Hello, My name is Dana Baker-Williams and I am a Parent Coach and Teen Mentor—my coaching business and parenting blog are Parenting In Real Life. As an author, commentator, and mother of two, I bring real-life observations and advice that help you navigate the ups, the downs and the downright uglies of parenting, especially for teens. My suggestions and advice come with a good dose of humor and the simple recognition that no matter how hard we may try, none of us is a perfect parent.
I’m dedicated to guiding you through the challenges whether it’s simple stress, backtalk and eye rolling or helping you navigate Anxiety, ADHD or Depression. I offer advice from the trenches, a non-judgmental ear and tips/feedback based on the science of psychology and the reality of parenting. My writing explores all the ups and downs of parenting, often using personal essays to delve into the various emotions of the subject matter. As a coach, I give parenting advice and tips on many aspects: how to notice and then mitigate anxiety at different ages, how to handle lying, how to have a better and peaceful relationship with your teens, how to make senior year in high school more bearable and even how to go about choosing your college. When your kids’ behavior is really pushing your buttons, I help you discover ways to set effective limits, invite cooperation and have a lot more fun together.
Family dynamics are so important and can be exceedingly challenging. Often it’s hard to recognize or know how to change them—you’re too close to the situation and maybe you and your co parent handle issues very differently. Strong families have open lines of communication — where all family members feel heard and respected. One of the best ways to strengthen your family is to increase your listening skills and those of other family members. Until we can hear each other, we can’t really move forward or improve a situation.
I know it’s also sometimes really hard to relate to the differences in your kids and adapt your parenting to their personalities. Parenting isn’t a one-size-fits-all. How do you know when your child is having a normal concern and curiosity vs. when they may show signs of real anxiety? What do you do and how do you advocate for them when there is anxiety or depression or ADHD? How do you start to push independence on them as they get older and learn to become a mentor rather than “parent” before they head off to college? My aim is to help both kids and parents get through family life with less stress and discord–and to do it all with humor and from the heart. My clients feel an improvement in their relationships quickly; subtle shifts and an ability to look at the situation with curiosity and openness makes an inordinate and heartwarming difference.
I take a practical, positive approach to parenting – which means no added stress, guilt or pressure. Parenting is not one-size-fits-all. I listen and ask questions but also have experience and perspective I’m willing to share. I offer guidance, encouragement, and practical suggestions to make connecting in the family easier and to help you parent through the challenges with confidence. My clients feel an improvement in their relationships quickly; subtle shifts and an ability to look at the situation with curiosity and openness makes an inordinate and heartwarming difference.