066: The Tricky Business of Knowing Your Child: A Conversation with Mom and Facilitator Amy Anderson

A quick announcement – Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, the book I’m writing for you if you would like to keep your sanity while raising young children, is coming out on Sunday, April 24, 2016. For health reasons and to make it the best book it can possibly be, I chose to move the publication date from Sunday, April 3, to Sunday, April 24. To get notified the moment it launches – FREE in Amazon for its first three days! – go to positivedisciplineninjatactics.com

Sometimes you meet someone, and just know that you’d love a really deep conversation with them; that was the case with today’s guest, mom, portrait photographer, and facilitator at a self-directed learning institution Amy Anderson.

Back in December you may have heard episode 43, about how to tell if your young child is consenting or not; in that episode I describe a presentation my husband and I had the great good fortune to attend. Blake Boles, the presenter, was asked the question: “how do you know if your young child is consenting?” Not being a parent himself, Blake turned the question back out to those of us in the audience – and Amy gave a great answer, turning the question around on itself and explaining how she can tell when her four-year-old daughter is not consenting. It’s a great episode, but not a prerequisite to today – here is the link if you would like to give episode 43 a listen: weturnedoutokay.com/043!

In today’s episode, Amy and I continue that conversation about consent. But that’s really only a small part of our conversation, which extended beyond the usual hour because I knew that Amy’s perspective would really resonate with you. You’re going to love this episode!

Click here to read more about my conversation with Amy Anderson, on this episode’s Notes Page at weturnedoutokay.com.

When my husband and I attended Blake Boles’s presentation, it was at the Macomber Center for Self-Directed Learning; it turns out that Amy is a facilitator there, working with children ages 5 to 18. Amy’s ideas about what makes learning truly meaningful mesh with mine, and the parts of our conversation that refer back to Macomber and what learners do there, how they structure their days and who “teaches” who were some of my favorite moments.

As mom to a preschool-aged daughter and a baby, Amy works hard to foster what researcher Carol Dweck would call a Growth mindset, as opposed to a Fixed mindset. Amy recognizes that it’s the process that matters, not the product, and shows her appreciation not for the finished drawing, or painting, or story but for the work that went into it.

We dive deep into the concept of what it means to consent, or give permission, for learning, and talk more on how to tell when our young children are consenting or not. Little kids can’t say “yes, I give permission for attending dance classes, or preschool;” it’s up to us as parents to make sure that they are truly consenting in their hearts.

Amy shares that growing up she always emphasized the product over the process, and that she’s worked really hard to change that as a parent; she also shares that she studied classical ballet for much of her childhood, her concerns about whether her four-year-old was consenting to studying dance, and the process by which she and her husband figured that out.

I hope you enjoy our conversation, that it makes you smile, worry less, and enjoy more in your parenting!

Key Links:

Our conversation about dance inevitably leads to a favorite conversation of mine, episode 10: How to Choose a Dance Studio for Your Young Child with Mom and Dance Instructor Suzanne lock; click here to listen.

To check out the Macomber Center, click here.

Blake Boles has a great website, where he shares where he currently is in the world and his relentless enthusiasm about life; click here to visit.

Click here to grab my free gift to you: the 9 1/2 Key Resources for Old-School Parents.