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June 27, 2022

Episode 53: How to Help Your Child When a Pet Dies with Portia Clare

In this episode, DJ talks with Portia Clare, an author who wrote a children’s book to help children deal with the confusion and grief associated with the loss of a pet. Listen in as DJ & Portia discuss creating memory boxes for your lost pet, questions to ask to create a safe space for your child to express themselves and involving your little one in activities which will encourage them to discuss their feelings about their loss. 

Portia Yvette Clare has been privileged to serve in developing the minds and character of children for over thirty years.  A graduate of Duke University and Regent University, she maintains her love of learning and earnestly desires to empower the children who have been entrusted to her care.  Simply put, Portia teaches because she values children.  Her love of children and family compel her to write stories that will help them to recognize their importance, appreciate their value, and navigate through difficult life experiences.  Creative writing has always brought her joy and writing children’s books has been her passion since childhood.

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• [6:23] Portia discusses a memory box that can be made by a child or by a family to help to collect all of those wonderful memorabilia from your beloved family pet. 
• [8:25] Portia encourages asking questions and involving them in activities which will encourage them to discuss their feelings about their lost pet. 
• [12:52] “Everyone grieves differently, children and adults, and it will take as long as it takes.” 
• [30:20] “It behooves us to make sure that we are giving them an environment where they're safe and where they're cared for and where parents can go to work and be at ease and think...”

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DJ Stutz  0:13  
We think you should know that Imperfect Heroes podcast is a production of Little Hearts Academy USA.

Perfect. You're listening to Episode 53 of Imperfect Heroes - Insights Into Parenting the perfect podcast for imperfect parents looking to find joy in their experience of raising children in an imperfect world. I'm your host, DJ Stutz and Portia Yvette Claire has been privileged to serve in developing the minds and characters of children for over 30 years. A graduate of Duke University and Regent University. She maintains her love of learning and earnestly desires to empower the children who have been entrusted to her care. Simply put, Portia teaches because she values children. Her love of Children and Family compelled her to write stories that will help them to recognize their importance, appreciate their value, and navigate through difficult life experiences. Creative Writing has always brought her joy and writing children's books has been her passion since childhood. Portia is the only child of the late Randolph George Claire Jr. and Jane Easterling, Claire, and she was born in Bennettsville South Carolina. But she was raised in Nassau, Bahamas, pretty cool. Her family relocated back to Bennettsville South Carolina, in 2015, where she and her mother currently reside, there's so much to learn. So let's get started.

If you have been raising kids and pets together, it's going to happen eventually, you will have a pet that dies. My family has been through this a number of times. And I did notice that there was a difference between when a gerbil died, and when a beloved dog died. But they each affect us in some way. And we learned something about ourselves and our own mortality. Death can be very confusing to a child, and they don't often understand the finality of it all. And they can fully expect to see that pet again. While I am a big fan of the movie, all dogs go to heaven and I do believe there is a place in heaven for animals. It is sometimes hard to make that distinction when our kids are particularly young. Portia Claire, with all of her experience in teaching was prompted to write a book to help kids and their families through the process of losing a pet. Her gentle demeanor and obvious love for children truly helps us understand that every child just as every adult has their own way of getting through grief and inspires us as parents and caregivers to help them along as we mourn ourselves. So let's listen in. 

I am joined today with the most patient wonderful kind woman ever. Her name is Portia Claire, and she is an author. And I love the way that she is talking about and sharing with us today. How to help our children through the death of a pet. And she's even written a book on the matter. Portia Why don't you tell us a little bit about that?

Portia Claire  3:52  
Well, first of all, DJ I am excited to be here with you today. Thank you so much for the opportunity to share and spend time with you and your listening audience. As you shared my name is Portia Claire and I have written a children's book called Best Friends Forever a puppy sale. And my book is a story that walks children through loving, losing, and then possibly loving again another pet. It is a story that allows them to experience a friendship with a beloved family pet and then experiencing that pet having an illness and learning how to adapt to caring for the pet during that time. And then actually losing the pet and experiencing the grief of losing that pet and with the help of parents. Being able to go through that process and over a period of time come to a realization that a desire for another pet is actually there that desire to love another pet Again, men, so my story helps parents to walk children through that process, hopefully in a tender and an easy to understand manner.

DJ Stutz  5:10  
Yeah, definitely. And it's written in a way that you can read it with your child, your child can read it. But you have some really great ideas that I think are awesome in helping a child deal with that. And one of the things that we've talked about before, actually, is the difference between having a pet that is sick, and it's going on, or they've become very elderly. And so the death is kind of anticipated. And then there's the occasion where it's very sudden, so maybe they got hit by a car, or they ate something they shouldn't have. They were attacked by a wild animal, all of these things can can happen. And so we've talked a little bit about those differences. But let's get started on the anticipated death, and how to help your kids through one of the things that I really love is such a great idea was that memory box? Why don't you talk to us a little bit about that.

Portia Claire  6:23  
What DJ is referring to is a treasure box, or a memory box that can be made by a child or by a family to help to collect all of those wonderful memorabilia from your beloved family pet. It can be a box that has been purchased that's already created and beautifully decorated, perhaps with cloth or some other things. Or it can be a box that is made together with your children to help store things like pictures that your children have taken with your pet, maybe the pets leash, maybe some clothing that the pet war, may be some things that you use to spray on your pet. But all of those memories that are treasured, can be kept in this very special place this memory box. And whenever your child or even you, as a parent are missing your pet, you have the opportunity to go back into that box and take out those things and hold them and smell them and just remember talk about those pictures, and have just an opportunity to settle yourself a little bit and just enjoy the memory of that beloved family pet.

DJ Stutz  7:43  
That is such a great idea. And we've also talked about how different people just grieve differently, and D. So some people will be very vocal about it, that includes our children, some people will kind of shut down and be more introverted about it. Yeah. And so the Memory Box is such a great idea in that you can go through it with your child, or your child can say I like some time alone. Yeah, and the same child might want both at different times. Correct?

Portia Claire  8:25  
That's right. That's right. And children, you know your children, because you observe them and you have conversations with them and you know your child, you know whether or not your child wants to have a conversation about the pet that has been lost or not. Sometimes as a parent, you might want to encourage that conversation because you don't want your child to be filled with grief and not be able to talk about it. It's not easy necessarily for children to express themselves. But as a parent, knowing your child, possibly ask them questions and ask would you like to talk about it? Or is there something that we can share now together about your pet? Or would you like to go and visit a shelter with me today and maybe help with pets? Would you like to go to a pet store, just bringing up conversations or questions that allow your children to express themselves, because sometimes you might need to help them in that conversation, not forcing it. I don't think that would be beneficial to your child. But there is a need to have that conversation. And so you're presenting an opportunity every now and again to do just that. Perhaps one of those times your children or your child will say a few things to help you. The other thing that might be helpful is sharing with your child's teacher if this is happening during the school year, for example, that the loss of your family pet has occurred. So there might be a change in behavior for that child during the school day. And it helps if the parents and the teacher work together to help the child through that process, perhaps your child will be comfortable with talking about that loss with his or her teacher. And the parents telling that to the teacher actually benefits the child. Again, the teacher wouldn't be pushing that conversation either. But he or she would be someone who was there to listen, and to talk and to help that child through the process of grieving and loss.

DJ Stutz  10:40  
Boy, and as a teacher, I can and your teachers, well, 31 years, yes, indeed. And so we both are speaking from experience as the teachers, that when we have that information, it really helps. Sometimes, kids may not have the word that they need to express. And so they will act out, you might see a little more aggression, you might see the tears coming more easily. They kind of shut down and don't want to be with the friends that they usually are very happy playing with. And if a teacher doesn't have that information, we're just trying to figure it out. That's why we're now able to better understand and have better and more meaningful conversations with that kiddo. I had a kid that was talking about a pet that died. And so I talked to mom, and I said, Hey, you know, Joey, just told me that your pet died. And I feel so sorry. Is there anything we can do? Where? What language are you using so that I can mimic the language that they're using at home? And she said, Oh, my gosh, that dog died over a year ago? Oh,

Portia Claire  12:09  
my goodness. Yes.

DJ Stutz  12:11  
And so you know, it doesn't mean that it's just going to be three days or three weeks or three months, whatever. I mean, this was over a year later, and the child felt the need to talk about it. And I wouldn't blame a parent for not telling me about something a year ago,

Portia Claire  12:33  
that right with a different teacher, perhaps?

DJ Stutz  12:36  
Yes, absolutely, it was. And so it was just interesting to see how this little guy was managing. And so we don't want to put a timeline. That's right on their grief.

Portia Claire  12:52  
That's true. That's true. Everyone grieves differently, children and adults, and it will take as long as it takes. I know what it feels like to lose a pet because this story Best Friends Forever. A puppy sale is actually my story. I hate the character Scooby, and the story is me. That's what my daddy used to call me as a child. And Sandy, who was the puppy in the story was actually the name of my puppy, Sandy. And not only do I understand the loss of a pet, but I also understand the loss of a person. And I believe that this story is a resource of care that perhaps will help parents through not only the loss of a pet, but it could perhaps be used to talk about the loss of a person, someone who is very close to a child, it's not easy for children to understand that. And to experience it when we and we are now in a time for the past two years or more. Where we're experiencing a lot of deaths due to COVID. I've had a classroom full of children for the past two years where every, every one of those classrooms, there have been children who have lost family members, because of COVID. They've also lost pets as well. So having that conversation is has become perhaps more relevant and necessary because of the times.

DJ Stutz  14:19  
Well, and I also think that I mean, we don't wish this on everyone. But if a child has had the opportunity to manage through the death of a pet, that might be a good foundation or jumping off point. If God forbid, they lose a family member or a friend or something like that.

Portia Claire  14:45  
I agree. I really do. And it's like you were saying we're not we don't want to force the conversation, but it makes them feel a particular way and knowing children, particularly among young children the way that we do, they may not express it right away. And it may not make sense that they are expressing their grief. But we know that there is something that is occurring. And we need to be mindful of it and keep our eye out for it. So that conversation with parents and teachers, I think, as we tag team that just benefits the child. It's a win win for the child. And that's our objective. We want to make sure that they're okay.

DJ Stutz  15:29  
Yeah, I had a little guy this year that his dog died. Okay, yeah. And it was really sad. Mom, let me mom's a teacher herself. Okay, made sure she let me know. And so we were just kind of waiting for him to say something. And it was almost two weeks before he said anything. And then I just overheard him talking to a friend. Okay, it wasn't to an adult. And so when I heard that I just kind of went and sat down by the boys. Yeah, and didn't intervene. But just let them have the conversation. And I could hear what was going on. Yes. And then on the playground, at recess. He was just kind of hanging close by me, which wasn't like him. Oh, yeah. And so I said, Oh, I heard you talking to Tommy, whoever. And I think that was a really sad thing. And so then he did start opening up and telling me how he went to the vet. Blah, blah, blah. But that's another thing too, is if you bring this up, they might not be ready to talk right away. Right, it may take them some time. And Mom said he, they were talking at home, he would bring it up at home. And so different environments can change. sure how they're talking and, and dealing with it, they may be dealing with it one way at home, a different way at grandma's school.

Portia Claire  17:16  
That's right. This depends on the relationships that they have with different people, we interact with different people in different ways. Obviously, he was comfortable with having that conversation with his friend. And I think you sitting there and listening, and him continuing that conversation with your presence shares very clearly that he was comfortable with you knowing that. And then as you move to recess, he put himself in position to continue that conversation with you by being beside you. So I applaud you for that. You gave him a space where he was comfortable. And I think that's wonderful. Because that doesn't exist in every classroom, but it obviously does and yours.

DJ Stutz  17:57  
Yeah. I really believe in a child led classroom in many ways. Yes. And giving kids the opportunity to be who they are without being labeled. Indeed, than the head.

Portia Claire  18:13  
Yeah. I understand. Yeah, I do understand.

DJ Stutz  18:18  
And that's, I guess, a conversation for another day. So tell us a little bit more about scupi. Who was dealing with the death of her pet? Her pal was ill,

Portia Claire  18:36  
right? Yes. Yes, Scooby, actually, for her fourth birthday received a puppy and she was very excited about that puppy. She didn't know what kind it would be because her parents wanted to surprise her. And when she finally went to pick up the puppy she saw, she knew that it was a Dark Sun, but she didn't know what that was. And when she saw Sandy, she said Sandy was long like a hot dog so she could be related the hot dog and the length of it to a Doxon. When they did everything together, they were inseparable. Sandy was the sister that scupi always wanted. And so they played together and sang together and ate together and slept together and just explored everywhere together. And they eventually as a family moved to the District of Columbia, and Sandy traveled with them, of course, but she wasn't able to travel inside the plane, she had to travel in the luggage compartment. And that experience changed her health. When she came out of the plane. She was not doing very well at all. And of course, it was concerning to Scooby and her parents promised to take Sandy to the veterinarian and once they did that, they discovered that Sandy had developed something called epilepsy, and the doctor was excited. blaming to scoop and her parents what that meant and how that would look for Sandy. Sandy wouldn't be able to control her body at times. And so scupi dealt with that. And her parents helped her through that. And there were times when Sandy would have what's called a seizure. But they were few and far between. So Scooby and Sandy got back to doing the things that they normally did in their new home. But things were okay. And then there was a summer when Scooby went to visit her grandparents, and all of her cousins, but Sandy couldn't go because she had a doctor's appointment or veterinarian appointment. But her parents surprised her some weeks later and sent her down. So that Scooby was able to be with Sandy at grandma's home. And then of course, they had a big family dinner. Mommy and Daddy were there, everybody was there. And that evening, Sandy began began to have a seizure. And her cousins were jumping up on furniture and what's wrong with her? And what's she doing? And scooping was upset about that and telling them Can't you see she's sick, don't do that. She's She can't help herself. And eventually, she had her conversation with her daddy and was asking if Sandy was going to be okay this time. And that it reminded her what the veterinarian share that if Sandy continued to have seizures, one after the other, that she was not going to be okay. And she was not going to make it. And so Scooby had her parents throughout this process to kind of help her to understand what was happening. And then the next morning, of course, she asked her daddy to go to where Sandy was, and she and her daddy found Sandy. And Sandy had passed away. And they had a service for her. They buried her beside grandma's barn. And several years passed. And eventually scupi wanted to have a conversation with Sandy. So when she was visiting grandmommy this summer, she went to Sandy's grave. And she sat and she talked with her and told her that she would love her forever, and there was no puppy in the world that could ever take her place. But she really missed their fan friendship. And she wanted to get another puppy. And she wanted Sandy to be okay with that. And Scooby felt after that conversation that Sandy really was okay with that. And so the next day she went, asked her daddy, and Mommy if she could get another puppy. And this time, she chose to get a boy instead of a girl. And she got a miniature schnauzer. And she introduced her miniature snails or Omar to Sandy, and was telling Sandy that Omar loves to do some of the same things that they did together. And she recognized that things were different. But they were actually the same. They still were things that reminded her of a beautiful friendship.

DJ Stutz  23:09  
That's wonderful. All right. So I have a question just came in my mind. Those are always dangerous. But with Sandy, having epilepsy and seizures, and connecting that with Sandy's eventual death, I'm wondering if at some point in your life, you had maybe a friend that had epilepsy. And if you did, did Sandy's experience make you more worried about your friend or if there was any connection,

Portia Claire  23:47  
I actually had had a student who had seizures, and each time that that would happen with him, and my care, it would trigger a memory for me. And I was very, very attentive to him and wanting to understand everything that I could, having conversations with his parents and making sure that I was able to care for him as he needed to be cared for. So I didn't have a friend who experienced that. But I did have a student. And it was challenging for him. But we were able to do the things that we needed to do didn't have very many instances with him, thankfully. But we were able to care for him when he needed that and help the students through that process as well. Right. Yeah.

DJ Stutz  24:35  
They would give you some kind of a foundation there.

Portia Claire  24:39  
Yes, yes. And do. I know it's important to be able to talk to children to help them to understand what they're saying, because it can be frightening. If I don't know what I'm looking at. I don't understand it. It's necessary to have those conversations and so we were able to do that and I think that was helpful and they were supportive, and trying to be as still and quiet as possible, because that was their way of helping during that time.

DJ Stutz  25:08  
Yeah, that's amazing. I know, I've had to have my dogs die of cancer.

Portia Claire  25:15  

DJ Stutz  25:16  
And so I was just wondering if what the kiddo I think it would bring some of those emotions and feelings, whatever. But that might give you a basis to have a conversation, you know, with your absolutely with cancer being the way it is, if you don't have someone in your family, you're going to know somebody, yes, has it

Portia Claire  25:43  
so. And then in a classroom, as a teacher, you're our students, as I've been sharing have gone through some things, they've experienced death, whether it be because of COVID, whether it be because of heart disease, or cancer or anything else, those things affect our students. And there are times when the teaching needs to stop. And the conversation about what is happening with that child needs to occur, because it helps the entire classroom community, we're a family of families in a classroom. And there are times when we stop, and we have that conversation about why our classmate is feeling sad. Maybe the classmate wants to talk about it. And so we give them the opportunity to share what's happening. And it's amazing how our students really support one another you and in those conversations, you find that some of them are also experiencing the same thing or have experienced it. And they can share some things that they have done. But they're there for one another, I think it makes them closer. And it gives children an opportunity to experience empathy, which I think is important. I think it's essential for understanding the feelings of another person, we have to care for one another, we have to care how people feel, and what they've experienced, their feelings are real to them, they matter to them. And they need to matter to us because they matter to someone else.

DJ Stutz  27:12  
Agreed. And I think too, sometimes, when kids, they're not really processing their feelings very well, that they will act out. And we've talked about this a little bit. But I have found that when I have a child that is I know that they're going through something and they're acting out, I can pull that child aside. And you can do this as mom and dad to and say, I'm noticing this, this and this. And I think it's because you are really sad about Sandy, or it could be whatever else is going on in their life. And then I can ask them, you know, am I right? Or am I wrong? And sometimes they won't answer right away. But other times, they'll say, I'm just angry, I'm angry. And I'll ask Would it help? If you had one of your friends? You could tell one of your friends in the class? Or would you like us to have a conversation as a whole class about what's happening? So then they understand. And it's really interesting, the answers that I get back? Sometimes it's no, but other times, they'll just want one or two friends. I've had a couple of kids that have said, No, I want to talk to the class. Yeah. And then it opens up those amazing things, like you said, where someone else in the class has gone through something very similar. Yes. And then they can relate and they can help each other through those sad feelings, those angry feelings.

Portia Claire  29:09  
That's right. And then we have books, thankfully, that allow us to read stories that help them through that process because as through reading the book, then you can ask questions, they can make comments and they can become involved those who have not experienced it. They can through the book and through what it is that their classmates are sharing. I think the bottom line is that our students need to know that we love them. You know, I'm pulling you aside. We're having this conversation because I love you. Or you okay? You seem to be sad or something seems different today. And I want you to know that I love you. And then I'm here if you want to talk to me, I'm right here. If you want me to listen, and Utah, we can do that too. But I want you to know that I'm right here for you and I love you and it's going to be okay and that puts resents them with many options, but it keeps them safe. And that's what you want in our environment we they want, they have to feel, okay, they gotta be safe. they're away from home and their parents are expecting us to care for their priceless jewels. Oh my God, that's a big, big, big responsibility. And so it behooves us to make sure that we are we are giving them an environment where they're safe and where they're cared for and where parents can go to work and be at ease and think, Okay, well, my baby's getting what I want him or her to get if I was getting it.

DJ Stutz  30:34  
Right. And two, parents can have those conversations with their kids absolutely. Say, absolutely. I noticed you're a little off today, you're more upset than usual or whatever? Absolutely. Do you want to talk for a little bit? Share? Do you just want me to snuggle you sometimes they just need Yeah, that's right. And those are cool. And then to when you've got multiple kids, it's not just the one. But you've got other kids, you can kind of team up and have those conversations individually. But you can also have them as a whole family. Right? When you can spend time making that treasure box, that Memory Box group. So one thing might have been important to Joey, but Susie might have another piece that was important to her. And then for them to be able to come together as siblings and go through the the box and share that that can actually be a real bonding experience?

Portia Claire  31:40  
Absolutely. Absolutely. It is it is. And it's allowing them to have good thoughts and allowing them to have a time to smile. And to realize that though you don't physically have your pet with you, you will always have those treasured memories. And those memories can be brought up at any moment in time. And they can put a smile on your face. And that's important. That's important.

DJ Stutz  32:06  
Yeah. And I think you'll see some kids will want to get another pet right away. And I think with that, we want to make sure that we take time for them to have some

Portia Claire  32:20  
closure. I agree

DJ Stutz  32:23  
to another pet.

Portia Claire  32:25  
Yes. And as as you were talking about that there are some who might want one right away and some who might not. But that decision, ideally would be their decision, something that's not forced upon them, but allow them to come to a point where they realize, Okay, I think I would like to do this again. And that's what Sandy was able to do it wasn't her parents saying to her? Well, you know, you can always have another pet if you want to, or let's get another one now, it was them, allowing her to experience a desire to have that same kind of friendship again, but her timing was the timing that determined the purchase of a brand new pet. I think that's important. I think that's a part of the closure to which you're referring.

DJ Stutz  33:11  
Yeah, I agree. Anyway, I just really have loved this conversation, and just so much that you have to share. So I hope that people will invest in your book. And so what else can you tell us about where to get it have been in contact with you?

Portia Claire  33:34  
Okay, thank you so much. Well, you can order an autographed copy of best friends forever or puppy sale by visiting my website, which is Portia, why You can also go to Walmart or books and million or Barnes and Noble. To order your copy as well. You can find out more about me on Facebook at Porsche y Claire, and I'm also on Instagram at Porsche y dot Claire.

DJ Stutz  34:09  
Got it. And we'll have all of that information in the show notes. So if you don't have your pen and paper ready, you can just scroll down and it'll all be there. So Portia, at the end of all of my episodes when I have a guest, I asked the same question. So I'm going to ask you, how would you define a successful parent?

Portia Claire  34:38  
Okay, in my mind, the successful parent is one who observes his or her child recognizes the gifts, the talents and the abilities that that child has, and gives that child every opportunity to develop those gifts, talents and abilities because what that parent is seeing in that child I I believe is what that child is birthed in the earth to do. And so a parent who observes his or her child sees the things that bring absolute joy to that child, and gives that child every opportunity to be in activities that allow that thing or those things to be developed. I think I would define as a successful parent,

DJ Stutz  35:21  
I love that. And it's so true that we need to be really open to what it is that inspires our kids, because it may not be the same thing that inspires us.

Portia Claire  35:34  
Absolutely, absolutely. And it might, and it might, it might not it right now, whatever it is, you know that it brings them joy. And that means that they would be dedicated to learning it and pursuing it and then giving it back to the family, to the community and to the world at large. And that's, I think that's that's everything.

DJ Stutz  35:57  
You're exactly right. Push, it's been so lovely, having a chance to talk with you and to enjoy your company. I just love your attitude. And

Portia Claire  36:08  
thank you so much. I have really enjoyed being with you today. You are a pleasure.

DJ Stutz  36:13  
Oh, thank you. And I hope and I'm actually sure that we'll do more things in the

Portia Claire  36:19  
future. It would be my pleasure, it really would.

DJ Stutz  36:23  
Thank you so much. And we'll talk to you again.

Portia Claire  36:27  
All right, have a great afternoon. Bye, bye,

DJ Stutz  36:29  
bye, bye. Didn't you just love Claire? You can feel her love and understanding of children. And so as you are perhaps currently working through a similar situation, or if you are being thoughtful about how you might deal with it in the future. Please keep Claire's advice in mind, find some way to memorialize your pet, something you can all turn to to remember the good and goofy things, and the role that your pet played in your family. And remember, there is no set timeline for grief as with my young student, it can pop up quite a while later. If you want to know more about Claire, all of the information is in the show notes below. 

I know that as I was raising my kids, I had a habit of raising my voice way too often. And when was the last time that you really paid attention to someone who was yelling at you? Were you inspired to draw closer to that person? Did you feel comfortable with your relationship with that person? Do you feel like your kids don't listen to you unless you're yelling at them? Do you feel yelling promotes your relationship with your kids? Or would you like to learn how to get them to listen to you, as you just talked to them? July 25, I am going to start with a 10 day challenge to help parents learn tools and techniques to stop yelling at their kids and build stronger relationships with strong boundaries in peace and kindness. And during these 10 days, we're going to connect with five live events on a Facebook group just for you and others who are looking to have a calm loving home for everyone. So if you're interested, you can go to my website and just register for this free resource. Just click on the link in the show notes. And we're gonna have fun and just learn a ton. And I keep asking, but why we're looking over our show notes. Go ahead and leave a rating and review and follow the podcast. Taking time to give the podcast a five star rating and review makes the podcast easier to find. And then we're able to help more families. I just wanted to remind you that I have a new Facebook page just for the podcast. So find me at Imperfect Heroes podcast on Facebook. And my Tuesday night live events are now there instead of the Little Hearts Academy page. So check it out at 7pm Mountain Time. And next week. My guest is Danielle Ingeninto and we will be talking about the process of recovering after a traumatic experience or toxic relationship and what that means for our kids. So until next time, let's find joy in parenting.

Transcribed by

Portia Y. ClareProfile Photo

Portia Y. Clare


Portia Yvette Clare has been privileged to serve in developing the minds and character of children for over thirty years. A graduate of Duke University and Regent University, she maintains her love of learning and earnestly desires to empower the children who have been entrusted to her care. Simply put, Portia teaches because she values children. Her love of children and family compel her to write stories that will help them to recognize their importance, appreciate their value, and navigate through difficult life experiences. Creative writing has always brought her joy and writing children’s books has been her passion since childhood.
Portia is the only child of the late Randolph George Clare, Jr. and Jane Easterling Clare. She was born in Bennettsville, South Carolina, and raised in Nassau, Bahamas. Her family relocated to Bennettsville, South Carolina in 2015, where she and her mother currently reside.
For more information about her books, school visits, presentations, and activities, please visit Portia’s website at