Becky Kapsalis (YiaYia), founder of Hugs from YiaYia, (HFY) is a graduate of The Academy for Coaching Parents Int’l (ACPI) and as such is a Certified Parent/Child Liaison Coach and advocate. Becky is also a Connection Parenting Facilitator, Parent Talk Facilitator, motivational speaker and former parenting columnist.
Her tagline- “Parents are the cornerstone for raising and developing children. How we raise our kids is how we develop their world.” © 2010 -is a testimony to parents everywhere, that has impassioned her to share her parenting inheritances, experiences, and education with parents of children from toddlers to tweens to teens.
The youngest of eight siblings, Becky was born to immigrant parents making her a first generation Greek-American. By today’s standards, her family might have been considered materially challenged, but they felt rich. Growing up in her family was not about how little or how much they had. It was about what they were taught to value. Her mom devoted her life to God, Country, and Family. Their dad asked them to respect and honor his name- Diamantakos – which was changed to Demas when he came through Ellis Island. They persevered, endured, when faced with adverse conditions (loss of a child, losing everything they owned during the 1939 depression, a son who was a Prisoner of Wold War II) yet – determined to support each other, their friends and their neighbors. She and her siblings made mistakes and owned up to them because failing to do so devalued them. That hurt more than any discipline her parents could have given her and her siblings. Their dad asked them to respect and honor their name- Diamantakos – which was changed to Demas when he came through Ellis Island.
What makes this significant is that Becky did not believe her Mom or Dad knew they were teaching these values. They simply lived by them and held their kids accountable to them. Becky does not think she learned to embrace these values until she became a parent. Together with her husband, Andy, of 57+ years, they recognize the values they were taught and strive to perpetuate these values onto their five married children and 19 grandchildren. In doing so, she and her husband, are honoring their parents. Her ‘Hugs From Yia Yia’ teachings are an extension of the values taught to her from childhood.
“Today, when we strive to give our children a better life, we are compelled to consider whether or not we are living by the values we want them to learn. We are not born with values. We learn them. Therefore we need to teach them to our kids. Circumstances, environments, technology, education, and events can put us in a constant state of flux, when the only real constant in our life and our children’s life, is lifestyle filled with values. Values don’t change. They merely call on us to live by them so that our children can have more of the same.” – Becky Kapsalis