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125: How to Minimize Meltdowns through Leadership & Boundaries

By July 28, 2020November 8th, 2023Mastermind Parenting Podcast
125: How to Minimize Meltdowns through Leadership & Boundaries

In this LONG episode, I really ramble on about all sorts of stuff:). I really lost track of time, went off the cuff and talked about why loving pack leaders must have boundaries.

Pack leadership minimizes meltdowns because it represents confidence, strength and safety. Boundaries define borders and ground the people feeling unbalanced in their nervous systems, i.e., the melting down big and little humans.

I have found that many moms have a really hard time with boundaries. I believe at the core of this limitation is the secret obstacle…the conditioning that you’re not worthy of having your own voice, space, time and standards about how you will and won’t live.

This is a big topic and a core issue in our culture re: women and a lack of feeling as worthy as “them”. Now this may not be something we think we believe. We may tell ourselves the opposite and spew feminist messages from the rooftops.

However, if you have a hard time making time for yourself or “getting” the people to do the things and/or you feel like “must be nice to be able to”, and you’re constantly doing everything for everyone and there’s no time or energy left for the stuff you wanna do…well then sister friend, we gotta talk.

You deserve to take up space in the world and not to put the needs of everyone else constantly before your own. And until you BELIEVE you’re truly worthy to do that, you’re gonna continue to have a hard time following thru on boundaries. And until you enforce consequences for boundary crossing behavior, the meltdowns in your family will persist.

I normally try and make the podcast episodes short and sweet but this is a big topic and I decide to just allow my unfiltered thoughts to pour out in hopes that it might help you if you’re struggling with persistent meltdowns in your family.

I know it’s painful to live like that. I also know that you wanna have a family that gets along. I’d love to invite you to explore your own story if you’re struggling with pack leadership, boundaries and enforcing consequences. You deserve more. I’m determined to fight for you to have that.

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

1 (15s):
If you’re listening to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast with Randi Rubenstein episode one 25. Hi guys. Well, this is the last episode in our Meltdowns series that I’ve been doing for the month of July. And, and this last episode, I’ve titled how to minimize Meltdowns and I kinda toyed around with it ’cause I really sort of want you to call it the other things, but then on, I was like, ahh, I can talk about those things. But I think at the end of the day, what I’m really talking about is how do you know? I think everybody just as like, how do we make them stop?

1 (56s):
Right? Like they, like, there are not pleasant. Nobody, nobody enjoys. In fact, I, I have somebody recently figured something out a mom did and she was telling me what was going on in her situation. And basically she filled out my questionnaire and she said, which just asks a bunch of questions. Like, you know, tell me about what’s going on. What’s the, there’s just a series of questions that I ask and I said, what was going on? And so she describes her situation and basically she is a five-year old and he’s having a lot of Meltdowns. Okay.

1 (1m 36s):
So she doesn’t call it that, but what she describes. So I will tell you guys, so I said, what are the two biggest challenges you’re facing right now that holds you back from having your fantasy family? And she says power struggles. Okay. So in power struggles are usually Y why do power struggles happened? We asked her kids to do something and then they refuse and then maybe they dig their heels in. And then we dig our heels in and then thus, there’s a power struggle. And so I’m not fun for anyone. So she says my five-year-old is experiencing aggressive and defiant behavior.

1 (2m 18s):
That sounds like a meltdown to me. I don’t know about you guys arguing, screaming, hitting us and babysitters camp counselors. When told to do something or told something. He doesn’t like, okay. So when he’s given directions or something, he doesn’t like he hits, okay. What did we know about hitting when people hit or they in their prefrontal cortex? Are they in their thinking brain? Are they the most brilliant versions of themselves? Is that the version of yourself you wanna be when you’re gonna go sit for the L sat, right? Know when you’re hitting, you’re in a state of fight or flight you’re in survival state, you’re in the lowest centers, have your brain.

1 (3m 2s):
All your brain is doing. As we’ve talked about in past episodes. This month is at your brain has one job. Your body has one job as a human to stay alive. So if you’re hitting, you’re literally in a state of survival, that’s what a meltdown is. A mountain is basically like, I don’t know what else to do right now. And I’m perceiving this situation, like a scary time here in the jungle. And so I feel like I’m going to die. And so that’s why humans go into a Meltdowns state. So that’s what this little five-year-old child is doing. Okay. He’s arguing, he’s screaming, he’s hitting all the adults that are caring for him whenever he’s given directions or instructions.

1 (3m 46s):
So what are you currently doing to improve the stress in your household? What you, what have you tried? And did you see any long-term positive results? That’s the next question I asked and she says, I work with him on making good choices, staying calm, to work through upsetting issues. So I’m working with him to make good choices and to stay calm through working through upsetting issues. But what I really wanna know is, is what’s really going on for him. Like, why is he feeling unsafe? Right. My hunch based on last week’s episode in how, what I told you guys about is creating an emotional safety, does it leaves people in a place where they don’t feel like they have to fight for their life to get their needs met.

1 (4m 33s):
So this kid has some need. That’s not being met. He feels misunderstood in some way. He doesn’t know how to get the need met. So talking to them about making good choices and remaining calm, does that necessarily get his needs met? We’ve got to figure out why he’s doing those things and what need he’s trying to meet. And then she is, and then I said, why, why is it important to improve your current situation? Like what are the side effects to your health too, your relationship. And what’s gonna happen down the road. If you continue down this path. And she says it’s affecting school and camp and our work, as well as relationships with friends recently, we were told not to come back to camp.

1 (5m 18s):
So they’re losing relationships over this child, having Meltdowns and not getting his needs met. And I said, what’s your biggest fear regarding the future of your family? And she says, aggressive defiant behavior, continuing in also not dealing with this in a way that, that won’t make it worse or scar him. So that’s a little sign that I know she’s probably reacting. Maybe her Erin and or her husband are reacting in adult Meltdowns. And so she knows deep down that, that like neither one are gonna solve the problem. She said, aren’t going to make it worse or a scar him.

1 (5m 60s):
So that’s like, she knows she’s making it worse. She knows what she’s trying is not working. So she’s reaching out. Now interesting. This is an interesting question. The last question you guys, I asked this for a reason and let me tell y’all this nine times out of 10, this question remains blank on most of these questionnaires, imagine a crystal ball and in it, you can see your dream life a year from now. Describe it or nothing. So you know what? I talked about a couple of episodes ago, fear, like we have this negativity bias where as humans, we have one job we’re designed to stay alive.

1 (6m 40s):
So we scan our environment for danger, danger, danger, danger. And that’s why it’s so easy to focus on the negative and what’s wrong. And we’re not, it doesn’t come naturally for us to think about what do we actually want? And Andy, and so I asked this question for a reason, because we can’t create the life we want, unless we can envision it and see it. Right? Like, it’s kind of, if you think about like accomplishing a goal, would you ever like, if it was, if it had to do with work or, you know, some, or maybe it’s an exercise school, can you imagine thinking that you were gonna achieve something great and feel on a major sense of accomplishment without having a clear idea and actually defining what that goal is?

1 (7m 36s):
Know? Like, I mean, you can read tons and tons and tons of productivity books and how, how successful people start their day. What’s their morning ritual, blah, blah, blah. I guarantee you every single one of them has an intentionality behind it. And what is your goal for the day? What is your intention? What is your purpose? It like really getting clear in defining what you want from your day. You have to do that. And, and that’s straight out of positive psychology because we’re, we’re really saying to ourselves, Oh yeah, we’re designed with this negativity bias as a human species, but as evolved as humans in 2020, we can actually manipulate our own brain and, and, and, and identify the things that we want to create.

1 (8m 24s):
And there are certain practices that help us do it. So when you don’t know what goal you want, it’s probably pretty unlikely that you’re gonna accomplish that goal. So, so what I want to say is, is that, you know, understanding, right? Like really getting underneath to the root of why a human being has a meltdown. Like all the episodes from this month really helped you hopefully to look at these things more closely and realize that like teaching our kids, breathing tactics and how to calm down and, and how to, what did she say, make better choices are like, that’s not getting to the root of it is not, it’s not getting into the root of it’s.

1 (9m 18s):
We have to get to the root. We have to realize where there are some unmet needs where we have accidentally had created an environment where our kids, because the thing is, is, is when kids don’t know how to solve their problems or get their needs met what they learn very young, like around the age of two or three is, Oh, when I act out, when I, I mean, are they actually learned a lot younger, you know, little tiny babies cry for a reason when they cry, we come and we attend to them. And so then when that little baby becomes the toddler, a tour of a three-year-old, you know, the cries maybe then, you know, are companied with hitting and kicking and screaming and yelling and, and making a whole scene.

1 (10m 7s):
And they, they learn, they act. So they actually learned like, Oh, when I make a whole big fuss, the grownups give me a ton of attention. Now, even if we were yelling at them, it’s still a tension. And, and so that those behaviors get reinforced. Whereas like when they’re following the rules and being cooperative and doing all the things that we really want them to do, a lot of times we’re like, Oh, good job. We just like skim over it. But when they’re pulling out all the stops with their meltdown behaviors, like we drop everything to address it and address it and address it and lecture and lecture and admonish and lecture and yell, and the law, the law. And it’s just like, they don’t really care if it’s positive or negative attention, little tiny toddlers.

1 (10m 52s):
It’s like, Oh, you see me? I matter, came on. And then that’s, there’s the root of the negative behaviors that can be attention seeking. And then ultimately, like, they just become a pattern in your kids life. And so every time their feeling some big emotion in their body, they resort to those patterns of acting out because they know they’re gonna get your undivided attention. And at the end of the day, they don’t know how to solve these problems differently. They don’t know how, when they’re in the lower parts of their brain to help themselves feel better, they don’t. So they really want our help. And if they knew how to be like, Hey mom, I could really use your help right now.

1 (11m 38s):
I’m feeling kind of out of control and my body. There’s a lot of intense anxiety. And I’m really worried about this thing. What I’m really frustrated that such and such happened, or I didn’t like it when somebody told me that I had to do something a certain way. And I mean, you never know, especially if we have a sensory kit, if you have a highly sensitive, nervous system kid, and it’s at camp and camp involves like changing clothes and bathing suits in a funky smelling grow, I hate wet bathing. All I can remember is when my kids were little and they went, I had to take them into the swimming lessons place. In every time I had to like go in that, that, that dank, wet bathroom with all of those funky smells and taking off a wet clothing and putting what clothing on, you know, you’ve got a five-year-old Now this little boy that the mom wrote into me, and it may be it’s him.

1 (12m 35s):
It’s, you know, he’s fine. So obviously he’s putting on his own bathing suit, taking off his own babies or changing clothes, like who knows what it is, but there’s more to the equation and chances are, he’s been acting out for quite a long time. And the grownups have not helped him figure out a better way to go to get his needs met. And now he’s gone to a place of, of major or aggression. And so it’s almost like we need to be like, yo, like stop back it up. Let’s start again. Let’s get to the bottom of what’s really going on.

1 (13m 15s):
So he’s probably not feeling emotionally safe to get those needs met. And he’s been admonished and yelled at and shamed and lectured in all of the things that we all do. I’m not, I’m not harping on this mom. And this is like a super common, right. I just think many of us can identify with it, but she’s like, I don’t wanna do anything to make the problem worse or to scar him. So, I mean, that’s the thing we all know when we’re doing things that are not working and, and then we keep doing them. Okay. And so what I’m really hoping is that from this month, you understand that fear is on the scene and, and people having frequent Meltdowns people of all ages who, or having frequent Meltdowns, they feel terrible in their bodies.

1 (14m 5s):
They know they’re not likable. They don’t even like themselves. And there is intense, intense loneliness going on. And when you don’t feel safe, emotionally, which I think for many of us, many of us like a guy that whole episode on an emotional safety, you might be like, well, I never had that. Does that even exist? But when humans don’t feel seen and accepted and even celebrated exactly for the person you were born to be like, that’s painful. And we do all kinds of things. We wear lots of armor because it’s painful and we don’t want people to hurt us more into a lot of times, we don’t allow people to know the real us, cause the real us has never felt accepted.

2 (14m 57s):
They did. And so then there’s the loneliness and there’s the isolation. So, you know, every one

1 (15m 7s):
Thing that I’ve been talking about in terms of Meltdowns, you know, that meltdown behavior, it doesn’t just happen out of nowhere. It happens

2 (15m 19s):
As part of this

1 (15m 20s):
Cycle where there is fear and loneliness and a lack of emotional safety on the scene. And because we are, we are pack animals. Humans are not meant to live on an Island by ourselves. We are meant to be,

2 (15m 35s):
To be part of a Pack. You know, when you have all of these, these are

1 (15m 42s):
Issues going on, you end up feeling pretty dysregulated inside your body.

2 (15m 49s):
And then, you know,

1 (15m 51s):
Yeah. The big news flash or not, is that when humans feel dysregulated on the inside, it really just means that our nervous system is unbalanced. Okay. It feels wonky. It feels terrible in your body. So

2 (16m 6s):
As adults, when we feel

1 (16m 8s):
This way, we might describe the sensation of a, when we’re feeling disregulated by saying something like I have a lot of, I struggle with anxiety, have a lot of anxiety. Well, it should, if you tell your doctor that near, I mean, I think if they say one in four adult women are on a, some kind of,

2 (16m 28s):
You know, a mood stabilizer,

1 (16m 31s):
They might just put you on Prozac or Lexapro are one of those. So loft. So if you’re feeling that, then you might just Dole that sensation. So rather than get to the root of why you’re feeling dysregulated, right? Are you living in a place of fear? Do you feel intense loneliness? Do you have emotional safety in your life? Instead of that, it’s just like, bam, here’s a bandaid. Let me give you a pill. And,

2 (16m 58s):
And so we might have

1 (17m 0s):
Say, I have a lot of anxiety. We might say, Oh, I have such a stressful day. So stressed, so busy. I’m so stressed. You might describe it like that. We might say, Oh, I needed a drink. Right. So when we’re feeling, just dysregulated us such a hard time, I needed a drink we were looking for, or, you know, or, or we might wanna eat something or binge-watch something we’re looking for ways

2 (17m 27s):
Who’s like a quick hits to have it.

1 (17m 30s):
All of our body, our nervous systems feel more regulated. Okay. And so,

2 (17m 37s):
So kids don’t, especially in a way,

1 (17m 39s):
Okay, so they don’t do that yet. No. Once they get their hands on technology and sometimes little kids, I have to have access to technology to a degree where they use that technology like drunk. And it helps them to kind of M to feel more balanced in their nervous system. You get that becomes a coping mechanism, which ultimately just like too many drinks or to many different ways too, to calm our nervous systems can quickly become something habitual that then ends up not adding to our life, but you know, and it can become an addiction very easily, very easily. But, but, but a lot of times, little kids who haven’t found those coping mechanisms, they, they melt down, they try to kick and they scream and they, they feel unsafe.

1 (18m 30s):
They feel out of wack. Their nervous system feels wanky and unbalanced and dis-regulated, and it feels bad and it feels terrible. And so that dysregulation causes them to have this explosion. And the explosion actually allows them to feel slightly more regulated. Because when you have the explosion, you get a little bit of an adrenaline rush. It’s like, when we say, I’m not going to yell, I’m not gonna yell. I’m not going to yell. And then next thing you know, your yelling is, and you just you’re like, Oh, I thought about it, but I just couldn’t stop myself. And it’s because your cortisol levels or stress hormones rising. And then the yelling actually lowered those stress hormones temporarily while the same thing is happening when our kids are having meltdowns.

1 (19m 16s):
And so I think, you know, this month, if anything, I hope that you guys have opened your mind to like, Meltdowns are not just for toddlers. People are having Meltdowns of all ages. Right. And just because it’s, it seems to be a toddler type term. There’s plenty of teenagers and adults having chronic Meltdowns. You know, like recently I was talking to my mom and she was telling me that her husband who happens to be a doctor. And right now, if you’re listening to this in real time, we’re still, you know, we’re still going through. I mean, there hasn’t been a vaccine created yet for COVID.

1 (19m 58s):
And so you’re, he’s a doctor who is going to work everyday. There are literally wearing these lights, the space suits where he’s working, cause he’s a surgeon. And so he comes home from a stressful day on the front lines as a medical worker, during the pandemic. And, and basically she is like, and he just asked like a Dick to everyone in the family, just like just, just a total Dick. And she says, he nitpicks her. He’s like, you know, complaining about like her putting the dishes and the wrong, because he can find a dish or, you know, just like she has a, and then she has like, he barks with the kids about stupid little piddly things.

1 (20m 39s):
And then he even yelled recently at the dog for like, I don’t need to know what the dog did wrong, but whatever the dog did wrong. And, and she said, you know, its like an egg shells everywhere. She dreads his arrival home because it’s like, she’s been home, she’s figured out her rhythm with her kids and, and they kind of have their own thing going on. And she said, you know, and then he comes home and it’s like, he makes her life harder instead of having a co-parent that’s all of a sudden joining her, she now has to walk on eggshells and everyone feels like they’re walking on eggshells around them. And she’s like, Oh my God.

1 (21m 19s):
She said, you know, it’s just so annoying and I’m sick of pretending it doesn’t exist. And, and I said, I said, you know, it’s interesting. His nervous system is just dysregulated after a stressful day at work. And so he’s, it’s like think of him like a toddler begging for Boundaries he needs like, he needs to calm down spot to go to when he’s acting like this, like somewhere where he can feel safe or you can calm down as body and is brain and then the, and then he can rejoin the family when he’s calm. And so I, you know, we were laughing and I was like, he really he’s, he’s like a dysregulated toddler.

1 (22m 1s):
And the more you all walk around around on eggshells and justify it, like he’s the one out. And he was on the frontlines and he was at work all day and it’s so stressful and we’re not going to make his life more stressful. So it will just like put the dough. OK. We’ll put the dishes where you want, Oh, well let me get the dog. Oh, well, you know, you want to like walk on eggshells around him, make it just so not an ad to a stress, but really what he needs you to do is to put Boundaries down and parameters are on that and, and not allow him anymore to hijack the household. Like it’s just not okay. And he actually needs that from you. He doesn’t realize he needs it from you, but he does need it from you just like anyone having a meltdown needs leadership, they need strong leadership from someone and they need Boundaries.

1 (22m 54s):
Okay. So when any human is feeling dysregulated, they are begging us for loving Leadership so that they can finally feel safe in the world. Right. And, and I think that many of us just don’t know how to create that. Like what does that look like? So I want to talk about what that looks like, because when you show up as a loving leader and you don’t make someone’s behavior, especially their dysregulated behavior, there are, are the ones there are feeling all out of whack. When you show up in a way where you’re just going to establish Boundaries and behaviors that are expected and demanded, and you’re not going to overreact or lose it or a fight with them or join

2 (23m 46s):
Them in a state of dysregulation, you’re going to stay the loving Pack leader, the grown up the calm, assertive grown-up cause calm people solve problems. Ultimately that helps that person. Who’s feeling disregulated, feel safe again. So sign’s have a good leader. A good leader is a good listener like that. Mom that wrote into me about her son who is not doing well. I’m like, okay, we’re telling them, make better choices, remain calm, yada yada, yada, are we listening to them? Are we taking the time out of the Meltdowns to really talk to him and ask him, Hey, when such and such and such and such happened the other day you, something was going on.

2 (24m 34s):
I want to understand, can you tell me, can you tell me more about that? What was so upsetting? I really care. I really want to know. And then you, listen, you listen without interrupting or shooting. You just listen. A sign of a good leader is you’re a good listener. Confident do good. Think about like any good leader. Like if you think about a company like If, you know, when there is a company meeting and the, the boss is there and the boss comes in to the room, does the boss walk in the boss?

2 (25m 17s):
It’s like the revered, respected boss, the boss, the boss come in begging for everyone to like them dancing like a circus monkey. Or does the boss come in just with that, that confidence about them. Like, you know, just, just with an air of confidence, confident people make us feel safe in the world. Confident people aren’t begging like me like me, like me. They don’t make, they make us like, like we do you think about people who aren’t confident. It’s like, it’s hard to have to go. It’s more time. It’s tiring to have conversations with people that aren’t confident.

2 (26m 0s):
Cause you can tell when people are just sort of wanting to say just the right thing or do the right thing. Cause they want you to look like them or they want you to respect them. Or they’re trying to make a good impression, but confident people, they show up differently. Right? So assign have a good leader. As somebody who’s confident, somebody has a clear communicator. You can’t really expect people to understand what the rules are, what the boundaries are, how it’s not okay for this husband to come home and hijack the main areas of the house. Unless, unless his wife has showed up in strong leadership, if you all hear like squeaky noises it’s cause my dog, I wish I could take a picture for you.

2 (26m 43s):
If she was sitting here next to me, it just, she is out like a light. She looks so cute right now, so, okay. Okay. Let’s stop at the groans. So it was a strong leader. Has to understand how to properly communicate what the rules are, what the boundaries are. If you have to be a good communicator, talk about things that are non-relevant time later on, after the moment has passed. And she says, Hey, I noticed that when you come home from work, you are all wound up from the day. It’s a stressful day, huh?

2 (27m 23s):
She understands how to have a PRODUCTIVE conversation and how to clearly communicate what is not going to happen anymore. In the main areas of the house, there’s been a family. There’s been three other people all day at home, living like living a connected life together, having a certain semblance of order. And, and, and they’ve been working as a team and now all of a sudden one person comes in and just takes over and then there’s eggshells everywhere. Like that’s just not okay. So the new person coming in, I may need to go and take a little time for themselves, go for a jog, do something that allows them to transition from work to home and hijacking.

2 (28m 16s):
The main areas of the house is absolutely unacceptable. It’s just not going to fly anymore. We’re not doing it this way. This is not the kind of family we are. Do you all here to tease so that confident, clear communicator you’re going to get low. You’re going to get slow. You’re not begging for approval. You’re not shaming anyone. You’re acknowledging it’s a stressful day and it can be hard to transition. And here’s the Boundaries it’s not gonna happen like this anymore.

2 (28m 58s):
Okay. We can do it with our partners. We can do it with our parents. We can do it with our kids. This is this. These are communication tools to be an effective leader. A loving leader makes hard decisions. Yeah. Sometimes we have to make decisions that other people don’t like. And sometimes there are going to be upset about those decisions and we have to make the call. That’s what strong leaders do. Strong leaders make you feel safe when things aren’t going well, they know how to, without lying, like we’re in a pandemic.

2 (29m 45s):
I know a lot of companies right now are really struggling. So what happens when you’re dealing with a bunch of people who you may be at your kids, your kids saying, or we’re going to start school again? Is it going to be the online learning again? I hated that one. Am I gonna see my friends? I want to play sports. I say, I can’t. I know what’s gonna happen next year. What? Right? Maybe we don’t know yet. Lots of schools haven’t announced yet. How do we assure without lying? Well, yeah, I hear you. You’re worried a lot about with what’s gonna happen next year because you’re ready for life to REZUME again.

2 (30m 27s):
Huh? Again, a good listener. You’ll let your child talk. You hear them, you reflect back, you don’t invalidate. And then you say, I can tell you as well. You know, we, people, we, we figure things out right now. We’re going through a hard time in life as a country. Like this is, this is a really hard time. Probably your children one day are gonna, they’re gonna read about the 20, 20 pandemic in history books. And you’re going to say, it’s like, when I think of my parents talking about the great depression you’re going to, you’re going to be like, yeah, I was 11.

2 (31m 12s):
Her, I was eight during the 20, 20 pandemics. I remember it. All of a sudden we didn’t go to school and we couldn’t see any of our friends. And it was really hard. And when we started school again, finally, when they found a vaccine or before they found a vaccine, we had to wear a face mask, just school. And we had to sit like six feet apart from other people. It was a weird, see how that’s assuring, but you’re not lying. You’re not taking it away. You’re not saying it’s gonna be okay. You know why? It’s not that bad. No, you’re acknowledging you are shoring.

2 (31m 52s):
Like, yes, we were designed for this and it’s a crazy time, but we’re not wrapping it up with a nice, neat bow. Do you see how that confident leadership helps people to feel safe in the world? We are strong leaders to tell the truth or strong leaders believe in you. How good does it feel when someone in a leadership position that helps you to feel safe in the world, sees you and believes in you? When we show up with loving Leadership Pack Leadership and then on top of it, we believe in our kids that they can do hard things.

2 (32m 35s):
And we show up as this soft place to land. Do you see how impactful that be Pack leaders support their Pack members? They hold people accountable as well, right? So when you have that melting down husband or melting down child, and you’ve taken the time as a Pack leader, a loving Pack leader to establish what the rules are and set the boundaries and how the main household main areas of the household will not be hijacked. And when they are, this is what’s going to ensue.

2 (33m 20s):
And then they follow through on that, on that boundary that was established and it holds the other people accountable. And then they follow through on it. They don’t have to shame or blame. They just follow through. She is. So this will help your brain to remember that this is just a sense of accountability. Strong leaders are not effected by your opinion of them, right? Like strong leaders make hard decisions. And sometimes you’re not going to lie to him. And they’re like, okay, I totally understand get it. And this is what I believe is what makes most sense for our family, for our team.

2 (34m 2s):
It’s okay. You don’t have to like me right now. I get it. They don’t ask for approval and strong leaders. Also don’t stoop to focusing on the negative or petty name calling, right? They’re not gonna blame. They’re not gonna shame. I’m not gonna talk about all the things that you did wrong and why you deserve to be uncomfortable or upset right now, strong leaders just hold you accountable. And they say, they say less strong leaders act like grownups. So a kid having a meltdown there, begging, begging for someone to show up as a strong loving Pack leader in their life.

2 (34m 52s):
This will help them to feel safe and calm and grounded. They want a firm and loving adult. They want to know the rules and they want those rules in forced in a calm, assertive manner. Right? And so that’s how they start to learn what to expect and everything. It doesn’t feel so uncertain. They know when they act this and this and this way, technology is shut down for the rest of the day. And if they Badger and bathroom Badger and ask for it back, the technology shut-down for the next day. And if they continue badgering that it’s going to be shut down until further notice or bedtime is going to be rolled back 30 minutes earlier because they’ve showed that there that their body is, is feeling dysregulated inside and they need more sleep because sleep helps the body to relax.

2 (35m 41s):
Like they know what is going to happen. They know what to expect. It actually helps reduce and mitigate that unknown that uncertainty, okay. Uncertainty causes anxiety in all humans. We crave certainty. Uncertainty feels unsafe. It induces fear and fear puts us in the lower centers of our brain. It leaves us in more of a Meltdowns state or a flight or freeze state. Okay. That’s what fear does it puts us into a fight meltdown flight either go away or totally shut down and learn to dissociate in your brain, go on a spaceship somewhere else, or just Frieze, you know, and sort of go into a catatonic state Pack Leadership and clear communication of Boundaries it babies, the brain and all the hormones that allow us to grow, allow us to learn new skills.

2 (36m 46s):
Okay. So the Pack Leadership and a clear communication of Boundaries and following through on those, Boundaries it, it, it literally helps to eliminate Meltdowns because it creates emotional safety and that promotes connection and it compacts, it combats the fear and isolation and loneliness. So in forcing bed time, without arguing or negotiating will help your kid learn how to fall asleep on their own and get a good night’s rest. Okay. So hear that again. When you actually in force, of course your kids don’t want to go to sleep. Of course they don’t have the party ends when they, but in forcing bed time, without arguing your, just a strong, assertive leader, you’ve taken the time ahead of time to establish what the rule is, how bedtime’s going to go down.

2 (37m 38s):
You have even done some skill building on the front end. You’ve practiced it. You’ve got a little chart up. You’re not going to fight about it at night after night, you’ve got your plan in place because you are a strong, confident, loving leader. And then it’s bedtime. And you know, what’s going to happen. They’re going to argue or pull out all the stops and try to negotiate like they have in the past, because it is worked in, it is bought them more time and they need one more glass of water and they need to go potty one more time and yada, yada, yada. But when you just enforce it without arguing without negotiating, this is how your kids will learn how to fall asleep on their own.

2 (38m 21s):
And now they’re going to finally get a good night’s rest. You’re going to like understand that when you establish rules around homework and technology, right, you’re going to be able to support your kids’ and becoming successful students. And what was that going to do? This is going to boost their confidence. When you post your family rules with clear boundaries around violence, physical and verbal violence, both we’re going to help your kid to expand their emotional vocabulary and their emotional intelligence. Okay. So let me ask a question.

2 (39m 3s):
Do you well, rested, confident, emotionally intelligent people have very many Meltdowns do well, rested, confident, emotionally intelligent people have very many reps. Meltdowns right. Like it’s not that tricky. I mean, this is the thing I do. When we do that one, we show up with Leadership an established Boundaries and then enforced Boundaries without losing are cool. And having Meltdowns our self, our kids will feel more regulated. Ultimately they’ll get better sleep. They’ll be better. Students. They’ll learn more effective language to communicate when they’re feeling some kind of big feeling in their body, rather than acting out violently.

2 (39m 53s):
And if you’re sitting here go, but yeah, how do I do that? How, how, how do I just know? There’s more to this story for you? If you don’t know how well you got to do the work on helping yourself grow into a strong, assertive leader, you got to work on your own confidence. You got to work on your own skill set. I’ve had many moms say to me, I just can’t do it at home. Oh my gosh, I’m a law professor. I’m with this. I’m a guy that I go and do it all out in the world, but I can’t even do it at home. Yeah. Your acting out in the world. But deep down, somewhere inside, you received a message somewhere that you weren’t worthy.

2 (40m 37s):
There was an emotional safety for you. You weren’t worthy of having your voice heard you weren’t worthy of establishing a boundary and having your own time. Like I have moms who are like, Oh my gosh, I can’t even take a shower. They bang on the door and being on the door and bang on the door. I’m like, Hmm, somewhere in your life, you received a message that you didn’t deserve to have your boundaries and your space respected. There was an emotional safety for you. So there’s, there’s some stuff to heal there. And if you’re like, yeah, how do I do that? How do I do that? You know, there’s lots of different avenues to do it.

2 (41m 17s):
Number one would be, find a good therapist and start digging into that because that’s, that’s the thing. How can we, if we are people who walk around, not knowing how to own our, Leadership not knowing to

1 (41m 34s):
Solve a problem without going, you know, solve a meltdown by, without going into a Meltdowns state ourselves. Like, you know, how do we think that we aren’t going to add to our, you know, cause scars and make the situation worse. Like that one mom was worried about. If we haven’t healed our own scars, right. It doesn’t make sense. And I get it. You don’t wanna probably you’re like, Oh no, I’m fine. I’m fine. Yeah. You’ve developed coping mechanisms, probably dissociating or over behaviors or whatever it is. And you will pass that SEF down to your kids.

1 (42m 16s):
If you don’t get to the root of it. That’s why I started doing this work. I never would have done this work just for me and it never, ever, ever. But once I realized that, like my kids were shy or holding up a mirror and all the parts, the dark corners and shadow sides of myself that I didn’t really want to look at, unless I was willing to deal with those, I was just going to pass those parts of myself down to them. And that felt too painful to me. That’s what, that’s what got me to get out. That’s why I really got on this path and dug into the work. ’cause I just, I just didn’t want that for them. I want it more for them.

1 (42m 57s):
So, so I know this was a big topic you guys’, but I didn’t want to just gloss over it. And you know, I remember referring to that show, normal people all month, normal people, normal people. And, and I think it’s interesting. And if you haven’t watched that show, please go watch that show because it’s really worth it. It really was impactful to me. But what I want to say is, is that the way, the way I’m talking about helping somebody in your life that you love, I feel more regulated how you show up for them.

1 (43m 43s):
I think it, it’s interesting to look at how the main characters in this show kind of went through their period of growth. So the woman who have been talking about who’s kinda the main character and Maryann, you know, she was deeply troubled. She was from a really toxic family. She definitely had this armor up that made her not very likable to the other kids in school. And she, you know, it was sort of this wor this, this, this egoic superiority about her. She was smarter than I, but she just wasn’t a very likable to the other kids. And, and she didn’t have any connected relationships within her family.

1 (44m 26s):
And she was just sort of, you know, broken and, and didn’t have a sense of worthiness because of how dysfunctional her family system has been. And then this boy comes along, his name is Connor, and he’s the main character. And, and at the beginning of the show, you really don’t like him because he sorts. I just think, Oh, I, I, I don’t even think I have said if anybody just so you all know, there is a lot of heavy sexiness in this, in this show, heavy, heavy, heavy sex scenes in this show. So he sort of, and there’s like a disturbing sex scenes too. Yeah. I should have said that before. Now so he sort of uses, he does.

1 (45m 7s):
He uses her in the early episodes and you’re like, Oh my God, you really feel badly for her. And you kind of like, sort of that traditional jock, who’s sort of a creepy, you, who’s using this girl, you know? And, and so you see him as that, but you know, as the show unfolds, you see that he had a boundary around, he ended up falling in love with her. And then in, he had a boundary around how he loved her. So her dysfunction and what she was used to in her familiar was really being treated poorly.

1 (45m 50s):
And as the show unfolds, and as they get older, she gets into like some like weird, creepy sexual stuff. And, and it gets really used to this mistreatment. And at one point he like, she like asks him to mistreat her and he puts a boundary around it because he loved her too much. And he refused to get it to go against his own values. When she asked him to mistreat her, right. Like he was, there was a boundary there. He was like, no, I’m not comfortable with that. He didn’t shame her. He actually said very little, well, I, I loved that about his character, like his character on this show.

1 (46m 36s):
He doesn’t, he doesn’t say it a lot, but he says a lot without actually using words. And he actually struggles with words, but it’s, he’s an interesting character. So he doesn’t shame her. Right. She asks him to mistreat her, sort of like, you know, when people or how, when kids are having Meltdowns and they’re pushing and they’re pushing and they’re pushing in their, maybe even calling you names, it’s like, they’re asking you to mistreat them, to call them names back. Like, I remember one time my son, my older son said to me, like, I, I was putting down a boundary about something. And he was like, do people even like, Ew, like, do you even have any friends?

1 (47m 21s):
Like, I think it was in like my, of your 10th grade. We laugh about it now because everyone’s welcome. We were talking about it. And then I was just looking in and I’ll go do people even You, but yeah, he was going for the juggler. You know, it was just like, you are a, not just a, you know, he just, he just was actually like, it wasn’t even a possibility. Anyone could like me. So when he, he he’s pushing me to mistreat him and then to come back at him. And I just sort of like shook my head instead of that’s a new one and walked away. And so in the show, I thought that, you know, when she asked him to mistreat her and he was like, no, I won’t do it.

1 (48m 4s):
But then he doesn’t say like, what happened to you? You got creepy. He didn’t make it mean, like he didn’t, he didn’t let as ego come in. And umm, so I think he showed up with this loving Leadership and Boundaries right. And, and his energy just conveyed it. He didn’t even really have to say much. It was just like his energy conveyed it. Okay. So it’s about what you believe like you’re energy. So often people will say like what, what Now, what do I say it again? And I get it. You wanna like fake up till you make of it and know what to say. But when I can say is, is that, you know, this month on the Podcast understanding these deeper concept’s and seeing things differently maybe than you have before and changing how you think about things, how you think about certain behaviors, it will allow you to start believing something different.

1 (49m 0s):
And when you believe something different, your energy shifts and when your energy shifts, your behavior shifts. OK. And, and on that show, like there’s this one scene that she, her brother finally just like, Oh my God, I was just so disgusting. You hate his or her brother character. Her brother’s character is so much on the show. And, and so this whole combination happens where there’s like this sort of creepy sexual scene between her and Connell, the main characters. And then she, or he doesn’t shame her, but he puts down as boundary and he’s like, yo, I’m not doing that. I’m not going to mistreat you.

1 (49m 41s):
And so she quickly goes home. And when she goes home, her brother comes after her. And next thing you know, like she ended up with a broken nose and so she calls Connel and he thinks she’s calling him to, you know, rehash, like the weird, awkward sexual thing that they just had. And, and he, or she’s like, no, no, no, no. It’s not about that. I, I, I actually think my nose is broken. And so he comes over immediately and picks her up and, and, and throughout the course of their relationship, they had been friends. They had been lovers at times.

1 (50m 21s):
They have been friends at times in, so she had leveled with him and said, you know, my family life is bad. And so he knew her brother and mistreated her. And so she gets her out to the, he goes to the door and the brother, like, I was like, what’s going on here? And so she is so Connell gets her to the car and then he goes back in and he, you know, he basically goes and firmly lets her brother know what the rules are and that he will never touch her again. So he doesn’t have a meltdown himself. He doesn’t beat the living shit out of them. Would you really want them to do so he doesn’t go to that Meltdowns state, but he is just this leader and he’s got Boundaries and he lets the brother know if she ever touches her again, he’s gonna kill them.

1 (51m 15s):
Bam. There’s the real world. Obviously. You’re not going to say to your kids, if you ever do, if you ever do you ever touch me again, I’m going to kill you. But my point is, is that, is that the strong leadership was, he didn’t need to punch the brother and the face. He just needed to let them know here’s the Boundaries you know? So I’m, you know, I think that, that, I love that show. ’cause I even loved that show towards the end. It was like, like the main character Connell, he, his loving Leadership and his Boundaries in his love for her and continuing with the relationship as the show goes on, like eventually that ultimately helped her to heal.

1 (52m 4s):
And I’m, I’m not going to tell you guys the very end, because it kind of has the surprise ending and a surprise ending. Mmm. I actually loved that. I’ve talked to a couple other people who didn’t love it, but I think it represents something else. And, and so I loved the twist on the ending, but ultimately what really ended up happening without me telling you what the ending is, is that she healed, she became whole, I think that loving Leadership and those Boundaries and that emotional safety, two feel known and seen and celebrated as she was born to be, she ended up becoming a whole person, not a shutdown person and such.

1 (52m 50s):
I just said, you know, she, she bloomed, she bloomed as a human. So when you love people who are feeling broken, who are feeling unsafe, right? Which this really describes our kids during a meltdown, the most loving thing you can do is show up with loving leadership and nurse them back to health, through your calm, clear communication and following through on Boundaries. And if you don’t know how to do that, it just means you need to be nursed back to health as well. Okay. Guys, heavy, heavy this month

2 (53m 26s):
And hope you found it helpful for you.

0 (53m 30s):
Great. Why 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 it 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 won’t 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 forward slash problem solving all one word.

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Creating A Happier Household

by Randi Rubenstein