is co-working with you at the living room table or back in the classroom, these 5 tips will help you both ace the semester:

  1. Discover your child’s learning style.

    Some kids find it easy to work independently while others need activity and collaboration. Find out which learning styles your child responds to best and help shape their experiences accordingly. Independent thinker? Give them time and space to study and work on their own. Collaborative mind? Encourage them to schedule more Zoom sessions with their classmates. Catering to their unique style will help your kid have a more positive experience.

  2. Encourage their hobbies.

    Who says education has to be by the book? Let your kids explore and expand their non-academic skills, like cooking, baking, drawing, or dancing. These skills are just as important as geometry or social studies. What matters is that they find ways to become engaged with something they care about. Their hobbies may change over time, but the ability to dig into an area of interest has lifelong benefits.

  3. 9Use the resources available.

    Look around you: you have a wealth of educational resources online and in your neighborhood. Coordinate a book swap with a classmate or neighbor. Hold biology class outside to look for real-life examples of the concepts your child is learning. Sign up for online guitar lessons (Youtube can teach you to do just about anything these days). Let your own creativity expand the options beyond the school’s lesson plan and the oh-so-many online worksheets.

4. Design a schedule for learning.

Children thrive with some structure in place — adults, too! It’s important that children have a dedicated time and place for school activities. Work with your child to develop their own little study nook in the house, and help them identify the best time for activities like homework and studying. While they may not be able to dictate their entire schedule, your child should definitely have input in this process.

5. Don’t focus on the grades.

Try not to be overly preoccupied with your child’s grades, especially during this wild and crazy year. Becoming too grade obsessed can give a kid the impression that their confidence or self-worth should be tied to competency. We have to constantly remind our children that love is not something they have to earn or acquire by doing well in school or being a “perfect” human. We are worthy of love and belonging simply because we’re alive and breathing. Work to be more forgiving if your child scores lower than expected on a test. And forgive yourself if you feel like a less than perfect teacher. Our children’s achievements are not a reflection of us!

One thing is certain: the school-from-home era has been a learning experience for all of us. Learning always means growth, which gives you and your child the opportunity to deepen your relationship and come together as a team. Besides, not everyone gets a chance to relive their school days. 🙂

If you and your child struggle to talk about school, my free ebook may help. I wrote 7 Strategies to Keep Your Relationship With Your Kids from Hitting the Boiling Point to give every parent the tools they need to improve their communication with their child, especially around hot-button issues like homework and grades. Grab your copy today.

Love and Blessings,


Personal Development Real Estate

Busting the “bad kid” myth once and for all

What’s wrong with these statements?

Spare the rod and spoil the elderly.

Millenials should be seen and not heard.

New Zealanders have got to learn.

If you’re cringing right now, it’s because you know that these statements are unfairly biased and even prejudiced. So why are we okay with using these same phrases to describe our children?

In my TEDx talk, “The Rebellion is Here—We Created it, We Can Solve It,” I deconstruct the generational misconception that children, because of their youth and impressionability, should not be trusted. Subscribing to the belief that kids’ opinions should not be taken seriously leads to disconnection and a lack of trust between parent and child.

When we punish a kid for talking back, what we’re really saying is that their inner voice or feelings are irrelevant. And punishing surface behavior without addressing unmet needs often leads to what Gordon referred to as the Three R’s: Retaliation, Rebellion, and Resentment.

Do you want to build an environment where your child feels like they can tell you the truth 100% of the time? Do you want to teach them that they should never stand down in the face of prejudice, injustice—or even being told by an adult to do something they’re uncomfortable with?

3 Strategies to Let Go of Past Mistakes and Move Forward

Watch my TEDx talk for tips on how to communicate effectively and compassionately with your children, especially when they seem to be acting up. Let them know that they’re not “bad kids” for speaking up.

Love and Blessings,


P.S. Ready to move on from outdated ideas about how children “should” behave? Join our private Facebook group to find a community of parents just like you!

Growth Personal Development

6 tips for transforming power struggles into parent-child collaborations

Hello, Conscious Parent! Welcome to “Dear Katherine,” a Q&A with real-life parents/caregivers. If you’d like to submit a question of your own, email me at katherine@consciousparentingrevolution.com.

Dear Katherine,

I am a mother to a lovely, zany, strong-willed 8-year-old girl. I love her to smithereens, but sometimes it feels like we’re in a constant power struggle. Last weekend she wanted to wear a bathing suit to church. Today, she refused to wear a coat—in the middle of winter! I value her firm sense of self and the vitality of her character, but I don’t want to be caught in a cycle of push and pull. What do I do?


The Struggle is Real

Dear The Struggle is Real,

First, I want to congratulate you on raising such an amazing little girl! A strong-willed child isn’t a “bad” child, but a unique person with special gifts and talents. Their innate sense of self-direction and motivation positions them to become amazing leaders. They’re often vibrant and passionate free-thinkers who aren’t easily deterred by outside pressures.

I, too, have a strong-willed child. My daughter Pia had (and shared!) opinions very early on and I had to learn how to effectively communicate with her and meet her needs.

The Struggle is Real, you wrote that you value your daughter’s vitality and sense of self. That’s wonderful! As parents, it’s our responsibility to encourage a strong will, not break it. You can empower your child’s identity and still keep the peace.

Here are 6 tips for transforming power struggles into parent-child collaborations:

  1. Encourage independent learning.

    Known for being spirited and brave, strong-willed children learn by experience. She wants to ride a bike without your help? Let her. She decided to cut her teddy bear open and sew it back together? Tell her to go for it. (She may cry later, but you’ll be there to comfort her.) As long as she’s not in any real danger, give her the space to test her limits. She’ll be all the wiser for it.

  2. Teach self-direction.

    If there’s one thing strong-willed children crave, it’s being in charge of themselves. Take this opportunity to teach healthy autonomy. Ask her to create her own daily schedule, plotting out blocks of time for activities like school, play, and sleep. Strong-willed kids are quite collaborative when given the freedom to express themselves.

  3. Give choices, not ultimatums.

    If your daughter is anything like mine, she probably hates submitting to a parent’s will just because they said so. Explain to her why she can’t wear her swimsuit to church (swimsuits are for swimming), then give her the choice to pick out another outfit. You can even compromise by allowing her to wear the swimsuit underneath a dress.

  1. Set routines.

    Most strong-willed kids need to be able to predict what happens next. Setting regular routines helps them know what to expect. Collaborate with everyone though so that each person’s feelings and needs are considered when creating the routines and you will save yourself a lot of agony. If others are included in the conversation, then you have avoided all the power struggles because they were a part of the decision making process. No more trying to sneak in another hour of screentime!

  1. Practice positive communication.

    Instead of yelling back when your child is throwing a tantrum (I know it’s tempting), take a deep breath and give them time to wind down before you engage. When everyone’s calmer, ask your child if she can reframe what she needs to say in a more considerate way.

  1. Listen. 

    When a child violently opposes a simple request (e.g. to take a bath), there’s usually a deeper reason why. Sit down and ask her what’s really bothering her. The art is to do that without asking too many questions but really listening. Listening allows you to sense into what the problem is “behind the problem.”  “Seems like something is bothering you” will get you further than a more direct “What is wrong with you?” Finding the real cause of conflict will help you address it at its core.


The Struggle is Real, when your strong-willed child is “acting up,” that’s when she needs you the most. Let her know that power struggles are unnecessary because you’ve got her back and have her best interests at heart. When it’s clear to her that you value her identity just as much as she does, your strong-willed girl will become your best ally. 😉

Love and Blessings,


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