We had the good fortune of connecting with Holly Griffin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Holly, as a parent, what have you done for you children that you feel has had the most significant impact?
My husband and I have raised 5 children. They range in age from 17-27. I worked as a hairdresser from home for all of their childhood. I had to figure out how to balance work life and raising kids. It wasn’t always easy.
I had some very specific ideas on how I wanted to raise my children. They would always listen to me, they would always do what I asked them to do, right when I asked them to do it, they would never complain, and they would never get in to trouble. Well, the kids came and they did not respond like I foolishly envisioned they would. Who knew that they would have opinions and ideas of their own and not want to do every little thing that I told them to do.
I’ve heard it said, if you want to know more about someone, take a look at the books they have on their bookshelves. And while my book choices have changed many times over the years, some of my very first books were titles like these. ‘What to expect when you’re expecting’, ‘Positive Discipline’, ‘How to behave so your children will too’, ‘The strong willed child’…. and the list goes on and on. Can you tell I had kids that liked to push boundaries? It wasn’t until I came across a book called Parenting with Love and Logic that my whole view of parenting changed.
The premise of the book was that we have to let kids make mistakes while they are young, while the price-tag is small. Every ‘mistake’ should be seen as a learning opportunity, and not necessarily something that required punishment. Most of the time natural consequences would be sufficient. We quickly learned that our kids were learning how to navigate being kids at the same time that we were learning how to navigate being parents. It’s not that we were smarter or had all the answers… it’s that we happened to be older and further down the timeline than they were.
One of the most important things to me as we were raising our kids, was to create an environment where my kids could come to us with anything and they knew we would always unconditionally love them. We may not have loved the things they did, but we always loved them. We tried to foster a relationship with each of our kids so they felt safe and could talk to us about anything. Now that our kids are older, they have actually said to my husband and I that they really appreciated being able to come to us with anything, and that many of their friends were envious of the relationship our kids had with us.
The other thing that I think had a big impact on our kids was encouraging them to pursue things they were passionate about. We didn’t want them to feel pressured into doing things just to please us. We wanted them to feel free to chase their dreams and not feel like they had to fulfill ours.
My kids were able to witness this in play as they watched me take care of my clients over the years. I loved being a hairdresser because it was a creative outlet that allowed me to earn income while being home with my kids in their early years.
As my kids are leaving the nest, they are now witnessing me pursue new dreams that I didn’t necessarily have as much time to dedicate to when they were younger. I have recently become very passionate about health and fitness and teaching others how they can make small daily changes in their lifestyles that will have huge impact on their health. I love coming up with new recipes in the kitchen and sharing daily practices on a small instagram page that I started back in October for about 10 people. That small group has grown to almost 900 and I love getting to interact and share what I have learned over the last few years about the importance of taking charge of your own health.
As our kids are getting older, we are really enjoying the shift that has naturally occurred as they become more independent. Instead of us having the never ending Parent/Child relationship, we have moved into more of a Peer/Peer relationship. That to me, is a beautiful sign of healthy dynamic.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I don’t do as much hair as I used to and have since turned my passion towards health. I do spend a ton of time in the kitchen though playing with different recipes that are low carb but also really tasty. It can be a challenge to find a lot of variety in lower carb eating so you tend to have to get creative with your cooking. For example, I will often use many of the same main ingredients in a dish, but then use different seasonings or sauces to completely change the flavor profile.
Some of the lessons I am currently learning, is that there will be lots of flops in the kitchen. No matter how good I think something should turn out, sometimes things just don’t work they way you thought. But I won’t give up. I’ll keep trying until I get the perfect outcome. I’m currently pursuing figuring out how to make the best tasting homemade sugar free low carb brownie that doesn’t taste like cardboard. When I figure it out, I’ll let you know.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Since we are natives we have had plenty of opportunities to take people places.
For sure a trip to Sedona is in order. A hike to devils bridge is a must and dining at any of the restaurants along the main highway there. You can’t go wrong.
If the weather is good (which most of the time it’s conducive for this) we would go out to Saguaro lake and spend a day wakeboarding or wake surfing.
If we wanted a little down time we’d go get Thai foot massages over at the Mekong Plaza in Mesa and then grab some authentic Thai food afterward.
Downtown Mill avenue is always fun with great restaurants and great people watching, and we’d probably ride our bikes since we live so close.
If it was winter we’d take a trip to Greer and the white mountains and spend a day or two hitting the slopes.
Honestly Arizona is a treasure trove of fun things to see and do.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Oh for sure the Parenting with Love and Logic book. And I believe they still offer courses all over the world. When I found them it was just a book but I believe you can take classes online and in person.
And also the amazing Dr Courtney Hunt. She has completely changed the way I view health. She is the first Dr. that I have ever worked with that encourages you to take charge of your own health vs just writing you a prescription to put a bandaid on whatever aliment you might be suffering from. She also wrote a remarkable book called “Your Spark Is Light”. It explains the quantum mechanics of human creation. It’s quite life changing actually.
Photo credit Hadley Griffin for the family and couple photo