You're only 10 minutes away from a great relationship with your child

About Maria

After growing up in inner city Baltimore, raised by Greek immigrant parents and surviving the domestic violence, as well as the physical and emotional abuse I experienced, I vowed that no child would ever grow up feeling less than completely and unconditionally safe and loved if I had anything to say about it.

I credit my teachers (I can name each and every one from kindergarten through graduate school) for providing the love, support, and encouragement I never received at home.  Thanks to my teachers, I am the zany, whacky, funny, outgoing, compassionate, loving woman with a huge heart the world over that I am today.  Thank you, thank you, thank you–a million thank yous are not enough for saving my life and the spirit that lives inside me.

Surprisingly, I thought I fell into my master’s degree program in psychology, ‘by accident,’ but we all know that there are no accidents.  I learned the most from my early professional experience working with Early Childhood Services.  Amazingly, I learned that you could teach children to follow directions and build a positive healthy relationship in the process — all without yelling, screaming, belittling, shaming, blaming, guilt-tripping, or yelling.

Since then, my career and life has been devoted to developing great parent-child relationships. I provide parent training in a fun, entertaining, energetic, and practical format that is easy for parents to understand and apply immediately. I do the same for child welfare workers, teachers, and caretakers. The bottom line to successfully implementing any behavior management or parenting technique is building the foundation of a positive, healthy adult-child relationship. I’d love to show you — proof positive — that you’re only 10 minutes away from a great relationship with your child!

I’m a child and family therapist who has worked with thousands of children and families in crisis, modeling positive relationship building and behavior management skills and teaching parents to do the same. As a child and family therapist for over 19 years, I have worked with the Department of Defense in Germany, the State of Nevada-Early Childhood Crisis Home-Bases Services, the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe Indian Child Welfare Act and Family Services, and Clark County Family and Youth Services. I have trained parents, teachers, caregivers, medical and legal professionals, as well as child welfare workers.  I currently contract as an Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant for the State of Nevada, providing observations, recommendations, and personally working with young children in preschools and Head Start programs to assure social-emotional-behavioral success.  Let’s just say, I’ve done my time in the social services trenches!!

I believe each parent is the expert on their own child (or, at least, they should be). You know your child best as (I hope) you spend more time with your child than anyone else does.

You can consult with other parents and get as many different ways to handle a parenting situation as there are parents. Make sure any parent you ask for advice has the type of relationship and structure with their own child as you would like to have with yours.

I’m here to fill in the gap from the professional (and sometimes personal) standpoint. I have worked with thousands of families and I have a great toolbox of solutions that will work for you. I see the common denominator in families day after day – and with some individual tweaking, your parenting job will become an absolute pleasure (at least, most of the time).

My life’s work and passion is speaking and training with humor while providing great information that’s practical and immediately usable.  Some of my favorite classes include:

  • Understanding the Alphabet Soup Behind “Seemingly” Bad Behavior
  • 10-Minute Parenting:  Chaos to Calm at Home and in Public
  • 10-Minute Classroom Management:  Chaos to Calm in the Classroom
  • Effects of Abuse and Neglect on Child Development
  • Signs and Symptoms of Abuse and Neglect
  • Cross-Cultural Issues in Foster and Adoptive Parenting
  • Sober Parenting: Now What?
  • Intention Re-Invention: Finding Opportunity in the Midst of Life Crises
  • Child Welfare Work Made Easy: How to Instantly Connect and Engage Families for Successful Outcomes

Don’t forget, I’m happy to custom-tailor and/or develop brand new courses that will meet your organization’s specific needs.

I also enjoy giving lively, motivational keynote speeches. I’ve been a keynote speaker for parenting conferences, WIC conferences, teachers’ organizations, YMCA, workforce development graduations, etc. 

I’ve done stand-up comedy and have trained with Second City Comedy Improvisation Group in Las Vegas, NV, so rest assured that your audience will have plenty of laughs while getting great information that they can use immediately.

What are you waiting for?  Call me at:  1-877-454-3463