“Consistent, unconditional love and nurturing during the first seven or eight years of life form the neurological and chemical connections between the heart, brain, and body.  This gives the emerging child the life-long emotional resilience to thrive.”

I was born in Spearfish, South Dakota, where I grew up and thrived on a small family farm with my six siblings. During those years, my days were carefree, full of love, and nurturing. I felt safe, secure, treasured, and loved. Life was colorful and fun!

But one day, all of that changed. My mom died shortly after the birth of her twin girls, when I was just shy of 6 years old.

This was the first time I recall feeling a burning desire to become a doctor.
I wanted to fix all of the sick moms and be able to send them home to hug and love their little ones, kiss their ouchies and make everything better.

This burning desire, this emotion, would strengthen the neural pathways and connections for what has become my life’s work and passion.  A passion for nurturing and forming connections with others. 

But the truth is, I only really came to fully appreciate and understand all of this when my eight-year-old granddaughter looked up at me to ask a question.

“Dr. Grammy are you going to die from the Corona Virus?” Out of this realization, the ESP – Giggles in my Heart series of Children’s books was born and my Emotional Social Parenting™  (ESP) journey began.

After investing the last 25 years nurturing and building loving connections with over 100,000 patients in my care, my granddaughter’s question awakened me to the opportunity as the caretaker, the elder, to nurture her emotional resilience.

I saw the fear on her face, and I felt her pain of contemplating the possibility that her Dr. Grammy might die from the Corona Virus. I recalled all of the feelings of being the six-year-old little girl who lived through the fear and reality of losing her mother. I felt all of the emotions associated with wanting to “fix” those feelings.

I knew that my granddaughter needed more than a doctor’s response to her question.           She needed to call on the strength of her own heart to calm “the monster”
of emotions that her fear was producing.

Out of this realization, the ESP – Giggles in my Heart series of children’s books was born, and my Emotional Social Parenting™(ESP) journey began.

Through the creation of Shae and a family of magical characters, including the dreaded “monster” to personify our most negative feelings, the ESP – Giggles in my Heart series walks with children through their emotions and nurtures their innate ability to process and understand their feelings. Each book focuses on a different emotional journey that teaches children how to actively work with their thoughts and feelings to create love, joy, happiness, and success in their lives. 

As a physician, I have listened to all matters of the heart. I have come to understand that our experiences during the early years (about age 3-8) create an emotional signature that is stored chemically and neurologically in our body and brain.

The way we respond to others later in life is determined by that emotional signature that shapes who we are and how we see the world.

During those critical formative years, the emotional signature I received became my core strength and internal emotional guidance system. The quality time of consistent and unconditional love, compassion, and caring that I received from my mom before she passed away created the emotional signature that sustained and guided me through all the challenges of the next six decades of my life. She gave me an internal compass that I knew I could trust and rely on to guide me through the challenging periods in my life. It is the compass I still use today when I face a difficult decision or hurdle.

Together, we have an incredible, life-changing opportunity to plant the seeds for an emotionally healthy future with our children. We can’t stop the bad parts of life from happening or “fix” things when they do, but we can give our children the gift of knowing the power of their heart and how to listen to it.

I am looking forward to walking this journey with you as you give your children the gift of ESP, Emotional Social Parenting™.