Are You Ready for a Change?

see more by


Plucky Parenting

Parenting is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. In the peaceful times, being a mom is easy. The snuggles, the play time, the connection, the love. Oh, the love. If it were like this all the time, parenting would be a breeze. But then we would all probably have more children than we do right now, right?!

Then there are the times when I am left standing alone in the face of a sassy comment or bickering sisters or outright defiance, genuinely yearning for divine direction on WHAT to do to handle the situation because I just don’t know what the HECK to do.

Either that, or I react with a response I am not proud of or question myself as I wonder if I did the right thing? It’s those times when I start to question myself as a mom and think, “What am I doing wrong to make my child act like this?!” It’s an awful feeling, isn’t it?

But there is help for us moms!

If you are struggling with a specific parenting issue with your kids, or dealing with some undesirable and baffling behaviors, the great news is there is an  Orange County parenting consultant you can turn to for guidance. Let her be the light at the end of your tunnel!

Orange County Parenting Consultant

Plucky Parenting was created by Brianna Dubbs, LMFT, who was driven with a passion to help fellow parents with practical tools to rediscover just how fun, enlivening and connecting parenting can be.

One of the first things I asked Brianna when we got on the phone, was “Where did the name Plucky Parenting come from?”

She explained that her mission is to help parents achieve “pluck” which to her means courage, determination, spunk and cheer in their parenting skills. This joy really radiated through in our phone call and you can also see it in her beautiful website.

Plucky Parenting Consultation Services Include: 

1. In-home or in-office intensive sessions to help parents struggling with a specific parenting issue.

2. Expecting baby series which helps a new family adjust to a new baby.

Group Classes Include:

1. MNI (Mom’s Night IN) where you get a group of mommy friends together for a fun relaxed time to support and learn from each other. Brianna and host will provide yummy treats and wine. Average cost averages $15 – $25 pp depending on size of group.

2. Playdates and Playgroups. Arrange to have Brianna come and casually speak at your playdate in a fun and casual atmosphere. Brianna will tailor the topics to fit any specific challenges facing the group. Cost is $15/person (family.)

3. Large groups/workshops. Brianna has experience speaking at mother’s groups across Orange County and would welcome the opportunity to tailor a specific topic for your group.

The Plucky Parenting Philosophy

Brianna believes that all parenting practices should support our relationship with our child, because it is this relationship and connection which will allow our children to navigate the world in a happy, confident, independent and courageous manner.

Isn’t that what we all want for our children?

Her consulting works on systematically understanding the problem by observing what is driving the behavior.

She explained children react and behave in ways because of the feelings that are behind it. If you can identify the feeling that is driving the behavior, you can then attend to the feeling with the child to help them understand it and express it with words.

If you attend to the feelings, you will strengthen your relationship and bond with your child.

After my conversation with Brianna, I took those words to heart, and when my kids were acting out I stopped and looked deeper wondering what FEELING was driving it.

A Personal Example of Putting Her Philosophy to Work

My oldest daughter, a second grader, has spirit day on Fridays and the kids wear red, white and blue to school. Two of her girlfriends in her class both have the same red and white striped sundress from H&M. It’s a dress she doesn’t own, but her little sister does.

The girls were planning to wear their same dresses for spirit day to be “twins” and my oldest wanted to borrow the dress from little sister. A terrible fight ensued. Little sis did NOT want big sis borrowing her dress and big sis was hysterical because she wanted to match her girlfriends.

I was so irritated with both of them! I was irritated with little one for not sharing her dress, because I knew she really didn’t care about it that much, and then I was irritated my oldest was making such a huge deal about it.

I had just spoken with Brianna the day before, and her words echoed in my head, so I asked what they were feeling about the situation. What came out was interesting.

My oldest expressed she would feel left out if the other two were wearing the same dress, and she does not like to feel left out. Bingo.

My little one said if the older girls are wore the same dress, SHE would feel left out. Bingo.

Helping me understanding what was driving both their behaviors helped me immensely in handling the situation because we were all able to talk about how it doesn’t feel good to be left out.

The next day little one marched in and gave the dress for her sister to borrow without issue. I have to think it had to do with her feeling understood. Oh, how the smallest victories in parenting can feel SO empowering! I hope you can let Brianna help you find the way to your own parenting victories too!

Upcoming Events 

Brianna is speaking at Granola Babies on Saturday, November 16th on the topic of adding new babies to single children families and how to help your family navigate the transition when a sibling is born. For more information, contact Brianna.

Stay Connected 

For upcoming events and parenting inspiration follow Plucky Parenting on Facebook and Twitter.

You Might Also Like

Spero Family Services

see more by


I don’t know about you, but I can use all the parenting help I can get sometimes, especially with my ever-so-spirited 3-year-old!  Don’t you wish Super Nanny could ride on your shoulder and coach you with how to handle certain situations?

April Thompson is a licensed marriage and family therapist and parent coach with Spero Family Services and offers monthly parenting classes.  The next one called “Empowered Parenting” will be held on November 7th.    She will cover topics like developmental needs, discipline, parenting styles and setting boundaries.   Did she know to create this class just for me?  Seriously.

Here are the details:

November 7th, 2009 * 10am-2pm (lunch provided)
18023 SkyPark Circle, Ste. G
Irvine, CA  92614
$100/person or $150/couple

Register online by clicking HERE or call 714.924.4325

April was nice enough to write an expert advice article for us on the topic of bonding with your children:

By April Thompson, LMFT

Do you struggle to connect with your child sometimes?  Maybe even all the time?  Was that hard for you to admit?  That’s okay, because you’re normal. Welcome to the world of most parents. Many parents are dealing with the stressors of being a family where both parents have to work, or maybe your job is a stay at home mom and you struggle balancing your needs and theirs, or you’re dealing with co-parenting due to divorce, or maybe you’re a single parent.

No matter what, its tough to be a parent and give your child(ren) everything they need.  So what do you do? Your child is constantly probing you for attention, or your child is notorious for interrupting you when you just started a project. Maybe your child wants nothing to do with you at all, or you have a sibling jealousy issue.  The whining little voice that stays in the back of your head, “You gave Johnny more than me”. Or better yet, “Why can’t you buy me those True Religion Jeans, everyone else at school has them?”  As if $200 jeans are going to solve their problems. So what do you do?

For starters, providing some empathy might help them feel understood (even if you don’t agree with their ploys).  Then offering some encouragement or having them come up with some solutions with you. Example: “Sorry you felt left out, that must have been sad for you, what could I do to help you feel more involved?”

Find out what they really enjoy doing and do it with them, if its playing a video game, playing Barbies, going to the park, etc.  Notice when they are doing a good job, and praise them for it. Surprise them with little notes or pictures in their school bag or on their bed.  Have your child help you when you’re doing chores, give them small tasks such as collecting all the dirty laundry. Have 1:1 time scheduled for each child, and stick to it as much as you can.

Most importantly, have family time together every week. Pick an evening for this, let each member have a chance to choose the activity.  These are a few examples to get you started.

If you are interested in finding out more about developmental needs, boundaries, limit setting, or parenting tips, feel free to contact me.

Spero Family Services offers Child & Family Therapy, Parent Education, School Assessments, and In-home Parent Coaching. Check out the website: 714-924-HEAL (4325).

[Coming Soon ‘Raising Baby Safe Seminar’]

You Might Also Like
Show Mobile Version