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183: A Dad, a Doctor, a Dude that “Gets it”

By April 26, 2022November 7th, 2023Mastermind Parenting Podcast
183: A Dad, a Doctor, a Dude that “Gets it”

In this episode, I sat down with Josh, a dad that sort of reluctantly became a Mastermind parent. I hear from moms ALL THE TIME that their husband is not willing to learn new parenting tools and may even think it’s unnecessary and foolish.

Well, this might be an episode you INSIST your husband listens to because Josh was also “Mastermind Parenting resistant” not so long ago. He questioned my credibility and “real” qualifications to do what I do, but his badass wife, Ali, wouldn’t take no for an answer…she fought for her family to find more peace and both she and Josh are so glad she did!

Listen to this episode for more of my thoughts and strategies on how you can move toward being a Mastermind Parent!

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 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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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 180 3. I am sitting here with Josh and we’re just going to have a conversation because Josh and his wife, Allie went through the mastermind. And since then, and graduated, you guys were in for how long? I want to say for a year. Yeah, it was a Long process. So a lot of learning. Yeah. So, so y’all were in for a year and we got to know each other and since then we’ve become friends.

I, I got to know Josh well enough to know that Josh is a doctor that he loves being a doctor and loves being a doctor. Okay. Well, I invited you here. You’re like, what, what are we talking about tomorrow? And I said, you know, I really wanted to invite you here just to have an organic conversation because you completed the mastermind and then you reached out to me and you wanted to get together. And I wasn’t really sure why you wanted to get together. And we sat down and we have a lovely conversation at your house. And you were sharing with me all of the ways that, you know, your life has changed, not just at home, but at work too, from the tools that you were introduced to in the mastermind, is that fair to say, All right.

(1m 29s):
And I think that now it’s just become so embedded in my psyche. Sometimes I don’t even realize when I’m doing a turnaround or when I’m starting to see something from other people’s point of view with a lot more empathy than I used to, or when I’m thinking about that, oh, you know, not just children succeed when they can, but people succeed when they can. You know, I think like I’ve been saying this for a long time, but I just think it impacts people more when they hear a real life story. And I think that we revered doctors so much in our culture that when you told me like, this has changed how I am at work too, not just in my home.

(2m 13s):
And I’ve been saying like, I’m going to teach you coaching tools. I mean, this is where I kind of feel like Mastermind Parenting is a little bit of an ethical bait and switch. Like, come come, you have a difficult kid. I’m gonna help you to, you know, help your child get to a better place, but really I’m going to help you change your own life and change the way you think about things. I don’t think it was a bait and switch. You said from the beginning that this was the best marital therapy you can get. So, I mean, that was your little hint. It’s the, it’s the gateway drug. Yeah. I mean, you know, it’s like, this is, you know, I feel like working coaching tools into the area that causes most people, the most stress in their life, which is if you have a challenging child who is digging in their heels and making your, I mean, you know, even from the time they’re three years old, kids have the ability to make your life super stressful.

(3m 9s):
If they don’t want to get with the program that you think they should get with. And what I found from, you know, I, as you mentioned, I’m a physician, I’m a primary care doctor. I practice internal medicine and I practice in a fairly affluent area. And I have a practice that tends to be full of people our age, you know, so many people that have kids and what I found. So interestingly, and I’ve talked about this with my friends a lot. And I even mentioned this to you when we first enrolled in mastermind is how many of us are struggling with the same problem with our kids, that we didn’t seem to have those problems? You know, my, my comment to you when we first started as well, I was afraid of my parents. And when I, when they told me to do something, I just did it. You know, there, there wasn’t all this fighting.

(3m 50s):
And I thought that that seeing things from their perspective made them the center of the house instead of us, the center of the house, something has changed in our world. I don’t know what it is, but everyone of my friends, so many of my patients that are our age have had the exact same, I guess you call it problem the same challenges with their children. So there’s something I think, much deeper. I think that there’s some lesson we need to learn in the way we approach the world. That’s different. Well, we didn’t challenge. Our parents may be in the same way, but how many of us felt like when, if you really look back to growing up, did you feel like if you were fearing your parents and it was fearing you into following the rules and doing the right thing and getting into the good college and you know, not taking part in too many risky behaviors or whatever, when you were kid and you dealt with challenges, you know, like something happened at school or somewhere you felt insecure about yourself.

(4m 57s):
I don’t know, like all teenagers. Do, did you also turn to your parents had kind of as a resource to support you through those hard times? Like who did you turn to when you were going through those hard times? So I think you’re talking to someone who’s the anomaly guess I did turn to my parents. And so did my peer group that I grew up in a peer group with other people my age, who were all from Jewish, highly educated and still married parents. You know? So we’re not, none of us were the norm. You know, if I had to think about it, I don’t know if you and I have ever talked about this before. I actually relate it to something David Brooks has been writing a lot about in the New York times, which is a breakdown in our support structures of society.

(5m 42s):
We’ve all become tribal in terms of politics or tribal in terms of what region of the country we live in. And what we had as our tribes were much more related to synagogue or church or, you know, things that were apolitical. And so I think there’s gotta be something to what David Brooks has been writing about that, that, that loss of direction, I think must have affected parenting must have affected children. That’s Interesting, You know, there’s not that same kind of moral compass. And so we’re all looking for it. And then you throw social media and the internet into it and in our kids are getting influenced from places that you and I never did. Well, I wasn’t influenced by social media, but I was for sure influenced by my peer group, of Course.

(6m 32s):
And I was definitely influenced by television and movies. I think it may be just looks different. I guess my I’m curious. Now, if you turn to your parents for support, did you actually fear them? Like you doing the right thing I’m being, you know, I can, I don’t know. I can gather that you were probably a pretty good kid. I think so. So my wife always tells me that she never would’ve dated me in high school. Yeah. You had like a core group of friends and you weren’t like on, you know, needing to be like the coolest, most popular you had your people and you were happy and you had your support system and We were pretty straight-laced kids.

(7m 14s):
You were straight-laced kids. So did your parents, like, how did they, how did they motivate you to get good grades and to make good choices? You know, it, it actually, it goes back to a couple of things. Number one, it was something you’ve taught, which is leading by example. My mother, who is an amazing woman, went back to law school when I was in middle school. So I saw from her what hard work means and what patience and perseverance means. She always wanted to go to law school that she put her career on hold because she married my father when he was still in medical school. My dad’s a doctor too. So I saw that example of hard work and perseverance.

(7m 56s):
And then my dad gave up part of his career, not he kept working, but he always made sure he was home when my mom was in night school to make us dinner and to make sure there was a parent home. And so I think that, that that example had a huge influence on me. And I felt like it was a safe space. And so I just never wanted to do anything that would put my potential of getting into a good college or my potential as being, you know, whatever I wanted to be. I didn’t know I wanted to be a doctor until I was a junior in college. I didn’t ever want to put my kind of life in jeopardy. And I guess I saw from that example of both of my parents, that it starts pretty early on.

(8m 40s):
And there was that fear. It was not just a fear of, of, I actually was never afraid of my parents like that. I thought they would hurt me, but there was the fear of disappointing them. There was the fear of, of, you know, when I was 16, not getting a car to drive or the fear of not being able to go out and getting grounded, you know? So it was, I think, healthy theater, Well, the consequences, you know, it sounds like your parents actually knew that, like, if you got to take care of business, if you want to have the responsibility of getting a car to drive, right. So were there conditions?

(9m 21s):
I, I think in their minds there probably were, but I don’t remember them. And I, and I don’t, I don’t have any recollection of an overt conversation like that. It was just kind of expected. It was just expected. So they set the expectation that they believed in you and they believed in you to make good choices. And they believed in you to have, you know, an abundant future w you know, full of all kinds of amazing opportunities, like going to a good college and all those things. And I, and, and my mother always was really good about sprinkling in little wisdoms throughout my childhood that have stuck with me for so long.

(10m 8s):
Well, so the biggest thing I remember my mother saying was, you know, my mom grew up in a home where they frequently didn’t know if they would have money to pay the mortgage the next month, because her father was in sales. He only had one year of college. So she made a very big deal of always telling my brother and me, I would only date men who had a career path that involved a profession. So my mother always impressed on me. You must have a profession. Now that profession could be being a master plumber and a master electrician. She of course always wanted me to be a doctor, but, but she always wanted us to have a way to make a living.

(10m 50s):
And she used those examples from childhood, her own childhood to impress on us why that’s so important. And it stuck. She was a teacher in an all-black school. When she first graduated from college, she was part of the integration movement in Houston. She was a part of the first crop of white teachers who taught in black schools in the city of Houston. And so this would have been in probably the late sixties. And she would tell us stories about what it was like for these kids to come to school, without food in their stomachs and with no shoes. And, you know, so she would have real life examples of what it’s like when you don’t have the resources that you need, not only from her own life, but also from the perspective of these other children.

(11m 34s):
Well, I mean, I always say like, kids, kids are really reasonable when we show up reasonably and they want to know the why kids are curious. So it’s almost like there was something I think in parenting of yesteryear with, for healthy people, which your parents sound like healthy people, where your mom just sort of knew to teach through story and to teach you guys the why, like, I’m not just needing you to go to school and do the right thing and make good grades because I need you to make me look like I’m not a failure. She was explaining the why. And I think that’s, there’s a lot of wisdom in that.

(12m 15s):
Oh, I mean, it was, it was an NSA. My pants were perfect, but, but at least for me, they provided the kind of role modeling that I needed. Part of why I wanted you here is because one of the things that I hear all the time from my moms, and I say my mom’s because most people come in and sign up for a parenting program. And it’s really the woman who is doing the work for whatever reason. And so this mom who knows, she’s beating her head against the wall, because what she’s doing is not working. What they’re doing is not working. There’s usually quite a bit of volatility in the household and it doesn’t feel good for anyone.

(12m 59s):
So she is like, I heard this, this is the solution. This is the thing that’s going to teach her some new tools. We’ve got to do this. And then she has to go and talk to her partner, which is usually a male. Although I have had, you know, I haven’t had any gay couples with two men, but I have had two women, which it seems like it would just be easy that both women were participating, but it seems like there’s always one person who sort of has the point of view, wait, you want to, you need to learn parenting. Like what, what are we doing here? This is, this sounds like ridiculousness. So she’s got to sell her partner on it.

(13m 42s):
She’s got to convince him that it’s worth investing. And then they come in and he’s not willing to do any of the learning. And so I have moms all the time that say like, how can this, how can I make a change when he’s constantly chopping me off at the knees and telling me this is ridiculous, you know, and raising all these objections, like, you know, I was scared of my parents and we use punishment and it worked for me. And so what do I say? I don’t even know what to say. And I would say, you know what? You stay in your own lane and you learn these things. Even just one parent, you learning new tools can change a household.

(14m 22s):
He’ll come along. He just hasn’t. He just doesn’t realize it yet. You guys were different because you guys came in together. And so you raised your objections, not just to Allie, but you raised your objections to me. Right. So you were raising your objections from the beginning and you were saying like, I don’t understand. I mean, like there has to be some fear involved. That’s just part of the deal. And I don’t know what I said or what, you know, I think it was just, I don’t know, at point, did you start to feel like, okay, I’m going to give this a chance. Well, I think, I think you have to take it back a couple of notches, which is the first to say, remember, I had this example of my father who, when my mother went back to law school, took on, I don’t want to say a primary parenting role because my mom was still by far the, the primary parent, but took on a far more visible and, and important role in my brother and I’s lives.

(15m 24s):
So I had that example of participation. The second thing is that we literally dropped our kids off at sleep-away camp. One year. I can’t remember it was 2018 or 19, whatever year it was that we signed up for you guys and Allie and I, my wife and I literally were in tears on the way home and saying, we never want to pick up her children again. So we were desperate And we recognized that it can’t just be our kids. We have to be part of the problem. So you already had someone who was willing to try and, and, and willing to buy in. And when I raised those objections, I think I did it with respect and in a respectful way.

(16m 4s):
And your answer was very simple. You probably don’t remember your answer was how’s that working out for you literally, that was your response. And to someone who’s got a scientific mind, that’s exactly the right answer, right? As that working out for you, if you’re a scientist, if you’re in medicine, you’re trying a therapy, or you’re trying an experiment, it doesn’t work. You just can keep doing the same thing. Are you going to try something different? Right. And that’s all the response that I needed to find. But at the same time, I, I hear what you’re saying because we had several, once we were kind of finished with the first part of the mastermind and you set up the Voxer with us and the other people who were in our group, I was the only man in the group.

(16m 48s):
And there were several women in the group whose husbands were not buying in. And you could hear the frustration and Allie, and I always talked about how lucky we are that we’re both bought in. And I will say, in addition to that, Allie and I experienced mastermind still, you know, years later at different points, sometimes I’m sticking to it and she’s not. And other times she’s sticking to it and I’m not. And when one of us says, no one will succeed when he can, or Mia will, you know, you need to see it from me, his point of view. And we’re using the mastermind words. It triggers the other person. Cause we’re not staying in our lane.

(17m 29s):
It works much better when one of us is staying in our lane, we’re modeling the behavior and it’s not modeling for the kids anymore. It’s modeling it for each other, right? Because then always, if we stay in our lanes that night, Allie, you were right about that. When I should have handled it the way that you did. But at the minute that you pointed out to the other person, you start fighting. It’s so true. Even in my life, it’s like that. I mean, my husband’s been learning. I just bought him this book, this conscious leadership book to help him with some things at work. And I had gone to a talk and heard this guy teach some of these concepts. And I thought they were very cool. And, and so we were learning about this thing called the drama triangle.

(18m 11s):
And it’s all about like when you’re operating in, they call it like below the line, which is when you’re in a triggered state. And so you’re not going to be your best self. You’re not using Mastermind tools. You’re not in your conscious brain, you’re in your subconscious brain where you feel attacked or you feel victimized. And so quite often we jump into this, like we’re either the villain, you know, we feel like we kind of go back and forth. Like we’re the villain where the victim, you know? And so we’re like, we’re going back and forth between these different roles that none of them are actually helpful in terms of finding a solution. And so I was telling a story at dinner last night, about some Who’s still at home with you.

(18m 55s):
Well, right now, Alec is back with us. He just moved back from Austin and Avery just been in town for spring break. She was there. And so all of everyone in, still in high school, I was telling a story, somebody brought up some kid’s name and I was like, oh yeah, that mom I’ve never liked her. I think she’s kind of a creep. So I think one of them called me out on it. They’re like, whoa, I’ve never heard, you mentioned this person before. And I was like, you know what? I, there was a situation years ago. And let me tell you what it was. And it was a grudge from like Corey’s in 10th grade from when Corey was in pre-K this lady. And it was like a fringe thing anyway.

(19m 35s):
So I tell this story and I was like character revealing. Like at that moment, I knew I never want to be friends with that lady. I don’t like her character. She’s not my people. And Scott looked at me and he’s like, sounds like you some below the line thinking. And I was like right off, like, and I was like, and I was like, sometimes you just want to be below the line in your thinking. I’m telling you that lady’s a creep. Yeah. But then we laughed about it. But it’s true when you are in that place, it doesn’t feel helpful for somebody else to point out in that moment that you’re in that place until you’re back in a better place.

(20m 17s):
And then you can kind of see it. And there’s a little bit of separation from it. Yeah. I forget what I forget what your term for it was that you never want to have the discussion when the fight is happening. Non-relevant Non-relevant time. That’s something that, and then how many times you say it to yourself, it’s so hard to implement and that’s something, oh my God. Is that more useful in life than just with your children? So incredibly useful with your spouse. And one of the really amazing things that I’ve found, you asked her, how is this relevant to something outside of just your family or your kids? Sometimes people are not in the state where they’re ready to hear that they have just been diagnosed with diabetes or that they have just been diagnosed with cancer.

(21m 3s):
And sometimes you have to bring them back a week later and have that non-relevant conversation or that conversation at the non-relevant moment. And it’s a little different with, with healthcare because it’s always relevant, but they have to be in the right mental state to hear it. And it’s actually one of the ways that telemedicine has made this possible. You know, people won’t take a day off three times in a month to come and talk to you about their health, but with telemedicine, they can just do it from their computer. Yeah. It’s so true. It’s amazing. You know, if every doctor honestly cared about patient care like that, like I feel like so many people would be so much healthier, you know, because I feel like there’s a disconnect.

(21m 46s):
A lot of times between, you know, it’s like nobody wants to go to the doctor because you sort of feel like, you know, especially if you’re not the pillar of health, it’s like, you know that they’re going to be like, well, this is what happens when you eat too much and don’t exercise enough and eat too much fast food, All that’s true. But I also think it maybe beyond what you want to talk about, but I waxing philosophical. I have a friend of mine who is a Texas children’s pediatrician. He and I talk about this a lot. Cause he used to be part of the selection process for the medical students. The way we pick doctors is ridiculous. You don’t pick people who are the ones who are willing to think outside the box. We don’t pick the people who are the ones most willing to be to exhibit empathy are most able to exhibit empathy.

(22m 34s):
We pick the ones who are most willing to study for the test and who cares if they actually are learning anything important, they just need to learn what it is to get that perfect score on their test, to get the straight A’s, to get the good score on their MCAT, to get into medical school. And so we funneled this group of people with all the wrong skills and you know, and then you talked about primary care, primary care is that I’m not trying to ask for sympathy. I chose it because it’s what I love. You’re talking about one of the lowest paid specialties. So some of the most talented people don’t even go into primary care. Right? And so it it’s this whole way that we train physicians. We need to pick people who are highest in their levels of empathy and who are good at science, but they don’t have to be the best at science and test taking.

(23m 22s):
Right. They have to be the best at talking to people. Right? Right. I’m Randi Rubenstein. And this is the Mastermind Parenting Podcast where I share tips on how to solve any parenting problem. If you’re in an absolute parenting shit storm right now, I got ya. Do this. Now go to our website at Mastermind, Parenting dot com and click on the live assessment button where you can schedule a live call to discuss your issue. My team is going to point you in the right direction, match you up with the best resource because we’ve been where you are and know that you want the tools that work ASAP.

(24m 5s):
Don’t worry. We got, you can also go to Mastermind, Parenting dot com for slash live dash assessment. That’s live dash assessment, get on our calendar right away. You will hook up with a live person to begin helping you immediately. I mean, I’m hearing this, I mean, because you’re a doctor and you’re talking to other doctors about how to improve the field. And for me, I think it’s the same way in business. I think it’s, I mean, from parenting to business to whatever your profession is, I think that is what’s coming on the scene now is what’s been thought of as the soft skills, you know, it’s emotional intelligence.

(24m 51s):
It’s, ETQ, it’s, it’s understanding that, you know, we have to interact with other people. And so if you just come at every situation, only thinking about your agenda and what your perspective is and not taking what the other person is experiencing nothing ever advances. I mean, it’s like, it just, I think that it is the soft skills that have to be woven into the equation. And that’s, I think where our world is going, I feel like those of us who are into, like you called me from, or you texted me after you had gone to a medical conference where they were talking about growth mindset.

(25m 32s):
Yes. Those recently That you were like, oh my God, like it w it was so cool that they were introducing a concept that you already knew a lot about. Yeah, that was actually so, so I’m part of a group Houston Methodist, which is where I work picks a couple dozen people every couple of years to put through an emerging leadership program with the rice business school. And so it’s even more than just a medical conference. It was a rice business school, an industrial psychologist was talking about how do you promote a healthy business culture? And it was the whole growth mindset thing. And it was just everything you talk about.

(26m 13s):
Right? I mean, when I say to people like, look, I’m going to teach you some life-changing amazing tools and also different ways of thinking that are going to expand your mind. And first we’re going to employ them at home because that is where it matters the most. I think, you know, parenting is the, it’s the leveler. I was somewhere recently where I was talking to somebody who, I can’t remember where it was. I think I was with my, and I was talking to somebody. And at first it was maybe like a fancy list. It was somewhere where it was like, we knew it was about to be like small talk, snore Fest.

(26m 55s):
And you know, both of us are like immediately feeling exhausted and like how long until we can get out of this conversation. But somehow it went into being a parent and not me advice-giving, but just, it went into being a parent and this person just softened and became a regular human and stopped putting off airs. And we really liked her. And we had a great conversation with her. And I said, parenting is the ultimate leveler. Like, it’s very rare. I mean, I would say my physicians in my groups, my parenting groups, we kind of know who the physicians are because you guys work harder than anyone I know.

(27m 37s):
And, and anyone in the healthcare, especially because of COVID in the last couple of years. So I have a couple of nurse practitioners and nurses it’s the same. So we tend to know who works in healthcare, just because making the coaching calls. And, and that’s been part of the reason. I think I’ve loved finding some flexible ways to coach people where you don’t have to just show up at this time to receive coaching. You know, it’s like you’re burning the candle every which way. And so I want to meet you where you are, but other than my health care workers, we tend to not know what people do for a living because we’re just all parents. We’re just interesting. Yeah. We’re just, and I, you know, early on when I started doing this, I made it a point not to ask people what they did for a living, because I didn’t want anyone, all of a sudden having to wear that hat.

(28m 28s):
You know, The interesting thing is I look at my own experience as a parent. And the one thing that I will say is defining is whether you have a partner and I’m sure you’ve experienced the same thing. So, you know, in my field that obviously I work with people who are medical assistants all the way up to working with people who have MD PhDs and the challenges are there. I mean, other than the financial challenges, which can be very different, the challenges are all the same one group being people who it’s a single parent, which is, I can’t even tell you how challenging that looks from the outside. And the other group is people who have two parents involved and it’s still, it’s incredibly challenging, but they have the same challenges all around.

(29m 15s):
Yeah, no, it’s true. It’s true. And I love when people like I love when it turns into some business coaching, because what I, what I tell people is we’re going to get your home in order first. And then we can focus on all the other areas. So like, I’ve had so many people over the years say like, you should really, like, it’s a lot more lucrative to do business coaching. And you’re pretty good at it because we do, I do a decent amount of business coaching with even within my mastermind, But I’m like, yeah, but that’s not my love. That’s just fun. You know, that’s, for me, it’s just fun because I’m also a business owner and it’s all the same tools. So it’s fun to translate the tools to how do I have a productive conversation with my kids?

(29m 57s):
How do I have a productive conversation with my coworkers? You know, you’re going to, I mean, I bump up against sticky situations with coworkers all the time. Of course. And how do you have a productive conversation with your patients when your doctor or a nurse practitioner or a nurse? Like I always tell my patients, you know, there’s never an excuse not to find time for exercise, but then I always say, except for this one patient that I had 10 years ago, who was a single mom working three jobs, she got a pass. But if you don’t ask people about why they’re not exercising or why they’re making that food choices, you, you don’t know what if that patient has celiac sprue, which is the gluten allergy.

(30m 42s):
And they’ve never had the money to go to a nutritionist to teach them what is healthy and safe to eat. What if they don’t have the money or the time to go to a grocery store and they live in a food desert. And so they’re making bad food choices because those are the choices they have available to them. I mean, there’s just so many examples of where that productive conversation applies, not just at the home. Well, and you want to come in when you know better. And you know that you’ve got the solution to help someone live a healthier life. So for you, it’s literally a healthier life. Like I’m going to help you to maybe rid yourself of disease or illness, because I’m going to teach you some, you know, better ways or I’m going to prescribe some medicine.

(31m 27s):
That’s going to get you back to a better place, better, you know, better health. For me, I’m like the health of your family is all impacted by the way, you’re managing your household. And so if I can teach you some communication tools, like I could come in, I mean, what we want to do as parents, or maybe, you know, as a doctor, you want to say, Hey, you’ve got to do this, this and this. And that’s how you’re going to be a healthier person. And so you want to tell the people what they need to do. We want to tell our kids when our kids get, you know, bad grades on their report cards, and we know they stayed up way too late, they’re on their screen way too much.

(32m 10s):
They’re exhausted. And so we want to say, well, if you would just turn that phone off and if you would just, you know, get more sleep. And if you would just read to go to sleep and put your body, you know, then the next day your brain would be fresher. You’d be less foggy. You’d be able to pay attention better, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Like we want to tell them what they need to do. But the productive conversation is literally teaching us that we have to have more self-regulation we have to control our impulses. And rather than come in guns, blazing telling all the people what they need to do, we just stop. We have to ask questions. We have to see their perspective and let them know. We see their perspective.

(32m 51s):
And then we have to actually listen to them and listen to them, reflect back that we’re listening to them. And then when we problem solve with them, finally, we’ll be able to say, well, you know, I have some tips about this, or this is the way it’s going to go down. I’ve heard what you had to say. These are all great ideas, and this is going to be what we’re going to do. That’s going to hold you accountable. It takes a lot of impulse control, Patience And patience, right? That’s the impulse control. You know, we want our kids to have more impulse control. We want our kids to, you know, if we get the note home from school, that they are blurting out in class, it’s because they’re lacking impulse control.

(33m 34s):
So we want them to learn the skills to have better impulse control. But it’s back to the thing that you said about your parents. Like they learn by what we model, you know, you learned like you wanted to be a dad that could bond with your kids and took care of them and was willing to make dinner and cook and barbecue and do all those things. Cause you had all these precious memories of when your dad did that in your family. When your mom went back to school and that, you know, is a beautiful memory for you. And so in order for you to be able to do that, you know, you had to realize like, this is important to me and you learn, but what you really, when we connected the dots that you want to be, that dad, because that was really impactful at that time in your life that your dad was showing up for your family.

(34m 22s):
And that way you were watching him, you were learning by what he was modeling. So we model impulse control and we have the patients and we’re, you know, not just coming in guns, blazing telling them what they should do. And when we do come in guns, a blazing telling them what they should do and they shut down and we see their body language shutting down. And then we just recover by saying probably didn’t feel very helpful. Me telling you all the ways that you needed to bring these grades up when you’re probably already not feeling great about those grades. Yeah. The funny thing is that like, even all this, all these years later, and with all the practice that we’ve done, I hear you saying all of these things and I’m thinking, God, I’m not doing any of that. Right.

(35m 3s):
It’s a work in progress, Constant work in, It’s a work in progress. And we’re just going to keep getting, you know, the only way you get better at anything. I mean, think about it. Like when you became a doctor and you graduated medical school, you finished your residency and you’re finally like, you’re really seeing your own patients. Were you as good at it as you then, as you are now, It was different. I had different skills. My, I actually had a fantastic professor, Amir Halevy who’s now a, he’s an attorney. And actually now, but at the time he was a health, health, ethicist and internist at Baylor.

(35m 44s):
And he does an exit interview with all the internal medicine residents and Josh, you’re never going to be as smart as you are right now. You’re never going to know as much as you know, right now, you’re going to be a better physician as you go through the process, because you’re going to learn more empathy. You’re going to learn better how to talk to patients. You’re going to learn how to be a doctor better. That’s my point. You’re never going to get better unless you’re willing to practice. And you’re willing to sort of like, it’s kind of like, you gotta be willing to be a beginner. You’ve got to be willing to say, like, I just got that all wrong. Okay. How do I get better at something? Well, not only a beginner.

(36m 24s):
Yeah. I think you have to be willing to do that with your, with your kids the whole way through. Right? I mean, I apologize to my kids all the time when I make a mistake. And, and frankly, I mean, it’s something that we learned in medicine at the very beginning of my career was kind of the infancy of doctors starting to apologize for medical mistakes. And the data has borne out that if you apologize for your mistakes, you get sued a lot less because everyone makes mistakes. Right. Just like own up to it. I mean, think about it. That’s I mean, for me, when somebody makes a mistake, whatever it is and restaurant, when they get my order wrong, or I ordered, you know, my steak, medium rare, and it comes out medium.

(37m 7s):
If that person who’s waiting on me says, oh yes, no, I see that. Yeah. And you know what? I think I put it in as medium instead of medium rare. That was my bad. I’ll get you a new steak right away. I’m like, no problem. I’m so patient, like, it’s not a big deal. And I’m like, it’s fine. We’ll wait. But if I have somebody who’s like acting like I’m being a pain in the butt and they don’t own their mistake, it pisses me off. And then you kind of sours my experience. And, and so I think all of us just appreciate when somebody owns it, you know, own when you make a mistake. That’s the part of the practicing though. I think that gets better and we get better at, because one of the most vulnerable things to do is to own your mistake and to apologize when you’ve, you know, when you’ve had a misstep.

(37m 54s):
Interesting. You know, that that’s always been one of the easiest things for me, So difficult for most people to admit I was, I made some mistakes or I was wrong about that, or I should’ve done something differently. It’s very vulnerable. What I have the hardest time with, I think is lecture mode to the point that my wife, a lot of times you’re like, oh, dad’s gone into lecture mode. You know? It, it, it just it’s sometimes you just feel like you have so much to share It’s cause you’re a teacher. And I would say, I would say, I would talk to, to Allie also let’s call it teacher mode, you know, because you have, UK are so much, it’s probably why you love being a doctor so much, you care, you know, you actually care.

(38m 43s):
And so when we care, we want to teach and we have a lot, you know, we have a lot, I mean, I completely identify with that. And it’s funny with my family. I, I had somebody recently referred to one of the tools I teach all the time. And my husband was like, what is it? What are you talking about? What is that ridiculous act? Because, you know, I always come up with the dorkiest acronyms, but I’m like, but you’ll remember it. I don’t care if it’s goofy, you’ll remember this acronym. And so they were using my Fest to act acronym and I don’t know I was teaching At the time. And so, so, and it’s all about getting Fest up in your brain and telling the truth. That’s really what I’m calling my mind mastery.

(39m 23s):
And so he used this term and my husband’s head was like, what is this? And I was like, it’s just one of my acronyms. And so he’s like, what, tell me what it is. I told him, he’s like, that is the most ridiculous acronym I ever, I was like, people remember it and it, you know what, it makes it it’s effective and you’re not in my mastermind. You don’t have to know it. And I’m not justifying it to you be quiet, but I’m not teaching my family because they don’t want me to be their teacher. I’m just modeling. I’m just living it. So they’re learning by what I’m model. But if I go into, and sometimes I do, if I go into trying to teach them, they’re onto me and they just tune me out because they’re like, just be our mom, you know, or just being my wife.

(40m 5s):
Like, I don’t need you to. And even when my husband, that’s why I was like, oh, listen to this book or hire this coach. He like, he doesn’t want me to, to be that. Yeah. It’s I, I, my kids don’t want lecture mode for me. I think they appreciate the examples that I said. And it’s been really interesting to see my daughter is a sophomore in high school and it’s her growth in this past couple of years is exponential in terms of maturity. And you can see her starting to make decisions on her own based on what she’s seeing me or Allie do. And it’s just kind of neat to watch. Well, I think, I mean, back to the, the last little bit that I would love for you to touch upon is, and I also am going to say, you’re an upholder, right?

(40m 52s):
Yeah. Very much. Yeah. I’ve run the half a dozen marathons. I’d never trained with a group that you were like, oh, I don’t even need you to take the test. Yeah. I did take the test and I’m going to feel you’re a rebel, right? I’m a Rebel And Allie is also an upholder. And you said it’s really unusual to have two upholders together. I think she li I think you mean upholder slash questioner. I think there’s a lot of questioner in you. And I think she goes more to the obliger and we’re talking, we’re talking about the four tendencies, which is a free assessment. So by Gretchen Rubin. So go take it. If you don’t know what we’re talking about. It’s awesome. It is really cool because it makes you think about things in a whole different Way. Yeah. I mean, all, I love all those assessments.

(41m 34s):
Cause it’s just all about self-awareness, it’s all just like figuring out how am I wired? What is my natural tendency to solve problems? How do I accomplish goals? You know? So if there’s a problem in my life, like we drop our kids off at camp and we’re like, we don’t want to pick them up. This is a problem a month from now, we should be dying to see our kids. Right. So, so now we’ve got some time For the record. We were dying. It was Just needed a break, But it was neat because when you guys came in, the problem was we dropped our kids at camp and we’re worried we’re not going to be dying to see them a month from now. And so we’ve got a month to work on this.

(42m 15s):
So we also had a very specific goal, which I think is always cool. It’s like there was like a constrained amount of time that we knew we wanted to be ready to receive them home. And for you guys to be in a different head space. Yeah. I don’t remember what the point of view bring up. The upholder thing is, but that’s part of the lecture mode thing too. I’m an older, I’m like, wait, we, we set up this rule and just, that’s the way that this rule should be. Right. Right. So you must follow this rule. I know. And you know what, it’s kind of fun when you know how you’re wired because, because my husband is an upholder too upholders and rebels are the smallest categories. So it’s actually kind of rare. Most people would be sitting here and they would be obligers because the majority of people are obligers, but we’re the opposites, you know?

(43m 3s):
So like quite often he’ll be like, well, we’re doing the thing because that’s what you do. And I’m like, no, we don’t have to do it that way. You know, we are polar opposites and he’s like, but the way works. Like we have to do it that way. And I’m like, no, we don’t. And he’ll say to me, sometimes he’s like, you’re such a freaking rebel. And I’m like, and you’re such an upholder, you know, which saves me a lot at the time that he’s, I mean, I don’t know that bills would get paid and you know, it would be a shit show if it was just me. Yeah. I think he brings way more to the table. I mean, that’s a whole other topic.

(43m 45s):
No, I really wanted you to get to a place where, well, I’ll say this. So you came in and you had your objections. And as soon as I was like, how’s that working? And when you bought in, you became very invested and very coachable and it was cool to work with both you and Allie and to kind of see how it played out and to watch your relationship change. You know, it’s so fun for me to kind of like, look at families and try to figure out what is the pattern that you’re in, what kind of led up to this pattern? Like, what’s her story? What’s your story. I feel like I’m kind of like putting people puzzles together. So that’s a very fun part of what I do.

(44m 26s):
But where do you think that you guys are now in terms of how this has affected your marriage? Like as co-parents and as partners? So, yeah, that’s a difficult thing to answer. I think that, like you said, having, children’s kind of a great equalizer and I think that had we not gotten help, I don’t know. You know, everyone would say, well, our relationship would survive. Anything. I don’t know what kind of shape our relationship would be in. Had we not gotten help because we were, we were in a really dark place. And I think if you’re in a dark place with regard to your children, you’re going to be in a dark place with regard to your marriage.

(45m 9s):
So I would say it has strengthened our marriage. I think it improved the way that we communicate with one another. And you know, that the most stressful thing that Allie, like when we actually did premarital counseling with our rabbi and the rabbi laughed after we had done the surveys. Cause she’s like, y’all, don’t disagree about anything. There’s three things that everybody argues about their in-laws sex and finances. You guys see everything the same. What do we have to talk about? Right. So we have this kind of idyllic relationship except that we have difficult kids. And I think that if we, And how old were the kids, just let me refer one sec.

(45m 51s):
How old were the kids when you came in Probably 10 and 12, there they’re 14 and 16 now. And I think that when we reflect back that our kids were probably difficult and this is what I was alluding to earlier. Part of it is societal. Part of it is I think Allie and I were not parenting effectively. And so if you look at the way she was raised in the way I was raised, and this is what you’re alluding to with the puzzles we were raised in polar opposite households, I was raised as I’ve kind of alluded to in this kind of idyllic two parent household where my father was a doctor and my mother was a teacher. And then went back to law school. My wife grew up in a divorced home and I don’t want to get into her whole story.

(46m 34s):
Cause it’s her story, not mine, but we had very different ideas about what it meant to be a parent and very different needs of what we needed to feel like we were good parents. And until we went through Mastermind, I don’t think we realized just how differently we viewed parenting and those different views rev resulted in conflicts, not just with our kids, because our kids would say, well, mom just said, X, Y are you all of a sudden saying Y and you’re screaming it. So it allowed for much more consistent parenting.

(47m 14s):
And then therefore her turned down the volume in our house and allowed for a much more loving relationship between the two of us. So, I mean, I think it’s had a profound impact. Yeah, Yeah, no. When you’re fighting and you have a difficult kid in the household is filled with eggshells, intention and volatility, nobody’s having fun. No, it’s really difficult. Nobody’s having fun. So we have to get our households to a place that it feels more peaceful and our relationships to a place that feels more connected. I don’t know. I don’t know how improving your relationship through better communication with something like Mastermind could not have a positive impact.

(47m 56s):
Right. All right. Well thank you for, I think we went all over the place as I, as I knew he would. And that’s every conversation we’ve ever Had goes. Okay. Thanks for being here. All right. You guys, 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. 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 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.

(48m 45s):
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. 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.

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Creating A Happier Household

by Randi Rubenstein