We are back with another must-listen episode this week! This new year sure looks and feels different than the ones before, but one thing we know for sure is how we want to feel… how we want our kiddos to feel.
We are incredibly excited to share with you Jane Kristoffy, MEd, an educational strategist who helps students find their academic direction. She motivates kids to unleash their potential by helping them develop their learning and life skills, and find their passions and strengths.
A teacher and guidance counsellor for over twenty-five years, Jane founded Right Track in 2012. She’s a popular speaker on a variety of education and parenting topics, and a regular guest expert on national television news programs. She is the author of her first book titled, Launch Your Kid: How to Promote Your Child’s Academic and Personal Success (without being a helicopter parent), which is jam-packed with no-nonsense tips for parents about how to get their kids through school and ready for the real world!
Navigating change and setting our kids up for success sure looks different this year with remote learning and a whole lot of uncertainty times a million. As parents, we have been forced to pivot like never before. Adding to the many invisible hats we wear as mamas, we are now donning the hat of teacher, leader, guide, and more! The pandemic has tripled the motherload for everyone involved. It’s crucial to manage physical, nutritional, mental, and emotional health for parents and kiddos during these times.
Sabrina and Jane talk about parenting styles, letting go of the mom-guilt, and setting your children up for success at each stage, pandemic or not.
Parenting styles vary with each parent and child relationship. We have heard the terms “helicopter mom,” “laissez-faire,” “tiger-mom,” and more recently, “snow plow parenting.” But what does this really mean? It means that our parenting styles can really influence and set up our kids for success as they grow older in life.
For instance, how many of you swoop into rescue mode or worry that all hell will break loose if your kiddo is left... *gasp* bored, without any stimuli, without a packed calendar?
Or how many of you try and eliminate any and all challenges or spoon feed them solutions instead of allowing your kiddos to navigate it and be resourceful on their own?
We get it, Mama. You want to be there for your kiddos and help them overcome every hurdle and bump in the road. You don’t want them bored. And then there’s the mom guilt that seeps in. Trust us, you’re doing a good job!
Grow with your kiddo
Here’s the thing, boredom isn't a bad thing, neither is wanting to help them when they encounter challenges. But too much or too little of something can be a negative thing as the saying goes. Fun fact, after a while, your kids may even enjoy their quiet time and look forward to various self-discovery activities on their own - be it reading, writing, pretend play, playing alone or with their siblings. When you leave room for growth, exponential growth takes place. Their creativity and problem-solving skills thrive when left to their own imagination. Monitor them from afar of course to ensure they’re staying out of harm’s way, but sometimes, it’s better to kiss a scrape on the knee than to save them from falling altogether. They learn life lessons with each experience, don’t deprive them of that. Instead, become their partner in growth, and help them thrive. Set them up for success by helping them love their alone time, their play time, their time to reflect, and connect with themselves or their siblings, or even with you.
Flow with your kiddo
Flow with them, not against them. As mamas and women, flow state is our favorite state of being. It feels natural, electric fast, and laser focused. Flow feels effortless (even if you're engaged in activities that require effort). Flow state is where your best work takes place. The same goes for your kiddos. Instead of jam packing their schedules with hours or remote learning (especially if they don’t enjoy it or aren’t doing well with it), find a middle ground with them. Have them attend just one or two remote learning sessions a day and take the rest of the day to connect with them. Learning also happens in large parts outside the confines of a classroom, or in most cases, a laptop.
The best way to help your kiddos get into flow state is by practicing it yourself. If you want them to be focused and routine-oriented, you have to go first by following a morning routine and cultivating daily focus on work on tasks, chores, etc. If you want them to be organized, you have to embody that and also enlist their help wherever you can. Get them involved in what you’re doing, in your work, in your day to day, share with them little takeaways. You’ll be surprised just how much they absorb and remember.
What do you do to get into flow, Mama? Your littles are always watching and observing.
If we want our children to be/do/act a certain way, it starts with us. Children do as we do, not what we say.
Success isn’t one-size-fits-all
So mama, even in a pandemic, how can you cultivate more flow vs. constant hustle? Things are hard enough as they are and everyone, including educators, kiddos, and you are doing the best that you can with what you have. Trust that. Ease off the pressure. Lean into your kiddo’s energies and learning styles. Own it, and do things your way, and allow them to do the same. Cultivate structure, but allow for flexibility—that’s where growth takes place. Notice when your kiddos energies and focus are at their peak levels... what are they doing? How do they study? What is the one thing that gets them focused... and continue to nurture that.
No more fitting kids into a one-size-fits-all box, because truly, those don't exist. Learning, growth, routines, structure, and success looks different for everyone. Every child is unique, and their uniqueness is to be celebrated and nurtured.
Setting children up for success takes a village, don’t be afraid to ask for help from other professionals. You are an incredible mom, even when there are days of remote learning that don’t go as planned. Partake in other offline learning activities with the kiddos if they like. Keep the lines of communication open with your educators, engage where you can, and leave the rest. We are all in this together, though it might look different for each of us and our kids. Honor your motherhood, honor the childhood that is fleeting, and give yourself grace, you’ve totally got this!
I hope you enjoyed listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed recording it!
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See you next week!
Connect with Jane at:
Social Media Handles:
LinkedIn: Jane Kristoffy