Coaching Corner

Susan Holt’s Coaching Corner

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June 10th, 3:57 pm

Susan Holt's Coaching Corner
Great interview with Ryan Dobson (James's son) on the 7 types of relationships (the Seven "C's"), the importance of getting relational "nutrients" from others to heal, restore and grow, and how to find a Life Team...it's more than God, your spouse and your Labrador! ... See MoreSee Less

May 19th, 5:14 pm

Susan Holt's Coaching Corner
BREATHING IS BECOMING BLASÉ. OH NO! As a parent coach, I’m beginning to see a trend: Mindfulness breathing is getting a bad rap with kids! Parents tell me their children say, “No, I will NOT breathe!” What’s going on with this amazingly effective tool? I think we’ve all done such a good job of saying “Breathe!” to help our kids calm down that we’ve forgotten they can’t hear us when they are in limbic hijack mode. If we demand “Breathe” when our kids are distressed, it’s the same as yelling “Calm Down!” (remember “Serenity Now!” Seinfeld-fans?) and who likes to hear that when we are anything BUT calm? Your child may need to smash up some Play Do or run around the yard! You may find that some emotion coaching is called for to help your child breathe. Try something like “Wow- you seem really mad!” or “You really hated losing that game, didn’t you?” or “You’re angry at your best friend for sending that text. I get that!” Then breathe. Talk. Together. ... See MoreSee Less
BREATHING IS BECOMING BLASÉ.  OH NO! As a parent coach, I’m beginning to see a trend: Mindfulness breathing is getting a bad rap with kids!  Parents tell me their children say, “No, I will NOT breathe!” What’s going on with this amazingly effective tool?   I think we’ve all done such a good job of saying “Breathe!” to help our kids calm down that we’ve forgotten they can’t hear us when they are in limbic hijack mode.  If we demand “Breathe” when our kids are distressed, it’s the same as yelling “Calm Down!” (remember “Serenity Now!” Seinfeld-fans?) and who likes to hear that when we are anything BUT calm?  Your child may need to smash up some Play Do or run around the yard!  You may find that some emotion coaching is called for to help your child breathe. Try something like “Wow- you seem really mad!” or “You really hated losing that game, didn’t you?”  or “You’re angry at your best friend for sending that text.  I get that!”  Then breathe.  Talk.  Together.

May 19th, 5:13 pm

Susan Holt's Coaching Corner
A LOVING BOUNDARY CAN FEEL TERRIBLE NOW, BUT TERRIFIC LATER. I was driving downtown Richmond and found myself really confused. I turned right and a horn blared, long and hard. I was facing another car hood-to-hood on a one-way street, the wrong way. My heart stopped! I felt awful! But that horn was a boundary that saved me and saved the other driver too. If you are being abused in a relationship, or manipulated, or find that your children constantly pull you into power plays, or you are simply in need of a re-set, set a healthy boundary. You can be firm, but respectful. With a child, it’s character-building! With a family member or co-worker -or your boss - it’s affirmation that you want the relationship to be a healthy one. Have the hard talk, get the help, stop the abuse and save yourself, or someone you love. ... See MoreSee Less
A LOVING BOUNDARY CAN FEEL TERRIBLE NOW, BUT TERRIFIC LATER.  I was driving downtown Richmond and found myself really confused.  I turned right and a horn blared, long and hard.  I was facing another car hood-to-hood on a one-way street, the wrong way.  My heart stopped! I felt awful!  But that horn was a boundary that saved me and saved the other driver too.  If you are being abused in a relationship, or manipulated, or find that your children constantly pull you into power plays, or you are simply in need of a re-set, set a healthy boundary.  You can be firm, but respectful.  With a child, it’s character-building!  With a family member or co-worker -or your boss -  it’s affirmation that you want the relationship to be a healthy one.  Have the hard talk, get the help, stop the abuse and save yourself, or someone you love.

May 11th, 11:30 am

Susan Holt's Coaching Corner
This is TOO FUNNY! A light-hearted look at the world of MOMs everywhere! Have a laugh and hug someone who loves you back- mom or not! ... See MoreSee Less
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ANXIOUS? USE THE FORCE! Rene Jain, my favorite anxiety specialist and author of “GoZen!” says Star Wars is really a movie about Mindfulness. “Search your feelings, Luke.” Teach your children (and remind yourself) that all feelings are acceptable, but all behaviors are not. See Jain’s two minute video here, explore her wonderful GoZen! materials, and- I have to say it - MAY the FOURTH be with you! youtu.be/9WdMvkctKEo ... See MoreSee Less
ANXIOUS?  USE THE FORCE! Rene Jain, my favorite anxiety specialist and author of “GoZen!” says Star Wars is really a movie about Mindfulness.  “Search your feelings, Luke.”  Teach your children (and remind yourself)  that all feelings are acceptable, but all behaviors are not. See Jain’s two minute video here, explore her wonderful GoZen! materials, and-  I have to say it - MAY the FOURTH be with you! https://youtu.be/9WdMvkctKEo

April 22nd, 10:12 am

Susan Holt's Coaching Corner
I WAS DROWNING. Or at least I thought I was. I was ten and had been sailing in an ocean bay with a friend for the first time. We had NO idea what we were doing. We ran into – something! - and the mast broke. I fell overboard. As the waves dunked me over and over again, I kicked and swallowed salt water until I saw a strong hand reaching out for me. It was my friend’s father, an experienced sailor and at that time, my savior. I was so relieved that I completely relaxed and held on tightly. I remember being somewhat incredulous and even offended that he yelled at me! What was he saying? “Kick” and “You gotta help me get you into the boat!” Of course I did! One of the Ten Laws of Boundaries (Dr. John Townsend) is “The Law of Activity.” We are grateful for support, wisdom, God’s intervention, but at the same time we need to own our situation and take initiative. Encourage your children: when they feel they are “drowning” with schoolwork, friendships, family troubles, take initiative, work hard, and take ownership of their part so they can get back in the boat- but knowing the whole time that YOUR hand is there, stretched out for them to grasp. ... See MoreSee Less
I WAS DROWNING.  Or at least I thought I was.  I was ten and had been sailing in an ocean bay with a friend for the first time.  We had NO idea what we were doing.  We ran into – something! - and the mast broke.  I fell overboard.  As the waves dunked me over and over again, I kicked and swallowed salt water until I saw a strong hand reaching out for me.  It was my friend’s father, an experienced sailor and at that time, my savior.  I was so relieved that I completely relaxed and held on tightly.  I remember being somewhat incredulous and even offended that he yelled at me!  What was he saying? “Kick” and “You gotta help me get you into the boat!”  Of course I did!  One of the Ten Laws of Boundaries (Dr. John Townsend) is “The Law of Activity.”  We are grateful for support, wisdom, God’s intervention, but at the same time we need to own our situation and take initiative.  Encourage your children:  when they feel they are “drowning” with schoolwork, friendships, family troubles, take initiative, work hard, and take ownership of their part so they can get back in the boat- but knowing the whole time that YOUR hand is there, stretched out for them to grasp.

April 19th, 6:10 pm

Susan Holt's Coaching Corner
I’M SO GLAD MY CHILD WAS BORN WITH SELF-CONTROL” said no parent ever. It’s our job to teach it. But here’s the catch: they learn more from what we DO than what we SAY. Modeling self-control can be hard! But here are some easy ideas: When you want to plan a vacation or upgrade your device, take your time. Teach your child how you will save up for it and EARN it. When you’re angry with your partner, that’s okay, but fight fair. And then show your child how you get some space, or breathe, and calm down. Let him see you resolve the conflict. When your child comes home rejected by her “frenemies,” don’t go after the other kid (or the parents!) Let her know first that you understand that this hurts! Maybe it’s happened to you? And then ask: “How do you want to handle this?” Self-control starts from within…yourself. ... See MoreSee Less
I’M SO GLAD MY CHILD WAS BORN WITH SELF-CONTROL” said no parent ever. It’s our job to teach it.  But here’s the catch:  they learn more from what we DO than what we SAY.  Modeling self-control can be hard! But here are some easy ideas:  When you want to plan a vacation or upgrade your device, take your time.  Teach your child how you will save up for it and EARN it. When you’re angry with your partner, that’s okay, but fight fair. And then show your child how you get some space, or breathe, and calm down. Let him see you resolve the conflict.  When your child comes home rejected by her “frenemies,” don’t go after the other kid (or the parents!)  Let her know first that you understand that this hurts! Maybe it’s happened to you?  And then ask:  “How do you want to handle this?”  Self-control starts from within…yourself.

March 25th, 6:22 pm

Susan Holt's Coaching Corner
PROACTIVE PARENTING TIP: “Mamamamamamamama!” Do you hear this in grocery stores like I do? At home? Our kids need to learn to wait, and I learned this gentle method from one of my beautiful students at Steward School: when her mom is on the phone or with a friend, she touches her arm and waits silently. Mom immediately looks at her, acknowledges her presence, and politely pauses her conversation to take care of her daughter’s question quickly, or tells her she needs to wait longer. The child knows from experience that mom sees her and will tend to her need when she can. No whining and crying needed. By the way, my “teacher” was six years old. ... See MoreSee Less
PROACTIVE PARENTING TIP:  “Mamamamamamamama!” Do you hear this in grocery stores like I do?   At home?  Our kids need to learn to wait, and I learned this gentle method from one of my beautiful students at Steward School:  when her mom is on the phone or with a friend, she touches her arm and waits silently.  Mom immediately looks at her, acknowledges her presence, and politely pauses her conversation to take care of her daughter’s question quickly, or tells her she needs to wait longer.  The child knows from experience that mom sees her and will tend to her need  when she can.  No whining and crying needed.  By the way, my “teacher” was six years old.

March 24th, 4:46 pm

Susan Holt's Coaching Corner
AS LONG AS EVERYTHING GOES EXACTLY LIKE I WANT IT, I’M TOTALLY FLEXIBLE. Yikes! I’m a planner. But I teach families to help their children plan well (Plan A) so they’ll have the CAPACITY and CHARACTER to deal with the unexpected (Plans B- Z). And that’s uncomfortable, but that’s when we grow. My husband and I planned to fly out from Phoenix this morning to finally come home after several days away, but our flight was overbooked! So here we are, spending an unplanned day away, WITHOUT our bags. Plan A has yielded to Plan B. At home, sadly, a dear friend to the Steward School has unexpectedly passed away. How can we possibly have the capacity for this? We will stop and talk with our friends, and with our children. We will show them how to take some unexpected time to feel the feelings, share the heartache, and celebrate the memory of this person, now in heaven. And out of the unexpected will come growth in character and capacity, to be resilient for the next unexpected thing to come our way. ... See MoreSee Less
AS LONG AS EVERYTHING GOES EXACTLY LIKE I WANT IT, I’M TOTALLY FLEXIBLE.  Yikes!  I’m a planner.  But I teach families to help their children plan well (Plan A) so they’ll have the CAPACITY and CHARACTER to deal with the unexpected (Plans B- Z).   And that’s uncomfortable, but that’s when we grow.  My husband and I planned to fly out from Phoenix this morning to finally come home after several days away, but our flight was overbooked!  So here we are, spending an unplanned day away, WITHOUT our bags.  Plan A has yielded to Plan B.  At home, sadly, a dear friend to the Steward School has unexpectedly passed away.  How can we possibly have the capacity for this?  We will stop and talk with our friends, and with our children. We will show them how to take some unexpected time to feel the feelings, share the heartache, and celebrate the memory of this person, now in heaven.  And out of the unexpected will come growth in character and capacity, to be resilient for the next unexpected thing to come our way.

March 16th, 12:13 am

Susan Holt's Coaching Corner
HOW WERE YOU TAUGHT TO HANDLE LOSS? Think positive. Be strong. Suck it up, Buttercup. Yesterday, my father-in-law passed on. He was much-loved and had provided a warm and stable home to two adopted boys, my husband and his brother. Like a tuning fork, his passing struck a tone that resonated with the other recent griefs in my life: the passing of my mom and my dad. In contrast to these isolating ways to recover from loss, I’ve learned that experiencing grief is God’s way of helping us heal and move “through.” And we do that best in relationship. Our pastor, Nelson, came to visit my husband and me, and helped us enter into the sadness, together. We also remembered that death has no “sting.” No victory. It is just the next step into a new and beautiful life where we will see them again. Until then, there will be loss, but in community we’ll find comfort and the way through. ... See MoreSee Less
HOW WERE YOU TAUGHT TO HANDLE LOSS?  Think positive.  Be strong. Suck it up, Buttercup.  Yesterday, my father-in-law passed on.  He was much-loved and had provided a warm and stable home to two adopted boys, my husband and his brother.   Like a tuning fork, his passing struck a tone that resonated with the other recent griefs in my life:  the passing of my mom and my dad. In contrast to these isolating ways to recover from loss, I’ve learned that experiencing grief is God’s way of helping us heal and move “through.” And we do that best in relationship.  Our pastor, Nelson, came to visit my husband and me, and helped us enter into the sadness, together.  We also remembered that death has no “sting.”  No victory.  It is just the next step into a new and beautiful life where we will see them again.  Until then, there will be loss, but in community we’ll find comfort and the way through.

March 15th, 3:47 pm

Susan Holt's Coaching Corner
Here's Face Book Live workshop on "Raising a Resilient Middle Schooler." We had a blast! Contact me at susan@susanholtcoaching.com for handouts, consults and workshops. Thank you Holman Middle School for hosting and Cameron K Gallagher Foundation for sharing the presentation with me! You rock! ... See MoreSee Less

March 7th, 11:48 am

Susan Holt's Coaching Corner
Relationship Foundation is offering an AWESOME opportunity at Byrd Theater - let's get all the insight we can on helping our relationships improve and be healthier! Come join us! ... See MoreSee Less

March 4th, 9:26 pm

Susan Holt's Coaching Corner
TRY YOUR BEST TO MAKE GOODNESS ATTRACTIVE. Yes, it looks wimpy. It feels like it’s much more important to “teach someone a lesson!” doesn’t it? Does that help our anxiety? Our children’s character? Strangers who might be helped by a little self-control? It’s hard to go counter-cultural! I recently watched a black sedan sweep into a parking space that a red car was waiting for. WOW! The red car driver leaned on his horn so hard it shattered the beautiful Saturday morning around all of us. But that wasn’t enough. He then yelled at the top of his voice so that EVERYONE could hear: “What did you think I was waiting for, you ***?” When the first driver got out of his car, I thought I was going to see a fist fight, but he employed a hand signal instead and scuttled away. I felt bad, I worried about what little ones saw and heard, and I imagine they both felt awful and angry for hours! “Try your best to make goodness attractive. That’s one of the toughest assignments you’ll ever be given,” comes from the late Fred Rogers. Wouldn’t a bit of goodness, forgiveness, or patience have been a balm to everyone’s soul that morning? ... See MoreSee Less
TRY YOUR BEST TO MAKE GOODNESS ATTRACTIVE.  Yes, it looks wimpy.  It feels like it’s much more important to “teach someone a lesson!” doesn’t it? Does that help our anxiety?  Our children’s character?  Strangers who might be helped by a little self-control?  It’s hard to go counter-cultural!  I recently watched a black sedan sweep into a parking space that a red car was waiting for.  WOW!  The red car driver leaned on his horn so hard it shattered the beautiful Saturday morning around all of us.  But that wasn’t enough.  He then yelled at the top of his voice so that EVERYONE could hear:  “What did you think I was waiting for, you ***?”  When the first driver got out of his car, I thought I was going to see a fist fight, but he employed a hand signal instead and scuttled away.  I felt bad, I worried about what little ones saw and heard, and I imagine they both felt awful and angry for hours! “Try your best to make goodness attractive.  That’s one of the toughest assignments you’ll ever be given,” comes from the late Fred Rogers. Wouldn’t a bit of goodness, forgiveness, or patience have been a balm to everyone’s soul that morning?

February 20th, 3:22 pm

Susan Holt's Coaching Corner
SAVE the DATE!
Are you a parent or caregiver with questions? You're not alone! Everyday Parenting Solutions is here to provide answers to those tough parenting challenges about children of any age. Our FREE panel discussion is Wednesday, April 10. Choose from either a morning or evening session. See the ad below and stay tuned for registration to begin SOON!
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SAVE the DATE!  
Are you a parent or caregiver with questions?  Youre not alone!  Everyday Parenting Solutions is here to provide answers to those tough parenting challenges about children of any age.  Our FREE panel discussion is Wednesday, April 10.  Choose from either a morning or evening session.  See the ad below and stay tuned for registration to begin SOON!

February 5th, 5:09 pm

Susan Holt's Coaching Corner
DETOX AT DINNER! Did you know dinner isn’t about the food? It’s about Relationship! I do a lot of family coaching around the impact – good and bad- of technology today. Make sure your family experiences Device Free times and Device Free Spaces. The easiest time to agree on is Dinnertime! To kick it off, put a rose in the middle of the table and ask “What were your roses today? What were your thorns?” Make sure YOU take a turn too and MODEL EMOTIONAL HONESTY. Own your wins and your fails. Keep the relationship-building and the love going strong in your family. ... See MoreSee Less

January 30th, 6:27 am

Susan Holt's Coaching Corner
THE MATH GOES LIKE THIS: You didn’t get the job. Your child lost it in the grocery store, again. You found out your sister is sick. Really sick. Your disappointment, frustration, anger or hurt is at a “10.” Share it with a friend or loved one or pray about it if you’re a praying person, on your knees, and your overwhelming emotion can be cut in HALF, descending to a manageable “5.” It doesn’t go away. You own it. But you named it and took it somewhere and started unpacking it. I didn’t do that last night. And I woke up with a knot in my stomach. So today will be different. I’ll be honest with myself and my friend and my God. FIND THE JOY AGAIN. IT’S AMAZING, MATH. ... See MoreSee Less
THE MATH GOES LIKE THIS:  You didn’t get the job.  Your child lost it in the grocery store, again.  You found out your sister is sick.  Really sick.  Your disappointment, frustration, anger or hurt is at a “10.”  Share it with a friend or loved one or pray about it if you’re a praying person, on your knees, and your overwhelming emotion can be cut in HALF, descending to a manageable “5.”  It doesn’t go away. You own it.  But you named it and took it somewhere and started unpacking it.  I didn’t do that last night.  And I woke up with a knot in my stomach.  So today will be different. I’ll be honest with myself and my friend and my God.  FIND THE JOY AGAIN.  IT’S AMAZING, MATH.

January 27th, 4:18 pm

Susan Holt's Coaching Corner
What’s your most dangerous weapon? Your tongue. Words can cut so deeply that the wound never fully heals. Can you remember a time when that happened to you? It certainly has happened to me, too. So begin to tame your tongue with these tips: 1) Own your response to the problem. It means starting your sentence with “I” instead of “you” (and no, NOT “I think that YOU…”). 2) Check your tone. If it’s gentle, warm and empathetic, your tone will calm not only their nerves, but your own. 3) PRACTICE your words with someone else before you use them. Be open to advice. And finally, 4) Be willing to learn: are you gaining some level of satisfaction, some empowerment, from using harsh words yourself? Use your words to talk about it with someone and put down your weapon. ... See MoreSee Less
What’s your most dangerous weapon? Your tongue.  Words can cut so deeply that the wound never fully heals.  Can you remember a time when that happened to you?  It certainly has happened to me, too.  So begin to tame your tongue with these tips:  1) Own your response to the problem.  It means starting your sentence with “I” instead of “you” (and no, NOT “I think that YOU…”).  2)  Check your tone.  If it’s gentle, warm and empathetic, your tone will calm not only their nerves, but your own.  3) PRACTICE your words with someone else before you use them.  Be open to advice. And finally, 4) Be willing to learn:  are you gaining some level of satisfaction, some empowerment, from using harsh words yourself?  Use your words to talk about it with someone and put down your weapon.

January 24th, 6:38 am

Susan Holt's Coaching Corner
Children are resilient…aren’t they? I just learned from counselor and author Diane Langberg that perhaps the best word is MALLEABLE. Rather than “bounce back,” children of trauma actually take on a NEW SHAPE, one that allows them to deal with real difficulty such as emotional and physical abuse, poverty, sadness, mental challenges. I know it’s hard at times, but let’s accept and love our children in the shape they are in, not what we wish they would be. Our empathy and joy for them is crucial so they can feel safe and begin to heal. Then they can take on a healthier “shape” that fits this better and happier world that YOU are in, with them. ... See MoreSee Less
Children are resilient…aren’t they? I just learned from counselor and author Diane Langberg that perhaps the best word is MALLEABLE.  Rather than “bounce back,” children of trauma actually take on a NEW SHAPE, one that allows them to deal with real difficulty such as emotional and physical abuse, poverty, sadness, mental challenges.  I know it’s hard at times, but let’s accept and love our children in the shape they are in, not what we wish they would be.  Our empathy and joy for them is crucial so they can feel safe and begin to heal.   Then they can take on a healthier “shape” that fits this better and happier world that YOU are in, with them.

January 14th, 5:18 pm

Susan Holt's Coaching Corner
CAN YOU METABOLIZE NEGATIVE INPUT? This is a question my psychologist brother asked me. When you receive a criticism, or something goes way out of whack, what do you do with it? Does it roll around inside you and drive you nuts? Or can you break it down into “what hurts and makes me sad or angry” and “what I learned?” Should you metabolize good things too? Absolutely! When someone affirms you, or compliments you, TAKE IT IN. Let their words and sincere appreciation become part of how you see yourself. Give yourself grace to become just a tad more confident. We need to metabolize the things that come at us day by day and hour by hour. My hope is that you, kind reader, will metabolize this as well. ... See MoreSee Less
CAN YOU METABOLIZE NEGATIVE INPUT?  This is a question my psychologist brother asked me. When you receive a criticism, or something goes way out of whack, what do you do with it?  Does it roll around inside you and drive you nuts? Or can you break it down into “what hurts and makes me sad or angry” and “what I learned?”  Should you metabolize good things too?  Absolutely!  When someone affirms you, or compliments you, TAKE IT IN.  Let their words and sincere appreciation become part of how you see yourself.  Give yourself grace to become just a tad more confident.  We need to metabolize the things that come at us day by day and hour by hour.  My hope is that you, kind reader, will metabolize this as well.

January 11th, 6:52 am

Susan Holt's Coaching Corner
EMPOWERED PARENTING TIP: You are your child’s emotional mirror. The concept of equilibrium says that if we yell, our kids will yell back. But if we whisper, stay calm, and listen to how our kids are feeling in the moment, over time our kids will do the same. Responding to our human need to belong, our kids will find equilibrium with the culture of our family, our style, and tone of communication with them. So find a source of peace, an outlet, a friend or partner that can help you increase your bandwidth so you connect with your kids in the way you want to see reflected back to you. And enjoy the beauty of being a parent. ... See MoreSee Less

January 7th, 8:43 am

Susan Holt's Coaching Corner
I’ve been reading Out of the Silent Planet by CS Lewis. The allegory that gives me hope this morning, and I would pass on to my friends and colleagues, is this: Earth, like all worlds, floats in heaven. God is not “here” as we are here. We must drop out of heaven into our world. For God, the millions of worlds He created are places in His heaven. Even though we cannot truly understand this, it is enough to know that He and His angels are even now in heaven, and around us too, filling the space between us and our challenges, our pain and sharing our joy. I hope that perspective lifts you up as you begin your day.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfyiHhJPDY0
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January 4th, 9:24 am

Susan Holt's Coaching Corner
A Proactive Parenting Tip: MY CHILD IS SHY…” We say these words as our child hides behind our legs. I understand that parents hope this affirms their child, but what it actually does is gives him a label to hide behind. Instead, teach your child AHEAD of time how to greet others. Have fun with role plays, or make up stories about who he or she might meet and how he will manage the interaction with ease! Don’t rescue…empower with tools for life. Your children will be glad you did! 💙 ... See MoreSee Less
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