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Parenting is Hard, Right?
Harder than you ever thought it would be? And perhaps with a whole lot more nagging and yelling and frustration?
But it doesn’t have to be like this.
What if your child walked in the door and put their shoes in the shoe cupboard every day without being asked?
What if your child started throwing a ball in the house and you said “Please don’t throw a ball in the house; I don’t want anything to get broken. You can take the ball outside if you want to play with it,” and your child said “OK, Mama!” And stopped throwing the ball?
What if, when your child had a tantrum, you could be reasonably sure it would be the last tantrum they threw for that reason ever again? And that when you picked them up from preschool the next day they had already spent time thinking about alternate ways to address the problem that led to the tantrum, and were ready to describe these to you?
And what if you were on the same page about parenting with your spouse, so your child received consistently loving, respectful discipline, which made it easier for your child to comply?
Because we’re not talking about raising a child who walks all over us. Too often, parents feel as though firmness, ‘time outs,’ and maybe even some yelling when the child really doesn’t listen, is the only way - or they end up with a child who simply does whatever they like. They walk all over you; they are spoiled; you could never take them to your mother-in-law’s house for fear of what she would think of them.
Thankfully, that’s not the case.
A Vision for Parenting
Parenting can be an incredible journey.
It can be a journey that’s about raising a human being who becomes a confident, resilient, productive member of society.
One who understands their own emotions and how to manage them - because they’ve been doing it since the preschool years.
One who was parented in a way that allowed them to escape the damaging scars that our own parents unknowingly passed on to us (the toxic masculinity; the body image issues; the uncontrollable anger that rears its head when our child or spouse triggers us in some way).
One who doesn’t just ‘make it through school with A grades (since memorized Content isn’t going to get them a job in the future) but is also able to collaborate, communicate, innovate, and think critically - and uses these to create their own vision for their life (which may or may not include a corporate job).
A vision for the journey
And it can be a journey along which you don’t have to drag your child kicking and screaming every step of the way: it can be a journey toward a vision that you have consciously defined (rather than wandering toward by default), with a supportive co-parent, and a child who WANTS to cooperate with you as you go.
Sound too good to be true?
I’m already doing it and it's fantastic! (Although it wasn't always this way - I learned this approach through the research I did for my master's degrees and for the podcast...)
The free guide is already helping people
change their relationships with their children!
"When I heard that I could get my kids to go to bed on time without our ritual evening bribes (and eventual meltdowns) I was equal parts ecstatic and skeptical. As Jen laid out the logic behind why I shouldn't be rewarding my kids, the lightbulb went off and my goal to raise independent thinking, self-sufficient children motivated me to try something new.
I was shocked at the results when I took a step back and asked my 5 year old and 2 year old why they didn't want to go to bed and what we might be able to do to calm our bodies to get ready for bed. We worked out a solution together and everyone got to bed on time with no rewards, no tears and no tantrums. HUGE WIN!
You've turned this mommy into a true believer and a Finding Your Parenting Mojo follower. Thank you!"
Hi, I’m Jen.
I spent WAY too much time on my birth plan before my daughter was born, and WAY too little time thinking about the kind of parent I wanted to be. We bumbled our way through the first few months (doing a whole lot of things that I know now to be very disrespectful of a child) until a chance conversation with a friend introduced me to respectful parenting I immediately knew that this the kind of relationship I wanted to have with my daughter.
But I had a nagging feeling that I wasn’t covering all the bases - that there might be something I was missing. I would read scientific research papers related to parenting or child development but they were all hidden behind articles with click-bait titles that only described the single study in question, and never put it in the context of what else we know about parenting and child development so I could know whether I should shift my approach based on this new work or not. I decided to go back to school to get a Master’s in Psychology focused on Child Development to put a framework around my learning and, later, when I felt I needed to know more about how children learn I followed this with a Master’s in Education.
A Podcast is Born
I started the Your Parenting Mojo podcast as a way to share my knowledge with others and my episodes, each of which review a body of scientific research on a given topic, have been downloaded over half a million times.
Honestly, doing the master’s degrees and running the podcast has had a profoundly positive impact on my parenting.
My daughter rarely has tantrums, and when she does I can handle them with confidence, not wondering exhaustedly how we will ever get out of this cycle but knowing that this will likely be the last tantrum that we experience on this subject because I have the tools to break the cycle. I’m able to set and hold boundaries that she respects because I’m setting them according to my goals for her development, which helps me to convey through my tone that on this topic, I’m not open to negotiation.
And we have a deeply respectful relationship, in which she knows her voice will always be heard and considered, even if I ultimately cannot agree to her request.
You’re the parent of a one- to six-year-old. You’re tired. (You may be absolutely exhausted.) You might have a vision for what you thought parenting would be Iike (and this isn’t it!) or maybe you’ve always just sort of fumbled your way along in the same way that I did in the beginning.
You find it hard to set limits for your child because you don’t have a framework for WHY you set limits, which means you set them arbitrarily and sometimes you later change your mind. This causes your child to test you constantly, and they probably also have regular tantrums, just to see if this is one of the times where you will change your mind if they push you hard enough.
Your child may not play well independently, which means you constantly feel torn between giving them your full focused attention and getting the things done that you need to get done. As a result, your child is constantly clamoring for your attention, which leaves you more frustrated (and feeling guilty, too). You may retreat to social or other online media as an escape, which exacerbates the problem.
Conflict feels as though it is never far away: conflict with siblings; with classmates at school; with other children at the park; with you. Dealing with these conflicts is exhausting you but everything you have tried so far to deal with them hasn’t worked.
Parenting becomes easier...and more fun
And the coolest part about it is that once you lay some groundwork, parenting this way is easier than the nagging, yelling, power struggles, and not knowing how to stop your child from triggering that quick, hot anger that sometimes (often?) boils up.
I want to help you develop your own vision for parenting, based on your own values and goals, and then implement the tools and practices that will support you and your child in achieving those goals. Will you join me?
And on top of all this you know that these early years are crucial for a child’s brain development, but you don’t know if you’re providing adequate support for your child’s social, emotional, and intellectual growth during this formative time.
I want you to understand that you are not alone.
When I talk to my listeners about these issues, the vast majority of them describe being in the same boat. I realized that I’ve been providing a ton of content through the podcast about scientific research on child development, but that parents were struggling to apply it. That’s why I created this membership group.
About The Group
When you join the group, you’ll meet other parents who are working through issues that are surprisingly similar to yours.
Together, we will use tools developed using what the most high-quality, up-to-date scientific research tells us about parenting and child development to create a profound shift in your relationship with your child(ren).
We will work on each issue in monthly cycles (which we may modify, depending on how this pace suits the group). At the beginning of a monthly cycle, we will have a kick-off video call (which will be recorded, in case you can’t attend) to introduce the topic and tools, and discuss any questions you might have generated as you worked through the questions in the provided workbook. You will spend the rest of the first half of the month implementing the tools, sharing your challenges and progress in a private Facebook group as you go, and gaining support from me and from other parents as well.
At the beginning of the second half of the month we will regroup for another video call to discuss any specific challenges you’ve run into and develop a tailored action plan to address these, and you will refine your approach at home during the remainder of that month.
At the beginning of the next month we begin the cycle again with the next topic, providing ongoing support as needed for all topics through the Facebook group.
So we can all work through the topics at the same time, the group will close to new members at 11pm PST on October 31st. It will reopen for new members in six months, so if you're in the right spot to benefit from this now then don't wait!
What You Will Get Out Of The Group
By the end of each month, you will have a concrete plan to address the challenge we’ve been working on for that month, and will have begun implementing it.
You will likely have faced some initial hurdles, and will have developed strategies for overcoming these as well.
You will have developed a vision for the skills and abilities you want your child to have when they leave your house, and you will understand how the way you parent now contributes to the development of these – and your daily parenting will support (rather than work against) your long-term vision.
Your co-parent will be on board with this new approach to parenting (to the extent possible given their personality and your relationship).
Each month, your family life will become more harmonious and less tense; more fun and less conflicted, and you will feel confident in the overall direction in which your family is heading and how you will get there.
Tantrums - a quick win!
To start with a quick win (who doesn’t love quick wins?!) our first topic will be tantrums. We’ll understand why children have them, how to avoid them in the first place, what to do when your child is in the middle of one, and, crucially, what to do afterward to bring a sense of closure for you and for your child which will virtually eliminate a verbal child’s need to have a tantrum on the same topic again.
Then, because we really need to lay some groundwork for future ‘wins,’ we’ll work on goal setting in the second month. We need to have a clear idea of where we want to go with raising our children so we can make sure that the ways we interact with them help us to move toward our goals, rather than working against us. (For example, we might want to raise an adolescent who takes responsibility around the house and who looks for opportunities to help us rather than always waiting to be told what to do, but if we are currently rewarding that child for putting their toys away or throwing their clothes in the hamper, then we are undermining their intrinsic motivation to help out around the house: our daily interactions are in conflict with our goals.)
Getting on the same page as your co-parent
We will have a guest host for the third month: Dr. Laura Froyen will help us to get on the same page regarding parenting with our spouse. Dr. Froyen received her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies with an emphasis on Couple and Family Therapy from Michigan State University. Her research focused on how marital and family relationships influence parenting and child development, so she’s the perfect person to help us truly hear and understand our partner’s perspectives on parenting and work with our partner to make sure that our approach to parenting is consistent. We’re not aiming for a 100% “united front” because parents are different and each will have their own unique relationship with the child. But it is very confusing to a child to hear “I welcome your emotional expression” from one parent and “Stop crying; you’re not a baby any more” from the other, so we’ll help you to develop tools to overcome issues like this.
Supporting you in your specific needs
Beginning with the fourth month, topics will be determined by a poll in the group so we develop tools that best support you in addressing your challenges and meeting your parenting goals. Topics may include (but are not limited to, if the group prefers other topics) the following:
- Conflict between children (hitting, throwing, arguing, fighting) and conflict between parent and child
- Finding a balance between being present with your child and having your child engage in independent play so you can get things done
- Setting boundaries your child will respect
- Inviting (and obtaining!) your child’s cooperation in household work
- Potty learning
- Sleep (maximizing it for all parties to the greatest extent possible)
- Managing transitions so they don’t always lead to struggles
- Using screen time in a way that fosters your child’s growth rather than as a crutch
- Understanding how you were parented impacts the way you parent your child, and developing a plan to overcome this
- Coping with what other people think of our parenting choices
- Fostering the type of social, emotional, and intellectual skills your child will need as an adult
Frequently Asked Questions
The cost to join the group is $30/month. There's an early-bird discount available of $300 for the year (12 months for the price of 10) that expires after the webinar concludes at 1pm PST on October 18th.