Heather Stevenson, M.A.
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Basic Principles of Open Heart Parenting
At the heart of Open Heart Parenting are the following beliefs:
- Parents with children of any age will experience more closeness and less conflict in their relationships when everyone’s needs are respected and addressed. I work with parents to establish effective discipline techniques based on mutual respect. This helps children learn to solve problems in a positive and respectful way both inside and outside the family.
- Children of all ages benefit emotionally, intellectually, and socially when allowed to express all their feelings to an attentive parent. I support parents in learning to accept and lovingly listen to their children's hardest feelings, including sadness, anger, and fear.
- The happiest families are those that develop and maintain a strong sense of connection and trust between parents and children, especially through the teen years. I encourage families to do activities that promote closeness, including physical affection and playing together.
Using these principles, I have helped families:
- Decrease power struggles between parents and teenagers
- Develop creative and satisfying problem solving strategies
- Create more loving and effective communication patterns
- Address issues faced by parents who are in recovery from addiction
- Help their children heal from stress and trauma
Issues I work on with parents include:
- How to raise drug-free kids
- Helping children through divorce
- Responding to tears, fears, and tantrums
- Peaceful conflict resolution/positive communication skills
- Discipline without punishments or rewards
- Addressing the reasons for children’s behavior
- Special issues facing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender parents
- Special issues facing parents in recovery from drugs and alcohol