Therapist Emily Learing’s Child Care Program Mistake Could Have Been Worse, Opened New Possibilities

Therapist Emily Learing’s Child Care Program Mistake Could Have Been Worse, Opened New Possibilities


Check out all episodes on the My Favorite Mistake main page.

My guest for Episode #177 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Emily Learing, LMFT, RPT-S. She is a mental health professional based in South Dakota, at her practice called Encompass Mental Health.

Emily has an MA in Marriage and Family Therapy and a BS in Human Development and Family Studies. She’s a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Registered Play Therapist. She has a blog called Disciplined Children.

Emily is the author of a fantastic children’s book: Henry Knows Best!: A Story About Learning From Mistakes and Listening to Others. I read it and found important lessons and reminders for me as an adult.

In this episode, Emily tells her favorite mistake story about setting up a child care program that was intended to attend to mental health needs — but the phone rang off the hook with people wanting and needing typical day care services. Why did she close the door to that program and how did that open the door to other possibilities? How did Emily manage to keep this in the realm of a small mistake that wasn't catastrophically expensive?

We also talk about questions and topics including:

  • Tell us what inspired you to write the book? Again, the title is Henry Knows Best!: A Story About Learning From Mistakes and Listening to Others
  • Oppositional Defiance Disorder vs just liking to say no?
  • How many kids are like Henry?
  • The consequences of always knowing best – damaged relationships?
  • Overconfidence vs. narcissism 
  • “If you think you need help, you probably need help…”
  • Some of my previous guests have admitted that they didn’t listen to experts when they should have — that they knew best… Congressman Will Hurd and Jim McCann founder of 1-800-FLOWERS.
  • You say “I’m not a perfect person… I make mistakes… I don’t expect perfection… that’s not reality” — how does admitting that help your clients and how does it help you work with clients?
  • Does it help others open up to you?
  • Having to live the values you’re stating about not being perfect…
  • Being a play therapist
  • On your blog, you write about games that can be used to help kids with ADHD develop their attention spans. Tell us about that…
  • Tell us more about the podcast…  “The Knowledgeable Parent Podcast.” (available now)
  • A BONUS favorite mistake from Emily

Scroll down to find:

  • Video of the episode
  • Quotes
  • How to subscribe
  • Full transcript

Find Emily on social media:

Watch the Full Episode:


"Instead of us saying 'You have to stop doing this.' [You have to help them] think through and process through what has happened [to help them change]."

"If you think you need help, you probably should seek it out..."
"From my entrepreneurial journey, if your ideal customer is telling you, 'it's not gonna work,' you should probably listen to that."

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Automated Transcript (Likely Contains Mistakes)

Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's upcoming book is The Mistakes That Make Us. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.