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107: A NICE Parent is a Good Parent

By March 25, 2020November 9th, 2023Mastermind Parenting Podcast
107: A NICE Parent is a Good Parent

In this week’s convo, I’m including a training I did recently on the MP NICE framework to solve any problem. This is one you may wanna listen to on repeat. It’s literally the exact recipe for solving ANY problem with your kiddo or frankly anyone.

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.

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Transcription

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, slow,

1 (15s):
Hey, podcast listeners. I know many of us are feeling anxious, stress out. There’s a lot of uncertainty going on with all things pandemic related, and we’re not the only ones feeling it, or our kids are feeling it especially, or a strong world ones. So if you’ve noticed even more dictator type behavior, the normal there’s a reason is because strong-willed kids. When they’re anxious, they act like little dictators. So if I’m describing your household, I’ve put something together for you. I want you to come to my three day free challenge. I’m going to teach you my best stuff, and we’re going to help your strong-willed kiddo go from anxious dictator to aligned Zen master.

1 (56s):
You heard that, right? I’m going to teach you some of my best stuff to go to Mastermind Parenting dot com. For slash challenge. That’s Mastermind Parenting dot com. Ford’s us challenge. Sign up for the three day challenge. And I can’t wait to see you there. Most of us, we just want to be good parents, right? We just want to be a good parents. So let’s start by identifying and defining what makes a good Parent patient. Present patient supportive and loving, present, consistent, calm, kind, ready to listen. Attentively, calm, engaged, present.

1 (1m 38s):
All of this is great stability. Patience. Everybody’s saying patience. It’s really hard to be patient. When your kids are screaming, their heads off and hitting each other, right. Or hitting You available, calm and relaxed, loving discipline. Open-minded highly as a listener, responder, quality time, doing things together. I like everything organized in smoothly flowing. So you like some sense of order. I’m a patient being a leader. Okay. Love it. Alright. You know what? Nobody, no one adjective. Nobody uses.

1 (2m 19s):
Nobody uses the word NICE okay. Nobody uses the word NICE and when you guys think let’s flip it

0 (2m 28s):
Real quick, or some of my own,

1 (2m 36s):
Let’s see if we can. Some of the definitions that I’ve gotten from parents before, and they were all the ones that you guys were saying, what were some that maybe weren’t fair or improving, forgiving, kind on a conditional curious, connected. So

0 (2m 52s):
All of these that nobody uses to work nights. Let’s talk about the word NICE

1 (2m 58s):
Okay. The actual definition of the word nice is polite and kind polite and kind. She’s a very nice person. That’s nice of you to say. So who wants to raise polite and kind little people, right? Who does any of you? You want to do any of you guys want to raise polite and kind people in the thing is, and you all who’ve been with me over the last week. You’ve heard me say they learn by our example. They learn by what we model. So we wanna raise NICE polite kind people wouldn’t they learn how to be those people.

1 (3m 47s):
If we showed up first and foremost, as NICE people, ourselves would not just make sense. Its sort of like obvious, right? It’s kind of like the Duff factor. Right?

0 (4m 0s):
Let’s flip it one more time. <inaudible>

1 (4m 6s):
Here’s the thing. When we, when you all here the word NICE NICE Parent like what comes to mind for you?

0 (4m 16s):
Yeah.

1 (4m 19s):
And it comes to parenting and we think about, we need to be NICE I’ve had this said, well, I got it makes me feel like I would be acting like a doormat or a pushover or a wimp. Right. And so I have one.

0 (4m 33s):
Yeah.

1 (4m 44s):
Well we have to be a new ones bitch. Oh yeah. That’s Lindsey’s favorite thing when she’s too nice. She feels like she has, she’ll say like, I feel like I was just being as big as like he’s just bossing her around and she’s just, you know, doing whatever he wants her to do. So you know that conjures up these feelings. I think of like, if I’m too NICE and I’m just gonna be the nice girl and I’m going to be like a total doormat pushover on a wimp or how will my kids ever respect me or take me seriously? Does that come up for any of you guys? Pushover? Just fine friend, not Parent right. So we’re going to redefine what a nice Parent actually looks like.

1 (5m 30s):
And I’m going to, I’m going to do my best to try to convince you that when you show up as a a N I C E NICE parent, you’re a parent that models, politeness, kindness, respect and leadership with your N you’re no pushover, you’re no doormat. And you model the exact behavior that want from your kids and you show them how to actually solve problems. NICE parents solve problems. Okay. I wanna read to you, you guys now a little thing I wrote.

1 (6m 10s):
So the definition of a NICE Parent a Parent that understands that control is not the path to solve problems. Productively control feels terrible. It involves domination. It feels like the opposite of freedom. When someone’s trying to control you, it feels constricting. Can you all agree with that? One thing, all humans crave is freedom. So any time control is on the scene, we feel imprisoned. Do you want your kids to feel imprisoned? Do you, do you think that’s going to bring out the best in them when they feel in prison, but how do we get them to do what we want them to do?

1 (6m 55s):
If we don’t use control? Well, this is the shift we have to give rather than Get. When we want to change something about a person it’s very common in our society have to ask, how can I get my kids to do your homework? How can I get my husband to stop yelling at our kids? How can I get my mom to stop judging my kids or my parenting style? When we ask, how can I get? There is some hidden assumptions. Their, that can be very dangerous and damaging. When we ask, how can I get it implies that we need to exert force and control on someone or something in order to bend it or bend them to our will.

1 (7m 38s):
The natural answer is to, how can I get is to use some sort of force manipulation or coercion to get what you want. How do you get your daughter to do our homework? You threatened to take away her electronics or playtime. Usually. How do you get your husband to stop yelling? When maybe you try and convince him with a lot of nagging and lecturing or with hold your attention and affection as a passive aggressive measure. The problem with how can I get is that you use force as the unintended consequence and it erodes your trust and connection. No one likes to be controlled. And the more you attempt to control her force, the more trust is eroded.

1 (8m 20s):
So instead of asking, how can I get asked? What can I give? What can I give in terms of support and understanding to help her to do her homework more easily. And NICE, Parent follows the NICE framework to help your child find solutions in areas where there is a struggle. What can I give assumes that the problem isn’t something that will be solved with parental authority and control. There’s more to the story. They’re lagging skills or a lack of resources on your child’s part to solve the problem. Emotional theory States that people do the best they can with the emotional capacity they have.

1 (9m 1s):
And Dr. Ross green says kids do well if they can. So if they aren’t doing a great job, it’s because they’re missing one or more resources or skills, not because their being defiant purposely. And if they’re being defiant, they’re lacking one or more resources and can’t think of any other way to change their situation. People that are prone to what seems like a constant state of defiance are living in the defense zone there, or their stress levels are high. They’re not healthy mentally or physically living in this constant state. They need our help and control will cause them to resist our help because it yields distrust.

1 (9m 44s):
Start by being nice. I don’t know about you, but I’m way more inclined to trust. NICE people mean people piss me off and I think they piss our kids off. I think when we’re mean, especially we’ve pissed off our strong willed kids and we all know what happens then A, NICE Parent takes their time to solve problems rather than overpowering and attempting to control a child. A NICE Parent follows the nice framework framework when their child is not doing well, rather than taking their child’s behavior personally and making it about them. So

0 (10m 23s):
Here we go.

1 (10m 26s):
We’ve got a problem. We follow the NICE framework. We get to the solution. So if we think about the problem, okay, and then we wanna get to solutions. I wanna show you guys how we follow these steps to find the solution. And I’m going to give you a brief overview so that you all know like over the last couple of days, when I’ve been just teaching you guys like giving you guys the fish dinners and going scenario, scenario a scenario, every scenario I cycle through, I’m following the NICE framework.

1 (11m 6s):
Like every scenario you guys give me, I’m thinking, what are the basic needs and assess basic needs, sleep and food. Okay. Exhausted people suck and hungry. People can’t think clearly. So when your weight, so the first place you start when your child is not doing well, when there is a problem presented before you is, you have to first start by. Usually we start by just trying to attack the problem, attack the behavior. But we have to cycle through in our brain like a problem solver and investigator. And we start by assessing basic needs.

1 (11m 48s):
So your child is whining. They’re complaining about every little thing. They come from school. There’s been a lot, you know, somebody posted the article about afterschool restraint collapsed when your child comes home day after day, and nothing like can snap them out of the mood. Every little thing sets them off. So first and foremost, they’re whining. They’re complaining after school. They’re having all kinds of things that are going to go on in your brain. And you’re going to say hungry or tired after school. Probably both. Okay. So you start there, you start with a snack and you possibly start with, you know, some kind of downtime felt a little one and they still take naps. You know, you gotta get him to sleep.

1 (12m 29s):
Assess basic needs. Nothing you do or say is going to serve you or them. If you don’t start with assessing basic needs. And if you’ve got a ton hungry or tired child, you got to just start there quite often, a nap and a snack we’ll solve the problem. Right? So quite often little kids, I know this was the case for my kids. Like for many, maybe even still now they don’t always recognize the feeling of hunger. So you have a kid that’s acting out or wining or whatever, like get them food, have those bars in your purse, like know that it’s not going to be fun.

1 (13m 12s):
And if you have a recurring problem, day after day after day, you got to bring your pack leadership to the table and assess and know after school, first and foremost, I got to get the people fed and we need to have some downtime if you have this recurring problem. So you always start by assessing basic needs period. End of story. Then I don’t know if you, Then next let’s say you assess basic needs. Are you give him a snack? And it’s the behavior still going on? Still going on, you got to put it on your investigator hat.

1 (13m 52s):
I investigate all behavior is communication. I teach something called the Q-tip quit taking it personally. It’s never about you. And when we make their behavior, it means something about us. It’s actually quite egoic and immature. And I know we all do it. It’s hard not to, especially when they’re hurling insults at You because possibly there has been a pattern where when they Hurlin says, when they’re not doing well, because they’re probably feeling disregulated on the inside and not sure how to manage all of the negative hormones racing through their body.

1 (14m 33s):
They may have developed an outlet for all of that upset and anger by hurling insults at you, and then it’s game on and a power struggle or an argument ensues. And you know what happens when we argue a power struggle, even though it’s not fun, there’s quite often an adrenaline rush that happens, especially when you yell at someone. And so that adrenaline rush, I can actually be as a coping mechanism to lower your stress hormones. I know it sounds crazy, but it can be a coping mechanism for how they deal with their upset.

1 (15m 14s):
So that pattern of them hurling, insults at you, you engaging in the battle rather than Q-tip thing and game on becomes you. It’s like you become their punching bag. And so they feel momentarily better because you’re, you’re fighting with them. And so they get a little bit of an adrenaline rush and that’s how they actually are able to kind of alter themselves biochemically and lower their stress hormones. And so when I say we need to disrupt a pattern, if that’s been your pattern, even just starting from a place of, I’m going to say a mantra in my head, take deep breaths, rub my hands together, bring some mindfulness, walk away, refuse to engage and not go game on, not be their punch punching bag and disrupting the pattern just there by doing that by managing your own mind in your own behavior.

1 (16m 10s):
That is huge. That’s how you start to disrupt a pattern. So all behavior is communication. When I have a kid that’s not doing well, I got to get curious. And rather than just attacking the behavior, I need to get underneath. I’ve assessed basic needs. They seem to be fed and well rested. And they’re still not doing well. There’s still lots of problems and hiccups that are coming up. What else could be going on? You know, what else could be going on there? Hurling insults at you could, the knee could, could be investigating what they actually need. Could it be that they don’t know how they want your attention?

1 (16m 51s):
They need their love cup filled and they don’t know how to do it productively. So they’re just relying on this old pattern to get as much of mom’s attention as they can by being mean and nasty and rude to you. Is it just that they need some time with you in a minute in a hug and you to say, what’s going on. I miss you so much today. I want to hear everything and they are still nasty. And you’re like, Hey, I’m over here when you’re ready to talk. But I just want you to know, I thought about you a lot today and I really, really missed you. You know, I really could use a hug when your ready, like maybe they just need their love cup filled.

1 (17m 33s):
Maybe the problem is is that they won’t stop fighting with their sibling. I won’t stop fighting with their sibling and it might be, what is it like is the sibling constantly, you know, bugging them and their space. And you’ve got an older child that like, you just need some time alone or in time to recharge after being overstimulated all day long. And you’ve got a younger child, who’s been, who has stars in their eyes for the older child and they just can’t wait for them to get home. And they’re used to this pattern of annoying them to get the older child’s attention. And so we’ve got that dynamic going on, but the underlying need is that the older child just wants some space to rest and recharge.

1 (18m 20s):
And the younger child wants some positive attention because they’d been a little board and they want to play and they don’t know how else to engage the older child other than this negative pattern. Right? So we got to investigate. Sometimes you might have a child that has regular. I mean, lots of the strong-willed kids, they are just dysregulated and they don’t have to process negative emotions. And so they have a hard time transitioning or they have a hard time winding down once they’re riled up or they have a hard time dealing with when the world doesn’t go their way, how to manage, you know, that kind of discord going on in their body.

1 (19m 5s):
And that could be it. Maybe you have a child, maybe it’s the problem that you have a child that said they want to sign up for soccer. But every time it’s time to go to soccer, they dig their heels and refuse to get dressed. You’re dragging him out the door. Maybe your problem is is that your child Kunz consistently forgets their homework at school and doesn’t bring their stuff with them or forgets to bring their stuff with them to school. And so you have a child that’s living in sort of a disorganized state and they need some more support in terms of how to organize themselves and checklists for remembering there things and consequences for you.

1 (19m 48s):
Get one hall past this semester for you, you know, for older kids of me bringing your stuff back. And other than that, we need to plan and set you up for success. So you can be responsible for your stuff because I’m not gonna go with you to college one day and be able to, you know, remind you to bring all the things like I’ve got to teach you how to be responsible for your own stuff. So it might be that you have a child that has a lot of disorganization going on. We got to investigate, okay, we got to investigate and really figure out what’s going on underneath the behavior. A NICE Parent does that. The next place we get to.

1 (20m 28s):
So once we’ve like the, basically the first two steps are us just playing detective we’re assessing we’re investigating. And then we get to the SI. This is where the communication piece comes in. Now it’s time to actually help your start to solve their problem. But we got to learn how to communicate effectively. How do we communicate effectively? Lots of you guys are saying I’m meant to be the parent, not the friend. You know, I can’t be to NICE guess what? You can be nice. And you can be the parent when you learn how to communicate with pack leadership, that assertiveness that sends them the message you’re safe.

1 (21m 15s):
You’re calm. I’m the Parent, I’m the pack leader. Sometimes you need, when they’re all dysregulated and disorganized, they may need you to use that late night, FM DJ voice to kind of help them ground, let them know we can solve this calm people, solve problems. I got you. As soon as I can understand you, I’m here for you. I’m your girl. But we also have to know how to communicate with empathy. Empathy is the most magical communication tool anyone can learn. And when a parent learns how to communicate with empathy and that grounded, secure pack leadership, it’s like the recipe for connection.

1 (22m 5s):
It is the, is the secret sauce. What is empathy look like? W for those of you who have been here in the challenge, you’ve heard me model it many times over the last week. Most of the time, it’s just stating the obvious it’s us resisting those of us. Most of us who are recovering fixers, resisting, jumping in to telling them what they need to do and how they need to fix it and how they need to solve it. It’s us just stating the obvious seems like you had a long day at school and you just need some time. It seems like your super frustrated with such and such. You wanted This and you really, you wanted the cookie and I made Apple slices and peanut butter for your sack.

1 (22m 54s):
And you really just want it a cookie. And they were like, yes. And you’re like, I get it. Cookies are delicious. You know, in our family, we want to give our bodies the food. It needs to grow first. So tell you what, you will eat the apples, and then we’ll talk cookies. I get it. You want the cookie? I know you love the cookie. You just stated, you know, you have the two siblings fighting and you say to the one, you know, maybe the older child who was so annoyed with the younger child, when you, when you go to them, you say, you just have a long day at school. And all you want is just to have some quiet. You don’t feel like playing right now, my getting this right.

1 (23m 39s):
That’s showing up and just saying, I see you, I’m not making you wrong for It. I’m not going to attack your behavior right now. I’m going to let you know I get it. And they’re like, yes. When they look at you and say, yes, that’s when they’re saying, thank you. Thank you for sending me a message that I am worthy of you seeing me and hearing me thank you for understanding me. It doesn’t mean that later were not going to get to a place of like, we’re a team. We’re a family. We all work together. Calling people names. Yeah, absolutely not.

1 (24m 18s):
Unacceptable. This family has to be a safe zone. There is no violence, no violence in terms. No, no violent hands, no violent words, no name calling. This has to be everyone safe. So we have to treat each other kindly that will come later. But right now, when you have two kids fighting, or you’ve got a problem with them, you’ve got a child in the midst of upset telling them what all the rules are in that moment before you’ve taken the time to communicate with pack leadership and empathy will just feel like a lecture. They will tune you out. They will feel misunderstood. They will feel disconnected from you.

1 (24m 59s):
People are very interested and open to learning things from people that they feel like are on their team. That’s what empathy accomplishes is the gateway to connection the gateway. And, and it is a skill that you learn. It is a skill that you practice and the more you practice, the more it comes naturally. And you start to use empathy in all your communication. It enhances every relationship in your life. So I want you to know that most of us don’t nece. I have lots of parents who are like, okay, what is it look like again?

1 (25m 41s):
How do you say it? What do you do? Because most of us weren’t empathized with in our lives. Growing up, we were just lectured to and told what we should do and shouldn’t do. And, and so it’s a skill set. And I do have many of you may know a productive conversation tool, a three-step process for mastering empathy. So like, when I say you come, we have a path, we have a community and we have a path forward. These are skillsets that you learned and you practiced. And the beauty of having little, tiny kids, especially strong-willed ones is they give you, you know, like Malcolm Gladwell says 10,000 hours of practice makes anyone into an expert.

1 (26m 22s):
For those of you, who’ve read his book outliers, you have lots of opportunities to practice these new skills when you got little kids or big kids. And so before, you know it, you will be communicating with empathy, with empathy. Like it’s like, it’s just a natural, because you will master skill. You’ll have lots of opportunities to practice it, but you got to know where to start. And then the last part of being a nice Parent is he is in force. Okay. And of course, consequences. Now that doesn’t sound so nice, right?

1 (27m 3s):
Like in fourths. But what I want you to know is in force actually just means follow through, follow through. And most of the time it’s following through on something that is a natural consequence, a console, a lot of times, people in, in this day and age use the term consequences, but they really mean punishment. If you look up the definition of punishment, it’s like causing severe, you know, pain and anguish on another person. And, and I don’t think I, you know, I don’t think most of us really believe that we’re going to teach our kids and, and many have you have tried it, you know, we’re not going to teach our kids right from wrong because the truth is we know when things are working because that problem stops popping up again.

1 (27m 55s):
And again and again. So if you have used a lot of punishment, I mean, if you look and assess, did the problem go away? Chances are they didn’t. It was just like, and if that problem went away, a very similar problem popped up. It’s like, whack-a-mole what consequences actual consequences do is they teach cause and effect. When you do this, then this happens. And when it’s something that is a natural consequence, like your child forgets their lunch and you don’t race up there to deliver their lunch super hard. Right? Super hard to do. And I’m not saying you never do this, but let’s say you have a child that consistently forgets their lunch and you consistently bring it up.

1 (28m 44s):
They never have that opportunity to feel hungry and inconvenienced because you constantly are fixing and solving and coming to the rescue. And then you might bitch and moan and, and lecture them about how they need to be more responsible later. But you’re never allowing that cause and effect to occur. So their brains don’t learn how to shift and change their behavior. So following through is really the enforcement and most of the time, it is just a natural consequence of allowing them to experience the discomfort and for you then to go back and to empathizing, they come home from school and they’re like, why didn’t you bring my lunch?

1 (29m 27s):
I called you. I don’t understand why you didn’t bring it. And you’re like, I know I such a busy day. Are you hungry? Yes. I so hard. Okay. Lets get you a snack. Come on, lets get you a sec because bam, we’re cycling through needs. I’m not going to now lecture. Why you need to remember to be responsible or not during your lunch and yada yada, yada, I’m just going to get you a freaking snack. And once you’re eating the snack and you’re eating it, you’re going to empathize. You’re gonna be like, you were so hungry. That was so hard today. Does it affect your whole day? Was it harder to learn? Yeah, I, you know what? I have trouble learning when you know, learning something new and when I’m hungry two, I get it.

1 (30m 8s):
So let’s talk about, let’s talk about and how we can help you to remember, to do bring your lunch since it seems like that’s something that somehow doesn’t make it into your backpack. A lot of mornings let’s come up with a plan and a system I’m here for you. I’m your person would come up. Like we need a checklist. We need something to put on the back door to say, did you remember your lunch? Do we need to put a picture of a lunchbox on that back door? Sure. So that you can be reminded and we can just, you know, we can have a plan in place. What would help you or what or how questions help the child to solve their problem. And so a lot of times it is following through on the natural consequences, right?

1 (30m 52s):
So in force really means following through on natural consequences. Yes. Sometimes you are gonna have to put a consequence in place. You’ve got a kid that is consistently hitting. Yeah. They’re needs to be rules and parameters. If you’ve got a kid that no matter what they refuse to get ready in the morning for school and get their stuff together, you need to have a consequence that will help them to learn as a better way. And when you enforce consequences that aren’t natural, they just need to be a logical or related. So like if you have a kid that keeps hitting their sister and you take away dessert, that’s not logical or related.

1 (31m 34s):
So it won’t actually make sense to your kids. If you have a kid that’s consistently hitting their sister and you say, you know what, until I can be sure that this household is a safe zone for everyone and everyone is following our important family manifesto of we’re a team, gentle hands kind words. There will be no play dates until further notice until I can be sure that everyone is safe. Cause how can I know that your going to that you are going to operate, you know, in a responsible way with a friend, if I can even be sure that that’s happening here.

1 (32m 17s):
So we’re going to make sure that happens here first and there will be no playdates until further notice. And until that happens here, so yeah, but you need to have it logical unrelated. And when you learn how to show up impact leadership and empathy and you show up as a nice, polite kind, respectful in doing so that’s how your kids learn all the things and how the F how to solve problems. That also helps them to feel so much more regulated and grounded in the world. We help them to, we focus on building the skills, having them focus there.

1 (33m 1s):
It’s like we’re behind the eight ball, you know, w w it, we’re never going to get in front of it. We’re never going to get in front of it. That’s the NICE framework. 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 processed to solve any problem and your thinking, how did she do that? Guess what? I made a really cool resource for you guys. I call it the problem solving one sheet. Okay. It’s one sheet front and back. So, you know, take it with a grain of salt, but it will walk you through how to have productive conversations and your practice.

1 (33m 42s):
And before you know, it you’ll be having PRODUCTIVE conversations all day everyday. It really is the solutions 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 slash problem solving all in one word.

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