The best kind of learning

Happy Wednesday!

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I remember the moment when I cracked the reading code for the first time.

I was about five years old, reading a Disney book of jokes. (I think it might have been called Mickey and Donald’s Joke Book.)

All by myself, I read the following joke:
“What does Donald get when he drops his blue hat into red fruit punch?”
Answer: “A wet hat.”

I was so thrilled to have read that whole thing, not through memorization but through spelling out and sounding out each word.

Even though it was past bedtime I remember running out into our living room and reading the joke out loud to my parents.

I actually read something, all by myself! It felt so celebratory, and I remember my parents’ happiness too.
You’d think that the best kind of learning would be like that.
The fun kind.
That it would be where wonderful sparks are flying and illuminating and connecting.

And, certainly that is one important kind of learning. It’s just hard to be in that flow all the time. In fact, as a creative person, I think a lot of what I do – many of the routines that I try to set up for myself – point me in the direction of getting to the “fun” kind of learning.

But the reality of it is, the best kind of learning is not necessarily super fun.
That’s honestly an understatement.

Often the learning that sticks with us longest is the learning that feels hardest in the moment.

My guest this week on the We Turned Out Okay podcast is mindfulness-in-parenting expert Hunter Clarke-Fields (you can listen here.)

Hunter shares so eloquently about this kind of learning, which she talks about in the following way:

“Experiences are teachers.”

Even, and maybe especially, the negative experiences are great teachers, if we choose to look at them that way.

While it may not feel like the best kind of learning – because it’s not fun – these lessons are still super important.

– While potty training, we learned that wet or poopy pants felt terrible.

– When we said something mean and hurt someone’s feelings, we learned two things:
1. It is really easy to hurt someone.
2. We take care of the people we love. We do not hurt them.

– When we fell down and skinned knees, we learned that, though it hurts so much at first, we would heal.

– When we did that in front of a group of friends, and they teased us, we learned how much it hurt to be teased.

Every one of these experiences, and probably many more that you can think of, offer lessons that can be learned.

But – and Hunter speak so eloquently about this as well – often (understandably) we want to push those memories, and thoughts, as far away as possible.

Hunter also shares that “what we resist persists.”

Listening back, our conversation is helping me feel more mindful. It’s showing me that, if I choose, I can learn from my own moments of carelessness or stupidity.

While I can’t say I’m exactly “happy” from having experienced those moments, I do begin to see them as teachers.

It makes it a little bit more worthwhile to have gone through those experiences. Because I can learn from them instead of wishing I had never made that mistake or been careless. Or stupid.

For myself, I’m trying to be more forgiving when I screw up.
I’m trying to think to myself that “it’s all learning.”

How are you bringing this idea into your life, or even your parenting?
Does this idea resonate with you?
What do you think of as “the best kind of learning”?
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Just hit reply to this email and let me know : )

Thanks for reading!

Keep reading below for What’s up on the podcast/In the Facebook group/in NPC…
Wishing you a wonderful parenting week!

What’s up on the podcast this week:
Talking with Hunter Clarke-Fields, the Mindful Mama Mentor! Hunter shares so much about how her own feelings of anger and aggression became her teachers, so she could learn from those feelings and take the lessons – as opposed to the anger and aggression itself – into raising her young daughters.
Click the link below to listen!
What’s up in the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group this week:
This week’s Magic Words for Parents (a series I’ve been doing Mondays since 2018) is all about “raising resilient children.” Come check it out.
Click here to join the Facebook group (or jump into the group if you are already a member)!


What’s up in the Ninja Parenting Community:
One of our members, Mama Llama, recently posted a whole bunch of postpartum depression/postpartum anxiety resources! I plan to highlight them at our live, members-only call this week, as well as helping you NPC members resolve your current parenting challenges

(If you’re not a member yet, but want to become one, click here.)


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