- A Jewish kid growing up in South Texas perspective
- The Christmas spirit of generosity, kindness and giving back
- Seeing other people’s perspectives
- FOMO and why it’s not always a bad thing
- Creating your own rituals and allowing your kids to grow up and do the same rather than brainwashing them to do things exactly your way
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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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You’re listening to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast with Randi Rubenstein episode 43. Hey, podcast listeners. If you happen to have a strong-willed kid who is kind of pushing everyone of your buttons lately, I have a resource for you. I made you guys a Free died, where you are going to get some tools and tips and strategies to quickly get on the road to creating a happier household. I know you’re pulling your hair out. I wanted to make you something so you can start giving some quick wins and building some momentum. So if you want to grab your copy, just go to Mastermind Parenting dot com forward slash Free Guide and I hope you enjoy it.
My name’s Randi Rubenstein and welcome to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast where we believe when your thoughts gro the conversations in your home flow. Well, hi guys, this episode, I believe is coming out the day it’s Christmas Eve. Yeah. And so I thought it would be timely to make an episode all about Christmas, which has sort of ironic because not my Holiday, I am Jewish and I’m not like a Christmas celebrating Jewish person. I’m like a two Jewish parents. One with that comes directly from two Holocaust survivors, Hungarian Holocaust heritage.
0 (1m 32s):
So, and my mom grew up in Miami beach and then New York and her parents were Ashkenazic Jews. So I’m like a Jew through and through. And I love Christmas. It just goes to show whatever your early programming was it. So it affects the kid. There’s this old, uhh, I think it’s like it’s 400 year old proverb, I think from the Jesuits. And it was give me a boy for the first seven years of his life and I’ll show you the man, which is exactly what, what, why am I a Bruce Lipton? The cellular biologist.
0 (2m 13s):
That’s his theory about epigenetics is in the first seven years, our kids are operating in a data state and they are, there are so conscious as being programmed. So my first seven years I spent a lot of time in non-Jewish communities. I went to school. I don’t think I ever went to school with I’m a Jewish person. I was always until like close to high school. I’m pretty sure I was always the only Jewish kid. I lived in a tiny town first in North Carolina and, and through kindergarten. And then, and then I moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, South, Texas.
0 (2m 55s):
And so I went to public school. I, we had a, you know, it wasn’t called winter break. It was called Christmas break it. We, we did Christmas pageants and we sang Christmas songs and, and I know all of them, Andy and my kids laugh because over the holidays or like drive around and I’m, I love putting on Christmas music. I love driving. You know, I know all of the neighborhoods now. I live in Houston, but I love going to certain neighborhoods that are always super lit up. And, and especially my youngest son, my daughter and my youngest son, but it’s always just been a tradition.
0 (3m 35s):
My husband wants no part of it. He, he’s not interested in Christmas music. He like, none of that feels nostalgic for him. And he went to public school and he didn’t grow up in a religious family at all, but he was in a pretty, I think he had a lot of Jewish friends growing up. It was kind of a, a culturally Jewish neighborhood. And, and so he just didn’t have the same experience. And so I don’t think that was really part of his programming. Although I think he did tell me that they had a Christmas tree growing up sometimes, but like I like in my family, like we never had a Christmas tree. We never had a Hanukkah Busch. It was a a hundred percent me growing up as a Jewish kid, surrounded by Christmas.
0 (4m 21s):
But I never, I never had a chip on my shoulder about it. I, and there was just something about Christmas that I loved. So like I growing up, like on Christmas day, I remember how quiet our house was and how quiet the street was, how everything was closed and the only shows on TV involved sermons and umm, and talking about Jesus. And I was just curious, do you know it was a little lonely on Christmas morning. I remember having a total fear of missing out, you know, like I was like wondering what was going on behind everyone’s curtains?
0 (5m 4s):
What are they opening up? It was, you know, it was a little lonely the first half of the day, at least. And then around, I don’t know, mid afternoon, it would seem like people, the kids would start coming outside to play with all their new things. And then I get to see what everybody got, but it didn’t really have a sense of envy. I had a sense of celebration. Like I was excited to see what everybody got. I was kind of living vicariously through the excitement. I’m not really sure why, but, but because, because I remember because back then, I mean, we do have a while, especially in my household because of course I want to make up for all of that for my kids.
0 (5m 47s):
So like, I mean, when they were little, I used to do a special, like a gift from Santa that he would, you know, they had to look all over the house because Santa loved his Jewish friends and he left them a gift from Santa’s and they’d find like some like wrapped presence in the bathtub and it has a note and it would be like, you know, they have to love to everyone, especially as Jewish friends, thanks for being here and, and doing kind things in and doing performing kind of mitzvahs all year long, whatever. And I would make a whole deal and then Hanukkah, I will, I’ve always blown it out.
0 (6m 27s):
And I know it comes from, I grew up in the 1970s and eighties and back then you’ve got like SOCs and like life saver books for a lot of guns and maybe a couple of books because Hanukkah is really not a big Holiday in Judaism. It’s it’s like not some super special holiday. We’ve just kind of commercialized it. And so back then it was just like, it, it was a, it didn’t even come close to competing with Christmas. Now there was a Goldberg’s episode recently where she like, did, I mean, she, she, I don’t even remember what she called it, but it was like, she blew Hanukah out. Like I wish a Hanukkah had been blown out when I was a kid and I don’t do it as bad, as bad as far as, as big as Beverly gold verb, but I blow it out.
0 (7m 14s):
Pretty good. So yeah. So I have that sense of FOMO, but I didn’t have it from place of a chip on my shoulder. I was happy for everyone, but I kind of just want to know would be a part of it. And then as I grew up, I was like, Oh, well, you know, my kids will ask me, like, they’ve asked me over the years and we put lights in our house and I’m like, no, we’re no, we’re not fighting the lights on our house, but we can go drive around the room, appreciate the lights. And we owe and we all over the lights. Can we, can we, you know, can I have to put a Christmas tree will call it a Hanukkah Bush? No, we’re not going to do that. That’s not a part of our Holiday well, when I grow up, I want to have a Hanukkah Jewish and I’m like, you absolutely should.
0 (7m 57s):
If you want to, that will be part of your ritual. It’s just not part of ours. So I don’t make excuses. And I also tell them that they are welcomed when they grow up to do the holidays. However they want, I do the holidays different than my parents do. I mean, we’ve been seeing the prayers differently. ’cause my kids have gone to a more religious school than the way I grew up. So, you know, you’re going to take the holidays and do whatever you want. I just think its kind of, I was, when I was sitting down to write this, I was like, Oh I think it’s surprising like that I’m a Jewish person who honestly has no like loves Christmas and doesn’t want to celebrate it.
0 (8m 36s):
And so, so I just, I don’t know what that says, but I just kind of wanted to share that with you. And I just wanted to let you know that I’m I love the trees. I love the lights. I love the music. I love the joy. I love the hype, the shopping, the after Christmas sales, I love the hilarious, ugly sweater, party themes, ugly Christmas sweater, party themes. Mmm. I love the quiet, how everyone’s kind of off Christmas week and I’m just the quiet of that week and how it just kind of feels like everyone’s sort of on vacation.
0 (9m 17s):
I love the generous spirit that seems to take over and how people are just constantly thinking of where can we raise funds and, and, and trying to, you know, in my Mastermind there’s been a lot of posts of how do I teach my kids to understand not all the kids Get and we want to donate and we want to do some charity. And how do I foster this sense of, you know, philanthropy, just people really taking the time to think about other people who don’t have as much and how can we give back and how do I teach my kids? Not to just have a case of the gimmes and to, to want to give to other kids who don’t have as much as them.
0 (10m 2s):
Like, I just think people are thinking about so many good things. And am I just, I just think it’s kind of, I think it’s the way I’m basically like to live my life, the majority of the time. And at Christmas time, I feel like I’m just surrounded with a lot of people in alignment of the way I, I want to focus on kindness and generosity and giving back and being good people and, and thinking of, you know, other people’s perspectives are kids perspectives, other people who are not walking in our shoes, you know, that’s a lot of what I teach.
0 (10m 45s):
And so I think it just kind of all culminates for me on Christmas and just stepping outside of yourself. So, so I think this is, this is kind of my point. Like we can choose to enjoy things from the sideline. Sometimes we can be happy for other people. Like we can ride that happiness waive as people in the supporting cast sometimes like we don’t always have to be the star of the show. There are times we want to be the star of the show and one of the front and center and in all of that action. And then there are times where I choose to be a Jewish person riding the Christmas spirit wave from the cheering section.
0 (11m 27s):
So I just want you to kind of think about when are the times where you’re riding the wave of someone else’s joy, because I think it feels really good and I think it’s important and it’s just something to consider. So Merry Christmas to you and yours and have a fantastic holiday and a wonderful break. And I’m really take that time to enjoy your people. Stop taking pictures and just really be present with the people that matter most to you. Love too. You all, Hey podcast listeners, if you identify with having a strong-willed kid and you’re ready to start taking action because enough, this is not enough walking around on eggshells, constantly getting all those mumbled one word answers based on their irritable mood every day in the car after school, go ahead and download the free resource that I made for you to start taking action immediately and creating a happier household it’s Mastermind Parenting dot com forward slash Free Guide to start taking action today.