Outlier Parenting: Author Peg Streep Offers Advice on Toxic Parenting and Mastering the Art of Quitting

It’s so hard to be a great parent – are you strict, a helicopter, too laid back? Are you the mom from “I Tonya” (I sure hope not) or one of the moms in “This is Us?” Being a parent is incredibly difficult but today, we have a great guest offering advice on how to navigate all the pitfalls of parenting even if you’ve been raised by a toxic parent yourself.

On our latest edition of Outlier Parenting, we feature parenting expert and author Peg Streep. Streep is currently a regular contributor to PsychologyToday.com and PsychCentral.com. She writes about the mother-daughter relationship, goal-setting, disengagement, and other topics. Recently, she published Daughter Detox: Recovering From an Unloving Mother and Reclaiming Your Life which offers the daughters of unloving mothers vital information, guidance, and real strategies for healing from childhood experiences. Prior to Daughter Detox, she wrote Mastering The Art Of Quitting which unpacks the psychological meaning behind why it’s so hard to quit, even when you’ve slowly come to realize that your goals are doing more harm than good.

 

 

 

Growing up Too Fast in New Rochelle

Over the last 10 days, my local community has been rocked by a tragedy that claimed the life of a 16 year old girl and shattered the future of the teen who committed the crime. Sadly, both girls were students at the high school that my son, who is a sophomore, currently attends.

Within a week of the incident, another fight broke out and a teenage boy suffered lacerations to his hands and in retaliation, he stabbed another teen in his class. To say that parents whose kids attend the high school are reeling over the lack of supervision and the poor response to the events by the Board of Education is an understatement.

While I know the community, the administration, school board members and the police are going to work to put an end to the violence that seems to be happening on a daily basis at the school, what I’m more concerned about is why these incidents keep happening. What I have learned is that there is a large gang presence at New Rochelle High School and while most students like my son just avoid the violent fights that break out and the stairwells that reek from marijuana, for a very long time, the gangs have been able to do what they want, leave the school at any hour of the day and ignore security guards who attempted to curb their dangerous behavior.

For the past week and a half, I had to grapple with the fact that while I love that my son’s high school offers great academic programs, incredibly talented and committed teachers, dozens of after school activities, fantastic sports teams and a friend group comprised of bright, funny and hard working kids, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine.

I know that my children are incredibly lucky to have a strong support system comprised of their family and friends, but I cannot say the same for the teens who have become susceptible to gangs. Which leads me back to the first story. Sadly, I heard from several people in my community that the girl who was murdered was practically raising herself. She no longer lived with her parents and she had become a target of bullies because she looked different and wore “Goth” makeup. She was enrolled in academically challenging classes and students who knew her said she was a nice girl, but she was obviously troubled. Unfortunately, on a day she was supposed to be in school, she found herself in a situation where she was cornered by a gang, pepper sprayed them in order to ward them off, was chased by the group and then stabbed twice in the torso.  Tragically, she passed away the same day.

The perpetrator of the crime has a pretty sad backstory as well. It was discovered soon after the murder that she was living in a homeless shelter in Yonkers but attending school in New Rochelle because that was the last place her family lived before they had to leave their home. There’s no telling what this girl had to go through every day just to get to school. And did all of these problems in her life lead her to decide to join a violent gang? I guess we will eventually find out what happened but I do hope something can be done to help rehabilitate this girl. I’m sure she didn’t start her morning thinking she would be arrested for murder. And the poor girl who was killed didn’t start her day thinking she’d be cornered by a gang, but somehow it happened and things have got to change now.

It is my sincere hope the students at New Rochelle High School will eventually get the chance to attend a school that’s free from gang violence. I want students who may not be fortunate enough to have the support of their families to be able to seek immediate help from administrators, teachers, guidance counselors, social workers and mentors in the community who can provide them with tangible ways to break free from this dangerous cycle and live up to their true potential. I’m not naive to think we can cure gang violence with hugs, but I do know these kids need tough love, mentorship and stability in their lives so they can find their way out of a world that is dangerous and self destructive.

Change is scary but it can also be very positive. Here’s hoping that New Rochelle High School will finally lead the way in changing the dynamic among students living in our community and attending our public schools for the better. We want our kids to be safe, to feel secure when they’re in school and be empowered to make a difference in the lives of others. As the anger subsides, we must find solutions, make much needed changes and support all of our students no matter who they are or where they come from.

Introducing the Six Degrees Podcast Network on Blog Talk Radio

I’m super excited to announce that Role Mommy is going back to Blog Talk Radio. While I’ve been doing podcasts over the last year, I decided it was time to go back to the place that gave me my start as a podcaster – Blog Talk Radio. Lucky for me, they invited me to create my own network on the site and I of course decided to call it Six Degrees – because if I don’t know someone, I definitely know someone else who does. Hope you enjoy the content. I’ll be updating it weekly so tune into our shows, “The Giggle” and “Outlier Parenting” and if you’d like to be a guest, please send me an email at beyondpr@gmail.com.

The Fork in the Road

When I started out in my career, I always thought the sky was the limit. I was a perpetual dreamer and took a chance to become an entrepreneur at a pretty young age. But what happens when you look back 10 years later and have hit a fork in the road? Should I stay the course and navigate my own entrepreneurial journey or should I go back to a stable full time job?  Listen in and find out…

 

Outlier Parenting Series…Sherri and Isabella Rose Taylor

16 year old fashion and art phenom Isabella Rose Taylor is the product of two incredibly supportive parents. I met Isabella five years ago when she was a budding fashion designer and artist when her parents hired my PR agency to introduce this incredibly talented young girl to the media world.  From the moment I met Isabella, I knew she was so special and I was so impressed with how her parents were already managing her career – from gallery openings, to runway shows, to selling her clothes to a major department store, the sky was the limit for Isabella and it continues to be as her art continues to evolve as her entrepreneurialism thrives.

So how did the Taylor’s guide their Outlier child toward success?  Listen in to our latest interview with her mom Sherri Taylor and check out her interview below.

Below is Sherri’s Q&A:

Q. What talent did you notice in Isabella when she was really young?
A. We discovered Bella’s artistic ability at age three.

Q. How did you help cultivate that talent?
A. Both my husband and I cultivated her talent for art by encouraging her to pursue her passion, helping her find art supplies that she wanted to experiment with and just getting out of her way so to speak.

Q. Did your child ever tell you that they didn’t want to pursue that passion anymore? What did you do?
A. I think her passion for being creative has morphed into different things over the years. She enjoys art, fashion and product design as well as entrepreneurship. As a parent, I encouraged her in whatever her current endeavor may be because ultimately we want our children to be happy.

Q. What is Bella doing now to pursue what she loves and continue to get proficient at it?

A. I think if I have to place an age on proficiency in art I would say when she started selling her art through a national gallery as well as her fashion designs to large retailers, both at age 11.

Q. What has been your approach to raising your child?
A. I am probably a mix of cheerleader and an outlier. Isabella has not had a traditional education in order to accommodate her academically as well as allowing more time to pursue art and fashion.

Q. What do you admire most in your child?
A. I admire her humble nature.

Q. What would you have done differently in your own career now that you are a parent with kids on the verge of making their own decisions about their professional life?
A. That is a hard question to answer but I feel that taking more risks in what I was interested in doing. I would have also preferred a more unconventional educational upbringing.

To find out more about Isabella Rose Taylor, you can visit her website at www.isabellarosetaylor.com.

Instant Pot Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe

So far, my carrot ginger soup recipe has become an instant family favorite. So let’s cut to the chase. Here’s the simple recipe for this amazing creation:

Ingredients:

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 bag of small carrots

1/2 cup of chopped onions

1 tsp brown sugar

1 pinch of cinammon

2 cups of unsweetened coconut milk

2 cups of low sodium chicken broth

1 stick of thyme

1 chopped garlic clove

1 chopped 1/2 Ginger clove

Recipe:

Saute coconut oil, onions, garlic, ginger

Add carrots, coconut milk, chicken broth, thyme, sugar, cinnamon

Manual high pressure 10 minutes

Natural release, 15 minutes.

Pour contents into blender and press puree.

Pour soup back into Instant Pot and keep warm.

Instant Pot Split Pea Soup

Since I have been on an Instant Pot marathon, today my hubby texted me with a simple request:  I would like you to make me Split Pea soup before I come home from work tonight. Of course, feminist that I am, I should have told him to buy himself a cup of soup and call it a day, but the 1950’s Stepford Wife in me decided to head over to Balducci’s and pick up all the ingredients.

If you’re a split pea soup fan, here’s my take on the recipe – minus the ham since my husband is not a big ham fan – of course, if you like ham, throw it in and add caution to the wind:

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

1 chopped sweet onion

1 pound of split peas (or two cans of drained sweet peas)

2 large carrots or 5-6 mini carrots

Pinch of salt and pepper

1 stick of thyme or 1 bay leaf

6 cups of vegetable broth

1-2 cups of water

Directions:

Press saute button and add olive oil, onions, peas, carrots, thyme, vegetable broth and water.

Manual high pressure for 15 minutes

Natural release for an additional 15 minutes

Once you open the lid, add contents to a blender and puree

Pour contents back into the Instant Pot.

Voila!  Split pea soup.

My Outlier Parenting Story…Beth & Rebecca Drew

When I first started Role Mommy more than 12 years ago, my kids were little. At the time, my daughter was seven and my son was four and all I wanted to do was figure out how I was going to climb the corporate ladder and pursue my dreams while raising a family. During that time, I did figure out how to advance in my career all while staying active in my kids’ lives. As they got older, I started to discover what my kids loved and what they were really good at. And then I read Outliers.

If you haven’t read this fantastic guidebook by Malcolm Gladwell on some of the most iconic success stories in history – from the Beatles to Bill Gates, then make sure it’s on your January 2018 reading list. The key takeaway that I got from Outliers was the 10,000 hours expert theory. According to Gladwell, it takes at least 10,000 hours for someone to be an expert in anything. So just imagine – if your child decided at age 5 that they wanted to be a prima ballerina and they really loved taking all those dance lessons, you could technically guide them toward their dream. I’m not saying to torture your child – you need to listen to them when they’re getting burnt out and don’t want to keep going but if you have a kid that lives and breathes their art, their magic, their music or even their Legos, you have the power to unlock their dreams.

With Outlier Parenting, we will feature parents who have listened to their kids and guided them toward realizing their dreams. I’m going to start first with my daughter Becca Drew.

While I never intended to raise an artist, little did I know that that her middle name would determine her fate.

When she was in elementary school, her art teacher told us how impressed he was with her work and thought she could really do something special with her talents. While we were proud of her at the time, she didn’t have any interest in taking art classes outside of school, so we didn’t push her.

When she enrolled in middle school, Becca started to show an interest in fashion design and thankfully, one of my commuting buddies shared an amazing tip that helped put the 10,000 hours theory in motion. It turns out that FIT offers classes for middle and high schoolers where they can attend class on the weekends and learn everything from fashion design to draping, to sewing and sneaker design, photography and more. We enrolled our daughter in her first FIT class in 8th grade and after she was admitted into a Visual Arts program at her high school in New Rochelle, she continued taking the fashion classes through her Junior year.

Along the way, Becca met a wedding dress designer named Henry Roth and when she shared that she wanted to be a wedding dress designer (she actually shared one of her drawings with him), he instantly took a liking to her and invited her to a trunk show he and his sister were hosting at Kleinfelds. Becca was over the moon and helped the pair sell four dresses that day. In fact, she now has decided that one day she’d love to do an internship at Kleinfelds but back to the story.

Throughout high school, Becca took several challenging art classes including an AP sculpture class where she designed a dress made entirely out of condoms. Her concentration for her pieces was on feminism in all aspects of a woman’s life and the dress was a piece focusing on date rape culture – no matter what you wear, no still means no.

Fast forward the following year where we were touring college campuses and Becca had decided that she wanted to attend a University with an amazing art program and the moment we toured the Tyler School of Art at Temple University, she was sold. A few months later, Becca presented her portfolio to the director of admissions and the rest was history. She made it into the school and is now thriving as a first year freshman. Next year, she’ll be starting a joint degree where she’ll be pursuing her BFA with a degree in entrepreneurship from the Fox School of Business. This program just kicked off at the University and we’re thrilled that Becca is going to be a part of it.

Meanwhile, when Becca and her friends started to commit to their schools, she decided to start designing commitment day sneakers which featured the logo and mascots of the schools her friends were attending. When she shared her Temple University shoes with the director of admissions, she instantly fell in love with them and connected her to the head of the tour guide program who wanted her to design sneakers for the Temple Owl tour guides. We knew we had to get a license to design several pairs of sneakers, so I helped her research how to do it and after speaking with a licensing agent and an attorney, I managed to connect with the licensing company for Temple and after several months, they recently granted her a crafters license where she will be designing up to 20 pairs of shoes this year for incoming freshman, alumni or current students. The name of Becca’s Instagram is simple:  @BeccaDrewIt.

Becca meets with the business development director at the University when she returns from break. I’m super proud of what she’s accomplished so far and cannot wait to see what the future holds as she continues to pursue her 10,000 hours.

 

 

Introducing…Outlier Parenting!

Introducing a new offering at Role Mommy – Outlier Parenting. If you are interested in hearing more about how to raise successful kids with my 10,000 hours approach to parenting, then join me as we share what parents are doing to help guide their kids towards a successful future where they truly get to do what they love!