This class gives you the information you need to confidently raise emotionally healthy, resilient children.
Parenting is challenging. Just when you get one phase figured out they grow and everything feels different all over again. It can be overwhelming when we don’t know what to do with our child’s behavior or emotions. Or we can feel so helpless as we watch our child unravel about something, often something that seems so inconsequential.
You want to support them. You want to help them through it. And you want them to stop. You feel out of control. They seem out of control. All the things you do to help just don’t create the results that you want. It is so frustrating and you might even be feeling like a bad parent.
We’ll start with the good news. Most people feel like bad parents sometimes but that doesn’t mean that you are. You probably won’t be here reading this if you were. You may just be in need of a few more skills and some encouragement to recognize your strengths. And that is what we are here to give you. We designed the Strong Foundations class to give you the knowledge and skills you need to cultivate your child’s emotional wellbeing. It’s our goal to leave you feeling confident that you know how to handle it when your child's emotions carry them away into difficult behaviors. We offer information about childhood development and emotional intelligence so that you understand the bigger picture about your child’s journey through childhood. That way you will know how to be with your children in difficult moments in a way that also builds the emotional skills they need to be healthy adults.
The world feels so hard right now. We are bombarded with invasive social media, world conflicts, systemic unrest, political polarization, gun violence, and so much more. Since you are here reading this, we think it’s safe to assume that you want to give your kids the internal resources to navigate it all. Emotional intelligence and resilience are a huge part of that.
You won't always be able to protect your children but you do have the opportunity to provide them with the skills to flourish in this ever changing world. The goal isn’t to make sure that your kids never feel pain (that seems pretty unrealistic to us) but for them to know how to navigate the pain and to bounce back after a difficult moment. This is at the very heart of resilience. And THAT’S what Strong Foundations teaches. Luckily for everyone, these are skills that can be taught and learned even if you didn’t grow up having them modeled at home.
If we have learned nothing else from being parents, we have learned that parenting may be the most vulnerable (and most difficult) thing you can do in this life. For starters, you must watch your children, the very people you love most, walk around making choices without the benefit of experience or even a fully developed brain.
They make good choices and they make questionable choices and you can't keep them from the pain that bad choices will bring. No amount of controlling or cajoling can save your children from life's pain. It's excruciating to watch. It's no wonder it is so easy to slip into trying to control our kids instead of giving them the skills they need to learn to make good choices for themselves.
Granted not all pain comes from the outcomes of choices they, or even we, make. Sometimes the pain comes from things that are completely beyond our control and that is its own form of excruciating vulnerability! We can’t protect our kids from the death of a grandparent or the grief of a dear friend moving away or the trepidations of starting a new school, but we CAN give them the tools they need to feel their way through those moments, too.
You want them to have every tool possible to be able to navigate life’s inevitable difficult moments and for them to be able to make life choices that build a beautiful and supportive life for themselves.
And secondly, we swear our children are born to teach us more and more about ourselves. It seems like whatever we need to learn is what our children call upon us to do. It’s no wonder we have huge reactions to our kids sometimes! Conscious parenting encourages us to stay present to what our children bring up in us emotionally. The more emotionally intelligent the whole family system is, the less reactive everyone will be.
Having good support for yourself as a parent can make all the difference as you help your children navigate the emotional wilds of life. We think you’ll find this class to be empowering and supportive. We know how challenging it is to have that “what do I do now??” feeling when your kids are struggling. That feeling is totally normal. Nobody knows what to do with their children in all moments. We want you to feel confident and, well, resourced, to use a current buzzword, when life gets tough. The skills taught in Strong Foundations will give you something to consciously fall back on when you feel that panic and overwhelm rising in your chest.
Being healthy with their feelings is a big part of that. Research shows us that success in school, at work, and in relationships are all correlated to emotional intelligence. We have been teaching the skills of emotional intelligence to adults for decades.
So often, as we are teaching these ideas to adults we hear that they wish they’d been taught these skills when they were kids AND that they had known them as parents. Now you can!
Being healthy with your feelings doesn’t mean you never feel uncomfortable or painful feelings but it does mean that you have the skills to navigate the painful moments with confidence and grace.
If your children are skilled with their emotions, they will be able to identify what they are feeling and where the feelings are coming from so that they know how they need to respond to life’s hard moments. They are more likely to be able to communicate about how they feel instead of acting out their emotions or running at the first sign of trouble.
Feelings are packed full of information about how we’re experiencing the world and how our experiences are affecting us. Many of the problems we create for ourselves in our lives occur because we’re unclear what our feelings are trying to tell us or how to respond to them. When we have a feeling and don’t know how to be with it, we’re liable to shut down, act out, or take things personally.
As parents, when we ourselves have skills around emotional intelligence, we can help our children learn how to be with their own feelings in a productive way. They can become fluent in emotions, which will free up their energy to do great things in this world.
We have packed Strong Foundations full of practical exercises and useful information about childhood development and emotional intelligence to equip and support you in teaching these skills to your children. You do so much else to prepare them for life, be sure to include this critical piece, as it underlies almost all other success. Learning is an integral part of successful parenting and this class will help you learn more about yourself AND how to support your children’s emotional life.
This leads to:
You can give your children the skills to know themselves and to navigate life’s difficult moments with confidence and grace.
It is such a profound relief when instead of melting down, a child can start to say things like “I am feeling sad right now. I need a hug.”
We know there is a lot of information about parenting out there. So why invest your time and money in this resource? Well, we offer you a unique combination of backgrounds and a whole lot of experience.
Steven M. Hall, MD his wife, Patti Pitcher and their second daughter, Grace Porter, MA
Steve is a family physician with experience in obstetrics, pediatrics, and over 30 years of integrative medicine. He has been helping families navigate large and small parenting issues in his clinical practice for decades. He comes from the era where family medicine was just that-long term patient relationships caring for the needs of the whole family. Steve narrates the class recording instilling confidence and calmness.
Patti is an educator and writer, co-author of Under the Chinaberry Tree: Books and Inspirations for Mindful Parenting. She spent years reading everything written about parenting to support her own parenting journey and loves sharing those ideas with other parents. She was a go-to support for her peers and now for her children and their friends as they parent. Together, Patti and Steve successfully raised four children, who, by all accounts, do indeed have the skills taught in the class.
Grace is a psychotherapist and the mother of two young children. She uses these skills with her own kids daily. She teaches these skills to her clients for use in their own lives and in their role as parents. Grace brings the perspective of parenting right now in this time, in this world, with all its current pressures and challenges.
The class brings together years of academic study, decades of medical and psychological clinical practice, plus actual parenting. Lots and lots of actual parenting. It is sound and practical. We have been there. We are there. We support others who are there. We KNOW these ideas work. And we know how hard it is to parent.
The Pitcher-Hall family in action, including a grandbaby for extra snuggly cuteness.
And, in the process, you will learn these skills for yourself, too, if you haven’t already.
Strong Foundations is a self study online class that you can take at your own pace. You receive lifetime access to the material so you can come back and revisit it as needed as your children grow. We cover the whole of childhood so that you have all the information regardless of how old your children are when you start. What your children require of you changes as they grow and change. If you give them what they need when they are small, they won’t be looking for you (or anyone else) to meet those unfulfilled emotional needs when they are older. Plus, emotional development doesn’t always follow chronological age so you might find useful information in sections marked as different ages than your children currently are.
Knowing something intellectually is never enough. You also have to be able to put the ideas into practice. They have to become second nature enough that they are what comes spilling out of your mouth in the millionth tricky parenting moment of the day. That is why this class contains not just the information you need but also ways to practice the skills so that they become second nature to you.
Here is a little anecdote from Grace’s childhood. On the weekends, Grace would often wake up, do her chores, and then decide she wanted to play with someone. She’d start calling all her friends one after another to see if they could play (probably why she still has many of their childhood phone numbers memorized). Many weekends she’d get answering machines (because there weren’t voicemails back then), she’d hear they already had plans with other friends, she’d hear they were still sleeping (we’re looking at you, Erika), she’d hear they had family in town, etc. It’d be no after no after no.
She would feel so sad and dejected. She would become agitated and irritable. Eventually, she would articulate how she was feeling (usually lonely or left out or dejected) and Patti and Steve would validate her feelings without trying to fix the situation for her. After talking about it, her emotions would shift and she’d be able to engage with something else to do for the day. Or at least until Erika would wake up and she could go up the street to play. Patti swears that some of Grace’s most creative and exciting play came on these weekends after she worked through her feelings and regained her center.
Strong Foundations offers developmental information about children as they grow and shows you how to engage your children in learning the skills of emotional intelligence at every age and stage along their path to adulthood.
Kids are naturally egocentric so everything feels like it is about them. This can lead to children drawing conclusions about themselves that simply are not true. Emotional intelligence acts as a litmus test for how true that is. It helps us discern what is ours and what is our reaction to someone else’s “stuff”.
Things Get Better for Everyone When People are Healthy with Their Feelings.
As your children know how to express their feelings and utilize self compassion more regularly, home life tends to improve for the whole family. You’ll likely see your children engaging with their peers in healthier ways. They’ll navigate issues at home with greater ease. You’ll notice that the choices they make in their life will be more aligned with who they really are and what brings them a sense of purpose and satisfaction.
Since our feelings are messengers about our beliefs and how we are perceiving the world, being healthy with feelings results in a life more aligned with our higher selves and our values. And is there any greater gift we can offer our children than the building blocks they need to build a life of purpose and meaning?
Strong Foundations teaching you about all this stuff in a supportive and empowering way!
"The 7 Tools' Strong Foundations course is invaluable information for all parents. This course is a great balance of teaching a foundational framework for parents about how to help a child be healthy with their feelings and also outlining practical strategies, providing specific scripts, and sharing exercises for both the parent and the child. There were many helpful tips and suggestions that I wrote down to try immediately with my 4-year-old and 3-month-old. I have read numerous parenting books and taken other parenting courses, and this one by far is the most comprehensive and most helpful I’ve taken thus far in my parenting experience. The information is presented in a nonjudgmental and relatable manner. Dr. Hall has a calming voice that makes this information easy to listen to and retain. It is encouraging that Dr. Hall shares some of his own parenting experiences, while teaching the listener his recommended practices. Each module outlines a framework for helping children be healthy with their feelings, why we should do this as parents, and provides practical and easy ways to implement what you learn for each developmental stage. The recaps at the end of each lesson help to sum up the information and there is also a part with helpful recommendations about what to do in common parenting dilemmas. HIGHLY recommend this course to both new or seasoned parents. The suggestions and exercises provided through this course have been transformative to my family dynamic and given me more confidence as a parent. I also truly believe the information presented in this course will help raise my children to be healthier, happier and more resilient. "
"I very much recommend the Strong Foundations course. As a psychotherapist I think the material in this class is spot on. The application of child development to good parenting is hard to convey. This class does that in many ways that are easy to understand and fun to think about as a parent. It helps us step back and “see” our kids and then gives us truly helpful and well researched direction to be better parents to children of any age. Honestly I think this class is not only a must for any parent, but for anyone thinking about becoming a parent or, for that matter, anyone just interested in childhood development. It could be helpful for teachers, child care givers, or anyone interacting with kids at any age. "
"Strong Foundations offers a sweeping overview of children's development--from birth through teen years--and the best ways to help them build a healthy relationship with their feelings throughout each of these stages. It provides a strong, relatable approach for how to raise emotionally-intelligent, kind humans. Mixed throughout are useful strategies that can be implemented today, no matter the age of your child. Dr. Hall's soothing voice, knowledge, and decades of experience offer a calming antidote to the often stressful world of parenting advice. He's reassuring and reasonable and makes it feel feasible to start helping both yourself and your children work towards a healthier emotional life and more genuine acceptance of feelings--the pleasant and unpleasant--no matter where you are today. This class speaks to the heart of what we want to achieve as parents; not only does it provide specific strategies for surviving hard days, but it creates an overarching blueprint of how to parent in a moral and grace-filled way. "
Whether you are thinking about starting a family or raising teenagers, Strong Foundations can help you set your kids up for a healthy relationship with their feelings. We see the difference these skills can make in adults’ lives so we know that even if your kids are getting ready to leave the nest, the ideas taught in this class can still benefit your family.
Imagine what it would feel like for you and your children to navigate the rockier emotional moments with confidence and ease.
Perhaps the best gift we can give our children is the ability to be healthy with their feelings. This class shows you how. Start today!