Des Moines Parent Spotlight: Tricia Calik Owner of Encourage Club

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Des Moines Parent Spotlight: Tricia Calik Owner of Encourage Club

Tricia Calik is passionate about supporting parents with practical tips and coaching services so they can decode a child’s challenging behaviors through a holistic lens and respond with respect. To do so, she launched the Encourage Club in 2022. 

Des Moines Parent connected with Tricia to learn more.  

Tricia Calik, Encourage Club

Give us a little background on yourself. 

I have been married to my husband for nine years, and we have two boys ages 8 and 5. We moved to West Des Moines from Peoria, Arizona, in the fall of 2019. 

Could you give us an overview of your business and what inspired it?

In the fall of 2021, I got pretty sick with Covid and was no longer able to physically do the job I had at the time. I needed time and flexibility to prioritize my own health and my family. As I was home resting and recovering, I spent more time on social media. I noticed many parents were reaching out to the community in Facebook groups and asking questions about how to best support their children who were struggling. 

As someone with a master’s degree in special education, an understanding of child development, 20 years of experience working with children and as a parent whose own children have had behavioral struggles, I was able to offer encouragement and support for others. It was from this desire to encourage parents and advocate for children who are being misunderstood that the idea of Encourage Club was born. 

In January 2022, I began offering parent coaching services to provide education and encouragement for parents. I help parents get curious about the underlying cause(s) of their child’s challenging behavior through individualized support. This can include behavioral interventions, understanding your child’s sensory system and brain development, using pictures or visual supports to clearly define expectations, dietary changes, sleep consulting services, tips for co-regulation, and how to respectfully respond to your child at all times. 

Every child and family are different, so I take the time to really get to know your family circumstances and struggles to help you figure out exactly what supports will work for you and your child.

What are your favorite parts of your business?

My favorite part of being a small business owner is the people I meet and the flexibility to serve others, all while prioritizing the needs of my own family. I am able to drop off and pick up my kids from school each day, be the one putting them to bed at night, and serve and support other parents at the same time! I love it!

How do you juggle your parenting responsibilities with your work responsibilities? 

My business model includes virtual support for busy parents. The lives of my clients closely resemble mine in that I am a busy parent, too! We understand each other, and I am able to serve them while prioritizing my own family. It’s a daily decision of prioritizing and planning so that the needs of my business, my clients, and my own family can be met. Also, I have learned to ask for help and support rather than try to ‘do it all.’ 

What are some of your favorite things to do with your family around the metro?

The Science Center, Blank Park Zoo, Brenton Arboretum and alllll of the parks and playgrounds help keep our family busy and moving!

What’s your ideal parent day or night out? 

We love to sign the kids up for Parents Night Out at the RecPlex so my husband and I can go on a date! We eat at Fiesta in West Des Moines then usually end up at Crumbl Cookies or Totally Rolled Ice Cream for dessert before we pick the kids up.

What’s your number one parenting tip?

My entire business is centered around supporting parents with practical tips, so it is hard to choose just one! I would probably say, try to tell your kids what TO DO instead of what NOT to do. 

So often as parents, we are saying things like ‘NO!’ ‘Stop that!’ ‘Don’t do that!’ and it can be a challenge to give clear and positive expectations so our children know what they ARE supposed to do. So next time you are tempted to say to your preschooler, ‘We don’t hit’ or ‘It’s a parking lot, DON’T RUN!’ try to be intentional and phrase it with the behavior you DO expect, such as  ‘gentle hands’ or ‘Walk beside me in the parking lot.’ The reason for this is that it is easier for young children to obey when they know exactly what is expected and they can process positive language quicker than negative language.  

For more parenting tips, child development education and encouragement, follow along on my socials

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Lindsey Giardino

Lindsey Giardino

Lindsey Giardino is a freelance writer based in the Des Moines metro. She's also a new mom and learning as she goes. When she's not working on her business or watching her little guy explore this big new world, she loves to cook, read and enjoy the outdoors.

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