Behind The Scenes
Behind The Scenes with Nicole Beurkens
"I think I have always looked at each child as an individual and they each have their own amazing set of strengths and wonderful qualities. They also each have a set of challenges and things that aren't going so well for them, some are more significant than others."
There’s no definitive guide on being a parent. Sure, there’s endless parenting books at Barnes & Noble, but the sheer number of titles can be daunting. Where do you start? May we suggest Nicole Beurkens’ nationally best-selling Life Will Get Better? Through her book (and her podcast “The Better Behavior Show,”) Nicole has made her wealth of knowledge readily available to parents everywhere. Her mission? To help parents understand how to holistically approach the issues our children face.
We sat down with the psychologist, nutritionist, businesswoman, and mother-of-four to have a conversation about how doing what’s best is never one-size-fits-all. For Nicole, “instilling hope in people is really the serving point for everything else to happen.I just feel that really strongly.”
THERE'S MORE RIGHT THAN WRONG
Nicole’s practice as a psychologist has given her experience with a wide range of developmental and mental health concerns, including autism, ADHD, anxiety, and learning disabilities. She’s a clinical psychologist by trade, but hates labels by nature. “I think I have always looked at each child as an individual and they each have their own amazing set of strengths and wonderful qualities. They also each have a set of challenges and things that aren’t going so well for them, some are more significant than others,” she elaborates.
It can be tough when our children are facing challenges. And fear is a very normal reaction. We can fear the unknown, fear what will happen next, fear that our children won’t live their best life. Nicole understands these fears and she’s working to change what comes after. She wants parents and children to see : opportunity instead of defeat.
She echoes, “I retain—and my entire clinic retains—a tremendous amount of hope because we see kids get better and make improvements all the time and I think that’s a huge thing for parents.” This philosophy is evident not only in her reassuring approach, but at her clinic. It’s deliberately conducted in a comfortable home-like environment, not a sterile office. She notes that this is encouraging to the parents seeking her help; they’re are welcomed into a space that cares about their family’s needs. Whether it’s at her clinic in Michigan or through her podcast, Nicole has built a supportive space for parents.
MAKE NUTRITION A PRIORITY
With a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Integrated Health, her approach prioritizes physical health as much as mental health. What our kids eat, how much they sleep, the time they spent on electronics—it’s all so critical to their behavioral development and growth.
When she looks back, “I wish I had known back when my kids were little what I know now about nutrition in children. I would have made significant changes to the way that I fed them…knowing what I know now about the importance of organic foods versus more processed foods, about the importance of healthy fats, of sugar, all of that…I would absolutely be feeding them differently.” We at Is This Normal, know this to be true, having earlier spoke to Michelle Muller.
LISTEN TO YOUR INTUITION
When you’re raising kids, milestones can cause a lot of anxiety. Nicole wants parents to understand that milestones do provide an age range for developmental goals, but that those markers are not set in stone.
Children develop at widely different rates, and that’s normal. At the same time, she says, “I am a big proponent of moms and dads listening to their gut and their intuition when they feel like something’s not right. Because there are times when their anxiety or their concern about their child not progressing with something is absolutely right on target and, unfortunately, that can get dismissed too often.”
If you’re being dismissed, feel empowered to move on and seek out a professional that will listen and work with your family. At the same time, it would be amazing if holistic clinics existed across the country.
To fill this gap, Nicole started her online brand in order to provide parents with the tools to make a difference. She asserts, “They’re not just at the mercy of a professional, there are so many things that they can do. I want to empower parents in that way by giving them information and knowledge that helps them ask better questions of their child’s healthcare providers. This helps parents know what they can be doing day in and day out to support their child.”
More than ever, parents need access to quality information and support. Thankfully for us, Nicole is committed to being a resource.