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A Parent’s Playbook for Learning

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A Parent’s Playbook for Learning by Jen Lilienstein

In two words? Eye opening.

Where was this book 20 years ago when my babies were babies? I love that the author uses her own past experiences as examples for her informative book, because for moms and dads this makes it more believable. In detail Jen tells and shows us that children’s personalities are different. She makes it easy for us by listing the different personalities and letting the parents decide which one best represents their child.

Then, while skipping certain parts of the book and reading only those which pertain to your child’s character, Jen takes you through small sessions on how to try and maintain an atmosphere that lets your child be who they want to be. Of course a set of morals has to be in place, but because one child is different from another, there doesn’t need to be a carved-in-stone set of rules.

Next in line, the characteristics get broken down into organization, time management, and routine to name a few, which is great because a parent’s schedule can be horrendous. Jen goes on to break down each personality in such a way that can help the parents know what to expect and look for now and in the future. As if all this isn’t enough, the author adds many parent organization tips, problem/solution charts, and activities.

If you’re serious about parenting, and every parent should be, you should pick up this book. Not only do you get to figure out what personality type your child is, but you can figure out what type you and your spouse is. This will domino into you being able to work better with and understand your child.

Jen’s book is win win, and win some more as you learn how to give your child the chance to become a well-rounded and successful individual.

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Jen Lilienstein, founder of Kidzmet.com, an online resource for parents and educators.

I firmly believed before I delivered my daughter that I would be a great Mom. So many books had been written on the subject that I thought , like many type A moms, that all I needed to do was read up on the current research, watch all the episodes of SuperNanny and I’d get my M.M. (Master of Motherhood). The truth that the “one size fit all” approach was a myth quickly revealed itself to me via my new moms group. It was honestly startling enough to me that my standard baby shower present has been the book I Was a Really Great Mom Before I Had Kids ever since my eldest was about 4 months old.

When I got pregnant with my son, I thought that the second time through would probably be easier than the first time. Once my son came along, I was once again shocked at just how different he was than my daughter. After all, they shared a gene pool. I tried discipline strategies that worked well with my daughter and, much to my chagrin, they weren’t successful. The same thing went for bedtime routines, potty training, and even playdates. It wasn’t just that different techniques worked for different family dynamics. They weren’t even working under the same roof! After all of this “experiential education” it really shouldn’t have been as much of a surprise to me as the experience would be similar when it came to school and learning. While my husband, son and I all get drained after being around a large group of people, my daughter recharges her batteries with interaction. Out of sight is out of mind for my daughter while my son gets overwhelmed unless he starts a project with a clear workspace. My daughter likes to key into the big picture first while my son is all about the details. I prefer to focus on the human aspects of concepts before delving into other things while my husband prefers to start with the facts and keep emotion out of the equation. My daughter and I had the opposite reactions to Mommy & Me classes and teachers we attended together. Same parents. Same genes. Very different result.

Of course, because I did very well in school, I thought I had the traditional, school-based learning thing all figured out. Boy, was I wrong. I knew my daughter had keyed into different reading strategies than I did before she even started kindergarten and that the ways in which she naturally interpreted math concepts differed, too. Neither approach was wrong—we just came at the same challenges and problems from different angles.

Homework in the first grade started off as a nightmare for all of us. What should have taken 10 minutes was averaging an hour long battle of wills. Then I started layering in personality type concepts and the problems started to go away. Of course, I was also re-teaching a lot to her that she wasn’t getting the first time around in class. We’re not talking about a new teacher, either. The teacher my husband had for first grade was the same one my daughter had 30+ years later. But, as I mentioned earlier, it wasn’t just me that “thought different”—different learning strategies worked for my husband than for my daughter, too. When I started helping her learn the way that came naturally to her, our homework situation started to improve and so did her grades. When she went into second grade, she struggled during the school day and would ask me when we would work on homework together why her teacher couldn’t explain it this way during class. Of course, it’s because in a classroom of nearly 20 learners, teachers need to teach to the middle. It’s our responsibility as parents to make sure that we help our children learn to play to their strengths on the homefront so that they have a good set of tools in their toolboxes when they get back into school and, ultimately, into a career track.

This is why I wrote my book, A Parent’s Playbook for Learning. I wanted to make sure that other parents who were pulling their hair out when it came to schoolwork would have an easy reference guide with respect to how they could help their kids succeed better in school without spending a fortune on tutors. There aren’t just a few ideas for each learning personality type—there are a ton of suggestions that can make a world of difference for your kids. I wanted to help as many kids as possible get excited about learning—even if they didn’t fit the mold that works best in the traditional school system. Most of all, I wanted parents to take hold of their roles as the school’s and teacher’s partners in education—not just from a fundraising or party planning perspective, but from the perspective of helping develop a lifelong love of learning in their kids. And, as with all things parenting, you have to lead by example and show them not only how important learning is to your family, but how interesting and fun it can be, as well.

Jen Lilienstein is the Founder of Kidzmet.com and author of the award-winning book, A Parent’s Playbook for Learning, which can be purchased in paperback or ebook formats on Amazon.com, BN.com, iTunes, and in bookstores nationwide. 


A Parent’s Playbook for Learning is available at www.kidzmet.com

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