Connie BessetteMy career choice of Parent Coach was born out of my love for parents, who provide for their children despite their own day-to-day struggles.

In the 1990s I taught parent education classes at a public elementary school where I was employed for ten years. Together we worked through a myriad of dilemmas and challenges, usually with a fair amount of laughter. There was the child who refused to wear “school appropriate” clothing, the child who was frequently disrespectful and the endless issues of sibling rivalry. Parents practiced taking brief “time outs” and realizing that making mistakes came with the job. Together we wrote the “manual” that did not come with our children. In the dozen or so classes that I taught, it seemed that the rewards were all mine.

While in graduate school, I wrote case studies centering on the life of the child who had been born into abuse, addiction and poverty. Although the focus was always the emotional pain of the child, I could not help but connect with the parents who gave and loved in the only way that they could.

For five years I worked in a private foster care program. I trained, supported and counseled foster parents who provided homes for children who came to the United States as Unaccompanied Refugee Minors. The foster homes were havens for these children who had been separated from their biological families in the war-torn countries of Southeast Asia. The children were remarkable survivors, yet their wounds were deep and their needs enormous. The foster parents were remarkable in their tireless efforts of parenting children who presented a different challenge with each new day.

I am a member and have served as President of PRISMS (Parents and Researchers Interested in Smith Magenis Syndrome), an international support organization for parents whose children have Smith Magenis Syndrome (SMS). Children with this rare genetic disorder have severe impairments such as developmental delay, sleep disorder, poor emotional control, and complicated medical problems. They have endearing personalities and often seem more capable than they are. Therefore, they are misunderstood by educators and medical professionals. To learn more about this disorder go to http://www.prisms.org.

My son has this disorder. I understand parents who talk about their frustrations with their children. I know what it’s like to raise a child you don’t understand; what it’s like to feel anger and joy frequently throughout each day and to worry about what the future will bring for you and your child.

I earned my Masters Degree in Social Work at the University of Connecticut. I am licensed by the NH Board of Examiners and I have been a certified educator with the NH Department of Education.

I have been involved in public education as an educator, a social worker, a consultant and various committee roles for over 30 years.

I have 3 children who are kind and thoughtful adults.

For fun I dance, read, write, snowshoe, hike, and swim. I adore my grandchildren and never tire of their stories and reports of the current events in their lives.