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205: When the Parents Who Were the “Good” Kids Have Strong-Willed Children

By September 27, 2022November 7th, 2023Mastermind Parenting Podcast
I have a little treat for you this week, a coaching clip where I was coaching some parents who have a strong willed seven-year-old son...

I have a little treat for you this week. I am including a coaching clip where I was coaching some parents who have a very strong willed seven-year-old son, and these people are like beautiful people. They adopted this child from another country, and he didn’t come to them until he was three years old, and they’ve just kind of been at a loss. He’s dysregulated a lot of the time and they are incredibly patient, loving people. 

When I started digging into their story early on, I figured out that they were lacking pack leadership. And this is a kid that needs a lot of structure and certainty in his life. So, we must tighten up the family structures in terms of bedtime, in terms of expectations. We’ve really been walking them through what that looks like in real life and. How you’re able to show up and what I call pack leadership, firm and loving communicating with empathy, but also like very intentional in terms of what the family rules are and that violence is not an option. 

And just giving this child more structure, more certainty. To help him feel calmer in his body, to help him feel more grounded and regulated. And so, both parents said, “I don’t really have a lot of memories of ever breaking rules. Like I was just kind of a good kid.” So, here’s these two people that grew up and they were good kids and then they found each other and it’s a family with, they love each other, and they had so much love to give, they had one child of their own and then they adopted a child that needed a loving family.

Now they have this little boy who they’re trying to support and they’re trying to figure this out. They realized they needed to learn some new tools. So, I think you’ll enjoy this coaching clip. Many of you will identify with and just realize that there’s really no good kids and there’s no bad kids, and all little kids live in their emotional brain, so if you were the “good kid,” I’m going to challenge you a little bit to dig into your story more, so enjoy this coaching clip.

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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Transcription

0 (1s):
My name’s 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 2 0 5. Well, hi guys. I, have a little treat for you this week. I am including a coaching clip where I was coaching some parents who I am just getting to know, and they have a very strong Willed, I believe he seven, I think seven year old son. And these people are like beautiful people.

0 (42s):
Okay, let me just say, now that I’ve like learned a little bit more of their story, like They adopted this child from another country and he didn’t come to them until he was like three years old and they just, they’ve just kind of been at a loss. It’s just like he’s, he’s kind of dysregulated a lot of the time. They’re just incredibly patient loving people. So When I started digging into their story early on. I’ve figured out that they were lacking pack leadership. And. This is a kid that needs a lot of structure and certainty in his life. So we have to tighten up the family structures in terms of bedtime, in terms of expectations.

0 (1m 26s):
So we’ve really been walking them through what that looks like in real life and how you’re able to show up and what I call pack leadership, you know, firm and loving communicating with empathy, but also like very intentional in terms of what the family rules are. And that violence is not an option. And just giving this child more structure, more certainty. Okay? To, help him feel calmer in his body to help him feel more grounded and regulated. So there was a scenario recently and they were both kind of scratching their heads and I started digging into their stories and I said, You know what, what’s really coming up for you?

0 (2m 6s):
Because one of the things that I teach in Mastermind is, you know, we don’t just tell you what to do like a lot of programs do, which there’s a lot of great programs out there who are aligned with what I teach and the tools that I teach. The difference with Mastermind is we teach you how to change the way you think, how to master your mind. Because unless you’re thinking different thoughts, you’re, you’re not gonna do anything differently when you’re in the heat of the moment. So we really have to kind of dig into what sentences are coming through your mind, what happened when you were a kid and you know, big emotions were being felt like how did your parents respond to you?

0 (2m 49s):
Because a lot of times that’s what’s coming online, whether we realize it or not. So we’re kind of doing a lot of dot connecting at the beginning. And. So both of these parents were like, I don t really have a lot of memories of ever breaking rules. Like I was just kind of a good kid, you know, like, like these are two people that were rule following sort of good kids as they, you know, not that there are any bad kids in my opinion, but just, you know, in our culture, you know, there’s good kids, there’s bad kids, and they were like, we were just always told we were good kids. And. So here’s these two people that grew up and they were good kids and then they found each other and it s a family with, they love each other and they had so much love to give.

0 (3m 37s):
They had one child of their own and they were like, Let’s adopt a child that is in need of a loving family. And now they have this little boy who it has, you know, they’re trying to support him and they’re trying to figure this out, And. So they, they They realized they needed to learn some new tools. So I’m like, So let’s dig back into your stories. And they, you know, both of ’em were just like, Yeah, I don’t really remember ever breaking the rules. So I think you’ll enjoy this coaching clip, especially if you were, you know, the good kid. Or if you have parents that you know, you constantly feeling, or in-laws who are constantly acting like, Yeah, my kids would never have done this, or we never would’ve put up with that.

0 (4m 24s):
I think it’s, it will be a coaching clip that many of you guys will identify with and just realizing that there’s really no good kids and there’s no bad kids and all little kids live in their emotional brain. So if you were the air quotes, good kid, I’m gonna challenge you a little bit to dig into your story more. So enjoy this coaching clip.

2 (4m 58s):
Okay? I love reading else homework, your accountability assignment. And you know, both of you identified when I coached y’all during that basics call recently that you know, both of you can struggle a little bit with PAC leadership and boundaries and all the things. And what I wanna encourage you guys to look at is both of you identified as really good kids, really easy kids, really. And what I wanna tell y’all is, you know, all, all kids are good kids and all kids for the first three years for sure.

2 (5m 44s):
But really the first seven years live in their emotional brains. All kids, all kids have meltdowns, all kids wine, all kids all of a sudden make a big deal out of a seemingly small thing. And the kids that are strong Willed are the ones who, you know, raise the bar and take it up a level, take it up a notch. The strong Willed ones are typically the most highly sensitive and they literally don’t have the ability to just, you know, swash their feelings and shut it down and comply and be air quotes.

2 (6m 29s):
Good. So the strong Willed ones are the squeaky wheels. I like to call ’em the canaries in the coal mine, which is an old saying, like they’re alerting everyone that it’s not right to try and control kids or shame them when they’re having an issue when they’re in their emotional brain and they need their adults to handle it the way I just described handling it in the message to Samantha, like big deal or little deal. Like we’re not gonna freak out. Cause our, of course our kid is begging for cookie and whining and, and and having a meltdown about wanting a cookie at five o’clock.

2 (7m 10s):
They’re freaking starving and they, you know, they’re, if they’re starving the thing in their brain that’s quick, fast and easy. And an immediate way to feel better is high sugar, high fat cookie, of course, cookie right now. You cookie. Of course you want cookie. They’re, you love the cookies, they’re delicious. You know, when we have cookies, you, you sound like you’re starving. Okay, soon you want me to get you a little, a little no before you know you need a little noch before dinner, Okay, go play. I’m gonna do a quick click, I’ll put a plate out over here on the table and then on that plate, throw some cubes of cheese, You throw some carrot throws, a couple little, you know, some blueberries, bam, maybe handful of nuts.

2 (7m 55s):
You’ve got it in little cow. So it’s sort of aesthetically pleasing and you, and it’s, I mean, two seconds, it’s like boom, boom, boom. And of course you’ve got these things ready. The blueberries are washing your fridge cause you got your shit together and the nets are accessible and you got some baby carrots have some cubes of cheese, paid the extra to buy the thing with the cubes of cheese because it makes your life easier cuz it’s easy to just grab and throw it on the plate. And all of a sudden you have your cute little mock charcuterie plate. There’s a reason why those sharky plates are so popular cause they’re aesthetically pleasing And. So bam, we just made a little charcuterie plate, we put it down on the, on the table and you’re like, hey, you’re like, okay, I’m gonna get finished getting dinner ready.

2 (8m 40s):
Your na is right there. I can’t tell you how many times I did it. And did I have kids that sometimes barely ate dinner because they were starving at this point and they, and they would eat. Yeah, but I didn’t. Kids nuts. You know, and a ve and that and they end up not eating any dinner or two bites of dinner. Okay, it’s fine, but I’m not making a big deal out of it, right? But for most kids, they, and probably for you guys who weren’t the strong loved ones who were, you know, an easier temperament when you were having your big emotions and big feelings like normal kids do, and your adults shut you down and maybe made big deals at a little deals like wanting a cookie at five o’clock when you were starving, you got the message to just be quiet.

2 (9m 37s):
You know, or some message like that, that it wasn’t safe to have all those big feelings cuz maybe you had an adult that made a whole big deal so you stopped,

0 (9m 53s):
Hey podcast listeners, do you have the kid that just won’t, We’ve all had those days, right? Haven’t we, where our kids just won’t do anything we ask, they won’t listen, they won’t follow simple requests, they won’t stop destructive behaviors. They won’t let anything be easy. You have those days, but then, you know, if you’ve got a kid where it’s like every day is those days. And as parents, it’s tempting for us to jump straight to a consequence. In fact, I think it’s like a reflex. You want the behavior to stop and it’s so easy to go there first. In fact, you may believe it’s your job as a parent to shut the problematic behavior down forcefully, right? And overwhelming majority of the parents I’ve coached over the years, they come to me wanting to know the consequence that will stop the defiance.

0 (10m 40s):
Like it’s gonna be the magic solution, the magic bullet. But here’s the secret, it’s not really about the consequences. At least not until you’ve tried my proven method that stops this kind of behavior, the behavior that just won’t, where they won’t let anything be be easy in its tracks quite often before we even need to get to a consequence because all behavior is communication. I know y’all have heard me talk about that on the podcast, and that’s what we’re going to dive deep into during my next Live Coach week. What’s Coach Week? Coach Week is an intensive mini program that consists of three days of live coaching with me, and it’s coming up the week of October 10th.

0 (11m 27s):
And I really developed this mostly with you guys, my podcast listeners in mind because you know me yet Don don’t Know you. And we did one of these coach weeks a few months back, it was so much fun, I got to know so many of you and we’re doing it again. So this time our theme is how to deal with the kid that just won’t dot.dot won’t make anything be easy, right? So when you come to our October session of Coach Week, we’re going to find out the biggest mistake most parents are making that actually makes the problematic behavior worse. We’re gonna investigate, I’m gonna be right there with you holding your hand.

0 (12m 10s):
We’re gonna investigate and find out what’s really underneath your kid’s behavior. We’re going to work on building trust by using the tools and language that these strong Willed kids can actually hear, so that they’re able to improve their behavior. And you’re gonna walk away from this intensive week with a clear plan and framework to deal with behavior challenges in the future. So don’t miss out on this free training and get to kind of see for free what the inside of a Mastermind Parenting program really feels like. Okay? I’m so proud of our programs and I’m so excited to get to share this with you. So save your seat now by going to Mastermind Parenting dot com slash october Coach week, All lower case, all one word, Mastermind Parenting dot com slash october.

0 (13m 5s):
Coach week. I cannot wait to see you guys there.

2 (13m 15s):
So now when you have a child in their emotional brain and they’re doing the things, they’re back talking to an adult, which is now you, they’re whining, they’re lying. Their, they’re doing something against the rules. Your brain, it feels very unsafe. It’s like your brain goes back to the little child that you were And. So when your child is doing these things, it, it sort of, you, if you notice it elicits similar emotions, you know, underneath all angers.

2 (13m 55s):
Fear was scary to have big emotions and you know, you may disagree with me, but what I have seen, and this is a hypothesis, is that for people who have a hard time with boundaries fall under the people pleasing category or brush things under the rug, or were the really good kids, those people learned what’s called the fun response, which is a survival response, fight, flight, freeze. Or is people pleasing. You learned to do what you needed to do to keep your adults happy.

2 (14m 37s):
And now that fond response is not conducive to PAC leadership. You know, it’s not And. So, so you’ve got this little guy, this little guy, and he is, yeah, he needs more certainty, he needs more clarity, more certainty, and he’s testing the boundaries to see what kind of pack leaders you guys really are when you show up and pack leadership with that big deal, little deal. Like, I’m not engaging in nonsense and here’s the rules and here’s the deal and I’m just gonna consistently show up again and again. And I’m not gonna make it a whole big dramatic thing and I’m not gonna make you responsible for my emotions and I’m gonna really do my own work.

2 (15m 22s):
As you’re grown up, little Kai’s gonna feel safer and more grounded and he’s gonna start doing better. But right now, your inner children who were the good kids, are screaming when he behaves this way. It’s like everything in your body is saying alert, danger, will Robinson, this is not safe because that’s the message, the messages that you guys got. So, and, and this is just, this is just the way triggers work. I think understanding it is huge and And so, you know, inner child work, you know, that’s why I, I recommend therapy a lot to people.

2 (16m 6s):
Cause going to, you know, I’ll think a lot of people have the misconception that you go to therapy when you have a kid that is challenging you and the therapist is gonna help you parent that kid. In my opinion, the way that therapist can help you parent that kid is by taking you through the inner child work and, and helping you to heal those old wounds And. So there’s also other ways that you can heal that stuff. But right now, this is my hypothesis. I could be wrong, you guys, that fond response, that people pleasing response, that that is the problem, that’s the main problem.

2 (16m 47s):
And your little chi has been sent to you to help both of you undo that, that that conditioning, it’s not serving you. That fond response served you for a long time in your life and, and, and to take care of your adults emotionally by being so good, being the good kids. And guess what? You should have just been able to just be kids. Which means that when you live in your emotional brain, you make big deals outta little deals. And you need your adults to be like, little deal. Yeah, Uhuh know, are you hungry right now?

2 (17m 29s):
Get you something and just take care of some business. So I was a lot. Let me know if you guys have any feedback about that or questions.

0 (17m 43s):
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.

0 (18m 28s):
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.

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