I’ve been asked to write a parenting advice column. It’s harder than you think.

Oh, I can observe and listen and help moms and dads get further down the road they want to be on by supporting them to see their vision, offering insight into what is going on developmentally, and encouraging workable strategies … but how to boil that down to practical, universal, meaningful, written advice? I’ve decided to frame each answer around with a challenge: BE “something”. I’m sure the best parenting advice is not so much a list of things to do, but encouragement to grow authentically in the ways you want to parent.

Today’s advice to us all? The answer to many of our parent questions? The thing I’d like to tell myself today?

Dear Dr. Dana, 

Happy Mother’s Day – Be grateful.

To be thankful you need to be reflective. You are the grown-up, you have insight and perspective. Look carefully at your children, at your relationships with them, at yourselves.

On the way to gratefulness you will stumble over the bits that are tricky – regrets, hurt, embarrassments, bad habits, and failures. These are a part of your story; just a part.

It is Mother’s Day. Choose to celebrate wholeheartedly. Thank the team you parent with. Appreciate each precious memory. Practice contentment. Count your blessings. Notice the growth. Express your pride in who your children are. Laugh with them.

Be grateful.

Sincerely, Dr. Dana

secret family portrait


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