Speaker 1: All right, Dr. Sylvia, E more. Thank you so much for spending time with me. Well,
Speaker 2: Thank you for inviting me.
Speaker 1: I'm super excited to talk to you because the more I learn about you, um, the more I think that this is going to be a super valuable conversation for people to hear the, uh, with kids. Um, you and I just met, what was it two weeks ago, I guess, with Lindsay talking about the, um, boys and girls club of which you are the CEO now, as of what was it? June or July?
Speaker 2: July,
Speaker 1: [00:00:30] July, July. Yeah. So CEO of the, is it boys and girls club of Fauquier county,
Speaker 2: The boys and girls clubs of Fauquier county. Um, we have two clubs, the one here in Warrenton that is a standalone club and then a where inside Cedar Lee. Yeah.
Speaker 1: Right X. And so as part of that conversation, I started to learn about your education and you've got how many kids, again, I have five children, five children. So, and your education is, um, you got a master's in special education. [00:01:00] You have a PhD in educational psychology, and that's part of the philosophy program.
Speaker 2: Yeah, it is. It's a, it's a philosophy of learning. How do humans learn and what are the environments that are conducive to our learning?
Speaker 1: So we may as well stay right on that. Cause before we started recording, you were talking about the transition of in-person to online. Um, can you, can you talk about those two environments, uh, in your experience [00:01:30] at the congressional school and how like what age kids you were teaching and Mike, how teaching changed over the course of that transition? Sure.
Speaker 2: Um, so I'm actually, I actually taught from, dropped out a little bit pre-K okay. Sure. So I act, I actually taught from pre-K to, um, college. I was a professor at George Mason university. So I actually flipped, um, into [00:02:00] online learning for all of my courses. Um, one of the things that was lost in online learning was the sense of belonging. And, um, I think a lot of people don't realize that it's great, that we teach our kids to write and read and math and social studies, um, but they have to be available to learn. And so there's a, there's a big, um, theory called sense of belonging. And what [00:02:30] that means is that we tend to do more and engage more when we feel like we belong in the space that we're in. And that is something that was lost in the transition from in-person to online, because now you were one face among many on a screen and it was easy for teachers, um, for anyone really to ignore you and [00:03:00] to keep delivering a message and not get the sense of body language like, oh, I see that Johnny doesn't understand that because he slumping or to see someone who is, um, looking up or down or fidgeting.
Speaker 2: Um, those are the telltale signs for an educator that they need to move closer to that student. Um, or just give them time or say whatever you're saying again, or [00:03:30] to ask questions. So that sense of belonging was lost.
Speaker 1: So was there any sort of way to bridge that gap in the virtual environment of education? Or was that just something that you almost had to transition the responsibility over to the parents for that school time or whoever it was, it was with them at home?
Speaker 2: Yeah, that was, that was a pretty difficult time because, um, parents were working, children were working, um, sometimes in the same room and, um, not a lot of supervision was [00:04:00] going on. We thought there were because there was a parent in a room, but you know, when, when, um, students aren't paying attention, it isn't always an acting out. Sometimes it's just a blank look. Um, or they're just in their own head thinking about dinner last night or what they're going to have, um, the next day. Well, what I've found that worked much better was to set up, um, sessions with kids all week long. So let's say I had [00:04:30] 30 kids, I might spend five minutes with the kids, all, you know, all week long. I would assign something to the kids to read and say, all right, read this for 15 minutes, come back.
Speaker 2: We're going to talk about it, Susie. I need to talk to you first, Johnny come in in about 10 minutes and I would keep that, um, that Google classroom open and have those one-on-one conversations, um, feedback from the kids was that they enjoy those [00:05:00] one-to-one conversations. And when we came back, um, they still wanted to have those one-on-one conversations with me and it was, um, it, it was exciting and it was something new for me to, to see that the kids really enjoyed that and they wanted it in person. They wanted that one to one, we all seek, um, that sense of belonging. And there's nothing more than a relationship with an adult or a trusted [00:05:30] someone, um, to make you want to come back
Speaker 1: Then. So, um, I guess everybody went back, it's not virtual anymore hybrid. Of course you're at boys and girls club now, but at that time when you were teaching, um, and I, as a, somebody who works with a group that sense of belonging, uh, totally relate to that because I try to spend one-on-one time with everybody, try to get everybody together in groups. Um, and I feel like that really creates [00:06:00] a culture, you know, in a, in a, my case, in an office, in your case, in a classroom, uh, did you feel like that got re-established pretty quickly or did you feel like there was some kind of, oh, it's like they had to unwind that virtual world that they kind of had to be indoctrinated into for a period of time. Did they immediately get back to the sense of belonging kind of what I'm getting at is, do you think there's going to be longterm effects from the kids that had to be on virtual school?
Speaker 2: Oh, definitely. [00:06:30] There is definitely a, um, there's definitely going to be a few months of getting back into the swing of things. Right. Um, you know, kids like structure, they may not say it. Um, they may not even act like they do. They, you know, it's, it's part of growing up to, um, to buck up against, um, rules because [00:07:00] that's, you know, that's how we learn is to push the envelope. Um, but kids really did come back to school and they needed to learn again how to socialize. Um, so at congressional we went, we came back, um, we came back in person last September, it was a private school. And so we were able to do that. Um, we put in all the COVID protocols and had everyone in the classroom and [00:07:30] what we decided, and I think what the public school is starting to see as well, is that the first two months of school we taught, but that wasn't the important stuff we were teaching.
Speaker 2: We were teaching how to get along. We were teaching how to structure your day, how to go back to doing homework, how to prioritize. Um, we felt like we had to go back and reteach students, the culture of school and [00:08:00] socialization. They were not used to being in the classroom. And, um, the teachers joked about, you know, the, the noise level and the interruptions and, um, the lack of following of the rules. And it was because kids were so excited to be back. Yeah. Um, and they just had been on their own. They could get up and go to the bathroom when they wanted to get a snack lay on the bed, do whatever they wanted to, and now things [00:08:30] have changed again. So I think that the school systems, Fauquier school system for Fairfax Louden, whatever school system you're in, um, teachers are realizing now that the behaviors that they're seeing are because the kids need to be reacclimated to school.
Speaker 1: Yeah. So it sounds like I've heard a lot of people kind of ponder the long-term impact, uh, uh, for kids that are 10 now and what they're going to be like when they're 25 from, from what you said, it sounds like you can [00:09:00] kind of reacclimate them in just a couple of weeks, a couple of months, um, with a good environment and a, and a teacher who's aware of, uh, educating them back into the education system.
Speaker 2: Yes. Um, so I am a social cognitive researcher. And what that means is that, um, I believe that, um, that learning that development happens in three ways. Um, you interact with [00:09:30] people, you interact with the environment and you interact with behaviors, right? Like we learn most from watching people from modeling people, um, you know, think about a brand new baby. How, how do they learn the things that they learn, where they they're watching from the moment that they're born, they are absorbing their environment. And then all of a sudden they're starting to do the [00:10:00] things that they've seen you do, um, peekaboo, close your eyes. Um, there, you know, there's very little language going on. And so kids are resilient. They watch, they learn behaviors, people pull them along. Um, they will, they will be okay. Um, there just has to be a, um, a period of training, a period of understanding. And, and we, as adults need to understand that we need to be patient with ourselves as well. Right. Like [00:10:30] the kids will be okay.
Speaker 1: So, uh, what, what role has, how has being in education kind of changed in terms of relating with parents? Like I know there was a time where my, my wife is a teacher, so she spends all day with the kids and then they have parent teacher conferences and everything's kind of been the same for decades. And then suddenly you've got this big disruption in the way people are educated. Did that change the way parents and teachers were interacting?
Speaker 2: [00:11:00] Oh, I think parents were able to see, um, the, the level of expertise, the level of education, the level of commitment that happens in the classroom. Um, you know, I, I can't state enough how little the United States, um, puts value, how little [00:11:30] value the United States puts on educators. Here. You have a group of people who have to have master degrees. Master's degrees, that's five years of education, right? When they come out, when, when educators come out of college, they have had human development training. They have had strategies for learning behavior modification. And on top of that, they are experts in reading or social studies or science, math. [00:12:00] So you have these people with excellent skills that could go somewhere else and actually make more money. Right. But, but they're not right there. They're in classrooms making what the government says is a living wage. And we know that a living wage here and your county a good living wage above poverty level is about $90,000. Is that what we're paying intro teachers? No. And yet we are giving them [00:12:30] a license to educate our kids. And for a large number of the population raise our children.
Speaker 1: Where, where do you think that failure is in the, I mean, if you take a person, a person acknowledges the value of a teacher. I mean, if anybody spent five minutes with you talking about the value of teachers, they would all say Pam a million dollars a year because they are shepherding the humanity forward. Um, so where, [00:13:00] where do you think the breakdown is?
Speaker 2: Well, I think it's, um, it's, it's historical, right? Um, we've got to go back to how the education system began. It was a woman's job and traditionally women have not been paid well because in society, women were going to get married and they were going to have dual incomes. And so that's, that's where the, you know, the pay equity or inequity began. Um, [00:13:30] unfortunately, you know, the, um, the government, the, our thinking changes very slowly, right. Um, education educators are now a profession. It is no longer that school house with, you know, 50 kids from K through 12th grade. And it isn't just women, right. It is women and men, but, um, unfortunately we have not kept pace [00:14:00] with the mentality that this is a profession with professional people who have five years of college behind them. And who frankly, may or may not be women or may or may not be single parents or single, sorry, I'm going to take that back. Sure. Um, so here we have a profession that is considered mostly female, um, and the pay inequity [00:14:30] goes back historical wise. Um, and this is one of the reasons we have a shortage in educators right now is because we as a nation, as a, as a world, actually as a world, people, we do not pay for the value that is being offered.
Speaker 1: Yeah. Yeah. I can completely agree seeing my wife, uh, teach, uh, everything from pre-K to second grade. Um, I mean, [00:15:00] those kids' lives are going to be substantially better as a result of having gone through my wife's classes and she's
Speaker 2: Compensated like she's stamping out license plates or P on potatoes or something. And it's, uh, uh, it's definitely a skill and she's an angel for the patients. And, uh, I think that's a special human being that can do those things. So, um, and I'm sure she works more than 40 hours a week,
Speaker 1: But even as an assistant presently, uh, yeah, all the time. And [00:15:30] she pulls, it, pulls money out of her pocket to go buy, you know, supplies and, uh, you know, for the classroom and for internal.
Speaker 2: And I'm not surprised to hear that I'm not surprised to hear that it's amazing. Um, how many educators pay for their own supplies? Um, you know, decorate their own classrooms. They work more than I would say, 60 hours.
Speaker 1: Yeah. Yeah. And then I find the same, even in private school that same systemic, uh, [00:16:00] problem can survive even in a more private, you know, sometimes even for-profit environment. Um, but why do you think that's just the human nature, just doing what it always does in a pattern way? Or do you think that's, uh, why, why do you think even private schools
Speaker 2: Just said it, right. It's a pattern, um, you know, education is valued as you are in it and learning and moving towards, um, [00:16:30] a university. Um, but if you are the one who is doing the educating that you're not providing a value, it makes no sense. Um, we, that's a, that's definitely a dissonance that's happening in our nation, but I think in the world, one country that I have been to girlfriend of mine is a teacher, um, is in, um, is in Denmark and they value their teachers. Um, they pay, [00:17:00] um, they pay their teachers what, what they're worth. Um, and, um, but they also put a lot of importance on this sense of belonging for children. They they're into the exploration of learning and critical thinking and they allow their children to fail.
Speaker 1: Yeah. So you just like push the button on mine. I could go on [00:17:30] and on, but yeah, the, the sense of belonging and, um, I feel like the failure is where growth and resilience comes from. And if nothing else, I want my kids to be resilient. Um,
Speaker 2: Yeah. One of the things I've always said to my students, um, when they say, oh, this is hard. I said, oh, I'm so glad. It's hard because if it isn't hard, that means you're not learning. So when things begin to be easy, that's when you know, you've got it and you need to move [00:18:00] on. Yeah,
Speaker 1: Yeah, yeah. The one, one of the things that sticks out to me, if you listen to any Jordan Peterson, um, these are psychologists, clinical psychologists, but one of the things that he said is, um, we should pick up the thing that's heaviest and carry it as far as we can, something like that. And that's what gives people purpose and drive. And it's that kind of struggle that brings you out the other end to make you, you know, a productive and satisfied person.
Speaker 2: [00:18:30] Yeah. Well, I agree with him, um, as a social cognitive researcher, I believe that, um, in education w in any part of our lives, um, the way that we get ahead is by understanding ourselves and having goals, right? The first thing I do in the classroom or did in my classrooms, was to ask my students to create goals. Um, and you know, the goals were always the same. I want an a in this class, I want an a in that [00:19:00] class. Uh, but the next thing was to, to think about the action steps that needed to happen in order to reach those goals. Those were a little harder because now you have to think about how did I do this last year? Um, what worked, what didn't work, what am I going to change? And then they have their action steps. Um, that's where most people stop.
Speaker 2: What I tried to teach my students and believe I've taught my kids, is that set goals [00:19:30] set your action steps, but don't forget to monitor those goals, right? Like have a day in your calendar where you are going to sit and think and check off the boxes. Did I do this? Did I do this? Did I do this? Because now you've set goals, you've got action steps. You've got, you're monitoring your progress. And when that thing, that goal is accomplished, you evaluate that goal that did it come out the way I want it to. And if it didn't [00:20:00] well rework that goal. And if it did, we'll move on to the next goal.
Speaker 1: Yeah. Thank you. But I get bored very quickly and having those multiple goals, you check the box and move on, check the box and move on. How do you feel about, um, the celebration of the achievement of the goal?
Speaker 2: So, you know, I'm, I'm, I think that we have to celebrate, like we, human beings are very egocentric, um, and we need some affirmation. [00:20:30] Um, that's how we move forward. Uh, a part of me really wants to celebrate, but celebrate appropriately, right? Um, exactly the way that you would not chastise a child for, um, breaking something that they didn't mean to break, right? You don't call that child bad. The action may have been bad. So you talk about the action. [00:21:00] It's the same thing you do with the goal. Don't make the goal about you make it about what you're trying to do. So I would celebrate by, I'm not calling them a good, you know, what a good boy you were or what, you know, what a good thing you did, but, um, but to really celebrate the actions that they took, wow, you really stuck to turning in homework a hundred percent of the time. That was a great achievement. [00:21:30] Now you've celebrated those actions that led them to accomplish their goals. And the action steps usually are, are, um, are universal. You can transfer those skills from goal to goal. So the goal, you don't, you can't transfer it so easily, but the action steps, those you can transfer. Right.
Speaker 1: I liked that. I hadn't thought about it in those terms, but that, that resonates a lot with me. Um, so where, what are some of the other, um, contexts [00:22:00] or fields that you can think of that would be good places for kids to fail, like athletic fields, um, projects at home? Like, is there anything in particular that you felt like was maybe for yourself or your kids, like that was where a lot of the growth was cultivating?
Speaker 2: Oh, I call those teachable moments. Right? Those teachable moments are so important. Um, I have had parents who [00:22:30] have, uh, come to deliver something that the child left at home, whether it was homework or lunch, lunch, I say, yes, please deliver. Because hungry kids are not good at school, but, um, but let them fail at, at some of these things that they had power to control, but for some reason other, they didn't. Right. Um, that project that is due in two weeks, [00:23:00] they knew it was due in two weeks. Um, they may have planned it out a little bit, but they didn't follow through with the plans. And now it's the night before and I call it, oh, by the way, right. Like, oh, by the way, mom, I've got this project due and I need glue glitter. Right. So there goes mom and dad to the store to buy all of this stuff, to save Johnny from not having the project turned in.
Speaker 2: Um, I think that I was impacted, [00:23:30] my kids will say I was very bad because I would say, wow, you're in big trouble. How are you going to get out of this now? Right. And they would have to come up with their own plan. And, um, I, you know, and that's when I would say, once you have a plan, let me know. I'll be glad to help. Yeah. But, but I was very standoffish, um, because I wanted them to understand [00:24:00] that this was a goal they should have planned for now that it's here now plan for the emergency. Um, and I think that that's a, those are teachable moments that we should always keep in mind. Right. When something goes wrong, don't dwell on what went wrong. Ask those powerful mentoring questions. What can you do? What else could happen done? How will you do it now? Right. Um, stay away from the why the why is too judgmental. [00:24:30] You're never going to help a child learn with the Y. Okay. Um, it is always the, what the, who can help me and how can I do this? You know, where can I find someone to help? Um, I always tell my, my students, young people that I work with, um, I know a critical thinker when I hear them say, can you help me? Yeah. Right. Because the critical thinker knows that they need help and they're willing to ask [00:25:00] for help.
Speaker 1: Nope. That's it. So do you find that, uh, the, how, how old's your oldest and your youngest?
Speaker 2: Oh my goodness. My oldest is he's, he's 38 and my youngest is 20.
Speaker 1: Do you feel like they grew up in the same generation and context, or do you feel like that 15 years was, uh, there was a difference in the way that they were raised?
Speaker 2: Well, there was a huge difference in the way that they were raised. I [00:25:30] think, um, one of the biggest differences was they had a different mom. Yeah. Um, the older ones didn't have the seasoned educator. And so there are four types of parents is parents. Right. Um, there are the, um, the authoritative parents, the authoritarian parents, the permissive and the uninvolved. So my older ones, they had the [00:26:00] authoritarian. I was very stern. I was, uh, punitive, um, and very demanding, right. Like I knew as an I'm an immigrant, I came to the United States when I was seven years old, did not speak any English. Um, and so I, you know, and, and I always aspired to go to college and didn't get to college until I was in my late thirties. Um, and that was because someone saw potential [00:26:30] and said, Hey, you know, you should really go to college.
Speaker 2: Um, I didn't have those people in my life when, when I was in school. Um, but I want it to be that for my kids. So, oh my goodness. I really, I made them do all the things that parents do. Right. You're going to play football and tennis and you're going to go to karate and you're going to learn an instrument. And I was just, and they had to wear, you know, the right clothes. And, um, I was just, [00:27:00] um, yeah, I was pretty authoritarian, great kids. I'm very proud of all of them. They're all college graduates and they have wonderful kids. Um, and then the second group came back, came, you know? And, um, and I was a different parent. I, you know, I had learned that, um, that being authoritarian took away from their sense of independence and their sense of regulating [00:27:30] their own actions.
Speaker 2: Yeah. And, um, so my, I think my, my 23 year old and my 25 five-year-old, they, um, they push the buttons a little bit more. Um, but mom also gave them choices. Right. Um, the older ones, it was my way or the highway with the little ones. I decided that yes, you know, there were non-negotiables, you've got to go to school, you've got to get good grades, but that was it for me. If you [00:28:00] could do those two things well and stay out of trouble, you could do almost anything. You want to play football. Great. You don't want to play football. Okay. You want to play tennis. Great. If you don't want to play tennis fine. Um, I have pictures of my younger kids and family portraits in a number of their egos, right? Like Batman or Robin, or they were the power Rangers. I just, I just decided that there were more [00:28:30] important things that I needed to teach my kids then to dress appropriately for a family photo.
Speaker 2: Um, and, uh, and, and I think that when they talk, even the older ones said, you know, you got the 2.0 mom, you know, the cool mom who, you know, who wasn't always, you know, telling you what to do. You got, you guys got choices, right. The choices were the same. I would have given the older ones, I think, right. They were still, you know, do your homework, [00:29:00] but do your homework right after school, or do your homework and an hour after you've had time to chill out. Um, but you have to have your homework done by six o'clock. Right. I still was the same demanding mom, but now I gave them choice of, for how they were going to do whatever it was. I was asking. Right. Even the lawn. Right. I need the lawn mowed by Sunday afternoon. Don't care when you get it done. But by [00:29:30] Sunday at five o'clock, the lawn needs to be done. Now I've given them choices.
Speaker 1: So in, and if they choose to not complete that, uh, did you have a, uh, ready to go?
Speaker 2: Oh yeah, yeah. That was their job. That was their job. Yeah. So I believe in economy, right. That kids need money. Um, so I believed in economy, uh, and, and they had phones. Um, so I would say to them, well, look, I'm your boss. You [00:30:00] didn't that the job wasn't done. So I'm, you know, I'm going to have to let you go, I need your phone, your money, you know, you just didn't complete the, yeah. You just didn't complete the job and they didn't want that. Right. And, uh, and I was pretty, I was pretty savvy with computers and, um, internet. So I would turn, I would turn off the internet for the kids after eight o'clock. Yeah. Um, and, and it would turn into a different password at eight o'clock. And so only my husband [00:30:30] and I had that password. Um, so my kids knew that there were, there were tons of little things I could do to, you know, to make sure that that five o'clock lawnmower yeah. Was done. Got done.
Speaker 1: I, I got to go use the rest. All right. So I'm going to take advantage of your mom 1.0 2.0, uh, um, utilization and ask you, if you find that there's a comparison to be made between parents generationally, [00:31:00] cause you almost were a parent in two different generations. So do you find that parents are taking more of one approach than the other than they did, you know, a generation ago?
Speaker 2: Oh, that's so funny. You asked that mom. I was, uh, I was talking, we have Sunday dinner every Sunday. We, you know, we either come to my house or we go to my mom's house, but all the kids and grandkids, they all come together every Sunday. We were together yesterday. And, um, so, [00:31:30] so we have four generations, um, you know, there's my mom, me, my daughter, her daughter. And, um, we were, we were sitting at the counter and my dad had made brownies and my granddaughter, um, loves brownies. And so I grabbed a brownie. I don't like brownies. I grabbed a brownie and I'm sharing with her before dinner. And then my grandson gets very upset because he sees her eating [00:32:00] brownies and, um, and, and he starts to act up and, you know, just, he, he's not asking for the brownie, but he, he's definitely feeling like this is not fair.
Speaker 2: And, um, and his mother immediately, you know, begins to chastise him, stop acting like the doughnut. All right. And, and, but without understanding the behavior, that was, that was coming behind those actions or the I'm sorry, the sentiment. Right. Without understanding [00:32:30] the sentiment that was coming behind those actions. So, um, you know, so I, I pulled him over towards me and I said, um, do you want a brownie? And he said, yes. I said, well, you know, I said, oh, you had to do, was ask. I said, I can grab another one. And so I grabbed another one, I gave it to him and he was very happy. My mom starts to laugh and says, um, you know, that would have never happened. When you had babies at the house, you [00:33:00] would have gotten so angry with me for having done that. And she was right.
Speaker 2: Like, I was a very authoritarian mom, right. I believed in junk food on Fridays, but you know, Sunday to Friday, you had to eat good. And, um, so what I have noticed is that, you know, where my mom was very driven, very old fashion, um, you know, she never talked about sex. Um, you had to go to school, but she didn't help with, with [00:33:30] homework because it was all done at school. Um, you never asked why, uh, you just, you know, you said, yes, ma'am and no ma'am. And, and she was very particular about, you know, cleaning house. Um, then I came along and, you know, still, you know, still very particular about different things, but the yes ma'am and the no ma'am kind of went away. Um, and, um, and with the little ones, at least I started giving them choices. What I've noticed with my daughter [00:34:00] is that, um, she is a lot, she talks more and reasons more with her daughter.
Speaker 2: Um, she, um, she explains the why of things she tries to get buy in. Um, and I liked that because she and I have talked endlessly about this and about this, you know, this, uh, the social cognitive, um, theory of learning [00:34:30] that you learn by interactions with people, right? You learn kids learn more from how they interact with you than what you say. Yeah. And so what, what I can say that I have noticed is that this reasoning, this, this, um, explanation of the why is important, these are people, right? These are little people. Yes. But they're still people they're curious. Um, they want to understand, they want [00:35:00] to have a sense of belonging. They want to be empowered to make decisions for themselves. And as we have evolved, as people, as humans, we are starting to understand that that is a very important part of being a human is the understanding the social interactions are important. And so, yes, parents are very different in that we better understand [00:35:30] what the needs psychological needs of our kids are. We always understood their physical, always understood their physical. We always understood part of their cognitive demands, but it was that the cognitive feeling of empowerment. And then the social feeling of acceptance that we have started to understand,
Speaker 1: Can I like for a smooth brain person, like myself, dumb it down to maybe suggesting that it's like, uh, [00:36:00] uh, oh my gosh, I already lost it. Um, but like a challenge. And then them overcoming the challenge, like in negotiation, like almost like teaching them how to negotiate. And then sometimes they win. Sometimes they lose. Yep.
Speaker 2: Yeah. And, and I'm going to go back to that, mentoring, the powerful language of mentoring, right. Parents or mentors, um, try to stay away from the Y, stay away from the Y it's too judgmental. And, and [00:36:30] frankly, kids don't know why. Yeah. Um, we have to help them develop their why. So the best thing to do when something happens is tell me why. Well, no. I said, why, tell me about what you just did or tell me how you're feeling or tell me what you need. How can I help you? What do you need to finish what you're doing? Um, because they want [00:37:00] to be independent. They should be independent, but they still need what teachers called scaffolding. Right. When, when we paint, we need scaffolds or we fall, um, that's what kids need. They need scaffolds. They need adults to help them understand the why.
Speaker 1: So how you started really your college education in 38, uh, how, and you had a child at that point, um, two, you had two kids at that point. So [00:37:30] how did your education inform your parenting and how do they sync up pretty perfectly or did like, how did one affect the other?
Speaker 2: Oh, my education definitely affected my parenting. Um, the educational psychology alone right. Affected my parenting because the more I understood about what motivates human beings, the more I understood that, um, that a human being needs to feel empowered. Um, and you feel empowered [00:38:00] by having goals, action, steps, monitoring those goals. Um, you also feel empowered by others. Um, when, when you are given a job and you are given, you know, how to do the job, and then you walk away and give them a choice as to when, where, and how they're going to perform this job, it has, my education has, is, is the undergrowth of, of everything I do. Even with my [00:38:30] interactions, with people, with the boys and girls club. When I talk about the boys and girls club, um, I come at it from a sense of human development, um, because that's what the boys and girls club early is, right? It's a, we are not an afterschool program that takes care of kids. We are a club that kids choose to come to us, um, because they have fun because they have a sense of belonging because they feel empowered to [00:39:00] be part of that club. Um, it's, you know, it's, it's human nature to want to be with others and to interact
Speaker 1: In your education. You've undoubtedly had tons of books, tons of resources, tons of influences on, on, um, you know, the, your masters and your PhD, but in terms of, if you were to speak directly to parents and, uh, there are one or two resources or one or two authors that you would highly recommend for [00:39:30] every parent to say, this there's really a lot of juice in this it's worth and squeezing this book or that author online resource or anything, anything come to mind.
Speaker 2: I, you know, there are, there are a couple of writers, um, that I follow, but they're researchers. Um, but where I get most of, I think, where parents get most of their information [00:40:00] is from teachers. Okay. Um, because books, books can speak to a certain personality. Right, right. But all kids are different how to raise a resilient adult. That's the title of my next book. Yeah. Um, but when we talk about how to raise resilient adults, what's resilient, and what context are we talking about? Resiliency, an artist, you know, [00:40:30] the kind of resilience that an artist's needs is very different from the kind of resilience an engineer or a teacher might need. Right. Um, so I would say that the books that I tend to gravitate to are academic books, um, on human development, there is, um, I'm, I'm really reading a lot on ADHD.
Speaker 2: Um, it's really something that I worked with a lot. [00:41:00] Um, and I think all of us have a little bit of it, right. We all have attention deficit disorders. Um, we all can get down a rabbit hole of Facebook or Twitter or binge watch a television show that we really like. Um, and so I would say, you know, look up some books that talk about raising, um, raising kids, but read the author who is the author, right. Does the [00:41:30] author have your same background? Does the author speak to your values because different books bring out different values. And so I would say stick with the theories, um, you know, because raising a child, um, there are many theories there's, you know, there's the Vygotsky theory, right? That it's all about social interactions. There's the Brahm Fenner theory that it is about, [00:42:00] um, where you live, your family, your community, your state, your country. Um, there is, um, the PIJ that it's all about the brain and we all come pre-wired and we're all emotional. And the reality is it's all of it. Right. It's all of it. We are complicated people. And so for me to say, read this book, it's really good. I would say, talk to your teachers, [00:42:30] uh, talk to, um, talk to your friends, know your kids, what do they like, what they don't like, what are their aspirations or goals? Um, and then, and then find something that speaks to them. Cool.
Speaker 1: Uh, staying on academics, uh, how would you, um, maybe compare college or what's, what's the value of college now? Do you feel like the value of, of college has changed over [00:43:00] the last 10, 20, 30, 40 years?
Speaker 2: Tyler, that's so funny that us is my husband and I have been talking about this all weekend long, um, because a study came out, um, that says that there are more women, um, in universities right now, or in colleges than men. And so my husband and I were talking about why that is, and, um, you know, I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm a woman hear me roar advocate. Um, but I think that the reason there are more women out [00:43:30] there is because women are beginning to go to college. Right. They, we only started going to college in the fifties, right. Like really seeing an influx of women in college. And so it's taken us a bit to prepare for college. And now what, what we're seeing is not an influx of women in college. It's really just the right amount of women in college. I think [00:44:00] that the reason that there are little men in college is because they are going to the trades.
Speaker 2: Think about how much money, a plumber, an electrician, a repairer man. Right. And I'm saying, man, because when was the last time a woman came to your house to fix an AC or the refrigerator or the roof. Right. It's, it's a man, it's a man [00:44:30] industry, right. It's a, it's a masculine industry. And so what I would say about education right now is if you're going into a university and you know what you want to do great, and you're going to be happy doing it, right. Like be happy because honestly, 40 hours a week, you're going to have to do it. So be happy, be sure. Um, but don't exclude the trades, right? Because, um, not all of us are meant to sit behind the desk or teach, or be doctors [00:45:00] may be, some of us would be happier, um, going from, you know, going from job to job, working with our hands. Um, so my husband and I were who have decided that the reason that they're not a lot of men in university is because the men have found a different way of making a living that speaks to them. Right. And I think more women will begin to gravitate there because I know lots of women who are handy and [00:45:30] who love to do things with their hands, but the trades have not been something that they have been, um, really introduced to.
Speaker 1: Yeah. I've worked on enough construction sites to know that the culture in a lot of ways, it's when, when your locker room talk, you know, like that, that would be an, I do a jiu-jitsu and it's almost always guys. And when women are in there, it's a little bit different. And I'm [00:46:00] with a group of guys that are the perfect group for that. Um, but if you're working with, you know, uh, guys that are clearing lots and running heavy machinery, they talk to each other in a different way than they might talk to a woman. So breaking into that, not only requires the desire to do in the first place, but also a little bit of resilience to tolerate the foul mouth knuckleheads like me that, uh, you know, might make it difficult to, uh, you know, kind of [00:46:30] feel super comfortable in that, in that environment. Yeah.
Speaker 2: It's just a matter of breaking that, that entry. Right. Um, it's just going to have to happen again. Um, these are, this is how our society is evolving, right? It's, it's evolving where men and women's roles are changing. And we, we, as human beings don't really like change, but, but they're changing. Think about [00:47:00] your role as a father and as a husband. Right. Um, when I think about my father doing laundry, no, or cooking or doing the grocery in my house, my husband does all of that. Like he, he, I always, I call him the chef, I'm the cook, right. When he he's, he's a chef. And when he goes to the grocery store, he really does a great job of shopping. Sylvia just goes to the grocery stores and dumps, you know, whatever into the
Speaker 1: Basket [00:47:30] ingredients you, yeah.
Speaker 2: I just buy. And, um, and so those roles have changed. And when I look at my family structure, I think we are both doing the perfect we're we're in our perfect roles. And, but it took a while. Right here we are in 2021, and we're talking about roles being interchangeable and they are,
Speaker 1: Yeah. I, I understand the concept that the [00:48:00] masculine and the feminine withdraw people or personalities that are more masculine and feminine, but a lot of those things are kind of, I think, shoved into one of those ends without just cause, um, for, like you said that your mom might've cooked every meal, but your husband perfectly happy to be the chef. And to think that that's masculine or feminine seems like an odd thing to define that way. Um, so [00:48:30] though it's part of the traditional role, uh, it doesn't have to be by any means.
Speaker 2: No, it doesn't have to be in a, and we're starting to believe that it doesn't have to be, which is really nice. Right. Like my, um, even my father is cooking more now than my mom and he gets me angry with her in the kitchen. So it's kind of nice to see. And I think, I think that his shift has happened because of his son in-laws yeah. They have shown him. Right. It's, it's back to that social cognitive theory of, you know, interactions [00:49:00] change us, you know, if you want, um, if you want to promote good behavior, put people that are acting badly with people that are acting the way you want them to act. And after a while, they will, um, either be very unhappy in that situation and not be able to change and need help changing, or they will adapt in that situation.
Speaker 1: Um, [00:49:30] tell me about the difference between being mom and being grandma. Oh,
Speaker 2: Oh man. I, you know, anybody who, who wants to, you know, hear me talk about grandkids. I love my kids. They are great people. Um, I would say my daughter is probably one of my best friends. I talk to my kids every week. Um, but if I had my choice of spending [00:50:00] a weekend with my kids or with my grandkids, I would spend the weekend with my grandkids. Right. And, and I have to say, when the kids leave, I'm exhausted because, um, the difference is that I worried about my kids. I, you know, I was the one who was looking to their future. What are they going to be? I worried about their health, what they ate, you know, their, you know, their cognitive abilities, their skills. I worried about everything when my [00:50:30] grandkids, I don't worry. I did a good job with my kids. They're raising the grandkids. Right. So when they come over, I worry about, um, having pumpkin's ready with paint so that we can paint while grandpa's cooking or, you know, what are we going to do, you know, for Christmas? Um, you know, when they come over it's I don't do anything except play games have fun when they leave, I sleep because they wore me out. Um, but yeah, it's, there's wow. There's no contest [00:51:00] kids, grandkids. Oh yeah. Grandkids all the way
Speaker 1: As a parent. How valuable did you find worrying?
Speaker 2: Not at all. I think that, um, so here's what I've learned in my many years as a parent and as a researcher, we worry because we don't have a plan. Hmm.
Speaker 1: Interesting.
Speaker 2: Yeah. Once I could sit down and [00:51:30] plan it out for myself, it, whether it's in my head or whether it's talking with my husband or even on paper, I'm a paper person, um, the worry would go away. Right? Like what do we worry about? Um, we worry about right now, we're all worried about, you know, keeping them safe. Right. So we do everything we can to keep them safe. Key. You know, if, you know, if you're, you know, if you're worried about school, um, [00:52:00] you make a plan for, you know, what are you going to do at school? What homework do you need? What, you know, just put things in place because we're worried where it's as parents, um, where, gosh, you know, we have the lives of these, these young people who are going to run our country someday. Right. And, and we worry that they are going to be fruitful, successful, happy adults. [00:52:30] And, uh, yeah. I mean, worry, justifiably, right? Yeah. It's a long haul.
Speaker 1: It is. I come from a long line of warriors and, uh, my, actually my dad's side, doesn't worry. And my mom's side does worry. And my grandfather passed a year ago this month. And, uh, he lived to 94, but he lived 93 years and like 10 months, extremely healthy, even though he never [00:53:00] ate anything that wasn't Burton brown, he was overweight. He lost half a lung from smoking, but the man did not carry stress with him at all. And just my grandmother on the other hand ate perfectly well exercise regularly, but worried constantly. And she's in, she took good enough care of her body and mind to Liz, she's still alive. She just turned 97 last week. But like the poor woman just worries constantly, even at 97 with Dino, perfectly healthy [00:53:30] kids and successful case, she's still worrying to death. And, uh, yeah, the worry doesn't, I can see the worry establishing a plan and there being value up until that point. And then beyond that, the worry has to be,
Speaker 2: Yeah. Yeah. My mom's a worrier and, uh, I, and it's so funny. Cause when, you know, as they, as, as we get older, I think our filter goes away. You know, we say, well, well neurologically it's because, um, [00:54:00] you know, the, our prefrontal cortex, right? Like our brain, our brain cells are diminishing and we're pruning. And our prefrontal cortex, which is our executive functioning is really being pruned. And this is the part of our brain that says you should probably not say that. And so as we get older, that part of our brain is now being pruned. It's not working as well. And so we say things that we probably shouldn't have said,
Speaker 1: [00:54:30] Um, but they're generally honest. Right?
Speaker 2: Super honest. Right. It's um, it's those things, you know, um, if it's going to hurt someone, just don't say it well, that that's what happens. We're just not listening to the brain when it says don't say it. But, um, but I go, I do this with my mom as well. Um, I coach her, right. Like, you know, when she starts worrying about things, I'll say, mom, can you, um, can you do anything about that? And she'll say, well, I can. And I said, [00:55:00] no, you have no power in this. This is something that that person has to do on their own. You can listen. And that's probably the best thing you can do is listen and let them vent. But don't judge what they're saying and don't take it on yourself. And that's hard for people like my mom, who, um, there impacts. Yeah. And so if you come to them with a problem, they take it on and they, you know, and they live this problem until you, you get it fixed and there and [00:55:30] they fixate on it. And so it's, um, it's really hard for a warrior because their impacts, you know, they have a lot of empathy.
Speaker 1: Have you, have you had any success with kind of not taking away the empathy, but, but not taking on the worry as much and like coaching people out of that a little bit,
Speaker 2: Um, the way that you coach people, a lot of it is, is to really help them understand that they do not have the power to change it. Right. Um, it's that old [00:56:00] saying that, you know, God helped me understand, you know, that I can't change things. It helped me understand the things that I can't change and then help me know the difference. And that's, that's the key is knowing the difference. Can I change it? Yes. How can I change it with these steps? What can I do? Can I change it? No. What do I need to do? Let it go. Or, um, you know, think about it a little bit and then put it away. Um, [00:56:30] but you, you've got to work through those things.
Speaker 1: You're still a parent obviously, but to kids that are all grown and, and raising family of 23, still pretty young.
Speaker 2: I have one at home. He's finishing up a degree at George Mason. He's doing a multimedia degree. So
Speaker 1: I feel as your role is different for the 38 year old and the 23 year old as a, as a mom, a parent.
Speaker 2: So, um, I've become friends with the olders. [00:57:00] I've become friends. Um, but I start to shift Mo the way that I, that I parent, um, the moment that they go off to college. Yeah. And, um, one of the reasons I decided to, to, to, to, to do it, um, let me sink, I have to say this a different way. Um, so one of the reasons why I decided [00:57:30] that I needed to shift how I was parenting when my kids went off to college was that they felt like they were adults now. Right? Um, yes, they had just graduated from high school and they were still doing boneheaded things. Um, I call, I call kids from about fifteen, fourteen, fifteen, eighteen bibs, right. Brains in the, but only the teachers can bring them out right [00:58:00] there. They're all still bibs. In fact, my, my sons, um, my sons laugh because, you know, they, they know bib is a thing.
Speaker 2: Um, but once they're 18 and they go off to college, if they leave home or if they decide to do other things, parents have to shift into an adult phase with hers, with their, um, with their kids, give them, empower them to be adults. Right. Um, the, the coming in and out of the house, I no longer, [00:58:30] I asked my kids, you don't have to tell me, you don't have to ask permission. You, you, I would appreciate if you told me where you were and if you're coming home late. So I don't worry, but you don't have to ask permission anymore. Right. Um, you can, I start to shift them into adulthood. Um, in fact, my 23 year old who lives with me, he, um, I can't remember what he was doing. Um, leaving, leaving things open, or [00:59:00] I can't remember it, but, um, you know, I, I called him in to my office and I said, look, you know, you're not being a very good roomy.
Speaker 2: Um, you're leaving things out, I'm going into the porch. Or, you know, your plates are still out there. I really would appreciate if you would respect the common spaces and, you know, and be a good roomy. He totally got that because he'd been living with roommates in college and it never happened again. Um, but I think you have [00:59:30] to become friends with your kids. You have to start treating them like adults. And, and one of the hardest things parents have to do is don't give them advice if they don't ask right. Treat them like you would a friend, if a friend is sharing things with you, you're not going to say, well, remember when you did dah, dah, dah, and you should, you probably shouldn't do it this time either. Um, and, and that's, that was the biggest shift for me was [01:00:00] don't give them advice that is unasked for, because, you know, I think it tends, it tends to make them feel that you don't respect them or think of them as, um, functioning adults.
Speaker 1: Oh, you sound, this is why I talked to, to folks like you, who've highly educated, tremendous success in work. And it's, it's like, you're [01:00:30] go about things deliberately. And it sounds like you've been a very deliberate parent. There wasn't a lot of haphazard parenting going on, but, um, did you ever, how, how often did you find that you had to kind of balance out the, like, I'm doing it this way, because this is my plan versus like being emotional or reactionary, like, was there a balance of that or were you always kind of very highly aware of every decision and conversation you were having or did it,
Speaker 2: Oh [01:01:00] my goodness. Tyler, I fooled you. Um, no, I'm, uh, you know, I I'm from El Salvador, I'm a very Latina and very emotional. Um, in fact, my children will say that, um, that they knew when mom was angry because she didn't say anything. Right. So if I screamed and hollered and called your name, you know, if I called you Thomas Andrews more, you might be in trouble. But if I called you [01:01:30] Tomas, you were really in trouble. Um, so no things happen. You know, these are kids, right, who are going to make mistakes. Um, you know, I, I'll never forget one afternoon when the principal of the school where I was working in my son was a junior, comes into my office to tell me that he is going to suspend my son, give him an in-school suspension for something. And I was like, what? And he said, you know, so he tells me what happens. And I was like, Ugh. [01:02:00] I said, go ahead, suspend him. I said, it can't be any worse than what he's going to get when he gets home.
Speaker 2: So yeah. You know, the kids throw you for a loop and yeah, you're going to get emotional and you might get reactionary. I am a proponent of saying, sorry to the kids. Right? Like, look, yep. I screamed at you. Sorry. Uh, yeah. I threw that shoe at you on your way out when you were screaming. Sorry. I [01:02:30] mean, I did things. Um, I think, uh, one of the things that my sons are always, they are always laughing about the little ones, because I did it with the big ones when my second son was about 22. So the little ones were about eight, seven. He came home and he used, he, he, he loves calling me more. He loves calling me doctor more or more, just more, but he came home. He was, um, he was just finishing up college, I think. And he [01:03:00] was, um, he thought he was the little kid's father.
Speaker 2: He, he would tell he would take them everywhere. He really, he, they loved being, being big brothers, but he, um, he told them that they could go outside and I had, I was taking them out for pictures or something and they got all dirty. And I was so mad and the kids came in, they were dirty. We were late. I looked over at David and I said, what were you thinking? I was like, just get out. And [01:03:30] he goes, what do you mean get out? I was like, get out, like I'm in the house and I need to clean these kids up and you are making me angry. And he's like, like out, out, like, you want me like out the door? And I said like, anywhere I'm in, you need to be out. And my kids still talk about that. They're like, we have never seen you so mad. And it was over mud. Yeah.
Speaker 1: Yeah. Oh my gosh.
Speaker 2: But, but you know how it is. You're a parent, you're in a hurry. You've made plans. And the, and of course, you know, [01:04:00] the day that you are late, that's the day everything goes wrong.
Speaker 1: Yeah. You spend 20 minutes getting their socks and shoes on. Then you go brush your teeth and then you come back and their shoes and socks are off. And it's like, if the world was ever going to end, it's going to be in that moment for a minute.
Speaker 2: And it's the silliest things that throw you off as a parent, right? The big ones you worry about on the silent, it's the little things. But, and that's another thing too, that, um, that I think parents should be aware of when, when you fly off the handle, it's not because of that [01:04:30] little thing, right? Like it's, it's a bunch of little things that have happened. So that's probably a time where, Hey, mom and dad, you probably should take a break. You should probably like get a sitter and go out and do something, go walk in the sun, do something,
Speaker 1: The find my wife and I becoming more aware of each other's moments like that. Where if I'm in a mood, she'll give me, she'll say, let me take over this for a minute. So you go mow the yard for half an hour or something [01:05:00] like just don't do what you're doing now. And vice versa. And the value of being aware made us better parents. I think. So we, before we started recording, you were talking about your, your husband's desire to help inform kids. Um, so I want to use that to talk about context of the way the world is now. Uh, so like what's as, as an immigrant, a at seven years old, like how, how diff what's one of the advantages that you had growing up [01:05:30] that your kids did not have growing up
Speaker 2: The neighborhood? Yeah. You know, it's the neighborhood. Um, I tried to give it to my, my children actually. Um, I intentionally bought a house, uh, two blocks from the elementary school where, um, I did lots of research, right? Like I wanted a school that had Spanish immersion. I wanted a school that had, um, very little, um, [01:06:00] influx of federal funds. Um, and I want it to be in a cul-de-sac so that my kids could play. Um, and part of the reason I did that was because I ran in a neighborhood with kids, um, where everybody was outside playing and, you know, we all rode our bikes to the park. We, we went to the, you know, we went to the YMCAs to go swimming on our bikes. And I think [01:06:30] that that's gone for our kids. We now make play dates. Um, our kids are so over-programmed with things that parents want them to do, not necessarily what the kids want to do.
Speaker 2: And so kids don't don't really have that outside friendship mentality. And, and I think that that's another thing that, um, they're having trouble with is interacting with each other because they don't spend enough time interacting with each other. We think they do at school. [01:07:00] They don't right. They're in classes, they are being taught to. Um, they are being lectured to, um, if they are talking, they, the, you know, the discussions are programmed. And so they're not really having a lot of back and forth. Um, and so I would say that that's probably the biggest difference between how I grew up in how kids nowadays are growing up. They are, um, you know, they're growing up without that [01:07:30] it takes a village mentality. You know, I was just as scared of my neighbor as I was in my mother. Right. Because I knew the neighbors were going to tell my mother. And so you acted right? Because you knew the neighborhood, um, that's, that's not, that's not it nowadays. Right? Like, uh, you know, if are, I think that parents are more likely to get angry with a neighbor, if a neighbor corrects their child.
Speaker 1: Yeah. You even angry with the teacher.
Speaker 2: Yeah. [01:08:00] You know, where back in the day, if, you know, if Mr. Joseph came over and told my mom that I was walking on his Lily's again, right. My mom would do something about it. And then I would have to go and work with Mr. Joseph to get his Lily's back on track.
Speaker 1: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. There's not a lot of that anymore. Um, yeah. Growing up around here, uh, I don't know. It's twice as big as it was, but if I was speeding, my dad was gonna know because he was going to get a phone call. Uh, and that's, that's not really [01:08:30] the case anymore. And certainly the smallest town can be my, my kids won't have that. How about, uh, the other way, what's a disadvantage that you had that, uh, your kids don't have?
Speaker 2: Well, the disadvantage I grew up, um, I grew up in a house where my mom worked. Um, she was single and there were five of us and she worked two jobs. She worked from six to three at the, um, [01:09:00] city hall. And then she went to her second job from three to 12. So we raised ourselves, right. Like, you know, my mom would call us and say, you know, dinners in the refrigerator, here's what you do. And then we would do it. Right. Like we, um, if we finished school, it was because we really wanted to, there was an expectation of that. Um, so we were pretty independent. So, um, I would say that in my neighborhood of immigrants, that [01:09:30] was probably what happened in every house, because both moms and dads were working, uh, my, my children, I think, in this generation, um, they have other resources, right.
Speaker 2: That they can, um, that they can look to for help. Uh, so, you know, in the neighborhood helped right. That there, there were other parents in the neighborhood, it wasn't, um, it wasn't a shameful thing to be working. And so other parents [01:10:00] would step up and help. They wouldn't have to pay for sitters. Yeah. Yeah. Well, that, that doesn't happen now with kids. Um, I think this is one of the reasons why the boys and girls club for me is, um, is so important because first of all, you know, the, the fees are very low and if you can't pay the fee, we're not going to turn you away, but it's a place where children like me could have gone and [01:10:30] did, actually, I did go to a boys and girls club. When I first came to the United States, my parents couldn't help me with homework.
Speaker 2: I didn't know English. And that was the only place that my teachers knew that there were adults who could help me with homework. And it's the same now, you know, and it's kind of funny to think of, you know, 50 years later, this institution is still there and it's still doing kind of the same work. Yeah. But it's facilitating a different type of child, right. The children [01:11:00] that we have now, I think some of them, yes, parents are working all the time, but now these kids don't have a neighborhood. And if they didn't have someplace safe to go, they would hang out at the park and get into trouble. And, you know, I just find that trouble is more easily found than it was before.
Speaker 1: Interesting. Oh, something that I haven't thought about it a little bit. Uh, but not, not a ton because I feel like it's still so fringe, but like the argument of, well, you got to get [01:11:30] your kid, the new iPhone, every time a new iPhone comes out or else they're going to fall behind technologically, it's almost like there's virtual worlds now where people exist in with the oncoming, uh, they refer to them as currencies, cryptocurrencies, or crypto tokens. Like these are creating worlds also where those have value. And so I wonder if you and I, growing up outside and spending time with other people is actually, there's a transition from that kind of living into a more online [01:12:00] environment. And if that's neither bad nor good, that's, there's just the direction of humanity. If you ever heard of the concept of the singularity, where we all kind of become one, is it, do you think about that at all? The idea that, you know, maybe it's important for a kid to have six hours of screen time. I mean, I'm not an advocate for that, but it's just a thought to flesh out because maybe when [01:12:30] they're adults, they're going to be plugged into something interacting on. I don't, I don't, I really don't even haven't thought about it enough to even flush out the question.
Speaker 2: Yeah. Well, you know, uh,
Speaker 2: Our society has moved so fast and such a small amount of time that, um, I think about when I first started, you know, in school, [01:13:00] you know, computers know a typewriter and now, you know, now I have this phone that is so powerful that I can do almost anything with, and it is not, it is not a luxury, it's a necessity. I can't work without it. I can't socialize without it. Um, sometimes I can't be entertained, right. Like without it. And so I, [01:13:30] I think that there is, um, there is an argument for how much time is too much that, um, that I think we, we still, we are human beings and we are social beings and we do need interactions. So we, we do need to be cognizant of that. However, we also need to be cognizant that if we want our children to be successful, to, um, to reach the Heights of [01:14:00] any career, they have to be technologically adaptable because, um, you know, today, if you someone, if they know how to, um, you know, if they know how to use a word document or Excel or PowerPoint, those are like no brainers, right?
Speaker 2: I mean, if you can't use that, buddy, you don't got a job right now, nowadays, it [01:14:30] is not about that. It is about how savvy are you with social media? Can you market yourself with social media? Can you go into Google and use all the Google drives and folders? And can you, um, can you translate from one platform to another, this isn't just Sylvia Moore CEO of boys and girls club who needs to keep contact with all of these different stakeholders. And [01:15:00] we need to communicate, this is the artist who needs to communicate and needs to understand social media. This is, um, you know, the, this is the sanitation guy who needs to understand the computers that now he has to navigate in order to do what he does. Um, it is, it's not a luxury anymore. I think the time that we allow to social interactions is the luxury. And we have to plan [01:15:30] for those. I think this is where parents are over programming, their kids with, you know, all of these different activities, but the activity that they should be actually over programming is group activities where kids are interacting and exchanging ideas and re refining their critical thinking skills.
Speaker 1: Yeah. I had a barbecue yesterday and there were 12 kids there under 14, and it was amazing. None of them, none of them had their phones, [01:16:00] iPads or anything. I built a fire in the middle of the yard, and I thought for sure that all the parents were going to be paying attention to the kids, but like four hours went by, no, not, not a peep. They were just all playing with sticks and making smores and, uh, playing outside. And it, it reminded me of being a kid because I, it was such a unique thing to see. Cause you just don't see it that much anymore. Uh, so, um, yeah, I hadn't, yeah, yeah. I wish more, more folks would just say, get [01:16:30] on your bike, go outside and don't come back until dinner.
Speaker 2: Give them the time the access. Right. Um, I, uh, I took, I took my grandkids on a walk to Shenandoah. Um, but I know that I'm, you know, they call me MIMO. I MIMO and, um, as much as they love me and want to be with me, I think 30 minutes of me, my time is enough. And so I always say to them, I was like, is there a friend you want to invite? Right. And so I will take, I will take each of them [01:17:00] with one of their friends. Um, the rule is everyone has to interact with everyone. You cannot go off on your own. Um, you have to interact all the grandkids have to interact. Um, and that's the time where they, you know, they love it. We go walking, I bring junk food. Um, you know, we get to where we are. We'll play a couple of, you know, they, they like to play music for me. They like to wow. Me with their musical tastes. Um, but for me, that is my way of teaching them how to cohabitate [01:17:30] with each other, how to talk, how to, you know, how to argue, um, and not get into a discussion of I'm right. I'm wrong. Um, how to discuss things with, you know, here's where I stand. Here's where you stand. I'm not trying to change your mind. I just want you to know me better.
Speaker 1: Yeah. So you touched on something that's like super important to me. And I try to be hyper aware of it at all times, if like, would feel like one of my biggest jobs as a dad or a parent in general [01:18:00] is to get out of the way sometimes and like letting them solve their own problems and things. Can you speak to like getting out of the way as a parent?
Speaker 2: Oh, I, you know, it's so funny cause I, I, um, I honestly see not just parents doing it, but dog owners too. Right? Like getting in the way, trying to, they think that they're facilitating, but honestly the kids can facilitate for themselves. Um, sometimes they may need, um, they [01:18:30] may need some interventions, but, um, parents, parents really do need to get out of the way and allow the kids to think for themselves. And this is where that mentoring comes in. Um, I'm a big proponent of mentoring. Um, that's one of the things that, um, that we are doing with robustness at the boys and girls club, every boy and girl at the club has a mentor. And the reason for that is to help adults get out of the way to ask [01:19:00] the kids the, the, what, the, how the, who, you know, and, and to try and get them to solve their own problems.
Speaker 2: One of my favorite shirts that I own, um, for mentoring says it is not my job to solve your problems. And in the back, it says, it is my job to make, to help you solve your problems. Um, and I think that's, that's what parenting is. Um, it is demonstrating the values that [01:19:30] you want to instill in them and then allowing them to go with those values and affording them the opportunities to critically think about why do, why are these values mine, right. Because you can tell them what the values are, but if they don't for themselves, work through them with friends, especially friends. Right, right. He said, she said thing. Um, I get this from my kids all the time. Well, I'm not talking to so-and-so because [01:20:00] they did dah, dah, dah. And, um, you know, and I, I know as a, as a professor, as a researcher, that there's always two sides to a story, sometimes three. And, um, and so the question to ask is, well, tell me more. Yeah. And how did you react to that? How did that make you feel? What else could you have done? Right. Um, help them to understand, um, at the club we have restorative justice practices, uh, meetings of
Speaker 1: Justice practices, meetings. [01:20:30] We
Speaker 2: Have restorative justice. So if there are two members who are half or three or whatever, who are having issues, um, we talk to each of them alone to figure out what's going on. Once we understand what's going on, then everybody comes together and the rules are, everyone is going to have two minutes to tell their story. No one is allowed to interrupt. When they're finished, you may ask [01:21:00] questions from the I perspective, I believe, I think I saw I did. Um, and, and then at the very end you asked what restorative practices need to be put in place for everybody to be friends again. Um, and we've, we've, uh, we've done a few with much success in the club, right?
Speaker 1: Yeah, no, that's great. My version of that [01:21:30] is a Riley did this to me. I said, well, don't tell me, go talk to him. Like, that's my version of that. But I liked the structure associated with giving the kids their own platform to express themselves and in front of the other kid too. And so you see each other's truth and you learn a lot about people that,
Speaker 2: I mean, most of the, if you think about it, most of the disagreements, or always come from not understanding the other person's perspective, values, you [01:22:00] know, whatever it is, right. Not fully understanding them. And once you understand people, um, and their, the motivations for their behaviors, it's, it's much easier to access.
Speaker 1: So I I've got, I've got a puzzle for you, a friend. I hear it a lot from, because I always ask my friends who have kids older than mine. Like, what am I in for here and a bank. It seems to be with a women a little bit sooner with men a little bit later, but like at some point, your 14 [01:22:30] year old goes to the dark side of the moon and you were just, it's like, I can't, I they're just a jerk. They're just a jerk for three years. And then they come back to being kind of normal again, like, is that there, that, that period of time where that person is such an a-hole to their parents, like, w do you ha did you experience that with your kids and then like, how do you, how do you navigate that time?
Speaker 2: Well, I would say navigated the same way you navigate your relationship with your wife, [01:23:00] understand when they're in that mood and give them the space they need. Right. Um, but always with the understanding that there is a level of respect that can never go away. Right. But, but you know, that period happens because biologically they are changing, um, chemistry in their brain is changing that the dopamine levels are just out, you know? And, um, and so [01:23:30] you have to, I think as, as human beings, we need to understand that they're in that mood. Right. And so give them the space and, and be okay with the fact that, that this is a natural process of human development. And it is a pain in the butt, but everyone goes through it. Um, you know, this, this was, you know, this was that kid, right. Who, who, you know, came in with, he thought it was so funny that all the kids were in [01:24:00] mud and I was on my way to take pictures.
Speaker 2: Um, you know, that was his, you know, his, I, you know, I've got the power with these kids and, you know, I could do anything I want, you know, and, um, you just have to understand where, where they are. I mean, it's, that, it's that motivation. Right. Understand their motivation behind. And it'll give you a little bit more patience. Um, but one of the things that I do tell parents from the beginning, from the, from the time they're zero, right? Like the minute that they're born be [01:24:30] consistent, don't change the rules on kids. Right. Like I know a parent who will never allow their child to sleep over at anyone's home. Never. Right. That, that is just part of their culture. And they will never allow it. They started that when the child was two. Yeah. Right. And so from the age of two, until the age of 20, that child was never allowed [01:25:00] to sleep at anyone's home.
Speaker 2: People could come to their home, there were rules happening. Um, but it was a consistent rule. And so they never had to argue with this child at the age of 13, it had been a rule all their lives. Right. Other kids said, why is your mom like that? I don't know. That's just the way it is. It's not just be consistent, right. If you're going to make them eat that vegetable, you know, every night, except [01:25:30] Fridays, then make them eat that vegetable every night, except Fridays, if you are going to say that homework has to be done by a certain time, stick to that, um, just be consistent is the rule for parenting.
Speaker 1: Okay. I got to let Dr. Moore go, but I'm going to do the rapid fires real quick so that we can wrap it up. Uh, what is a gift? No money objects, no money is money is no object. What, what does the gift that you give to every single parent on the planet?
Speaker 2: [01:26:00] Patients?
Speaker 1: When do you feel the most love in your life?
Speaker 2: When I get a phone call out of nowhere,
Speaker 1: Uh, is there a fictional or television parent that you always liked?
Speaker 2: Uh, let's see. I don't think so. Isn't that funny?
Speaker 1: [01:26:30] Well, now a billboard you're on 95 going a hundred miles an hour, and you you've rented a billboard and the people driving by have to be able to read what it says. So it's gotta be pretty short and succinct. Uh, what's a piece of advice that you would give to every parent out there.
Speaker 2: Uh, um, a piece of advice I would give to a parent, um, be consistent.
Speaker 1: And then lastly, uh, this recording will last for as long as [01:27:00] the pyramids and you get to talk to every generation of Moore's for your family forever. Like, what's, what's a message from the matriarch of the family that could pass down forever and ever that you'd want everyone to know,
Speaker 2: Uh, that one's easy. I say it to my, to my family all the time. Family is everything. Watch out for each other.
Speaker 1: Thanks so much for coming. That was awesome. Thank you.