Jill Sylvester, LMHC

Good Morning!

Are you caring for yourself on all levels in order to be the parent you need to be at the moment?

That’s the first step necessary in setting yourself up for parental success.

You must start the day caring for yourself, and your own soul needs, so that you can be what you need to be for your children.

Please read that sentence again.

That is not selfish. That is not eschewing responsibility.

That is caring so much for your family that you are willing to do what you need to do for yourself in order to set yourself up for success as an effective, loving, mindful and guiding parent.

What does that look like?


Get up early and meditate for a few minutes,


write in a journal,

learn something that stimulates you, inspires you,


get fresh air,

drink your coffee, or chamomile tea, in silence.

Choose one or all of these things and choose them intentionally so that when you start homeschooling, working, driving your kids to school or disciplining them in the day to day, you are doing so mindfully.

When you don’t do these things, I assure you you will be waaaayyy more likely to be irritable,




resentful under the surface,

and entirely not present with your child which is what they desperately need you to be right now.

They need you to be present in order to love and guide them under incredibly difficult and challenging circumstances.

When you show up in the moment you are far better able to laugh, to love, to live fully so that you both look back and say we got through that with humor, with grace, with personal power and ultimately, with peace.

At the end of the day, these are the most important things, no matter what is going on in the world or what we are being challenged with in the day to day chaos of uncertainty.

The most important thing is that we show up to the people we love with as much presence as possible in order to say, I see you and I want you to see me, that I really do care about your well-being through these times, that I understand, and that we will move through this together.

This helps you to parent the way you need to for whatever is thrown your way.

Newsflash: Kids are acting out like crazy- as if they don’t do that on a normal day what with developmental challenges, hormones, peer pressure, social media overwhelm, academic stress, and the like, now adding the challenges of the world as we know it at the moment.

Gear up.

Set yourself up for success so that whatever the moment brings — outbursts, crying, belligerence, opposition — you’ll be ready and prepared.

Maybe you’ll even do so with a smile.

For more on the subject of how to parent challenging kids during challenging times, tune into our weekly podcast HERE!

All good things,


Jill Sylvester is a licensed mental health counselor, author of the Nautilus award winning book,”Trust Your Intuition: 100 Ways to Transform Anxiety and Depression for Stronger Mental Health,” and host of the “Trust Your Intuition Podcast.” She is also the creator of Planting the Seeds, a Mom’s Choice Award winning line of social and emotional tools and curriculum for parents and teachers. Her work has been featured in Well+Good, Bustle, SheKnows, WorkingMother, Parenthood, TeenMentor, and OprahMag.com. For more information, please subscribe at www.jillsylvester.com or like us on Instagram at @Jill_Sylvester or @Plantingtheseedscards.