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262: Leading Your Family Beyond “Fairness”

Treating our kids fairly makes a lot of instinctive sense. It’s natural to want everybody to get equal everything. But different kids have different needs. When they all get the same attention and resources, they’ll often wind up with very different outcomes. 

Effective pack leadership requires an equity approach. We need to see our children as the whole, unique, special humans they are, and to show up for each of them in the ways that serve their individual needs best. Masterminder Lauren joins me to talk about the leadership approach she uses to build family trust and a sense of equity that are so much stronger than simplistic ideas of fairness.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  1. Why a one-size-fits-all approach to our kids’ needs is the opposite of fair.
  2. The central role humility plays in establishing trust, both professionally and with your family. 
  3. How our culture looks down on parents seeking support, and how we can start to change that stigma.

And much more! 

As always, thanks for listening. Head over to Facebook, where you can join my free group Mastermind Parenting Community. 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.

Randi’s Web and Social Links

Links & Resources

Thanks so much for listening to the Mastermind Parenting podcast, where we support the strong willed child and the families that love them!

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[00:00:00] Lauren: I feel like there’s never going to be an end in mind, you know, like there’s, there’s always more, there’s always something coming up that I might want to get advice on, or, you know, like I need to work through on myself. So it’s like, there’s not really an end point for me. It’s, I’ve really, I’m seeing it more as like a journey, you know, and this is, this is a journey that I’m on and, 

[00:00:20] Randi Rubenstein: Well, think about it. You have a pediatrician for 18 years. I mean, it’s probably why people stay in my Mastermind for so many years, right? Because it’s like, you have a pediatrician, you have a dentist, like we’re going to go and do our check-ins. And so as you. As your kids get to a new stage of development,

[00:00:39] Lauren: Exactly.

[00:00:40] Randi Rubenstein: right? And even when you’ve done this before, even when it’s your third kid, I mean, I’m experiencing things with Corey as a 17 year old that I didn’t experience with the other two, right?

[00:00:50] 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. 

[00:00:59] Welcome to this week’s episode. I am here with Lauren, a Mastermind mom who I’ve invited for a conversation about, I, I think our main topic, you never know with us, but our main topic is going to be about leadership and coaching and, I know that you have some expertise in this um, and I, I really think the angle I’m going for is you came, you joined a parenting program because like everyone who joins my program, you have a, you had a strong-willed kid, right?

[00:01:38] Like, hmm. This kid, I’m doing lots of the things and here I am coming in with all this expertise but I’m joining because I’ve got this kid that is continuing to be my squeaky wheel. Um, and I guess I’m just curious about, I want to learn more about your story about, cause I know you have a lot of expertise and I just want to hear.

[00:02:03] I don’t know. I want us to have a conversation about leadership because as a moms like, we have to bring a lot of leadership to this equation. And like where you had professional expertise and where it wasn’t necessarily translating all the time to the home front. So those are my thoughts.

[00:02:24] Lauren: Yeah, no, thanks. It’s, it’s been a great journey for me so far with Mastermind. It’s been, I think, like two years now, actually. Um, I, I first heard about Mastermind from a friend, actually, and it was, I just, I remember our conversation so clearly. We were on a walk, and I happened to ask her something pretty innocent, something about, like, have one of her kids had, like, ever, you know, gotten in trouble at school or something like that.

[00:02:49] And all of a sudden she started telling me how one of her children does get, did get in trouble at school a lot. Um, and it was one of those moments you were like, wow, like somebody’s letting me in. Like I’m seeing some vulnerability here, you know? Like, not everybody else has these like perfect children who like never get in trouble or it’s like super easy.

[00:03:09] And that’s when she brought up you Randi, and Mastermind. It’s like, but I’m part of this group that has like really, really helped me like think about, you know, how I can show up, you know, as a mom with my son. And, and I was like asking her to explain it. And she couldn’t really like explain it really, really clearly. She’s like, I, I just can’t really explain what it’s done for me. 

[00:03:33] Um, but I was super intrigued. I’m, I consider myself like a lifelong learner, like whether it’s, you know, in my like sort of professional area or outside of it, I just, like, really love bringing that curiosity. And, um, so she, she shared your podcast with me and I started listening and it was right around that time you were doing just like sort of this like open session.

[00:03:53] So I was like, you know what? Like, I’m just going to try this out. And, um, and I did, and I actually raised my hand on the call and it was amazing. It was just like this, like five minutes segment was just transformative for me, where I felt like…

[00:04:08] You know, in my professional world, it’s so common to go to like professional development sessions, right? That’s common. It’s accepted. It’s applauded. It’s written into our budgets, right. To go get this professional development. And I never thought about that in terms of how it equates, like how that could also equate and translate to the parenting world. 

[00:04:27] And when I showed up to that session and I got coached and it was like, I was like, oh my gosh, like, I feel like I have a tool. I have it like a technique. I feel like I was understood. I feel supported. I feel like I have something to try out. I felt more confident. And I was like, this is really, really interesting. 

[00:04:44] Um, and that’s sort of, that was my hook, right? That was my hook in terms of seeing that application. Um, and just be so seamless in terms of something that I do regularly and I support, you know, my colleagues doing regularly, how that could translate to my, to my home as well.

[00:05:01] Randi Rubenstein: So like if you had to say like what your background is in, because I know you, like leadership is, it’s kind of like your thing. Like, yeah. And I would love to know like how parent coaching, how the coaching you experienced on that call, how does that differ from the professional type of coaching?

[00:05:23] Lauren: So I’d say my background as a leader is like, it’s only been, it’s been operationalized because I’ve been in leadership roles. Like, I wouldn’t say, like my PhD is an education leadership, but it’s not like I took classes in like how to be a leader. You know, it’s like my subject matter expertise is really in areas of equity. It’s in areas of impact assessment, how you evaluate your impact and make sure that, you know, what you’re doing, whether it’s with your time or your philanthropic dollars is actually translating to impact. So that’s sort of where my professional area of expertise is in, but it’s,

[00:05:53] Randi Rubenstein: Wait, let me pause you let me pause you because you know, I’m a little slow. So, okay, so My PhD is in education leadership. But when you were getting your PhD in education leadership, was it not about like leadership? Education leadership sounds to me like how to educate people in the field of education, how to be better leaders. Is that what it is or no?

[00:06:25] Lauren: So it translates that, when I was a professor, that’s actually who I was teaching. Like I would teach students of education and actually future business students too, people who wanted to be leaders. But the subject that I was teaching them was along the lines of equity to help them be a better leader. 

[00:06:41] So it’s like, how do my biases? How do my stereotypes? How does my upbringing? How does my privilege, I wasn’t aware of, how that affecting me as a leader? In terms of who I am, you know, rewarding in the classroom, maybe who I’m holding back in the classroom, how I’m showing up to be a teacher, um, that is not unintentionally privileging certain students over others. How do I need to understand my own background? My, how my race has helped me, how my gender, how, um,

[00:07:08] Randi Rubenstein: Like self awareness, like a lot about self awareness? Like, yeah,

[00:07:11] Lauren: From, yeah, from an equity lens and from like a systems level, like it’s really understanding how our systems actually like will, um, really promote certain, like if you’re in a certain economic, you know, socioeconomic level or your certain race or certain gender, how our systems privilege certain individuals over others.

[00:07:31] And so how do we need to show up as leaders to make sure we are not unintentionally privileging people because of our biases, because of our backgrounds. It’s, it’s self awareness, but also in the context of sort of how we were brought up. 

[00:07:44] I don’t know if you know Malcolm Gladwell’s work at all. Like Outliers was one of the texts that I would always teach, right. As we have, why, like, why, like, why was somebody that outlier? Like what needed to happen? What were all the things that needed to be in place, right? 

[00:07:56] And so, it was some awareness, but it’s a lot of also just like understanding equity and how systems can either promote equity or actually like perpetuate inequity and how we need to show up to make sure we’re promoting equity. 

[00:08:13] Randi Rubenstein: So you taught that and so okay, so education leadership is helping people be educated, like we’re just really gonna dumb it down like if we’re explaining it to a fifth grader, right because that’s kind of where I am. So we’re educating people to be better leaders in the sense of we, you know, equity matters because our, the whole, whoever you’re leading the whole population,

[00:08:45] Lauren: Right.

[00:08:46] Randi Rubenstein: is, you know, people come from different families, different backgrounds. And so it’s not always apples to apples. So when you’re in a position of leadership, it’s like the old saying, read the room. And in order to read the room, you need to know that, people have lots of different parts of them. Right, based on where they come from. 

[00:09:10] And so we need to be mindful of that when we’re in positions of leadership, because what makes sense to this person, because they grew up in a certain socioeconomic background or, or culture or whatever might not make sense to this person over here. Um, and so we need to be aware of all of that. Is that, am I getting that right or no?

[00:09:35] Lauren: Yes. Um, I’d say, like, what it also comes down to, and I really believe this about most leaders, whether you know you are going into a classroom, whether you’re going to a business setting or really, whether you’re a parent is, we all have good intentions, right? I don’t know, anybody that signs up to be a teacher is like, I want to screw over my students. I want to continue to privilege those who, you know, are just really hardworking and hold back the others, right? Um, or same thing with going to a business or same thing as being a parent, right? 

[00:10:03] I really believe that people enter with really good intentions. What happens is sometimes we have these biases or these experiences or these triggers, right? Based on our own personal experiences or based on the systems around us that actually then can translate those good intentions to actually doing more harm than good. 

[00:10:23] So how do we become self aware of that, right? Where what we’re doing is, and this is, I think this is when you asked about how this translates to parenting. That’s where I found, I find the coaching super interesting and super, relevant to, you know, my professional world too, is we might think we’re doing the quote unquote right thing, right? By acting in a certain way or showing up in a certain way. 

[00:10:42] And then you realize, actually, that was bringing shame to that person, right? Or actually, I was lowering my expectations of that person based on this bias I have about this label or about this color of their skin or whatever it is, right? And so it’s like, how, how do you learn to check in with…

[00:11:00] Randi Rubenstein: Okay. Pause. I just thought of something. So I’m thinking like, how does this all translate to when we think about leadership at home? You have, like everyone, every human is a four leaf clover. Right? So if you think about like your kids. Right, like the way the three are wired, I mean, even with Lily, who’s so tiny, you can already see her little temperament coming through and that there’s differences, right?

[00:11:30] So, so, so when we are the parents that we are, we can’t be the exact same parent to each of our kids because, you know, 

[00:11:41] it’s not just like a one size fits all approach. Like, you, you’ve got to take into account that this one’s got some neurodiversity, and this one is a little more introverted and this one is, you know, makes friends easily, but has a hard time, you know, has a hard time with impulse control and, and, and, you know, has a hard time shifting gears or whatever it is. So you have to take all of that into account, um, as a leader.

[00:12:12] Lauren: Right. Well, and that’s the difference between equality and equity. A lot of people think equality is the way to go. We treat everybody equal. I’m in my classroom as a teacher. I’m a business leader. I need to treat everybody equal. I’m a parent. I treat each of my kids equal, right? And that doesn’t take into, sometimes equality is the way to go, right?

[00:12:29] But sometimes you need to actually take into account individual differences, different learning styles, right? Um, different ways of being in the world, different strengths, whatever. Like, you know, you take those into account and that’s where equity comes in, right? 

[00:12:41] Randi Rubenstein: That concept is so interesting because I hear this all the time from people about things being fair,

[00:12:49] Lauren: Yes.

[00:12:50] Randi Rubenstein: Right. For their kids. Like, how can you do for one and not do for the other? We, I just coached someone, uh, recently, Sean on a call about her kids birthdays.

[00:13:00] Lauren: Yes, yes, yes.

[00:13:01] Randi Rubenstein: I think so many parents think that they’re going for equality. Everything needs to be equal. But the truth is, is as an effective leader, it’s really about equity. Because you’re taking into like, who is this person before me?

[00:13:20] And I’ve got to take into account and I’ll tell you, this is something I pro I probably should not admit. So we’re going to Japan over winter break. and I know a lot of people are going to judge me for this, but we’re going to, Scott and I are going to fly first class and we’re going to put the kids in, coach.This is not a flex and it is very privileged and, um, and we’re old. Okay. 

[00:13:53] Lauren: It’s a long flight. 

[00:13:54] Randi Rubenstein: So… it’s a very long flight.

[00:13:56] Lauren: Yeah.

[00:13:57] Randi Rubenstein: Anyway, I said to Scott, I said, we need to put Alec in first class. Alec is. Amazing, right? Like he’s one of my favorite people to be around. And also I know from 25 years of traveling with Alec,

[00:14:14] Lauren: Yep,

[00:14:15] Randi Rubenstein: he is highly sensitive. Where Avery and Corey, I know how they’re wired. I know how they’re designed. They’ll sleep anywhere. When we get there, they’ll be trashed. They’ll be like, they’ll catch up on sleep for the, you know, first day or whatever. And they’ll bounce back.

[00:14:31] Lauren: Yep.

[00:14:33] Randi Rubenstein: Alec, it’s kind of like when he was little, if he spent the night out on a Saturday night and stayed up all night, he was trashed through Tuesday,

[00:14:44] Right? Where Avery and Corey would bounce back and just need to go to bed early on Sunday night. So I was like, he can’t do it. Like, really it’s the difference. It will take him half the trip to recover. And chances are he’ll probably get sick. 

[00:14:59] Like it was about equity because I know him, it’s not that I’m showing him favoritism. He does not have the constitution for it.

[00:15:06] Lauren: Right. So by being equal in that case, you would have held him back, right? Like, it would have been a disservice to be equal, right? In that example, where when you show up with equity, you’re, you’re really positioning everyone for success for the most, you know, success that they can have. Sometimes that is in being equal, right? Um, and other times it’s not. So I think that, um, that distinction and awareness, uh,

[00:15:30] Randi Rubenstein: Let me pause you. Let me pause you and ask you this question.

[00:15:33] Lauren: Yeah.

[00:15:33] Randi Rubenstein: So Avery and Corey, I’ve told one of them, I can’t remember who, but even if they both find out, they’re not going to say, well, that’s not fair. They would not go to that place. 

[00:15:45] Lauren: Okay. 

[00:15:45] Randi Rubenstein: And I, I think it’s because of the equity thing. I think because there’s been times that they’ve gotten an advantage in certain places, but I don’t know. What are you, what are your thoughts? Why don’t they, why would they not be mad about that? Knowing the truth?

[00:16:00] Lauren: Well, I think your point is a good one. If they have felt that they, their differences have also been acknowledged in a way that has led to privilege for them and positioning them for success, then they’re probably feeling confident and secure enough in their connection to you, right? And so putting one kid in first class isn’t a sign of loving one kid more than another, right? Because they’ve already felt that. That’s that’s my hunch. 

[00:16:28] I think that when people, you know, worry when even myself, when I worry about the fairness stuff, it’s because there’s a question about if one attachment or connection to somebody else is stronger than it is with me. And so it’s favoritism, right? Which is not fair. Right? 

[00:16:46] Um, and so I think that that’s a fine line, but strong trusting relationships can they can just help remedy that. I think because there’s just so much trust there and there’s not a, a questioning of somebody who’s trying to hurt me or keep me down, you know, because there’s, there’s just enough trust.

[00:17:03] And I think, I think that’s something that’s been really natural and easy for me to do in the, in the professional world. Right. Um, it’s been interesting to translate that, you know, through Mastermind to my home and to my kids, to how you really build those deep, trusting, like sort of unconditional loving relationships with each so that at the foundation, people just know you’re on their side, right? We’re on the same team. 

[00:17:31] At work that’s really easy. That’s been much easier for me to do. And, um, and so that’s really what I’ve been working with at home is, really like, how does everybody feel like we’re on the same team? And they know I’m on their team. So if something does go wrong or somebody else does get something and they don’t get something, it’s not that mom doesn’t like me as much or, or something like that. Um, so I think, that’s been really interesting for me to work through and try to translate at home too.

[00:18:00] Randi Rubenstein: These are really interesting concepts, um, especially when I get you to dumb them down for me. Um, you’re right, like equity is different than equality, right? And the equity, truly in this scenario and why the other two wouldn’t be upset about Alec being in first class is because the equity exists because all of them feel seen and connected and, um. Yeah, there’s no insecurity. I think that, what favoritism, it makes other people, I mean, I’ve been in positions of where I, you know, it’s like somebody else is the favorite. Maybe it’s even with like in friendships. It’s like when you’re, when there’s three of you and you’re all friends, but you can tell that this one person likes your other friend more, like they like each other more than either of them likes you.

[00:18:57] Um, or if you ever were fri in a queen bee situation and the, I remember Avery telling me in like seventh grade at all the bar mitzvah parties, that there was this queen bee in her grade. And there, they had a whole friend group and she was like, it’s the weirdest thing. She chooses one person every party to lock eyes with. So we’re all dancing in a circle and she locks eyes with one person. And when it’s you, you have the best night of your life. You feel like a million bucks, but when it’s not you, you feel like dirt, right? 

[00:19:32] That’s favoritism, right? So I think favoritism is not equitable and it makes people feel insecure and less than-ness, right?

[00:19:43] Lauren: And it’s on the person, that queen bee, I mean, that’s a power play, right? Like, and that’s, I think where we see people show up who haven’t done this work and maybe don’t have secure attachments themselves who need that power. Right? So you see it as the controlling parent, maybe in the way who’s giving something or taking things from their kids, right, to feel that power. 

[00:20:03] Um, you know, you see in the business world, you see it in classrooms, right? And so it’s on the part of both, right? And that’s why, so my role in the leadership has been to work on the leader side, right? And like, how do, because that can, that can really set the tone right?

[00:20:17] Like I remember you saying this the other day on a podcast, like we’re preparing ourselves for these crazy moments that other people are having, right? And it’s like, it’s the same thing in leadership too, right? Like it might be easy to be a leader when everybody is doing their job and working really hard and you’re hitting all your goals, right?

[00:20:33] But how do you need to show up when somebody isn’t meeting the expectation that you set? How do you need to tweak the system a little bit to make it work for the different individuals? What do you do when you have a team who’s not super cohesive working together for whatever reasons, right? Like, how do you show up in those moments and not make it about you, right? In a way that, um, you know, you’re, you’re internalizing as you being a poor leader and, and you not having, you not being confident in your role.

[00:21:00] Randi Rubenstein: I guess a lot of the, like when you talk about impact.

[00:21:04] Lauren: Yep.

[00:21:05] Randi Rubenstein: When we think about ourselves as leaders of our family and wanting to have an impact, right? Like, like we want to have an impact.

[00:21:16] You know, 

[00:21:16] I hear it all the time where people are like, I just don’t want my kids one day to like, um, come back to me and tell me all the ways I screwed them up, right? Like all the decisions I’m making today that it affected them or damaged them in some way. Like that seems to be like, a really huge fear for many parents.

[00:21:36] Lauren: Yeah.

[00:21:37] Randi Rubenstein: Are you smiling?

[00:21:39] Lauren: Yeah.

[00:21:39] Randi Rubenstein: No, no, no. Tell me.

[00:21:41] Lauren: I think about that too. It’s funny. Whenever we talk about families, like I, you know, and the role that parents can have and the power and impact they can have, I, I really don’t think about my family as much in terms of that impact it’s had on me. I think about me as a parent and like sort of how I’m screwing my kids up, you know, it’s…

[00:21:59] But I think that what I would ask is, and this is what I remember this happened at the beginning of Mastermind. And this is what I appreciate. This is what I always ask when it comes to impact is what’s your ultimate goal? Like, what’s your ultimate goal? 

[00:22:10] Because we can all say impact and it means something different to everyone. 

[00:22:13] It might even mean something different between you and your partner, right? Just if you and your boss have a different understanding of what impact is, you’re going to be working in different ways, and achieving different things. And then there’s going to be a tension. 

[00:22:24] Um, and so I think the question I would ask is, you know, what, what is your ultimate goal? What are you ultimately hoping to achieve? And then you back into what needs to happen in order for that to play out, right? What are the, what are the equitable strategies, right? 

[00:22:41] That’s where equity comes in. If that’s my ultimate goal and what am I going to look for along the way? This is the measurement piece to know if it’s going well. To know if I’m achieving that goal. What does success look like for that goal? So I can know how I’m doing

[00:22:56] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah.

[00:22:56] Lauren: and where I might tweak strategies.

[00:22:58] Randi Rubenstein: Okay, so now let me just break that concept down. My impact

[00:23:03] Lauren: Mm hmm. Mm

[00:23:04] Randi Rubenstein: based on my goal was that I wanted to have a family like the Bravermans.

[00:23:11] Lauren: Mm hmm. 

[00:23:12] Randi Rubenstein: From Parenthood. I, and I didn’t,

[00:23:14] Lauren: I would ask you to be even more, like, if we were doing this exercise, like, in a facilitation, I think I’d ask you to be even a little bit, like, what about the Bravermans? 

[00:23:22] Randi Rubenstein: So, I would say this is the interesting thing, you know, when you’re looking at leadership and, and all of these big fancy words and terms, in terms of professional, your professional life and your professional development, right? It’s all very concrete, because it’s like, you know, Q1, what are your goals? You know, like there’s all that, you know, all the fancy words.

[00:23:47] But when it comes to our personal lives, just like how people don’t think it’s like every, everyone in these, um, In these like really impressive professional positions, whether you’re a lawyer, an in house attorney for MD Anderson, or you work for Chevron or whatever, you know, this nonprofit, you have a coach, you have an executive coach, right? It’s still, it’s a thing. It’s a thing. 

[00:24:15] Oh, and, if you play sports and in school or in college, um, or even if you take tennis really seriously, you know, want to learn tennis. You hire a coach.

[00:24:31] Lauren: Right.

[00:24:32] Randi Rubenstein: But in this thing, that is pretty much the most important thing, the thing that everyone thinks – when anyone thinks about their legacy or anyone’s on their death bed. Right? What do they talk about? They talk about their family. They talk about who they were as a parent, 

[00:24:52] Lauren: yep. 

[00:24:53] Randi Rubenstein: regrets they have as a parent, right? 

[00:24:55] The thing that matters the most to people, but in this personal thing, we don’t, it’s not yet common, right? It’s not mainstream to have a coach or to think about coaching or to think about things like impact or goals. Oh, oh, and also it’s just all, you know, I mean, how many times can people like say, wait, you’re a parenting coach. People pay you for that? Like what? Like it’s like, it’s, there’s like a lot of gaslighting about it.

[00:25:26] Lauren: Totally.

[00:25:27] Randi Rubenstein: Which is so insane to me. Even like for me, like I only know that my goal, my impact goal was to have a family like the Bravermans and the, in my mind, that’s, that was my north star. 

[00:25:42] And if I had to break it down on what that looks like, it’s a family that even after they’re grown and flown comes back and chooses to sit next to each other, chooses to be together, chooses to… they have such connected relationships that they’re immersed in each other’s lives, right? Like, like, and all, and it’s not in a codependent way. It’s not a have to, it’s a choose to. It’s a choose to. 

[00:26:13] And so that was really my north star, but I never would have pinpointed that that’s what it was, because when it comes to family and personal, you know, like I wouldn’t have even known that.

[00:26:24] Lauren: One of the most amazing leadership traits that I think is becoming more and more applauded in the business world is this idea of humility, right? Which is the ability to also admit that you don’t know everything and that you, you can always improve. You can always get better from learning from others, right? 

[00:26:40] Um, I also think it’s, I, at least in my own life, I found it more acceptable. Um, to ask for help, right, in the bit, as a professional right whether that’s through delegating or asking for help because I really don’t know something right. I need I need somebody to help me with that. 

[00:26:56] If, that’s all very accepted. I feel very comfortable doing that. I don’t think that is a statement about how smart I am, how confident I am, how capable I am. I actually think. It has, um, and it has been a great model for others to see me being able to ask for help, delegate, get professional development, be coached, learn more, all of that.

[00:27:17] When it comes to parenting, I don’t think there’s that, I personally have not found that parallel, right? Where there, where the idea of asking for help is something that is applauded, right? I mean, in terms of the, the Hunt, Gather, Parent, book, right? Like it seems like in other cultures, like from my understanding, it’s just like, everybody sees it as their role to help each other in the village.

[00:27:40] Um, and my experience has, has been that asking for help isn’t a sign of strength, but actually more of a sign of weakness. Um, and you know, the idea of saying, I don’t know it all when it comes to being a parent, I have to be the one in charge, the one who knows everything and put on this, like I’m the parent, right? Like, doesn’t lend itself to the idea of coaching. Um, and so that’s what I found to be the biggest sort of like difference between the two different worlds, even though I have found unbelievable application right on the personal side, even leading into the professional side. 

[00:28:17] Um, and so, yeah, my hope is that we can, we can shape a culture to embrace, right, this idea of humility in the parenting world. And, um, the idea that we, we don’t know, we don’t have all the answers all the time. We get stressed out and triggered a lot, right? We get, we have anxiety about certain things and, and there are people and places you can go to, right? To sort of like, be able to ask these questions and get coached just as you would when you Have a team at work that’s not functioning, and you need to figure out, you know, how to get that team to be functioning again.

[00:28:54] Randi Rubenstein: All of that made me think of, cause I’ve been thinking a lot lately about, you know, my conversations with Michaeleen and Hunt, Gather, Parent, and that the nuclear family is a failed experiment. Right? Like,

[00:29:08] Lauren: yeah.

[00:29:09] Randi Rubenstein: we were always meant to be in packs and to have, you know, little humans, you know, it’s like when she was in that one village, I think she was, um, with the Inuit and, and her and Rosie were having like a power struggle. They were walking somewhere and this mom runs out and is like, um, you need help.

[00:29:34] Lauren: Yeah.

[00:29:35] Randi Rubenstein: And exactly what you said, Michaeleen’s like, no, I’m okay.

[00:29:38] Lauren: Yeah.

[00:29:39] Randi Rubenstein: And she’s like, no, no, no, wait. I always see the two of you always together.

[00:29:45] Lauren: Yeah.

[00:29:45] Randi Rubenstein: Like, and, and then she pointed out to Michaeleen. She was like, you need help. And, and Michaeleen, kind of because of exactly what you just said, like proud, like, no, no, no, I’m good. I’m good. I got it. I got it. And she’s like, yeah, but like, like. Rosie’s probably sick of you. Like it was like, she was basically saying like, like when it’s all on, like when it’s just all you, it’s too much. It’s too much. Like we need, we were meant to be in these packs in communal packs, and it’s not supposed to be all on one.

[00:30:22] But I also wanted to say one other thing so often the thing that I hear, you know, most of the time it’s women who reach out to me. It’s the moms who reach out to me. And then quite often they’re like, well, I need to go and talk to my husband. Okay. And then the husband quite often is like, what? You need, 

[00:30:44] Lauren: Yeah. 

[00:30:44] Randi Rubenstein: you so then she has to, convince him why she is worthy of getting this support. 

[00:30:55] But the truth is, is why the fuck is it all falling on her in the first place? Right? And, um, and so now she has to go and she has to prove her worthiness to bring in the support that all humans, deserve because it never should have mostly all fallen on one person. And so then he’s like, fine, okay. And then she has to try to get him to take part in it, which most often he’s not going to take part in the same way that she takes part in. And so then, you know, he is let off the hook and so she’s mostly doing most of the learning here. 

[00:31:41] Um, but the other piece is, is that when I do have the rare guy who’s like, yeah, no, no, no, this makes perfect sense. Yes, we, let’s get coaching and we’ll figure this out.

[00:31:55] Lauren: Uh huh. Uh huh. Uh huh. Uh

[00:31:56] Randi Rubenstein: It’s my men who will tell everyone, it’s like Lindsey’s husband, David, who’s, you know, who’s a big business lawyer. He tells people, oh, he is so proud of what we do. So proud. He’s so bought in. He will shout it from the rooftops. Scott will shout it from the rooftops. When he hears any of the guys at his business meetings complaining with little kids, he’s like, well, you need to call Randi. She’ll help you with this in two seconds. 

[00:32:25] And so the men shout it from the rooftops proudly because they’re like, no, this works. But the women are a little more like, you know, it’s a shame source. Like I should know this stuff is, I don’t know. What, what are your thoughts about all of that?

[00:32:42] Lauren: Yeah, no, I think that’s super interesting. I mean, a few things. One, to your first example from the book about the woman saying you need help, like, I’m super interested in that woman, actually. Like, I can’t picture that happening today, in terms of, because if somebody says that, it’s like, it’s almost like they would either feel like they were insulting someone, you know, or, or shaming them or, um, might not minding their own business or whatever. Right? 

[00:33:10] So I like, I think that’s so interesting how there’s a culture that’s created where somebody is super comfortable in saying, like, you need help. Right? In a way that is not internalized as being or interpreted as being a judgment. Right? So I think that’s interesting. 

[00:33:26] Um, and I think in terms of the, the men being comfortable shouting it from the rooftops. I I think I would come back to this idea of, of impact because however they were understand, are understanding the ultimate goal in terms of what success looks like, they’re seeing it. Like they must really be seeing it to be so proud of that and feel like this is something I can, I we’ve like accomplished. We’ve achieved and like, this is how we did it. This is a strategy that we invested in and took on to help us get from point A to point B. And I want to share that, right? It’s like, it’s like they’re like resourceful and discovering the smart investments and strategies, right? To get us from point A to point B.

[00:34:14] And I don’t know. I wonder for women, if… at least I kind of feel like this, there’s always more, like I can pause for applause along the way for sure. And know, when there’s improvements, and I, this is great for your business model. 

[00:34:28] I feel like there’s never going to be an end in mind, you know, like there’s, there’s always more, there’s always something coming up that I might want to get advice on, or, you know, like I need to work through on myself.

[00:34:39] So it’s like, there’s not really an end point for me. It’s, I’ve really, I’m seeing it more as like a journey, you know, and this is, this is a journey that I’m on and, 

[00:34:49] Randi Rubenstein: Well, think about it. You have a pediatrician for 18 years. I mean, it’s probably why people stay in my Mastermind for so many years, right? Because it’s like, you have a pediatrician, you have a dentist, you know, like we’re going to go and do our check-ins. And so as you, as your kids get to a new stage of development,

[00:35:08] Lauren: Exactly.

[00:35:09] Randi Rubenstein: right? And even when you’ve done this before, even when it’s your third kid, I mean, I’m experiencing things with Corey as a 17 year old that I didn’t experience with the other two, right?

[00:35:19] Lauren: Yeah, for sure. And like, and there’s something to it about the community piece, which is like, and I don’t, maybe this is where men, this is like, I don’t know how the men that you’re referring to, if they participate actively in the community piece, like listening to other people’s Voxers and, and going on the coaching calls, which isn’t about them. It’s not me coming to talk about my scenario. It’s, and actually when I signed up, I was like, I don’t know if I need to hear other people’s scenarios. Like I just need help for me, you know? 

[00:35:49] And, and that’s to me why I also feel like there might be the difference between the men and the women if the women are tend to be the ones who are most involved in this community piece, there’s something about hearing the me to there’s something about hearing the somebody else saying I need help, right? Which is what we talked about. That example is not what is sort of accepted or applauded here, but it is and it is a Mastermind. Right? 

[00:36:14] And so that’s to me what feels like my, just my sacred place, right? Um, and maybe that’s the, and if women are the ones who are most present and invested there, maybe that’s why there isn’t the same shouting as the rooftops as the men. So they’re seeing it more on the, maybe on the achievement end. Look what we’ve done. Look how we’ve gotten from point A to point B.

[00:36:35] Randi Rubenstein: That’s interesting. Well, the two I gave were mine and Lindsey’s husbands, so they’re, I think, experiencing the pack that I’ve created here. And for David, Lindsey’s husband, it’s the pack that they’ve created there. So it’s very, so I think they’re shouting it from the rooftops. Because it’s the Hunt, Gather, Parent model of, yeah, we have our pack and it, it’s worked. 

[00:37:02] I think for, for the women, our community piece it’s like a sharing circle in that, you I mean, I always talk about what Gloria Steinem said, you know, it’s like the power of women when we come together in community and we share our real stories. Like, I think that’s the thing, you know, there’s so much BS. It’s like, when I talk about, you know, the example I used about the queen bee at the, you know, at the bar mitzvah parties. As women, we are… 

[00:37:39] I mean, one of my Masterminders on one of my threads yesterday was just talking about her daughter in sixth or seventh grade who just went to a new school and who just got word, social media, whatever it was, she texted a girl and she’s like, oh, I’m at so-and-so’s birthday party last Saturday. And then the, the little girl said, yeah, everyone’s here, but you. And she said, what do you mean? Everyone? She said literally everyone. And she like, sent her the social media pictures, I guess to rub it in her face or something. And, and this little Mastermind child, and literally every girl was there but her. 

[00:38:17] And so they’ve done studies where social pain shows up in the body the same way physical pain does, like the same receptors are activated. And as females…, there is social pain that men go through, I’m not going to diminish that. But what we go through and then continue to go through, but it actually may look different when it’s in a, with adult women, you know, with seventh graders, it’s really transparent. By the time you’re dealing with that, those kinds of things and it’s adult women, it’s more confusing and it’s, it’s more nuanced.

[00:38:54] And so I think that’s the power of community is for many of us, we haven’t had such trusted, safe spaces in our lives, you know, and I think that sense of belonging and community. I mean, when we have that, it’s like we become so powerful in ourselves because it just feels so amazing to have that trust and that safety.

[00:39:20] Lauren: Yes. And like the, you are not alone piece. And I think that’s to me where it’s just in the business, in the professional setting, at least in the ones I’ve been in, like, it just have, it just seems to happen more naturally, right? Like, there’s just there’s different affiliation groups. You’re maybe you’re in an office together. It just like, it just seems to happen more naturally than it has on the parenting side for me, in terms of finding and discovering that support.

[00:39:50] Randi Rubenstein: Well, don’t you think it’s because, you know, on the parenting side, when it’s personal, to have the impact that you want to have the thing that gets in the way are the triggers are, you know, and we’re all gonna have things that fire us up that we don’t even know why they’re firing us up. Right? But that’s the self, that’s a self awareness piece because humans are going to human. Right, like, no matter what

[00:40:20] Lauren: Yeah.

[00:40:21] Randi Rubenstein: we’re going to, we are layered and messy and complicated. And we have protective, you know, emotional protective armor that we wear based on like,

[00:40:32] Lauren: Yeah. Yeah, but you know you’re saying Randi that makes that like… even if this is happening in the professional setting where people are coming together, I, I actually believe what, like what you just said, people aren’t showing up humaning either. Like, there’s still a front that people on, like, you can work with somebody for 10 years and not know what’s happening at home behind their closed doors. Right? 

[00:40:55] So in, in all worlds, I think we are hiding pieces of ourselves, you know, um… yeah, I think in all worlds we’re hiding pieces of ourselves and I think that’s, to me, like that’s where Mastermind has come in because I am showing parts of myself that I don’t feel comfortable showing in either of these worlds for, you know, whatever reasons, you know, that we can analyze later, probably. But I just, I think, I think that’s,

[00:41:27] Randi Rubenstein: think it’s, it’s the human, it’s because that’s what we, we all have masks that we wear and we, it’s like that No Bad Parts book. You know, Internal Family Systems therapy that, that you know, I’ve been learning about it. I just signed up for a pro, a course with Sean. Um, who’s I’m going to go more into it, but that’s the whole point of that type of therapy is there are no bad parts because we wear these masks or we developed this armor. And it served some purpose for us. right? And 

[00:42:03] Lauren: Exactly. But that’s, that’s, this is full circle in terms of what we were talking about at the beginning of the conversation. Where have our systems actually rewarded us for having those masks on. When I show up super confident at work, right? And I have more of a presence and I’m speaking in a very certain way, using very certain language, even the pace of my voice, right? I, that is rewarded because that is what we equate to like being confident, which means capable, right? Which is like, that’s not always true. Right?

[00:42:34] And so where have we shown up dressed in a certain way? And that has rewarded us in a way where if somebody didn’t, they weren’t rewarded. Right? So, has to also start the systems level because if I keep being rewarded for showing up as my life is, you know, one to be admired, right? And that’s what I get rewarded from. Then I don’t have anything to gain by showing a vulnerability.

[00:42:56] I think what we’re trying to do at work, and what I try to do as a leader at work is reward when people show their vulnerability, right? Because that’s how you get the real person to come to work. That’s how you get them to do even better work because they’re not taking so much energy and strength to try to hold something up or pretend to be something that they’re not, right? And that’s when you can have the deepest connection. So we got, we have to examine the systems and structures that are rewarding, right? These, um, these facades and these masks.

[00:43:26] Randi Rubenstein: And if we equate that to the family and the parenting front,

[00:43:32] Lauren: Yes,

[00:43:33] Randi Rubenstein: to reward the posts on social media of my kid is going to blah, blah, blah, college. And even liking it, which I’m guilty of, you know, somebody is putting it out there and even though I’m like, kind of rolling my eyes about it, I still sometimes will like it because I’m like, well, what if they’re the kind of person, that’s like looking exactly who likes it and by not liking it then I’m making a statement. So I better just, fuck it, I’ll like it 

[00:44:04] Lauren: Right. Right, right, right, right. 

[00:44:05] Randi Rubenstein: But even by liking it I’m rewarding that structure that I actually don’t even believe in and right?

[00:44:15] Lauren: Right, or as a parent, like, like, if you punish your highly sensitive child, right, for like, for certain things, like, instead of see that as a superpower. I listened to this podcast the other day of this man who’s like a billionaire talking about his neurodiversity and his sensitivity as his superpower, not as like a challenge, right? But like, but as a parent, when do we reward certain children over others because they are behaving in certain ways that the system has rewarded? 

[00:44:41] Randi Rubenstein: That’s right. That’s right. 

[00:44:43] Lauren: That’s also what’s super interesting to look at. And maybe we can’t change the school system right away. But if we change our family system, right? So come back to that equity and not rewarding who is more mainstream or better in sports or whatever. We’ll just bring realness to our family too. And instead of the idea that there’s only one way to be that our system, that our family is going to reward you for.

[00:45:05] Randi Rubenstein: That’s exactly right. That’s exactly right. I mean, it’s like, everyone gets to be the human four leaf clover that they are. Truly. 

[00:45:16] Lauren: That’s why it’s a journey. Right. Because like, I’m still trying to believe that myself, you know, about like, in terms of my kids, right. Um, in terms of that, there not being just one way or that you have to do certain things to like, you know, be accepted. I think it’s that idea of this really believing in the unconditional love. Right. Um,

[00:45:34] Randi Rubenstein: Well, I think this is, this is the thing. We choose a field of study for a reason. Right? And we get to be humans, too. And just because we choose a field of study, um, and a place that, a place, you know, I’ve experienced this to where we are in our professional lives doesn’t mean that we have to have it all figured out. Right? But I think systemically,

[00:46:04] Lauren: Yeah.

[00:46:05] Randi Rubenstein: It’s like, well, aren’t you wait, you’re a parenting coach and you still do it wrong sometimes. Like, right, so systemically, we don’t reward vulnerability. We don’t reward humanity. It’s like, if you’re going to be the one, if you’re going to be the one teaching these things, doing this professionally, then you better have it all figured out and be perfect.

[00:46:26] Lauren: But who do you feel like you’re hearing that from?

[00:46:28] Randi Rubenstein: I have actually, I did hear it from someone recently when I was sharing, cause now I’m so far past that I was like at this like terrible cocktail thing and I was talking to this mom and we were like having, you know, I hate small talk. And she was talking about something and I was like laughing at myself about, I was making fun of myself about something. And she’s like, well, I would think you would need to figure this out based on what you do. She said something like that. I was like, oh, okay. Um 

[00:46:56] Lauren: My sense, like, sort of about, or your hunch, my hunch about your business model, in terms of why I think it’s going to continue to grow and grow, is because you don’t act like you have it all figured out. Like that actually to me is more real, like it’s actually, it normalizes it in a way that makes it feel very approachable and acceptable and not a holier than thou. Which I think that’s the issue in the parenting world. There’s like all these books that tell you like how to do something. It’s coming from like a holier than thou perspective I feel, like, are very you know, and so that’s to me why this has been different, too.

[00:47:34] Randi Rubenstein: Well, I think it’s because it’s authentic because I’m so like, I’m fascinated even by my own past. When I, when all of a sudden, when I get triggered by something or I see an old pattern, like last night on the way to my sister’s birthday dinner, I said to Scott, oh, I figured out why I’ve been so annoyed about this thing. It didn’t even have to do with him. I was like, I realized the, I found the puzzle piece. It was from when my mom, when I was like 13, 14 years old and my mom used to say to me, I would like be going to a friend’s house or whatever. My mom would say, why don’t you take your sister? 

[00:48:13] My sister is six years younger than me. Like a lot. Like she was seven. And I was obsessed with my sister. Like I felt like when she was born, I was being given like a real baby alive doll. And so when now at 13 or 14, when I’m like going through a normal stage of adolescence and my mom’s like giving me a guilt trip. Um, because really, and I remember I was so like, now I can’t even enjoy my time with my friends as much. I wouldn’t take my sister. I wouldn’t take, thank God I had that boundary, but I still felt guilty.

[00:48:45] Lauren: Yeah, yeah,

[00:48:46] Randi Rubenstein: So something recently has triggered me. And I was like, yeah. And what I realized is, is it was like, oh really? It’s not enough that I’m raising her all like, why don’t you just be a mom? Like she’s your kid. Now you’re trying to make me not go and enjoy my fun time with friends. And so I was triggered by that recently. 

[00:49:05] So identifying that trigger, identifying that puzzle piece, um, and when I was talking about it with Scott, I was really curious and I was really interested and it was so fun because I was like, I found the pattern because I, I’ve been bitching to him about this thing where I was going below the line over and over and over.

[00:49:25] And so I think I’m fascinated by being a human. Like I do celebrate that where it’s like, anytime somebody is like, even I remember years ago, somebody was like, well, you are a parenting expert and you need to start referring to yourself as that. That made me feel like that cringed me out because I was like. Uh, I don’t like this expert term. 

[00:49:48] They were like, well, if you don’t own your authority, right? It’s like, this is the same thing. If you don’t own your authority, then who is going to invest in you? You have to own your authority. And it just made me feel like a total cringelord to ever say expert. I don’t want to put that out there and I don’t believe that. And I am always going to be a work in progress and I actually feel proud of that. 

[00:50:12] So yeah, exactly that. How about feeling as women, especially, worthy of being actual humans. So when the system is like more on you, women. Even though for thousands and thousands of years, all this whole pack of humans were raising the little humans, do it all yourself. Like, I feel like me being like, fuck that. I don’t have to have it all figured out, and I deserve support, and by baby number three, I’m hiring a fucking doula.

[00:50:45] To me, that is like us being like, yeah, no, I want support, and I don’t have to be perfect. And even if I, this is my field of, you know, even for you, like, even though my field of my PhD is in education leadership, I’m still a student of leadership. And, and like saying, and like shouting that from the rooftops and us being proud about that.

[00:51:12] Lauren: Right. And then if we are privileged enough, I think to be high enough in the system to be able to reward that when we see it in others, too, right? Like, not just to not just to, like, lead in that way, but lead in that way so it models it for others, and then when they do show up in that way, rewarding them for that, right? 

[00:51:29] Like, I mean, it happens in, you know, at work, but also I would say, you know, so if somebody comes to me at work and tells me about something really hard going on in their family, and they’re really struggling, they need some time off or whatever it is, like, do you penalize them for that? Doesn’t sound like you’re serious about work because your family is doing this, right? 

[00:51:44] Or do you show up in a way that’s like, I really appreciate you letting me in there right? And sharing, it must be really hard to be super present and focused at work when you’re really focused on also taking care of your mom who’s really sick right now right? Like and and then how do you again bring equity to the system? It might not be fair that she doesn’t have to stay at work till five o’clock but she can finish up her work and after hours right but. And same thing with our kids, too, when they, you know, tell us about something that, you know, they did at school that maybe wasn’t something that was really favor, you know, something we’d look favorably upon. How do you not… 

[00:52:15] I remember you doing, one of my first things I got coached on was with my daughter and she was, she told me something that I can’t remember what it was right now, but it really hurt my feelings. Oh, like I wasn’t, she said, like, I wasn’t, my my tone of voice wasn’t the tone of voice that she needed to hear, something like that. And you looked at that and your response was, it’s amazing. She feels comfortable sharing this with you. Right? Like that’s how you looked at it. 

[00:52:41] Like, and that’s, and you’re like, that’s what you want. You always want her to feel comfortable sharing things with you. And I was like, that’s so interesting. So instead of me being like, don’t tell me that, that hurts my feelings. And how can you say something like that? And blah, blah, blah, making her feel bad about being honest with me. Instead, I was able to look at it and be like, I’m so glad you told me that. Right? 

[00:53:01] And while I didn’t, I don’t mean to talk like that. I worked my hardest. It’s clearly, I need to work on some things, right? To keep her talking. Right? Because that was the ultimate goal there. Because then my ultimate impact is these really honest, open, you know, relationships, you know, with truth. 

[00:53:15] So again, the system has to reward that if I had shut that down and shamed her and showed that I was like really upset and bothered, insulted by it, then she wouldn’t do that anymore because she doesn’t, she wouldn’t want to, you know, hurt my feelings, right? And so, again, that’s just a little micro example of in a family. I think…

[00:53:34] Randi Rubenstein: that was a great example. That was a great example because that kind of brought it all together and tied it up. Okay. I feel like we could talk about this. Like we could have a whole series on this. I, this is why I invited you on. 

[00:53:47] Lauren: It’s super enjoyable. Thank you.

[00:53:48] Randi Rubenstein: Okay. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And, um, yeah, I know I’m like, I feel like I don’t even want to stop it here, but I have a doctor’s appointment and you have a work meeting, so we have to go. Um, all right. 

[00:54:01] Thanks everyone for listening. Have a great week. 

[00:54:03] 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 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.

[00:54:38] And, as always, we’re on all the social channels under mastermind parenting, on Instagram it’s mastermind_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, and I love, love, love getting to know you guys. 

[00:55:11] So thanks for listening. If you like this podcast, please don’t forget to subscribe, rate and review. Super super appreciative.

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by Randi Rubenstein