Sounder SIGN UP FOR FREE
Nice Girls Don't Watch the Bachelor
Nice Girls Don't Watch the Bachelor

Episode 9 · 1 year ago

Episode 9: interview with Melissa Merrick, CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

On Episode 9 of NGDWTB, we talk to Dr. Melissa Merrick, President and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America, a nonprofit whose mission is to prevent the abuse and neglect of our nation’s children. We not only learn how she manages to juggle the huge responsibilities of work and home life, we also go deep into the Covid-19 pandemic and how it's affecting women and children from working class families.

Hegaes, it's Marissa or leadershipspeaker an author of Leanout, the truth about women, power and the workplaceand welcomed the episode nine of Nice Girls. Don't watch the bachelor wherewe discuss all things, women and all things work. Today we have DoctorMelissa Merik on the show who is the president and CEO of provent childabuse? America a Non Prophet whose mission is to prevent the abuse, a dneglect of our nation's children. She also just happens to be a very dearfriend of mine, W O I've known since Middle School and she's a woman. Itruly admire. I mean she is fiercely smart. She has her BA in psychology andgraduated magnacum loud from University of Pennsylvania and has her masters anddoctoral PhD degrees in clinical psychology from San Diego StateUniversity University of California. Before taking over a CEO, prevent childAbute, she spent almost a decade at the CDC where, among many other things, shewas a senior a senior a p epidemiologist, a D. I knew I was goingto mess that word up and lead scientists for the averse child toodexperience his study known his ace. She now lives in Chicago with her husbandand so adorable children as a side. Note she's, just an amazing person.Someone who has rare combination of strength and warmth was both as aleader and a friend and perhaps most importantly, she is always my numberone go to dense partner for any old school hip hop or Miami Base DanceParties we've been known to pull over on the side of the road a time or toand go full waynes world Um to o DB. Two live crew, all that stuff, butwe'll save those stories for another day and on this episode we'll talk toMelissa about I dont Y, how she manages to Juggle such huge responsibilities atwork with the craziness at home, but we get into some really deep andinteresting points about how the PANDEMAC is affecting women andchildren from working class families. So with that, let's get right into it. Doctor Melissa, Merick, thanks forbeing on the show today very excited for our conversation, a hes robbing meMarasa, of course. So a recent topic, not only on Nice, girls, don't watchthe bachelor, but on every news, outlet and social media conversationpractically everywhere is the stress of managing it all in the wake of cobidnineteen. So today we're first going to talk about you as a person as a mom asa c e O and president and and as a friend and all the roles that you playand then later on, well move into the incredibly important work that yourorganization is doing to help children and families. So we'll start with thefact that you have two young kids, a huge job, a husband friends, you movedto a brand who city not so long ago at the risk of sounding cliche. I do haveto ask: How have you been managing it all and what did that? Look like preand postpiandemic, because you waren't you're now in Chicago, but you weren'tthere very very long before this whole thing started so tell us about that. Oer said big questions Um managing atall. I I don't even know that I can say that I'm doing totright I'm doing thebest that I can't Nind. I think that's what we all are all doing in this crezytime. You know I'm really stuck right about that. Parenting is hard any dayof the week in any time in our country or in her history, but particularly now,guaranteeing during the Goobl kindemic during the time a cute civil and racialunrest in this time of physical distanceing-and you know it's more important than ever- that Weu stay emotionally andsocially connected. These are powerful protective factors for parents and forkids and recognizing all the extra that...

...you mentioned. You know having moved toto Chicago just about fourteen months ago from Atlanta Sa Really Um. Don'thave any. You know real social support here in Chicago. U It, I t, the stressis real, so you know pats Offa, every mom and and Family Dad everyoneastrying to do this unprecedented thing and unprecedent at times, and you knowwhat I've learned, though, just for me and my own mental help is like even thePremisse of managing at all having it all Um. I kind of think that's o harsh,said kind, O thing o ing the very pest we can do and it is about you knowsomeone like me. I tend to be type A. I probably no other type A women maybe onthis call too um today ilike bit not like you moliss, but you know that that you're used tobeing a high achiever you're used to being able to do everything at like areally exceptional level and in this time I'm just struck by the humility. Uthat it really bears right in this time, like that, actually I don't think anyof us can bring our bestcelves to parenting and to our work and tothepandemic and navigating you know, like isn't safe for me to go theBISHETOR. You know, oh my gosh, that Persi of a mask an you know itch justOIT's insane. I remember a story. I don't remember how long ago this was,but maybe it was in Chicago last year. Maybe it wasn't when we were together in Montak a couple summers ago,but you we were talking about the fact that you were like class mom or youwere ve Roommum, and I just looked at you I'm like why? Because you have such a big job, Imean you're traveling. Normally you are managing a million things and then Oh,I know it was when I saw you in Atlanta- and we were talking about the stress-and I was like that's an easy one- to cut off from thetop moless and but there's it's hard it's hard because of theguilt. I think it seems easy to to take those things off of your pate right,especially when your pate is so full. But yes, I ive always talked about thisas my own kind, O working mom guilt and I think all moms- all parents, allwomen. We have our own things that just you knowhbuild, Gilt or whatever, andwe give other people grease and we don't always give bet our sevies toourselves. You know is so true for me, it was always like the Puran, organicbaby, food and freezing it in between nursing and, like Oh there's, a medicalbenefit up to a year. I have to anchieve it for a year and I miss mybaby's first steps because Iyou know so I think I nos at whole food to Sont. IAv Tohad Vegetablea maing story, Yeah. Well, my husband. Doesn't let me forgetthat one. You know every time I do sign up to be rumom or do some extra thingthat really I do because it brings me you know or fulfillment rig yeah melike you know it seems like something I can control, so I might as well do it.So I think it fills other buckets for me, but he always reminds me o. This iswhy you Miss Lily's, first step er about the organic babyfood. That reallydoesn't matter aunt s whatever. So I think it's hard it's really hard and Ithink again, if it's not roohmom, it's something else that were Allia adtingAine was lunch mum, so I volunteer for being lunch mom, which takes up aboutthree hours on the day. You volunteer because you're not only serving lunchto your kids class ore serving into the whole school, so I would spend aboutfifteen minutes seing, my kids, while they ate lunch and then two hours andforty five minutes, and I would be so resent al the entire time and those areone of the things I I just had to force...

...myself to, let it go and but it took a few years and M Mi da, Ijust got the you know request you know: can you be virtual room mom, you knowand wanting people to sign up and I' will say that I had an interventor withmyself. I did not, I an a good or time good for you. I wish we had like a snaplike something on the Pie. Cat is like a clap and very very happy to hear thatthe other. You can always call me by the way, if you need an interventionyeah, but the other story. I I remember thiswas from Chicago last year when we were joking about. I was like admitting toyou. One of my sins was. I spent all this money at the grocery source CBSand I don't have like one of those discount cards or points, and- and Iwas saying to you every time they ask me I feel like I just want to be like Idon't have time to fill out the form and I don't and you interject to you're,like I don't even have time to have this conversation with you at the cashregister. Right now, we that was like a one litt like it was like ourconfession. Oh my God, you know, I don't have my CBS card and I know Ericalways gives me a hard tide about that. He's like he could have saved a dollar.I'm like you know. Well, I know Marisa in that same visit.I think Um. You know we were talking just about being moms and working andjust being so busy and so crazy and being so happy that Wen kind of youknow coincided that you were in Chicago and I was in cpos Tha. We couldactually need- and you know, talk and like have a drink and not feel all thisskilt for one moment, but I remember us talking, you know I am a childpsychologist by treaming. Yeu were asking he some kind of timpse orsomething I as like. I don't have any tence for you, but you gave me suchpoweraful tips in that conversation. You said, Melissa, get a wheededblanket and get and get some noise canceling Hes Pos, and you said thatthose noise canceling headbones. Of course you could still hear your kidsif they were in like somekhing. You know real pain or trouble, but itreally just helped to take the edge op ye. I really just elped to take theAJOB, and I have to tell you somdno my Christmas last last year, I think M myfather in law. Boun it for me- and I will tell you confessional- is that Istill have not opened that box. It's been almost a year of which one theWeigtid, no the wated Lincon. I use every single day any time I havea on,but then noiscansing had pons. I have not even taken one them out of the box,yet I ik a struggle, and I know that there're probably going to be so what Ineed to take a little bit of the edge off, but anyway, we're always wearningand growing and trying to do heer, so the noise cancelling headphones. I wantto talk about for a second and that's if you heard wrustling in thebackground it was ecause. I was reaching into my drawer because I havethem next to me at all times and showing them to Melissa. This is my biggest parenting tip in theworld because, first of all, I am extremely sensitive to noise. It's like painful when there, when Ican't control the noise of my environment, which is the definition ofwhat it's like to have three kids at home. It's uncontrollable and there'sconstant, constant noise and fiting, and all this so I bought- and the brandI think, is very important. So maybe this is a good time for you to checkTis. If you got the right kind, because I did a lot of research in this areaand the vicfort the IC Fi r th their drummer headphone. So they protect yourear. They suction around. They protect it for the sound of loud drums and ithas changed my life. It makes me a better mom and a better person, becauseyou can still hear your kids, but it just takes the edge off their whiningand their voices and they're fighting...

...and all the rans of noise they make. Imean, especially with home school. I cannot survive without them, so I'mso happy you've brought you brought that up. So it a to all the listenersout there. All seven of you listening to this right now: VIC firts, noise,canceling hedphones, are like changing and if you do one thing as a mom,they're expensive, but they're worte every penny and they last forever, and I think that also you bringing thatup, really shows how important I think it is too, and this is prependimicagain, but do those girls trips, because that is the first thing. Ithink that goes by the wayside, and I think it's so healing I you know wereconnect t so Melissa and I know each other from middle school. But there wasabout fifteen years whele we really didn't see or or really catch up muchand then we were originally going to go on a cruise. It was a pit bull cruise, yes, pit pullth R from Miami. We are from right, three: Oh five and pit bull. has thisprobably like a power? Ninety six cruise and we were going to do that,and then I remember I couldn't do it last minute, but you went with Debbie,so andfe dlas from Mo Tan Yo, six o bars,busyour right, president and CEO Provenchild of East America gettingdown and the pit bull cruise o Dj, Laz, it's a great visual, but anyway we didsort of resume seeing each other. By going on these trips and they're sorestorative and and they I don't know they heal my soul and it's one of thefirst things that goes off the list with all the things we have to do so ahundred percent. It's it's the connections that that we let slip, butit's also even just the self care for ourselves, which is part and personalof the girl's traps or whatever, whatever breathes you, peace and joyand whatever, as mom. I mean it's so important that we take time for that,but it's the Momy Gill, it's also figuring like Youe'v. So many otherthings on your plee that you have to do that like taking a moment for yourself,seems like something that that is not important and it's so important,because we know that our kids, they learn how to coke from US number oneNumr two. It helps with our relationships with with everybody, buteven you know with our own children. So sometimes you know we won't. You know,take those thirty minutes to watch a show or take a deep Brak or take a runoutside or whatever. It is thinking that ohwy have such limited time withmy kids, but the truth is, I will actually helpe our retachment and ourrelationships with our kids. If we're doing that or so I couldn't agreeenough with whatever you know the girls Tris- i I miss them so much, but youknow in this virtual space, it's like wel how we need to stay anmost, illyand socially connected, whether it Isy potforms like this or zoom, or phone orwhatever, but it's so easy to let that slip. You know yeah and one thing thatI try and use. I talk about this and lean out, but I I find it very usefulwhen I'm making decisions about whether I'm going to spend my time on somethinglike a girls strip. I imagine myself at eighty years old and I think about ateighty and I'm looking back on my life. What's going to be the stuff of my lifethat I remember and that I'm so happy, I did well a pit bull cruise, I'm sorry,but it's one of those things that you and W are now going to be able to talkabout forever and you'll, never regret at eighty doing that stuff- and youknow, you're. The stress of everything right now from that perspective seemsless overwhelming. So, like I was watching a video with the kids lastnight of them, they were like four and six or whatever, and it started outthis cute thing that erupted into an...

...enormous fight with screaming all onvideo and the three of us are cracking up watching it, and I thought to myself.In that moment I was so defeated. I wanted to cry andscream only a few years later, we're watching it and it's funny. So whenthings like that happen now, when I'm at my wits end, I kind of think. Oh ina few years, I really put myself there, so I think that helps um when I'mdebating between spending my time on something that feels urgent but isn'treally M so anyway. I remember I remember that perspective Um from yourbook and and the conversations we've had, and I think it's so helpfulbecause it really is, like you know, sometimes you're in the moment, and youjust can't see past that o much going on, especially now right Imean our country is just heavy every day everything you hear on the news oron T V or even in social medias things that used to be your release for likefun and nonsense. Even those things are heavy, so it's really hard to like be hopeful and to know that we're goingto get past whatever this is right and yea come out better for it wopefully.But when you really can shit that and think what would my eating Yoar Oldself,you know think about this moment they would crack up or they would you know, be like. I can't believe you weretrustd about that. You know. Oh right, it's very well y one thing that I'mstruggling with is virtual school Um, very, very much so because my son who'stwelve really needs the structure, anaccountability of in person school and that has fallen to me, and I wasn'tgood about that when I was in school. So it's it's like the blind, leadingthe blind and- and I find that STRESSL. How are you managing with virtual? AreYour kids doing virtual fast of all they're doing virtual and it it istotal chaos Um, just like you're just cribing, I mean I wish more thananything that my kids could be in school and that I could feel like mykids were safed fin school right, and this is the struggle there's. No onehundred percent certainty, Um ever, but certainly now right. So it's kind oflike as as momand I Wille to share like for me. You know our school districtwas going to return in person and up until it maybe a week before school wasgoing to start they they said. Well, parents can choose, oh, my goodness, the exruciating strethof having to choose- and I will say like every day I was making a differentdecision. You know my son, like your your son. You know it sounds like youknow, would really thrive with structure structure. I cannot provideat home while I'm working my husband's working, my daughter's also schoolingfrom home, but he's also asthmatic. So I feel like this like extra, oh, myGosh, how can I take this risk and I owai minimize wrist and h the bestthing that happened for me and my family, and I know that not everyonefeels the same, but the fast thing was that they just made the decision. No,the whole school distruct is going virtual and it really took Iam stolthankful that someone else made the decision and not to say that weshouldn't have our own choices and and everybody's Ike. You make the bestwasefor your family, but for me it was so difficult to feel like I was making theright Coice, and I think this is again the pressure. That's upon us Li moking.You have to do you have to make the perfect choice or- and the truth is wecan just do the best that we can do. We can make the best race for our familyfor our circumstance. At that moment, right and Nict wace may change Um,wouldn't given the choice in the future and recognizing that you can't controleverything by making a good Choi like if you make there's no choice, that'sgoing to make everything perfect in the...

Etan there's no such thing. So speaking of choices, you made a big choice about a year and a half ago, I suppose,maybe longer to leave the CDC and take this huge role as CEEOND president offrom at Child Abuse America. How has that Transition Bee for you? What whathas been the biggest delight? Surprise Challenge just talk to us about that. Well, you know. Even that questionmakes me think gosh. Maybe I have difficulty making choices. Becausei, Iwas you know it was so expreciatingly difficult to make thechoice. You know any time I taud. Ok, I had a great job F, a great wool. Iunderstood my sphere of influence and government, and this was a little bitof an unknown, but you know being that it's non profit, a nationalOrganisatian such you know a presence and an ability to do things differentlyand more comprehensibly. That also came with such great. You know promise andopportunity, and so I really on the front end Um lost a lot of sleep.overead really had it like that pit in my stomach Um that I think I'm havingagain now when I think about virtual school and that kind of thing, but thetruth is once I made the decision, I have just been Um, so a peace and so thankful for thistremendous opportunity. I feel like I'm right wearing you to be I'm able to dothings that, frankly, you just can't really do or call for ign governmentright. I can call for the kinds of policy solutions like economic supportsfor families that we hope take the AJOB. Take a little of distress off help,families be more present for their kids and really engage, and child Abee sendObo prevension in a way that, like I, just really couldn't before so it'sbeen just delightful: The people that I've matc th the Pioneers and ThiNetwork. You know we have a nesion wide Ta Chapternet work. We also have anevidence: spiece home, visiting Monoo Ol, healthy families, America, we hopeabout seventy thousand families a year in that kind of direct service. Inaddition to policy and norm change efforts, it's just all very excitingand I'm just so tainkful and- and you know a funny thing, but a true thing,um that I tha I often say, is that it's just not themark. It's chunce. I alwayshas something to do a new challenge, an nou opportunity to grow different kindsof partners, help people be committed to this work like I have spent myentire year committed to this work. So it's just really um a really joybl time to me, evenespecially now, where the work in child abusein about prevention, whos aboutsupporting families butform, they find themselves in crisists, obot, Len, Oh,let's say they're in Anoble, pindemic ND, then they're parenting. They havemore of the skills more of the resources. More of the supports toreally help them do that in a really positive um win or the kids. Well,that's a great segway and two, my question's about the work itself,because with people being home with their kids all day and the threats toemployment- and I mean I so much of the public discourse right now when itcomes to women- is on professional women in the corporate world. One is an entrepreneursorting, my ownbusiness. I have a little envy I to tell you,because in that world most people, like you, know in my sortof network. I suppose, if you have a job like that, you're getting apaycheck every two weeks regardless, but so many aren't and so many workingclass or lawyer at working class women. I think about like how do they go towork? If they have little kids and...

...they're already in a position thatmakes them vulnerable this, just I mean the heartbreak. I can how what what hasthis been like in so far as the ability to intervene versus prevent and allthat stuff when it comes to child's abuse. I feel like this is not as muchin the headlines as it should be. It MMA, maybe maybe I'm just not on thenew. I don't read the news thatmuch. But what are your thoughts on that yeah? No, it's really not M as public as it should be, because thetrip is right. Now we are seeing an unprecedented number of strassers forfamilies and you've named some of them. You know a income difficulties and challenges lost, jobhousing and stability, um no access to to childcare, let aloneaffordable child. All of these things, even in a normal time, without a globalPANDEMAC in all the you know, stress and fear that that also brings even ina normal time any one of these things can put kids up riks and it doesn'tmean that it's a bad mom or a bad family. It to ore, stressed out, and sosometimes it does it's difficult in the moment of you know: Fighting Siblingsor virtual school navigation or whatever you're, trying to also workwhere you're trying to you know figure out. What's next to really be level headedto be calm, you know bring your best sell to your hids, I mean that's, youknow back to the joke of the noise cancering. I TOT! No, that's real! It'slike it just takes a little bit of the Edgeop, and this is what our policiescan do. You're round, because you're right, we have the tremendous fortuneof you know, I'm mostly working from home. I come in now to the office for amental healthday. You know that used to be when I would stay home now. I cometo my office, so I'm here in my office now 'cause. I knew we had to talk. Ineeded some kind of peace and some kind of quiet you know and my kids are off aschool today. Oh my Gosh Ik, I didn't even know a D that today was a holiday.You know this kind of thing M, but you're right. This is the time thatcruss is so high, so we have to also have our protective factors for forkids and fer families be high to those are things like emotional and socialsupport. This is about economic supports, fourh families, whether itslite tax credits or child care subsidies. These things have evidenceof helping prevent child abuse in the clock. So what I see in the headlineswhen I, when, if, if child abuse is even in the headlines, what I see is,oh my gosh, those kids are home with parents and teachers and school anddoctors are not seeing these kids, oh my gosh, they are being maltreated andthat I just really for the seven or ten listeners today and hopefully not emanymore. I think this is where we need a narrative shift, most families, evenwhen they're stressed out, even when they're overwhelmed, they are nothurting their children, okay, but we need to be in the business of helpingsupport families before they find themselves in crisis, not thecurrencisten that we have that once you know a kid is identified, and you knowthey have riskfactors, then you know they get involved in child welfare andthen we either remove kids or then we provide services. You know in thosefealings. Why can't we help families betfor ve in themselves? In Chris, it'skind of like the pandemic exposed how broke how broken things are: Ethne,yeah and a lot of kids go to like we talk about us as parents. Findingrelief from the C A lot of kids in this country, I'm sure, go to school everyday to get relief from their own parents too. That's their escape. Youknow you hear these horrible stories about kidsgrowing up in really um toxic, abusive...

...homes and Therre. One respite is theability to leave and go to school. So I think you know that's anotherperspective shift. I rarily rarely hear about it's similar, I'm going to go offon a side note here, but it kind of reminds me of how I feel about health care in thiscountry, so people think about healthcare, and I a starting my own business right. I now understand the enormous cost ofhealthcare for me and my kids and thank God, my ex husband Ha, you know, worksfor a company where the kids are on his insurance, but I have to pay for myinsurance if I had to pay for theirs as well, even just covering mine, whileI'm starting my own business. This isn't just this is an economic issue.If we want this country to be healthy and have businesses start, any people Ifeel like are held hostage to their corporation for healthcare and I thinkthat's bad for people, it's bad for the economy, it's bad for new business,it's bad for everybody. In a way. It reminds me of what you're talking aboutwith child care right childcare isn't just about some charitable gesture forMOMS. It's also an economic and mental health issue, and you know women cannotparticipate in the economy to the same degree as men when they are constrainedby child care and, again, that's why I take issue when our current publicdiscourse on women just focuses on. You know: upper middle class, professionalwomen. Yes, there's issues there, but they'rethey're, more profound ones. Are these underlying sysstemic childcare issuesthat affect probably the larger portion of women in society, and I and therefore you know, would affect sort of I Iwould imagine, have a an impact on child abuse as well. Is that kind of orexter? No? No? No, I'm so thankful that you brought them, because it is it'sthese sstemach, these policy solutions that are at the roots, to many of theproblems that we observe. So I would say from a public health perspectiveand really public health is what we as a society, do collectively to assurethe conditions in which all people can be healthy right. So it's if we couldhave kids and families have health care, have affordable childcare, have highquality early education. Have Economic ONS have all of this strongfoundational stuff? They will go on to be healthier. What does that mean? Thatmeans we will have less downstream costs right. We will have more prosperity. We will have lellrhyme, less crie. We will have. I mean this is the the the premice of a publichealth approach to a problem? Is How do you prevent it in the first place, NWat, and it's these same policy solutions that, frankly, would havehelped people early in this pandenic to shelter in place right if they hadeconomic support? If they didn't have to worry about, you know healthcare andhousing, and all of these, if these were just de set, these people wouldhave been of all of us. Not these people, all of us would have been ableto stay at home. We would have been able to do the true public help workand probably we could have been past this. You know current crisis right inso when we did that if we had economic sports, FOT families, we to have kidsthat that don't experience, child abuse eeglect in the same proportion. So it'slike the same solutions can give us a myriad of positive health and wellbeing outcomes, and I right- and I think that one of the...

...challenges with that is that people inthat don't face any of these issues that were born into s. You know a amore a family and an economic status thatthey haven't experienced the kind of things that you know, women andfamilies do in the the lower strata of the economy. I think when you're born th, I hatethis word privilege it's so loaded today, but what I mean is, I think,people view these is like. Oh, we don't want a welfare state or like give somuch money to t government the government cant handle. I understandwhy that's the perspective, but I I I heard the other day of video waslistening to youtovity about some philosopher and Gosh. I really wish Iremember who it was, but he um offered this mental exercises. Thought exercisewhere you imagine that you're just about to be born right and you haveabsolutely no idea into what circumstance you have an equal chanceof being born into to an unwed single mother in theprojects or into you, know, billgates, as your your father right now, and yourchances are equal, that it could be any of those. So it's like a lottery. Okay! Think about that. Nobody would want that right becauseyou have no control over what circumstances you're born into so.Doesn't that mean that some circumstances are inherently betterthan others to be born into and o true equitable society, where everybody hasthe same chance doesn't mean everyone has the same outcome, but at least theyhave t starting points right that it's hard to be against the same for all ofus to start out t the same starting point right and in order to start out with the opportunities, regardless ofwhere you 're born, I mean that's what we're talking about here. It's givingpeople the fighting chance to become the person, the BA. You know thepotential that they have to be fulfilled in this world. So I guess Ijust think about that thought exercise. When I hear the opposing viewpoints inmy head about the welfare say the government, you know yeah, we don'twant to pay more taxes, all that stuff. It's it's just more about giving peoplea fair chance when they start out in life and putting yourself in a totallydifferent circumstance from an imagination standpoint being born intopoverty. Being you know, you suddenly realize hat it's not itIsnot! It's really not fair, and these are children and they depend on us as asociety to give them the opportunities, and our country is certainly wealthyenough- that we should be able to do that. It was bit Ur side Ranw. Iactually don't think it's a site, no Marica. I think it's like so integralinto the narrative shipt that we need in this country, because, yes, it's amental exercise, but that is what happens Ri. It makes me think of thiswonderful book. It's also an exhibit. It was a photographer and he wanted toset out to take pictures around the world of children's bedrooms and, ofcourse he learned quickly and with a lot of humility that many kids don'thave bedrooms right, I mean it just depends on where they liv, where theywere born. So the name of the book, A D and encourage people to to look at. Ifind it very profound- and I took my very young- kids- probably a little tooyoung, but I took them to an exemit at the CDC museum had on this m topic,that it was called Weire children's sleep and what was really incrediblewas um the only payment for you know,...

...toking. These pictures was for so manyof the kids. It was what they got was a portrait of themselves, which many ofthem did not have. You know the ability to afford. They didn't. You know nophotographers, that they coman ti a picture of ten and they could putwhatever they wanted with them in their photograph, and then they asked everykid ike. You know what they want to be when they grow up, and such all I knowis that even this is probably five or six years ago now, so my eleven year old, currently a nine yearold, they still talk about it and they were very young when they saw it. Theysaid Gosh. Remember that kid who he he lived on a mind field, but he wanted tobe a doctor. And do you remember that kid who you know, and they justremember and and we taught we use that and this mental exercise kind of as afrain, to really understand that we are no better than anyone else right. We weare lucky to have been born in the Zicod that we were born in ne in thefamily that we were born into and this as not minimizing purence rules inenraising. You know well adjusted children. This is just about it.realistive et it's perspective, it's important perspective and that's why Ithink part of what we need to do to your first point about you know: werewe an a childwel ber state or you know we don't want to just movehandouts, andthis kind of you know concern it's really for people that don't maybe havethe experience that they struggled or that you know the odds were spackedagainst them to help them understand the science in something that doesspeak to them. Right, like you have onside high quality childcare, you willhave moms and ads who return to work after maturiby or PARENTO leave. I meanit's just science right. You you will, you know, decrease your attrition byfifty percent. You will make more money if you have families that are bettersupported right. So omtense people ask me like Ramalisa you're so committed tothis word. Don't you get mad that you have to like make it about money or orI or whatever, because that's how the world were rect and if you appeal topeople with what they are interested in. So I think that's how you make Syeahit's how you make win win situations that Mo like that's what trade is right,like wh N, when r went trade um was the beginning of civilization, because youcould figure out a way to satisfy two people: Self Interest S, it's verybasic economics, a lot of people. I guess you know see it as some sort ofmoral issue, but it's it's! It's really not Um. I love the story where achilder in sleep, I wo t out I'm going to get the book because my kids know I sometimes Shov downtheir throats too much is t in terms of perspective. I try. You know. We livein a very rich town, not that I'm rich, but everyone else is- and I always like- try and show them thingson t v that expose I totally different or in real life too, and my younger sonis taken to he's like very into, and this is really all on his own. You knowthis is the kind of person he is. This is just kind of a funny annecdote theother day he took a box and he created. He told me it's called a charity boxand he wanted to collect money for the homeless. So he looks online. He says,Oh, I want to find a homeless shelter, so he finds fun h. He Goes Bama thatone only had three stars. I thought that was like so ironunintentionally, like I a'd only had three stars in the Google surgezls overthe homeless: shelter like it just shs, so it's like so he had the the heart to do that, but they're sodisconnected for yetwhat they're. Truly, even you know, yeah electing money forso it. So it's such a different time...

...than when you end I grew, grew upright.We didn't have Internet tn so that you know none of da was so public and youknow all of these kinds of traditional challenges, but it's this access toinformation gtven, so he's growing up in a time where everything is readingand we have to read reviews- and you know Irad over that- and you know it'sthe same thing- about choice like school choice or what it's like. No, Igrew up. I lived there so I went to that school. You know it's not my momresearch schools and thought you know, but there's althiys added pressure withmore information, and I mean you know this well, given your you know, Um background and stuff that it comes witha lot of M grat advantages, but it also ju has some unintended consequences too.You know about this disconnection or having to maybe not even be able toformulate your own opinion, because it has to be informed by all of theseother. You know things wellone thing I see that here iswith schools so mliss and I went to public school decounty public schools,which is not known for being th. The most desirable in the nation- Ithink it one year recently it was like the lowest, I'm not sure, and so we hada very different. I mean to me: Th the public schools, my kids go to are likePriv or like a cademy private school boarding school level compared to whatwe had- and I am fascinated by the constant talk in the neighborhoodsabout the schools and the schools have to be better, and this is and it's like when you go to a school agee Ta, you realize youknow we did well in life, there's so many people that we graduated with thatwent on to be amazing. You know people in the world, but when, like you said,you have the Opotunity, it's almost like too much information and too muchcompetition, and you start to worry about all these little things about aschool that you know I know doesn't matter because you know our school. Imean I loved. I loved NMB and M B also had metal detectors for this. We had toget randomly searched for weapons in the middle of class. The police wouldcome in and they'd search your backpack and wand everyone down. You know therewas a daycare at our school for the students wead babies. You know therewas just like you know. I barely even went but wite er out. Okay, so you have so itgives m, it doesn't mean school. Doesn't matter, I'm always I live in aschool. I live in a school district, that's one of the best in New Jersey,because you know the schools are important to me. So I'm not downplaying it. What I'm saying is the perspective is very helpful andimportant. So with that we've gone way over which I'mhappy about because it meant we had such a good conversation. So appreciateyou taking the time to talk to us and you know really admire and respect allthe amazing work, you're doing you're truly one of the women. I know who Ilook up to admire and love as a person and a friend. So thank you, Moris. Ifeel the exact ae way about you, I'm just so thankful to have reconnected mwith you and just all the important work that you're doing for all womenand for all people. It's just really it's exciting and it's it's just a timethat we women have to be loud and be together and have this conversationyeah and have the difficult conversation. So thank you for havingme and thank you, Melissa, bye, bye. I.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (11)