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Vanessa Knight

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Vanessa Knight has been a part of the Kansas City community for 11 years (a native Texan), living in the Overland Park area with husband Josh, two children (Sophie is 6, Jude is 5), and three Labradors. A clinical marriage and family counselor serving the area, Vanessa works with those who hurt from life experiences, relationships or trauma, helping both individuals and families to love (www.securecounselingclinic.com). When she's not working, Vanessa's favorite stay-at-home things are Sequence, puzzles, picnics on the Nelson-Atkins Museum lawn, messy art projects, and trampoline jumping!

How to Discipline Your Kids Without Spanking, Time Outs, Yelling, and Negative Consequences

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Note: This post is sponsored by, and written in collaboration with, Secure Counseling, LLC. Parenting is hard. Shaping little humans is the most difficult thing most of us have ever done. There are so many things...

Teaching Kindness

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"Middle school is coming. And I'm seriously considering homeschooling to avoid the bullying," Ashley said as we watched our two daughters playing in the sand with their younger siblings. "Middle school was horrible for...

5 Tips for Dealing with Porn and Kids

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Co-written with my clinical partner, Ben Taussig, LCPC, NCC. If talking about sex with our teens in general is just about enough to motivate us to buy a boat and raise them somewhere in the...

I Miss You, Dad

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Dear Dad, You died 16 years ago tomorrow. I'm not sure you'd recognize my life now. I'm approaching an era in which I've lived more life without you than with you. After you died, I looked for...

8 Tips for Making Time Out Work in Your Home

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Suzie threatens Johnny with a time out. When Johnny's behavior does not relent, she places him in a corner, chair or zone for a series of minutes (often corresponding to his age), with no toys, no attention,...

Why I Birthed at Home: A Mom’s Look at the Home Birth Debate

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Last week, I shared my home birth story. I'm a deeply private person, a major reason for choosing to birth in my own home, so sharing the photos and graphic details about the state...

My Home Birth Story

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Vanessa: There's no place I feel safer than in my own home - it's a haven. Josh: We planned a home birth. We hired a nurse midwife and her assistant, as well as a doula...

I’m Sorry You Feel That Way

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Matt sat quietly on the couch in my counseling office with his arm folded softly across his middle. "You threw me under the bus," he said to his wife Mindy. "You made me look like a lazy...

The Science of Spanking

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There are pictures of NFL player Adrian Peterson’s preschool sons with facial scars and leg lacerations from his discipline techniques. The latest accusations include a head wound Peterson said occurred while disciplining his 4-year-old...

A Year of KC Dates: A Marriage Counselor’s Guide to Dating Your Spouse in...

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Dear Vanessa, Kids are expensive, dating is expensive, and babysitters are expensive. My husband and I need time to reconnect. Can you give some practical ideas on how to spend time together as spouses that...

Talking to Kids About Private Parts

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Wee-wee, bottom, heinie, chest, squatty, cooter, vajayjay, twat, kitty, peach, lady-parts, lady bits, wiener, nuts, balls, pointy-thing, ding dong, down there. These are just a few of the creative, nicer  words used to describe genitalia by both children...

I Hate My Husband

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There's something off-putting about that title, huh? If I said, "I love my husband," but said it with a certain vocal tone filled with irony and distain, you would wonder whether I really meant it....

Your Husband is (Likely) Not a Saber-Toothed Tiger

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Dear Vanessa, Ever since my husband and I had kids, it seems like our marriage is suffering. We don't have sex anymore, we snap at each other over stupid things. It seems like we are...

Mommy Crucifixion

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This weekend I turned thirty-three; I’m also pregnant with my third child. At 33, I feel pretty good about my family, my vocational work, my marriage. My husband (now 35) reminded me that I...

The Three F-Words

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At the dinner table, Sophie sits, whining about the chicken and broccoli casserole the rest of us are already eating. “It’s yucky,” she drawls. “I don’t want to eat iiiiiiiiiit.” “One bite to try it again,...