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About the Author
If you're looking for theory and philosophy, you won't find it in Jan Faull's books and columns. No ivory-tower "expert", she learned about power struggles literally from the ground up--starting as the "nap room" teacher at a child-care center. She had earned a degree in English education at the University of Washington, but there were almost no teaching jobs in 1970, so Faull found herself working at a United Way-affiliated child care center in Portland. After years of managing child care centers and working in parenting education, Faull realized she could make a difference in children's lives by working through their parents. Fascinated by the topic, she returned to the University of Washington for a master's degree in early childhood education.
Meanwhile, the families she'd led through toddler and cooperative preschool programs had graduated to elementary school and they began recommending her as a speaker for PTA and other school-based meetings and workshops. The positive reception for her practical, thoughtful advice encouraged Faull to seek a way of getting parenting education into the media. She considered approaching television stations with conventional queries, but it was a gutsy complaint that got her on the air. When KIRO-TV, a Seattle network affiliate, broadcast a comment on explaining death to children, she called up the station and told the noon news producer that she could do a better job than the station's guest parenting expert. Within weeks, she was on the news twice a month as its child development expert.
Not long after, she pursued an assignment as a newspaper columnist--but again, with no letter of application. When a charity auction offered lunch with her local newspaper publisher, Faull made sure hers was the top bid--and long before they'd gotten through the entree, she was querying him on how to get a writing job. By dessert, after she'd outlined how he and his wife could solve their toilet-training struggles, she had a job.
Today Faull continues to research answers to a wide variety of parenting questions. A frequent speaker in the Puget Sound area, she also hears from the parents who read her weekly columns in the Seattle Times and her monthly "Your Child" articles on Disney Online's family.com.