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MMP169: Setting Limits Without Spanking, Time Outs or Sticker Charts

By January 11, 2022November 8th, 2023Mastermind Parenting Podcast
MMP165: Supporting Your Kids By Understanding Their Natural Temperament

In this episode, I coach on a few problem scenarios by moms of strong willed kids, including lying and overall defiance. One mom said she felt defeated because she had a plan for parenting in a holistic way, from natural birth to breastfeeding, and now she finds herself washing her child’s mouth out with soap and spanking because gentle parenting isn’t working with her strong willed one.

I made a 5-part video series about the common discipline strategies parents use and why most aren’t effective and what to do instead. I wish I could have every parent struggling with a challenging child watch it.

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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 69. Hi guys. Well, I have something fun in store. I just made, if I part video series called how to set limits with your strong-willed child without spanking Time Outs or Sticker Charts. And I highly recommend you guys go and sign up for that. It’s free. It’s free Mastermind, Parenting dot com forward slash no spanking, no spanking, all one word.

So I just recorded that video series and it was, I really had a lot of fun doing it. I always know when I’m having fun, because after I do sort of a long project like that, I’m here actually on a Saturday because I was kind of procrastinating it and it can be loud at my office. And so I was like, well, maybe I’ll do it on the weekend. So of course this morning I woke up at Saturday with, and I have a new puppy. So for anyone she’s sleeping here on my lap. Let me see if I can lift her up. If you’re watching this recording or she is, oh, this is Hazel.

(1m 31s):
This is Hazel, the baby Rubinstein. She’s everywhere with me these days. So I have a new puppy and I have a needy husband who it’s Saturday. And he’s like, what are we doing today? And I was like, oh, I need to go knock out this project. And then my brain started going to all the places that I didn’t, you know, well, maybe I shouldn’t, it’s a Saturday. And I just decided I just listened to something last night, talking about how mood often follows action. So like when there’s something that we’ve been putting off and we don’t want to do, and maybe it’s exercise, or maybe it’s coming to work on Saturday doing a project you’ve been procrastinating and our brain will go into excuse making to try and put it off longer.

(2m 20s):
It’s like, just have a mantra in your head. Which the one for me right now is, is I keep my promises. I keep my promises to myself. And so you do the thing and mood follows action. Well, when I’m doing something that I know, I don’t know, it just feels like the right thing to do. I’m knocking it off the list. And then I have the bonus of actually enjoying doing the project, which usually happens when I’m writing anything for Mastermind, Parenting, or recording anything from Mastermind Parenting, because I’m passionate about sharing all this information because ultimately I feel like kids’ lives are on the line. Like this can change how we interact with our strong-willed kids, our kids that need us the most, and that can ultimately help them to feel more understood, maybe lead to less misdiagnoses of these kids.

(3m 15s):
And so I really am passionate about this work because I feel like, like this can change a child’s life. This can change their trajectory when they have supportive adults who really get them and are taking the time to learn new tools. So I get energized and lit up. And so I just recorded this whole five-part video series, where as usual I gave so much good information and, and really did a lot of teaching. I felt totally energized afterwards. And so that’s a little tip for you guys. I want y’all, you know, I talk about listening to your body, just know the body never lies.

(3m 55s):
So when you do something that leaves you feeling energized, or when you let’s say even like when you’re interacting with someone. So when you are talking with a friend or you have to go to a cocktail party, I don’t know, maybe like cocktail parties and galas and things like that, but they’re not my favorite, but whenever you have to go somewhere and you interact with someone else, notice how you feel in your body. If you feel a little bit energized and a little bit lit up afterwards, that’s your body’s way of saying yes, please. More of this, this is working for you. This is leading you in the direction where you’re meant to go.

(4m 36s):
And if you feel drained and depleted and oh, you know, like interacting with people that sort of feel like energy vampires. That is your body’s way of saying yes, less of this, no more stop. Like this is not a person that you need to be getting into long conversations. This is a house, the weather person get out of this thing. And you know, sometimes you’re like, yeah, but what about when it’s work? Or what about it? When it’s something with my kids that I have to do, just remember, you can always figure out a way to make it better. If it’s one of those have to do like today, I don’t really want to come and do this thing.

(5m 18s):
And I had to, so I brought my puppy with me and having a little sleeping, delicious puppy on my lap. All of a sudden, you know, I have to have, I mean, I’m in new puppy mode. I have to be on puppy duty all the time. So I’m working and getting to have a delicious puppy on my lap. Bam. All of a sudden it became your, and I’m teaching content that lights me up and energizes me. And I feel like could possibly change a child’s life. Yeah. Okay. I found a way to make it better. And now I’m glad that I accomplished that today. All right. So there’s that and recording the video series, we sort of combed through social media.

(5m 59s):
I had my team combed through social media for posts, from moms, with strong-willed kids who don’t know what to do. Cause it’s like, well, if not spanking, if not time out, if not sticker charts, school, then what, what the hell are we supposed to do? Right? Like what are we supposed to do? So we combed through and we found a lot of different posts from parents of strong-willed kids beating their heads against the wall for lots of different scenarios. So what I thought would be fun for me to do this month is I’m just going to go through, I’m not gonna name any names. I’m just gonna go through and read some of these posts and sort of give my insight and my 2 cents about it.

(6m 43s):
Okay. Here’s a post. It says, I just need to vent. My child has successfully blown. Every idea I had about parenting, right? Like we had this now I’m interjecting. We have this idea of what kind of parent we’re going to be. And then maybe like this mom may be like me, all of a sudden gave birth to a child that you didn’t envision. Like for me, it was a baby that cried all the time and wasn’t happy. Like I was going to be the best mom ever. So how could I have this evidence that it wasn’t the best mom ever if I had this unhappy child. Right? So I didn’t even know. I had the some subconscious sort of agenda to constantly happen. Happy them up, having them up, having them up when he was about seven years old.

(7m 26s):
I remember him saying, there’s nothing wrong with me. Like lady, leave me the fuck alone. Like stop. You know, I actually have a sensitive, nervous system. I get overwhelmed by lots of things. Less is more stop when I’ve had a full day. And then I get into the car. I don’t need you hammering me with, Ben’s a bunch of questions I need to decompress and have some quiet time. Maybe just listen to the radio or look out the window. But adding questions just brings more input into my already overtaxed nervous systems stop. Like he didn’t know how to say that. So we would just be pissed and shut down and you know, have a rude comments or tell the sister shut up.

(8m 12s):
And I didn’t understand it, but he was just basically like, please stop stressing me out more. So I think that’s what happened with this mom. She had, she, she had these ideas about what kind of parents she was going to be at. And then she had this kid and they loo she, they blew it. They blew her fantasy. So she says, when I was a new mom, I wanted to do everything. Right. Natural birth breastfeeding co-sleeping and the, oh, so trendy, gentle parenting, every trendy mom blog, Pinterest board and Facebook post is about gentle parenting. But my child just doesn’t respond. I’ve tried everything from natural consequences, conversations, grounding, losing privileges, positive reinforcement.

(8m 52s):
She needs to watch my, my three-part video, my five-part video series. It was supposed to be three parts. But just so y’all know, I, of course I had to make it into five parts. So it’s even better every, and she says, I’ve tried everything from natural consequence. Okay. W she says, it’s like the only thing that gets results is good, old fashioned discipline. And I hate it. I feel like such a terrible mom, but at the same time, it puts an end to the bad behavior. For example, she started telling little white lies and we would talk about it from every angle. We would have a punishment, like losing a privilege, but the line just wasn’t stopping. They were getting bigger and more deliberate until one day I just lost my temper and took her to the bathroom and wash your mouth out with soap.

(9m 38s):
I cannot tell you how terrible I felt. But as the days and weeks now, months went on, she stopped the lies. And it’s like that with everything I spend so much time trying to find a trigger or approach who will respond to in order to facilitate a change in behavior or discipline and nothing will work until I’m finally at my wit’s end. And I spanker or wash your mouth out. Even though that’s only happened once this seriously goes against every parenting book or advice. And I feel so terrible admitting it like this, but I feel so guilty. And like, I’m a terrible mom. So this is what I think is the problem with a lot of the gentle approaches out there is just because you’re gentle, which I call just because you’re a nice parent doesn’t mean that you lack, lack, pack leadership.

(10m 25s):
You know, kids do need structure and you hear she’s using the word discipline, but I think she’s really meaning punishment. Discipline actually means to teach so effective discipline. It doesn’t have to involve these old-school harmful parenting methods. And the thing that this mom is doing these old school harmful parenting methods like spanking and washing the mouth out with soap, it shuts down the behavior in the short-term because it’s scary for the kid it’s painful, you know, it’s it, it does. It puts them into this fear mentality.

(11m 6s):
And they’re scared to do the thing again, but what it does long-term is it damages your relationship. It causes them not to trust you. It doesn’t help them develop a better skill set. You’re not putting your energy on the skill building. And it ultimately reinforces lying behavior, sneaky behavior, and, and really just a child moving into adulthood with a dysregulated nervous system without the toolbox to know how to calm themselves down. So short term, the old school methods, it will shut down the behavior.

(11m 47s):
It’s a great bandaid. You know, it’s a great band-aid for shutting down the behavior, but long-term, it causes so much worse, so much worse. And it does damage your VA, your relationship with your child. Okay. So what does this mom not understand? Just because you’re a gentle or a nice parent, meaning you’re not a freaking asshole, right? You’re not washing their mouth out. And I’m not saying this mom’s an asshole. She just doesn’t know what to do. Instead. It just, it, you, you still have to have structure systems in place, accountability, boundaries, consequences.

(12m 35s):
You just know have to know how to do it effectively. Okay. So where did this mom go wrong? The white lies. Okay. Little kids. The reason why they tell white lies is because they live in the present moment. So like I used to teach where I had this little girl with a I’m sure I’ve talked about this on the podcast at 169 episodes. I’ve told so many of these stories, but you know, there was a little girl with red Popsicle all over her face. And the mom’s trying to wipe it off. Come here on me to wipe the red Popsicle off your heads. I don’t have any red Popsicle on my face.

(13m 15s):
And yes you do. You have red Popsicle on your butt? No, I don’t. In this moment, the child just enjoyed a red Popsicle and now she wants to play. So in this moment, she wants to believe she doesn’t have red Popsicle on her face. And so, you know, that’s what kids do. They are magical thinkers. You she’s sticky, but she’s just choosing to ignore that she has red Popsicle on her face because she wants to go play and do something else. She doesn’t want to take the time to stop and to have the red Popsicle. So you can get into a power struggle over the freaking red Popsicle. Or you can just know little kids live in the present moment and create their own reality. She doesn’t want to believe she has red Popsicle on her face. So what do you do?

(13m 55s):
Do you sit there and you argue, do you engage with nonsense or do you get playful about it? Where you’re like, Ooh, I think I’m going to get the red Popsicle off my face. Hm. And your child might look at you. You don’t have red Popsicle on your face. I don’t. And you pull up the camera on your phone. Hmm. I don’t have red Popsicle. I face, do you have red Popsicle on your face? Maybe you want to borrow this thing and maybe your child smiles and runs away and you say, okay, well, here’s the wet washcloth. As we figure that it’s getting sticky and uncomfortable. It’s right here. What’s the big deal. She’s going to come over. She’s going to get it off.

(14m 36s):
Especially if you do it in a playful, no big deal way. The white lies are growing because this mom doesn’t understand just to see it from the kid’s perspective and to stop attaching adult meaning to a child’s behavior. And the child’s line of thinking she’s living in this present moment. She don’t want to wash the red Popsicle off her face and want to do the thing. She tells a little white lie. Maybe she or the light light is, you know, did you put your laundry away? Oh yeah. I put it away. And then you go in the laundry is not put away the child didn’t feel like putting the laundry away in that moment. You can make a mountain out of Omo molehill.

(15m 17s):
And you’re like, oh, I thought you put the laundry away. Silly me. All right, let’s do this thing. I put this, you put that to, we put some music on. It’s not that I’m putting laundry away. Let’s make it more fun. That’s what I do when I have to put the laundry away. Yeah. And you just, you just realize, like, I’m not gonna, I’m not, I’m not gonna make a big deal out of nothing because when you make a big deal out of those little white lies and there’s a whole bunch of attention, and you’re talking about it and talking about and talking about what we know with little kids is good attention, bad attention.

(15m 60s):
All the attention is attention. So now all of a sudden they’ve gotten a whole bunch of attention from their little white lies scenario. So guess what, what we focus on grows. We’ve gotten a bunch of attention. Now they’re going to be in that negative attention seeking pattern, and then they start lying more and then you engage more and then you give them more attention. And then it’s more negative attention seeking behaviors. I would love for this mom to watch my video series again, Mastermind, Parenting dot com forward slash no spanking. It’s free. You can sign up for it.

(16m 41s):
I, I share a lot of good content because I’d like her to know what the longterm effects of spanking or washing a mouth out with soap is right? Like, no, we want to help the child learn that laundry has to get put away. And this is not that big of a deal. And I’m here to help and we can put some music on. That’s what we do when we have to get the things done that we don’t feel like doing right where those kinds of people take care of business. Oh, you didn’t get to it. Okay. We’ll get to it. Now. We also don’t make a big deal. We don’t make a mountain out of a molehill, right? So the gentle parenting approaches and a lot of times things that you read in books, it sounds good.

(17m 30s):
But when you’re in the real life moments and your brain, your human brain starts making their behavior mean something that it, frankly, doesn’t right. When they ignore you, because they’re living in this present moment, you make it mean that they’re disrespecting you. You’ve become the nag. Nobody in this family listens to me. It reminds your brain of all the times in your life that other people didn’t listen to you where you felt dismissed, where you felt ignored. And now you’re the parent. And there’s a whole, there’s a whole bunch of crazy going on up there. We have to be onto ourselves to be the grounded grownups so that we can show up impact leadership with systems and structures in place and energy, put on the front end in terms of helping our kids develop better skills.

(18m 27s):
When they start to tell the truth and they tell the truth and you don’t make a whole big deal about the little silly white lies. And you’re like the high shit you just, you know, you just told me that there was a situation at school. It’s you got your brave on to tell me it can be hard to admit when we have an oops. And you did that. You told the truth to really courageous. I’m just so glad you told me, you start focusing on all the moments of when they’re telling the truth. And when you have a kid that like this mom has a kid, who’s not doing the thing, right.

(19m 10s):
She’s taking things away. She’s grounding her. She’s losing privileges. She’s you know, I’m not saying that kids mastermind parents quite often do take privileges away when you’re not showing up being responsible. Right. And there’s a certain way we do it without shame, without blame. We do it as nice parents without acting like jerks. Okay. So sign up for the video series. You guys, and for those of you who have been long-term podcast listeners, I want you to know we have something really exciting that we’ve created.

(19m 49s):
And it’s basically a way to take all of my programs and to learn, like, to learn my nice wings method for solving any problem to go through the Mastermind, Parenting programs and engage in all the content in a very affordable way. There’s also a private podcast. That is a part of that. So it’s like me doing a lot of live coaching with members of my community and it’s $49 a month. So if you want to take it to the next level and really start engaging in my programs, it’s all the same resources I use with my basics boot camp members.

(20m 34s):
So it’s the same as my $2,000 program, but it’s only $49 a month because it’s a self study program. And it involves a private podcast that I think you guys are gonna really love. So $49 a month, your first week is free to try before you buy. You can cancel at any time. And all you do is go to Mastermind, Parenting dot com forward slash mini masters. M I N I masters all one word, and you can click on any of the pink sign up buttons that are on that page. And you can sign up for the Mastermind Parenting programs. It’s really cool. It’s self study, 49 bucks a month, all the same resources that I’m teaching in my private programs.

(21m 19s):
You just do it in a S in an independent self study way. You get a private app, a private podcast. It’s super cool. I’m very, very excited about this new offering, because I think it’s going to make my programs more accessible to more people in this super affordable way. So that’s what I’ve got for you guys this week. And until next time, bye. 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.

(22m 1s):
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. 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 strong-willed kids so that they can feel better because when they feel better, they do better.

(22m 45s):
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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