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Welcome to!

We'd like to introduce ourselves to you. Our names are Melissa Trevathan, Sissy Goff and David Thomas. We're counselors in Nashville, Tennessee with a combined 75+ years of counseling kids and families. We work at a place called Daystar Counseling Ministries, or, as one boy called it, The Little Yellow House that Helps People. There, along with a staff of thirteen friends who are also co-workers and four very talented pet therapists, we currently counsel 1300 children, teens and families. Out of our work at Daystar, we have had the tremendous opportunity to write several books and offer seminars for parents and educators across the country. We are honored every day to speak into the lives of children, teens and parents at Daystar, as well as other communities. And we are grateful you found your way to our website. 

We hope these pages will be an opportunity for us to get to come alongside you in your parenting. We want to reach beyond the walls of our counseling offices at Daystar and into your encourage you, to laugh with you, to share with you what we feel is going on in the hearts of children, teens, and parents, and mostly, to bring you hope in your journey. We are grateful for who you are and how you love the children whose lives you touch. 

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Why are so many kids moving back home and can’t seem to navigate college life?  What can we be doing along the way to prepare kids to succeed once they move out of the house?

“Can anyone guess the age most developmental theorists agree adolescence ends for a male?”  

I pose this question in a parenting class I teach on Understanding Boys.   I break boy development into five stages and walk parents through the developmental shifts boys experience as they transition from boyhood to adult manhood. I’ve never asked the question that at least someone didn’t yell out “forty-five!”  The room erupts into laughter as we all envision some adult male we know who acts like an adolescent boy.  I respond that it’s earlier than forty-five but likely later than imagined.  Most theorists agree adolescence ends for a girl somewhere around 19-20.  For boys it’s years later - somewhere around 22-24.  Our current generation may cause us to adjust those numbers even more in the coming years.  

Approximately 18 million young adults ages 18-34 now live at home, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  This is a 42% increase since 1970.  Understanding these numbers has become more a part of our national conversation in recent years.  We are working to explain the “Failure to Launch” phenomena, to prevent “boomerang” kids, and to better assess the needs of these “emerging adults.”  


I remember the days when we had an Apple LC computer (remember those?) with a silly game about settling out west on our computer in the lobby.  As a staff we debated if the computer was really a good things for kids to keep them occupied versus interacting as they sat and waited for their counseling appointments.  We would prefer kids to be talking or reading every time.  But, that old computer in the corner was like a magnet.  They’d climb into the wagon and do their best to avoid rocks and outlaws coming after them on their trek west. READ MORE

Parenting is a challenging, delightful, heart-wrenching journey that can feel profoundly overwhelming and lonely at times. Parents need guides who understand the world of their children. We are happy to come along side you in this journey.

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