In this episode, I break down the reason why the more mod parenting strategies are probably not working for you. It’s usually a fairly straightforward tweak that needs to be made and not a hard problem to diagnose. If you’ve been questioning why these techniques seem to only work in theory but not in real life, I think you’ll find this discussion eye-opening.
- Strong-willed kids and what they need to thrive
- The Dictator Dance
- Not throwing the baby out with the bathwater
- Not all of the old school methods are bad and we can learn
- EMDR therapy
- Pack Leadership and Assertiveness
- Structure and helping kids feel safe in the world
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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You’re listening to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast with Randi Rubenstein episode 55.
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.
Well, hi, you guys. Welcome to the podcast this week, we have an interesting topic and it’s all about what is this new age of Parenting? And it’s like, what if it’s not working? What if you are tempted to say, you know what? I gave it a shot and the truth of it. Like, it sounds great in theory, but it doesn’t freaking work. And my kids aren’t listening to me. They have no respect and they are not listening. They look at my face and yell. No, no. So it’s, it feels like the clowns are running the circus and this is, you know, this is just not going to work. So it would, if you find that that, that Real is playing in your brain, or if your spouse is saying that, which that makes me crazy when my mom’s are putting in all of this hard work and you know, it takes a little time to learn a new way of parenting and to retrain your subconscious programming, like, sorry, it takes a minute.
0 (1m 25s):
And so when, and it’s repetition, repetition practice, repetition, repetition is what builds mastery. And before, you know, it, all the tools and the skills in the Mastermind Parenting pillars that I teach, it starts to come more naturally. At first it might be I’m getting it right. 2% of the time. And then it quickly grows to 30% of the time. That’s what I really tell people is that when you started to notice that your you’re able to remember the tools that you want and do and handle things the way you want to handle it, even when you’re in the heat of the moment, 30% of the time, you’re gonna notice a significant shift. And so that 30% will then grow to 50%.
0 (2m 7s):
It’s never going to be a hundred percent, right? You’re never going to have a week, or I shouldn’t say never, but most likely you’re gonna have, you know, a week where it’s even now for me, I would say on a weekly basis. I mean, now my kids, especially my younger two who have only been raised with this, they kind of old school me. And so if I, if I screw up, they were like, yeah, my daughter said to me recently, she’s like, so I don’t want your guidance here. I don’t want your advice. And then she said that she didn’t say guidance. I don’t want your advice. You just need to listen and to stop talking, like she, and I was like, you got it.
0 (2m 47s):
Like that’s, Empathy, one-on-one nobody wants to be fixed. Or do you have to be invited to share your perspective? I know that it’s ineffective. I teach, I created the PRODUCTIVE conversation process and S and I still screw it up sometimes. And now, you know, I have them to be my Congress, my checks and balances, and to keep me in check, but it’s hard to get it even 90% of the time. So this is a constant evolution. So when I have my moms say, yeah, my, my spouse, my husband’s just not buying when he’s like, yeah, it does not working. It doesn’t work. I haven’t seen one thing.
0 (3m 26s):
And that frustrates me because I’m like, yeah, it’s really hard when only one person is learning the process and the other person is not buying in and undermining. So if you find yourself going to that place of, I gave it a shot, it made sense, but you know what? At the end of the day, it didn’t work. I’m going to go back to the sticker charts and kids need a heavy dose of fear to make them do the right thing. And the new age stuff just doesn’t work. Right. I get it. And this podcast episode is about addressing that. And I want to tell you, and I’m also going to diagnose what’s most likely going on and what the missing link is, what the missing puzzle piece is, because it’s actually just one tweak that I think is the case for when it’s not working.
0 (4m 22s):
When Empathy, doesn’t seem to be working when Mastermind, Parenting, doesn’t seem to be working. It’s because there’s a missing key component. And I’m going to let you guys know what that is. So first I was talking to a couple recently this awesome couple, and they were fed up. They were like, we’re sick of it. We’re walking on eggshells around our eight year old daughter. And, you know, we’ve read all of the things we’ve read the whole brain child. We’ve read countless parenting books. We’ve even taken parenting classes that our County offers. I mean, we’re talking about people that were super advanced.
0 (5m 4s):
I call them like a graduate level. People who are coming to me. So they, they, we have, one of them had a counseling degree and we’re talking educators, meditators, techie, people who study things and research things. And don’t just, don’t just take things lightly, like really, really hard working people who were like, Oh, we have rolled up our sleeves and tried our hardest to figure this out. But nothing’s working. They either were like, we even took our strong-willed daughter to this awesome therapist. And at first I was like eight, and I’m going to a therapy. Like, was it a play therapist? What kind of therapist?
0 (5m 44s):
And they were like, Oh, she did the school thing called EMDR, which I was like, okay, they’re even into like cool, progressive modalities. So I was like, okay, okay. And so they said, you know, we, we, we understand that she has a hard time regulating, regulating her emotions. And so we took her to this therapist in use some of these cool alternative modalities to help her develop better school, better skills for self-regulation so that she could have, you know, she was able to manage her emotions at a more effective or productive way. So they knew all of the things.
0 (6m 25s):
That’s what I’m basically saying. And overall, just wasn’t working. It just wasn’t working. So what do you do when Empathy and compassionate? Parenting just doesn’t seem to be cutting it. Right. I felt their frustration. And I think I probably was them at some point. And then we started talking about some of the old school methods. Right. And I explained to them, and I said, here’s the thing I said, throwing away, all of the old school methods is sort of like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
0 (7m 8s):
So what I want to invite you guys to do is to bring some of those old school Pack Leadership methods, right? Assertive Leadership back into the mix and to do it in this new age-y way. So that there was something about like when, in, in the olden days, like kids, and New like, you know, people say all the time, I never would have talked to my parents like that. And even though back then parents thought they needed to instill fear to get their kids to know, you know, I’ll take this belt out. Or, you know, there was, there was a, there was a heavy dose of fear to get kids to, to do the right thing.
0 (7m 50s):
But the bottom line is, is that parents showed up in this really assertive team leader type of way Pack leader. That’s what I call it. And I say, our kids are begging for that assertive leadership. There’s a better way to do it than the way it used to be done. But sending our kids that message that we’re not all equals here, right? We are clearly the parents and you guys are clearly the kids. And at the end of the day, we always get veto power where the parents are now, that is not the same thing as smacking the crap out of your kids, because you think you have the right to smack them.
0 (8m 41s):
I mean, honestly, like I, that’s, you know, I say it all the time. We don’t own our kids. Owning people is called slavery. So smacking the crap out of your kids, I think is crossing the line. I do. I think it’s crossing the line however, firmly and assertively establishing the fact, no, we are not doing that. And, and you are the parent at the end of the day, you get veto power on everything. And when we learn how to do it in a way where we are not physically assaulting anyone or verbally assaulting everyone, anyone, well guess what?
0 (9m 24s):
All those little Pack members, they end up understanding who is the parent who truly ultimately is in more of a powerful position. And they also have respect for you. ’cause you didn’t cross a line and violate their trust. You just firmly established the fact that you can have the veto power. You can say, no, we’re not doing that. And I don’t have to give you an excuse right now, or a reason right now, the answer is no. And we will talk about this later, when we are all calm, that’s, what’s going to happen here.
0 (10m 12s):
That’s the deal. And when we do it without losing our cool, without acting like a lunatic, without violating anyone’s trust are kids have respect for us. And they know that we are clearly the team leaders. So rather than case closed, get in your room, you set a hard boundary about taking your big feelings out of the common areas of the house. You know, this is a, these are the things we learn how to do it Mastermind guarantee. Yes, you’re absolutely allowed to have big feelings, but you will not harm other family members as a way of coping with those big feelings. And you absolutely will not hijack this household so we can still send them to their rooms.
0 (10m 57s):
We can absolutely establish that we have that power and authority to do so. And it’s it’s the other members of the household are not safe when you’re acting this way. Period. End of story. We just don’t have to do it in a way that absolutely tears our kids down and, and, and ruins their self-confidence. We don’t have to do it. We there’s a better way to do it so that Pack leadership and that power and authority of yesteryear. It’s not that we don’t want to establish that same role in certain ways.
0 (11m 42s):
We just know, now there’s a better, more effective, not damaging way to do so. So kids, especially kids with sensitive nervous systems, they want to be understood. They love empathic communication, right? So the, yes, this is how we speak to them in a way that lets them know we’re on your team. We get you. We feel you are, this is a way that we say we communicate with them where it’s like, we’re, we’re on, we are on the same team and they can actually hear us.
0 (12m 23s):
And the Pack Leadership of assertiveness and Structure piece helps them also equally to feel grounded and to feel safe in the world. Because any of these strong-willed kids that are doing the Dictator Dance as I call it, right? This is a sign that your kid is desperate for you to take over as a Pack leader and to reassure them that they get to just be the Kid. The grownups are the team leaders. We’ve got this, they need us. So I know when it’s like this stuff isn’t working it’s because you’re missing the Pack Leadership piece. You don’t know how to be assertive and to fully let them know I’m the parent, you’re the kid.
0 (13m 7s):
I got this, I’ve got the ultimate veto power. If I need to pull it out, I don’t pull it out all the time. I wait for when it’s absolutely necessary. I know how to speak like this, right? Like even the way I’m speaking in this episode, I’m really modeling what it looks like to be the firm assertive and loving, direct Pack leader. We’re speaking like this. We’re not saying OK, on the end, there’s no sing songs or a voice. It’s a very clear who is the authority here. I really just wanted to model what it sounds like, because I think especially for, for many have of the females in the audience, this assertive voice, it does not come naturally to us.
0 (13m 54s):
You guys, it doesn’t. And so you may have even thought during this episode, if you’ve made it this far, that like, what is wrong with Randi? She sounds like she’s pissed about something and that’s okay. That’s okay. This is what I want to say when we’re speaking that way. And we are clearly establishing our Pack leadership when we need to. And we’re pulling out that veto card when we need to and were not abusing it. And we’re not reducing anyone to, you know, to, to, to shreds in terms of their self-worth, what happens is we don’t ever feel like we’re powerless.
0 (14m 36s):
We don’t ever feel like we have to go to that place of, of screaming our heads off to try and get hurt, or finally scaring them so that they are forced to listen. We don’t ever have to go to that place. But when we just say that the firm is we get, is that a strong Pack Leadership that would have been talking to you guys in this episode of our kids. Aren’t going to think they know they don’t think they are mean I’ve questioned my kids about it. And I’m like, you guys ever think that I’m mean like, what are your friends? Everything that, I mean, my daughter, she said to me recently, and my youngest son to you, they were like, what are you talking about? No, it doesn’t feel mean. It feels like, especially when a kid is acting or feeling out of control and their body, its like, okay, mom and dad are here.
0 (15m 24s):
There are clearly the one’s in charge there going to protect me. They are establishing the rules like that. Dictator Dance that your kids don’t really want to be in charge. They really want to be reassured that you are you’ve got this and they get to just be a Kid. So they’re not going to think if you, if you’re worried about losing the mama, a popularity contest, this is what I want to say this isn’t they’re not going to think you’re mean and terrible. What they feel like is mean and terrible is when you scream your head off at them, because you have asked 27 times in a nonassertive voice and then you finally lose it because your human and you yell all the time.
0 (16m 7s):
They don’t remember the 27 times you asked really sweetly. All they remember is when you act, when you went to the dark side. So when you handle it this way and train yourself to start speaking and this way you don’t go to the dark side, it’s very rare that you go to the dark side. So do you see how that is so much better? It’s just better. It, it, it makes your family run more smoothly. So you’re questioning the new age. Notice of all of these techniques. I just want you to know it’s Pack leadership and it’s an empathetic communication. They it’s a marriage between the two. It’s a Dance you have to have both on the scene for the recipe to fully work.
0 (16m 51s):
And when you have both on the scene, just wait. I mean, I feel like I’m giving everyone keys to the happiness kingdom when you learn this approach because it’s just better in every way. It feels better for everyone. So that’s what I’ve got for you guys today. I hope it was helpful. And a, if you have any comments or questions or if I can support you in any way, please don’t hesitate to reach out Randy at Randi Rubenstein dot. Come to have a good one.
1 (17m 27s):
Hey, podcast listeners. If you happen to have a strong-willed kid who is kind of pushing every one of your buttons lightly, I have a resource for you. I made you guys a free guide where you’re gonna 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 could start getting 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 you enjoy that.