The podcast convo this week has to do with a concept I learned recently from author, Elizabeth Gilbert, called Tribal Shaming. I share a recent story from my life where I was guilty of doing this to my son. Shame is destructive and insidious. I can’t wait to hear whatcha think!
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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.
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.
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I’m super excited to dive into today’s topic. But before we do, here’s a quick word from our sponsor. Today’s episodes brought to you by the Mastermind Parenting membership, our exclusive private year-long Mastermind and the Mastermind. You’re going to find a tribe of smart determinant and sometimes even slightly rebellious parents who all happened to have something in common. We all have at least one strong-willed kid. We’re a group of trailblazers. We believe that everything is figureoutable. We learned how to laugh more and yell way less. We solve problems. We have PRODUCTIVE combos instead of lectures that always fall on deaf ears. Anyway, as you guys know, we’re group of action takers, we don’t allow ourselves to stay stuck living in a home that feels like we’re walking on eggshells.
Life’s too short for that. We dig in, we take action and we figure out what’s coming up for us. When our kids are pushing our buttons, we also learned to see our kids differently and how to speak to them in a way that they can actually hear without the constant fighting and dictator type behavior. We change patterns that have possibly been in our families for generations. We become the happy problem-solving parents and people we hope are kids will grow up to be because you can’t teach what you don’t have. You’ve got to do it first. Guys, the doors are officially open and we’re enrolling for the Mastermind Parenting membership, February cohort group.
0 (1m 27s):
So if you’re ready to get the coaching support, training resources and accountability, you deserve to finally take your family from surviving to thriving. I want you to join the Mastermind go to Mastermind parenting.com For slash Feb and apply for the mastermind. There’s an option to book, a free call with Lindsey, L I N D S E Y on my team. If you want all of the deets to determine whether the Mastermind would be a good fit for you. It’s Mastermind Parenting dot com forward slash February giant. Things are happening in the Mastermind. So if you’ve been a podcast listener for a while, and you are ready to have some accountability and experience a community, like you have never, ever been involved in and come apply for the Mastermind, you’re listening to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast with Randi Rubenstein episode 98.
1 (2m 24s):
My name is Randi Rubenstein and welcome to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast where we believe. When your thoughts grow the conversations in your home flow.
0 (2m 38s):
Hi guys, how are you this week? I want to talk about the Most Destructive Discipline Tool but before I tell you what that Tool is, what I want to tell you is, is that I’m guilty of it. You’re probably guilty of it. Our parents were probably guilty of it. We’ve had many teachers that have been guilty of it. It’s something that is this insidious tool that has been practiced within our society. And so what I want to tell you guys is that you are not alone.
0 (3m 20s):
If you resonate with anything I say today, and all change begins with awareness. So just listening to this, and if anything resonates talking about it, having conversations today, I’m being honest with yourself about it will help to elicit change, like collective change. And I have a feeling you probably know what this tool is, but I just want to leave you hanging for a minute longer. I’m going to tell you a little, a little something, something. Okay. So the other night, this is like two nights ago.
0 (4m 1s):
Our youngest son was doing what he seems to do all the time. These days he’s 13. And he has just started to want to be really social with his friends. He’s always been kind of hunkering down, close to home, spends a lot of time with his dad. They play a lot of things together. They go do fun things. My husband’s kind of a man-child, so they’ve always done lots of things together. He’s always liked hanging out with me. He’s a lot younger than his siblings. So of eight years between my oldest and youngest child. And so once his older siblings kind of hit teenage hood, he sort of has, I think felt in a lot of ways, like an only child.
0 (4m 48s):
So he just is always kind of hung out with me and my husband and in the last, my glasses just dropped I’m in the last, I don’t know, maybe six months or so. He has just gotten really into friendships. So over winter break, he’s been just having lots of plans. He’s got this little posse, a boys’ and several of them live close by and they ride bikes together and they just have a nice little, just a nice, a nice little thing going nice boys. And they just, you know, they’d kind of almost do it, like kick it 1970 style, where they ride bikes in the neighborhood.
0 (5m 32s):
Sometimes they go from one house to the other at night. I know all of the other parents, it’s just sort of this nice thing that works. And, but it’s been getting out of hand and especially towards the end of winter break, he keeps pushing it where he wants to spend the night out multiple times. So I’ve had to put down more rules and we’re not going to have multiple sleepovers night after night after night, you need to give yourself a chance to recover. And just having to like really lay down the law more with him than I ever have had to do before. And he does not love it. He’s not even used to it. And so he seems to just like, I mean, he’s really been our, our easiest temperament kid all along and as he starts to get into these tween years, he challenges us the most.
0 (6m 23s):
Like he will not take no for an answer and there’s some badgering that goes on and there’s some different things. So what I realized is is that we just have to firm up the rules and, and, and be clear and have more structure and set expectations and do all the things that like I’m sorta overdoing because I have, you know, a 21 in an 18 year old, like this has always been my super easy kid. And now he’s entering these teenage years and he’s like, yeah, guess what? You have to still show up as a parent and provide all of the structure in the pack leadership and do all those things. Sorry, your job’s is not over. It’s almost like he’s basically telling us that through his behavior, which has a little bit of a pain in the butt, but we got to do it.
0 (7m 5s):
So the other night he had spent the night out the night before, and now he wants to spend the night out again. And I said, no, you had a sleep over the last night. You may not have another sleepover. So we started to do his thing. It starts to lawyer up and negotiate and I’m like, it’s not happening. So he started to then do the parent peer pressure. You’re the only one everyone else has allowed to have sleepovers on multiple nights, yada, yada, yada. And I just, I was like, okay, sorry, that’s the deal. I’m willing to let you have a late night how he says, how late of a night. I said, I don’t know, you tell me.
0 (7m 46s):
And he said, which this is really part of the PRODUCTIVE conversation. You guys, do, you want them to solve their problem? So I don’t know. You tell me, he’s like, well, I don’t know. You’re the parent, you’re the one I’d rather just spend the night. So he starts going in. I said, I said, well, how late would you like to stay out? And he’s like, as late as I can, you know, he’s going back. And he was like, I say something. And then he raises me. So my husband walks by and, and I said, how late is Corey allowed to stay out? And my husband always goes low. He’s like a nine 45. And Corey says nine 45. That’s not a, that’s ridiculous.
0 (8m 26s):
Like it’s already seven 30 right now. Like, no. And so we’re like, okay, well, how late do you want to stay? And so he says, he says a midnight. And I said, well, if you stay till midnight, that means one of us has to like go and pick you up at midnight and a w and we’re not all on winter break. We have to work tomorrow. And he’s like, well, and I said, Oh wait. Plus the fact that, and then I like, got clear too. It, I said your sister up until last year when she was a junior in high school, I said she had an 11 o’clock curfew as a senior.
0 (9m 7s):
She has a 12 o’clock curfew. So you’re telling me as an eighth grader, you think you should have a, a 12 o’clock curfew here. He was like, mom. And I’m like, your sister had an 11 o’clock curfew until last year. You think you should have the same curfew in eighth grade, as your sister, as a senior in high school, he looked at me and he said, mom, all you have to do is tell me what the rules are.
0 (9m 47s):
But when you talk to me like that, and when you compare me to my sister, and when you say it in that rude voice, it really makes me mad. It really feels terrible. That’s the Tool you guys that’s the Destructive tool. What was I doing in those moments? I was shaming him. I was mocking him. I was Shaming him. He was asking for something. I was saying, no, he was pushing. I got annoyed. And then I start to Shame him, how dare he asks for the same thing as his sister.
0 (10m 29s):
And I used that mocking voice. And it’s, it’s actually bullying. And I like Hear him because he is like, he is such an example of what a healthy human who knows how to communicate and has such a clear sense of self should know. He is that example. And he immediately called me out on it. I didn’t even realize that I was doing it because you know what, that probably happened to me many times over the years. And so that’s what sort of came online naturally for me. And I didn’t even realize I was doing it, but since he thank goodness has mostly been raised without that Shaming Tool, he was quickly able to identify it.
0 (11m 18s):
And he had the confidence to stand up for himself and to call me out on it. And he called me out, frankly. I felt like he did it assertively, but he did it respectfully. And so I immediately said, I’m sorry. You’re right. You are a a hundred percent. Right. All I needed to say was, you may not stay out until midnight. Your sister, your sister stays out til midnight and she’s 18 years old. And when you’re older, you’ll be able to as well. And your curfew is 11 o’clock and we’ll be picking you up at 11 o’clock. That’s all I needed to say. I’m sorry for doing that. So I think that this, this Shame piece and the fact that it came online.
0 (12m 3s):
So naturally for me, kind of got me curious, and I read this article not too long ago by Elizabeth Gilbert, you know, the author of the book eat, pray love. And she wrote this whole long Facebook post all about something called Tribal Shaming. And I thought it was really fascinating. And basically she says that our tribe of origin, right? So it’s our family, our community, the people that were raised by and shaped by and programmed by that, that they are the ones who basically tell us who we are.
0 (12m 45s):
Right? And in an unspoken terms, our tribe tells us what to believe and how to behave. And she says, each tribe is governed by its own rules. These rules constitute the honor code that defines every tribes. Essence, no matter what the tribe, these rules are always sacred and must be sacred because without these rules, the collective will fall apart. And without the collective individual, people are doomed. And so she goes on to talk about how there’s certain unspoken rules of a tribe. So it could be, she said like, maybe that you, maybe your tribe are religious fundamentalists.
0 (13m 28s):
And you realize that you don’t want to be a religious fundamentalist, or maybe you come from a tribe of abusive alcoholics or people that are numbing out. And you’re a person who doesn’t want to you grow up and you become a full fledged adult, and you’re not a number, and you’re not a drinker. And you deviate in that way. She said, maybe you come from a tribe of people. Like I know a woman who was telling me recently that she has a lot of Shame because she comes from a family of academics and over-achievers, and she is a yoga teacher, and that’s not considered, you know, that’s not considered a, a, an acclaimed career to have within her family, within her tribe of origins.
0 (14m 16s):
So she had a lot of shame about that, and she felt like the, the members of her family would constantly say things, demeaning things. Or maybe you come from a family, a tribe of, you know, working class people, and
2 (14m 32s):
You are in you’ve you’ve,
0 (14m 35s):
You know, you’re a grownup and, and your life is one where you find yourself in a different kind of socio-economic level. And so there is constantly saying things like, Oh, she thinks she’s too good for us, a little miss, blah, blah, blah, such a snob. So it could go the other way, where they act like you’re a miss fancy pants. Right? And so all of these, a little nuanced ways of sort of, you know, putting you down is really the tribe’s way of saying you are not one of us. You are not seeming like you’re one of us, you are breaking the rules of the tribe, and you’re doing things differently.
0 (15m 20s):
You’re deviating from the tribe. And since we all, as humans have a sense of belonging, there’s a need to belong, right? When we get these little nuanced bullying, ways that tell us that we don’t go with them, we don’t belong. It feels terrible. It feels terrible. And so quite often what people will do is they’ll self they’ll, subconsciously self-sabotage right? So maybe it’s the, the person who comes from the alcoholic family, they have never had a desire to drink, but then all of a sudden, they go through a hard season in their life as a, you know, 40 year old.
0 (16m 8s):
And they are like, you know what? And I feel terrible. Like it just give me something to take away the pain. And they find themselves starting to drink at 40. And really it’s a subconscious sabotage because they’re going through a hard time and it feels all alone and they want to be belong with the group. So it’s really kind of interesting how, like, I have known people who, who started smoking as, you know, full fledged adults. Like, I’m like really, like, if you start smoking as a full fledged adult, like, huh, like it’s one thing. If you get into the habit, when you’re like a teenager without a fully developed brain and your trying to like fit in and be cool, what the other teenagers, but like, to start smoking as a fully fledged adult seems to kind of crazy.
0 (16m 57s):
And It, I think it’s a lot of this Tribal stuff that goes on. And so I think this Tribal mentality is interesting. And I think the tribal Shaming is very nuanced and hard to identify. But one thing that she said was, she said, you know, when you deviate from the tribe, you’ll be punished. And sometimes there’s like, they’ll excommunicate you when you, when you, you know, they’ll Sion you and they will disown you. But sometimes it’s much more subtle. She says, if you dare to leave the tribe, or if you dare to challenge the tribe, the weapon that they are most likely will use is Shame Shame is the most powerful and degrading tool that a tribe has at its disposal.
0 (17m 42s):
Shame is the nuclear option. Shame is how they keep you in line Shame is how they let you know that you’ve abandoned. The violence may be fast and brutal, but Shame is slow. It’s still brutal. Shame is like a computer chip, but the tribe implants into U in order to be able to control you and make you suffer. So that even when you’re geographically far away from the tribe, they can still flip that switch and make you feel the agony of guilt over having betrayed them. So they, and they may say things like now that you are a big fancy city girl, you think you’re better than us. Don’t You. Now that you’ve got a college education, do you think you’re better now that you don’t drink anymore? You think you’re better now that you’ve lost all that weight and you eat so healthy, you think you’re better.
0 (18m 25s):
And then she says, she says that that they’ll remind you, Oh, she says that they will mock you. And then they will brush it off saying, Hey, don’t get so upset were just joking. It’s all in fun. But it isn’t all in fun. Like that’s what I was doing with Corey. I’m your sister. I was mocking. I was joking. And I, and I was subconsciously doing this to him. Didn’t even realize it. And he called me out on it, which I think is pretty awesome. But this is how it goes down. So like the shamers don’t even like, I didn’t even realize I was Shaming him. The shamers are quite are doing it without even realizing it.
0 (19m 8s):
She says it, isn’t all in fun. It’s dead serious. And it’s potentially deadly because Shame makes people sick. Shame can literally take years off of your life at best. It just makes you terribly lingering. Only sad. Your tribe of origin is letting you know in no uncertain terms, you are no longer one of us. So I want y’all to be on to yourselves. If you are accidentally using Shaming with your kids. And if you have felt this way in your life, you know, chances are, if you’re listening to this podcast in your learning new Parenting tools, and maybe your person who like many people who’ve told me that they’ve listened, they listen to the podcast for a year before they actually start taking action.
0 (19m 54s):
They sit in passive consumption. It’s like just these new ideas are starting to, to come into your, into your brain. And you’re letting ’em into your ears there starting to resonate. Your maybe feeling attracted two, some new ideas, but it feels too scary to take real action. So you’re sort of sitting in passive consumption for a while, before you are ready to make a move. And, and what I want to tell you guys is there may be more to that story. It may feel like it’s really uncomfortable to all of a sudden do it differently than the way you’ve done it in the way.
0 (20m 36s):
You’ve surrounded yourself with other people who do it that way, the way that you’ve been doing it. So it might be your family. It might be the friends that you’ve surrounded yourself with, and then went all of a sudden, you start learning a different way and you’re with, you know, the other adults in your life. And they all start to talk badly about their kids or complain about their kids or yell at their kids, or, you know, you bond over, over how difficult kids are and how awful they are. And you are quiet. You, you, you don’t want to do that anymore. You don’t want your kids to be raised with that going on in the background.
0 (21m 20s):
And then somebody says, why are you so quiet today? You know, you, Oh, your Randi knows what we’re talking about. You’ve got a blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Remember when he did and they’ll try and suck you back in. And so when you are the first to start to open yourself up to a new way of doing things, I want y’all to know, Tribal Shaming can definitely come into play and it can feel lonely and it can feel painful. And it’s super important for you to find, as you embrace this new philosophy for raising kids, that just feels better for everyone and allows kids to come to their next chapter in life, feeling healthy and whole and worthy.
0 (22m 10s):
And as they, you know, deserving to be love just for the exact little human four-leaf Clover that they were born to be, as you start to embark upon that, I want y’all to know it is really important to surround yourself with a tribe, a tribe of people who get you. It doesn’t mean you have to separate yourself in the sense that you can’t be a part of your family of origin or the friends that you’ve had for many years. It doesn’t mean that you have to like ditch them and get a new tribe It at all. It means that you need to add to your life and just add some new people too.
0 (22m 55s):
Your life that are in alignment with this new philosophy, you will learn tools to be able to keep many of the old Tribal members in your life and set boundaries and establish a new way of being treated and lean into the discomfort of them. Not being happy about it, because trust me, when you deviate from the tribe, they will try to Shame and shun you, but you will learn tools how to combat that without necessarily having to, you know, X them in a box them out of your life. So I want y’all just to, just to kind of be aware of this and wanting to put it on your radar and, and that’s what I’ve got for you.
0 (23m 40s):
I’m glad you are here. I’m glad your listening to the podcast. I’m glad that you’re a part of this tribe. ’cause this tribe I believe is doing some pretty big powerful things. And the more of us that are here, the more powerful we are. I’m glad you’re here. Have a great week.
1 (24m 4s):
Have you read my book, the parent gap? Have you listened to my book? The parent gap? I doubt you’d listen. ’cause my publisher. Hasn’t released it yet on audible. However, I had the audio version of a parent GAF that I would love to send to you, or you can download it at Mastermind Parenting dot com For slash book that’s Mastermind Parenting dot com For slash book for your free audio version of the parent gap. You’re welcome. I.