Q & A with Jenn Laurent, author of “Excerpts from the Heart of a Mom”
Yesterday, I had the privilege of introducing Jenn Laurent’s new book about conscious parenting, Excerpts from the Heart of a Mom. I also mentioned that we would be doing a Q & A on Jenn’s Facebook page about the concepts she discusses in her book, and also the book itself. This was a fun exercise where a few of us pelted Jenn with questions about conscious parenting, and she responded like a pro!
Below is the transcript of the Q & A session:
JENN LAURENT: Hi. Thank you. Yes, I will 🙂
CASSIDY GARD: So exciting that Launch Day is here!
LAURA ORSINI: If anyone has a question for Jenn about her book or conscious parenting, please feel free to jump in!! My first question is this: What IS conscious parenting?
JENN LAURENT: Conscious parenting is parenting with awareness. It is about taking the necessary steps in your own life to allow you to be present with your children. It means that we make choices, rather than parenting out of habit.
CASSIDY GARD: How do you make conscious choices when your patience is being tested and you’re dealing with tantrums in small children?
LAURA ORSINI: That seems both like common sense, and something that could be useful to have someone guide you toward. How did you arrive at this idea of conscious parenting in your own life, Jenn?
JENN LAURENT: Great question, Cassidy, and one that I think involves a bit of a detailed answer. But in short, we need to find ways to stay centered and focused, as parents. By taking steps in our own lives and finding ways to care for ourselves, we are better able to deal with stress and anxiety in the moment-to-moment activities involved in parenting.
LAURA ORSINI: Where does a busy parent begin in their efforts to be more conscious?
JENN LAURENT: Laura, I am a person who enjoys self-reflection, so I have gathered my own life experiences, the work I have done in the field of social work, and my own self growth. I wanted to parent in a way that felt good in my heart, and I have chosen to share that with others through my book.
CASSIDY GARD: I’m sure your book goes into greater detail about specific approaches, but what is the number one universal tip or mantra you tell yourself in the moment to stay focused? I’m sure that many obstacles come up, day to day, but do you have one thing you always tell yourself to reinforce #ConsciousParenting?
JENN LAURENT: I think a good starting point for parents is to form an intention about the type of parent they want to be. By knowing your purpose and what parenting means to you, you are able to build from a strong foundation and more easily navigate through the day-to-day parenting experiences you encounter.
LAURA ORSINI: Do you think it’s ever too late to begin trying to implement practices like being in the moment and not trying to shape our kids into who we think they should be?
JENN LAURENT: Cassidy, I think everyone needs to find their own unique way and discover what works for them. The key is to find it. I make a point of acknowledging the intention I have about for the mother I choose to be daily, and I also remember that a huge piece of parenting is the fun it entails.
CASSIDY GARD: Do you remember when you first discovered you would be a mom and imagined raising a son? How did your expectations differ from the actual experience?
LAURA ORSINI: I LOVE the reminder that parenting is supposed to be fun, too!
JENN LAURENT: Laura, it’s never too late. There is a quote that it is never too late to be what you might have been. I love this and believe it applies to all areas of our lives, including parenting. If we are facing struggles as parents, feeling a lack of fulfillment, or simply know in our hearts that there is room for change, we can implement practices to make our parenting experience exactly what we choose for it to be.
DANYELL FIMA: How does the mother or father of pre-teen and teenagers begin to parent more consciously?
JENN LAURENT: When I found out I was having my son, I don’t necessarily think I set expectations; rather, I set intentions and focused on images of the way I wanted things to be. I saw clearly the type of experience I was setting out to have. And so, in all honesty, it has not differed much from what I “expected.” Yes, things may look different in my life, but the experience is what I intended it to be.
JENN LAURENT: Danyell, when our kids are older, parents need to find a way to really see who our children are and accept them for that. Again, it all starts within. As parents, we need to be clear about our intentions so that our children receive that message as well.
LAURA ORSINI: Want to move to the book a bit. Did you learn anything new about parenting as you were putting these rather profound concepts into words?
CASSIDY GARD: Do you think that parents and society place a lot of judgment on children when we use phrases like “Terrible Two’s” or automatically assuming a child will be difficult as a toddler, pre-teen, or teenager? How do you use conscious parenting to avoid that and embrace positivity?
JENN LAURENT: Laura, I learn something new every single day. Just when I think I have something all figured out, I realize that another layer is presented and there is more to learn.
JENN LAURENT: Cassidy, great question. Yes, I think labels and statements like these set us, our children, and our families up for failure. If we expect something to happen, then most likely that is what we will look for to happen. If we can set up our children for success by expecting positivity and goodness, we are that much ahead of the game.
LAURA ORSINI: How much does Jaden understand about his role in Excerpts from the Heart of a Mom?
JENN LAURENT: I value my son’s feelings, opinions, and input tremendously and have made him aware of this project from the moment I began. He thinks it is pretty darn cool that there is a book out there that has been inspired by him. 🙂
LAURA ORSINI: Do you have a favorite chapter or lesson?
CASSIDY GARD: As the child gets older, is there a good way to include them in the conversation so that they understand these “conscious parenting” techniques and how they can make conscious choices independently so that they are in harmony with their parents?
LAURA ORSINI: If there were a double-like button, Cassidy, I’d press it for that last question!
JENN LAURENT: My favorite chapter or concept is “All You Need Is Love,” which is dedicated to parents being committed to loving even though. It is so important for us to show our children that they are loved, no matter what. Even when they make mistakes, drive us crazy, or disappoint us, they need our love. You see, it is easy to love when things are easy, when things are going our way. It is much more difficult to love in the face of conflict or darkness. We have the opportunity to teach our children how to love others when it is difficult by loving them when it is difficult.
JENN LAURENT: Cassidy, I believe our children are able to understand well before we think they can. I share some of these concepts with my son and we have conversations about them. I have always provided him with the reasons I do things the way I do, so he has learned on a daily basis about mush of this. I think our children benefit greatly from be included in the reasons why, in understanding the way they are being parented … after all, it is their life! 🙂
LAURA ORSINI: I love that concept, Jenn — it’s true for all of us, even grown-ups. I heard it said a long time ago that it’s when we’re most unlovable that we need most to be loved.
JENN LAURENT: To continue that answer, Cassidy, children learn by example. If they are parented in a conscious way, they learn to live in a conscious way.
LAURA ORSINI: Jenn — will you tell people where they can buy the book?
JENN LAURENT: The book is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, or my website http://livethroughtheheart.com/my-book. If readers buy today, they will receive special free bonus offers. And always, a percentage of proceeds will go to Olive Crest, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families and children.
CASSIDY GARD: Thanks Laura! Wow, that makes so much sense, Jenn. I think parents will be amazed by these techniques and approaches. It’s unlike a lot of what is already out there. So refreshing to see an approach that is simple yet full of wisdom and meaning behind it.
JENN LAURENT: Thank you, Cassidy.
LAURA ORSINI: So we thank you all for coming — and for asking questions, Cassidy and Danyell! Please be sure to visit Jenn’s site (http://livethroughtheheart.com/my-book/) to see the bonuses and buy the book today! Or if you prefer, it’s also on sale at Amazon (http://amzn.to/10PlCPW) and Barnes & Noble (http://bit.ly/115LNkM).
CASSIDY GARD: Thanks Jenn! I think these will be amazing gifts for all of my friends and family. It’s a beautiful read, but also highly informative. Great timing for the holidays!
JENN LAURENT: Thank you everyone!! Happy Tuesday and Happy Holidays!
The good news is that we’ve extended the bonuses for another day! If you haven’t had a chance to check out the bonuses or buy the book yet, you can still take advantage of the offer today. This is a tremendous book and would make a wonderful holiday gift for the mom in your life.
Happy parenting —
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