• 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)

Teens, Sexuality, and Health: Effective Sex Education at Home and at School


Children and teens often get confusing messages about healthy sexuality from their parents, friends, the media, and their school sex education program (if there is one). 

Sex Ed

If we want teens to grow up with a healthy attitude, and practice safe sex, then parents and teachers need to feel comfortable talking about this complex and emotionally charged topic.

Tune into “About Health” on 94.1FM or KPFA.org on October 12th from 2-3PM to join in the discussion. Call 510-848-4425 or 1-800-958-9008. 

What does quality sexual health education in the schools look like? And what do parents need to give their kids accurate information to help them when they are young, and when they become sexually active?

The California Healthy Youth Act (AB 329), by Assembly member Shirley Weber, has passed! My guests will help you understand how it will strengthen existing requirements for HIV prevention education and sexual health education for all students.

My guests will be:
Anya Manes, a former high school science teacher for 11years. Her biology class also became a sex-ed class where she came to understand what kids knew and what they didn’t, and what kinds of social skills they lacked. Anya did her master’s coursework in education and completed the Interchange Counseling Institute’s training program. Anya has a coaching practice, teaching parents to talk to their kids about sex and relationships. You can find out more about her work at http://talkingaboutsex.com/
Also joining us is Phyllida Burlingame, the ACLU’s Reproductive Justice Policy Director. She sets the strategic direction for this work and engages in policy advocacy, research, and community organizing to secure passage of legislation and ensure its implementation.
A nationally recognized expert on sex education advocacy, she has led the ACLU-NC’s work on this issue since 2001. Her proudest moments at the ACLU include working with a broad coalition in 2013 to pass legislation expanding abortion access in California, galvanizing parents and students to win quality sex education from their local schools, and tackling the education barriers facing pregnant and parenting students in California’s Central Valley. She is also the steering committee chair of Bay Area Communities for Health Education and a member of California’s Adolescent Sexual Health Working Group and the Fresno Regional Foundation’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention committee. https://www.aclunc.org/staff/phyllida-burlingame

Sex ed cartoon


    Presentations in October


    I always enjoy talking to parents and providers in the community. Here are two of the talks I’ll be doing this month:

    October 7, 2015 

    Is That Me Yelling?  Bring more harmony to your home! 

    JCC East Bay presents a Parent Education Seminar from 6:30-8:30

    Jewish Community Center of the East Bay at 14124 Walnut St. Berkeley Ca

    For more information call 510-848-0237 x122

    October 8, 2015

    Understanding Your Child’s Behavior Through The Lens of Temperament

    from 7-9PM

    To register go to:


    Parents Place in Marin, CA

    Do you want to schedule a training for parents, teachers, childcare providers, or health professionals in your community? If so contact me at rona@nurserona.com



      Taking The Power Struggle Out of Parenting


      On Monday September 21st, I participated in KPFA’s Fund Drive, on 94.1 FM or online at KPFA.org. 

      On “About Health” I played excerpts from the Four CD set “Taking The Power Struggle Out of Parenting: The Art of Powerful, Non-Defensive Communication,” Written and narrated by Sharon Strand Ellison. 

      If you want to listen to show just click here: https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=215070

      I hope to continue to host “About Health” on a regular basis, so please let the station know that you appreciate this show. I am grateful for your support.


      AA father and son
      Nurse Rona

        The Power of Yoga and Qigong for Self-Healing


        AmeliaDr. Amelia Barili joined me on KPFA 94.1FM on “About Health” to discuss Yoga and Qigong. These two time-tested techniques and practices foster self-healing, resilience, and creativity. The combination of Yoga and Qigong can help you focus your attention, deepen your intentions, overcome pain, and increase well being. You can listen to the entire show at https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=214507

        You can learn more about Amelia Braili’s classes at http://www.berkeleymonastery.org/home/qigong-and-classical-yoga



        Picture compliments of MarshaRose.com

        Dr. Amelia Barili graduated in 1972 from Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute in India, with a Diploma on Comparative Philosophy of Religions and Classical Yoga and has taught yoga philosophy for many years. She is a disciple of Grandmaster Yang Mei Jun, the 27th generation inheritor of the Taoist Medical Qigong system, and has also studied other forms of Qigong. Dr. Barili, a faculty member of UC Berkeley and the Dharma Realm Buddhist University, has brought these ancient contemplative practices into the academic environment and teaches meditative techniques as tools to overcome stress and foster deep learning. She has co-lead retreats with physicist Fritjof Capra on “The Emerging Consciousness” and with abbot Ajahn Amaro on “Entering the Now.”
         At UC Berkeley, in her course “Borges, Buddhism, and Cognitive Science,” she begins each class with brief meditations to foster the students’ ability to focus and observe their minds. She also teaches “Borges on Buddhism and Buddhism in Borges” and “Borges, Buddhism and Dreams” at OLLI (Osher Life-Long Learning Institute) for the Berkeley adult community. At the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery she teaces a semester-long session “Integrating Classical Yoga and Taoist Qigong” on Monday nights. For more information go to:  http://www.berkeleymonastery.org/home/qigong-and-classical-yoga

          Adult ADHD: The Challenges and Gifts



          On August 31st on “About Health” on KPFA 94.1 FM I was joined by two terrific guests, Phil Boissiere and Katherine Ellison. We had a lively discussion about how the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is made and what treatments are available for adults. 

          If you missed the show you can listen here: https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=213473

          Is your distractibility, procrastination, perceptiveness, restlessness, high energy, creativity, honesty, or disorganization, a symptom of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or is it something else? 

          Do you see ADHD as a disorder? A difference? or just the way your unique mind works? ADHD abstract

          Frequently, adults begin to uncover and untangle  their own neurodiversity when they are seeking treatment for their child who is having trouble at school, with friends, or at home. And sometimes job or relationship struggles and failures motivate people to seek out help. ADHD appears in childhood, and usually continues into adulthood for approximately 5% of the population. 

          ADULT ADHD

          My guests:
          Phil Boissiere, MFT is a Silicon Valley based Adult ADHD treatment specialist. He is the creator of the self-help video series titled Learn to Thrive with Adult ADHD available at beyondfocused.com. He is also the co-founder and clinical director of Elite Focus Clinic treating adult ADHD and cognitive performance. Phil also holds a private practice in San Francisco. His approach is goal oriented and he believes that dramatic change is possible in short periods of time. 
          Katherine Ellison is a Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative journalist and former foreign correspondent who was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 48. She is the co-author, with Dr. Stephen Hinshaw, of “ADHD: What Everyone Needs to Know,” forthcoming in November, and the co-author of seven other books, including the memoir, “Buzz: A Year of Paying Attention.” “Buzz” is an account of a year she spent trying to improve her relationship with her 12-year-old son after both she and he were diagnosed with ADHD. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Buzz-A-Year-of-Paying-Attention/113732785325394?fref=ts



            Mental Health: Preventing and Treating Emotional Challenges and Mental Illness


            A key goal for people who suffer from a mental illness, or who have emotional challenges, is to achieve and maintain psychological wellbeingMental health. There are many ways to reduce emotional suffering and treat the ills that millions of people face each year. 

            On August 17th on “About Health” on KPFA.org I was joined by Dr Keith Sutton. If you missed the show you can listen here: https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=212273

            Dr. Keith Sutton is a psychologist in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the director of the Institute for the Advancement of Psychotherapy, where he provides therapy as well as trains therapists in effective approaches for working with individuals, couples, and families. Dr. Sutton is the past president of the Association of Family Therapists of Northern California, and is the co-founder of the Bay Area Therapists Specializing in Adolescents. He is one of the 14 certified Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy supervisors in the Bay Area. Learn more about him at his website: http://www.drkeithsutton.com


              Integrative Medicine: The Best of Both Worlds


              What does the term Integrative Medicine really mean? And how is it similar to or different than the medical care you receive? On August 3rd on “About Health” on KPFA 94.1 FM, we discussed various healing modalities that are used on the path towards health and healing. 

              If you missed the show you can hear it at https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=211515

              Our guests were:

              83dddc58047d410801d1259e3a3662cfDavi Pakter MD. In his practice he focuses on removing the obstacles to health and activating the body’s innate ability to heal. Dr. Davi is board certified in Family Medicine and Holistic Integrative Medicine. At the core of his philosophy is the concept of Integrative Medicine, which unifies Traditional Allopathic Medicine (the medicine practiced by most MD’s and in Hospitals) with Complementary and Alternative therapies. He currently works at the West Berkeley Family Practice-Lifelong Medical Care Clinic, and works to increase access to integrative medicine for those that can’t afford it.
              (Lifelongmedical.org, 510-981-4200)
              Also joining us was Kate Lewis, L.Ac. At West Berkeley Family Practice, Kate balances the roles of Center Supervisor and acupuncturist. She was a core developer of the Integrative Medicine progam at West Berkeley which offers Naturopathic services. Kate has worked and volunteered in community medicine for 10 years. She is grateful to be able to offer services to both Spanish and Mandarin speaking community members following her travel and work in clinics in South and Central America as well as living in Shanghai, China.

                Menopause: Information For Women And The Men Who Love Them


                There are many questions women have when they are in their 40′s and 50′s about when menopause (the last menstrual period) will occur and what treatments are available for the physical symptoms and mood changes that often occur.  

                Dr. Amy Day and Nurse Barb Dehn were my guests on “About Health” on Monday July 13th. You can hear the entire show here: https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=210178

                Barb Dehn is a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, award winning author, and a nationally recognized health expert. An in demand and popular national speaker on all aspects of women’s health, she also lectures at Stanford and is a frequent health expert on television and radio
                Learn more about Nurse Barb at  http://www.nursebarb.com/ Check out her book: The Hot Guide to a Cool Sexy Menopause. 






                Amy Day is a naturopathic doctor. After eight years at San Francisco Natural Medicine, Dr. Amy opened her private practice in Berkeley specializing in helping busy professional women with stress, fatigue, and hormonal issues. She uses an integrated approach combining diet, exercise, lifestyle counseling, stress management, nutritional supplements, botanical medicines, and bioidentical hormones as she guides women on the journey to optimal wellness. Learn more at www.DrAmyDay.com where you can download a free copy of her newest e-book: The Busy Woman’s Guide to Adrenal Health.  www.DrAmyDay.com/adrenalguide



                  Accident Prevention and What To Do Before the Medics Arrive.


                  Take a listen to the “About Health” show we did on Monday July 6th. You can download it at: https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=209821


                  We discussed some simple things you can do to prevent and treat serious health emergencies such as Heat Stroke, Dehydration, and Drowning. And we’ll review ways to assess a situation, such as finding someone on the ground, not knowing what happened. With summer here, it’s a good idea to hone our first aid skills, and review some lifesaving measures.

                  01S595_120903Joining me was Ashanti Boykin, Emergency Medical TechnicianMA program Coordinator, BLS Coordinator, and EMT Skills Instructor, at Fast Response School of Health Care Education. in Berkeley.

                  Contact me at rona@nurserona.com if you have any questions or ideas for future shows.



                    Prepare for Health: Responding To Emergencies





                    Have you talked with your family or neighbors about how you’ll help each other when the next earthquake or fire hits? It’s so easy to put off doing what we need to do to prepare, but there are little steps we can all take that will reinforce our resilience and keep us healthy and safe.

                    Join me and my guest Ana-Maria Jones for a lively discussion on how to prepare for emergencies from a non-fear based perspective.

                    KPFA Radio, 94.1 FM or online at KPFA.org

                    Monday June 22nd 2-3PM

                    Ana-Maria Jones is the Executive Director of CARD – Collaborating Agencies Responding to Disasters, a nonprofit located in Alameda County. Created by local community agencies after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, CARD offers an alternative approach to emergency preparedness, disaster response, and planning activities.

                    We look forward to your questions and concerns. You can call in at 510-848-4425 or toll free at  1-800-958-9008



                      Fathers, Kids, and Health


                      June is Men’s Health Month with the purpose to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. On June 8th I was  joined in-studio at KPFA (94.1FM) by two wonderful men to discuss Fathers, Kids, and Health.

                      There are many ways fathers can be good role models for their children, especially when they spend time together. handwashing-family2 You can listen to the show at https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=184112




                      Our guests were:

                      Dr. Will Courtenay, an internationally recognized expert in men’s health and in helping men, boys, and fathers. The American Psychological Association calls him, “a leading psychologist in the field of masculinity.” He  provides psychotherapy and counseling to individuals in the S.F. Bay Area, and phone consultation to those outside of the area. You can reach him at 415-346-6719 or check out his website at http://www.themensdoc.com. He is also the author of Dying To Be Men: http://www.amazon.com/Dying-Men-Environmental-Biobehavioral-Psychotherapy/dp/0415878764

                      Gary Thompson, the Fatherhood Coordinator for the Family Health Services Division of the Alameda County Public Health Department. He is also one of the co-founders of the Fathers Corps, a learning community of male service providers administered in collaboration with First Five, Alameda County.  http://www.first5alameda.org/alameda-county-fathers-corps. He has more than twenty-five years of experience administering education and family-centered programs and advocating for the Bay Area’s most vulnerable children and families. You can reach Gary at 510-667-4343.



                        Secondhand Drinking


                        Lisa Fredericksen and Caroll Fowler, MFT were my guests on About Health,  on KPFA—94.1 FM, on May 25th to discuss what happens to the people who live or work with a person who misuses alcohol. If you missed the show, here is the link:  https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=183126

                        My guests:

                        Lisa Frederiksen ia national keynote speaker, consultant, and founder of BreakingTheCycles.com. She is the Author of nine books, including “If You Loved Me, You’d Stop!” and “Quick Guide to Addiction Recovery: What Helps, What Doesn’t,” and the Quick Guide to SecondHand Drinking: A Phenomenon that affects millions. You can contact Lisa at:


                        Caroll Fowler is a therapist who has been working in the field of addictions for 28 years. She has worked at a number of treatment programs and most recently was the Director of the Family Program at Sequoia Center in Redwood City. Additionally, in 2011, she was the Co-Founder of a nonprofit, drug and alcohol program in Kenya. She has a private practice in Castro Valley and facilitates a group for family members in Redwood City. You can reach her at 510-582-5225

                        Learn more about the health consequences of secondhand drinking at:


                         My gratitude to the wonderful callers who shared their stories, comments, and questions. 

                        child afraid

                        “Secondhand drinking is a term to describe the impacts another person experiences as a result of trying to cope with a person’s drinking behaviors. These are the behaviors a person engages in as a result of drinking alcohol in quantities that exceed what the body and brain can handle. These behaviors include the insane, circular arguments; verbal/physical or emotional abuse; physical assault; unwanted sex; the behaviors that occur in a blackout; the accident caused when driving while impaired.”Lisa Fredericksen


                          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. 



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