We had the good fortune of connecting with Cindy Brown and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cindy, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
As I prepared to wrap up my 30 year career in education, it was becoming more and more common to see elementary aged students showing signs of depression, anxiety and lack of motivation.
Throughout my career, I’ve worked with more than 800 families helping parents and students balance home life, emotions, and learning experiences. What I came to realize is that a child’s mindset is very powerful and thoughts or internal beliefs often remain present in the mind from a very young age through adolescence to young adulthood.
When I retired from the classroom, I knew I wanted to continue helping parents guide their child’s mindset development. My goal is to flip the climbing teen suicide, depression and anxiety rates by providing strategies to children at an early age.
During my first few years teaching, I taught a transitional 1st grade, which were children who completed Kindergarten, but were identified as “not ready” for 1st grade. Although parents and teachers all spoke from a caring place by saying, “You’re in Transitional 1st Grade, this will help you catch up,” I knew the seeds of negative thoughts were already taking root, as these students perceived themselves as “slow, not smart, or simply not good enough.”
Fast forward to my final 12 years, teaching students who were identified as Gifted and Talented. Some of the self-perceptions, or the assumptions they made were, “I can’t make a mistake!” “I’m expected to have all A’s,” or “Oh no, I’m not one of the first kids to finish!”
The truth is both groups of students created their own personal belief systems, despite the encouraging, supportive words the adults around them provided. The internal thoughts were self-defense mechanisms, which most children don’t admit they are thinking about, because they don’t want anyone to know their weakness or they are too young to articulate it.
That’s when I decided to learn more about mindset development and infuse it into my entire curricular school day. Children were understanding it, however, as students matriculated out of my classes, they no longer had a coach guiding them along from a mindset perspective.
That’s when I dedicated my upcoming retirement to working with parents to help them nurture independent, confident, problem-solving children able to reach their boundless potential through improved communication tools at home, embracing the wide range of emotions we all experience and giving permission for all family members to live their authentic lives.
Why wait for a problem or obstacle to occur and then unravel the root cause, when age-appropriate mindset coaching and social emotional engagement can serve as preventative strategies at an early age?
I retired from the public schools in May of 2020, right when the Pandemic was closing schools and our lifestyles, relationships and social communications were beginning to change. I knew it was time to launch Polished Parents immediately to support families as we all learned to cope with our ever changing world.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As a Family Consultant, I work with parents to identify their unique vision and goals for their family. Through workshops, 1:1 coaching sessions and leading Parent Focus groups, I am able to create personalized programs that provide parents with all the knowledge and techniques they need to be the hero of their household and strengthen the bond they share with their child.
I am actively involved in serving her community, supporting numerous family based organizations and nonprofits. She is an active member of the Junior League of Phoenix as an internal leader, serves on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Association for Gifted and Talented, and Chairs the statewide Parent’s Institute Conference.
Beginning in 2022, I will be focusing on families involved in Homeschooling, Micro Schooling, and Coop Schooling. I am excited to share my expertise of 30 years as an educator and a Social Emotional Coach to support a parents’ personal decision to educate their children. I am offering Parent Roundtables, specialized workshops and Coop School lessons for both parents and children. From curriculum design to infusing social and emotional intelligence strategies, my programs are known as a parent’s secret weapon when it comes to developing confident, independent, and joyful children.
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 love the Arizona weather and the variety of hiking trails. If you’re looking for a longer flat hike, head out to Brown’s Ranch ( no family relation ). Looking for a challenge, my favorite is Pinnacle Peak hiking trail.
Ready for brunch? Head over to Hash Kitchen for outrageous food choices and unique cocktails! I love outdoor dining in the evening. So many great happy hour and dinner restaurants along the Scottsdale Waterfront.
Before the week is over, definitely experience one of our many resort spa days! The grounds are beautiful and the services are the best around!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I appreciate my time as an Arizona educator for the past 30 years and the opportunity to provide teacher professional development and parent workshops. My affiliation with Junior League of Phoenix provided me leadership opportunities to explore my other talents while serving the Phoenix community and participating in JLP Toastmasters to become a polished public speaker. I am grateful to Lindsey Schwartz and the Powerhouse Women Community for all the guidance and training as I transitioned from school educator to entrepreneur. Lastly, I am incredibly grateful to my husband who has supported my retirement and my immediate launch of Polished Parents.