Jonathan: Welcome to Kidorable Parenting’s interview with Dayna Abraham, the blogger behind Lemon Lime Adventures, and the author of the new book: “The Superkids Activity Guide to Conquering Every Day.” I’m Jonathan Domsky, blogger, parenting coach, and co-founder of Kidorable. I met Dayna at a blogging conference last summer, and I was immediately impressed by her thoughtful approach to empowering kids to be their own advocates and help the people around them understand their needs.
Let’s get started. Dayna, tell me a little bit about who you are, what you do, and what you’re passionate about?
Dayna: Hi, thank you so much for having me. As you said, I am the founder of Lemon Lime Adventures blog and the author of “The Superkids Activity Guide to Conquering Every Day.” And I help parents and professionals of challenging kids raise confident and empowered super kids by helping them find peace, clarity, and connection, by using a unique framework called the Calm the Chaos framework. I’m passionate about growing more connected, and more peaceful relationships in giving the parents, and the people that love children, a different voice and a different language to be able to connect with them through.
Jonathan: Very nice. Dayna, how do you define a challenging kid?
Dayna: So I always struggle with this word, actually, because there’s so many other words out there, and I haven’t pinpointed the perfect way to say that. But, really, it’s just a child that doesn’t fit any other tick marks in other parenting books that are out there, or they seem a little different, a little out of the box. Maybe you have three kids, and one kid is a little bit harder than the other two kids to figure out. Or maybe you’re a classroom teacher and you just have that one kid that you just can’t connect with, you’re having a hard time figuring out.
I think about those kids, the kids that are misunderstood, that something is going on below the surface that we just can’t see, we can’t figure out. And that kid is usually having a hard time figuring themselves out as well.
Jonathan: Makes sense. Dayna, what’s something that you wish you had more courage or imagination to do when you were younger?
Dayna: Oh, that’s such a good question. So when I was younger, and I think back, I actually had a lot of imagination because creativity…I feel like was my outlet. And when I felt, like, I didn’t fit in, or that other people were misunderstanding me, I would turn to art or to dance or to writing. And but one thing that I really wish that I’d had was the courage to believe in myself, and to realize that being unique and being different, and seeing things different than other people were seeing them was actually my strength.
Jonathan: Yeah, yeah. What do you do to give children you love the courage and imagination to seize possibilities within themselves and the world?
Dayna: So it’s my hope that I can empower children with a knowledge that unique is powerful, and my hope is to teach them that they’re more than what the world might see on the outside. Whether that’s a physical appearance or a behavior or, you know, an assumption about them. And I wanna arm them with the knowledge of why they do the things they do, and then a common language where they can advocate for themselves.
Jonathan: Describe something in your family life that you’ve consciously made more fun, easy, meaningful, or joyous?
Dayna: I have worked to make connections more meaningful and enjoyable and fun. One way we do this is through our family meetings that we have every night at the dinner table. And this is where we share our wins, we problem-solve our challenges, and then we laugh together and make jokes and do silly things together.
Jonathan: Nice. What was something about your current family life that you wish was more fun, easy, meaningful, or joyous?
Dayna: I think that we have a lot of challenging times in our life raising a child who is different and out of the box. I wish that there were days that we didn’t have to deal with any of that and that we could erase those days. But because of that, I think it’s made us stronger as a family. It’s made each of my children stronger, and we really value those little tiny moments where things are a success and things are a win.
Jonathan: Yeah. What was something you treasure from your own childhood that you tried to recreate with your children?
Dayna: So my mom loved taking photographs, and she loved art. And I always remember her having a camera in her hands. And so that’s something, actually, that I’ve recreated…is that I try to take pictures of everyday moments. And we’ve actually built an entire art room in our house. It’s dedicated to art and creativity.
My kids can make a mess. They can build robotic arms. They can, you know, get glitter on the floor, and they can just kinda create to their own heart’s desire. And I find my kids picking up cameras, phones to take pictures. And they are taking pictures of all the little moments from their creations. So that’s been really fun I had to recreate from my childhood.
Jonathan: What was something from your childhood that you’ve consciously changed in raising your own children?
Dayna: Yeah, so I actually grew up in a family where children were to be seen and not heard. And you either listened the first time, or you were punished. And there were really strict consequences if you broke any of the rules. And in my family, I have consciously worked to create a more open and respectful relationship with my children. So sometimes that means that I have to use out-of-the-box solutions. But, at the core, the communication is always open and respectful, and we’re always focusing on growth and problem-solving.
Jonathan: Nice. So, Dayna, you said that a big part of your work is helping children identify what’s unique about them, and see it not as something that is a problem with them, but something that’s a strength. Maybe it’s something that’s, you know, causing trouble with friends or family or at school, but that if they look at it from a different angle, they see that’s a unique, special ability. Can you share an example from your own family or from your coaching that illustrates that?
Dayna: Yeah, so in “The Superkids Activity Guide,” there’s a manifesto for the kids. And, basically, it tells the kids that the world might have a certain word for them, like “picky” or “anxious,” but that, really, that means that maybe they’re unique. They have a set of likes and dislikes and teaching them about those likes and dislikes, and that it’s okay to have that special uniqueness about them, empowers them to then turn that around, and say, “Okay, I know this about myself because I know that I don’t like, you know, foods that are mushy. Or I don’t like clothes that have buttons on them because they hurt my skin. Or I don’t like loud places. I can tell the adults around me, ‘You know what, it’s just a little too loud in here. Do you have a quiet place I can go sit?'” So they can advocate for themselves what they need, now that they know that it’s okay to be different.
That it’s okay. Because a lot of times the world will see them as like, “Oh, you’re being too sensitive. You’re being too picky. You’re being, you know, too worried.” Where if you give them that language, then they’re able to advocate and tell you why they’re feeling that way.
Jonathan: Nice. Dayna, what’s the best thing about being a parent?
Dayna: I thought about this a lot. I think the best thing about being a parent is watching your child overcome a challenge on their own, and something that’s been holding them back. So it’s little, little things like making a new friend when social situations have always been hard, or your kid going off to school and letting go of your hand without that fear of the unknown. You know, so just those tiny pieces where you’re just like, “Uh, they did it. They just took that step forward without me.” I think that’s the best part about being a parent.
Jonathan: Nice. Tell me about your current project or something else you think I should know about your work?
Dayna: So I’m currently in the process of taking all my past experiences as an educator, as a mum, as a misunderstood kid myself, and creating this framework that can be used to create more peaceful and connected relationships between kids and then the adults that love them.
Jonathan: Nice. Where could I find out more?
Dayna: The best place to find me is on my website, lemonlimeadventures.com, or on my Facebook page, which is also…
Jonathan: And what is your Facebook page?
Dayna: My page is Lemon Lime Adventures. Yeah.
Jonathan: All right. So, Dayna, thank you so much. This has been such a treat. I’m grateful for your time, your wisdom, and the example that you share with me and our listeners.
Dayna: It has been absolutely wonderful speaking with you as well.
Here are some links to find out more about Dayna’s work:
Lemon Lime Adventures blog: https://lemonlimeadventures.com/
Superkids Activity Guide: https://superkidsguide.com/
Calm the Chaos course: https://learn.lemonlimeadventures.com/
In two weeks I’ll give a free Kidorable Umbrella to whoever leaves my favorite comment and shares this interview on the social media platform of their choice.