Thoughts from the Boulder Child Whisperer
I stumbled upon Suzy, AKA the Boulder Child Whisperer, a couple of years ago when I needed extra parenting help with my own kiddos. I wasn’t sure where to turn, and Google directed me to her website.
I loved that she is a boy mom (although since she taught public school for years, she has plenty of experience with all sorts of kids from all sorts of backgrounds). I loved that she does phone appointment (easy scheduling!). I also loved that she offers a consultation to help determine if she’d be a good fit.
And she was a great fit for my family. She gave me great parenting tips to help me bring out the best in my kids. And the tips she gave were very concrete, which meant I could actually use them. And it was really nice, comforting, and reassuring to have an outsider who is an expert in kids offer insight and support.
Last fall, I photographed Suzy and her family. Instead of just sharing these photos with you, I thought it would be far more helpful and fun to share some of her thoughts on parenting and on parenting resources in the Boulder area.
The Boulder Child Whisperer
How does one earn the title of Boulder Child Whisperer? Suzy was a school teacher for over 20 years. After having kiddos, she wanted to work from home. Since she had the skills, voila! The Boulder Child Whisperer came into being.
I asked who could benefit from talking with her. Suzy replies, “I love to work with any family who wants to increase their joy of parenting. I have had a lot of clients who are great parents and just want to take their parenting to the next level. I have also had a number of parents who are at the end of their rope and want some guidance to get back on track.” I have to say, our meetings left me feeling hopeful and excited to be a parent.
Suzy works with kids from birth to age 6. Her masters degree in Early Childhood Education focused on that range, and she spent her years teaching with that age group.
I asked Suzy to share a favorite parenting tip. Pinning just one down was difficult, but she said, “Have your kid overhear you say something good about them- (it) changes behavior instantly.”
For sleep? She recommends starting a routine and sticking with it (she helped my family come up with an exact bedtime routine).
For connection? “Practice gratitude either by yourself (3 things that you appreciate about your child every night before going to bed) or with your child (3 things that you appreciate and are grateful for),” says Suzy.
And the most important tip for creating better behavior? “Have a family dinner!”
I asked Suzy about sibling rivalry. She responded, “Every parent who has more than one child knows that both children are drastically different…so don’t strive for equality, strive for equity. What does that mean? It means that your children will have different needs and so you give them different things to meet their needs. Equality is giving both children the same amount of water even if one child isn’t thirsty and one is totally dehydrated. Equity is giving the less thirsty child the water that they need and the more thirsty child the water that they need. Then once everyone’s needs are met, there will be less sibling rivalry.”
And she goes on to say, “Along those lines, talk about how the family takes care of each other. Constantly give examples of how the children take care of each other while also pointing out how mama and papa are taking care of each other and the family. This builds cohesiveness and the feeling of security.” I love this!
Suzy shares a story that still makes her heart swell, “I…have the letter from (a) mom (and client) on my website since it means so much to me. This is a mom who I worked with for over a year because she had so many conflicts with her son. She also had a daughter who was so easy, so she couldn’t understand why her son pushed her buttons all of the time. We met about twice a month, and things would improve for a week or two, and then backslide. One night after we had talked, she had a dream where she was asked if she wanted to trade in her son for another child. She wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. Then the people said that she would have to give up all of her memories of her son if she decided to go through with it. At the end of the dream she realized that she didn’t want to lose any part of her time with him. She realized that the challenges were part of the journey and she woke up crying and more appreciative of her son. She immediately emailed me and her email sent me to tears.”
Parenting Resources and Service Details
When I asked Suzy her favorite Boulder parenting resource, she said, “…hands-down, Boulder Rock’n Moms. I have learned so much about parenting and about Boulder from that group that I can’t even believe.” Boulder Rock’n Moms is a Yahoo Group–you need to request to join to access information about local events, businesses, education, items for sale, and so much more.
“My favorite places in Boulder to explore with kiddos are flat places with water. There are so many that I won’t be able to mention them all, but at the top are the Bobolink trail, Wonderland Lake, Boulder Reservoir, Sawhill ponds and almost anywhere along Boulder Creek,” says Suzy. I agree with these, and my family also enjoys hanging out at Buckingham Park up Left Hand Canyon as well as Union Reservoir, although that is in Longmont.
If you are interested in hiring Suzy for parenting help, she usually does phone consults, which can be done almost anytime and anywhere. The first 30 minutes are free, so you can give it a try without any cost or commitment. She also does home visits for very specific situations (bedtime troubles, certain transitions throughout the day), although if someone just wants a home visit, she will do them.
To contact Suzy, visit the Boulder Child Whisperer website.
I hope you enjoyed this information about Suzy/the Boulder Child Whisperer/parenting. If you have any questions, ask away in the comments. I can share them with Suzy to get your answers!