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June 6, 2022

Episode 50: Curiouser and Curiouser with Bailey Olsen

In this episode, DJ talks with Bailey Olsen about how to inspire our children to be curious about the world around them, encourage them to ask questions, form their own opinions and think independently. Listen in as they discuss some of the ways they’ve inspired children’s curiosity by creating fun fact finding missions and how Bailey has used a list of free activities to connect with her children and create random teaching moments to make the kids curiouser and curiouser.

 Bailey is a second and third grade elementary school teacher and just like our beloved host (who she happens to be related to), Bailey has a passion for teaching children. When Bailey isn’t performing her favorite job of them all, wife and mother, she serves as gymnastic coach which has been a passion since she was a young girl.

• [7:34] Bailey discusses helping her kids remain curious by encouraging them to research the big questions they have to find out the answers. 
• [27:14] “Finding out things about other people is a great way for them to not only build on their curiosity, but on their understanding of the world then expanding their horizons, not just living in such a narrow scope of life…”
• [31:13] Bailey talks about really connecting with her own children on their level so they trust her enough to ask questions when they are curious about things.  
• [38:05] Bailey shares that she has created a list of things to do with her children that don’t cost money but still help her connect with them. 

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DJ Stutz  0:13  
The following Podcast is a production of Little Hearts Academy USA. And you're listening to Episode 50 of Imperfect Heroes Insights Into Parenting, the perfect podcast for imperfect parents looking to find joy in their experience of raising children in an imperfect world. And I'm your host, DJ Stutz. And today, I'm just really excited to have Bailey Olson back, we have such great conversations. And today, we are talking about how to inspire curiosity in your kids. That's curiosity about their world, curiosity about relationships, curiosity about other people, other experiences, and we have a great conversation. So let's listen in.

I'm so excited, because we have Bailey back again. And so yay. So we're hoping to make this a more frequent thing with Bailey and I talking. And so just for our listeners, who maybe have not caught one of your previous episodes with me, do you want to just share who you are and what's going on? Yeah,

Bailey Olsen  1:33  
So I am in my early 30s, and I'm a mom of two kids, ages six and seven. My life as far as career goes, I am a teacher, I teach second and third grade currently, and I have taught everywhere from preschool up to fourth grade. And I also coached gymnastics, and honestly, my life is just centered around these kiddos and how to help build them, whether it's as athletes, or as students, building them into wonderful humans who can hopefully be productive members of society.

DJ Stutz  2:05  
And I know that there's a strong faith based and your family. And so that really, I think that really helps that and I don't know that it really matters that much as you're raising kids, where you're going to church, but how you're instilling that strength and that knowledge. They have that child of God thing going on with them and

Bailey Olsen  2:29  
understanding that the world is bigger than they are that they are not the center of the universe, they might be the center of your universe as their fear. But you're not the center of the whole entire universe. Isn't that the truth? Bigger than then I think that's good for kids and adults.

DJ Stutz  2:44  
Oh, well, for sure. That's for another episode for us, though. So today, Bailey and I, were going to talk about how to just inspire our kids to be curious about things. And I think with society, a lot is going on with, well, this is the way I say it, and that's the end of it. So don't ask any more questions or don't disagree with me or whatever. And kids start seeing that attitude and the adults around them, whether it's their teachers, or their parents, or the parents of their friends, people at church, whatever, that it quashes, that whole curiosity piece, because if I ask questions, or if I come up with a different answer, then I can be in trouble. And so we want to make sure that we're giving kids that opportunity to ask those questions or to have opinions maybe that don't exactly agree with us, but how to form questions and how to think independently is really important. And now we've got summer coming up. I don't know, when you're finishing up my last day with kids is the 25th of this month. So we only have less than 10 days of school with my kids.

Bailey Olsen  4:03  
We still have about a month left. But yeah, I think what you said there was really good because in our world, people say that they want to encourage people to be free thinking to think for themselves. But when it actually comes down to it, they're not open to other people's way of thinking. And I mean as Christians or as non Christians as atheist and it really doesn't matter. We all need to be open to what the other person is thinking and wondering and feeling. And especially when it comes to our kids. We need to be able to here's a small example right? We were at a baseball game last night for my son and my daughter and her friends are playing kind of digging in this dirt over on the side and they were so excited because they come running over. You have to look at this. You have to look at this. We found dinosaur phones. We found them we're digging them up. So we go over and they were clearly not dinosaur rocks. Okay, so I could have just said to them, Hey, actually, those are rocks. And you guys don't need to be worried about me play with the rocks if you want, but they're not dinosaur bones. But I would have squashed their curiosity, right, I would have squashed the enthusiasm, though I know that they're wrong, even though I don't believe those are dinosaur bones. I was like, You know what, to me those kinds of look like rocks. But you might be right. So if you're right, you need to be really gentle with them, you need to carefully dust them off, see if you have more around there, that looks similar. And then we talked about the characteristics of phones, how they're usually more smooth and usually more weight. And then after a while, they still believed that they were dinosaur bones. And I told them, I'm not an archaeologist. So if you want to believe that those are dinosaur bones, go for I'm pretty sure they're rock, but maybe take them home and wash them. And then we can look up online. What is a bone look like? If we were to find a dinosaur bone? What would it look like and compare what we have to that? And then we did and my daughter, at least in the end was like, Yeah, I think it's a rock. But it's a cool rock, and then ran away? No, I feel like that was just a good way to help them be curious and excited. And give my opinion. Right? I told him, to me that looks like a rock. But if you think it looks like dinosaur bone, let's figure it out. See how it is? Yeah.

DJ Stutz  6:32  
I love that attitude of let's figure it out. And there are a lot of times that they're going to come up with things and you know the answer, right? But they're playing with something that is, it could be wildly wrong. Right? We've had that happen. But instead of saying no, no, no, that's not how it is. But saying, well, let's investigate further. And let's see what we can find out. And the idea of taking some of them home and watching them off and looking it up online and finding answers and letting them learn how to do research, how to ask the next question. And then how to process that information is so much better served with that kind of attitude rather than natural rock? Yeah, and

Bailey Olsen  7:22  
if you think as they get the big questions, right, as they get older, and they get the big questions, who am I? Where did I come from? Is there a God is God? Yeah, yeah, that those are big questions.

DJ Stutz  7:33  
They really are.

Bailey Olsen  7:34  
You know, I've had many people in my life who they get to the big questions, and then they're like, I don't really know how to answer it. So I'm just gonna avoid it and say, there's no God, because that's easier, right? That's easier to just step away from all of it than to actually sit down and figure out what I believe. And, honestly, I believe that it's okay, if they come up with a different answer than me as a parent right there their answer what they feel, it hopefully will be different than me. They're a different human, they've had different life experiences. And while of course, I hope deep down that they believe the same thing as me, because that's a good thing to bond over. Ultimately, what I want them to do is be able to do the research on the big question. So we find a rock that they think is a dinosaur bone. Yeah, let's research it. Let's see what it's like, how can we figure out if this really is or not? Yeah, once they have those big questions, they can look back and say, Oh, I remember when I had, hopefully, that rock that I thought was a dinosaur bone and figured out how to research that and how to move forward. And hopefully, then they won't shy away from those big questions. And, you know, whatever their career is, whether they choose something in college where they have to study it out, or they choose a trade school job, or no college, school job, whatever skill they learn, it has to be that you have to do research, you have to learn about whatever your job is, you know, and I think that that sometimes can be a lost art. These days, when I did my final papers for college, we had to come up with what is your motto? As a teacher? What is it that you want to do? And to me, teaching and parenting are really, really similar? And for me, it was that I want to instill a love of learning in my kids. And I think over the years, it's even evolved more into I want to instill curiosity, and then the ability and the love to actually learn the things that they're curious. Yeah.

DJ Stutz  9:35  
And I think even sometimes teachers in school, and it depends on are we doing testing? Are we doing assessments? Are we doing this and that, that we want our kids to do well on those and so we'll say no, this is how you have to do it, trying to help to set them up for success. And that's why you want to know The truth. That's why part of why I chose early childhood as my degree instead of elementary ed, because I didn't want to have to do that with my kids that I'm teaching. I wanted to allow them to find their own path to some of the answers, build the skill, of asking questions, being curious, and letting them come up with their own hypothesis, which, you know, with these little guys, that can be absolutely crazy. But it's so much fun when I'm in class. So we're doing a pond unit right now. And we've been looking at this week, the development of a frog. And so I have my whole thing, lifecycle of a frog. And we put it out. And so one of the first things I did was I showed them the picture of the tadpole. And so what do you think this is, I didn't even tell them that it's connected to a frog. They did not connect it to a frog. And they're like, it's a fish and, but it's a weird fish. It has like the skinny tail and its body is really fat. And then watching them, it was so much fun watching them build their understanding of how a tadpole develops into that frog. And then now, just after a few days, they're able to put it all together, but they wanted to do the research. And they wanted to like, can I find a video of how frogs grow? And these are little guys, for everyone who might not know, so this year, and last year, I'm teaching a pre K for the school district, but the majority of the kids have special learning needs in certain physical disabilities. And so they're more five depending on when their birthday hits, but even kids that young, and with some neuro diversities that are going on, are still asking the questions, and how can I find this? And it's really exciting to see.

Bailey Olsen  11:48  
Yeah, that's a great way to keep building that curiosity. I like that. That's actually one of the things I have written down in my notes is asking open ended questions, and even questions that you don't know the answer to. Yeah, as an adult, I think it's so important for our kids to see us not having the answers. Even though we are our kids whole world, and we know everything. And it's like, okay, my mom doesn't even know what that is. And how did she figure it out? Then we sit down and we say, okay, how do we understand this? Like you did with the tadpole? What do you guys think this is? Now? In that case? Obviously, you had the answers.

DJ Stutz  12:25  
Yeah. And two, I just loved. That's a bonding process. When you're looking for answers together, that encourages kids, little if I ask a really good question, my mom or my dad is gonna take the time to help me come find this. I mean, that might be the exact process that goes on. You know, sometimes you do things intuitively, rather than having a plan. But it encourages them to ask questions, because they get the positive result, especially when they're really young of time with mom and dad looking for answers. So what are some of the things then once your summer break kids, there's so many opportunities to do some fun investigations and finding answers to questions. What are some of the things maybe that you do?

Bailey Olsen  13:12  
So as my kids are getting older, it's actually getting harder for me to inspire that curiosity. And I'm learning that they are actually more curious without me around. So for example, I have a whole bunch of ideas written down, like we're gonna go to the zoo. And when we're at the zoo, we're not just going in looking at each of the animals. Were asking questions about them. The kids ask questions about them. We read the plaques. Animals, it says that their hoof when they put it on the ground, it gets as big as a dinner plate. Right? Little things like that my kids have learned just by reading those plaques out. I don't know all of those facts. I can identify the animals, but I don't know a lot about them. So we'll definitely be doing things like that and taking them My kids love bike rides, so a lot of bike rides. But again, while we're on the bike rides, we're going to be talking about the world around us. Do you see that tree? I wonder what kind of tree that is? Oh, my goodness. How come that squirrel is? We live in Michigan. So squirrels are everywhere. And there are some squirrels that are black in color and some squirrels that are brown in color and some squirrels that are gray in color. And so asking about those questions, why are they different than then we have travel plans this summer to go see family. And so as we're traveling, of course, we will stop and see things when we're we have two big trips out west plan and the first one we're driving, no, the first one we're flying. So we'll be talking about all the things with airplanes and flights. And then the second one we're driving and that's always we do that every year, usually twice a year. So we always have fun. Like I Spy things you talk about it More than just oh, I spy a red truck. You try and talk more about that red truck. Right? How big is the red truck? Do you think he could pull a big trailer? But the questions honestly are getting even more tricky as the kids are getting older, for me, but also I have down to use the library. The library is a free resource. They have all kinds of classes they have, they have Minecraft classes, which my kids don't play that, but I know that that's really popular in the school. So they have Minecraft classes, they have robotics classes, which is huge out here. And it's basically computer coding, and they have it from preschool ages. Yeah, fifth grade, at our library anyways, they have art classes, all different kinds of computer classes. And then, of course, so many books. So of course, if they are really interested in something, take them there, let them find books, let them research it, look them up on the computers, teach them how to look it up on the computer, all these things. They're important life skills, how often do we think, oh, I need to know that we pick up our cell phones. And we type something in there to find the answer, right? I think that it's an important skill. And you can learn it in a library, which my kids mostly asked Alexa. They're like, four days until Christmas. And I'm like, I don't know. And then they're like Alexa, how many more days until Christmas, like 322 days until Christmas. And then she comes up with another fact about Christmas Christmas this year will be on Thursday.

DJ Stutz  16:31  
i It's gonna be on Sunday, just so there you go. Because yeah, I'm Christmas oriented. But but but some of the things that I really love that you brought up was the library too, because now I don't know about where everyone else is. But the libraries in Colorado have things to check out beyond Books and Beyond movies, I was able to find there's two routes. One was the robotic caterpillar. And so you can push and you can code where you want that robot to go. And so it'll go forward. So far than left, it'll turn around whatever, the kids got a big kick out of that. But they were so curious about how to manage the buttons, how to work them how to figure it out. And then there was another one, it's called Dash. And it's another little robot, it almost looks a little bit like a BB eight or something that kids loved it. And there's that coating that goes on. But with Dash, they used our classroom iPad, because you control where it goes with the iPad. So they're learning that skill. And then the teacher next door to me is the science teacher for the elementary, because science is one of their specials. And so she was able to find some they were like these little bees, which was hysterical, because my classroom is the busy bees. So she brought them in, she goes, I don't need these for another week. Would you like to have them in your class? And like I Yeah. And so then they could program the BS just like that? And are they going forward backward to plot out this whole course with them? And so I would really think it would be a great thing to find out if your local library does have some of those extra things to check out nickels. You could get telescopes, sewing machines, they even had to check out. Yeah, I mean, it's amazing, all the extra stuff. And I didn't even know about this until about a year ago is when I figured out that they had all of this stuff. So

Bailey Olsen  18:34  
you have me curious, we go to our library a lot. And now I know they have videos and Yeah. And they have like lots of toys. They're not to check out but they have like a nice little play area that very good interactive Lakeshore learning toys. Yeah, sponsored by Lakeshore, but they are amazing.

DJ Stutz  18:54  
They are.

Bailey Olsen  18:56  
I've never heard my kids actually were thinking of buying a sewing machine saving up their money to buy one because they really want to make rice packs for their friends. How old like eight months out of the year. So

DJ Stutz  19:07  
Right? Well, and so one of the things that might be really cool then is maybe if you checked one out, and they could see how it works. You can gauge whether they're ready for that or not. Because then you're not making that investment until they've had a chance to mess with it.

Bailey Olsen  19:27  
Yes, that is a great idea. I love it.

DJ Stutz  19:29  
So that's another fun thing to do. And I know in Michigan, you have the great outdoors. Right? And in Colorado, obviously we do. And Arizona it's probably just too hot. You want to stay and die inside but then your winters when you're out more. I know that was the way when we were in Vegas. You grew up in Vegas. Yep. And so you just figure it out with what's around. One of the things that I loved watching is my oldest daughter Candace was never afraid of snakes and bugs and lizards and whatever. And so the kids would find something and she'll go, and we had a family reunion, probably three years ago this summer. And we were at, it's called Chatfield reservoir, it's a reservoir outside of Denver, we were all there hanging out for the day, and a snake came up out of the reservoir water. And people were like, I'm gonna fit, screaming, and she's running over to catch the thing. She got it, and then she was showing her kids. And then it was interesting to see other families would come up. And so the parents didn't want to touch it. But they were fine with their kids looking at it, and some of them will let their kids touch it. Others like don't touch it. And then they had it for about five minutes, 10 minutes, and then she just let it go when it slid off wherever it goes. But I really have enjoyed watching her and her kids just really engage in that whole outdoor experience and not be afraid of what they're finding outside and classifying things and talking about it.

Bailey Olsen  21:14  
Yeah, I completely agree. That is not a skill that I have. No, no, no, no. I will be running. Yeah, getting like a rate and showing it off. I mean, we do get snakes in our yard, or garden snakes and they're harmless. And I know that now because I posted a picture online and asked all my wonderful online friends. I didn't snake it's harmless. It's good for your heart. And and I'm like, okay, but it's not welcome. We just take a rake and shoe it to the other side of the street where it goes into the woods, because we have words on the other side of the street and I'm like, you can be happy. They don't like crossing the road very much. But they do when you chase them with a rake. So

Unknown Speaker  22:00  
why did the snake cross the road? Because Bailey was chasing it with a rake.

Bailey Olsen  22:06  
Not my favorite thing. Those reptiles. I mean, my kids are very cool. My cousin Candace, your daughter and I have a sister to Quincy, who same thing. She catches the snakes in her yard. And I'm like, oh, goodbye. I'm so glad that there are people out there to do that. Yes, he will do that with my kids around because even talking about snakes right now I'm literally starting to sweat. Oh, funny to see me. My neck is starting to get

Unknown Speaker  22:40  
old we all we all have our things we're good at things that

DJ Stutz  22:43  
are not so yeah. Yeah, for sure. For sure. That's so funny. So what are some of the other things that you think of when we're building curiosity?

Bailey Olsen  22:53  
So this is a thing. It's something that I have had to learn that I'm actually not very good at. I work really hard at I love doing crafts, okay. Oh yes, specific crafts. If we're going to build with Legos, we're going to build the book that came with them, we're gonna build that exact thing. And we're gonna follow the instructions with exactness and build this wonderful thing. Or if we're going to do aqua beads, which are like you spray water on them and they make a shape, we're gonna follow the exact pattern that we're given, or whatever it is, I'm great at crafts, I love doing crafts with my kids. But that is only teaching how to follow instructions. And you know, like gluing and which is a valuable skill, right? They're very important skills. Yeah, but we also need to help give them open ended activities, right? Like maybe say, okay, which I'm sure with preschool stuff. I'm sure you are just great at this but like, Okay, today we're going to make a son and your are some supplies. Just make it however you feel like it. You could cut out yellow paper, you could cut out white paper and color it yellow, you can cut out triangles, you could just draw, I don't care. Just give them things and or just say here's some art supplies, make whatever you feel like making. Yeah, I did that the other day and my daughter all I gave her was printer paper. Okay, I gave her printer paper and told her that she could draw picture for a little bit if she wanted we she was bored and of course wanted something to do so I said here you can draw some pictures for a minute. And then she on her desk we have these little caddies that have like art supplies and she pulled out scissors and tape and then the printer paper and she made a couch out of printer paper. Wow. And I was like that is so random. And how awesome and yeah, it looked like a couch but it did to her and yeah, she was so excited and now it sits on her dresser because she was just so proud of that and it was completely open ended. You out an only child

DJ Stutz  25:00  
directed way. Yeah, yeah, I love that just throwing stuff out there and seeing what they can do or challenging them this whole son thing or make a flower or plant or something like that is really cool. And to see their interpretation of life, their interpretation of what their experience is, you've learned so much more about how they're seeing the world through these kinds of experiences. And it's just fantastic. Another thing that I like to encourage the kids to be curious about is other people and who they are, what do they do and stuff. So I'll have people imagine with my classroom and what we have in there, we have a ton of different specialists, we often have different people coming in. And so they'll come and say, Who is that? And so instead of me just telling them, I can say, Well, I'm not sure. How would you find out who they are? And so they're learning to go up to people and saying, I don't know your name, or what's your name? Or why are you here, and getting that kind of information. And they're always good, because they're already working with little kids. And so they get that whole thing. But it's good for the kids to have that experience of I don't know their name. Well, how would we find out what their name is, and finding curiosity, and then even curiosity about other people's emotions, and how they are feeling and interpreting things. So maybe the child said something, and they didn't intend for it to hurt someone's feelings. But the other kids feelings got hurt. And so Oh, okay. So now we need to come together and ask questions and figure out how we can do things. So that person doesn't feel quite sore. But I think are being curious about how people feel how people think, how is their family different from my family, my family might be doing a lot of sports and organized sports, where another family might be doing more of the individual type sports, you know, skiing, and hiking, and camping and other things like that rowing. And so finding out these things about other people is a great way for them to not only build on their curiosity, but on their understanding of the world,

Bailey Olsen  27:24  
then expanding their horizons, not just living in such a narrow scope of life, which, as adults, let's be honest, we need the same thing we we built. I mean, okay, this is a silly example. But recipes. I have like the same 10 recipes that I'm pretty good at. They're really they're honestly good. Anytime I make any of those meals for anybody, they're like, please send me the recipe. It's so delicious. But then they're like, you're the best cook. And I'm like, oh, no, I just have these 10 recipes that I know how to cook. And that's it. And then expanding my horizons with them, like, okay, what are your favorite recipes, it's just a simple thing. But it's man, it's the same way. And if we don't learn to do it as kids, it's so much harder as an adult, it is so much as an adult. So I do the same thing. I mean, my kids are a little bit older, and I'm not with them in school anymore. So it's a little bit harder for me to instill that, but and do it at basketball practices, baseball, parks, wherever you might be, just be like, Hey, why don't you go ask that kid what their name is? Or my daughter asked me a question about baseball. She asked me what position Brody my son was playing at the time. And he was between second and third base. And I was like, I don't know. I don't know what that position is. I'm not very baseball oriented. I'm learning because he's playing so I'm not beginner. Yes. And so now

DJ Stutz  28:56  
you know that second base. Yeah, that he's

Bailey Olsen  29:00  
between second and third. And nobody was on third. So I'm like, Well, maybe he's on third base. Oh, standing in the wrong. I don't know. Anyways, I was able to encourage her, like you said, to even extend those people's skills by asking the guy next to us who I had heard a lot of really smart sounding baseball things to his wife. Like, you know what, I bet this friend next to us knows, so if you want to, of course, she was too scared to ask, but it was able to ask him and honestly, it was uncomfortable for me to when I'm like, so I have a question and I have a lot of my grandmother in me. So normally, it is not hard for me to talk to people. Normally I can make conversations easily, admitting admitting that I didn't understand my son's score. What position he was, I mean, I understand the basic gist of baseball. As it turns out, they've added because he's young, he's only six they just kind of added some position.

DJ Stutz  29:59  
There You go, Yeah, cuz I'm thinking second or third because shortstops between first and second, so yeah, but anyway, yeah, lots of fun but letting them see you do those things and just and just have fun with it and not get irritated with their questions. I think it's hysterical. So you know, my daughter Rocky, and her husband, Peter. And before they had kids, my son, Shiloh, and his wife and their two boys, were over visiting for something. I think that just Roman was there. I took Roman and they were coming the next day or something anyway. But Roman was just a million questions a minute, right? asking so many things in pictures like, man, does he ever stop asking questions?

Unknown Speaker  30:47  
You know, you can see who is a little bit

DJ Stutz  30:49  
tired of all the questions. And now he's got two little kids. And it's a lot of questions and a lot of talking. And so it's funny how when they're your kids, and they're asking, you've kind of learned a lot from them and kind of parent you want to be?

Bailey Olsen  31:06  
Yes, I completely agree with that.

DJ Stutz  31:09  
Yeah. So what are some other things to get curious about?

Bailey Olsen  31:13  
So the one thing that I think we've touched on most of the things on my list of inspiring curiosity right now, but the one thing we haven't talked a ton about is connecting really well with your child so that they trust you when you are trying to inspire the curiosity, right? Because if you're trying to ask questions, I have a good friend who is so well made. But man, she doesn't have a super great relationship with her kids. It's a very lossy relationship. She loves her kids. And I don't have bad things to say. But I watch her kids hesitate to trust what she's thinking because she doesn't come down to their level very often. She doesn't connect with them on the things they like to do. So I have down here some fun ideas of ways to connect with your child. But I have to be honest, I hate playing pretend with my kids. I do not like it. And I love kids. I really do. And I love doing everything with kids. But oh my goodness playing pretend is like, like playing Barbies, or playing action figures or cars or so boring. I just it's like pulling my teeth out. I I'm, that's probably so terrible to say. But it is hard for me. So I have come up with a list of things for me to connect with my kids. Because sometimes I feel like I'm doing the same with my friend, right having a hard time connecting with them on their level. So one thing, which I actually got this from an influencer simply on purpose, is her handle. Oh, yeah, I follow her do. Yes, she is so wonderful. And one of the things that she does is she got this little disco ball. And after dinner every evening, they dim the lights, they do the disco ball, they turn the disco ball and music on and they have a cleaning dancing party. And the kids have all said as they've gotten older, how much they enjoy that. And when you're really little while you get a rag and you like wipe down the cabinets are something that, you know, like there's not that much is required. And as you get older, there's dishes and wiping counters down and putting all the ingredients away and sweeping and all that kind of stuff. So I was like, Okay, that is actually so cute. And we don't have the disco ball. But we do have music. And we like to use it on after we eat dinner. And sometimes it doesn't work as we are. Or it's family. So we're not home often until 830 or dinner at nine and just please get in bed everybody. Yeah. So sometimes it doesn't work. But on the nights it does. My kids actually really enjoy it. And then they always just feel more,

DJ Stutz  33:56  
right. That's such an important thing. And I think you bring up such a great point in that. Building. Curiosity is also building that relationship. Building that connectivity between you and your kiddo and finding joy in learning and being excited about wow, I had no idea. I'm so glad you asked that question. Because now I get to know something that I didn't know before. But you spend time with your kids doing that and building that. So when you've got a parent though, who working hard at a job, they come home, there's dinner, there's all of this stuff. Where are they going to find the time because I've heard that too with some of my coaching parents is well I just don't have the time. What would you suggest? I

Bailey Olsen  34:47  
would suggest honestly, kind of what I just said involve the kids in the household stuff and make fun, right? It's hard. I'm a busy mom, I actually I work three jobs. As I'm a substitute teacher, I teach through a program called hybrid. So we are only in person two days, but I do the lesson plans for every day. And then I also coach gymnastics and I have my two kids. And then I'm very involved in my church. And they have that those activities every Wednesday night, and lots of planning goes into bills. And then Sunday's are family days, and I get it, I'm a busy mom, as well. And I would say my biggest thing is, first of all, involve your kids in whatever you need to do in dishes, make them fun, put some music on, and you don't know what when that doesn't work. Just tell your kids you love them, spend 15 minutes, anybody no matter how busy you are, can spare 15 minutes to connect with your kid. And if you can spare 15 minutes a day to connect with your kids. It's not every single day, then it's not every single day. But making sure for those 15 minutes, you don't have your phone, there's no TV on, there's no nothing. Some people think they're connecting with their kids when they watch a show together. And it's like the sort of I mean, you're there with them and doing something that they enjoy. But it can't always be that right sit down and talk with them or make their favorite treat and eat it together while you talk. Or make your favorite treat and have them try it. If it's something that gives you a little bit of self love to as you write, you're probably lacking in that if you're a busy mom, you're probably lacking in that self care part, which is also important. So I would say any of those things reading together, even when your kids get older, reading a book series together, even if you only read half of the chapter, today. Just having that little connection where you guys are together. I think that that goes a long way. And the other thing is, don't put pressure on yourself. constantly tell your kids that you love them and do little things for them that show them that you love them, write them a little note and leave it on their pillow before they go to bed or little things like that. But don't put so much pressure on yourself. You're working hard. And they'll come around and see it even if they don't right now.

DJ Stutz  37:04  
Yeah, absolutely, they will. And I think to kids know you're busy. Even when they're three, they know you're busy. And so when you do take that time, and then you make sure that you're taking that time, even if it is that 10 or 15 minutes, I would even say maybe there's three things, you know, that you can do jump on the trampoline together, or have a race, ride your bikes, whatever, and have three things and they can choose which one, all three are acceptable to you, of course, but then they feel like they've got an input into what you're doing, how you're building that. And it just really makes a big difference in how you're doing that. And then making sure that the time that you do like if you have your weekends off, or if you have a job where you're working the weekends, but you have some weak days off, that if you can take time to make sure you're there to pick them up from school that day and go and do something fun, or you do something interesting, you're investigating different things.

Bailey Olsen  38:05  
And it doesn't need to be, you know, I see a lot of us, including myself fall into the trap of, Okay, we're gonna not go to school, but we're gonna go to this very expensive thing. Yeah, like a once in a blue moon. If we're not careful, that'll just enable and make our kids entitled, and think that their time with mom and dad is time when you have to spend a bunch of money. And as parents, as a parent, I don't want that pressure to constantly be spending so much money that doesn't need to be set, right? I want money for them. I want to help them go to college, if they want to go to college, I would actually really love to help them buy their first house, that is a hard thing to do. And if we can save any sort of money right now, I would really like to have money to do that for them. So I actually have a cute list here of some fun things that we can do that don't cost money that will just help connect with our kids random things. Okay, actually, this stemmed from if you haven't read this book, again, not in any way sponsored. I don't know that at all. But it's called a million miles in 1000 years. It is absolutely amazing and get on Audible or you can just I love listening to books while I exercise. So okay, it is absolutely amazing. And it talks about writing a story. So this all stemmed from how to make your life a good story. Because nobody wants to live in a bummer story. You have to read the book to really understand because I made it sound really shallow like you just want everyone to like your story and but he talks about how the beauty and tragedy and just making your life a story that you want to live. So here's some little random things that I thought of would be just so nice. One is right hind notes like empowering notes like you have a great smile or I hope you have a great day and leaving that I'm in the pages of a library book, when you return the library book, we've actually been the recipient of this before where we were reading a library book. And it's like, oh, my gosh, look at this little, you know, that is a great idea. Isn't that a cute idea. And it just will brighten somebody's day and knowing that you're gonna brighten somebody's day is always awesome. Yeah, another one, we don't have any pets. But my children absolutely are dying for a dog. But we have huge allergies in our house to animals. So that's not happening. But Ask a neighbor, if you can walk their dog, because that's fun for the neighbor for you to get their dog out. And for us, like we have like four neighbors that have dogs. So asking them, it's like, I like dogs. But I'm not like a dog, person so much. And so it's like a sacrifice for me a little bit. But at the same time, my kids love it. So that's another thing. Ask your neighbors, if they could go on a walk, if you can walk their dog, sorry. And then I would say, Hey, this is gonna come off weird, but I don't know how to say it. So understand that I mean this in an appropriate way to your child breaks the physical barrier, not in a creepy, inappropriate way, rub their back, play with their hair, you love hugs, this is so important for kids in to grow, they see it as a teacher and as a substitute. It's actually really easy to tell the kids that don't have that physical barrier broken very often, because they really don't connect as well with other kids and with the teacher, and they feel more alone. And as soon as you start breaking that physical barrier, I think it will just help. Like I said, rub their back, have them rub your back. appropriately. Obviously, we're talking about like in church, my kids, I have them draw pictures on my back. And I draw pictures on their back, or I play with their hair, and they play with my unless it's curled, because then don't touch it. So another one is just the way that we talk to our kids, I find myself falling into this, where I especially have one kid, my son, he's so loud, and he has big emotions, like he is just loud and larger than life. Right? And so he's always yelling, he is always, always yelling, whether he's happy or sad, or angry or loving. He is yelling. And so I get so frustrated. Sometimes I feel like my head's going to explode. And then I say, Stop. Yeah. As I'm yelling,

obviously not the best way to go about it. But I I've learned a trick that that really helps. And it helps him feel connected to me when I'm able instead of saying stop yelling, I can say, hey, Brody, do you hear how my voice is right now? Can you make your voice like mine? And you try saying that again? But can you make your voice like mine? And then he can match my voice and match my tone? And it changes things that helps things? And then he feels like he can trust me? And I'm not gonna yell at him? Because we do get him yelling battles. But then at the end of it, he's like you're always making every day worser? Because you're

Unknown Speaker  43:17  
always yelling. It's worser.

Bailey Olsen  43:21  
Yes, worse. Do you think he's just proper English?

DJ Stutz  43:26  
You know, it's funny that you bring that up, because I haven't decided if I'm really going to do it yet. But I was thinking about doing a 10 day challenge for families to help them get on the path of not yelling so much at their kids. So I don't know, we'll see if I wind up doing it. But it's definitely something I'm kind of I'm looking at.

Bailey Olsen  43:46  
I think it's a great idea. And honestly, it been since my kids were about two is when I felt like I kind of started yelling. Yeah. And then more and more as they got older until my kids could really mob. You're yelling at me. And you're telling me not to but you're young, you know? And then of course, there's the trap of well, you don't listen to me unless I go. Yeah, I do that I say that. Okay, and I tend to really hard not to, but I have learned to say something to them before when I can feel my blood boiling when I feel myself about bubble over and yell, I say and in a very firm voice, right? It's easy on the microphone to make it sound like I'm a perfect parent. But when it's in that moment, I will admit I'm heated right. And so I will say to them, I am about to yell and I don't want to yell. So either you need to change your tone. Now before I yell or I need to walk away and you need to go sit in your room so that we can have some separate space. We can both sit in our rooms for 10 minutes, and then we'll come back and re evaluate and I think it's important for me I've noticed Not just to say, why don't you go sit in your room because I am going to lose it right? For me to be able to say, Let's both go sit in our rooms and take 10 minutes. And honestly, I love sitting in my room, I have my room, I want to be sent to my room. I wish that my kids my room for half an hour.

Unknown Speaker  45:19  
That's so true. They fight taking naps, and you're thinking I would die to take a nap. You are so lucky.

Bailey Olsen  45:28  
I know I've gotten to the point now on Sundays, where I'm like, okay, quiet time in your rooms. I don't care if you stay in your rooms because I am taking no, my Sunday afternoon nap is sacred. Yeah, say, um, the other ones that I have here are sit on the floor. If you are physically able, sit on the floor with your kids. I don't care what you're doing on the floor, if you're reading a book, if you're driving cars, if you're just sitting there and talking to them while they're doing those things, which is me usually because again, I don't like playing pretend very much. So the kids see you on their level. So they feel you coming down to their level, you're on the couch. If you're physically unable. That's a totally different story. But if you're like on the couch and stuff, they always have to come up to your level. Write it down on their level, it just means the world to them. And of course, I'm going to say it again, as I've already talked about the library and reading that reading together and not making your kids sit idly listen while you read, if you are the one reading to them, letting them play while they read. Sometimes you should have them sit down and follow your finger. Let them see that your fingers going along, depending on their age, so they can start to get that phonemic awareness. But even if you're reading, like I love to read Harry Potter to my kids, and I just read and they can play or they can come and sit with me. Either way, making reading and stories of fun time is a good way to connect. And then afterwards, most important part of my opinion, talk about it. Talk Yes. What happened in that time, because reading a book is really not that different from watching the show if you're just reading it,

DJ Stutz  47:12  
right. But it does inspire curiosity. They're running the pictures of the story. They're making their own movie in your head when you're exactly. You know, I found this book, it's 10 chapters, they're short chapters. And so it's a perfect nighttime read for chapter book, you read one chapter a night, and they're short. And so it's really cool. But it's by this amazing author named Beau Ellsworth. And it's called Jovi Jade and the monster under the bed.

Unknown Speaker  47:47  
And I love this book.

DJ Stutz  47:49  
And if you can find books like that, I know the magic Treehouse is set up with every book is 10 chapters. And every book is 10 chapters. And it's really interesting because the volume one is a time travel kind of a series. And they start out with the dinosaurs. And so you're learning facts, you're learning things about whatever the topic is, but they're also the earlier episodes, I guess the earlier books are more simply and then as they go on, I think there's got to be like 30 or more of them. But I used to use them a lot with my kindergarten class. So look for books like that. And I'll put the link to the Jovi Jade book in our show notes. So people can just go and order that that's just a really fun book. It's about emotions. And how this little girl named Jovi J manages her fears, and her different emotions. And so it struggles, her struggles, your

Bailey Olsen  48:53  
fears and your struggles. Oh my gosh, I love that book.

DJ Stutz  48:55  
It is absolutely isn't it. It's perfect. I know, especially for

Bailey Olsen  48:59  
kids who are maybe even having a struggle with. I mean, every kid has struggles, right? Every single one of them. I like what my gym is Steven read it, even though it's has nothing to do with gymnastic. It talks about overcoming your fear and dealing with it. And it's honestly good for adults too. But I guess I guess saying whatever's good for kids is we need as adults. Isn't

DJ Stutz  49:20  
it true? I know. I know. I enjoy reading that. Well, I think we're coming close to our time. Well, we do episodes together, we just have so much fun talking, which is why I like having you back off and then being a co host with me. I love it. So thank you so much. I just put a bunch of things in the show notes about different things that we're talking about different resources that will be available to parents. And then if parents are interested in maybe that 10 Day Challenge, and would be interested in me putting that together. They can always shoot me an email at That'll be down in the show notes as well, but and just let me know if you're interested or not. And if I get enough people that might be interested, I'll, I'll throw it together and we'll have some fun. So, Bailey, thanks so much and I know you'll be back again soon. I love having you on and to everyone else out there. Until next time, let's find joy and parenting. Goodbye, everyone.

Transcribed by

Bailey OlsenProfile Photo

Bailey Olsen


I am a second and third grade teacher as well as a gymnastics coach! I have been teaching school off and on for about 10 years, and gymnastics has been a part of my life since I was just a kid. My most important and most favorite jobs though, are being a wife and a mother.