Story | Team | Philosophy
We live in the real world. We think you do too.
In the real world of our parenting lives, the kids are often sticky, the parents always need another cup of coffee, and everyone could use a nap. We live in the land of BIG emotions, busy schedules and a mountain of laundry that never seems to get folded.
It’s messy here. And it’s also beautiful; there’s lots of laughter, there’s room to make mistakes and try again (for the tiny humans AND the grown up humans), everyone gets a voice and vote, and we’re always trying our best to let the message of love come through.
Parenting... It's amazing. It's beautiful. And it's hard. Damn hard. And… everyone is always telling you you’re doing it wrong. We’re here to offer something different.
In 2015, two friends joined forces to see what they could do to build a community where families felt supported, where kids got the chance to build skills and learn from their mistakes, and where “good parenting” didn’t focus on blame or shame or hiding the dirty laundry.
For us, good parenting means:
It feels good/respectful to the parents
It feels good/respectful to the kids
It’s effective, over the long term
In a world that bombards us with constant pressures to parent the “right” way, Positive Parenting Seattle is all about building families where there aren’t winners and losers, but rather a team (led by confident, courageous, connected parents) working hard together to move through this wonderful and challenging life.
Positive Parenting Seattle, led by Co-Founder Katie Gruver, provides classes, workshops and coaching with the goal of helping parents and caregivers confidently provide the boundaries, skills, love and connection that their kids need to grow with kindness and firmness at the same time. (Our other co-founder Anne Granderson, now runs The Village in North Bend. If you’re on the East Side of Seattle… check her out!!)
I think parenting is some of the most important work done on this planet. I think empowering parents to feel confident, calm and kind as well as clear in their boundaries and capable of respecting both themselves and their kids is perhaps one of the greatest gifts we can give to future generations.
And, I’ll be honest with you: I thought parenting would be easy. Not without bumps, of course, but you know… intuitive, fun, joyful and even perhaps, carefree. (Insert hysterical laughter here.)
After six plus years of parenthood, sometimes charging through with flying colors and sometimes falling flat on my face in the mud, I’ve realized a few essential truths:
This work of raising children is hard. Truly, truly hard. Not because we’re doing it “wrong,” but because we care. (And because our kids are ever-evolving, moving targets.)
It might get easier, but it will never be easy.
It gets easier when we do the hard work of evolving with our kids.
We aren’t meant to do this alone
Realizing that my goal as a parent can be to find “moments of joy” rather than create the illusive life of absolute bliss, feels like both a relief and a very empowering, reasonable and attainable goal.
For me, the parenting books and blogs didn’t help me figure this out. But community … specifically, building community with other parents … did.
I’m excited to launch Positive Parenting Seattle because my personal and professional passion is to empower individuals and communities. I’ve worked for multiple international development nonprofits, spent time at two education-focused tech startups and been a writer for a parenting magazine. I’ve also spent many hours facilitating PEPS groups for new parents and leading monthly discussion groups with parents around social justice topics.
With Positive Parenting Seattle, I hope to create an environment where parents can learn from each other, where we can remember that we have the power to change ourselves (not our children) and where we can offer up tools and skills to parents not as a “must do” but as a possible new perspectives. I’d like to help change the parenting conversation from what people are doing wrong, to a confidence-building discussion around what feels right to you, and what is effective for your family.
What I love about the Positive Discipline approach is that it is rooted in the belief that our deepest human desire (after food and safety) is a sense of love and belonging.
If this rings true for you (or you want it to ring true for you), I hope you’ll join us in giving some time and attention to this wonderful, crazy and complex journey of parenthood
Willamette University, BA in Rhetoric & Communication
Certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator by Positive Discipline Association
Certified Gottman Bringing Baby Home Educator