Today we’d like to introduce you to Sandi Schwartz.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Sandi. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
After receiving my Masters Degree from Columbia University and years of a successful career teaching in New York City, I was sure that when I became a mom, I would know what I was doing! Our firstborn child came into this world so easy going, that when people noted how well behaved, how bright, how friendly he was… I took all the credit!
Oh yes, I secretly had a BIG EGO, believing that it was my mothering that was the driving force behind his positive behavior. Four years later his sister was born, and nothing I did seemed to work! It was as if she came into this world to hold up a mirror to me which said, “You need to learn more, mom…and I’m here to push you!”
Most people are not prepared for the shock of parenting a child with deep needs, intense emotions or challenging behaviors… not even those of us who studied these kids at the postgraduate level! To be blessed with a child who pushes every emotional and spiritual button is to experience a very special gift. It took several years of me trying different ways of ‘changing’ her high sensitivity and big reactions to life when I realized that it was me who had to be willing to grow, to learn more… and that is when I began my personal research into the inner world of children and their parents.
My children attended a private school in the suburbs of New York City, and I was a teacher in their school. This gave me the unique experience of being a professional as well as the mother of two totally different students in the same educational setting. I noticed that many of the children who struggled academically, socially or emotionally came from homes with successful and caring families.
It was during my tenure at this school that the idea came to me that all parents deserved to learn more about the hardwiring of children and all children needed parents who were educated in temperament, the hierarchy of needs and strategies to establish boundaries in an emotionally healthy way. Years later, when I became Executive Director of a prestigious program in Manhattan, I created a leading edge concept for corporate parents ~ lunchtime workshops for Fortune 500 companies.
These were attended by secretaries, tech professionals, mid-management personnel and executives. Their backgrounds, educational levels, and cultural influences represented a diverse cross-section. The glaring common denominator was the challenges they faced as parents and how little knowledge they had about child development. They loved the workshops, and I was pumped with passion to replace their guilt and worry with practical tools and wisdom.
It became clear to me that success in other areas of their lives had little impact when it came to giving their children the emotional and cognitive support needed to authentically thrive. The lightbulb really went off a few years later when I taught at the college level, preparing future educators about the differences between temperament and personality development. I became dedicated to getting this information available to all parents who wanted it.
I made a commitment to myself that I would create a movement, a loving revolution of sorts, that would support parents in understanding themselves, their own egos and how their beliefs and emotions impacted their parenting choices, give them the knowledge, strategies, and skills to respond to their kids with more intention, more courage, and less fear. The body of this work would be for all parents and especially for the ones with children like my daughter, the kids who push us all to become more.
When we moved to California in 2004, I set my intentions into motion. While serving as Program Director for a local college and then teaching parents under a grant from the state, I created Leading Edge Parenting. That was my leap into becoming an entrepreneur. I didn’t know the first thing about being a ‘business-woman’ as I was a teacher at heart. It was my determination to create a platform for parents worldwide that kept my fire burning even as I struggled to become internet and tech savvy. And oh, what a journey it has been!
I hosted my own radio show for several years on The Law of Attraction Network, wrote a parenting blog for the San Diego News Network, and shortly after that, published my book, “Authentic Parenting Power.” It’s not only on Amazon; it was featured at the San Diego public library in 2014! I gave a fiery talk at Ignite San Diego in May 2017 and in my office hangs a Certificate of Merit from the Governor of New York for my work with families after 9/11.
I coach parents around the world and give thought-provoking key-note talks and workshops to parents and educators from the east to the west coasts. Some of the sweetest feedback has come from local parents as well as moms and dads going through challenging times from countries as far away as Saudi Arabia. Oh yes… and here is one of the most amazing parts of this adventure. Several years ago, as I was writing “Authentic Parenting Power,” my daughter came to visit.
She was living in San Francisco at the time and working with children. I asked her to review the chapters for my book, and she made so many powerful suggestions that she eventually became an important contributor to my work. As we talked about the challenges of parenting intense and sensitive children we touched on pain from her own childhood and through our tears we healed, laughed and eventually became partners in a common cause- to free parents from their own restricted thinking and support them in their greatness.
In 2012, she became a partner in Leading Edge Parenting and began her own research, which has led her to become one of the most sort after experts in understanding children with High Sensitivity and Sensory Processing Challenges. Her book, “Under the Hood’ will make its debut in early 2019, with a groundbreaking understanding of children’s behavior. When I listen to her eloquently explain the inner world of today’s children and teens, I am amazed at how the challenges Melissa faced as a highly sensitive child has become the platform from which she is helping parents who are searching for answers to their child’s ‘misbehaviors.’ Her work will change the way parents, educators and pediatricians respond to, label and diagnose these kids.
Each generation brings unique gifts and challenges, and through our own personal growth and research, we have become the mother-daughter expert team that is supporting today’s parents become the best they can be. My heart skips a beat each time I watch a parent experience that ‘AHA’ moment when their face lights up and they come into a clear realization of how they can become more empowered to help their child truly attain the happiness and success that will serve them into their adult years. What can be better than that?
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The first struggle was a practical one. My decision to create a platform for helping parents came to me before the internet explosion. I had a huge learning curve when it came to anything involving a computer. I typed a Master’s thesis on a manual typewriter and felt the frustration of having to embrace new technology. Just when I thought I knew what I was doing, I had to be willing to push myself to master the next level. Hosting a live radio show really tested my perseverance!
I also had to start thinking like a businesswoman. This was the first time I was on my own and not part of an educational institution. I felt uncomfortable in the beginning, setting fees and telling people about the great changes we could help them make. I didn’t want to feel like a ‘car salesman,’ selling my wisdom. Through the years, as I watched the miracles happening for my clients, I realized that what I was offering was life altering and I became more comfortable when talking about the money part of the business.
I am grateful to now be at a place where people reach out to Leading Edge Parenting, seeking us for workshops, professional conferences, PTA programs, inspirational talks, and personal coaching.
Please tell us about Leading Edge Parenting.
We serve the local San Diego community by giving talks and workshops for PTAs, Professional Trainings, and private coaching. We have created a world wide community through our social media, parenting summits and radio show interviews.
Together we can turn worry, frustration and the stress of daily challenges into successful strategies that come from connection and authentic wisdom.
One of the things I love about Leading Edge Parenting is that we are unique because as a mother-daughter team, we share not only our professional wisdom but the hilarious and poignant stories of our own struggles, challenges, and breakthroughs… and the parents so appreciate our authenticity. They relate so deeply because they see themselves and their children reflected through the courage we have to share our own Truths.
We are known for our cutting-edge, dynamic presentations and private concierge coaching programs. Together we bring over sixty years of professional experience to our work with parents and educators worldwide. Whether it is a typical parenting challenge, a stressful behavioral issue, a possible misdiagnosis that has not been resolved, or an adult who is seeking to be a supportive influence in a child’s life, we offer the understandings and strategies that bring clarity and positive change.
I bring a distinguished professional career that includes over forty-five years as an educator, reading coordinator, child development specialist, aesthetic education teacher, program director, college professor… and ever-evolving parent… and my daughter, Melissa, is the Voice for the children, explaining their inner worlds, so adults know how to meet their legitimate needs.
We specialize in Highly Sensitive Children, children with sensory processing challenges and children who might be mislabeled because they are more spirited, deeply empathic, or ‘old souls.’ We also work with parents who have children struggling in school and guide them through a process of figuring out what these students need to experience success in a highly competitive world.
We’ve recently launched our Parenting Cleanse, a popular and affordable approach to eliminating toxic thoughts and beliefs so that healthy approaches can become the habits of connected, happy relationships in stressed-out, busy families. I am also excited about our executive, individualized coaching program for people who would like to create their own coaching business and spread this information to all who are seeking a conscious change in the way they approach their parenting challenges.
I am most proud of the way we have shifted thinking, inspired personal miracles and helped parents and educators feel empowered to be a force of connection and inspiration to the next generation.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I would have hired a business coach when I first began… I have the heart of a teacher, and it would have been helpful to learn how to think like an entrepreneur.
I also would have hired someone to take over the technology piece of the business and saved myself hours of hysteria!
- Speaking Engagement Fees range from $300.00 – $5,000.00
- Private Coaching Fees range from $100.00 – $250.00 per session depending upon packages selected
- Parenting Cleanse – $59.00
- Address: 12559-12607 High Bluff Dr, San Diego, CA 92130
- Website: www.leadingedgeparenting.com, www.sensitiveparenting.com
- Phone: (858) 412-0713
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @leadingedgeparenting
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HighlySensitiveChildren https://www.facebook.com/LeadingEdgeParenting
- Other: https://www.facebook.com/groups/highlysensitivechildren/