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138: The REAL recipe to help struggling kids

By November 24, 2020November 8th, 2023Mastermind Parenting Podcast
138: The REAL recipe to help struggling kids

Today’s episode is a continuation of episode 137 and  the 3 gaps at the heart of the challenging child dilemma. The Mastermind Parenting recipe involves 3 main components – Leadership, Communication and Mind Mastery, otherwise known as raising consciousness.

I delve into each of these topics and apply them to the three gaps – The Parent Gap, The Challenging Child Gap and The Professional Gap.

If you’re ready to go deeper with us and truly help your struggling child, please reach out and book a call with the Mastermind Parenting team.

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 (1s):
My name is Randi Rubenstein and welcome to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast at Mastermind Parenting we’re on a mission to support strong-willed kids and the families that love them. You’re a listener.

1 (13s):
Same to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast with Randi Rubenstein episode one 38. Okay guys. Well, I want to finish the theme of this month by talking about closing these gaps and the three main components that will help you to do so. Okay. So the three gaps, just as a little refresher, a that I talked about last in the last episode in episode one 37, is there are the gaps that I believe our in, in terms of Y we are failing our hardest to reach kids and what we need to do to actually stop this, stop this pattern, and, and to be able to help them, because I know if you have a puzzling kid, if you have a kid that is showing up with some challenging behaviors, maybe they’re showing up being super defiant, maybe they’re showing up being not cooperative.

1 (1m 27s):
Maybe they are showing up just constantly kind of being in a little bit of a foul mood and you just kind of can’t figure it out. Maybe they’re not doing well in school there having some behavioral issues at school, maybe they’re constantly fighting with their siblings, like beyond normal sibling bickering, where it’s like violent and you are worried about your other child because you know, it feels like bullying and, and it’s, it’s just super unhealthy. Maybe its that everything’s an issue like it’s just like every time you need to tell him to turn the iPad off or the TV off or put on their shoes to leave the house or go to soccer practice that they said they wanted to sign up for or sit down at the table and actually eat the food that you took the time to prepare for them.

1 (2m 28s):
You know, all of these moments that they’re, that, that, that really make you not enjoy your life. I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s hard to live with the child that is just behaving in this way, over every little teeny tiny thing. And then we say like I tell the parents that I work with, I’m like raising a strong-willed child is harder. It is your job as a parent is harder. And, and I understand why so often we fall into that. Parent Gap where, when they are doing all these super annoying things, frankly, we find ourselves overreacting.

1 (3m 14s):
We find ourselves yelling, we find ourselves saying like shaming, terrible things that we can’t believe were saying that we swore we would never say, but we’re just like so exasperated. And that’s the reason why we fall into that. Gap and then from that Gap comms like guilt and it’s a terrible, it feels terrible, you know, but underneath all those behaviors, ’cause all behaviors. Communication, there’s, there’s something more going on. We’ve gotta get to the root of it. And what I have found is is that many of us understand that to some degrees.

1 (3m 55s):
So we start, you know, we start going down that road of looking for solutions and, and so we turned to the professional’s in our lives that have to do with a, you know, that we feel like they have some form of a knowledge based on child development. And quite often the first Ave is either a teacher or a pediatrician. And as I, when I spoke to Sarah Miller who was telling me kind of the real deal, and I was talking with a couple other pediatricians that our friends in my personal life really listen recently, I was like, what about when people come in and you know, here you are doing a well-check or checking a child whose ears bothering them or, or whatever.

1 (4m 46s):
And You, and the parent starts asking you for advice about like certain behaviorals like behavioral advice and every single one of them as like, you know, they were trained in metal for medical school, unless you’re a child psychologist or a child psychiatrist, you were trained in medical school to diagnose illness, okay. To diagnose illness. If you’re a, if you’re a pediatrician. And so they’re looking for medical symptoms, like if you’ve got a kid that’s acting out, they might say, well, you know, what, how are they sleeping? Maybe there’s an, maybe there’s an ear issue.

1 (5m 28s):
Or if you have a kid that is ignoring you consistently, you know, they might check their ears and say, yeah, well they, their having a hard time hearing you, there is a fluid buildup. Okay. But when there’s behavioral issues and there’s no medical evidence that they can see no physical evidence that they can see what, what all of the pediatricians have pretty much said to me is, yeah, that’s really out of our that’s out of our zone. We were not trained in that. So if we weigh in, we’re weighing in personally, we’re weighing in as parents, ourselves. And then a couple of the pediatricians were laughing about like when they started practicing and it was before they had kids with our own, there were like, Oh my gosh, forget it.

1 (6m 18s):
Like, if you, like, we didn’t have any clue because we hadn’t been through it. And we didn’t receive that training in medical school. So, you know, I think a lot of times we’re, we’re seeking these resources because we don’t know where else to go. Right. So we’re doing our due diligence. Like I don’t have the answers, so I’ll go and ask a Professional and, and quite often the professionals are not, it’s not like in their, in their repertoire of, of responses to say that’s really out of my zone. I wasn’t, I didn’t ever receive training in that.

1 (6m 59s):
What I would really recommend, what I really recommend is have you ever done a Parenting program? And it was funny because recently I had, I was talking to a pediatric neurologist, amazing woman. And she said, you know, it’s really tricky because sometimes people bring their kids to me. And I, you know, after, after examining them and, and going through my whole litany of tests and she’s like, I realize like it’s all behavioral and it’s going to be resolved through different parenting tactics. But when I suggest it to people, people get very offended, you know, because there’s so much ego wrapped up.

1 (7m 41s):
It’s like in our culture, I think it’s like parenting is just supposed to come naturally. And if your child’s, if you have the child kicking and screaming on the floor of the restaurant or speaking to you in a disrespectful ways, then you know, it’s your fault. You’re doing it wrong. You know, and people say, Parenting, doesn’t come with a mare, a manual. And what we’re here to say is, is, well, guess what, yeah, it does. We have a roadmap. And when you have a child that is showing you through their behavior, that something’s not working for them, there’s something to figure out. We have to learn different tools.

1 (8m 21s):
There are resources out there. And so, so when we close each of these gaps, I really want to kind of talk about the three components that I see as the recipe. And now like each of these three components in future episodes, we’re going to go deeper on each of them and my programs go deeper on each of them. But I really think these are the three components of the roadmap and the recipe that helped these kids to do better because it allows us to get to the root of the behavior rather than continuing to bandaid that behavior with all of these ineffective methods.

1 (9m 8s):
Okay. So, I mean, like giving your kid medication because they have a hard time focusing and, and they’ve been diagnosed with ADHD without, if you If, you, if you give them the medicine without helping them develop better skills without working to improve your relationships, that they know that they can, they have emotional safety with you and that they can trust you without helping them devise a plan for, you know, when their brain is not on the medicine during the day. Cause I, how often I hear it all the time and I know I experienced this, one of my son was on medicine, was he would kind of be, he kind of was, you know, frankly, gorked out during the day.

1 (9m 59s):
And I didn’t know what else to do. It didn’t ever feel right for me to have a child in third grade on medicine. But I literally went to Professional after professional. And, you know, he received diagnoses that, let me tell you, we’re not accurate. We’re not true. But we were just, we were just looking for answers. And so we were going to people with really fancy degrees and it was the people with fancy degrees, the right people, eventually who helped to us to, to really figure out, you know, I mean the main thing that helped him the most was Mastermind Parenting even though I didn’t call it Mastermind Parenting cause I was developing it and he was my Guinea pig, but, but also the right professionals did help us get to the right information and ultimately the right set of tools to help them.

1 (10m 51s):
But you know, when I went, when I started going to these professionals and it was like, yeah, she is in a tenent of the ADHD with the side of anxiety or like somebody else recently just told me they had unspecified behavioral disorder. I’m like, what the F does that even freaking mean? Like, how is that helpful? And, and so if we’re getting to these diagnoses and nobody’s ever really teaching us what, you know, when you, when, when he was, when he was in school. Okay. And he was sort of gorked out. And he was just like, he was like not eating at lunch.

1 (11m 34s):
He was sitting there reading and just zoning out and reading and then he would come home after the medicine was wearing off at the end of the day, number one, he was famished. So he was like hangry. And, and then it was just like managing him kind of coming off those stimulants. He was never meant to be on those stimulants. Now I know some kids, the stimulants are super helpful, but for mine, they weren’t, they weren’t. In fact he hated them so much that he really, he was really the reason he, he begged not to take them.

1 (12m 19s):
And, and so, but we had them on the stimulants for awhile. It was just a constant management of those stimulants. And, and like I said, really fans, I mean, we live in Houston, near the medical center, really fancy high acclaimed doctors, misdiagnosed him, okay. Until I kept going and going to professionals and going to professionals and going to professionals. And so if he had, you know, if when those pills were prescribed to me, if I had also had prescribed to me, all of the things we could be doing at home to really like helping him develop his lagging skills, he had a hard time seeing other people’s perspectives.

1 (13m 13s):
He had a heart, I mean, early on, we took him to occupational therapy, which helped with some of the lagging skills in terms of like fine motor delay. And there were some sensory, it was pre kind of mainstream sensory diagnoses. But I knew like at three, when I was having to cut out all the tags and his shirts and ultimately it was funny. Cause he, I mean, even as a 22 year old, when I FaceTime with him, most of the time he shirtless, like he developed coping skills, like, you know, he likes to walk around without a shirt. Like, there’s something about that. That is just like too much clothing on his body. And he feels a sense of freedom without it. We don’t talk about it, but it was just like, you’re gonna develop a new skills, but quite often it’s just like, we’re not getting the right information.

1 (13m 60s):
And so what I would say is we’ve got to not just stop with what the professionals are telling us. We’ve got to constantly seek to understand what or what’s at the root of the behavior and what we can be doing in conjunction with the professional’s advice. Okay. So the three components to closing the gap, I think in, in to closing The Parent Gap to helping close The Challenging Child Gap and to helping close the Professional Gap Leadership number one Leadership is important.

1 (14m 43s):
’cause with the right Leadership people feel safe in the world. So when parents come and we have done what we need to do to show up as effective leaders for our kids, right. We’ve got, we’ve worked on our own confidence. We’ve worked on our own curiosity of when we see our kids behaviors, we know we got to get underneath them underneath those behaviors and get to the root of those behaviors. We have to be curious, right. It takes, it takes confidence to be curious and not to just say, you know, I hear it all the time where people are like, I think my kids just an asshole, like they act like a jerk.

1 (15m 24s):
They say rude, disrespectful things. And I’m like, okay, well, why are they acting like that? I don’t know. I honestly don’t know. I’m like, okay, well, there’s a reason there’s a need there trying to have met. Like if you just stopped at, at categorizing your kid as just being a jerk or an asshole, I’m like, that’s sort of like, that’s sort of the easy way out. I know we have to have the confidence to get curious. A lot of the times, I think we’ll like to say we will just categorize someone as something it’s like the blame it’s like blame and shame go together. It’s because maybe deep down the parent thinks, well, maybe my kid’s an asshole because of their gene pool, which is half of me and half my spouse.

1 (16m 10s):
Maybe they’re an asshole because we modeled asshole behavior. Maybe they’re an asshole because we haven’t known how to teach them not to be an asshole. You know, whatever it is. There’s some kind of shame going on because calling someone a name there’s that’s blaming. So that, so I’m like not PRODUCTIVE, that’s not going to help these kids labeling them in that way. It’s not helpful. Okay. So, so to show up as an effective leader, we got to bring confidence and curiosity to the table to show up as an effective leader, we have to know this is a big one. You guys, we have to know what are boundaries, how to set them and why they help the kids so much.

1 (16m 53s):
I have found that understanding boundaries, understanding how to set boundaries, understanding why boundaries are so expensive are, are so effective. Mmm. This is a big, big topic. And it’s basically impossible to be an effective leader. And unless you have a clear grasp on how to set and accomplish boundaries. So the boundary work is pretty big in terms of leadership. And the other piece is accountability to be an effective leader. We have to hold ourselves accountable. We have to say what mean, mean, what we say follow through on things in order to help hold the people that we’re leading accountable.

1 (17m 42s):
So accountability is a big piece of it. So leadership is a big topic. And, you know, for us to show up as parents that have closed that Parent Gap and we were able to show up when our kids are not doing well during those triggered moments, in a way that is responsive and helpful rather than adding to the problem. Yeah. We kind of look, work on all of those, all of the things involved in being a good leader. And since many of us lack lots of elements of that skillset there’s work to be done.

1 (18m 30s):
There’s work to be done. So contrary to, you know, the common belief take a parenting class, why would you need to take a parenting class? Don’t you just know how to do that? Oh, it really will. You do you know how to be an effective leader in your life? Because I’m finding that lots of people don’t, I’m finding that lots of people don’t and that’s why I always say like everything that you learn here in a really good, you know, in a really good coaching program, like Mastermind, Parenting like, we’re going to get your household under control first. And then like, you’re going to take the, I mean, you’re, you’re going to learn these skill sets there going to be a part of your conditioning. And you’re going to take that and it’s going to affect everything else in your life.

1 (19m 12s):
When you learn how to set boundaries, how to hold yourself accountable and others accountable. How to show up in the world with confidence and curiosity, rather than shame and blame. I mean, you can’t tell me that there is anything that would be off limits to you. I get that is just good stuff. Okay. So, so w so as parents to close that gap, we have to have that Leadership piece. As you know, our kids, look, there is no way we’re going to close that gap. The Challenging, Child Gap and help them to do better, to feel better unless we’re modeling effective.

1 (19m 55s):
Leadership right. When we’re modeling effective leadership gets what happens, they feel emotionally safe in the world. They start to trust us. I don’t know about you, but I don’t particularly want to be led by anyone or trust anyone who I don’t, who I don’t believe is on my team. And we’re when we’re not showing up in effective leadership, our kids don’t trust us. They don’t. And that’s why so often there’s so many power struggles. They become very combative. Okay. And the Professional piece, look, we have to show up as in the leadership, when we go seek the resources, humans are not robots, everything.

1 (20m 44s):
Even with, with, you know, even though our culture is like, well, the doctor, it like its the gospel. I’m like, yeah. Guess what is it who you go to and who your doctor is? It’s not, it’s all subjective. Right? It’s all subjective. As far as I know, there’s no brain tests for the nervous system, you know, behavioral challenges like ADHD or being on the autism spectrum or, you know, anxiety disorder. Like I like your going to a professional and then they’re giving you their subjective analysis.

1 (21m 26s):
So I think everybody needs to realize that you want to show up. You want to hire somebody who is a, has, is an effective leader and possesses all of the things that I just said, who shows up with confidence and curiosity, who has that accountability piece built in, who understands why boundaries are so critical and has, has good boundaries in place. And you also want to show up in Leadership you’re the parent, you’re the true expert on your child. We’re going in looking for all the right experts, but they don’t live with our kids. They didn’t get birth to our kids’. So we also get to show up as an advocate and in Leadership.

1 (22m 11s):
Okay. So that’s number one, that’s one of the main components and closing all of these gaps. And then the other pieces are the communication piece is a number two. The communication piece is I’m experiences. So right now building a new house, we hired this great builder and he’s got his company the way he’s got his company structured. Terrible. Communication terrible. Communication okay. And I’m like it. And, and as the customer, I I’m like, yes, I’m sure I’m going to love my house.

1 (22m 53s):
I know he does great quality work. I know he’s a good builder, but this Leadership, I mean this communication piece, I think it’s leadership also, but this communication piece, because I think he is lacking great. Leadership in his organization as a business person, like it’s leaving me super frustrated as a customer. Communication is everything is everything. So we’ve got to know how to properly communicate with each other. And many of us are not the best communicators, especially as parents, especially in our personal relationships, we don’t know how to have productive conversations, productive conversations.

1 (23m 35s):
So often we come at a conversation by lawyering up and trying to convince the other person to see things our way, instead of trying to see things from the other person’s perspective. And so actually communicating with them productively, and then they’re willing to see things from our perspective and some where we’re able to find a compromise. And it’s, PRODUCTIVE, it’s not about winning and losing and it’s about PRODUCTIVE Communication okay. And so the communication piece is so huge and having those PRODUCTIVE conversations, and then the third part of closing these gaps is what I call the mind Mastery part or some other people call it, raising your consciousness, building your self awareness.

1 (24m 30s):
And I call it the mind Mastery part because the truth is, is like the only thing that you really have control over is what your thinking what’s going on in your brain. And most of us are not even aware of how often we were being driven. Y’know our actions in what we do in our life is being driven by old thinking all the time, things coming up in our brain that are unconscious. And we’re not even thinking we’re not even methodical about it. We don’t even have an action plan because we’re just sort of like constantly on autopilot. It’s kind of like when you get in the car and you drive from point a to point B and you don’t have to think about it because you’ve gone that path so many different times that it’s just unconscious.

1 (25m 17s):
Well, that’s how we operate in our lives so much of the time. But if we’re faced with a challenge, like a challenging child who needs us to do everything possible to help them do better in their life, right. We have to be in the driver’s seat of our brain. We have to be in that conscious thinking awake self-aware part. And so and so, so working on that skill set to be able to operate from that place. Well, that makes a huge difference. It makes a huge difference. Then it’s like last, last episode I talked about, you know, all professionals are not created equally.

1 (25m 60s):
So if you go to someone who’s not doing their own consciousness work, who’s just operating from old school methods who hasn’t done the continuing ed and, and isn’t a constant learner or a seeker. And they’re just relying on whatever they learned in medical school. However many years they go, you know, and they’re not, you know, a, a progressive thinker, like, I don’t know, they know about you, but that’s not who I want to go to, to trust, to help me figure out that the most important thing in the world, which is helping my child to thrive. Like we are raising humans. And so when you have a human under your care, who is, who is consistently not doing well in a variety of ways, like I honestly that’s, that’s my mission.

1 (26m 53s):
I’m like, I think every child deserves to be supported so that they can do well so that they can have every opportunity available to them in life so that they don’t have to feel all alone so that they know they have a team of support behind them in a soft place to land. Right? So, so the, my Mastery peace, I think is huge because ultimately how do people do well is when they realize that they are in control of their mind, they are in control of their brain. Everything is figure out-able.

1 (27m 34s):
We are problem-solvers, we are calm people who solve problems. So when we show up doing that work ourselves, that consciousness work, when we go to professionals who are also doing that work, that’s what we modeled for our kids. And they learn from our example, okay. They learn from what we actually do, not from what we tell them to do. So that’s the Podcast for today and our theme for the month, we’re going to be going in to these different themes, these different gaps within this season.

1 (28m 16s):
I know the conversation is changing a little bit, and I know it might be triggering for some of you guys and I am on a mission to help these kids. And I believe this is how we help these kids is we need to do everything in our power to have the right team of support, helping these kids to ultimately feel seen, supported, valued, cherished, every human deserves to be raised with that recipe. Okay. Got it.

0 (28m 53s):
And have a great one. Hey guys, I made something for you. It’s a free training. I put my best stuff in it, and it is managing meltdowns to have a more joyful holiday season, especially if you have a moody or strong-willed kids. So it is about an hour long training. I think it is some of this stuff. And I think we all could use a little extra help during this crazy year. So it’s available to you. All you have to do is go to Mastermind forward slash holidays. That’s Mastermind Parenting dot com forward slash holidays.

0 (29m 35s):
And you will get instant access to this webinar because I want all of you to have a happy holiday season. So yeah, or whether your kid is two or 12 or 15, you all deserve to have beautiful memories during this crazy year. So just know that you’ll get three things from this, in this webinar, you’re going to, you’re going to learn how, and I believe you can have a holiday mural and where your table is actually conversational, peaceful, and meltdown free. I’m gonna cover a plan for a grateful, rather than bratty entitled behavior. When it comes to presence, candy and special treats and a method that works now in long-term to help your child to improve future behavior.

0 (30m 18s):
So I hope you signed up for it. And I would love to know if you find it helpful and give me some updates. I want to hear from you guys. Okay. Mastermind Parenting dot com slash holidays.

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