Since 1994, I've worked in social services working with children and families in crisis. Schools, hospital crisis units, shelters, temporary/transitional housing for families and children (including those in foster care), allowed me to be immersed with the conditions that concern others, giving me vision on how I can be of service. As a social worker, I've encountered mental/emotional wounds and encouraged their healing. I've been blessed to learn more about myself in the process. Then with being a teenage mom straight out of high school, putting myself through college, grad school, currently working on my doctorate, getting married, having a second child, then sending my oldest son off to college, I have become more aware of my journey and the true journey of many parents and children. My company Optimistic Expectations www.optimisticexpectations.org including my blog http://blog.optimisticexpectations.org offers parents a platform toward better family cohesiveness. My book Real Talk: Ten Parenting Strategies to Raise Confident Successful Children offers strategies toward more effective parent/child communication.