The Best Valentine’s Day Gifts Can’t Be Wrapped in a Box.

Valentine’s Day is this weekend and the best gift you can give your partner is not a fancy dinner or a piece of jewelry. The greatest gift is to turn towards each other.

tiffany-blue-boxI have attended lectures by Dr. John Gottman (a professor emeritus in psychology known for his work on marital stability and relationship analysis through scientific direct observations) and he uses the term “turn toward” a lot. I wasn’t always sure what he meant by that, so I did a little research. Gottman says every day we are given countless opportunities to turn towards, turn away, or turn against a partner’s bid for attention. The act of turning toward instead of away during these small moments will help you to learn to recognize your partner’s needs. These small acts will add points to your emotional bank account (deposits) and over time will have a big impact on your relationship (Gottman, Bringing Baby Home. 2010).

I use the same analogies in my parenting workshop on building an emotional bank account with your children so that, when you have to make a withdrawal, the bank is full. When you have to make a withdrawal and the emotional bank is empty, it typically doesn’t go well (you have no leverage). Gottman’s research has determined that couples who interact with five positive interactions to every one negative interaction have better relationships. So how do I fill the emotional bank (or turn towards)?

  • It starts by noticing. You need to be present and notice the good things in your partner. Slowing down and taking the time to express your appreciation fills that bank.
  • It needs to be specific. A general “good job” is okay, but to get the biggest bang for your buck, give specific praise.

This Valentine’s Day, committing to remembering to take time in even the smallest of moments and turn towards can lead to a more satisfying relationship. Forego the presents and dinner, and practice those positive interactions. Your children will thank you.

But, sweetie, if you already bought me something in a blue box with a white bow…..don’t take it back!

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!


PRESS RELEASE: Encompass Names Kim Kanzler as the New Director of Pediatric Therapy Programs

February 6, 2015
Kim Kanzler
North Bend, WA – Kim Kanzler has been named the Director of Pediatric Therapy Programs at Encompass. For over eight years, Kanzler has worked at Encompass, starting as a Speech Therapist in the Birth to Three Program and then moving into the Clinical Supervisor role she has held for the last four years. She replaces Nela Cumming, who took over the Executive Director role at Encompass in December.

She has been a leader in the development and growth of the Pediatric Therapy program at Encompass, which has grown to 16 therapists seeing over 200 children every week. Encompass is able to serve so many families in the area because of Kanzler’s leadership in the creation of the Encompass Pediatric Therapy Clinic in downtown North Bend which opened in 2010. Last year, she forged a unique partnership with the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital to further enhance Encompass’ ability to serve more clients through the new Snoqualmie Clinic which opened in 2014 (which shares space with the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital’s rehabilitation clinic).

Kanzler is also a leader in her field with 15 years’ experience as a pediatric Speech Therapist and she has a high level of training and expertise in treating pediatric feeding issues. Through her classes to parents in responding to feeding concerns, she is a sought after panelist in this area. She is certified in the Hannen “It takes Two to Talk” (ITTT) and “More Than Words” curriculum and has taught many classes and workshops for parents. Kanzler also has a Level II certification in Infant Mental Health from the University of Michigan and is trained in the Promoting First Relationships (PFR) Curriculum as well as the CHERISH program for children in foster care. Kim has participated in many King County Early Intervention leadership initiatives and served on the King County Interagency Coordinating Council for several years.


ENCOMPASS is an independent, non-profit organization established in 1966 with a mission to nurture children, enrich families and inspire community. Our expert staff is committed to applying best practices and innovative strategies to education and therapy programs. We serve the Snoqualmie Valley, Issaquah, Sammamish and greater Eastside. Follow Encompass on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and our blog.


Ask the Experts at Encompass Your Most Pressing Parenting, Developmental & Early Learning Questions!

Parenthood is an incredible life experience—and potentially isolating and frustrating. ATEEncompass offers support and resources to parents in our community to assist in connecting with our childhood development, early learning and parent education experts as well as other local parents. These resources help better bonding with spouses and children by giving direction on managing stress and anger, improving communication skills, developing realistic expectations of children and using positive discipline when dealing with challenging behaviors.

Ask the Encompass Experts is a NEW monthly blog post from the early learning, childhood development and parenting education experts at Encompass with a goal to help children and families in our community thrive.

Do you have questions? Email and we will route to the best expert at Encompass and aggregate answers in a monthly post on our blog.

Topics we cover include:

  • nutrition and feeding
  • positive discipline solutions
  • relationship building within families
  • developmental milestones
  • sports and fitness
  • screen time
  • pediatric therapy
  • promoting family harmony
  • the importance of play
  • trends in early learning
  • living with children with special needs
  • raising emotionally-healthy children and more.

ENCOMPASS is an independent, non-profit organization established in 1966 with a mission to nurture children, enrich families and inspire community. Our expert staff is committed to applying best practices and innovative strategies to education and pediatric therapy programs. We serve the Snoqualmie Valley, Issaquah, Sammamish and greater Eastside. Follow Encompass on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and our blog.

Topics Our Experts Have Already Weighed In On (check these articles out on the Encompass blog):

  • Family Volunteering
  • Safe Backpacks
  • Spring sports – injury prevention
  • The importance of parenting education
  • Parent self care
  • Manners
  • Playful ideas to develop executive function
  • Involvement in the classroom (for parents)
  • Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) deters child abuse
  • Choosing a summer camp
  • Picky eaters
  • Importance of parent relationships
  • Resolutions to make to become a better parent
  • Great parents notice positives (PCIT)
  • A parent’s journey with autism

Announcing Our Volunteer of the Year!

The Encompass volunteer of the year is Lynn Case!

Lynn has a degree in psychology and youth ministry. She works with teens at Calvary Chapel, but she also enjoys working with the preschool children.  Lynn says that she loves seeing their growth and development so she is a regular volunteer in the preschool every Tuesdays. Lynn also helps with many of our community events. She is skilled at creating the craft projects for Parent’s Night Out. She enjoys creating the projects and gathering the supplies, and the children love doing them! She also helped with the Harvest Carnival, Adventure Sport, and the Block Party. But she doesn’t stop there, Lynn also helps at the Galas as a runner. She enjoys seeing the lively action, and presenting donors with a small gift for winning the bid.  All this involvement means that Lynn has contributed over 150 hours in only one year! She is an invaluable member of the Encompass team who exemplifies our mission to “nurture children, enrich families, and inspire community.”

Make an impact on the lives of children and families in our community by contacting Lisa Yeager ( or 425.888.2777) about volunteer opportunities at Encompass.

Preschool Resource Roundup!

Preschool registration is open for the 2015/16 school year! Discovery, creative expression and social problem solving are just a few concepts instilled in our students within the Encompass Early Learning Program to prepare them for lifelong academic success. We offer: Toddler Playgroups (12-36 months) and Preschool (3-, 4- and 5- year olds). Contact Julie Forslin with questions or to schedule a tour at 425.888.2777 or

Ready to register now? Use our new, easy-to-use site:

Need more information? Encompass has created and collected several articles and infographics to assist you in your thought process around choosing an early learning program:

A Brief Education on Choosing a Preschool, by Julie Forslin (early learning manager at Encompass) –

What to Look for in a Toddler Program (from NAEYC) –

What to Look for in a Preschool Program (from NAEYC) –

School readiness: Not a state of knowledge, but a state of mind –

How to know if your child is ready for kindergarten —

13 Tips for Starting Preschool —

Encompass Already Answering the President’s Call to Build a Stronger Nation through Early Childhood Opportunities (press release by Encompass) –