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113: From Whining To Meltdowns To Risky Teen Behavior – How To Solve ANY Problem With Your Kids

By May 6, 2020November 8th, 2023Mastermind Parenting Podcast
113: From Whining To Meltdowns To Risky Teen Behavior - How To Solve ANY Problem With Your Kids

In this episode, I’m having a conversation with podcaster, Laura Max Rose and we really break down my entire framework to solve any problem with your kids. This is a longer episode than normal. You guys are going to find it jam packed with tons of tools and concepts to put into practice immediately. It is literally the best condensed version of pretty much the most important elements of Mastermind Parenting. Enjoy!

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 gro the conversations in your home flow

1 (15s):
Or listening to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast with Randi Rubenstein episode one 13. Hi guys. I think you’ll enjoy this interview with Podcast or Laura Max Rose at that, on her podcast a couple of times, and man, we’d discuss it all. Here is a little bit of a longer episode. We talk about Whining we talk about Meltdowns. I take her through my entire framework that I call the nice framework to solve any problems with your kids. We discuss Risky teenage behavior, some things that I really haven’t discussed publicly before. And I really think that this is such a powerful episode, and there’s just, I mean, I don’t even know how many To.

1 (58s):
If I had to break down how many tools do I actually cover and really give examples of how to use. I mean, there’s probably 20 tools, maybe 20 plus tools I cover in this episode alone. So this one is jam packed. I know you guys are home. If you’re listening to this in real time and you are sheltering in place, it’s the pandemic is going on right now and families more than ever need real tools and real examples of how to solve all the little and big problems that happen all day long with our kids, from Whining to Meltdowns to not wanting to go to bed, to constant resistance, to fighting with siblings.

1 (1m 43s):
And we swear to cover it all in this conversation. So hoping that it is able to help you guys out during this tough time Enjoy discipline. The definition of discipline is to teach. And I think a lot of times we think of the word discipline synonymously with punishment, but it’s really about teaching effectively teaching people skills. And so when there’s a famous author and I don’t even know, I he’s, he’s an author. He is a teacher. Her name is Dr. Ross green. And he has a piece in his book that I love is called the explosive child. So when you have these kids with these explosive Meltdowns, and if you’re a parent who has a child with explicit, Meltdowns y’all know I’m talking to you and it’s, it’s difficult.

1 (2m 26s):
Yeah. Life is difficult. And he, he has a quote that kids do well, if they can. So if they’re not doing well, meaning their acting out and being super uncooperative and having an explosive Meltdowns, there’s something to figure out and they don’t want to be acting. No, no, they don’t even feel good about themselves than they are. Right. I think that they’re doing it to punish us or something. It’s not their moat. It’s not their favorite. We know people, kids do well if they can. So it used to be thought of that. If you hold a baby too much, you’re going to spoil the baby children like to manipulate us. M it was almost like this pessimistic view on that people we’re born to be evil. They were going to do the wrong thing, unless you taught them through punishment that they were going to get punished if they did the wrong thing.

1 (3m 11s):
But what we know now, and literally there have been studies upon studies have shown us. We are actually pack animals. We are meant like we have a primal need to belong to be part of the tribe to go together. That invites cooperative Behavior. So we are actually wired to do well to get along, to be cooperative. So if a little tiny human, I love that. You said my, my kids are whole people. Exactly. Yup. If a little tiny human is not doing well or not being cooperative or acting out with all these behaviors, it’s because they want us as the big humans with the fully developed brains and bodies to help them solve problems, to help them figure out how to be more cooperative, too, feel better in their bodies so that they don’t have to act out to let us know there’s something to figure out.

1 (3m 57s):
Right.

2 (3m 58s):
And they don’t want it to be in the wilderness. They want to be guided, but let’s say we got the kid who like, just won’t let us buckle them in their car seat and the morning before school. And it’s just a disaster everywhere.

1 (4m 7s):
Okay. Okay. So let me tell you, so, so really what I teach is I teach parents how to solve problems, a large and small, and I have a certain framework that I take everyone through and it culminates with PRODUCTIVE conversations. So the Parenting of yesteryear, it was all about lectures, bribes, rewards, punishments, threats. Okay. So what was the thought was kids aren’t going to do well, like there going to try and control and manipulate and take over and what we

2 (4m 31s):
Needed to trick them, essentially being dishonest

1 (4m 33s):
Of it, right. To teach them to do well is to show them that there’s going to be a negative affects from their behavior if they don’t do well. But what we knew, what we know now is that when they’re not doing well, it’s because they really want to tell us, Hey, grownups, if I knew how to do better, I would, but I actually need your help. Right now there’s some kind of lagging skill. There is something to figure out. There is a problem that I need help solving. So if your child to Whining, if they are acting like a dictator, if they’re having constant explosive, Meltdowns, if they refuse to go to sleep, there is a problem. There’s something to figure out. And it’s up to us to not take it personally and help them figure it out and develop those lagging skills and take care of business so that they then can do well.

1 (5m 14s):
And they find the solutions they’re really seeking, but they don’t know how to ask for it.

2 (5m 17s):
So I’ll walk you through a scenario. This is reminding me of, and you can Parenting coach makes it okay. So my daughter will start to wind very randomly in the car. And when everything seems like, it’s fine, she’ll just start going, like a, like making this noise. She has always done this. I’ll ask her what’s wrong. And she can’t, she doesn’t wanna tell me, but she just kind of keeps the Whining. I tell her Selma, if there’s something that you have to share with me, I’m going to listen. But I can’t understand you. If you’re trying to express yourself that way, she’ll either stop and say what it is or she’ll keep Whining. And if she keeps whining, I just tell her I’m here to listen when she’s ready. And I ignore her, I keep driving because I feel like there’s probably nothing I can do about that situation. If that’s what ends up happening, she gets more and more, worked up, ends up getting really upset. And after that kind of starts to work itself, I say, listen, I, again, I want to hear what you have to say, but I can understand you and your Whining if you want to talk to me about it.

2 (6m 3s):
So with your words, I’m happy to listen to you. And she will probably get that point express yourself to me because she realized is that Whining has it worked for her? It repeats itself. This conversation she’s three or three and a half years old. She’s whined. Like since she could start whining, it’s the way she expresses herself to me. No matter how many times I tell her, please use your words. It’s her way of getting my attention.

1 (6m 23s):
Okay. So, so let’s walk through, this is a perfect scenario. Okay. So why don’t you Behavior I don’t know any parent that enjoys pretty enjoyable. It’s like fingernails on the chalkboard, right? Whining is actually a sign that they’re in the emotional brain, but it hasn’t gone to the point of no return. Okay. And it could easily shift back into that. They can shift back into their thinking brain and problem could be solved. Okay. So Whining is always an indicator that there is a problem that they are experiencing, that they would like to help solving. And when we get curious, we can either help them solve it and get back into their thinking brain.

1 (7m 3s):
Or we can make them feel more frustrated by adding to the problem.

2 (7m 8s):
But now there’s a consequence now I don’t want you to be doing this. Okay. So,

1 (7m 11s):
So she is telling you when she is Whining Hey, I’m writing in that middle part of my brain. I’m in my limbic system. So my mom, if you get curious right now, I’m asking for your help. My Whining is in it. It is basically me saying, Hey mom, I got a problem. Could you help me solve it? And that’s what the whining is. So when we look at it, as this is an invitation for me to get curious, and she’s asking for my help right now. Okay. And if you can Q-tip, which is my acronym for quit taking it personally. Okay. With taking it for some, cause its never about you.

2 (7m 38s):
It’s not about stopping the behavior either is what I’m hearing you say like yeah. And that’s about, she’s not going to have Whining she is a three and a half-year-old three and a half year olds wine. But rather getting curious about why she’s doing that.

1 (7m 47s):
Well, she may share the, when you handle it, when you help to solve problems and you, and I’m going to take you through the framework that you go through to solve the problem, to have a productive conversation, the beauty of a PRODUCTIVE conversation versus old-school lectures have lecturing about, you know, that this is not the way we talk in our family, yada yada get yada. I do teach the same tool and I can understand that this is a super important when your words match mine and I can hear you, then we can, then it can help you. Okay? Okay. So you’re really doing that where you’re like, I I’m happy to talk to you about it. I can’t understand you. I maybe would you say, you know, look, its annoying when the Whining so you’re a human, I’m not saying like you’re doing lots right in this scenario. And it sounds like a lot of the time she shifts back up to her thinking brain and she’s able to then express herself to you and you help her solve her problem.

1 (8m 31s):
That’s a beautiful thing. But those moments where she shifts downward and then goes to the meltdown state is his because you know where she’s literally going to like, you know that point of no return

2 (8m 41s):
And I’m tipping taking it personally. Right? It’s always, when I’m taking, I’m just like stop, you know,

1 (8m 45s):
Have to stop it. Right. It’s like I’ve had a long day. I was up all night with the baby. She’s got, she’s got a cold.

2 (8m 50s):
Yeah. And I feel like she’s doing it to me. Right? Like you’re doing this to me. Right.

1 (8m 53s):
And when you are not alone, when you take it personally, which I don’t want you, I can not stand parent guilt because it’s not helpful. It’s not that useful. It’s not useful. It’s not helpful. So you have to like, you might have to take a couple deep breaths. You might have to rub your hands together for a little mindfulness and you might have to have a mantra in your head. Like no one ever died from Whining. She can wait, I can take a minute. I can take it. A few deep breaths is all going to be good. She’s three and a half. She’s Whining she’s in her car seat. She’s safe. I can take a sack. Right? So not allowing yourself to shift into a place of feeling guilty that you feel so annoyed because you’re human. You’re going to feel annoyed. Okay. And, and, and you go through this framework of the whining is an invitation that she needs help solving a problem. She’s in her emotional brain.

1 (9m 33s):
She’s not in her thinking brain. So this is not about me at, this is not about me. This is not about me. You you’re literally saying that in your head, you’re taking deep. Anybody who does yoga, you’ll take deep inhales Deepak sales and do your little <inaudible> your breath. And if you don’t do yoga, look up the box breath I’ve learned this. Most people do not know how to take like accurate deep inhales and exhales breath to the point that it actually calms down your nervous system. So I want you guys, anybody who doesn’t do yoga, don’t worry. You can still learn how to breathe properly. Look up the box, breast, the box breath. Okay. Okay. Look up the box breaths. Lots of Navy seals used the box breath. There is tons of videos on the box breath. Awesome. Okay. So, so what’s an invitation and your going to go through. Okay. I’m going to be curious here. I teach you a framework called the nice solution.

1 (10m 16s):
Okay. And I see you. I love acronyms because I think that its just a way to game-ify it and help your brain remember and the nice solution. When we think about being a good parent, very few people ever define being a good parent as being a nice parent. Hmm.

2 (10m 30s):
I think that’s interesting to me cause I, I do, but I that’s because I think that that’s the most important thing, but at the same, I guess when I get mean, and that’s when I have the most parent guilt, that is the hardest thing for me about myself is when I lose it, I think most parents can feel that way.

1 (10m 45s):
And you’re pretty, I would say your self aware because I think that it’s hard to like ever, like it’s hard to think of yourself as a whole. I was just being mean,

2 (10m 50s):
Oh God. Yeah, no, I definitely do think that, but I can see where like I can see where one wouldn’t necessarily think that I just, yeah, I have a lot of self-awareness. So when I do, I mean, I do this thing with my daughter where, when I am mean or crazy, as I like to think about it, I will say to her I’ll calm down. Cause I know issuing an apology right after I’ve done that as sort of strange assault, take a minute and I’ll say, Oh my gosh, my mommy was just the craziest little monster. It wasn’t me. And I’ll kind of make her laugh about it. Like it was mommy kinda scary. Like did my tentacles come out? But I have more hands on. Like, she’ll start laughing about how funny it is that mommy turned into a monster and then I’ll explain why mommy was a monster. You know mommy, when mommy doesn’t sleep well, mommy, it grows horns. And I started making these funny faces of the things that happened to mommy, but I shouldn’t have made that your fault. And I apologize and I try not to overdo it because I wanted to know everyone’s human and I don’t have to grovel every time I make the mistake.

2 (11m 31s):
But at the same time, if she at least knows that I know that wasn’t necessarily normal. And I did that. I think it just makes it easier for her to go on with her day. Like

1 (11m 40s):
It sends her the message also like, no one’s perfect. Were all going to have monster moments. Yeah. Right. Like, and we’re, we’re like, Oh this is unconditional love and support here. Like we all get to be a little jerky sometimes. And then we get to make up and move on. Yeah. So that also sends her the message. Like a lot of people, especially a lot of women struggle with perfectionism and they think they need to like know exactly what to say and exactly what

2 (12m 2s):
They want, the way they want the formula for a meal. I can imagine. You could just tell me what to say in this situation. Right. And what I hear you say on your podcast all the time, you never tell anybody what to say necessarily. You just explain the situation that they can set up, like helping your kid feel supported and ways to do that because they feel supported. They’re not going to act out as much as well.

1 (12m 17s):
And you know, it’s like, I want you to use your language. I want you to share your real self With. Cause that’s all we want is human’s like, we want to know, do you see me? Do I matter? Like I get to be my human four-leaf Clover self in you, a little tiny person, get to be your human four-leaf Clover self. And I don’t expect you to be just like me and I’m not going to be just like you. And I’m going to have monster moments and be imperfect and you’re going to have monster moments and it’s all okay, we’re going to constantly come back. And that’s what unconditional love looks like.

2 (12m 47s):
Right. I appreciate that so much that like she can see that I’m a flawed human beings. Yeah. I’m like that, that works out in here. We are all welcome here, monsters and all. So you were saying the nice, so good. Okay.

1 (12m 56s):
So, so if you, yeah, so, so when we go through the nice framework, like if you think about discipline is to teach, I don’t know about you, but it sounds like you’re like me. I don’t really want to learn new things or help me develop new skills from someone that’s mean to me. No.

2 (13m 10s):
Right. It makes me feel terrible. If

1 (13m 12s):
You’re a nice to me, like if you’re shaming me, like screw you, we don’t want to, I don’t have to learn anything for me. But if you’re, if I feel like you’re on my team rooting for me, then I’m like all yours and ready to learn some new skills. So whenever we are faced with one of these little problems, which might be whining in the backseat of a car, which might be, you know, something bigger like a, a, a, a teenager taking part in risky behaviors might be, I’m a kid who refuses to do their homework and just can not buckle down and do your homework. So there’s all kinds of problems that come up and it’s called life, right? Being a human is a messy business. And we go through the nice framework to fall, to, to find the solutions. So we start with en and first and foremost, we assess basic needs, meets, okay.

1 (13m 54s):
The main, basic needs we want to assess whenever there was a problem. She’s in the back of the car and she is, Whining sleep in food.

2 (14m 0s):
It’s getting towards bed time. And she usually wants to do

1 (14m 2s):
Max sleep in food. Yeah. Like literally I have a podcast episode that I titled to exhausted people suck. Like I suck when I’m exhausted. You suck when you are exhausted. Our kids suck when they’re exhausted. So if you have an exhausted little person in the back of the car or whining and you know, she’s tired, she is a little hungry. Like, no matter what you say to her and match my voice, when you match my voice, I can understand you or whatever. It doesn’t matter what you say until she gets, you know, like until you could grab your hand or a bar or whatever it is. And I know when you get home, like you need to just like get home. There’s really no point in talking about it. She’s letting you know. I feel dysregulated inside my body. I’m exhausted. No child’s ever gonna tell you I’m tired.

1 (14m 42s):
No,

2 (14m 42s):
They are never gonna tell you about it. That’s the ultimate surrender. Right?

1 (14m 44s):
So yeah. So all you could do in those moments is either your handlebar, you redirect, you find a favorite song. You tell a silly story, you know, that you’re basically just going to be getting through the rest of the time together until you get that child to bed. So you are, you’re going to like, you’re like, I have an idea when we get home, how about if we take a shower about together, we’re going to be my back or something. So that, cause I want to have a little extra time getting to read and snuggle with you tonight. So how fast do you think we eat? Game-ify it? Because I love that because you know, you’re like, Oh, she didn’t have a nap today. She was at a school day. She didn’t have a nap. She is freaking exhausted. She is probably hungry. No matter how much I talked to her about this Whining business, she is just letting me know. I feel dysregulated inside of my body and I don’t feel good right now. So, so anything that you try to find out exactly what she’s trying to tell you or whatever, it doesn’t matter.

1 (15m 28s):
She’s just telling you, she feels bad in her body. If that’s the case, if you assess basic needs and you know that you’re looking at it. Yeah. So I can just stop there. I know it’s basic needs and that’s what we have to do. We have to, we have to, we have to take care of those basic needs to solve the problem. And there’s really nothing I can do behind the steering wheel of this car other than try and redirect her a little bit. Okay. Okay. So I, okay. I is investigate. Behavior all behavior is communication. So it’s like what Dr. Ross green says, kids do well, if they can. So if a kid isn’t doing well, or it being cooperative, you can have a Whining child. And you know, you’re like, no, she had a great nap today. And she’s yeah. She, she, I just gave her a snack. We just left the park. She is running around. She is, she was so happy. So you’re like, Hmm, what is she trying to tell me something right now?

1 (16m 10s):
And it’s like, when you that’s, when you’ve talked to her in your eye and she probably moves up into her thinking brain, right. You might go to a place of okay. To nothing is helping her to shift out of it. I wonder if she is getting sick.

2 (16m 21s):
I always try to think about that because in the days before Kids getting sick, they’re always really cranky. And then they get sick and you’re like, Oh my God. I was so mean.

1 (16m 29s):
Right, right. Like you’re like, is she getting sick? We were just around. So and so, so you’re investigating, you’re just kind of like looking at this is when you really QTIP, because you were investigating and you’re like, is she is trying to tell me something. She’s, Whining, she’s not snapping out of it. I’m doing my whole, it’s important. I can’t understand you, but I can tell you want to tell me something. And this is really important that I understand you so much, my voice so I can hear you. And then we can figure anything out. Everything is figureoutable to me are like, we got everything. And so you’re really sending out a message like, Hey, I’m here a lady, I’m your girl. You know, I got you, but you’ve got to be, and I’ve got to be able to understand you. Nothing’s snaps are out of it. Your brain is just going to say, there’s a reason. She is Whining okay. The C in nice is communication.

1 (17m 8s):
How do we communicate? So the first two are really just a mindset. It’s like, you’re assessing basic needs or investigating. Behavior your F your Q-tip in your thinking of what else can this be? Now, it’s go time. Now. You’re actually going to be communicating with her. Okay. And so you communicate with what I call pack leadership, which has really just you showing up as the assertive, confident adult who lets her know, like I got you. Yeah. I got a voice that’s strong and direct, but also loving, not sing songs, a camp counselor, mommy.

2 (17m 37s):
Right. So this is usually when I reach out and like, I’ll try to hold their hand if I can safely. Right. I have noticed like, that’s always, like, she almost always wants a hug when she feels that way. Like no matter what their problem is, it helps. So like, if I can do the exact opposite of what my instinct is, which just to get really annoyed, I do something like I heard you see, I thought we were actually going to say like, caring, but is this, I mean communicating and some way, just like, Whoa,

1 (17m 57s):
But the connecting piece, when you reach out and you physically connect with her, her love language may be physical touch and you’ve already, you know, you’re attuned with her. And now that you’ve picked up on that. Yeah. So you reaching out and touching her is actually the other part of communication, which has empathy. So empathy is I see your perspective. I got you. I get it. Right. And there’s lots of different ways that I teach how to effectively empathize with someone. But really with a little kid, it’s as easy as Do like speaking their love language, like physical touch. It seems like it’s something that speaks to her. So you keep doing that. The other thing I teach is stating the obvious I call it the stating the obvious tool, which is your, like your voice, your voice sounds high.

1 (18m 40s):
It’s hard for me to understand. And your face looks upset. So something must be bothering you like, right? It’s like what you said. I have so much of what I teach is exactly what you said. The deaf actor, like brick to the head, like really? I feel like people are going to need to pay this lady to tell me This, but it’s, it’s something so obvious, but we don’t always recognize it. So with a little kid, even if their going to that place of a meltdown where you are like your fist clenched, your face is red, your voices loud, you sounded really upset. <inaudible> just stating the obvious his letting them. No, I see, you know, I get it. It also does something for them where it helps them to sort of shift from that place of no return that fight or flight place to a, it brings a little mindfulness into it because they become aware of how they look.

1 (19m 26s):
And it’s not, you look like a little ridiculous, baby. It’s not shaming. It’s just calling this sense of mindfulness. To what is actually going on in their body. And it almost like snaps them out of it. A lot of times when you start to state the obvious and it gives them some perspective on themselves. Yeah. So you, so, so stating the obvious that the physical touch is basically saying, I get it, you’re whining. You’re going into the lower center’s of your brain. You need it to, you need it to feel connected to me in this moment. Right. So without even, you know, cause 77% of communication is non-verbal. Yeah. So you reaching back there and just touching her leg or touching her hand and you feeling, you can tell that it calms her down is you actually meeting her exactly where she has an EpiPen

2 (20m 5s):
And people are wanting to ask for you right now. And the question that I’m hearing is, Oh, are you kidding me? Like, this is so much coddling. And I’m being so nice to my kid. And like, I survived. How many times do you hear that? I survived. My, my parents was telling me to be quiet when I was Whining and I’m fine. Usually the people who tell me that are like, I’m like, are you where you are? Are you sure? Are you sure you were fine? But even as someone who I was certainly, I mean, if it was Whining my parents actually gave me a pin when I was growing up that had the word Whining crossed out like that I could wear, like, there was no Whining a lot. So I know, I knew that it was like not acceptable and these things were done so far with the red line through it, you know, like, no Whining yeah. And not even kidding it, a terrible, horrible, you know, like there was a pen, just horrible.

2 (20m 45s):
So, so I have that. I just knew that it wasn’t acceptable. And even as I, I am with my kid, now I know all of these new age Parenting tricks. And the thing that goes through my head when I feel the most heated is like, this is so ridiculous. Like, I should just be able to tell you to stop and why am I even doing this? Right. So what is your answer to that question before we move on to eat? Cause I know we’ve only gotten to Nick so far.

1 (21m 6s):
Well, I would just say, how is it working for you?

2 (21m 9s):
Yeah. And you know, we also B want to do those things because they were done to us.

1 (21m 12s):
Right, right. Like evolution, like we’re supposed to do it a little bit different in a little bit better. Yeah. My husband actually has a great in what he, he, he has a great answer for that. And it really came up when our oldest son had started to go through the teenage years. And we had friends who were allowing a lot of partying to go on in their houses. And so they really became to schools of parents, parents that looked the other way, or even facilitated the party and going on with our house and, and would say, I would rather have teenagers rather. And we look like having it in my house is right for everything. And just so y’all know anybody who thinks you’re going to be that For parent where you are the parent for everything, you know, is how much we don’t know, like the timestamp

2 (21m 50s):
And you are so right about that. Also, when I went to those Kids houses or you talk about highly sensitive people and I’m definitely one of them. So I’ve always been very sensitive. And I, I remember being 16 and being at my friends’ house and his mom was always the one who hosted our parties. I just felt like he was so lonely. ’cause like his mom, wasn’t supposed to be his best friend. Like, yeah, she was cool. And we all loved her, but like, I didn’t really feel like he had anywhere to go when like he was in trouble because she was facilitating all these things that were happening to him that he didn’t necessarily even want to be happening, like high school. So confusing. And I just remember that, like, I remember feeling that loneliness and like, that’s interesting on the, like our, our parents and this is my perspective. And I have, I know a lot of people who are like, I, they’re in that school of thought, I’d rather have it happening at my house.

2 (22m 34s):
I’m at the age right now where I don’t have friends with kids who are that old yet. But I always remember that, like, I want to be a safe place for my child to come. I want to be available and like ask the whole. And, but like, I think that there’s a huge difference between that and like facilitating these things that like, they know that they shouldn’t be doing are participating in.

1 (22m 52s):
It’s pretty cool. I’ve never, I don’t think I’ve really talked about it publicly because I have teenagers and you know, I don’t want to make their lives more difficult. Although my older, my, it really is most of my daughter. So my oldest is, my son is at, he just turned 22 on Sunday. So he’s a senior in college. He’s a senior in college. My daughter’s 18. She is a senior in high school. And then my younger son is just turned 14 a week before, and he’s an eighth grade. So really it’s mostly been around my daughter because I think it, it makes her life more difficult when I speak out publicly and she’s almost done with high school. So I kind of feel like I can start talking about this stuff more now. Yeah. You know, I have seen it because I do have older kids.

1 (23m 34s):
It’s very, it’s very personal how parents handle the teenage years and the Risky behaviors. Mmm. It does seem that the parents who allow the partying to have it at their house, many have their children have gone on to have worse problems than they ever would have imagined whether it was drug addiction going to rehab. Cause for everything they thought they knew was so much that I didn’t know. Yeah. Yeah. And, and my daughter also has told me she appreciates that. Like I have like a mom and there are rules. She does tell me a lot. And we have a very close relationship. Her bedroom happens to be right next to mine, which has been a blessing because when she goes through her teenage years of, of, you know, hurt feelings and all that stuff and, and scrolling on social media and, you know, feeling terrible and left out of the thing that she wasn’t invited, whatever, like she can’t escape it.

1 (24m 20s):
She is right there next to you, you know? So that’s been helpful. But my husband said, I remember when he had a friend that was like, why are y’all? So like, basically like why, why are you going to pull a stick out of your ass? You know? Like, like why what’s the big deal? And M and me and my husband, both, we’re pretty wild as kids. Right. So, you know what it could be like from the front lines, there is sort of nothing that we don’t know, but you know, the two of us, yeah. And my aunt and his friend said, we turned out fine. And my husband said, I want more for my kids. I love that. That’s his answer. I want more for my kids. And that’s when I say we’re supposed to evolve as humans. Like, like I never come from a, from a place of victim hood. I wish my parents would of done this, this, and this is like, no times are different than the world was simpler and things are changing and we have to be malleable.

1 (25m 8s):
We’re fine. But we have to overcome a lot to be fine. Right. I mean, like, there’s a reason why we want to do things differently with their own kids. Right. And our kids will want to do things differently than we do. Hopefully. I mean, that’s the goal. Right? Right. Like my kids are already, you’re old enough to tell me places that I’ve screwed up. Oh yeah. Wow. How, how interesting is that? What is that like? Hey, you know, it’s actually really, it’s actually really, really interesting when they tell me, because, because when you go through this nice framework and you learn how to have these PRODUCTIVE conversations on the rug yeah. Nothing’s off limits. Right. So, so there is no perfectionism. There is no like, like they’re never like, let me, you know, stab you in the heart, tell on something really mean, but I’m telling you all of the places you have screwed up, it’s more just like we’re having honest dialog and my daughter or being like, yeah.

1 (25m 51s):
Remember when you made me scared of my own shadow, because you would freak me out that some stranger was going to steal me. You know? And, and it’s funny because we just, for my son’s birthday, he’s born in a dog really bad. So we just delivered this surprise a puppy to him, a little French bulldog. Oh my God. And, and so of course, like I was doing all this research and I found out that people steal French Bulldogs. There’s like a whole thing with it. So we literally just drove him in his girlfriend to Austin yesterday. And with a French bulldog in the French has been with us for all in love with this puppy for the last week and a half. We were crate training It and doing all of these things. And I’m like, so you need to re like, you have to be really careful. Who’s going to watch her when you’re at class. And this, like, I was doing all this stuff. And Alec was like, mom, you’re being crazy.

1 (26m 33s):
And I’m like, this is the thing with me. Like, Oh, I think I res the cutest in best children and animals in of course everyone is going to want to steal them. Right. Yeah. You think are going to want to steal your Kids.

2 (26m 44s):
Everybody’s gonna

1 (26m 45s):
Want to steel you guys, because you all are all just too delicious. You know? And, and my daughter said that she was like, you literally made me scared in my own shadow because of that, that was like, Oh, I think are the one a little over.

2 (26m 55s):
Yeah. But I’m all the things you could have done wrong. I feel like that’s a pretty good

1 (26m 57s):
And plenty of room. I’ve done plenty of run. But the coolest thing is is that when you can talk about it, I think it also it’s like, yeah, we turned out fine, because guess what? That’s how we’re designed. As humans, humans are designed to be resilient, right? So we tolerate a lot of things, it in our lives and we figure it out. However, when you start to kind of enter into the journey of self-awareness and dig a little deeper, maybe sometimes you realize, huh, I do these over things like over drinking overeating over, over, or shopping, over exercising, over screening, over pot, smoking over a cigarette, smoking all of the overs come from a place of all of us just want to feel better.

1 (27m 37s):
Right. And so a lot of times we develop coping mechanisms to feel better because we didn’t process all of the little Hertz that happened. Like when you were a little kid and you are in your emotional brain and you were trying to tell your parents, Hey, I have a problem that I would love for the grownups in my life to help me solve. And so I’m going to act out with his Whining behavior so that you guys can help me solve this problem and feel better in my body. But instead you put a no Whining button on me, shamed me for it. And then I was just left to kind of bury those big feelings and not know how to process it. And I was left alone. You have to figure it out. And so I sort of just never processed it. And it actually, it does matter. Absolutely. Right. And, and that, and now, and all of those little times where we are shut down and we aren’t given the support.

1 (28m 18s):
And it’s just because it was the way in all of us have experienced those things. Right, right. Like it was memories live in the body. They don’t go like when you would like, I’m a sensitive person. So especially when you’re NHSP, which is the acronym for highly sensitive person, which just means that your, a person with a, an extra sensitive, nervous system. So you really take everything in to a heightened degree. And 20% of the population are highly sensitive people. When you have unprocessed emotions from the time you were a little kid and the adults in your world who you really want, you want them to help you, but they don’t know how. So they just shut you down. You bury that in your body and emotion is energy in motion. So all of that buried emotion, it swirled in your body.

1 (28m 60s):
So, Hmm. One in four women are on antidepressants. We have a chronic anxiety problem. People have trouble sleeping.

2 (29m 6s):
I feel like we are not just fine. Like, I feel like everybody, and I’m like, it’s even my reaction to my kid doing that. I’m like, Oh my God, I just liked to stop. Like, I can handle this anymore. I was fine with my parents. Don’t me to just stop it. But I look around and I’m like, what are your husband’s dead? And I want more for my children. I mean, we’re not really fine. I don’t think that those statistics are fine I

1 (29m 24s):
Or we’re fine. But, but, but this is the other thing I say when you’re like, I don’t know about you, but I have dreams of living a life that’s way better than fine. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Maybe your fine. But how about a fan freaking tastic? Yeah. Well, I like to say we don’t wanna throw the baby out with the bath water because I have found is that some of the air quotes, new age parenting techniques, like if it’s all, that’s why communication is empathy combined with pack leadership and pack leadership is just my terms for a source of communication. So in which most people, especially women were never taught. We were taught in effective communication patterns. We say, we, we, we, we don’t speak directly.

1 (30m 6s):
We say, okay, on the end, we’re seeing songs and a little tiny kids or super literal. So you say to get your shoes, he was on. Okay. Like they think, Oh, I have a choice. Yeah. Is there like not okay. Oh yeah. The youth trained me that I actually can ignore you until you start yelling. And then I have this true accidentally, like create these patterns and wonder why they just won’t listen to it and start yelling. And it’s because you train them to do that. Right. And you know, you don’t even realize that. And so, so I think that I’ve seen like, even within my membership community, in my program that I teach, I used to teach pack leadership and empathy separately. And I kept having moms that were like, the empathy’s just not working because the empathy, when you communicate with empathy and you let another human know, like I got you, I’m like, Oh, I’m here with you.

1 (30m 55s):
Empathy. It’s like the secret sauce of creating a deep connection with another person. And if you think about it in your own mind, is this an easy and nice by the way, it is empathy. No. Oh, okay. Empathy is part of the communication. Cause you wanna communicate in an empathetic way, but if you don’t combine that assertiveness, that PAC leadership, that we are humans on a primal level, I’m in the pack leader, you were the little cave people. I will help you to feel safe and grounded. I will give you rules and structure and let you know when we do gymnastics has happening on Wednesday. Here’s the plan we’re coming home. We’re having a snack at, you’ll be able to play and relax for a bit. It at this time, five minutes before, it’s time to leave, we will set the timer. Then you’ll put on your shoes, get really, really hard on and get ready for gymnastics.

1 (31m 37s):
We’ll get in the car and we’ll go. Got it. So that’s the pack leadership of I’m the person who is going to help you realize that we’ve got some structure and some order in our day, I will clearly communicate it with you. I’m not going to ask you for permission. And I’m going to let you know what it is. And when those little people, all of a sudden need to go potty, when it’s five minutes before or whatever, and were, we know how to not just be the pack leader, but also how to empathize. We’re able to say, to take a deep breath and get down and say, you know, you thought that you were going to get to play. And then it was going to get be time and we have to go and whatever, and now you have to go potty. So here’s the thing. You can’t always predict these things.

1 (32m 19s):
We can always schedule when you have to go potty and we’re going to be in a rush to get to gymnastics. So I’m gonna bring your stuff in here and I’m, we’re going to get dressed. As soon as you finish going potty and you get your hands wash, we’re going to get dressed right here. And then I’m going to carry you straight to the car cause will be needing to really go then. Okay. So you’re changing her clothes before, right? Like your just, you just have a plan in your brain that pack leadership, but also empathizing because you’re like, I get it. You can’t plan for when you need to go potty. Yeah. We had a whole plan and now we gotta be flexible. I got you. I’m here with you. We’re going to work together. But you get to be the kid and feel safe and grounded. I’m going to be the pack leader who understands what you’re going through, but don’t worry all, let you know, and I’ll help to run the show here. So that’s a beautiful marriage.

1 (32m 60s):
I’m going to help you to feel more regulated. I’m going to provide structure in the system, but I’m also not going to try and control you, overpower you. And I’m going to be flexible for one things like you needed to go the bathroom and calls right before its time to look out the door.

2 (33m 11s):
Well, what I hear you saying, and what I love so much is that your talking like our kids are in our heads. And so we often have these big plans and expectations for them, but we don’t share any of that with them. So all of a sudden the time to go to gymnastics and they’re like, wait, I was at home, I’m happy. I’m safe. Like, why are you taking me out of here? And they don’t want it to be like, it’s not even that they necessarily don’t want to go. They’re just startled. They weren’t in our heads the whole time we were packing that gym back. So we can say to them like, here’s, what’s gonna happen. Like here’s what we’re doing. And like, if they do have to go to the bathroom, you can change the plan around and just continue that conversation with them that they like, they need to be filled in. They don’t know what’s going on

1 (33m 41s):
A great point. And I think a lot of times while we don’t do it, and this is mine has been my own story is that if you’re a person that’s not naturally super systematic and kind of operates from a place of a decent, like there’s a decent amount of internal chaos, you don’t always have that plan in place. So to go and then to have the plan and then communicate the plan, like, yeah, it does take like you’ve got to get your stuff together. Right. And so I think quite often, we’re, we’re operating kind of from a place of being a little bit behind the eight ball, because we’re not feeling organized in our own bodies and brains. And so stepping is like, how can you expect your kids to get with the program if you’re not getting with the program that started at the top, right? Like you gotta, you gotta own it. And like I’ve had owned that about myself.

1 (34m 22s):
Like I had to look around and see all the little piles of putter in my house and know like, huh,

2 (34m 27s):
There’s a reason for why things are not moving along around here. So what’s the thing I’m dying to know. Okay. So the E is in force and force consequences. Okay. I’m so curious to hear it. What that means is coming from your own life,

1 (34m 38s):
Right? So this is where I say, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater in terms of like, it’s not all about mindfulness and empathy, that there are consequences. If there are consequences and we have to, and I use the word in force, which has kind of, I do it for a reason because the truth of the matter is that I’m all about being civilized and not overpowering and not trying to control other human beings. The only thing that we can control as humans is our own thoughts. Right? And anytime we try to control another person, it will always lead to the rebellion. So we have a strong-willed one, they are going to rebel from birth, where we try to control them and, and, and overpower them. Other kids that are kind of an eat, more easygoing temperament.

1 (35m 19s):
They just wait for the teenage years. So they may be like the perfect little children. And then like, they are either all, you know, all hell’s breaking loose. Oh my God. When they’re, when they’re a teenager or are they just get super sneaky? Oh, so you still think you have the perfect child when they’re a teenager, but you’re the parent with the wool pulled over your eyes. And they’re like doing, you know, it’s like the preacher’s daughter on Footloose. Okay. And so how do you deal with that? Well, then you deal with this, but you’re coming in and at the perfect stage, because you got little tiny Kids and when you learn how to solve problems, constantly, constantly, constantly having productive conversations and you become a family that can talk about anything in everything. You’re not going to raise a sneaky Kids because the path of leadership and empathy, I mean, it’s a beautiful thing and enforce consequences, which is what you said.

1 (36m 4s):
We like, they’re going to have hard things they have to deal with in life. And when we allow it, okay, when we allow it, if the beautiful thing, that’s how they grow to be resilient. So she may want to stay at home and watch cartoons and not go to gymnastics because the little kids live in the present moment. And she’s super happy at home watching cartoons. And she’s not thinking about last week when she went to the gymnastics and when she was there, that she had a total blast and she felt so proud that she mastered that summersault. You know? So you’re not thinking, she’s thinking about this moment she’s in right now. So when you follow through, as that pack leader, you have your system in five minutes, we’re going to be walking out and maybe the five minutes happens. And then she needs to go potty. He or she pulls out stall tactics, and then you were running late and whatever, and you keep your cool and your Q-tip and you get her to gymnastics. And maybe by the time you go to gymnastics, she’s even crying.

1 (36m 44s):
She doesn’t want to go. It’s turned into a whole thing. And you’re like, listen, we signed up for gymnastics. We paid money to go to gymnastics. We made a commitment. We’re going to gymnastics next time. If you don’t want to sign up for gymnastics for the next season, then maybe we won’t. But right now we’ve signed up for gymnastics. So we’re going, and she goes to gymnastics and you don’t You Q-tip, you don’t allow it to get you, you, you don’t fight with her and you’re not going to power struggle. You just follow through. And she goes to gymnastics following through life. That is your ability to help her to build those resilience skills. And that actually is enforcing consequences because the natural consequence of signing up for gymnastics is going to gymnastics.

1 (37m 25s):
Right? You have to go and enforcing. We think of the word enforce, you know, it’s like, okay, we tell me what I’m going to enforce your just going to enforce that. She actually goes to jail for it

2 (37m 33s):
Just to go. I don’t have to be like yelling for her to get there. But like, if she is still really having a hard time with it, she is getting picked up and put him in the car scene and she’s going to do it now

1 (37m 40s):
Cry the whole time she is at gymnastics, knowing that you’re following through. And so enforcing consequences is allowing her brain to learn cause and effect, right? So she signed up and she is going, if she doesn’t feel like going this time and she went, whatever, you’re going to gymnastics the other, I mean, natural consequences. I mean, it’s the hardest part actually as parents to follow through and allow the disc. It’s what you said before. Allow the discomfort to happen and teaching our kids like it’s okay. You can feel all the feelings you’re allowed to be uncomfortable. And it’s not my job to try and dance like a circus monkey To to make you comfortable all the time, right? Like you ha like life involved, some discomfort we’re none of us were designed to be happy all of the time, actually about half of life involved, some negative emotions.

1 (38m 25s):
So when we run from discomfort and we teach our kids to run from discomfort, cause we’re constantly swooping into to fix and solve and, and save them from the discomfort. We do them a disservice. The goal really is to lean in and feel the discomfort. And then after you drop her at school and she’s crying and holding on to your leg and, and you pick her up at the end of the day and you’re like, Oh my gosh, I miss you so much. I let me see that face. You know how many times I thought about it? You’d tell me everything I need to know. What did you play with first? Who is your, what was your favorite thing on the playground? When you find out all of the things, and then you all are sitting on the reconnecting and you were like, you know what, today, when I dropped you, it was a little scary. Like, you didn’t really want to go. You can recap that. And you did that. You were brave and you went and looked at all the beautiful things you made and things you did because you were really brave today.

1 (39m 11s):
I was amazing. I love that. Yeah. So, so, so the, the natural consequence of enforce consequences, it would be when you have an older kid, like I went through, I think last year, seventh grade mom on the soccer team. And he’s like, mom, I forgot my Jersey. Can you drop it off? I don’t like, I can’t, I’m a really busy day. Yeah. So you’re not going to have your Jersey because you forgot it, mom. I’m not going to be able to play you. I’m leaving, we’re leaving on the bus to go to the other game, you know, before school. And even now I’m like, I’m so sorry. That’s going to be really hard on the next time. He doesn’t forget it. I’m on the coach is going to be so mad at me. And he’s a pleaser, you know? And then my youngest one, he’s a major, he’s a rule follower. And please respect the coach can be so mad. And like, you know, it’s hard and he’s like, fine.

1 (39m 54s):
You know, like hangs up and all day long. I have a pit in my stomach. Oh, no easy. It would be for me to run that out there. And it’s not just me, but I never run it up. There

2 (40m 2s):
Is a case by case basis. Well, I have a rule

1 (40m 4s):
Of a one Oh one time a semester. You get to use like all of a return with something, but he’d already used it up and he’d been kind of forgetting things I knew. So then that day after the game, and it was a win an away game. So I didn’t go to it after the game that night we were all catching up and he was fine. He was fine. And I said, I said, what happened with the game and the Jersey? And all of a sudden, she was like, Oh, so-and-so it wasn’t playing. So I ended up just borrowing his stuff and we just figured it out. There we go. And I’m like, huh? Huh. So the natural consequence of not running the lunch back up to school and not running the homework back up to school and not running the soccer Jersey, enforcing the consequences. There is really just following through. Right. Super hard that this is that I found that the follow-through is the hardest part out of any of it,

2 (40m 44s):
For him to say that you are going to do something with doing it, it’s actually a so

1 (40m 46s):
Much harder. And some things you actually have to enforce a consequence that, you know, it’s not an actual consequence situation. Let’s say you’ll have a kid that keeps hitting their sibling. Right. Right. And so what’s the natural you’re like, no, I need to, I need to work on this. This needs to be like, as a consequence of or something like that. I mean, it, it depends, you know, I go through the framework assessing basically like if I’m in a kid, that’s getting to it. I mean, it’s a sign of, I’m going to act out of control on the outside when I feel out of control in the inside. So aggression, like if I’m hitting and hitting and hitting my sibling, it might be a negative pattern that needs to be disrupted. Like that’s how the two siblings have learned to engage is right through being like, especially, especially boys, a lot of times we’ll rough house and that’s just the way it is. So it might be a pattern.

2 (41m 26s):
What about the separating? Cause I know, I often say to my oldest, like, I don’t say you at all, I would just say like, well, I guess I do say you, but it’s not really about what she, I just say, you know, if you’re hitting your sister, I’m going to have to separate you guys.

1 (41m 36s):
Right. But there is a, I teach a whole, let me tell you if we could have, we could talk for two hours about my sibling fighting tool, which is a great one, but there’s more to figure out in terms of the siblings finding. But if you have a cut child it’s just, you know, aggressive or a lot and getting a new, you know, a, a logical and related consequence to that might be until I can be sure that you understand our no violence policy and there will be no more play dates. There will be. No, it could. I have to be sure that your, do you understand that your keeping your body saved and those around you save. And we have to do it first in our home with our brothers and sisters in our family. And then we’ll be able to play with people outside the family. But until that is happening for a week straight where there’s absolutely no violent behavior, that means a violent words to violent hands.

1 (42m 19s):
We’re not going to be happening or maybe its for a month. We’re not going to be having any more play dates until I can be sure you understand how important is. And that’s a really good

2 (42m 26s):
The consequence they’re not taking away. Like your favorite video game, you are doing something with directly related to that

1 (42m 30s):
Article and related. So when you have to enforce a consequence, that’s not a natural consequence. I just wanted to make sure it’s a logical, right? So 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 it really cool resource for you guys. I call it the problem solving one sheet, okay. Its one sheet of front and back. So I 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 every day.

1 (43m 12s):
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 slash problem solving all one word.

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Creating A Happier Household

by Randi Rubenstein