Who am I?
I'm Carolyn Atkinson and I live in Minneapolis with my husband Adam and our nearly 3 year old Murphy. Outside our home I am a Shiatsu Massage Therapist and see clients by appointment at my Longfellow neighborhood studio. In another life I was a cyclist, runner and climber.
How did you find FORM?
When I was pregnant a friend asked me, "Have you heard of RIE® parenting?" Several books and podcasts later I found myself on the FORM Facebook group. Though I have no formal background in child development, I am loving the FORM community! (Editor note: FORM has posted on a Twin Cities Facebook page that shares RIE®-inspired events.)
What aspect of the Educaring® Approach resonates with you the most and why?
I have always found that I like to watch babies and kids, rather than try to start conversations or put on a show for them. Educaring® gave me permission to sit back and observe. What are they interested in? What are they feeling? All I need to do is love them and hold a boundary. They can take it from there!
What are you most grateful for?
I am fortunate to live in a stable safe home with the support of family. I often think about how my RIE® parenting style hinges on resources. I could not do it without childcare from grandparents and my coparent. These thoughts inform my belief that our country desperately needs paid parental leave, subsidized childcare and a dramatic shift to focus on education.
What is one thing you do for yourself? Or what would you like to do for yourself?
I envision an extensive basement bathroom remodel. I won't go into too much detail, but I will say that the floor is heated, there's a bidet and the bathtub is very deep.
What was your favorite book as a child?
"Molly Moves Out" by Susan Pearson stands out as my favorite childhood book. Molly is a rabbit from a large family and her siblings are driving her crazy! She moves into her own house and fills her days with cooking, cleaning, gardening and exploring. Later she finds balance when her entire family visits and she enjoys their company again. Looking back, I realize that I found this book at a time when my stepsister moved into our home.
What teacher inspired you the most? How?
I loved my vocal music teacher Mr. Lehmann. He was so dedicated and pushed his program to excellence, even though I doubt anyone had asked him to do so. He taught me to practice over and over and over again - something I never would have done on my own!