Mary Ann Johnson – Relationship Transformations for Busy Parents

June 1, 2017

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to interview Mary Ann Johnson, a mentor and author whose values are closely aligned with ours here at Williamsburg Learning.

In her new book, Becoming a Present Parent: Connecting With Your Children in 5 Minutes or Less, Mary Ann uses her experiences with family, friends, and mentees to teach that although life is busy (and likely always will be busy), parents already have the necessary tools to make a difference in their home by connecting with their children on a daily basis. Researchers have mentioned that taking kids out on individual dates once a week is a great idea, but if you have five kids, individual dates may seem daunting as the hours add up! Mary Ann has noticed that when parents make simple connections with their kids on a daily basis, those connections can have a lasting, positive effect on each child. In order to have these moments with their kids, parents’ perspectives must shift to recognize that small and consistent moments of connection can happen on a daily basis if they just take advantage of the time and situations given them. Since work, cooking, laundry, cleaning, and other daily tasks are always on the agenda, parents must learn to use what time they do have with their children to see them, hear them, and love them!

When we began talking about education, I asked Mary Ann which books have had an impactful influence on her. She mentioned two books that our Personal Leadership students read: As a Man Thinketh by James Allen and Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl. She loves that these books teach the philosophy that what we think truly matters. Here is one of her favorite quotes from Viktor Frankl: “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” Mary Ann mentors parents and individuals with this quote in mind. When I asked her why she felt it was so important to discuss personal responsibility with her mentees, she said she wants them to understand that “[their] response is in [their] control, and that’s ultimately all that matters!” Her ultimate goal in mentoring is to help individuals take ownership of their lives and recognize the responsibility they have for their responses. Sounds similar to what Williamsburg Learning wants to instill in each student, right? Mary Ann knows that taking responsibility for their actions will help parents change how they interact with their children, opening up doorways for daily connections that they had never seen before!

After writing her book with parent-child connections specifically in mind, Mary Ann was surprised to receive a phone call from a single woman in her thirties who said that Mary Ann’s book impacted all of her relationships! Mary Ann teaches universal relationship principles and has heard great responses from many of her readers, regardless of their age or stage in life! Throughout her book and in her mentoring sessions, Mary Ann teaches parents and individuals to see daily events more clearly and how to take control of their actions so that they can say, “I have the power to do something!”

After speaking with Mary Ann and reading a few chapters from her new book, I encourage everyone to check out what she has to say, regardless of whether you have children of your own or not. Making personal connections with loved ones on a daily basis is important and can impact your family and atmosphere for the better. Check out Mary Ann’s website for free family resources and more information on what you can do to become “present” in your daily relationships!  You can also read one of the most pivotal chapters in her book for FREE by going to becomingapresentparent.com right now! 

If you would like the chance to win a free copy of Mary Ann’s book Becoming a Present Parent: Connecting With Your Children in 5 Minutes or Lesssend me an email at echild@williamsburglearning.com saying, “I want a book!”