Robbin McManne had a corporate marketing career at McDonalds for more than 15 years when she decided to leave behind that security and follow her heart. The catalyst: a difficult child.
“I loved work and in fact I preferred working to being with my kids for the first few years because at work, at least I got validation and I felt in control,” McManne recalls. At home, not so much. Her kids, especially her older son, weren’t listening and McManne felt powerless and disrespected. Things were chaotic, loud, and stressful. McManne knew something had to give.
She stumbled upon a method called “conscious parenting” and the discovery changed both her life and the course of her career. The foundation of the practice involves a basic understanding of brain science and developmental stages, and a commitment to “meeting your child where they are rather than where you think they should be,” says McManne. “They aren’t little adults with emotional regulation and the ability to solve problems.” McManne hired a coach to help her practice the method, which involved changing her own behavior rather than trying to get her son to change his. And, she says, “the shift was incredible.”
Impressed with the effectiveness of the tools she had acquired, McManne decided to become a certified parent coach and, six years ago, enrolled in the Jai Institute for Parenting to become certified. In her marketing job at McDonalds, she had always enjoyed teaching and giving presentations, so it was a natural transition.
"It’s huge for me to have my ideas and my strategies in a place that is highly respected.”
In 2017, McManne quit her job and, the following year, published a book called The Yelling Cure, based on the parenting methods she had learned and on her own personal experiences as a parent. She marketed the book on social media and drummed up her first clients for her new business, Parenting for Connection. Soon after, she launched a podcast and was recognized in 2022 by Podcast Magazine as one the top moms in podcasting.
A typical client, says McManne, is a working mom who feels in control at work but powerless at home — much the way she felt with her own young children. “There’s this facade of perfectionism that we display through social media, and we can’t show weakness or vulnerability,” she says. “And that gets in the way of people asking for help.” But when people do reach out, she notes that the tools she teaches are like “small hinges swinging big doors.” Improvement is often fast and dramatic.
Last year, McManne added corporations to her roster of clients. “I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that what makes a great parent makes a great leader,” she says. “When you use empathy and compassion, when you listen, when you're curious and avoid judging, your employees are going to be more motivated and productive.” She’s also being hired by corporations to help their employees “solve the incivility issues at home” so that they have more energy and focus at work. For many parents who worked from home during the pandemic and had more family time, whatever problems existed prior to COVID were often exacerbated. “If a company can invest in parents, it’s good for the company and it’s good for business,” McManne says.
“Newsweek Expert Forum is such an amazing opportunity,” says McManne. “I think it really gives me extra credibility. It’s huge for me to have my ideas and my strategies in a place that is highly respected.”
Through regular contributions to Expert Panels and by-lined articles, McManne has enjoyed increased media exposure that has helped her build her brand. Connections with fellow members have also been fruitful, resulting in guest podcast opportunities and new business referrals.