BEDFORD, N.Y. -- She's not a psychologist or a counselor -- yet Susan Groner has been able to transform her experience as a mom of two into a thriving business.
The Parenting Mentor, is based on good listening skills, solid advice and learning from past mistakes. The Bedford resident said she's always been good at problem-solving, so much so that friends over the years told her she really should turn her skills into a business.
When a pregnant friend asked her to be her mentor once the child was born Groner said that cinched it. And so, in 2016, she officially hung out her shingle with the premise of helping other parents avoid unnecessary stresses -- ones she herself had experienced (her kids are now 17 and 19).
"I want the joys of parenting to outweigh the stress and anxiety," explained Groner.
The Parenting Mentor, as the name implies, is very parent-centric. Groner focuses on strategies that help parents be happier and more relaxed (think less stress and anxiety).
She works with clients who have babies all the way to clients with adult children -- and does both individual and group counseling. Her work is mainly done via in-person sessions as well as on calls, via Skype or FaceTime. Moms (or dads) can also form their own groups. Groner is flexible on meeting spots and happy to travel to someone’s home.
Many of the issues she deals with range from just getting through the day to not listening to dealing with homework, friends, school, sports, siblings, discipline, technology. etc. Sometimes it involves parents not being on the same page and learning how to navigate through that.
"Each age has its own challenges but once you get on board with the basics, they are easy to apply to any age," said Groner.
"Certain ages may be more difficult than others, depending on individual circumstances. That said, moms and teenage daughter issues are fairly universal!"
Bottom line: It's all about more effective communication and learning how to provide emotional support rather than judgment.
Parents also have to learn to let go, to not always be in "fix-it" mode and teach their kids to problem-solve and be resilient.
Groner said what's good about her service is that, unlike a therapist or counselor, parents usually only need a couple -- or even one -- session.
For more information, go to www.theparentingmentor.com .