Solutions for Everyday Life with Children

Welcome!  If you are a parent who wants to have a great relationship with your child now and in the future, you've come to the right place.

As a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Family Counselor with 30+ years of experience, I understand children and I understand families.

Is any of this you?

• You have a child who seems more challenging, quirky, or complicated than other children you know.

• Your child is having sleep problems.

• Your child has challenging ongoing behaviors at home or at school.

• You feel confused about discipline

• Your child is dealing with anxiety or other difficult feelings

Perhaps you have a few parenting questions, or perhaps you have a long list. You aren't looking for a diagnosis. You want expertise, guidance, and support from someone who sees every child as a unique person.

 I meet with families in person in the San Francisco Bay Area and by Skype, Facetime and telephone all over the world.  My approach is flexible to meet your needs. Parents tell me that they see differences after our very first meeting and that a short-term consultation leads to long term results.

Book a consultation at

To read about me in the press:

The East Bay Monthly

UCSF The Science of Caring 



Special Time: the best advice you'll ever get


If I had a magic wand for parents, it would be this: daily special time.


SPECIAL TIME is simple: 15 minutes every day to be alone with your child. It is time alone for a parent and child with NO interruptions.  

 Your child gets to choose any activity that can reasonably fit within 15 minutes. Your child should decide what the activity will be.  It might be a time to play together, or your child might want you to watch while he or she does an activity. 

SPECIAL TIME is a time to be responsive and relaxed—not to teach or even to entertain. The parents’ job is to follow the child’s lead—which is not always easy.

 It works best to use a timer to mark the beginning and end of the 15 minutes.  That way you don’t have to check your watch, and it is the bell that signals time is up.  SPECIAL TIME should not be open ended, because if you change the amount of time each day your child will feel deprived if you have less time some days.  If you want to continue playing past 15 minutes, you tell your child that you have to do something for a few minutes, take a quick break, and then resume play—but it is no longer SPECIAL TIME. 


Every day, if possible. (If you find you are not able to set aside 15 minutes at least five days a week, notice how you are spending other time at home. You might notice that you are spending more than 15 minutes each day nagging!) SPECIAL TIME usually frees up extra time that was lost in conflicts. Parents  often don't realize how many minutes they are spending on activities that can be postponed or even eliminated. 

Two common questions: 

Suppose my child wants to watch TV or play on the computer?

Say no.  Screen time doesn't allow the kind of interaction that SPECIAL TIME is all about.

Suppose my child wants to play a game or do something that takes

longer than 15 minutes?

You can play part of the game or continue it the next day.  If you

change the length of SPECIAL TIME (at least in the beginning) it may seem

negotiable and unpredictable—a set up for conflict instead of fun.



PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend