black parents lecturing upset daughter at table

How to Understand Your Neurodivergent and LGBTQ+Teen’s Point Of View

Do you struggle with how to understand your teen or to see things from their point of view? If you do, you are not alone, this is something that many parents find challenging.

We will not always see things through our children’s eyes or agree with our teen’s point of view. Neither will they with ours. This is just human nature.

However, as a parent, it is important to try to figure out how to understand your teen and to see things from their point of view (even if you disagree with them). The reason for this is ‘connection capital’. As discussed in my previous blog, it is important to recognise, interpret and act on your teen’s bids for connection. This will support you to build a trusting relationship with your teen through the depositing of ‘connection capital’ into their ‘connection account’. The more regularly you deposit into your children’s ‘connection account’ the stronger and more resilient your relationship with them will be.  Read more…

Mother and teenager taking a selfie

How To Connect With Your Neurodivergent Teen

Contrary to our beliefs, and the actions of our teenagers that they don’t need us or want us around, our teens are always connection-seeking.

Teens still need connection with us but don’t always know how to tell us.

This is important for all teen-parent relationships. However, even more so for our neurodivergent and LGBTQ+ teens as they may feel ‘othered’ by peers and society.

Our neurodivergent teens are more likely to be affected by conditions such as RSD (rejection-sensitive dysphoria), PDA (pervasive drive for autonomy) and sensory overwhelm which can put their nervous systems into defense mode. Our neurodivergent and LGBTQ+ teens need a safe place to land with us as a vital protection factor.

Here’s how to recognise and respond to their bids for connection. Read more…

No One Is ‘Broken’ And No One Needs To Be ‘Fixed’

As an AuDHD person and the mother of neurodivergent teens, who are also part of the LGBTQ+ community I often sense that the perception of us is that we are somehow ‘broken’ or ‘defective’.

A common sentiment I receive is sympathy or even pity for my ‘hard life’.

Common things I hear from others when I mention that myself or my kids are autistic are, “Wow, that must be so hard, sorry” or “You’ve really got your work cut out for you.”

I often get ‘helpful’ and unsolicited suggestions for how I can ‘cure’ my and my children’s autism by cutting out sugar, changing our diets or by using supplements and therapies. Read more…

The Importance of Seeing Your Child as ‘Good Inside’

Connection-focused parenting is based on the assumption that we are all fundamentally ‘good inside’. In other words, you are a good person and your child is a good kid.

This might sound deceptively simple. Of course, our kids, and we as parents are good inside. But stay with me here. It is easy to hold onto our idea of goodness when everything is going ‘right’, when we are calm and regulated or when our children are behaving as we believe that they ‘should’.

However, when our child has just had a meltdown, we argue with our partner about how to handle a parenting situation, or we are exhausted, overwhelmed and ‘over it’ it is very easy to see the worst in ourselves, our partner or our child. It is very easy to believe that we are ‘bad’ inside. Read how you can change this and use the principle of ‘good inside’ as a powerful parenting tool. Read more…

What Is Connection-Focused Parenting And Why It Is Important For Your Neurodivergent Teen

I am a parent of three neurodivergent teenagers and so I know that parenting teens can be tough. For many parents, the turbulent uncharted territory of the teenage years can feel like a minefield. Your amiable, loving kid who just yesterday, couldn’t bear to be apart from you pulls away from you and starts locking themselves in their room.

Suddenly your teen’s friends’ opinions supplant yours as the most important. At times it may seem as if they can’t stand you, they don’t want you around and are literally counting the days until they finish school and can leave home to live their own life away from you.

This is all part and parcel of a normal stage in your child’s growth and development. However, it can feel overwhelmingly confusing, hard and quite frankly, horrible. Read more…

The Valentins

Shifting The Paradigm Of Neurodiversity

Autism and ADHD are something that affects approximately 15-20% of the population. The increased diagnosis of Autism and ADHD in teens and adults highlights the need for there to be more conversations that facilitate the shifting of the paradigm on how we speak about, perceive and include neurodiversity.

In this blog I highlight some of the key challenges for neurodivergent individuals and their families. I explore why we need to advocate for shifting the paradigm of neurodiversity. Read more…


Even ‘Good Parents’ Grieve Their Parenting Journey Sometimes

All parents experience parental grief as part of their parenting journey.

There are two types of parental grief. There is the irreconcilable grief that comes from the death of a child that no parent ever truly recovers from. (If this is you I hold nothing but love and respect in my heart for your loss).

And then there is the more nuanced grief that comes from the loss of our identities, ideas and expectations of what parenthood would be like.

There is nothing in the world like it – this heartbreakingly beautiful experience of life and death – becoming and surrender that we as parents go through every day. Read more…

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