• Rona Renner,
    Rona Renner, "Is that Me Yelling?"
  • Managing the Anxiety of Parenting Teens
    Managing the Anxiety of Parenting Teens
  • How To Be A Good Parent On A Budget
    How To Be A Good Parent On A Budget
  • The View From The Bay - Discussing men's and women's communication
    The View From The Bay - Discussing men's and women's communication
  • AVG - The Digital Playground
    AVG - The Digital Playground
  • AVG Digital Diaries Episode 2: Digital Birth
    AVG Digital Diaries Episode 2: Digital Birth
  • AVG Digital Diaries Episode 3: Internet Safety for Six to Nine-Year-Olds
    AVG Digital Diaries Episode 3: Internet Safety for Six to Nine-Year-Olds
  • Shelly Rivoli with Rona Renner on The View from the Bay
    Shelly Rivoli with Rona Renner on The View from the Bay
  • Blossoming Mom Series (PART ONE)
    Blossoming Mom Series (PART ONE)
  • Blossoming Mom Series (PART TWO)
    Blossoming Mom Series (PART TWO)
  • Blossoming Moms Series (PART THREE)
    Blossoming Moms Series (PART THREE)
  • Blossoming Moms Series (PART FOUR)
    Blossoming Moms Series (PART FOUR)

Sleep: What We All Need To Thrive


SleepI am now hosting a show or two every month on “About Health” on KPFA, 94.1 FM, from 2-3PM. You can also listen anytime online at http://kpfa.org/

Here is the show about sleep from 3/9/15:


 My guests were:

Karen Schwarzbach

San Francisco-based sleep expert and coach Karen Schwarzbach is the founder of Pivotal Sleep and Babies to Sleep. A Certified Sleep Consultant and Certified Wellness Practitioner who works with both children and adults, she’s the former managing director of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants and serves on the advisory board of the International Maternity and Parenting Institute. She regularly speaks at industry-leading conferences and seminars and provides her expertise to household name corporations and organizations including Clorox, Facebook, Kaiser Permanente, eBay and Sutter Health.

Here are some tips from Karen: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/03/prweb12554429.htm

Dr. Allison Harvey

Allison Harvey is a Professor of Clinical Psychology, Clinical Psychologist, and Director of the Golden Bear Sleep Research Clinic at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Harvey is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Bergen, Norway. Her clinical training and Ph.D. were completed in Sydney, Australia. Dr. Harvey then moved to the University of Oxford as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychiatry then a faculty member in the Department of Experimental Psychology, University. In 2004 she moved to UC Berkeley. – See more at: http://psychology.berkeley.edu/people/allison-harvey



    Can Family Secrets Make You Sick?


    “In the 1980s, Dr. Vincent Felitti, now director of the California Institute of Preventive Medicine in San Diego, discovered something revolutionary about the ripple effects of child sexual abuse. He discovered it while trying to solve a very different health problem: helping severely obese people lose weight.” Please listen to this NPR story, and don’t forget to talk to someone you trust if it reminds you of some of the things you faced as a child.



    We know that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) have life-long consequences. ACEs (such as child sexual abuse, neglect, and domestic violence) cause suffering and emotional pain, and many physical ailments throughout a person’s life span.

    Finally, the profound study done by Dr. Vincent Felitti, is now making the news and getting attention. One of the reasons it got ignored by many for so long is that his results pointed to the consequences of sexual abuse in children—not a subject many people want to talk about. This is something he said to me when I interviewed him on Childhood Matters, over 10 years ago. http://www.nurserona.com/the-relationship-between-adverse-childhood-experiences-and-adult-health/ Also on this radio show is Rhonda James when she was at Community Violence Solutions.

    Imagine a time when all doctors asked their patients about their ACEs score, and tailored their health care to their real needs.

    Now, thanks to many organizations, people are talking about ACEs and implementing policies that are trauma informed. Below are some links that report on work that is being done.

    Each of us can spend time reflecting on our own ACE score, and notice how we have healed, and where we still need support in order to live a full and healthy life.

    And as parents, we can help to repair some of the trauma that our children suffered. It’s never to late to reach out to others with compassion and love, and to practice self-compassion as well.

    I’m deeply grateful to the people in my life who have helped me heal.

    Nurse Rona

    Watch this passionate TED talk done by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, a Pediatrician in the Bayview in S.F. and a national spokesperson for ACEs.


    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:




    Join ACEs Connection for daily stories from around the country. You will be inspired by what people are doing. http://www.acesconnection.com/home


      Trainings and Events


      February 25th

      Join me at Parents Place in Marin.  We will discuss how to yell less  To register go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/is-that-me-yelling-all-ages-registration-14337555013?ref=ebapi

      Parents Place Banner

      February 27th

      Dr. Intisar Shariff and I will present a training on Parenting Styles and Cultural Considerations for CAPE Inc. (Community Association for Preschool Education, in Livermore.




      March 6th

      I’ll be presenting a workshop, Understanding Behavior Through The Lens of Temperament, at the 2015 California Association for the Education of the Young Child conference. To registar go to: https://conference.caeyc.org/index.php?cID=218






      Do you want to schedule a training for parents, teachers, childcare providers, or health professionals? Let’s talk! Rona@nurserona.com

        Radio Interviews about Discipline on Pacifica-KPFT in Huston


        imagesOn Aug. 28th I  had the pleasure of talking with George Reiter on KPFT, the Pacifica station in Huston.  George covers progressive and environmental issues on his show, Thresholds, and is interested in talking about discipline and raising children with respect. You can hear my interview about yelling less below.

        images-1Dr. Intisar Shareef also joined George Reiter on Sept. 11th to discuss discipline and the consequences of using harsh physical punishment with children.  It was a terrific conversation about her own experience raising foster children, and about the work she does teaching parents, children, and childcare providers.

        You can here it below:


          “Daddy, I can’t sleep!” A middle of the night trigger for yelling!


          In my book, “Is That Me Yelling?” I touch on the issue of sleep deprivation as a common trigger for parental yelling during the day, or at 3AM, when you’re not able to be rational or calm.

          There are many consequences of too little sleep, such as lack of focus, irritability, poor emotional control, and an overall foggy feeling. Sleep deprivation can also set you up for a lower resistance to fighting off colds and other illnesses. Parents and children frequently feel stressed out, and a good nights sleep is an important element in stress reduction.


          Many parents report that when their child gets into the habit of waking up in the middle of the night, they lose it, and start to yell. Yelling  rarely helps, and will often make matters worse since a child may get worried or upset, motivating her to want more comfort.

          Most couples share the burden of getting up at night to comfort a crying baby or to walk a seven year old back to her bed after her loud howling woke you and perhaps the neighbors as well. And if you’re a single parent, your sanity depends on creative solutions to getting a good night sleep.

          What has worked for you, to help your child learn how to put herself back to sleep? Here are some solutions that parents have used. What would you add?

          • Walk your child back to bed and help her learn ways to soothe herself back to sleep. Stay calm and in control of your emotions—and with a consistent message over time your child may learn that he can go back to sleep without a parent there.
          • Give-in to his desire, and let him sleep with you “just this one night.”
          • Put a sleeping bag or mat (not too comfy)  on the floor in your room and tell your child she can come and sleep there in the middle of the night, as long as she doesn’t wake you up.
          • Teach your child how to do slow easy breathing (maybe with a stuffed animal on her belly) or the body-scan, so she can soothe herself back to sleep. Try an eye pillow that has a soothing lavender scent.
          • Get a dog to sleep with your child.
          • Try a sound machine. For some kids it does the trick when they stir at night. You may find it useful for trips as well.
          • Revisit your child’s bedtime routine. Work  to teach your child how to fall asleep at bedtime,  on his own—without a parent sitting there until he is asleep.  If he gets use to falling asleep without you there, he will be more likely to fall back to sleep without you as well.
          • Make sure he has had a good dinner or a bed time healthy snack, so a hungry belly isn’t the cause of waking.
          • Talk to your child about her school day and listen to any fears or concerns she has about her school performance or friendships. Worries can keep a child from falling back to sleep. Reflect on the amount of one-on-one time you have with your child.
          • Engage your child in a conversation about what would help him get back to sleep without waking you. Experiment with the different ideas if they make sense to you. Let him know that you need your sleep and you don’t want to be woken up at night. Tell him that you will be a much nicer person during the day if you sleep well.
          • Do an inventory on the level of stress in the house in the evening. If things are tense between family members, it can impact healthy sleep.
          • Don’t have  TV or other electronics in your child’s room. Too much visual stimulation, or scary movies, can cause sleep waking. Also the bedroom should be on the cool side, and most people sleep much better in the dark, with the lights out and good curtains to keep the sun from shining into the room in the early morning. Some children do better with a night light, so you’ll need to figure out what’s best.
          • Talk to your health care provider to rule out any issues such as sleep apnea or snoring.

          Children go through different stages of development. At some stages they become more aware of the world around them, and because of that, they may not feel safe or secure.  Many children become more aware and interested in death and dying between the  ages of  7-9, and they may temporarily need extra comfort and connection.  Behavior has meaning, and at the same time habits get formed easily, so think it though before you bring your child into your bed at night. It’s a personal decision, so decide if that’s what you (and your partner or spouse) want, and if that’s what your child needs. Each family is unique, and so what works for you may be very different than what works for your friend or sister.

            Book Reading At Google Headquarters


            Thanks to my friend Janis Keyser, it was a lovely day meeting many parents at Google, and also getting to see one of the their terrific Childcare Centers.


            The main thing I would add to this hour long video is a more developed response to a parents question about whining, I would add that we not only need techniques to help our children break the habit, but sometimes we really need to understand what they are asking for. Sometimes a child will whine when they don’t think they can get a parents attention any other way. And sometimes it’s their inner frustration and stress that comes out in the form of annoying behaviors. There are ways to respond instead of yelling as I mention in the video, and it’s always good to step back and think about your child’s experience.

              Are You Or Your Child Anxious?


              Many parents and children experience anxiety. Sometimes it’s mild, but other times it can get in the way of fun or meaningful activities. Does your child avoid field trips because he is afraid he’ll throw up on the bus? Do you say no to an invitation to go to a party because you are worried  you won’t know anyone, or that you don’t have a new outfit for the event?  Research shows that as parents, we often pass on our anxieties to our kids, and in some families there is a genetic component as well.

              Here is a good story from NPR about a family who reached out for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to reduce anxiety. Don’t be ashamed if you or your child needs help. Life is a lot easier when anxiety doesn’t rule.


              There are also many books to help you understand more about reducing your child’s anxiety. Here a two good ones:unnamed





                Boulder Bookstore Reading


                It was a wonderful night in Boulder, thanks to my daughter Mara and her friends and colleagues.  I met many people who do great work for children and families. I enjoyed the questions from parents who, like most parents, are trying to figure out how to communicate with their kids without letting their feelings of frustration and anger get the best of them.

                I look forward to going back to Boulder—it’s a friendly and beautiful city. BoulderBookReading Boulder Bookreading2


                  Boulder Bookstore Event


                  Do you live in Boulder Colorado? If so take a listen to KGNU Thursday at 7AM. I’ll be talking with Maeve Conran about my book “Is That Me Yelling?”

                  I hope to see you on May 22nd  at the Boulder Bookstore at 7:30PM for a book reading. Bring your friends and your questions. Come if you yell more than you would like to, or if you want to learn more about reducing your frustration with you child. We’ll discuss ways to yell less and and reduce your stress and your child’s.


                    Connecting with parents and friends


                    It was terrific to do a book reading at Book Passage in Corte Madera. I had the chance to reunite with friends who helped make my radio show, Childhood Matters, successful….Peter B. Collins, Marisol Munoz-Kiehne, and Ether Seiderman. My gratitude to my daughter Carina for helping me and being a shining light, and many thanks to Kathryn and Melissa at Book Passage, and Rebecca Wood-Breen of Parents Place,  who co-sponsored the event.

                    I love talking to parents about raising children and becoming more aware of how to respond rather than react to their child’s behavior. It takes patience and practice to stay calm and decide what’s needed.

                    I look forward to doing a book reading in Boulder Colorado this week. Please let me know if you would like a presentation in your community.


                      Kids in The House



                      Watch Rona Renner’s video’s on various subjects regarding childhood and raising children at Kids in The House. You’ll also find videos from over 400 national parenting and health professionals. 



                        A Time For Healing



                        During the weeks after my recent hip replacement surgery, as my body started the healing process, I had time to go inward and reflect on many things. I thought about my health, my work, and what the future may hold. I felt deep gratitude for my family and the healing we have all done over the years.  I reflected on  how grateful I am to the parents who I work with in classes and individually. I learn so much from each person as I am reminded of the love and challenges all parents face in raising children.

                        As you welcome 2015, take time to reflect on your life—what healing is needed? How can you come into alignment with your goals and purpose?
                        Think of the gifts you bring to the people in your life, and how you can feel more connected to the people you love or care for.

                        This is a time for healing. Start with yourself. Does your body need more movement, different food, affection, or time alone? Consider making a commitment to carve out time alone to think about your needs and develop a deeper sense of compassion for yourself as well as others.

                        Consider the children in your life, and think about their daily experience. 

                        • Do they have opportunities to contribute to the family or their community and express their kindness and curiosity?
                        • Do they get out into nature enough with time to explore?
                        • Are they too stressed out by school and homework?
                        • Are you and your family able to disconnect from electronics and enjoy each other’s company?
                        • What changes do you want to make at home?
                        • Do you want to have more family dinners or fewer weekend commitments?
                        • What is working well? What needs some attention and shifting?
                        We’re all different, and healing is a process that takes time and intention. I noticed over these past weeks that when I got a good night’s sleep, my incision and pain was much better the next day. It’s been helpful for me to see how important rest and loving care is. When I slow down, I can feel and see more, not less. Slowing down is essential to healing a wound and also to mending relationships and feeling restored.Healing our world
                        Many people are reflecting on the need for peace in our communities, our country, and our world. Acknowledging and healing the disparities that exist based on race, class, and poverty must be attended to if we are to have any possibility of peace. So do what you can and bring your courage, kindness, and generosity into the world.

                          Parenting Group For More Harmony At Home



                          Join other parents to explore ways to gain a child’s cooperation without losing your cool.

                          This series is based on my book, “Is That Me Yelling?”

                          A group for parents who desire more harmony at home.

                          Dates: 1/22, 1/29, 2/5, 2/12, 2015

                          Time: 7-9 PM

                          Location: Berkeley California 

                          Cost: $40 per week ($75 for partners or spouses)

                          If you don’t yell much but frequently feel stressed or frustrated with your kids, this class will help.

                          In a safe, comfortable, small group setting you will—

                          • Learn techniques to manage your stress.
                          • Practice becoming more aware of your feelings, thoughts, and actions.
                          • Support each other’s desire to yell less and enjoy your kids more.
                          • Understand the temperament of your child and yourself.
                          • Review the 4 C’s of discipline—communication, choices, consequences, and connection.
                          • Develop self-compassion for when you lose it.
                          To reserve a space or learn more e-mail  rona@nurserona.com


                            Be Curious And Yell Less


                            When I hear the word curiosity, I can’t help but think of Curious George. But there are other meanings worth considering.

                            Curiosity is a strong desire to know or learn something. When you are curious you are interested in discovering something new or understanding something that’s puzzling. This attitude can come in handy when raising children because they surprise and perplex us on a regular basis.

                            “Why is he waking up at night all of a sudden? He’s always been a good sleeper.”

                            “How did she figure out what the password is on my computer? She’s only eight years old.”

                            If you’re stressed and rushed, your first reaction to some of your child’s behavior may be to yell. If you slow down and calm yourself, you may develop an attitude of curiosity and discover more about what makes your child tick.

                            Take the time to approach a new situation, disagreement, or challenge from a place of curiosity!

                            When you are able to notice and then manage your strong reactions of frustration, anger, fear, or disappointment, you have an opportunity to connect and engage with a child. This is a powerful step in resolving problems and preventing power struggles.

                            Here is an example.
                            Jada, a 6 year old who likes to take her time in the morning, frequently fusses when it’s time to walk to school.  She wants to play one more game, or she searches for that special object, like a pencil or toy that she must have to take to school.  Her mother Marla is usually in a rush, and gets easily frustrated when Jada isn’t ready on time. Marla is in the habit of yelling, and the more she yells the more Jada insists that she needs, “One more thing.” 

                            When Marla tries the curiosity approach, she finds that it takes less time than she feared. As Jada stalls and says she can’t go to school without that special pencil Marla asks her to sit down with her for a minute. In a calm manner she asks her daughter a few questions, and then she listens. “Honey, do you have anything important going on at school today? When Jada says no, mom asks, “Tell me a little bit about your pencil. What makes it so special?” Jada says, without hesitation, “When I have to write my numbers I get scared that I’ll make the 3 and 5 backwards. With my special pencil I’m less worried cause the eraser is really good.” 

                            Marla gives Jada a hug and reminds her that many children write numbers backwards, and that’s part of learning.  She tells her daughter how she used to do the same thing. Marla makes a mental note to work with Jada on her numbers to help build her confidence. She also reminds her daughter that today is art day, something Jada loves.

                            Taking time to connect and find out more about what your child is feeling and thinking will often provide a clearer picture of your child’s experience.  When you don’t have time for a morning sit down, remember to connect with curiosity later in the day.

                            To learn more about how to lower your intensity and calm yourself so you can respond instead of react, check out my book, Is That Me Yelling?

                            images-1With gratitude and curiosity about how things are working for you.
                            Rona Continue reading →

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