In this episode, I talk about a recent post in a mom’s group on social media about a terrible 2-year-old. I think you guys will enjoy my thoughts on this post and the comments I read. Enjoy!
- Terrible twos
- Teenage rebellion
- What you focus on grows
- All behavior is communication
- Kids tell us how they feel on the inside by their behavior on the outside
- Kids learn by what we model
- Our old programs
- Assessing basic needs – Sleep, food, activity
- Sleep-deprived kids have the same symptoms as an ADHD diagnosis
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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 51. Hey, podcast listeners. If you happen to have a strong-willed kid who is kind of pushing every one of your buttons lately, I have a resource for you. I made you guys a free guide where you’re going to get some tools and tips and strategies too 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 he could start giving some quick wins and building some moments. So if you want me to grab your copy, just go to Mastermind Parenting dot com forward slash Free Guide and hope you enjoy it.
My name’s Randi Rubenstein and welcome to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast where we believe when your thoughts grow the conversations in your home flow. So today on the podcast, I want to talk about a post that I saw recently in a mom’s group on Facebook, a group that has about 6,000 members were people, typically tag MI here and there to weigh in on things. And when I go through and I’ve been tagged on something, or if I read a post that in some way, concerns me, I quite often find myself getting a little depressed.
0 (1m 32s):
And it just seems so doom and gloom so much of the time. And what I find is like this or this mom in this post, she was talking about her son who was Two and she says, please tell me if it gets better, he’s defiant. He won’t listen. He’s crazy active. I turned my back, he’s on the table and he is on the chairs. He is on the counters. Nothing. I tell him works, nothing is working or nothing. Like it’s like, nothing is working. Like what all has she tried? Please tell me, does it get better? And so she really was looking for like mom community, which I get that like motherhood, especially I think is something that we don’t talk about is I think it can be really lonely.
0 (2m 21s):
I’m really isolating and think there’s so much, mom’s shame out there. And there’s so much judgment and everyone finds themselves in judgment. And recently I’ve been studying over the last, I don’t know, year or so, a lot about judgment. And typically we judge other people that, and we’re all guilty of it. Me definitely included. This is just been something in an area that I’ve been working on is we typically judge other people who are like a step or two behind us as a way to make ourselves feel better. Like, Oh, at least I’m not as bad as that person. I remember there used to be a couple that knew that we’d like, high-five each other.
0 (3m 1s):
This is so gross when they found out that people are getting divorced. And so obviously they had some issues and insecurities in their own marriage. And so it was like, Oh, these people are worse off than us. But I recently I’ve read that, that we judge people that we know where like, Oh, there’s some evidence that they’re doing even worse than I am. So I can make me feel better about myself. It’s like a superficial way to feel better. And, and so I think that that’s so often the case in Parenting is deep down. Like we all, like the big worry is please just tell me, I’m not screwing this up. Please just tell me I’m not going to screw up my kids or even the joke of, well, my kids are already have a therapy find it’s like, we’re all going to screw this up, but it’s deep on our biggest worry and we really want to get it right, because what we were raising humans were raising people like this is pretty important.
0 (3m 60s):
And so we all know that. And at the end of the day, we all know we’re gonna do it in perfectly. We’re all gonna make mistakes. We’re all gonna bring pieces of the programming from when we grew up. And even though, you know, especially the things we didn’t like, we’re going to bring those patterns and those pieces to the table until we learn how to do it differently. And then we practice and practice and practice and practice how to do it differently. And there’s lots of things from most of our, our programming and our childhood and our upbringing. There’s lots of things that we want to repeat that we want to do.
0 (4m 41s):
Well. We want to do the way our parents did. I think so often though, with the things we can remember or the things we just really want not to repeat our, our, all of the things that are, that we’re more focused on, that it didn’t go so well. And I don’t think a lot of this stuff is even in our conscious brain. I think a lot of it’s in our subconscious brain. And so we’re not always aware of that. So I see a lot of that in these moms groups, I see where people are searching for community and there’s a lot of nuanced competition. There’s a little bit of a condescending attitude at times.
0 (5m 24s):
There’s a little bit of that avid. Oh yeah. Let’s commiserate. I got you girl. You know, I’ve been there too, which looks like empathy, but I actually think it’s it’s destructive because what we got to remember is you become like the five people you surround yourself with the most. So choose carefully that famous saying, I think by Jim Roan is when we commiserate on how terrible kids are. And then we have other people showing up being like, Oh yeah, same for me. Same for me. Same for me. Well, what we focus on grows. And then that starts to normalize that that reality is everyone’s reality and I’m, and we just can’t even expect any better.
0 (6m 10s):
And I think that that’s super destructive. So I saw some people chiming in and being like, you know, when she’s like, does it get better with her active too? You know, she’s like, well, I saw somebody, you know, a girl, it gets worse. And then a bunch of people started chiming in, Oh, wait til three and wait til four. And I’m, and this particular, my mom she’s like spanking was the only thing that seems to work, but we’ve tried reward chart. So we tried, you know, a sticker bribes threads and all these things work for a minute and then they were off. And that’s exactly what I teach that all those things are just band-aids, but they’re not long-term solutions. And, and I think that, you know, it’s interesting because that hole what you focus on grows.
0 (6m 57s):
So, so two year olds that you believe in you identify and classify and categorize as Terrible well, they grow up to be Teens. Do you think they grow up those two year old is Terrible two year olds and I’m putting it in the air quotes. Cause obviously I don’t have to think any two-year-old is Terrible do you think that grow up to be a fantastic Teens or, or do you think they grew up to be Terrible Teens to write, that’s just going to grow. So keep focusing on that and you’re sure to have a hell of a ride when those two year olds become teenagers. And when you look at two and three-year-old defiant behavior as Terrible right, like I yes, they are going to be Terrible four and five and six and seven and eight.
0 (7m 44s):
And it’s just going to become this out of control train. And, and I want you to no, one of the Mastermind Parenting pillars that I teach all behavior is communication. Okay. So there is no Terrible behavior. All behavior is communication. When we have the courage to get curious and to look at what is our kid trying to tell me they don’t know how to verbalize it. They don’t know how to tell me that don’t have a fully developed brain. They don’t know have those communication skills yet. So they show me and tell me how they’re feeling on the inside with their behavior on the outside.
0 (8m 27s):
So the way we would look at a busy two-year-old that is climbing all over everything and seeming kind of hyper and Real argumentative and defiant a is a busy Two road is like that to start with basic needs, like let’s look at Sleep food activity, we’ve got to investigate and assess all behaviors, communication, and then based on what’s, how do we have to learn a better way to support them? If it’s a Sleep thing. I mean, even an hour of sleep deprivation for a two year old, that’s a lot have two and three year olds act like you’re ready to give up their naps. And let me just tell you an hour, hour and a half or less of Sleep a day for a two or three year olds is a difference between a crazy hyper kid.
0 (9m 17s):
That doesn’t it, that is not able to listen. And w you know, a little, a cooperative kid that seems joyful and easygoing. So, so that’s the thing with sleep deprived, kids there symptoms looked very similar to ADHD. Whenever I hear somebody say, Oh, I’m I for sure, my two or three year old is going to be diagnosed with ADHD. I’m like, how much sleep are they getting? And what do they eating? Because at two, they also start to lose their appetite because, you know, when your growing into toddlerhood kind of meant developmentally to lose some of that, that baby Chub. So it becomes really important for us to make sure that they’re getting the right nutrients, that they are getting a, that they’re not just eating goldfish and pretzels and sugar all day, that they are also getting some, you, you know, a decent amount of protein and, and, and minerals and nutrients from some fruits and vegetables.
0 (10m 20s):
So we’ve got to get curious, investigate a sense, what is a Sleep look like? What is a food look like? What is the activity look like? You know, a lot of, a lot of kids at two, and at three, and especially boys, they’re real into developing their gross motor skills. So how much of an outlet are they having a lot of screen time? Is there a lot of opportunity for running and playing and really getting to, I, I will say like random, like a puppy like that. We’ve got to make sure that they’re getting enough activity and remember kids learn by what we model Spanking is hitting.
0 (11m 7s):
So when your Spanking to shut it down, because just know, like, just like those reward charts and sticker charts and the one to three and the counting and all that kind of stuff, it’s going to work temporarily, right? It’s like, it’s something that your kids, especially if you haven’t done it before, it’s like, it kinda is something they’re, they’re, they’re unfamiliar with. So it’s going to be a surprise. And, and as soon as they familiarize themselves with it, and it’s just something that becomes part of the deal, you know, they they’re on to it. And that’s when the sticker charts and all those things stop working. They’re just a bandaid. It’s the same thing. Like spanking, it’s a bandaid in installed it instills fear, and it’s going to shut it down in the moment.
0 (11m 56s):
And then it, it, it, it helps your child to associate pain with a certain activity. So it may shut that activity down or that behavior down temporarily, but they don’t associate all the behaviors that you can see or consider off limits to, to be associated with that same page. So then they do is start doing it and they start playing room with other behaviors that are usually bigger. And, yeah. Oh, this was the other thing that a lot of the moms in this thrive, we’re calling their kids and naughty and naughty behavior. So just to use that terminology there going to start a experimenting with a lot of that naughtier behavior.
0 (12m 37s):
And so anytime we’re identifying our kids as Terrible or naughty, what we focus on grows, we’re going to get Terrible and not the behavior. We’re not gonna get more cooperative behavior. And when we use things like Spanking and fear, do you think that fosters connection, like, or does it fast, does it foster a team mentality? Does it fall? Like when somebody, when somebody you’re afraid of that you think is gonna put their hands on you and hurt you, or are you more inclined to feel connected to them and to trust that, and for them to be your soft place to land, when you need help figuring something out, like, is that somebody who you consider to be on, on your team or does that, does that contribute to a whole like weird power hierarchy?
0 (13m 23s):
That there’s all kinds of deep seated stuff that comes from that we know, we all know that we know those fear tactics. They may shut down a certain behavior at the moment. Chances are you’re going to get a lot worse behaviors down the road, because nobody likes being controlled. Nobody likes being fearful. And you certainly get to an age. It’s usually called the adolescents where you’re going to rebel against anyone that was instilling fear in you. And you’re going to show them that it’s, you know, it’s a revenge time and that’s the whole reason for, for Teenage rebellion.
0 (14m 4s):
So are you OK, kids learn by what we model Spanking is hitting, or are you okay with your kids hitting their siblings or other kids at school? Because when you spank them and hit them, just know that that’s what you’re modeling. If I want to shut down in the behavior, if I’m going to control someone else. And I can’t think of, or I don’t know the communication tools to be able to do so, I’m just going to hit them, especially if that person is smaller than me. So are you okay with your kids going out into the world and hitting other people to get their needs met or get their point across, or to make sure that they have control the situation? So when you spank your kids, just remember, that’s what you’re teaching them to do.
0 (14m 46s):
And it would be pretty hypocritical if your spanking them, and then you’re not okay with them going and hitting other people to get their way. So changing the conversation in your home. It happens when our kids are two, when their eight, when their 12, when they’re 16, when they’re 22, the way it begins is we begins by us getting curious and realizing all behaviors, communication, but I’ve got a busy defiant to year old. And what are they trying to tell me what’s going on? Let’s investigate. It’s like going to the doctor, you go to the doctor and say, my elbow hurts. The doctor’s going to ask questions before they diagnose and then offer some form of a remedy or a solution.
0 (15m 28s):
We’ve got to do the same with our kids. We’ve got to look at their behavior and we’ve got to investigate and ask questions and figure it out and assess basic needs. It’s not a one size fits all approach. Like we’re all human four leaf clovers, and we’re not robots. And it takes a minute for us to figure this out, learn these new communication tools, and also realize like our kids are growing and changing and developing. And, and, you know, Parenting, doesn’t come with a manual, right? And our kids don’t come with a manual. Everybody is a unique individual.
0 (16m 9s):
And when we start to have these PRODUCTIVE conversations in our home, by being curious and figuring things out and not overpowering through control and measures, that don’t feel good for anyone. Well, when we start to learn how to have this PRODUCTIVE conversation and learn these tools, our kids learned from a very young age that we’re a team like this family is a team and, and it sends in the message that we’re willing to understand them. We’re willing to get curious and learn new supportive tools to help them be their best selves.
0 (16m 51s):
And we’re not gonna spank and stifle their spirit. We’re going to work together. We are going to be their soft place to land. We’re going to, we’re going to connect before we correct. We are going to build trust. So I urge you guys to learn new tools to master your mind. And, and I’m so grateful that you’re listening to this podcast and I’m, and I hope I’ve heard from so many of you. I know of so many of you have sent me the sweetest messages and thanking me for this podcast. And so I have really hoped that you’re taking this to heart, and you’re trying some of these strategies out in your home. And if you feel called to take this further, you’d like some more hand holding an accountability.
0 (17m 34s):
Please reach out to me. You know, I, I, I have a really special mom community. And, and even after it so fun to hear from people like, you know, two years after they’ve worked with me, I could go to, I got a message from a mom who I don’t think she has worked with me in maybe two years or so a year and a half to two years. And she sends me a message this morning. And she said, Hey, I’ve been thinking about you. I hope everyone’s good. And I wanted to thank you for the most valuable gift. You gave me the ability to see my son for who he is and embrace them. It really has come full circle and questions. I have been answered, and I owe it to you.
0 (18m 16s):
So thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You have changed my life, my relationship with my children or my value that more than anything in the world, I hope you continue to reap your rewards for our changing lives. Thank you for leading me to the priceless gift of engagement with my baby. I love you. So, and I said to her, this is It. This is why I do what I do. And it’s not because of me. Like I tell everyone I don’t live in your house or I’m doing is I’m a vehicle sharing some information and a recipe that’s worked for me and many other parents, but it’s up to you to take action. It’s up to you to be willing, to have the curiosity and the courage to take action, imperfect action.
0 (18m 57s):
Because none of this comes naturally. We weren’t. Most of us weren’t raised with these programs. It takes time and practice to learn this new style of communication. And you have to be willing, like I’d tell my kids all the time. Whenever you are a beginner, it’s something nobody starts off as an expert. I get vulnerable. You got to be willing to suck. So you’re going to start and it’s going to be fumbly. And you’re going to keep getting back on that horse and back on that horse and back on that horse, because imperfect action, every time we get back on that horse imperfect action is better than perfect inaction, like perfect inaction.
0 (19m 39s):
So imperfect action, being willing to try being willing, to sound awkward, being willing to be fumbly. It’s all part of the deal you guys, and I encourage you to get on that horse and start being willing to suck. I’m okay, guys, hope you have a great week. Bye for now the podcast listeners. If you’re ready to take this learning to the next level and get some accountability and some handholding, I encourage you to schedule a call with me and hop on my calendar and to do that. All you need to do is go to Randi Rubenstein dot com slash discovery.
0 (20m 23s):
That’s Randi Rubenstein dot com forward slash discovery. I can’t wait to connect with you.