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Parenting the Strong Willed Child

Having a strong willed child is not a bad thing, it’s actually a positive trait!

Time for a Parenting Makeover?

Time for a Parenting Makeover?

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Time for a Parenting Makeover?

Have you ever noticed how businesses that have been around since forever usually need some “freshening up”?

In my neighborhood, JCPenney and Hobby Lobby fall into this category for me.

These stores are tired, outdated and in desperate need of a makeover in more ways than one.

If you’ve had the displeasure of visiting either of those companies in the last decade, you are nodding yes right now.

It’s like a 1987 time warp.

By the time you exit the building, you vow never to return.

And then a year or two goes by and you find yourself in need of a quick school uniform or a glue gun.

So you return to the aesthetically displeasing store.

You appreciate their inventory upon first glance and wonder, “Why don’t I come here more often? There is such good stuff and it’s so dang cheap.”

And then…you approach the cash register area to purchase your cart full of stuff that your life would have been perfectly complete without thirty five minutes earlier.

And what should take two minutes to purchase takes twenty.

That’s eighteen minutes of your life you can never get back.

You feel robbed of your precious time.

There have been advances in the modern world where high performing software systems make paying for purchases fast, friendly and easy.

Unfortunately, Hobby Lobby and JCPenney have obviously not gotten this memo.

Upon leaving the store, the feeling of dejavu’ floods your body as you vow never to return.

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When it comes to raising your kids, do you aspire to do things the outdated JCPenney or Hobby Lobby way?

If you are fed up with your kids ignoring rather than cooperating with simple requests, it might be time to update your software.

If it feels like your people don’t seem to listen until voices are raised and tempers flare, you are not alone as you continue to resort to outdated discipline systems.

There is a “new parenting conversation” that accomplishes cooperation without aggression.

It feels better for a reason.

Because it’s a more effective way to raise kids. Period.

It’s sort of like deciding whether to shop at Nordstrom or Penneys.

At Nordstrom, everything is so fresh and friendly.

I love their climate and business model.

I can check out quickly because Nordstrom has efficient and current software.

Otherwise known as computers in this day and age.

I’m pretty sure Penneys and Hobby Lobby still use cash registers.

The old parenting conversation, the way most of us were raised, reminds me of Penneys.

It was simply the way things were done back when.

The history of the old parenting model is rooted in a world where the objective was to raise compliant factory workers.

I have yet to meet a parent that dreams of their kids growing up to live a life wearing baby blue zip up jumpsuits and punching a time clock.

No, no. We are raising innovators and problem solvers.

The old parenting conversation involved threats, rewards, punishment and bribes.

The new parenting conversation is fresh, friendly and progressive.

It’s like comparing Nordstrom to Penneys.

No comparison.

Conscious parenting and the new convo between parents and kids is better.

Only. In. Every. Single. Way.


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Randi helps parents, particularly ones with a strong willed kiddo, learn tools to raise confident, kind, and self motivated kids by improving the conversations in your family.

As the founder of  Mastermind Parenting, host of the Mastermind Parenting podcast and author of The Parent Gap, Randi helps parents keep cool and replace old patterns. Randi’s parenting motto is, “When our thoughts grow, the convos in our home flow”.

To learn more go to

The REAL explanation for why you yell, lecture or name call

The REAL explanation for why you yell, lecture or name call

By Parenting the Strong Willed Child, Uncategorized No Comments
The REAL explanation for why you yell, lecture or name call

Sometimes I have triggered sensations when I listen to old songs.

Sunshine on my shoulders reminds me of a time when I was 3 or 4 years old and we lived in North Carolina on a street that was a circle in a circle.

I remember being in our driveway and waiting to get out of the car because I wanted to hear the remainder of that John Denver song.  I loved it and even thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes.

Sunshine on my shoulders is a beautiful song to me but sad too.  My brain goes back to that time period even as I’m writing this now.

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That time in my life did involve some real sadness for my little 3-year old self based on a traumatic experience. It’s so interesting how hearing that song today can still bring tears and a physical response in my body.

Triggers are based on a memory stored deep within the subconscious part of your brain.

Our brains are literally like computers and EVERY memory whether we realize it or not is stored there.

When something in your current life reminds your brain of a previous experience, your body expresses this memory through a feeling or sensation.

Do you know what triggers you?

My question for you:  When it comes to your kids, what situations bring up triggered sensations and where does it manifest in your body?

Do you give your kids a hard time in an effort to protect them from hurts that you experienced or witnessed as a kid?

Do you ask your daughter if she really “needs” that extra dessert to protect her from struggling with her weight like you have?

Do you criticize your kid’s performance right after he played a rough baseball game during the car ride home?

If your answer is yes, don’t worry.  We all do it.  We are human.  We love our kids and want the best for them.

When you know better, you do better and becoming aware helps you to know better…and do better.

Your triggers are your little body whispers trying to make you aware of your “unfinished business” that is still hanging around from your own childhood.

Notice the triggers, shake hands with them and then breathe, calm yourself and show up as the loving and supportive parent you are in your heart.

I made you a quick audio to help you manage your triggers rather than allowing the old stuff to run the show with your kids.

Triggers tend to sabotage the NEW Parenting Conversation and our efforts to be the parent we want to be.

Click here to begin changing that.


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Randi helps parents, particularly ones with a strong willed kiddo, learn tools to raise confident, kind, and self motivated kids by improving the conversations in your family.

As the founder of  Mastermind Parenting, host of the Mastermind Parenting podcast and author ofThe Parent Gap, Randi helps parents keep cool and replace old patterns. Randi’s parenting motto is, “When our thoughts grow, the convos in our home flow”.

To learn more go to

Does Parenthood Feel Insane Sometimes?

Does Parenthood Feel Insane Sometimes?

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Does Parenthood Feel Insane Sometimes?

We continue to make requests like:

  • Get your shoes on
  • Clean up
  • Put backpacks away
  • Stop hitting your brother
  • Speak kindly
  • Get out of the pantry

Why do perfectly reasonable requests continue to fall on deaf ears?

Inevitably, since our polite requests get ignored, we resort to what works.

The exact opposite of the parent we imagined before the people who refuse to put on their shoes came into existence.

Ya. That calm image was pretty different than your current reality.

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However, things are not that bad you tell yourself.

Life is actually fine.

It’s not nearly as bad as “the neighbors” who are getting a divorce or the parents with the kid THAT BITES.

There are a million ways to justify why continuing to live a life of “fine” is…well, just fine.

So what if you have to yell to get your kids to do stuff.

Yelling to be heard is more the rule than the exception for most parents.

I know. You don’t want to read or God forbid, hear that out loud.

It’s ok – we can be in a fight for 10 minutes.

I respect you enough to speak the truth.

Even though using yelling and threats is never intentional, it does seem to get the job done.

Most kids will finally listen and put on their freakin’ shoes  when the request is loud and scary.

And then there are those kids where even those “last resort” tactics don’t work.

In fact, these kids respond to yelling and threats with over the top or explosive reactions.

We may begin to raise the intensity to heights we never could have imagined.


We have one of those rock bottom moments and realize something’s gotta give.

The thing is, it’s not just our most challenging kids that are insisting on a new conversation.

All kids benefit from communication that doesn’t involve aggression.

Wouldn’t you ultimately like for shoes to be put on, rooms to get cleaned and crap to be put away without having to yell to accomplish those things?

Or even better, wouldn’t it be nice for your kids to be self motivated and take care of simple tasks without  constant reminders?

Wouldn’t it feel so incredibly SANE to get better results without ever using aggression?

Different results only happen when you use a different approach.

I know. It’s a pain to learn new stuff.

It takes time, energy and practice.

The real question is: How badly do you want a peaceful household?

How important is it to you to raise self motivated kids and create a family team that works together?

Winning teams happen in homes filled with a cooperative and positive vibe.

The tension and threats sabotage this result.

You are ready to stop the insanity.

There is a new parenting conversation that will support you in getting the results you crave for your amazing team.

I am going to start talking a lot about this new conversation and sharing lots of practical tools.

You in?

(Here is a teaching clip where I model what the new conversation looks like in real life.)

P.S. Here’s what Nikki’s saying about the new convos in her home: …Would you like me to wake you a little early so you have time to review? ((Yes please.)) Okay, Goodnight. She went to bed calm. She woke the next morn and briefly reviewed in bed. We quizzed over the info. on way to school and finished in parking lot. She knew it all… She laughed gave me a hug and kiss and off she went into the building. Then she turned and ran back to give me a 2nd kiss! 🙂 Parent win! Kid win! Yay me! 

Click here to watch a short video from an actual class where I discuss how to talk to your kids about a new plan for smoother mornings.


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Randi helps parents, particularly ones with a strong willed kiddo, learn tools to raise confident, kind, and self motivated kids by improving the conversations in your family.

As the founder of  Mastermind Parenting, host of the Mastermind Parenting podcast and author ofThe Parent Gap, Randi helps parents keep cool and replace old patterns. Randi’s parenting motto is, “When our thoughts grow, the convos in our home flow”.

To learn more go to

3 Tips for Calm Parenting Thru Difficult Behavior

3 Tips for Calm Parenting Thru Difficult Behavior

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3 Tips for Calm Parenting Thru Difficult Behavior

Remember Mommy Dearest…

Do you dream of a day when your kids will put on their shoes without 10 reminders?

Or maybe your Mommy Dearest moments result during bedtime battles, homework struggles or simply because you’re sick of picking up all their toys and crap cluttering your home?

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Bottom Line: Are you angry with your kids for not listening, cooperating and appreciating ALL that you do for them?

Here’s why and what you can do to improve these frustrating moments

Anger is always a secondary emotion. It is rooted in fear. Maybe it’s fear of not having the fantasy family you have always wanted. Maybe it’s wanting a different relationship with your kids than you had with your parents?

When our kids are not cooperative, it makes our life harder.

It serves as evidence that we are not accomplishing the dream of having a calm, fun loving and connected family.

No one wants to live in a tension filled home where everyone feels like you are walking on eggshells.

To create a family that is on the same team, begin by disrupting the current negative pattern involving yelling, fighting and being on opposing teams.

Step 1: Getting to the root of why you are angry. What is the feeling underneath the anger? Are you tired, frustrated, feeling disrespected?

  • Action: Ask yourself what you are making your kids’ behavior mean? Look at the facts. Understand where they are developmentally. Consider your child’s perspective and know that they definitely have one that is different from yours.

Step 2: Give yourself self compassion and empathy. The fear underneath the anger probably has to do with your worry that you aren’t accomplishing your biggest goal; raising kids that are kind, confident, respectful and successful. When they don’t listen, it feels like a slap in the face and you are worried they will go out into the world and disrespect other people.

  • Action: This looks like saying something to yourself like, “Parenting is hard. I’ve got a lot on my plate. This is a work in progress and I’m frustrated that I have to repeat myself day after day and they still aren’t listening. I want to be respected and appreciated. I am so committed to this family and will do anything I possibly can to create the family I’ve always wanted.

Step 3: Learn new parenting tools to change what is not working and ultimately improve the conversation in your household.

  • Action: Replace old patterns with better ones. Learn systems and leadership language to have a productive conversation with your kiddos. It takes a minute to learn these new tactics and retrain your brain. Most likely, it’s not the way you were raised.
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Randi helps parents, particularly ones with a strong willed kiddo, learn tools to raise confident, kind, and self motivated kids by improving the conversations in your family.

As the founder of  Mastermind Parenting, host of the Mastermind Parenting podcast and author ofThe Parent Gap, Randi helps parents keep cool and replace old patterns. Randi’s parenting motto is, “When our thoughts grow, the convos in our home flow”.

To learn more go to

It's REALLY not about you...

It’s REALLY not about you…

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It's REALLY not about you...

I looked at my 16-year old daughter, Avery’s face, as she was finishing her quick breakfast before school – a frozen blueberry waffle with peanut butter and a cup of milk.

We had just had a sweet moment reminiscing about her 2-year old self and her love for milk…then and now.

I told her about a mom’s night out where I attended an event and a nutritionist was the guest speaker. I remembered asking the nutrition guru if it was ok if my 2-year old daughter was more interested in consuming milk than actual food.

During our breakfast convo, I remembered my younger self along with picturing Avery as a teeny tiny little person.

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Back then I was on a hunt for information. Was I doing it right? Was I providing adequate nutrition for my little girl? She was only in the 5th % on the growth charts. I was worried that I might be doing something wrong and she could be stunted because of my choices as a mother.

What if she was small because I wasn’t feeding her the correct way?

If I get really honest… back then, as I hunted for resources, I’m not sure if my intentions were 100% focused on the wellbeing of my kids or if I was looking for validation that I was making good choices as a mom.

Parenting is raw and real and vulnerable. We want it to come naturally. We want to get it right. We don’t want to mess things up.

And how often, do we unconsciously make things about us without realizing it? That validation that we’re not doing it wrong?

I looked at my daughter’s face this morning as she savored her last sip of milk, and noticed she looked a bit sullen. So I asked her if everything was okay?

She responded, “I’m just not excited about school today. It’s boring. I don’t feel like going.”

I asked her if she could apply the 3 B’s (a coaching tool I have taught many of you) or if there was anything she was looking forward to and could use to game-i-fy her day.

She quickly interrupted me, “No. There is absolutely nothing I want to do today. There is nothing to be excited about. Stop.”

My response, “Okay. Got it.”

14 years later, my older self knows that her life is really not about me. She is figuring it out. She wasn’t interested in my coaching tools and suggestions this morning…just like her body wasn’t really interested in the food I was offering when she was 2.

She has grown into a “normal sized” young woman. Her body is healthy and strong. She feeds herself beautifully.

She is a teenager. She doesn’t feel like going to school some mornings.

She pulls up her bootstraps and she goes anyway. Her mood has nothing to do with me.

I can choose NOT to take her behavior personally.

Making it about me would have looked something like, “I’m your mother and I will not be spoken to in that rude and disrespectful tone. I was just trying to be helpful. You ungrateful little @#$%!”

You get the gist.

That would have exacerbated her bad mood for the day. I would have added to the problem.

It’s hard enough being a kid these days.

As her mom, I don’t want to make it even harder by taking her bad mood personally and making it about me.

Her small size at 2 had nothing to do with the way I was feeding her.

She simply loved milk.

She still does.

Too bad she’s lactose intolerant.

New this week: I am having so much fun with my CPG Basics group. I am on a mission to help more of you go from simply consuming information to actually taking action and implementing the learning into your life. The following exercise is my gift to you. Feel free to reply to this email and share yours with me if it will help you take action and really do it. This is how you truly go from consumption of information to real legit action so you can improve your life!


Journaling/Brain Dump Prompt: Can you think of a time when you made your kid’s bad mood about you and accidentally took it personally? If you could go back in time how would you have handled it differently? See it through his eyes and write down what his point of view might have been?


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Randi helps parents, particularly ones with a strong willed kiddo, learn tools to raise confident, kind, and self motivated kids by improving the conversations in your family.

As the founder of  Mastermind Parenting, host of the Mastermind Parenting podcast and author ofThe Parent Gap, Randi helps parents keep cool and replace old patterns. Randi’s parenting motto is, “When our thoughts grow, the convos in our home flow”.

To learn more go to



By Parenting the Strong Willed Child, Uncategorized No Comments

I live in Houston where we have experienced horrific flooding due to Hurricane Harvey over the last week.

Scenes from our neighborhoods have been splashed across news outlets around the world.

The pictures are real.

The devastation is real.

Our survival instincts have been very REAL.

Our kids want to have REAL conversations about this to help them process the trauma.

I recorded some thoughts here about how to talk to your kids about what our community has endured.

I hope this resource helps you guys transform this tragedy into a productive EMPOWERING convo between you and your kiddos.

Many of you have been true parenting Super Heroes over the last week.

YOU thought clearly.

YOU took action to protect your people.

YOU showed up for your community.

YOU have taken care of other people’s families and donated your time, resources and given countless hugs.

I have personally witnessed so many of YOU modeling acts of love, kindness and compassion.

It has been a beautiful side effect during so much devastation.

Humans across the globe have displayed so much concern.

The world feels smaller and warmer at this moment to many of us.

Our kids are taking all of these heroic acts in and feeling the love.

They are surrounded with REAL adult Super Heroes.

This provides a sense of safety and comfort for them.

Focusing on the magical human elements rather than shining the spotlight on the drama changes the conversation.

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Our kids are experiencing super strength first hand after tragedy.

These moments have the ability to be hugely impactful for them in a positive way.

It’s important for the Super Hero adults to focus on the strength, love and outpouring support.

We are teaching our kids they can endure whatever curveballs life throws their way.

This is how we foster resilience.

We are HOUSTON STRONG. We are a resilient group of Super Heroes. We will rebuild and come back stronger than ever.

Again, here is the sign-up link to listen to my free audio training to support you in having a productive convo about Harvey with your peeps.

Below are some pics representing a snippet of our personal experience.

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Our resourceful friends attempt to save their furniture after surviving 3 floods in 2 years.

Hubby looking for grass so the dog’s could “make”.

Our friends making their way over to our house.

Our friends making their way over to our house.

My garage and the water was still rising another foot.

A lifetime of memories are curbside for so many of my neighbors.

Smiles and magical thinking in the midst of it all...we gotta ditch that clown mask. YIKES!

Smiles and magical thinking in the midst of it all…we gotta ditch that clown mask. YIKES!

The 3 Best Things a Mama Can Do for Your Kids to Have a Successful School Year

The 3 Best Things a Mama Can Do for Your Kids to Have a Successful School Year

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The 3 Best Things a Mama Can Do for Your Kids to Have a Successful School Year

The new school year is upon us and I know many of us struggle with the morning chaos.

We love our people BIG and as moms, we want everything for them.

We want them to do well in school academically and to feel successful.

We want them to be happy socially and to feel included and confident.

We want to do everything we can to support them in achieving these goals.

We believe that when they feel successful and confident, they will be happy humans.

Unfortunately, sometimes we focus our energy on areas we have no control over and can accidentally become part of the problem rather than contributing to the solution.

Here are my tips for how you can truly support your kids to have a successful and happy school year:

1. Sleep – kids in preschool and elementary need to be asleep by 8:30 PM and to wake up no earlier than 10 hours later. In this day and age with tech and all the artificial stimulation available, kids require sleep training and structure from the get go.

2. Breakfast – It doesn’t need to be a big ordeal on weekdays. A simple smoothie packs a punch. Sometimes I do a whole wheat waffle with peanut butter with a few blueberries or banana on top.

I am by no means a health coach or food expert. My kids love sugar and crap.

I like for them to get the best start possible before school. I want their brains in primo learning mode.

3. Leadership – Showing up as their fearless positive leader and the family team captain, I set the tone for the day.

As their mom, I can do 3 simple things to support their brains and bodies for the best day possible:

1. Bedtime – a well rested brain learns at optimal capacity

2. Breakfast – a well fed brain learns at optimal capacity

3. Leadership language for a stress-free morning – a brain that has feel good hormones rather than stress hormones flowing (yelling, nagging, lecturing cause rising cortisol) learns at optimal capacity

Influencing their day in the ways where you actually have the power and ability will empower your kiddos to handle the curve balls that life will inevitably throw their way (like a mean teacher or being left out on the playground).

Where your focus goes, energy flows and from here your results GROW.

Focus on the 3 things you can do to send your kids out into the world ready to be their best selves!

1. Sleep

2. Food

3. Positive Leadership – words of encouragement and support rather than nagging, yelling or a chaotic morning will be the emotional armor that protects them

What is one small baby step YOU can do TODAY to bring calm to the chaotic weekday mornings in YOUR household?

You’ve got this.

Do you want to ensure the best school year ever?

Do you want to surround yourself with more supportive resources to truly take action and improve your life and family ASAP?

Join me and a likeminded parent community in the course, Close the Parent Gap (CPG) Basics. The fun begins soon. You want to improve your family and your life yesterday. Don’t miss the window to be a part of this. The results are going to be BIG. Sign up here.

Below are some pics of a super quick breakfast this morning in the Rubenstein household:

  • Red Velvet smoothies…I eyeball the amounts of these ingredients so don’t ask for the exact recipe. It takes maybe 2 minutes to make and I don’t nag them if they only take 2 sips.
Red Velvet Smoothies

Red Velvet Smoothies


Red Velvet Smoothie Ingredients

To learn more about my 6 week parenting course that will ensure the success you deeply desire for your people, read about it here and reach out to me if you would like to hop on a call to discuss if it’s right for you.

Transitioning to a New Chapter

Transitioning to a New Chapter

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Transitioning to a New Chapter

Transitions are rough.

Because our brains are pattern seeking.

Humans crave the familiar.

A transition signifies something new.


A new activity…

Even though our kids are perfectly happy staying home and NOT putting on their shoes.

It’s time to go to camp. School. Ballet. Baseball.

Or it might mean a new chapter is just ahead.

Maybe even better than the current one.

However, that remains to be seen.

Because we aren’t there yet.

The uncertainty is what makes the transition period difficult.

Transitioning from something familiar to something unfamiliar is tough for our kids…big and little.

For us too.

My body has started doing this embarrassing thing in the last few years.

I get this weird rash on my spine when I’m stressed.

Not gonna lie.

It’s pretty gross.

And it itches.

It’s flaring up right now.

I know it’s because of the transitions upon my family…Avery driving and Cory entering middle school.

Cars and phones.

Avery got her driver’s license.


She is on the road behind a steering wheel.

Without me.

Cory doesn’t have a phone yet but it’s comin’.

My back itches at the thought.

The body is so smart.

Mine is trying to tell me something.

I’m trying to listen and figure it out.

I will let y’all know when I do.

I wish I could have known this when my kiddos were little.

Maybe I wouldn’t have made such a big deal out of their stall tactics when it came to going to bed or school.

Transitions are hard.

At any age.

Let Freedom Ring...for YOU & Your Kiddos

Let Freedom Ring…for YOU & Your Kiddos

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Let Freedom Ring...for YOU & Your Kiddos

I’ve been thinking a lot about the word freedom this week and what it means for parents and what it means for kids.

As a parent, freedom might be choosing when to wake up for the day rather than having a young child determine when you’ve gotten enough rest.

Or freedom might be the flexibility to come and go as you please without having to jump through hoops to find child care when you want to exercise or go out to dinner with friends.

Sometimes, being a parent might feel like a straitjacket experience…the opposite of freedom.

You might even yearn for the days when those freedoms I just mentioned were so abundant in your life that you probably took them for granted.

Well here’s the good news.

You can create more freedom in your life as a parent even though it might look different than your carefree life before kids.

And the other good news…creating a freedom filled environment for the mama will allow your kids to experience more independence and ultimately, more freedom too.

It’s a win win.

•   FREEDOM TIP 1: There is no good mom manual. And if there was one, it would tell you to STOP DOING EVERYTHING. It is called motherhood not martyr-hood.

•   FREEDOM TIP 2: When you do everything for your kids, it creates disrespect, resentment and ultimately disconnection for all involved. Seriously, STOP IT.

•   FREEDOM TIP 3: Control your environment not your kids. Routines, structure, rules and rituals will proactively help your household to feel familiar and safe for your kids. They will thrive and your relationship will feel freedom from tension and power struggles.

Finding freedom in ways beyond waking to the tune of your natural alarm clock is totally possible as a mom. Here are a few suggestions to get the ball rolling:

•   Sick of bedtime taking FOREVER and sending kids to bed with threats and tears? Establish a strict bedtime mullet ritual…the child handles the bedtime biz up front and you show up for the snuggle/book party on the backend. Ending your day with a battle feels imprisoning. The mullet ritual will feel like freedom! Please reach out if you need help with systems and enforcement

•   Does your kid have lolly-gagger in the morning syndrome? Feeling like you might bang your head against a brick wall if you have to ask someone to put his damn shoes on AGAIN?  A defined morning routine gets everyone on the same team and working together and will put an end to morning power struggles. It will feel like a sense of freedom in your bodies.  Please reach out if you need help with systems and enforcement

There is a new way to raise kids that feels like freedom for the whole family.

Most of us were raised “old style”.

I love anything retro or vintage…however, when it comes to parenting, there is no comparison. The new parenting paradigm is way better than kickin’ it old school.

No need for controlling fear tactics.

Conscious parents aren’t permissive or passive either.

Kids are reasonable, kind, respectful.

AND kids are allowed to have their own opinions and disagree with their parents.

Say what?!?!

It takes a minute to learn the new parenting methods even though they are totally logical in my book.

Interested in learning more about this crazy talk…click here and check this out.

This is evolution…each generation raising kids a little better than the one before. A family team. Rich Connection. Independence. Personal space. Freedom.

Sibling Rivalry

Sibling Rivalry

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Sibling Rivalry

How do you get your kids to be friends 20 years from now?

Isn’t that the million dollar question that most inquiring mama minds wanna know?

So… how DO we accomplish getting our kids to not only love but to actually LIKE one another?

You know you can figure this out. After all, you’re sort of a natural at this motherhood thing.

Okay, it may not have totally looked that way at the beginning with “breastfeeding gate” and all but now things have mostly fallen into place.

You have the basic mama recipe down – you’re intuitive, loving and supportive.

You don’t play favorites.

Each of your kids gets PLENTY of attention from you.

And yet they seem to show their worst side to the one other person you love just as much as you love each of them…their sibling.

When you see or hear your kids fighting and behaving jerky towards each other, your blood begins to boil.

It can be hard to think straight during those moments.

You ask yourself if it’s something you’re doing wrong?

What gives regarding the constant competition between your kids for even more of your attention?

When all you really want is for them to be besties, play together and give you a thirty minute reprieve from being Julie the cruise director?

Remember how your mom used to lock the front door, kicking you and your brother outside with strict instructions not to return until dinner time?

Or what about dropping you off at the local pool and simply stating, “Stick together”.

Pick up would happen 7 hours later as you struggled to open the car door with your pruney fingertips.

As present and engaged hands on mamas, have we accidentally attempted to fix a recipe that wasn’t broken?

Or is the sibling bond breakdown an unwelcome byproduct of being such good modern day parents?

The sibling bond can be one of the richest and most special relationships you have in your lifetime – you literally share experiences, genes and history that can’t be recreated with anyone else.

After all, childhood is when your subconscious, your brain’s future operating system, is programmed and it is the most impactful stage of development for humans.

Childhood can literally set the tone for the rest of your life.

And only a brother or a sister can fully relate to what it was actually like growing up in YOUR family.

Those of us with close sibling bonds know what a big deal it is and we want THAT for our kids too.

Those of us that did not have it – either because of an age gap or being an only child, felt left out.

We envied other families with built in playmates.

The houses where life seemed like a never-ending game of hide and go seek.

We want THAT for our kids.

Like those drug commercials with the unfortunate side effects including abdominal bloating, severe seizures, explosive diarrhea and suicidal thoughts…

Could an accidental side effect of your hands on and super attentive parenting be a competitive and disconnected relationship between your kids?

My Cory loves listening to the side effects on those drug commercials. He won’t let me fast forward until we’ve heard something referring to diarrhea.

Frankly, they do remind me of old SNL skits – where you weren’t sure whether it was a real or fake advertisement until halfway through it.

As usual, I digress…squirrel.

Back to the sibling stuff.

Here are some steps to strengthen the relationship between your kids:

1. Awareness. Admit that your kids aren’t as close as you’d hoped. Awareness is the first and biggest step to changing a problem.

2. Stop being such a “good” mom and kick it old school. I once heard Dr. Shefali, one of my conscious parenting teachers, say, “Love them a little less.” My interpretation of that comment is to bring a little retro back into motherhood. Moms are the nucleus of the family and kids want to be with the mama more than anyone else. Making ourselves a little less available will allow the sibling bond to grow stronger.

3. Let them figure it out when possible and ignore the small stuff rather than blowing it out of proportion. As soon as mom gets involved it becomes about “getting in trouble” and this can drive the wedge further between them.

4. Pick your battles in terms of intervening and reserve your mama mediation techniques for only the biggies. I teach some great sibling resolution strategies for those times when you have to pull out the big guns.

Here’s how you can start taking baby action steps to help your kids become lifelong friends:

What equates in this day and age to locking the front door until dinner?

  • Hire a sweet 12 or 13-year old neighbor as a mommy’s helper to play with the kids outside on some afternoons and/or weekends

  • Assign kid chores and responsibilities to be accomplished together like yard work, playroom organization and after dinner kitchen cleaning duty

  • When your oldest begins driving, establish the expectation that as a member of your family team. he will be shuttling younger siblings to and fro activities

I have a gift for you! You can receive a free copy of my book, The Parent Gap. It’s my signature recipe for keeping your cool.  You gotta be cool to change the convos in your family so it can stop feeling like a warzone and more like a TEAM that works and plays together. Life is meant to be more fun… you may have a strong willed kiddo and the sibling tension can feel intense. Trust me, I get it. That’s why I wrote you a book to help with all of this!  Order it at