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2017 #TalkEarly Summit: Meet, gather, converse, brainstorm and organize!

Once a year, we bring together our #TalkEarly blogging partners for a summit in Washington, DC. It has become a cherished moment in our annual calendar because the chance to see each other face-to-face, share a meal and exchange ideas is rare.

The blogging team flew into town on Thursday, October 5 and we kicked off with a relaxing dinner. On Friday, October 6, we gathered together for a formal summit with a dynamic list of speakers and partners guiding our conversations.

After a warm welcoming from our very own Ralph Blackman, we heard invaluable parenting tips and insights from educator, speaker and author Jessica Lahey. Jessica shared key learnings from her New York Times best-selling book The Gift of Failure. The constant thread during her discussion with us was this: The importance of parents letting kids experience disappointment, frustration and mistakes well before middle school to help them grow into resilient, successful adults. While our blogging team will share more insights into the session on their own blogs in 2018, three tips for parents to take from Jessica’s talk are as follows:

  1. Teach your kids to focus on the process of learning instead of focusing exclusively on their grades;
  2. Learn to offer support to your children instead of directing them towards results. Backing away from a directional parenting style will help them in the long run.
  3. Failure and mistakes are growth opportunities.

Next, we heard from #TalkEarly blogging partner, podcaster, author and blogger Christine Koh of Boston Mamas. She led a brainstorming session for the team to explore how to develop quality content for their readers. Exchanging honest insights into what works and what hasn’t worked so well from our editorial calendar is the best way we can continue to work with influencers in the future.

Julie Miner of Rants from Mommyland led a discussion around memes and gifs portraying moms as “needing” wine to cope with a bad day with the kids. We evaluated: Is this the message we really want to send? Do we actually mean it when we share these kinds of jokes and are we normalizing behavior? Have the bloggers reached a critical juncture where they can take a leadership position in moving away from alcohol as the punchline and instead refocus on modeling healthy behaviors around stress management?

We ended the day with a guided discussion from local home organization expert Rachel Rosenthal of Rachel & Co., exploring how physical clutter leads to emotional clutter. Rachel recommended a family command center to centralize schedules and family meal planning. And how about your spices? It turns out many of us need help with organizing spices, not just schedules and weekly meals! Catch Rachel’s overview of how organization can reduce stress on her blog here.

Be sure to follow our amazing #TalkEarly blogging team on social and find links to their blog posts here.