Editor’s Note: Kristie Skoglund, Ed.D, LMHC is Vice President of The Florida Center for Early Childhood. In this series, Mind in the Making facilitators share their experiences guiding workshops for parents, educators, caregivers and healthcare professionals throughout the Suncoast. In May 2016, The Patterson Foundation funded training for 31 people through the Mind in the Making Facilitator Institute, which breaks down executive functions into seven essential life skills that help children achieve their goals.
Mind in the Making (MITM) has been such a gift to me both as a professional and a mother. The concepts seem so basic, yet so complex at the same time. We all pretty much “do life” based on how we learned it, the majority of which we learned from our first teachers — our parents. Along the way, we learn what we liked and didn’t like about how we were reared and try to replicate or change those things. The Mind in the Making workshops lay out the importance of acquiring certain life skills, seven life skills to be exact, and how these life skills look in both children and adults. These Seven Essential Life Skills, that essentially build on one another as little “minds” are being “made”, are so nicely explained and laid out in the book.
While leading a facilitated learning group with local parents from a Title 1 school, I was so impressed with their level of will and determination. Many of the participants were single mothers who were attending the group to learn how to be the best mother they can be. Many of these mothers worked and went to school while raising their children, clearly having busy schedules with little to no “extra” time to give.
The Mind in the Making workshops gave these mothers opportunities to learn that these seven essential life skills can be easily promoted in regular day-to-day interactions. Some of the parents expressed life circumstances that many of us can’t even imagine; yet, they were able to identify ways they can help their child AND how, perhaps, they (themselves) may not have mastered some of the life skills giving way to opportunities for them to learn alongside their child. What a gift!