E42: Breaking the Chains of Destructive Behaviors, with Christina Heredia


In this episode, we welcome Christina Heredia to the show to discuss the ways Sunset Bay Academy helps students break the chains of destructive behaviors. We also chat about academic reach, stresses and triggers for our students, the power of addiction, and much more. Tune in to hear more from Christina!


[00:00:00] This podcast is brought to you by our friends at Advantages Digital Learning Solutions, where learning is reimagined. Good afternoon and welcome to Learning Reimagined. I’m Alison Dampier and with me as always is Sandy Gamba. Hello, Sandy. Hi, how’s it going? I’m so excited about today. Today’s guest is going to be quite entertaining.

It’s somebody we’ve had that has been in our world for, gosh, At least 10 years, I think she’s been with, if not more. Yeah. It’s been quite a, yeah. You know what? It’s been a bit more. So Sandy, why don’t you go ahead and do the honors? Oh, I’m just so pleased and I just feel so fortunate to be able to have Christina Heredia.

She has she she’s she’s an expert in her field. I love being in her space and I am just so excited to just get our listeners on board and just glean some tips and tricks and some things that have helped her in her professional life. So I’m really happy. Thank you so much for joining us, Christina. Oh, my goodness.

The honor is all mine. I’m sure that your listeners know, but I have to tell them that you two are amazing, ordinary women. That you prove every day that it is possible for women to be able to be entrepreneurs and have time for their business, but also raise amazing children that are loved. And listen to and that you spend that quality time with them as well.

And so I just wanted to congratulate you guys. And it is an honor to be on this video call with you guys and just to be able to sit at the table with women of, of your caliber is, is just an honor. Oh my gosh. Thank you so much. We can end the podcast right now. That was wonderful. Thank you, Christina. And Christina herself is quite amazing.

She runs a therapeutic center in Mexico and, and a slew of other things. So Christina, why don’t you go ahead and give us a quick little summary about who you are and Let our audience get to know you a little bit. Yeah, absolutely. So, I am, I’m 40 years old. I am the mother of two. I had kids later in life due to my industry.

But I have an almost three year old and a two year old which have definitely been my best teachers. But in regards to the Academy it is a therapeutic boarding school with teens that struggle with behavioral issues. Anxiety, depression anger just so many different things that stem from not really knowing how to deal with their emotions and with the trauma or bullying or whatever it is that is going on in their life.

And so, Sunset Bay Academy started with my father That is no longer with us, but he was an entrepreneur his whole life. And really towards the end of, of his life, because it was a short one, wanted to really have a business that made an impact. That wasn’t just a business to be able to pay the bills, but to be able to leave some sort of a legacy and to be able to make a difference.

And so. He stumbled upon this. I’m not quite [00:03:00] sure how or why, because I wasn’t in the household at the time. But once he started, he called me, said, come back. I really want you. I actually studied communications and marketing. A lot of people think I’m a psychologist, but I’m not. That’s the little pebble in the shoe.

I mean, since I was little, we we’ve been helping at orphanages and I was taken to do community service. So this service in me was always there. So I. Said absolutely dad and I came by and I just fell in love. I fell in love with project with what we were doing. I realized that I have a voice and that I actually work really well with teenagers and they respect me because I.

Just like with toddlers, they teach you to get down to their level when you’re talking to them, so that they feel, right understood and communicated with. Teenagers, it’s the same. You want to sit down, you want to have this conversation, and I’m just a really quick learner, and a great observer and evaluator, and I can listen to what you’re not saying, but what you really want to tell me.

And so I just fell in love, and I stuck it through. My dad passed away, like, two years into it, and I had to make a decision. Of You know what I wanted to do I would have never imagined That I would have been able to stand up and move forward I was you know in my mid 20s at the time. I had never worked in mexico much less ever owned a business did not know what to do and it’s very scary But my mom was going through a very tough time.

She had also just had surgery so she couldn’t even walk my sister my middle sister was pregnant. Going through trouble in in In her life trying to figure that part out and then my youngest sister was about to go to college I was like, oh wow, it was you or nothing. It’s you. I Mean the good and the bad, you know getting personal I definitely took on a role of I feel husband and father and took on way more Responsibility probably then then I could have handled at the time.

But either way I did it It was my choice and I definitely don’t regret it. I’m the woman that I am today because of it But it was just, it took over. Yeah, Sunset Bay took over my life. It’s when you’re passionate about something, the addiction that we’ve talked about that we have at the school with kiddos.

I had that same addiction towards helping them. And I was there morning and night. There was a time I actually lived on campus for like a year because I wanted to know from morning until night what was going on. And if there’s something my dad taught me was, You need to learn how to clean the toilets.

You need to know not just the big positions. You got to be right every single position because you want to create a community for these kids and creating a community means having the respect of your staff Which i’m sure that you guys know as well Yeah, and I I had the honor of visiting your campus and it’s, it’s just you, you have a level of excellence, Christina, not with your, not just with your staff, but with your whole team.

And I could see it with your students as they’ve come through and have achieved their [00:06:00] goals. And with families, you have, you have changed the trajectory of families worldwide. And it’s just been such an honor to be able to partner with you all. It’s been really amazing. So thank you. No, you guys are amazing as well.

You are able to give access. To world class education to a child that can be anywhere in the world. And that makes a huge difference because you’re giving opportunities to third world countries that otherwise have not been able to have that. And that we’re included in that blessing. That’s one of my favorite things about our company is that is that academic reach and it really does.

It makes a difference. And it takes, you hear the old adage, it takes a village. It really, truly does. And I’m so proud to be a part of the village with you. That we, we do make a difference with these kids and the kids who truly need it, you know, they need to have a champion in their corner and I’m just so proud of what we do there.

Tell us a little bit about the philosophy of Sunset Bay. So are you, you’re dealing with kids with more behavioral issues, not necessarily drug and alcohol issues. Correct. We have had students that have had addiction because at the end of the day when you go to rehab, it’s typically going to medically, right, get you clean, as they call it.

You’re always going to be an addict, as they tell you, you know, like an alcoholic. You, you can’t walk into a bar because even though you’re not drinking, you know, you’re putting yourself to the test. And so, however, you want to get to the root. Why? Why did I look for this in the first place? Because at the end of the day, I was searching for something.

Right. I was in pain. I was angry. I had something going on that caused me to not love my life the way that it is. And so for a lot of kids, drugs, especially marijuana is going to take me to a world that is better, even though it’s a temporary fix for them. Right. I’ve never honestly smoked pot. I have no reason to lie.

I’ve never done it, but I have seen people that have done it. I’ve seen the effect that it has. I’ve had addiction in my family with my, my uncles and I’ve seen what it can do to you and how the marijuana is no longer enough. And then you got to jump to the next one and the next one to be able to continue to have that feeling.

And then as you like the way it makes you feel, you want to do it more and more often. Right. And then. You completely forget why you even started in the first place or what life is like without it. And so some people are looking for a rush. They’re going for the ecstasy. Their life is boring and dull.

And nowadays with social media the pressures of being youth. Is very very high compared to what it used to be now. There’s not just in person bullying. There’s cyber bullying, you know did I get enough likes? Did I take enough of my clothes off when I took a picture so that I could get enough likes, you know?

You are constantly wanting to put up this content and portraying of Life that isn’t yours. And so all of this is what we have to dig into [00:09:00] at Sunset to figure out What was it? You know, sometimes it can be as simple as a comment that a teacher made in a classroom It can be as you know, simple as their parents getting divorced and then they decided that it was their fault It could be as simple as being adopted and feeling like I’m abandoned and I’m not worth it So this little person that all of us have in our head because we’re our worst critics.

For our teens that we work with, this little person took over and they listened so much to that little person that they now had to find ways of dealing with it. And so cutting is a very popular one as well because my pain is so much that I would rather cut myself because this, even though it’s pain, it eases the internal pain, which is much, much worse.

Yeah. Cutting is, is one of those things that I don’t understand. I, I, I just, it’s such, I don’t understand how causing physical pain reduces the emotional. I, I, that’s something that I can’t comprehend. I don’t know if I’m smart enough. I don’t know. Definitely smart enough. I definitely do that. But you know, there’s different fields and there’s different ways.

And I guess it’s kind of like for some people eating, right? You, you, you emotionally eat. And in my head, I’m like, why would I emotionally eat if I know that that’s going to cause me health concerns? I can now become obese, which means I can’t have physical activity. I’m causing myself damage, right? It might not be in the moment like cutting, but at the end of the day, I’m causing myself damage yet.

I still do it. Interesting. Okay. I hadn’t thought about it in that kind of a connection. So it’s. But it eases you in the moment. Mm-hmm. Eating makes you feel better, even though food, it’s instant gratification, right? It’s instant gratification. Is the food really making you feel better in the long run? Is it really healing you?

Well, sometimes that chocolate brownie really does . Exactly. Yeah. And so I think it’s Sunset Bay, just the holistic mm-hmm. sense of, of how you treat each individual and helping them. I think that speaks volumes to making that difference. And that you’ve been in this field for long enough. I am curious. Do you see any commonality with your, your students?

Is there anything like, Oh, okay. You have have had this happen in your background. I can see, you know, this is going to be. An issue or do you, do you see anything like that, like precursors, right? No, no, no, absolutely. Sadly enough, at least us, I’m not going to say it’s an industry standard, but with us I would say that we get a lot of kids that are adopted. Interesting. And a lot of the kids that are adopted. And I would say out of our adopted bunch, the majority are adopted from another country. And so you’re, it’s like if you think about something that is easy for people, right?

A relationship, right? When you start dating someone, I very much consider myself Mexican American, right? And [00:12:00] so I speak Spanish, I love Spanish music, I love Spanish food, I know Spanish jokes, you know, it’s just, it’s just a whole culture and tradition. And so if I date an Anglo Saxon white… Female, female, sorry, male that does not speak Spanish that does not like the food that it’s already going to make our relationship more difficult because I’m a family oriented person when I go to family that makes it difficult, right?

And so it’s already hard and we actually are attracted to each other. We love each other. We want to make it work. Right? We’re both in it. Imagine when you’re adopted and you’re from Columbia, the child’s from Columbia and you’re, you know white, all American Christian family. And so in our head, I think as parents, I’ve never adopted, so I can’t tell you firsthand, but just from my experience of this industry and families, you feel like you’re saving this child, which you are, and it’s amazing, but you think that it’s going to be a fairy tale that you’re going to love on this child and give them all this love and opportunity that they don’t have.

And they reject you and you’re like, wait, you know, and I’ve heard most of the families that adopt, they don’t get a full background. Most of the time, they don’t know everything that has actually happened to the child and a lot of things happen at orphanages. A lot of things happen, you know. And it happens even when people adopt from birth.

I’ve had families that adopt from birth and still they have issues. Especially when they come from another country. Especially when they adopt older. You add factors on factors. I don’t want to discourage people from doing it. But you have to be fully aware that… You know, they tell you my children from the womb if I’m stressed I had pandemic babies, right if I’m stressed if I’m going through all of this while I’m pregnant I’m passing this over to my unborn child So imagine when you don’t have all the history when you don’t know what pregnant mom went through when you don’t know what the child Has been through You know, what, what suffering.

And so just pouring them with love isn’t unfortunately enough, right? And I would say that’s probably the biggest trend that we see. Is, is that one? It’s like flipping a coin. I have heard of a lot of amazing stories of people that adopted. So I don’t want to discourage. However, I have also heard the horror stories, right?

Of course. Yeah. It’s like the flip of a coin. And so do you stop helping kids that actually want the opportunity? No, but then I, I mean, I’ve talked to parents that are like, this ruined my marriage, my life, like adopting. Oh, wow. My world upside down. It’s just a lot of pressure, yeah. So what, what would you suggest to parents who have adopted children and especially for those parents who have adopted out of country?

Is there any resources that you would lend them to or I don’t know. I mean, I wouldn’t say that there’s a specific agency that I would talk about. I have heard that they do get [00:15:00] therapy and, and, and things like that. I would number one, prior to adopting, if, if you still have a chance, is Know everything about the country that you’re adopting from, like, go visit, like, be there with the people, get to know, right?

And maybe for the ones that already adopted, I mean, I don’t know, if I was in their shoes, I might, like, go visit, not necessarily their biological family, right, because they don’t even know who they are, but Go visit give given importance to that part of their life because even though they’re now your child That’s still a part of who they are.

It’s a huge part of who they are, right? Respecting that and and giving them that place of being able to go back and get to know Their country and and maybe vacation there and not vacation like five star resort vacation But vacation like get into the community kind of you you know what? I mean, there’s a difference between me Just right.

I would do like an Do one of those Airbnbs or VRBOs where you can stay for like a month or two. And really try and just get into the culture, yeah. Right, exactly. And really do it with them. Learn their language. Right? Give them intensive classes that they can learn yours. When you bring them to the United States, don’t just bring them to your home and put them in school and that’s it.

Teach them about the United States. Take them, like, if you were a visitor in the U. S., you know, if somebody was coming from another country to the U. S., what would you take them to see to get to know this country? And I feel like connecting on a cultural level and understanding and respecting each other’s cultures could be a very healthy beginning.

That’s not, yeah, that’s a, yeah, that’s awesome. And I think we could all glean from that. Even right. Someone who hasn’t adopted. I think that really just speaks to understanding the greater world. Oh, 100%. I mean, my father was born and I didn’t get to go until I was an adult, but it was on my bucket list. To go and see where my father was born, my grandmother, my great grandmother, and it was heartbreaking, obviously, what I got to see but it opened up my eyes to really understanding where my family came from.

Where they came from and Yeah, and how they got out and the struggle that, you know, that is a whole story in and of itself. Wow. Yeah. Now did you Go ahead. Oh, yeah. Good. No, no, no. Good. I was just going to share. I’m first generation to graduate from college here in the United States. So my parents immigrated and it wasn’t until my two were in middle school that I was able to go to South America and have them explore just a little tiny piece of Columbia.

And I was exploring too, because I didn’t really ever had never seen these areas. And it was so insightful to read years later, my son’s One of his essays of going to college, his entrance college essay, and it was about I am just seeing it through his [00:18:00] eyes how he would see these homeless young kids that they should have been in school and he didn’t comprehend why they were not in school during school hours and so it’s just a whole conversation that years later, I understood what he saw through his eyes and it was just so cool.

So impactful and how much he appreciates what he currently has here in the United States and what his peers have. And just as he meets people from all over the world, it definitely humanizes. The whole experience. Oh, absolutely. And, and, and, and you’re just humble. It, it just mm-hmm. a first world country and when you don’t see anything outside of that Yep.

You lose sight of what the world is like. And it’s a beautiful place, not just to see the negativity of it, but you know, it is me that I’m, you know, I have my, my Cuban background and my Mexican background. Just how happy people are, you know, with, with so little, so little, reminds you, right? And when you give them a book, you know, when you go to orphanages and they ask you for notebooks and pencils, it’s just mind boggling, right?

It’s like, oh my god, like these Kids are thirsty for an education, for, for learning, for wanting something different in their life. And you get to meet people from all over, Christina, where, at Sunset Bay, where, where do your families come from? So the majority come from the United States, for sure. We do have a lot of kids from different parts of Mexico that we’ve had as well.

We’ve had Students from also the Dubai France, you know it just from other places, it’s not common and it’s not recommended because we are very family oriented on campus and we want you to be able to come and visit and it can get expensive. But it is definitely just. an honor for us to be Considered for families that could choose to go anywhere and choose to come to us.

Unfortunately, we do also get a lot of families that were their second or third choice. Their kids have been in a lot of programs Similar to ours in the US prior to coming to us because Mexico has such a bad rap, right? And so, and I get it, if all I did was watch the news and I never physically went, I would probably feel the same way.

And I, and I get that. And so a lot of times they don’t give us that chance because they can afford something else, and so they end up doing that first. And, you know, at the end, a lot of them will circle back and be like, remember when I called you a year ago? Yeah. I got it, you know, and, and there’s never any hard feelings at the end of the day.

We’re here to help. And that’s what we want to do and help kids get back on track just because. School is much more than what people give it credit for. You know, a lot of times people just think that school is just a ticket to get a good job, but no, school opens up your mind and your [00:21:00] creativity and you get to socialize and meet people and other cultures and just really figure out even extracurricular activities that make you tick and make you have fun and passion in life.

And so a lot of kids miss out on that. Yeah, that’s, that’s neat. Okay. So with Sunset Bay, you talked a little bit before this, before our podcast you have mentioned about breaking the cycle of chains, and I feel that’s a very interesting perspective. So can you talk a little bit about what that means?

Yeah, absolutely. So I’m going to give a little story that we usually tell at Sunset to kind of just put things in perspective, right? And so there was this young little girl and she was cooking Thanksgiving dinner with her mom. And so mom was preparing the ham and then she cut the ends off of the ham, put the ham in the pan and then stuck it in the oven.

And you know how kids can be in that stage where they’re, they want to know the why for everything. And so she says, mom, why do you cut the ends off the ham? And she’s like, well, I do it because your grandma did it, you know, my mom. And so, you know, that’s how I learned to cook it. And so I continued to do it the same way.

And she’s like, okay. Fortunately, grandma’s alive. So can we call grandma and ask her why she does that? I’m just super curious. Absolutely. And so they call grandma and they’re like, Hey grandma, we wanted to know why you cut the ends off the ham after you season it to put it in the oven. And she goes, you know what?

I did it because my mom did it, and that’s how she taught me. And so, you know, I continued to do it the same way. Fortunately for our story, our great grandmother was still alive. So they called her, and they were like, you know what? We want to know, you know, this is, you know, another generation, and she’s curious as to why you cut the ends off the ham before you put it in the oven.

And she said, oh, because it didn’t fit in the pan.

Yep. I have a very similar story. We had cut the pot roast in half and for years it was cut the pot roast in half. And finally, when I started learning how to cook, I’m like, mom, why did we cut the pot roast? Well, that’s what grandma did. Grandma, why do we cut the pot roast in half? She goes, well, my mom’s pan wasn’t big enough.

So we had to cut the pot roast in half. So same thing. I mean, it’s just, you get stuck in the cycle and you don’t pause to ask why. Correct. That’s exactly the message. It’s there’s so many things that have come generation through generation that are so useful that make us the amazing women that we are.

But there are other things that we’ve carried from generation to generation that you need to stop and ask yourself, why? Like, why do we do this? You know, and it brings me to, you know, I have a toddler and so I get upset when my toddler asks me questions, right? I don’t really, but I kind of get sometimes flustered and, you know, or she challenges me.

And then I have to remember the woman that I want to raise. I want my [00:24:00] daughter to break chains. I’ve broken some, I want her to break more. And so, I get to work through my emotions as my child is challenging me and asking me questions and second guessing me because I want her to become the woman that does that.

And doesn’t just do things on automatic because I was told so. Complete obedience isn’t something that I’m looking for. Even though from generation to generation in a lot of families, complete obedience is… You have an amazing child because you say something and they listen. Wait, you know, that, that isn’t necessarily the compliment that I’m looking for.

I don’t want completely obedient child. I want a child to ask questions. I want a child that that’s creative and considers and, and second guesses. And you know, you want that, you want that kind of a human in your life. At least I do. And based on what I know about you guys, you’ve raised the same kind of children.

You know, you want them to explore, you want them to ask questions. You don’t just want them to listen to everything the school says or the world says. It’s the hardest, it’s the hardest way to raise a child and it is, it makes the days very long, but it’s one of the things that I’ve always said, it’s just, I’m not going to worry about them, you know, because they aren’t.

Complicit just to the, you know, just to the status quo and the, the why, the why, the why, why, why it gets exhausting, you know, but it’s, it’s wonderful. It really is. You want to encourage that. And you want to encourage that because that’s how you’re going to break chains. In my, in my family, there’s addiction, right?

And that shows up to a lot of different things. And so. For me, I’ve never done drugs and I mean, I have my glass of wine here and there with you guys and without you guys. But at the end of the day, you know, I’m not addicted to alcohol or drugs or any of that, but I have definitely been addicted to working at SBA at one point in my life.

I’ve definitely been addicted to fitness, which I know you guys got to see in my life at one point to the point where I was competing and nothing else mattered except for fitness and my meals. And, you know, it was just like. And so you could say, Oh, but those are healthy addictions. Well, no, every extreme is bad.

You definitely don’t want to just focus on one thing so bad because then when that’s gone, it’s like, well, what do I do with the rest of my life? So addiction is something that I’ve wanted to break right in, in, in my life. You know, I’ve had really strong women in my life, which I admire and I love. But it also makes it hard and I have had to learn how to be in a relationship and be able to give my husband a voice and a vote that I’m not the one that rules the household, right?

I think that, that that has been something, you know, depending on my mother’s, you know, lineage or my, or my dad’s I have had very strong women. So I’m of strong character, which isn’t. That I mean is just I’m used to making decisions on top of that. We’re entrepreneurs imagine It’s like oh this that the other, you know [00:27:00] So whenever I have time and I actually jump on social media and see these tickets, I’m laughing because it’s true You know everything that we’re doing all the things that are going through our mind and I want my child to enjoy life to stop and smell the roses You know as they say and not just be go go go go go all the time And, and also learn how to be in a healthy relationship with whomever she chooses to be in one.

And not that life is about that, but you know, it’s, it’s, it’s nice. To, to have a teammate, you know, and not just to be the ruler, right? At least in my household that, that’s another chain that, that I’m working on, but it, it is, you know, and, and chains can be anxiety. They can be depression. Sometimes we don’t even know, right?

We can be, we can have anxiety and not because our parents like had anxiety attacks or anything, but. They, they stressed us continuously out about the future, you know, thinking of all the things that could happen that never really happened, but we’re so stressed and anxious about them. And so you turn out being the same way and then you raise your children the same way and then that chain goes on.

So it really is, I think, important. Just as a human, but especially as a parent to really get to look at yourself in the mirror and why I do the things that I do and my character and my personality and what things about myself I love and what things I choose to work on. And that, that’s a hard thing to, to face.

You know, why, why do I do that? Why, you know, what, what is causing those things? And that’s, that’s a tough a tough conversation. A hundred percent. A hundred percent. And that’s why I tell you, you know, a lot of times, People are saying something and you really have to pay attention to the words that they use especially when they’re like, oh, I’m sorry I didn’t mean to say that.

No, but you did I didn’t mean to say that because deep down inside that’s what’s really making you tick or that’s what’s really making you upset Or that’s what you know what I mean? It’s hard and and along with chains I think that the other biggest advice that I could give to parents is stop setting expectations for your kids Right?

In the sense that, oh, I want my daughter, my daughter’s born. Oh, I’m already thinking about she’s going to be a heterosexual. She’s going to get married. I’m going to have grandkids. She’s going to love to wear dresses and bows and she’s going to be a volleyball player. Right? I have not done this, thankfully, because I learned I had kids at an older age, but a lot of us do this.

You know, our kids are born and then we all of a sudden have all of these ideas of what we want them to be and like and do and we’re going to be a super united family and travel together and, you know, and then when they don’t do some of those things, they let you down. And it’s not even their fault because you set up an expectation for them that they didn’t even know they had.

Right, right. I had that conversation with, my daughter, when she got into high school and I was like, you need to join the leadership team. You need to do that. I wanted her to do all of these things. And and there’s a party on Friday night. You need to be going to the party. You need to be making friends with these people.

And she just [00:30:00] looked at me and she goes, no offense. I remember, but I, I, yeah, it was terrifying to me. She looked at me. She goes, no offense, but I’m not you. And I looked at her and I go, well, I know you’re not me. And, but, but I’m just trying to help. Those things don’t interest me. Those things do not excite me.

My experience is going to be different than yours. Okay. Now I feel like I’m a five year old and you just totally schooled me, but I’ve had to just kind of swallow a whole lot of humble pie there and just say you’re, you’re right. You’re absolutely right. My way is not necessarily right for you. It was right for me.

It’s not, it’s not your path. And so trying to navigate their happiness and their drive is not equitable to mine. It’s not the same. And and those expectations that you said it’s, you know, it, it’s so it’s hard, it’s you, you do have all these dreams when you have kids and then, you know, they don’t, their, their dreams are different and that’s okay.

They should be, they should be different. And. It just, it was kids teach you every day, . They teach you. They do. They do. It’s just another facet to . It’s that other side to parenting. It’s just, it’s such a, a reality check. As we evolve, like as you mentioned Christine, like our children, my children have taught me so much about myself as well as we went through this journey, going through this journey of parenthood.

It’s, it’s, it’s ever evolving. Mm-hmm. . Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. And, and, and the thing is, is. You know, I, for example, I can look at Sandy and be like, wow, like her kids are amazing. She did a great job, like And she’s a single mom and that now that I’m a mom, I’m like, like, how did you do that woman? Like, I don’t know that I would be capable of such a thing, you know, and still be such an amazing human and raising amazing humans.

And literally. Not know everything that you went through to accomplish that, right? Everybody just sees your success and thinks that it’s easy or it’s the comment that I love you got lucky And you’re like, excuse me like yes part of it is them But excuse me says Sandy. I had a lot to do with it, too, right?

Absolutely. I I don’t I don’t believe necessarily in luck like that. I don’t I think we make our own luck and and, and kids, you know what, it, it, you give them the foundation and you build them to be, you know, you give them that strength and essentially they’re going to take it or not. And, you know, Sandy’s been she’s fought very hard for her kids.

She has raised them with such integrity. And so that, that’s, they will always have that. Do they stumble along the way? Of course, kids stumble. And that’s, what’s so great about having that strong foundation that, you know, [00:33:00] Sandy has built and that you are currently building with your kids. It’s just you know, you, they, they know they’re loved.

They know they’re loved. Thank you both. But I think a lot of what it’s, both of you have touched on this as we have to pivot and we have to evolve and as we, we are all entrepreneurs here and we’re all trying to do our best, but really listening and feeling where your student is as they go through this journey of life, being present for them.

I think we also have to remind ourselves to be present for ourselves. And Christina, you spread yourself and you do so many wonderful things. How do you fill your cup? How, what do you do to help yourself stay at that level of excellence? Like that is an excellent question. And it’s not something that I can say I’m an expert at.

I have definitely had my moments where you just want to sit down on the bathroom floor and curl up in fetal position and cry. I have definitely And it’s okay if you do that for a little bit. And it’s okay. It’s okay. It’s definitely okay. I think the biggest thing that I’ve learned is I’m a perfectionist.

I like things to be in order. I like things to be clean. I like things organized a certain way. And I was like that because I was single most of my life and it worked and it was great. Getting married was definitely An amazing decision, but it was definitely a reality check because we’re different.

And so learning that things weren’t going to, you know, and then having my first child, you know, and now with two, I literally, I clean an area. And when I moved to area number two, they’re already in area number one, making it a mess. And so I had to really figure out what was most important to me is having the cleanest, tidiest, most organized home, or having the most amount of fun and quality time with my kids.

And so I, for me, it was really about sit down and what is most important to you and what are your kids going to remember? Are they going to remember that the toy was in the right spot? Or are they going to remember when you went outside and splashed on the splash pad with them? What is it that they’re going to take?

Now, it doesn’t mean that my house is a dump, right? I teach them. And so I think the other biggest thing is I allow my kids to participate in everything. So I give myself huge gaps of time. So if it used to take me 30 minutes to get out the door, I now give myself an hour and a half to get out the door.

So I give myself less tasks per day. So that I can give myself more time for tasks. So my kids have a tower in the kitchen. I teach them how to chop vegetables. My daughter knows how to crack eggs since she was little. She knows how to move stuff on the stove. She knows that it’s hot. And so I don’t say careful.

It’s hot. I say It’s hot, right? I do tell you that it’s hot so that you can be careful, but if I teach her to be fearful of everything, I’m never going to [00:36:00] teach her to do it. And so as my, now that my daughter’s almost three, she’s a huge helper, right? And by the time she’s going to be a bigger helper. And so I’m teaching my kids that I’m not in charge of everything.

We all are in charge. We all have fun. So we all get to clean up. And so it’s not gonna look the way that it would if mommy did it by herself. But guess what? We had fun. We cleaned up. It looks decent and we did it as a team. So I think that that would probably be the two biggest things. A, give yourself less tasks.

Give yourself more time. And the other one is Pick your battles. Like what is most important to you? You know the clean house and people coming over and thinking that you’re amazing and have your shit together Sorry for the word But you want people to admire you because they’re like wow her kids really love spending time with her like she’s But like my kids want to go to her house because it’s fun.

Not because she has the nicest dining room table or the clean right It is just, you know, I strive for the salmon and the quinoa and the broccoli as I was telling Sandy the other day. Sometimes, you get mac and cheese or a quesadilla. And I give myself that credit. And that’s okay. I picked the healthiest mac and cheese, you know, I picked the healthiest cheese and tortillas.

So at least if I’m doing a quick, you know, give yourself grace. It’s okay. You don’t have to be perfect. You just want to be loved and love on your children. It just, for me, I would say that, that that’s the biggest thing. And, and circling back to how I give myself and fill my cup is having moments like these with you guys.

Having a conversation with a friend. Taking a shower by myself, you know, sometimes just sitting down and having a cup of tea for five minutes. I get it. Sometimes you don’t have the hour to go get a massage or go to the spa or you don’t have the money for it. But if you just go outside, take off your shoes, step on some grass and just observe what’s going on around you, that the trees swaying in the wind.

The sun, the clouds, the rain, if it’s raining, like connect, connect with nature. It’s so important. I would say that, that if you are on a budget and you don’t have time, five minutes, take off your shoes, stand outside. What’s so vital. I love it, Christina. Yes. I think we could all take that message. Yes.

Christina, thank you so much for your time today. I think our listeners are going to absolutely love hearing from you and learning a little bit about Sunset Bay and about Christina Heredia herself, the legend. Oh, no, not at all. Thank you guys. Absolutely. It’s been a true pleasure. And for anybody that doesn’t already use your system, they need to, because it gives access that you guys, really, you, you focus on.

Audio, visual, like, for being an online program, you tailor to the different learning strategies of every child as much as you can with the reach that you have. And I think that that’s just incredible. So, Thank you. That [00:39:00] was, they didn’t pay me to say that. Really, the check is in the mail. This is not a sponsored podcast.

I 100 percent believe it. To be true and, and just the love that you guys portray through your system and through your school is just amazing. So continue to help. Thank you. Likewise. Thank you, Christina. Thank you for all that you do to help this next generation. Thank you. Absolutely. We’re doing it as a team women.

I love it. All right, thank you. Thank you so much for listening to Learning Reimagined. If you’re enjoying this podcast, please help us spread the word by clicking the subscribe button or share your favorite episodes with families and friends and leave us a five star review wherever you get your podcasts.