In this clarifying episode, parenting coach Jenn Wert discusses conscious parenting, individualized guidance, and fostering a calm, accepting environment for families to thrive.
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Hi and welcome to the You World Order Showcase podcast. Today we are talking with Jenn Wert. Jenn is a parenting coach and she.
Was Slash is a doula because once a doula, always a doula, welcome to the show, Jenn. It's nice to have you here.
Thanks for having me.
So how did you
Get started as a parenting coach because.
It's kind of like.
Not one of those things. You just wake up one morning and decide. I think I'll help other people be a parent better.
Yeah. Umm I have always worked in education my whole career, so I have my masters in education and after.
I'm doing my graduate work. I taught in elementary school for a long time, mostly 3rd grade, did some Kinder, did some 5th. So I really did it all. The gamut of elementary school at least.
And I loved it. I just, unfortunately, was working in Super public schools and I burnt myself out. I just had so much to give and didn't know how to put boundaries around it at that point in time in my life. So when I left teaching, I.
Have stayed in education and it's just looked a multitude of different ways I.
Ran a few different nonprofits. I opened my own for profit. Again with that education piece.
In the forefront helping women to express themselves authentically, even when I taught the social, emotional piece that that part of learning and growth.
Always resonated with me the most. I loved my parent teacher conferences, so talking to adults, including parents, about.
How to be more aware, more self aware, right, how to prioritize connection in their lives, in their families? These things have always been at the forefront of my professional endeavors. I became a doula, attended over 100 births, and every family again that I worked with.
To bring a baby home, we focused on.
Patient advocacy agency right connection all of these things that were I was realizing as the years went by always the same.
So I did a lot of postgraduate work.
In social and.
Emotional intelligence officially trained so I was officially trained in it multiple different ways and.
Ran girls leadership out of California for the Midwest region. Then COVID came along and caused all of us.
To sort of pause and look at our work and reflect and look forward in new creative ways. And that's when I launched my private practice.
And started running my own private parent coaching business, even in COVID it was.
It was hard. It was hard for everyone, and yet I.
I just was focused on the on the golden lining of it. And so I had.
A lot of.
Friends and past parents that I had taught their kids or known them through one way or another through education, come to me and ask me how are you doing? How is this so fun for you? How are you dealing having your kids?
Come all the time. I'm like, this is magic, right? Just.
It was my nature to make the most of it, and I realized I had a real gift and.
I needed to share it, so I work with parents all over the country on.
How to listen?
To their kids differently. How to pay attention? How to understand them better so that they're not focused on the behavior and blaming they're actually?
Taking a look at their relationship with their children and taking a look at their contribution to what.
And air quoting behavior they're seeing that is maybe hard to deal with or confusing. So basically I'm.
Upping the social and emotional.
Intelligence of families as many families as I can, one family at a time.
That's beautiful. I love that you're doing that. It's.
Fixing families and really it.
Starts with birth it starts.
Before birth, really it's.
It's how you.
Look at the coming tile to the new addition to your family and how you.
Perceive that you're going to relish this relationship.
Because it's a.
New relationship with it. A human being that's coming onto this planet to bring something. And I truly believe everyone brings something with them when they come and you as the parent.
Like to watch it unfold, it's.
It's an honor. Yes, it's an honor.
It is and it's so nice that.
You are available and people like you that are coaches out there that can help people kind of get an idea of.
Of how to unwrap the package in a way that really makes.
That the unique gifts and skills that that child comes with.
Come to life and I think that's.
More what you do than anything else when you.
When you have a child.
The old paradigm was that you would train the child to be a certain way and you had expectations and they had to just like fit into this mold that you were going to create for them. And it didn't matter what they thought or how they felt about it or what their gifts and skills were. But if you approach parenting in a way that says.
OK. What are you good at?
What are you really interested in?
And that's what.
You should pursue and that's what you should explore.
Just making sense.
Yes, it is. I often tell my clients, just like in labor.
And even telling those clients so long ago you know you're just the vehicle through which this being is arriving. It's like not. It's not really about you. So let's just remember that and work on being in the present moment in our breath because they're going to write their own birth story. And it's the same with parenting. You know, if we could just get out of the.
And get really curious.
And learn how to ask them questions that will really inform us about who they are, who they're becoming again and again and again because they're changing so fast as they grow and really paying attention, then we can step out of the way and be their guide.
Along their path that they're already on versus, you know, trying to put them like you say on a path and follow a certain way that really.
Has is, is.
Has nothing to do with them, so it's very humbling to parent the way that I'm talking about.
And at the same time.
Learned so much.
Really. Yeah. It's really fulfilling. Yeah. You do about yourselves and your children.
And about life in general. I my kids have taught me so much over the years just from stepping back and listening. You know, I may have. I have a lot of strong opinions and I had a lot of strong opinions about things as they were growing up, but being able to sit back and say, well, what do you want?
Who are you and what are you interested in?
And let them explore that even though I had no interest in it, and it was just like, so totally foreign to me. I'll give you an example. I have a son, Bob. Bob is a mechanic. He is really good at seeing how things go together. And he has always been that way.
And he was three. I gave him one of those bionicles, you know that a bunch of pieces that you all fit together and there's directions with it. And I was trying to figure out the directions. But, you know, I don't know anything about that kind of stuff. And he's.
Like, oh, never mind, mom. And he took it. And in 10 minutes he had it all put together the way it was supposed.
To go and I don't think he looked at the directions once. He just knew how it went together.
I I'm not like that.
When it comes to cars.
As long as it looks pretty and drives when I put the key in, I'm good. That's all you need to tell me when you're selling.
That car, Bob, it's like it's got engine and it all these pieces to the engine and it works like this. And this engine is better than that engine because, I mean, he put in three engines and trucks before he even.
Had a driver's license.
It's just like.
And so now as an adult.
He does things that are mechanical. I might have wanted him to go to college and to be, you know, doing something where he's in a building, but that wasn't who he was and.
Have pushed, but he had been miserable.
So now he does.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, it's really our job as parents to.
To listen, as you say, pay attention, empathize and validate. And of course hold and set bound, you know, set and hold boundaries.
But again and again and again, it's about really listening, which takes slowing down, which is hard in today's world. It takes a bit of a mindset shift.
And it takes practice, right? Because we know a lot. We've lived a lot. I'm highly therapist. I've been in therapy for decades. You know, I know. So I often want to just tell.
My kids. What?
What's up and?
What it means? How to do it? But that's not. That's not the kind of parent I want to be. So I I'm always doing it because I'm always making mistakes and then I'm always stepping back and trying to just bite my tongue and be a better listener. Right? And guide and empathize and validate over and over again over and over again.
It's the art of.
Having a conversation with your kid? I.
Think a lot of times.
An ongoing, lifelong conversation. Oftentimes we feel very 911 about the situation and we have to change it. We have to be sure they understand or we have to be sure that you know that action is different and it's really in fact my own daughter, my best teacher in life. My little guru has taught me sometimes in a snarky
Say, but sometimes very earnestly.
Like mom, just.
Let me have my experience or she'll say to.
Me, we don't need to keep.
Talking about this.
She's in in middle school now because we have the rest of our life to keep talking about it. When I get sort of spun out and I want it just. Do you understand? She's like, yeah, but for now, that's enough.
We have the rest of.
Our life and it's very humbling because I just go Oh yeah.
And if you teach your kids that when they're young, as they get older.
Then you'll still be able to continue the conversation with them, and they won't feel like they have to hide things from you. If you're open with your kids about how things go, and even why you have boundaries and recognize that there are times when, especially if you have boys, that they're going to do things that.
Just don't want to know about it's better.
That you don't know about them.
Boys need to do and experience some things in life that mom this doesn't need to know about. I don't want you to lie to me, but I don't want you to push my face in it either.
You know like.
Girl. Mom. So I can't even. I can't speak to it, but I listen. I listen to. I'm listening to you. And I hear you.
I've had three boys. I have two girls and three boys and it was the one thing with my sons that.
I knew they were doing some things. They're.
Bad things. You know, they were.
Criminal things. Let's put it that.
Way, but they were things that.
And knowing doing it, it would be like.
Do that like climbing really high in a tree or.
You know you.
Could fall down and break your neck.
But you could get hit by a car too.
I mean, there are just some things that they need to learn to do, some skills they need to learn to have. Like they would go out and run with the cows. You know, I would be terrified a cow can kill you.
But I know.
Yeah, we have to lead with trust and not.
This is a very big theme in my coaching because I think we can easily, as moms especially jump to what we know right? But I I've seen a video of Kyle running over a person, right, like we've seen a lot and instead that doesn't serve that doesn't serve. We can set boundaries based on what we know and be wise.
Thoughtful and tie them to our values and explain them to our.
Children. But then there's so much letting go in conscious parenting, right? Just letting go, biting your tongue, letting them have their experience.
And exploring what they've learned from the experience too. Like letting them give you some feedback on that. Like, how did that work out for you? What were the consequences that you ran into and genuinely being interested and curious and not rubbing their nose in?
It either saying.
Ohh well, I could have told you that.
You know, how did that work out for you?
Yeah, that's it. That's the thing. Is not having an agenda to their answer or the end of the conversation.
And this is a hard one for me. I work on it every day. It's really asking. And then just, no judgment, neutrally accepting what they share.
Right. And that's a different energy completely than when?
They know they can see through you if you if you have something you want them to answer with. They know that, right? So they're either purposely not going to or they purposely will or I mean depends on the personality and their relationship. But what we want to do is listen and be present.
With being accepting of what it.
Is and who they are?
And helping them to maybe identify emotions about it or.
You know, because sometimes when they're older, they need to understand, OK, that was an emotional reaction. I had to that situation and.
I don't know if I ever want to get.
In that situation.
Because I don't want that reaction or.
Understanding what the experience brought.
Brought to their life to enrich it at that point.
And as they get older, they can look back on it and think.
That that was the experience and I felt this. My daughter and I were talking the other day and just kind of to this point about how sometimes you can smell something or hear something and it will bring back the whole.
Event the whole experience that you had to that moment and sometimes they're really good experiences, but you don't get those until you're older, because when you're younger, you're just accumulating them and you don't really have any framework. And she's 19 right now and.
She's just like.
It's only been in the last year or two that I've started having these experiences where I'll smell something and it'll take me back to a time and I remember, and it was a really good experience and I was remembering.
When, whenever I smelled bread and it's bread baking and it's kind of chilly out and damp, I have this experience where I just am back in Japan. I'm walking down the road that I would walk on to go to school.
And it's just.
Like it's an.
All-encompassing experience for me and it's really.
Pleasurable. It's just like.
You get those from having experiences as a child and they.
Stay with you forever.
Right. And two thoughts. One is, if you haven't seen it in a while or ever the movie inside out?
OK. All about that memories. And it's so sweet. It's a cartoon, but it's for adults, so it's amazing. But also I'm doing it in last May.
Ohh my I know what I was going to say. The memories of childhood.
Involve a lot of.
Not specifics about what we were.
Maybe interacting about but it is more visceral, right? And so because I work with parents of the young ones, so preschool, elementary school and.
If there's a lot of reactivity in the house right then, that's the memory. And what happens when we have a?
Reaction. It's very dysregulated. Usually dysregulates everyone in the room, right? Brings us to that.
Flight freight. What is it? Fake flight or freeze mind back here and our memories.
With that sense feeling usually have a little bit of anxiety, tenseness, right? Versus if our parents sometimes react, we all react, but sometimes respond versus react or catch themselves or say like I need to do over. I just had a big reaction. Let me respond instead. Right. That's visceral too.
It's calmer, more acceptance, more peaceful. It's more even.
And that has.
A different feel in.
Your body, like you say, right?
Which one's more?
Interval. So we have to have one eye. This is something I did well as a teacher. One eye on the Longview. Right. What do I want my daughter to come to me when she's 30 and.
You know, is having a really hard time and she knows I'll just.
Sit on the bench with her.
And let her cry or.
Does she not want to come to me because I might have a big reaction with my strong opinions and?
And the right and the wrong about it. Right. So you have to have one eye in the Longview and then be right where our hands are really present with our kid who's right.
There in front of us.
And ourselves. So this is self regulation. I work a lot with parents and self regulation. How do they manage their emotions because their kiddos are mirrors.
And they're going to do what they see and learn.
And it's interesting when you.
Have two parents involved in the?
In this situation, because they're going to mirror.
Both of you.
And if you have one really, really dynamic person who's like always there and always in your face, and you've got another one, that's like.
No, I'm just going to kind of hang back and it's interesting to watch the children as they navigate those dynamics too.
Because they do as they grow up, they're they become a lot like both parents, not just one parent, even if they're male or female.
And each one of them is so.
Different, they're not.
I was thinking that too.
You have two parents that can be really different, and then I was just going to say.
That Jill every.
One of the kids, right, is on their own path is their own being with their own purpose and their own.
Sensitivity and their own temperament, right?
And it's really a skill to be able to navigate each one.
Personally, if you if you have more.
Than one or two you.
It becomes kind of a juggling act. And then there's the dynamics between them as well and age differences come into play and how old you were when you had them. You know, when you have kids, when you're really young and you're not done.
Growing, yet you tend to raise them differently than you do when you're old and you.
And you're like, I'm going to pick my battles because I just don't have that much energy.
Yeah. And I know better.
And it's not going to work out the way I wanted to anyway, so we'll just let that one slide.
And addition, I mean like in addition to that I want to say you say this all the time is that we're always growing. It's not like we're done check we're done growing and as far as I'm concerned, we're always growing right alongside our children, right.
We're evolving just like they are, so I'll often say to my own daughter, you know, I'm just doing my best. I have never had a 12 year old before. I don't really know what I'm doing. I'm just.
Doing my best right? So being really human and authentic with each other is key. I think with all the moving parts.
Yeah. And leaving space for grace, for everybody, for yourself, for your kids, for your spouse.
Him and recognizing that it's not an US against them, it's.
And this together.
We're a family and we as a family have a mission and you know.
What are what are?
Our values and how do we want to?
Put them. I had somebody.
Remember, if they were on my show, or if I just saw this on Facebook somewhere, but now we're talking about the time you spend with kids, it's really a very small portion of their life.
They spend with you in your.
You don't have a lot of time with them. Yeah, 1920 years, maybe if you're lucky.
And the days are long and the years.
Are fast. Yes. Yeah. Really. You blink and they're gone, and then they're on their own. And they're having a life and they're raising their own kids and as.
As a woman who's older and I have lots of grandkids, I can say that the kindest thing you can do for your kids is to encourage them as parents. Don't try to teach them to be parents. Encourage them. Let them hire a coach.
Yeah, it's really nice to have a sounding board that that isn't blood. You know, that isn't family.
Who is experienced working with lots of different families with different veggies and?
Can hold you accountable, right?
Yeah, yeah. I've had a parent coach since my daughter turned 3.
And I'm sure she'll.
Be very grateful to you when.
Grateful to my parent.
Coach. Yeah, yeah.
It it's helpful. How do how do people get in touch with you and?
How do you work with?
People. Is it one-on-one?
Do you work with the whole family?
Yes, they will.
I work with just the parents, not directly with the kids because.
I work on.
Zoom I help parents, families all across America. So the way I work is when a family decides they want support.
I sort of joined their team and meet them where they are, so there's a big intake. What kind of questionnaire? So I can really get to know them and what they already know and.
Then I just.
Join their team and they as they step into my three month container and we work together for three months at a time.
Some choose to extend and go for six others, do one offs after that or do another container the next year just to sort of refresh, reset.
And within those three months we're meeting, it's very customized. So they get to determine the schedule, but we meet nine to 10 * 1 on one.
They come into Friday group coaching sessions as they wish those are always available. Those are actually available life long, even after the three months.
They have access to me 24 hours a day for spot coaching through boxer, which is just a text app basically with voice messaging too. So I'm really. I'm invested, they're invested and I'm invested on being right there to be that.
That's sounding board right until they are really. They've shifted their mindset and they feel like they're getting it and they're.
Able to say to themselves, well, how do I want to do this and take that pause and look at.
They are. I just closed with their family this morning, actually finishing out their three months.
And they put it so beautifully. They were they I asked them always to reflect before I tell them the growth that I've seen and the change I've seen.
And they said it's sort of like.
Like we went from doing to just more being in our.
House. It just feels.
Completely different and I thought. Ohh that's so beautifully put.
Yeah. So we work together for three months at a time and we work on kind of looking, stepping back and looking at their values and making sure they're aligned.
With their decisions and actions and communication and interactions with their children.
And we do this with lots of specific examples.
And again, each family kind of personalizes it so some are in touch twice a day.
And some much less often on the on the Boxer app, right? But we do have regular meetings and.
I strongly believe families are coming out the other side with a different mindset, more inspired about their parenting, less exhausted and confused and frustrated and angry, and more relieved.
And inspired and connected.
That's what I want.
Intentional parenting. Intentional. Yes. Intentional language, intentional presence. Intentional parenting, right.
Just been in touch.
So you have a.
An offer that you make to people as three effective strategies to help your kids navigate their big emotions. I love the word big emotions. I know it's 2 words, but it's really one word because it's so big and yeah.
You really need to get a handle on how you're going to handle those.
Yeah, it's a common theme, so that's why I've done a lot of different talks. I do speaking engagements and I one of my most popular talks was that one, I've repeated it many times about how to handle big emotions because I that's just a very common topic. Big feelings. Feels like my kid has feelings that are too big.
They're so sensitive. I don't know what to do with it. And so after hearing this so much and working with families and seeing the popularity of that webinar, I did put it on my website just recently for free. So if you go to JennWert.com, Jenn is double N.
JENNWERT JennWert.com. It'll pop up right away because I'm excited about it. I've never had a freebie offered before.
So it's right there.
You just click on it, there's no catch. You just get to watch it and you don't have to watch it right away. You have access to it for whenever is a good time for you to curl up and.
Awesome. I love that. So is there?
One thing you'd
Like to leave the audience with today.
Just that they are able to design their home, their home environment around their values. They can do that.
And even if it feels chaotic or too late again, I'm using air quotes. It's not so if you have children between the ages of 3 and 11.
And you want to bring more awareness consciousness connection into your home environment, into your parenting. Please reach out. It's not parent coaching isn't for.
Parents in crisis or parents of neurodivergent children like it's for everybody I have had. I have a parent coach I.
Told Jill the.
Other day since my.
Daughter was 3 and I don't know what I'd do without having that support.
When I need it.
So I'd encourage you to reach out and just explore the idea.
Because it can really make a big, big difference. These are the years when you're laying the tracks, you're laying the foundation for your relationship with your children forevermore.
Yeah, it's so important. Thank you so much, Jenn, for joining me today. It's been my honor talking to you.
Likewise, thank you so much.