BellaMakalaThe thing is, you want to put yourself in your child’s situation – understand their frame of mind, their spirit. In order to do that, you have to see what is in front of you, to be in the present with them. If they bring up your issues, you won’t see clearly what needs to be done. And you know they can bring up your stuff, big time. Also, you want to figure out how your child thinks and how they perceive you. To understand what it might take for your child to have a willingness to listen and accept the same ideas as you. That is so important and challenging.

You eventually want your idea to become theirs. So if you understand how a child thinks and how they perceive things, you will have a better chance to figure out a way to help and actually find a place where you can help them understand. You want to build a partnership. Not just get them to conform, but to partner with you and follow your lead. I like using the analogy of You are the river bank and They are the river. You set the course, you get them to want to follow the path and then you gently guide them.CadeBusterKids - Copy

Partnership is a process of you both learning together and building a trust with each other, so your child will accept your lead willingly and with some enthusiasm. There will be upsets along the way, but eventually they will learn and accept your guidance with little or no resistance – no pushback. But you have to keep “your stuff” out of the mix.

Ken2You are not just asking the child to conform to you. Kids are all different. What works for one, won’t work for another so you really have to be in the present and see what is there in order to make an impact. I think parenting is about your child feeling apart of something that they want to contribute to and make better – The Family.


Remember, encourage not discourage – and one more thing, always lead with kindness. MM


MichaelMaddieAs the host for the ICS day I wasn’t sure what to expect on many levels. What would Michael be like in person? How would the kids like his program? How would our veterans do in dealing with the kids from all walks of life and physical conditions? How would the horses do?

All these worries were calmed when we met Michael. The kids arrived rough tough and ready to challenge the program and the task put before them. Loud and mouthy the kids quickly got soft and quiet, interested, attentive and respectful when in minutes of Michael speaking. When they were introduced to the first horse they smiled, became even more attentive, questions flew and everyone wanted to be the first to touch.

As the day progressed the kids came together as a unit ONE unit, the toughest kid helped the weakest by choice not direction. The hard crusty girl became soft and pleasant and asked not demanding any longer.Crutches We had one child in a wheelchair and one on crutches, I was worried they wouldn’t feel welcomed by the other kids. NOPE not so, the other kids carried chairs for one to sit in, water as it was a hot day, and the loudest cheers when they climbed the leap of faith ladder higher than them, gentle hands to help them climb the wall of hay, and truly caring smiles exchanged.

There were lasting friendships formed between the veterans, the kids, and the horses used and we are very excited about our up coming season.IMG_5318