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163: Bedwetting & Solving Medical Mysteries with Our Strong-Willed or Highly Sensitive Kids: Part 2

By November 16, 2021November 8th, 2023Mastermind Parenting Podcast

Listen to part two of my conversation with our Community Manager, Lindsey Sheinbein, where she talks about her strong-willed son’s journey as he prepares for surgery.

In this episode, we dissect the process of what she did and all the different skills she learned by leaning into this hard conversation.

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 listening to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast with Randi Rubenstein episode 1 63. So this week you guys, you’re going to be listening to part two of my conversation with Lindsey, where she’s talking about all the things involving her son, her strong-willed son, and his journey, and preparing him for a surgery that she was really anxious about. She was really anxious about the conversation and how she was going to approach it.

0 (46s):
And so we’re just kind of dissecting the process of what she did and, and what kind of made sense and how it went and all the different skills that she learned from leaning into this hard conversation. And we really dig into the productive conversation, sort of like in real time in this real life scenario, we riff, it’s really casual. It’s a real, this is what it really sounds like between the two of us when we’re problem solving some of these things and sort of trying to extract the process. The whole goal is that we want to extract the process because we know that this works and we want to give you guys all the support that we can.

0 (1m 31s):
So enjoy this second part of our conversation. And if you haven’t listened to part one, go back and listen to episode 1 62 part, one of mine and Lindsay’s conversation. And I hope you guys find it helpful, right? It’s not like, like this is his body. And he’s a, ten-year-old almost 11 year old person and he needs to have time to prepare for this. And so we really walked through how to start this conversation and start preparing him for the fact that this is coming up and, and just worked on your mindset so that it wasn’t an, it’s not an option for him not to

1 (2m 14s):
You. Didn’t tell me that what I said, she gave me one thing to do. And that’s the only reason I was able to do it. Cause I was paralyzed. I literally was living in that my only job was sell. Cause you, you teach the productive conversation, which is how to solve any problem. And you did that with me, but you only gave me, I didn’t, you didn’t tell me you doing that. You gave me one piece and it was let them know. And for two weeks I kind of came back and landed. No, no.

0 (2m 47s):
I said, see his perspective first, which is like the conversation. Look, a lot of times these conversations, you have a month and a half to have this conversation. So it doesn’t need to wrap up in one, sitting, take your time to see his perspective. You’ve been dragged to all these different appointments. You’ve had people prodding and poking and surgeries and, and, and it’s, you know, this has been something you’ve had to deal with for a long time and you’re over it. Like it’s enough already. And you are so over it. And I don’t blame you. Right. So I was like, just shoot,

1 (3m 25s):
You gave me the language. But I remember being like, but he, what do I say? He’s like, yeah, I’m not doing that. Or I like that part of my mouth. And she, it was like common sense. And it sounds so ridiculous that like, you have to, I need to ask you what to say, but my nerves cause my brain not to work. That’s what,

0 (3m 44s):
Well, you went into free. Well, you also went into freeze mode because you were like, he’s going to say, no, I’m not doing it. Right.

1 (3m 50s):
And so the vocab was like, not even really just acknowledging that, but just not,

0 (3m 57s):
Well, you have to see his perspective first. So because if you just barrel in and say, this is happening, case closed it’s for your health period, then he’s not going to be in his thinking brain where he can actually hear you. And he’s not going to be, he’s not going to be cooperative. You’re just setting yourself up for failure and a power struggle. And it’s just going to be a month and a half long power struggle. Right. You don’t see his perspective and meet him exactly where he is.

1 (4m 28s):
I didn’t know how, I didn’t know what to say when he said that. And so the language of I get it, like you don’t want it. That is common sense. And I did not know what to say that you don’t want it. Like you’ve been through enough. You’ve already had all these things like that was not there probably because of the freeze. But

0 (4m 50s):
I think it’s not, I think it doesn’t come naturally for most of us because, you know, we want to stop

1 (4m 57s):
The results. I need to convince him, I have to get them on board. Like what do I need to do to get them on board? And that doesn’t work because you can’t get people to be on board. Well, you could,

0 (5m 11s):
You know, that’s the thing with bribes and rewards is that they’re short-term band-aids so in that, in the moment when you’re like, oh, so you have to have this surgery. If you didn’t see his perspective, you spent like a lot of years being poked and prodded and going through a lot of uncomfortable moments that didn’t fix the situation. You know, when we know that it hasn’t fixed the situation because your body is, but wetting the bed, your body’s not getting the signal. And so therefore you’re not getting the sleep that your body deserves and to be the healthiest.

1 (5m 44s):
And you know what he said, I don’t know if I told you this piece on that first piece, when I was just seeing his perspective and meeting him where he was. And I said, I brought up, you deserve to breathe well and not what the bed and imagine going to sleep-away camp and not having to worry and have all that. Like we did last summer. And he said something like that. He had wet the bed. He gave me a number, but it was like 80% at a time. And I was like, you deserve not to have all of that on your plate. I don’t remember what he said, but that was a seat. He didn’t respond.

1 (6m 25s):
But that was me planting the seed. That was the first of many conversations of him being like, I like it. Like, I like it. I’d be like, I know it’s cute. And you’ll learn to like your mouth

0 (6m 39s):
And without it, the new way. And, but you know, do that first.

1 (6m 43s):
I had to sit with his discomfort and say, I understand. And we have time. You said that that was so comforting to me as a statement because,

0 (6m 54s):
And we have time.

1 (6m 55s):
We have time. It’s like, I got your back and we’re, I’m here for you. You’re not alone. And we’re gonna figure this out. That’s what that felt like. We have time

0 (7m 5s):
That’s holding space. That’s what holding space looks like. Like, like seeing the other person’s perspective and, and just imagining what their experience is. If it, if you get it wrong, they’ll be like, no, that’s not true. You know? No, that’s not true. And if they’re in a place of defensiveness, then all you say is, oh, okay. Well tell me what is true. I’m really curious. I care. Tell me what it’s been Mike for the last 10 years of having to deal with this, that wedding situation and going to all these different appointments and speech multiple times and all the therapy, like, tell me, what has that been like for you? And then, you know, they’ll let you know.

0 (7m 46s):
And if they’re like, it’s fine. Most likely they’re going to not say this is it’s fine. Because when you feel like someone actually cares about your experience, you sort of want to tell them about it. And so then when you don’t just try to convince them or bribe them, oh, you know what a lot of

1 (8m 5s):
Right. I kind of wanted to pull that out, which I ended up not pulling it out, but sprinkling it in. I wanted to pull out like all these things that I would drop in after surgery, like Mary Poppins, like I wanted somewhere in my head, I was like, we’re going to have ice cream. We’re going to do this. You’re gonna, you know, I wanted, but I knew

0 (8m 29s):
That’s a bandaid because what’ll happen is you’re going to make the promises. And maybe in the moment your child might say, okay, well I’m want to have 10 kinds of ice cream and you’re, and you’re, and you’re thinking if it gets somebody to go to the surgery, I’ll give them freaking the entire basket, but I’ll buy out the entire basket Robbins, you can have 33 flavors. But the problem is, is that that might appease them in that moment. But as their anxiety builds and the surgery’s coming, then all of a sudden they’re like, I don’t care about ice cream. Right.

1 (9m 3s):
And then I would have had, he would have still gotten the surgery, but I, I would have had maybe a kid who’s running away or refusing or They’re like, are you kidding it?

0 (9m 16s):
And then you’re traumatizing them by holding them down and doing all the things. So the bottom line is it’s by avoiding the hard conversation or trying to happy them up or trying to fix it and convince them and persuade them rather than just sitting with them in the mud. Of course you don’t want the surgery. You’ve been through enough and you’re over it.

1 (9m 37s):
And I think that’s it. I think that it has to, I don’t know, sitting in the mud empathy, it can be learned as we know, but having heard these, just knowing, knowing, and being able to figure out that my hesitation was my own anxiety and that allowing my child to be nervous. You had to say, I remember asking you, is it going to Trump? I really thought that Daniel being worried and thinking of this for a month and a half would have been bad for him.

1 (10m 17s):
Like it would have taken a toll on his health. I had convinced myself that it would have been bad for him when, in reality that allowing him to be nervous and hesitant and weary is going to build resilience in the end. Yeah.

0 (10m 35s):
Yeah. Like we, we can do hard things. We can have hard conversations. We can have surgeries. We don’t want to have, we can do things. And when you’re just seeing their perspective and knowing we’ve got a month and a half to have this conversation and to kind of drag it out and I’m willing, right. Then you realize like, well, we’ve got the time. Like we don’t,

1 (11m 1s):
I have to that statement because it allowed me to show up in true leadership. I’m sure that he didn’t right. Because he’s like, we have time. He’s like, no, I’m time on doing it. Right. That was the response of that beautiful line. But that, and you can go into a little bit of an explanation of that piece of badgering and how we have time. And he’s like, we’re not doing it. How I moved past that.

0 (11m 35s):
Look, he, if, you know, if you’ve got a kid that has dug their heels in with that strong-willed behavior, because they have felt misunderstood and misdiagnosed for a long time, quite often them, what they’ll do is they’ll just use that same method that has worked for them in the past, which is no, I’m not doing it. And then they just get into that super place of defensiveness. Right. And when you, so they’re kind of throwing the ball to you and that’s when a power struggle could happen. Like, like, you know, where you argue back or you try to convince them and then it just gets heated.

0 (12m 16s):
And next thing you know, everyone’s crying.

1 (12m 18s):
And once again, I’m like, shit, what do I do? Like, I wasn’t quite sure how to handle the rejections. And so you kind of gave me that strategy of how to respond in a consistent way, which eventually is what he was like. Okay. Yeah. Yeah.

0 (12m 36s):
So it’s like, so it’s like, so we’ve been calling it the steam roller.

1 (12m 42s):
It’s my new,

0 (12m 44s):
Where a favorite thing. I’m like, guess what? You don’t have to engage with with ridiculousness. So when he digs his heels in and says, no, I’m not doing it. Like you don’t even have to acknowledge that. He’s saying that. And I think as women, we don’t, it sounds so obvious, but we don’t realize that we don’t have to engage with nonsense, which is obviously he’s going to have the surgery. This is for his health and you know that, but he’s a child and he’s now in his emotional brain and he’s shut down. And so if he uses an old strategy to try and, you know, get some of those stress hormones out by fighting with you and, and, and digging his heels in, if you engage with that, then you’re just adding to the drama.

0 (13m 33s):
And so I’m like, no, it’s a choice. Yeah.

1 (13m 35s):
And you’re the ground would have been like, but <inaudible>, but like trying to convince him, that’s how I would’ve responded. I’m not, I like pleading and you’ll see, it’ll be good. Like, I didn’t know what to say, which just made it, drew it out at a fueled.

0 (13m 57s):
So I always say like grounded, grownups, defuse drama. And so the steamroller is really, you’re not going to engage with nonsense. So it’s like, no, I’m not getting it. So when he says, no, I’m not doing that. I liked this part of my mouth. It’s my favorite part. It’s part of me. I’m not getting rid of it.

1 (14m 16s):
I was like, yeah, you’ve had that in your mouth, your whole life. You don’t know your mouth without it. Like, that’s all, you know,

0 (14m 24s):
That’s state the obvious. So that’s empathy. You guys, that’s seeing their perspective and just stating the obvious. So what he just said, you’re like, of course, that makes sense.

1 (14m 32s):
Total sentence. Once again. He’s like, so I’m not getting at

0 (14m 36s):
<inaudible>. Right. And then what do you say? How do you steam roll on that? Yeah.

1 (14m 41s):
Yeah. I hear you. We have a time we’re going to get there. You’ll get used to it. And I know you like the way it feels. Yeah. And I’ll be there with you. We’ll get used to it. Maybe not right away,

0 (14m 53s):
But you’ll get there. It’s okay. It’s okay. Yeah. It’s okay. And then you just engage in, you walk away and you might have a kid that, you know, cause now they’re all anxious about it. And so you may have a kid that follows after you and badgers. I said, I’m not getting it. I’m not getting the surgery. I’m not getting the surgery. And you know, and they may want there. And then they might say things like whatever they can, they’ll try and there in the world, I hate you. You’re the worst mom, you know, whatever it is. And so you managing your own mind and disengaging and walking away. Okay. I get it. We’ve time. This, this conversation is over for now.

0 (15m 33s):
We’ll revisit it soon. What did you want for dinner? And you just move on and then they keep badgering. And you’re like, I’m not even responding because this conversation is over for right now. We’re done what it K. So what, what are we doing now? Did you want to go play by yourself? Or do you want to cut? Do you want to go outside for a little bit? You know, then it’s two positive choices and sort of redirecting. You’re just not engaging in like, that’s what I’m like. No, no, no, no. You don’t have to engage with nonsense.

1 (16m 5s):
The loving, empathetic Lindsey, which I am like oozing out of me. But when I get to show up with and not engage with that, it actually helps him to

0 (16m 18s):
Reregulate. Yes, because he’s just trying to get a rise because he’s got stress, hormones going, you know, crazy.

1 (16m 26s):
I mean, it’s fine. He didn’t have a meltdown, a fit. His D dysregulation. Oh, it was way better. It was way better. It lasted like a week. His sleep cycle got messed up. He was staying up really late. He was like the first time this year, last week that the teacher was like, something’s going on? I’m talking to him. And he’s just kinda look at me and he’s blamed with glue. I’m like, she’s like, what do I do? I was like, he just needs some time. He needs you to pull him in the hallway and be like, I see you’re a little bit tired or something’s going on and let’s get it together.

1 (17m 11s):
You can join us when you have it together. She’s like, that’s what I did. And I was like, did he get it together? She’s like, yeah. I was like, perfect.

0 (17m 17s):
Okay. So that’s a boundary. That’s called a boundary. Okay. Right. So boundaries help kids to feel safe. And so that teacher, she put a boundary down like a loving

1 (17m 29s):
Boundary, right?

0 (17m 31s):
A boundary. You don’t have to be an asshole. I just said this to a new mom that we’re working with, where she was talking about this exact same thing, which is, you know, little kids who don’t want to get out of the bathtub. And I was giving an example of you give them two positive choices. You want to get out with your left foot or your right foot. And she said, well, my little tricky kids would say, I don’t. I want no feet. And I said, no, no. I was showing a video of my 15 year old son when he was about three and a half. And where I do this. And I, and I said, you want to get out with your right foot or your left foot. And Corey says, I want to get out with no foots. And so I went back to this mom.

0 (18m 11s):
I said, no, no. If you heard Corey, he said exactly that I didn’t acknowledge that because that is what I call engaging with nonsense. Like it wasn’t an option to not get out of the bathtub. It was time to get out of the bathtub. So you have to show up with this assertive pack leadership, you’re giving two positive choices. And then, so you state the, you state what the rule is, we’re going to get out, right? We’re going to get out. There’s the boundary. The teacher was saying, you can stay out here, but behaving in this way in the classroom is not an option. So it wasn’t an option to stay in the bathtub. And I also let her know

1 (18m 48s):
For some reason he can’t get it together and let me know, because I knew I saw the dysregulation myself and I knew he was nervous about the new news. And I decided, and it never got to that,

0 (19m 3s):
But you had the teacher’s back, but what, let me finish what I’m saying about the mom. So she said, so I said to Corey, you know, it’s like you state the rule you repeated often you follow through consistently. So I then repeated it three times. Corey, it’s time to get out of the bathtub. There’s a boundary. You can get out with your right foot or your left foot core. It’s time to get out of the bathtub. So I’m standing in the boundary again and he’s ignoring me, he’s playing. And you see him in the bathtub. Oh, the water straining. Of course I haven’t memorized because it’s like one of my favorite little videos. And, and then I do the hard stop rule. Okay.

0 (19m 43s):
This is really like this. The hard stop rule is basically you showing up in leadership and saying, choose, or I will choose for you. And when I said choose where I will choose for you. See, he knows that I’ve followed through before, when he didn’t make a choice. And then I chose forum because it was time to get out of the bathtub. Like it wasn’t an option. So you steam roll through the, no, I I’m going to get out with no foods. And you just repeat the boundary again. And he then gets out of the bathtub. So this mom that I was explaining, I said, no, no, you didn’t hear. He said exactly that. I just didn’t engage with that. I didn’t give any air time to him to that comment because it wasn’t an option.

0 (20m 25s):
I didn’t even need to say it. And I said, so the deal is, I said, when I’m in that video and I’m saying court chooser, I’m going to choose for you. My voice is direct. I said, but I’m not being an asshole. Like you don’t have to be an asshole. You just have to be a leader and direct and consistent and consistent. Like, I’m not, I’m not engaging with nonsense. Like we’re not doing that. So she came back and she said, you know, it never occurred to me. I’ve she goes, you know, I’ve read books and different things. And it was like, I either had to be permissive parent and just let everything fly. Or I had to be this like militant parent.

0 (21m 7s):
She goes, it never occurred to me that I could just be a leader and be direct without being a jerk. And I said, that’s exactly right. Don’t be a jerk. Nobody wants to listen or cooperate with a jerk, just show up in leadership. And I said to her, and I also want you to have some grace for yourself and some self compassion and understand as females, none of us were conditioned to know how to do this.

1 (21m 36s):
You like that lingo that I know you might have picked that up somewhere, the two positive choices, but combined with that pack leadership, did you learn that? I feel like that’s just kind of in your blood.

0 (21m 49s):
You know, for me, I was naturally more aggressive as a person. So for me, it’s been, it was a softening. I knew I didn’t want to be a yelling parent because I had a yelling parent and I was like, I’m not doing, I’m definitely not doing that. So I knew I had a bigger why, why I wanted to do it differently. Right. And it just, wasn’t going to be an option for me to, you know, to be a jerk about things. So I think it was just a softening and learning some tools. And look, if you have a more passive or, you know, people pleasing personality, I think this is very much, I think it’s easier to go from aggressive to assertive.

0 (22m 36s):
Okay. So cause so assertive, the term assertive is sort of synonymous with what I call pack leadership. Cause I just think it’s more fun to think of yourself as like the leader of a little pack and I’m obsessed with dogs. So there’s a whole tie in there. Yeah. It is. A fact is a fact. So I think it’s more fun to say pack leadership than assertive communication. And I, I do think it is, it is a more of a skill set that you are learning. If you’re learning how to actually say what you want, like recognize what you want to happen and then express it through language, even when it makes the people you love or the people around you at all unhappy or uncomfortable, because if you’re more passive and if you’re more of an approval seeking, you know, get in the bath, please.

0 (23m 34s):
Yeah. If you do the camp counselor, mommy, be it just know that is your conditioning. It’s faulty conditioning. Somebody somewhere taught you. It was your job to please all the people around you and not to listen to yourself. And so you don’t necessarily have that skill set to be super direct learner, but it can be learned. And so what I said to this mom was, I said, please understand that is faulty conditioning. And you are the kind of parent that shows up to learn tools like this. And you’re growing your sea legs right now. So allow yourself to be a beginner and just, you know, it’s only through practice being willing to suck at things cause no beginner ever starts out as an expert and practice and practice and practice that you strengthen that skill set.

0 (24m 24s):
And then before, you know, it H just like, it’s just part of who you are. And it’s just the way you communicate

1 (24m 30s):
Shocking today. You said you were aggressive and you turned softer. We talk about work throughout our Workday. And I was thinking back to the beginning of my beginning basics bootcamp program when I went through it. And how one of the first things that I really had to understand is that I was showing up with so much control and to undo that took a lot of time patients and just awareness. And so I went from being the mom that says, drink out, drink, here’s your milk out of the red cup.

1 (25m 16s):
And if the kid’s like, I don’t want the red cup, I was like, you’re going to drink the red cup. I just thought, you know, children are supposed to do what they’re told to do. So to undo that took time. And then ultimately I was like the mom that was like coming from a place of yes, which was so helpful. It’s what got my family working smoothly, got us all on the same page, but for my highly sensitive little wonderful, magical spirit that he is, he needed me to bring back In this assertiveness in combination with not controlling. And that was,

0 (25m 57s):
And coming from a place of yes is really just like, if you, if you find yourself trying to control the minutia, like you’re like, it’s like real, it’s kind of like non engaging with nonsense. Like it’s not an option not to get out of the bathroom. It’s not an option not to get the surgery. Like we’re not even going to, we’re not even going to acknowledge that. We’re just gonna, you know, we’re just going to show up direct and assertive and loving. Right. And this is just, this is the deal. And you know, so we’re not gonna, we’re not gonna engage with that sort of nonsense, but we’re also not going to make a big deal about minutiae. Like if your kid says, I don’t want the red cup. Oh, okay. Get the cup that you do want get it by all means, knock yourself out.

0 (26m 42s):
Can’t reach. I can’t

1 (26m 44s):
Reach it. You need some help. Let’s do it.

0 (26m 46s):
And who knew that the milk would taste better in a blue cup? All right. Good to know. Well, that’s good to know like, like really, like we don’t have to make a big deal, but so often I think when we feel out of control or we feel like our kids are never listening to us or they, they don’t respect us. It’s like we have to make a big deal out of nonsense, like the red cup and you know, so catch yourself with that. And, and just relinquish that control and stop making a big deal out of bullshit basically. And so you did that,

1 (27m 20s):
’cause you don’t get your kids to learn how to listen by telling them what to do and seeing if they do it. Like, that’s what I thought. You, you teach your kids how to be good listeners by freaking learning how to be a good listener. Unfortunately, it’s fortunate and unfortunate. Fortunately it works. And unfortunately it takes time to

0 (27m 41s):
Learn. So you learn how to listen. I had

1 (27m 44s):
To learn how to listen to their needs and to really listen to what they needed and what was their challenge or issue or how to see what their issue was through their eyes. I didn’t have that skillset. And so to learn that was so

0 (28m 5s):
It’s free because when you don’t feel like you, when you feel like you were conditioned to make everyone in the world around you happy and not to listen to your own needs, then you feel out of control on the inside. And so as a result, quite often, you then show up hyper controlling about ridiculous things,

1 (28m 25s):
Keep your kids safe, but there’s a better way. And,

0 (28m 29s):
But when you’re in it, I don’t think you can see it. So I think it’s just, you know, I think what I really want everyone to kind of just know if, and if any of this is resonating, I don’t want anyone beating themselves up. Like the mom in the group was like, it would, it never occurred to me that I could just tell my kids what needed to happen without being a jerk. It was like, I thought I had either be permissive or then I had to be militant. And she’s like, and you know, we attract really smart, awesome people. And so here she is, she’s like, like I’m a, well-educated successful woman who does a lot in my life.

0 (29m 15s):
Like how did this never occur to me? And I’m like, just slow your roll for a minute. Before you start, you know, beating yourself yourself up, that you didn’t have this skillset because there’s something deficient and you, you don’t have this skill set because you weren’t conditioned with this skillset. So give yourself a freaking minute to learn this new skill set, understand why you don’t know it and then just show up sucking at it until you get better. Yeah. Yes. Where are you guys right now in terms of this conversation?

1 (29m 48s):
So cool. So yeah, we sat in empathy for a few weeks and finally, the other day,

0 (29m 56s):
Yeah. Sitting in empathy was just you stating the obvious. Yeah. You don’t want it. You like this part of your mouth. You’ve been throwing up your,

1 (30m 4s):
Yeah, I understand. And so on the way to his speech therapy appointment, I was like, you know, pretty soon since we’re in November, cause you gave me this tip, we need to start thinking about when we’re gonna tell your teacher, because he has to miss some school. And so do you want to tell our an a week or two, I dunno, what’s your, what are your thoughts? And he was like, yeah, I’m not doing it. I was like, yeah, I’m thinking maybe next week. So we can have some time steamroll, but I didn’t know how to steam roll until I think I want to miss two weeks ago. I I’m sure I did it a little bit.

1 (30m 46s):
Just not knowing, but I’ve stepped it up. And so then I re I focused on when we were going to get his ahead of time work and then after surgery, you’re going to have a couple of days.

0 (30m 59s):
Okay. So the SEMA. Yeah. I’m not getting it. So she just goes into logistics. Yeah. So do you think you want to tell your teacher and did he keep going? I’m not. I said I wasn’t doing it. Yes. Yeah.

1 (31m 12s):
And I was like, and that, and then I was like, and so afterwards you’re going to be home for two days. And he has a little, he has a phone that he can play games on. I was like, I was thinking maybe we need to buy a game or two new since you’re going to have this extra time. And my son’s love language is technology. He’s like what? I get to play on my phone. I get a game. I like,

0 (31m 37s):
Let me pick that apart for a second. I’ll do it. So the difference between Lindsay saying, okay, and since you’re going to be home for a couple of days and you, you know, you’re going to, you’re going to have to keep your body quiet. You know, I think it might make sense cause you’ll probably be on your phone and we’ll have some looser tech rules on those days. It’ll make sense. Maybe for us to even get a new game, just to have maybe something to be excited about. So she’s not bribing him. She’s not saying if you go through the surgery and if there’s no, you know, problems or temper tantrums, then you get the game. And if you throw a fit, there’s no game on the tan

1 (32m 17s):
Bribing. And I didn’t bring it up for the first two weeks, which was not easy. Cause I wanted to, cause I wa I knew it would take this pain away

0 (32m 27s):
That with him, she held space. She sat with him in the discomfort and the, I don’t want to, and I won’t and size perspective and saw his perspective, which took a lot of patients. And then now patients now you’re also saying, and like, we’re going to go over logistics. And part of the logistics

1 (32m 48s):
Are that rule. So you don’t have rules for when you get home. And he was like, because about technology. And we have like, there’s no handhelds phones Monday, for sure. Monday through Thursday, usually by Friday, we’re bringing out fat.

0 (33m 5s):
So, so you’re not bribing them. You’re not holding the carrot, but you are meeting him as a human, which is you’re going to go through this hard thing. And here’s a little tiny thing you get to look forward to.

1 (33m 16s):
Yeah. I would like for that thing to be a dog, but that’s another podcast episode.

0 (33m 21s):
I’m really trying. I’m really been pressuring her anyway, where that’s another podcast episode. So, so here, she’s saying, yeah. And you

1 (33m 32s):
Know, we’re going to make a fun. Yeah. Like,

0 (33m 34s):
Like it’s going to be uncomfortable and you’re going to have some time and we need to keep your body quiet. So I’m willing to like, let you have some extra tech time, maybe a new game, you know, what will make at least the situation, hopefully a tiny bit better. See, so in saying that, you’re not saying it’s not gonna hurt. If you behave this way, then you get that. It’s saying, I’m recognizing that you’re going through something hard. You’re gonna go through something hard

1 (34m 1s):
If it’s gonna hurt.

0 (34m 3s):
Okay. So, so, so he probably will not say that, but he will just have anxiety building up because of the uncertainty. Oh.

1 (34m 14s):
So we needed to

0 (34m 15s):
Discuss that. Just know you’re not going to, but if he asks you, meet you again, you’re learning, you’re listening. So you meet him where he is. If he says to you, I don’t want to do it. And you say what? Tell me what’s what are you really worried about? You know, what and how questions, what are you really worried about? At some point he might say,

1 (34m 38s):
I always gloss over something little. That is unimportant. That ends up being really important. This is why we’re beef fries. Because you always are like, bring awareness to just a little something that I

0 (34m 50s):
Missed the river, but it’s never linear. Cause I haven’t

1 (34m 53s):
Asked. Cause I’m anxious about pain. Right? I’m anxious about pain. I, everyone is. I don’t know. I think I might be, everyone

0 (35m 1s):
Is a bit shine,

1 (35m 2s):
But after my first baby, he’s like, do you think you need to get hypnotized before we do this again? Cause

0 (35m 8s):
That was rough. Let me tell you something. Why do you think the minute you tell somebody you’re pregnant. They’re like, okay, get the epidural. As soon as you can, like, everyone’s worried about pain. So if he says, well, I’m afraid it’s going to hurt. What do you say? Then? I just

1 (35m 26s):
Went fight flight freeze.

0 (35m 28s):
Yeah. What, what do you say? I don’t know. Cause if you go into, yeah, but it won’t hurt that bad

1 (35m 37s):
In my head. I have nothing.

0 (35m 38s):
It won’t hurt that, that, and you know what? You’re going to be on your phone and you’re going to have, remember you’re going to have no rules with the phone and you’re going to get the new game. Like so often then we cancel out all this hard work we’ve done because we want to gloss over what he’s really worried about. Instead of sitting with him in the discomfort, sitting with him in the mud, which is so loving, is so loving to do because you’re going to lean into your own discomfort. By being willing to sit with him in the mud. I’m worried. I’m worried. It’s going to hurt. What’d he say?

0 (36m 18s):
Yeah. Like think about, think about sweat. A little like, think about Scott. Who just got hernia surgery. Yeah, it was me. And I’m like, Scott got his hernia surgery. I have to get a hernia surgery.

1 (36m 33s):
Happy up. Like, yeah, you’re going to be at humble. Like exactly what you just said. I want a happy I’m up. You’re going to be home. You’re going to have your phone.

0 (36m 40s):
But what would you say to me if I was like, I’m really worried about this hernia surgery.

1 (36m 44s):
We’re going to give you Vicodin. I have some special,

0 (36m 49s):
I don’t know. You would want to happy me up. You wouldn’t. You would be.

1 (36m 53s):
Yeah. You know that I would be at your house dropping off. All sorts of

0 (36m 56s):
It is true. When I had a back issue a few years ago, if I could tell you the amount of pills that like my family, my family of origin dropped off. Like I threw them all away like a year and a half later when I was cleaning out my bag, I was like, what are these pills in like envelopes? I was like, okay. In the only thing that really healed, it was like being in bed for two weeks and some

1 (37m 19s):
Therapy. Yeah,

0 (37m 21s):
Exactly. But you know, the, the, I guess the counterintuitive thing is, is to say your word, you just to actively listen, it’s again, productive conversation. The parrot you’re you’re worried, it’s your word. It’s going to be heard it’s surgery and you don’t always die

1 (37m 40s):
When it’s done. Cause I’m like, I try so hard to like predict

0 (37m 46s):
It’s the same thing. It’s like my one it’s like the one trick pony it’s like productive conversation. See their perspective, which you did. You’ve done so beautifully.

1 (37m 54s):
Yes. I can walk people through the mastermind, productive conversation. 80% of the way pretty well. And because this was my son and I’m so enamored and the fight flight freeze, I could only think what’s the one thing to focus on.

0 (38m 17s):
But here’s the thing is the productive conversation really is your recovery tool. Because even when you handle it wrong, let’s say you went into that. You know what? You will be asleep. You won’t feel a thing. Then you’re going to have all the, you know, phone time you won a new game and ice cream and you’ll be at home from school and you can even be in front of the TV, could have the phone and the T you know, let’s say you went into all that. He then would probably start, you know, art. Well, I’m not getting it. You know, no matter what you say, he would say, I’m not getting it. And so you catch yourself where you realize I was trying to happy them up and I wasn’t actively listening, listening.

0 (38m 60s):
Okay. So if you catch yourself, when your child goes into digging their heels in and a place of defensiveness, just know you have to do more empathizing and seeing their perspective. And that’s when this is your recovery tool. All you have to say in that moment is, you know what? Me telling you all the things that you’re going to get to state the obvious, when you’re about to have surgery and understandably, you’re nervous about it. You don’t know what to expect. You’ve never had this surgery before and you’re worried it’s going to hurt. And you’re worried that you’re really going to be uncomfortable. And so me telling you that you’re going to get a bunch of ice cream and unlimited screen time is not really taking away the fact that you’re worried about that.

0 (39m 46s):
And so that, wasn’t very helpful. What I just said, what?

1 (39m 50s):
And that’s like, yeah. I always forget how I learned so much just about how you don’t have to. You always say you don’t have to, no, you don’t have to have the right thing to say,

0 (40m 1s):
You can get it. You know what, when you get it all wrong, like that scenario. And then,

1 (40m 6s):
I mean, not, I didn’t get it all wrong when you get a little wrong. Continue. No,

0 (40m 11s):
Hypothetically, oh yeah. That’s a word we’re hypothetically right now. It’s not a word I just made that word up. But I think, you know, I guess my point is, is that it’s fine when you get it wrong. And then you see your kid digging their heels in and you go back to recover. And you’re like, whoa, what? I just said, scratch all that. That wasn’t helpful. You’re understandably worried about surgery. Surgery hurts. They’re going to be doing something to your body that you’ve never had done. And so you are understandably nervous and all the things I just talked about, didn’t make it better.

1 (40m 47s):
Did it. And see, now that I know how to respond, I don’t feel sweaty thinking about that

0 (40m 53s):
Because you can, because when you screw it all up and then you come back and you own it like that, it is hugely connecting and it’s not what anyone’s expecting you to do. So it causes the person to go bam into their thinking brain and when, and, and he’ll be like, yeah, I, he might then say, I haven’t ever gotten this surgery. And I am worried that it’s going to hurt. And you’re like, and me telling you, it’s not going to hurt. Doesn’t make you feel any better. Probably just made you feel more nervous. And, and it felt probably like I was aligned to you. Like you couldn’t trust me. And when you feel like someone truly sees you, yeah.

0 (41m 36s):
That’s exactly how I feel. Then you’re instantly connected and bonded. Well, now you are much more open to hearing what they have to say and allowing them to support you. So that’s where I say productive conversations. When things go sideways, and then you come back to the productive conversation as your recovery tool, it will make you more connected than if you had gotten it perfectly from the get-go like the result quite often, is your kid then being like, yeah, well, do you think it’s going to hurt? And then they might ask. And you’re like, you know, I’ve never had this surgery, but I would imagine the recovery is going to be uncomfortable.

0 (42m 15s):
And we could do a little research on it. Like we could, we could, I don’t know. We could look for, I don’t know, let’s do a little search online and let’s see what people say. Who’ve gotten this surgery, what it’s like, right? Like, let’s look, let’s look online. If that would make you feel more comfortable, just say that, you know what to expect. We could ask the doctor what it could expect. But sometimes I don’t know. You know, we really want to hear from people who’ve had this surgery. So then all of a sudden you’re like, I don’t know. What, do you have any ideas? Like what would maybe make you feel more comfortable going into it? Well, I’m not having it. Okay. I hear you. You know what we’re, we’ll talk about this another time and then you table it again and then you show up again and you actively listen.

0 (43m 4s):
Hey, the cert, remember, I don’t know if you’ve talked to your teacher yet, but the surgery is coming up now in three weeks. So we need to talk about getting your work and all the different things. And then you go over logistics again. And then when your kid says, I don’t want to get it. What do you tell me? What you’re worried about, babe? Are you so worried about, or it’s just like, you don’t know what to expect and you’re worried it’s going to hurt is that what’s going on. He’s a lucky boy

1 (43m 32s):
And all

0 (43m 33s):
This support. And remember how I said we could maybe do a little Google search and hear from people that had had the surgery before. I don’t know what that make you feel. Would that be helpful or would that not be helpful? Let me know. I’m here. I will do

1 (43m 46s):
Knowing my kid Jose, no way. And then a couple days later, after some time, I think I’ll be ready.

0 (43m 53s):
Yeah. And then say, okay, well, you know, you let me know if you want me to do a little research and hear what other people who’ve had this surgery have to say about it. I’m happy to support.

1 (44m 5s):
And I think that’s so important what you just said, because so often I’ll have, I’ll hear a parent say, well, I tried to have the productive conversation and they’re just not interested. And so it didn’t go anywhere. And what I’ve learned is it’s fine to be like, I’ve got your back. And when you’re ready to discuss this, I’m here for you. And that waiting is hard for us because we want to wrap it up, wrap it up, check it off, be done, but that’s really not. What’s going to support them. Right.

0 (44m 37s):
Right. And when somebody is willing to like, sit with you and stay with you and actively listen to you, or

1 (44m 44s):
It was the mom with the seatbelt, teaching the kid, how to leave for school quickly. She’s like, I tried the productive conversation. It can be hard buckling buckling. She’s like, but she didn’t want to list that. I was like, oh, well, you, part of it is sitting and holding space. And I think that is so important because for so many parents, this is a challenge that we don’t naturally know how to do.

0 (45m 9s):
Right. But see, like once you realize, like I do have the script, I do know what to say. I can have a hard conversation. Right. It’s like, and we have time. I’m going to show up respectfully. And I’m also going to show up impact leadership, like, you know, saying to him over and over again, your body deserves to be able to sleep through the night and not what the bed like, that’s how you’re going to get the best sleep. So you can be as healthy as possible. You deserve that.

1 (45m 41s):
So cute. The last time I said that, he’s like, I haven’t even went to bed. And I was like, when we took you potty last night, you were already wet. And he was like, I was, oh yeah. So you can see him connecting the dots and in your understanding at all,

0 (45m 58s):
And you’re also not shaming about it. Like this is the F he knows that he’s wetting the bed. Like, we’re not scared to talk about this and we’re going to solve this problem together. There’s, you know, this is not alone. You’re not alone. I’m right here with you. And we will solve this.

1 (46m 14s):
And I said to him, I said, Jake had surgery to get his eyes working. And he said, but they didn’t cut anything. I said, they did. They cut his muscles on his eyes. You don’t want gory talk. Well, there you go. And he’s like, oh, but he was asleep. I’m not going to be asleep. And I was like, oh buddy, you’re going to be asleep. And he didn’t say anything. But like you said, that missing info is just one more piece that see, he was

0 (46m 45s):

1 (46m 45s):
<inaudible> bring it up. Cause I was trying to protect him. When in reality, just causing more anxiety.

0 (46m 54s):
I mean really bringing it all up and trying to anticipate exactly what he’s going to ask. No, like wait till he brings it up, like that organically happened. And so that’s how it was supposed to happen.

1 (47m 6s):

0 (47m 7s):
Anyway, I wanted to bring Lindsay on because this is like real time problem solving us, trying to extract the pieces. And I was like, it doesn’t have to be perfect where we’re like first. And then, and then like, I kind of wanted you guys to be in process with us and just learning alongside us

1 (47m 27s):
And knowing that like we all live in these hard moments and, and you don’t have to

0 (47m 36s):
Be alone with that being said, we’re signing peace. Thanks for listening. I hope you guys enjoyed my conversation with Lindsey and how she supporting her son in getting to the bottom of why he is, has been mourning the bed for 10 years. It’s uncomfortable. And just an issue that he’s been dealing with for a long time. And they’ve all been dealing with for a long time. And so we’ll keep you guys posted after he has the surgery, the frenectomy so that hopefully he’s able to clear his airways and his tongue lays in the right position. And he’s able to breathe at night.

0 (48m 19s):
Yeah. We’ll keep you posted. And I just hope that you guys, what you got from this conversation is that we can have hard conversations. And most often we just make things more difficult because we don’t know how to lean into the hard conversations. And so becoming a family that truly talks about anything and everything it’s going to involve hard conversations. So we I’m hoping that I’m helping you in developing this skill set. Because I think that the more of us that are willing to have real conversations, hard conversations with our kids, I actually think this is going to be connected to better mental health, right?

0 (49m 1s):
Like I think about it for a 10 year old boy, who’s a chronic bed wetter. Who’s going away to summer camp and feeling like he’s got this thing wrong with him. And there’s a secret he has to keep like what comes from that? So knowing that you’re not alone in this, right? Like, like him knowing he’s not alone, he’s truly got the support of his parents and they’re helping him to figure this out. And this is his body just needing, you know, needing some extra support so that his, his tongue can lay in the right position. And it, I think it can leave a child really with this knowing of like, I don’t have to be a perfect human.

0 (49m 45s):
I can have things that are problems to solve. And I turned to my parents and they will help me find the resources. They will help me solve any problem. I don’t have to sit alone with things that are not working for me. And I don’t have to sit in shame and I don’t have to feel like there’s something wrong with me. We’re all human four-leaf clovers. And we come in all different packages and no one is, you know, we’re humans, we’re pack animals. We’re not meant to do this human experience alone. And so if we can imprint our kids with the belief that we’ve truly got them, we are here them, we will solve problems together.

0 (50m 31s):
That’s really what humans do. We, it, I mean, life is really a series of solving problems. So when we have the skillset and we learn that we can have hard conversations and we are the problem solvers, then we imprint our kids with that same belief that they are the problem solvers as well. And I think that builds confidence. I think that releases shame. And I think that improves their mental wellbeing. So I hope you guys enjoyed this. If you want to start having more productive conversations, I have an amazing resource. It will walk you through the process. I just encourage you to get this so that you know what to do as well.

0 (51m 12s):
Go to Mastermind, Parenting dot com slash productive dash conversation. That’s productive dash conversation. And if you know that you want more support and want to join one of our programs, please go to Mastermind, Parenting dot com and check out my three beginning programs. We’d love to have you.

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Creating A Happier Household

by Randi Rubenstein