If you missed our first Spotlight blog-be sure to check it out here
This month the Spotlight is on...
Sheena Hill, Owner of Parenting Works
1. How did you get started with your business?
I have always been interested in parenting. I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a different kind of parent than the way I was parented. But my personal passion became the focus of my career when I began working directly with children after college. I would help children learn EQ skills and then they would go home to their parents and it seemed my all my hard work would be undone. So I decided that if I REALLY wanted to help families, I needed to work with parents instead.
I started working in the non-profit world, teaching parenting classes and doing home visits for various agencies and organizations. After working with New Pathways, The Family Tree, and Hopkins Safety Center, I transitioned to private practice 8 years ago when I needed more work-life balance and began homeschooling my oldest child.
2. What are your specialties?
Parenting Works serves parents around the world with concrete tools in responsive parenting and holistic sleep coaching.
In my work with parents, I specialize in helping them understand and manage challenging behavior through mastery of concrete skills in leadership, play, and connection.
Common concerns with which I help parents navigate are aggression, clinginess, resistance, defiance, tantrums, sibling issues, kids with diagnoses of anxiety, sensory processing, or ADHD, and families with a history of trauma (such as adoption). Most importantly, I empower parents to heal their own relational wounds so they can parent in the present!
I exclusively take a developmental approach, so I don't advocate for any behavioral modification which means I help parents move away from rewards and consequences and towards real skills in effective limit setting, play, and emotional support.
Through the lens of development, we can see the root cause of behavior and make necessary changes by addressing the unmet needs and missing skills that prevent children from cooperating and asking for help in ways that are most likely to get them the empathy they are seeking. My work is deeply rooted in neuroscience and how attachment impacts development. I also have extensive training in trauma, so I help parents identify, manage, and minimize the stressors that often get in the way of effective parenting.
3. How does your work provide relief, insight or other benefits to your clientele?
Through coaching, parents gain education on development and specific recommendations on using tools for any parenting concern. Additionally, they receive support as they practice skills and work through the attachment wounds and fears that complicate active parenting. With education and therapeutic support, parents gain confidence in their skills and increased compassion for their children (even at their worst). Most importantly, they gain a deeper understanding of development so they can have realistic expectations and avoid pathologizing normal child behavior. These insights and tools make parenting less triggering and more effective.
4. Do you have any specific information as it pertains to dealing with Covid-19?
In light of quarantine, support for parents is essential and responsive parenting is more important than ever! Children are feeling scared, confused, overwhelmed, and powerless. Parents can help them integrate their big feelings and enhance the experience of felt safety by focusing on relational safety cues like connection, play, and not being afraid of messy emotions. Additionally, they should avoid punishment (which exacerbates stress and reactivity) and expect extra emotional needs. A recording of my recent class on Parenting During the Quarantine is available through The Womb Room website.
See below for graphics about themes in play and external, internal, and relational safety cues.
If you have questions, you can contact Sheena here.