There’s More Than One Right Way

by Kim Hemmert

When she was young, Taber wanted to be a ballet dancer. She liked dancing and wanted to attend dance school.  Discouraged from pursuing that dream, she followed the more traditional path that was approved by her parents.  Even though she didn’t feel like she fit in, she attended high school and graduated from college with a degree in Journalism.  After finding a post-graduation writing job unfulfilling, Taber realized she wanted to do something that helped people.  Today, Taber Martin is the Administrative Assistant for the Idaho Children’s Trust Fund.

While Taber recognizes that her parents thought they were doing the right thing, her own experience has shaped her parenting style and understanding of child development.  As the mother of a very strong willed 4-year-old girl, Taber recognizes in her daughter the same fire she had as a child. “Being strong willed isn’t a bad thing, but it is frustrating at times.” Taber is learning how to use her daughters’ strong personality to develop her leadership skills and help her have a strong sense of right and wrong.

The message she wants her daughter to know is different than the one she received growing up. Taber says, “There are a million different routes to take to success and fulfillment, and my job is to help her get there.”

Her daughter likes to push limits and challenge boundaries. Taber works with her daughter who is full of emotions to find safe, workable solutions. Breathing exercises, emotional word awareness, and identifying how to act when angry are some of the ways Taber is helping her daughter develop. “It’s ok to be atypical and flourish,” Taber says. She believes that helping her daughter explore all options gives her a sense of freedom, independence, and autonomy.

At the Trust Fund we promote five protective factors that prevent child abuse and neglect and that promote optimal child development.  Taber understands the importance of these Protective Factors in her life as she continues to learn about child development and works to build her daughter’s social and emotional competence. Using her own childhood experiences have allowed her to meet her daughter where she is, and to help her understand her emotions and how to regulate them. Taber’s daughter benefits from her continued commitment to finding workable atypical solutions and not getting stuck in ‘there’s only one right way’ mentality. We are so grateful for the expertise Taber brings to the Trust Fund. She is a huge asset and example in strengthening Idaho families!

Taber Martin

Written by: Kim Hemmert