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Jordan Monroe: “Realizing how limited your time is with your kids”

I believe that creating a growth mindset in your children is very important. I teach them to realize that the future isn’t locked but it always has to do with how much effort you put into things. For example, whenever my son does something good, instead of saying how good he is I’ll say “wow, […]


I believe that creating a growth mindset in your children is very important. I teach them to realize that the future isn’t locked but it always has to do with how much effort you put into things. For example, whenever my son does something good, instead of saying how good he is I’ll say “wow, you practiced a lot to get that good”. Building a growth-mindset matters because everything takes work, and nothing comes for free. My son now knows that if he wants to get good a something, like basketball or skiing, he needs to practice. The best gift you can give a kid is realizing that it’s okay to be bad at something in the beginning because if you keep practicing, you’ll improve.


As a part of my series about “How extremely busy executives make time to be great parents” I had the pleasure to interview Jordan Monroe, co-founder of Owlet Baby Care, a health technology company founded by a team of passionate parents in 2013 with a mission to revolutionize infant care. Today, Owlet empowers parents with the right information at the right time, with its Owlet Smart Sock, Cam, and Dream Lab products, designed to educate families on safe sleeping practices and raise awareness about infant health and wellness. Owlet provides peace of mind for hundreds of thousands of parents worldwide.

Since its founding, Jordan has contributed to Owlet’s business modeling and development, branding, marketing, and user experience. Jordan has been recognized on Forbes “30 Under 30” founders list and is currently Owlet’s Chief Innovation Officer.

Jordan attended Brigham Young University and graduated with a degree in Business Management. He is passionate about helping people and spent two years doing service in Mexico, helping him become fluent in Spanish.


Thank you so much for joining us Jordan! Can you tell us your “childhood backstory”?

I was raised in a really small town in Idaho called Declo. I am the second youngest of seven kids and grew up playing outside all day with my dog and my four-wheeler.

Can you share the story about what brought you to this specific point in your career?

In college, I knew that I wanted to start a company and build something big. We had mentors in one of my classes, and I had the chance to sit down with three CEOs of billion-dollar companies in Utah. It was a defining moment for me to meet with those entrepreneurs and realize not only did I want to build something, but I wanted to build something that was going to be very impactful. Then we started Owlet.

A lot of founders don’t stick around for this long. I think that most entrepreneurs step away from the business once it grows to be too big. Owlet’s mission and purpose are huge, and I remain committed to helping out families.

Can you tell us a bit more about what your day to day schedule looks like?

I try to bucket similar work together, so I usually dedicate two days a week to focusing on work. The rest of the week is booked with meetings, providing support, and helping others grow. I always have work, but it’s important to give myself time to focus and be productive.

This is probably intuitive to many, but it would be beneficial to spell it out. Based on your experience or research, can you flesh out why not spending time with your children can be detrimental to their development?

Science shows that children form their attachment bonds between the ages of 0–6 years old. The depth of your relationship with them is developing during these years and they need to know that they are 100% loved, no matter what. You need to show them that you love them when they’re good and when they’re bad.

I think we fail to realize how valuable this period (0–6 years) of their lives is. This is when most parents are diving deeper into their careers, working longer hours, and questioning what they should give up. You have to make space for your kids during these early days because being present strengthens that attachment bond.

On the flip side, can you give a few reasons or examples about why it is so important to make time to spend with your children?

We have a quote in our house that says, “Love is spelled T-I-M-E” and we try to bring that to life. I believe in one-on-one time with my kids because you develop a much closer relationship during one-on-one time than you do with all three kids running around. We call it “special time” and it can be something as simple as going to get groceries together or taking a camping trip for the weekend.

According to this study cited in the Washington Post, the quality of time spent with children is more important than the quantity of time. Can you give a 3–5 stories or examples from your own life about what you do to spend quality time with your children?

  • Special Time: My wife and I both have ‘special time’, or one-on-one time, with each of our kids. Our kids love having ‘special time’ and it can be something as simple as going to get groceries together. I recently went on a two-day camping and hiking trip with my son and we were able to spend quality time together without distractions.
  • Mindfulness/Grateful practice: I put my kids to bed and do a gratitude practice each night. I ask them, “what are you grateful for today?” because I want to wire their brains to look for things to be grateful for.
  • Doing Things Together: You build memories and pastimes by doing things together. We have a lot of dance parties at our house and listen to an album called “Kidz Trap”. The music is kid-friendly ‘trap music’ with songs like ‘Go Play Outside’ and ‘I Love My Mom’. We also enjoy learning TikTok dances together and making videos.

We all live in a world with many deadlines and incessant demands for our time and attention. That inevitably makes us feel rushed and we may feel that we can’t spare the time to be “fully present” with our children. Can you share with our readers 5 strategies about how we can create more space in our lives in order to give our children more quality attention? Please include examples or stories for each, if you can.

  • Turning on ‘Downtime’: My phone is set to ‘downtime’ mode to limit my screentime between 6–8pm each night. These are the hours that I really get with my kids and I want to be 100% engaged. I worry about a generation that’s going to think that this little rectangle is more important than they are.
  • Traditions: These can be daily routines, such as a gratitude practice, or once-a-week outings. Having a cadence to things allows you to make room for strengthening your relationship with your kids because it’s so easy to get lost in work and other things.
  • Realizing how limited your time is with your kids: When you think about how important your time is, you realize if you’re lucky you get about two hours with your kids each night before they have to go to bed. By just recognizing that it’s only a few hours a day, and how insane that is, you’ll create more space for them.
  • Having your kids’ attention focused on you: Reduce your kids’ screen time. In 2019, we did a year without screens and got rid of all screens in our house. With three little boys it was hard, but screens have a drug-like effect on kids and they become hooked. We created more attention for them when we took away screens and they became more focused on us and spending time together as a family. It works both ways.
  • Believing in your kids: Always show your kids that you believe in them. They have amazing imaginations and can get through challenges. When we did a year without screens, we didn’t realize how hooked we all were, but my kids were able to do it. On a recent trip with my three-year-old son, we spent eight hours total of driving and there were no screens involved. Your kids can do it, you just need to provide support and show that you believe in them.

How do you define a “good parent”? Can you give an example or story?

A good parent is someone who inspires trust and love between their child. I think everything else falls into place after that. Your job as a parent is to be that constant trusting and loving source for your kids.

How do you inspire your child to “dream big”? Can you give an example or story?

I believe that creating a growth mindset in your children is very important. I teach them to realize that the future isn’t locked but it always has to do with how much effort you put into things. For example, whenever my son does something good, instead of saying how good he is I’ll say “wow, you practiced a lot to get that good”. Building a growth-mindset matters because everything takes work, and nothing comes for free. My son now knows that if he wants to get good a something, like basketball or skiing, he needs to practice. The best gift you can give a kid is realizing that it’s okay to be bad at something in the beginning because if you keep practicing, you’ll improve.

How do you, a person who masterfully straddles the worlds of career and family, define “success”?

I think success is about finding the balance of not giving everything to your kids but also not giving everything to your work. Success is when you feel like you are being pushed to your edge both as a parent and in work. You are being challenged at work, mentally stimulated, and pushing your boundaries, but also pushing your boundaries at home and trying to be a better parent.

You don’t want to be the best parent in the world at the expense of your work or your passion. I think it’s key to not exclude your own dreams to give, give, give, all to your children because that’s not what you want your kids to do either. You want them to be able to chase their dreams and passions as well.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to be a better parent? Can you explain why you like them?

My favorite parenting books that inspire me to be a better parent as Dan Siegel’s Parenting From the Inside Out and Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids by Laura Markham. I think every parent should read

You get the software in your brain on how to parent from your own parents when you’re really young, as young as six years old. It then becomes dormant and you don’t know it exists until you become a parent and realize you sound just like your parents. The script gets written without you having a choice and before you have a lot of memories. Therefore, we’re all running off of 30-year-old software. My parents could have been on the cutting edge of parenting knowledge at the time, but that knowledge now is 30 years outdated.

Parenting is one of the most unapproached things. Everyone thinks ‘I know how to parent’ but we don’t realize that we should spend time rewriting our software to align with what society knows now about parenting. For instance, 30 years ago there was not the same understanding of attachment and how important it is to love and support your child during the first six years to build that crucial attachment.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My favorite quote is “the grass is always greener where you water it.” I think this quote ties perfectly to family and it reminds us to not grasp for the grass that’s not yours. It takes effort to make something you’re proud of and it’s a good reminder that we can really make happiness and connection where we purposely place it.

This quote is a great analogy to children because if you don’t water your bond with them every day, you can’t make up for it later. It’s the law of the harvest, plants just don’t grow that way. Similarly, children don’t grow that way. You can’t try to make it up later in life.

The word ‘kindergarten’ is the same in Spanish, German, and English. It originated in the 19th century and literally means ‘children’s garden’. I find it interesting that in these languages, kindergarten is the concept that when you raise children, there’s a constant nourishment that you need to provide. Children are similar to plants that need to be constantly nourished. They are going to grow in their own direction but it’s your job to water them and help them grow as much as you can.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

We all look at money like it’s a proxy to happiness. We measure GDP as a nation because we believe it leads to more happiness, but there is not a perfect corollary between money and happiness. If I could start a movement that would change the world, it would be measuring ‘Gross Domestic Happiness’. I would study what actually makes people’s existence better, versus just the assumption that money improves quality of life.

I spent two years doing service in Mexico and when I went down there, I thought I was going to spread more happiness. But once I was there, I realized they had it all figured out. The people are hyperconnected to their families and communities. They have true connection and seeing this made me realize just how disconnected and unhappy people are in the United States.

Sometimes we can become more profitable as a business or as a country, but we actually might have made ourselves less happy during the process. I think if we were somehow able to measure contentment and satisfaction with our lives, we would make decisions that would lead to a better life worth lived. This applies on a small level, like within a family, it applies at the community level, and it applies as a nation.

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