Meet Karen and her girls!
Karen worked with Susan for 11 months in one-on-one parent coaching. In addition Karen participated in two of Susan’s group coaching programs; “The 7 Secrets to Powerful Parenting” and “The Powerful Parents Family Leadership Training Program”.
The reason I contacted you was because my life felt so out of control, from the kids to daily chores. I was depressed on top of all of that becasue of the death of my husband. I didn’t know where my life was supposed to go after that and how was I suppsed to raise 2 daughters alone! But after talking to you on a weekly basis you helped build my confidence in my parenting skills and gave me lots of new and better ways to parent.
The major problem with Jordin was the back talk and disrespect toward Jenna. After staying calm and being a robot it helped so much with her. She still has her moments but they are no where near what they used to be. Jenna’s biggest thing was telling me no and throwing temper tantrums. 1-2-3 and time out helped the most with her. Also the cards we made to help her learn how to clean her room was a HUGE skill that you taught me and her. As for me, you gave me the support i needed to go back to school. I now have more confidence in what I can do as a person and a parent. Thank You so much for everything you have done for me and my family!
Meet Nicole & her family!
I started working with Susan when my oldest son was three years old. I now have three children, ages four months, two, and five. I always felt lost and confused when it came to parenting and couldn’t understand why my kids wouldn’t do what I asked or stop doing what I asked them not to do. Using the system of time outs has really helped my children behave, but I still was not getting the respect I felt I deserve. My biggest challenge was grocery shopping and it was during one trip that I had my breakthrough.
My baby was in the cart in her carseat and my older sons were walking near me. They were pushing the cart around and touching everything. I asked them to stop and they didn’t listen. When they started to wrestle on the floor, I had had enough. I told them that if they didn’t stop, we were going to leave. They didn’t stop. I marched them over to the courtesy counter where I apologized to the woman for having to leave my cart of food, some frozen, and then we left the store. I couldn’t believe I had done it!
My children couldn’t believe it either! I didn’t yell, or scream, plead with them or cry. We simply went home where they had to play quitely. I felt great! I felt powerful and happy that I was in control. Since that trip they behave much better in stores and I can control their behavior easily. I stopped lecturing and now ask them what I want in clear language. If they whine or complain, I ask them to stop. I’ve even gotten my two-year-old to ask for things politely and not to whine. When my baby gets older I will teach her what I want. I’ve learned that I can’t expect my kids to behave all the time, but if I remind them to act nicely, they will! Thank you, Susan, for helping my become a powerful parent!
Meet Rich – A Single Dad!
I’ve been a single dad since my wife died in 2001 and have raised my two kids alone since then. What a challenge. They are now 16 and 21. During that time, I met with several therapists, sent my kids to therapists, and even sent one of my kids to an alternative school because he would not cooperate at his base school. It was always a battle getting them to go and once we were there my son would either say nothing or cuss at me and the therapist. It was a total waste of time and money.
I didn’t realize how much of a wimp I’d become. My kids were controlling me. I had lost all confidence in my ability to parent them. It was chaotic at my house. My son got into the habit of spending most of his time in the living room watching television and playing video games. Often he would have friends over but would never ask if it was okay with me. They’d be coming and going in and out of the house at all hours of the night. Trash, dishes, clothes etc. were strewn all over the living room, dining room, and kitchen. Helping me out was not part of their agenda. It was a constant battle for me to try and get my house cleaned up. After asking nicely, trying to persuade, trying to negotiate, trying bribes, yelling, screaming, losing my mind, etc., I usually gave in and cleaned the messes up myself.
My kids were also abusive towards me. It was mostly verbal abuse but on a few occasions, my son had either hit me or pushed me. I truly feared him because he is much bigger and stronger than I am. Being oppositional / defiant, I always feared that he would either hurt me, or my daughter, or my property if he didn’t get his way. So, I’d back off trying to discipline him.
About a year ago, I heard that there were alternatives to traditional therapy. I was told that there were life coaches that specialized in family problems. I went to the internet and as fate would have it, I found Susan who I’m forever grateful for her bringing some sanity back in my life. All of my sessions with Susan have been conveniently administered by phone and the best part is that the kids were not required to participate.
Some of the skills that Susan has helped me with include; saying no without feeling guilty, being in control and feeling good about making the right choices even if it angers my kids, being consistent with rules and consequences and making sure they are in writing, and not allowing my kids to be disrespectful to me.
With Susan’s guidance, I have made significant progress in developing a peaceful home life which I yearn for. I have a long way to go but at least my interactions with my children have become civil. I knew that I was making significant progress that day when my son said, “I want my old dad back!” Hopefully the wimp in me is gone.
Thanks again for your wonderful presentation (No I Won’t and You Can’t Make Me. Ending Back Talk For Good).
At the bus stop this morning, one of the attendees said to me, I found myself screaming at my kids about gettin ready and I thought of that timer. And, I, too, started my morning thinking of what you said, Get the emotion out of the parenting- don’t take it personally. So, when I awoke and found Adam already up in his room counting change from his piggy bank, I wished him good morning cheerily and told him I was going to go walk the dog and that I would really appreciate it if he’d be dressed by the time I returned. Then, I asked if he would pick out his clothes or should I? Sure enough, he was dressed when I returned.
Ah…. parenting can go more smoothly with fine tuning. I’m sure everyone left with reminders about how to tweak their verbiage when approaching parenting. I’m so appreciative of your willingness and support! Thank you!
— Sharon, Norwich, CT
Jesse is my 16 year old son (1 or 4 children) who has been a challenge since he was 2 years old. He has ADHD and therefore is filled with high energy, can have an explosive and violent temper, takes risks and makes bad decisions that were seriously affecting his education and future. He skipped class so much he had lost 8 of 16 highschool credits in 2 years and those courses that he passed had very low marks.
Sadly and not with my support, he moved from the Academic to the Applied Stream in highschool removing his opportunity to go to University. He does have considerable talent with design and innovation and definite leadership qualities. Everyone who meets Jesse (young and old) take to him instantly and remark to me how much potential he has. He has led several successful teams both technical and project based in elementary school receiving Ontario awards.
I have been a single Mom of 4 years. Jesse’s father has not helped take control of Jesse over the years when I have called on him. He just resorted to blaming me for how Jesse is and that I am the problem. Due to Jesse’s violent behaviour affecting his siblings and resulting in continuous damage to property, he had been prescribed 2 different medications for ADHD but neither worked for him. He was using marijuana regularly and making light of it.
At the beginning of summer still without a job and having walked out of summer school, I told him that he would have to move out. I sent Jesse to live with his father for the summer and possibly permanently. The conditions I had set for him to return home were that he change schools (with zero tolerance for skipping), that he get a job and that he was drug free. Moving out of town removed him from his friends and from his environment at home. In mid summer I had arranged another appointment with the Psychiatrist that his father asked me to do, considering he was starting to see the side of Jesse that I had been dealing with fulltime. When the appointment came up, his father showed up reluctantly and left after 5 minutes for no apparent reason. After talking with Jesse for a further 15 minutes, the Psychiatrist told me there was nothing he could do because of how rude Jesse was, that his father would not support him and that I had no control while he was living away. I have a pretty tough veneer and can deal with most anything but at that point I broke down and cried in the office. It was as if the last door had been closed.
Seeing my desperation, he prescribed something new which Jesse said he would only try if he could move back home.
I contacted Susan at this point, her e-mails and newsletters had caught my interest for some time because they were sound and in line with my philosophy for raising children. I just wasn’t doing a good job at it. From that point on things began to change positively. Susan taught me how to command respect from Jesse while talking to him over the phone, to end the arguments and games he played to get his way and to eventually bring him back home with the understanding of his responsibilities. He began his new medication towards the end of the summer that finally began working for him. Very reluctantly and not without a whole lot of anxiety he changed schools.
The new Principle was also reluctant to take him on. Jesse proved us all wrong. The first month his name was announced over the loudspeaker as Student of the Month for the whole school.
The teachers were so impressed with his work ethic and behaviour (given his history) that 3 of 4 had recommended him for this award. They met him in the office along with his Guidance Counsellor, Principle and Vice-Principle and had ordered in treats to celebrate and further encourage him. The school has 1567 students. Kids came up to him after and said they couldn’t believe he had won – even his sister was shocked when she heard his name.
This was only one of his successes to date but it was huge.
I am most proud of his turn-a-round and the greatest joy I get is seeing him proud of himself and being able to share that with me. I have long told him that he is smart, but he didn’t believe it until now. His marks have improved vastly to high 70’s and 80’s and now recently he has decided to move back over to the Academic Stream of his own accord.
In order to make up some of his failed courses, he has taken an in school self study program and managed to complete 2 courses in 1 semester timeslot. It won’t be easy to move to the Academic Stream and he knows it will extend his highschool stay, but he said to me just this morning that he doesn’t want to go to college, that is lame. Susan helped me in many ways through encouragement, reinforcement of structure, simple remedies to correct unacceptable behaviours, fun assignments and effective disciplinary actions. She kept me accountable, challenged me and supported me through a range of emotions.
Although I had to deal with Jesse primarily at the time, the whole family needed work in order to help Jesse come back home. Susan shared new ways to get my kids to take on tasks, understand their responsibilities and know the penalties for poor performance.
The kids have also seen a change in me and sometimes look at me oddly and question what is wrong with me, but they are also doing what they are supposed to do. It is magic!
I know that we are not out of the woods yet as I am constantly helping Jesse to stay on the right path, but it has gotten far easier and less stressful. Recently when he had disappeared without notice, we had a calm discussion the next day about why this is unacceptable and he decided on the penalty if he leaves again without notice of where he is going, a phone # he can be reached at and when he will be back. Imagine a 16 year old boy deciding to give up all electronics for 1 month as a penalty! He knows that the penalty will only occur if he doesn’t follow his end of the deal and that is easy to do.
I have tried many things over the years to help him, including crisis counsellors who came to the house regularly, but Susan’s approach has been the most successful. For that alone, I hope Jesse will thank her one day.
–Tina, Toronto, Ont.
After 10 sessions with Susan the situation is so much better.
It’s been wonderful working with Susan.
The weekday mornings are so much more calm than they were before. The kids are getting themselves out of bed, getting dressed . . .
. . . we are not yelling and screaming.
— Catherine, Washington, DC
Define your values and parent accordingly
Susan taught me, Define your values and parent accordingly. The competition and comparison among mothers can blind the new mother. People are all unique and there is no formula to good parenting. Be true to yourself and your own unique values. Take time to figure out what these are. After coaching I took a spiritual path and found out that the best way to be true to yourself is through quiet contemplative time. Take time each day to observe your feelings, without judgment, and listen to the voice that is deep inside for direction. You’d be surprised to find how much discipline it takes to stick to it — taking time out each day for quiet contemplation, but it is important in staying well.
— Dorothy Reiser, Mystic, CT
I highly recommend Susan Epstein’s broad based coaching services. Susan is a coaching professional with an incredibly effective approach to business, personal and family requirements.
I’m an entrepreneur, in my early 40’s and engaged in a massive corporate startup. The Movie and Theater Corporation is 700,000 square foot film and theatrical production company located in NJ.
In our efforts to bring the vision to fruition we needed to locate a life coach with a strong business background, a firm grasp on the intricacies of human behavior and a creative spirit that would accommodate the nature of our enterprise. Susan Epstein far exceeded those expectations.
Prior to hiring Susan I had a very small and limited perspective of my own vision for the company. I also had an unrealistic perspective of the number of staff members required to initiate the start up. In my case, I was thinking too small. Susan compassionately, yet effectively, implemented strategies that helped us assess the true needs of the company and the most sincere motivations for the corporate vision. The work was by no means easy, and meeting Susan’s accountability standards was as challenging as it was compassionate. Yet, the rewards have been remarkable.
In my opinion, business coaching is a compartment of life coaching. The entrepreneur is responsible for his own vision, that of his organization and those of his staff members. The entrepreneur must effectively balance these often-conflicting stakeholders. Susan taught me, balance is not always the end goal. More importantly, appropriate focus is required to manage the ebbs of flows of the entity that is a business. That focus must be in line with the essence or core of the organization’s leadership. That core must be aligned with the leader’s personal and professional system of values. Once that alignment is attained, the practical moment-to-moment tasks and goals immediately enter into focus.
Susan is truly gifted, as she helped me achieve that sense of alignment. Then, she assumed the role as corporate advisor and helped me create clear, concise, accountable strategies for task and goal implementation. Somehow, in the midst of all these efforts, she uncovered multiple, additional revenue streams. These types of income generators are imperative for the start up firm as they supplement income. In our case, my background in Information Technology and the company’s developing IT Department is the revenue generator. Susan helped us “focus” these resources into a supplemental computer service provider. Supplementation was the single most significant process we engaged in. It was not expected, I didn’t require it or even perceive it as part of the overall vision. It was not listed as an item to cover in our coaching agreement. Yet, it freed up a tremendous amount of resources and permitted creative freedom of thought within company. It appears it will also provide seed dollars to compliment private investment.
I have not experienced this level of customization, efficiency and effectiveness in any business management or achievement program previously attended. As business leaders we need coaches and consultants who are better then us in a given discipline. We’ve all learned the great lesson of success, “surround ourselves with skillful, gifted people”. Susan is one of those people and the product she brings to the table far exceeds the dollars allocated to it.
— Mitchell Eiven, Executive Officer, Movie and Theater Corporation