BeLove Parenting with Penny Tullis Meeker

A photo of a person smiling.
Penny Meeker has worked with kids of all abilities and ages for 30 years. Photo by Joni Johnson.

When Penny Tullis Meeker’s daughter, Zoey, was just 13 years old, she asked her mother a question that got Mom’s wheels turning about parenting.


BeLove Parenting was created by Penny Meeker. Photo by Michelle Cooper with Belle&Bee Photography.

“She asked me what I do that is so different as a parent than what other parents do.  That got me thinking about why my approach was different and why people would come to me for advice,” Meeker recalled. “That’s where BeLove Parenting came from. I started to develop and focus on how my parenting approaches were effective, which of the approaches were not effective, and accessed all of my years of experience with youth and children to do parent coaching.”

Meeker has more than 30 years of experience working with kids of all abilities and ages, as a parent, coach and educator. She has done extensive research and training to prepare for her hands-on role helping parents. As you learn more about her work, two key things distinguish her approach: 

  1. It is non-judgemental. There is no moral superiority being espoused about what parents should or shouldn’t do. It is all research-based with a foundation of empathy for the parent who is using the tools they have at the time.
  2. It is all about mindfulness. One useful gem from one of her Instagram posts is that “children would rather have ten minutes of 100 percent of you than 100 hours of ten percent of you.” Meeker promotes being fully present with your kids.

Life as a new mom

As a first-time parent at the age of 25, Meeker dutifully read parenting books to prepare herself for motherhood, but those don’t always cover all the bases. For example, many experts say that giving a child a choice between two things can make their decisions easier, but Meeker found that her daughter was still struggling with choosing outfits even when she tried that approach

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“When my daughter [her first child] hit the toddler years, she wanted to do everything herself. When it was time for her to get dressed, I took out two outfits, and she would reject them both. And we were on a tight timeline to get to daycare, and to work…I decided to take a step back. I thought, ‘Who is this really about? Do I really need to choose her outfit? Is this about her? Or is this about me?’”

From that point on, Meeker allowed her toddler to pick out her own outfits. Mindfulness, being able to take a step back and consider what is really at stake (will all the other mommies think you don’t care about your child’s appearance?), is a huge part of what Meeker brings to the table with her parent coaching.

BeLove Parenting

Both individual families and organizations can benefit from BeLove Parenting. If you have concerns about parenting and you’d like to learn more about coaching, take advantage of a 20-minute free consultation. That meeting allows Meeker to gain a sense of what the parent may warrants in terms of number of sessions and price point. Meeker’s program is curated for the specific needs of each parent and child.

Meeker is also available for public speaking on topics like routines (check out her blog about morning routines, specific behavioral issues, building social and emotional skills, and more. Meeker is available as a consultant as well.

Find out more about BeLove Parenting at You’ll find additional content and upcoming events (like the monthly Mindfulness for Kids program) and her forthcoming book on Instagram @beloveparenting and

Editor’s Note: Meeker is a freelance contributor to Toledo Parent. 

Getting to Know Penny Meeker:

Favorite pastime with your kids when they were younger: We did very seasonal, traditional things, like going to apple orchards.

What age range was most challenging for your own kids: Elementary school ages, because they started to have their own lives, so that was a big transition.

Favorite way to spend a date night with your husband in Toledo: We like to go out to eat. El Típico is one of our favorites.

Favorite way to spend solo time: Reading. (Some of her favorite parenting books are, “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk,” by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish,“The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind” by Daniel Siegel M.D and Tina Payne Bryson and “Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool” by Emily Oster.)

Best place to get work done in Toledo: The Sylvania and King branch libraries.

Best way to de-stress: Yoga and meditation.