Lauren Brukner is an occupational therapist, published author, and mother of 3 children under the age of 10. She is also a contributing writer for the Huffingon Post.
Brukner took some time away from her busy to schedule to talk with us about it all.
Tania On The Scene: Lauren, you’re a young mom with 3 kids, a pediatric occupational therapist, writer with the Huffington Post, an author, and the list goes on. What are some of your tricks in dealing with time management?
Lauren Brukner: I am definitely super-busy! I suppose that I am super-passionate to the point where I haven’t left myself with another choice! My mindset has been, since the beginning of this journey, that I would write books that would affect change in the lives of others. I would work as hard as I needed to in order to get my books the way I wanted them, and utilize social media as much as possible to spread the word. In terms of time management, I have to say-right now, I am sitting on the floor of my living room, typing this on my phone (after writing up the other portion on my commute home!) The same held true for my books! I would write chapters, ideas, and sections whenever I could squeeze them in (and if an idea or writer’s motivation kicked in!) My time with my family is precious, and I truly try to write at night, into the wee hours of the mornings, or during any time off. I like to say that I’m a full time Pediatric OT/author, as well as a full time mother, because I try my best to be present for my children when we are together. Does it always work out that way? Nope, but I juggle it the best way I can.
TOTS: Tell us about your recent book: The Kids’ Guide To Staying Awesome and In Control.
LB: This book was largely inspired by my passion for my children and my profession. I created The Kids’ Guide to Staying Awesome and in Control, published in July of 2014, in order to provide children of all abilities with a tangible tool allowing them to empower themselves to feel calm and in control. It is so important to me to be able to give children (my own and the ones I treat) ways to take a proactive, independent, and successful approach to managing their own states of self-regulation. Children (and adults!) learn how to label difficult feelings, choose corresponding strategies and tools to address them. Readers learn to use strategies effectively in different environments: whether at home, around the community, or at school. Presented strategies are accompanied by cartoon-style illustrations and visuals to represent different emotions. The back of the book includes tips for parents, educators, and therapists as well as handy visual charts and checklists to track learning and progress.
TOTS: You have other books that you’ve written as well (How to be a Superhero Called Self-Control, Stay Cool and In Control with the Keep-Calm Guru). When you have the time to jot down your ideas, where do you get the most inspiration?
LB: As a super-busy working mom, I use my smart-phone as a stream-lined location to jot-down ideas for current or future work. I often take snapshots of notes/ideas I write down to view when I have more time if my hands are full. Ironically, I often get ideas in the middle of the night, and have a journal handy (I refuse to use my phone in the middle of the night), and may write down my ideas and take a photo of it in the morning. Once, I found a magnet-doodle next to my bed instead left by my kids, so used that! I am so passionate about the topic of self-regulation, the focus of my work, because, as I have said to my children, colleagues, and those who I’ve treated clinically: I’m a sensory kid who grew up into a sensory adult! I had a difficult time in school, especially when I was expected to sit and attend to instruction. I had a hard time with emotional regulation, especially going into my teens. As I worked with a similar population of children as an Occupational Therapist, I made it my mission to create a program utilizing universal language around self-regulation, while connecting it to simple strategies and tools, placing the control into the hands of the child-not the adult. When experiencing a strong physical or emotional feeling, the simple ability to label that feeling and choose a ‘Just Right’ strategy to get back in control is beyond empowering. Having the opportunity to affect change through my three books has been one of the most meaningful aspects of my life. I am humbled to announce that I am in the process of writing my fourth book featuring Self-Control, and am developing a curriculum for educators and therapists based on my work.
TOTS: You’re a contributing writer to Autism Parenting Magazine. How did that come about?
LB: I am privileged to meet many influential colleagues through LinkedIn. The previous editor of Autism Parenting Magazine, Leslie Burby, reached out to me through that channel, based on an article that I posted on my blog. She asked me to write a post for the magazine on parenting (on how to get your young children to put away their laundry independently). I am proud to announce that I was honored with an award for Top Parenting Contributor for 2016! You never know where life may take you:)
TOTS: What was the most memorable thing your kids taught you?
LB: Joy in simplicity. Hot chocolate in the morning when snow is falling. Stopping and dancing before homework just because we all had a hectic day and it just made sense in the moment; I forgot how much fun that was, by the way! I now appreciate the walk on my way home from work, seeing the trees, the sky, even feeling the coldness of the rain on my skin. Just being thankful for life. This gift is because of my children, and I am so grateful.
TOTS: Where can we find your books?
LB: They are available where most books are sold. I am attaching links for my author page for Barnes and Noble and Amazon US:
TOTS: Where can people keep in touch with you? (Social media handles?)
LB: I try to keep up on various social media, and answer as many messages as I can. I am available for consultation. Here are the links: