I Blamed Count Chocula


Think it. Feel it. Act it. Prove it. Round and around the Unhappy Kid Triangle we go, blaming others for our misery and unhappiness. Here is a very real example of how this works (or in may case, how it worked for me as a child). I have shared this story many many times, with many many children, teenagers, and even adults…

Growing up, my parents struggled to make a living. They both worked hard. My mom did what she could to cut back on expenses. Wherever she went, she carried around a calculator and an envelope filled with grocery coupons. My unhappy story takes place in the 1980s (Stanger Things is very real for me), in a grocery store (most likely Stater Bros.), somewhere in Los Angeles, California (my hometown). I was probably eight years old, and had already decided that I was a bad kid that didn’t deserve anything. But man oh man did I want to deserve everything! We entered the grocery store, my little sister in the shopping cart, and I walking along side of it. Mom had a very detailed list of items that we needed to buy for the week. As we approached the cereal aisle, not quite having turned down it, something caught my attention. The breakfast cereal that I saw advertised on TV earlier that week, was very much on display at the end of the aisle (the end cap).


Count Chocula! I wanted it so bad! I excitedly asked my mom if we could buy it. I used all of the bribe and cuteness tactics I could think of to try and convince her to buy it for me. She told me that we didn’t have enough money to buy it that day, but that we might be able to but some the following week. I was crushed. Without being conscious of my unhappy thoughts…they began to rule me. My unhappy thoughts were "I never get anything. It’s not fair. Mom is so mean. She always says no. I have to take matters into my own hands. I’ll show her.” Little by little those unhappy thoughts turned into unhappy feelings of rejection, anger, vengeance and blame. I was eight years old. I was determined to get my way. My mind was spinning with ways in which I could get my mom to buy the cereal for me. Once we got what we needed from the cereal aisle (a tub of Quaker Oats), we continued our shopping. About two aisles over from the cereal aisle, I decided to make my move. I told my mom that I needed to go to the bathroom, and that I was old enough to go on my own. After lecturing me about kidnappers and knowing what to do if someone tried to take me, she allowed me to go. But I didn’t have to go to the bathroom. I lied. I went back to the cereal aisle, grabbed a box of Count Chocula cereal, hid behind the display case, opened it, stuck my hand in the bag, grabbed a handful and shoved it in my mouth. It tasted so good. I was feeling pretty proud of myself for pulling it off…until…I got caught. The store manager found my mom, told her what I had done, and demanded my mom pay for the opened box of cereal. Ugh! My mom cried. She told the store manager that she didn’t have enough money to pay for it. He told her she would have to put something back (or at least this is how I remember it). Whatever she ended up putting back was probably something pretty important that we needed for dinner that week.


Mom didn’t have to say anything, the look of disappointment and betrayal on her face said it all. The unhappy thoughts that initially created feelings of anger and vengeance, became unhappy thoughts that created feelings of shame, guilt and sadness. I was thinking “Why do I always get in trouble? Why are people always mad at me? Why am I such a bad kid?” I don’t remember what happened afterwards; whether or not I got to eat the cereal for breakfast the next day. But I do know that this pattern of unhappy thoughts, feelings, and behaviors continued most of my life. And from time to time, I will catch myself moving back into the Blaming Bully role as a way to “get what I want,” fearing that “they won’t let me.”


The Happy Kid Toolkit is such a great way to demonstrate to kids and adults how our unhappy thoughts, feelings and behaviors are the true cause of our misery and disharmony in life. It is NEVER what ‘they’ do or say to me that causes me to feel bad…it is ALWAYS what I tell myself it means about ME when ‘they' do or say something. What happens when we take our unhappy thoughts captive and transform them to happier thoughts that are based on TRUTH (God’s Word)?

Thanks for letting my share my Count Chocula story with you. FYI…Costco is currently selling a bundle of these nostalgic cereals including Count Chocula, Franken Berry and Boo Berry. Yes, I did buy a bundle. My kids know the story. We got a kick out of opening up and tasting the cereal together last night.

What Is A Helpless Baby Like In The Workplace

What is a Helpless Baby?

I’ve had many people ask me to explain more in depth what each Unhappy Kid role of The Happy Kid Toolkit think, feels and acts like. We don’t just wake up each morning and consciously decide to be a Helpless Baby. No...it happens over time and becomes our defense strategy. You see, whenever we feel at the mercy of a situation or person, we automatically adopt one of three roles or defense strategies in order to protect ourselves. We move into one of these Unhappy Kid roles because we believe unhappy thoughts that cause us to react in unhappy ways. Today, let’s explore the Helpless Baby role.

Q: What is a Helpless Baby? 

A: When people move into the Helpless Baby role, it’s because they feel inadequate or unable to handle life or difficult situations well. They give up or collapse, unconsciously hoping for a rescue. They think, “I am the problem. I need help.”

Q: Can you describe how someone might act when they are in Helpless Baby?

A: When someone in Helpless Baby is confronted with a difficult situation they dislike, they will often make excuses and or feel too sick or too weak to get out of doing it for themselves. They will pretend to not know or play helpless so others will help them do it or get out of doing it all together. 

Q: Can you give us a common Helpless Baby scenario that we might see in the workplace?

A: Absolutely. I’ve actually created a short video demonstration for you.

#whatiswednesday #wellnesswednesday #wednesdaywisdom #helplessbaby #unhappykidtriangle #corebeliefs #happykid #happykidtriangle #happykidtoolkit #peaceintheworkplace #happyhome #happyfamilycoachblog

How to Use The Happy Kid Toolkit on The Golf Course

Golf is fun. Golf is great. Golf can make one blame their mate.”
~ Danielle Alvarez Greer, The Happy Family Coach

I know one thing is for certain; golf is hard. Golf is one of this activities that can easily be translated into how we handle every day life. Some of us may be a bit more dramatic than others (watch the video to see my own reenactment). Golf can bring one to his or her knees, aka collapsing into Helpless Baby. But it can also be an incredible and amazing story of growth, reflection and the freedom to leave the game a Happy Kid. I cannot think of a better way to demonstrate how we move around the Unhappy Kid Triangle (misery, defeat, helplessness), and how we can use The Happy Kid Toolkit to move us off and back to Reality (where there is peace). The Happy Kid Toolkit really can be used in any and every situation.

Watch the video for a few giggles. If you’d like for us to create more instructional and educational videos on how to use and apply The Happy Kid Toolkit, please be sure to comment and or send us an email info@happyfamilycoach.com

Secret to Being a Happy Kid

So you want to know the secret to being a Happy Kid? I'll tell you. Stop blaming. Think about how often you blame yourself, someone else or something for the cause of your unhappiness. We all blame! It's true. It's a human condition. It's the (unhappy) defense strategy that's been modeled for us since the beginning of time...well...since Adam & Eve. Thanks a lot Eve! Oops. There I go blaming Eve:-) But seriously, what would be different in your life if you were to stop seeing everything as a problem? You would no longer need someone to blame. Right? I'm not going to lie and or pretend that I see life through rose colored glasses 24 hours a day. No, I too find myself on that Unhappy Kid Triangle, off and on throughout the week. Here is the only difference between me now (in 2017) and me then (2010): I did not know that I did not have to believe every thought I think. I did not know that the only person responsible for my happiness, is ME. I did not have a personal relationship with God. I did not have the tools to; 1. question the unhappy story that I was projecting onto others; 2. see the situation at hand as an opportunity for growth, as opposed to seeing it as a problem that needed to be fixed; 3. removing blame; 4.  making peace with Reality. 

Imagine a generation of kids being raised with The Happy Kid Toolkit at home and in the classroom. 

Happy Kid Toolkits are now available for pre-order. Toolkits arrive at our warehouse in less than 3 weeks. Are you ready to bring hope, peace and harmony back into your home, classroom or office? 

Self-Responsibility vs. Guilt

Parenting with Reality™ - As parents, it is difficult and requires us to recognize the difference between being responsible 'for' vs. being responsible 'to' our children. One way creates dependency, disabling and disharmony. The other creates peace and harmony as well as an incredible opportunity for our children to learn and grow. In this short video, I share an example of how to step out of the Bossy Helper™ role by allowing my daughter to experience the consequences of the choices she makes. Be sure to browse the Happy Kid Toolkit store for more information and to order your own Happy Kid Toolkit for your home, classroom or office - www.happykidtoolkit.com

What is Love?

As I type, I'm sort of bopping my head side to side, to the imaginary beat of the 90s one hit wonder, "What is love? Baby don't hurt me. Don't hurt me. No more." I had not really listened to the lyrics of that song. Ever. I thought today, February 14, 2017, might be a good day to rewind, review, reflect and replay my own definition of what love is...from back then (Summer of 1993), and now. 


In a relationship, love meant I needed you to make me happy. Let me repeat it in a slightly direct way...I made you responsible for my happiness. Guess who took the blame for my unhappiness? Lucky you! In relationship, I had this silly belief that I needed to be exactly who and what I thought you needed me to be in order for you to keep loving me. I was unaccepting of me, so why would I think you'd be accepting of me? In order to keep your love/devotion/attention, I made every attempt to be the 'perfect girlfriend'. That was pretty much impossible and so I had to get creative at coercing, seducing, manipulating, and or controlling you. And when that didn't work I got busy trying to turn you into the boyfriend I thought you should be. And when all else failed, I made one last ditch effort to win you over through bribery, jealousy or gifts. Being in a relationship with me was a scary, never-ending roller coaster ride of emotions and uncertainty. I was busy RESISTING LOVE! The song could easily be renamed 'Resist Love'. Lol. In fact, every single relationship I've had (until now) has played out all over the Unhappy Kid Triangle. I lived in Victimhood! Like the song lyrics below, my fear of being hurt by 'you', meant I could never really allow myself to be truly loved by 'you'. I've taken the original lyrics and added some exaggerated 'Unhappy Kid Ego' mind chatter to add a little comic relief. Although I have to admit...some of these unhappy thoughts still creep up from time to time:-)

What is love?                       {I have no earthly idea but I'm going to resist it}
Baby, don't hurt me            {I know you are going to hurt me. Men hurt me. Resist.}
Don't hurt me no more       {I'll be perfect if you promise not to hurt me. Hesitant. Resist.}

Baby, don't hurt me            {What's the point? You don't really love me. Resist.)
Don't hurt me no more       {if you keep hurting me I'm going to have to hurt you back. Attack.}

What is love?                       {You make me happy. I make you happy. Right? Control.}

Yeah, yeah                           

I don't know why you're not there         {if you really cared, you'd be here. Resist. Manipulate.}
I give you my love, but you don't care {no matter how hard I try-it's not good enough. Collapse}
So what is right?                  {I'm not right for you? How can I convince you that I am?}
And what is wrong?             {I'm bad? It's not fair. Why can't life be perfect?}
Gimme a sign                       {My entire happiness is dependent upon your approval of me}

What is love?                       {We'll live happily ever after. It won't be real...but that's ok, right?}
Baby, don't hurt me            {What do I have to do, to make you love me? Bully}
Don't hurt me no more       {You're making me feel bad. Helpless Baby}

What is love?                       {You make me happy. I make you happy. Right?}
Baby, don't hurt me            {Let me lecture about all the ways you hurt me. Bossy Helper}
Don't hurt me no more       {I'll punish you by withholding my love. Maybe that'll make you stop}

Oh, I don't know, what can I do?   {I really am out of ideas. This is exhausting}
What else can I say, it's up to you  {I truly believe you are responsible for my happiness}
I know we're one     {I am in control. We just have to be together. I'll make it destiny}
Just me and you     {I don't want to be alone. I have to make this work}
I can't go on           {if you leave, it'll only prove what I believe; that I am 'undeserving of love'}

I want no other, no other lover                {I don't have the energy to do this all over again}
This is our life, our time                                   {why can't I make you love me?}
When we are together, I need you forever     {let's be miserable together forever!}
Is it love?                                    {It sure doesn't feel good, but it's better than nothing}

Baby, don't hurt me           {I'm at the mercy of a scary, unloving world}
Don't hurt me no more      {I need you to take responsibility for me}
What is love?                     {Beats me!}


Let's fast forward to 2017. I am an entirely different person with an entirely different perspective about Love and relationships. I see and experience life through a new lens called REALITY. When I am accepting of Reality, I experience peace, harmony, joy and love. When I am resisting Reality, although I am still being loved, I experience dis-ease, disharmony, fear, anger and or sadness. God is Love. In a relationship, I love, because He first loved me. I am responsible for my happiness. You are responsible for your happiness. There is no one to blame if either one of us experiences trials and tribulations. We both recognize that life (Reality) was never promised to be 'trouble free'. We are not victims at the mercy of a scary, unloving, dangerous world. We are loved.  In relationship, I understand and value the person God created me to be. The only approval I seek is God's. I give you permission to be the person God created you to be. I am accepting of me and take responsibility (own my part) when I miss the mark. I don't have to perform or be perfect in order to 'keep your love/devotion/attention'. In my daily walk, I desire to be a Godly woman. I want to please my Father in Heaven. I don't have to coerce, seduce, manipulate, and or control you. You are the exact person you are supposed to be and you are in my life for a reason. When we disagree or argue, it is meant to refine and grow us closer together. When you miss the mark, I am accepting and understanding rather than blaming and vindictive. The only person that can hurt me, is me. I am respectful of your process. I'm an empathetic listener and authentic in how I respond. I am honest, open and relentlessly kind. Being in a relationship with me is still like a roller coaster ride...but perhaps a smaller one with shorter drops, softer turns, lots more laughter, forgiveness, acceptance and joy. I'm so grateful to my husband for his willingness to be a perfectly imperfect human being with me!

Let's take the original lyrics once more and apply REALITY to it! Remember, Reality is just the way it is...everything else is a story (and usually an unhappy one)!

What is love?                       {God is Love}
Baby, don't hurt me            {God is for me. Who can be against me?}
Don't hurt me no more       {I am the only one that can hurt me}

Baby, don't hurt me            {It is unkind/unloving of me to believe my unhappy story about you.}
Don't hurt me no more       {I don't have to blindly believe every thought I think!}

What is love?                       {Patient. Kind. Honest. Forgiving. Accepting. Empathetic.}

Yeah, yeah                           

I don't know why you're not there    {I trust you are where you are for a reason.}
I give you my love, but you don't care   {Your job is to reflect to me, my relationship with me}
So what is right?                  {If we disagree, I'll drop my story to see/hear your perspective.}
And what is wrong?             {If I miss the mark, how quickly can I own my part? Freedom}
Gimme a sign                       {God completely surrounds us with signs for us to see his Love}

What is love?                       {Honesty. Surrender. Submission. Kindness. Faith.}
Baby, don't hurt me            {How can I empower you to question your unhappy story?}
Don't hurt me no more       {I may want to blame you sometimes. When I do please forgive me.}

What is love?                       {Making peace with Reality. Trusting God has my back. Always.}
Baby, don't hurt me            {I trust you have the tools within you to find your way.}
Don't hurt me no more       {As soon as I give up my unhappy story, peace abounds.}

Oh, I don't know, what can I do?   {Give it to God. With God, nothing is impossible}
What else can I say, it's up to you  {You can have that story if you want to. Not my business}
I know we're one     {How can I surrender more of my story to receive more love? Surrender}
Just me and you     {God created the perfect man for me to honor and love. Trust}
I can't go on           {It would be painful, but if you and I part, I trust it. God's will}

I want no other, no other lover       {Thy will be done. I don't need/want to be in control}
This is our life, our time                  {I am walking my path. You, yours.}
When we are together, I need you forever     {I'll fix my eyes only on you God}
Is it love?                                    {You are for me. I cannot measure your immense love for me}

Thank you for walking down memory lane with me. I may have to listen to Haddaway's 'What is Love' song now, just for kicks! I hope you have a blessed day. 

Peace, love and blessings,


My Unhappy Story: I'm a Bad Kid.

We all have a story. Some happy. Some unhappy. It is the unhappy one that is the true cause of any disharmony, misery, and suffering we experience over our lifetime. As The Happy Family Coach, I help people discover exactly what that unhappy story is, when it was activated, how you've built an arsenal of unique defense strategies that gets played out on the Unhappy Kid Triangle, and more importantly...how to get off the triangle by learning how to question and reframe the story in order to renew your mind.