Raising children is no joke.  How quickly we go from a baby shower and picking out paint colors for the nursery to an actual human being placed in our arms. There truly is no way to prepare for that small being. But the lack of preparation does not stop there. That adorable, snuggly newborn will soon start walking. And then talking. And before you know it, you will have a toddler with strong opinions. Then perhaps a sibling comes along. With each of these new stages, we experience immense joy as we see our children grow.  But we also experience new challenges. I often find myself looking for that “mom manual” that tells me what I’m supposed to be doing in each situation; I’ve yet to find it. So I decided to attempt to create my own.  

My first year of teaching, my mentor saw a child running in the hallway, and instead of saying “don’t run” she said “walk.”  While they mean the same thing, the nuanced difference between “don’t run” and “walk” opened my eyes and ears to the impact words have on our children.  The words we use, and the words we don’t, have an unbelievable impact on our children’s behavior.

I have always been drawn to children.  Growing up I volunteered in our church nursery, babysat, coached children’s sports teams, and always found myself wanting to be around kids.  I went to college knowing I wanted to study education. I got a degree from Vanderbilt in special education and a masters degree from Hunter College in NYC in early childhood special education. I have attended many professional development trainings throughout my 10+ years as an elementary school teacher and current part time instructional coach in an elementary school.  I also read everything I can get my hands on about children and their development. All of this has helped me develop this particular interest in language and its effect on children’s behavior.

This love of language + the gift of patience from my dad, have given me the ability to enjoy my children more.  I’m excited to share what works — most of the time — for me and my kids.  Being a parent is the toughest job in the world; we’re all in this together.


6 thoughts on “About

  1. Beth

    I especially appreciate the post on praise — you are spot-on! My children are pre-teen and teenagers now and I cringe thinking back on the times I said “What a great brother you are!”. Not too late to change course, I know! The advice is just as true when parenting older children; I did expect my children to graduate from 6th grade, so none of them got a party, a present, or really (sorry!) much congratulations from me when they did so. Furthermore, when they come home with a good grade on a test, or even for the semester, I try to remember not to say “I’m so proud of you’, but rather “you must be proud of yourself; you really worked hard for that grade.” Keep ’em coming Jenny, your posts are more relevant to all stages of parenthood than you may realize!

    1. steinhoffjk

      Beth! Thank you so much for your comment. As I was writing about praise, I couldn’t help but think a lot about expectations – stay tuned for more on that! Thank you for your insight into life with older kids. I look forward to exploring similarities between other stages of parenthood!

  2. Erica Adam Nemeroff

    Love your insights.. keep them coming! Reading this has come at a perfect time as I try to navigate the terrible twos and a soon to be newborn! Hope all is well with you and the family! 🙂

    1. steinhoffjk

      Hey Erica! I’m so glad you’re finding it helpful. I’m really enjoying this so more will definitely be coming! I’ll be thinking about you with your soon to be new addition! xo

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