Got gunk?

Dear fellow parent,

Along with the usual gushing river of developments and details that we parents have to track all the time, these days there’s lots more pressing information coming at us–heavy duty difficult information, some of it calling for action. Do you feel overly full yet? Is your system full of gunk from all this? Is it making things a little harder at home?

You’ve probably noticed that our kids come to US to process and try to make sense of what’s happening for them in their lives. But when our adult systems get overloaded with thoughts, information, feelings and stress, we JUST CAN’T help our kids with what’s on their plates.

In order to support our kids to do their own learning, healing, and developing in an increasingly complex world, we parents have to have good practices in place to help us “metabolize” the stuff piling up on our heads and hearts.  Meaning, we need practices that help us

  1. take in big, charged chunks of information and/or life experience,
  2. absorb the learning or “nutrition” from the experience,/li>
  3. release whatever residue doesn’t serve us, and
  4. arrive at “right action” (if there is indeed a next step to take).

I have three primary strategies I turn to when I need to de-gunk: #1 Listening Partnerships, #2 Emotional Freedom Technique, and #3 Junk Journaling. To learn more about #1, read below. More about #2 and #3 will arrive in your inbox tomorrow and the next day.

Have you ever tried any of these? Do you have your own strategies? How do you do it–how do you metabolize?

All my heart,


de-Gunk Strategy # 1: Listening Partnerships

1. Listening Partnerships.

This practice has been an absolute lifeline for me through my years of parenting. I first learned this simple practice of exchanging “listening time” with other parents from Patty Wipfler of Hand-in-Hand Parenting (Thank you, Patty! Almost ten years later, I still use this tool nearly every day!).

Since I started using this practice as my own lifeline, I have since taught hundreds of parents to listen to one another with great success.

Listening Partnerships are a great relief for us as parents of young children because we often wind up feeling like the “dumping ground” for all our kids’ biggest upsets and struggles. This is actually a good thing! It’s part of our JOB to help our kids “feel felt” while they experience their upset, while simultaneously holding reasonable limits so that no one gets hurt and nothing gets broken. This is easier said than done though, and it’s nearly impossible to listen to our kids when we are chock full of our own thoughts and feelings.

Listening partnerships carve out the space in us to be able to turn and offer a similar safe spot for our kids. So how do you do a listening partnership? Here’s a little video Niels and I made to help people learn this simple practice.

If you like the idea of finding a Listening Partner but you don’t know who to do it with, feel free to email me and let me know of your interest. Niels and I are brainstorming new ways to help parents get connected to Listening Partners and we’d love to hear of your interest so we can follow up with you.


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