Today I’ll be having my Coffee date with… Katie Switzer (and her gorgeous baby ❤). Katie is a mechanical engineer that has turned her career 180º to become a parent advocate.
“Never do for a child what they can do for themselves.” Rudolf Dreikurs
R: What’s a Parent Advocate? Can you tell us a bit more about your business?
K: I’m an expert in raising freethinking children by supporting parents without judgment. I use respectful parenting techniques to create peace for families and positive futures for kids. My business started about six months ago. Guilt Free Families started as a dream that all families would have access to information about how they can foster self-confidence and independence from birth. Studies show that techniques from Montessori and other respectful parenting methods are the best start for all children, and start kids off on a level playing field regardless of race, gender, demographics, or economic background. These techniques are inexpensive and possible for all families. My dream is for my children to grow up with a generation that do not judge based on outward appearance or family history, but instead, people who embrace independence, value uniqueness, and feel empathy for all people.
R: What is the main challenge you face as a Parent Advocate?
K: I face a lot of challenges getting fathers involved in respectful parenting. They are less interested in learning new, modern parenting methods and sometimes are inclined towards, “spare the rod, spoil the child.” Many parents don’t have knowledge of psychology behind why yelling, spanking and time-outs don’t work, so they get frustrated and try more and more of these harmful methods to control their child’s behavior. Parents often perceive, “self-control” for both themselves and their children as a goal. When they learn to let go of the “self-control” mindset, amazing things happen to parents and their children.
R: What are the benefits and disadvantages of being an entrepreneur and a mum?
K: I think it’s difficult being a modern woman. We often put it on ourselves to manage a household and work full time (as an employee or a business owner). Both are full-time jobs. But, it’s also important that we let go of our own baggage and advocate for ourselves. It shouldn’t matter if you are in a boy-girl relationship or a trans-girl relationship; we have to be honest with ourselves and our partners about where our boundaries are and how to share the load equitably.
R: If you could change anything in your own life’s history, would you?
K: Why change anything? Hanging on to regrets and guilt is a waste of time. The only way to learn is to make mistakes, and I’d like to own all of mine.
R: If you could go back in time, what would you tell teenage Katie to make her life easier?
K: Don’t be so closed minded and be more positive. It’s okay to be different. High School is far from real life as an adult.
“Become the person you always wanted to be, in honor of your child.”
If you’d like to know more about raising kids in a guilt free environment, go to https://guiltfreefamilies.com/