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MMP167: A Gameplan for a Happy Holiday Season

By December 21, 2021November 8th, 2023Mastermind Parenting Podcast
MMP165: Supporting Your Kids By Understanding Their Natural Temperament

This episode is for all you gals who have a hard time dealing with the moments when your kids are bored or disappointed. I teach a few powerful concepts through the characters in the old show, Gilmore Girls.

So if you’re a Lorelai lover and even if you aren’t, you may find yourself with a surprising desire to watch this cult classic series on Netflix.

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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. You’re listening to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast with Randi Rubenstein episode 1 67. Okay. You guys trying something out this week. I want to teach you again about boundaries through story, and I’m going to include a little coaching session that I did with a mom. And I used an example from the show, the Gilmore Girls.

Okay. So there’s a whole backstory with the Gilmore Girls. I, when Gilmore girls was on back in the day, I never watched the Gilmore Girls. I think it was on the same time, maybe as friends or the Thursday night Seinfeld lineup or something. Anyway, I never watched it. It never appealed to me and my daughter. I don’t know. I think it was maybe the beginning of her senior year of high school. She said she was bringing up something from a Gilmore Girls. And I was like, oh, I never watched that show. She was like, mom, you would love this show. I was like, we’re really, I, I don’t know.

(1m 23s):
I, I saw a little bits and pieces here and there, but reruns or whatever, but it never appealed to me. She’s like, mom, you got to watch the show. I will watch it with you. I’ve watched the entire seven or eight seasons at least two times already. I was like, you had, she was like, yes, I watch it with you. So we started watching it together. And I think after maybe like season three or four, she really just wanted to see the early seasons again. After season three or four, she was sort of over it. She was watching other things. She never wanted to prioritize it. So I just continued bingeing it by myself and, and I, you know, watching it as a mom, it was, I dunno, it was such a fun thing to watch and especially a mom of a daughter.

(2m 15s):
And anyway, my husband and I say this in the coaching that I did on this, like literally Scott would look over at me and he would be like, what the hell are you watching? Like, and so he’s like, okay, sometimes I try to like pay attention. Cause I’m thinking if you like it so much, he’s like, you’re obsessed with that show. It’s gotta be good. He’s like, is this the, like the acting’s not even great. And I was like, I know it’s the relationship. It’s the storyline. You just, you can’t understand I’m putting on my headphones. Don’t ruin the experience for me. So anyway, I was obsessed with the Gilmore Girls. Totally binged that whole thing. So this mom, we just have the mom that I use, the Gilmore Girls exam, an example from a Gilmore Girls on how to understand boundaries.

(3m 5s):
Right. And, and, and I just, I, I explained it to her because I just held a workshop and it was all about like planning for the holiday. So you have a successful holiday with your kids, like, so you don’t, you know, what I said was I said a fantasy without a plan is just delusional dreaming. So I had had everyone kind of write out the thing that they were dreading the most about the holiday season, which for most people, it was the open-ended days, no schedule parents needing to still do some work.

(3m 47s):
And knowing that like their kids were just going to be at each other’s throats, like an open-ended, you know, it’s an open-ended container of a day for kids just to like fight with their siblings, walk around saying they’re bored, complain about lots of different things. And parents are like, okay. And I still have a house to run laundry, to do food, to cook and a job, you know, and work I have to do, or at least emails I have to answer commitments. Right. And so, so a lot of parents are like kind of dreading all this time off from school because life continues on as usual in a lot of ways for many of us.

(4m 30s):
And now we just have our kids home all the time. And so I said, you know, okay, so what are you dreading the most? And if I could like sprinkle some magic fairy dust, what would be the fantasy? And so I said, you know, a fantasy without a plan is delusional dreaming. And so often we just go into these holiday seasons, you know, open-ended days with no plan. And, and so this mom who was, you know, really kind of resistant to the planning, you know, it just it’s like, Ugh, it’s a holiday vacation.

(5m 10s):
Like, you know, it’s like, we’re complaining, we’re dreading about the we’re dreading the open-ended days. But then like, we don’t really want to get our shit together and like have a plan in place. And when you have little kids, like it’s a lot of hours in the day and you know, the structure thing is sort of important. And so like having a shell of day. So anyway, we were having this workshop and I coached this mom a little bit and, and she was just like, you know, she was just, I could tell a little bit resistant. So I followed up and left another message for her. And I said, am I remembered that this mom had been a Gilmore Girls fan?

(5m 53s):
And I said, I’m going to teach you about, you know, I’m going to teach you some things through the Gilmore Girls. So that was kind of, you know, how I was wanting to kind of get through to this mom to help her sort of just realize that like during the holidays, you know, your kids need some pack leadership and, and they need you to be like, you know, I’m like, like the fearless leader, who’s going to ground everyone. And, and, and let everybody know, this is what we’re doing. This is our schedule. And sort of like have your shit together a little bit.

(6m 35s):
And I think many of us resist because we don’t wanna, we don’t feel like it. We don’t know how it seems like too much. We want to cross our fingers and hope for the best and the best never happens. So like, we’re going to change that this holiday season. So I thought this would be a fun, little clip to share with you guys on the podcast, because you know, I’m really focusing on the whole boundaries, the elusive concept of boundaries for mom after mom, after mom, that I meet and, and you know, most people who are drawn to work with me, or even to listen to the podcast, like, you know, just to brag on you guys for a minute, like, you guys are the cream of the crop.

(7m 23s):
Like you’re some smart chicks out there and you get things done in your life and you’ve got accomplishments and resumes and, and all kinds of impressive parts of things that you’ve accomplished. Right. There’s a lot to be proud of. And even if you’re like, Hmm, not so much really like, look back, maybe you were a straight a student. Maybe you were the valedictorian. Maybe you’ve had a big career or you went to law school or you, you know, like, I mean, I’ve had so many moms who are like, yeah, I don’t, I can accomplish so much. Like, and I’m like, really well, you went to law school.

(8m 4s):
Yeah. But I haven’t practiced in a decade. Okay. Well, at some point you went to law school, you passed, then you also passed the bar, like, Hm, there’s some accomplishments there. So like I attract some smart people. And for some reason, following through on this whole boundary thing, it’s like, like, like you guys don’t do it. You don’t know how to do it. You tell yourself you don’t know how to do it. And I think you were just conditioned. I think it’s, I think it’s faulty conditioning really is what it is.

(8m 44s):
And so what I want to say now is, is like, no, no, no, no. You’re capable of way more. I’m here to call you tomorrow. I want to help you to understand and to see what you’re not seeing to get out of your blind spot and remember what a bad ass you actually are and that you can do this hard thing. And it’s not that hard. You just have to start trying. Okay. So enjoy this Gilmore Girls lesson and yeah, I hope it’s helpful. I want to leave a message for me, just, I was thinking about you and yesterday, and I want you to take the time to fill out the Fest in terms of stepping into pack leadership.

(9m 34s):
A little fun fact that I remember about you is that when you joined the program, I think I had just finished up Gilmore Girls and we bonded over our love for that show. And so I’m going to use an example from that show. Okay. A lot of us who have loved that show, which I will say, like Scott would look over while I was watching that show. And he was like, like, I don’t understand, like, like it’s the cheesiest show, you know? And I started watching it with Avery and then I finished it because Avery had already watched it like two other times. So we started watching it, but then like, I ultimately ended up finishing it without her because she had just like, she really wanted to watch the early seasons.

(10m 22s):
And then she kind of got bored at the later seasons. So I’m watching this, you know, old show that. And he’s just like, I don’t understand the allure. Well, the allure was really Lorelei, you know? And, and I just loved her. I just, you know, I said they recently, I was like every once in a while, I have to just like, watch a little bit of an old episode of Gilmore Girls. Cause I just like miss Lorelei and missing her with Rory and their, you know, their relationship. She was like, I know I do the same thing to like an old friend. I know y’all, I’m crazy. My TB friends become my friends, but I want you Amy to channel your inner Lorelei in terms of pack leadership.

(11m 13s):
And let me give you an example there. I don’t know what season it was, but there was, you know, Lorelei and Rory just had this amazing relationship and she is clearly the pack leader, but there’s such a friendliness between them and Roy such a good kid. And she does the right thing and it sorta just seems like Lorelei must have hit the jackpot and Rory’s just easy. And she gets to like, she just lucked out. Okay. But I want you to think first and foremost about there was a season where I think it was when Rory was dating Jess and she made it a series, some decisions that weren’t, you know, that were like, maybe stayed out all night or did something.

(12m 1s):
They were like, yeah, I think she said, oh, I know what it was. Think she stayed out all night. They fell asleep, it fell asleep. She, they were like making out in what, her, whatever, her name, the dance, the dance teacher’s place. And they fell asleep. And then she came home the next morning and Lorelei was pissed. And there was like half a season where Lorelei like was pissed at Rory and was like setting boundaries. And Rory felt like Lorelei was just being unyielding and wouldn’t see her perspective and yada yada.

(12m 43s):
But the thing is, is that Laurel, I knew that Rory was in a phase of her life where she, she had to be the mom with some boundaries. She had to follow through on those boundaries. And they had to sort of not be like she needed to, like for Rory sake, she needed to set some boundaries and to let Rory know like, like she didn’t approve of this guy and she didn’t, this behavior was not okay. And no matter how much Rory got upset before, like, and ended up set, Lorelei Lorelei showed up impact leadership.

(13m 26s):
And was her mom in that season in terms of like, I’m not running for homecoming queen here, like there are rules and the rules will be followed and there will be consequences when the rules aren’t followed. And she just stepped into that. And so she had to miss out on, you know, that friendliness and that connection for a little bit, while we went through this hard kind of stage of life, but she needed Lorelei to step into that pack leadership. And, and I hated that season because part of what I loved about that show was just their beautiful connection. And I was like, I even wanted lore, like kind of the cave.

(14m 7s):
I was like, oh my gosh, she’s being so hard on her. Why is she? But really she just was showing up in pack leadership. And so Amy, I want you to remember, like, if she was worried that Rory, you know, if she was worried about like Rory experiencing hard emotions or Rory feeling all alone or disconnected from her mom or Rory, not liking her for a minute, if she was worried, like, you’re worried about like, what if they’re disappointed and what if they’re bored? And what if they’re uncomfy like this? Is that going to mean that I’m not providing the best environment for them?

(14m 49s):
I’m not being a good enough mom. Okay. If, if Lorelei was operating from that sentence in her head, then she would’ve caved and she would have given in, and she would have not held firm on her boundaries. And, but at that stage of adolescence, like Rory needed a little tough love. And so when your kids are feeling uncomfy, going through some moments, they open their present and they don’t like it. They, you know, there’s too much time in the day, they’re bored, whatever.

(15m 31s):
Like you’re doing you stepping into pack leadership and, you know, having the rules in the household and communicating what those rules are, right. And maybe the rules are, if it drives you crazy, when they come and say, I’m bored, I’m bored, I’m bored. You’re having conversation norm relevant time. Few years ago, we did a thing on like, and we may have it in the content library, the board jar where you guys like, Hey, we have a bunch of time coming up for winter break. And there’s going to be a lot of time here and like walking around and saying your board, when we have a house full of toys and a yard full of things to do, and there are brothers and sisters available to play with, and you’ve got a very creative, magical thinking brain and coming and saying to me and daddy, I’m bored.

(16m 25s):
I’m bored. I’m bored when it’s a time for you to play and be creative and to figure it out. And it’s a time block when we’re getting work done is it’s not an option. So we’re going to have a new rule. You say I’m bored. And all I’m going to do is point to the bored jar. Well, we’ll have ideas for different things you can do. I’m not going to be reading those to you. I’m going to be pointing to the I’m bored jar, you know, and for the little, for the littles, for anybody can’t read, you know, you can say, if you want to bring it to me or bring it to one of your brothers or sisters to read it to you, you can do that. If you say on board again, right?

(17m 9s):
I’m not engaging in that conversation. We’re not even having a conversation. I’m not even going to acknowledge it. You said it. You keep saying I’m bored and not just going in and occupying yourself. You’re going to the eight. To me. It means that your brain is too tired to be creative. So you’re going to go into your room and you’re going to take a rest for one hour. We’re going to lay on your, on your bed. And you’re going to take a rest. You’re going to have some quiet time so that your brain can read. You can regenerate and get creative again. See. So there would be a real rule connected to now, all of a sudden, you’ve put a boundary around onboard, but you have to be in that Lorelei mindset.

(17m 54s):
You’re doing this for them. Not to them. She was, she was, she was doing some tough love too, to Rory, during adolescents for Rory, not to her. And it was uncomfortable, but ultimately where he came back around, when she came back around all, I was right there to receiver. You know? So the other thing I want to say is, is, you know, the sentence in your head about how all these things I want to do with the kids. And we can’t because of the pandemic. I also want to have you channel in our Lorelei. Think about her whole story. She’s pregnant, having a baby at 16 she’s leaves her parents’ house.

(18m 40s):
She’s got no money. I mean, there was every reason in the world why life was going to be too hard for her to be a good mom. She had nothing. She goes to work as a maid. She lives in a shed with her baby. Anybody listening to this who doesn’t watch the show really is probably like, oh my God, you’ve lost me. It’s okay. You know, she figures it out. She figures it out. So, but the sentence in your head, if it’s in, we can’t experience life and live big and live fully because of the pandemic that is going to keep, is that an empowering thought to think that’s going to keep you stuck and stuck in second, stuck and stuck.

(19m 32s):
So what would be a new sentence? We can experience life because of the pandemic. And where would there be evidence for that? Think about Rory and Lorelai. Life was simple. She didn’t have babies sitting in childcare where he was with her all the time. Why do you think they were so connected when Rory moved into the teenage years? Like she had always been with her mom. It wasn’t an option not to have total togetherness. She had, had stayed at home in her rich parents house. She probably would have had nannies and all the things and where we’d have tons of toys and a life of all kinds of fabulous trips and adventures.

(20m 17s):
But instead they had to get back to the basics and just build, you know, a life based on simplicity, which at the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want. We just want to know. We are truly connected to the people we love the most, and it’s safe to be a hundred percent ourselves and we all get to feel fully alive. You know, it’s like people thinking, I’ll just be happy if I could move to a city better weather, or I’ll just be happy if I could make this much more money or I could just be happy and feel confident if I could just lose however many pounds, right.

(21m 1s):
That’s not, what’s going to make you happy. Happiness is an inside job, right. And it’s really getting back to the basics that, you know, allows us to feel fully alive. And that’s what ultimately creates a happy life. And nobody’s going to feel happy a hundred percent of the time period. End of story. So want you to be fessed up and onto yourself when we’re using excuses or fondling a victim narrative. And I don’t say that in sensitively, this is a hard time. We are all going through a crazy time in history.

(21m 40s):
And like I was sitting next to a mom yesterday with three full grown kids. And she said, you know, like Greg to ground college graduates one senior in college. And she said during the pandemic early on in COVID for three months, I had all three kids living in my house with me. Like I would never that there have been some silver linings here. I would never get that kind of time. Being a full family, five people under one roof, all living together for three solid months. If it hadn’t been for this. So I’m not just saying bypass, the hard stuff, bypass the grief and ask yourself constantly, is this sentence running through my head, serving me and what would serve me better?

(22m 33s):
And where can I create a case that, that makes that new sentence even truer than the original sentence that really isn’t serving it. So, Yeah. Thanks for listening today, guys. I hope you picked up some tips tools, maybe some baby steps for creating more balance and boundaries in your life. And I just wanted to let you know, if you want to continue moving the needle forward in creating this for yourself, having a happier household. I want you 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.

(23m 22s):
And as always, we’re on all the social channels under Mastermind Parenting on Instagram, it’s mastermind, underscore parenting, and you know, periodically I do pop up on different Instagram lives, Facebook lives, where I give you teaching and coaching. And I love engaging with you live to help you help your kids so that they can feel better because when they feel better, they do better. And I love, love, love, getting to know you guys. So thanks for listening. If you liked this podcast, please don’t forget to subscribe, rate and review super, super appreciative.

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by Randi Rubenstein