Hi I’m Jen…wife of Danny and mom of the Superkids. 🙂 I am also a teacher, advocate, writer, and speaker.
I’ve always loved serving and supporting children and families. I started helping in the nursery at church when I was in middle school. Over the years I’ve volunteered in children’s church, taught classrooms full of eager 1st graders, helped 5th graders learn research skills as a librarian, been a counselor at kids camp, and participated in countless other kid-focused activities. I now have the joy (and struggle…sometimes at the same time!) of teaching my own children at home.
In the midst of raising our children, Danny and I encountered some challenging behaviors that were beyond our knowledge and ability to parent. We needed help. So we began to access the children’s mental health system hoping for support, assistance, and services. Instead we found barriers and stigma. We continued to push through the system in order to find the help we so desperately needed, and along the way we began discovering opportunities to help and support others. Currently I advocate for children’s mental health issues locally, regionally, and across the state.
As we continue to walk this road, I’ve felt called to not only advocate for policies and services that effectively support children and families, but also to provide a voice for families and children struggling with emotional and behavioral challenges. The journey of parenting a child with a mental health diagnosis is often lonely and isolating. I’ve experienced the stigma from others and the self-imposed expectations and blame. All of this, combined with daily parenting challenges, contributes to feelings of failure and insecurity in many parents. By sharing our family’s journey and allowing opportunities for conversations about hard topics I seek to provide support and hope for others.
I’m passionate about encouraging parent voice within systems and culture, raising resilient kids no matter what diagnosis or challenge they face, and most importantly, always speaking hope. If you’re a parent walking a similar journey I hope you will find encouragement as I continue to share our story. And if you’re reading this as someone who isn’t walking this road, I hope you’ll enjoy the opportunity to learn more the reality surrounding children’s mental health challenges impact families so you can better support families you encounter.