About Me

Hi and Welcome!

I’m a mom, a daydreamer, a writer and a child development psychologist. Once upon a time, I thought I knew a lot about raising kids. Actually, that’s not quite true — I never felt like I knew a lot about parenting per se, but I did worry that I knew too much about development and what could go wrong.


When I became a parent would I worry about my child’s style of attachment to me, their temperament, whether they had signs of a language delay or some of the other things I had read about in my textbooks?

I studied kids and development for 15 years before having my own child and here’s what happened —

I did worry– but not about any of those things. I loved that little soul so much, that I knew no matter what challenges were ahead we would be okay — we would figure it out.

Instead, I worried about work-family balance and how I was doing as a mom. How could I be a great mom and be on the tenure-track at my Univeristy? How could I be there for my college students and for my baby boy? Why wasn’t he sleeping?  What is the best way to respond to tantrums? How can I gently guide his behavior and help him learn to manage his emotions? How can I get him to listen?

Don’t we all worry about these things?

I found myself constantly reading about parenting– research studies, blogs, books, — there is an overwhelming amount of information that barrages us as parents every day.

I realized a few key things those in those first years as a mother:

— There is a lot of information out there — too much— some of it good, some of it not so good.

— There is a lot of information that isn’t out there. Great techniques, ideas, and inspiration.

— College students, most of them, don’t love hearing about parenting, I needed a different audience!

— I may have a Ph.D. in child development, but I was (still am!) a work in progress as a parent.

I realized that my passion was parenting — I wanted to research it, write about it, talk about and focus on my own growth as a parent. I wanted to find like-minded parents so we could inspire each other and grow in our roles as parents together.

I quit my job and started this blog to pursue my passions– my family and being the best (imperfect) version of me I can be. Will you join me on this journey?

Join the Nurture and Thrive community by signing up for my monthly newsletter. I am so happy you are here and that together we can nurture our children and watch them thrive!

My pledge to you is to share the best information — the best parenting tips from research, parent coaches, my own experience, education, and things that have inspired me along the way to grow and develop as a mother right along side my son.

From Merriam Webster’s Dictionary:


transitive verb \ˈnər-chər\

: to help (something or someone) to grow, develop, or succeed

: to take care of (someone or something that is growing or developing) by providing food, protection, a place to live, etc.


intransitive verb \ˈthrīv\

: to grow or develop successfully : to flourish or succeed

http___signatures.mylivesignature.com_54492_146_767F261AB717EE90C307B4E8955770D4 copy


  • Reply
    Self-Regulation Toolkit For When Kids Have to Wait - Busy Moms Helper
    May 5, 2015 at 9:00 am

    […] (in addition to being a Mommy, I’m a Developmental Psychologist, for more about that read this) is that when I did self-control tasks with kids, the ones who did the best were really good at […]

  • Reply
    Amanda Johnson
    May 10, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    I wish I had found you sooner, but I’m happy to be binge reading your blog posts now! :)) I am loving all of the game/toy ideas for kids, and I’m definitely going to try some this summer with my three. You have such great information here. I was looking for playroom ideas (that would be fun for 3, 5 and 7 year old kiddos) and have found so much more. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Ashley Soderlund Ph.D.
      May 16, 2017 at 10:25 am

      Thank you so much Amanda! Its great to get this kind of feedback. Last summer we played so many games, it was a great way to fill summer afternoons.

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