Ep. 50: My Parenting Report Card: Millennial to Boomer
Today is a special day because it is the first interview show of the Dr. Momma Says Podcast. WooHoo! Look at me making progress. Slow and steady. My special guest is my oldest daughter, Jasmine Burton, who reflects on her childhood and essentially gives me a parenting report card.
There is a learning curve for blogging and podcasting. And although I have discussed having guests on my show, I just never did it. This particular podcast episode was recorded about a year ago, in the fall of 2018.
I never shared it because I was (and continue to be) unhappy with the sound quality. Also, I struggled to figure out how to master the art of keeping an interview moving forward while sounding natural and authentic. Not asking much, huh?
Well, my daughter was very supportive of my efforts, but she sure did dish out some tough love as she critiqued my techniques. (Will soon share one of my favorite episode outtakes where she was brutally honest. The truth hurts sometimes, am I right?)
Recording alone at my house? Yup, got it. I have made tremendous strides in improving my solo episodes. Fast forward to today: my infantile skills with editing shows with remote guests remains a problem. But today is my first step. And as I hit the publish button, I am proud.
Striving for Progress
As we near the end of another year, I am taking the time to reflect upon how much I have improved in many aspects of my content creation journey. Not only do I have a successful blog and thousands of listeners to my podcast, but I also published a Podcast Production Planner to help keep podcasters organized. None of my content is remotely close to perfect, so today I have decided to move forward with all the flaws my interview episodes will show.
If I never share my flawed episodes, there will never be a chance to share my growth. Yes, I am fully embracing the advice from my fellow physician mom, Dr. Melissa Welby.
Her graphic tells us the story we all need to hear. And be sure to check out her amazing website which shares her vast wealth of knowledge as a psychiatrist helping people achieve their best mental health status.
We all have goals that can seem to be out of reach. But steady progress is what we need to focus on to help us stay on the path to reach our goals. And I believe I followed this advice while raising my daughters. The journey to launch independent, confident and successful girls is a long and winding road.
Every day, I am asked by young parents what they can do to improve the chances that their kids will be successful. Everyone has a different definition of success, but most parents want to raise kids who will become independent and can care for themselves. But they worry that they will make mistakes that will ruin their kids’ lives.
Trust me, I was there. I had no idea if the decisions I made were good enough. But they were the only decisions I knew how to make. So I made them confidently. That is the best you can do.
Empty nesters get a final parenting report card
I have been an empty nester for years but did not think to ask about a parenting report card. The idea came to me as more parents started asking me what I did in certain situations. The truth is, I made decisions based on how I was raised and the interactions I witnessed in my office.
Because my daughters are independent adults (living their best lives, I might add), I assumed my parenting style was good. But I never asked. We all know it is not a good idea to assume things, right? So before I shared anything else, I thought it was important to get the perspective from my girls who were on the receiving end.
Before a final parenting report card is issued, it is important to know that it is possible to get a “midterm” report card. As I think back on the days raising young kids, I just kept my head down and trusted that the best decisions I could make were going to be the right ones. Even reflecting back now, I do not think that I would ask if what I was doing was having the desired impact!
If you want to see how you are doing, you might consider asking your kids some of the questions I ask in the podcast. Timing is important, though. I suggest you ask kids as they transition from grade school to middle school and then on to high school.
By college, you already have a final parenting report card. You will always have parenting duties, but I caution you to embrace the concept of afraid parenting.
Generational differences impact your parenting report card
I have shared my reflections as a Baby Boomer who recognized how my millennial daughters made me a cooler person. And I also shared my resistance to change as I stubbornly refused (continue to refuse?) some modern millennial trends.
But every generation is different and parents will always seem out of date compared to their kids. Our parents and grandparents had this same journey but still shared their values and beliefs. Be sure to know who you are and what you stand for so that you can share that with your kids. If you are happy with who you are, then creating your Mini Me is a goal with striving for.
Special guest: Jasmine Burton
Jasmine is a very accomplished young lady and I am proud to call her my daughter. She is passionate about global health and founded a social impact organization, Wish for Wash 5 years ago while still in college. Her company has grown with the help of an army of dedicated millennial friends and colleagues. Currently, the organization has one arm for designing and manufacturing toilets. The other arm, called Wish for Wash Thinks, is dedicated to education, research, and empowerment of a diverse group of young professionals who are interested in work in the WASH sector.
I am not clearly able to write the information that Jasmine shared in this episode so be sure to check it out. These are answers to questions I have not asked before. My take-home message was that our high expectations for her behavior, academics, and proactive planning have all been instrumental in her success. Whew! My parenting report card was full of As. And as a nerd, you know I love that.
Later, I will share part 2 of my parenting report card by interviewing my youngest daughter, Courtney. If you have more than one child, you understand that parenting is not easier after the first child. It is just different. I wonder if my parenting report card will also be different?
As always, much love for supporting my work. I will be adding many more posts to highlight parenting and healthcare tips, so be sure to consider subscribing to my podcast or to my blog to avoid missing a post!