Parent Support

110 Days have passed

My last post on PSN was 110 days ago on August 14th, right before the start of the new school year here in Utah and the one year anniversary of our son being home. The guilt of not writing had overwhelmed me as time went on, each month that passed I was wondering how to I just pop up again after months of nothing? I was embarrassed, that it didn’t feel “important” enough for me to just do it. A day turned into a week, a week a month, and now it has been 110 days. I am still embarrassed and a bit ashamed, but avoiding it wasn’t going to make it feel any better. So here I am.

Basically while I have been busy these last few months; I actually started a new small business out of my home; Cheryl’s Bagels, my motivation for engaging on a deeper level has been severely lacking.

The lack of the ability to look forward to the future is hard for me. I like to plan and the anticipation of the event, whether it is traveling to see a friend or do an activity has been muted. As it has felt like, what is the point of planning when you don’t know if “Rona” is going to kill those plans.

Thanksgiving wasn’t a solid until 24 hours before, living like that is hard. I got sucked into the mindset. I made a conscious decision over Thanksgiving that I was going to give my all to Christmas, despite the fact that I do not know if we will be doing or seeing anyone. I desperately needed to see and feel Joy.

This past weekend, Christmas threw up all over our house, much like a toddlers projectile vomiting, it was everywhere. From the outside where four wreaths adorn windows, and giant ornament balls hang from the trees. Nutcrackers guard our garage doors, a nativity sits on our front lawn, and the little drummer and bugler are guarding our chicken coop. Now if that isn’t enough you enter our house to be met by a 4 foot automated Santa that sings and sways to music via motion sensor. He has been know to scare the crap out of me during the night, when he mysteriously turns on. Several more wreaths, stockings by the non-functional fire place, garland and ribbon, and about 70 nutcrackers of different sizes are spread around the house. Ugly sweaters have been worn this week.

Usually, I have a theme, but this year, we put EVERYTHING out, and it feels good. I have no idea if we will be able to have small groups of guests over to socialize distantly with, but it doesn’t matter. Christmas this year is truly for us, and to make me feel happy and joyful. The physical adornments of Christmas is enough to lift me from my funk.

I hope that you find something to be joyful about today, next week, the reminder of this year, and into next. Find something that makes you smile and focus on it. Today for me it was writing, and I feel happy.

Wishing you a wonderful day.



Parent Coaching

How I Became the Parent I Wanted to Be.

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of our son returning back to our home after a working hard on his mental health in a residential program. We have all worked so hard at learning new skills and increasing the deepness of our relationships. While I have spent years parenting, these last few have taught me the most. I wish they actually did have a parenting book they handed you the day you were handed your child. But alas, we all have to learn the hard way.

Celebration of learning

This is a long list of things that I have learned in the recent years. They have helped me become a better parent. A parent who have learned that love and law are not mutually exclusive, and can exist simultaneously in my life.

  • My son is doing great, I am doing great, but the learning never stops.
  • Kids need a parents to be the parent, not their friends.
  • Kids will screw up, make mistakes, relapse, use any word you want-be prepared.
  • How these incidents are handled by the parent will determine future behaviors of him and us, more than the event itself.
  • Kids need at least one stable parent to be the parent. If you and your partner can’t be on the same page, decide who is the leader and stick with it. The follower doesn’t get to judge, suggest, or eye roll after the decision has been made. Sounds harsh, but if you agree ahead of time, it is a game changer for both your child and your relationship.
  • Kids thrive with mentors; find one if you can.
  • Continued regular therapy first 12 months is vital (even 1x a month)
  • Seek out therapists with experience in treating “your kind” of family. Otherwise, more often than not, they won’t get “it”
  • Be aware of your other children’s emotions. You are bringing home “trouble” again, and it might be scary for them. Give it time.
  • Do set house rules. Use short time frames. Start tight and loosen up. If you start loose it will be very, very hard to tighten up.
  • Your kid doesn’t really need, a car, phone, or any privileges that he didn’t earn. He survived the last year without social media. If he isn’t ready, don’t give it to him.
  • Keep kids busy. Make them do their laundry, clean their rooms, etc.. whatever you think is important.
  • Let them get jobs to earn gas and entertainment money
  • Do not pay them for regular work around the house, that is part of being a family. However, if you are digging a one time ditch then go ahead and pay the muscle. They will quickly learn the value of a dollar they earn.
  • THEY WILL F**K UP. They know it, you don’t need to beat it to death. They feel bad enough already, even if they aren’t letting you see it.
  • Anger is a front for some other emotion- Common emotions known to trigger anger are anxiety, shame, sadness, fear, frustration, guilt, disappointment, worry, embarrassment, jealousy, and hurt.
  • The term “Natural Consequences” should be at the forefront of you mind, it will save your ass more times than you know.
  • You will survive and be able to handle, the call from the cops, the stink of week, lies, alcohol; whatever triggered you before. You are not the same person, you are a better, wiser version of yourself.
  • Create your own team of people who have walked the walk. Hire a parent coach, mentor, therapist for at least the first 9 months. Someone on-call who will work through “it” before you ever open your mouth to your kid. Someone to check yourself with, and even walk you through the words you will use-priceless.
  • WORDS CAN NOT BE TAKEN BACK- choose them wisely.
  • Ask yourself, “Why does this really bother me?” Get to the root cause before you let loose on your kid. More often than not what you think was bothering you wasn’t, it was something deeper.
  • Set the behavior example. You can’t be upset with a kid who yells at you, if you are yelling at him. Your poor behavior, give them permission for their poor behavior.
  • It is okay to say, “I am deciding not to speak with you right now, I have to think.”
  • Sometime you just have to say, I need to say this, and I do not want or expect a response. I am not looking for you to agree or disagree, then make your statement statement and walk away.
  • Learn to walk away, but not run from the issue, there is a big difference.
  • Best time to discuss an incident is after you kid has cooled down-sometimes that is a day or two later.
  • Them waiting for the “boom”, sometimes has more impact than the boom.
  • Never try to discuss anything with an non-sober kid.
  • Be kind to yourself, you will make mistakes.
  • When you are overwhelmed or frustrated it is okay to cry, spend a day in bed, go to the golf range, or whatever works for you. If it lasts more than a few days, seek out some help.
  • Negative thinking breeds negative thinking- don’t get sucked into that wormhole by others.
  • Support and validation of feelings is not the same as jumping on the trashing bandwagon.
  • Seek out positive forces. If a person can find a little positive in every situation no matter how bad you think it is, grab that person and hold onto them, they are golden.

I hope that this gives a little insight into what I learned in my re-parenting journey this year. It has been a transformation year for me. I have learned how to be a be the best parent I can be. I know I can not control the actions of others, I can only control my reaction to those actions. Very simple in words, very very hard to do, but when you get it, ah life looks rosy.

Parent Support

Taking time to care for yourself is vital….

I have been light in the keeping up with the blog department these last few weeks, okay let us be honest, closer to 8 weeks probably. After spending so much time focusing on building my parent coaching business- Parent Support Network, I needed a little me time.

In addition to working with various clients I was finding a certain amount of pressure to blog regularly. My blogs are true and honest and vulnerable and I write what I feel. I don’t have a list of topics to hit just because it is that time of the week. I guess I was feeling a bit burned out. Today it struck me that in the last few months I haven’t blogged because I have been taking care of myself; which is hard for me because I feel responsible for taking care of so many others first; my family, my clients, and my friends.

What does self-care look like for me? Well, it means that I follow my interest no matter how weird or challenging they might be. I am the kind of person that the moment you tell me it’s unlikely I will meet my goal; I want to prove you wrong.

My willingness to attempt things that interest me has served me well over the years. It has taught me tenacity, resiliency, and how failure can be motivating and humbling. It reminds me where my sons got their stubbornness from, and that I need to be patient and let them learn how to build their own tenacity and resiliency.

So, while I have been absent from my blogging, I haven’t been doing nothing. I recently embarked on learning and creating new things; such as woodworking. From scratch I built a picnic table and benches, a chicken coop addition and a rabbit hutches.

I have been trying my hand at gardening-some foods I don’t even like to eat, but wanted to know if I could grow them (I do not toss out, I share with my neighbors).

And my longest and most mistake driven project to date was to re-create New Jersey bagels in Utah. While there is nothing wrong with the bagels in Utah, I was desperate for what I grew up with.

Some of my attempts went without mishap-the table and benches were flawless- I channeled my dad’s measure twice, cut once mantra. The other projects didn’t go as smoothly or without frustration. While I was doing these projects to feed my soul, I didn’t realize that in the process I was teaching and modeling behaviors for my children.

They saw me toil eight hours a day for a week to meet my personal deadline of finishing the picnic table before fathers day. They saw my ingenuity of building a new section of our chicken coop with scraps left over from the table project. They saw me build an entire rabbit hutch and then take it apart and rebuild it because I realized there was a better way to do it.

They watched me make batch upon batch of bagels and beg them to taste them. They were critical of every “not quite there yet batch”, but they were also the first ones to tell me I nailed it and could I make more when I finally got it.

I just didn’t realize that by taking care of myself, I was being a better parent to my children. So take care of yourself and I guarantee you, you will be a better parent, partner, child, grandparent, whatever you are to the people that matter in your life.

Enjoy pictures of the projects I have been working on, some turned out better than others, however perfection was never the goal, as nothing in life is perfect.

Parent Support

OMG, I am turning 50!

This Thursday July 2nd I will enter yet another decade of life as I turn 50. I am in awe that I am this “old” yet without feeling old.

I have actually enjoyed aging, as for me it seems as if life, like good wine, gets better with age.

My twenties were spent maturing and learning how to be comfortable in my own skin in an uncoupled state. I gained confidence in being bold enough to dine alone in a restaurant and took my first solo vacation.

My thirties and most of my forties were spent learning how balance full time work, marriage, and motherhood while trying not to lose myself in the process.

In the last few years of my 40’s, I desired a simplier life one in which I was kinder and gentler to my family while making my mental and physical health a priority .

Recently I have lost about 35 pounds and I am back to my old self where I can feel comfortable in my smaller, but still plus sized wardrobe. As my reward I recently went “crazy” and bought a pair of “ripped” jeans, way too hip and cool for a 50 year old. However, I did it anyway because aging has also taught me to stop worring about what others think.

I have always felt that the true me belonged on a farm, growing a garden, having animals, and in my “spare time” I would build furniture.

This was always spoken with jest because anyone who knew me, knew I didn’t like animals, I hated yardwork, and finally, I have never built anything in my life, and if I did it would probably come out wonky.

It has been in my 49th year where dreams have become a reality.

I moved from New Jersey to Utah thus fulfilling my belief that I would thrive in a more rural area, and it turned out to be true.

We now own 15 chickens and two ducks in our own coop. Our backyard neighbors have lamas, goats, mules, and more chickens. This feels very farm like to me.

I built garden boxes, and we planted our first garden ever.

Newly built garden boxes were ready for planting

And just last week I harvested broccoli, sugar snap peas, romaine lettuce, basil, parsley, lavender, and thyme.

I have been obsessed with the idea of building furniture since I was a teenager hooked on “This Old House” with Bob and Norm, the way teens today are obsessed with TikTok.

And a few weeks ago I paid homage to them when I built from scratch (no kits here) a picnic table and benches for our backyard.

Work in progress in the garage and my husband sitting on the final product, benches got stain later.

I was very proud of the end product, everything was level and square. I think my father was channeling me from heaven, as I constantly heard the words he often uttered to me when I showed little patience and wanted to rush something, “Measure twice, and cut once”; “Measure twice, and cut once” It became a mantra every time I stood in front of that miter saw ready to drop the blade.

So as I head toward 50, I realize how blessed I am that I have had the opportunity to learn so many valuable lessons in each decade of my life.

I am blessed that for me, age has brought me the confidence and wisdom to know when to push myself forward and to know when to acknowledge my limits.

When I was in my 30’s, I thought people in their 50’s were half dead, now that I am turning 50, I now know that the best is yet to come.

So to all my friends who are seeing the Big 5 Oh this year, I hope life has taught you more than you anticipated and what is yet to come is better than you ever imagined.

Happy Birthday 1970 babies.
Parent Support

A Message to all the WordPress Followers and Email subscribers.
Facebook​, ​ Instagram​​, and Linkedin​

I wanted to thank you for supporting the Parent Support Network blog.  Since its inception in October 2019 there have been almost 10,000 views of my stories. I am humbled.

The Parent Support Network has undergone a transformation and in addition to the blog, the Parent Support Network is now a Parent Coaching Company. We have a fully operational website, new Logo,  and a robust new Facebook page. 

I am requesting that you take a moment to visit the new links below, and to please Like, Follow, and Share if you continue to like the content . 

I truly have appreciated your support with my desire to share and help other families.

With much gratitude.

Cheryl Mignone, Certified Parent Coach and Founder