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Any parent can become a better parent.

Westview Family Services has been serving parents by regularly posting blog articles that help parents think about ways they can become better parents. To help parents more easily find those posts, we’ve gathered those articles together on this page.

Sometimes growing as a parent requires us to stop doing things that experience has proven don’t work. Some of the best parenting practices are counter-intuitive, and so we’ve worked in these posts to explain how to do them and why they work. We hope they help you become a better parent.

Becoming a better parent posts . . .

Mindfulness – One of the most powerful—yet overlooked—parenting tools is mindfulness. Mindfulness is more than “paying attention.” Mindfulness is a powerful way for parents to get to the root of their child’s behavior.

Back to school – It’s that time of year when families face “back to school” challenges. Those challenges are even more intense this year because of Covid-19. School administrations are developing plans to address the health and safety of our children and school staff this year.

Understanding early trauma – All parents need to understand trauma and how it might affect their children. Most of us think of trauma as a form of physical harm, such as a traumatic injury or physical abuse, which can have a tremendous effect on the brain (post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, etc.) There is another form of trauma that affects brain development during pregnancy and childbirth which is a form of physical trauma that affects the development of the child’s brain.

Trouble shared – We trust the old saying, “Trouble shared is trouble halved.” Take a minute and think about that statement. Have we thought about the power of those words if applied to our relationships with our children? Do we parents take the time to hear our children’s troubles?

Connecting through play – Sometimes parents can overlock the potential of playtime with their children. Instead, set your to-do list aside for a few moments and play with your children.

The five dimensions of trauma – Most of us are not aware of all the ways that complex trauma can affect a person. Trauma is no respecter of persons. Children from all socio-economic backgrounds can experience trauma. When it enters the lives of children, complex trauma can change their entire being.

Time in vs. time out – Research tells us that children learn to regulate their emotions and behaviors through connection and relationships. A time in is a better approach to correction that empowers a child to learn to self-regulate while the parent is present.

The IDEAL response – An important part of the TBRI method is the IDEAL Response. IDEAL contains an acronym that helps parents remember how to respond to their child’s behavior.

Holiday tips and reminders – The holidays are a time when we are all focused on getting ready for buying gifts, family visits, and making the holidays a special time. This is a stressful time for everyone, especially for your children. I would like to share a few tips and reminders that will help make the holidays go a little smoother.

Transitions – Transitions fall into two categories, life transitions, and daily transitions.

Rituals – A family ritual is a practice that is planned for a purpose. A key purpose for rituals is to strengthen the bond of family. Rituals create a time of intimacy, emotion, and connection. Through connection, you can develop a stronger relationship of trust and felt safety with children.

Discipline or punishment? – How we handle our children’s behavior affects our ability to communicate with them. The language we use is important. For example, we often use the words discipline and punishment as if they meant the same thing. Really, though, they represent very different ways of parenting.

Coping with social media – God has given us the responsibility to guide our children, even though this world is very different than the world we had to navigate as children. They live in the age of electronics and social media.

An Advent Calendar – Following the Advent calendar could be a great tradition to start with your family. Advent is the period beginning four Sundays and weeks before Christmas and it celebrates the coming of Jesus into our world.

“Do as I say, not as I do” – All parents have had moments with their children where it becomes obvious that our behavior is the problem.  What was your response at that moment? Was it something your child heard you say or something you did?

Parents, it’s ok to . . . – Our relationship with our children is one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of our lives. Becoming a parent was one of the best things to happen in my life, but being a parent is difficult. We get tired, which can lead us to make poor choices when it comes to disciplining our children.

It’s ok to . . . Part 2 – We have all had to adjust our lives as parents, and I know it has been challenging. We will continue exploring ideas that come from the “Parents. It’s OK to” meme that our friends from Empowered to Connect posted on Facebook. (

It’s ok to . . . Part 3 – These times are challenging for parents. We tend to push our needs to the back burner so we can be there for our children but is not the best way to deal with our lives. Let’s address our needs by looking at the “Parents. It’s ok to . . .” ideas from our friends at Empowered to Connect (

Meet the Need – Our goal for parents is for you to know it is ok to take time for yourselves and meet your own needs. Meeting your needs empowers you with the energy and the healthy mindset to respond to your children more positively. This is important because the quality of our responses to our children can affect our relationship with them. The goal for all parents should be to grow a healthy, loving relationship with their children.

Parent versus Friend – By providing only the best and avoiding saying “no”, you risk establishing a friendship relationship and not a parental relationship with your child. Then, when you have to say “no”, your child will exhibit challenging behaviors.

Expectations – We all have expectations for ourselves, coworkers, teachers, and even our children. It is a part of who we are as human beings. When our child arrived in this world, we started developing expectations for our child. We as parents want our children to excel in everything they do, and we tend to focus on our expectations and not the expectations they have set for themselves.

What kinds of educational opportunities does Westview provide?

  • The Connected Parent & Child™ – In four interactive sessions, Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI®) Practitioners use video and discussion to help every parent become more self-aware and better equipped. The information in these sessions doesn’t make parenting easy, but it can make it wise and relationship-building. Instructors, Josh Birney, Dr. Ron Bruner, Terry Owens, Chase Thompson.
  • An Overview of TBRI® for Educators – A short course for educators promoting successful interaction with at-risk children. Instructors, Josh Birney and Terry Owens.
  • TBRI® in Depth – Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®), a holistic model developed by Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross of TCU, has achieved worldwide recognition as a leading evidence-based practice for working with children. Westview began working with TBRI early in its history; today we keep growing with the program. Westview currently has three TBRI practitioners on its team; all Westview team members (including office staff) are TBRI trained and caregivers receive ongoing training in TBRI. See TBRI. Instructors, Josh Birney, Dr. Ron Bruner, Terry Owens, Chase Thompson.
  • Youth Thrive™ – Participants learn about the protective and promotive factors identified in The Center for the Study of Social Policy’s Youth Thrive™ framework. These concepts support healthy development and well-being for youth. Participants will also learn ways adults can build capacity for healthy development by providing strength-based support and positive interactions and experiences. Instructor, Dr. Ron Bruner.
  • Managing Aggressive Behavior – A crisis management program that focuses on prevention while teaching the physical and non-physical intervention skills you need to keep staff and clients safe. Instructor, Josh Birney.