My first assignment in a management role was not to negotiate but to announce a price list with a blanket 30% price hike and then demand increased order commitments from a room full of white men in their 40s and 50s representing national dealers and international distributors. I was in my 20s, scared, and felt like I’d been thrown into the deep end of the pool (or a human sacrifice pit). Of course, I didn’t know how lucky I was to deal with experienced resellers who already knew pricing structures, channel segment strategies, etc. Working with them forced me to learn quickly and deeply. Only after I founded curaJOY and began working with students and fresh grads did I realize how much more demanding working with junior staff was. It takes a lot more effort (and possibly also skill) to successfully develop young professionals than working with those already successful and experienced. Maybe that explains why many parents feel their job as a parent is a whole other dimension of exhaustion compared to their professional careers. Parents are developing the absolute most inexperienced of all novices.
What have you learned and mastered completely by yourself? Without any external help like books or instructions? Probably not much. Breathing, sleeping and little else. Our life of learning begins at home and with our parents. Learning is a process of change where we respond to and interact with our experiences and tie newfound knowledge back to what we already know. Learning is much more than memorization and cannot be forced on someone. Parenting is one of the most difficult and important jobs in the world because parents begin with vacant lots–no expectations, boundaries, or workflows established, then they build brick by brick, a foundation that determines their child’s potential for knowledge, relationships and health. It’s a scary responsibility!
Hopefully, this puts a new perspective on parenting for you. Our entire society depends on parents to produce well-adjusted individuals. Parenting is a tough job that requires highly-specialized skillsets, but it’s usually a job people undertake without formal training. It may be obvious to most parents that their 8-month-old baby isn’t crying through the night to spite them. But for many, it’s not as obvious when their child meltdowns in large social gatherings that frontloading–informing your child who she might meet and practicing examples of what appropriate small talk– might eliminate the struggle. Or that their teen is struggling or developing their identity (including gender), and not choosing to be trans to embarrass the family.
At curaJOY, we work to improve family interactions by developing all family members’ social and emotional skills because society’s current resources often target parents or students. We also do a LOT of parent training to help them teach at the level and pace appropriate for their children and implement developmentally and ability-appropriate reinforcements. Technology can greatly impact families’ emotional wellness by providing the frequency and intensity of consistent, non-biased support and training necessary for real change. curaJOY’s AI-enhanced behavioral health and social-emotional learning program, Quest Depot, is never over-scheduled, impatient or distracted. Kids lagging in social and communication skills can make social faux pas with our virtual mentors and learn from them without the repercussions they usually get from their peers. I’m immensely excited by our work combining AI with animation, education and behavioral science and the help it will give to the hardest workers in all industries–parents.
P.s. Tell a parent that what they do is important today!