6 minute read

Local Parents Share How They Achieved Tranquility

As our community continues to ride the waves after the pandemic, the fire from parents’ tension and high conflict is not yet put out. Research shows we were struggling before isolation and more so afterward. With this growing need for help, Dr. Howell, Tranquil Parenting’s Executive Director, recently completed a study to find what makes a successful parenting program for social change. Because there weren’t any standards to follow, it was decided to complete a local study during an annual improvement plan process.

Previous program participants were interviewed. Their responses were appreciated and surprising. The questions related to the program’s instructional design, but parents proudly described their successes. As the fantastic achievements were interpreted, the following themes evolved. Through this current empirical evidence, society has an effective parenting instruction model created by local parents in our community.

Tranquility in 6 Steps

The resulting Transformative Mindset Instructional Design (TMID) defined six steps for parents to reach tranquility while struggling (Howell, 2022).

1. Select the content you need to build your knowledge. Create an instructional plan and learn more about your specific needs from subject matter experts. Love & Logic and Breakthrough Parenting are Sonja’s go-to when working with parents in probate, divorce/separation, and parents who reach out independently.

2. Expand your intervention methods and change attitudes. Find coping techniques such as trauma-informed expressive arts therapy, learn more about your family’s diversity and equitable factors, and include everyone in the decision-making process. Become more self-aware. Find local groups to attend. Although in some cases judges have ordered not to discuss cases on social media, support groups have been deemed as helpful.

3. Take action to build your skills. Add reconstructive, reunification, or transition activities to your and your family’s calendar. Learn conflict management processes such as mediation, negotiation, peacebuilding, and round table discussions, or create something that works for your needs. Examine your parenting style to become the parent you always wanted to be and create a parenting plan.

4. Make your efforts meaningful. Practice and role-play those interactions in collaborations or projects using the content you have learned with a parenting instructor or family. Understand and forgive each other when the practice does not work as intended. Work with a therapist and ask any authority figures to be kind and patient while you are learning.

5. Create and use assessments that define what works and doesn’t work for yourself and those you love.

6. If the outcome shows you can independently keep a tranquil mindset with NEW traumatic experiences and triggers, you have found tools that fit. If not, begin again at the first step in this process.

Dr. Howell repeatedly reminds parents to review their instructional plans often. Every family grows and alters its plan. You can create solutions to resolve conflict, learn coping tools, and prevent cruelty to children

No one knows better about your family than you. If you do not figure it out, someone may have to choose for you.

What’s Next for Tranquil Parenting?

Additional data from the study pertained to domestic violence, intimate partner abuse, post-relationship, or ex-partner abuse. This data will be reported to the community after being analyzed in the fall of 2023. During this new study, for 540 days beginning January 1, 2023, and ending June 26, 2024, all proceeds will go to research for ex-partner domestic violence in high-conflict court cases. 5-4-0 is an effective sign language technique to alert for immediate help with domestic violence awareness. Tranquil Parenting provides training to survivors of domestic violence with zero fees during this time.

The Process Works

As a critical reminder, Sonja states that all parents have the right to live in tranquility and mentor their children on knowledge, skills, and attitudes they will need as adults, especially as they become increasingly independent. Learning age-appropriate boundaries and independence causes the most struggle in many homes. Acting appropriately and working towards united goals shares how adulting is done and how one may reach their full potential. Any TMID steps alone are worth trying, but following all the steps working together significantly improves your family’s well-being.

Sign Me Up

If you want to practice these steps during a six-week online course with an instructor, parents may self-enroll in the Mastery Skills Parenting Program at www.tranquilparenting. com. DHHS implemented the Rights and Responsibilities Act in 2019. This implementation provides children in foster care or probate court processes and their families with all available services, including instruction. Ask your judge or caseworker if this applies to you. All communications are confidential and not reported to law enforcement, your caseworkers, or the courts.

A certificate of completion is provided to those who pass this rigorous course using advanced rubric evaluations and observed activities. Attendance alone will not satisfy the requirement; lack of participation and improper netiquette will remove you from the class. Actively working on your family’s situation together with your family is the only way to change your struggles. If you cannot complete the process, you may re-enroll in the next session, and there are unlimited attempts to complete the activities. If you are not able to complete the course online, please have your counselor or therapist contact Tranquil Parenting for face-toface options.


Tranquil Parenting appreciates parent volunteers during the study and referrals from community partners, its board members, volunteers, and donors who provided the opportunity for this study to be completed. As a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, tax-deductible donations can be made directly to Tranquil Studio (DBA Tranquil Parenting), through Monroe/Lenawee United Way, or through Lenawee Cares. Additional information may be found on the Tranquil Parenting, Lenawee County, and 211 websites.


Parents in immediate need should contact a therapist, a domestic violence shelter, or the authorities. This service is not for emergencies. If you need to understand your rights, please contact your attorney. This service provides awareness of where to find laws but does not provide legal advice. Tranquil Parenting does not provide referrals for support. The program’s point is for parents to make informed and well-thought-out choices for their families and not rely on others.


Tranquil Parenting is devoted to being an instructional intervention for parents as they transform their styles into what they always wanted them to be. We provide methods of conflict resolution and coping techniques so that parents can prevent cruelty to their children during family transitions using the transformative mindset instructional design (TMID).