684. Knowledge to Help Build Your Parenting Mojo
“We are so invested in our children. It’s as if our children are a reflection of ourselves. If our children don’t succeed then we haven’t succeeded as parents. But we can’t think of our children that way. They have to have their own lives, their own paths, and be able to figure things out for themselves. So the number one principle is ‘just back off a little bit.’”
Jen Lumanlan never thought she’d be a parent, but she is one now – by choice, and not by accident. When she realized she had no parenting intuition but great research skills she decided to get a Master’s in Psychology focused on Child Development to help her figure out how to be the kind of parent she wanted to be – and when she realized others were hungry for this information she started the Your Parenting Mojo podcast to share it with others. She has since obtained a Master’s in Education and is developing a suite of online courses to help parents support their child’s learning.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
“After my mother died when I was 10, and a stepmother entered the scene, I started studying in earnest, because it was something I could do by myself. I realized I was good at it, and I was also good at working the system. So, I began by learning how to read a syllabus and seeing what is required, and meeting the teacher’s expectations. I was successful in school because of that. I feel fortunate to have come out with the love of learning. It wasn’t necessarily something that was fostered in me. Much later, while enrolled at a community college, I had my first epiphany, the idea that you really can do something you love to do.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“When I had my daughter, it was one of the most profound shifts of my life. I’d assumed I would have my baby, take maternity leave, then just go back to work, and everything would be pretty much how it was before. Instead, I found that it really shifted what I care about. I realized I have no parenting intuition whatsoever, but I have awesome research skills, and that I can close the gap with using my research skills. So, I started work on a master’s degree in psychology, just to put a framework around the whole thing and make sure I wasn’t missing anything that was really critical.”
The Most Powerful Lesson Learned?
“I’ve learned that my greatest talent is learning, and then translating that learning into a format people can understand. My daughter is almost four now. Because I had done some reading and learned about raising a baby, I had become fairly good at parenting a baby. But once they turn into toddlers it’s a whole different animal. I quickly realized that but I had absolutely no idea how to parent a toddler, and it required a whole different set of skills I didn’t have and didn’t know how to get. All of a sudden, now she can talk, and what I say is really important. So, that’s why I started the master’s degree, as a way of making sure I didn’t miss anything important. While I was doing that, I realized that this is really silly, that I’m doing all this learning and not sharing it with anybody. So, that’s why I started the podcast.”
Steps to Success from Jen Lumanlan
1. As a parent, back off a little bit. Let your child learn to fail and get back up again.
2. “Don’t be the sage on the stage, be the guide on the side.”
3. Don’t feel you have to know everything to support your child’s interests. Just be the person who connects them with resources.
4. Understand what your child is interested in and follow those interests where they lead.
Connecting With Jen Lumanlan
Podcast: Your Parenting Mojo – on iTunes, Stitcher, Podbay.fm and yourparentingmojo.com
Twitter: twitter.com/ParentsOnDemand or @akidisforlife
Short quiz that returns personalized information on your readiness for homeschooling.
Infographic that parents can download and pin to the fridge for supporting your preschooler in learning mathematics. Download:
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