I took my first Human Development and Family Studies course as an undergraduate at 18 years old. I will never forget my professor saying, “We are going to learn why some people thrive regardless of difficult circumstances, while others don’t even when given everything they need.”  As an adolescent who had experienced my own struggles, and watched my friends make good and bad life choices, I was hooked!

This was the beginning of a lifetime love and commitment to this field.  Since then I have continued to study development, risk & protective factors, and strategies for optimal parenting.  Today I have decades of experience working in a variety of contexts including criminal justice, social services, challenge ropes courses, private practice, academia, and non-profits.

I am also the proud mother of two adult children with whom I love spending time.  To me, parenting brings to life an ever-changing spectrum of human emotion. It is filled with moments of love, excitement, anticipation, expectations, fears, hopes, and dreams.  It has made me laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time.   My hope is to combine my education, experience, and hands on knowledge of raising kids in such a way that I can add to your parenting toolbox.

I strongly believe that there is no one way, or right way to parent.   Your children need you to embrace that you are also learning and growing and that no parent is perfect.  They need you to be authentically invested in bringing your best self forward and repairing your mistakes.  And, they  need you to take care of yourself so that you can show up for them when they need you most.

I invite you to join me in learning, growing, exploring, and uncovering what your children need from you to thrive in the world. Let’s do this!

Happy parenting,

Dr. Shelly

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