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Woo Hoo, we’re back!
These last couple weeks have been challenging for everyone; new norms, social rules to stay safe and a stronger sense of community (not seen often enough!). ? ?
91.3FM CJTR is broadcasting episodes as hosts are able to provide them and we’ve been able to resume video broadcasts as well.
So…., drum roll please!
Today’s “welcome back” episode is double the delight with two back to back episodes.
In the first half of today’s episode, Jess Tiefenbach, from Stay n Play Parenting joins me to talk about her experience working with families, teaching baby sign language and supporting parents throughout their parenting journey.
Stay tuned because here we go!
Missed an episode?
Catch up here: https://abovethefold.live/secret-life-of-entrepreneurs/
Barb McGrath 0:01
Today’s guest is especially timely. Jess is going to tell us a little bit about some of the ideas she has to help kids keep busy to help parents enjoy parenting. It’s tough when you’re parenting kids 24 seven, or maybe they’re in school, and they’re still coming home when they’re looking for things to do. So our guest today is going to talk about her business called Stay ‘n’ Play Parenting. And tell us a little bit about how she got into it. First off, first off, Jess, welcome to the show. We have Jessica Tiefenbach from Stay ‘n’ Play Parenting. Welcome. Thank you. It’s a pleasure to have you here today. Tell me a little bit about Stay ‘n’ Play Parenting wasn’t a business I had heard about until you reached out to me.
Jessica Tiefenbach 0:53
So Stay ‘n’ Play Parenting is a parent education company that helps parents find joy in their parenting journey. We offer a variety of classes including positive discipline, parenting classes, one on one parent coaching, party time webinars, baby sign language classes, activities, classes, such as Wrigley tots, which is a fun hands on hands on weekly class for that, usually about that 10 month and up kind of age where they’re just starting to explore their world get into it, and so on and so forth.
Barb McGrath 1:25
And I think if I recall correctly, from some of our conversations, we talked an email a bit, you actually got into baby signing because one of your kids needed the signing. Is that right?
Jessica Tiefenbach 1:36
Yes. So our eldest, she was diagnosed with a hearing loss when she was 16 months, okay, and we started signing with her right away so that we could give her access to communication. My personal background isn’t really childhood education. So I knew that it was important for her to have an language output input so that we could understand what was going on. And it really helped us because she had a lot of difficulties programming, her hearing aids, and so getting them to the level that she needed. So a different method of communication. And now it’s seven, she’ll switch between the two. We have, we have two other children. Okay. And our came after her and both of them sign. So our middle started signing when he was about nine months. And he’s now five. And it’s really fun to watch him switch between the two languages, too. So he will use signs sometimes and he will use spoken language depending on the situation. Right? And, and if he’s talking to his big sister, like, if she doesn’t have her hearing aids on for the day, he’ll be trying to talk to her and I have to remind to No, no, like she doesn’t ever hearing aids in you have to sign so then he’ll make that switch, and he will sign with him.
Yeah, that’s pretty cool bush.
Barb McGrath 2:52
So we use baby sign language as well, for completely different reasons. Our eldest is adopted. And so when she was adopted, she came from Africa. And she had some basic language skills, because she was almost two, but of course, had no English whatsoever. And so for the first Well, for the first number of months, we were using baby sign language to help her then develop some English language skills. And our youngest was only 10 weeks old, when this baby sign language stuff started happening. And so we started using it across the board, we used it for our daughter to help her build language skills. And we got in the habit then of using it for Peter, who was still an infant at the time, it was everything from baby milk to more. And what we discovered was by that 910 month mark, his language skills actually started as well, as I was watching friends who had kids the same age. And you know, they were having these these meltdowns because they were frustrated and they couldn’t communicate. And only once in the entire time when Peter was little, did he ever have a meltdown? And it wasn’t because he couldn’t communicate it was because he was communicating but we weren’t agreed.
But that the ability to communicate with your child at such a young age was phenomenal. absolutely phenomenal. And we have told that story to so many people who, you know, they’re having kids and that’s the first thing we say is use baby sign language like, yes, love it to this day. So my kids are 11 and 13. And they’re doing something across the room that we don’t want them doing. We’re like not and, and it’s this secret code language that the grandparents don’t get, but you know, they they stop and they pay attention. Anyway, sorry, this is this is your show not by So tell me a little bit more about your classes. Like what what kind of happens in a class.
Jessica Tiefenbach 5:10
So in the baby sign language classes, they are a seven week program. And each class is about 45 minutes. Okay, give or take, it depends, like if we have a bunch of babies that are just having an off day, then we might end a couple minutes early, more trays, stretch it because someone’s just get really flustered. If they have an upset baby, and they’re in a public space, I like to assure them that it doesn’t matter to me, I have three kids like, still get kind of flustered. So during that seven week time, we’ll learn signs. So there’s, there’s currently two different classes, there’s baby Signing Time, purple and baby Signing Time blue, and they learn different signs within each curriculum. And so there’s a variety of classes, or a variety of signs that are taught within each one, both of them cover food, because that’s what parents are most interested in is food as well as bedtime. Mm hmm. Those are the only two that overlap between the two classes. And then between them, we learn about science for outside things that go animals feelings within about family members, as well as just opposites and some of those first kind of words that they might need to be able to communicate with their little one. Yeah. And we we learned through like hands on play. So we actually have materials that we play with our babies learn to play with our babies. Because I remember when I first was born, that like, I didn’t really know what to do with her. Because you’re kind of like Tito’s, right, like they don’t really do much. You know, there’s only two. And so in the class, we learned how to play with them, and how to engage with them and help the development in that way. As well as actually learning the signs so that we can communicate. Okay,
Barb McGrath 6:59
That’s awesome. One of the things that I remember from our early conversations when we planned to meet at the radio station was one of the reasons or one of the impetus is for you starting your business was you were seeing parents not enjoying the parenting journey. And like that really made me sad, because parenting should be fun. Having a family should be fun. Absolutely. There are times, but but tell me about, you know, tell me about what you were thinking when you made that decision.
Jessica Tiefenbach 7:36
So So prior to making the switch to parent education, I was doing preschool I had a preschool business. And that’s where I was seeing a lot of parents would come in, and they were frustrated about things. And they didn’t know how to, to find that joy within parenting. Because I see parenting in the same way as you do. But it’s supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to be something that we enjoy, take pride in and stuff like that. But that doesn’t mean that there’s not going to be those low moments. And what I feel I feel that parents have this expectation that parenting is always supposed to be up here. And it falls short of that bar. That’s when they start to get really upset. And they start to get frustrated. And they don’t find that joy anymore. Yeah, but parenting is a roller coaster, as you know, right? We have days where it’s like, this is the best, right? This is the greatest thing. And then you have days where like this was a stupid idea.
Barb McGrath 8:33
Right? So what role do you think that society plays in that? Do you think that, you know, every TV show you see has a perfect family and you know, it always has the happy ending. And the pictures that we see on social media are all the fun things that parents are doing. And you know, you don’t see the preteen parent saying, you know, my kid has negotiated 497 different things today. And if you negotiate one more thing, I’m going to screen right you don’t see that on social media. And I have two negotiators. So they negotiate everything from the word Good morning to the word Good night. And we’ve learned to cope with that. Um, but what role do you think then that some of these social pressures are playing in the expectation that it has to be up here?
Jessica Tiefenbach 9:28
Oh, I think there’s a huge role in those expectations based on social media based on what we see in like, the media itself within TV shows and stuff like that, especially in social media, because people don’t want to feel vulnerable. Right? They don’t want people to know that they’re feeling vulnerable within a situation that they’re encountering. And so they’re always showing, always showing those high, those high moments. Which can kind of have a detrimental effect on somebody who’s probably going through little moments at the time. Yeah, they see that. Okay, my friend here is having an awesome time. And they’re doing great. And this parenting gig. And you know, I’m over here and I’m struggling, and I don’t know what to do.
Barb McGrath 10:11
Yes, yes, exactly. You know, um, the kids are at school right now. And I see lots of parents posting, oh, here’s the fun activity we did. Here’s the learning activity we did. And my business is still operating. So you know, I’m not just hanging out with the kids playing games, doing activities. I’m sending them, you know, out to do fun activities. And I do I feel a little bit guilty. It’s like, Oh, I should be enriching this time with them when I should be spending it. It’s like, you know what, at the end of the day, I do sit down with them in the evenings and we’ll hang out, we’ll watch TV, we’ll go for walks, we’ll do that kind of stuff. Until that my bar right now, what I like to be able to be up here. Sure. But then what do I do? You know, from a business standpoint, what do I do from a client standpoint, you have to balance it. And you know, at the end of the day, I don’t think my kids are gonna grow up and go, there was that time we were off school and moms still work, right? They’re not gonna go back and do that. They’re gonna be like, yeah, no school, and that was awesome. That’s what they’re gonna remember. Right? So it is what it is. But I agree with you, I think there’s a huge social pressure on everyone, um, to, to be up here and to have these beautiful family photos and, you know, gourmet meals on the table, and mom is perfectly fit. And dad is handsome. And like, that’s TV, folks. Let’s come and live in the real world now. Right? Yes. So. So you have three kids, and you’re balancing a business. So how do you find that balance? Oh, and actually,
Jessica Tiefenbach 11:55
Sometimes, honestly, sometimes my husband does get brushed to the side more often than the kids do. But we have an open communication. We try to plan, you know, date nights and trying to do things together. But we don’t have kids, or I’m in one of the positive discipline parenting classes. We talk about kind of that balance, right? finding that balance between the roles that we have, as mums and dads have, as contributing members of society are volunteer rules, whatever the case may be that you have on your plate, by by setting apart what’s called special time to spend with our kids. Yeah. So positive discipline understands that parents can’t be there all the time. We can’t keep them entertained, they have to learn to entertain themselves sometimes. But they still need that connection and that love and that, that social interaction that come with being
Barb McGrath 12:53
In a family. Absolutely. So.
Jessica Tiefenbach 12:56
So in our home, we set a special time. So each kiddo spent a couple of minutes throughout the day with them maybe multiple times throughout the day, so that way, they just have that connection that they need. If I have absolutely nothing to do that day, well, then yeah, that’s the day that we’re going to do something super fun. Like we’ll bake. The other day, we made a marble track and cardboard, and I have no clue that like all this marble tracks, but the legit the thought that was the best thing.
But there it is that it’s like, hey, mommy has to do this.
And mommy has to get this brick down to the I need you to go play. I’ll be really excited to spend some time with you. Once I’ve done this.
Yes. So once they understand that then that can really help ease off some of that guilt, as well as in our home week plan. Not every Friday, but usually every other Friday. Okay, that’s your family movie. Ah, nice. So we bring down you know, blankets and pillows, and we put them all up in the family room. And we have special snacks and we pick a movie that we’ve never seen before. Right? So that’s kind of their excitement. Oh, like, it’s Friday. It’s family movie night. Yes. And then the other thing we do is we have, we have family home evening in our home, which happens on Mondays every week. So it’s an opportunity for us just to spend time together as a family. It doesn’t take very long. Usually it’s about half an hour play game, draw some pictures, maybe make cookies or whatever. Yeah, just something, something that’s a family thing. So that way, they don’t feel like their needs are being neglected throughout the week with being busy of doing housework and business work and you know, all the big long list that we have.
Barb McGrath 14:47
Well, and we all do. We all have these great big long to do lists. And it’s amazing how you know when things change, how many of those things can be brushed to the side and it’s like okay, I’m gonna hang on from home, you’re going to go school at home. Right? It’s amazing how quickly you can, can change that when you don’t have a choice. And I think it really forces us to focus on what’s important. Because you’re right at the end of the day, as long as you’ve got a roof over your head, food on your table, clothes on your back, those are the important thing. So hang with family and, you know, make make good use of that time. I really like the idea that you guys have, you know, designated Monday nights every other Friday night. I know lots of families do a special supper on Friday nights. Or they’ll do family game night on Friday nights. So there’s that dedicated, committed time. And I find with my kids, because they are a little bit older, and typically, you know, busy with hockey and swimming and all the activities there’s, there’s no one night that we can count on anymore. Instead, we’ve gone to a place where you know, Friday nights, we do tend to have some sort of special supper, simply because everybody does have to eat. But you know, sometimes it’s not all four of us. Sometimes it’s only three or two or whomever. And, you know, what I’ve really tried to do with my kids is they want help now. And lots of times I’m not available now. And so it’s when I’m done at this time, and my son is really good Mum, what time your meetings done today, when am I going to be able to get help? Okay, my meetings go till three. Okay, I won’t come back till three and he will leave me alone. But at 301 he’s going to be at the door. So I better be ready to write code super quick. Okay, just believe it or not, we are out of time already. These are the shortest, fastest episodes. And so just quickly, can I get you to share all of your business contact information, your website, your social channels? How would people find you register for a class, that kind of thing.
Jessica Tiefenbach 17:05
So all the registrations are done online on our website, which is www dot state, then the letter N, play parenting.com. It’s all done online. So it can be done at anybody’s convenience, middle of the night. Doesn’t matter, you can always send it in that way, as well as we are on Facebook.
So stay and play parent teen on Facebook, we like to share just some kind of pick me ups in there. And some words of advice and words of wisdom. Kind of all those things need to get through the day because some days are harder than others. Right? Absolutely. And that’s that’s just the way that parenting is. So we like to try and help you get through those hard times in that date. by posting things online so that way you can just kind of be that little extra push that they might need to get through that dilemma.
Barb McGrath 17:54
Okay, that sounds fantastic. I really appreciate it. And I’d like to thank everyone for tuning in today with just tiefenbach from Stay ‘n’ Play Parenting here in Regina. I will be back with another guest very shortly. But if you’d like to be a guest on the show, you can email me at barb@google girl.ca or reach out on Facebook and Instagram at abovethefold.ca just a reminder, you can even post a question in advance of our live show. I’m your host Barb McGrath, local business owner and Google girl. Remember you worked hard for your success. Don’t keep it a secret. Bye for now. Just don’t hang up.