On the podcast this week, I’m sharing an audio I made for my Mastermind about a talk I had just attended where Gloria Steinem spoke. It’s stream of consciousness style and it really got me thinking about how prevalent the threads of “control” are within our society. I think you’ll particularly like my personal story about a recent time when I found myself being a controlling mom. Enjoy!
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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.
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You’re listening to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast with Randi Rubenstein episode 93,
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.
Hi guys. Well, this week’s episode is titled Are You A Controlling Parent and I included an audio. I use some thing in my Mastermind called Voxer. And so it was early in the morning. So you have to excuse my stream of consciousness, just sharing of which was a little bit of a ramble, a little bit of a rant of times, but from what I’ve heard, you guys sort of like the, these impromptu clips, I had been at a, a, a talk the night before where Gloria Steinem was speaking about her new book.
0 (1m 2s):
I think its called the truth will set you free, but first I’ll piss you off. And so a lot of people I think consider her the founder of feminism and she’s 81 years old. And so she was here in Houston speaking and I went and ate. And of course I woke up to the next morning. I was just thinking about all of the things that my brain was kind of processing from being there with her and just sort of hearing the conversation. And so I made this audio in Voxer for my most recent group and shared my thoughts about it with them and where the ramble kind of got to was me talking about control.
0 (1m 45s):
And Gloria had sort of talked about like how there’s always been this effort to control women control women’s bodies. And so it sort of got me thinking like how much control is this woven thread within our society? And I just sort of talk about it and I share a story about recently when I realized control was on the scene for me as a mom and how I was attempting to try and control my son and how he dug his heels in and, and sort of how we handled that situation. I’ve just, I just wanted to include it because I thought that maybe you podcast listeners we’ll find this interesting.
0 (2m 26s):
I think it’s an interesting conversation for us to be having. So Enjoy I went last night Gloria Steinem I was in town and I went to an event and heard her speak and, and, and, and there were a couple of things that just got my brain thinking, but you know, she talks about for anybody that doesn’t know, she’s the, I mean, I consider like the queen of feminism, although she’s very humble and freaking cool and being a person who sort of is Vayner, then I would care to imagine. I love that she still looks beautiful at 80.
0 (3m 10s):
Like she, I mean, fan she is elegant and like cars that part of me about like, Ugh, another wrinkle, another gray hair, like damn it. And he, or she is at 80 and she just fabulous and I’m so that feels inspirational. My shower and self, although she says it’s not shallow. Cause some grandma try to shame the younguns last night. So this grandma was like, I mean, she was an old lady and I say, she’s an old lady and Gloria will, by any standard will be considered an old lady at 80.
0 (3m 50s):
And yet she seemed like anything, but an old lady she’s talking to the 14 year olds raising their hands as issues, their peer like she just so freaking cool. So this old lady asked the question, so it’s shaming the young. And so for the way they dress and blah, blah, blah, and Gloria is like, it has always been a part of human evolution to adorn yourself and Andy the real. And so, I mean, even down, back to tribal communities, so hair and makeup and clothing, like it’s part of it like being a human humans have always done it.
0 (4m 30s):
And the real problem is when we start to police each other, that’s a, she said, this lady said that it was such a classy way of being like stopped being a part of the problem and become part of the solution. But I think, I thought it was really interesting because Gloria said Gloria and Gloria said, she said I had somebody who was asking her about her childhood. And because in her last book, she really talked about her mom and her dad, her mom, she didn’t, she wasn’t put in school until she was 11 years old. Like her dad was a bit of a vagabond and, and bad with money and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And her mom spent time in an insane asylum.
0 (5m 12s):
So by any stretch of the imagination, it sounds like she had a pretty rough childhood. And she said, well, you know, she knows now is that she, her mom, her mom helped her to like foster her brain and her love for reading and learning. Cause her mom read her and she read, she, you know, her mom was actually like got out of the insane asylum and like was, you know, addicted to, to tranquilizers. But I think the majority of Gloria his childhood book, she said, you know, her mom would read to her all of these fabulous works. And so that really fostered this love of learning and reading for her.
0 (5m 54s):
And so she chooses to focus on that. And then she said, and my dad, it was terrible with money and we moved around and there was times you slept in our car and whatever she’s like, but he was a kind man. Like he was so kind to me and I was his buddy and she said, what more could a child want? I she said, you know, so she was like, she was like in, so what I realized now, like I didn’t realize this when I was younger is that they very much shaped me. You know, I was angry when I went to, you know, when I finally started school and then I went to Smith for college.
0 (6m 38s):
Like I, I, I longed for a more traditional family very much. So she says, but now I realize like my dad are represented that there, of course there are a kind men in the world, you know, I was treated with kindness. I was treated with celebration. My dad, you know, he was, he was, he was, I was his buddy, you know, so she really, she really recognizes how her upbringing, her parents shaped her and so many ways. And she essentially has like rewritten that narrative. And that’s what she kind of talked about a little bit as an older woman.
0 (7m 19s):
And, and it sounds to me like she, nobody tried to control her. You know, she was a, there was a lot of freedom and she talks about, you know, the control and the history, you know, she got so much wisdom and knowledge, but she talks about the, what the history of, of the society wanting to control women and control women’s bodies and control women’s reproduction. It’s why she’s, you know, takes it to the firm’s stands, but the abortion laws. And, and she said, you know, it’s always been about controlling women and controlling their bodies and Controlling reproduction because that’s how, you know, that’s how the next generation comes along.
0 (7m 59s):
And I thought that that control piece was so interesting. Something is going on in my brain with, you know, what we’re doing here is we’re changing the parenting paradigm and shifting away from trying to control other humans. And, and, and I just want y’all to kind of think about that, right? Like if we, as, especially as moms, as women, we don’t want anyone telling us or trying to control our body, our bodies, we, we have to practice what we preach. Right. So as we dig in and really start offering things like choice, but what about when empathy doesn’t work?
0 (8m 44s):
What about with the two choices don’t work. Okay. Can there not be a third option? Can we not include and collaborate with the people? If this is not working, can we, to the point of empathy so that the other person who can tell you’re on their team, you see their perspective. It’s not a manipulative tactic, so something’s gotta to shift here. Then you just talk to your child, like a human. And you’re like, I’m here for you, you know? And I’ll be over there. Come get me when, when you can talk to me and I can help if I am here. Right? So you just go back to really like basic humanity.
0 (9m 26s):
No, no human wants to be controlled. It feels terrible. We don’t want people to try and control our bodies. And we have to start by not trying to control our children. What does not trying to control other people look like, how can we model that? How can we be change agents for that? So why don’t you guys to really notice where the control creeps into your lives today with your kids? I mean, it did it with, and look, I’m not exempted. This stuff you guys, I saw control recently creep in with my 21 year old senior in college son.
0 (10m 9s):
And he freaking dug his heels in and went straight into the defense zone, which I haven’t seen in a long, long time. And we had to have a PRODUCTIVE conversation. Me and my husband, we were like, Whoa, somethings happened. And then it was like, Oh damn, It, we’re freaking out. ’cause, he’s a senior in college and we need him to get his shit together. We need him to have a plan for next year. We need him to a future trip. We need him to get out of the present moment. Right. So, so I, we, I apologize to him. And I told him the story. And I said, I remember being at the stage where you are a member.
0 (10m 50s):
My mom hounding me about this, that or the other. And I remember all it did was just make me procrastinate more and freak out more. And I we, and I realized we’ve been doing that to you. And I’m so sorry. And it was like, well, thank you so much for saying that. And for apologizing, like it was like a weight had been lifted. So, so control can creep on the scene and you don’t even realize it. So I want you all to be noticing because that’s where we are. All change starts with awareness. We have to notice before we can change, change, change. So I want you all to start noticing. I would love to, I love for you guys to share when you notice, when controls on the scene, sometimes even just saying it out loud, dissolves it.
0 (11m 34s):
But yeah, so those are some of my stream of consciousness. Thoughts coming from my time with Gloria Steinem last night,
1 (11m 44s):
Have you read my book, the Parent gap? Have you listened to my book? The Parent gap? I doubt you’ve listened because my publisher hasn’t released it yet on audible. However, I have the audio version of the Parent gap that I would love to send to you. You can download it at Mastermind Parenting dot com For slash book that’s Mastermind Parenting dot com slash book for your free audio version of the Parent that you’re welcome. I.