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106: Parent Pandemic Toolkit

By March 16, 2020November 9th, 2023Mastermind Parenting Podcast
Parent Pandemic Toolkit

Anyone feeling anxious about pandemic safety measures and all things Coronavirus?


We are the grown-ups. We must put our pack feminine leadership energy into action and nurture the people and frankly, society with loving guidance and total badassery.

Move over corrupt leaders of the world…the MAMAS (and a few evolved Daddies are in the house).

We. Got. This.


-Practice hand washing and social distancing-Model collective and community thinking for your kids (this is how we teach valuable lessons about entitlement and privilege to our kids wo lecturing)

-Refuse to take part in future tripping

-Focus on this moment and the next right step

-It’s smart to plan and prepare but don’t obsess and go overboard

-Paper towels and Kleenex can be used for tp if it comes to that and it isn’t a life or death situation if you have to wipe without the Charmin.


-Have a news discipline and only check once a day to keep yourself informed. Find one resource, preferably the CDC website

-No fear mongering or using this drama and hysteria to wallow or distract yourself from doing the work of mastering your mind…

-In fact, use this as an opportunity to practice mind mastery tools (simple mindfulness strategies like tuning into your breath, listening to short guided meditation, learning EFT Tapping) when you feel anxious or fall into fear-based thinking and future tripping

-Find a thought turnaround about kids being home from school – time to practice presence and build connection perhaps

-Use this time to show up as the parent you really wanna be

-Refuse to bond with other parents about the negativity and difficulty of being with kids all-day

-Use this time to re-evaluate priorities and lean into padding your relationship bank accounts with the extra time together

-THIS is an opportunity to practice empathy and productive convos…lean into allowing the disappointment and the grief cycle without lecturing, sugarcoating or attempting to happy up your kids

As always, thanks for listening, and be sure and head over to Facebook and you can join my free group Mastermind Parenting Community, where we post tips and tools and do pop up Live conversations where I do extra teaching and coaching to support you in helping your strong-willed children so that they can FEEL better and DO better. If you enjoyed this episode and think that others could benefit from listening, please share it!

About Randi Rubenstein

Randi Rubenstein helps parents with a strong-willed kiddo become a happier family and enjoy the simple things again like bike rides and beach vacays.

She’s the founder of Mastermind Parenting, host of the Mastermind Parenting podcast, and author of The Parent Gap. Randi works with parents across the U.S.

At Mastermind Parenting, we believe every human deserves to have a family that gets along.

Randi’s Social Links

Links & Resources

Here’s a little cheatsheet if you want help on having a 3 step productive convo to discuss this difficult topic:

Thanks so much for listening to the Mastermind Parenting podcast, where we support the strong willed child and the families that love them!

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0 (2s):
My name’s Randi Rubenstein and welcome to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast where we believe when your thoughts grow the conversations in your home flow.

1 (15s):
Hey guys, it’s Randi Rubenstein founder of Mastermind Parenting and most of the Mastermind Parenting Podcast so this is for all my Facebook friends and podcast listeners, and I just, I have been posting in my private groups. So I decided that I’m going to share with you some of the tips that I’ve been sharing with all my people, because I know right now people are nervous. People are anxious. There’s a lot of craziness going on in our world with all things Coronavirus understandably, and I know anxiety is high, and maybe like me, your kids’ schools have been canceled possibly for the rest of the year.

1 (59s):
All of a sudden we’re finding ourselves like, am I a homeschool teacher? Like I always kind of, and was impressed with people that had it in them to do that, but I didn’t sign up for this job. And now it’s been assigned to me. And so I, I wanted to just support you guys and share sort of what my process is, cause I’m right there with you. And I just want to say there has never, me and my husband were talking about it. There is never been a time in the Rubenstein household where we have had more things planned over the next two months than any other time in our life. We have had to cancel five international trips. We have multiple graduations and rites of passage, celebrations and ceremonies.

1 (1m 44s):
I’ve a senior in college, a senior in high school and a child graduating eighth grade. We have had, I mean, so, so much has gone into planning for these next three, these next two months. So we have graduation ceremonies. We have prom, we have all these trips plan that the kids were taking with school away from school, you know, last spring breaks and lots of like this special bar mitzvah trip that every grandchild gets to take with my, my mother-in-law who takes the kids on this amazing Safari.

1 (2m 25s):
So my son, his and his cousin are some of the youngest of the grandkids in our family. And he’s seen all of this, the cousins and older siblings go on this amazing trip that was canceled. We a college visits. My daughter right now is getting her college acceptances. And she’s gotten to in the last day, there’s been a lot around this college decision for her. And we had said, we’ll wait until the end of March or April we’ll plan, wherever you’re considered going up. And you’ll make an informed decision. She can’t visit colleges and make an informed decision. Colleges are closed. So there’s a lot going on for my family as well.

1 (3m 7s):
And, and, and over the last week, especially, we’ve got, I mean, we’ve, I’ve had sleepless nights, lots of anxiety in the air. So I’m here with you guys dealing with it too. And we’ve all been cycling through the stages of grief, you know, which denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. And I think it’s easy. And you may be watching this going, Oh, well, five international trips. You know, we were talking to my college son and his girlfriend about their last spring break, and they’re all going to Cabo and that’s going to, you know, that’s being canceled and it’s so easy to go.

1 (3m 52s):
What a first world problem people are, are closing their businesses. People are dying, you know, it’s easy to go to that place. But the thing is we have to know how to talk about these things and when we shame or, or a lecture, or don’t allow these conversations to happen and don’t allow the people and ourselves to go through that cycling of grief, it just causes us all to feel disconnected. And I think to gravitate more to that fear, that fear of thinking and go into more of a state of anxiety and panic.

1 (4m 33s):
So what I want really to, to convey here is that we are families that can talk about it at all, and we can feel all the feelings and we don’t have to shame and blame and push it down and avoid hard conversations. We can do it all, but I think it’s helpful to get yourself in the right Headspace and to process it yourself. And so I just want it to provide some tips and tools that I’m using in my own life with my own family and with my, with all of my private clients. And it’s really feeling supportive and helping us to get into a better Headspace and to make decisions that are not from a place of panic, because Remember, CALM, PEOPLE SOLVE PROBLEMS.

1 (5m 23s):
And if you think about it, I said to this, to a mom the other day, I said, you know, no, actually I said I was on a Podcast and I sent it to the woman who was the host of that podcast. In that interview. I said, I knew that she was a lawyer. And I said, when you, when to take that L sat exam, did you do everything possible to put yourself into the calmest brain state that you can possibly be on when you went to sat, sit for that test? And she was like, absolutely. Like I prepared for months. I ate just the right things that morning. I did all of the things that I said, right? Because you knew that the only way to access the most brilliant part of your mind would be to be in a state of calm energy.

1 (6m 6s):
Because when you’re calm, you access your thinking brain, and then you can make clear informed decisions and solve problems. So on a, on an entrance exam, it looks like you’re actually solving the problems, but Here in life. We’re solving constant problems. What’s coming our way each day. And so we have to be like that student who is going in and sitting for that, that entrance exam for college of graduate school, we have to be in a calm brain state. And I think it’s super important to process all the things. So you know how to talk about it with your kids. So here’s all my tips and tools below. And, and I want y’all to remember that, that when we’re scared to talk about things, you know, then nothing gets solved.

1 (6m 55s):
And, and, and like, I had a mom this morning who is saying her kids yesterday, it was like tons of meltdowns because kids, especially strong-willed kids, they don’t know how to process the anxiety. And so as adults were like sleepless nights, biting our fingernails, feeling nervous behaviors. When you see somebody’s as an adult, acting anxious, you, it elicits like compassion. But with our kids, their anxiety usually shows up in the form of outbursts, anger, dictatorship there. You know, when you feel out of control on the inside of your body, you try to control everything on the outside.

1 (7m 35s):
And so it’s easy, I think, to not see their anxious behavior as anxious behavior. And then we find ourselves reacting and no one’s working together. And it just puts us all into more of a state of panic and fear. And, and, and really it’s like, I like me and my husband walked in the other day. And I said, sometimes I look at the leaders in our world and I’m like, where’s the grownups? Wait a minute. Are we the grownups? Oh yeah, we have to be the grownups. And the grownups have to access are the smartest part of our brains. And to be able to do it, we have to stay calm and centered and focused.

1 (8m 15s):
So some of these things, you know, it’s like, yeah, we’re gonna wash our hands more. Yeah. We are going to practice social distancing. I also want y’all to realize that right now it’s an opportunity for us to practice things that we want to Model. So many of us are like, one of my, my most popular blog posts ever was all about how to not raise entitled children. And, and so when we talk about things like social distancing, when we talk about things like, you know, in our kids may say like the college kids said, they were like, what if I get the Coronavirus like, I’m not going to die from it. And, and we were like, yeah, that’s true.

1 (8m 56s):
But when we want to teach them how to think outside of themselves, it’s like social distancing. Let’s talk about what that means and how you bring it back to home. And you talk about their grandparents and you talked about the people in our society who are susceptible to getting seriously sick or possibly dying from being exposed to this illness. And even though you’re not at risk when you travel, when you go out, when you’re just thinking about you, you’re not thinking about Mimi and Papa, you’re not thinking about Nan and Pop’s. And so this is a chance for us. This is an opportunity for us to kind of help our kids shift out of themselves, not from a place of lecturing and telling them they’re selfish and terrible, but just from a place of curiosity, like it doesn’t come naturally sometimes for us to think about these things.

1 (9m 48s):
And this is what this concept means, and this is what it stands for. And so what we’re doing right now is we’re coming together as a community. This is an opportunity for us to hunker down in our homes, spending time with the people we love, getting back to basics of watching shows together and playing cards and playing board games and things that a lot of times we wish we had time for, but we don’t, we don’t right. We’re busy in life. And now there’s this opportunity where it’s forcing us to spend more quality time with the people we love. And so we started to shift our thinking in seeing as an opportunity, as an opportunity to teach our kids to, to think outside of themselves.

1 (10m 36s):
So I want y’all to also remember the only thing that we truly, yes, you want to plan accordingly. Okay. And I was at Costco. Many of you probably have been there where they’re like, Oh, if you want toilet paper, you get better. Get here before it opens, because that toilet paper is out. And I’m like, okay, what’s the big run on toilet paper. Like, if God forbid we should run out of toilet paper, couldn’t we find other ways to wipe ourselves, you know, like we don’t need to panic about freaking toilet paper. That’s my, that’s my point. That’s the only thing that you have control over, or really honestly, as you’re thinking about the current situation and this present moment, and when we are, the CALM grownups were like, what’s the next right step and the next right step and the next right step.

1 (11m 23s):
And so like the mom this morning that was talking about her kids, having all of the meltdowns, you know, they had to cancel a Disney trip. And again, it sounds like a first world problem. We could go into telling our kids, all of the things people are losing their businesses. They can’t pay their bills, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But it’s disappointing for a kid Disney land is, or a Disney world is like, they have been looking forward to this all year long. And to be like, it’s super disappointing. Like you won, you wanted to go to Disney world. You’ve been looking forward this for months and now it’s not happening. And it feels super unfair. And you hate that. You’re upset about it.

1 (12m 3s):
It’s really upsetting. Hey, that’s how we talk about it. That’s how we show up. Now, do we just say, you know, what, what happened? That empathy that I teach it, it’s called the stating the obvious tool. You’re a super disappointed. You want to go to Disney world? My daughter, you’re a super disappointed, like you’ve been waiting for your senior year and all of these amazing things that you’ve been looking forward to, or all of a sudden off the table, like that really sucks. And she was like, yeah. She’s like, I wasn’t really thinking about it the last few days, because she was in the denial stage of grief. She’s like, and now, like I feel depressed and a little angry.

1 (12m 44s):
I’m like, you’re going through the process of grief for sure. And we talked about it and I met her where she was. And you know, when we got to, when we were sitting yesterday at the kitchen table, her and her friend and me, as we were talking about, It eating cookie dough and I joined him eating the cookie dough and it made me, gave me a stomach ache was, well, yeah, totally sucks. And then I got two and a half after I’d empathized enough. I got to the problem solving part of the PRODUCTIVE conversation. And I helped her to start shifting her thoughts. And I said, and it could turn out to be sort of a two month play date with some virtual learning with your best friends.

1 (13m 29s):
And I don’t know, there might be some upsides to that. And our friends, like I was sorta thinking that it’s like an extra two months of summer with a little bit of learning involved. I was like, I know it will be interesting to see how that plays out. And if it plays out to be sort of awesome at times. So we started to get to that place, but I had to empathize first. I had to meet them where they are and we’re teaching our kids. You can feel all of the feelings. You’re not going to die from disappointment. Like, yeah, it’s super disappointing, but we don’t say you’re not going to die from disappointment. And you’re like, yes, it’s a messy being a human. We have positive emotions, negative. It’s disappointing right now. You want me to go to Disney world? So we’re allowing it all.

1 (14m 9s):
That’s what we’re doing. We’re families that can talk about anything and everything it’s all allowed. And what I know is, and what this time is forcing us to do, it’s forcing us to hunker down with the people. We love to think about things outside of ourselves to work together as communities to make time for things that we’ve sort of maybe had on our to-do list, but not haven’t gotten around to getting too. And now we’re being forced to get to them. There’s going to be positive things that come from this experience and, and we can have moments of boredom.

1 (14m 50s):
We can, we can do it all. Okay. And we can do it all. We start to look at the hard things in life, life as opportunities, rather than just things that take us back. And the world’s never gonna be the same as we know it. The world may never be the same as we know it. We may remember this time as you know, the 2020, Pandemic just like the great depression and all of those things and humans are meant to were like, we’re adaptable. That’s what we know that history is told us. We’re adaptable. And we have to show up as the grownups and we have to remain calm and do all of the things that are putting on our own oxygen masks and lead the people and, and, and managing our own anxieties.

1 (15m 38s):
Cause they will feed off of our energy. There’s never been a more important time for us to Model that than right now. So I invite all of you guys to see this as an opportunity to lean in, to all of the things of what it looks like to be a grown up, to be a positive leader. This is our chance, especially as parents, especially as moms to take back our power of what it looks like to be a positive leader. I know that we all feel like we could use more of that in this world. So let’s all do it in our, in our homes. And what’s it going to look like collectively when we’re all doing it in our homes, we’re all showing up, thinking about our community, thinking about being a part of the solution instead of succumbing to the fear of, and adding to the problem.

1 (16m 35s):
Thanks Betsy. Thanks for being here. Okay guys. That’s what I’ve got for you and hope it was helpful. And please feel free to comment or ask me any questions and I will definitely respond. Have a great day.

0 (16m 48s):
Are you ready to start having PRODUCTIVE conversations? Have you been listening to the podcast for a while? And you hear me go through my three step PRODUCTIVE conversation process to solve any problem. And you’re thinking, how does she do that? Guess what? I made a really cool resource for you guys. I call it the problem solving one sheet, okay. Its one sheet up front and back. So take it with a grain of salt, but it will walk you through how to have productive conversations and you’ll practice. And before you know it you’ll be having PRODUCTIVE conversations all day everyday. It really is the solution to solve any problem. So you can download it at Mastermind Parenting dot com forward slash problem solving all one word that’s Mastermind Parenting dot com for a slash problem solving all one word.

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