I am continuing the conversation from last week, so if you haven’t listened to Episode 186, go and check it out. As I mentioned last week, I’m currently doing some research and planning, because I’m writing a book with a pediatrician and fellow Mastermind Mom, Sarah Miller. We’re testing out some different hypotheses. It’s going to be a book that is written and sort of conversational between the two of us, looking at the doctor’s perspective when we as parents are seeking their advice and their direction when we’re worried about our kids.
I think parents are asking their doctors things that they don’t feel comfortable asking some of the people that are in their life who may have parenting experience. Their family or their close friends, for example. Parenting, I just think it’s so obviously personal for so many of us, and is our most important role.
It’s hard to feel scrutinized about the thing that you care about the absolute most. So my hypothesis has been that it’s so hard to talk about these worries we have, and open up when we’re worried about our kids because we just don’t want to screw them up. And we’re also so worried about other people judging us and we don’t want other people to judge our kids. It seems many of us then talk to our doctors about these concerns, that they are a trusted resource who won’t judge us or our children.
So, today’s episode is a continuation of these thoughts, along with some stories and examples which I believe many of you may be able to find a connection with, a sense that you’ve felt a similar way. I want this to become more of a mainstream conversation. And if you’re feeling like the moms I described in today’s episode, I want you to know there is nothing wrong with you, and you’re not alone in how you’re feeling.
And even just identifying that you’re feeling that way, makes you a more self-aware person. And since all change starts with awareness, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.
As always, thanks for listening, and be sure and head over to Facebook and you can join my free group Mastermind Parenting Community, where we post tips and tools and do pop up Live conversations where I do extra teaching and coaching to support you in helping your strong-willed children so that they can FEEL better and DO better. If you enjoyed this episode and think that others could benefit from listening, please share it!
About Randi Rubenstein
Randi Rubenstein helps parents with a strong-willed kiddo become a happier family and enjoy the simple things again like bike rides and beach vacays.
She’s the founder of Mastermind Parenting, host of the Mastermind Parenting podcast, and author of The Parent Gap. Randi works with parents across the U.S.
At Mastermind Parenting, we believe every human deserves to have a family that gets along.
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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 7. Well, hi guys, how are you this week? I am sort of continuing the conversation from last week. So if you haven’t listened to episode 180 6, go and listen to 180 6. This week’s episode I think is going to be titled The Questions We Think, but don’t ask. So, as I mentioned last week, right now, I’m currently doing some research and planning because I’m writing a book with a doctor with a pediatrician and we’re testing out some different hypotheses and it’s going to be a book that is written and sort of conversational between the two of us really kind of, I don’t know, just looking at the doctor’s perspective when we are going and we’re seeking their advice and their direction when we’re worried about our kids.
Okay. And so I’ve always thought, I think parents are asking, are asking their doctors things that they don’t feel comfortable asking the people that are in their life that are like Their family or their close friends, because parenting, what I found is is that I just think it’s S so obviously personal for so many of us. And it’s, you know, this is our most important role in life, even though, even though it’s really screwed up because, you know, I’ve never met. I think parenting is like the ultimate commonality.
It will level everyone. And yet, so many of us define ourselves by what our career is and what all of our accomplishments are. And you’ll hear quite often stay at home. Parents be like, well, I’m just, you know, I don’t work. I stay home. And just like in our society, it’s so sort of trivialized and I’ve even had, I mean, I it’s, it’s my favorite thing. Now. It used to trigger the hell out of me, but now it’s my favorite thing. When people are like, wait, what, what do you do? Like people pay you for that. You help people with parenting that’s as the craziest thing I’ve ever heard.
And I’m like, Hm. When something’s really important to us and we value it and we know like, it’s the kind of thing that we want to get, right. So badly that it keeps us up at night. Wouldn’t it just make sense to seek resources and seek out professionals. And yet in our, in our kind of mainstream world, it is not the norm yet, yet. Just wait, just wait till I’m done with changing this conversation. I want it to be the norm because I know, I mean, that’s the reason why I poured over books and resources and search and search and search and search because my ultimate goal was to raise healthy whole humans.
I wouldn’t have put it like that way back when, but I think I had an inner knowing that, like I had a lot, I lot, I had to undo in myself as an adult and a lot I sort of had to, I don’t know, kind of undo the damage. I’m still doing it. Please. Don’t think for a second, that I’m cooked. And it’s very interesting. Cause when you, when you become the kind of family that can talk about all the things, you know, what happens when your kids get old enough to talk about all the things they talk to you about, all the things that they wish you would have gotten more. Right? My daughter does it all the time with me.
And it’s hard, you know, it’s hard to feel scrutinized about the thing that you care about the absolute most. So my hypothesis has been that because it’s so hard to talk about these worries we have and when we’re worried about our kids and we just so badly, don’t want to screw them up, but yet we’re so worried about other people judging us. And we don’t want other people to judge our kids. Like it’s a loaded, loaded topic. And so I’ve kind of felt like, well, when you’re really worried about things, you ask your doctor a lot of times you’re at, you’ll ask your doctor.
So I’ve been polling, different parents. And I’ve been saying like, go back to, you know, the parents that work with me privately. And I’ve been saying, go back to where you were before you found Mastermind Parenting, you know, what were you thinking? What were you Googling? What were you asking your doctor? And it’s interesting because I think that what I’ve learned is that it can even feel too vulnerable to say things out loud and to ask your doctor. So, so what some of the moms have told me is they would, you know, they would kind of do Google searches.
Why is my child acting this way? And then the surprising thing to me was a lot of my moms, it turned into what am I doing wrong? And then when they start to, like, let’s say, listen to this podcast. And so they’re learning a new way to think about things that they hadn’t really thought of before. Okay. So they’ve been introduced to some of these concepts that I talk about on this podcast. So then they start beating themselves up. Why am I still doing it wrong? Like I’m learning the things.
I’ve okay. I got the information here in my brain. Why do I still find myself doing it wrong? Okay. And then you have the mom who is trying some new tools and, but they’re just like still feeling insecure. And so it’s like, am I doing this? Right? Like they don’t, they’re like, I’m not even sure this is different than the way other people are doing it. And this is different. You know, it’s like I had a situation with a mom just yesterday and today in my groups who her seven-year-old, she’s getting, you know, the school, she had a meeting at school and her seven year old, you know, everybody’s, you know, basically insinuating that he probably has ADHD.
He definitely has a learning difference. They’ve found, you know, he does have a dyslexia. So she’s taking him for all this extra dyslexia support. And so after his whole long day of school, like three times a week, he has to go for the extra two hours to, you know, take his exhausted brain now to learn the way that he’s meant to learn, to read. And so this little child, it’s a pretty exhausting existence. And so he’s at this kind of small, really loving private school. And he’s got this sweet teacher, this young teacher. And she’s basically like out of the 10 kids that I have.
She only has 10 kids in her class. She’s out of that out of the 10 kids she has in her class. Three of them are like my master, my mom’s son. And they’re busy. They’re busy boys. And you know, this is a church based school, so he, he’s not cooperating when they’re in chapel, he was tearing up a Kleenex. He’s not doing this. He’s not doing that. He’s not wanting to come in from recess. He’s not following the rules. And so this mom reach out to me and she’s just like, you know, I just, I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m doing this right.
And, and the thing is, is that she’s doing it exactly right. She’s just not doing it the way the school or what she perceives the school thinks the way she should be doing it. And she kept talking about how the school was talking about how, you know, it’s just not okay. Cause he’s not obedient and he’s not obedient and obedient. And I was like, okay, you’ve got to stop using the word obedience. I was like the fact that they even use the word OBD. And I have no doubt that this school is a loving place and they just don’t know not to use the word obedient, but anyone who uses the word obedient, I’m like obedience is for dogs, not for humans.
Like we have evolved past that. And, and she’s like, well, what’s the mastermind term for obedience because you know, there are rules in life and we have to know to follow the rules. And I was like, cooperation, like when your kid’s not cooperating, okay. There’s a reason. Right. There’s a reason they’re not. And I S what I’ve said to her, there’s this saying, I don’t know if y’all have heard of it. It’s called like the Canary in the coal mine. And so it goes back to, you know, when there was, well, I’m sure there’s still coal mines, but like the Canary and the coal mine is the saying of like the Canary is, you know, singing and alerting everyone that there’s danger.
And so I was like these kids, these busy kids who aren’t just sitting on their mat at seven years old, and don’t want to come in from recess when he’s busy catching frogs and is tearing up a Kleenex when he’s expected at the very beginning of his day, when he should be learning the most. And his body is, has just had a whole night of rest and he’s like raring to go. And now he has to sit quietly in chapel and he’s, you know, he’s got all this nervous energy. And so he’s tearing a Kleenex. You know, he’s the Canary in the coal mine saying, this is not the way this is supposed to be done. He doesn’t know how to say that. He’s just a little kid.
And so what I said to her was, I said, you do know, you do know what to do, but you’re questioning yourself because you’re surrounded with all these people in this school that is probably a sweet school, but they haven’t trained their teachers in proper classroom management. She’s like, I’ve never even heard that term. And I said, you know, there’s a lot involved in properly managing kids in a classroom and not telling them all the things they shouldn’t be doing and doubling down and focusing on, you know, what you want them to do and setting them up for success and making it engaging and being playful and making it fun the way humans are designed to learn.
So this school hasn’t progressed with the times as many schools haven’t and now the school is saying so, so their solution for when the child is not being obedient is for him to go to the principal’s office and call the mom and for the mom to handle it. And she’s just like, you know, I, I just, I, I don’t even know what to do. I was like, yeah, you do know what to do. You’ve just said all the things that he is, you know, at home, he’s the first person to be helpful. She’s structured him and set him up for success. And he comes in and he unpacks his lunch kit and he puts it where it goes, and he takes care of business.
And then he’s outside playing, running, and playing and swimming and catching frogs and exploring they live on some land out kind of in the country in Texas. And like, he goes and takes care of business. And then when it’s bedtime, she’s now structured it where he comes in and he knows what to do in terms of his bed, bedtime routine. She’s, he’s super cooperative at home because she set him up for success. And I was like, see, you do know what to do. And quite often we question ourselves because we’re surrounded with other adults who haven’t gotten the memo, that there’s a better way to help kids be cooperative, to let them know that you are on their side, you are on their team to set them up for success.
So I think it can be very difficult to be surrounded with a lot of people who haven’t gotten the memo and people that are caring for your kid. And, you know, now the schools they’re calling her to be the disciplinarian. And I said, it’s actually, you know, if they don’t know how to do it right yet. I mean, I did share some resources because I have a background. I have a background where I worked with a lot of teachers and helped help to, you know, help them to learn how to manage kids in a more positive way in their classroom and turn and turn it into a school family. And so there’s a program that I really believe in called conscious discipline. Cause she’s like, will you come to this school?
Will you train them when you do all the things I’m like, I fought that fight for 10 years at my kid’s small private school. That sounds pretty similar and conscious discipline does a beautiful job of that. It’s an amazing program. They have a podcast. See if you can turn the school onto that podcast, but it, but it’s so difficult because this mom who does know what to do, who does believe in her kid does want to celebrate him, does want to be his soft place to land. When he’s having a hard time controlling his body at school, I was like, well, at least now when he’s having these moments, they’re going to have him call you so you can receive him lovingly. You can just hear what’s going on with him.
You can let them know. It can be hard to, it’s hard to control your body when you know what was going on. And, and he gets to hear your voice when he’s getting in trouble at school. So now you’re also able to, to ground him and provide little moments of emotional safety for him during the school day, because the school doesn’t know how to, how to handle this. They just want to turn him into a sheep. And as you’ve said, mom, you want him to be the little delicious, busy boy that he was born to be, you know, you love his excitement and sweetness and enthusiasm. He just wants to be loved.
She’s. That’s what she said. He is cooperative. He loves big and he wants to be loved. So when they’re not sure how to love him properly at school and how to support him properly, at least he gets to call you and you get to ground him and you get to receive him and love on him. She was like, yeah, that’s a good point. So I think we question it when we’re surrounded by all the people who basically are insinuating that, you know, we’re supposed to treat kids with a lot of control and try to, you know, get any of their original sauce out of the mix.
And what many of us, we have an inner knowing we don’t want to do that. We don’t want to do that. And when I said that this mom is, we don’t want to do that, but we also don’t want to raise assholes who think that they can just like disrupt a classroom and take away from other people’s learning because they can’t control their bodies. So we, so there’s this balance, you know, but kids are super reasonable. I mean, they are, they’re super reasonable. When you explain, when you sit down and you talk to them without trying to control them, and you treat them like a human that deserves some respect. You know, when he wouldn’t, the teacher was at a loss because he wouldn’t come in from the playground and he was just tuning her out.
And so, you know, she tapped him on the shoulder. He, you know, I don’t think she did that. Hey, all the other kids are inside. It’s not safe for you to stay out here by yourself. And it’s not safe for them to be in there without, without me there watching them. So you want to hold my hand or do you want to walk alone? Two positive choices? Like set him up for success. He’s a reasonable, loving little guy, right? If he, and you know, and if that’s not happening at school, when he comes home, after you hear all the ways he got in trouble and how terrible that felt, and you’re like, yeah, that does sound terrible.
You empathize. And then, and then you’re able to, after you’ve empathized, you’re like, you know, it’s so hard because I’m sure this teacher probably wants to let y’all play outside all day, but she’s got a lot of pressure that she has to teach you all these things and you have to take these tests. And there’s all this pressure from hurt from the principal and from her bosses. And then she’s got one kid who just wants to be a kid and play outside. And she probably so wants to let you do that. But she’s not, she can’t be two places at one time, she can’t be inside the classroom, watching all the other kids and she can’t be outside just with, you know, she can’t leave you outside all alone.
So she’s really, you know, she, she was, she was like, I wish I could be two in two places, but I can’t. So then she has to force you to come in. Does that make sense to you? You know, but when we connect first, before we explain why the rule is the rule, I mean, that just, that’s just respectful. And I think y’all would be surprised when we start to do this more, rather than just going straight to the consequences and trying to control them. And you got in trouble, you got to push down on, you know, you got to read on the behavior chart. I hate those behavior charts. And so now you’re in trouble at home too.
You already got in trouble at school, and now you’re going to get in trouble at home. It’s like throwing good money after bad. Like I got bad investment. Like, no, we’re not going to keep investing in that investment. No. Yeah. When your kid receives the low thing on the behavior chart, you get to be their parent connect with them first, before you go into anything that, cause they’re not going to admit to wrongdoing. If they’re just get admonished and admonished and admonished, if they are constantly corrected, They’re not going to be open to what they could have done differently.
Hey, podcast listeners, you know, I’ve had the privilege of working with thousands of families over the years. And I haven’t met one parent yet who hasn’t had the thought pop into their mind. I might be totally screwing this up. What if something I do now messes them up later? You know, this thought usually follows popular discipline methods like spanking timeout and sticker charts, because we want to take behavior that we perceive as bad. And we want to teach our kids right from wrong. I’m going to bust this myth wide, open the myth that you need to punish your kids and the myth that you’re screwing them up. Yes, it’s true.
Kids need guidance and they need to be taught what’s okay. And what’s not okay. Kids are resilient. And so are you. You have a good kid. That’s having a hard time period. All you need is a simple shift in your mindset. I’ve created an intensive mini program that contains a five-part video training series. And three days of intensive coaching live with me. It’s called how to set limits without spanking timeouts or sticker charts. You’re going to learn how to take back control of your household in a way that empowers you and your kids. You will learn how to gain respect from not just your strong-willed child, but all your kids and all the people in your life. You’re going to learn how to run your household without chaos.
Get back more time for yourself, help your kids improve socially at home and at school and feel confident that you’re absolutely not screwing them up. So don’t miss out. Grab your training, save your seat. It’s only $29 Mastermind, Parenting dot com forward slash setting limits. That’s how you sign up. And I can’t wait to see you in this all brand new program. So I think it’s been interesting to really kind of pick y’all’s brains about what are the things we maybe aren’t even asking the things that we’re thinking, right?
Like this mom, I was like, what are you actually thinking? She’s like, I’m thinking, I don’t know how to help them. And I said, but you do, you do know how to help them. You just told me all the ways that he deserves to be celebrated and all the ways you believe in him and all the ways that you think he’s such a special, magical, little being. You share those things with him. You let him know, you believe in him. You let them know you’re on his side, you’re on his team. You’re not going to go in and fight the battles, but you’re here to receive him home after a hard day. And so I had one of my moms, she wrote to me and, and, and we were talking about talking to the doctor.
I thought what she wrote to me was so interesting because I never even thought about this. So I wanted to read it to you guys. She said, I actually have zero memories about talking to my pediatrician, who was a close family friend about the actual things that were concerning me. I think I lived in such a heightened state of fight or flight that it just didn’t encode memories. However, I really think I didn’t speak to him about these things. I had two wonderful, healthy air quotes, normal kids who behind the scenes were so highly sensitive and strong-willed, but I hid that from literally everyone.
I walked around on the verge of constant tears, knowing that something was wrong, but ashamed and scared to tell anyone what was really happening. If I told anyone that would have meant that I was failing at my only job. Oh, and this is a mom who had had a big career as a, as a da. And for the last, like a little over a decade has been a stay-at-home mom. So she really, you know, beat herself up that she gave up this whole big career. And she’s only a mom now, so she better get it right. She better get it. Perfect. I don’t know if any of you all relate to that? Everyone from the pediatrician to, to my own parents, to grandparents, everyone told me what a good job I was doing with them.
That to admit anything else was just way too vulnerable. The first person I asked if my son’s behavior was normal was his second grade teacher. And even then it was framed in terms of if she thought he was normal compared to his peers. I remember sitting in the pediatrician’s office once for the boys well-check we were there a long time. And my younger son was literally bouncing off the walls and the doctor never said anything about his behavior or any concerns about it. So I thought he was fine. I even remember saying to my husband, after that appointment, that this is what was happening and our doctor didn’t say anything about it. So this must just be typical boy behavior. I also just remember being absolutely exhausted after that appointment, like all my energy was physically drained out of my body.
The physical act of having to corral him for the hour and a half was just too much, which I now understand. I think my point is that I was filled with so much shame because I knew something wasn’t right. But there were so many people telling me how great a mom I was and how amazing my kids were that I either thought it was normal and I just couldn’t handle it. So she’s making it about her. They’re there. Everything’s fine with them. This, it must just be that I suck at my job. Okay. Or if I could only do it better that all of this would go away again, she’s making it all about her. I don’t think I ever Googled anything because even the idea of Googling, it was too real and vulnerable.
The thing I do remember Googling was about childhood anxieties and what was normal and what wasn’t in second grade, my older son refused to get on the school bus and that petrified me. My husband’s family has some pretty severe anxiety and OCD. And that shook me. I did call the pediatrician after that. And we did speak about how I would know when outside help was needed. What were the signs and how I would know the anxiety concerns felt safer to me than out of control behaviors. If I could go back to the beginning, I think I would have wanted our pediatrician to actually look at me. Talk to me, ask me probing questions, see me on the verge of tears and recognize that I was struggling and point me towards resources.
Like your book, almost like an OB GYN is supposed to screen for postpartum depression. I thought that this is very interesting to me. I’m sure that if he had the training and took the time to really ask me questions beyond the basic milestones, sleep, peeing and pooping, I would have fallen apart and maybe sought help sooner. I mean, this is what I want to change. I don’t want any mom to ever feel on an island, all alone, feeling like how she felt. And what I know also is, even though they looked so perfect on the outside and everyone was telling her, she was such a great mom.
She was the mom volunteering. And she was always the mom going to every sports game. And she was the mom who was so hands on and the mom who cut up the veggies or whatever it is that really, you know, air quotes, good moms do. Maybe the room mom, maybe, you know, on that committee at school, helping with the, you know, event or the charity, blah, blah, blah. So she looked the part, but behind the scenes, because there was a lot of out of control behaviors. She had two strong-willed, highly sensitive kids who she was trying to control and micromanage and be on top of every second, it was a volatile household, a very volatile household to the point that when she finally sought me out, her boys were, you know, young tweens and it was volatile to the point that it was getting really scary and physical.
And she knew that if it kept up her key, she was going to lose her kids. In terms of once they went to college, they were going to be like, we’re never going back to that household. She knew, she knew that her kids were going to end up feeling about her the way she secretly felt about her own parents. This stuff is generational. So she wished that the pediatrician would have known, Hey you, okay, tell me a little bit more. I actually have this resource. Do you think there’s something wrong with my kid? This, this, this isn’t normal, right?
This isn’t normal. You know what your kids seem amazing and you seem amazing. And I’m not saying anything’s abnormal. I’m just saying, even me as a parent, I have learned new tools and taking a parenting program and reading the right book or finding the right resource. You’re going to learn things that are just things that most of us just have never even thought about. And I know the people who can help you and you don’t have to feel this way and you’re not doing anything wrong, right? Like we all, this is what smart people do.
We, we learn, we never stop learning. We never stop learning. We never stop growing. We can always get better at things. And there’s things you can do at home. And it doesn’t mean that you’re not a great mom. And it doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with your kids. It just means that we’re evolving. This is just part of being a human. Like what if we had doctors that were like, you know, I take classes, I seek out professionals in my own personal life. Because me as a doctor, we go to medical school, we learn how to diagnose illness and we don’t learn anything about behavioral strategies.
It’s kind of like teachers. Like they get a very, very tiny, tiny amount of training in terms of how to manage behaviors. They learn how to teach things and all about the academics in the curriculum. But what makes teachers retire within the first five years of teaching? The majority of teachers, it’s the stressors of the day over behaviors over how to manage their classroom. So we haven’t figured out that the real learning for the, for the math and science and language to happen for the family to feel healthy and whole, we have to learn behavioral strategies, communication techniques.
So many of us, we want to learn. We were constantly taking classes in our careers, sales, training, communication tools. Okay. That’s what sales training is. You know, what, how much in sales training has to do with psychology and learning how to empathize and see other people’s perspectives and get into the mindset of your ideal client. I mean, so many of us will do the continuing ed for our career because there’s a dollar sign attached to it. Or it’s just a part of the job description. Every year, you have to do this many hours of continuing education of some kind, but yet in all these areas where it really matters, where, you know, it’s going to affect how we’re raising the humans.
It’s like not on our radar. Really. People, people pay you to learn parenting. What are you? Huh? I had this one lady say she was, she was like on this retreat that I was on. And she was a fun lady to be around, but she was just like, I going to do that. Well, I’m going to do that. And I was like, great. People need it. People are struggling. People need support. Yeah. You know, it’s just not even on people’s radar. So I really want this to become more of a mainstream conversation. And if you’re feeling like if you felt like either of the moms I described in today’s episode, I want you to just like, what I hope I have accomplished is for you to know there is nothing wrong with you and you’re not alone in how you’re feeling.
And even just identifying that, you’re feeling that way just makes you a more self aware person. And since all change starts with awareness, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. So thanks for listening. I hope this was helpful. And until next time, bye. 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. 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 like this podcast, please don’t forget to subscribe, rate and review super, super appreciative.