Liz Talks, Episode 43: Liz talks the September Struggles, How She Grew business training teaser and the Reggio Educational Philosopy

My energy worker told me September would be rough, but I didn’t bank on this! 😉 Liz talks her daughter narrowly escaping a concussion, behavior challenges at a Reggio school, and gives a preview of the How She Grew business training.

Liz Talks Episode 43

  • Updates [2:27]
  • Gym-care mishap [14:06]
  • Business training educational course [19:32]
  • The Reggio educational philosophy [23:32]


Welcome to Liz Talks. I’m Liz, and I’m a nutritional therapy practitioner and best-selling author; but here, I’m 0% professional and 100% mom, spouse, friend, and over-analyzer. We’re going to talk food, beauty, family, fitness, mental health, friendship, marriage, and everything in between in this season of Liz Talks, and I’m so glad you’re along for the ride.

Remember; this is a podcast about thoughts, feelings, and opinions. And I definitely do not give individual, personal, or medical advice. 

This is episode 43, topic: Some updates from the first few weeks of school, and a little bit of talk about the Reggio educational approach. 

And in case you missed it, last weeks’ episode 42 was an in-depth conversation with the amazing Steph Greunke, who is a registered dietitian and the creator of the postpartum reset and the metabolism reset programs. Love Steph; she’s amazing. 

Big thank you today to Arrowhead Mills for sponsoring this podcast, and our weekly Saturday morning pancake tradition. Arrowhead Mills was focused on sustainable farming long before it was cool. And their products are a choice that I feel good about. So the next time you go to the store, look for Arrowhead Mills products. You can also find them on 

I’d also like to tell you once again about the Vibrant Body Company and their amazing no-wire, certified clean bras, underwear, and tanks. These certified clean first layers have quickly become one of my top-selling affiliate brands, and it’s for good reason. They are incredible, and I have a long list of happy purchasers offering their rave reviews. Many of us are all about watching what we put in our bodies, and what we put on our bodies with regards to skincare. But we neglect to think about what our first layers; like our bras and underwear especially, are adding to our toxic burden. And unlike skincare, the clothing we wear can actually have a physical, mechanical effect on our lymphatic system. Which is a major player in our overall health and our immune function.

So, ditch the restrictive underwire, and go to, and use code LIZ15, all caps, for 15% off a new bra, a new set of underwear, or a shelfie tank from the Vibrant Body Company. And if you’re unsure what bra size you might need, book a virtual fitting with their master bra designer, Heidy. She is amazing, and I know I learned so much from mine. 

  • Updates [2:27]

Some updates: school has started, and actually around this recording it’s been in session for a few weeks. We actually didn’t start until after Labor Day. But it has been a freaking doozie of a few weeks.

There is so much going on. And it’s funny how the pace of summer gets so slow after July; after all the camps are over. After we did family camp and all of that. And then we had this lull of 2, 3 weeks maybe where there was nothing planned, nothing going on. And it was a little difficult because everybody else had gone back to school in mid-August, and our school didn’t start until after Labor Day. 

Which, in my head is like; yes! This is how it’s supposed to be. Kids are supposed to have a real three months of summer! And truthfully I didn’t want to get rid of my 7-year-old. I want her around. I wish that I had the wherewithal to homeschool and have her with me all the time. But I don’t know that I’m good of an influence in her life, so let’s be honest. She’s probably better off at school.

But at the same time, I just thought; she needs to be with kids. She needs to be in a learning environment where she’s doing all kinds of things at all different moments. And I’ve long thought; and this might be totally inaccurate and just my lens. 

But the fact that she was an only child for 5.5 years. And I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; some kinds are totally meant to be only children. And that is the family they’re meant to have. I truly believe that my first born was not meant to be an only child for as long as she was. Not only because she loves kids and has always just wanted to be with other kids, play with other kids, do all of that. But also because her learning trajectory involves a lot of repetition. And I’m referencing learning boundaries. Like, social emotional learning. 

And there is a point at which; had she remained an only child and a homeschooled child with a sort of limited access to coop environments. Which is sort of how it was unfolding when we were homeschooling for kindergarten. In that scenario, if she is not getting that constant work. That constant interaction with other kids, where she’s weighing boundaries. Learning about what works and what doesn’t. Developing a sort of social identity in the company of other children. I feel like that’s something that’s really important for her. This isn’t true of all kids. 

And there may be people who disagree with me. I don’t want anybody to take this as gospel, and be like; Liz said that kids need to be around other kids to understand their social identity. No, it’s not that. In fact, there is a book that I need to get out and re-read. And I forgot what it’s called of course. I believe it’s Hold onto Your Kids. I could be wrong about that. But I believe it’s Hold onto Your Kids. And one of the things that book talks about is the vertical transmission of culture, instead of the horizontal transmission of culture. I might be getting the book and the subject matter wrong. I might be mixing up some other book.

But the point being; that right now, kids spend so much time with their peers that culture, and values, and morality, and ethics are being transmitted horizontally from child to child. And you don’t always know where these things are being solidified. Whether it’s home, or from a delinquent older brother; who knows. Or if it’s not a priority at school to really work on conscious discipline, morality, the development of ethics in a group setting, that type of thing. Group work. You kind of never know what you’re going to end up with there. 

Versus the vertical transmission of culture, which is when the value set is transmitted through the family; not the family hierarchy. But the family hierarchy, where parents are the largest and most important influence in the kids life. 

So I’m very pro parents being, in general, the largest and most important influence in a child’s life over and above their peers. However, there is a balance there. We live in a society where we are not in the village. And we talk about this all the time. So many things come back to; where’s that village. And it’s like; we don’t have a perfect substitute for that. So yes, kids need to be with other kids. Kids needs to be learning in a community, collaborative environment. But they also don’t need to be experiencing a transmission of culture values, ethics, and morals across this horizontal classmate mode of transmission.

But at the same time, that doesn’t mean kids need to be at home with one parent 24/7 and never experiencing that type of environment with other kids and learning in a group way and testing boundaries and playing as much as possible. 

What we really need, ideally, is for all of us. Or at least the people that are interested, to sign up for; let’s build a cul-de-sac. Let’s build an intentional community where all the homes are situated around a common space where we share parenting duties. Where the kids all play together in a multi-age environment with lots of manipulatives, lots of outside time, growing things, raising chickens, and really taking part in an intentional community. That’s what we need. 

But really, it’s that constant dance of trying to strike that balance. And if I haven’t mentioned this before; it’s really hard. It’s really been hard for me. And I talked about this in a podcast with Hannah and Kelty from semi-recently. About just what a challenge my 7-year-old has been. 

This amazing, incredible, smart, spunky, fiery 7-year-old that went from literally a kid that I barely had to parent for 5 years, because she was so easy, so agreeable, so sweet. You know, I really thought I had it figured out. To being this really amazing, 7-year-old that’s also grappling with figuring out her place amongst her peers, what the world looks like now, and what her place is in it. 

And I imagine, you know, if we were going to a different school that what we’re going to, I might think to myself; I need to pull her out. We need to do something else. I follow an Instagram account; while I’m bouncing around here. I follow an Instagram account. I think it’s called; it’s a homeschool dad. Stark Raving Dad. Maybe that’s what it is. I believe he has a podcast, too. 

His account is all about; listen. The conventional school system does not work for some kids. It just doesn’t. And they need you. They need a different environment. They need a different means of communication to really fulfill all of their potential. And I think for a lot of children, that’s true. For my child, I’m still figuring it out. 

One of the things I’m going to talk about today is the Reggio school that we choose for her education, and how in a lot of ways I feel like I’m actually outsourcing the decent parenting to them. And I don’t mean that as an insult to myself, but I suck at parenting right now, folks. I really, truly do. I don’t know if you’ve picked up on that in my podcast with Hannah and Kelty, but this has been a challenge. And it’s not necessarily because my daughter is difficult, or defiant. She has moments of all of those things, but so do I. So does everybody. 

It’s a matter of me figuring out what the heck is going on in my head that I react to her in certain ways. Or that I take certain challenges personally. Where I feel like; oh gosh, this is breaking down this really valuable façade that I’ve built, where I feel like I have to look like I’m perfect and I’ve got it figured out at all times. Not with everything. I’m ok with some things not looking that way. But things like parenting. Or things like; I don’t know. Life. I don’t know. All of these different things that I want to look like I have figured out, but I don’t. 

And when my 7-year-old really challenges me, thinking to myself; being so triggered, and feeling like; whatever my child is doing at this moment is actually saying that I have done something wrong. Or that I am stupid. Or misguided. Or just flat out wrong, or off. Off-base. Whatever it is. Whatever my kid is doing is saying that there is something wrong with me. And I respond so strongly to that. My body literally can’t tolerate that type of challenge.

Not because I always have to be right. But because the control that I have around the way that I am viewed by others is apparently a lot more important to me than I thought it was. I don’t like feeling confused and lost and I certainly don’t like being challenged in ways that make me feel confused, lost, out of control. Any of that. It’s really, really hard for me. And I imagine, some people listening, it’s probably hard for you, too.

So there are many frameworks that I’m exploring. One of them was suggested to me by my friend Shan from My Food Religion on Instagram. She pointed me to the concept of the integrity child. Which is; you can find a little bit more about that through the podcast Tell Me About Your Kids, which has been really, really helpful to me. But feeling like; not only do I need to understand my child, but I also need to understand myself a little bit better. And why I react the way I react. 

Because intellectually, I know. My conversation with Hannah and Kelty; none of that was shocking to me. It was all important to hear, but none of it was like; oh, you’re right. Now I’m fixed. It was like; gah. You’re right. How do I do that? 

So anyway, there have been a ton of challenges. Even in the first couple of weeks of school. And I am very grateful that we choose the school that we did. Because at the very least, I know that my kid is going to school and feeling loved. Feeling heard. And disciplined consciously. They use the philosophy of conscious discipline. And are using a framework that is very different from this; I don’t know what the word would be. This sort of knee-jerk place that I am stuck in right now. 

So I know there are a lot of things that I need to work on. I need to work on work-life balance. I need to work on figuring out how to have special time with each individual child. Around all the things that I’m trying to do workwise. Which I’ll talk about that in a minute. And I also need to sort of re-parent myself. Anyway. Lots to figure out. 

I’ll talk a little bit more about Reggio here in a bit on this podcast. But hopefully that will help explain sort of why we have chosen the school route we have chosen, and a lot of that is wrapped into; you know, what’s going on personally. This entire journey of parenthood is such a freaking trip. It is absolutely a peak experience, but it will also drag you through every insecurity, every worry, every issue that you have and have ever had and force you to face up to those in ways that can be incredibly painful. And also feel completely impossible. 

It’s almost like the difference between your autonomic and your sympathetic. Your sympathetic and your parasympathetic nervous system. I feel like a lot of these things that are coming up for me are fully sympathetic. I don’t have control over them. They just pop up. Versus me being able to intellectualize something and say; oh, I feel this rage bubbling up in my throat. Now I must use this tactic to quell it, so that I can maintain the channels of communication in my parenting. It doesn’t work like that for me, right now. I’m working on it.

  • Gym-care mishap [14:06]

Ok, so that tangent aside. All the rest of the month of September has been wild and wacky for us, as well. Starting with last week, before the first day of school, what I thought was a concussion in my 7-year-old. It was a really scary moment. And I have never once had a good experience with gym childcare. The last time I took my kids; well, it was just the one. It was before I had my second. I took her to the gym childcare at Lifetime Fitness and she got bit.

Now, I love Lifetime Fitness. I actually think they do an amazing job. It’s just one of those things; when you’re using drop in childcare. It’s like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get. This chocolate just happened to be the one that tastes like drippy marshmallow raspberry. Just gross. Or, you know, those table mints that used to be at your grandparents house; just not good. Nothing that belongs encased in chocolate.

Anyway. First time I ever dropped her at childcare, she got bit. The second time, years later, she ended up getting a severe contusion. Now, I misread it on the ER paperwork. I read concussion. The paperwork said contusion. But I was really, really frightened so that’s what I saw. But basically, what happened was she was playing in the childcare room really rough and rowdy with someone. Which is another theme that we’re working through these days. The way she channels her energy is just; I’m stumped right now.

But she was playing really rough and rowdy with someone in the gym childcare and ended up slamming her head really, really hard on the floor. She wasn’t calming down. Which is very unlike her. So I started to get a little bit worried. So I thought; ok, I’m going to take her to Urgent Care. I got on the phone to reserve my spot in Urgent Care, and the first spot available was like 7:15. This was like 6 or 7 hours away. And I was like; I cannot wait that long. Something is going on. She’s not calming down. This was clearly a lot worse than I thought.

There was a red mark on her forehead, but it wasn’t a goose egg yet. But what I had noticed that her eyes looked a little bit… uneven. {laughs} I didn’t realize at the time, but it was because of swelling that would eventually turn into a black eye. Just, from the, I guess, draining of whatever it was. That the impact on her forehead had dislodged. but of course, I’m like; this doesn’t look quite right. She’s not feeling quite right. So we’re just going to go straight to the ER. 

So to the ER we went. On the road, on the way there, she started saying she wanted to fall asleep. Which, of course, if you’ve watched any television, you know that you’re not supposed to allow somebody who has hit their head to fall asleep. Well, of course, come to find out, from the lovely doctor that assisted us in the pediatric ER, that’s a bit of a myth. Any kind of head trauma absent any other symptoms in general, they’ll probably want to take a rest. Because it involves a lot of energy. So he said that’s a bit of a myth. But of course, it also depends on what other symptoms are or are not present. Again, this is not diagnostic. 

But it was really freaking me out. She was just not calming down. So they put her through the tests. She did really well. They said that there had been a recent study; a really large, high quality study. And I forgot the acronym, what it was called. That basically indicated that protocol XY and Z were sufficient to determine whether a scan was necessary. And what the doctor said, and what I really appreciated, was that it would actually be close to malpractice to offer a scan out of caution when all other signs pointed to nothing being amiss, and that she would be ok by the next day. 

I appreciated that, and I appreciated all the explanations. It was actually kind of funny, because we were sitting in the emergency room, and I was trying to explain what was going on without freaking out my daughter. So I was using all these words. I was like; well, you know, after impact I noted an asymmetry in the ocular region followed by a lethargy. The doctor was like; are you a doctor? I was like. No. But I’m an influencer. Just kidding.

So he was very respectful in explaining everything that I wanted to know; answering all of my questions. It was really helpful. He did say she might throw up later. One vomiting episode is fine. And then he explained what other things to look out for. He said; if any of these things happen you’ve got time to get back to us, so I feel really comfortable sending you guys home with an ice pack and a popsicle. 

Now, by the end of the day, she had a massive black eye. And a pretty big welt on her head. And she did have one vomiting episode. Which was scary, but would have been a lot scarier, had I not gotten the wisdom from the ER doctor before it happened. If she had thrown up and wanted to fall asleep, and I hadn’t been to the ER yet, I probably would have freaked out. 

But, after about a day of rest, she was ok. She took it pretty easy at school during the first week. But she was completely fine. But it was scary. And it was just not a great way to start September.


On top of that, I’ve been coaching soccer. Which is always really fun and really challenging. I have a reel about it that basically says; nobody cares how good of a soccer coach you are. They’re just glad it’s not them that has to coach. And I would imagine that’s probably true. But I do really enjoy coaching soccer and just overall the September calendar has been wild and crazy. 

  • Business training educational course [19:32]

One of the other things that I’m also working on in September, and it’s part of the reason the month is so wild and crazy, is I’m actually working on a business training. So if you are out there, and you are thinking; I’m not happy with my corporate job. Or I’m not happy with, whatever job. Or, I’m not happy with what I’m doing on the internet that feels like a job but is not actually profitable. Anybody out there that has ever wanted to run any portion of their business on the internet or who wants to have a “side hustle” on the internet. 

Anybody out there that has something to say or something to share that would benefit from being out there on the internet for the world; I’m making this training for you. I’m actually making it in partnership with four other really successful blogger/influencer/ individuals who are absolutely amazing. Arsy Vartanian, Terri Hutchin, Noelle Tarr, and Elaina Haber. 

All incredible, motivated, successful women in their niches, and we have all come together to basically bring you the most successful online entrepreneurs that we know in one-hour interviews. Around 30 one-hour interviews with these amazing experts. We’re going to share everything that they feel like you need to know about being successful in online business.

Now, this is meant to be, in some ways, a survey course. And that is to say; there are a ton of business trainings out there that are highly specific. How to build your course. How to be a nutrition entrepreneur. And all of those things are super valuable. They’re also super expensive.

So in this course, what we’re hoping to do is illuminate the path for people. Shorten the learning curve. Give people information that will help then understand exactly how to move forward. Maybe you think you need to have this big online presence, but what you really need to do is start working on a course. Maybe you think you really want to generate a physical product, and that’s really, really important to you. Well, how do you get the internet clout? How do you get the social media following so that people actually find it? 

How do you manage your business on the back end? What are our favorite apps? What are platforms that people use that are game changing? How do people organize their content? And how do they do all these things in a way that is sustainable to their lives outside of work and in a way that is duplicable, and possible for the long-haul. These are huge, huge topics. And we have some people that have agreed to interviews who would cost $2000 for an hour-long business consult. And they’re literally donating their time to this project, which we will end up turning around and bringing to you for less than $10 an hour for each hour of content. 

It’s going to be amazing. It’s this passion project that I never; it’s a passion I never knew I had working on this project with a turn-around time that we put on it, the goals that we set for it, has been the most amazing experience. And the amount of wisdom that we are encapsulating into this program is just beyond. 

And it should be ready here in the next couple of weeks. So I really want everybody to just look out for that. Pay attention for it. Anybody that has ever wanted to run any portion of their business online is going to benefit from the wisdom in this course. If it’s going to teach you what you need to do, or what you need to not do. 

All of that is so valuable, and I cannot tell you how many people that are involved who are being interviewed have said; oh my gosh, this is amazing. This is exactly what I wish I would have had 10 years ago. Somebody or a group of somebodies who are successful literally just sitting down for a pick your brain session so I could find out everything that was important to know so that I could move forward with confidence. 

So if you’ve ever thought about running a business online, or if you currently run a business online or you’re not sure you’re happy with it or you know you can level up. If you’re a rising entrepreneur, I’ve got you. I’m so, so excited about this project. It’s called How She Grew. And I’ll be talking about it more on my Instagram, on the podcast, and we’ll get all of the information out to you as soon as we can. 

  • The Reggio educational philosophy [23:32]

Alright. I think that’s just about enough for updates and rambles. And now I want to just answer a quick question that I received. And this is about the Reggio education philosophy. Here’s the question that came in. “I’ve heard you mention that you love the Reggio educational approach. But a summary of it on the internet is hard to find. Can you talk more about the difference between Reggio and Montessori, Waldorf, etc., and why you love Reggio?”

I think I might have touched on this in a couple of past podcasts, but my goal is to get a Reggio expert on the podcast to actually talk about this. Because I ran into the same problem when I was researching school. I had actually never even heard of the Reggio philosophy, that I remember. This is how I’m remembering this right now. 

But I believe I heard about, in particular the school that we ended up at, just on a message board about great daycares. And I had no idea what Reggio was. It was just that somebody had recommended this school. I went into research it; saw the word Reggio, and then started looking into it.

It’s really tough. Montessori has really gone mainstream, and even to a degree Waldorf has as well. But I’ve found of all things, Reggio is kind of the most difficult to sort of pull together exactly what I needed to know as a parent to really understand what the point of Reggio education is.

So what I’m hoping to do is eventually write a post or do a podcast on Montessori versus Reggio, Waldorf versus Reggio, or just the three of them individually. Talk about their strengths, who it might be right for. Sort of the things that stand out about the approaches to me. And in particular, why I love Reggio so much. It’s not because I don’t love the other approaches. It’s just because it resonated the most with me. 

And as I’ve said earlier in this podcast; I don’t know that I’m doing the best job with my 7-year-old right now. I really am in a place of extreme self-doubt.  But I do know that the people at my daughter’s school love her, and are in partnership with me on trying to figure everything out. And what more can you ask, right? 

So, I’ll sort of throw in a couple of things about Reggio, and then we’ll continue this conversation in a future podcast when I can get a Reggio expert on to really talk about what the philosophy is all about. 

One of the things I noted about Reggio is that in general it seems to be an approach centered around the preschool years. I believe Montessori has been very similar, although both Montessori and Reggio have schools that have crept into the elementary years and beyond. I know in St. Louis there are several Reggio centered schools. Not all of them are listed on; I don’t know, either the Reggio Alliance Website or; I can’t remember what the other website is. There are a couple of them where there are Reggio schools listed. There are a couple in St. Louis, of course, because St. Louis is like a bastion of private school excellence. Of alternative and private school excellence.

But there are some. There aren’t a lot, but there are some. And I do hope that continues to grow. But I think in general, the approach is mostly catered towards those really early childhood years. And they call it Reggio actually because it’s a philosophy that originated in Reggio Emilia, Italy. So it’s not a woman named Emilia Reggio. It’s a city called Reggio-Emilia, Italy. And it’s an early childhood education philosophy that followed, I think, World War 2 in that town. 

So Reggio-Emilia is still; I mean, it’s still alive. It’s a town of several hundred thousand; 200,00 citizens. It’s still around. And Reggio-Emilia is still alive and active there today.

There are a couple of websites where you can learn more about Reggio-Emilia, but the idea; and this sounds very general. But the idea from the North American Reggio-Emilia Alliance Website is, “We envision a world where all children are honored and respected for their potential, their capabilities, and their humanity.” 

Now, I’ll talk about, in particular, our Reggio education experience. Which is that there’s a conscious discipline element. Where they approach the children in really respectful, conscious way when it comes to behavior. There is a focus on the whole child. And I don’t know whether this comes straight from the teachers or from the Reggio philosophy in general. But movement and free play, and creative ways of learning as a group and in… what would the word be? In a vertical way. 

So we have units of inquiry, where; 5 different units of inquiry during the course of the year where math, literacy, all of those things are wrapped into this larger unit of inquiry. So kids are learning things in context. Again, I don’t know if that’s just our school, or if that’s Reggio in general. But it is certainly inspired by the Reggio beliefs. 

So, in our school, obviously the kids are respected with their potential capabilities and humanity. They are part of their own process of learning. They are not vessels that are being filled up with information. They are individuals that are developing their knowledge and their ability to seek information on their own.

And while I think almost any educator would say; yes, of course. That makes sense. I think it is undeniable that what has happened in a lot of educational arenas is that children, particularly schools that deem themselves to be very rigorous. There is a focus on creating a way for children to learn more information at a faster pace. More spelling words. More testing on the spelling words. More achievement, and achievement being that huge word. Like; what does that even mean, achievement? What can they do now? Or what will they go on to do as citizens of the world? 

So even wonderful schools end up taking this focus on achievement. And I think part of that might be because of the parents. Particularly in private school environments where parents are paying a good amount of money. They want to see that return in grades. In evaluations. In achievement. 

And Reggio; what I like about it; and this is in comparison to a Waldorf school that we looked at where I felt like there was not a lot of; there was, of course, teaching. But it was very pulled back in the sense that they really follow the children’s lead. I loved the outdoor aspect of Waldorf; but I also felt like there was a dynamic approach to learning that was reflected in Reggio that I didn’t find anywhere else. And I loved that. So that’s why we went with Reggio. Among other reasons. 

There are great Montessori schools in my region, but Reggio really resonated with me. 

There is a poem. And it’s actually; it’s translated, and it’s called, I think 100 languages. And it’s by Loris Malaguzzi. And it’s a really neat poem. And I’ll read it really quickly, and of course I’ll butcher it. But it’s sort of the cornerstone of the Reggio approach. And here it is. 

The child is made of one hundred.

The child has a hundred languages

a hundred hands

a hundred thoughts

a hundred ways of thinking

of playing, of speaking.

A hundred always a hundred

ways of listening

of marveling of loving

a hundred joys

for singing and understanding

a hundred worlds

to discover

a hundred worlds

to invent

a hundred worlds

to dream.

The child has

a hundred languages

(and a hundred hundred hundred more)

but they steal ninety-nine.

The school and the culture

separate the head from the body.

They tell the child:

to think without hands

to do without head

to listen and not to speak

to understand without joy

to love and to marvel

only at Easter and Christmas.

They tell the child:

to discover the world already there

and of the hundred

they steal ninety-nine.

They tell the child:

that work and play

reality and fantasy

science and imagination

sky and earth

reason and dream

are things

that do not belong together.

And thus they tell the child

that the hundred is not there.

The child says:

No way. The hundred is there.

I just think that is such a cool poem. And it really encapsulates this idea of the extraordinary potentials of children. And one of the cornerstones, also, of Reggio philosophy is that children are active protagonists in their growing processes. This is straight from the website, so this isn’t something that I’m making up. 

But that they construct meaning through their experiences. And the process of educating a child is just as much of the process of constructing meaning as being preferable to being told what things mean. Which, we talk about this all the time on the podcast here. Through my book. So many of us in conversation around health and wellness. We’re always talking about context. Nuance. And I really believe that Reggio is about context. It’s not just about information. It’s not just about the textbook. It’s about the context. The why. The when. The where. The how. And what the children are bringing to the table, and how much we can learn from them in that same process.

And part of the philosophy is participation. Being part of everything. And sometimes this can be infuriated. We wanted T-shirts; like school T-shirts. And the administration was like; yeah, of course. The kids are going to do that. And I was like; but I don’t want a T-shirt a kid makes. I want a cool T-shirt. You know? But I get it. It’s like; their world is important. The way they explore, and the feeling that they are important and responsible and included and in solidarity with their peers is super, super important. And while every school wants that for the kids, it is not a primary concern of every school. 

And one of the big things, also, about Reggio is research. Research is a big one. So it’s not testing, necessarily. It’s not scores. It is evaluation, but it’s different. It’s research. It’s learning in relationship with others. And this has been a huge challenge. This is something that I think we were really meant to bump up against in our educational journey. 

My daughter needs to understand herself in relationship to other people. She needs to understand herself in relationship to herself. In relationship to her family. And while I feel like right now we’re having some uglies. We’re having some things that we’re having to work through with her. I think it’s probably something that working through now is going to be profoundly important. Particularly compared with another option, which would be to be like me and to never figure any of this stuff out until you’re in your 20s and 30s and going through massive amounts of pain just to get to that point. 

So my thought is; even though we’re struggling. Even though we’re in a process of figuring things out; at least my daughter is not being punished. At least she’s not being labeled a “problem child”. At least she’s being supported in her journey to understand herself in social relationship to other people. And she’s doing that in an environment that is caring, kind, inclusive. But that also puts a high value on respecting the safety and comfort of all of the other kids around her. 

So it’s not just; you’re punished. Why would you do that? Type of thing. It’s; let’s figure out how we can keep each other safe, and help you in the larger sense understand who you are and who you want to be in relationship with other people. So I think that’s really, really special.

And there is so, so, so much more about Reggio that I want to talk about. But I think it would probably be best left to an expert. And I’m really excited about doing that. 

So really, that’s all I had planned for today. There’s a ton of really rich, dense, amazing podcast content that’s coming out over the next couple of weeks that I’m really excited about. Including interviews with Dr. Jolene Brighten, with Ester Blum, some amazing people coming on the podcast to give us a ton of really good, amazing points of view. 

So today, by the way, it’s my birthday! Today, I’m going to keep it short. And we’ll stop there. Thank you all so much for listening. That’s it for episode 43. A big thank you to Arrowhead Mills for making this episode possible. Remember, you can ask me anything by sending me a DM @RealFoodLiz on Instagram. But the best way to ask is to go to That way, they don’t get lost in my inbox. 

I appreciate you all! I’ll see you next week. 

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