We had the good fortune of connecting with Ann McKitrick and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ann, what principle do you value most?
Be kind to kids.
This matters deeply to me because it reflects a mindset that we all need, from the time we’re born until well into adulthood – that we matter and deserve to be treated with kindness, dignity and respect – simply because we exist. Within the confines of the parent-child relationship, this takes on a deeper meaning.
Children are always in a state of change. In the first year of life, growth is so fast that if we continued to grow and develop at that rate, we’d all be huge! By 12 months an infant’s brain has developed to 90% of its adult size, so the interactions we have from day one influence their neural development. Interactions like gazing at their face, speaking to them gently, responding to their cry, and making them feel secure will create an environment that babies can trust and rely on, which leads to attachment with their parents. The trust and attachment achieved in the first years lay the foundation for emotional development for years to come, and allow us to achieve intimacy in our adult relationships. And it teaches our children to be kind to others.
Everything I do in my work is to help people understand their child’s development, their own development as a parent in terms of their own life experience and how to connect with their child in meaningful ways. And this understanding leads to kindness (to yourself too).
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Nurtured Noggins is a place for new parents to learn about parenting – from pregnancy through preschool. It started as a ‘mommy blog’ that my daughter and I began together. Now we’ve got two online courses, Birth School for expectant parents and Quick Start Guide for Newborns, which teaches brand new parents what they need to know how to do in those first days at home with a newborn. I’ve always mentored new parents in my work as an early childhood coach, professor and mentor plus we’ve raised 3 kids, been foster parents and now we’re grandparents.
Business-wise, it’s been an energizing challenge to learn the online world, especially marketing, tech and to get over the hurdle of ‘putting myself out there’ and I love it. Many of my peers are retiring and I say, no thanks! I feel like I’m just getting starting with what I was put on this earth to do, which is turn people’s hearts towards children.
What I want people to know about Nurtured Noggins is this: I hear you, I see you, I am FOR you, and I’m here to support you in your parenting journey. I base my work on years of working with hundreds of children and parents, teaching child development and most importantly, being a parent myself.
I love helping you see the beauty and goodness in your child and in yourself.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’ve never been to Atlanta but I’d love to visit some of the beautiful outdoor spaces of Atlanta, like Piedmont Park and the Botanical Gardens. And of course, hiking Stone Mountain would be great too.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to dedicate this shoutout to my Mastermind group. We are four entrepreneurs, each in a different line of work, who meet regularly to dream, brainstorm, encourage and pray for one another.
Every January we have a weekend retreat where we work on our goals/intentions for the year and create a vision board that reflects what we hope to feel and accomplish in every area of our life. So far I have 10 vision boards I’ve created over the years. They tell the story of my business, personal and spiritual journey. I can pinpoint growth and advancement that was seeded in these vision boards and through our work together.
Leah Elizabeth Photography