When parents turn to their pediatrician as the first resource when noticing their child seems more difficult than the ‘neighbor’s’ little Johnny or Sally, we are often given a therapist recommendation before a parenting program.
This month’s episodes consist of a 2 part conversation with a couple where two out of three of their children are strong-willed. I invited them on for a number of reasons.
First of all, because I absolutely love them and think you’ll relate with their story. Secondly, they happen to be child development professionals who understand the “professional gap” I’ve been referring to lately…the gap when it comes to helping our most challenging kids in terms of professional support.
My belief is that a therapist, specialized pediatrician, neurologist or other child development professional is often a critical component in figuring out how to support our strong-willed ones. AND, the parenting piece involving better communication tools, is the first resource and biggest factor in changing the climate in your family.
My goal for this episode is realizing that you’re not alone and that even the child development “experts” struggle with the same issues you’ve been dealing with in your home.
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.
Randi’s Social Links
Links & Resources
If you’re looking to turn things around like this couple has, the VIP program they did with us can be found at the link https://mastermindparenting.com/vipaccess
Thanks so much for listening to the Mastermind Parenting podcast, where we support the strong willed child and the families that love them!
If you enjoyed this episode and think that others could benefit from listening, please share it using the share button in the podcast player above.
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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 families that love them. You’re listening to
The Mastermind Parenting Podcast with Randi Rubenstein episode one 41. Hi guys. How are you this week? Happy new year. Happy holidays. Hope everything went swimmingly for you. This month. I have a two-part conversation and I just wanted to give a little bit of set up. I sat down with a Couple virtually sat down. We’re still in a pandemic after all, but I sat down with a Couple and Amanda purchase, who hopefully you’re now familiar with who works as a Mastermind mentor in my mastermind. She works with me. She’s got 20 years of experience as a PDA Atrik occupational therapist.
And I like to call her the kid whisper because she just like, knows exactly what’s going on. It’s freaky. You guys, how she just knows what’s going on with our strong-willed kids. No matter what the behavior, this woman, she blows my mind. I’m like her biggest super-fan. So anyway, she joins us in the conversation just to weigh in a little bit about lagging skills and strong-willed behavior. And I sat down with this Couple and the reason I invited them on the podcast is because there are a couple that are in my mastermind and we actually developed a program based on their request. So typically when people work with us, we enroll groups at four different times a year, and they reached out to us, you know, to busy careers, mom and dad both work outside the home.
1 (1m 51s):
And they were like, yeah, we need help now. And so I said, well, we’ve got the, program’s built. Why can’t we just work with them in kind of a one-on-one VIP way? And let’s just, let’s just build it while am. Let’s just be fully transparent with them and let them know. We don’t have a program in between groups, but we’ll create one. So that’s what we did. And now that sort of feels like the way that we’re going to be working with people moving forward. Cause it’s our favorite thing. And this Couple they’re like, Oh, we just kept referring to them. Like they, I think they became a verb for us. We were just like, we want more people like them. They just came in, did the work were super coachable.
1 (2m 35s):
And I just also want to kind of put this out there. You’ll find out in part to really will go more into their professional lives. But when people come into the Mastermind or want to work with us, I don’t ask anyone what they do career wise, because I just feel like the common denominator for all of us is that we have a strong willed kid and, and just levels the playing field. And when all of a sudden you start talking careers or profession, I just find that like all the young people feel like, Oh no. Now I have to like, pretend I got my shit figured out more than I actually do, or I don’t know. It just taps into the ego a little bit.
1 (3m 16s):
So my goal is what’s going on in your household? Let me share resources. Let me coach you, let me help you. And it doesn’t really matter what you do, but as we got to know them, once they were like deep in the program, we realized they were both professionals therapist, Dr. A and they were very coachable because they had a lot of knowledge from a child development standpoint. But they also we’re dealing with all of the same issues that we AE. If you’ve been given a strong-willed kid, you all of us have been dealing with. And so I thought, you know what, I’m going to invite them on the podcast because I think it’s helpful when we go to the professionals and we asked for support, and I know I’m thinking back to when I was a mom and the pediatrician’s office, worrying about my kid, worrying as a baby about why he startled so much, why he was having such a problem, eating, why he wouldn’t freaking sleep.
1 (4m 20s):
Why, why, why? You know, all the things, if it was a possibility for me to hear from my pediatrician or occupational therapist or one of the multitude of resources I went to visit to help me kind of solve this puzzle. If I had heard, you know, what I’ve got one to, and this is what has worked for me, that would have been huge for me, huge. It would have made me, I think they feel like, Oh, they really get it. And it would have helped me not to feel alone. I think that’s where a lot of the pain comes in for many of us parents is like, it, it, it taps into something primal when we feel other like why is it so much easier for them, for everyone else?
1 (5m 9s):
Why does this seem to just be so much more? Is there something wrong with me? Is there something wrong with my kid? And so I think it can, you know, we can tap into a lot of insecurity and, and feel really vulnerable. And so I, I would of loved that. So I thought having them on the podcast, maybe that will allow all of you guys who are right now in the thick of it, to feel that, to understand you are so not alone. And even the experts, even all the people we’re turning to, who we think have all the answers like they’re humans too, and they get it. So, so that’s what we’re going to be covering this month in on the podcast.
1 (5m 52s):
And part one, we really tap into mostly like what their personal story was. And then part two will go a little bit more into the professional realm. So enjoy you are going to be having a conversation today. That is going to be very good, very impactful. I’ve got an amazing couple here, Brian and Carly. And then I have Amanda purchase, who is our mastermind mentor, who you guys have heard on a couple of other podcasts. We’re going to tap a little more into things that I think are being spoken about when it comes to these strong-willed kids, by the professionals who care for them in their lives.
1 (6m 41s):
What is sort of being talked about behind the scenes that sometimes is a little uncomfortable to talk about directly to the parents. And so that’s going to be an interesting conversation to have so that the listeners can kind of be a fly on the wall and sort of hear what is being talked about their so without further ado, welcome Brian Carley and Amanda, thank you for having it is my pleasure. Well, first of all, how old are, are your heroes?
2 (7m 10s):
Okay, so we have three kids, they are seven, four and one,
1 (7m 15s):
And we’ve got two working parents are busy careers, lots of hustle and bustle in the household, close extended family. And when you first started realizing that you had given birth to a strong willed, one, can you remember back what it looked like when y’all kind of started realizing there’s something different about this one than maybe most of our friend’s kids are, were like, I want you all to take me back to that time. Yeah.
2 (7m 48s):
I mean, I think it, even from a really early age, you know, as a two year old, their would be just very S you know, strong tantrums and that sort of thing. And, you know, starting from that moment, we were just sort of like, Oh, this is typical to your own behavior, or this is what two year olds do. And then, and then when she turned three, it was kind of the same thing. This is, this is just, you know, they’re they say, Oh, three is harder than two. And I think we did a really good job of sort of justifying the behavior. And we are the challenges that we are having at that time. And it was never anything about us. It was always just, this is just, this is the age that we’re currently in. And then we got to four, and I remember looking up a book and say, Oh, this, this can be typical four year old behavior.
2 (8m 29s):
I thought it was because it magically get better at four and it did it didn’t. And so I started looking into a little bit more. I was like, Oh, okay, wait, this, this can be typical for old behavior. And then we get to five and it was kind of like, okay, what we’re doing is not working and it’s not getting the response that we’re going for. And so maybe this isn’t just, we’re going to grow out of this and maybe we really need to actually stop just kind of ignoring it and hoping it’ll go away and try to actually do something about it. And so that was kind of when I think we started looking into things a little bit deeper. It was around five. And at that time, we, I think we sort of realized that, that she was definitely strong, will be sort of always knew that, but it also, that she is highly sensitive. And I think that those kind of sometimes seem like contrasts that, you know, she can kind of comes across so aggressive and strong that you don’t really think that on the inside, there’s all these big, strong, sensitive feelings that she is just kind of expressing in a, in a good way.
2 (9m 23s):
So we started sort of started sort of under understanding and trying to look into that a little bit more and we are, and that’s when I kind of came across actually a, a video about how aggression can come out. Anxiety can come out as aggression in children. And it was kind of to know, maybe there is something to that, you know, maybe this really aggressive behavior that we’re just thinking, it was just a badly behaved kid is actually that her behavior, all behavior is communication. And she’s trying to really tell us something that she doesn’t, she doesn’t feel good. And then we should look into that part a little bit more. And so, and so at that point, we pursued counseling. I started taking her to a counselor, which has been really helpful. And I think what we realized though soon after with that was that the counseling was for her.
2 (10m 5s):
And that was good. That was what we went there for, but then it wasn’t for us. And so, you know, while she was learning tools to, you know, name her emotions and, and be able to express them and in healthier ways and, and feel comfortable talking about them in that sort of thing, we weren’t doing anything differently at all. And the way we hadn’t learned anything. And, and that’s not a reflection of her counselor at all, or a counselor is doing exactly what we asked her to do, but we just sort of realized like, wow, we need to compliment this. You know, like this is, this is not something that we are not going to be able to do the same thing that we’ve always been doing it and expect her to just go to this appointment one day a week. And then she is going to come home and respond completely differently to us when we’re losing are cool.
2 (10m 46s):
And we’re, you know, not doing it, doing things is great. And so that was when I kind of just started reading all the books and I didn’t do great at reading all the books. I would read parts of books and I mean, you know, it was busy. Like she, at that point it was probably,
1 (11m 1s):
And what would have you ever does, lemme just say that, yeah. Like people are people who get through like, you know, the first chapter or they read it at night and it’s like, they’re the best sedatives Parenting books, or like, great. If you just go and you look up in the index, what, what you’re dealing with and you try to pull some stuff. So you have 10 half read books on your bedside table,
2 (11m 27s):
I guess at that point in a six-year-old a three-year-old and a, probably a newborn, you know, so I didn’t have time to finish all the books, but what I would pick up the book when I was desperate, when we’d had a terrible day or, you know, something just wasn’t going well, you know, I would pick things up and out and it w it, and what it made me realize was there’s something to this, and I really need to, to, to figure out how best to help her, because there’s definitely more to do than what we’re doing. And I think it was at that point when I was just sort of searching and reaching everywhere and, and finding something, some things that helped that I happened upon the Mastermind Podcast to sort of be like, well, let me back that up.
1 (12m 7s):
First of all, because I want to go back to when you are at two, she was having tantrums before, too. Was there any, now that, you know, what, you know, can you look back, you know, just that she’s highly sensitive that the strong-willed behavior was really the aggressiveness of how she was kind of channeling her anxiety to get it out of her body was through all that strong-willed behavior. And one thing I also want to say is, as I was saying to somebody recently, I think one of my mom’s who has struggled a lot with anxiety.
1 (12m 47s):
And I said, what if as a little one you had been allowed to be explosive, like if you hadn’t been totally squashed and shut down and all of this sensitivity, rather than manifesting as swirling anxiety inside your body, that now you carry with you into adulthood and is causing chronic pain and all kinds of other things. What if you had had explosive meltdowns as a little one, and when you lived in your emotional brain and you were just able to release it and you hadn’t had to carry it all these years, wouldn’t you actually B possibly a healthier adult than you are now.
1 (13m 30s):
So could it be that a child that’s having, you know, explosive meltdowns as a toddler, maybe you’re preventing them from living this existence in the future. Maybe it’s actually a sign of, of being a little bit more healthy than, than being so scared shitless that you have to hold everything inside. So I thought that was kind of, I don’t know, I’d never kind of connected those dots before, but it also was, my point was, was if we can, I mean, it’s terrible when you have a toddler that throws him out, down over every little, teeny tiny thing, and, and it’s an exhausting day, you know, and it’s, and so I kind of want to focus on when you’re going through that exhaustion.
1 (14m 14s):
What I was kind of saying to this parent was if we can look at it as maybe I’m my kid doing this right now is preventing them from being kept up at night with chronic anxiety and all of the things that come from it in the future, maybe it would help the parents in this parent in terms of their patients’ level when they were going through those meltdowns, just to help them kind of, you know, understand that it’s like, this is short-term pain, but long-term gain my kids, not going to be riddled with that, you know, that in the future. So let’s go back to the two year old did were, is there signs now that, you know, before she was too, and now that you’ve had two other kids too, kind of compare, you know?
3 (14m 59s):
Yeah, yeah. I think, and I think at the time I probably wouldn’t, we probably wouldn’t have thought anything more other than just the terrible twos or, or a terrible threes. But I think now having two other kids with our youngest showing some signs of, of probably the, in a highly sensitive person as well, it, it, it, it brings back some, some memories of, of some of the signs of just have like a highly sensitive, nervous system for its sounds or a Lauder in tags or a two year and smells or smelly or, and things like that. And so I, it reminds me of, of even when our, when our oldest was a child just sensitivity a D just an increased sensitivity that I wouldn’t have really thought about until, until now, of course.
3 (15m 55s):
And, and again, then I wouldn’t have been able to put it into words and be able to describe it. But I think now I can see the link of, of her having this highly sensitive, nervous system, which would probably let her more prone to these, to these tantrums in acting out, and that we just sort of brushed
2 (16m 14s):
Well. And I think we always knew she had big feelings, but I think we just, you know, when you’re two and three, you almost, that’s a, a developmentally appropriate way of getting them out, you know? And then all of a sudden when your five that’s no longer a developmentally appropriate way of getting them out. And, and so I think you’re right, you know, it’s, it’s really good that we didn’t know that now at this point that we’re at, we’re learning how to teach her, you know, that she, how to get those feelings out in a productive way. But they’re, we’re not saying you shouldn’t have these feelings. It’s not okay to have these feelings are you need to repress these feelings, right?
3 (16m 51s):
Yeah. We don’t have the time. We didn’t have the empathy piece to it. You know, I think we were more quick to just shut it down and let’s just figure out any way to stop these tantrums because you know, R or, you know, you’ve tried to stop them or are you just like walk away to let them sit them down?
2 (17m 5s):
They didn’t help her. We just ignored them. I mean, that was the whole thing you like, you know what to ignore, you just ignore a tantrum and you just let them, and then, but, but really w and that may work for some kids, you know, they may realize, Oh, that’s not getting me the attention and the results that I want, but for her, it was like, I don’t feel good. And that’s why this is coming out. And people are just walking away and no one is helping me figure out how to get this out in a productive way. And so, you know, then as she became older, she just continued to get them out and nonproductive ways, because, because we never taught her how to do otherwise. We just sort of, you know, go, go to your room, you know? And it was kind of like when I read somewhere or, you know, in a kid who already doesn’t know how to deal with this, now you’re just them away by themselves
3 (17m 51s):
To, to, to, to deal with it even less, because they’re out there trying to tell you, I don’t know how to do I need help. And our answer was,
1 (18m 1s):
That’s so interesting, but that is the old paradigm Parenting paradigm is punish them and, you know, punish them and show them how that behavior is not going to be, you know, is not going to get them the things that they want. Right. They’re gonna experience some level of pain by, you know, having something taken away or really old school parents, either in physical pain, you know, I want to smack you. I’m gonna spank you. If you behave this way, then I’m going to smack, you’re going to experience pain. And, and so all of the focus goes on that, let me teach this child through pain.
1 (18m 47s):
And we don’t put the emphasis on the skill building.
4 (18m 51s):
What I take away from that is, you know, kids who have these lagging skills with self-regulation, they don’t automatically learn self-regulation because you send them away to their room or, you know, whatever else. And so what happens is these kids, that’s why they still have tantrums that five or six ’cause, they don’t, they’re not developing those skills. You know, like you have to have the empathy piece and all the other tools to help them learn that self-regulation because it, for some kids that just doesn’t develop naturally, right? Like, like any other developmental skill with crawling or walking or whatever else, some kids are more delayed with that in some cases are more delayed with a self regulation piece. So you have to have the Parenting tools for the kids who are delayed with self-regulation.
4 (19m 35s):
You have to have the Parenting tools to be able to teach them. And if you don’t have those, it leads to more anxiety on the part of the child, because they’re like, okay, I’m not getting it. You’re letting me like, have these tantrums, but I still don’t know what to do. So then it becomes this anxiety and then the parents become more frustrated. And it just becomes this vicious cycle of more and more tantrums, more anxiety on the part of everyone. And then eventually until, you know, like Brett and Carly said, they found a therapist that was helping the child, their child, you know, label these feelings, but they still didn’t necessarily know how to approach it at home. So like requires all the pieces, I think, to,
3 (20m 13s):
And, and Randy, as much as, you know, you, don’t like to say you compare your kids that its hard not to, but especially when our second came along and started getting older and you just start seeing those, those differences and how our second one was just, it just came more natural to self-regulate and not, you know, he would have his, his tantrums, but even just his recovery from tantrums or has, you know, not as many of them in his ability to kind of calm himself. And again, we would never try to compare them in the moment to each other, but as we’re talking behind closed doors and you’re like, you know, there’s something just still, you know, she’s still has a hard time being two and a half, two years older of, of, of kind of self regulate in herself and be on our commerce self down in her impulsivity.
3 (21m 1s):
And again, that just sort of made us want to keep reaching for something else. We knew this was something more than just, you know, she’ll grow out of a type of phase. Yeah.
1 (21m 11s):
And you know, it’s so interesting because I think it is, it does give you a point of comparison. You don’t really know with your, with your first and for that was the case for us. And then when we had another and I re I actually put off having that second baby, not realizing why, but I was, I think I was like, I got to figure this out. You know, I, I didn’t know why I was dreading why I was dreading having that second baby, but I think it was because this is harder than I thought, like in a cell supposed to come so naturally, like I couldn’t get them to sleep till he was like, you know, 14 months old. And I just didn’t, you know, I just didn’t know.
1 (21m 52s):
And then when I hit, so finally I was like, okay, you know, my first two or three, almost three and a half years apart. And I really got, decided to have a second baby because I was like, Oh, if I wait any longer, it might get weird. You know, maybe they will never play together, whatever. And, and so I kind of decided to have a second baby reluctantly. And I remember when she was born, I was like, this is so easy. Maybe it’s because I know what I’m doing. But then as time went on and I would have a babies, I remember what I have a babysitter that came to the house that did some cleaning and would, you know, watch the kids or whatever for a couple of times a week.
1 (22m 33s):
And I remember there being a point and she was like six or seven months old. And I wanted to take her with me to run errands in, to go to the grocery store. Whereas I needed that time away just to be alone and recharge when it was, when I only had my, my older child. But once I had Avery, I wanted her to be with me all the time. It, because she was so easy, like the grocery store was more fun. I could have her in the baby be born and she would go and on it was just, she was a pleasure or all the time. And then I started feeling guilty that I was favoring her over him.
1 (23m 14s):
I felt so guilty about that because I was like him for years, I had the secret guilt that he was so angry because he knew that I actually enjoyed being with her more, but she was so delightful and easy, you know? And so that was not some secret mom guilt that I had, but it was that comparison that let me know if there is something to figure out here, cause he’s not, This enjoy it. Like I love him to pieces. I was so crazy. Mama bear protective, but he was not this enjoyable to be around this easy to be around, you know? And I don’t think this is something that we typically do. I mean, I know I couldn’t talk about that.
1 (23m 56s):
I didn’t have any one. I could talk about that with when I was going through it, because any friends I talked about it, I didn’t want my kid to suffer. If I sat there and told friends who have little kids that are his playmates, how difficult my kid is, what if then this parent judged my kid and then didn’t want their kid to be friends with my kids. You know, I th I didn’t consciously think this, but deep down, I didn’t want my kids to suffer because I opened my big blabber mouth and told somebody else that he was difficult to be around. Yeah. Did you all experience any of that?
2 (24m 34s):
Yeah, and I think, I, I think I know, I think about a lot with our third now because our, our first in our second, it definitely just have different personalities. They, you know, but our third is very much, I think, going to have some similarities to our oldest and that just wonder how differently things will go with her, because from the very beginning, and that’s where my mom guilt is that we didn’t have the knowledge, particularly like three years earlier, maybe even her whole life, but particularly around that for Marc, where we realized that, you know, things were kind of not just, we weren’t just going to grow out of things. That’s where my mom guilt is that at that moment, I didn’t know this, these things so that we could pivot at that moment, because I feel like between that, you know, sorta four to six, that’s where a lot of the things happened that we’re now trying to undo and that are now a lot harder to undo than have to approach them much better from the beginning.
2 (25m 30s):
And so I think we’ve, we’ve spent a lot to your point about, we spent a lot of time and just saying like, you know, she just has a more challenging personality or she is not as laid back or she, you know, and then you feel guilty saying those things because, you know, a lot of those skills may serve her really, really well in her life. We just have to help their channel to them in the right way. It is. You know,
1 (25m 48s):
I think that’s important to talk about the guilt of these kids, especially when they’re little, they are more difficult to parent when they’re having all of their big feelings. Like we can understand it all day long and it’s freaking exhausting, you know? I mean, I always say you’re only as happy as your unhappiest child. Right. And so when that guilt of, I didn’t give you no for me. And I know that you guys are seeing like, what will, how will it turn out differently now that we are recognizing these behaviors in our one-year-old when she’s for, right?
1 (26m 33s):
Like we will have already been handling this different from the get-go. So is that gonna give her this sort of unfair advantage over her older sister? Because we had our shit together more
3 (26m 46s):
And reflect on that, you know, before, whereas like, you know, our middle is not old enough to remember any of that before we bring using these tools. But yeah. And Randy, you would say that, that these highly sensitive kids are usually very perceptive and a couple of things, and it’s amazing. Our oldest said seven one, like how much he remembers and how much he will bring back and how much she picks up or here’s things that we didn’t know she heard. And, and it’s encouraging to hear you say that because we’re still on this rollercoaster kind of in the thick of it and in and out of defense zone and, and still, still actually working through some stuff then, and there’s still days you’re, you’re like, Oh my gosh, like, we’re going to ruin this kid, you know, because we revert back to our old ways of parenting and whatnot.
3 (27m 39s):
But it’s interesting just because I think she was so persistent perceptive. I can S I think she is going to grow up very, a more self-aware or more self-aware. And, and, and hopefully, you know, selfishly thinking that she will understand that we are where we’re at, we’re just in this together and kind of going through this together and we’re going to mess up and we’re going to have chances to, to, to try again and, and a half second chances with our kids.
1 (28m 8s):
She is gonna understand that because you all are going to be talking about it. Cause that’s the thing about being a Mastermind family. You talk about everything nothing’s off the table. And so, and to, that’s been a big part of, you know, the parenting journey. And I think why, why Alec, it’s so fun to see him as, you know, the parent have a doggie and seeing him using the tools, you know, seeing him use the tools because we’ve been talking about it the whole time, and there is no perfect. Like he knows we’re not the perfect parents. He knows that we’re all figuring this out.
1 (28m 49s):
He knows that we can have a month and we still have it. Like, I mean, a lot of times it happens via text, you know, where it’s like, you know, he’ll blast us for something or take his little, his big feelings out on us. And, and then we’ll blast him back. You know, it’s not like it’s all kumbaya over, hear all the time. Its just the recovery. It is so quick when you have gone through this process. Cause it’s like, we’re all messy. We’re all gonna have moments where we suc you know, and we’re all going to have moments where we have big feelings. You know, the funny, the interesting thing is, is as this is a conversation that just kind of is part of your family culture as they grow, it becomes just, you know, and now you all are noticing, you probably have two out of your kids that are highly sensitive.
1 (29m 44s):
Okay. And let me, have you all connected the dots on which of you guys, or if both of you is prone to a high sensitivity,
3 (29m 57s):
We are, we’ve talked about that. Like don’t you have an assessment on that? And I thought I would be more than I was. Yeah. But I’m definitely strong-willed, there’s no question about that. I’m more prone towards the anxiety and that sort of thing. I think I’ve become more self aware of being a little more highly sensitive. Probably. Maybe not to go to the level of our oldest, but it’s definitely made us more. I think, I think we have an equal share of that for sure.
1 (30m 25s):
Yeah. It’s interesting. You know, because it runs in families and we were out for, we were out for dinner and it was, we were celebrating something and my son and his girlfriend were in town and, and it, and our younger son was not with us. And so it was just all the older young adults slash teenagers. And so it was me and Scott and Alec and his girlfriend, Jamie and Avery. And we were at this like new hot spot, cool restaurant. And we haven’t gone to a lot of restaurants, you know, because of COVID then whatever sewer kind of, you know, we were kind of, I don’t know, trying to, trying to treat the young people to something special.
1 (31m 13s):
And so we, we go and, and by the end of dinner, so Jamie and I, who are both not, I mean the girlfriend, we’re very kind of similar and she’s a total extrovert and we’re taking it all in, were having a good time. We are talking the whole way through dinner by the end of dinner, Alec Scott and Avery, we’re all just like shut down and looked wiped. And it wasn’t a long dinner because the restaurant was so they said it was just too overstimulating. There was a lot of music on the Do. There was a lot of crazy artwork. The people that were coming in were like, you know, we lived in Houston, so it was pretty diverse, but it was like, I don’t know, they were dressed like they were in Vegas.
1 (32m 1s):
I mean, it was a lot of glamor and glitz and, and when we left Avery kind of put words to it and she’s like, Oh my gosh, like that was just too much Alec, has it identified that he actually loses his appetite? Hmm. When he’s in an environment and its a social and he’s trying to socialize and have a conversation and he’s a naturally, he’s just a very thin person. So he kind of struggles with his appetite anyway. So he’s trying to have a conversation, but there’s so much bandwidth that goes into having a conversation. But then when you’re in an overstimulating on top of it, he literally loses his appetite.
1 (32m 43s):
And so we were all having this and my husband also is highly sensitive and he was just like, yeah, that was a lot. So when we left the conversation was that that restaurant was too much for the three of them and Alec even. So, you know, he recognizes like he’s still young and what do they do as friends? They go out to, you know, the hot restaurant with groups of kids. And he’s like, you know, really my takeaway is just that I need to just eat something before I go, because it’s just not going to be, it’s not, you know, it’s a hanging out experience, it’s have a few drinks experience. It is not a big dining experience for him. He needs to eat before he goes out because he loses his appetite, but all of that extra and that’s where I’m like I was, and I was talking with Jamie and I was like, well thanks for making me not feel alone because I thought it was great and it was fun to be out and you know, and she, and I talked the whole time and had a really good time, but I thought, you know, how cool is that, that it’s not a negative in our family to be highly sensitive.
1 (33m 49s):
It just was, this was just a piece of self-awareness, you know? So I, I, I feel like that’s also changing the conversation where it’s like the world doesn’t have to be extroverted and pretend that, that, you know, high-sensitivity doesn’t exist. High-sensitivity is actually, you know, a beautiful thing, ya know? And so if it’s part of your family and it’s part of how you guys are wired, nobody needs to put on a mask and pretend it doesn’t exist anymore. Like if this is true,
3 (34m 24s):
We are negatives. I think that’s the way we are. We’re trying to change too, because I think for so long with our oldest growing up, it just when I was portrayed as a negative thing or her big emotions and her, her in her expression is a big emotions were a negative thing. And, and now, yeah. And so now when we tried to talk to her or, you know, I, I want to make it more of this positive thing is, and not, it’s not a bad thing that you have these big emotions. Let’s just talk about ways that we can express them productively. And, and so much of it is, especially with me, is changing my mindset because I, I will quickly go to the negative and just be like, Oh my gosh, like we’re still at this.
3 (35m 9s):
And she still can’t control herself. She’s still so impulsive. And instead of trying to focus on the positive and how, how we can spend this into, you know, like you say, you know, what’s going to be your super power when she gets you a feel for how great is it that you feel things so deeply and, and that you’re able to express your emotions and you know, what sorts of things instead of it just be more weight of all the time. Yeah.
1 (35m 31s):
Well, and I think that’s, you know, we got to hold space for you guys because that’s, that’s the thing is that, you know, when you’re in the thick of it and you still have a kid that’s, that’s young enough where they’re in there. So living in their emotional brain a lot of the time, and Amanda, maybe you can kind of speak to this where I just want to say, like, when you’ve got a kid having outlandish meltdowns over, like, you know, you just have Christmas and because you know, their brother or sister touched their favorite toy and then you have a kid screaming at the top of their lungs or whatever, you know, and you’re like, are you freaking kidding me?
1 (36m 13s):
Like, you guys just had the Christmas of your lives and I got to deal with this shit, you know, because I mean, we’re human and it’s like, nobody wants to deal with that. So I have to like, be like, it’s very normal for you to have been feeling, no, we’re not going to deal with it that way. We’re going to deal with it. W like teaching them those skills in the heat of the moment when you’ve got a scenario, sort of like that, like, Amanda, what does it look like when that’s going on?
4 (36m 45s):
Well, I think, I think Brian said it when he said he has a different perspective, because I always tell parents, like, when you don’t understand your child or where they’re coming from, it’s very difficult to be empathetic to them. And if you can’t be empathetic to them, then you can’t help them achieve self-regulation. Right. So I think too, it’s like when we have kids, you know, in the first have kids, we, we, we tend to expect kids to process things as adults. And they’re not adults, there are kids, they don’t know. They, you know, processing is a learning process for them. They literally have to learn how to process things. And I think too, because we are adults and we’re more in a fixed mindset of, this is how I process things in this is what works for me.
4 (37m 31s):
We have the expectations that our own children, because they’re, our children are gonna process things the same way that I process them as a mom, or I process them as a dad. And when you have a child who processes things different than the way you process things, and our expectation is like, no, the right way to process things is the way I process things. Because that’s my viewpoint as an adult, you know, we have to step back and look at it like, okay, hang on. Just because she is processes and things differently, but doesn’t mean that it’s correct or wrong. Right. So, and acknowledging as a parent, I’m like, Hey man, like just how the kids have to learn that there are a separate, independent version of their parents. We have to acknowledge as parents, like our kids are separate individual people from us.
4 (38m 13s):
Right? And like we have to honor and respect how they perceive things, how they process things. And that is really, really difficult to do as a parent sometimes. And it’s super, super difficult to parent children within the same household who all process things differently. Like my three kids could not be more different. And I have to, I use all the same tools that I have to come at each kid from a different perspective with what works with the way they process things and that individual who they are. Right. So it’s the same basic framework, the same basic framework. It’s the same philosophy, but it’s, it’s just a little bit different and the way I approach him.
4 (38m 53s):
Right. And so I’m, I think that’s why it’s so powerful with parents, for them to have the basic set of tools. Because when we have the basic set of tools, you can tailor it to each child, but when you don’t have the basic set of tools and you’re like, no, I see it this way because I’m an adult and this is my mindset. This is what I’ve learned over time. And this is what my environment has taught me. I mean, we’ve had 30, 40 years of experiences and opportunities to practice it, kids that, you know, four or five, six, seven years old, like they don’t, they haven’t had the opportunity so that they have to fail and it’s okay to fail. And the failure looks like a meltdown in a tantrum and explosion. And because they don’t have other tools in their tool box that had all this time to process steps.
4 (39m 34s):
Right. And like, they don’t have the perspective on Christmas morning to be like, Oh, I’m so blessed. I got all of these gifts. That’s my expectation for kids. It’s like, we, we teach kids like Christmases, all about presence. And yeah, we try to teach him like Jesus and Christianity and all that too. But like really what kids at that age, two years Christmases, like I’m gonna get a bunch of stuff. And so then it’s like, we don’t want you to touching my stuff like that. So our perspective, but I think it’s hard as parents sometimes to honor that perspective because, or we can’t change the fact that we are we’re adults and we do have an adult mindset and their kids and have a kid mindset, but changing our perspective and understanding that and being empathetic to that, it just changes the whole dynamic looks so much. So that, I mean, I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve worked with parents with super, super difficult kids.
4 (40m 18s):
I mean, you know, like getting kicked out of school, drastic behavior issues. And literally we can do like two weeks of just kind of understanding that perspective. And then like everything calms down to the point is sometimes the kids don’t even need therapy because it just Parenting from a different perspective and including that empathy piece and like both sides, understanding each other and like honoring each other’s independence and autonomy and thinking, and I don’t know, it’s like the craziest thing to me is still after doing it for this long. Like I still have that happen sometimes. And I’m like, how does that, like, how does that happen? But it’s just, it’s just a perspective. It’s so powerful.
1 (40m 58s):
Yeah. That’s so interesting. I, I think that, you know, it’s, it’s important and really what I want to talk about on this podcast. And I think, I mean, I don’t ever listen to old podcast episodes and I think hopefully I’ve accomplished this throughout the recording. The podcast episodes is like, most just like how, when we’re we realize, okay, there’s something going on with my kid. There’s like, this is definitely not the fantasy that I had planned. And at this kid would just be freaking easier and more cooperative and whatever I’m using, my parents are telling me, you know, she needs a whooping, you know, or whatever, or some old school thing, or when our babies cried.
1 (41m 47s):
Ms. Was the one that I used to hear what our babies cried. We would just put a little alcohol, you know, just the little scotch are something on the GMs. I’m like, are you fricking kidding me? I guess what? Now we have something called origins. I’m like, Oh, we don’t have to do that. You know? Or at three months old, when our babies didn’t sleep through the night, we just gave them from, you know, and I’m like, okay, well, I’m not doing that. So I mean to say it, you know, you hear all of these things into your trying to figure it out from the get go. I want people to understand, like, just like when you’re reading a book and you don’t finish reading that book, it actually puts you to sleep, but you really need to solve this problem.
1 (42m 30s):
My hope is that people listened to something like this and they understand they’re not the only ones going through this. Like when their kids having big feelings, even though they understand on a conscious level that this is part of high sensitivity, you feel things bigger. You take in the world at a heightened degree, you know, smells or smell or tags or itchier feelings are bigger. But when you’re the parent of a little human who is experiencing that and living in their emotional brain, like, of course you are going to resort sometimes to being like, knock it off. Yeah.
1 (43m 10s):
And, and then later on you might think, gosh, I know better. I know she’s just having a big, you know, and then you might go into that place of, of guilt and shame and, and, and you know, better. And you’re still doing it the old way. And I want everyone just to know, like, that’s when I say it’s harder, Parenting these kids and we’re all learning. And My, strong-willed one, I feel like he grew up with us with his parents because us figuring this out has been such a process of us. Reparenting ourselves in a lot of ways, going through this, you know, understanding of like, just becoming more self aware, how am I wired?
1 (43m 54s):
How is Scott wired? Why is this thing? So triggering to us? You know, like it’s part of why in the Mastermind we’ve added all these extra programs that have to do with boundaries. Like, why is it so hard for parents to set boundaries? And most of it’s because like, like most of us don’t even know that we don’t have boundaries in our families of origin. We don’t, we don’t know. We didn’t know that we roll out to say no to something that we didn’t want to do. We thought we had to say, yeah, you know, we didn’t know why we have to, how to set boundaries for ourselves. And so the piece that has to be woven, I think, into a parenting program for it to work is the S the personal development, personal growth, the re parenting process of yourself.
1 (44m 46s):
I’m. And I would love for you guys just kind of speak to, like, when you first came in, I remember Carly, you said, well, I was home one day and Brian took the kids somewhere and I had eight hours and I clean and binge on the podcast and just listened and listened and listened and listened. And so from that time where you binged on the podcast to actually reaching out to us in signing up for our program, to now going through some of the other programs, I would love for you to kinda speak to, to kind of that, like, where are you were when you were bingeing those podcasts, what caused you to reach out and what maybe you’ve learned now that you’ve kind of started to dig into some of the deeper work?
2 (45m 32s):
Yeah. So, I mean, I think I’m, and something you said a minute ago made me think of this as well. I think where I was is in this, there’s something wrong with my kids. There’s a, you know, these things aren’t working, so there’s something wrong with her. And that day that I spent eight hours listening to the different Podcast, it was such a shift for me because it was like, she is describing exactly what I’m seeing now, you know, over and over. I mean, that’s what I kept listening. It wasn’t like this one Podcast that, that, you know, something resonated. It was like, ah, you know, it, over and over and over, there were things in their that, that I could identify with.
2 (46m 12s):
And it was just such a, it just helped me shift the narrative because it was such a turning point of maybe there’s not something wrong with her. Maybe there are a lot of kids out there, like her just like her. And she just needs me to respond to her and a certain way. And I, and this can be different. So I kind of went from this place of, of, you know, we’re in for a long road. This is just always, there’s always going to be difficult. My goodness, where her teenager’s going to be. Can you talk about future tripping? Like I was in that, like, you know, if we can get this any better from, you know, four to six, then what in the world is 13 going to be, you know, be like, and I was just in this tough place and to just hear hours and hours of you saying things that I could identify with, it just, it just changed the whole way.
2 (47m 1s):
It changed my perspective and, you know, and it, and it made me say, Oh goodness, this is not a her problem. This is a me problem. This is a mess. This is a parent problem. This is, you know, when we talk about lagging skills in children, but we have like major life and parenting skills. And so I think it just, and we definitely are still on a journey, but it did leave, you know, in a, in your awareness program was really impactful for me with just realizing, you know, what is coming up for me and the moment, because like, even, even after we had started digging into the work still, when I was, you know, I was telling myself Q-tip with taking it personally, but I still wasn’t realizing what it was about me that wasn’t allowing me to do that.
2 (47m 45s):
And so I think that’s where, you know, going through the awareness programs and the boundaries programs have just sort of given me additional tools and skills to approach the basics tools as well.
1 (47m 58s):
All right. Thanks for listening to part one of this conversation. Don’t you just love with Brian and Carly. We love them in a Mastermind and I thought that it was a perfect place to end, and I just, I love it when parents show up and we’re just not trying to act like everything’s perfect because the truth of the matter is it’s not, it’s not perfect. I heard Glennon Doyle recently referred to life, according to commercial’s like a Starbucks commercial as life porn, where its like all of these things that, you know, it’s like the fantasy of Christmas in Starbucks, but then she actually went to Starbucks and she’s like, but it wasn’t like that.
1 (48m 38s):
It was just like a dirty floor and people pouring syrup into a coffee and it wasn’t that fantasy. She’s like, it’s like, you know, we’re all sold all this life porn and its sort of like comparing your sex life to, you know, porn. Like it’s just never going to be a healthy situation. And we just Leave feeling less than and not get enough and disappointed that our life isn’t actually living up to all of this whole fantasy and which I thought it was kind of a little bit crude in class because I’m not a proponent of porn, but I thought, you know, what, if it is kind of true that there is so much life porn, like where we think that we’re supposed to be living the dream and it’s all about perfection and everybody’s got it all figured out.
1 (49m 29s):
And in the next episode on the Podcast, when we talk with Carla and Brian, you will find out why it really is a very big deal for Carly to share. So honestly with what’s going on in their home and all their concerns about having a strong willed child and what their journey has been like because professionally she’s one of the people out in our society that we as parents typically turn to and we think they have all the answers are the all knowing experts on all things that have to do with kids. But Carly shows us. And in the next episode, both she and Brian show us that’s what the experts that we’re all ref, we’re all turning to.
1 (50m 12s):
They are humans too. They’re dealing with this. So I think we need to all drop our ideal of perfectionism and realize that we don’t want to live life porn. We like, we want the real awkward, imperfect, messy moments. Like that’s what makes us human. And when we can see ourselves in one another, that’s what makes us feel cohesive and connected. And like we’re not doing this whole life thing all alone because loneliness is seriously. I think like the kryptonite for all humans, we want to feel connected. We want to feel like we’re a part of a collective group and we’re not on an Island all by ourselves.
1 (50m 58s):
So I can’t wait for you guys to hear a part two. You’re really gonna love it. You’re going to love hearing from Amanda, our Mastermind mentor and pediatric pediatric occupational therapist, who just seems to know exactly what’s going on with these kids and a it’s a great episode too. So until next time have a great week.
0 (51m 19s):
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0 (52m 0s):
She has where all the resources are on every training you could possibly want. And then Amanda, who works as a Mastermind mentor and also happens to be a very seasoned, a pediatric occupational therapist. And we work together to a coach and guide you through a personalized roadmap specific to your family’s journey. Of course, the goal is to reach are most challenging kids. And we also want to help you become a connected family that truly gets along because I believe every human deserves that. So what will you get? Well, what about starting to take vacations instead of just trips, right?
0 (52m 41s):
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0 (53m 23s):
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0 (54m 3s):
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