On the podcast this week, I talk about how difficult the holiday season can be with our challenging kids. They ARE harder to parent. Period. I discuss what our strong-willed kiddos truly need to show up as the best versions of themselves…structure and follow-through handled in a non-shaming way. There is a formula to achieve this along with a LOT more peace in your household. Whether you choose to follow the methods I teach in Mastermind Parenting or to reach out to a conscious parenting expert, please just take action and do SOMETHING for the sake of your kids and their future. Sending love!
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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 94.
My name’s Randi Rubenstein and welcome to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast where we believe. When your thoughts grow the conversations in your home flood.
Well, hi guys, how are you this week? I know that the Christmas season is here and everybody’s sort of spending some quality time with family may be taken some time off work. And if you’re the parent of a particularly strong willed child, I know that quite often, these days can feel long and you can lay your head down at night, feeling guilty that it didn’t go according to plan. And umm, and life was harder than you wanted it to be. I was thinking recently my mom was my mom and dad actually were sharing a story.
0 (1m 4s):
It’s very funny because my parents now that my kids are older, you know, it’s our parents, when we’re doing it differently than they did or knew how to do. I think that it’s human nature for people to sort of be critical because everybody like your parents love you. Just like you love your kids. My parents love me. Just like I love my kids and everybody, it were deep down worried like that. We’re doing it wrong. Like we don’t want to screw our kids up. We want to believe that we’re doing our most important role in life. Well, and I don’t think most of us think about this consciously.
0 (1m 44s):
I think it’s just this thing lurking underneath. I think it’s why other people’s judgment can feel so caustic when they just like the littlest comment or the littlest remark, we can like get so defensive. And you know, my parents used to say, Oh, if you, if you feed your kids so healthy, why are they begging for chocolate chip cookies at nine 30 in the morning when they sleep over here? I’m like, because chocolate chip cookies are delicious and they’re available. I would get all defensive about it. But my parents really just wanted a validation that, that they didn’t do it. They didn’t do such a shabby job. And younger me didn’t really know how to not be so defensive every day, every little stupid thing that they said, which was like not a big deal, I would armor up about it and I would get all defensive about it.
0 (2m 34s):
And it really wasn’t. It didn’t never needed to be such a big deal. And so there were these little critical moments, which weren’t even a big deal, but I made a bigger deal out of them that I needed too. And now that my kids are older, my parents and I do this, my parents are, you know, they see the finished product and they’re proud grandparents’ so they shout out from the rooftops to every person. Every employee works for my mom, every person, they come into contact that have little kids, every relative of mine, cousin with younger kids, Oh, you should be going to Randi. You should be going to Randi. You should be going to Randi. And, and so that they were sharing his story with me about a cousin of mine who has a strong willed child who is not interested in learning for me, which is totally fine.
0 (3m 23s):
And they were saying like, you know, his son wakes up at five 30 in the morning. And my mom’s like, you know, I was just saying, you just need to teach him that he’s not allowed to get out of his bed until the seventh is on the clock. That’s what Randi did, which makes me laugh. Like now there’s this great thing where it’s like a froggy and a Greenlight and you don’t even have to, like, I remember in my, I had to wait to my kids where like three and I worked so hard to teach them. This is the number seven and this is where it needs to be on the clock. Now you can just program the frog, you to turn green until your kids that they’re not allowed to get out of their bed till the froggy screen. And, and anyway, so they were sharing the story with me and I, and we were just kind of talking about how like really how you can learn these things.
0 (4m 13s):
And then the hard part is the follow-through the hard part. Like you can read a million because she was saying like, they’ve read a lot of books. And my thought is, is I’ve read. I mean, I’ve spent 20 years reading books buy so many awesome clinicians. Like I’m not the only game in town who teaches these concepts. Dr. Shefali, brilliant, brilliant. She teaches it. She has so much more eloquent than I am. And she’s so beautiful. I love her. I love her message. And Dr. Laura Markham, she, her company is called aha. Parenting love. She teaches so many similar concepts who else teaches there’s there’s several, there’s lots of people anyone’s teaching anything that has to do with conscious parenting.
0 (5m 2s):
I’ve just found that most of the people that come to me, They like my real mom talk. They like My that my expertise is in the field creating this recipe because I had a strong willed child and, and I read all the things and then I combined it and give everyone in the cliff notes. And I just know that this recipe works and it feels selfish not to share it. So I don’t care if you have a strong-willed kid. I don’t care if you come to me. Or if you go to one of these, other of these other parenting experts who frankly, may appeal to you way more, just go to someone and support yourself and doing what it takes to actually follow through.
0 (5m 50s):
And what I told my parents was, I said, you know, you can know what to do all day long, but the hard part is working on your own mindset of when you, you know, how you actually take what needs to be done to help your child understand that these are the rules of the household. This is why we have the rules at the household for your body to get the rest of it needs. And then, and establishing, having that conversation, that PRODUCTIVE conversation, knowing how to have that ahead of time, where you establish the rules. And then on I say is you establish the rules, rules, you repeat it off and you follow through consistently.
0 (6m 33s):
And then knowing all day long that you’re going to show up in your confident pack leadership. And you’re going to let them know what’s coming. We’re going to repeat it off. And remember tonight bedtimes at this time, your body’s got to get the rest it needed. You got up to early. So we’re going to make up for that. So you’re, you know, had to have that conversation and then following through, which is when it comes to bedtime, you can bet a child that’s four or five, six years old, who hasn’t had follow-through in this way with this firm and loving pack leadership to let them know like you’re safe in the world. I’m the parent, I got this. This is what we’re doing this, and we’re not gonna talk.
0 (7m 15s):
You know, I’m just going to return you to your bed and, and, and help you learn that this is from this time to this time, your in your bed or getting the sleep your body needs to be. I love you too much. This is just too important, not too. And you’re returning them to their bed. And I promise you that first night is going to be a, you know, a shit storm is going to be terrible. And so you got to be mentally prepared for it. And then nine to five is a little easier. A night, three is a lot easier. And by, you know, usually the end of that week, your child believes, starts to believe you and you follow it through it’s the follow through. That’s so hard, it’s exhausting.
0 (7m 58s):
And so learning how to do things differently. If you have a strong-willed kid, they need that structure, they need that consistency. And I’ll tell you something. They are taking in stimuli at a heightened degree in their environment, their exhausted. So if their operating on an hour and a half or two hours less of sleep a night, then their bodies require they’re. You know, they’re really operating from a deficit. A lot of times sleep deprivation shows up like all the studies say it shows up as ADHD signs.
0 (8m 37s):
Is it? I mean, we used to say this about our daughter, Avery, who really was just an easy person from the time she was born, but with an hour or less of sleep, and she requires a ton of sleep, an hour, less of sleep and night, she would just not as enjoyable. So if you have a child that’s that really, really needs this sleep or an, or, and really needs the structure, they need to know what to expect. They need to know what the rules are so that they can feel more regulated on the inside then, and you’re not doing it. You’re just doing the same thing over and over again. And nothing’s working, then you gotta figure out what you’re gonna shift and change ’cause.
0 (9m 25s):
Everything is figureoutable and these kids need you too. So, so find your resource to help, you know, how to follow through, because what I’m saying to my parents is the thing that gets me. I don’t, I don’t care if, if, if I don’t appeal to someone or my methods, the way I teach them, doesn’t appeal to someone that’s okay. And if you have one of these strong-willed kids, They, ARE harder to parent and they super need structure in place. It helps them to feel calmer in their body and safer in the world. And when they’re not getting that, then they show up not as their best selves.
0 (10m 10s):
So they’re being difficult at home for you there, going out into the world and they’re being difficult for their teachers, their being difficult with their peers, the world receives them less kindly because they are more difficult. Versus you figuring out how to get that structure in place, how to follow through right lean into the suckage and follow through and create that stability for them at home. Well, now all of a sudden they know what to expect. So they feel calmer and more regulated in their body. And so they show up differently in the world and the world receives them differently.
0 (10m 50s):
This affects their inner speech. This affects their self-talk because a kid that is difficult at home, in difficult, out in the world, you know what? They start to create this sense of self, which is not that likable people don’t like me. I get my needs met and an attention. And I’m seen and feel relevant in the world by behaving in a way that other people find difficult. And so that becomes their sense of self. And I promise you as a kid that is showing up that way and feeling that way is not going to be a confident kid is not going to think that they’re awesome and deserve to be celebrated.
0 (11m 35s):
And so, so many of us I’ve heard, I don’t know if you all know that the speaker Marissa pier, her whole thing is all about self worth and that we have a self worth epidemic going on in that most people don’t feel truly worthy. And, and if you think about it, like, think about when you make like the stupidest little mistake and you’re like, Oh, I’m just joking idiot. Like you say things to yourself that you wouldn’t say to someone you love. And yet that’s how you talk to yourself over something silly. Where do you think that comes from? It comes from, there were certain areas where you were shamed as a kid.
0 (12m 18s):
You do, you know, the adults probably didn’t mean to shame you, but it was just the way it was done. And so then that becomes the way you speak to yourself and your head. So I promise you, these strong-willed kids who are being difficult at home, showing up in the world, being difficult everywhere. They don’t feel good about themselves. And so that’s going to become their inner dialogue and they will have the self worthy crisis going on within them. So it’s so important if you have one of these kids and what you’re doing is not working to find your resource, that’s going to help you follow through in creating that structured, safe, loving environment, where your kid can truly start showing up as their best self, because that’s how we combat the self worth epidemic that we have going on in our culture.
0 (13m 19s):
So I wanted to share that with you guys. And I wanted to say, if you do, if you get nothing else from this, I want you to think over the holidays and life’s difficult. And the day’s feel, it feel like there is a never ending and the memories aren’t exactly what you were hoping. And there is a lot of tension and, and, and you’re just not having as much fun as you thought you were going to have when you’re, you’re off of work and home with your family and supposed to be doing all these things, creating this beautiful, connected family dynamic.
0 (13m 59s):
If that’s not happening, I want you to just have an honest conversation with yourself and to really think about the fact that it does it, does it look, it’s easy to come up with excuses as to why you, you know, this one won’t work like, Oh, I read books and I don’t, you know, that I don’t like her method. I don’t like her process. That’s fine. That’s fine. But excuses keep you in inaction excuses, our, the way that you stay stuck. So I don’t care whether it’s me or some other game in town. I am not the only game in town. Find your resource and get the support that you need.
0 (14m 42s):
Start taking action and make 20, 20 your year that you’re truly going to go from surviving to as a family. Okay. Have a beautiful holiday. Bye guys.
1 (14m 56s):
Have you read my book, the parent gap, or 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 had 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.