Ask a Coach

To get written coaching, fill out the form below. Feel free to include as much info as you need, or any Thought Models you are working on.

This is also a great place to share your wins!

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Ask a Coach Responses

Balancing Time with Kids


I’m struggling to find the right balance between giving my special needs child the support and care he needs while also making sure my other kids aren’t left out. My oldest daughter has been really resentful towards her little brother lately, getting upset and angry when we are taking care of him.

But when I am spending time with my other children, I feel like my special needs son gets left out because he isn’t always able to participate.

It’s like no matter what I do, someone always feels left behind.


Hey there, my friend. This challenge of balancing attention between siblings is so common, and you absolutely are not alone in this. 

First off, I think it is important to recognize that the idea of “Balance” is an impossible illusion. Nothing will ever be equal in life, and that’s okay. 

Instead of seeing balance as equal portions divided up between each child, you might find it helpful to see the time and attention in terms of waves, or seasons. Some seasons require us to spend more time with one child, and less with another. 

Ask yourself these questions:

-What am I making it mean about me when my daughter gets upset?

-Which is more important, quality of the time or quantity of the time? Why?

One thing to keep in mind is that it’s natural for siblings to sometimes feel resentful or left out when one child requires more attention and care, special needs or not. This doesn’t mean that you’re doing anything wrong or that you’re a bad parent. I think its okay to remind yourself here that kids get jealous, no matter what! Kids being kids. 

That being said, there are some things you can do to help all of your children get their “attention cups” filled. 

One strategy that might help is setting aside some one-on-one time with each of your children on a regular basis doing something that they enjoy. It doesn’t have to be an entire day or significant chunk of time, even just 15 minutes of your undivided attention might be enough for them to get the connection they are craving.

Another strategy to try is involving your oldest with the care of your son. Try having her help out in small ways. This might also help her feel more compassionate towards her little brother rather than resentful and jealous. 

Try some things out, see what works for your family, and bring it back to Ask a Coach if you need more help!


How to practice self care when it seems impossible


Hi – I feel like I usually can do a good job setting aside time for myself and practicing self care, but right now that seems impossible. I’ve been sick for almost two weeks now and feeling miserable, was up all night with Ashton, and now my husband has to go out of town all weekend for work so it’s just me at home with her. I feel exhausted, sick and like I can’t take time to take care of myself. I’m sure everyone has been there – but how do I practice self care in these situations or change my thinking so I don’t feel like I can’t make it through this week??? 


Hang in there sister.♥

First, I want you to realize that when you think “everything seems impossible,” it blocks your brain from finding solutions! Consider this model:

C:I’m sick, kids distance learning 
T: Self care seems impossible
F: ___?____ (defeated? miserable?exhausted?)
A: what are the things that you do when you feel that way? How do you take care of yourself when you have the feeling in the F-line?
R: I don’t find solutions to care for myself

How about starting by asking yourself some better questions to get in a Solutions Focused place? 

How can I give myself the care I need when things are hard? 

What are some small ways I can care for myself right now?

Where can I find 5 minutes today for me?

When everything is awful, I also want you to focus on just meeting your basic human needs of sleep, water, real food, warmth/comfort/safety, and connection. 

When everything sucks, even going to bed early counts as self care!

Bring this back here and we can keep working on it!


School not following IEP


I’m feeling really frustrated with my child’s school right now and I’m not sure how to handle the situation. 

My son has an IEP in place, but I found out this week that they are not following it like they should be.

My son uses an AAC device to communicate part of the time. He does have some verbal speech, but when he is overwhelmed or overstimulated he does much better communicating with his talker. 

Well, I found out this week that his teacher has not been letting him use it during class. When I asked the teacher about it, she said that she didn’t think my child needed it because he can talk well enough and was using it as a crutch. 

This conversation happened yesterday and I have been thinking about it over and over since, just making me more furious. 

I’m not sure how to proceed from here. Should I escalate the issue to the school administration or try to talk to the teacher again? And how can I make sure that my child is getting the support he needs without being seen as a “pushy” parent?

Any advice or guidance you can provide would be greatly appreciated.


I can understand your frustration and concern here, and I think it is a valid response to what is going on! 

However, it sure doesn’t make the weekend very fun for you if you are ruminating in that anger all weekend, so let’s see what we can do to help alleviate it a bit! 

First off, it’s important to remember that your child’s IEP is a legally binding document and the school is required to follow it to ensure that your child receives the necessary accommodations and support. I would suggest scheduling a meeting with the teacher and the school’s special education coordinator to discuss your concerns and review your child’s IEP.

Your son’s teacher may not fully understand WHY and HOW the device helps him. Often times when we are angry at others, it is because our brains interpret the other person’s actions as ill-intended or malicious. But majority of the times, this isn’t the case. 

Even if she was misguided in doing so, do you think she was coming from a place of love and your son’s best interest in mind?

What do you think the driving factor was behind the teacher’s actions? 

Now, let’s talk about being a “pushy” parent…

Remember that advocating for your child’s needs and education does not make you “pushy,” it is a neutral circumstance. It is your THOUGHTS about this circumstance that lead to you feeling a certain way. 

And the thoughts we think and how we feel going into an IEP meeting can determine how we show up (our actions) and ultimately impact the effectiveness of the meeting (our results). 

Here’s two examples of this:

Circumstance: Meeting w/ my child’s education team about IEP

Thought: I can’t believe they won’t just follow the IEP like they are supposed to!

Feeling: Anger

Actions: don’t ask questions, get defensive when they ask me questions, get upset during the conversation

Results: Don’t effectively communicate why his AAC is needed


C: Meeting w/ my child’s education team about IEP 

T: As a team, we can work together to help my son in the best way possible

F: collaborative

A: remain calm, ask questions from a place of curiosity, share my thoughts and ideas in a helpful way, educate and collaborate on why his AAC device is helpful to him in certain situations 

R: work together to ensure he is fully supported at school


So take some time and think about what you want the results to be when it comes to talking with his teacher/education team. 

Then we can work backwards to determine the best possible actions needed in order to achieve that result, and the feeling you need to feel going into the meeting, and how to create that feeling on purpose. 

Bring this back to Ask a Coach or to your next session and we can work on it together! 



Hey Lauren, I feel like I am exhausted all of the time. My kids exhaust me. My husband exhausts me. All of my responsibilities exhaust me. I eat to stay comfortable and numb and get through the day. I don’t have the energy to take care of myself.


Let’s talk about exhaustion in two ways- emotional exhaustion and physical exhaustion.

Emotional exhaustion first, because I think this is what you are experiencing right now. The truth is, no one and no responsibility can exhaust you. No one can MAKE us feel a certain way. Just like we are responsible for our emotions, we are also responsible for our emotional exhaustion.

Now with that said, it doesn’t mean that your exhaustion isn’t real. Because it is, and it sounds like it is impacting you in many not so fun ways.

Emotional exhaustion isn’t caused by external circumstances, such as responsibilities, but rather it is caused by our thinking about those circumstances. And this is good news, because it means nothing/no one else has to change in order for you to stop feeling exhausted. It requires taking responsibility for all the things you are allowing yourself to think about them.

The most freeing idea I can offer you is this- You don’t have to do any of it.

You can decide to not fulfill a single responsibility today, right now, including the kids, if you didn’t want to.

Yes, you would have to accept the consequences of that choice, but this idea helps you realize that we are in fact CHOOSING all of it. We are choosing to take care of our children, we are choosing to go to work, we are choosing to do laundry. Because we prefer to choose those things instead of face the consequences of harming our children or losing our jobs.

So find out all the exhausting things you’re thinking about your family and responsibilities by doing a thought download, and then see how none of it is true.

Because you are actively choosing those things from a place of love for your family.

Bring this back to AAC or to your next session and we can dive into more factors that might be leading to your exhaustion.