A Fun "Think About Your Family" Poem

Written by Family Workshop Teen Graduate

What is sweet as far as you can see?

Well, that’s what June ought to be!

As it is National Candy Month, 

It is important to remind yourself what is sweet,

So much in life, is a treat!

Maybe your favorite person is your daughter,

Or you really appreciate your father!

More than all the gumdrops in the world, 

You love your baby boy or girl. 

Whether it is your mother, father, sister, or brother,

This month you can share how you love one another.

Don’t forget to follow KTSD on social media!

Mental Health from a Teen's Perspective

Written by Family Workshop Teen Graduate

The mind and body depend on one another. 

For one system to perform to the best of its ability, the other must be in good condition. Just as exercise is crucial for the maintenance of the physical system, an array of variables contribute to the well-being of the mental system. When any one component falls short, the rest fall into disorder.

Any number of things can disturb one’s mental health, from relationships, employment, and social media, to a difficult project at school or a bad sports practice. As mental health can be largely affected by our surrounding environment, a divorce can have detrimental effects on a healthy mind. 

When the worst of my parent’s divorce happened, I was in 7th grade. From about 12 – 13, my mental health was at an all-time low. Think of all the things that make one’s middle school experience challenging. One’s body is making changes never made before, some start new schools, some make new friends, and all have at least one thing they’re insecure about. For some it’s the most difficult time of their lives. On top of my predisposed hurdles, I had to switch houses every weekend, go to a family therapist to deal with more problems, and be the middleman for a relationship that wasn’t my own. In simple terms, I was exhausted, burnt out, and sad. 

May is often a transitional month for many children’s lives, as the school year is coming to a close, spring turns to summer, and many are close to getting a break. Whether you’re burnt out, your child is sad, or your relationships are exhausted, take a moment this month to reflect. Take a moment to listen to your mind. 

Every person has a burden that weighs on them. Listening to your needs on both sides, the physical and the mental, helps the body to reach and maintain a balance.

This is one of the reasons it’s so important to take time, to take a breath, during May, during whichever month, to encourage peace of mind. A divorce is one more barrier between oneself reaching that mindfulness. Whether you are a parent or a child struggling through it, don’t let divorce get in the way of your mental health. Utilizing the tools around you is a great place to start. 

KTSD helped me work through those residing mental blocks, and they could help you too. When your life is overwhelming and your mind is overworked, be the change of pace to make your world better.

Start making good habits by breaking bad ones, and be the growth for your family.  


Be the Growth for Your Family

If Kids' Turn San Diego sounds like it may be a good fit for you, a friend, or a family member, explore our website to learn more about the programs we offer.

Donate to Help Families Heal

If you’re moved by my story and the part KTSD played in my journey, plant a seed of kindness in the Garden of Gratitude by making a donation today.

Don’t forget to follow KTSD on social media!

Parental Alienation from a Teen's Perspective

Written by Family Workshop Teen Graduate


What does that word make you think of?

For some, unknown green creatures come to mind. Others think of the mysterious Area 51, or the kind gentle alien representation, E.T. Some have a negative affiliation with the word, recalling a time a family member, friend, or themselves was referenced by the term.


Building from our previous meaning for the word alien, what would you think “alienating” means to a little kid?

When I was 10, these terms were synonymous. So, when my dad screamed the word  in my face, I was confused. I couldn’t believe I was being called an alien. I had never watched “E.T.”, I knew I didn’t come from Area 51, and I was positive I wasn’t green. Nevertheless, that comment made me feel like a lesser human. When I questioned him, asking what he meant by that, his reply was, “Your mom is alienating you from me. In fact, you’re alienating yourself.” 

I was told that my mom was trying to make me into an alien, and I was too.

As April is National Parental Alienation Month, it’s important, especially now, to take time to understand what the word truly means, how it impacts your children and why avoiding the word is critical. 

Based on the Oxford dictionary, alienation is a noun meaning, “the state or experience of being isolated from a group or an activity to which one should belong or in which one should be involved.” 

After therapy and years of help, I realized the repercussions of what my dad had said, and most of all how untrue the statement was. 

From a child of a divorced family that was confused by a parent using the word “alienating”, here’s my perspective. Alienating should not be weaponized; It should not be used to hurt your loved ones. As a child of divorce, oftentimes I would fall in the middle of an argument, or be the center of it. Being in the middle of one more problem, only pushed me further into confusion and isolation. 

To all the parents reading this blog, I encourage you – 

Be the change for your family or your child by building instead of breaking.

Kids’ Turn San Diego helped my family learn, and helped me heal. 

Start making good habits by breaking bad ones, and be the growth for your family.  

Be the Change for Your Family

If Kids' Turn San Diego sounds like it may be a good fit for you, a friend, or a family member, explore our website to learn more about the programs we offer.

Donate to Help Families Heal

If you’re moved by my story and the part KTSD played in my journey, plant a seed of kindness in the Garden of Gratitude by making a donation today.

Don’t forget to follow KTSD on social media!

Garden of Gratitude Principles

Written by Family Workshop Teen Graduate

Living a positive, successful life is unattainable without gratitude. 

Often described as appreciation, gratitude is demonstrating thankfulness for someone or something in your life. Gratitude can also be used as a coping mechanism, often helping with emotion and stress regulation. For those like me, a child of divorce, gratitude is an especially necessary skill and mindset to implement in daily life.

This year, Kids’ Turn San Diego’s Garden of Gratitude campaign represents the overarching process of giving thanks. Building your garden of gratitude takes time and effort, but can start with something as simple as saying thank you. In the heat of my parents’ divorce, attending the Family Workshop at KTSD helped me grow through gratitude. This began my metamorphosis, like the butterfly in KTSD’s garden, with the hope to encourage growth and reflection in me, my parents, and my sibling.

In 2020, when I began my KTSD journey, I was at an all time low. It was increasingly challenging for me to feel connected to my community. I believed nobody around me resonated with my feelings, or wanted to. When I joined the Family Workshop program,  I was encouraged to interact with kids my age who felt similarly, and we learned and practiced many skills. It was crucial for me to gain understanding and perspective on my situation in relation to others, as that helped me practice gratitude. Suddenly, I was grateful to have at least one parent that reached out to understand me. I was grateful to have a sibling, someone who believed in me, who I could believe in as well. I was grateful to have a program that showed me I’m not alone. All of those components together propelled me into my biggest stage of development.

Metamorphosis is often a symbol used to represent a big change in behavior or thinking, ultimately showing growth into maturation or adulthood. For me, KTSD helped change metamorphosis from a symbol to an outcome, as my experience helped me grow in wisdom, as well as perspective. 

From all the lessons I received from KTSD, the biggest takeaway I had was to give grace to myself and others around me suffering. Hold your loved ones tighter, give a smile to a stranger, say thank you when someone helps you… Thank you to the Group Leaders at KTSD for planting seeds and helping me become the beautiful butterfly I am today. 

Begin Your Metamorphosis

If KTSD sounds like it may be a good fit for you, a friend or a family member, explore our website to learn more.

Plant a Seed of Kindness

If you’re inspired by my story, join me in the Garden of Gratitude by making a donation today.

Don’t forget to follow KTSD on social media!



Divorce leads to a broken heart for everyone in the family, especially when conflict contiues after the papers are signed. Dreams may be shattered and lost. We may feel alone and sad. Sometimes we even feel angry and these feelings transition out of our hearts and into our behavior. It may not feel like it or you may not believe it, but having conflict in your relationship with you co-parent is a choice. You cannot change them or what they may or may not do to engage in conflict, but you can control yourself. YOU CAN DECIDE THAT YOU NO LONGER WANT THE CONFLICT. This doesn't mean that your co-parent will change or stop trying to engage you in the conflict, but it does mean that you have a choice to engage in the conflict, to continue it or YOU CAN CHOOSE TO SAY NO THANK YOU AND MOVE ON WITHOUT REACTING TO THE CONFLICT. This is not easy, but if and when you decide you are done with conflict with your co-parent, you can shfit your perspective to being in business with your co-parent. The business is to raise kind, caring and compassionate humans. Nothing more, nothing less. When in business, your communication is unemotional, direct, brief and to the point and you make requests and ask questions versus demanding information or reacting out of anger or emotion.


When children live in two homes full of love, acceptance, encouragement and praise, they learn to respect others, to be patient, to be confident and to appreciate everything and everyone in their lives. When children live with peace, they learn to be leaders, to have empathy and to empower themselves and others. They do well in school and thrive in all areas. When they live in conflict, they develop anxiety, depression, self-medicate with drugs or alcohol, bully others or are bullied by others and they struggle in school and with friends. No parent wishes this for their children but yet, some choose conflict. Referencing the poem by Dorothy Nolte "Children Learn What They Live", when children live with hostility, they learn to fight. Remember, the choice is yours!

This Valentine’s Day we invite you to nurture the broken hearts in your home by choosing to leave conflict in the past and look toward the future of investing in your children and their long term emotional well-being.

Does peaceful co-parenting sound impossible? 

Click here to learn about our court-approved, high conflict co-parenting program called Cooperative Co-Parenting 

What Are You Grateful For?

Kids’ Turn San Diego enters 2024 being more committed than ever to our mission of “promoting, supporting and securing the well-being of children experiencing family separation” and to doing whatever it takes to accomplish our mission. We see this year as one of purpose and gratitude. Our purpose is to empower children and heal families. We are grateful to those who allow us to be a part of their journey and to all who have joined our journey of creating life-changing programs for children and families.

As the year begins, we invite you to pause and reflect on a very important question … “What are you grateful for?”

Please join me in a short daily exercise, that hopefully will turn into a habit for you, and perhaps, your family. 

  1. Place a notepad and pen next to your bed.
  2. Each night before you go to bed, write at least one thing down you are grateful for.
  3. When your child is with you the next time, do the same activity with your child (remember not to suggest they do this at their other
    parent’s home, as you have no control over what happens in their other home).
  4. Repeat each night. 

A simple activity like this may change your perspective and outlook on life. I hope you will do this for at least one month (and then always)!

Kids’ Turn San Diego is grateful for being a resource to children and families. What are you grateful for today?

Accepting Holiday Reality & Enjoying the Holidays

As the holidays are fast approaching, many parents are struggling around holiday vacations. At Kids’ Turn San Diego, this is a common theme every December. In this month’s blog, we share some facts, offer some realities and provide some suggestions for getting out of the struggle. 


  • Fact: Sometimes children travel with one parent during the holidays to visit with extended family and one parent stays back for one reason or another
  • Fact: When children travel with one parent, they do not have physical contact with their other parent
  • Fact: Many separated and divorced parents are struggling with the upcoming holiday season and time away from their children
  • Fact: In separated and divorced families, vacation time is oftentimes viewed as “they’re taking my kids away from me”, “They’re trying to make me miserable”, or “It’s not fair for me not to see my children for three weeks”


  • Reality: In separated and divorced families, vacations are NOT ABOUT YOU
  • Reality: Family vacations are NOT ONE PARENT TAKING AWAY YOUR CHILDREN. Remember the children are OUR CHILDREN, NOT MY CHILDREN
  • Reality: Family vacations are NOT ABOUT MAKING YOU MISERABLE

In our Family Workshop program, we teach a skill called the ABCs of Healthy Communication.

A = Attitudes are how we think and feel about a situation

B = Behaviors are what we do as a reaction or response to a situation

C = Choices are the decisions we make about how we will think, feel and behave towards a situation

From the skill of Doing What Works, when it comes to vacation time, use your ABCs. NO ONE HAS CONTROL OVER HOW YOU THINK OR FEEL, only you do. NO ONE CAN GET INSIDE YOUR BODY and make you behave a certain way. The CHOICE IS YOURS! Here are some suggestions for letting go so you can move forward. 


  • Suggestion: I will survive if I do not see our children for three weeks. OUR CHILDREN WILL NOT FORGET ME!
  • Suggestion: Even though I don’t want to think about it this way, if our children are with their other parent for three weeks, THIS IS THREE WEEKS OF ME TIME TO DO WHATEVER I WANT!
  • Suggestion: Create a calendar with designated reality-based FaceTime or Phone Calls and provide the request when you agree to the vacation request. REMEMBER, A 5PM CALL IS NOT REALISTIC!
  • Suggestion: Agree to the vacation request and clearly state when your vacation will be. How, what, when? GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY. CHOOSE A TIME PERIOD AND THEN FIGURE IT OUT. Not sure how to do this? Keep it simple, if your co-parent is requesting a three week vacation this year from December 15th – January 5th, state, I will agree to your vacation request for December 15, 2023 – January 5, 2024, as long as we agree to the following FaceTime or Phone Call schedule (willing to negotiate if needed, as this is a tentative plan) and you approve my three week vacation next year from December 20, 2024 – January 3, 2025.

How we react to our co-parent’s request is no one’s choice but our own! You can run to your attorney or spend time and money running to court, OR YOU CAN SAVE THE TIME AND MONEY, KEEP IT SIMPLE AND USE THE MONEY TO PLAN YOUR THREE WEEK VACATION NEXT YEAR!  The choice is yours! 

From the Kids’ Turn San Diego Family to Yours, we wish you a peaceful holiday season full of gratitude for your incredible children!

World Kindness Week - 5 Acts of Kindness

Did you know last week, November 13-19, was World Kindness Week? Kindness encourages connections between people, boosts self-esteem, and reaps many benefits for those practicing kindness and those affected by it. Think of kindness like a superpower that’s contagious!

Celebrate World Kindness Week and enter the Thanksgiving holiday by committing to at least one act of kindness each day.

Here are 5 ideas for the week:

1) Say thank you throughout the day.

2) Open the door for another person.

3) Do a favor for a friend or family member.

4) Reach out to a loved one you haven’t connected with recently for the holiday season.

5) Donate to a cause you care about.

Conflict Resolution Day - October 19, 2023

Conflict Resolution Day is observed on the third Thursday of October every year, falling on October 19 this year, today. Conflict Resolution Day is a day to accept that conflict sometimes exists and that instead of avoiding it or ignoring it, to find a way to get through it.  Conflicts tend to arise in many areas of our lives, such as workplaces, relationships, and families (https://nationaltoday.com/conflict-resolution-day/). At work, its co-workers bad mouthing others, questioning their performance, or creating hostile work environments. In relationships, well, let’s face it, conflict is normal and part of all relationships, it’s just how you handle yourself that makes all the difference. And, in families, well, conflict can be devastating.


Imagine you are 6-years-old and your parents are arguing over who will pick you up from first grade. This is the first time you’re going to a full day of school. You feel scared, nervous, and wish your parents would stop for a minute to help you pick out your first day of school outfit and to teach you how to use a lunchbox. You decide to wear one of your new outfits and you watch the other children during lunch so you figure out how to use your lunchbox and what to eat when. You learned the coping strategy of observing and doing what others do. Now you are in 3rd grade. Your parents still argue over everything. You pick out your first day of school clothes, pack your lunch and get ready for the first day of school. You’re late and your teacher calls you out on being late. You go to lunch and a couple of the kids walk by you and mimic the words of the teacher, “You have to be responsible to get to school on time, haha, you were late, you have to be responsible to be on time.” You tell them to be quiet. They make fun of you, “be quiet, leave me alone.” You get up and you throw your lunchbox and hit one of the kids in the head. The laughter stops. The room seems to go silent. The lunch lady is heading your way and you find yourself being escorted to the principal’s office. You try to explain but the principal doesn’t want to listen. After all, it is only the first day of school. You learned that if you try to stand up for yourself and others don’t back down, that you have to take matters into your own hands, and sometimes that means throwing something.


Children learn what they live! If they live with conflict, they learn conflict. If they live with anger, they learn how to react with anger.


On this Conflict Resolution Day, please join Kids’ Turn San Diego in choosing peace over power. Teach your children that they matter. If you are separated or divorced and in a high conflict situation with your child’s other parent, do something different. On this Conflict Resolution Day, decide that you love your children more than you dislike their other parent. Step back and be willing to “not win” but to instead collaborate in the best interest of your child. Children learn what they live!


Beyond today, Kids’ Turn San Diego is here to help. If you need support to “not win” or to “get unstuck so you can free yourself from a high conflict relationship”, attend a Cooperative Co-Parenting Program. This is a court approved high conflict co-parenting program. Kids’ Turn San Diego is committed to children feeling empowered and to healing families. Remember, children learn what they live. We’re here to support you if you want the support.

Kids' Turn San Diego Honors our First Responder Heroes!

September 11th marks a moment in American History where First Responders fought bravely to protect our nation. Firefighters, Policemen, Emergency Medical Technicians and others worked day and night to support our community while sacrificing their own safety.

They are fearless.

They are selfless.

And many are parents.

At Kids’ Turn San Diego, we appreciate and respect the work that First Responders do and understand that this may come with the cost of stress on their own families. We recognize that their sacrifices in the line of duty can, at times, affect their relationships with their spouses, co-parents and children.

KTSD is excited to announce the launch of a new program to support First Responders and their families.

Our new program will protect and support First Responder families by teaching strategies that can reduce conflict, increase communication and improve parent-child, parenting and co-parenting relationships. KTSD recognizes…

The Reality: Schedules of First Responder families can be challenging. Between long shifts and family obligations, there can be moments of feeling overwhelmed, burnt out and stressed out.                                                                                                                                                                                                  Imagine: Instead of feeling these ways, you have a family where you compromise, communicate and feel confident about being a parent.

The Reality: Communication can be difficult for all families and can cause moments of friction where feelings can be hurt. Many First Responder families escape these conversations because they are oftentimes pulled away from family time without much notice.                                                                Imagine: Instead of feeling left out or like an outsider in your own family, your family has communication systems and rules in place that facilitate the sharing of feelings and are inclusive of all family members, whether they are present or not.

The Reality: Life is busy, and it can be demanding to balance and prioritize work and family commitments. As a First Responder family, sometimes parents run around anxious or frantic from life threatening situations to attending after school activities like ballet or little league.                                        Imagine: Instead of feeling unbalanced from your career and home obligations, your family can create back up plans that foster communication and collaboration.

Kids Turn San Diego is committed to support our First Responders and our community by taking care of what matters most, Their Family!

PS. If you are a member of a First Responder Family, we invite you to be part of our first class and to help us name our program and fine tune it. If you would like to join or find out more information, please contact Yulian@kidsturnsd.org .