Lisa Caprelli-Bieber On How to Raise Children Who Feel Loved and Connected
An interview with Pirie Jones Grossman
Spend quality time together. It’s important to set present time aside to spend with your children. Whether it’s through activities like reading a book together or simply spending time talking and listening, this helps children feel valued and it certainly helps build a strong and loving bond.
Parenting is challenging. We all try so hard to give our all to our children. We desperately want them to feel loved and connected. But somehow there is often a disconnect. Perhaps it’s a generational thing, or that we don’t seem to speak the same language as our children, or just all of the “disconnection” that our kids are dealing with in today’s frenetic world. What are steps that parents can take to help their children feel loved and connected? As a part of our series about “How to Raise Children Who Feel Loved and Connected” we had the pleasure to interview Lisa Caprelli.
Lisa Caprelli-Bieber is a Latina mom, elementary school speaker, teacher, songwriter, and award-winning author with 20 published books, including the social emotional book series: Unicorn Jazz.™ She believes in teaching parents and children about the importance of empathy, kindness, love, and belonging within our homes and throughout our communities. Lisa encourages “help and give back” initiatives through her community outreach with the non-profit, Aaron Community Cultural Center.
Thank you so much for joining us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to get to know a bit about you. Can you tell us your “childhood backstory”?
I grew up in a large Hispanic family in El Paso, Texas, and was raised by a single mother. Although I was a straight A student in school throughout my childhood and had huge ambitions to “change my life of poverty,” I unfortunately found myself lacking appropriate healthy communication skills even into adulthood. Growing up, I remember being very shy and not being able to express my feelings and emotions outright, which affected my deep need for personal belonging and acceptance. Thankfully I had my grandmother in life, who deeply believed in me whenever I needed it the most, and that is why I feel it is so important to believe in others. Just one person can have a lasting impact and influence on your life, like she did for me.
Can you share the story about what brought you to this specific point in your career?
I moved to California when I was 29 without much of a savings, yet I still carried a lot of confidence and ambition to change my life once and for all and the things in it which were not working for me. I decided to become an entrepreneur at age 30 and haven’t looked back in 22 years. However, having had the ups and downs in business that many self-made entrepreneurs have, I have learned a lot about the importance of having purpose and meaning in life while also giving back to others.
In 2018, after launching my book Skip a Step: Imparting Wisdom for Young Entrepreneur Minds, and having the experience of helping over 160 CEO’s with branding and marketing their business into success, it was time for me to do what I loved. I created my children’s educational entertainment brand and book series: Unicorn Jazz. I would be able to use my decades of wisdom as a mom, creative entrepreneur and voice to teach younger generations things I wish I had been taught as a child. Through my degree in Social Psychology and having a strong passion for writing, I have also been able to leverage my gifts and talents to provide social emotional learning mixed with literacy, the arts, music, and creativity.
Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the core of our discussion. This is probably intuitive to many, but it would be beneficial to spell it out. Based on your experience or research, can you explain to us why it is so important to forge a strong connection with our children?
Raising children who feel loved and connected is always a crucially important task for any parent. Children need to feel loved and valued, and one of the best ways to do this is through your actions. However, the fact is that there’s no manual to being a good parent or how to be the best “adult”. Yet, I believe we as people are all doing the best we can as we grow up and have children of our own.
It’s no secret that the things we’re taught as children can become so impressionable and lasting throughout our adulthood. That is why it is so important that we as people need to understand our capacity to change our generational compositions of that which did not work before, into becoming better people, better parents and thereby creating love and belonging for generations to come.
Do you think children in this generation are less likely to feel loved and connected? Why do you feel the way you do?
I definitely believe it is more of a challenge to feel loved and connected in this generation due to the rise of technology, media platforms, streaming devices, and the current digital age we found ourselves in. All the APPS, videos or social media in the world will never replace the ability to directly bond with and share loving one-on-one connected moments with another human. There is a reason why your love language is important to you, as developed in the Five Love Languages. Nowhere in the 5 Love Languages does it state that more digital time will bring more love and connection.
We live in a world with incessant demands for our time and attention. There is so much distraction and disconnection. Can you share with our readers 5 steps that parents can take to help their children feel loved and connected? Please include examples or stories for each, if you can.
It can be challenging to navigate and manage the ups and downs of parenting, but there are five steps you can take to help your children feel loved and connected.
- Spend quality time together. It’s important to set present time aside to spend with your children. Whether it’s through activities like reading a book together or simply spending time talking and listening, this helps children feel valued and it certainly helps build a strong and loving bond.
- Encourage independence. While it’s important to show love and support, it’s also important to allow children to explore and learn on their own. Encourage independence by allowing them to make their own decisions and solve problems on their own.
- Practice open and creative communication. Encourage open and creative communication with your children. This can help them feel comfortable and confident in coming to you with concerns or problems they may have. An idea of how to creatively communicate is to go on walks together and talk openly, or if you have a child who likes it when you cook, ask to cook a new recipe together to create connection and talk about things.
- Show empathy and understanding. It’s important to show empathy and understanding when your children are going through a tough time. This can help them feel supported and loved, and can also help them develop social emotional intelligence.
- Foster a sense of belonging. Help your children feel connected to their family and community by participating in family activities and encouraging them to get involved in their close circle of friends and community.
How do you inspire your child to “dream big”? Can you give an example or story?
It is important to dream big. I inspire my children to do more than they ever thought possible and I live by the mantra: “If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me.” I love Eleanor Roosvelt’s quote: “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
How would you define “success” when it comes to raising children?
There are five areas of life to help one’s “work-life balance”: family, friendship, career, connection and adventure. I believe the secret to success when it comes to raising our children is to teach by living through example on how to have a balanced and meaningful love-filled life.
This is a huge topic in itself, but it would be worthwhile to touch upon it here. What are some ideal social media and digital habits that you think parents should teach to their children?
I think many of us are guilty of spending too much time on our digital devices including social media. I feel it is important to set the example of “turning it off” or “putting it away” when it comes to digital screens and the like. Teach your children that the world will not fall apart if you are not glued to such things and remind them that we didn’t have any of this when we were their age, and we were still able to thrive! I like devoting our eating times and Sunday’s to being “off” as much as possible. This gives us all a chance to bond and stay connected easier.
What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to be a better parent? Can you explain why you like them?
- I enjoy the Christian Family Life podcast because it shares the daily struggles and triumphs many of us as parents face.
- No Perfect Parents: Ditch Expectations, Embrace Reality, and Discover the One Secret That Will Change Your Parenting by Dave Wilson
- Parenting: Getting It Right by Andy Stanley
- Parenting with Love and Logic: Teaching Children Responsibility by Foster Cline
- The 5 Love Languages of Children: The Secret to Loving Children Effectively by Gary Chapman
- Boundaries with Kids: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Children by Henry Cloud4
- Things I Wish I’d Known Before My Child Became a Teenager by Gary Chapman
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I love F. Scott Fitzgerald’s quote that I have paraphrased: “I hope you live a life you’re proud of, I hope you live a life that is true, and if you are not, I hope you have the strength, courage, community and find the joy to start over again.”
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. :-)
To teach others, beginning with children, to help and give back, whether it is a small gesture or generous acts of service, I am enjoying my mission and purpose in this world which is to do just that: help and give back. I am so grateful to have been blessed with goodness and to live in such a beautiful place with the ability to express and share my gifts with the world. God blesses you so that you can bless others.
Thank you so much for these insights! This was so inspiring!
About The Interviewer: Pirie is a TedX speaker, author and a Life Empowerment Coach. She is a co-host of Own your Throne podcast, inspiring women in the 2nd chapter of their lives. With over 20 years in front of the camera, Pirie Grossman understands the power of storytelling. After success in commercials and acting. She spent 10 years reporting for E! Entertainment Television, Entertainment Tonight, also hosted ABC’s “Every Woman”. Her work off-camera capitalizes on her strength, producing, bringing people together for unique experiences. She produced a Children’s Day of Compassion during the Dalai Lama’s visit here in 2005. 10,000 children attended, sharing ideas about compassion with His Holiness. From 2006–2009, Pirie Co-chaired the Special Olympics World Winter Games, in Idaho, welcoming 3,000 athletes from over 150 countries. She founded Destiny Productions to create Wellness Festivals and is an Advisory Board member of the Sun Valley Wellness Board.In February 2017, Pirie produced, “Love is Louder”, a Brain Health Summit, bringing in Kevin Hines, noted suicide survivor to Sun Valley who spoke to school kids about suicide. Sun Valley is in the top 5% highest suicide rate per capita in the Northwest, prompting a community initiative with St. Luke’s and other stake holders, to begin healing. She lives in Sun Valley with her two children, serves on the Board of Community School. She has her Master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica and is an Executive Life Empowerment Coach, where she helps people meet their dreams and goals! The difference between a dream and a goal is that a goal is a dream with a date on it!