Graphic Illustration of Kristin Tenney-Blackwell

About Paratus


This is what I believe, how Paratus began and a bit of what I’d share with you if we were out hiking together or relaxing by the water.

I live in Michigan with my husband, three girls, two dogs, and cat. My parents live right around the corner from us and we are warmly surrounded by friends and family here in our small town.

From my work in my practice—and as a mother—I have come to understand the incredible power of connection and relationship. I try to see discomfort and dysregulation as cues and opportunities, and love to live in the land of possibility and wonder. And I believe that the best answers to many of our questions are found within us.

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Connection. Curiosity. Respect. Joy. Attunement. Relationship.

My hope is that we change conversations and give opportunity to pause, reflect and continue to consider ways of being in the world with others. I hope we can continue to move conversations beyond just what to do to solve children’s behavior problems to include how to be with children. I hope the mysteries of brain development and the complexity of a child’s needs feel approachable and understandable.

I do not believe there is a magical solution for getting it right with children. We (big people) are, however, part of the answer (a big part). When we understand the needs of a child, for example, feel compassion for ourselves and for a child as those needs present behaviorally, we can respond in ways that are a good match to the moment, to who we are as an adult caregiver, and to the needs of the child.

Life can feel hard. Parenting can feel hard. Teaching and learning can feel hard. It’s all part of. Being ready will also include falling short. 

I for one, am far from perfect. But I can promise you that I will be here holding space for conversation, community and support, while sharing evidence-based research that helps us make sense of what we viscerally know to be true. We will figure it out—together.

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Why Paratus Exists

I created Paratus to help bring focus to really important things that can easily get lost within our world’s distractions. I had forgotten to pay attention to signals that were telling me to slow down and tune in. I had even started to miss out on some of my most favorite things with my most favorite people as my days got busier and busier.

Here you’ll find resources and connections for being ready in life’s everyday moments.


You are part of the strategy, if not...

the strategy.


I believe...

Humans, including their genes and brains, develop in the context of relationships.

When we are curious about the meaning of behavior, we have the opportunity for growth and healing.

To nurture children we must also nurture their caregivers.

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Practice With Purpose

A thoughtful curation of resources and evidence based tools that help enhance connection, resilience and well-being in homes and schools.


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Professional Bio

Kristin Tenney-Blackwell, M.A., LLP, IMH-E, has been working with children, families and educators for over twenty years and is passionate about promoting social and emotional well-being and enhancing internal strengths and self-understanding for lasting well-being. In addition to her private practice, she has been active in providing consultation and guidance for organizations such as Vanderbilt University, the Pyramid Model Consortium, ZERO TO THREE, the Devereux Center for Resilient Children, Erikson Institute, Georgetown University, Cultivate Learning, Head Start, and Early Head Start. Her portfolio includes work in national- and state-level early childhood education and mental health initiatives, in addition to training, technical assistance, resource development, research, and systems development.


To get a feel for some of Kristin’s work, take a peek at some of the following resources and publications:

Michigan’s Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Model Learning Curriculum (coming soon!)

Pyramid Model Infant/Toddler Training Modules

Infant/Toddler ePyramid Modules

Trauma-Informed Care and Wellness ePyramid Modules

A Day In the Life of a Mental Health Consultant (vignette 5)

Virtual Lab School, Infant Toddler Track

The Devereux Caregiving Checklist for Families

DECA for Infants and Toddlers Strategies Guide