So today I have my final Viva, and I have all kinds of feelings. I passed all exams and aced my Thesis so I am heading into the Viva in my style, I love storytelling but most I love action.
I started my research when my daughter was less than 1! I started out by looking to research cultural difference in leadership, but frankly a) it had already been done and b) who really cares. Well I do, but seriously the world has bigger problems. When you're a Mum things change and there are bigger questions I wanted to impact.
'What in childhood impacts our success at adulthood, and by success also happiness? What is going to impact my child's happiness?
The research itself measured statistical correlations between 2 independent factors Sensemaking and Parental Attachment, and the dependent variables of Cognitive Ability, Leadership, Personality, G.R.I.T and Satisfaction with Life (aka Happiness).
As I present it back I will tell the story through a mothers eyes. At the time of the research my son was not even born, but at Christmas he had a moment. He was continually playing Monopoly in Danish with his sister always won. One Christmas we got a new Monopoly in English (we often have a set of 3: German, Danish and English). This was different as the demonisation of the currency was '1's' instead of '100's.' He won! Here you will see him dancing around his favourite toy the transformer. He just had share joy on his face, he's now building lego technic and coding at the age of 4. That's where a lot of my research resonates and has changed my world, and theres. What is that magic transformer that engages, raises and develops little minds in childhood?
1. Sensemaking has different capabilities as I discovered in the quantitative research, and correlations to developing a childs capabilty. For example, constructive play and make believe play correlate to leadership differently. Make believe play should not be under estimated as the research identified. What I also observed post research in the Monopoly game, is the level of sensemaking has to be right.
2. Motherhood care and protection has pretty much correlated everywhere in the quantitative research, and together with certain sensemaking has statistically significant correlations. Fathers only correlated from sensemaking 'interactive play' like board games to cognitive ability.
3. The lack of time that Mums have was a factor observed in the qualitative research. This was a key barrier to sensemaking and motherhood care and protection, which correlated to the success of our children in adulthood.
When I decided on my Doctorate, I wanted not just to research and have a piece of paper. I wanted to make a difference. So when I deliver my orals this is not the end of the journey. Giving mothers the tools, the community to change policy and their lives, and technology to give them more time is what I walk into that Viva with, and walk out with the journey not being over.
Talk is great but a call to action is more important. Giving Mums or Moms more time in their day.