On this episode I talk about how the 15-year-old boy on the show, White Lotus, inspired me to change the conversation in my own family around feeling fully ALIVE.
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About Randi Rubenstein
Randi Rubenstein helps parents with a strong-willed kiddo become a happier family and enjoy the simple things again like bike rides and beach vacays.
She’s the founder of Mastermind Parenting, host of the Mastermind Parenting podcast, and author of The Parent Gap. Randi works with parents across the U.S.
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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 the families that love them. You’re listening to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast with Randi Rubenstein episode one 60, feeling fully ALIVE. This has been a conversation in my own home recently, and I’ve been talking a lot about it with my kids, and it was actually inspired by a show that I just watched on HBO called White Lotus. Have any of y’all seen that show. It’s only like six episodes and it’s just like a fun, it’s just a fun show. It’s with what’s her name?
Connie Britton. You know, the mom from Friday night lights that we all love anyway. And, and, and the girl, the daughter is somebody that my kids say all the teenagers are and young adults are obsessed with. I can’t remember her name. I think her name is something Sweeney. They say she, she was on, I think euphoria. Anyway, she’s such a freaking asshole on this show. I hated her so much. I hated her. So anyway, it’s a show about a family that it’s about a bunch of guests that go and stay at this resort. The White Lotus in, in Hawaii and Connie Britton’s family is the main family.
0 (1m 25s):
And mom is like, I don’t know, she’s some kind of major successful business woman and the husband and her kind of have just a crappy marriage. And he has, he obviously struggles with his masculinity in terms of like, his wife is much more successful than him. And he’s just kind of, there’s a Yiddish word NAB. Navish like, just like, I don’t know, just like a, just like a Nebby person, just like a person who’s just kind of like, not very impactful and just kind of loser ish a little bit. He’s not really a loser.
0 (2m 5s):
He’s just kind of, he’s just kinda Nebby. I don’t know. He’s just like, like every time he opens his mouth, I’m like, oh God, he’s married to this amazing woman. And he’s just kinda, I’m just, it’s kinda like, what does she see in him? Anyway, they have a daughter and then S like a, probably like a 15 year old, 15 or 16 year old son. And so the daughter is in college and she’s just like, I guess, I don’t know. I don’t think that’s considered a millennial, but she’s just like super self-absorbed and think she’s all woke, but she’s really a jerk and, and kind of a closet drug attic.
0 (2m 50s):
And then there’s the younger, the younger brother. And he is just obsessed with his devices and his phone and his face is in his screen at all times. And she like, won’t let him sleep out in the main area. She he’s like sleeping in the little kitchen area where he can barely breathe. Cause there’s like not enough air flow in there. She just treats him like crap. And, and he’s just, he’s just obsessed and addicted to his devices. And you can just tell he’s just like sleepwalking through life.
0 (3m 30s):
Like, it’s just, it’s sort of just, it makes you, it just, I watched it and it just made me feel sad. Like here’s a family that on paper probably looks like they’ve got an, of course I get that. It’s, you know, it’s a fictional family, but I’ve always had, I’ve always felt like my TV friends or like my real friends. They were my best friends from childhood. And I just it’s like, you look at this family, they look like they’re a total success on paper. You know, wealthy going to this amazing resort in Hawaii. Mom’s super successful, like daughters in college, whatever kids probably go to the finest schools, yada yada, yada.
0 (4m 15s):
But it’s really just like four very lonely disconnected people. And the son, the son is the one who just impacted me the most, just how much he was just, just on his screen. And it’s like, and I’m guilty of this when my kids on their screen too much. And I’m just like people before technology, you know, but it really it’s a symptom, you know, it’s not, it’s easy to focus on the screen and blame the screen, but the screen is really a symptom of something much bigger, I think for all of us in.
0 (4m 58s):
And I really think it’s just not feeling fully alive, right? Like, like just living a life of fine. So when you’re a little bored, it’s easy when you have a screen available to just do something on the screen and maybe for adults, we’re like, oh, I’m so, you know, I’ve got such important things to do on my screen. I’m answering an email or I’m doing something for work, but it’s just this constant little dopamine hit that we’re all getting. And so seeing this boy, just not living, just not feeling connected, just like no life in his face.
0 (5m 45s):
It really made me think of this concept that I’ve been thinking about recently. And I’m calling it the complacency that comes with privilege. Okay. And I know this is very much a first world problem. Okay. But I, I recognize it in my own life. When I, when I really start to kind of spin out my own mind and worry about my kids. I, I just want them to feel alive. Like I want them to be interested in things. I want them to have something that drives them forward, you know? And so when I see, like when I see my 15 year old son just rotting in front of a screen for hours upon hours upon hours, and then afterwards, just his energy is just like, I’m like, that’s just no life.
0 (6m 39s):
You know, we it’s just no life to be living. And I feel like, you know, the complacency that comes with privilege, it’s almost like, like I think about women. And I used to be this woman where you, you know, let’s say you don’t really know what you want to be when you grow up. Okay. And maybe you have a job. Maybe don’t have a job. And, but you don’t love it. And there’s nothing impactful about it. Doesn’t feel like you’re living a life of any kind of purpose. It doesn’t have deeper meaning for you, or maybe you don’t have a job. You had a job and it wasn’t filling, you know, it wasn’t, it wasn’t fulfilling you.
0 (7m 22s):
And so you quit that job and you have a partner who, you know, is the one who brings in enough money to, to keep the lights on and pay for the things. And maybe if you worked, you would be able to take fancier vacations and buy a few more things. But for the most part, like, you don’t have to work. Or if you’re working, it’s like, you don’t have to, you know, you don’t have to be in a job that, that makes you want to work harder because it’s like, fine. It’s enough. And it’s just like, this life of it’s just fine. You know, I don’t, I don’t, or, you know, or even if you don’t have to work and your partner makes plenty of money to pay all the bills and whatever, you also haven’t found, like something to be involved in that lights you up in any way, there’s no volunteerism or activism or, or anything that you’ve gotten involved in that makes you feel excited and fully alive.
0 (8m 27s):
You’re just kind of like, well, I don’t really have to do anything. Like I can be, I can live a life. That’s, that’s easy, you know, I can get up and, and, and do what I want. Maybe I can get my kids off to school. And then I can, you know, maybe exercise a little bit, made a friend here or there for whatever, get some coffee, get some lunch, you know, spend more time than I care to admit on, on social media, dammit, iPhone who keeps track of all of our screen time. I just heard here’s a little side note. I was listening to a podcast with my son recently that he loves called what’s it called?
0 (9m 10s):
It’s called God, the Chad and JT going deep with Chad and JT. It’s like these two surfers in California. And they say that they’re activists, they’re raising stoke for the niche. And they like go in front of city council and Huntington beach. And they’re always like talking about bringing more chill to things. Anyway, they do this like long format podcasts. And my, my, both my sons are obsessed with them and they’re pretty hilarious. And, and so, yeah, going deep with Chad and JT, that’s what it is. And, and so we were just kind of, you know, talking about like how it’s just there’s, you know, there’s just so many people that, that are just kind of like on their phones and it that’s just what they do.
0 (10m 7s):
And they were interviewing this comedian and they were talking about how much screen time apple is telling them. And JT said, you know, I actually think it’s kind of an invasion of my privacy. And they were like, what are you talking? They were like, how long are you on he’s like, look, nine or 10 hours a day. They were like, oh, and he’s like, no, no, no, I don’t feel bad about it at all. And they were like, no, he’s like, no. And I feel like it’s an invasion of my privacy because you know what, I’m a very sensitive guy. And a lot of times when I’m talking to people, like it’s a lot, like I take it all in and it’s just a whole lot. And so I need my device because when I look at that device, it just like allows me to chill a little bit in my body and just feel better for a sec and get myself together.
0 (10m 52s):
So he was basically saying like, I use my screen for self-regulation and it was just funny, the whole way that they talked about it. But you know, so many of us are on these devices and they’re just this way of, of, of regulating us. And I think it’s easy to fall down that kind of technology addictive path and, and more and more of us are on it than we care to admit. And this character on White Lotus, like he, I think he fell in the pool or something and he ruined his phone. No, no, no, no. He slept on the beach because he couldn’t breathe in the little kitchen area and his sister wouldn’t let him sleep out on, in the common area on the couch.
0 (11m 35s):
She was like in the suite area and she had brought a friend and she was like, you’re not sleeping out here with us. You little perv, probably going to just like stare at us and, and masturbate or something. She’s such an asshole on the show. And so he goes, and he sleeps on a lawn chair on the beach. And in the morning the tide comes in and basically his devices were next to the lawn chair on the sand and they get washed away. So the, you know, the, the second day of his vacation, and I think they’re going to be there for like two weeks. His devices are gone and he’s the next day just freaking out.
0 (12m 17s):
He’s like, you don’t understand mom, you need to order those. I need to get replacements. Dad, can I use your phone? Mom, can I use your phone? And they were like, no, we need our phones. And he’s like having withdrawals because of, you know, wanting to use phones. So I think that, you know, that feeling of, of, of just wanting our kids to feel fully alive. And then when we see them going down this rabbit hole and we ourselves maybe are going down the rabbit hole too, and we’re all focused on, put your device down, put your device down, but we’re not really putting the device down and we’re not getting to the root of why are they needing the device so much?
0 (13m 6s):
Like where, why aren’t they feeling fully ALIVE? And, and I think it’s really hard. This is where I say, it’s like, it’s the complacency of privilege, because it’s really hard to say to yourself, I’m not going to just take the road. You know, throughout my day, that’s quick, fast and easy. Like, it’s hard to be like, I think I’m going to go. And I’m going to find challenges and things that I have to overcome and meaning and all the things, because that’s going to involve struggle. And what we all need to remember is that you’re, as humans, we’re designed to preserve our calories and to stay safe in the cave.
0 (13m 55s):
And so choosing the path of struggle, choosing not to just live a life of fine and looking at your phone every time you feel a little dysregulated choosing that actually goes against our biology. So we have to be very conscious about choosing that because it’s like short-term pain, this discomfort today trying to, to, to, you know, lean into some struggle for long-term gain, which is living a life that is way better than fine living a life where I feel fully alive and like a human that’s excited about life, not just a human that’s getting through the day.
0 (14m 42s):
Right. And, and so anyway, it was, it was, the, the episode has, has really are that series that show White Lotus. My family doesn’t realize that that was the impetus has caused me to change some things in my own family and have some productive conversations with each of my kids, which have involved things like, like I have to apologize. We’ve made some mistakes. I wanted to give you guys everything that I felt I didn’t have growing up and in doing so I’ve taken away some of the struggles that would help you to feel more fully alive.
0 (15m 27s):
And so we got to undo some of that, and it’s nothing you did wrong. It’s me. And it wasn’t from a bad place. It was from a well-intentioned place. But, but it’s, but it’s not serving you. It’s not serving you. And, and talking to my son about, you know, why is he so bored? You know, why is he so bored in life right now? And what kind of experiences could we look into that might help him to feel more fully alive. And him starting to do these little skate board lessons with these little kids. And, and he’s all of a sudden, like, I think I’d love to go and study in Japan and me being like, how do we even make that happen and having to do some research.
0 (16m 12s):
And, and we’ve gone in and had some meetings at school and, and started to research some things, because I’m like, that’s what I want. I want you guys to feel fully unlocked, fully alive. You know, today you’re also holding my husband accountable, invited by his brother to go, I’m recording a bunch of podcasts in one day because I have the whole day to myself because my husband was, there was three spots available on his brother’s boat to go wakeboarding today. And, and for him and Corey and Avery, and, and my husband’s like, oh, I’m going tomorrow. I’m going to go wakeboarding. And he’s like, yeah, there’s spots for Corey and Avery, but neither one of them seem like they really want to go because we’re leaving at 9 45 in the morning, you know, and they’re teenagers.
0 (17m 1s):
And it was Sunday morning and whatever. And I was like, no, they’re going. I was like, I was like, this is it. You know, they can, they can sleep on the way there it’s an hour away. They can sleep on the way back. They’re going. And, and don’t, don’t let them off the hook on this. They’re going, it’s these experiences going with their cousins and their uncle and having a day where they feel fully alive, they love wakeboarding. We don’t have a boat. It’s a really special, nice thing that they got invited to go on. This boat, they’ll get up, you know? And, and so me sending texts to my kids saying tomorrow morning, dad’s leaving at 9 45, be up and ready.
0 (17m 48s):
And, and me making sure that I’m backing my husband up on that. And my husband’s like, yeah, that’s what we’re doing. I want my kids there. I w I, I want to go and spend the day, but I want my kids there. It’ll be even more fun for me if my kids are there. And so us kind of not just letting them off the hook because they don’t feel like it. And it’s this. And it’s, that’s like, no send. I’m like, no, you’re going, you’re having an experience. You’re going to feel fully alive. So that’s what I want to ask you guys. Okay. Are you looking at your life, look at your kids’ lives. Do you fall into this disease of fine?
0 (18m 29s):
Right? What would it take for you to feel fully alive? What would it take for them to feel fully alive? Like, what are you going to do? What’s going to be your baby step. Where are you going to bring a little struggle into all of your lives? Right? Instead of just taking the quick, fast, and easy, and the days become weeks, become months, and you don’t even know where the time went, where are you going to bring some struggle, some challenge, some excitement, some headache, like, where are you going to bring some moments into your life where you can feel more fully alive? Okay. What are you avoiding?
0 (19m 10s):
What are you avoiding dealing with? Like, my husband was avoiding dealing with kids that were like, I don’t feel like I can, blah, blah, blah. Like, he didn’t want to deal with that. And so I backed him up, like, no, we’re doing this. You guys we’ve been, I mean, they know I’ve been having this conversation with them. You live a beautiful privilege life, which nother side note, my 15 year olds, like, I, we all know your favorite word right now is privileged. You use it at least four times a day, but we’ve gotten it wrong in certain areas, you know? Yes. You live a privileged life and I want you to feel fully alive as a human. I want that for you.
0 (19m 51s):
I want everything for you, but it involves that. Okay. So what are you avoiding? Are you in boarding? Like a little bit of struggle, a little bit on, I don’t feel like, and I don’t want to, you can’t make me, blah, blah, blah. Are you avoiding that? Okay. So start with at least acknowledging what you’re trying to avoid and think of one small baby step you can take so that you first and foremost can feel more fully alive and your kids can feel more fully alive because you just that. Thanks for listening today, guys. I hope you picked up some tips tools, maybe some baby steps for creating more balance and boundaries in your life.
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And I just wanted to let you know, if you want to continue moving the needle forward in creating this for yourself, having a happier household. I want you to go to my website and check
1 (20m 47s):
Out Mastermind, Parenting dot com. We have three beginning programs, and if you need some accountability and more support, then please look for the one that would be a good fit for you. And as always, we’re on all the social channels under Mastermind Parenting on Instagram, it’s mastermind, underscore Parenting. And you know, periodically I do pop up on different Instagram lives, Facebook lives, where I give you teaching and coaching. And I love engaging with you live to help you help your strong-willed kids so that they can feel better because when they feel better, they do better.
1 (21m 30s):
And I love, love, love, getting to know you guys. So thanks for listening. If you liked this podcast, please don’t forget to subscribe, rate and review super, super appreciative.