Marlaine Paulsen Cover, MPA is a Social Entrepreneur, Author, Life Skills Educator, and Parenting Strategist. Known internationally as Mama Marlaine, Cover began her professional career working in development for higher education. While raising her two daughters, however, she became acutely aware of the gross disparity between the proactive educational process that defines academic education in developed countries and the primarily passive means by which children learn non-academic Life Skills. For academics children had mandatory attendance, standardized curriculum and instruction by credentialed third party educators. For Life Skills they had caregivers and the playground. Children were accepted for simply “learning what they lived.” The Life Skills’ educational process, Cover observed, more closely resembled genetic inheritance than academics.
Perceiving Life Skills equal in importance to academics, and desiring to balance the scales, Cover created a communication tool called the Life Skills Report Card. In 2008, she began sharing the Life Skills Report Card freely with fellow parents, and blogging humorously about everyday parenting challenges, via a non-monetized website lifeskillsreportcard.com. In 2012 Cover published “Kissing the Mirror; Raising Humanity in the Twenty-first Century” under the pen name Mama Marlaine. Part autobiography and part social commentary, Kissing the Mirror chronicles Cover’s journey from working wife/mother to international activist and underscores the value of embracing a new paradigm for Life Skills education.
Today, Cover moderates more substantive discussions regarding Life Skills development and nurtures collaborations for nearly 3000 Life Skills Educators around the world in LinkedIn’s top ranked parenting group, Parenting 2.0 (P20). Founded by Cover in 2009, P20’s group description reads: “Parenting 2.0 supports parents, professionals, and other primary caregivers in their role as Life Skills Educators. Our goal is that, one day, children’s LSA (Life Skills Average) will be as appreciated as children’s GPA (Grade Point Average).”