About Melissa

Hi there! It is wonderful to "e-meet" you here :) When I became a mother eight years ago, I could not have imagined the wild, rollercoaster it would be, with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows...

We hit an unexpected "bump in the road" when we went through what we now refer to as "The Undertow". When our son turned four, his behavior went off the rails for a number of valid, understandable reasons... meaning, now we understand them; then, we didn't.

We experienced intense behaviors like hitting, biting and throwing things when our son got upset. There were so many times I thought, this feels scary and stressful now, and he's only four, so what will this be like when he's bigger and stronger!?

 

Thankfully, The Undertow is now in our distant memory. And for me, it sparked a deep dive into self-regulation, the neuroscience of behavior and the science of connection.

This new path has changed everything for us and our parenting experience.  I wish I could say it is perfect - it is not. But it is so much easier, so much more fun and usually calm around here.

Because of the challenges and rewards of this journey,  I am passionate about showing up for other parents who need what I needed for those very challenging years: empathic, judgment-free support, learning and inspiration, and specific strategies designed to meet the needs of my child. 

I believe wholeheartedly that HOW we show up for our child(ren) is far more important than what we do, say or teach... in other words, when we are feeling calm, content, connected - then our children are more likely to as well. 

But... being human is hard, and being a parent is even harder.  And then, of course, being a parent during a global pandemic where everything changes, it's the very definition of HARD! 

Parenting is not for the faint of heart! So how on earth do we move through this wild journey with a zen-like half smile on our face at every turn?

We don't. But when we learn to befriend the body, particularly the nervous system, which is the key to self-regulation, then we can create the conditions for our child to do that as well.

And that is the start to a more peaceful, expansive and joy-filled parenting experience.

About Inner Wisdom Parenting

I provide support for parents who are challenged by their child's behavior. 

I teach and guide parents in a body-informed approach to parenting.  This means, that we focus our attention on what is below the waterline: what is beneath the behavior?

To use the iceberg analogy, this means, we need the right equipment to explore this uncharted territory.  And for our parenting, this means our "equipment" to discover this hidden world includes: 

  • understanding how the body and brain are designed to respond to stress
  • learning the subtle signs of stress behavior vs misbehavior
  • discovering the unique stressors for each child - a lifelong, every-changing process
  • and exploring what is calming and regulating for each unique child, as well as what truly restores their energy while releasing some tension

 

I provide the "map" that helps you see clearly what your child is navigating before, during and after those challenging behaviors, that is directly driving those  behaviors. 

So as parents, our focus shifts from reacting and managing the behaviors to effectively guiding our child through different internal, physiological states. 

Every child, family and their environment, situation is completely unique. So I can't "coach" you on what to do specifically - to make your child do more of some things and less of other things. I wish I could!  

We need to go beneath the behaviors, to address the root causes of their behavior.  That is something we can only discover together, based on your expertise and knowledge of your child and their life experiences, and my expertise in self-regulation. 

A large study from the Zero to Three organization found that: 

"63% of parents feel skeptical of people who give parenting advice and recommendations if they don't know their child and their situation specifically." 

Exactly.

The Underlying Philosophy of
Inner Wisdom Parenting:

Lastly... the entire philosophy of Inner Wisdom Parenting can be summed up, with this phrase that my late father shared with me, when I was stressing about my parenting.

After listening to my rant about reading so many  books to "figure it out", and not knowing what I'm doing,  he looked at me and said, "Oh, honey, you try, and you love them."

That's it. 

So, deep breath. It really is that simple.

You try, and you love them. 

Professional Training

  • Certified Facilitator of Self-Reg, extensive training in emotional and self-regulation, MEHRIT Centre
  • Befriend your Nervous System, Deb Dana, LCSW, clinician and consultant specializing in complex trauma
  • Beyond Behaviors: Effective Neuroscience-based Tools to Transform Childhood Behaviors, Dr. Mona Delahooke
  • The Power of Self-Compassion, Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer
  • Nurtured Heart Approach, a parenting methodology and philosophy, based on relationship, connection and positive psychology
  • Mindfulness and meditation, Naropa University, Shambhala Center and Johann Robbins, Impermanent Sangha
  • Master's of Science, Counseling and Human Development

Storytime!

Melissa participated in storytelling events about motherhood. 
Please enjoy these short videos, sharing her own stories of motherhood. 

 
 

"You Try, and You Love Them"

"The Undertow"