May 11, 2023 / Mom &… Podcast Episode 119 / Guest: Cynthia Muchnick

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Show Summary:

Cynthia Muchnick started writing with the story of her marriage proposal, and she hasn’t stopped since. Her topics have evolved along with her life and career, leading to her most recent book, The Parent Compass: Navigating Your Teen’s Wellness & Academic Journey in Today’s Competitive World. We talked with Cynthia about how parents can best help our kids – and ourselves – negotiate the complex process of deciding how to choose the next best step using The Parent Compass.

Topics From This Episode:

  • Parenting teens
  • College search
  • College application process
  • Parenting behavior
  • Parent-child relationships
  • Parent-child communication
  • Determining the right path after high school
  • Post-high school choices
  • Self-care for parents
  • Connection
  • Listening
  • Continuing education for parents
  • Learning new skills

Look, Listen, Learn


  • Looking at maps of the midwest for college visits
  • A Slight Change of Plans with Maya Shankar, episode about the science of friendship
  • Learning that she has a lot to learn about parenting through the college application process



More About Cynthia Muchnick:

Cynthia Muchnick, a mom and… expert in the college admission process. She got her start in admission offices before opening a private study skills and college counseling business in Southern California, which she ran for over fifteen years. As an Assistant Director of Admission for the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago, she screened and reviewed over three thousand applications, interviewed prospective students, and served on the admission committee to evaluate borderline applicants and appeals cases. Then, as an educational consultant, she helped hundreds of high school students navigate their academic journeys, including course selection, study skills, time management, and college applications. 

Since closing her private educational practice in 2011, Cynthia has focused on public speaking to student, parent, school and business groups on a variety of education-related topics. Additionally. Cynthia is a prolific writer, and the parent of four children.

Cynthia Muchnick The Parent Compass

Connect with Cynthia Muchnick:

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Musical Notes

Our delightfully happy intro and outro theme music, “We Will Get Through This” is performed by Young Presidents, and used under license from Shutterstock.

Transcript is auto-generated by a robot. Apologies in advance for misspellings or errors.

[00:00:00] audioMissyStevens21238770779: Welcome to the mom and podcast.

I’m Missy Stevens mom and writer, foster child Advocate, and this week college visit travel coordinator. And I really love it when my activities align perfectly with our podcast topic.

[00:00:22] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: It really does. I mean, my past year is aligned perfectly with this podcast topic, so, and I’m Susanne Kearns and mom and writer, LGBTQ and sex ed advocate. And this week I am the family dog Walker. Chris is on a boys weekend. And so now, I mean, doubled the dogs. I’m gonna, I’m gonna be really fit by the end of this weekend.

So that’s it. Yes.

[00:00:50] audioMissyStevens21238770779: Well, most of it should be good weather, except for apparently tonight. Uh, we’re, as we’re recording this, we’re in Austin and it looks like there could be horrible weather

[00:00:57] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Tornado warning, it’s the the daily tornado

[00:01:00] audioMissyStevens21238770779: been a week. It’s been a week. Well, our guest today is Cindy Muk, A mom and in the college admission process. She got her start in admission offices before opening a private study skills in college counseling business in Southern California. As an assistant Director of admission for the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago, she screened and reviewed over 3000 applications, interviewed prospective students, and served on the admission committee to evaluate borderline applicants and appeals cases.

Then as an educational consultant, she helped hundreds of high school students navigate their academic journeys, including core selection, study skills, time management, and college applications. Since she closed her private practice in. 2011. Cindy has focused on public speaking to student, parent school and business groups on a variety of education related topic.

She’s also a prolific writer, and today we are primarily focusing on her 10th book, the Parent Compass, which you can see I have bookmarked, I have been reading.

[00:01:57] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Lots of little folded corners.

[00:01:59] audioMissyStevens21238770779: Yes. And in addition to writing and speaking, Cindy is also raising four kids that range in age, from college grad to middle school. Welcome.

[00:02:07] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: Thank you. It’s so good to be here. I feel the women love going

[00:02:11] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Yes, yes. The

[00:02:13] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: love.

[00:02:14] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: the Moms of Seniors Love, which we’re gonna definitely dive into. But, uh, we learned a little bit about you from your bio, but can you give us a little Cindy 1 0 1 for where your career started and any pivots along the way?

[00:02:27] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: Absolutely. You know, it actually all began with a marriage proposal. my husband proposing to me in a really unique way that turned into my first book, will You Marry Me, the World’s Most Romantic Proposals back in 1996, a long time ago, and I did not realize that, um, You know, that proposal would spark a career in writing.

But, over the course of my career, I’ve written, started with books on weddings and marriage proposals and honeymoons, and then turned into the college counseling side, which was really more my, you know, kind of love and background, professionally. And so working with teens, uh, over the course of my career is, Absolutely been my most favorite thing.

In fact, I couldn’t wait for my kids to be teenagers, which people sort of scratch their head and say, what about, you know, the toddler and the babies? And I wasn’t as good at that. I was ready for these teenage years and they are hard and they are, gray hair producing. But, um, there is something about this life stage that just gets me, I just love the evolution that you.

See as it’s changing and happening as these young people are becoming young adults and really finding their voices and, uh, I think they get a bad rap, quite frankly. I think they’re

[00:03:39] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: so too. They are so cool.

[00:03:41] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: amazing young people. So that has really been my, my love. And whenever I have an opportunity to connect with teens and, and their parents, feel all the good feels.

So my, own kids. Um, yeah, actually probably that bio was a little bit dated cuz my, my youngest is now a sophomore in high school. So I have a sophomore in high school and I have a, yeah, a college graduate, out in the real world. So I’m still in the end throes of things. I also have a high school senior, so somebody going off to college this fall.

And, I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve, I enjoyed the parenting side, but I’ve also enjoyed the work of, connecting with these kids from all different communities and backgrounds, helping them on this journey and trying to kind of demystify and make the college admission process a little more bearable and a little less scary and overwhelming.

[00:04:25] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Why weren’t we doing this interview a year

[00:04:27] audioMissyStevens21238770779: I know.

[00:04:28] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: I’m so


[00:04:29] audioMissyStevens21238770779: timing for me.

[00:04:30] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Yeah, good for you.

[00:04:32] audioMissyStevens21238770779: ball for you, but. before we recorded, we emailed back and forth and I said that we were gonna try not to make it a therapy session, but we might have to do that. We, Susanne just went through it.

They’ve had an acceptance, they’ve made a decision, they’re on the road. And I’m on the other end of that, starting figuring out where he’s applying and doing visits and all of that. And it’s really hard. So I loved, it’s a journey and, um, I really love the chapter on behaving. I have it bookmarked now. I went straight to it.

That’s the first chapter I read in the book. And then I went back because it turns out I don’t have the poker face I thought I had. And so we would love it if you could share some tips, like how do you parent through this time? What should we be trying to do?

[00:05:20] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: Yeah. So let me take a, a short step back to tell you that this book, the Parent Compass was born, uh, my co-author Jen Curtis, and I wrote this book together. it really started as a result of the college admission scandal, in 2019 when parents, um, were just behaving horribly badly, and our news headlines were flooded with, um, you know, parents cheating the system and kids that, you know, had falsified test scores and falsified.

Resumes and the whole thing was wild, right? and hard to believe. And so the two of us talked about, you know, following those headlines, but also what things we were seeing in our own offices that might have been the result of parents being just a little too consumed and a little too involved in this process.

And so we decided really originally to write an etiquette book to teach parents behavior like how to behave in between and teen years as a parent. And then what evolved was this book that really helps parents navigate the tween and teen years focusing on two things, the mental health of their teens and the parent-child relationship so that it remains intact when they leave home.

And, you know, those are two pretty big, goals to try to measure and try to kind of teach. So we consulted teachers heads of school. Um, Thought leaders, the data, other experts who’ve written books on, topics relating to teens and we. Even interviewed teens themselves, and we collected and used stories from our own practices of kids we’d worked with, who we felt the parenting was really working well in conjunction with the teen and in other ways where the parents were really overstepping.

So the parent encompasses a book that requires parents to be brave and be willing to do what is really counterintuitive, which is instead of. Micromanaging and being overly involved in hovering to actually pull back. Um, which is very, very hard to do because our inclination is to pour support and involvement and that feels like we’re providing love to our kids.

So it feels very natural. Cause those are the things we’ve done up until between years. We’ve driven them, we’ve fed them, we’ve helped them navigate all these things. But it’s their turn now. And so this book is like at this kind of inflection point of how do you have to sort of change your behavior as a parent in the best interest of your child and in the best interest of your relationship with them.

And so, um, that’s where the book was born. But really jumping straight to the college admission process itself. While it might feel like a process that we need to kind of ride them on, it really needs to be a process that they take the lead on because ultimately this is their. For your journey if they’re choosing college.

That is cuz there’s a whole chapter on other routes other than college, which we could talk about later if we have time. So the point is, kids need to feel a sense of ownership and it can be overwhelming. There’s over 4,000 colleges in the United States, so how do you even whittle them down? And the Internet’s a great place to kind of take virtual tours and start to familiarize yourself, but.

Really the best thing a parent can do if you have an opportunity and even in your hometown, is to set foot on a college campus with your child. Really starting in middle school or high school, just so not even during the college admission process. Just so they see what it is they’re sort of working towards and what they respond to.

Do they like an urban environment? Do they like a quiet, smaller space? Do they like, you know, a school with rah rah sports teams or a school that doesn’t have a Greek system? So it’s finding those kinds of things and, and starting that journey together. That would be one main thing.

[00:08:41] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Okay. So I, I love that idea. I’m a hundred percent bought into it. But then I also encountered this issue like, There’s a lot of stuff that during that time period when kids are supposed to be working on these essays, working on these applications, they’re also realizing, Ooh, I don’t have very much on my little college resume or whatever.

So now I need to go get a job. I need to be doing all these things that I can write about. Then on this application, if we kind of were in a weird situation cuz we’re coming post. Covid like the years when kids would’ve been filling out these resumes that are now the seniors and going off to college.

They were locked up in home. Like so they, so I think there was a lot of stuff that had to happen that end of junior, beginning of senior year, and. was getting really nervous cuz she was doing a lot of amazing things, and especially as an art student, she had to also do then 18 pieces of complete art for her portfolio.

So there was just a lot of stuff. coming over. And so it was just like, how do we choose, is the essay getting the time or is the test that you have to take tomorrow getting the time? And it’s so how then, besides having a time machine that can take you back and do better time management so that you’re not in that 11th hour scenario, like how do you help work through.

The temptation is kind of like the fifth grade science project at midnight that you’re gluing things together for your kid because it’s too late at that point to, you know, you can kind of let ’em fail, but then that means they’re not going to college.

[00:10:20] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: No, that’s, that’s a good question. There definitely is planning an organization and time management involved in the journey, and the kids do see this coming, right? I mean, they feel it, they feel all the pressure and what’s going on long before we even open our mouths. They feel it in their environment at school.

They hear about it from their peers. They see it on tv, whatever, wherever they, you know, feel it. It’s there. So yes, there is some advanced planning, but remembering, you know, all the scientists tell us that the, you know, male brain is not fully evolved until it’s 25, I guess. And, while, you know, girls may mature faster, some of our kids are just by definition more organized and more on top of things, and others are a little more lackadaisical or procrastinators.

And some of it is actually knowing who your kid is. So there are ways that you can support, it doesn’t mean totally disengaged from the journey. Without, uh, managing the process. So there’s certainly open-ended questions. You can be asking like little status check-ins, but their school does have a counselor there who is kind of in charge of making sure that the details are happening and starting those out.

College essays early, meaning the, the day, junior year ends. That summer should be the time that the essays are being written. They can all be finished even before school starts, except the ones that come out. There’s some supplements that might come out late, like later in August or a little in September.

So the personal statement can be done in the summer. The why this school questions can be done early. An activity paragraph can be done early. There’s a lot of that that can, that writing. It’s almost like a writing class over the summer that they can be taking in addition to. Whatever other activities.

When we talk about running out of time at the 11th hour, that’s also what summers are kind of for. Right? So, I was just talking with in a different interview about the idea that in the summer this is the time to do the things you don’t have time to do during the school year. So if your child has never had a job, or if your child hasn’t had time to volunteer, or if they need an extra class to kind of bolster things or they have an interest in something else, this is the time to also pursue it.

So summers aren’t just relaying around at the beach and completely unplugging, although that’s important. But if you’re going to the beach and you like the beach, maybe work as a lifeguard or maybe organize a beach cleanup so that you’re at the beach doing something you love. But it’s also kind of fulfilling another sort of checkbox, an activity that might.

be part of the process as well. so I mean, I really think what kids shouldn’t be doing is making themselves miserable to kind of quote, look good for colleges, right? You hear all the time, I’m only doing this because my mom made me, or because it’s supposed to look good. It’s so inauthentic.

And it doesn’t feel good to be doing the things you don’t wanna be doing. So when I ask a student about the clubs they’re involved in and they can’t even give me a sentence about them or they say how boring it is, I say, what are you doing there? find something else to spend your time is quantifiable.

You only have so much of it, so you should be enjoying the things that you’re doing in that time. So there is some planning ahead, but I think for parents it really is just planting some seeds and sprinkling them around like, Hey, do you wanna do a college trip this fall? Where, where might you wanna visit?

Or should we get in the car and go to a couple local schools and take some tours? Why don’t you hop online and see what time the tours are offered? You know, just those kinds of things so that it’s not you planning the whole schedule.

[00:13:33] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Yep.

[00:13:34] audioMissyStevens21238770779: Right,

[00:13:34] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Okay. Learn from my mistakes. Missy.

[00:13:37] audioMissyStevens21238770779: Okay.

[00:13:38] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: No, I think, yeah, touring. Earlier, we’d started spring break of junior year. some of that was covid related. Some of it was me being like, oh wait, you’re becoming a senior. Uh, but using that summer, stamp of approval on that advice so much. So, yeah.

[00:13:56] audioMissyStevens21238770779: Yeah. We have a plan to

[00:13:59] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: I mean that, that would be some, there’s a, you know, the whole chapter kind of goes into more details without spoilers, you know, but really, if you’re worried about what your role is in this college process, it’s pretty easily defined. But it also is knowing your kid because. Some kids do need a little more fire under their belly, or you have to employ an older sibling or their school counselor to say, do you know if they’ve gotten this done?

So it kind of like comes back to them from someone else. Sometimes you hire a private counselor to kind of help, keep things moving, but none of that’s required. Right. this is a doable process. Certainly if you’re not applying to more than, you know, eight to 10 schools. It’s very doable.

It’s o it feels overwhelming because there’s a lot of pieces to it, but, The most important piece, is the fact that they just get it, get it done. But also, I mean, there’s, the writing, there’s the activities, there’s the test taking, but the most important piece is really who are they in school in the day?

What kind of student are they and, and where do they sort of fall in the whole scheme of being a student? So I think that really, that transcript really tells the most to the college admissions office about who they are. And the essays just give a little bit of voice to their personality. I mean, it’s impossible to.

You can’t tell your life story in, you know, 500 words. You can give a little glimpse of who you are and then they can look at, the courses you’ve taken, the kinds of courses you’ve taken. They look at you within the context of your school. you know, you’re not compared to people at, schools very different from yours.

You’re com you know, compared to students at comparable schools, that sort of thing. And it is a imperfect process. I mean, the word that the colleges use is holistic. To make it sort of feel like they look at lots of different things and they’re trying to build a class, which is very true, but it’s scary to be on the other side.

You don’t know how many kids are applying from your school each year, how many from your zip code, how many tuba players they want, how many artists they want, whatever it might be. And I think your kids just need to know in the end that you totally support them. You are completely on their team. You are so excited for wherever it is they think they wanna go, and that you see them and embrace them and are.

Super happy because these feelings and this fear of like rejection, you know, colleges don’t even use the word rejected in their vocabulary. It’s just they were denied admission. You’re not gonna get in everywhere. So let’s not worry about those. Let’s focus on what you do have, and let’s be excited about one of these.

[00:16:13] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Yes.

[00:16:14] audioMissyStevens21238770779: So I’m gonna, Pivot for a minute and talk about moms, and it’s hard to keep, like it’s hard to keep me out of the process. Like I’m just going to speak personally, like my thoughts, my opinions, this whole thing is not for the faint of heart. So how do we nurture ourselves? Like do you have advice for how do we really take care of keeping our minds in the right place so that we’re not so wrapped up in what’s

[00:16:41] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean, you know, I hate to be cliche and say the word self-care, but we do need to kind of breathe and, try to remove ourselves to some degree from the process. Cuz let’s remember like a generation ago, we had a process. And it was albeit different. Albeit different. You know, we typed things on applications and we didn’t send off quite so many, and it was on paper and wasn’t virtual and whatever it is, but they’re still asking the same questions.

They’re still asking you to write us some essays. You know, it’s, it’s still there. But I do think it’s finding, um, some like-minded parents around you, that. oftentimes it helps if they’re at other schools actually as well, so that you’re not caught up in this like competitive parent frenzy that can sort of bubble up at the cocktail parties or at the back to school nights and, and make you feel like, oh my God, what did I miss and what did I do wrong?

Finding a parent usually ahead of you in the process. So Missy, you’ve got Susanne to learn from and, you know, and, and me or other people who’ve been through it before that can kind of, be like-minded and I think really, trimming the toxicity from your own life of, of the frenzy.

Because the reality is your kid will go somewhere and it’s going to all work out in the end to some degree, and, and it might not be their first choice or even their fifth choice, but I always say you make a college list looking at the very last choice on your list and saying, would I be okay going there?

Would I be okay? And if the answer is no, then you gotta find some more. That would be kind of your very last choice. And would that be okay? And sometimes the very last choice yields, let’s take a gap year. Let’s try something different for a year. Because I, I don’t want that last choice anymore. I wanna try this.

I wanna give myself a different opportunity, or I wanna pivot and, and, and make a different decision. The other thing is, that in the book, We have, right away in the very first chapter, which is ironic because we wrote the whole book and then we realized something important was missing, which is exactly the question you asked Missy, is how do you take your baggage and not project it onto your kit?

And so what we did was we created a questionnaire, we tested it on lots and lots of people and got a lot of feedback on it. And we asked about 20 questions of parents of. What was your educational background? How did your parents parent you regarding education? You know, what were your study skills like?

how do you view college and, and the need to go to college or not? And, and looking at your own upbringing and your own background. We talk about looking backward in order to look forward. It’s kind of the physician heal by self thing. Like you can’t parent well unless you kind of have come to terms with your own stuff.

And, if we just. Are vicariously, you know, making our kids like a trophy as opposed to just, they’re a human being going through their journey and let’s let them have their turn. that’s kind of the, the, the challenge. And so we created one page in the book for the teens to join in. And in this questionnaire, the teens will also answer their questions of.

What, you know, do you wish your parent knew about how things are going in high school or what do you wish your parent would do more of that they’re not doing? Or, what’s your vision for college and how do you feel like it differs from what your parent’s vision is? And by doing this questionnaire together, and it just literally takes 10 minutes, you have to find your child at a moment of food and, happiness and no technology

[00:19:59] audioMissyStevens21238770779: I was just thinking like, when

[00:20:01] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: When do you find it? Right? So you say to them,

[00:20:03] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: tackle them on the way to the kitchen.

[00:20:05] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: I wanna be a better mom. And they hear those words and go, whoa, well I need you to help me be a better mom and if you can gimme 10 minutes of your time, I think I can be a better mom to you. And I think, you know, we can communicate better.

I don’t know what kid wouldn’t say like, sure, let me show you how to be a better mom. And you sit them down and you say, I’m gonna answer these questions, you’re gonna answer these questions and let’s have just a conversation. And you would be surprised. It was kind of inspired by those Post-Its on the walls that, um, we saw a back to school night where they had students reply with what they wish their parents knew.

And you read all these post-its of like kids saying, I wish my mom knew how hard I really was trying, or, I wish my mom knew how tired I really am. Or, I wish my mom knew how lonely I am, or whatever these things are. It was heartbreaking and we thought, How can we bring in and open up this communication between the parent and the child better?

So we did it with this questionnaire and um, we’ve had really great response from it. So I would say get a hard copy of the book, or take a screenshot of it, have someone take a screenshot for you and do those questions with your kid. Cuz I think it really does, does help and, um, helps remind you to kind of separate yourself from their journey.

So that you see them for kind of who they are and what they love. And I think one of the biggest challenges that I always hear from parents is, what if you just don’t connect with your teen? What if their interests are so different from yours? And everything about them is just, you know, you sort of clash.

How do you. Get through these years, and I feel like I always say, I promise, it’s not like a broken record. Your job as a parent is to find what excites your teen and get excited with them about it, whatever it might be. So I have a kid that loves everything about fantasy football. I don’t even know, like a first down from a fourth down.

I mean, I just, I don’t know the names of the players. I don’t know the names of the teams, but boy do I ask how the fantasy football team is going. And suddenly I get. Just a flood of information. So we find those things that turn on the light bulb for our kids. It could be video games. Parents are like, oh, my kid’s always on their phone scrolling.

Ask your kid to show you what they’re scrolling. What are they looking at? What? What’s it, show me the funny TikTok video that you’re laughing about. Show me the naughty thing that you just saw, like, let’s talk about it. Let me. Let me be shoulder to shoulder with you and not judge you for it, and just say, okay, that’s your thing right now.

I’ll, I’ll do it with you. You know, show me how to play the video

[00:22:28] audioMissyStevens21238770779: a,

[00:22:28] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Oh.

[00:22:29] audioMissyStevens21238770779: a, a deal with our youngest cuz he’s really into some stuff that like he loves computers and. it’s just video games I don’t know anything about. And he’s built a computer, he’s done all this stuff. He just wants to talk about it. And so I always say, you can tell me everything I’m gonna tell you right now.

I don’t understand it. And I may ask some questions or I may just listen. And you have to know that like, I don’t get it, but he just wants to talk about it. He’s like, yeah, I just wanna tell you about it.

[00:22:57] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: well, they say with teens you have to go by the 80 20 rule. 80% of what you should be doing with your teens is listening. And 20% is talking. And that’s really hard for me. I’m a talker and we have a whole chapter about asking good questions and, how to be a better listener. And Jen, my co-author’s really good at that.

She’s, um, an M s W and she, just knows kind of how to do that really well, and I’ve learned a lot from her on how to be a better listener because I too can be guilty of my kids telling me I’m consumed with social media or I’m too glued to my device and my. You know, whatever it is.

And I have to sort of take my detox diet and, engage and, put the distractions away too. So we can all, you know, Jen and I talk about the mistakes we’ve made. We are not perfect. We, as parents, you know, come up with, you know, show you the things we also agree that we did wrong and that we continue to learn because I think we’re all a work in progress, right?

We’re doing the best we can.

[00:23:51] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: that

[00:23:52] audioMissyStevens21238770779: yeah. And you have four kids, so that fourth one, like. Do they know how lucky they are? How much you’ve learned from the other three?

[00:23:59] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: Although I still get curve balls from the fourth one when I once, I think I’ve known it all. And it’s funny cuz after writing a bunch of books through the years, people are like, when are you gonna write a parenting book? I’m like, I’m an expert. Like the, you know, there’s a lot of other people out there who’ve done it a lot longer and know a lot more than I do.

But I think working with teens for all these years did really inform a lot because I would get teens away from their moms and dads and there is this safe space where you’re connecting with them and hearing. From them and learning from them. The things that you kind of are heartbreaking too, cuz they open up to you a lot and share a lot and it is kind of a therapy that’s sort of happening and I’m not trained in that.

I’m trained in, you know, guiding kids to get these tasks done and meet the deadlines and, and do the work and, and to get feedback on the writing and, and all of that. But, it’s been, you know, really a learning process for me too, and I’ve really enjoyed it. I hope my kids say I, you know, have done done well by them.

We’ll, we’ll only know 10 or 20 years when their parents themselves.

[00:24:54] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Oh my gosh. Well, okay, I’m gonna kind of tag on the, the moms here because we do talk obviously a lot about moms and dot, dot, dot and trying to make sure that we are making the most out of our ellipses. And I discovered in doing the college process that I did, uh, for a while there and I had to take a step back cuz I was getting so excited about it cuz I was.

Like I was almost putting myself in the driver’s seat, like, Ooh, I would enjoy this class. Why would like, this sounds like an exciting major. And I think

part of

[00:25:24] audioMissyStevens21238770779: really hard for me.

[00:25:25] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: cuz I am putting my garbage on her in the fact that I don’t love all the decisions I made about college. I don’t love that. I didn’t put much thought into my college choice.

I mean, I literally, I say that the application was Shorter than filling out a form at a dentist office. It was that quick one college, I went there cuz my brother went there. My my best friend was going there. So good enough. And I also needed a place that I could afford by doing, summer work.

Which University of Idaho? Ding ding ding. At least back in the nineties. It was, I think it’s still, it’s pretty expensive now. but


[00:25:57] audioMissyStevens21238770779: now

[00:25:58] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: I think it is kind of fun to use this process to actually think about though this next phase of our life, whether it may not be empty nesting yet, but maybe you still have a few more kids to go.

But as you’re going through this process with a kid who’s considering college, Do think about maybe those sliding doors, possibilities of not regretting what your life could have been, but what it still can be. And thinking about, you know, you don’t have to be a full-time college student in order to take, some community college classes or to take an online class.

So what kind of recommendations might you have around the moms and how we can use this

[00:26:39] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: Yeah. Right. I mean, it is, it is exciting and, and to some degree we’re getting a little bit of our lives. Back right when we’re helping to launch them. Um, what’s unfortunate too is sometimes our parents, also need us more as we’re launching our kids. That kind of sandwich generation thing of, you know, once your kids are kind of heading out, your parents are ailing and, and needing you in different ways, but where do you find yourself in that?

Right, without kind of the guilt of. Of taking care of you. And so, when you mentioned community college and classes, it’s funny, this was one of my things for the end of the interview, but I can mention it now. So, um, about, 10 years ago I started auditing college, a college art history class at my local college.

And, I just found a really large class, um, that had, you know, I. 200 plus students and I looked it up on the directory and when the class was, and I would drive to the campus and park my car and just go sit in the back of the classroom, and it was truly like going to Disneyland. It was like the greatest hour and a half of my life, twice a week because it was just about learning for learning’s sake and just listening and taking in.

Content, which I loved. And um, I did it for a couple years and my kids really teased me. In fact, they bought me a sweatshirt of the name of the college and they told me I should wear a backpack instead of carrying my purse, cuz I looked like an old mom. You know, I needed to dress down. So anyway, I did this class, uh, and then it led to two or three others and it just was, you know, it really enriching.

And then Covid happened and we moved and went to a new location and I really missed it. so just this year I went back to my next local college classroom and, um, audited a class this fall. And now I’m currently doing another. And I will tell you like that’s just for me, what kind of floats my boat and what makes me tick my.

For my birthday, my kids got me, um, golf lessons and my husband got me some golf clubs and, you know, I may pursue a little hobby there to have like kind of an, uh, a different activity. Um, cuz my daughter and and husband really like to golf. So, you know, my, my kind of pursue that.

But I think for all of us it’s, yeah, finding something that brings you fulfillment. For some people it’s walking or writing or, or just any hobby or anything that you can look at and say like, That just feels good to me, and I do think we deserve it. We work hard, right? Like we work hard as parents, we work hard as wives and daughters and, in our careers, but I think we need, we each do need that thing or, or thing.

Sometimes it’s just girlfriends. It’s so great, right? To go on that walk with a girlfriend or go to lunch with that girlfriend or. You know, do something frivolous like getting your nails done with a girlfriend. It’s okay to do that. And we craved it and missed it so much for all those years that now that human connection to me is really, really more important.

But I do think we all have lives that we need to start thinking ahead to that next, and it’s very liberating. I mean, I will say, you know, I’m in my fifties now and. In your fifties. you know, I know there’s podcasts just about this age group and kind of the midlife thing or whatever, I don’t know.

I just, I met Missy a few months ago. We went on a retreat together. That’s how I came to your show. And there’s something that feels really good about being around a lot of women in the same life stage and you just, You just don’t totally care what everyone around you thinks about you. And you’re sort of in this anonymous space where you’re like, I feel pretty good in my skin.

I’ve done the best I can. And if I’m not your thing, that’s okay. Like, move on to the next person. And if I am your thing, great. Let’s talk, let’s connect. I mean, I, I love making new connections and new friends. I think you can learn from people at any stage and at any age of your life. And so I have friends in their seventies.

I have friends in their. Twenties that are, you know, having their first babies. And so, and I consider them friends, not like I’m their mentor or their, I just, I’m an older friend. So those would be some of the things I would think of. And you two ladies are doing a great job creating this podcast together, so that’s a good example.

[00:30:31] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: That’s our MBA

[00:30:32] audioMissyStevens21238770779: Yeah, I mean, it kind of is, kind of is like we doing a different kind of job. Like this is not your traditional kind of job, but we’re doing something new. I don’t know. And I love what you said about auditing. Like I, this is a dumb question. I did not know you could do that. I did not know. You could just walk in

[00:30:50] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: Well,

[00:30:51] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: you have to get permission? I wanted to ask who?

[00:30:53] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: So interestingly, the, place where I audited in, where I used to live in Southern California was a, was a big, a really big university. So being anonymous was pretty easy. technically like where I go, where I’m auditing now, I, I did email the professor and ask permission. So there are like actual programs for returning students, but I didn’t wanna.

I honestly didn’t wanna do the reading and didn’t wanna like get graded or anything like that. I just really wanted to just sit and listen. I don’t ask any questions. I just am in the back of a classroom that’s already pretty full. I would say you’ve gotta be careful about, you’re not going to like a seminar, like a 15 person class and like rolling up your sleeves.

But, but I do think that, um, your local community college or you know, it would be like a fine line. I’m not saying anyone should just go sneak in to college classes, but I will say like, You can either get permission from, you know, just send an email to a professor and just say, I’m a local mom and your class really interests me.

Would it be okay? And then you sort of do that. I did it a little backwards and then towards the end of my first class, I got to know the professor and I said like, oh, what are you teaching next? And I’m like, oh, come, here’s this next one. So I sort of became, More friendly with the professor, but I make a a real point that, you know, I am not participating in any way.

I am not, taking any time, even after class, waiting in line to talk to the professor. It’s much more, just a listener and an

[00:32:11] audioMissyStevens21238770779: That would be so bad if you were like, hold on, kids. I got a question.

[00:32:15] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: Exactly.

[00:32:15] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: you explain everything you just said to me again?

[00:32:19] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: Right.

[00:32:20] audioMissyStevens21238770779: God. That’s awesome. I love it. I love it.

 I’m looking at time and we’re so

[00:32:26] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: I know, but I really wanna hear the last question.

[00:32:29] audioMissyStevens21238770779: Um, so

[00:32:30] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: fast?

[00:32:31] audioMissyStevens21238770779: yeah. Yeah.

[00:32:32] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: Ask.

[00:32:34] audioMissyStevens21238770779: Well, before we jump into our look, listen and learns, tell people where they can find you. Can they work with you? What, how do they bring you to their place of business?

What, what

[00:32:44] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: please bring me, I love going to schools. I love going to businesses. I love going to organizations. I can do it through Zoom. I can get on a plane now, which is great. Um, I’m happy to come to Texas anytime so, or Idaho, wherever I, you’re Texas.

[00:32:58] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Yeah, we’re both in Texas. I just grew up in

[00:33:00] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: Um, but in any event, um, you can go to any social media location basically at, Parent Compass is the one on Instagram, the Parent Compass is on Facebook.

we’re on LinkedIn under our name Cynthia Menik and Jen Curtis. It’s there. And I think we have, our website is parent compass, which is where you can communicate with us really on any of those, um, platforms, to just. find out about our availability and things like that. But yes, speaking for businesses, organizations, schools.

I speak to parents, I speak to teens, I speak to nonprofits. I speak to whoever will listen, and I usually bring books with me, so that’s kind of fun too.

[00:33:35] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Well, speaking of the book, I’m gonna give one last plug before we get into the luck Listen and learns, because it’s something that the whole podcast is about. But I think it’s a great discussion to have with kids and think about ourselves is your get to know yourself questionnaire. So, because you need to go by the book y’all, uh, instead of just us talking too much about it.

Just, I think that anybody who follows this podcast, I think would get a lot. Out of that. So we’re just gonna have that little teaser there.

[00:34:03] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: Thank you. Well, there’s, there’s an audio book for those who do audio and I’ve gotten messages from audio readers saying, I love reading the book, but can you send me the, the questionnaire because I listened to it, but I can’t write it down.

[00:34:14] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Oh yes. I’m an audiobook person, but I for specifically for books like yours, I do, do I need to like take notes and highlight

[00:34:23] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: Yeah, it’s a fun book. I loved seeing that Missy has all sorts of tabs and

[00:34:27] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Oh, yes. Yes.

[00:34:28] audioMissyStevens21238770779: Yeah, saving all this information to remind myself the next time I have a tiny meltdown. Like I had a tiny meltdown a week ago that took me completely by surprise and it was, I didn’t have this meltdown too, or with my child. I was by myself, but I was like, I just, I was just, it caught me completely out of nowhere.

I expected we were gonna go on this visit and be like, that was great. That was one of our visits, and somehow I left there and fell apart. It was just like I, I didn’t see my kid there, but my kids saw himself there and I had to like work myself through the, it doesn’t matter where I see him matters, where he sees himself and

[00:35:07] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: Right.

[00:35:08] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: I know.

[00:35:09] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: Yeah. It’s hard to separate yourself. I’ve done two sets of college tours with my daughter pretty recently, and the same thing happened, and one of the universities we visited on the East coast I thought was great because they separated the parents and students on the tour. So there was a parent tour and a student tour.

I thought that was not, I mean, I know it takes resources and time. I thought that was a pretty good idea. So that like, If your kid can experience it and ask the questions they wanna ask as like a young person just surrounded by young people without the parent ears listening. And then the parents could ask the questions that might embarrass their kids if they wanted to.

But, um, anyway, I thought that was pretty interesting. So, I don’t know. It might double

[00:35:43] audioMissyStevens21238770779: think that’s a great idea

[00:35:44] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: or you could just go at a different time from your kid. I know it’s not as convenient, but

[00:35:48] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Yeah.

[00:35:49] audioMissyStevens21238770779: I have been told, I joke with him all the time, I’m like, I have so many questions. And he is like, do not ask them on this tour.

[00:35:55] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Yes. No, I’ve, I’ve been on tours with that mom and I’m like, just stop it even

[00:36:02] audioMissyStevens21238770779: We were just on one with that mom. And I was like,

[00:36:04] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: well hand that mom, the parent compass, because the. Parent Compass is for that parent, right? So it’s not always the people that read it, that are the people that need it, and we’re trying to like, you know, help and people say, you can read the book in a weekend and on Monday you can start implementing some of these things and seeing what works for you.

So we hope it’s making the world a little bit of a better place in a small way.

[00:36:27] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Yes,

[00:36:28] audioMissyStevens21238770779: my, that’s my new thing. I’m gonna get a couple extra copies and I’m gonna keep ’em in my bag. And when I’m on a tour, I’m just gonna be like, you need this? Maybe just, here you go.

[00:36:37] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: We have a lot of, we have a lot of therapists who have started keeping the books in their counseling sessions, like in their offices, which is really neat cuz then, you know, you just, just read this.

[00:36:47] audioMissyStevens21238770779: Uhhuh.

[00:36:47] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: my God, I love that they’re gonna put themselves out of a job. Oh my gosh. Okay. Well, okay, so we know where to find you and, oh, I’m so excited for everybody who has access to this book and access to you that I did not a year ago, but, uh, I got one more kid that I can use more information for.


[00:37:08] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: Thanks,

[00:37:09] audioMissyStevens21238770779: There’s more kids coming and it makes me excited for the process and it makes me feel more confident that I’m not gonna screw it up. So thank you.

[00:37:17] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: but no.

[00:37:18] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: I’m glad.

[00:37:18] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: And it’s such great information cuz we do focus primarily on moms making the most of their ellipses. And this is very unusual for us to be focusing on something that’s so kid related. But I think it is so intertwined and it, it’s very hard to make your ellipses count when you are so invested in your children’s ellipses during that period.

So it’s just nice to give yourself a little space and also use the process to maybe do some thinking about yourself.

[00:37:45] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: Yeah. Well, good. I’m glad it was helpful and what you two ladies are doing and the information that you’re bringing out there in this podcast is really equally valuable, because that ellipses is something we don’t always focus on. And so I just, I love your questions. I love how thoughtful you’ve been.

It’s been such a pleasure to, to spend some time with you.

So everyone out there, I hope they’ll keep listening to your show too. I’ll keep tooting your horn.

[00:38:06] audioMissyStevens21238770779: Thank

[00:38:07] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Well, and you’re not done yet. We’re doing our look,

listen and learns too. So yeah, we’re gonna jump into our look, listen and learns. And if

[00:38:12] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: I’m ready.

[00:38:13] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: anybody’s new here at the end of each show, we just spend a couple minutes talking about things that we are, look, listen, and learning. So, that could be something that we’re reading, watching, or learning about.

We don’t like to put our guests in the hot seat, so I’m gonna have miss go first. Missy, what do you look? Listen, learning.

[00:38:28] audioMissyStevens21238770779: let’s see. Oh, I love, I usually make notes so that I don’t forget what I’m gonna talk about. And I just saw that I started a note and.

[00:38:36] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: And then he forgot.

[00:38:37] audioMissyStevens21238770779: that’ll be a surprise to all of us as it comes back to me. But, um, I am looking at maps of the Midwest because we just planned a whirlwind trip to four schools that my son is interested in.

So we’re gonna hit four in three days with a little bonus stop at Notre Dame. We, that’s not on his list, but we’re gonna be right there and I’ve never been there, so I feel like I would love to see it. so yeah, I’ve been looking at a lot of maps, like trying to figure out how many hours from here to here, should we fly in here and out of there, you know, like just

[00:39:05] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Oh my gosh,

[00:39:05] audioMissyStevens21238770779: doing all the things and trying to keep my son, like, make him be the boss of it.

That’s tricky. That is really tricky because he’s busy this week. He has prom on his mind and I’m like, we have to get this booked. Like, we have to just take one break. Like, are these places on your list, you know? Anyway, it’s actually been fun. I like to do the travel planning part of it. So, and I am listening to something that ties back to what you were talking about, about friends and relationships and how important that is to our ellipses.

While you were talking about it, I was like, Ooh, that completely is my look, listen, learn. So I’ve been listening to a slight change of plans with Maya Shanker, um, one of my favorite podcasts. I talk about it if you’re a regular listener. You’ve heard me talk about that podcast. But, the most recent episode is the Science of Making Friends.

And it’s fascinating and her guest is really great and they’re having, it’s just a super fun conversation. But, you know, I love science backed brain stuff. Talking about how we make our friends, keep our friends and friendship breakups and the proper attention you should give to a friendship breakup.

It’s really interesting.

[00:40:13] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: I’m writing that down.

[00:40:14] audioMissyStevens21238770779: yeah, and we’ll put it in the show notes because it’s a good one. And then, um, yeah, I’m learning a lot this week. But the thing I think I was making my note about was, we talked about it a lot in this episode actually, is learning to separate myself from this process. So I’m making these, I’m looking at these maps and I’m making these plans.

They’re not for me, it’s for him. And I don’t have a poker face like I mentioned earlier in the show. And so I’m really learning that. I have a long way to go basically. So, Last week maybe when I had my meltdown, that was upsetting to me. And now it’s kind of exciting, I have an opportunity to shepherd him through this in a, in a decent way and in a nice way.

So I’m kind of excited.

[00:40:57] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: can

[00:40:57] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: Good for you.

[00:40:58] audioMissyStevens21238770779: All right. Well that’s me. What are you up to, Cindy? What are your look, listen and learns.

[00:41:01] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: So I wrote them down because I knew it was gonna be asked. So my listen is, I listen nonstop to Broadway show tunes. I am like a, I just love soundtracks. So right now I’m listening on nonstop to the Broadway show, something Rotten because my daughter is in, it’s a funny Shakespearean musical. Um, and my daughter’s opening night was last night.

So I. Three more shows this weekend and four next weekend. I’m seeing all eight shows

[00:41:27] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Oh my

[00:41:28] audioMissyStevens21238770779: Oh, you’re a good mom.

[00:41:29] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: to the lyrics in the car. It’s been so much fun. Um, so that’s one. Listen, I love the other, listen I love is I was on a road trip with my high school senior cause I do a mother. Child trip as their graduation gift, they get to pick a destination and we go just the two of us.

So he chose Utah. We went to Bryce, Zion and arches and he’s does photography. We took tons of pictures and we hiked in the snow and climbed a little bit and got in our 10,000 steps a day, and it was magnificent. So if you have not done these national parks, go, go, go as fast as you can. But while there, we had a lot of car time.

We did about 1500 miles in five days. So while he plugged in, I plugged in to Anne patches, the Dutch House, and

[00:42:15] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Oh

[00:42:15] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: Hanks narrated nine hours of a book for me. And when I tell you if you haven’t read this book yet, it’s I, I, it was on my TPR R list for a long time. It’s just very special and very wonderful.

And Tom Hanks, I just was in love with him at the end of my nine hours.

[00:42:31] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: I know that was such a fun surprise to have him. When I started the book, I was like, wait a minute.

[00:42:37] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: Right. It’s just, yeah, that’s one of the first audiobooks I’ve actually ever done. Cause I like turning pages, so it was really, really special. And then learning, I mentioned my auditing, my class, and I mentioned my golf that I might be listening, but I wanted to tell you something I discovered about 10 years ago on a girls trip.

And it changed my life. And you’re gonna laugh. I am not a salesperson for Revlon. But I brought them to show you. If you’re watching the YouTube, you can see it. It is called Revlon Revlon Kiss. They’re about five bucks. They come in grape, strawberry, cherry, and peach. And I keep them everywhere. And all they do is put a little tint, just a little tint on your lips.

And they have a little flavor, kind of like those Bonnie Bell lip

[00:43:21] audioMissyStevens21238770779: Yes, that’s what I was just thinking of.

[00:43:24] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: 25. And for 10 years I have not worn lipstick because I just wear, I just wear these.

[00:43:31] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: I love

[00:43:31] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: do two of them. So for

[00:43:33] audioMissyStevens21238770779: am going to order them right now.

[00:43:35] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: RiteAid or CVS or whatever. Pharmacy in Revlon.

Kiss my girlfriend, we went on a girlfriend’s trip and everyone brought their favorite thing to share with the girlfriends. So she brought like five and gave them out and someone else brought their favorite kind of underwear and someone else brought their favorite, you know, salad kit or whatever it was.

So we shared our favorite things. So when you asked that question, I was like, I’ve gotta share the Revlon kiss, because I’ve spent a lot of money on them. They last forever, and they smell good. And you can keep one in the car and one in your backpack and whatever. So get those and then I think that’s it, right?

oh, binging. Ted Lasso, of course, I’m catching up on Ted Lasso and shrinking, and I just got this gift yesterday, so I’m just starting it. It’s called Well Rested Every Day. I love the title and it’s 365 Rituals, recipes, and Reflections for Radical Peace and Renewal. You might wanna interview her, Jolene Hart.

I don’t know her, but a friend sent me this for my birthday and it’s, I’m gonna read one a day for the next 365 days. I’m gonna leave it in the bathroom cuz I think that’s a good place to get one page a day. Um, and that’s where I tell people to put my college essay book. I wrote a college essay book. I’m like, leave it in the bathroom for your teens and they can read one essay every day.

[00:44:45] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Oh my God. I love that. That’s

[00:44:47] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: I know that took longer than anticipated, but I had a lot to share and I love the questions. So thank you for asking

[00:44:52] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Oh my gosh. That

[00:44:54] audioMissyStevens21238770779: That is a brilliant idea for a girls trip to everybody. Bring your favorite

[00:44:57] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Yes.

[00:44:58] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: great. Yeah. And then we also brought, um, I brought five journals and I gave everyone a little journal, and this was very funny. I made everybody write in the journal, every boy they’ve ever kissed their whole life.

[00:45:07] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Oh my gosh.

[00:45:08] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: Some people only had one page, but some were like every boy. I’m like, every boy.

So it was just a

[00:45:14] audioMissyStevens21238770779: Oh,

[00:45:15] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: I might only.

[00:45:16] audioMissyStevens21238770779: write like that guy that one night

[00:45:17] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:45:18] audioMissyStevens21238770779: that one

[00:45:19] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: I know. I


[00:45:20] audioMissyStevens21238770779: like,

[00:45:20] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: it sounds, it was silly. It was after, you know, a little glass of wine and just a fun, silly activity. And then I think everyone like talked about which one was the best or who knows, you know, it was

[00:45:29] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: oh

[00:45:30] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: a fun activity,

[00:45:31] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: I think I only have one page also,

[00:45:33] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: could be one page.

[00:45:34] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: but a couple might be like, what is his name? Uh,

[00:45:37] audioMissyStevens21238770779: I know for sure. I’m like, I don’t know that guy’s name.

[00:45:40] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: with that view, you think I’d remember all their names?

[00:45:43] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: that’s, that’s funny.

[00:45:45] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Oh my goodness.

[00:45:46] audioMissyStevens21238770779: awesome. All right, Susanne, what are you doing this week?

[00:45:49] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Okay, well this is such a bad idea, but whenever Chris is out of town, I watch like my really like shameful tv. It’s so I’ve, and he refuses to watch this for so many reasons, but it is on theme with the podcast today. it’s that Hulu show about, oh gosh, I think it’s like Lost Youth or something.

It’s the Sarah Lawrence cult where the dad moves into the dorms.

[00:46:15] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: Oh God,

[00:46:16] audioMissyStevens21238770779: know anything about this. What is this?

[00:46:18] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Oh,

it’s like stolen, stolen youth. I think stolen, God, I’m not very

[00:46:23] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: man, like brainwashed. It was weird. A like a father figure moved into like a college dorm, like brainwashed. The women in the dorm and they became like slaves and it was very weird.

[00:46:34] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: it was like a sex cult slash cult slash Yeah, and it was a, it is true. This guy just got like 50 years in jail

[00:46:42] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: Really disturbing. Really disturbing.

[00:46:45] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Yeah. Sarah Lawrence.

[00:46:47] audioMissyStevens21238770779: this.

[00:46:48] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: yeah.

[00:46:48] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: I know. And so Chris, for very many

[00:46:51] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: I went with Love is Blind when my husband wasn’t around cause it’s so fluffy and silly

[00:46:56] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Oh, I should probably do that maybe after I’m, I’ve only got

[00:47:00] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: That might be less disturbing.

[00:47:01] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Oh,

[00:47:01] audioMissyStevens21238770779: Yeah. Less, mostly less disturbing. I don’t know. Leva, ISS blind is kind of disturbing

[00:47:06] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: Kinda disturbing in its own way

[00:47:08] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: It’s like signs to watch for. I’ll give to Zoe if, if any of your roommates wants to invite her dad to live there,

[00:47:15] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: to come stay.

[00:47:16] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Yeah. No dads, no dads in the

[00:47:18] audioMissyStevens21238770779: No dad’s in the dorms. No

[00:47:19] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: I think, uh, I thought it was in a dorm. Cause I was like, that’s weird. Wouldn’t the RA kick them out? I think they had their own apartment, is what I’m getting out of the thing.

So not that that makes it better in any way,

 So there’s that. But, okay. On a better, well kind of better note. I was just listening to as I was walking all the dogs. Um, we can do hard things, of course. Um, and Michelle Zonner, Zonner Zonner, who is the singer guitarist for the band, Japanese Breakfast,

who Zoe likes.

And, uh, we’ve listened to at a c l a couple times. I guess she’s also the author of this new book. I’d heard of the book. I didn’t know that she was the author crying in H Mart.

[00:48:01] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: Oh, that’s supposed to be great.

[00:48:02] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Yeah, so it’s all a,

[00:48:04] audioMissyStevens21238770779: all coming back to me. Yes. I have red crying in H Mart. I’m like, why is this all familiar? If I was stucked back here though, but

[00:48:10] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: noodles on the cover? Yeah, that looks I, that’s supposed to be great.

[00:48:14] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: And it’s all about the relationship and the dynamic between her and her parents, and especially her mother who passed and just trying to, understand all the dynamics of that relationship now that she’s getting older. And you know, it’s so, it is very, very interesting part of me at the beginning, I was like, Ooh, this will be a really fun podcast to send to Zoe.

I was like, No, I think this is one just to keep more for myself cuz it’s maybe in like 20 years it’ll be a good one to send to Zoe, but it is very much. If I sent it to her, it’d be very much like, see what a good mom I am. Cause it’s, cause it’s talking about how she learns to appreciate her mom. You know, as she gets older and older and all the things, the bad and the good, she’s still gonna appreciate them.

And so at the, I was like, no, this is very much just trying to pat moms on the back, but if, if you need to feel a little padded on the back and that your kids will appreciate you someday. it sounds like that’ll be a good book. I’ve not read the book yet, um, but this episode. It is the April 26th episode of We Can Do Hard Things.

[00:49:18] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: I was just gonna add that, that title, you, we could do hard things. I’m just gonna, just, this could be almost a good little concluding remark, but the idea that, um, Jen, my co-author, tells a story in the book about a student she worked with for many years who really, um, really had it together like was just.

A kid that just kind of seemed to embrace school and embrace his social life and embrace, you know, but not, not off the rails. Just a kid that was like really admirable and Jen had young children and you know, you look at some of these teens and you go, how do they grow up to be like this? You know? So she said at the very end of working with this young woman, we write about her in the book.

Um, she asked her, what do you think your parents did to help like foster you to turn out this way? And without a blink of an eye in a, just right back at Chen, she said, they made me do hard things.

[00:50:04] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Oh.

[00:50:05] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: And Jen said that just stuck with her because she had to be resourceful and her parents watched her, you know, they were there to support her, but they didn’t do it for her.

And that was so gratifying and rewarding for this young woman that she. was so capable because her parents let her do hard things to, take care of herself too. So I thought that was interesting and I think that’s great. What a great topic for a podcast and, and title as well, but something we can maybe think about in our parenting of teens too.

[00:50:37] audioMissyStevens21238770779: Yeah, it’s so hard to make them do the hard stuff, like

[00:50:41] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: you tie their shoes forever and

[00:50:43] audioMissyStevens21238770779: right then. They’re never gonna tie their shoes.

[00:50:45] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: how are they gonna, they’re gonna, can’t live in Velcro shoes forever. You

[00:50:49] audioMissyStevens21238770779: No. Oh my gosh. Don’t you remember like being like, I need an extra 20 minutes to leave the house, cuz I’m gonna have to stand at the back door while they make bunny ears and f up the loop and like, like

[00:51:02] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Start to cry.

[00:51:04] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: days.

[00:51:04] audioMissyStevens21238770779: And then get, I do it myself. But you can’t

[00:51:08] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Although my son does wear a scoliosis brace now, so occasionally I’m just like, this does not count that I am tying your shoes. I am not your servant.

[00:51:18] audioMissyStevens21238770779: Yeah.

[00:51:20] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: bad

[00:51:20] audioMissyStevens21238770779: just sweet momming.

[00:51:21] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: That’s just Yes.

[00:51:22] audioMissyStevens21238770779: Ah, well, Cindy, thank you. Thank you.

[00:51:24] audioCynthiaMuchnick11238770779: Thank you ladies so much. This has just been, so my tank is full. I’m so glad I had this special time with you. I hope that the thoughts we shared, will help others too. So you’re both doing great. Follow your parent compass and um, thank you so much again.

[00:51:39] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: Thank you for

[00:51:40] audioMissyStevens21238770779: Thank you.

Yeah, yeah.

[00:51:43] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: All


[00:51:44] audioMissyStevens21238770779: have a great rest of your

[00:51:45] audioSusanneKernsshe_31238770779: all right. Bye-Bye.

[00:51:47] audioMissyStevens21238770779: Bye.

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