Dear Mom,

It’s been a year since the terrible crash that took you from us so suddenly. I know that while you were here with us, I was not kind to you and this is what I will regret for the rest of my life.

Thank you for everything you have done for me. You have always made sure I had everything I needed and wanted. Thank you for putting up with my fits of rage, explosive anger and all the unkind words I have spoken to you. You did not deserve my anger, I just didn’t know what else to do.

Dear Mom,

All I wanted was to be like you. I admired you so much. You always managed to get everything done and I wished I could do the same. You had my laundry washed and put away for me every week. You made sure I was up in time for school. My projects and assignments got amazing grades because of your final input. You drove me to my games, and cheered me on. The house was always full of food and the meals you made were outstanding. I know you were exhausted, but you just kept going until everything was done. I really wish I knew how you did it all.

Now that you’re gone, I am having to learn all the things I wish you had taught me. When you first left, friends and family would stop by with loads of food. Aunt Margie came to do our laundry, Mrs. Wilson next door cleaned the house and even old, cranky Mr. Bill cut the grass a few times. But all of that faded away and eventually it was left up to us. We have all learned a lot since you left, and we all wish you were here to teach us how to do it.

I have tried making your famous Sunday breakfast, but the fire department told me to stop because they got tired of responding to my cooking fails. I tried doing laundry, but the school said our uniforms are not supposed to be pink. I didn’t even know how to start the lawn mower (apparently you need to put gas in it first).

I am slowly getting better at navigating my way through your daily routines, but it is hard to find the balance. Some days, my school work gets lost in the shuffle because I have to fix the washing machine, or get groceries or I just fall asleep with so many tasks not finished. I really don’t know how you did it all.

I have been so busy trying to be you since you left, that I didn’t realize that I had lost me. Truthfully, I never had me because you always made decisions for me. You picked my classes at school, you told me who I could hang out with and you even cooked the foods you thought I liked (I really hate asparagus you know). I think one of the greatest things I have learned since you left, is who I am and who I want to be.

I wanted to be like you when you were here, but now I know I need to be me. I need to make sure my kids know how to do their own laundry, get themselves up for school and cook a meal. My kids will know how to do all the things you didn’t teach me. I know you were just trying to be the best Mom you knew how to be, but I really feel like you failed me. This past year has been so hard with learning how to get through life, that I haven’t had the chance to really grieve you as a person and a Mom. I have been so angry because you left me with this huge responsibility and you didn’t even tell me that I would have to do this!!

I wish you had taken the time to teach me how to be me.

I spent so many years angry at you because you were always to busy to just sit and listen to me. I needed to tell you that I wanted to learn how to be you. But we never had that chat. All we ever did was yell and scream at each other. I am now 18 years old and I have no idea how to live life because you always did it for me. You said that I was going to be a Doctor and now I know that I want to help kids who have lost their Mom. I want to help them learn all the things I had to learn because you didn’t take the time to teach me.

I had to get a job to help pay for the other kids, but I had never even made a resume. I was scared to go for an interview because I had never done it. I had to learn how to budget our money because I honestly thought it just came out of no-where. School, work, kids, house, chores, meals is all too much for me. I wish I knew how to do some of these things while you were here.

We are learning, Mom.

We have had some pretty good fights here since you left and I finally realized it was because you weren’t here to referee. None of us knew how to really talk to each other. We had no idea how to cope with your sudden exit. We had no idea how to work together to get everything done. Our anguish, pain and grief was hurled at each other in a feeble attempt to make it go away and all it did was grow bigger. We are now learning how to really talk to each other, help each other. Mom, did you know that Kaitlyn really hates biology? She is now focusing on athletics instead of sciences and Jeff wants to be an electrician not a lawyer. We have learned to channel our anger into creativity and have an entire wall in the living room devoted to our emotions. We have built a massive piece of art that expresses how each of us feels, what we like, what we hate and who we want to be. You are on that wall Mom. Sometimes you are there because we are angry at you for leaving before you taught us how to really live and sometimes you are there as a celebration of who we are today.

It has taken me a full year to write this letter to you. I was so full of hurt, anger and hatred that I still haven’t been to your grave. I think we will go this weekend. We are doing ok, Mom. I just wish it was you who taught us all that we needed to know about life without you. You can now rest peacefully knowing that we are managing, we are learning to cope, learning to talk, but we are also learning to listen and take time for each other because we now know just how precious time is.

Andrea Scarborough – champion of hope.

If you’d like to learn how to teach your children to navigate this world, you may join us at Solution Focused Parenting.

Not sure where to start? Try a FREE Power Hour to reconnect with your own authenticity so that you may help your children connect to thiers!!

Safety Plan for Domestic Abuse

You know when it’s time to leave. Having a plan & support teams will increase your successful departure.

Emergency Departure

  • Who to contact:
    • Local Police Department, ask for someone who specializes in domestic abuse. Let them know it’s time to leave. Ask for a Police escort (if you need it). Let them know of any weapons in the home or on the property.
    • Local Shelter. Ask for support in safety planning, arranging accommodations and local support agencies. Find a Shelter in Canada
    • Victim Services will also provide support in connecting you to your local shelter, arranging for counselling, clothing, etc. Victim Services of Ontario
    • Lawyer who specializes in Family Law. Legal Aid Ontario
  • If you are injured:
    • Seek medical attention! Be honest about how you were injured, ask them to document your injuries.
  • Rally Support
    • Tell a friend, neighbour or family member what is happening.
      • Have them store a bag of essential documents & items
      • Give them a completed copy of your Vital Information
      • Have an Emergency Code Word
  • Talk to a co-worker
    • Make them aware of your plans (your abuser may go to your work to try to find you)
    • Let them know that you may suddenly be absent from work (include this co-worker as a contact on your vital information sheet)

Gathering Essential Documents

Photocopy these documents and keep them with one of your Support People.

  • Birth certificates, Passports, Health Cards, Social Insurance Cards, Immigration Papers for all family members
  • Driver’s License, vehicle registration, insurance
  • School & vaccinations records
  • Bank statements, including account information
  • Income Tax & Notice of Assessment for all family members
  • Divorce papers, custody documents, court orders, restraining orders, marriage certificate
  • Recent photo of all family members (including abuser)
  • Credit cards, bank cards (photocopy both sides)
  • Utility bills, phone, cable, internet bills
  • List of all medications & pharmacy contact information

Gathering Essential Items

Pack a small bag for each person that will be leaving with you & store with a friend, neighbour or family member:

  • 3 days of clothing (socks, underwear, pants, shirts, jacket, pyjamas & shoes
  • 3 days of diapers, extra (empty) bottles, soother, etc. (if required)
  • Personal hygiene (tooth brush, tooth paste, deoderant)
  • Valuable jewellery, any cash you have saved

To-Do List

If it is possible, try to plan your exit as much as possible:

  • Open a seperate & secret bank account in your name (be clear that you are not to receive statements by mail, or inquiries by phone)
  • Gather cash, loose change, any money you can find – save as much as possible
  • Begin to move your essentials off property (to a friend, neighbour or store at work)
  • Plan your escape route
    • Doors & windows that open easily
    • Where will you seek safety (neighbour, local business) try to head for a public place – PLAN YOUR ROUTE!
    • Text your Support people

Support People

Follow this step-by-step guide so that your entire team of support knows exactly how to respond when it’s time:

  1. Decide on 3 people you can trust to respond effectively. Be sure that each member of your team has contact for the other members (cell phone #)
  2. Print out the Vital Information, complete it with as much detail as possible
  3. Make 2 copies and give 1 to each person who has agreed to respond.
  4. Establish a CODE WORD. A simple word that you will remember. cat, dog, tree, 123
  5. Share this code word with your support people.
  6. You will only have time to contact 1 person. It will be their responsibility to notify the rest of your team.
  7. They are to respond by calling 911 and giving the information you have listed on the Vital Information.
  8. Decide in advance when they will contact your other family or friends.
  9. Be sure each one knows where your Essential Items are stored so that they can get them to you as soon as possible.
  10. If required, establish a hiding place off property where you can safely meet someone for a ride to safety.

Additional Resources

Four Steps to Building Your Life on Your Terms

Building your life doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out, complicated process. It’s very similar to building a home; the same elements are required.

Building Your Life on Your Terms

To build a home, you start with a solid foundation, then you add a frame or structure, clad the exterior & add a roof and the final step is decorating. It is really that simple, but how does that apply to building your own life? Follow along and I will explain it all!


Everything stable starts with a solid foundation. This foundation includes your Core Beliefs, your Values and the expectations you have for yourself.

Most of us grow up with expectations set out for us. Rules that others (usually parents) have created.

  • You need to focus on an education
  • You need to get a job
  • You need to “suck it up”
  • You need to follow family traditions (join the military, work in the family business, have a large family, etc…)
  • You need to make others happy first.

The list of “you need” is endless, exhausting and anxiety inducing. If there is anything on this list that doesn’t truly feed your soul, you will get anxious when trying to complete this task. We all know the signs & symptoms of anxiety. Over time, anxiety spreads like a virus and eventually, every task becomes overwhelming.

This anxiety is a very clear sign that you are trying to live someone else’s life. You are not living the life you were designed to live.

Creating a clear vision of who you are is the first step to reducing your anxiety. Your life has taught you a very unique set of skills and created a deeper level of understanding. This wisdom is where you begin to discover your Core Values. Follow this link to get started on your Core Values right now, but be sure to come back here to finish building your life.


Now that we have started to secure our foundation, we should start to think about the structure that is going to hold everything together.

A house in it’s simplest form has 4 walls. These are the exterior walls and all the good stuff happens inside them. So let’s create 4 Goals that will helps us map out a successful first year in your new home.

Goals are such an interesting concept. Everybody talks about goals, but have you ever learned how to actually create goals that are achievable?

There are several steps to creating attainable goals:

  • Know your goal & be specific. What are you hoping to achieve?
  • What do you need to HAVE to achieve the goal? Money, passport, education, support?
  • What do you need to DO to achieve this goal? Alter your diet, create a resume, apply to school, join a group or team?
  • Who will help you achieve your goal? Family, friend, co-worker, professional?
  • How will you know that you have achieved your goal? How will you feel, what will you have, what will you know?
  • What are the tiny little steps you need to complete everyday to get you closer to your goal?

Who will help you achieve your goal?

This is mapping out your goal. Be very specific. Create 4 Goals that can be achieved in 1 year.

  • Personal – this is almost like a “Bucket List”. Think of something you have always wanted to do? What can you check off your Bucket List this year? Travel, learn a skill, join a group or team?
  • Professional – How will you advance or change your career in 1 year? Do you need to upgrade your education, take a course, gain a certification, upgrade your resume, or switch companies?
  • Health – how can you improve your health in 1 year? Break a habit (smoking, drinking), join a gym, change your diet, seek support?
  • Financial – how will you change your current financial situation in 1 year? Earn more money, save money, downsize, break a habit?

Our Team is available to help you understand what you want to achieve and create a detailed map to ensure your success.

Protection from the Elements

What good is a house, if it doesn’t protect you from rain, snow cold or heat? A house is clad with wood or bricks, has windows, doors and a leak-proof roof. All of these elements work simultaneously to shelter you from the harmful effects that Mother Nature has been known to throw at you.

So what protects you from potential threats of harm as you travel through life? Our greatest defence against the harmful effects of life is relationships. Solid, loving, supportive & nurturing relationships. Surrounding yourself with the right people.

As humans, we were designed to live in colonies or communities. These communities are supposed to protect us from harm. I will be the first to admit that not all colonies offer effective defence against the trials of life, but it is possible to create your circle of care.

Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that most people enter a relationship in order to get something; they’re trying to find someone who will make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place to give, not a place to receive.

Tony Robbins

So, what do you have to offer in a relationship? Before entering (or exiting) a relationship we should probably do a little self-analysis.

  • Are you looking for someone who can fill a void? Someone who will make you happy?
  • Are you looking for stability?
  • Are you looking for financial security?
  • Are you looking for a co-parent your children?

Do you have your basic needs met?

  • Do you have safe shelter, enough sleep, clothing & food?
  • Do you have a sense of safety, security & protection?
  • Do you have people who love you & accept you just as you are?
  • Do you love, accept and truly appreciate who you are?
  • Do you have the means for self-growth, development & change?

If you answered YES to all of the above questions, then you are ready for a happy, healthy relationship. If you got stuck on one or more, then you should probably work on YOU before you try to explore a relationship.

Reach out for support, if you feel you need to enhance any of the 5 areas of your life.

Moving In

Now that you have built a solid foundation, created structure and built your means of protection, it’s time to finally move in!!

Throughout this process, you should have gained a clearer understanding of who you are, what you want, what you need and who will support you. Let’s put all of this together and create a very powerful, profoundly honest Mission Statement.

This statement is like a shingle you hang on your front door, an indication of what visitor can expect when they walk inside.

Your statement looks like this:

I see, feel, hear & know that I am __________ because I ______________________!

In the first blank space goes an adjective that best describes who you are. Go back to your Core Values and pick 1 that truly resonates with you. The second blank space is how you know this is true. You have survived, persevered, helped others, fought for change, inspired action. Whatever you have accomplished in your life, is now the theme for who you are today!!

That’s it. Short, sweet & to the point. We have cleared out all the other stuff that bogs you down and discourages your progress.

Build a foundation, add some structure, re-enforce with protection and decorate. Your Life on Your Terms!

Please click on EVENTS for more information

We know that sometimes you need a little support or guidance to work through tasks such as this. We have put all of this into a 1 day workshop that is powerful & life altering!! Please click on EVENTS for a workshop near you.

How I Used My Pain to Find My Pleasure

I made a decision a long time ago. I decided that I was the one who had to find a way for the pain to end so I could find some pleasure in life. Up to this point I had survived life. I survived abandonment, abuse, neglect in my childhood, only for all of then to repeat as an adult. I watched as my children began to live the same cycle and realized this was because I was teaching them how to live in the cycle of negativity. Something needed to change. I needed to change. I chose to re-evaluate my perception of pain and you can too.


I looked back on my life and considered the moments that brought me joy and a sense of pleasure. Those moments all had the same theme; helping others. I was the one in high school that others turned to for advice or direction. I remembered feeling a sense of accomplishment when helping others to help themselves. This is what fed my soul. As an adult, others would come to me to talk about their marital disasters, behaviours in their children, or just general feelings of discontent. As a Mom, I was the community mom. The one my daughter’s friends turned to for support with navigating the crazy world of being a teenager. All of these moments gave me a sense of purpose, connectedness. I felt energized every time I was able to assist someone with their challenges. Even back then, without education or training, I was using my own experiences to guide others through their struggles. This, THIS is what I was supposed to be doing!! But how? My own life was a train wreck.

1 Simple Decision Changed It All

As I looked back on these moments of joy, pleasure, purpose and great internal satisfaction there was also a sense of hypocrisy. You see, I was great at resolving the issues that others brought to me, but I always managed to neglect my own issues. The longer I neglected me, the worse things got. I jumped from one miserable relationship to another. Each time, hoping this one would be different, but it never was. After the 3rd round of misery, I decided – “This is it. I quit.” The only thing that was the same in each relationship, was ME. I had to be part of the problem. That was the day I chose to be the solution!!

You can be part of the problem, or you can be part of the solution.

I Am My Solution

I began learning. I read about human behaviour, what makes us do what we do. I learned everything I could get my hands on. I learned that this learning also fed my soul. The more I learned, the more I understood my own path. Early in life, my path was chosen for me. I was in my 30’s before I realized that I had the power to choose my own path. I had the power to change my destiny – and so do you!! I began to realize that life didn’t happen TO me, it happened FOR me. Each event, situation, story of heart-break, disappointment and shame was there to teach me about the person I was designed to be!!

Your past is not your fault – your future is your responsibility.

Andrea Scarborough

Higher Education

The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn. Learning gave me a way out of my pain and into my pleasure. I sought out a career where I could share my passion for helping others. I became a Certified Addictions Counselor, specializing in Mental Health, and later added Certified Life Coach. With these credentials, I was finally able to pursue my life dream of unlocking the secrets that kept me stuck stuck. Learning to unlock the messages of the past that prevented me from truly connecting with who I was meant to be. I was able to help me to become more healthy, to feel better physically and most importantly; connect more deeply with the people I chose to have in my life. I have spent years mastering the transition from pain to pleasure.

Sharing My Wisdom

Today, I give. I share what I have learned. I am blessed to have the opportunity to truly contribute something of value to all those around me. I now have a sense of joy, fulfillment and purpose, simply by following my passion and feeding my soul. When I began to see how sharing what I have learned, truly helps others increase their own quality of life, I knew I had found my ultimate pleasure. I am no longer consumed with the pain of my past. I am exhilarated with the pleasure it brings me.

Andrea Scarborough is an amazing woman and those that attend will get to see first hand what I have known for some time. This woman has an amazing gift for seeing to the root of issues and helping you to discover for yourself, how to cut through the crap that is holding you down, holding you back and keeping you limited. Those that work with Andrea, even on the smallest scale, are forever impacted by her generous love and wisdom. You owe it to yourself to attend her events.

Cate Sullivan

Sharing with the Masses

Cate is speaking about my Live Events. I have created a program that will change the way you view your pain. In 1 day, we will uncover what drives you, what feeds your soul and we will use that to transform your life of pain into your life of pleasure!! We will get you unstuck and finally excited about your future!! Design Your Life on Your Terms is a powerful, life-altering event that you don’t want to miss!!!

Decide today to take responsibility for your future!

You Are Worth It!!

You see, if I can completely alter the course of my life, just by making 1 simple decision, you can too. You can have everything you’ve always dreamed about. Make an investment in your future, your family, in YOU!

Life Guide, Sharer of Wisdom, Witness of Beauty, Mentor of Empowerment

Raising Young Adults

Instilling Essential Life Skills is the key to raising young adults. In the hectic, craziness of every day life, we tend to focus on the short-term goal of simply making through the day. Sick kids, demanding careers, long hours and endless bills all keep us focused on the short-terms goals. We need to take a step back and realize the long-term goal.

Settling the Allowance Debate, discussed the importance of the family working together to maintain the home.  By everyone pitching in to do the their part, we have reduced the strain on the Parents to do it all, taught our children valuable skills to ensure their survival in the real world and begun to insert some of the Essential Life Skills that are so import to their individual success.

“It is not our job to fix our children, it is our job to teach our children how to fix themselves.”

Teaching Kids to Teach Themselves

We have all encountered kids who couldn’t problem-solve their way out of a wet paper bag. Truthfully, I have met a few adults who fit this as well. There is a quote I found somewhere:

You can raise your kids & spoil your grandchildren,

or you can spoil your kids & raise your grandchildren.


I don’t think truer words have ever been spoken. We are not raising children, we are raising strong, healthy, independent adults. We need to keep the long-term goal in mind when we are wiping snotty noses, cleaning a scraped knee, consoling a bruised ego.

The only way for our children to become strong-minded, self-sufficient adults, is to instill these values long before adulthood.

Essential Life Skills are the foundation of success, healthy minds & independence.
  1. Interpersonal relationships are not developed by chatting with people on line through video games or messaging.  This is real, face-to-face, human interaction.  The opportunity to look another person in the eye & understand their point of view. 
  2. Communication is the greatest tool we have as humans.  We have the ability to express our thoughts, concerns & opinions.  This is what sets us apart from the animal kingdom.  Encourage your child to speak with respect & compassion. Encourage them to listen to understand & not listen to respond.  If you are able to do this with them, they will learn how to do it in their own lives.
  3. Problem-Solving is a really tough one for parents.  We don’t want our children  to fall, but it is necessary.  Our children need to learn to resolve their own issues.  Helping them talk through problems, exploring different options, choosing the appropriate action & then assessing the outcome will go a long way to reducing the number of problems your child encounters.
  4. Critical-Thinking is key.  This is the lessons we have learned from past mistakes that we have problem-solved and applying this information to current & future situations.  “Last time I went out in the rain, I didn’t take an umbrella & I was sick for a week.  Today, I will take an umbrella.
  5. Imagination / Creativity is how we develop a strong sense of self.  This is where we learn what we like, what we don’t like, our strengths, weakness and our passion.  Help your child to explore a variety of outlets to find whatever it is that will light their flame!
  6. Connectedness; true, honest & deep connections are what keep us grounded.  Humans were designed to live in communities and having a strong connection to this community will keep you safe from harm.  “You have to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything“. Teaching your child to stand with a group of individuals who are searching for a similar outcome, will prevent them from being recruited by negativity.  Help your child to surround themselves with positive, supportive, like-minded people who will nurture their sense of self.
  7. Sense of self is knowing who you are and firmly believing in that person.  When a child has the freedom to explore their likes/dislikes and effectively communicate that, we are encouraging their individuality.  We may not like everything they do, but as long as it isn’t illegal, immoral or fattening, give it your blessing.
  8. Natural Consequences are a must for our future adults.  Imagine if we have world leaders who did not understand the value of natural consequences.  Leaders who believed they could do, say & act anyway those chose, regardless of how it affected those around them.  It would be a truly sad planet.  “You are free to make your own choices, but you are not free from the consequences of those choices.”  Hold you children accountable to their indiscretions.  Be sure they know that every decision they make has an effect on someone else.
  9. Emotional Regulation is the ability to self-sooth, calm strong emotions and release negative energy. Help your child to understand the array of complex emotions that we all have.  Use feeling words while talking to your child.  “That must have been frustrating” or “That’s really sad, I’m sorry to hear that.”  By inserting the proper emotions, children can then begin to process the situation.
  10. Patience is the ability to understand that good things come to those that wait.  By not giving your child everything they seem to want right now, you are instilling an understanding that one must work to earn privileges.  This is where their work ethic will be taught.

The Media is Working Against Us

The media is our worst enemy. The horror stories of trafficked or abducted children & school shootings play over & over again. These are our nightmares. We fight to protect and shelter our children and will go to great lengths to ensure their safety. But we are also ensuring their dependence.

Remember Elizabeth Smart?

Elizabeth was abducted from her home & held captive for months by a very deranged couple. Her parents feared the worst, but believed in the skills & values they had taught their daughter. They knew they had taught Elizabeth how to problem-solve, think critically, regulate her emotions & hold true to her own sense of self.

Elizabeth escaped her captors, and now travels the world sharing her story. Because of the efforts her parents put in when she was young, the trauma Elizabeth endured has helped to shape the strong, powerful woman she is today.

Moral of the Story

We cannot control what happens in the world, but we can teach our children how to handle all of life’s up’s & down’s.

Sending your child out into the world without Basic & Essential Life Skills, is equivalent to asking them to win the Boston Marathon without first teaching them how to walk.

Settling the Allowance Debate

As a parent, you have probably argued one way or the other in the Allowance Debate. If I may, I’d like to offer a slightly different perspective.

Allowance is a great time to teach financial responsibility & budgeting.  Teaching your children the value of a dollar will go along way to encouraging financial independence.

Method A – Chore List

Have a family discussion to create a list of tasks that must be completed in the home on a weekly basis.  This should include tasks such as maintaining individual spaces (clean your room) but also maintain community spaces (mop the kitchen).  You can either pay a flat rate at the end of the week, or assign a dollar value to each task.

Method B – The Extra Mile

If you choose to not pay your child for being an active participant in your home, there is still a way to earn money.  Have a list of tasks that are not required everyday; raking leaves, household laundry, cleaning windows, organize the garage, weed flower beds, help a neighbour.  Assign a dollar value to each task to be paid upon completion of task. 

Teaching Basic Life Skills

So many kids today are lacking the appropriate skills to navigate this world on their own.  We have created a generation of children who win a ribbon for showing up, not trying their best & working to achieve a goal.  We have raised our children with technology, not people.  It’s easier to send them off to be entertained by video games, then it is to get them to help make supper.

We, as adults tend to complain about the lack of skills our children have, but not many are willing to put in the work to correct this.

Join a community of Parents who are working to make a difference.

Basic Life Skills

Basic Life Skills are required to navigate this world effectively.  Without them, we have self-entitlement, a strong need for immediate gratification in our youth, but we also have some very burnt-out, frustrated parents as well.

Consider offering a small allowance to reward success with Basic Life Skills
Consider offering a small allowance to reward success with Basic Life Skills

Basic Life Skills teach very important lessons; pride in a job well done, co-operation & teamwork, respect for personal property.

These skills should be introduced at an early age, but can be taught at any stage.

  • Personal Hygiene enhances their sense of independence, self-esteem.
  • Cleaning encourages team work & self-starting tasks without reminders.
  • Cooking teaches self-sufficiency & proper nutrition.
  • Laundry again enhances the respect for possessions & instills a level of control.
  • Care for Plants / Pets is where the self-entitlement decreases.  They learn to care for something other than themselves.  They learn empathy, compassion and are rewarded when they see the flower, or can eat the fruit.

It is not a parent’s job to do all these tasks for everyone in the home.  It is the parent’s job to ensure everyone in the home knows how to complete these tasks to the best of their ability.  Parent’s who do all of this & work full time, will be burnt out before their children are teenagers.  Believe it or not, the teenage years are where you need to bring your A Game.

Final Word on the Allowance Debate

Regardless of how you choose to implement an allowance; either with a chore list or the extra mile, it is essential that children learn the Basic Life Skills, which includes financial responsibility.

The long-term goal is to raise healthy, strong, independent adults who are capable of navigating this world on their own.

I’d love to have a strategy session with you, to create simple, effective strategies you can begin to implement and see amazing results.  

This session is FREE and you will gain valuable insight into helping your child create a life they are proud to live!!  

Schedule your FREE Parent Strategy Assessment Session NOW!

Your Life on Your Terms

Exposing the Hard Truth About Your Relationship

If you know me, you know that I am about the hard truth. I will dig into situations and expose the ugly core, what really lies underneath all the pain, stress & heartbreak. And the truth is, sometimes you are the problem, you are the only one who is standing in your way.

Here’s what I mean:

The demise of a relationship is never 1 person’s fault. The blame needs to be shared equally, in all situations. Most people are going to disagree with this, citing abuse, infidelity or a number of other breakdowns; but the hard truth is, you were there. You played a role. Even if your role was to stay too long, you still contributed to the problem. Bear with me, I will explain further.

Playing the Blame Game

  • When you have an argument with your spouse, do you hold a grudge or are you able to simply move on after the smoke has cleared?
  • Are you able to kiss & make up immediately, or do you need to keep your distance, lick your wounds & wait for an apology?
  • While you are angry, will you allow your spouse to come close to try to sooth or console you, or do you push him/her away?

If your answer was grudge, distance & push; then you have a hard time letting go of hurt. You struggle to get over what has been said or done (or if you’re a woman; not said & not done). This argument has left you feeling unloved and perhaps violated to some degree.

Hard Truth

Your partner likely has nothing to do with how hurt you feel.

You see, most times, when we feel hurt, it is because something in our present situation has triggered something unresolved from a past situation. We are then projecting the old pain onto our current partner. In the moment, you whole-heartedly believe that your partner is to blame for the hurt feelings, because they are standing right there, but it may be stemming from something much different.

Surface Dwellers

In the heat of the moment, we often respond to what we see, hear & feel. Everything in that moment is on the surface. What we are not aware of, is how are brains are sensing the familiarity of the situation, recalling past events with similar circumstances, and in a desperate attempt to ensure your survival, bring up the emotions you felt way back then that have very little to do with the situation at hand. Because you are unaware of your brains involvement in this argument, you accept those feelings as a response to the current situation. This, is projection. When you blame your current partner for your unresolved past issues.

Surface dwellers will remain on the surface of every situation. They will avoid, at all costs, peeling back the layers and truly examining what lays beneath the surface, beneath the pain, beneath the frustration, resentment & disappointment. Instead, they blame the last person that triggered the negative emotions – which is usually the current partner.

Hard Truth – Choose to heal your past to avoid hurting your future.

Healing Your Past

As I said in the beginning (and thank you for having enough faith in me to continue to this point), if your relationships keep failing, the only constant is YOU. If your cycle of relationships is toxic or abusive, there is something in your past that is drawing you to this toxicity.

Your past is not your fault – your future is your responsibility.


It takes two to tango, and the only way to have a healthy relationship, is to bring healthy people into the relationship. If one of you brings obvious toxicity, chances are the other has brought hidden, unacknowledged toxicity.

Hard Truth

Check yourself. Sometimes, you are the toxic person. Sometimes, you are the mean, negative person you are looking to push away. Sometimes the problem is you.

That doesn’t make you less worthy. Keep growing. Keep on checking yourself. Keep motivating yourself. Mistakes are opportunities. Look at them, own them, grow from them & move on. Do better. Be better. Your human, it’s ok to admit that sometimes, you’re the one who is ridiculous.

Hard Truth.

Next Steps

Firstly, I want to congratulate you on getting this far. This was not an easy post to read & I appreciate your ability to accept some really hard truths.

  1. Accountability. Own your shit. Stop throwing it at the people around you, the ones who truly love you.
  2. Find support. There are many different avenues to seek support in healing your past. If the wounds are deep, therapy might be the answer. Counseling or group therapy are great places to start. A Life Coach can help you become aware of your old habits and begin to replace them with healthy, new habits.
  3. Educate yourself. The internet can be a great tool, if used properly. Find blogs, webinars, podcasts and other forms of helpful insight. Here is a link to get you started.
  4. Forgiveness. Forgive your partner for whatever it is that brought you here. Forgive yourself for your own past.

The best truths, are usually the hard truths. Thank you for staying with me on this one. I know it wasn’t easy. Leave me a comment below if any of this resonated with you. The more we talk about this, the better we are equipped to deal with it. You never really know who needs to hear your story.

Your Life on Your Terms

How to Eliminate Anxiety

Anxiety ranges from racing thoughts to racing heart beats. The “what if” thoughts swirl in your head, each one creating more chaos than the last. Your chest tightens, it’s difficult to breathe, you can’t sleep and your heart feels like it wants to run away. These anxiety attacks can last a few minutes or days. Some people can still function through, while others require professional interventions such as medications, counseling or hospitalization.

IF you require professional support to manage your anxiety, please speak with them before trying anything new, like the tips I have for you today.

You can be controlled by anxiety, or you can control your anxiety.

My Story

I struggled with anxiety for years. The horrible racing thoughts, my heart beating out of my chest and paralyzing fear that would stop me dead in my tracks. I have been rushed to the hospital countless times for an irregular heart beat, sudden asthma attacks and even possible cardiac events. This was all before the age of 35. Each time I went, we only talked about the presenting symptoms, never the whole picture. Therefore, I was put on medications to maintain my heart rhythm, given puffer for my asthma & assigned a cardiologist. But it wasn’t A-Fib, asthma or anything else – it was anxiety. I was terrified of life. Terrified that I would never be good enough. Terrified of making the wrong choice. Terrified of screwing it all up.

I am not that person any more. Today, I am excited about life. I live my life on purpose and with only the best of intentions, and you can too.

We get anxious or stressed when we overestimate the situation, and underestimate our ability to deal with it.

9 Tips to Help with Anxiety

  1. Set your own expectations. When you are desperately trying to measure up to someone else’s expectations, you will fail every time.
  2. Get to know YOU. What do you like/dislike? What brings you joy? What are you good at?
  3. Find your tools. There are several tools out there to help you reduce an anxiety attack when it happens. Find the tools that work for you. (I can help you find tools)
  4. Insert reality. You have been here before and you survived. You have proven that you have the ability to handle this.
  5. Just breathe. Really learn to breathe, with purpose, intention and love. Focus on your breath, in & out, nice & slow.
  6. Find your tribe. Surround yourself with people who lift you up. Inspire you. Challenge you to be/do more.
  7. Social cleanse. Reduce the time you spend with people who bring you down, stress you out.
  8. Get connected. Find a class, group or organization that feeds your passion. Join a team and get active!
  9. Find your purpose. We are all here for a reason. You have survived unspeakable events because of your strength, resilience & determination. How will you pay that forward to those that need your help?

Your Life on Your Terms

All of the tips listed above, have 1 thing in common – this is your life; you make the rules, you decide who to share it with, you create your story. You have the power to completely alter the direction of your life, if you want to. You can be controlled by anxiety, or you can choose to control it. You can be controlled by others, or you can choose to control yourself. You can choose. It’s entirely up to you.

You have been through a lot in your life time, I know. You see, these events didn’t happen TO you, they happened FOR you. Each event taught you something new about yourself. You have a very unique set of skills, knowledge, understanding & wisdom. No one else on the planet has everything you do. Take sometime to understand the lessons your life has taught you, then find a way to share this wisdom with those who need you.

Eliminating Anxiety

Time & Patience

It takes time but with patience & understanding you can learn to strengthen your resilience. You will learn that stress is a primal instinct designed for our survival, but it doesn’t have to define who we are & what we are capable of.

There are workshops & events all over the country that will help you gain the tools, build your tribe & increase your power. Make the investment in YOU – because you are worth it!!!

Design Your Life on Your Terms

This event will teach you how to truly appreciate everything you have been through, what it has taught you and how to use that information to Design Your Life on Your Terms. I truly hope you will join us!!!

You can purchase your ticket here.

Andrea Scarborough – Your Life on Your Terms

How to Break the Cycle of Dyfunction

Recognising Family Dysfunction

Every family has a level of dysfunction, those family secrets that are not talked about outside of the home; abuse, addiction, problem child, mental health.

Did you know that these dysfunctions are passed down through generations?

  1. Violent men raise violent boys.
  2. Addicts raise addicts.
  3. Codependent women raise codependent daughters.
  4. Anxious parents raise anxious children.
  5. Victimized women raise girls to be victims.

Now this does not happen in every single case, but there is an increased likelihood that dysfunction will be passed down to the next generation. A child of dysfunction will either follow suit and continue the cycle, or veer the opposite way and take a left-wing stance for their own lives, but will continue the cycle by choosing a life partner who mirrors the dysfunction.

Why the Cycle?

This answer is simple; we can only teach what we know.

  1. If we know that the best way to get what you want is to threaten violence, then that is what we teach. (abuse)
  2. If we know that the best way to handle stress is to drink, then that is what we teach. (addiction)
  3. If we know that the best way to stay safe is to appease our partner, then that is what we teach. (codependence)
  4. If we know how to worry ourselves crazy about everything, then that is what we teach. (anxiety)
  5. If we know that our lives are dictated by the events that happen TO us, then that is what we teach. (victim)

Take a Look at Your Own Family

As I said, every family has some dysfunction. The first step to breaking the cycle is to recognise the cycle. What runs in your family? The best way to truly assess the toxicity or dysfunction in your family is to create a Genogram.


I used my own family in the example and I am child #2. As you can see, we have a long history of mental health issues & addiction. These issues did not directly effect everyone, but it did effect the course of their lives.

How Do I Break the Cycle?

Your past is not your fault, your future is your responsibility.


Breaking the Cycles of Dysfunction is Possible.

  1. Create Awareness – start with your own genogram. grab a large piece of paper, pencil crayons & a ruler. Start with you, your siblings, children; working down. Then add your parents, aunts, uncles & grandparents. Use the legend in my example or create your own. When you are done, assess your diagram. What stands out? What have you learned?
  2. Ownership – What role do you play in the cycle of dysfunction? Are you anxious, a victim of abuse, child of addiction? You see, you only ever have 2 choices – You are part of the problem – or – you are part of the solution. Which will you be?
  3. Observe – with your new information, observe family interactions. How are difficult situations handled? Who over-reacts & when? Is conversation assertive or passive/aggressive? Do you recognise any of these behaviours in yourself?
  4. Children of dysfunction adapt a certain role or persona. Which one are you? Which persona have your children adapted?
  5. Find Support – There are several groups that help you recognise & offer support through family dysfunctions. Women on a Mission is a great place to find support on-line. You may also choose to Google groups in your local area.
  6. Social Awareness – take a look at all the people you surround yourself with – does the toxicity extend to your social circle?
  7. Patience – be patient with yourself. Having this new information or awareness can be overwhelming. Understand that the dysfunction in your family has been building for generations. It will take time for you to adapt to a new way of life.
  8. Seek Assistance – the most effective way to break the cycle is too seek assistance from a professional. If the damage runs deep, you may need to seek therapy or counseling. A Life Coach will help you assess your new information & work with you to overcome old habits.

Fast Track your Success

Your life experiences include fear, uncertainty, insecurity, loss of power or control. However; all of these have given you a very unique set of skills. Skills that can & will propel you into a much brighter future!! I know this because you are reading this blog post. You know that your current situation is NOT your final destination. You know that you want something different, but you’re not sure how or where to start.

If you’d like to know who you really are, without the weight of dysfunction, follow this link to experience your very own life-changing Power Hour.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to assist.

Andrea Scarborough Life Guide

How to Avoid a Parenting Disaster

Firstly, I’d like to congratulate you on wanting to try something new. Parenting has always been an evolution, we must ebb & flow with the changing needs of our family.

Every parent has a tool box they go to for specific situations; strategies to tackle some of the common stresses most parents encounter. Rarely does a parent have the tools to deal with extreme behaviours, mental health crisis or navigating difficult life events (divorce, death or any other unexpected situation) life throws at us.

So, you’ve been reading, researching & googling new strategies to deal with the issues your children are facing. Take a minute & celebrate this. Most parents aren’t willing to admit that they do not have all the answers – you are a head of the crowd!! Congratulations!!

Here are a few tips on how to implement your new strategies without causing more stress:

  1. Full Transparency – be honest with your children. Let them know that you are willing to learn, grow & adapt to their needs. Explain to them that you are going to be trying some new ideas and ask for their feed back (age appropriate). Bring them into your parenting processes & allow them to feel included, validated & appreciated.
  2. Full Accountability – let them know that you are not perfect. Admit when you are wrong, or not sure how to navigate a situation. Let them see your vulnerability. This will give them permission & incentive to also be accountable.
  3. Don’t Give Up – Rome wasn’t built in a day. Everything new takes time, practice & evaluation. If you try a new strategy & it doesn’t work, go back to the drawing board and make adjustments. Whatever you do – keep moving forward!!
  4. Enhance Your Personal Boundaries – Kids know how to push our buttons. Review your core values decide how you will be treated. This will also encourage your children to asses their own personal boundaries.

The greatest lesson my children taught me:

No 2 children can be parented the same way.

Each child has specific needs, ability to process & skills. Use this to your advantage. Don’t suffocate their individuality – enhance it.

What happens if things explode?

  1. Re-evaluate – put yourself on a time out. Cool off, regain composure.
  2. Recognise – sometimes we over-react or misunderstand. It’s ok, as long as you are willing to admit it.
  3. Responsibility – be accountable for your actions. Tell them where you went wrong & how you intend to correct it.
  4. Reconcile – apologize to your child. Help them understand where & why you veered off course.
  5. Resolve – ask your child to help you resolve what may still be lingering as stress.

You are not failing.

Unfortunately, there is not a magic wand for parenting (I wish there was…). Have a little faith in yourself. You are seeking new information, researching, learning & trying. You are not failing!!

All we can do is admit that sometimes we are being ridiculous, we don’t have all the answers, but we are willing to move heaven & earth to ensure our children are healthy, functioning members of society.

Join a Community of Parents just like you!

Learn new strategies, give & receive support – click here to join us NOW!

Andrea Scarborough Life / Parenting Coach