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117: Missing the Milestones & Dealing with Pandemic Disappointments

By June 3, 2020November 8th, 2023Mastermind Parenting Podcast
117: Missing the Milestones & Dealing with Pandemic Disappointments

In this episode, I talk about my kid’s graduations. Yup. 3 kids and 3 big 2020 milestone events. Graduation from middle school, high school and college. The virtual grad ceremonies and car parades are just not the same as the real thing. Sigh. Like me, I know many of you are watching your kids go through LOTS of disappointments right now. We hate when the people are disappointed. I think many of us are so uncomfortable at the thought of our kids experiencing disappointment that we tend to fixate and accidentally make it into a bigger deal. The world is experiencing lots of things right now that leave us reeling in upset, disappointment and feeling out of control. We are in a period of collective vulnerability…AND an opportunity for collective resilience building. It’s true that the 2020 graduates will forever be known as the “2020 Graduates”. AND maybe they will wear that label with a resilient badge of honor rather than fondling a “life isn’t fair” story. This week’s episode will help you to foster the story of resilience for your kids. Enjoy!

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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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0 (2s):
My name is Randi Rubenstein and welcome to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast where we believe when your thoughts gro the conversation’s in your home flood.

1 (15s):
You’re listening to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast with Randi Rubenstein episode one 17. Hi guys. How are you? I am recording this from Galveston at the condo, right along the beach. So I’m looking at the beach at super windy. They were supposed to be running all day to day, and it’s not I’m, I’m actually recording this in a Memorial day weekend, and we are down here. It’s actually just me and my husband because I have teenagers and they have abandoned us. We did have one person down here with us last night, but she just drove it back to Houston. And last night we watched my son’s graduation from college.

1 (58s):
I graduated from college last night and it was all done virtually Bernay Brown gave the commencement speech. And if you don’t know who Bernie Brown is, as you need to find out right away and literally Google Brown and Brown, but most of your, I would assume, you know, well, I shouldn’t say it. I assume I actually meet a lot of people who don’t know who Renee Brown is. So if you don’t know who she is, you’re welcome. She’s amazing. And she did the commencement speech. And so we were really excited because I followed Bernie for a long time. And even though the ceremony, you know, it, it wasn’t exactly the weekend. We were supposed to be in Austin. That’s why we came down here this weekend because we were supposed to be in Austin this weekend. We have to, I mean, we literally had started planning months in advance and our extended family who is coming up and we have booked all of these places and done all of these things.

1 (1m 41s):
And it was supposed to be a whole big weekend. Its our oldest child, a first kid graduating from college. So Bernay shared her inspiring story and ultimately the message was all about falling down over and over again in her life. And I’ve followed her for a long time. We heard things that we’ve never heard or share and her mom. And so what she said kind of throughout her speech was it was really all about falling down and picking yourself up and having the courage to begin again and correct me if I’m wrong. But I think that’s pretty much called resilience. The ability to bounce back, right? To get back up and begin again, to bounce back after life. Doesn’t quite go your way. And I’ve heard many people that are way smarter than me say that the common denominator for a living a successful life, however you define success, but really living a successful life.

1 (2m 32s):
Whether that means successful financially successful academically successful in terms of surrounding yourself with the people that you want to be surrounding yourself with, but people who feel successful. Okay. So define that. However, you would like the common denominator is resiliency and as Renee says to have the courage to be vulnerable, okay. To face risk, being vulnerable, all about facing risk and uncertainty. And if, and when you fail, you begin again. So it’s variable hon, when you’re facing a risk and uncertainty and there is a good chance you’re going to fail.

1 (3m 14s):
And when you fail, you begin again. And that is how we build resiliency. And so right now, what I want to say to you guys is it’s a really vulnerable time for all of us. It looks, it feels risky right now to even go to the grocery store. Like God forbid get on an airplane. And even my family, we just planned because we were kind of gone a little stir crazy. We lived in Houston and we’re not gonna say, you know what? I shouldn’t say, I’m going to stir crazy just because everyone else is going stir crazy. I’m literally the world of the biggest home body. And there are sort of never been anyone happier than me because I like operate in a very small space in my house that I, I like come out of their, just to eat.

1 (3m 58s):
But from my bed to my bathroom, to my little mess where I get work done to my balcony off my bedroom, where I do yoga to my desk in my bedroom, where I hold it, all my classes and calls like I it’s and I leave my house to go take dog walks, but I’m very happy and I sort of hate plans and I don’t really sound like a whole lot of fun on that. So for me, I’m really not going stir crazy, but I do love to like be on my balcony to be outside work outside during the day, walk my dog a lot, just go sit outside and watch my son play basketball or swim or whatever. And I, I, you know, I don’t like being cooped up in a way to get flipping hot and Houston in a summer.

1 (4m 40s):
So we’ve all been kind of thinking about Houston in a summer. And so we decided, you know what, we’re going to do what we’re doing here, but just do it in Colorado. And we are driving 16 hours and get this. We just decided that we’re actually camping overnight on the way to break up the drive. Now I know that probably doesn’t sound like a big deal to a lot of you guys where you’re like, and, and, and, but here’s the thing we are not campers. Like we’d sort of always wanting it to be campers. I don’t know. I don’t know that I would admit that out loud necessarily. And it kind of have been like a bucket list item that we’ve never accomplished because I hear that when we have lots of friends who go camping and it’s amazing and you sit down and there’s a lot of presence in camping and there’s a lot of beautiful memories made with camping.

1 (5m 24s):
And I want my kids to have always wanted them to have all those simple moments and all of the memories. I didn’t have a lot of that growing up. And so that’s always been important, but we just sort of made a decision a few years back that we’re not campers. And so we were like, yeah, the kids are going to just not have, they’re going to, we’re going to leave that bucket list item unchecked. Cause we’re just not doing it. Like I don’t like bugs. I don’t like Sydney on the ground. I didn’t like possibly not having the whole night’s sleep. It just, yeah, we we’re just like, yeah, we are not doing it. So now fast forward that we find ourselves planning and overnight in a tent a little over half way between Texas and Colorado, ’cause it seems less risky to us than what’s involved to travel by plane and the uncertainty of our future.

1 (6m 12s):
Right? Like the UN like there’s there was, there were some risks, there were some of the uncertainty and lo and behold, it’s kind of forced us to get this bucket list item that we’ve decided we decided to go and check. We D we decided to make it happen. I don’t know something about that has us building some resiliency and you know, my daughter, you know, like I told you about my son graduating college, and it wasn’t maybe necessarily exactly what he had planned on what we had planned on, but also there’s my daughter, you know, she’s got a lot of uncertainty with her future. She is also a 20, 28 graduate that she’s a graduate high school and not in college.

1 (6m 53s):
And right now there is a whole lot of uncertainty about her fall semester of college for our very first semester of college. She is waiting for a long time for this moment and she may not get to go. And the only thing that certain for her right now is that her first year of college will definitely look different than what she had planned. Okay. So a lot of uncertainty, there are a lot of uncertainty, it feels really upsetting and really disappointing. And just like with the UT Graduation, you know, with my son last night, a lot of like, wasn’t going to happen, wasn’t going to happen? How, what is it gonna be like virtually M you know, he didn’t know. And a lot of disappointment, not what I expected.

1 (7m 33s):
And then I, you know, my youngest son he’s heading to high school in the fall. So he literally, like, I sort of think of middle school as the last moments of childhood. You know, when you get to high school, I was just like, okay, these are the real teenage years. And The, it’s just like, seems like the last day, like right now, it’s the last moments with him. And he was a boy and, you know, boys develop a little later. So if you have a girl you’ve, you’re like, Oh, my daughter has been in a full fledged teenager till she has, since she was 13. I’m just not the case, especially, I don’t know if you have boys that are a little later developed it. I feel like we get a teenage years until, I mean, a little kid years until pretty like around 15. So it’s like the last moments of childhood.

1 (8m 14s):
And here he is stuck, virtually learning from home. Right. And, and interacting with his friends on Fortnite and tech talk and maybe a bike ride every once in a while. And yeah, I, I also found that the virtual learning for him, it meant that somehow he mastered the art of being on zoom while binge watching Netflix. Yeah. And appearing on camera. But somehow, like, I think you would like put, is his earbuds connected to the ear buds and some way where he could like, like he was flying through seasons. I’m like, what are you watching all of this TV? And he kind of, as far as the other day, and she was like, Hmm, maybe I figured out how to look like I’m in class and the camera’s on me, but I’m actually watching shows.

1 (8m 54s):
I was like, Oh gosh. So, so yeah. Yeah. So he, he spent the last moments in the middle school being in a virtual school, but really into watching Netflix and, and socializing with his friends on technology and way more technology than I’d want him to be honest. Okay. So at the bottom line is as my three kids, they are all experiencing milestones during the 2020. Pandemic like they’re right of passage, ceremonies look very different than what they were expecting. And there’s been a lot of Disappointments you all for sure. It just like, I’m sure you guys are experiencing as well. Like my kids will forever be known, especially my two older ones as part of the class of 2020.

1 (9m 35s):
And they’ll probably forever be asked the question, Oh, you graduated in 2020. Well, that sucks. How, what was that like, you know, that’s per forever now I’m going to be a part of their story. Right. So, so no matter what I say or do, like, I can take that reality away. I can’t make it different. All I can do is just hold space for their disappointment. And it’s really interesting what I’ve noticed. And let me tell you guys is this does not come naturally to me. I would say a naturally I am majorly a fixer and I’m the glass half empty. I’m a glass half full. So when anyone, I love experiences, sadness or disappointment, my first instinct is to not hold space and sit with them and just allow that disappointment and just, you know, just to allow it and to hold space for It.

1 (10m 25s):
My first instinct has to be like, Oh, but at least you’ve gotten to have a lot of time, you know, at home, you know, and you’ve gotten to get in to play more video games and go, wow. You know, you could have been like, you’re not sitting in class as an hour. Like my natural go-to was to try to happy to come up and convince them why they shouldn’t feel disappointment pointed or how it as it has it been like two do the opposite of holds face. So me, you know, what I have noticed is, and this is a skill that you get better and better out at you guys. So I, you know, I’ve made peace with it. And for the most part, I would say maybe 80% of the time I do a decent job, 20% of the time, I still have royally screw it up. But it’s really interesting, you know, their fine, you all the virtual commencements, the hours on Fortnite and tick talk, the car parades instead of the parties, none of it is ideal and they’re fine.

1 (11m 19s):
They move through the disappointment. Like you don’t have the same thing. You don’t have to fix it for them. You’re just not allow you the old space you acknowledge. Yeah. It’s hard. Sucks was not what you were expecting. And as Bernie said, during the commencement, she says, you fall down, you begin again. And yes, it’s the vulnerable right now is vulnerable and we’re all becoming more resilient. Okay. We’re all becoming more resilient. And one last thing. So of course, do you have a watch a show? And then you have to go and like Google every person that’s on the show, every actor, and then re all about their personal or whatever it is. So I do that too. And after Bernays a commencement speech, I went in, went on YouTube and I started looking at other commitments.

1 (12m 1s):
We just, cause I remember Oprah had left one years ago that I really like to end for Stanford or Harvard or whatever. So to start looking at commencement speeches, not to get looked at the Oprah commencement. And then I got the lead to this one, this commencement speech by Andy Sandberg and, and it for 2012, Harvard commencement. So like what stop, what you’re doing immediately. And you got to go watch it. It is literally the most hysterical thing. And I cannot believe he got away with this commencement speech to go watch it because it’s so damn funny. He kisses a man in the first, like a minute, like it’s just that they were jaws on the ground. Okay. You guys fall down again again, it’s all about building resiliency. That’s truly how it will feel happy and successful.

1 (12m 42s):
And that’s what we’re doing right now. You guys were all in it. It’s vulnerable.

0 (12m 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 or 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. 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 you’ll practice. And before you know it, you will be having productive conversations all day, every day. 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 forward slash problem solving all one word.

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