You are in the right place at the right time.
Finding Your Center 
in the Time of Coronavirus
October 6, 2020
        We are 7 months into the Coronavirus pandemic. Last March, none of us could perceive how long the chaos of this crisis would affect us. As people do when they enter periods of difficulty and the unknown, most of us buckled in for the ride when quarantines went into effect, doing our best to protect ourselves and those in our charge to the best of our abilities.

         Over these months, we have watched in disbelief, anguish, and humility as hundreds of thousands of American lives have been lost, gaping inequities in our health care, education, employment, business, political, judicial, and racial landscapes have cause us to re-evaluate all of our priorities, assumptions, knowledge, and goals for the foreseeable future. Most of us have been reduced to literally living life one day at a time, barely recognizing ourselves, our lives, the people we know, and the world that was left behind on March 12, 2020.

        Under these conditions, any given day can feel completely overwhelming and emotionally draining. Add to that fires, smoke, rising temperatures, storms, missed milestones, election season and debates over school re-opening and it’s a wonder we can get out of bed each day. The resilience that we and those we know are exhibiting is truly extraordinary.

           My world has been changed as much as anyone else’s. My mantra for this time is “We will get to the other side of this pandemic with our emotional wellbeing intact.” And that is my only bar for existence, decision making, mindset, interaction on a daily basis for myself and my family. My goals are on pause, my hard-driving sense of achievement, the umpteen activities, and inquiries about their days. My family and I have shifted into a lower gear because all that matters is that we get through this with our mental and emotional wellbeing strong. That is all.

           Because of the overwhelm, change and uncertainty, I have found certain physical, emotional, mental self-care practices to be more important than ever. I cannot have a good day without hard exercise, gentle meditation, short writing spurts, lots of snuggles, walks outside, mindful nutrition, reading, and funny television. 

           I am working with more clients these days in my coaching practice who are also re-evaluating their lives, choices, priorities, and commitments. One of the big themes I am finding is supporting people to find their center amidst the chaos. We are doing a lot of breathing, a lot of self-care, improved sleep schedules, more mindful nutrition, more committed exercise routines, more connection rituals with those closest to us, more quality time with ourselves and our families, lots of self-compassion, gentleness towards the ways in which we normally feel guilty, stressed, and behind the ball. We are all working on letting all of these concepts go. No one is “behind” right now (or really ever was), no one “should” be doing anything. It is OK to release obligatory commitments, pressures, stresses, and anxieties in favor of being loving, kind, nourishing, rejuvenating, and gentle to yourself above all else right now. In fact, I insist that we all learn these crucial skills now and continue them well beyond this crisis as our “new normal.”

            I invite you to pause and to take a few breaths with me right now. I invite you to drop out of your head, its pressurized thoughts, and worries, and to focus on your body, using your breath. Check-in with yourself and your body. How are you feeling? If you notice tension anywhere, breathe into it, invite spaciousness where there is holding, encourage ease where there seems to be efforting and distress or a sense of not being or doing enough. Let all of that tension go from your space, your body, your mind, and be here in this moment with yourself, with as much lightness and spaciousness as you can imagine. I encourage you to spend at least 10 minutes per day here, open, receptive, gentle, loving, aware, and spacious. Your wellbeing is all that matters, my friend. I wish you peace, love, ease, deep rest and gentleness through this time…

       I am taking on a few new coaching clients, not just for parenting, but more so for self-care coaching, and life coaching, mindfulness and meditation coaching, in addition to parenting and leadership coaching. Please email me at kiran@theconnectedfamily.net or text or call me at (415) 377-6791 to schedule a free consultation. I am here for you during this transformational and turbulent time!
Client Transformation Story: 
Sneha and Rahul: From Control to Connection
March 13, 2018
       Like most parents of high school students in high achieving communities today, my client Sneha called for a consultation when she and her son Rahul could no longer even speak to each other. He was a sophomore at Palo Alto High School, and Sneha was a stay at home mom who had been heavily conditioned by her own upbringing in a traditional Indian, immigrant family where her grades and academic performance were of paramount importance to her parents.

        Palo Alto High School provides a 24-hour access data base of student grades called Schoology which students and parents can check whenever they want. This may on the surface seem like a great and useful tool. However, in Sneha and Rahul's case, it was leading to their downfall.

        Sneha was checking Schoology obsessively. What many parents don't realize, and I can tell you as a former high school teacher, is that the data in these data bases often is not up to date! Meaning, parents and students can obsessively check and get the completely wrong impression, react to it, and create rifts where none need be, since the data isn't always as bad as it may seem when checked and it's inaccurate.

        This was the case with Sneha and Rahul. She saw a failing chemistry quiz grade and freaked out. She asked Rahul about it, and he told his mom to CHILL. He still had to hand in a couple of assignments and his grade would come back up. He told his mom under no circumstances was she to contact his teacher.

        Sure enough, Sneha did go behind his back and make a conference with his chem teacher because she just couldn't get those numbers from Schoology out of her worried mind.

        Guess who walked by and saw her meeting with the chem teacher as he was passing to his next class? Yep! Rahul! BUSTED. He stormed out of the school and when she got home, he SCREAMED at her and they hadn't been talking in days - when I got her call for a consult and HELP.

        I asked Sneha to STOP CHECKING THE GRADES DATABASE IMMEDIATELY. Just to STOP all together. I explained to her the basic neuroscience of connection that I teach parents in my online classes and consult calls, so she could understand why her son reacted and behaved the way he did and why they were at a stand still. I explained that if she wanted things to change, she was going to have to CONNECT, and keep connecting daily to rebuild the broken trust and win her son's alliance back.

        We started working together for a 6 month coaching engagement and the first tool I taught her to use was an evening connection ritual. She would go quietly into her son's room and sit on his bed. She wouldn't say much, just sit and be present in the room while he worked on his computer. She would wait for him to say something. When he spoke, I coached her not to react with worried comments or advice, but to LISTEN, and ask open ended questions so he would KEEP TALKING. The first night she practiced this, they ended up lying side by side on his bed talking for hours. The following evening, he asked his mom if she was going to come and lay with him and talk again. And on it went for night after night. This dedicated mom and son rebuilt their connection in no time. 

        It turned out the reason Sneha had flipped out at the low chemistry grade is, like most Indian parents and kids, she had been socialized to believe that her child must pursue a STEM career in order to "be successful." I coached Sneha to understand and let go of this narrow definition of success. We discussed Rahul's actual interests and strengths. It turned out that he was a broadcast journalism star and was a very well respected announcer on the school's daily news station. Sneha and I worked together for her to support her son's deep interest in this field. I am SO happy to report that he now, two years later, is a senior applying to Broadcast Journalism college programs and Sneha could not be more proud of him!

        This was one of my most heart warming and effective client transformations. This mom now advocates for challenging the narrow ideas of success in our very high pressure, high achieving Palo Alto high schools. I couldn't be more proud of the transformations she made, and believe every parent and teen is capable of creating this kind of turnaround with CONNECTION, a STRENGTHS-BASED APPROACH, and consistent dedication to listening, understanding and authentic success.
Working and Schooling From Home Using True CARE 
(Published on Thrive Global 
March 25, 2020)
We all work hard and those of us with modern families parent just as hard on any given day. Enter the Coronavirus shelter in place orders and our lives have been turned upside down, with parents working from home, children schooling from home, all of us juggling too much screen time, too many worries about our strained productivity and learning, while trying to be the family we thought we were amidst anxiety, stress and uncertainty. If this isn’t a recipe for tension and meltdowns, I don’t know what is!

Now that we are all home juggling our self-care, responsibilities, jobs, assignments, to do lists, emotions, relationships and conflicts, how exactly are our days supposed to look? What does productivity even mean in times like this? Should we be stressing about our kids’ learning or lack thereof?

I own a modern parent coaching practice in Palo Alto, California and I have two girls aged 7 and 10 who are sheltered at home with me and my Google software engineer husband, who is also working from home. I have developed a body of work called Pressure-Proof Kids (join my free Facebook group by clicking here) and have developed a coaching method to help modern parents evolve their mindsets and behaviors from what I call Conventional CARE to True CARE, which leads to more trust in their relationship with their children and in themselves.

As the shelter in place was ordered about a week and a half ago, I observed many parents sharing strict homeschooling schedules on Facebook and have seen the last few days result in those schedules being loosened and, in many cases, tossed out due to waning motivation, resistance and unrealistic expectations. I hear there are a lot of power struggles happening between parents and kids, meltdowns, and confusion over what to focus on and how to interact to bring about the best situation for all involved.

Building your day with True CARE IS being productive, IS being efficient, and IS doing both your paid job and your job as parent the best way you can. I want to encourage parents to release the pressures to parent and school and work only for hard, stress-inducing productivity, performance and speed, to working, schooling and parenting from a more integrated place, with True CARE.

Here are the 4 Pillars of my True CARE method and a Work and School from Home with True CARE Schedule which you can print and use right away.

Pillar I: From Compliance to CONNECTION: When shelter in place orders came out, it was automatic for parents to think they had to parent and school from home in compliance with their kids’ regular school day schedules and activities in order to successfully school from home. It’s also automatic to expect yourself to work in compliance to your regular workday, even though now you are not only working but parenting and schooling from home, simultaneously, as is your partner, in many cases. I want to invite those working and schooling from home to let go of this compliance pressure to the old normal and instead to embrace CONNECTION. A few concrete ways you can do this include scheduling 40 minute work blocks with 20 minute connection, authenticity, responsiveness and empathy breaks where you get up from your computer, go chat with the kids, play with them, create with them, romp in the backyard, hug them, leave all distractions aside and listen to them share about their day, their feelings, their learning and just BE with them. See the schedule I am attaching here for more ideas.

Pillar II: From Anxiety to AUTHENTICITY: These uncertain, volatile and scary times are bound to create anxiety. Our school and work performance systems often specifically depend on anxiety in order to attempt to motivate performance – through competition, grades, pressure and fear of failure. I invite parents and families to release the anxiety and fear base and instead to embrace AUTHENTICITY by being authentic during work calls about how you are feeling, doing check ins with colleagues not just about work but also about life and how everyone is feeling, weaving into your child’s school at home schedule time for authentic sharing of learning, feelings, and how math or science or social studies relates to real life, and to what we are all experiencing, keeping journals during this time to help express, process and document the way that this extraordinary historical event is shaping our sense of ourselves, our lives and the future. These will be jewels to future generations.

Pillar III: From Reactivity to RESPONSIVENESS: With expectations, fear, grief, close quarters and disappointments mounting, reactivity is a natural by product. When kids go off track under these trying circumstances, they are signaling their unmet emotional needs. If instead of yelling commands from a place of control, fear and anger, we soften, and be more RESPONSIVE to say something like, “I know this staying at home all the time and going nowhere and seeing no one in person really stinks. I wish we could go see our friends, too. I wish our schedules were back to school and work, too. Hang in there. We are going to get through this together. I’ve noticed what a great job you’re doing taking care of the dogs, making smoothies, doing art, and learning from Khan academy and doing your best to keep up with your schoolwork. I’m really proud of how hard you are trying and making this work,” we can reset with acknowledging hard feelings, reassuring them and their need to be seen, heard and noticed for what they are doing correctly, provide praise and positivity to encourage in the midst of all this upheaval and uncertainty, and fill up our emotional cups. RESPONSIVENESS will get us much further than reactivity to soothe everyone’s stress, behavioral impulses and fear.

Pillar IV: From Entitlement to EMPATHY: Being a modern parent can feel like a race to entitlement, to doing everything in our power to ensure that somehow our kid rises to the top. And every parent is in the same race, to try to entitle their kid. This mindset leads to competition, a lack of warm community and broken trust. It also leaves our kids completely disconnected from the realities of those less fortunate and lacking the perspective to truly value and understand their own privilege with gratitude and humility. How bout we shift from an entitlement mindset to an EMPATHY mindset, where we educate, parent and instill awareness for others, caring towards others, and using our own gifts to support sharing with others in an altruistic fashion? We can practice gratitude for what we do have – a home, the ability to work from home, healthy food, safety. We can also discuss with our kids what people are suffering from in terms of losses during this time and brainstorm ways that we as a family and our community can help. We can work with our kids to create donations to local soup kitchens and shelters, we can go online together to donate, we can order from small businesses to help keep them afloat and educate our kids about what many small businesses are facing. Together, we can open our hearts and hold out our hands to make a difference. We can do history lessons related to the Great Depression. We can do math lessons related to unemployment statistics. We can do writing assignments related to ethical questions facing leaders of our time. We can do science lessons about how our brains are wired for altruistic action and mindfulness. Letting go of the entitlement rat race to let more empathy in is what our world sorely needs now, and beyond this crisis.

For the rest of this shelter in place, I offer to you this guide of 4 pillars to practice True CARE during these uncertain and unsettling times and four questions which accompany these pillars:

How can I practice Connection rather than compliance so that myself and family can release pressure and be productive with presence?
How can I be Authentic instead of anxious about work and parenting today?
How can I Respond to my own and my child’s emotional needs to generate reassurance, calm, fulfillment and fullness today instead of reacting or controlling out of fear?
How can I foster Empathy rather than focusing on entitlement or being the best at all costs today?
Put these questions up on your fridge or in your wallet or post them by your desk and use them as guideposts throughout your shelter in place. You can journal about these questions as you plan your week and use them to create a holistic schedule which includes connection breaks, authentic conversations, responsive feedback and empathy activities.

Here is an example of a schedule that is built using the pillars of True CARE:


For the afternoon, I highly suggest parents try to stop working by 3 or 4pm. Spend some time outdoors. Have your kids do their daily after school activities each afternoon, but from home. Try to make agreements with colleagues to cut meetings shorter to 40 or 45 minutes instead of an hour, cut the workday shorter so everyone can be realistic about parenting needs. Set kids up with activities and even if you’re sitting in the same room together (kids’ reading, crafting or practicing music and you drafting emails) it’s better to spend the afternoon being present than locking the door and barring them from entering. All will go more smoothly for everyone.

— Published on March 25, 2020



Top 5 Ways to Be More Present With Your Child
(Published on Huffington Post, September 19, 2016)
September 19, 2016

Today’s parenting culture often emphasizes cultivating the perfect human being for a future, robot-filled economy we don’t yet understand; modern parents are often rushing from activity to activity in an attempt to curate a one-day employable person who will enter a dog-eat-dog, competitive economy in which only the best will thrive.

The problem with this approach to parenting is that it’s based on fear, not love. None of us knows what the future holds and to live and parent towards a depressingly competitive future, sacrificing our present, does nothing to quell the anxiety - it simply manifests it. This future-oriented, fear-based mindset treats a child as an object to be crafted rather than as a human being who grows healthfully with nourishment, love and space to develop according to nature.

The irony is that letting go of this fear-based drive towards curated perfection actually liberates parents to enjoy the parenting ride - by releasing stress, pressure and adherence to external ideals. It helps parents to not be so hard on themselves and instead, be PRESENT with their children, seeing them as the people they are, loving them inherently, finding peace in the moment, which is enough.

Here are the top 5 ways you can be more present with your child, and let go of the endless striving towards perfection:

1.) Put away the screens, multitasking and other distractions and spend quality one on one time with your child, giving them all of your warmth and attention. Set a timer for anywhere between 15-60 minutes. Until that timer goes off, bathe your child in your pure attention, warmth and love. Let your child choose what he or she wants to do, and simply go with their flow, offering your observation, encouragement, warmth and love. You will feel connected to your child, and able to focus on them in nourishing ways, while also nourishing your own need for connection.

2.) Do chores, which help us become more present. When we focus our mental and physical energy on getting one thing done at a time, we help our minds stay in the here and now (rather than where they want to be when not being mindful - in the past or in the future). Our minds and bodies are very closely connected, and feed off of one another, so if we give them both something to focus on with a chore like washing dishes, doing laundry, cooking, pet care, sweeping, tidying, making the bed, organizing, the mind and body get to work together to be in the present moment. Having kids do chores from an early age is one of the best gifts we can give as parents. When we expect kids to complete chores and hold them accountable for doing so, we are helping them be more present while developing a strong work ethic. Even better is if we have family chore time where every member of the family works away together caring for their home space .

3.) Use your 5 senses to become mindful of the present moment. If you find your mind racing and yourself racing around with your kids, stop, breathe, and take a moment to notice what is actually happening in this moment – What do you see? What do you hear? What do you touch? What do you smell? What do you taste? Use the helpful mindfulness tools of your 5 senses to be with what is actually happening in this moment, and to let go of any thought about the past or the future, as those thoughts are not real and the emotions they generate are story telling in your mind. Get into THIS moment, and clear away space using the breath. Practicing this throughout your day, in the car, while cooking, with your kids, helps us build the muscle of mindfulness so we can be more present.

4.) Create more space in your schedules. Let go of relentless activity. Allow time to be, to rest, to create, to read, to connect, to be together, to be in nature, and to enjoy life. Constantly running causes stress, anxiety, resentment and a sense that nothing is ever good enough. Being present means we slow down enough to actually notice moments we’re in. When we’re running, we’re running past moments perhaps because of relentless, future-oriented thinking or perhaps because there are feelings we are afraid to feel, so we busy ourselves to avoid feeling pain, anxiety, and other uncomfortable states. Create more space so that the pace of activity allows one to connect with oneself- for reflection and being. And be brave enough to feel what is there. A good cry can be healing. The present moment has a way of dissolving fear in the awareness of each breath.

5.) Practice gratitude: start a gratitude journal where you note what you are grateful for each morning and each night before bedtime. Help your children develop gratitude as a way of thinking and being. Being of service to people whose lives are not as fortunate as our own can teach profound lessons in gratitude. Simplifying our environments and possessions can also teach an attitude of gratitude. Gratitude practices help us to be in the present moment, seeing what there is to be grateful for and focusing on that, rather than on what’s missing or still left to accomplish.


You Are Your Child's Life Coach
(Published on Huffington Post, 
August 31, 2016)

Harvard now offers a new course to incoming freshmen, which is basically a life coaching 101 course. Since so many new students at the prestigious university have spent their high school years overwhelmed by activities and homework, barely sleeping to make the grade, the university wants them to identify their core values, learn how to make choices in their daily lives that align to their values, and start managing their time as college students in a way that will support them to live their adult lives with balance rather than overwhelm, which has become their norm from an early age.

I believe, as a coach for modern parents, that parents are their child's life coach and that children need this type of values, time alignment and choice-making life coaching way before they head off to college. In fact, the way that parents reflect upon and answer the same big life questions about their core values, align their time and responsibility commitments to those values and their levels of stress are what really teach a child of any age the same kinds of lessons this class at Harvard hopes to impart.

Here are 5 ideas to help you be your child's life coach, to support them in living a life of balance, alignment and meaning:

1.) Create a Family Mission Statement with your partner in which you detail the core values you hope to impart in raising your family. When making decisions related to discipline, activities, community building, schooling, hard choices and limit setting, use this Family Mission Statement as a guide to help support clarity and alignment.

2.) Slow down and take time for reflection. If you question the job you're in, find yourself in a constant state of stress, reacting more often than responding, it's time to step off the rat wheel and examine your own life thoroughly. Making the changes we need in our own lives to decrease stress, increase connection, and be in integrity with who we are and what we really want from life are the best ways we can support and serve our kids to become the types of adults who can do this as well.

3.) Engage in the activities and interests that you truly love, for the sake of doing them and to experience joy. When is the last time you played an instrument? Spoke the foreign language you love? Played a game with friends? Made a piece of art or a new invention for the fun of it? Took a cooking class? Learned something new that truly engages your curiosity and desire to experience being alive? If you've sacrificed these elements of your own life, it will be hard to model to your children that joy, curiosity and love of learning are essentials to a life well lived. Get out that class catalogue and sign up today for a learning experience that will help bring you totally alive.

4.) Spend time with people who are positive, living lives that align to your values, and prioritize the same values, interests and curiosities that you do. If you find yourself around people who you don't truly resonate with, it's time to do some social reflection and focusing. Get out your Family Mission Statement and spend time reflecting on the people, experiences, traditions and social activities which really resonate with who you are and the family you most want to raise.

5.) Have weekly Family Meetings where in addition to discussing appreciations, celebrations, scheduling, problem solving, you share about your Family Mission Statement and the activities, choices, friends, experiences that each of you are engaging in that reflect your family's desired culture. You can plan activities and discuss questions together to help build your family culture to be one that is balanced, aligned, positive and inspiring: life coaching at its best!
Did You Like This?
We've helped hundreds of parents raise resilience in themelves, their families, organizations, and communities. Join us!
© 2021 Raising Resilience, LLC. This site is not a part of the Facebook website or Facebook Inc. Additionally, this site is NOT endorsed by Facebook in any way. FACEBOOK is a trademark of FACEBOOK, Inc.
© 2021 Raising Resilience,LLC
. This site is not a part of the Facebook website or Facebook Inc.
Additionally, this site is NOT endorsed by Facebook in any way. FACEBOOK is a trademark of FACEBOOK, Inc.