Building Blocks for Life: Collaboration and Problem-Solving through Hands-On Learning with Guest Laura Coe

In this episode of the Brainy Moms podcast, Dr. Amy Moore and Teri Miller interview Laura Coe, the Founder and CEO of Snapology, a STEM/STEAM enrichment program for kids.  Laura shares the importance of hands-on learning experiences for children, particularly those that include exposure to  science, technology, engineering, art, and math. She discusses the benefits of  early experiences with building blocks, robots, and other hands-on materials to help create a foundation of critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, teamwork, and other social skills. 

Read the transcript and show notes for this episode:

Brainy Moms Episode 112
Building Blocks for Life: Collaboration and Problem-Solving through Hands-On Learning with Guest Laura Coe

Dr. Amy Moore: Hi, and welcome to this episode of Brainy Moms. I am Dr. Amy Moore, and I’m here with Teri Miller. We are coming to you from a very sunny Colorado today, and we’re excited to introduce you to our guest today, a very brainy mom, Laura Coe. Laura is CEO and founder of Snapology. She has a background in mathematics and finance and had a 20-year career as an actuary before starting Snapology in 2010 with her sister. Snapology offers STEM and STEAM enrichment programs for children and now has 160 franchise locations throughout 13 countries.

Teri Miller: Welcome. Hello, Laura.

Laura Coe: Hi there, thanks for having me.

Teri Miller: Hey, I want to just ask a quick question. Now there’s probably lots of people who are way smarter to me listening to this. What is an actuary? You had that career. What is that career? What does that mean?

Laura Coe: You are not alone. There are a lot of people who don’t know what an actuary is, and it’s a little complex. But, essentially, I’m a big math nerd is really what it boils down to. But actuaries are sort of charged with looking at the past, past experience, and projecting it into the future. So there are a bunch of different types of actuaries. I was a health care actuary, so we’re the people that everybody loves that sets the health insurance premium rates because we can look at the experience in the past, and we fit them to mathematical models so that we can project that into the future and guess what health care might cost in the next year. That’s how we know where to set premium rates for folks. So it’s a mixture of math and statistics and finance and computer programing and all kinds of cool stuff. Well, I think it’s cool.

Teri Miller: So most of our listeners probably know what the STEM subjects are, but they might not be familiar with the STEAM acronym. So can you explain? What does that mean, STEAM?

Laura Coe: It was interesting. STEM was created, gosh, probably about 15 years ago now, and so it was the science, technology, engineering and math. But then I’m not sure how long ago it was, maybe five years ago, there was a lot of funding being pulled out on art type programs. So folks wanted to make sure that art wasn’t lost in the shuffle, and so they created STEAM, which puts the A between the E and the M and includes art programs as well.

Dr. Amy Moore: Nice. So you mentioned something called true STEAM. Talk a little bit about what true STEAM is, and how does it help children?

Laura Coe: Yeah, sure. This is, I think, where I get up on a little bit of a soap box here because I get a little frustrated when folks call a program STEM or STEAM when it isn’t really truly STEM or STEAM. It’s one of the reasons I’m so proud of the programs that are out there that are really doing it correctly. That’s because true STEM or true STEAM really isn’t just about the academics. It isn’t just about science, technology, engineering, art and math. It also includes very critical elements of critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, teamwork, presentation skills, all of those social skills that are involved. I mean, the reality is, when you think about it, we’ve been teaching kids science, technology, engineering, art and math for hundreds of years. That’s not new. We’ve always been teaching folks. What makes it STEM or what makes it STEAM is that instruction of those social elements to help children who are absolutely brilliant engineers be able to work with one another and collaborate and communicate with each other so that, instead of just their works coming out, they’re working with other people. One plus one no longer equals two. Now it equals three because they’re able to get that much further faster through STEM and STEAM truly being offered the way it’s meant to be.

Dr. Amy Moore: Fascinating.

Teri Miller: I love that.

Dr. Amy Moore: I do too.

Teri Miller: The idea of collaboration, how we’re so much stronger in a collaborative environment than just so solo perspective. That’s awesome.

Laura Coe: It’s interesting because one of the reasons why we’re doing what we’re doing is because some of our largest employers of engineers and computer programmers, their number-one complaint of children coming out of … well, I guess, young adults coming out of college, is they’re absolutely brilliant. But you put them in a room, and they text each other. They don’t know how to communicate. They think they’re the smartest kid in the room, so they don’t understand the power that the next smartest kid in the room can bring to them. When you can introduce that at a young age and introduce those collaboration and true STEAM principles at a young age, children just … It helps them just so much throughout their entire life.

Dr. Amy Moore: Absolutely, and that’s an important skill because we don’t work in a vacuum, for the most part. I mean, we work collaboratively in many careers, and so to be able to learn that early on, then it’s sort of natural for you [crosstalk 00:05:35]

Laura Coe: Yeah, that’s exactly right. I mean, I don’t know of too many careers where you’re truly working on your own. If nothing else, properly, you should be getting your works peer reviewed by somebody. Somebody should be looking at it and checking it, and so even if that’s all you’re working with somebody, there’s still a lot of value in learning how to communicate properly, particularly in STEM careers where I think … And as an actuary, as we talked about, one of the most complicated things or one of the most difficult things for actuaries to do oftentimes is to present technical concepts to non-technical people. So I think learning those concepts of STEM and collaboration and working with others really helps bring some of those softer skills so that people who are very technical, they have to be explaining this. They have to be explaining what they’re doing and how they’re doing it to be able to work with other people.

Dr. Amy Moore: Absolutely. So I want to talk a little bit about the A in STEAM. I was reading an article by Anne Jolly in Education Week, so I want to read a quote to you and then get your take on the message. So she says, “Art is often touted as a method of adding creativity to STEM, but keep in mind that engineers are rarely lacking for creativity and ingenuity. Just look at the world around you for proof. The purpose of STEAM should not be so much to teach art, but to apply art in real situations. Applied knowledge leads to deeper learning.” What are your thoughts about that description of STEAM?

Laura Coe: Yeah. I mean, I couldn’t agree more. It’s one of the things that I think is confusing to parents when they’re looking at STEM and STEAM programs for their kids, is when you think of art, you think of drawing. You think of you teach your child how to draw a butterfly or something like that. While that can be STEAM … I mean, you can certainly make that a STEAM enrichment program. People used to say, “Well, where’s the art in programs working with LEGO or programs where you’re doing engineering?” Art is everywhere because it is the creativity. It is the design element. It is more at the background. It’s kind of like the mathematics piece too. People will say that too. “Well, where’s the math?” I don’t see anybody adding two plus two in there. Well, math isn’t just that. Math is spatial recognition. Math is just some of those general lighter concepts.

Laura Coe: So I think all of the STEM concepts aren’t meant to be understood in their traditional form, even science. It doesn’t have to be chemistry. It doesn’t have to be physics. It can be something much more general than that, and it’s just the idea of these elements coming together in a collaborative and an effective manner to teach kids to be creative, to think on their own, to develop those skills.

Teri Miller: I’m thinking about little kids as you’re describing this, like my youngest daughter in elementary. She’s got these areas of just almost genius. She struggles in some areas, and then just so, so sharp. Yet our kids are taught to work independently, like what you were describing. They’re in schools. It’s like, no, no, do your math facts on your own. Work out your science paper on your own. Work independently. I love what you’re talking about. So you mentioned that it’s so important to expose kids to the concept of STEAM at a young age. Tell me more about that, how we can do that more, how we can cultivate that in our kids even though school is telling them do your work all on your own.

Laura Coe: It’s an interesting mix because, I mean, everything in life is a balance. I mean, as I tell my teenagers, “Everything in moderation.” So you have to have some of those elements where you are working on your own and you are learning those core skills. So you do have to learn how to add. You do have to learn how to subtract. You do need to do some of those elements on your own. But more so that should be kind of just the start of it. That should be just the basics that you’re learning is how to do those core skills, and then what I’d love to see more in schools … And it’s not schools’ fault. I mean, they don’t have the time. But what we’d love to see more and why we have enrichment programs and I’d love to see kids in these enrichment programs is because that’s where you can take it to the next level. You can take those basic skills that they’ve learned. You can partner them with somebody else, and then the sky’s the limit.

I mean, kids are amazing with their imaginations and their creativity. I mean, we’ve been around for about 11 years offering enrichment programs, and we’ll offer the same program that we offered 10 years ago, and somebody will come up with something that we have never ever seen before. It is just amazing what kids can do and come up with, particularly when they work together and they’re just going off of each other and learning and growing in that way.

Teri Miller: It seems like it increases kids’ learning, everything you’re talking about. For my little girl, her areas where she really shines, continue to work individually, like you said, but then put her in these collaborative STEAM environments, and her learning and growth … I mean, it would just expand exponentially instead of just that slow growth. It’s very exciting.

Dr. Amy Moore: It is exciting.

Laura Coe: I think in a lot of ways it’s just about exposure. We think, as parents, as moms, we want to expose our children to different things. When they’re in a school environment, the teachers are exposing them to different concepts and teaching them different concepts. It’s no different than when they’re working with another child. The impact that another child can have on them is absolutely as impactful if not more impactful. They can emulate the behaviors and the ideas of that other child and say, “Well, gee, I could do that myself,” or, “Wow, that’s a good idea. What if off of your idea we did this?” They just continue to feed off of each other.

Dr. Amy Moore: So one current topic that you’re passionate about is the importance of getting kids back together and rebuilding a love of learning, especially as we’re coming out of COVID. Talk a little bit about that.

Laura Coe: Obviously, COVID was really hard on everybody. I mean, it’s been a difficult time for the whole world. In my little kingdom, I’m concerned about the littlest members of our society and the impact it had on them. If you go back to last March, children were basically one day in school playing with all of their friends, and literally the next day they were told, no, you have to stay at home. Schools weren’t ready to be online. There was no social interaction. Some kids had a sibling maybe they could play with, but some kids didn’t even have a sibling that they could interact with. It was a really tough time.

Then schools did great. They did the best they could. They put things into place. But online learning is different. It’s tough. Not every child thrives in that environment. Even for the children that do well in that environment, it’s just not as social. It’s not the social interaction that kids need. I know we talk a lot about STEM and STEAM and school. Everybody often really focuses on the academics, but the reality is that the social aspects that go along with school are equally as important because if you’re not happy socially in school, you’re not paying attention to the academics. So they all sort of have to jive together, and COVID was tough. So we’re really making an effort. Parents are chomping at the bit to get their kids out and social again, which is great. But they called it the COVID slide. I mean, there was a bit of an academic slide with kids. There was definitely a social side. Kids that I know that were very social are much more comfortable being alone now than I think we’d like them to be. A lot of them don’t like school as much. They don’t have as favorable an impression as they used to because school was very different this year.

So we are really trying to focus on rebuilding a love of learning because that’s what builds our future. That’s what builds confidence in children is the desire to learn, the want to go to school, the want to be social, those types of things. That’s what really drives kids. The academics just sort of come along with all of that, and so we need to rebuild that love of learning and get kids back and doing fun, hands-on social academic activities to get us back to even just where we were before COVID, but then hopefully obviously moving forward from there.

Dr. Amy Moore: Absolutely.

Teri Miller: So good.

Dr. Amy Moore: So we need to take a quick break, but I want to hear, really, how you’re doing that, the ways that you can tell us about, when we get back from our break from our sponsor.

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Dr. Amy Moore: We’re back talking to Laura Coe, the CEO and cofounder of Snapology. So, Laura, I would like for you to talk a little bit about the benefits of hands-on learning for kids.

Laura Coe: I think along with hands-on learning, I think kids are able to be … Well, there’s actually brain science behind it. We just talked about LearningRx a little bit there. There’s brain science behind using your hands. Your hands are connected to, I don’t know, 80 or 90 percent of your brain cells or something. So when you’re interacting and using manipulatives, you’re able to dig deeper into more of your subconscious, and you’re able to be more creative. I think that the hands-on learning gives a child or, quite honestly, even an adult an opportunity to get more engaged and more involved and, again, dig deeper into a deeper level of creativity or imagination or just a deeper level of thought.

So I think the hands-on portion of it … For kids, a lot of times it just makes it a lot more fun. But then knowing the brain science behind it, you know that they’re able to achieve more in actually working with their hands and doing hands-on activities.

Dr. Amy Moore: Absolutely.

Teri Miller: So good. The kinetic, that part that sets our brains on fire, the kinetic part of it.

Dr. Amy Moore: Kinesthetic.

Teri Miller: There you go. I’ve been in Florida for a week.

Dr. Amy Moore: [crosstalk 00:18:07] on the beach.

Teri Miller: [crosstalk 00:18:08] listen to things I say.

Dr. Amy Moore: [crosstalk 00:18:11] her vocabulary back. I want to read you a quote from the National Inventors Hall of Fame and then just get your thoughts on that, in talking about hands-on learning. So they say, “We create hands-on programing that encourages children to ask questions, embrace failure, and create without boundaries. Using hands-on experiences to teach children the important concepts that will help position them for future success is critical. Hands-on learning allows students to think creatively and use innovation to find unique solutions to common problems, ultimately making our world a better place.”

Teri Miller: And a better kinesthetic place too.

Laura Coe: I love that, particularly the part about failure because I think that’s something that we don’t talk about a lot because we’re all about teaching kids. We want them to succeed, and we want to build confidence and all of those things. But I think sometimes … Well, I think a lot of times you learn more from your failures than you do from your successes. If you can put children in an environment where failure is normal, it’s almost encouraged, you’re encouraged to try new things, then who cares if it fails? You just try something else. Again, if you can teach that at a young age and a child becomes comfortable with trying new things and not being embarrassed to fail or not feeling ashamed that they failed, if you can almost give them confidence in failing because they know that that’s going to help them learn how to succeed, again, I think it’s just sort of those core skills that you’re really trying to develop kids for life. I mean, they’re life skills, really.

Dr. Amy Moore: So can you tell our listeners … So as moms, as teachers, how can you help children celebrate those failures or learn from those failures so that they aren’t crushed by them?

Teri Miller: Oh, that’s so good, good question.

Laura Coe: It is a good question. I think it’s something that I’d have to admit, when my kids were really little, I’m not sure I was terribly good at. I think I got better over the years at helping them understand it, but I think it’s all about asking kids the right questions. So it’s when a child comes to you and they don’t know how to do something or when something’s broken and they’re upset. It’s sort of asking those questions back, “Well, what do you think you could do here? What do you think some solutions might be?” My kids make fun of me now for it because they’re almost adults now, but I used to tell them, “Don’t worry about it. Every problem has a solution,” and so they spit that back to me and make fun of me when I get upset. They’re like, “Mom, every problem has a solution.”

Laura Coe: But in any case, every problem does have a solution. Or it may not be the perfect solution, but there’s something that you can choose to do to move forward from that situation. I think that’s really the key is encouraging children not to get too upset about it, not to get too frustrated. Okay, that happened. Hmm, bummer, that’s a shame. I’m sorry that happened. But what could we do now, or what could we have done differently to fix that problem or to maybe have a different outcome? I think it’s just encouraging children to not get too frustrated and to explore the options of, well, let’s learn from that. That happened. Big deal, let’s move on. What can we do going forward? Again, it’s a lot easier to tell people to do that than when you’re in the moment and there’s this huge failure and you’re trying to figure it out. Of course, I can give that advice now. I think I’ve gotten better at it over the years, but I think that’s really the answer is really to not overreact, to encourage the child to think about it. What solutions could they even come up with?

Dr. Amy Moore: I was a former preschool teacher, and some children aren’t used to thinking critically. They haven’t been given the opportunity to think critically, and so when you ask that question the first time, “What could we do differently?” or, “What are the options here?” it can be paralyzing because they haven’t used that method of problem solving before. They’re used to being told, “Here’s how you do it.” So do you find that then in situations like that it’s appropriate to just give a couple options to grease those wheels, give them some ideas first and then [crosstalk 00:22:46]

Laura Coe: Yeah. I mean, I think that’s a great idea, and I think that helps them in the next situation maybe think through it as well. So it’s all about that emulation. I mean, look at our kids. I mean, sometimes they copy stuff we don’t want them to be copying. I mean, they’re looking at everything that we’re doing and saying. If you can say, well, I don’t know, if I think about it, maybe you could do this. Or what do you think if we did that? Give them a couple of solutions just to even grease the wheels and get the thoughts flowing in their heads. Absolutely, that’s a great way to approach it.

Teri Miller: Thinking from a parenting perspective, I know for me personally, the challenge is going to be to stop giving solutions, because as you’re talking about it, I’m thinking of the conversations I have with my kids when something … The whole Lego set falls apart or they’ve put together this whole thing and maybe they didn’t have the core thing done right or, I don’t know, whatever. But I’ll tend to be like, “Oh, buddy, I’m so sorry,” and that comfort first, that’s great. But then what I tend to do is go, “If you had only followed the instructions better,” or, “Maybe if you try it this way.” What I’m hearing you say, Laura, is that it would be really good for my kids for me to step back and go, “I’m so sorry, buddy. Oh, what do you think you could do about it? How are you going to try to fix that?” Just for me to stop trying to solve it or correct. I do that way too much, trying to correct, to let him do it.

Laura Coe: For sure, or even, “What do you think led to this? Or what do you think you could have done differently so this won’t happen again? Or what do we do now that this did happen?” or that kind of thing. When I said I wasn’t very good at it when I was younger, it was because I took the exact approach that you do. I think that’s the natural approach. It’s, “If you’d only listened to what I said. I knew that was going to happen. I told you.” [crosstalk 00:24:55]

Teri Miller: If you just read the directions.

Laura Coe: Exactly, and it’s so easy. I mean, I think that’s the natural reaction from parents. So now as I look back on it, that’s exactly what I think is I wish I had been a little bit … I wish I had taken a breath. I wish I had just stopped, thought about the situation, and thought, okay, this isn’t the time for my redemption and I told you so. This is a learning opportunity for my child. What can I say to help them out? Again, easier said than done, but, I mean, that, as I look back at things … Or if I chose to bring in a young child and raise another young child, I mean, that would be something that I certainly would work hard on.

Teri Miller: So good. I’m going to soak that in today, practice that. Well, hey, I want to switch directions a little bit. I just want to hear about your company, Snapology. Tell our listeners. Tell me about Snapology and what it is and how and why you created it.

Laura Coe: Absolutely. So I’ve talked about my kids a lot. I created the business pretty much for them. So the idea of Snapology is hands-on educational enrichment, social development. We try to make everything fun. The idea is basically a hands-on program. It’s an enrichment class, a camp, a birthday party. We do all kinds of different things. But the idea is that we’re teaching children through educational play, so we believe that children’s best learning experiences are through hands-on interactive learning. So what we’ve tried to do is disguise the learning as fun social events. So we use super fun themes and robots and slime and all kinds of really cool stuff. We often say we’re using traditional toys in non-traditional ways.

So we might have children come in and do a … We call it Jedi Masters, which is kind of inspired my Star Wars. They might be building a ship or a lightsaber, but in building those and having a super fun time collaborating with other kids and building these really cool ships and lightsabers, we’re actually subtly teaching them … Well, sometimes not so subtly … engineering statics skills so that they can build a stronger lightsaber. Then we’ll have a competition where they’ll bounce a balloon back and forth between the lightsabers. Those of them who listened to the lesson, applied the engineering principles correctly, their lightsaber is going to stay together, and they’re going to win a sticker because they did well in the competition.

So it’s sort of that combination of super fun, hands-on activities with academic enrichment activities baked into them, but super social so the kids are learning how to collaborate and work together. So the idea of Snapology is essentially doing those things. We go all around the community. We’re in schools. We’re in rec centers. We’ve got our own brick and mortar facilities doing all kinds of super fun parties and camps and classes and workshops doing those things.

But the whole reason I did it was because my sons are more mathletes than they are athletes, and so when they were little … When you’re a little boy who’s four, five, six years old, when you’re a parent looking for activities for them, the vast majority of activities are surrounded around sports. My kids dabbled here and there in sports, but it just really wasn’t their thing, particularly at a younger age, and so I struggled. I really wanted that social interaction. I wanted them with their peers doing activities. I really couldn’t find much for them, and so that’s how Snapology was born. My older son in particular was really into Lego bricks. He was really into engineering and building toys and things like that. So I couldn’t find it, and so we built it.

I went to my sister and said, “Hey, here’s an idea. What do you think?” At the time she didn’t have children. She has a son now. But she was all in. She’s like, “That’s great. I love it, and I’m in.” So we’ve, over the last 11 years, built it up.

Teri Miller: The term even, Snapology, it makes me think to Legos. It brings that to mind, the science of Legos and building and engineering. I love it, the creativity, the engineering, the math, so good. I want that for my kids. So how do we find it. How does a mom find that, especially right now in the summertime? How do we find a Snapology program.

Laura Coe: Summer’s huge for us. I mean, it’s our biggest time of year. We have about 100 locations here in the US. We’ve got 160 global. But in the United States, there’s about 100 locations. You can just go to Snapology.com- go to our locations page, and you can find a location near you. Still, because of COVID, we are doing some online programs, so you can also find some virtual programs at Virtual.Snapology.com, but we’re phasing out the virtual because, again, we believe in in-person, hands-on interactive. That’s the true STEM piece of it, so we’re kind of phasing them out. But even if there’s not a local Snapology, you may be able to find some virtual programs.

Dr. Amy Moore: So what about moms (or dads) who want to have their own Snapology program? Who would be the perfect franchise candidate, and how would they go about exploring those options?

Laura Coe: So we are actually one of the fastest growing franchises now, and we’re really booming here post COVID because of the need for these types of programs and rebuilding that love of learning. So there’s a couple ways that you can get more information. One is just if you go on Snapology.com, you can click franchise, and there’s a wealth of information on our franchise opportunities. We are awarding franchises in every state, and so there’s no limitations there. Honestly, the majority of our franchise owners … And, really, what we look for in a Snapology business owner is somebody who’s passionate about these programs. So I would say the vast majority of our owners are parents. Some of them are still parents of younger children. Some of them their children are grown.

But I believe fundamentally that, if you’re going to own your own business, if you’re going to invest in something like that, that you should be passionate about it, that you shouldn’t just buy yourself another job. I mean, you want to do something that you love. So our best owners are owners who are truly passionate about it. It’s a very low-cost opportunity as far as business opportunities go, so the barrier to entry is very low, and so it’s affordable for a lot of people. But I think, really, what drives that success and what we look for in an owner is that drive, that passion to bring these programs to their own children and to the community.

Teri Miller: Just for our moms out there, I just looked up Snapology.com. It’s by state, and then there’s so many different locations within your state and your area and so many different programs. I’m like, oh, this is awesome. There’s definitely some things I’m going to be able to get my kids involved in this summer.

Dr. Amy Moore: Well, and you have a Snapology bus, right, that-

Teri Miller: What?

Dr. Amy Moore: … you drive around to different places?

Laura Coe: We do, we do. Our timing was a little unfortunate on the bus. The first bus was released a couple months before COVID hit, but we do have that mobile option, which is really cool, because you can just drive that bus anywhere, just drive it up to a school. You can drive it up to somebody’s house and do a birthday party. It’s really cool. We basically hollowed out a charter bus and lined the sides of it with tables and stations of activities where kids can do different things. It’s super cool. We are a mobile option just in general. I mean, even without the bus, we come to you. I mean, if you can get six kids together and you want to do an activity, we’ll come to your house. I mean, we’ll come wherever you want us to.

Dr. Amy Moore: Teri’s got nine kids. She’s got a … built in party every day.

Teri Miller: I’m looking at this. I pulled up the birthdays tab, and I’m like, are you kidding, for that money? Am I allowed to say what price I’m looking at? Hey, it’s online, right? Whatever, I’m looking here at preschoolers.

Dr. Amy Moore: Well, it’s evergreen, so I probably would just check with your local-

Teri Miller: Oh, yeah. So this is just the local place that would fit my location, my spacing in the Colorado Springs area. I’m thinking I would spend twice that much money on a much lamer birthday party. This would be so much more fun, the pictures I’m seeing, these Lego activities. There’s some robot thing here happening. Sorry, it’s just I’m fascinated. I’m thinking, oh, oh-

 [crosstalk 00:34:23]

Teri Miller: … this is going to be the next birthday, so much better.

Laura Coe: Well, and that’s the funny thing is sometimes we’ll get questions about adult child activities, or can we do this program for a child who’s … Usually, most of our programs go up to about 12 or 14 years old. They’ll be like, “Could you do it in high school?” I’m like, I enjoy these activities. I don’t really think there’s truly an age limit on it. It’s easy to get excited about. I mean, they’re super fun.

Dr. Amy Moore: Well, your catalog shows that you do workplace team building activities, right, for adults?

Teri Miller: Oh, cool.

Laura Coe: We do. We do something called Lego Serious Play, which is true team building and meeting facilitation. It’s not just, let’s everybody go to the arcade and play video games together. It’s true team building with some true elements of communication skills and those types of things built in. It’s actually a super fun event and really effective. It’s one of my favorite things to do, are the team building and meeting facilitation with corporate locations.

Dr. Amy Moore: I’m going to have to remember that.

Teri Miller: [crosstalk 00:35:31] I know, it’s so fun, so great.

Dr. Amy Moore: So before we go, we do have a couple of personal questions for you. I think you alluded to the answer to one of them a few minutes ago, so I’ll be interested in seeing how you respond. But if you could go back in time, what words of encouragement or what would you do differently as a new mom?

Laura Coe: I actually didn’t have my kids until I was in my early 30s, so I had a little time to kind of mature a little bit. I’m not sure how people do it in their 20s and have the patience that I think I had in my 30s to do it. I was hard on myself. I think that I had pretty high expectations. Sometimes you lose your cool, or sometimes you do say, “Hey, I wish you would have listened to me,” instead of giving them the, “Well, what could you have done differently?” talk. I think I wouldn’t have been so hard on myself. If I could go back and do it again, I think it’d try to take a few more deep breaths and really just try to take things a little bit … No mom’s perfect. No parent is perfect. We’re all fighting our way and trying to figure it all out. So I think my best advice is just give yourself a break. You’re doing great. You’re doing the best you can, right?

Teri Miller: Amen, sister.

Dr. Amy Moore: I always say that connection trumps perfection.

Teri Miller: That’s so good.

Laura Coe: That’s good.

Teri Miller: So, here’s a little funny question we ask everyone that we interview. What’s your favorite indulgent or product that you are enjoying right now?

Laura Coe: You know what’s interesting because I’m not a product kind of gal. I’m a tomboy by nature, and so I don’t pamper myself much. So I’d have to say my answer to that is I am a TV junkie. I can lose myself in these Netflix series and these Hulu series. I am a true believer that mindless entertainment is my savoir. I can shut my brain off from the working world. I probably work way too many hours in a day more than I should, 9, 10 hours a day. But if I can shut that all off and just spend a couple hours just engrossed in mindless TV entertainment, I would say that’s probably my indulgence.

Teri Miller: That’s so cool.

Dr. Amy Moore: What’s your most recent binge? In like, what do you like to watch?

Laura Coe: Well, I’m embarrassed to say this. This isn’t a Netflix or Hulu series. It’s truly embarrassing, and I’m not sure why I’m sharing this with you. I still watch soap operas. I still watch Days of Our Lives and General Hospital.

Teri Miller: That’s awesome.

Laura Coe: I think I’ve watched them for about 35 years now, and it’s embarrassing because they’re so ridiculous. But, again, that idea of mindless- … It is truly mindless entertainment.

Teri Miller: Then you’re following the characters. You get invested because you follow the character. You’ve got people in those shows that were a kid, and then now they’re married with their own kids. It’s cool.

Dr. Amy Moore: You can skip five years, watch an episode, and the same characters. You just pick up where you left off.

Laura Coe: I’m not sure I’ve watched it solid for all of those years because of that, but, yeah, you can go easily 5 or 10 years and jump right back into it. In three episodes you know where you’re at. It is embarrassing, but I do truly enjoy the mindless just turn your brain off and just relax and get engrossed in some just ridiculousness.

Teri Miller: That is good. That’s good for us to hear as moms.

Dr. Amy Moore: Absolutely, and you shouldn’t be embarrassed about something that brings you some self-care and joy.

Teri Miller: From a self-appointed math nerd, mathlete, that’s good. That’s what the brain needs sometimes.

Dr. Amy Moore: Absolutely.

Teri Miller: That’s beautiful.

Dr. Amy Moore: So, hey, we are out of time, so we do need to wrap up. This has been a great conversation today, and I’d really like to thank our guest, Laura Coe, from Snapology. If you would like to connect with Laura, you can find out more about Snapology at Snapology.com, and we will put her social media handles in our show notes. Also, if you liked our show today, please leave us a rating and review on Apple Podcasts or on your favorite podcast platform. You can follow us on social media, @TheBrainyMoms. You can also follow me @Dr_AmyMoore. If you’d like to watch us instead of listen, we are on YouTube. So until next time, we know you’re busy moms, and we’re busy moms, so we’re out.

Teri Miller: See ya!

Show Notes and Links:

Connect with Laura Coe, CEO of Snapology

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/snapology

Twitter: https://twitter.com/snapology123

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/snapologyhq/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SnapologyPgh


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