184: Hunt, Gather, Parent: A Conversation with Michaeleen Doucleff

By May 3, 2022September 19th, 2022Mastermind Parenting Podcast
184: Hunt, Gather, Parent: A Conversation with Michaeleen Doucleff

This week is a big episode for me, and you don’t want to miss every morsel of this conversation with the author, Michaeleen Doucleff. She wrote Hunt, Gather, Parent: What Ancient Cultures Can Teach Us About the Lost Art of Raising Happy, Helpful Little Humans. I make her fascinating book required reading for every parent I work with in my private programs.

This book is not like other parenting books – it reads like a fascinating anthropological study of human behavior. The oldest cultures in the world have mastered the art of raising happy, well-adjusted children. What can we learn from them? In this episode, we break down what we are getting wrong when it comes to parenting in our mainstream culture and bringing back the ancient wisdom of our foremothers in a very practical and relatable way…the good news is that this means more time for yourself and adult activities. Get ready to learn from Michaeleen – she is absolutely delightful! I definitely have a mom crush on her, and you will too.

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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Transcription

(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 180 4. Well, hi guys. I have a really exciting episode today, today on the podcast I have Michaeleen Doucleff. She is the author of the New York times bestseller hunt gathered parent. The book describes a way of raising kind and confident children, which moms and dads have turned to for millennia. It also explains how American families can incorporate this approach into their busy lives.

(41s):
Doucleff wrote the book after traveling to three continents with her three-year-old daughter, Rosie, Maya NUS, and HUD Xabi family showed her how to tame tantrums, motivate kids to be helpful and build children’s confidence. And self-sufficiency Doucleff is also a global health correspondent for NPR science desk, where she reports about disease outbreaks and children’s health. In 2015, Doucleff was part of the team that earned a George Foster Peabody award for its coverage of the Ebola outbreak. In west Africa. She has a doctorate in chemistry from the university of Berkeley, California master’s degree in viticulture and enology on him. I know what that is. You guys from the university of California Davis had a bachelor’s degree in biology from Caltech.

(1m 25s):
She lives in Alpine, Texas with her husband, daughter and German Shepherd. Savannah. You guys are gonna love this week. So here’s my conversation with Michaeleen. Yeah, Okay. I’m sitting here with, Michaeleen virtually sitting here with Michaeleen and we were just chatting, meeting each other for the first time. And I was telling her that I’m going to try not to super fan girl over her, but I am such a super fan. And the way I want to start off this conversation is that I haven’t read a parenting book in a long time, because now I’m kind of the person who’s teaching the things, right.

(2m 14s):
Or, and I, and I read parenting books for so many years that I finally realized, like, I couldn’t find exactly the recipe. So I just, like, I kind of created something the way I cook where God forbid I should just have one recipe. And so I have to mix a little of this and a little of that and created my own parenting method, Mastermind Parenting. And then I heard you, I think it was right after you read the book. I heard you on a podcast interview. I want to say maybe it was like the broken brain or were you on that podcast? Yeah, I think so. Yeah. Yeah. And so I heard you and it was so compelling what you had to say that I went and I bought this and I didn’t even, I didn’t even buy hunt.

(2m 56s):
Gather parent hunt gather parent is now I’m telling every parent is required reading. I didn’t even buy it as a supplement to my group or like I bought it to read for fun. No, that’s great. Okay. I bought it to read for fun. Like my, I like I have parenting programs. I have a podcast, I teach these things. My kids are, two of them are sort of grown and flown. Like I’m now if I’m reading things, I’m reading either great fiction books or like business books. So, and so I bought it to read for fun. I mean, I can’t even tell you, it’s not even like, like I have like downright, like scribble, Scrabble notes all over it.

(3m 38s):
And then I became so obsessed about it, that I started making videos for my group just based on the things that I was learning from you. And, and so then they all were intrigued and they were like, well, can we do this as a book club selection? And so I said, yeah, we can do this as a book club selection. So then we did it as a book club selection, but I reached out to your people cause I was like, okay, there’s so much in here. Do you have anything? Cause I kind of feel like I need to teach a workshop about it. Cause there, you know, and, and you guys were like, no, we really don’t. So then I had to study it because my people, once, once they started reading it, they were also obsessed that they were like, okay, we want you to go more into this and more into that.

(4m 23s):
So then I created a whole workshop. Now hunt gathered parent has become a verb in Mastermind Parenting. Like It’s become a verb. I’m telling y’all I couldn’t help myself. I have to say on girl, it’s become a verb because what I constantly am helping the parents and my community realize is, guess what? Put the people to work and stop being. So kid-centric and spending your entire weekends, doing nothing for yourself. Yeah. You’ve got this list of chores and things to do. And, and if you lead them, I call it PAC leadership.

(5m 6s):
That’s how I Started. That’s good. I’m writing that down. There’s so much alignment in what you wrote and with what, with my method and what I teach that I’ll say like, okay, you’re going to have to hunt, gather parent this shit. Like That is great. I mean, I mean, the pack is so great, right? Because kids love that kids want to be in a pack. They do. Right? Like you think even like in the U S like, not that long ago, kids roam around the town in packs, right? Multiple age groups and the little ones looking up to the meeting ones or the mediums ones like, you know, so it is like, that’s the perfect mentor. That’s their mentality. All the may. I love it.

(5m 47s):
And I think, you know, like it’s like we are pack animals. We are meant to be in community and be in tribes. And I think that’s the part that I just loved so much that you were writing this as a journalist, You know, like, I mean go a little bit more into it for everyone because I have so many questions. Like you worked for MBR and you went on assignment. And when you went on your assignment to it, to research these different indigenous cultures, you started realizing that like they had their shit together, way more than we do as parents. Is that what happened? I mean, you know, so in the book I start off, when I, when I go down, I go down to the Yucatan to the little, my village and that’s where like my eyes really opened.

(6m 31s):
And we’re like, what you just said, like, holy shit, like this parenting is way better than our parenting. There’s just no question. Like, you can criticize me as much as you want, but if you go and down there, you will see. And I mean, there’s a lot of research too. But actually before that, I had been up in the Arctic a few times and I’ve been to west Africa and I, and I had seen it, but I didn’t, it wasn’t super conscious. It was like, I came back from those trips being like, I think something’s going on. You know, like, especially I went up to Alaska and I talked to a bunch of parents and I was just really like, what’s going on? Why, why are their lives so much easier when it comes to children? You know, every culture has problems and issues, but, you know, dealing with children just wasn’t one of them.

(7m 17s):
And so, yeah, like I just kind of started noticing it. And then when I went to the Yucatan, that was when I was like, okay, this is real. And these moms have these skills and this knowledge that my culture just hasn’t given me, it was the first time I felt really excited as a parent, like really hopeful, like, oh, wait a second. There’s this whole set of knowledge that maybe if I learned, I could enjoy this thing, I couldn’t, I could have a really loving relationship with my daughter. I love her. But like, our relationship was so full of conflict and strife. Right. But like maybe if I learned these tools from, from other cultures and communities that, you know, it could really improve my relationship with her.

(7m 58s):
And I could enjoy being with her, which I really had never really done in her two and a half years of existence, which is horrible to say, but, Well, it’s, I mean, you’re a truth teller and I appreciate that. And I appreciate that. And I think that so many of us, like I said this somewhere recently, where I said, you love your kids, but when they are acting like terrorists and dictators, like how on earth could you possibly, like someone who’s behaving that way. Yeah. And just the stress of it, the stress, like there was just, my whole body was like tense around her. Cause it was like, when is this thing gonna explode on me and do things that I can’t help, I can’t fix, you know?

(8m 44s):
And, and I knew that she didn’t enjoy having a tantrum. She didn’t enjoy the state. She was getting in, you know, yelling and screaming at me. And yet I felt so helpless to fix it and like do something. And so, yeah, it was completely stressor. Like I stayed in the book, I would, I would sit in bed in the mornings and just kind of one, like, you know, strategize about what I’m going to do when she wakes up and gets angry, but also dreading it really dreading it. And, and I have to say the book is not an exaggeration. And even my, my sister-in-law said to me, wow, you’ve really gotten better. Like, you know, like it really the knowledge that mostly women, some, some men gave me it really transformed our lives And our relationship.

(9m 28s):
And that’s why I wrote the book. Cause I was just like, I think this could really help. This could really help people and genuinely Well, I mean, I, I love the way, I mean, look, the book validated me in a lot of ways because I’ve been trying to reverse engineer. This certain recipe basically also had a strong-willed kid when he was about three realized, like I gotta do something different. I thought this was going to be more enjoyable. And just somewhere I knew, I think innately, I don’t think I could have put words to it, but I think I was like, if he doesn’t become more enjoyable than he’s not going to feel enjoyed.

(10m 14s):
Yes, Yes. Right. And so there was a guilty, like if I’m not, if I’m baking it and if I’m just like through gritted teeth, trying to make it through the day, but not actually enjoying him, he’s going to suffer. Like he’s going to grow up, not being a celebrated, enjoyed human. And so that was like a tremendous amount of guilt for me. And I knew I had to figure it out. I knew something wasn’t adding up. And that’s why I like to say to people who ha you know, we say strong-willed kids, which is a matter, is, is all humans can display a song. Well, when, when you know the app on the outside, the way they’re feeling on the inside.

(10m 54s):
So it’s, there’s something to figure out. But strong-willed kids, I always say are like our canaries in the coal mine. Like they’re trying to alert us that there’s some thing that’s dangerous and not working. That’s right. And they’re calling us and they’re calling us to more, you know, they’re calling us to figure this out because it’s not working and I’m just not going to wait until I’m a teenager to rebel. I’m going to start doing it right now. I say that it’s like, Rosie was like my daughter, Rosie. She was like, forcing me to find a better way. She really was. She went you’re right. She she’s like, she’s like a Tuesday or she’s like, no, we say strong will. But I don’t think a lot of cultures would fit that way.

(11m 34s):
I think it’s like enthusiastic and determined. I mean, an adult, we want strong world. Right. We want our kids to go get, go after it and be persistent. But in our toddlers were like afraid of it. And, and I’ve been trying, you know, I think it’s a great quality. And I think she is, I’m so thankful to her because if she was an easier kid, like I would have never written this book. I would have never found this, that our way. And yet, you know, our life, my life is better. Not just with Rosie. I say this a lot, but with my, my, my husband, my mom, I’m working on that relationship. I’m trying really hard down. It’s harder. But you know, at work, like all of the things that are in the book learning to cooperate, would you think conflict seeing people like really seeing their contributions and what they’re trying to do that has made me such a happier person and such a less angry person.

(12m 23s):
And so it’s really because of Rosie being strong-willed, as you say. Okay. So if you had to, if you had to say, what do you think the main shift that happened within you is Yeah. You know, I think there’s a couple of things. I think number one, like the NUA parents really taught me that children are these incredibly loving, empathetic creatures. They’re just like irrational, illogical and clumsy. And I have no clue how to behave. So every time Rosie was getting really upset at me hitting me, biting me, I mean really extreme things.

(13m 4s):
I was so angry at her. Like just so angry and so full of wanting to lash out at her because I felt attacked. Right. I felt like she was attacking me and hated me and pushing buttons and manipulating me and all these things that our culture assumes young children are the, any way parents really told me, like, that’s BS. Michaeleen like, she’s a baby. She doesn’t know what she’s doing. And you just have to show her. And if you assume she’s doing all these bad things, you’re going to just come at her in this way, that creates conflict. And you’re going to be angry at her. But if you come at her, it’s like, she’s trying, she wants to love me. She wants to do what’s right. She just doesn’t know how then you’re going to have so much more sympathy for her and be so much more gentle with her.

(13m 48s):
And once I started that, that shift in me happened, oh my God, his behavior got so much better. It was incredible. Like she was just responding to me being angry and you know, she would have a tantrum and then I would get kind of in a tantrum myself. Right. And when I stopped doing that and became calm and I would just say to Matt, my husband, like she doesn’t understand that’s thing often that parents would say she doesn’t understand. She doesn’t know she’s trying. And I would just say it and she’d be sitting there, like hitting me and like screaming at us. And I’d be like, she doesn’t understand when she started to see that I wasn’t going to get angry at her anymore. She started calming down. It wasn’t, it was really incredible. It was really fast time to change.

(14m 31s):
Well, I just want to now translate everything you just said. This is why it was so validating. Okay. So I teach a tool called the Q-tip quit taking it personally. So you just modeled that you just modeled that, like we, we define children’s behavior with adult meaning and it’s just not fair. All right. And so, and so these ancient, you know, mostly women, some men taught you, Hey, you think that you’re studying, you know, for a math test, but you, you have an English book out. Like, it’s, it doesn’t even like, it’s not going to work here. Like you’re like her behave. She does not understand. She’s just learning how to be alive, Ms. Rice. So you’ve got to quit taking this.

(15m 12s):
Personally. Kids are another, another thing that I say a lot, like kids can’t be responsible for adult emotions. Right, right. Exactly. What somebody told me after the book came out, they said, you know, we think we have a shared reality with them. Right. We think our reality is their reality, but they are just like in a totally different reality. And we can’t put that on them. Right. And, and having those words of like they’re illogical, they’re irrational, which is totally true. Helped me be able to say. And the other thing is they would always a lot of the hunters that, you know, you got to expect them to mistake. You expect them to be crazy. You expect them to hit you, you know, because they are these, you know, irrational creatures.

(15m 54s):
And if you’re setting yourself up for them not to do that, you’re just setting up for, for conflict to be angry and right. And so it was like expecting bad behavior. And then really, really believing that she’s trying, she is trying, it doesn’t seem that way, but she is trying her best, you know, a couple, a couple weeks ago, we were in the post office and she’s starting to learn to write she’s six now. And she wanted to write all of the, the address, all the influence. Right. And it was just a hot mess. Right. It was just like, you know, these huge letters and, you know, we’re running out of time and it was just, I was getting, and I lashed out at her and I was like, let me just do it. And I’m just like, my dad would do like pulled it from her hands and everything I don’t want to do.

(16m 35s):
Right. And I got in the car with her and I was like, no, it wasn’t, I’m really sorry. I did that. I shouldn’t, you know, I just owned up to it. I was like, which my dad would never do, but, you know, and I just like, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have done that. I shouldn’t have taken that away from you and, and gotten angry. And she just said to me in like the sweetest little boy, she’s like, it’s okay, mama. You know, but I was just trying And that’s it? That is, I mean, she just told me she was just trying and she’s two, or when she was two or three, she was trying and she just, she had no clue how to handle, like you said, adult emotions, these big emotions and these situations.

(17m 15s):
And so I really try to think that even when my husband with my mom, I just try to think we are we’re, we’re both trying. We’re both Trying Our hardest, you know, and it doesn’t always come out. Right. You know, I think a lot of what you have described is it’s like, if you allow parenting, if we stopped, like resisting it, being hard and we accept and lean in, and it sounds like that ancient wisdom from the people who still, you know, who are modern societies, but they still hold onto a lot of the hunter gatherer rituals from, you know, yesteryear and, And then value the parenting knowledge from the past, which I think is so important.

(18m 0s):
Right. They value these tools that have worked for centuries thousands of years. And like, why not keep those tools? Right. Like, I feel like it’s, you’re like, yeah, I went to all these ancient cultures and they helped me realize where we were throwing the baby out with the bath water. Yes, exactly. Exactly. So I was going to say that when we allow parenting to be hard or to realize like kids are not meant to be obedient, they’re, they’re just meant to be humans that get to be fully expressed and alive, and we’re teaching them like, they’re learning how to be alive and we’re, and we’re teaching them the rules of our pack, the rules of our tribe.

(18m 43s):
Right. And so we learn, I mean, if you think back in your life, like when did you have the most impactful experiences? It usually is when something was really hard or you made a mistake and you had to recover and you had to figure it out and you had to problem solve. And so we learn through mistakes. And if we allow parenting to serve in this way, it really becomes the ultimate personal development program. It really has. But you know, we’re also then modeling that for them. Right. When Rosie lashes out at me and gets angry, or a friend or a dad, she seen like, how do you handle that? Oh, you own up to it.

(19m 24s):
And you say, I’m sorry. And I didn’t need to. And like, right. It’s like, it becomes like this, this beautiful kind of sharing of mistakes. Right. And sharing of how you handle the mistakes and printed Kramer. She’s a woman in Alaska. She told me this. She’s like, you know, anytime I make, I get upset, I get angry. She’s like, I just sit down and I just tell him, like, you know, I didn’t handle that. Right. I’m sorry. And like out, or I’ll ask them like, what kind of done better. Right. So it’s this very like two way sharing of information and two way learning. Right. Which I really there’s a piece in the book about that. Right. The information just doesn’t come from the parent to the child. And in many societies, the children are sources of knowledge and information.

(20m 8s):
And, and the wonderfulness of that is the child feel so proud. Right. And they’ve taught their moms something and they’ve like contributed, right? Like that’s, you can’t that you can’t have a bigger motivating force and connecting force with a child, then having them feel like they’ve contributed to you and your life. Oh. A hundred percent. Because then they get to be a valuable member of the pack. That’s right. I love this pack. Oh my God. I might have, we might have to write something with this and I will cut it. You absolutely. Cause I love this idea because that’s exactly what we are. We are pack animals and children, are they? I mean, they just want, they want that, but that’s comfortable to them.

(20m 50s):
Right. To have all these people around them Will stimulate the natural dopamine hits you get when you, I mean, even if you think about, you know, a work team or a volunteer team, and when people are like, oh, let Michaelene handle the coordinating of the people. Cause she’s so good with people. And she always just puts all the right people together and you’re right. I do you see me? You know, like it feels so good to have other people see you and allow you to bring value. And I mean, you get those natural dopamine hits from Matt. And so I think when we allow our kids to teach us things, I mean, that’s such a confidence builder for So big, right?

(21m 30s):
Like yeah. You know, sometimes I listened to tape from when we were in the little Yucatan village, there’s so much hidden gems in there. And in one of the pieces of tape, one of the moms is saying how the family looks to the six-year-old to get the homework done because the little six year old comes home and does her homework right away. And she’s like, so we look to her, she’s our guide. And it’s just so beautiful, right. That like, here’s a family of five kids from 16 to six. And then the mom is, you know, propping the six year old up as this guy and this like help her with that homework. And it just, it was just, I think about that often, like, you know, how is Rosie our guide? And you know, how’s my, my husband and our guide and in giving that, that power to them.

(22m 14s):
Well, she’s your guide. I can say that Rosie has been here. I mean, everything that you just described, like in terms of like it impacting your marriage, the skills that you’ve learned by being Rosie’s mother and it’s impacting, you know, your other relationships, she helped you to learn true empathy because when you’re, you’re seeing all these other people’s perspectives, which is like, everyone’s doing the best that they can. And we have to get curious about what’s really going on for them. And that’s how we huge it. That’s how we quit taking it personally. But it’s all empathy. It’s emotional intelligence. That’s right. It is. You’re exactly. You’re exactly right. Seeing other persons, other person’s side being in their shoes and, and also just kind of having a much more pro-social is, as psychologist would say, but just a much better nicer view of children and other people’s motivations.

(23m 2s):
Right. Instead of constantly thinking that they have some nefarious motivation and they’re out to get me this, this thinking that they’re, they want to help, they love us so much and they really want to do what’s. Right. And they really want to contribute and they just don’t know how right. And that It takes us more time to teach them. Yes. Yes. And so I think there has to be some ownership on like, I’ll just do it myself. I mean, I’m guilty. I’m so guilty of that when it comes to like, I don’t love cooking, I don’t love, but you know, it’s like when you’ve got kids and then all of a sudden they show up several times a day and they’re like hungry, and then you have to like, figure out what to feed them and so fine. I like, okay, I’m just going to suck it up and feed these people.

(23m 46s):
So I always was just really kind of utilitarian about it. But unfortunately in doing that, because I didn’t bring any joy to it. I didn’t, I just wanted to get through it as quick, as quickly as possible. So I wasn’t including them. And then all of a sudden I’ve got a 16 year old and he’s like, you know, it’s two o’clock. He slept till whatever. And I’m like, have you eaten anything today? He’s like, no, because he doesn’t know how to make himself a freaking sandwich because, and I’m like, let me just make you something real quick. And it’s like, and so then I’m over here going, how come you guys go off to college? Cause I have two older ones and you all of a sudden are cooking and feeding yourself and like, and then you come home and it’s all again, like y’all are toddlers and I’m in the kitchen, like feeding.

(24m 34s):
I don’t even like feeding people. And, and it’s like, I created that because I didn’t take the time to include them and show them, this is the way we’re going to do it. This is the way we’re going to work as a team, as a package. Right, right, right. We’re going to pack, well, I love this. It’s so great. You know, I could tell you that my husband told me actually a couple of nights ago, he said, yeah. He was like, you know, I was like 30 and I didn’t really know how to cook. And he started getting when I was pregnant and I was too tired to cook and I came home and I was like, I’m sorry, I’m too tired. So you’re going to have to cook. And he like thought himself at the ripe old age of like 36 or something. So I would say like, my husband’s like, you totally know how to cook. I’m like, whoa, because for many years I had all the people showing up freaking hungry.

(25m 18s):
So I had to figure it out. So I know I just told him this the other day, he’s like, he goes, remember when I bought you for birthday or something, lessons at that cooking school and you never used them. And I was like, what kind of a birthday president is that? Is that for him or for you? Yeah. It was like, you never use it because they were expensive. And they went to waste. I was like, because I watched, I said, I think it was even before the food network I used to watch. I think they had cooking shows on like HGTV way back when I was like, I used to watch the cooking shows. And that’s how I learned how to do, you know, that’s the way I learned all the different techniques or whatever. He’s like, you did you watch those? I was like, yeah, where were you?

(25m 58s):
Like I was like researching. And I was like, okay, I got to figure out how to do this cooking thing. So I’m just going to watch TV. I love laying in bed and watching TV. I can learn that way. And life teaches you Maria. And then you can send that to me. Life teaches you with, you know, life teaches you this the same with kids. Right? You gotta throw them out there. Life teaches them. Well, the I’ll tell you one of the most impactful stories was I think it was Maria’s daughter when you were there and the girls were off from school and all of a sudden to tell that story. I love that. So this was like a turning point in my life. We were, it was spring break and Maria has three girls. I think at the time they were like four to 12 and they were on spring break and they’d stayed up late watching a shark movie.

(26m 40s):
I don’t know if I mentioned that in the book, but they, she found them all in the same Hammond. It cut together that night. Cause they really scared. And so they were sleeping in and she told me she was permitting them to sleep in. Otherwise they would be up doing, helping her, but then around that was like 10 or so. The oldest 12 year old on holla gets up, walks past me and her mom. You know, I knew her at that point, the girls, but not well. And we were chatting and she walks past us and just starts doing the dishes from breakfast, like right away. And I was just like, what is going on? Like there’s no chore chart. There’s no, they don’t get an allowance. And you know, nobody told her to do it. And I was really surprised. And Maria wasn’t really surprised at all. You know, she told me, she said, she’s 12.

(27m 22s):
She should know what needs to be done. And she should know when to do it. And then she asked us, it was really interesting. She said, it’s not every day. So it’s not like she’s expecting this everyday. There’s none of this. Like everybody has to do something every day. Right. And then I went over and I asked like, you know, didn’t really like, why, why did you do the dishes? And she told me because she, she loves helping her mom. And you know, I’m sure there’s some elements to that that are, that, you know, I’m, it was genuine. It was, you could feel that she really genuinely enjoys and wants to help her family. And, and this, this is not exceptional in the sense that like there’s studies on Maya communities and other indigenous communities in Mexico where the ask is this and kids will say, this kids will say I help because you know, I’m, I’m part of a team.

(28m 9s):
You know, I want to help my family. My family feeds me. You know, one of the kids said, you know, like I I’m a family member. I eat here. I live, I sleep here. Like this is part of being a family member. You know? So this, this sense of, like you say, like we’re part of a pack is very common in many, many communities around the world. And the parents intentionally instilled this idea in the kids. This isn’t something that like, it’s just like teaching kids to read or do math. There’s, you know, there’s an intentional process of instilling this idea and this value that I’m still learning, the book goes into a lot of it, but it’s a really complex idea, right? To teach a kid this idea. And unfortunately, a lot of the things that were taught in parenting books and blogs kind of are the opposite of That.

(28m 55s):
Like for instance, giving kids a chore chart, seems like a great idea, right? Like, you know, how many books tell you this? But like a lot of psychologists that study Maya parenting will tell you that actually goes against this idea because it basically tells the kid I’m only supposed to do this one thing on Mondays and this one thing on, right. And it isn’t, it’s, it’s my job and it’s my task. And it’s an individualistic goal. Right? So one you’re like get, basically giving a kid a pass on everything else. Right. And so if you try to get them to do anything else, why would they do it? Right. But to, again, it’s the focus on the individual, right? Like the individual has a task and the accomplishment and, and accomplish it and that’s their, their job.

(29m 41s):
Right? Whereas this other approach is, is all the tasks are for everyone and their shared goals, right? So instead of you go make your bed, we’re going to all make each other’s beds together. Instead of like you clean up, it’s your turn to do the dishes tonight. We all do the dishes together every night. And we do the laundry together and then tasks become shared tasks, but they also become these social tab, these social moments, you know, where like it’s going to sound really hokey, but like cleaning up after dinner can be fun sometimes because Rosie and I turned the music on and we kind of dance around it. And it becomes, especially for little kids, this is wonderful moment to be with your family after being at school all day.

(30m 24s):
So there’s tons of things that we do that kind of focus on the individual and the individual accomplishments. And in this disconnects, the child from the pack mentality, like you’re talking about all the child centered activities that we do, right? Birthday parties, lesson, you know, Mandarin lessons, violin lessons, zoo trips, all these wonderful things that we’re told to do for children does the opposite of what we’re talking about. Right. It tells them that they are their purpose in life. Are these parties and child centered activities and kind of strips away from them that membership in the team with Rosie, I saw a big difference when we stopped doing those things and, and you know, focused more on these like family focused.

(31m 6s):
I wish I would’ve gotten that memo when my kids were little, like my husband got that memo. He’s like, I’m not going to anymore. He was like, I’m not going to anymore kid birthday parties. And it was actually a source of resentment with me. Like, he’s like, I’ll, I will be a co-parent on everything else, but I’m not going to kids’ birthday parties anymore. I’m not spending my weekends doing that. And I was like, yeah. And I made it really a negative. I was like, I was like, that’s your, you know, gross male privilege, like, right. I mean, in society accepts it way more from the father, right then from the mom. There’s no question about that. The guy is always like I was, but I was thinking about it wrong because I was like, well, they’re going to want to go.

(31m 52s):
And so now it’s going to all be on me. That I’m the one that has to take them. So thanks a lot. Now it’s gonna all fall on me and he’s like, they don’t have to go. And so he actually got it. And I was like, that is not, that is so selfish. Of course they have to go see. So I was thinking about it wrong instead of realizing if I really look back at all the years and especially because two, two of my kids are highly sensitive, for sure. It was always overstimulating. Oh Gosh. Same with Rosie. Especially with my son, I had a pit in my stomach. Was he going to want to leave immediately? Was he going to have a meltdown? Was it going to ever warm up where all the other kids going to go and do the gymnastics thing?

(32m 35s):
And he was just going to want to be with me, was I going to have to go in there with him? You know, it was nerve wracking, but I was just like, no, with their birthday party, of course they have to go. These are their classmates. And my husband was like, no, they don’t. It’s this nonsense. It’s nonsense. I mean, it’s, I remember Rosie’s third birthday party. We have this big thing with some friends. It was this massive thing. It was that the park, thank God. Otherwise it would have been even worse. But I looked over at her after the cake was done and everything. And she was just sitting there screaming, like literally like screaming and crying. And I was just like, this is, this is not the point of this and why aren’t we doing this? And that was the end for me. I was like, Nope, no more of this.

(33m 16s):
Like, we can have a couple of friends over, we can have a cake, but at the end of it, and like, I don’t know when this happened, because even I’m forty, forty five. And like we had birthday parties, but they weren’t so big. And like, there were so many to like, I felt like there were like two a year, you know, I don’t know. We’ve become so far skewed to think. I think we, a lot of parents just, and I was like this, like, there’s just this fear of like, how do you feel the time right. That I had. And it actually took like a year and a half or two to get rid of this fear of like, it’s Saturday. What do I do with her? You know, and this is completely unnatural and weird. And like, you don’t have to fill the time. You just do what you want to do and figure out a way that she comes with you or she stays home with somebody else, you know?

(34m 2s):
And like it’s your life. And she’s, she’s included in as much as she can. And you know, you have to make some accommodations for them, but you kind of move on with your life. And that’s how parents have done it for like 200,000 years. Wow. No doubt. There were not birthday parties in zoos, you know, in Africa when we were all hunter-gatherers Thanks for joining me on the Mastermind Parenting podcast. If you have a strong-willed child, you’re in the right place, I invite you to join our free Facebook group, where we continue the conversation sparked here on the podcast, go to facebook.com forward slash groups dot Mastermind, Parenting to join.

(34m 53s):
You know, the Inuit people in the Arctic I think are fascinating. And I had read something or listen to something about them. I don’t know, maybe five years ago. And I actually created a tool based on something I had learned. And I call it the tall tale tool. And the tool really was with our thought cause as I’m reverse engineering, my process, I was thinking back to my youngest child who went through that phase that I think a lot of kids go through where they don’t want you to brush their teeth. They don’t want to brush their teeth. They don’t want you to brush their teeth. They still need assistance and whatever. And so I used to go on a hunt for sugar bugs. Oh, this is good. Yeah. And so I’d be like, okay, open up really big. And he’d like open his mouth as big as I was like, oh my, I was like, you had some cookies.

(35m 35s):
I see a little black one lurk. So I would be like, oh my there’s a purple one. Wait, I’ve never seen an Aqua. Well, hold on, let me get him. He’s right over. So I do not be on this end and he’d like the, oh, winning it. And he’s so cooperative and I really based it on how they’re like, you know, it’s kind of like, it’s just such emotional intelligence that has been around since ancient times, which is like, know your audience, like, Right. Like, like, like speak to your audience. Like if you were right now having a conversation with an academic audience, I’m sure there would be different language being used or right. Like, you know, your audience, if I’m, if I’m giving my talk that I give to, like I gave it recently and the audience was very heavy with men and like, you know, like CEO, businessmen, well guess what?

(36m 26s):
I kept using a lot of examples of, you know, employees and in business and whatever, because you have to know your audience. So I love, I love the part in the book where you kind of you, where you talk about that. And I would love for you to just to even speak more to what you learned from them. You mean in terms of storytelling. Yeah. Yeah. So, so if you look, this is probably of all the things in the book, this is probably the most universal practice. Like I’m Irish in that the stories in Ireland are almost like so similar to the stories in the Arctic. And like you can find a water story, like every culture, like, and there’s a big argument to be made that young children up until about six or seven really are evolved.

(37m 8s):
Their brains evolved to learn through story. Like that’s some people, actually, some scientists actually think that this is what makes us human. That the way we can cooperate with each other is through stories. So like if I’m hunting, you know, when we were all hunter gatherers, we did cooperative hunting. And it’s one of the things that kept us humans alive. And to do that, you had to tell each other stories. So like, if I’m hunting, I’ll tell you like go down to the river turn, right. I’ll meet you over there. You know? And that’s like a story. That’s the, that’s like the has the elements of a story. And so storytelling is this deep, deep human thing. And you’ll find everywhere stories to teach children how to be safe outside. So at the end you would have a water monster, Coppola, Irish have a water horse.

(37m 52s):
And it basically is like, you know, if you go too close to the water, the ocean, which will kill children, you know, this, this monster will come and put you on his back and then take you down into the water. But they have all these amazing, amazing stories. Some of them are quite, quite scary. And the Irish I was, I learned had all these stories for the marshes or the, the swamps because the land would turn into water and suck children up. And so they taught children about theories in the forest and monsters and all this stuff. And, but it is just the best way to get a young child to do what you want them to do And do collaborate. And it turns these moments that are incredibly stressful, like brushing teeth, or I couldn’t get Rosie to change her dress.

(38m 38s):
She would’ve saved us three weeks at one point. But like, and it was just this, we were nagging. We were arguing. And then I finally said to her, she’s afraid of spiders and they whisper, I got close to her and I whispered her in her ears. I see if you don’t change that dress, spiders are going to come and crawl all over it. And like, she like would be like this like big eyes and just like took the dress off. And like it’s rude in the hamper. I mean, we had spent like days trying to get her to take this dress off and it was incredible. It was just like, boom. And it’s like, you’re speaking their language, you know, it’s like you were talking about before, like, you know, we put the adult mind on them and this is like, the child’s mind is a story. Right. That’s, that’s how they think that’s how they learn.

(39m 20s):
And I say, one of the dads actually told me, like, you know, I’d much rather my kid be afraid of some monster in the forest and afraid of me, right. With anger, threats and punishments. Right. And so it’s kind of also a way of like teaching the child so that it’s not coming from you, it’s coming from kind of the world. Right. Like I say, in the book, I feel like storytelling is a way of disciplining and teaching that builds communication instead of like building walls and, and really pitting the child against the parent because, oh my God, Rosie loves the story. So Rosie is six now. And she knows, she kind of knows all the stories are fake now. And like, they’re not real, but she still loves them. We were still, we were having this whole monster conversation on the way home from school yesterday about like the screaming monster and the selfish monster, the lazy monster, like all of these very complex ideas.

(40m 9s):
Right. But she understands through these stories and the stories have, we’re a big turning point in our lives because they, they like decrease so much conflict in our house, like so much. Well, and you know, I like the playfulness of it. It’s like, it doesn’t have to be so freaking serious all the time. Exactly. It’s like, it’s just their teeth, you know, it’s just some pink dress. Like it doesn’t have to be all serious. And, and I feel like that’s when you were talking about like the parenting books and the, you know, now I got to be, now I have to figure out how to do a chore chart. Like I think we had a wheel when I was at camp and my bunk, but like, that’s not my thing. Like what? And so it’s like, it’s giving you all, like now I have to like do this crafty person.

(40m 51s):
And I have, And it’s super late complex. Like even the Maya parents, you tell them about a chart. They’re like, you have to do all that to get a child to like clean up after dinner. No, you don’t need to do all that. You just need to like, do it with them, like, And have fun and like bond and connect. And now they, all of a sudden they associate a positive memory with being helpful. And then you’re like, gosh, we got this done in half the time that it would have taken me without, you know, And they learn fast. You know, people always say like, it takes me more time when they’re with me. And it’s like, it’s true at the beginning. It does. But it, it will save you time very quickly. Well, they learn way faster. It’s also amazing.

(41m 32s):
Like, I’ll say to my kids something and they’re like, yeah, I got it. And I’m like, really? I don’t need to repeat it four times. And they’re like, it’s almost like they’re saying like, no, my brain is young. It doesn’t have all the cobwebs on it. Like I, like you said it, I was actually engaged in listening. You don’t have to repeat it four times. Oh, That is such good. I mean, that is like such a big difference in us in so many cultures is that parents will just say something once and that’s it. The kid doesn’t do it right away. They wait like 10, 15 minutes and then maybe repeat it. And then sometimes they just don’t even repeat it. It’s like, they just go get your shoes and that’s it. Well it’s okay. So I, I asked my group, I, I, I said, okay, I will ask Michaeleen a few questions, because as I said, we’re all obsessed with your book.

(42m 22s):
So I want to ask a few of the questions that people submitted. And before though, before we get there, I do want to ask one thing about the shift in you. Okay. So, so you went and I love all the stories about how you kind of realized, like in all these other cultures parenting, doesn’t just fall on the mom or the mom And the judge. Right. And so there’s this whole support network. And I think that parenting has, you know, in our modern world or here in America, I think in the mainstream culture, it can be a lonely endeavor, like Hugely, Right.

(43m 8s):
It can feel so lonely and it can feel unsafe emotionally to like really tell people what’s going on behind the curtains of your home. Cause it seems like that’s not going on in their house or at least their pictures on social media tell you that they’ve just got their shit together. And it just makes you feel terrible and like a failure. So you, and then you’re worried that maybe if you tell somebody what’s really going on, what if they judge your kid and what if they don’t want? And they can be mean to each other, like, Right. They’ll judge, you they’ll judge your kid. They’ll what if they then go and spread rumors and then other parents hear that your kid’s a nightmare and then they’re not going to let their kid play with your kids. So you’re like, okay, well I better just keep it to myself.

(43m 50s):
Right. And so it seems like you went and tell me if I’m wrong, but it seems like a lot of the shift within you was going and having this sort of circle of sisterhood embraced you. Hmm. I haven’t thought of that like that, but you’re, but it’s right. Like having these support right. From these other women and, and tie the men in Tanzania. Yeah, absolutely. You know, it’s really interesting because I mean, I think parents are judgmental everywhere, but not like here. And it comes back to that idea that children are expected to be hellion. Right. They’re expected to misbehave, they’re these illogical irrational creatures. So it’s not the parent’s fault. Like it’s not on the parents. Right. And I, I think that shifts the mentality a lot, but then again, you know, it goes also back to what are we teaching?

(44m 36s):
Are we teaching kids to be these little individual islands with individual accomplishments? That’s kind of how the parents treat each other. Right. Are we teaching kids to work together and support each other? And you know, that’s how the parents treat each other in these other cultures. Right. And I guess the thing that I kind of also, I want to leave the listeners with is I feel like especially being a mom, because in America, in most families that I have known or experienced, it seems like a lot of the childcare still does fall on the mom. Absolutely. Right. More than the dad. And if we’re feeling isolated and alone and worried about being judged or our kids being judged.

(45m 17s):
So we might as well just keep it quiet and grin and bear it really through our gritted teeth deal with whatever’s going on. It feels like it’s got patriarchal roots, you know? Absolutely. And I think this is kind of all coming together. I’ve been very obsessed with this. Have you seen Mrs. America on Hulu? The series? I think it was on Fs. Have you watched this? Yes. Okay. So I’m obsessed with it. I’m on, I think I’m on episode seven. And did you like it? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. For sure. Yeah. So I’ve been, I started just in watching it and just kind of like studying, you know, it’s really interesting. These a docu-drama is, I think they’re so interesting in teaching history because for anybody that doesn’t know, it’s all about like the rise of the feminist movement.

(46m 1s):
And I love the lens of looking at the stop era movement Lastly, right? Yes. Yes. And so, and it’s just a star-studded cast. It’s really fun to watch, but I’ve been thinking here it’s like that the patriarchal roots that we can control society if we control the women and there’s strength in numbers, there’s strength in packs. So if within our culture, the women aren’t allowed to really band together in sisterhood. Yes. So then it’s like, nothing’s really going to change. It’s almost like there’s been so much masculine leadership and the feminine leadership that only really like, I think, you know, not only women because lots of men ha you know, it’s like, we all have feminine masculine.

(46m 53s):
Right. But it seems like you went to these ancient cultures and the women showed up with that sort of divine, feminine leadership and they, and they embraced you and they modeled that for you. And they taught you how to tap into that within yourself. Yeah. I think you’re, I mean, I think what you just said is like incredible, I think absolutely right by, by dividing women, the power structure states, right. With the men, right. It’s a way of perpetuating the power structure, like pitting women against each other and nowhere more theaters is in the parenting realm. Right. Cause it is like, and you’re absolutely right. I mean, I just think back to when we were the second day in the Arctic, I put this in the story and this mom ran out of her house and she said to us, she said to me, she said, I see you here with your daughter by yourself.

(47m 43s):
You can’t be here by yourself with your daughter. You need help. You need a break. I will take her for you. And like, it’s just like, wow. Right. Like, and then they all kind of, I didn’t put this as a book, but they all kind of, three of them came together and had this like intervention when they were like, we’re going to take Rosie for the afternoon. Michaeleen needs a break. And like, they got her finally to go with them. And, but it was your res, this is incredible, But I love what they said to you. You don’t just need a break. She needs a break from you. Yes, yes. This is what Sally said one day. She’s like, it’s they get tired. She gets tired of you just as much as you’re tired of her. That is so right. Right. Like not just about me, like Sally said, like, that’s why she’s so grumpy.

(48m 23s):
She needs a break from you. I loved that part. And I was like such a good point, you know? Yeah. We think of like outsourcing our childcare is so poo-pooed and our co like, we think it’s not the idea or heard it. I mean, there’s still even like, you know, a lot of people think this, that when you outsource it and other people take care of your kids, you’re somehow doing something wrong. When in fact like data say that kids need that do better when they’re, you know, off with another family off with the other kids off with the grandma. Like, so it’s, I’m always encouraging to go, go with others. They stretch their wings and they also get this like, support.

(49m 4s):
Right. They feel like, okay, something I’m going to say, mom and dad, they know that like, I’ve got this, you know, people have got my back and I feel the safety net, you know? Well, I also think that when they go off with other people, I think that it teaches them not, I think it kind of is like the opposite of codependency. Yeah. Right. Sure. For sure. As we can, we can love each other the most and we can come back together and be so happy to be together. And we don’t have to be together every single second. It’s actually not healthy. We need to all have like, we have our lives together and we have our lives separately.

(49m 45s):
Yeah. I think it’s helped so healthy. Yeah. And for the parents too. Right. Cause then it’s kinda like, like having, I call them like the aunt, the auntie network. And it’s like having that, it’s like, okay, if I need, you know, something comes up or we need something really quick and we’ve got this, someone has my back. And like there’s studies that show that that’s more important in life, but for your health then like not smoking that eating right is just feeling like if something goes wrong, I have support. I have somebody who has my back. And, and again, we’re teaching the kid the same thing, right. That like how to create these strong relationships and reach out and get help and give help. And he had this nuclear family thing is crazy. And like I say, it hasn’t been around very not time tested and really not the way kids are designed to be raised, but you don’t need a village.

(50m 34s):
You just really need like one or two at other families or, you know, one or two really strong people in your, in your life. Right. Besides your, your, the nuclear family, you just need one or two, it’s makes a huge difference. I think it’s, I think that’s what a lot of, a lot of the members in my group said, like, that sounds like heaven on earth. How do we do that? How do we create that? It feels so elusive because, and I think it might geographically, it might, it might depend on where you live. I mean, I always felt like that. Like we went one summer and we stayed, we rented a house for a month in Boulder, Colorado, and it, me and my youngest son at the end of that month, I said, I feel like if we had lived here, if you guys had been raised here, things would be different.

(51m 22s):
Things would be different. And we live in Houston, we live in a big city, you know, it’s just, it’s, it just is a different culture. It’s harder. It’s harder. But in San Francisco, so we live in Texas now, too. We moved, but in San Francisco it is harder. There’s no doubt it’s harder, but I do think you can do it. I think it’s, for me, it boiled down to being very selective instead of like, I really proved back that any, which moms told me this too, like I really proved back. It’s not about abundance of friendships. It really is about like, having people that share your thoughts on kids and really share the desire to build this network. And really, so we ended up really just with two families that we shared the childcare pickup and the dinners and the weekends.

(52m 10s):
And it was a very, it was very small, but very like robust and strong connection. And it helped a lot. It helped a huge amount. Yeah. I think it’s, I have somebody who works with me, a coworker who lives in San Francisco and she has that there. So I know it’s not just a big city thing. Of course, in my brain. I’m like, yeah, but it’s California and We’re in Alpine, Texas, like super rural. And it’s a lot easier here. I mean, We can just walk around. It’s so awesome. You know, so it’s, I, I do see though, I do see that the city is harder. There’s no, there’s no doubt, but I think it’s doable.

(52m 52s):
I mean, and you know, just one, just one extra person that really cares for the child and really cares for you is, is there’s data that shows it makes a huge difference in a child’s mental health growing as they grow up. Just one person, like Just one other, one other family. Yeah. I mean, you have that. We have that and it just kind of haphazardly happened, but it’s interesting because it’s like, everyone just works together. You know, It’s easy. Right. That’s kind of what happened. I was like, okay. The ones that I have to work a lot for, I’m just kinda like, let them fall off, you know, and really invest the time and the energy to the ones that feel easy and I’m not forcing things and, you know, but, but, but I do feel like I had some, I have to make the conscious effort to value it and put the time in, right.

(53m 40s):
Like, okay, I’m not gonna like do this extra thing at work because you know, we’ve got this, you know, I want to help with the other families, kids and like, you know, really kind of prioritizing, it makes it makes a big difference, but it, it brings so much joy. Right. It brings so much joy to help each other to Rosie. It brings joy to me, it brings joy. Like, it just feels good. Right. Help each other, Everyone a break from each other too. Yeah, Exactly. And I enjoy the relationship with the other kids too. Right. Like really getting to know them and yeah, it’s been, it’s what we really need. And it’s interesting because in those little communities in the book, the families are the same. They don’t have this like massive network of friends. They have like one or two families that they’re sometimes related sometimes.

(54m 21s):
Not that they’re really close to. And it’s, even though they live in this really small place. Right. But the moms and in Tanzania, it was just incredible how much time they spend together. So I described a little bit in the book, but just every day, like eight moms just spend the entire day together, like from basically fire sunup, fire to like sun down fire. And they’re like with each other chatting, socializing, forging, like just, and it just struck me as like, wow, this is an enormous amount of socializing and what that must do to them. Like, they must never feel like alone, you know, and isolated and Yeah. It’s almost like their version of a Kubota.

(55m 3s):
Yeah. And like, yeah. And it’s like, okay, I’m never going to get to that level. But like, I can add a little bit more of that and really value it and see the value of it and the importance of it. Yeah. I think it sounds heavenly. Okay. Let me get to that question. Okay. I know I I’m so fascinated with everything that you learned from all, you know, I could just listen to stories forever. Aaron says, my question is related to our post pandemic times From your travels in the villages, what have you changed in terms of your rituals and your habits and how has your village families adapted? I don’t know exactly what that means To the pandemic. That’s like, Oh yeah.

(55m 46s):
I don’t know a lot about, I mean, okay. I think anyway, town was really spared. It was incredible. Like they were spared because they were so isolated physically, they could block off and they’ve been doing great. But I think that the village in that I don’t know about the Tansy of village. I actually, this is about all of them. They’ve all done really well. Both at the anyway then the Tanzania communities were really isolated physically. And so they could just kind of block it off. And in the last I heard from the Mayan village that they were doing well, that the elderly people got vaccinated and, you know, the Mexican government did a good job of, I think, vaccinating some of the rural communities. And so I think they’ve done well.

(56m 27s):
So the routines changed enormously. I mean, the big thing is like, it took about six months, I’d say to do this, but I just got rid of really all child centered activities that, that I didn’t want to do. So sometimes I take Rosie to this farm, this kid farm, because I like seeing the animals, you know, but no birthday parties, unless I like the parents and I want to be with the parents, you know, you know, it was none of this stuff, not the weekends or like I do what I want to do and I need to do, and I figured out a way that Rosie can join me. And if she can’t join me, you know, then, then I find somebody to watch her or, you know, find something else for her to do. But most of the time she can join me and we figure out ways.

(57m 10s):
And the same thing with after school, we do nothing. We do nothing. Like we come home, actually now we all come home and we all garden, we’ve been like making this massive garden in our yard. And, but it’s like, I just do my stuff. And you know, like Thanksgiving, I was solo parenting for like three months in the winter. And I still just did my stuff over the Thanksgiving break. I had to work and Rosie just sat there and did her stuff while I was working. And it’s not very exciting work. I mean, sometimes it is, but he listened to Peter and that really changed that perspective of like what the kid needs. And what’s really good for her. And what’s good for her is to just be with me and enjoying me And she’s welcome.

(57m 53s):
Like He is totally welcomed. Oh exactly. It’s not just like forest. It’s like, I like, I like her company. Yeah. Right. Because you know what, because you don’t have to change. Like you’re like, I, I have a job. Like I have to get some work done and you’re more than welcome to be here with me. That’s right. I think it’s, I think that’s a beautiful thing, right? Like, right. Is this coexistence, right? It’s not me sitting there like teaching her and talking to her and this really intense interaction. No, it’s just us doing our thing. A lot of times she’s coloring and she wants to go outside. She can ride her bike outside, let me have the space and now, and like, you know, she can be there. She could not be there.

(58m 34s):
And, and we’ve trained her, like I’ve trained her so that she can take care of herself in this environment. Yeah. No, because I know people are like, okay, but how do I get there? And what I want y’all to see is where you are now. If you’re like, how on earth? I know what you’re saying, what you’re thinking listener. My kid would never write every second. It’s I’m bored and yada, yada, yada. And so what Michaeleen just said is she trained her and, and that’s loaded because you know, we can know that, but then the reality of actually doing that, right.

(59m 15s):
It takes, it takes a lot of confidence in showing up and knowing like, if your child has been trained to be, you know, to live in a kid centric family, and now all of a sudden you’re changing the rules, just know that when you’re changing the rules, it’s going to get terrible for a sack. Right. Like it, like, it’s going to take a minute. And if you can adopt, like what the, you know, what all the different indigenous women taught you, it’s just like, of course they’re going to lose their minds. Right. Right. You know, when, when they have to experience boredom and you’ve been entertaining them every second, of course, like, well, doesn’t that make perfect sense. Right. Cause I mean, we’re the same way, right? Like when you can’t text on our phone, We get upset, intense.

(59m 60s):
Right. And it’s the same feeling they’re having the dopamine isn’t there. So they’re, they’re like, you know, they got to come off the dope dopamine, They got a detox, they got a detox. Exactly. Right, right. So I just want people to kind of like, just, just be inspired and see themselves. Like it was just three years ago that you, you know, that you were like, I’m sort of dreading the day. And now you’re like, and my child’s welcome everywhere with me. And I still get I garden. I work. I like, I’m not going to birthday parties. We don’t have to, I don’t have to like go to one of those terrible children’s museum or whatever it Is. No, none of that, like I just get my stuff done and I, I it’s wonderful. My kid can be with me coloring and like, it’s great.

(1h 0m 43s):
And I mean, she says to me sometimes like, I’m bored. I don’t know what to do. I mean, there’s, I mean, it’s not every second. I mean, there was one day, like she was making like 10 hours and of course there’s like moments where she’s angsty, but like, so am I, you know? And we just like, you know, and, and it, and it moves past it and which you’re right. I mean, I’ve written about this. I think it took the paint date kid. And she had to sit with me because there was nothing we could do. And I was solo parenting then too. She was mad for like a week. Oh my God. She was pissed. And she was like throwing furniture. And like, it was terrible, but it passed literally like a week. And we did it in little chunks too. Like, that’s another really like big piece of the book is this idea that go in steps.

(1h 1m 23s):
Right? Like if you need to, like, you barely need to rip the bandaid off with kids. Right. You can like, so we would do like 20 minutes. Okay. I’m going to work 20 minutes and then we’ll go walk outside or I’ll go meet outside, you know? And then we worked up to an hour and then, you know, over the course of a week, we worked up to like a couple hours and it was A lot of time. I mean, that’s, that’s what I’m saying is And learn fast. Yes. Fast. Right. You can’t give in. Right. So you had to be confident. And I think it was the circle of sisterhood that was like, Oh yeah, Right. Like, like, let it, let us really tell you. And you’re like, okay, well, the proof’s in the pudding. I’m seeing your 12 year olds just show up and do the dishes because she loves being helpful.

(1h 2m 5s):
Alright. I believe you freeing it. Keep, keep bringing, you know, advice and guidance. And so you were obviously a willing student and coachable and I just want everyone Else. I mean, I want everyone. I want everyone to realize there is hope. Okay. I’m going to get, I’m just going to get to one more. Okay. You can email me them, and then if you want, I can. Oh, okay, great. Okay. I’m going to this other one. Cause this was, this came up a lot for people. It said you touch a little bit on technology. Think that you said that it’s, it’s not really an issue in some of the other cultures that have it. The kids just don’t get it until they can afford to buy it themselves.

(1h 2m 46s):
And they manage it themselves. She goes, I wonder if that’s still her take as her daughter’s getting older. Oh, that’s great question. So the Maya village is the, they don’t have it. I mean, they all have TVs in their home, you know, but that’s like the family TV, but the, yeah, they don’t have phones or anything if they can’t buy it and pay for the plans and everything. So most of the kids get a phone like fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, when they start to work, you know, go, you know, like we’re going to house, take care of kids, you know, babysit. So yes, that is still my take as Rosie age six. Whereas he is not going to get a phone until was he pays for the phone. I’ll let you know how that goes. But that is the plan. And I really, I really respect that idea because I think for lots of reasons now that in the Arctic, the kids had tons of video games, no phones, too expensive.

(1h 3m 36s):
You know, I think it’s the same thing that the FA you know, the tons of video games and the kids play tons of video games. And I’ve thought a lot about this, the parent didn’t police it, there wasn’t this like time limits. And basically anything that, any item that caused conflict in a lot of those homes they would get rid of. And they even told me this, like, we don’t argue with the property. We don’t argue over things, which is so interesting itself. But interestingly, the kids also played outside six, seven hours a day. So they would be on the video games. This is the summer. And they weren’t at school. They building video games four or five hours a day, but they’d also be outside like enormous amounts of time. And I think I’ve been thinking a lot about this.

(1h 4m 18s):
And I think it’s because the parents were outside so much too. Right. And so the parents weren’t on their device the whole day, all day, they were like out fishing, hunting, coating, berries out on the water like that the parents had these big lives outside and the kids just kind of did too. And I think that that helps balance out a lot of the video gaming, but they did a lot of video gaming and like the grandma in the book, Maria, she came back from like a seven day, 10 day hunting trip and she got back and she was like, oh my God, I have so much CSI. I have to catch up once. And I think that that like showed them a mixture of it. It was like, I just spent seven days camping outside, but I guess sit here and watch CSI for like four hours, you know?

(1h 5m 0s):
So Yeah, It was a big mix and I’m really inspired by that because it’s like, it doesn’t have to be all or one, but I think the parents have to kind of also show the kid there’s a life outside. Right. There’s all this fun stuff to do outside. And we have this big relationship with nature and we also watched students. Right, Right, right. No, that’s a great point. Okay. Well this may end up being a two-parter because we went, so thank you. So Know I was about to say thank you for being so generous with your time. Of course, I want to write something on the pack, so I will contact you because I want to credit everything that you, that is. I love that. Good. Good. Yes, absolutely contact me and for everyone, which is all of you who are going to go and get this, I’m calling it required reading for every parent.

(1h 5m 46s):
Has it come out and paperback yet? Yes. It just came out like last month. So there’s a paperback paperback version. So hunt gather parent. And even though I do read a lot of books on my Kindle and I do also listen to a lot of books on audible. I invite everyone to buy the actual copy, physical copy of this book, because you’re going to want to be able to refer to it easily. You’re going to want, I’m telling you, mine is all marked up. You’re going to want to take notes and highlight, and you will be referring back to this again and again, and you’ll be teaching other people about it. So you’re going to like want to sound educated and you’re going to just want it as an easy reference. So I think the physical copy is, is definitely worth getting, Oh, you know, when I first would the went part, I, when I would get really angry at Rosie, I would go back and read it to calm myself down and like recenter myself.

(1h 6m 40s):
So I even read parts of it, like over and over again, because it’s, it’s a lot, you know, it’s a lot to take in. Well, the story, I mean, there’s so much for us. Like the minute we get to remember storytelling is how they learn. And then all of a sudden that taps into the creative part, you know? So it’s like, okay, so now I have to access the creative part of my brain. Oh, I can’t stay in this angry limits, you know? And so it’s like, it might just be an amazing tool either. Like you might’ve been using that tool as a way to just like quickly kind of get yourself out of that triggered moment. Yeah. Like move from, like you say, like the reactive brain, she’s a creative brain thought of it like that.

(1h 7m 24s):
That’s so True. Yeah. That’s so cool. What We want them to do right. Eventually. And they learn by what we model. So there you go. Okay. So much fun, so much fun. All right. Thanks for listening guys. Thank you so much, 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.

(1h 8m 13s):
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