Jessica Jackson 0:05
This is the Thriving in Motherhood Podcast. I’m Jessica Jackson and this is episode 91. Today I’m talking with Teru Clavel, mother of three and author and speaker about education. She raised her children on the other side of the world, and shares those experiences and things that they’ve learned and principles of education that can be applied in all of our lives. Today we talked about resiliency, we talked about failure, we talked about competence, we talked about what we can do in our own homes to support our kid’s education wherever they go to school. This is a great conversation. I’m so excited that you’re here.Thanks for joining us.
Hello everyone! Tonight I am here with Teru Clavel and she is a comparative education expert and author who has shared her insights on education globalization on Fareed Zakaria is GPS, the TODAY show, CBS This Morning, CNBC Squawk Box and Channel News Asia. She’s written columns for and been cited in the Japan Times, Financial Times, the Washington Post and numerous other publications. She’s been heard on over 2,300 radio stations including WTOP in Washington DC and KABC in Los Angeles with big name hosts like Jim Bohannon, Dr. Drew Pinsky and Lars Larson. Teru earned master’s degree in global and international education and a bachelor’s degree in Asian Studies. Teru spent over a decade as an education journalist and college consultant while raising her three children in public schools of Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo and California and returned with her family to her hometown, New York City, in 2018. So Teru, welcome, thanks for joining me tonight.
Teru Clavel 2:26
Thanks so much for having me Jess.
Jessica Jackson 2:29
What does motherhood look like for you right now?
Teru Clavel 2:33
Oh, right now well I have 15 year old, a 14 year old and a 10 year old, and boy, boy, girl. And that also means I have one in high school one in middle and one in elementary school and they are in three different schools, and I’m in New York City, and I’m a single mom so there’s just a lot of stuff going on as a mom right now!
Jessica Jackson 2:57
Oh my goodness. Yes, so I’m curious because here it says that you raised your children and like went to these international schools so what has that transition back into America been been like for you and your children?
Teru Clavel 3:12
Well, in 2006 we had the opportunity to go overseas and at that point I had two boys in diapers, they were both under 2. So we spent four years in Hong Kong and then in 2010, moved to Shanghai, and then after two years there, moved to Tokyo and were in Tokyo from 2012 until 2016 and then came back to the US, but came back to California, not home to New York, and we were in Palo Alto, California, from 2016 – 18. And then finally came back to New York, and actually, we didn’t put our kids into international schools. We put them into the local public schools where we lived. And so all those transitions required, you know, not only, sometimes, a lot of times, linguistic changes but also cultural changes, and having to navigate a new community, and there were so so many changes. But coming back to the US, I would say, you would think that would have been the easiest transition, but actually it was probably the most difficult because we had so many expectations, or I did at least, about what it was going to be like to come home. Meanwhile, my kids never really lived in the US so they didn’t have any memories of it, we did come back in the summers, but the reverse culture shock was just that it was very shocking and we left before even Obama was elected and then he’s elected and we’re in Hong Kong, and then we come back and then we have another presidential election in 2016. And it was just a very chaotic time, I think, to even come back. So the US that we left and the US that we came back to were two different places.
Jessica Jackson 4:59
Oh absolutely, yeah, that is a very interesting timespan. (Laughs) Yeah, I know what you mean. Okay, so let’s talk about some of those eras! So when you had the 2 young toddlers in diapers, what were some of those challenges? At what point did they start going to school there, when did you start seeing glimpses of the education system? I’d love to hear about that era.
Teru Clavel 5:28
Yeah, so I have to plead absolute ignorance because though I mastered, or majored, I should say (I use the word mastery all the time because I’m always talking about education), but when I was an undergrad, I majored in Asian Studies and I kind of thought, “oh you know I understand Asia and it’ll be easy for us to move to Hong Kong,” and also I’m half Japanese. I speak, or I spoke Japanese in my home growing up, but Hong Kong is completely different from Japan. I was completely ignorant. And when we first got there, we were expatriates, and expat for short, and most expats put their kids into international school so you know, “just put your kids into the preschool down the street” and I was like, “okay!” I had no idea about anything about school basically at that point. And they said it’s a for-profit International School… for-profit, nonprofit, whatever, it meant nothing to me! I put my kids in there, and it was supposed to be a Mandarin immersion program and within a very short time I realized there’s no way my kids are going to be learning Mandarin in this school when nobody, none of the students speak Mandarin, and the teachers are speaking English most of the time and basically there’s one teacher in the classroom that speaks Mandarin, and it was just, it was a “aha” kind of moment where then I had to reevaluate where I was sending my kids to school and then we found this, and I talk about this in my book, World Class, I found a school that was nicknamed “The Prison,” and my friends thought I was crazy for even enrolling my kids in there but it was a very selective magnet school that went from pre K through high school, but it was totally taught in Mandarin so my kids were were taken there every day and they were in the afternoon program and it was so bare bones. I mean, it literally looks like a prison. I think there’s barbed wire on the on the roof and it was like this fortress-like building in the middle of the city but on this hill, and the gateway entry was foreboding. I mean it was, it was a for a lot of people. I think it would have been a shocking experience but the quality of the education that my kids got in those classrooms was just incredible. And they didn’t spend money on the, I mean it was a safe building, but they didn’t really spend money on any kind of special, you know, jungle gyms or teaching equipment, it was really all towards the teacher salaries and these teachers were so qualified. And it got to the point where I mean, they easily would be my emergency contacts. They were teaching me so much about my own children that I didn’t know. And it was a phenomenal experience and that kind of put us on this trajectory of really trusting local public schools, and having that full immersion experience. And that’s why I continued doing the same thing inS hanghai and then Tokyo, enrolling them in public schools where we lived, which is very different, you know, because most of the time you do put your kids in international schools.
Jessica Jackson 8:25
Yeah. Well, I think there’s just different goals and things with different families but what were some of the, you know, you said it was a fantastic education, what were the educational priorities there?
Teru Clavel 8:38
Well, I would say for the most part, I mean, people kind of conflate East Asian education on just being really academic, which wasn’t necessarily the case. So in Shanghai, while the elementary school my son attended was very academic and they kind of ranked the kids academically and there were subject specific teachers in first grade meaning there was a math teacher, there was an English teacher there was a language arts teacher, and they didn’t even have final exams and things like that, the preschool was purely play based, where my other two were in school and it was eight and the hours were actually longer than my son’s elementary school so the hours are from 8:15 until 4:15, and then nap time and they were fed and, you know, but it was all play based and they did, if anything was academic, it was basically these kind of manipulatives and puzzles and it was just a very very cool place and then in Tokyo,while it does get academic in elementary school again my daughter’s preschool was purely play based and if I had to liken it to kind of a Western education system, it was it was most probably like Montessori. There were three years in that preschool and the kids just wandered around the school, found their own friends, were very very independent and whenever there was an intervention by an adult, or you know a teacher, it was very intentional in terms of the lesson that was supposed to be taught because if the kids fell, you know, as long as it wasn’t very very, you know, physically damaging, the teachers like sure they can fall, they can they can do things that may be deemed dangerous I think in terms of the Western definition of you know climbing too high in a jungle gym on supervised or running around the playground with untied shoe laces, teachers would basically say, that’s okay, they’re going to learn if they fall then they’re going to learn that they have to be more careful next time or they have to tie their shoelaces. And the kids were given so much autonomy in Japan so what ends up happening is that in Japan, first graders are expected to go to school and come home on their own without any adult supervision and that could include walking, taking buses, taking trains and some kids have a one hour commute one way and all that preschool education is geared towards getting them to be independent and being part of the part of the community that way.
Jessica Jackson 11:10
Interesting. That is so cool.
Teru Clavel 11:13
I loved it.
Jessica Jackson 11:14
Yeah, and those would be the educational philosophies like me and my husband personally adhere too and there’s we have friends that do as well but I would say still it’s not mainstream in our Western culture.
Teru Clavel 11:27
No, it’s not at all and I can say, we used to come back in the summers and one summer when my middle child was, I think, was four or five years old, we put them into a day camp in the summer, and the camp called me it was about 10am in the morning. And they said, you know, “I just wanted to call you and let you know that Charles forgot his swimsuit. He didn’t bring one today.” And I just responded, “Oh that’s so nice of you to tell me” and I was ready to hang up and they said, “no no no what? But is it…okay..” And they said, “Well, are you going to bring one?” And I said, “No, is there one in the lost & found?” and they were horrified that I would even suggest a mildewing swimsuit that a child left behind and it was clear they hadn’t even checked, you know, it just wasn’t something they would do. And I said, “is there a friend that he could borrow from? And they said no and I said, “well then I guess Charles isn’t gonna swim today.” And only when I was writing my book… because I couldn’t get that story out of my head. I couldn’t figure out, why did she call me? And when I was writing my book, World Class, I realized it was because she thought I’d pack the swimsuit and I’d forgotten and it was my fault. So I would have to, therefore, you know, go to the school and bring it for him. Whereas in our household because our kids were living in Japan already and these kids are taught to do everything pretty much on their own already at that age in terms of getting their school bag together and he himself forgot to put the swimsuit. So to me it was just, Well fine, Charles at four or five years old, forgot to put in his swimsuit in the bag and next time he’ll learn. He can’t forget it, otherwise you can’t swim. And it was just a very different way of doing things.
Jessica Jackson 13:06
Yeah, I love that story! So interesting. Okay, so for you, what have been some, and we kind of talked about some of the educational things but what have been some defining moments for you in your motherhood?
Teru Clavel 13:20
I would definitely say and this is not unique, but when my first was born. I, you know, had a job, I had a career and I think I was pretty good at what I had done until that and I couldn’t have felt more incompetent, or helpless when my first child was born I couldn’t figure out nursing, the diapering, you know everybody says put this stuff together before you bring him home from the hospital, I don’t think anything was put together. And you know, it was just, I never felt like such a failure as when I had my first child. And I have a single mom who was working and I’m an only child, it wasn’t like I had this big network of people to call within my family. It was just it was definitely defining, and at the same time, I, you know, I didn’t have hired help or anything like that. I was alone with my child all the time. And as hard as it was, I think that bond that I developed with my oldest, James, who’s now 15 and 6’5″, you know, there’s that, that is just one of the tightest closest bonds you can have to their first born because you struggle so much together. And so I thank him, I’m like, thank you for putting up with my mothering! And there are times that it’s still really really hard but for the most part it’s kind of this beautiful memory of this really tough time in my life and I remember just thinking, we better have a second one soon because if we don’t have one soon I’m never going to do it again!
Jessica Jackson 14:52
Teru Clavel 14:54
So yeah, I would say that and then I would also say, when we moved to Shanghai i three kids at that point and my youngest was just over one, and I didn’t speak Mandarin my kids did because they’d been educated in Mandarin in Hong Kong but I didn’t speak it, it was still very much a developing country, or Shanghai was still in a developing country and, you know, all I knew was that China was the “Wild West” and it was growing so quickly and it was this exciting place to be. But when you have that much growth what it really means is that nothing stays the same. So you know you could go to your store one day and then the following week go back and it’s not there anymore because the development is so rapid. So having three kids, three different schools, or three different programs I should say, two different schools, and then my middle and my younger were different times at the same preschool. And, you know, getting these… nothing was online at that time and then getting these notices that I couldn’t read almost every day from the school and struggling through that was painful for me and they were so happy but it was very very difficult for me. But it really made me appreciate how lucky we had it in the West, when I really took so much for granted. I mean, little things like even infrastructure. I didn’t really fully appreciate building code. When we first moved to Shanghai, a building that was a few blocks away from us, totally just, there was a huge fire, and they were doing some construction on it and the whole outside, they basically put this flammable material that hadn’t been approved by the government and there were hundreds of deaths and people were jumping out the window to their deaths. And it was horrific, and I never appreciated how much safer we were with our with our systems in the US, and it was it was a huge wake up call. That was definitely a defining moment in terms of thinking about my role protecting my kids and showing them that they needed to be appreciative of all the opportunities they had and appreciate that they had a US passport, because we had options.
Yeah, absolutely. So those are two big things so maybe going back to the first one, how did you transition from that just like intense struggle and feelings of failure and not knowing what you’re doing, into creating this beautiful life.
Well I don’t know if it’s beautiful. I think I am still very very fortunate. I think when I got pregnant with my second, Charles, my first was just seven and a half months old. And I think people just need this like swift kick in the pants. I think that was when I just said, okay I got a buck up because these kids only have me. My husband at the time was working 24/7 and really wasn’t around that much, and it was just this.. I just saw things in a different way. I just felt so fortunate. And I call Charles the one that made it all okay because suddenly there I am pregnant and pushing around the stroller and it’s freezing in New York City and just trying to figure out where we should be living and where we should be sending the kids to school, to preschool, because there’s a really grueling preschool application process in New York City. And it was just, it was one of these times, it was a make or break, and you have this fork in the road and it’s just an intentional decision: it’s not going to break you. Your kids need you. And I think the same thing happened in Shanghai, you have this fork in the road and you’re just gonna say, your kids only have you so just wake up. And it taught me to be a much tougher person I think, but also to take a step back and be grateful for everything that we had. But I think there’s just times in your life when you have to just make these decisions they get out of the funk. That’s it. And I think nothing is a bigger rude awakening than our children. So, every work decision I have to make or when I go to sleep or what, you know, what meals I have to prepare, I weigh everything against my children, you know, if I take this work opportunity, how much am I losing my children? If I go to see my children, then, is this the important thing or is there something else I should be doing? When you go grocery shopping, I think about what are my kids gonna eat, or it’s just the most, I think.. what is the best word? Just the most grounding experience: your children. Because even if you’re having a great day, if something bad happens to your kids or you’re worried about them, nothing can deflate my day more than something bad happening to them.
Jessica Jackson 19:44
Yeah, absolutely. And I think grounding is a really good word. It just keeps really real for all of us like in a good sense.
Teru Clavel 19:57
And as my children get older, my oldest is now 15. I think about things like he was playing basketball and he broke one of the fingers in his in his left hand. You know, and when I think about something like that having happened to him maybe, you know, when he was two or three years old, it would have rocked my world. You know? Like, oh my god, when my second one had two stitches when he was three years old and he knocked his teeth out he didn’t have two front teeth for like three years because even the big ones were coming in. And at the time, it just felt like the end of the world and now it just doesn’t… like they’re just, you know, they say bigger kids, bigger problems and they just get much more emotional problems. But I mean, my kids have been on crutches so many times at this point that we just have like two extra pairs in the closet, you know, adjustable, so it’s like not that big a deal anymore.
Jessica Jackson 20:52
Yeah. Well, it sounds like, you know, one of these threads that I’m hearing from your stories is just like you’re resilient, your kids are resilient, like you have developed this sense of resiliency through all of the struggles.
Teru Clavel 21:06
I would like to think that that’s true. You know we’ve come kind of come to these new places and conquered together. And that is something that I feel has been one of the greatest things that we’ve gone gotten from our from our travels to all these places. It’s that sink or swim and they go into these classrooms and they have to make it on their own and while I do everything as a parent to make sure they have all the scaffolding and the support that they need from home, it’s really up to them to, you know, you got to get to school and give it your all and because I’m not there to take their tests or to ask questions or to tackle an explanation from a teacher when they don’t understand and I think that has really built a sense of self determination and motivation in each of them. I’m thankful for that. Yeah.
Jessica Jackson 22:02
That’s amazing.So I’m really curious, you know, kind of, based on what you’ve seen in the Asian school system and education and culture and your experiences parenting and, you know, having your kids in the school system here in America, what do you feel like is a great way that we can support our kids education at home wherever they’re going to school.
Teru Clavel 22:21
There’s actually a few things I would say something that I noticed so clearly in in Shanghai, and in Tokyo. I didn’t matter if a mom didn’t read a lot or the dad didn’t think he was good at math, everybody can do everything and the expectations are so high, you know, whereas when we came back to the US, my daughter came home from school one day and she was in second grade and she said, “Oh, I’m just not good at math.” And I’d never heard words like that, out of any of my kids mouths before. And in the US, I feel like there’s this, “yeah I’m just not good at that,” or, “yeah, you know, I’m not very good at my arithmetic so yeah we’re not gonna have to memorize them… we’ll write a poster instead” and it just really struck me because everybody can hit high expectations, and maybe the effort is different and how they reach those high expectations is different but everybody hits them. And it’s also this ability to fail, and letting kids fail, where I think in the US, there’s this fear that, you know, parents or adults teachers have to swoop in and not let them fail. You know, multiple takes on tests or assignments or projects, and where I think that’s good to a certain degree, at what point do you take off the training wheels and have kids accountable for that first take, because as we see kids aren’t really launching the same way you know at 18 or 22, that they used to, you know, as an adult sometimes, you do, oftentimes, you only get one chance in life. So, I feel like it’s been really important that, at least here in the US what we can learn is: let your kids fail and help them if they need help, you know, picking themselves back up because it’s a gift. If you think about the times in your life you failed, it hurts. It really hurts but that’s how you build resiliency, and the most important lessons we learned have been from failure and we’re just not doing such a good job of that here I feel like in this country.
Jessica Jackson 24:28
So the idea of teaching the children, teaching them how to navigate failure instead of insulating them from it.
Teru Clavel 24:35
Yeah, and it’s fine! It’s more than fine, it’s part of the educational experience that’s so necessary. I felt like in East Asia, and there’s talk now that teachers aren’t allowed to use red pens in some of thier classes because it makes kids feel like they’re not performing well and it’s a little bit we’re coddling our kids too much here I feel like.
Jessica Jackson 25:02
And I also think like this like the definition of failure and success maybe carries a little bit too much weight because, you’re not getting an education if you don’t, you know, “fail” then you’re not actually learning things like that’s actually part of the process.
Teru Clavel 25:18
Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s really, really important. I mean, we talked about resiliency earlier but how do you build up? You know it’s not by going into situations that you’re comfortable in right? Because life isn’t about being comfortable, it’s most of the time pushing through that discomfort and figuring out how to do it.
Jessica Jackson 25:37
Teru Clavel 25:39
Yeah. You know, and something else now that we’re talking about something that we learned and I think this might be interesting to to your listeners is, there’s this idea I think that students or kids in these East Asian countries have so much technology around them and while yes, they may have smartphones after school in the classrooms, at least in Shanghai and or I should say, China, and in Japan, they use less technology than any other country in the world in their classrooms. There’s virtually none. And so the idea that and they have some of the highest academic outcomes. And in this country, our kids are really suffering from a lot of, you know, exposure to inappropriate content online and apps and social media and bullying and increased anxiety and I just would love for parents and teachers to pull back a little bit. If we could backpedal and say, “Okay, this great experiment in technology isn’t all that, and we should really go back to more pencil and paper learning.” It’s the neurocognitive, you know, the science shows that it’s much better for our brains. It’s kind of like, if you don’t use your right leg for a while because you’re injured and the muscle atrophies… that’s the same stuff that’s happening to these kid’s brains. And it’s at a time in their development that it’s the most vital, when they’re pre-adolescent before they hit puberty.
Jessica Jackson 27:14
Yeah. Amen. Something definitely needs to be addressed.
Teru Clavel 27:20
Yes, I would, I would love that. I talk about that a lot.
Jessica Jackson 27:24
Yeah, and that’s a really important soapbox I can join you on.
Teru Clavel 27:28
Oh good. I would love you to!
Jessica Jackson 27:32
Okay, as we start to kind of wrap up our chat today, what is something that you have mastered?
Teru Clavel 27:38
What have I mastered? I think I’ve gotten really really good at routine routines and discipline. I, you know, when I first had my kids and I wake up at, you know, these ungodly hours of the morning, it’s like, oh my gosh, I’m so tired. But I think what it really did was, and now my kids don’t right? I have the opposite problem where they don’t. I definitely like luxuriating in the mornings when I can. But I still wake up early and I’m so efficient with my time now. You know I’ve mastered that efficiency because when you have kids in diapers and they’re yelling or screaming or upset or they need food or whatever it is, you know, you can’t, you can barely figure out when to make time to go take a shower, go to the bathroom right? So that’s like mom socialization. It just teaches you to be so efficient, right? Moms multitask better than anyone else, Moms are the CEOs of the world really, you know, so I just started a routine and discipline and it’s been amazing because, you know, I’m back at work now and I feel like I can, in a 24 hours a day, I seem to make, like 100 hours, in terms of my productivity so that’s been, that’s something that I feel like I have mastered.
Jessica Jackson 28:56
So cool. And I think you’re totally right. Motherhood is the perfect training ground for productivity.
Teru Clavel 29:02
Yeah, because you just, again, you weigh everything against your kids and everything becomes that much more valuable, that time.
Yes. Yeah, so not only productivity but also priorities. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So what is something that you’re still working on?
Um, I would say, and I hope this isn’t a lifelong struggle, but probably making time for me. And when people are like, “oh so what do you do for yourself?” and I’m like well, “I work” so it’s like, okay, so there has to be a third category here. It can’t just be kids and work. You know there has to be, and it can’t just be sleep, like that may be obvious there but no, it has to be something else so I have lately started taking hip hop classes, and I’m taking an improv class and so I’m trying to make time just for for me that I think, you know, those things like I love dancing as a kid, and I just haven’t done it as an adult. And I’m like, you know, why am I doing this, and you know, my kids, kind of mortified when when a song comes on the radio and I start practicing hip hop and I can’t stop. Nothing embarrasses them more and I told them, I said, “just wait I have a routine for Christmas and I’m putting it on Instagram!” They are like, “no! Don’t do that! Don’t do that!” and I’m like, “Yeah, I’m going to do that just to embarrass you!” And they are looking at me like “no, you’re probably going to embarrass yourself.” (Laughing) You know, so it’s making time for myself and it’s something that I’m working on and, and I’d like to get better at but I guess they say the first step is to acknowledge that it’s an issue. So, yeah.
Jessica Jackson 30:35
That’s fantastic! And you described your kids getting older, like it’s part of a natural transition and that happens, when there is more time. Yeah. Yeah. Although always still important, always.
Teru Clavel 30:52
Jessica Jackson 30:56
Okay, so when you look back to being that first time mom, holding your baby for the very first time in your arms all the way to now, what is the biggest change that you see in yourself?
Teru Clavel 31:10
Confidence. And I said that with confidence! Did you hear that?
Jessica Jackson 31:15
That was good!
Teru Clavel 31:16
Yeah, I feel much more secure in who I am and what I’m supposed to be doing. Very much so. And I think, you know, and I think it’s part of being a mom too. It’s like, you can sacrifice everything about yourself. And I feel like through these I guess 16 years. I say no. And I don’t say no like in a rude way. But again, it’s that prioritization. I know what’s important and I know when I should be doing something and I know when I shouldn’t and it’s just it’s been, it’s been a great journey and with my child rearing too, I have confidence in my decisions and maybe it’s because I have my third that I kind of call like the the cherry on top, the wonderful gift that was my third child and a girl after two boys. And so I’m not as, I’m not as worried, I guess. And I do feel like I’ve been able to let go and it’s their journey I mean, I put in so much work when they were younger, and I’m kind of hoping to, to see the fruits of my labor and and letting go of them and giving them a lot more independence and so and I’m confident that I’ve done a good job, That they’re going to be okay even when they’re not okay, I’m thinking they’re going to be okay, because this is part of our journey, whereas before I didn’t have that confidence to think it was going to be okay. You know, when they get a concussion or when they say they had a bad day at school or something happened with a friend, I might have been much more worried about it before and now it’s just, just a day in the life. And we’ll get through it.
Jessica Jackson 32:53
I love that. So for you, I would love to hear, where people can learn more from you because you are clearly an expert in the educational world and have so much that you’re sharing right now and teaching right now. So where can people learn more from you, where can they find you?
Teru Clavel 33:18
So, I would love for people to check out my book it’s called World Class one mother’s journey halfway around the globe in search of the best education for her children and you can find it, hopefully at your local bookseller, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and definitely check out my website, teruclavel.com, and I’m on social media and I love having conversations with listeners, readers, anything having to do with parenting and education and I’m on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and I’m pretty active, because when my book just came out so I’m doing a pretty big media circuit, so please please reach out to me.
Jessica Jackson 34:03
And if we subscribe on Instagram, we’ll be able to see the hip hop dance right?
Teru Clavel 34:06
Jessica Jackson 34:08
So I’m not gonna miss that!
Teru Clavel 34:15
We’re picking the song now so we’re thinking, you know, 90s hip hop and I think my kids are absolutely petrified that I’m actually going to do this. But I think I am!
Jessica Jackson 34:27
I’m looking forward to it.
Teru Clavel 34:29
Jessica Jackson 34:31
I will make sure to link to all of those on my website, thrivinginmotherhoodpodcast.com so it’ll be easy to find in the show notes there as well.
Teru Clavel 34:40
That would be wonderful. Yeah, thank you so much.
Jessica Jackson 34:42
Yes, Teru, thank you so much for your time. Well I really enjoyed this conversation with Teru and I felt like it reminded me of some really great principles with parenting and education that are always important but easy to forget or go into the background. So what really stood out to me, were, first of al, the reminder that we are resilient. I loved that moment that she described of being pregnant with her second child and just recognizing like okay, this is going to make me or break me and I’m going to choose to keep going. I am going to stand through this. And I feel like there are many moments for me where I have to come and make that decision but I just love that over the years of all of their struggles as a family that they have worked through those and it has built that competence now. And I think it’s fun, as I’m reflecting, I feel like I have started gaining that confidence, but I also appreciate the reminder that I get to decide whether or not I let my circumstances get me down. I also was grateful for that reminder about the importance of helping kids be independent. Now, I know we all might have different interpretations of what that looks like. But even just on a simple level of, you know, letting our two year olds be part of the cleaning and cooking or self care, all the way to helping our older children take on as much responsibility as they can, not just the home, but with school or, you know, other responsibilities. That’s a really important life skill and it helps them feel part of the community, of the family, as well as eases our workloads as parents to at the same time, you know on the physical tasks like it’s important to offload those as kids get older, so they can be a part of learning those skills and be a part of that of our family, community and culture. And her mention of reducing technology in the classroom, so important, so important. And it’s not something we talked a lot about on this episode and or that I will talk about right now but it’s definitely something to consider, and to just maybe even become aware of how much technology is being used in your child’s classroom. And maybe starting a conversation about that and seeing if it’s necessary to have screens be so involved. And finally, I just was fascinated, it’s always interesting to hear what life is like and what education is like in cultures in different parts of the world and I was grateful for a peek into that, which is also why I’m super excited about her book, because it dives deeper into these ideas and cultures and things we can learn from them, so go check out the website thrivinginmotherhoodpodcast.com for more information about these things. I hope that you’re able to take away something that’s relevant for you today that you needed.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai