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I am an early childhood educator, and currently a stay-at-home mom to two daughters, Greysen and Moon (whom I refer to by their middle names).


I believe children learn best through play, co-constructing their knowledge. The decisions Mike and I make have not and will not always be right, but we think each of them through using our knowledge of how children learn best and based on our instincts on what works for our children and, therefore, us.

This blog is my place for reflection and dialog. I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments as part of that conversation. Deliberate Parenting is meant to document how I’m learning to weave together my knowledge of early childhood education with my love for my daughters. It is my goal to parent with intention, responsiveness, respect, and authenticity.
Marisa has worked as an infant/toddler teacher for nearly a decade as a mixed-age center based group setting, and most recently as a curriculum coordinator on both University campuses and private, non-profit social constructivist centers.



I never really imagined myself as ever becoming an extremely thoughtful, deliberate parent – at least not what I understand the term to mean today. Of course, I always knew that I’d love my children, but it wasn’t until our first was born that I started to realize how monumental a task parenting would turn out to be. After years of hearing from Marisa how important the early years are to the development of a person’s character, intelligence, and relationships with others, the birth of our daughter made her points very real and very relevant. Really, how could I choose to just “wing it,” knowing full well how important my role was to be as a father and teacher? No, I knew that this new duty would require much forethought, despite the biological ease of entry into this position. Success is hardly ever an accident, and I have devoted myself to ensuring that my daughters will have the tools necessary to foster meaningful relationships and create their own opportunities throughout their lives. As lucky as I am to have Marisa as a mentor and guide, I’m equally as excited that she has decided to share her vast knowledge of child development (especially now as a loving mother) and meaningful play with the world.




  1. Just a quick note to say that I’m happy to have found your site.
    I am Montessori 0-3 trained and have a site http://www.mimaustin.com and am also on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/montessoriinmotion

    To satisfy Mike’s curiosity I’ll add that my husband is a stone sculptor – and his work can be seen here: http://www.peterontherocks.net.
    Interesting that child development people are often connected to artists. Susan Stephenson, (www.michaelolaf.net) is both child development expert and artist.
    Wishing you all the Best -

    • Marisa says:

      Thanks for taking the time to read! So glad you found us. 0-3 is such a dynamic age to care for/work with and I’m so grateful for my time in group settings with children. Artists and people in child development – I’ve never noticed! I am very fond of Michael Olaf and really appreciate their approach towards explaining the purpose of their products and the Montessori approach to education. Looking forward to reading through your site!

    • Mike says:

      Thank you so much, Gio. Marisa is usually too modest to say, but she is quite the artist herself! Peter’s art is quite fascinating, and I’m especially drawn to his soapstone sculptures. There’s something calming about their form and color – thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Shelly says:

    Hey Marisa, I would love to share your article about allowing a child to struggle on the family and parenting page at allthingshealing.com. May I? Please email me if this is something you’d be open to. Thanks!

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