Hi, my name is Dr. Linda Olson. I’m a clinical psychologist, Imago Relationship and Family Therapist, clinical social worker and the mother of three sons and a grandson.
Let me tell you why I started Calmkins To Calm Kids. As the eldest of six children, I grew up in a home witnessing my parents constantly yelling and screaming at each other and sometimes becoming violent. This is known as Childhood Domestic Violence (CDV). I lived in constant fear and blamed myself for a lot of the chaos and abuse. This is not uncommon. Many children who grow up with trauma blame themselves.
As a child I had a lot of anxiety, a hard time calming myself down and learning to self-soothe. I can remember sobbing uncontrollably, screaming and sometimes even destroying my toys to punish myself. I did this to distract myself from the emotional chaos and abuse inside the house. Two of my sisters also witnessed childhood domestic violence (CDV) and engaged in self-sabotaging and self-destructive behaviors. Years later, Ann was killed by an ex-boyfriend and Mary died homeless.
In memory of my two sisters, I created Calmkins behavioral health program, to bring hope and to help children learn to regulate their emotions and build social and effective interpersonal skills. I also designed and patented the two hearts awareness ribbon for hope, found on one of Hope Bear’s paw. “You Are Not Alone” is inscribed on the other paw. Most kids who grow up with anxiety, and trauma suffer in silence and feel very alone and isolated.
Giving children a friendly, weighted companion helps provide comfort and hope and teaches them how to self soothe. In psychology, we call this a “transitional object.” Research shows children who grow up using transitional objects or weighted items have less anxiety and stress than children who did not.
Teaching children and parents how to communicate effectively with each other builds self-confidence. Research shows that children who feel listened to, validated and understood become happy, self-confident adults.
My wish is to bring comfort and hope to every child who suffers with anxiety and to help parents give the love that heals themselves and their children.