This is from a FB Live Series where I talk about how to show up as the leader your kids want and need when navigating turbulent times.
I also talk about how often we make our kids behavior mean something about us when it actually doesn’t. There are some hard truth bombs in this episode…I believe in you. No more blaming and shaming. It’s not helpful and you’re a badass. You got this.
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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My name is Randi Rubenstein, and welcome to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast at Mastermind Parenting, we’re on a mission to support strong-willed kids and the families that love them.
Okay, lets get this party started. I’m there’s a lot that I want to talk about in terms of this re Parenting Series. And of course I just happened to be reading untamed than just reading a little bit of untamed or as my husband said, I’ve already read this before. He is like, how many times have you read that book? But sometimes I read little chapters in this book, this book, if you don’t know what I’m talking about by Glennon Doyle. And it’s just a poetic, like the way she writes. It’s amazing. So of course the chapter that I was on is exactly the perfect thing to read to you guys for this topic.
Okay. So she says one morning in the middle of the divorce, I called Liz to ask for parenting advice. Now she’s talking about her friend, Liz Gilbert, for those of you who don’t know Liz Gilbert, you know her, she wrote, I know I’m obsessed with this book two and it literally just doesn’t get old. Like I can reread it and reread it and find things over and over again. And Liz Gilbert wrote, eat, pray love. And she’s just a magical human. So she says Liz doesn’t have children. So she is still saying enough to have perspective. And I said, I know, I know, I know that all is well and everything is fine at the deepest level and all that shit. I know all of that, but I don’t know it today.
1 (1m 35s):
I’m worried that I, that I ruined them. They’re confused and afraid. And for Christ’s sake, this is the one thing that I swore I’d never do to them. She’s talking about her divorce and her kids, how they are dealing with it. And Liz said, okay, Glen in here’s what I see happening. Your family is together on a, on an airplane right now. You’re the flight attendant and the kids are passengers on their first flight. The plane just hit some serious turbulence and the airplane’s bouncing. Yes. I said that sounds about right. Okay. What do passengers do when turbulence hits? They look at the flight attendant. If the flight attendant appears to be panicked, the passengers panic, if the attendance or common study, the passengers feel safe and follow suit Glennon, you’ve been flying and living long enough to know that while turbulence feels scary, it won’t take the plane down turbulence isn’t deadly and neither is divorced.
1 (2m 30s):
We survive these things. The kids don’t know this yet. So they’re afraid they’re going to keep looking at your face for information. Your job right now is to smile at them, to stay calm and keep serving the freaking peanuts. This is what I told myself every single day during the divorce and a million times since keep serving the freaking peanuts going in. Okay. That metaphor I think is brilliant because what I wanted to talk about was I posted this video yesterday, buy the coffee talk lady. I think her name is Jamie. Something. Maybe you guys know her.
1 (3m 12s):
And she posts. She’s got a huge following. And she posts all of these videos and she really shares like a real mom perspective on things. And, and she’s just got a lot of candor. And so she posted this video and basically the video is, is talking about how her and her husband, they have like a, you know, like a marriage where they have a house in New Jersey and a house in Alabama. And maybe her husband works in Alabama and they go back and forth. And, and so she was spending, she was in New Jersey and her kids and her husband were in Alabama. And she’s, she’s texting with her 13 year old daughter.
1 (3m 54s):
She’s texting her 13 year old daughter. And our 13 year old daughter is ignoring her texts and she is getting pissed, pissed. And the 13 year old daughter keeps sending her little Snap’s, you know, like pictures of things. And she is pissed. She is like, this is so disrespectful. How is she ignoring me? Why isn’t she responding? And she’s like asking her daughter about her softball game, you know? And she was like, how is the game? Whatever she wants to the lowdown, right? That’s her agenda. She wants the lowdown. And our 13 year old is not responding to our text and so on. So Jamie takes a personally and is getting pissed, pissed, pissed. So that night she’s with one of our friends and she vents to a friend.
1 (4m 37s):
She was like, what is the deal? Like, it’s just not okay to ignore your mother and not respond to the text. And her friend says, wait a minute, she is responding. She’s just responding on the platform that she uses. Its sort of like, you know how people have different love languages? Like just because your love language is acts of service. You know, doesn in your husband’s love language might be a physical touch and he’s coming up and giving you a kiss right after work or you know, begging you to give him a hug or to sit down and unwind and can cuddle with you. And you just don’t want to be touched.
1 (5m 17s):
Like, like that doesn’t mean he’s not showing you love. It means that you just would prefer to feel love by having him offer like, Hey baby, you seem a bit stressed. Why don’t you go take some time? I got the kids for dinner or I’ll handle bathtime tonight. Or like that would feel super loving. You know? So it’s like learning each other’s love languages is just number one, knowing yours and knowing your partner’s is self-awareness. Yes. And number two, it’s also empathy because when you speak, if you want your partner to feel loved, you know, she’s acts of service and his is in acts of service. She needs to, if she wants to make him feel loved, then she needs to show up and you know, give him a little hug or grab his hand or you know, a gentle touch or whatever.
1 (6m 4s):
And so it’s not just going through life, seeing your perspective, but seeing the people’s perspectives around you as well, just emotional intelligence. Self-awareness all of the things. Right? And so her friend said, this is sort of like the love language thing, like your talking on a platform that you do, you know, you text to her platform. It snaps. She is, she is giving you a window’s into her life. Just meet her where she is. Basically. It doesn’t mean anything about you. This doesn’t mean disrespect. This means that she’s, she’s talking to you like a thirteen-year-old you know? And, and, and basically the firm was saying, its not making this so much about you.
1 (6m 47s):
And I was thinking, how often do we make other people? Especially like our kids’ behavior means something like disrespect when it actually doesn’t mean that at all. And I was thinking, you know, like its kind of like expecting your kid to take care of you, you know, to make you feel respected, to make you feel like she’s over here. Probably feeling guilty that she wasn’t at the softball game. She wants to the low down, she wants to be the mom that even though she’s away and she still keeps in touch and she still knows the score and she is still on her finger on the pulse, like she’s basically wanting her child to stroke and appease her or to relieve her of her guilt.
1 (7m 34s):
And so she’s sending the texts and the text and the text and the child feels this grasping S and she didn’t want to, but she is saying like, Oh, Hey your mom, look, look, look, she is letting her in a window into our life. But I just think it’s like, it’s like, what do we make it mean when they don’t respond to the text? Like, why is it a problem? Why is that? Why does that mean to disrespect? And why does it make it a few? It’s like, Oh, because she’s ignoring me. And so why is that a problem? You know, you make it a problem when you make it all about you. And what I want to say is is that our kids are going through enough, especially like a 13 year old of any age, but a 13 year-old is going through the biggest transition that will ever go through in their life.
1 (8m 23s):
They’re going from kid hood to grown up hood like that adolescence period is this time of transition. It’s like no other time in our lives, the hormonal issues, the being, you know, like all of it, the sense of belonging, the finding your place a lot of times the friendship ship, but there’s a lot going on. So when we make them not responding to a text, I mean, disrespect, then we’re basically like putting all our old baggage, our emotional baggage on backs, along with all the other crap that they are dealing with. And that’s not being the flight attendant that says it’s going to be okay.
1 (9m 6s):
Even though there might be turbulence, even though we might be feeling turbulence on the inside, what they need from us is that they need us to deal with our own shit like to deal with I’m feeling disrespected. I’m feeling triggered. Why do I make it mean this? What am I asking for for my kids? Why do I, why am I needing my kid to take care of me right now? I’m the parent. And obviously there’s old crap coming up and guess what? I got to become that grounded up and deal with that. I can’t place that on my kid. You know, it takes a ton of self-awareness to do that and to look at yourself for real and look at what your making it mean and why your so triggered and why it means that you’re being ignored and dismissed and disrespected.
1 (9m 52s):
And its bringing up all of the times in your life, how you felt ignored. And It disrespected in all of these things. But when we reparent ourselves, we, we deal with that shit. We heal that stuff. And then we don’t place that on our kids. You know, the last thing that the kid needs is for the flight attendant to be like, I hope everything’s going to be okay, but I’m just not sure I need to go back. Well, you know, no, like you’re the, you’re looking at the grounded grownup to be like, it’s going to be okay, we got this. We can do hard things. I got you like the kid needs the mom to be like, it’s okay.
1 (10m 34s):
I don’t like, I don’t need you to take care of me. Right? Like the light to need. I don’t think a parent should ever rely on their child make to make them feel better to need that until like you’re in until it’s the time where you’re like needing adult diapers and your child is six to eight and, and there are a full fledged growing up themselves, right? Like I think the job of a parent is to be the one that takes care of your child’s emotional needs and takes care of your own emotional needs and finds other grownups to support you. But it is not a kid’s job to take care of the child the way the adults emotional needs.
1 (11m 15s):
And I think this is a hard pill for many of us to swallow because I think, you know, many people, most of us were raised by emotionally immature grown-ups you know, and when you’re emotionally immature, you rely on other people to constantly make you feel better. And when you’re in an emotionally immature parent, you rely on your child to constantly make you feel better. And it’s unfair. It’s an unfair, they’ve got enough to do just growing and evolving as a little humans, big human they’ve got enough on their plate.
1 (11m 55s):
They do not need our baggage on top of them. And, and so, you know, you had, and this is something that wee, many of us read in the holistic psychologist book, she really goes through emotional, you know, immaturity in adults. And she talks about how, if you had a parent that overpowered and got aggressive and blamed and shamed, you know, you were raised with an emotionally immature parent. If you got to, If you have a parent that relied on you to constantly people please and make them feel better or they needed, you needed to perform to make them proud, constantly emotional immaturity.
1 (12m 38s):
If you didn’t do everything just right. And then they gave you the silent treatment or iced you out emotionally immature, I mean, it really it’s expansive, you know, it’s a big list. And so what we know is that patterns repeat and, and unless you look, I take an honest look at what was on the scene when you were growing up, you’re going to repeat that pattern in, even in nuanced ways that you don’t realize until you really take an honest look at it. So, so what I want to say is, is this is, I mean, nobody wants to hear this, but you got to stop making There behavior mean anything about you, you know, when they have a shitty moment or a shitty day or a meltdown, it’s because they’re dysregulated in their body and their central nervous system is activated.
1 (13m 35s):
Right. And it could be caused from a number of factors. Right? And so when you take that moment, when they are like, Oh, I hate you. And you take that moment, doesn’t mean that you’re not going to have a conversation later and go back and get to the root of what was really going on with them and talk about, Hey, what are some healthy or healthier ways to tell me that you need some help are not having a good moment or you need a little space rather than lashing out and calling me names, I’m here to help you. I got you. And I don’t deserve to be in a, you know, to be called names. It doesn’t mean that we’re not going to have that conversation, but not in the activated moment when you need to right the wrong and tell them, you know, how they will speak to you in a lot of that.
1 (14m 22s):
Or when they’re already activated your, making it about you, you are making it about you and your ego is at play there. And so when you make it about you, it’s narcissistic at worst and insecure at best, right? And that w you know, if your narcicisstic or insecure or you’re going to be that, or even kill a flight attendant just survive in the freaking peanuts. They’re not, you’re not, it’s never a kid’s job to take care of a parent’s emotional needs is just not, it’s just not.
1 (15m 1s):
So that’s my opinion. Do you guys disagreed? You? Does that resonate? Yeah. Anything, anything, nobody has anything to say about this topic, you know, or you may say, well, where do I start? What do I do? I want you to find resources, you know, when your open, and you’re starting to look at some of these things that maybe you haven’t looked at before, the teacher will appear, it might be a podcast. It might be a book. It might be a coaching program. It might be therapists that, you know, you decided it’s time to go and see, it might be a combination.
1 (15m 48s):
Right? But what I want to say is that these patterns don’t heal on their own. You’ve got to do the work you’ve got. That’s the name of, of Nicole’s for me, that’s a great reminder. I make it about me. And, and this is what I want to say. This is a super common. And if it was what you were conditioned with, you also have to have some grace for yourself. Like, of course, I make it about me. That’s how I was conditioned. You know, I always say, Rome, wasn’t built in a day, reconditioning yourself. It does take work. It doesn’t just happen on its own. It is a constant daily process, you know, and you fall off and then you find yourself getting true, like crazy and shaming and blaming and doing all of the things you said you weren’t gonna do.
1 (16m 38s):
And then you take a breath and you have some grace in your life and I’m human, and I’m going to get back on the horse. You know what I, and I’m going to go and talk to my kid and own what I did. Hey, remember when you were having a hard moment, instead of like, you know, helping you, I just yelled at you and it wasn’t helpful. I’m really sorry for doing that. I’m really working on this. Do you know how you were feeling in your body? You’ve got a name, It to tame it. It’s like, you’re important to me. Where are you feeling? Angry? Where are you feeling? Frustrated? Where are you feeling? Sad? Where are you feeling tired?
1 (17m 19s):
Like, do you know what you were feeling in your body? If you take that moment to start naming it, to tame it, then you start to move into the real type of support they need. And they start to trust you more. And if you’ve just apologized, like that’s not who I want to be. That probably didn’t feel very helpful in the moment. And I started yelling at you when you are already upset about something. They were like, no, you are like, I don’t think so. Sorry for that. Not good. Hmm. Then they also get the message in that moment. Like, Oh, I don’t have to be perfect.
1 (17m 60s):
Either allowed to make mistakes and then go back and own it and apologize. Oh, wow. That makes them trust you more. Right. So I just think that, you know, if you invest the time and energy into your own healing, you know, if you can’t do it for you, because frankly you figured out ways to adapt in life, you may not even be aware of these things, right? This might be a new conversation for you. And that’s what we do when we’re kids and, and we’ve got wounds, right?
1 (18m 44s):
That’s what a trigger really is. It’s a sign that there’s an unhealed wound There. Unhealed trauma trauma, literally, is it the Latin, the Latin meaning for trauma is wound. So you’ve got some kind of a, of a raw wound still there. You may have developed scar tissue around it, you know, but when something reminds your brain of the wound, all of a sudden it, somebody touches that wound and it feels painful. And that’s what happens when our kids are not responding to our text. And we feel disrespected, ignored all of those things. All of the sudden that scar tissue around that wound, when you felt disrespected as a kid, when your voice wasn’t heard, when you felt ignored or dismissed, all of a sudden it’s opened up and it feels painful and you fight back and that’s an adaptive strategy.
1 (19m 40s):
That’s a coping mechanism that you developed over the years. So to heal that, you know, to heal that it’s like, I’m fine. You know, we can justify why it’s working. It’s fine. It doesn’t show up that much, blah, blah, blah. I want you to heal yourself to look at healing yourself. Like your kids lives, depend on it because it does it like their lives depend on your healing. If you want to truly have them enter into adulthood from a place that they do feel worthy, you know, they do feel connected to you.
1 (20m 20s):
They do want to call you sometimes. And sometimes they don’t want to respond to that, to your texts because they’re busy and they’re not in the mood. And then it all, and the softball game happened yesterday. And just because you’re a New Jersey and you missed the softball game, it’s not their job to update you. It’s okay. Right. They may just not want to. And it’s okay. It doesn’t mean anything about you. You’re the mom, you know, like it’s okay. Tell me about when you want to tell me about it or was it fun? Did it? It wasn’t a good time. Yeah, it was good. Is it a win? Yeah, it was okay. We don’t have to talk about it. I was just curious, but it’s cool.
1 (21m 1s):
Like, you don’t need to take care of me. It’s fine. And if you’re needing them to take care of you, you feel like they’re like, look at it. Why? Cause you want to be, you don’t want that friend that, you know, competitive front of me to be like, Oh, we missed you at the softball game. Like you want to be the mom who is in the No about everything. You know how to justify, you know, I’m over here in New Jersey. I really am close to my kids. I really am connected. I’m not losing. I’m still winning as a mom, you know, just be on your self. I feel like that’s your, that’s the, like the shadow side going on underneath the surface. It’s a hard stuff to look at.
1 (21m 42s):
That’s not easy. It’s not that whole self-awareness emotional intelligence, blah, blah, blah. It’s a freaking Hard, it’s honest. It’s like radical honesty with yourself. And will many of us have worn masks to protect ourselves and armored up? Well, you know, its like that armor has protected us. It’s very, very unsettling to release the armor. You know how to say to that friend, we missed you have the softball game. I know. I, I haven’t even talked to my kid about it. She, she, she moved on to the next thing. Tell me was there, did she have any good place?
1 (22m 23s):
Like, you know, like you just let it roll off your back and you move into it. You don’t have anything to prove. You don’t have anything to prove. Cause I promise you everybody’s got each other’s numbers and all of a sudden that competitive mom, when you don’t have anything to prove and your actually honest and real, a lot of times what happens is she starts to trust you more. And then she stops that game in that bullshit and sometimes not. And then you create boundaries, which is a whole other topic and don’t engage with her. Cause she, you know your people it’s okay. So does anybody have anything for me?
1 (23m 7s):
Aaron says, this totally resonates with me. Let, let me, I’ve been in emotional basket cases are referred to earlier in. I often find myself crying in our public spaces and then I see my kids wearing, wearing, and I know that it’s wrong and I need to do a better job. Taking a deep breath, separating myself. I can’t separate the person who’s causing him to feel that right in the moment. And then dealing with it after. And also here are my people too, Stephanie, and also know that, you know, if your crying, because you were upset and you are dealing with it in your kid, see you crying. And they’re like, is everything okay mam?
1 (23m 48s):
And you were to say, you know, I’m just having an emotional day. I love you. I love your face. Sometimes moms just need to cry and it’s okay. Prime sellout. It’s it’s OK. You know, you can, you can send that message to tears or aloud. That’s not. So that’s like breaking all kinds of cultural norms, especially with boys. Tears are allowed. It’s okay. We’re emotional beings. And just because I’m crying doesn’t mean that I don’t have, like, I don’t love you the most that’s okay.
1 (24m 28s):
So I also don’t want you all to put so much pressure on yourself to like be perfect. Like more than anything you, if you have these patterns, which many of us do me included, I’m like, we’ve been carrying these wounds for a long time. We don’t need to add to our own wounding. We need to have some grace and ease because there’s a lot of nurturing that comes in to the re parenting process. There is a lot of honey is going to be okay. You know, like I said to my daughter, when she went to college, I need you to protect yourself. Like you’re that infant crawling by a pool.
1 (25m 10s):
And you’re the mom. I need you to care for yourself in that way, because I can’t be there with you. You know, I can’t be there with you at the party to make sure that the freaking roofie is not dropped in. I can’t be there with you. I need you to know that you deserve to be protected like that. Many of us didn’t receive that message that we were worthy of loving and nurturing and protecting ourselves and a healthy way. Okay. All right guys, that’s what I’ve got. It’s been a fun month for anybody who’s been watching.
1 (25m 50s):
And you’re like, yeah, I want to do more of this healing stuff. How and you want to reach out? We do. We have programs. We have ways that we work with people. Many people here on this thread worked with us privately. So feel free to comment on this thread, asked questions. You can always go to Mastermind, Parenting dot com, look at our three different programs and we’ll hop on a call with you and let you know if it seems like a fit. Okay. You guys have a great one. Bye.
0 (26m 23s):
Thanks for listening today, guys. I hope you’ve picked up some tips or tools, maybe some baby steps for creating more balanced and boundaries in your life. And I just wanted to let you know, if you want to continue moving the needle forward and creating this for yourself, having a happier household. I want to go to my website and check out Mastermind, Parenting dot com. We have three beginning programs and if you need some accountability and more support, then please look for the one that would be a good fit for you. And as always, we’re on all of the social channels under Mastermind Parenting on Instagram, it’s Mastermind, underscore Parenting.
0 (27m 8s):
And you know, periodically I do pop up on different Instagram lives, Facebook lives, where I you teaching and coaching. And I love engaging with you Live to help you help your strong-willed kids so that they can feel better. ’cause when they feel better, they do better. And I love, love, love, getting to know you guys. So thanks for listening. If you like this podcast, please don’t forget to subscribe, rate and review super, super appreciative.