Peaceful ParentingJuly 18
Parenting expert and multiple best-selling author Dr. Laura Markham breaks down the three keys to successful discipline, how to properly model emotions and conflict resolution, and the coveted recipe for raising happy, resilient kids.
For comprehensive show notes on this episode, including a full edited transcript, go to https://fs.blog/podcast/
Is your brain hungry for more? Don't miss out! Sign up for our weekly "Brain Food" at https://fs.blog/newsletter/
Follow @farnamstreet on Twitter for mind-expanding content.
That's a kid who is able to be self discipline because they've practiced it and they built a brain that is more self discipline. That's about resilience as well. Theo, Theo
Lo and Welcome.
I'm Shame Parish.
And this is another episode of the Knowledge Project,
a podcast exploring the ideas,
methods and mental models that will help you learn from the best of what other people have already figured it out.
You can learn more and stay up to date at F s Stop Blog's slash podcast on the show today is Dr Laura Markham,
who runs Remarkable parenting Blogger frequent called Ah ha Parenting Well expected the lessons of this conversation to apply to parenting.
My 89 year old boys.
I was surprised how much what I took away from this conversation resonated with me.
Outside of parenting,
Laura teaches us Hobart self regulation,
and how did not only notice what we're feeling but label it and react in a constructive way.
It's time to listen and learn before we get started.
Here's a quick word from our sponsor.
Bourbon Street is sponsored by Metal Lab.
For a decade,
mental lab has helped some of the world's top companies and entrepreneurs build products that millions of people use every day. You probably didn't realize it at the time, but odds are you've used an app that they've helped design or build absolutely slack. Coin based Facebook Messenger, Oculus, Lonely Planet and so many more metal. Abbe wants to bring the unique design philosophy to your project. Let them take your brainstorm and turn it into the next $1,000,000,000 up from idea sketched on the back of a napkin to a final ship product. Check the Merida Metal Lab dot Co. That's metal ab dot Co. And when you get in touch, tell them Shane saying you Laura, I'm so happy to have you.
Research indicates that how kids "turn out" is most directly related to who parents are vs. different parenting strategies. Parents set the example based on their interactions with their kids.
I am so glad to be here with you to go. Sure,
Research indicates that how kids "turn out" is most directly related to who parents are vs. different parenting strategies. Parents set the example based on their interactions with their kids.
I think we've all raised her voice and bribed our kids. Sometimes most of us who are self aware but that probably feel that something is not quite right and want to find better, more sustainable ways to connect with their kids. You claim the three keys to parenting are to regulate your own emotions, reconnect with your kids and coach instead of punishing. Let's start with regulating our own emotions. Can you expand on that?
the research seems pretty clear that what matters most in how kids turn out is who we are.
It's It's not a set of strategies,
It's a relationship in every relationship comes from two people having that relationship,
and in our case,
we're the the guidance.
We're the role model were the already mature brain.
Not that we're not still learning and growing we are.
But we are the ones who set the example bolts for our child to grow,
but also on a biological level.
Our Children are born with very incomplete neural systems,
and so their limbic system,
which is the old word for the emotional parts of the brain in and neurology.
That limbic system is born pretty unfinished and takes shape in interaction with the parent.
Now all repeated experiences will shape the brain.
But when you think about it, what is the baby's repeated experience? It's most of it is interactions with the parent, so even And so, of course, that's true for babies and how their brain takes shape based on our brain and how it functions and or neurology. But of course, pretty soon. Kids are consciously interacting with us, aware of what goes on between us modeling themselves after us, learning about the world, learning about how relationships work and if we're the kind of person who can stay calm or notice. We're getting agitated or anxious or angry, frustrated if we're the kind of person who can notice and we can stop and calm ourselves down. Our child sees that, and a few things happen.
One is they learn. It's not an emergency. It may have seemed like an emergency to them when we insisted it just get out of the bathtub or whatever. But in fact, if we react like it's not an emergency, yes, they do have to get out of the bathtub. But it's not an emergency. We can have a productive interaction about it. The child learns from us how to make. First of all, they learn it's not an emergency. They learn how to communicate more constructively, and they learn how to calm themselves down when things were getting hot. But then, in fact, they realized they could handle it in a better way, So our ability to self regulate might be the most might have the most impact on who our child turns out to be than anything else we do.
That's interesting. Is it that parents can't regulate themselves? Or is there something about parenting situations like, is it a adult thing where we have problems actually regulating our own emotions? Or is it related to the situation of parenting in the context in which has come up, which we've probably not had a lot of experience
You're so right change because we I hear all the time from parents who are just fine in the workplace or even their teachers.
And they're fun.
They're people's Children,
so it isn't eat just childish behavior that sets us off.
Sometimes it's that our Children wish our buttons in a way nobody else could because some of those buttons were installed in childhood.
And so when our child,
when our two year old yells at us,
I want a new daddy,
You're not the boss of me or whatever.
That's really more like four year olds thing.
But when it did,
when a young child yells at us and is defiant with us,
it brings up all our anxieties of when we were that age and we had those same feelings,
and if he had done that,
we would have been smacked across the room. So it brings up all of the unconscious stuff that we don't even know about from when we were one and two and three and 45 because the brain doesn't store memory was in a straightforward way at that time before they hit the campuses online, which is the part of the brain that is the memory maker before the campus is on line, memories are made and stored in a more holistic, visceral way. So you can have you can smell something that will remind you off your grandparents house or in case of one client. I know the basement where her mother put her when she was a naughty or or your your mother. Others perfume and your mother's been together three years. But that proofing wow, it makes you feel loved and cared about so we can have a smell or we can hear a sound. Or we can have a feeling that reminds us of the feeling we had when we were three and our father rooted us and terrified us and whatever is happening in that moment, we may not consciously have the access to the memory because they're not just filed in a straightforward away, but the feelings will swamp us. It's almost like PTSD in this. It works in the same way. It's an unsorted memory, so young Children have a way of pushing our buttons unlike anyone
Acknowledge that no one is perfect and everyone is learning and growing. If there are particular places where a parent is losing their temper repeatedly, shine conscious awareness on those situations. Label emotions as this allows for more control over them.
else. So how do we How do we learn to regulate our emotions in these scenarios where, like you said, we could be created the workplace? But in a parent in context, everything changes and you know, it even changes further, I would imagine between single parenting and sort of being in a relationship with another parent who can sort of take you out of the moment and see something that you can't see because you're in it.
single parenting is so hard because the weight is all on your shoulders,
but also because you don't have that other adult for perspective.
if you're just dealing with your three year old soon you're gonna act like a future hold.
Whereas if you have another adult around,
they provide sort of a check on that right?
So you're you're a little more likely to stay in adult mode.
So how can we handle that?
I think the first thing is to acknowledge that no one's perfect.
We're all learning and growing.
And if you've stumbled onto some places where you lose your temper,
notice what's going on. Bring your conscious attention to it. I think of this as sort of going into the dark basements of our psyches with our flashlight and the flashlight is our conscious attention. When we shine conscious awareness on anything, it begins to It loses the power off the unconscious fear that's otherwise attached to it. And in fact, a lot of things just sort of melt away. We realized they were just the shadows of fear that from the past that were in there. Like, If somebody yells like that, you know I want a new daddy, then something terrible is about to happen. Somebody's about to get hit. Well, that fear from the past is not actually operative in the current moment. So simply noticing what's going on on Oh yeah,
When my kid gets that expression on his face and screams at me, I feel like, Well, just notice the sensations. We can look at the thoughts in a moment because the thoughts do are all part of what causes those emotions. But an emotion is just a set of sensations. So notice the sensations I have a sensation of my belly just got really tight and my throat got tight in My hands are clenched into fists and my face is going tight. I'm all of a sudden I'm totally, um, contracted. So I have a choice at that moment, noticing it to take a deep breath. No tragedy is gonna happen if I don't correct my child. At this moment, he's not gonna turn into a 33 year old bullet. He's three.
This is appropriate for a three year old who doesn't want to get out of the backs of disagreement me and anger because he feels that something unfair happened like he's being made to get out too soon. So when he does that, I can stop. I can notice my body sensations in my body that tell me I'm having this feeling I can name the field. I'm feeling so angry at this moment. I just want to smack this kid across the room, I had to grab him out of the bathtub and shaken. So noticing those feelings, huh? Take a deep breath. There's no danger here. It's not an emergency. That rest interrupts the entire process, and I have a choice about how to proceed.
Why is it important to label your emotions?
There is research that shows that when adults label what they're feeling,
it gives them more control over the emotionally and by control.
I don't mean they repress it.
I don't mean they just stuff it down and pretend it's not there.
It gives the label that they teach.
You notice the feeling,
but not to act on.
It gets the more choice in the moment.
And so I want to add a few important points about that.
That ladling is just another part of shining the flashlight on right.
Noticing what you're feeling otherwise were often just in the grip of what's going on.
And the frontal cortex is not really engaged.
The part of us that thinks the executive function,
we're just in the grip of anger,
whereas if instead we can pull the camera back a little bit and see ourselves there being angry and notice the feeling's right but work.
And we say,
I'm feeling really angry. Then we have a choice of Okay, I'm feeling a respected. I necessarily wanna act on it notice I'm saying I'm feeling I haven't said I am getting angry. I am angry because that implies that we're at the mercy of money. That anger is all we are at this moment. You're not just angry that we're under control. Exactly. Exactly. You are actually an adult, and you can choose how to act on this. I also want to say that sometimes there's a very common trope in parenting name entertainment that is supplied to Children. For when your child is anger. If you tell your child they're angry, they'll be less angry. I find that's a not true.
Most parents will tell you it's not true. You save your child. You're very angry. You're telling me I am not angry because doesn't it? Doesn't help the child feel understood. Instead, they feel like you're judging them or they're under a microscope being analyzed, right? It doesn't it doesn't shorten the emotional distance between at length and said no one wants to feel analyzed and no one wants to kill. Judged right. So the studies that were done, we're done with adults, not with kids, and we end it. It's important that Children feel understood, and it's great if the child can say,
I'm getting angry. I'm feeling angry right now. Stop teasing me to their brother or even to you. I feel like you're being unfair, Daddy. But it's important that we don't apply this to Children in a and, uh, not very thoughtful way, because then it actually will drive them further apart from us. That's a that's about coaching kids, so we'll talk about that in a minute. But just in terms of our own self regulation, it's important to notice what we're feeling. Yes, and also want Add our thoughts Creator Fields. So we have a belief system that says Children shouldn't raise their voices to their parents,
which most of us have, and not only shouldn't if they do, it's a dangerous situation. Every time your child raises their voice to you, you're gonna feel like dangerous signs they're flashing, and you're gonna get you're gonna become afraid. No one likes feeling afraid. It's a vulnerable feeling and we feel stronger when we're angry. So the response to fear and most enamels is fight, flight or freeze, right? Well, you're not freezing. Most of the time is apparent, although some parents do if they especially if they have abusive backgrounds. You're not running away,
out and leaving the room most of the time you're going to fight. So when you're afraid that your child is raising their voice and it's making you anxious, what the immediate thing that happens is you fly off the handle yourself, you go into anger. And if you can notice the feet, the thoughts that are creating those feelings, you can get those feelings in the butt. You can say, Wow, he's getting too far I and again, every time he gets defiant, I lose it. I'm gonna take a deep breath here. I notice I'm getting angry, but I can choose what to do. There's no emergency.
He's allowed to be defiant. He's a four year old, were even. He's a lot plying. He's a 12 year old and I can handle this in a constructive way.
It strikes me.
I have two kids who are eight and nine right now,
and it strikes me that there's,
like so many things going on embedded contextually in this regulating your own emotions.
Not only are you put in situations that you've,
are one offs or never really practiced before,
but you're also struggling between Ah,
this inherent sort of like almost hierarchy instinct of your kid is not the boss of you.
You're the boss of them.
On the flip side of that is like you want to connect with your kids and you you don't want to be their boss.
But you you know,
a lot of the books talk about being friends with your kids and,
not necessarily parents.
So you have all these sort of,
like conflicting messages.
And meanwhile, if you're in public, you have all of these people judging you. Um and you know, whether they're actually verbalizing that or not. You feel it as a self conscious sort of individual. You might feel that other people are watching you and sort of embedding themselves in that relationship. Or in that moment,
you're so right.
There's so much going on there,
due to the question you just said books say that you I don't want to be the boss of your child.
So I think there's a lot of confusion among parents today about this issue.
And I think that's because we don't have necessarily role models of adults who were able to be leaders in their homes,
able to be,
nurturers and still able to say no and provide clear right.
It is completely possible to provide the loving guys into your child while you say no while you set boundaries while you enforce rules,
we can do all that.
And not only that.
We need to do that.
Children need protection.
They need guidance.
No two year old is ready to make all her own decisions and no 12 year old or E.
Then I would argue 15 year old or 16 year old is ready to make all of her own decisions. Of course, the older they get, you know, into the teen years, the more practice they've had, the more their prefrontal cortex has grown, the better executive function they have. But that doesn't mean that they don't need a back and forth with you and still some guidance from you at that point. So I think that we need to learn and, you know, I'll give you a parallel here. We want every child to learn that they can get what they need in a given situation. That's an interpersonal situation with with somebody else, we can get within need without attacking the university. That's a given.
We want every that every planet to learn it every you know, because when they're older, they're gonna need to learn to get what they want in the workplace without attacking the other person right or or just in life, working with their relationship that they have a partner. So it's the same thing for us when they're little, we can learn to set boundaries with the child without in any way attacking them and attacking them would mean attacking. They're physically obviously smacking them. But it also would mean punishing plus into them, into two, to get back at them for having done something wrong in the hopes that next time they wouldn't make that choice right. You know, Children and this again gets to coaching and we can talk about coaching more in a minute, but really you can provide guidance and make it stick with our Children without being less than loving with Not that we are humans. Another work perk. Because we're humans, right?
We're not gonna be perfect. But our goal can be to function from a place that is not about who's right and wrong, but is more about the level of the heart. Where were the leader and we're leading from our heart. And what matters is compassion for our child, but also protecting and supporting our child to be their best self. No child is their best self that they spend all day on technology. No child is their best self when they go to bed at 11 o'clock at night, No child is their best self. When we're letting them run, roughshod over somebody else were, and that doesn't that includes your family like their sister. But it also includes, you know, running around at the restaurant and, you know,
making the waiter nearly droppings or making the environment loud. So other people who are they're paying customers at the restaurant or looking like unhappy about the fact that they can't have a peaceful dinner. There are many ways in which we hide our Children's socially and in our Inter personally in our homes and elsewhere that will be really important for that child to become who they are. And we can do all of that in a way that sets clear boundaries but is coming from a loving place. And I don't mean I've had people say, Oh, well, I lovingly spank my child. So I do think you do have to. No child is gonna perceive that as a loving you know, but because you're hurting your body. But I do think that there are ways to say, I know you want to be on, you know, playing computer games during the week. It's not gonna happen.
You need to focus on your studies on the weekend after your school work is done. I have no problem with your playing computer games, but it's not gonna happen during the week. And your kid is going to say, You know, if you loved me, you would let me. You're saying you know what I'm doing. This become that It is what's we'll see when I totally get why you're disappointed.
I want to come back to that example a little later on in the show.
When we talk about perhaps kids that have two households and the differing sort of ways that parents handle things and how that might create confusion for kids.
But before we do that,
I want to talk about connecting with our kids,
which is sort of like the second key to parenting.
What does that mean?
How is that different for dads and moms,
or is it different?
as I said,
it's a relationship,
It's not a set of strategies.
So if it's a relationship,
that's what the connection is.
And we know from attachment studies that babies as young as 14 months have formed an opinion about every adult who's important to them and whether that adult is trustworthy and by trustworthy,
I specifically mean, will that adult comfort them when they're upset? Well, that a difficult except the full range of feelings the child has, which includes not just needs and, um, need for comfort. Little anger. Is the child allowed to be angry with you? Is the child allowed to be who we are? And that includes be who they are minute to minute with all those inconvenient emotions and still be loved and still get their needs met not every desire but their needs. Met by the parents. And we know the kids as I say it down. His 14 months have already made that judgment based on the relationship they're experiencing, so as they get older, they build on that relationship.
Sometimes parents changed dramatically, and Children will change their working model of that relationship. It's good for kids to have more than one parent that they interact with more than one close person. It could be a grandparent. Could be a nanny. Could be teacher who stays in our life for a long time. Most teachers don't stay more than a year, but Children form working models based on every important relationship. Therefore, we know that they can. It gives them more deck of different ways to act. So in one relationship they may know that the other person has a harder time with them being angry. The other relation ship that parents find when they're angry so they learn that anger really is okay, and it's a very based on therapy. They may learn something about how to express the anger that that's more nuanced than other kids who just it's either okay, What is it?
Okay. But as they get older, they're building on those early experiences and learning how to have a relationship. And as I said earlier, they're learning. They're not just learning. Their neural pathways were being laid down in their own brain and body based on the interactions there are actually have their laurel to be. And then as they get older, they're modeling themselves after yes, and they're having, um, confrontations that are about values, you know, for your roles, have conversations with us about values. We just know that's what's happening when they say I don't want to go to her birthday party.
We say that she came to your birthday party. You have to go Well, that's a question about values. So that may or may not be the right decision. That's a different question. But you know, then when they're when they're eight and they say I don't want to go on that play date that we agreed to go. I want to change that play date and go with somebody else because at their house they have better treats. And they invited me at the last minute. Well, then again, that's what the values decision. Are they allowed to break that first playdate that they that some job was gonna be disappointed that they had a date because they got a better offer? You know, that's a question, you know.
And then when they're 12 do they get your discouragement or your encouragement when they suggest lying to get into the music for I'll pretend I'm ah, year younger, you know? So that's a values question, right? So who we how we relate to them well and sort of how we make all of the decisions in daily life will shape who they are in very visceral ways that they can't articulate but also who they are in terms of how they show up in the world for the rest of their lives based on their values. So they take themselves as me is tthe e way we connect with them different between dads and moms. Yes, I've got a part of your question. Yeah, so I think that the research shows that moms and dads are often different the way they relate to Children when there's a mother and a father in a household at the same time, all often, the mother is the more tender, nurturing parent. The father is the more playful, all exuberant parent.
The mother is the one who moves the child through the schedule, so she's often the disciplinarian. But the father might not spend as much time around. The child might not even have a name history of having worked out problems before or even move the child through the routine and might have less patients with a child and so might lose their temper more easily. That sort of that the stereotypes when parents live together. But and and we learned that nurturing is really important, that plane with the child being playful is really important that really parents both bring something important to the table there. And it is natural I will add, for Children to have a hierarchy of attachment objects people. So it is natural for a child who lives with both parents to have one parent who they select as being the one that they will most go to when they're hurt, because they know that parent is the their comfort object and, you know, it's completely it's designed by, and it's designed actually by biology that says, you know, don't waste time wandering around the tribal circle,
finding your aunt or your grandfather go straight to Mommy. She's the one who nursed you. She's the one who you know when you're most. She may be stirring the soup pot half the time while you're cavorting around with other people. But when you're hurt, she's the one to go to. As an example, however, until gas often feel a little left out there when there's a mom also in the picture.
In the same household,
dads will often feel left out,
and they'll feel like their relationship is not as close.
I want to say that that changes As the child gets older,
the hierarchy is less established,
and the child it becomes a more nuanced set of relationships.
So that does change always as the junkets older.
But that's a very commonly when kids are little so often,
we don't have that situation where there are two moms or two dads,
and I mean a mom and a dad off.
Sometimes they're too dead.
Sometimes they're two months.
Sometimes there's one mom or one debt in the household.
Sometimes kids go back and forth,
so I think when you ask isn't different.
What kept kids get ball?
Kids need the same thing from their parents.
They all need to know that they are acceptable exactly as they are with all their inconvenient feelings. Number one, number two that no matter what, their parent will be there to help them, to take care of them, to protect them, to give them food and shelter and emotional love. Physical love. We all Children need those things. They need them from both parents, and I would say they need to be delighted in it may be one of the most important things we can give our Children is a sense of being valued. Delighted him just for who they are when Children feel that we adore them, When we delight in who they are, they feel off value. It isn't about having to perform in a certain way. It isn't about having to produce certain things like get their their age or,
you know, be, you know, a considerate kit. Well, of course, we want them to do well in school when we want them to be considered it. But there are love with them, does not depend on or love Earth's unconditional it comes before anything they actually do. And the paradox there is that when we give Children unconditional love, they do much better. They do better in school. They do better with other people because they're not coming from a place of feeling, not quite loved and valued. So all Children need unconditional love, which which takes the form of delighting in our child.
So, you know, men and women dads and moms need to do that for their kids. And if your way of being with your child, whether you're a dad or a mom, used to be a little more boisterous and a little more fun and a little more trust her kids around, great kids drive on that. We know, um, if your way of being is a little quieter, but you read to them a lot and you hug them a lot and you're calm and you're nurturing, that's great, too. And I don't think it matters what gender you are.
I like how you sort of contextualized this unconditional love. I think often it seems, anyway, Maybe it's just my perception that people equate their child's happiness with love so things are done to please the child that may be it may not be in their best interests or responsibilities aren't given to them because we view it as love to take care of them.
that's such a great point.
But it's it's It's a little bit heartbreaking to consider that because this would mean that there are parents who are loving,
adoring parents who are unknowingly sabotaging their child's developed So a few examples.
Children want to grow.
They want to be competent.
Their self esteem comes from two things.
One is from feeling unconditionally loved and adored and valued and delighted.
But the second is from being able to get their needs met to do things well in the world.
All Children need to do that.
So the fact that we love them isn't enough.
It's the foundation,
but they need to be able to feel like they can learn to do something.
They won't when I do.
If they can't ever learn to do something they want to do,
And it doesn't matter what it is that they want to be. Maybe they want to learn to read or tie their shoes or ride a bike. Let's say we've got a five or six year old. It doesn't really matter what it is they want to do. But if they don't learn to do those things, they feel worse about themselves. So when you say not getting kids responsibilities, young Children want responsibilities. They want to feel that Betty can do things to contribute. All humans want to contribute. I want to feel good about our our impact on the world. And Children are not section that's on a need that they have. So getting hits responsibilities, not enough in an over way. Like, you know,
Cinderella clean the floor. You can't, you know, do we? You know, go see your friends later, but more in a We all contribute to the family way, and the research shows that kids who do contribute to the family do better. And there's a way to do that that is completely supportive and loving and help your child development into somebody who feels good about themselves, right and setting limits. Same thing you said, doing things to make kids happy. You know, we all know that our two year old thinks that eating every cookie in the box and never eating a vegetable will make them happy. We all know that's not good for two year old. There are many similar situations with 12 rolls.
It's the same thing. So making them happy is not the point, I think, accepting that they're unhappy about some of our limits. Yeah, that's an important point. That's an important part of what we give them. They're allowed to be unhappy when life doesn't go their way and they don't get what they want. Sometimes they still have to do those things, take a bath, share their toy with their sister, Um, sit down and do their homework. First thing you know, whatever it is that we're asking of them helped clean up the dishes afterwards. Those things that they don't necessarily want to do that are gonna make them quote happy,
unquote are all part of becoming a person who contributes and who feels good about themselves and who has a positive impact on the world. And sure they could be unhappy about it. They will grow resilience if we don't have those negative feelings and they learn the world doesn't end and you know they didn't do these things and come out fine in the end, and everything will be okay. Right? Growing. If we stop our child from growing resilience, it doesn't help him at all. Then we have unknowingly unwittingly raised a child who doesn't have the grit to go after what they want in life and get it. That's a recipe for unhappiness. A recipe for happiness is to help our child over and over again, choose to give up what they want at that bombing for something they actually want more and what they actually want more might be, too. Trying to think of the examples that I've just used, you know, if they don't want to help with the dishes every night and we insist,
you know, that's what we do in our house. We all work together. They become somebody who who gives up what they want, which is to run off and, you know, be in touch with their friends on their screens after dinner. Instead of helping with the dishes, they give that up for something they want more, which is to feel like a good person who contributes to the family and ultimately be. It's not just that that's good for their self image? Yes, and it's good for their sex life skills. Yes, and their ultimate independence. Yes,
something else happens to They develop self discipline and they develop resilience. They learn they can handle disappointment. They learn they can sit themselves out, do an unpleasant task. They learned that they can give up something they want in the immediate moment for something. They want more and they build. That's that's actually building neural pathways between the prefrontal cortex and the limbic system so they become better able to self regulate. This is a kid who go to college and when the other kids are going off, Thio get high. On Tuesday night, the kids say she now I'm gonna party on Friday night. I gotta study tonight and she takes herself off to live for. That's a kid who is able to be self discipline because they've practiced it and they build a brain that is more self disciplined. That's about resilience, is well,
Some parents are unable to get their child to do what they want without using force. Other parents do not want to be the parent that has to use force, so they may use bribes or rewards. All of these tactics presuppose that children are objects to be manipulated. Coaching can mean helping a child learn to handle their emotions effectively and also setting up an environment that sets children up for success and allows them to practice skills repeatedly.
I want to come back to sort of responsibilities and resilient. But before we move on, I want to talk about what coaching orders coaching your kids mean? He said. Coach instead of punished what's talked to me about that
so much of the time.
If we haven't given a conscious thought to this,
we find ourselves with a baby who's going into a toddler who wants certain things.
And we Here's this little human who we can't communicate with so well,
Theo and who really doesn't have much prefrontal cortex.
So we can't reason with them.
And we don't really know what to do to get them to do what we want.
So we just start using force.
We pick them off when they go to a place we don't want them to go to.
We we say no.
And then we start escort.
I said no and maybe slap their hand.
don't touch that.
But because we don't really know how to get our child to do what we want except through force.
And some parents don't want to be that parent, so they instead use drops. They use rewards. You know, all of that Presupposes that our child is on object to be manipulated. Um, or at least somebody doesn't have much brain power. Right? So we're We're, um we're using rewards and punishments as opposed to coaching the child to be their best self. So when I say coaching, I'm mean a few things. First, I mean emotion coaching. So the child can handle their emotions better. That's a big thing.
But I also mean coaching by setting up the environment. Which means maybe that thing you don't want our child to touch, we need to move away while the child's atop. Put it out hot. You know, maybe you don't wear, um, earrings. Well, when your child is 15 months old cause they're gonna grab your errands, you just stop where? Yours for a while. You can put them back on when your kids a little older. It's not a big deal, but coaching your child to not touch your earrings is gonna be for a baby. You know what 18 month old 15 mobile is gonna be pretty hard?
Maybe a start coaching means emotion. Coaching it means setting up the environment. It also means practicing, helping the child practice so they can learn certain skills because Children need to practice over and over again. As I mentioned your Brill building the neural pathways for self discipline every time the child willingly gives up something they want for something they want more. So the child who really wants to you know, um, you're at the beach with your two year old, and they're running down the the beach, kicking everybody sand castles and knocking them down. Uh, you know, they're gonna love to do that, but there's something they want more than to dock down the sand castles. They want a warm relationship with a parent, and you can easily get between them and the sandcastle and say,
Oh, no, don't hurt this sandcastle taking your child up looking or else getting down on their level, holding them and pointing to the beautiful sand castle and saying, Look how pretty. Oh, look, these kids are working so hard on their sand castle. Beautiful, nice and castle and then good sand Castle won't touch the sand castle. No kickers and castle and remove the child away. We might have to do that 10 times with our kid, but he's gonna learn, Oh, sand castles or something. We don't kick,
you know we can build our own sand castles and knock them down, but we don't kick other people's sand castles, and he's he's gonna be motivated to do it again building those neural pathways. Why the warm relationship with us if we just yell? No, don't Don't do that. You might stop because he's afraid. But then the minute or Baxter he's gonna be back to his old behavior, right, because he had no motivation to go along with us. But if we have helped him learn why, and then we practice it with them over and over again, he learns how to manage himself in relation to sand castles. Now he has to learn to have a management stuff also in relation to the candy bars in the checkout line of the groceries. For he has to learn how to manage himself in relation to the to the Children at the Children's Museum, who all want the same toy he wants.
He has to alert over the kids at the playground who all wanna, you know, go backward at the slot or he wants to go back, and he doesn't want to share it, so he will have to manage himself over and over again. In many situations. His motivation will come from us, but we also have to help him practice exercising that self discipline. So he gains the brain power to do it basically, and also so he learns the skills. If he's. If we're talking about piers or siblings over and over again, you're gonna be teaching your kids to say, you can ask your brother, When will you be done that? May I have a turn?
You can tell your brother I'm still using this. You can ask your brother. Please give that back. So you're coaching your kids to learn the skills. So we said three things right, and the 1st 1 I mentioned was a motion coaching and emotions are we get in the way of all this the sand castles, the the working things out with their their sibling, the times that they just hit their sibling or go ahead and kick the sand castle. It's when their emotions are too big for them to manage and get in the way. So how do kids learn to manage emotions? A motion coaching, and this is why rewards and punishment aren't bad, effective because they don't actually handle big emotions. So there's been some really wonderful research, really. Starting 34 years ago,
much of it was covered What march of the early research was covered by John Gottman in his book Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child. But there has been much more sense that time, and it's gotten more nuance. But Gutman's huge finding was that parents tend to react Kid's emotions in not reconstructive place. There are parents who react indestructible. Lt's those air the parents who say You look frustrated. Let's take a deep breath and then we'll try again. Or a pair who says that dogs bark is scary. I'm right here. You're safe. You're saying it's okay for the parent who says No wonder you're angry when she said that it really hurt your feelings. And then, in addition, technology, the parent might help the child figure out how to best respond to the situation. Like I wonder what you'll say to her when you see her,
when you know that the next door neighbor was said The Purple thing. I wonder what you'll say when you see here tomorrow and help this child actually consider different options. That's called emotion coaching. What the happened found is that most parents don't do that. They'll say things to the child like that's just a dog. There's no reason to be afraid or about the neighbor child. Oh, don't say such mean things about her. You know, you two were thick as thieves. You'll be playing again tomorrow. So the second person and the 1st 1 over the dog they both denied the child's feelings. They told the child it wasn't okay to have those fans. Sometimes shame is used. That's just a dog. Be a big boy.
You're a big boy. You're not afraid of a little doll that shame. So denial off the child's feelings. Shame. Sometimes there's punishment used. You know, when the child get as the finder and raises there was you and you threaten them with punishment instead of acknowledging that it's in fact a communication from return. Wow, you want a new dad? You're showing me just how mad you are to say that, sweetheart. You could be a smash. You want I'm gonna love you no matter what. That I am always gonna be your dad. I want to hear what you're so man, huh?
And you're opening the conversation to real communication that's coaching your child, your reestablishing safety. You're allowing the feelings and your modeling that even when things get tense. We could always work it out. We always will work it out with family and you're opening the door to communication as opposed to that's emotion country as opposed to denying, you know, you don't wish you out of new dad or shame me. How would you say such a thing to meet? You know how much I sacrificed for you or punishing? Um, you know your time out for you. You know you can't speak to me that way. That's disrespectful. Time out for you, which is a punishment. So why don't parents emotion,
Coach? Why do they instead respond to their child's emotions with shame or punishment or denial or distraction? It might be a simple well, as you know. Oh, you don't mean that. You know, let's talk about your upcoming birthday party, you know, or something. You know you. Oh, that's that was just a little That was just a little straight. Don't worry. Oh, look,
get the cute. You know, Birdy, um, whatever. So why do parents do this instead of emotion? Cookie, we're one they haven't had modeling. They don't have a motion, but there's something more important. And it's back to what we said in the beginning about self regulation. Parents get anxious when their kids have big emotions. They think emotions are dangerous. They don't see how to help their child feel better again. They get scared because no one ever helped them of their emotions. If parents can instead train themselves to take a deep breath,
remind themselves it's not an emergency. The child is just having a feeling it's not a permanent condition. The child's allowed to have feelings. That's portal. How Children develop unshakable self esteem and resilience is that me allow them to have their feelings. And it's part of how you build a big relationship with your travel. They trust you with everything, anything, and they were open to your influence. Ts. It's why I accepted all of their feelings. If you can remind yourself of those things, then at that moment you could just get curious. You don't have to jump in the solutions. You don't have to tell her how to make things better with her friend. You could just take a deep breath and say,
Wow, you sound so angry at her. I guess it must really a perch for a few months and she said that, and then she'll a lottery, and she'll then and she might say all kinds of things. Like I'm never gonna be her friend again. You can listen. You can say you sure are angry. How? That must have really hurt. You feel like you don't even want to be your friend when she talks that bad, huh? And then, at some point when she slimmed down, you might even say I wonder what will happen. But you see here tomorrow.
And if she says something like, I'm gonna tell her I'm never want to be your friend. Well, she's not a a state of mind to think constructively about tomorrow. So it was a little premature. It turns out that be, you could say. Yeah. So you're still angry enough to tell her you you don't even want to be friends with you? Hmm? I wonder what would happen then. I wonder what would happen. Notice you're not telling you what to do. You're allowing bird explore. That's approaching Also, you're not lecturing.
I wonder what would happen then allows her to about a reflective capacity. This is another still building right after you do the emotions. After you accept the emotions that you acknowledge at some point, we will help your job about the skills they need to solve the problem in this case, reflective capacity to consider. Well, what would be the best thing to do tomorrow? So culture is emotion coaching, and it's also helping your child to develop the skills to basically you person who can have a good life. That's country
Typically, humans are scared of emotions. Most of us were raised without an ability to befriend our emotions. Rather, they are seen as an unnecessary inconvenience. Ultimately, emotions are useful indicators of who we are and the world around us.
owner. How much of that carries over from adult interactions to adult kid interactions? Where, I mean, as you were saying that it struck me that there's a lot of adults who deal with sort of the adult version of those sort of examples that you brought up in the same way in terms of being dismissive about other people's opinion or are telling them, you know, Don't worry, it'll be okay. It's not that big of a deal, but it is a big deal to the persons who were almost practicing on a daily basis, the opposite of what you're talking about.
Humans are scared of emotion.
Mostly they don't have to be.
Not all humans all but most of us were not raised to be to be able to be friends or motions and ed best.
We see them as a necessary inconvenience.
The truth is,
emotions or useful emotions are indicators of something an indicator off something that matters to us or some place we need to grow or some place we need to change or something we want to change in the world around us.
That's not working for us.
So there's nothing wrong with emotion.
What's wrong is when we leap to take action without adding in the prefrontal cortex executive function that says,
But right now,
smacking that person we're having a meeting with is not the way to go.
We need to take a different action,
which has to do with,
you know, X y Z because we're work, right? Uh, you know, find out the, you know, go get the data to present our position and to strengthen our position and schedule another meeting and have another person, their combat back us up and whatever might be the way to go. So we need to I think all of us notice our relationship with our own emotions again, back to self regulation and notice that we we can teach our Children more constructive ways off being their best cells, that much of which has to do with managing emotions. And you're totally right that that we have on Mia's adults. We just think about an adult friendship where someone makes, you know, access.
If what you're think thinking or what you're feeling is not, you know, a big deal. You know what we all want is just to be listened to. I hear from a lot of times I hear from mothers that they will vent to their partner and their male partner will still sudden will just immediately start to problem solve. And they didn't ever want him to problem solve. And it makes them feel like they're incompetent. They just wanted a chance event. And that's true for Children as well noticed. With the altercation with the neighbour child, we are lecturing or solving her problem, giving her a chance to bend, and they were giving her a chance to solve it herself, right to develop those skills. That's what all humans want. We don't want someone telling us what to do.
It makes us feel and confident, but notice why the male partner did that because he was anxious and he got to two. He could see clearly what she needed to do. He thought anybody could have been right. And he wanted Thio alleviate her upset. He thought she would feel better if he just told her how to handle it. But of course, that came out of his own desire to take charge in, be a good guy and take care of her. And and it actually wasn't what she needed it all. She just needed to be allowed to have her feelings. And maybe some of it came from his own discomfort with those big emotions. Maybe if she was venting, it made him feel like, Wow, Here's my usually sweet,
calm partner and she's like venting and yelling and she's so upset about this and like, this makes me really uncomfortable, Right? Might even be pushing old buttons for him. So we all when we get uncomfortable with someone else's feelings, that's when we, um, handle them in and not necessarily constructive way and the rule of thumb. Whether you're dealing with an adult or a child is always to accept the person's feelings as they are to allow them to remind yourself it may not be permanent. The feelings probably isn't, and they're allowed to help whatever feelings they have. And it will be so much better for them if you could just love them, complete with all of their inconvenient feelings,
Research shows that raised voices elevate the blood pressure of children. Ongoing conflict in a home makes children more anxious which can lead to them becoming more challenging to parent.
as you were talking about the partner who's prone to problem solving, it sort of brought up relationship problems and what what affect her relationship? Problems have on kids, and I don't mean sort of like physical abuse, but, um, parents you can't connect o r can't model, um, affectionate or well functioning relationship for their kids?
we are still learning the answers to that question,
but here are a few things we know.
One thing we know is that when there are re these voices,
Children's blood pressure and adrenaline shoot up,
and that's true of babies.
even if their nonverbal shoots up and includes babies are asleep.
But your lab boys isn't I get worried.
So if there's ongoing conflict in a home or just ongoing raised voices,
Children will become more anxious and more,
challenging because there were anxious.
So conflict is not good for kids.
When kids do see conflict that's falling.
They don't think it's You don't have to have a home where they never see any conflict.
But then you want to work out the conflict in front of them.
So if possible, you want to work it out at that moment, will air. You're trying to go somewhere, and one parent yells at the other one is now we're gonna be late. Why do you always take so long to do X Y Z and the other one says, Well, if you would just help get us ready to get out the door. I'm the one who had to go around and locked the house and make sure the dog was dead and and, you know, get the apple pie that we're bringing to the dinner and the kids were hearing this altercation. It's really important that once you're in the car, you're driving, you take some deep breaths, one of you says to the other one in front of kids are in the back seat. I really saw Ari for my contribution to getting out of the house,
like now it could be either partner. It could be. The partners says you're right. That I don't think of things like wrapping the pie and Saran wrap, or I knew it was made. I didn't think about it or, you know, getting the dog fed or, you know, whatever. And you always do. I really appreciate that you handle those last minute tests. I'm sorry I lost my temper. I just got worried about being late. And if you're the other partner and you're still the 1st 1 to speak with you because you're the one who has the ability to take care of this good, you're the one who's thinking about this issue cause we're talking about it and we'll use it next time It happens at your house,
you could be the other part. And you could say, because even though you got attack, um, women, which partners which you But you could be. You could be the partner who's who first thought that the person had done the wrong thing. And you could say, you know, uh, you're the partner who in fact, was doing all these things you could say. I'm really sorry that I wasn't ready to leave the house when you said I knew we were trying to get out of the house and 5 30 And you're right that I was still doing things five or 10 minutes later and we got out of the house late. Those things were important to do. I'm sorry. I didn't think to communicate with you about them half an hour before so we could work together on them.
And I'm sorry I attacked you for not working with me on them. I should have clearly expressed the list of what I saw that had to be done so we could work together. So it doesn't matter which person you are, Whether you attack the other person or you were felt attack, it doesn't matter. The thing to do is to extend an olive branch and say, I'm sorry for my contribution to this. And part of it is the exact thing I just did the exactly what you're saying, but which you're not. But the content, But part of it is also I'm sorry that I got frustrated with you. I'm sorry. I acted like it was all your fault. I'm sorry I didn't take more responsibility earlier on to avoid the problem. And I want to work together with you. in the future.
On this, let's figure out a way that we don't have least we seem to have this argument a lot. Let's figure out a way that we can have this fall off, but the past, next time. I don't like it when we raise our voices to each other. I love you so much and I don't want that kind of relationship with you. I always wanted. I know we can always work things out and we can figure this out. The two of us are smart enough to figure out a better way to handle this notice Your kids are watching for the vaccine. What are your kids learning? Wow, some people get frustrated. Sometimes people get frustrated, they raise their voices each other, but they can make up.
They could be reasonable. They can extend the hand of peace they can apologize for. Their part of the deacon of the other person is still stewing. And if the other person is still angry and doesn't know how to respond at that point and doesn't you can say I could see you're still angry about this, I know we'll work it out later. We'll make a plan to work it out when we get home. Right now. Let's just have a good time, okay? We're gonna get there a little bit late. It's gonna be okay. We're gonna all be okay. Are our host won't mind or whatever. You know, you make it less an emergency. And then maybe you said stay.
Who's up for music? What kind of music? To be one of you switch the subject. But your kids got hot. There's proactive things they can do and that their kinds are not. Because if you just don't mention it again, your kids don't know how that gets resolved. They don't have any role models. What about
parents who suppressed that? Thio? That sounds like a very constructive you. Right? See, on one hand, you have people who argue and don't resolve it on. They could see that. Then you have parents who who sort of get into a moment or he did the heat of the moment. Something happens that they would otherwise not want to you. And then they demonstrate sort of a correct way or a very adult way to deal with the situation. What about the people who suppress that and don't don't actually say anything, but then feel something and can't communicate that to their partner. How does that affect the parenting relationship?
So they feel so we know they feel so.
But they're not modeling that a child child to work that out.
So the parent child relationship,
he's eroded a little because the child sees that parent is not completely emotionally trust this parent is capable of attacking the other pain,
or this can't let themselves be attacked and doesn't stand up for themselves and doesn't try to work things out.
This person is somewhat powerless in at the mercy of relationships,
or this person did the attack and didn't take responsibility for either way.
The parents not taking emotional responsibility and the child sees them is not completely trustworthy,
so the child can still have a good relationship with that person.
But maybe the child feels they need to protect this parent in the future from the other parent,
and that's a responsibility or child should not have.
Or maybe the child sees the sport parent of the attack packing,
and they don't totally trust this parent not to attack them sometime,
So it's gonna affect your relationships.
That's one thing. Of course. You're also modeling a less than constructive way of relating to a partner for your child, right? And of course, you are undermining your over marriage or other partnership, right? Because you're not. You know, I totally understand not knowing how to make it there. I understand being in that car and not knowing what to say, or a feeling furious like how come he always attacks me for this one? I'm always the one who pulls the weight around here, or the other person saying to themselves. It's not because of those things. It's because she put on her makeup for 20 minutes or whatever it is,
and they're still holding a grudge against each other. I understand being in that position, but if that's where you find yourself, then you need to do some work on that because holding the grudge will erode your relationship. Now you said, What about suppressing it? A lot of people I don't know howto work out conflict that constructive way, so they just swallow Oh, it they just remind themselves This is my partner, my love. You know, we're gonna have blow upset is it's fine. We'll really know. And as they're getting, maybe not in the car. But as they're getting out of the car,
they might squeeze their partner's hand. Whisper. Sorry. Or they might have whispered, Sorry, they may just be some partners hand and say, Let's have a good time, Okay? And that's that, right? And then it's swept under the rug. It's forgotten about, but what happens there is that you're you. You're putting a little brick in a wall between you and your part, a wall off unaired un explored on unmarked, out Read Ince's where you basically think your partner was acting like a jerk and you were right.
And that's the brick. The brick is a judgment that it's all their fault, and next time you have an altercation, it will be worse because you didn't actually work this one out. When you say stuff, what if you just suppress it? Suppressing conflict does not work, but also it's pressing conflict as an attack on the other person doesn't work. What works is taking responsibility for everything you can take responsibility for in your end of it, and having compassion for your partner which opens the door to them being able to have compassion back and to take responsibility for their end
to get cigarette into. Sort of like how do we encourage kids to take more responsibility? You know, recent example I had was my kids went to school and it was raining and they didn't have rain boots. Ah, and I had sort of prompted them in their 89 And I just kind of let them go with their shoes, Um, as sort of a natural consequence to that. But I'm always looking for ways to am looking like Is that age appropriate? I don't know. But I mean, I'm always looking for ways to give my kids more responsibility, and I'm not quite sure what that means. Can you help me understand that?
that's that's a great question.
And I was using responsibility in the emotional sense of spent snapping up and taking responsibility for your end off off thermal altercation with one of your white.
It's about stepping up and take responsibility for every action you take,
if you want a good life,
it's about taking responsibility,
even for the thoughts you have.
Because the thoughts create the emotions.
So if your thought is just to finish that last night,
if your body is my partner is being a jerk for my partner often is a jerk.
You're gonna have a very different relationship.
if your thought is wow,
we always have a hard time.
We're leaving the house because of X,
y and Z,
but we could solve those things, like, very different if we work at it together as a team, very different. So responsibility for themselves as in wearing boots. So age appropriate? Yes. So So, First of all, a five year old doesn't care if their feet get wet. So they're gonna resist putting on their boots unless they love their boots and it gives them permission to stop in the puddles. And then they'll be thrilled about the boots right? But the five year old is not probably think about the boots themselves usually wears an eight or nine year old could consider that Yes, boots. It's raining boots or a smart idea, but is that a habit yet,
right? I mean, some people don't use umbrellas, they just don't have a habit of using umbrellas, and it would never heard of them to take in a brawl, right? Other people are in the habit Every time it rates. They grab an umbrella, right? So what is so part of it is? Is there a habit off? Oh, it's raining. What's the checklist for things we do in? It's raining the check. Those days we were our release,
and we were We grab an umbrella, maybe, or we we put on a raincoat, right? So do your kids have that checklist? Most eight or nine year olds we need help with? That check was depending on how much it rains where you live, right? So so it's aged appropriate that you had to remind the first B they resisted. What else is age appropriate with kids in the maybe not at 67 as much, but certainly by nine or 10. What's age appropriate? They're concerned about what their peers or doing if they're wearing rain boots while their peers be wearing Rainbow DS when they get to school. If not, will they be feeling uncomfortable? They rather have wet feet than have that happen.
So that's also H appropriate for that age so they might resist the rain boots for that reason. So the first thing I would find out if I suggest rain boots and they don't want to wear them, is it Sounds like you don't want to wear him. Do the other kids were Randall's. You trying to find out why they don't want to wear a bit too much? Just asked explicitly, And they might go, I don't like him. And then you might have to ask, Why don't you like him? Or they hot? Do they want with their shoes and change back when they get to school? Do they not think there are People will be very wet? Would they rather have wet feet, then have needs that look dorky, You know,
like what's going on with that? So they might well just tell you the truth at that point, if you have a good relationship with them and they know you won't laugh at them, which is, they're just dorky dad. Everybody makes you know when Pete's were rambles. The cool kids don't wear Reynolds. That's maybe what it comes down to, you don't know, and then, you know, you might have to establish that the cool kids get dropped their by their parents and cars, whereas your kid's about to stand at the school bus stop and get on the school bus and they might have three what deep by the time they get to school and with a really rather have wet feet instead of, you know, looking, You know,
cool when they arrive, and Dave could bring their shoes with them to change to whatever. So there's all of that stuff that goes on. But I guess you know, responsibility is a complicated thing like responsibility. I don't think this was about responsibility wearing their reign Bud's. I think it was about making a considered choice because it was things just much more nuanced than that responsibility might be. Did they bring home their history bowl when they have to study for a history test? And that was their responsibility? That would be a question of Did they take responsibility for that and for the ad? When did they begin to take responsibility? I think as soon as it becomes clear that no one's gonna rescue them, you might rescue them. The first right the first time when they come home, they go, the nine year old says you say?
Hey, what's your Hummer situation? Um, book report and history test. Well, you have a history test tomorrow, huh? Yeah. So is it Is it for the chapter you've been doing on colonialism or whatever it is? And the kid goes, Yeah. And then then when they go to sit down and work on it, they realize, Oh, my goodness, I forgot my history.
And you say Oops. Wow, That's a big Stig. I'm not entering it into the school. Now. How are you gonna solve this problem? And your kid's gonna start trying to solve the problem. They might think you should drive them back to the school and they should try to get into the school. And the first time in captains, I would even do it. But probably never again. And I would be pretty clear about it. Wow, They goodness, We were still able to get into the school. Thank goodness I had the ability to drive you back today.
The time. But you know what? I want to let you know your studies or your responsibility. So it is your job to make sure that you don't forget your books. So it's only the beginning of fourth grade. I was willing to do it this time. But from now on, not gonna happen. So how are we gonna avoid this problem next time? And then the next time they're probably still gonna forget their science full. And at that point, you're going to say, Oh, buddy, I'm so sorry. No,
I can't do that right now. I know. I know I could I'm not going to. It's your responsibility. And you didn't remember it. Remember, we came up with this system. Sounds to me to make sure you have all your books at the end of the day. Sounds to me like you didn't use that system, but I'm betting after this you're gonna use the system. So what can you do? And maybe they're gonna figure out that they can call other people and you know, whatever that they have some notes that they can refer to Whatever. And maybe they're gonna just totally screw up the test. And maybe they're gonna be angry at you about it. And if they are,
you can say I can see why you'd rather blame me than yourself. I totally understand that. And it's your responsibility. I'm here to help you in any way I can to come up with a good system. And I'm willing to queasy every day about whether you were able to maintain your system. Remember to bring your book. So but I'm not going to be a fail safe, and I'll say it wouldn't be the word. I'm not going to insure victory. Six degrees. Yeah, You're gonna cure your success ultimately, cause I wanna be there when you're in high school and college to be able to go with your textbook with you. So now is the time to look
like what you said about sort of dealing with Children. I think you talked about it. Just cursory in your response there. But how a child is prone to avoid responsibility or shaped the world so that somebody else is at fault and not them. How can we deal better with those situations where Children are prone to put the reason? Like if my son forgot his lunch or something, you might say that you know, it was my job to remind him. How do we deal with that sort of things?
let's take the lunches as a great example,
cause every parent has fallen through that.
the minute you notice that you're the reminder mean you won't bring the lunch for them when they're fought without even thinking twice.
But it's some point.
And I would say five is a great time If you haven't started already.
You wanna work with them to pack their backpack?
What goes in your backpack?
This goes you're showing Tell thing for tomorrow,
And then as they get older school ball so they are always working with you should pack their backpack,
and if it's the night before that,
they're packing their backpack.
Then something goes on the front of the backpack that reminds them about anything that's not in the backpack That has to be added at the last minute,
like the lunch.
So that morning before they go out the door.
If that if you notice the thing is still on the backpack, the lunch reminder you would stop before you got the door and go. Does everybody have everything we need? Your kids are like, yeah, yeah, and you would say so. We have our backpacks. We catch less like that's all good. And what about any reminders for anything he had ad this morning and your kid goes, Oh, it's my lunch And then reason they get their lunch, and over time your kid is gonna teach to themselves to remember that their lunch was in there. You should not be by the time they're eight or nine years old, reminding them to get their lunch. This should be something.
Certainly an eight or nine year old can remember their lunch, and it's their job. And if your kid says to, I forgot my lunch and you didn't remind me the first thing to do is take responsibility if indeed, you're usually during longer. If they haven't about this practice because you didn't help them do it. As I've just described, then you are responsible because you were the reminder you were the reminder. It's sort of like if your partner's puts the gas in the car and and you run out of gas, you really do have a leg to stand on when you say and
the car ran out of gas
gas in the car in two years,
you're the one always doesn't.
Why don't you do it well,
isn't really their fault.
you ran out of gas.
But there's a way in which they're always the one who keeps gas in the corps.
Maybe they use it more often.
Maybe there's some other reason.
So So you really are right.
In a way,
you've trained yourself not to do that,
not to notice.
So your kid is run,
You're the reminder.
So if a kid said that to me and I really I looked at that honestly and thought,
Well, it should be your responsibility, but honestly, I remind you every single day, know what do you think? It's my job? I would say, Wow, you're right. I did for get to remind you. Oh, my gosh. I can't believe I forgot to remind you. All right, well, I am really sorry about that.
I'm so sorry. You don't have a lunch. You may or may not, by the way, be able to bring the lunchroom. Maybe you're working. You can't bring them a lunch. In which case you say I am so sorry. You're gonna go without lunch today. We're gonna come up with the system tomorrow, you know, started to my to make sure this never happens. again, you know? And then you're done. Um,
you're probably not bringing the luxury. If it really is that you've been reminding them and you can bring them the lunch. I don't have any problem with bringing in the lunch, but again, I would that might say so. You know, I thank goodness I dictated it in your launch, but we're never gonna go through this again. The true case, I can mostly can't bring your lunch and it's not my job to. And it's not my job to remind you it's your job to bring your lunch. So let's come up with a system that works. And then you start training your child justice I describe before, no shame. No, Blaine,
no. You should have learned this five years ago. Just right now, we're gonna start, you're gonna learn how to do this, and we're gonna work together and you play the same sort of like, you know, something obvious. Like potty training were very involved in the beginning and over time were not involved at all. And it's the same thing with remembers lunch, right? Or any other skill. So we're very involved up in the beginning, but it's their job to master it, and then we're not involved.
It'll and what if it's clearly their job or the You know we're using a lunch example, but it could be anything where it's clearly their responsibility and they're not accepting blame. Is it just a matter of acknowledging their feelings and then reminding them that they're actually responsible for that task? Uh, well, we could go back to the lunch example. So if you know every day, you're in the habit of putting the lunch on the counter and it's the child's job and they acknowledge it's their job to take it from the counter and put it in their book bag. And then they get to school and they find their lunches in there and they came home and they said, Well, you didn't remind me, even though that's not something, you do it. It's a way that we sort of verbalize avoiding responsibility for our actions and our role, which is aged, appropriate and contractually important. But kids kids often sort of absurd, find ways to create a situation or not see reality as it is, so that they're not responsible for what you're talking to them about Haven't especially creative nine year old at this.
So I would say it is never about blame.
And if you want Children to take responsibility,
it's a good idea.
Chuck created the household that said nobly,
and you could call it a solutions,
not blame housing.
We're a family that looks,
you're so stop playing.
So I would start.
There is a premise.
If it's about blame,
why would any of this?
I would work as hard as I could to get out of blame if I felt like I was just getting blamed.
But if it were a matter of,
I was empowered to find a solution,
I'm I'll take responsibility for anything cause that I'm in control of making it better for myself,
for the future, right? So the lunch on the counter, your nine year old or a year old comes home, and they say I I forgot my law. I didn't have my launch. And you say, Oh, I'm so sorry. You must have been hungry. What's your fault? You didn't remind me. Wow. Wow, You think it's my fault? Notice you just restating here.
You think it's my fault because I didn't remind you. I made your lunch, but I put on the counter and usually you take your lunch and you put in your back. But I didn't say anything about it. You know, I never say anything about it, and usually you remember. But today you didn't remember. And it's my fault, huh? Your kid will probably look a little sheepish because you just made clear was saying and say, Yeah, it's your fault. You know, I was stressed out. You know,
I was really stressed out getting everything ready to go today because of X y Z. And you didn't remind me. Yeah. I didn't know you were stressed out. Honey. I knew it was a stressful day for you. And when it's stressful, it's really nice to have extra support. And I might try to support you in any way I can. And I didn't give you the support of reminding you about your lunch. That's just a given that it's your job to get your lunch even when you're under stress. I'm really sorry that you forgot it. I'm so sorry you went hungry. Now you're not trying to make them say uncle, you're tryingto admit that you're rushed. You're just You're You're saying I am sorry that you I do try to support you when you're under stress.
I'm sorry. You're under stress. I'm sorry it made you forget your lunch. It's hard when we're under stress to remember even things that are a routine for us. It can be hard. Remember things that that you know, you should remember things that even even that we would think we would remember. I'm so sorry that you didn't remember. I don't think it was my fault. And I hear how you wish you could blame someone else. Because it's hard to then in that situation. You know what, sweetie? Where solutions not blame family. Right? So I'm not blaming you,
but I need your responsibility to take your lunch. So let's look for a solution that will help you next time. Your kid will probably say I think the solution is for you to remind me. And then you laugh at that point and say I hear you. Wouldn't it be great? But you know what? You're capable of developing the skill of remembering your own lunch. I've seen you do it. I know you're capable of it and, uh, support you to development. I'm not gonna be your memory for you, because for the rest of your life, I'm not gonna be there for you to be your memory for a small test like this. So what solution could we come up with? That would make it easier for you to remember your lunch in the one.
And then you go back to you know, if they have a backpack that's packed and they don't have a reminder on it, it says lunch they won't necessarily remember. I mean, I don't know about you, but I have gone out of the house and forgotten something that I had to add at the last minute. But I was gonna bring Lets water from the fridge because I didn't have anything on my backpack saying that I was gonna bring it, you know? And even though my briefcase was all packed, I didn't have that thing in it, right, That have for some reason, had to be added at the last minute. My phone charger, whatever. We've all done that.
So just to say, you know, we've all done this. No blame, no shame. Hunt evolved on this. What some solution that you could use to have a built in reminder for yourself that isn't your dad.
I think that's great. Um, there's a whole bunch of questions I want to get through. So maybe we can switch to more rapid fire answers here because we had a lot of people sort of submit questions that I want to make sure I get a ton to get to you. So talk to me about what the role of nature in family is. You had mentioned this on another interview. You did, Ah, the importance of sort of nature in terms of calming people down in terms of being outside and kids. Playing
there is growing.
A growing body of research about the power of nature went,
and we are in green spaces.
It comes us down,
and our immune systems work better.
the immune system is about 50% more effective when when you spend two hours out in nature,
your immune system is about 50% more impact of the number of T cells.
you have it.
It's like 50% more for for several weeks afterwards,
how effective it is that amazing?
So So we know the Children need to be nature,
and adults need to be nature,
and we all need to be nature more often than we are.
It helps to see nature,
even if you can't be in it. But it's, you know, seeing a screensaver of trees is a very minor positive blip in your system. Where is being out in trees is a very big positive blip. Insist your system, you know, driving past them will be a small positive blip. You know what I'm saying? So so, yeah, nature is really important. And the more families can build that into their lives, You know, it's easy for us to think our Children have a need to be educated. I need to take them to do something that's educational but actually blew them. More than that. We haven't need to interact with the natural world, and Children love it. You see a difference in their behavior.
How do we prepare kids for step siblings?
step siblings implies host of other issues.
So it naming that there is a step parent about to happen right?
And and there may be a new home about to happen at least half of the time on.
through might be step siblings.
Or maybe there are new baby step siblings that are now arriving to a situation that's already got a step parent in a second,
a different home,
a new home.
So if it's a new baby coming,
you prep kids much the way you would for any new baby.
And there's an enormous amount of,
content on the ah ha parenting website.
My website is a J parent 19 dot com, and there's a lot of content about prepping kids for the new baby, including prepping kids for unacceptable. If you're merging two households and you're going to have step siblings who are the age of your Children or any age, really, but they're not babies, then you need to be aware of your child's likely response to that which is, their child will be worried about getting their own needs. Bad. Worried about fairness, whether Children will be treated fair amount, worried about whether their parent will still love them just as much a will. They lose their special place in their parent's eyes, so setting up structures that will help address those fears will help your child to go into it easily. So everything is fair. Game from session will have regular meetings.
I could never look any more than I love you. Here are the rules about discipline, for instance. You know it's you know you're my kid. Therefore, I'm in charge of your guidance. You know your your step, Mom, those are her kids. She's in charge of their guidance. You may think things or someone unfair sometimes because I'm more strict about screens. On the other hand, I don't punish and give time outs the way she does. We're gonna have our own approaching discipline. We're gonna always try to talk about it and be as fair as we can. But I am the final,
uh, authority when it comes to you, and she's the final authority with that whatever. So I guess I'm saying that your child will have a lot of concerns as much as possible. Think about all those concerns might be addressed, Um, but also build in, assume there's gonna be a rocky period of adjustment and build in ways to handle things as they come to the surface. So you don't do. Your kid doesn't just have to shut down and go along with stuff and not express
Often, parents allow the step-parent to do the disciplining for their step-children. There is not always trust between the two parties. Stepping out of the role of disciplinarian allows the step-parent to connect with the child in a warmer manner. Start with the relationship, not with the discipline.
it. What's the most common thing you see go wrong when families sort of blend together?
I have seen that.
it's so hard to make a blanket generalization here.
I have seen that often parents allow the other parents do the disciplining for their job.
They got it.
Now they're a family unit that,
the new step Dad,
where things get Mom's and she's home.
Or let's say,
that that parent is the disciplinarian for all the kids or is equally allowed to be disciplinary for your kids.
And there's I just think it's a mistake.
I think that no one is going to be as as a create in their guidance of your child as you are.
Even your even the child's other natural parent,
you may feel,
is a less good parent than you are. Often we feel that way. Well, our ex right, but certainly been moved, stepped out her mom on the scene. There are two reasons. One is they're not gonna be seeing the child the way you are. They don't know the child as well as you do, and they they are not going to give the child benefit of the doubt the way you will there. They don't necessarily have your child's best interests at heart on a stable. Oh, it's that simple. In fact, I'm gonna say something really big here, which is that,
um, when a new man comes on the scene in a child's life, a new man is now with your mother. Their risk of being abused or in fact being killed in childhood, goes up. Now that's a huge thing to say. And it's not true in most instances, obvious. But it is an indicator that that new man is not necessarily going to be nurturing that child the way their dad would write or their moment. And it's It's not his kid, and he's not invested in that kid the way you are. So I'm not saying, Obviously no woman listen to this is going to be inviting a man into her life that she thinks would be bad for the child. I know that I protect a saying that bleed. There is a kernel of truth there about That's a thought, his kid.
And so I have seen that go wrong many times you said, What's the most common thing? And I've seen back well, wrong in small ways that still turn out to be pretty significant for that child, which is that the the step Dad has different expectations. He doesn't understand what's age appropriate for that child, and he's gets angry if the kids. And then there's this big bone of contention between the parents and the step down in them and the mother or fighting all the time about the kids, which is bad for their relationship. And it's also bad for the Children. So I've seen that happen many times, and I've seen the reversal. So where the step mom ends up being the disciplinarian in wants, her helm kept to a certain standard. And when the dads Children visit every other week, she gets really frustrated with him,
right? It. I'm sorry to say it happens, and so the bad parent should not be the disciplinarian. The other thing is that very well meaning step. Parents end up in situations where they're disciplining and roads the relationship of the trial. It's very hard to be a step parent. The child does not come into this. Assuming you're a nice person has their best interests at heart. Necessarily, They may resent you. They may be jealous of you getting the parents attention. They may wish that their parents would get back together. They need whatever they won't necessarily be giving you the benefit of the doubt. If you can set out of the role of disciplinarian and connect with the child in a warmer manner, you will build a relationship that will allow you to influence the child and to have a better the child will be more willing to follow your guidance and behave better after that. Let's start with the relationship. Don't start with this. It's a discipline ever.
I like that. It sounds like a parent should obviously have deep, meaningful conversations around. Sort of had they wanna handle this stuff and what sort of expectations they have and how, though they'll find a way to surface their concerns as they emerge. Households. Um, I want to switch gears to the next question, which is how important is an evening routine, and how do we go about building and evening routine for kids
on eating team,
just like a morning routine,
is very important because Children like to know what to expect.
It builds their security,
and then they act out less.
And they also learn best practices for living.
So they get used to doing things like brushing their teeth that otherwise they wouldn't have a natural inclination to do necessarily or remembering their lunch in the morning because the morning routine.
So it's important,
I would say it also helps to build into the routine connection time because the otherwise are always reinventing the wheel and trying to remember to connect with our child.
If it doesn't come naturally,
we're always busy,
so building that into the routine strengthens the relationship.
So it's very important for that reason to it gives us an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with their child.
How do you come up with a routine?
you start with your then talk What?
When do you want your child asleep? Well, what does that mean in terms of when you need to turn out the light? Well, what does that mean in terms off when you need to get your child into the bed and what happens between getting into the bed and turning out the light. Maybe there's a story. Maybe you turn out the light, and then there's a little bit of time where you struggle with your kid or, you know, talk. You say prayers or you sing a little song. Are you talk about what they're grateful for? That happened today. What? They're looking forward to tomorrow. So thinking about that and sort of actually not sort actually.
Mapping it out on paper allows you to back into when each thing has to happen. Well, given all that, when do they have to be out of the backs up and into their pajamas? You got all that? Well, today, I have to get into the bathtub. What do they are you gonna roughhouse with them a little bit first? If you get them laughing, it reduces their attention. They fall asleep more easily, you know, changes the body chemistry. But you wouldn't want to do with it after the back because then they get brought up. So you have to go before the bath.
Well, when you have to finish dinner, well, if you're gonna go through your family practice of you're all gonna clear and wash dishes together. And that takes 15 minutes working together and making it fun with a special song on what We do it on me. Bop around dancing while we do it. When does that mean we have to have dinner on the table? When do they have to start homework? You're basically you're stopping eating return the minute the afternoon starts of a sets. So coming up sat idea on that timetable and then you might have that in front of you. But you would sit down with your kids and say So you need to be in bed with the lights off the next time. So what? What? Nothing you have to do. But from the time you come home from school to the time you get in debt, let them throw things into the list and then see what you can figure out about timing. But let them be part of that process so that they were with you on the schedule. And they even, you know, come up with the chart that you post
It depends on age. If a child wakes up on their own without an alarm clock, they are getting enough sleep. Parents should be cognizant of children who might be sensitive to light, though, and waking too early as a result. Crankiness is usually an indicator of this.
last question. I promise. Oh, sort of last question. One more question after this, but how much sleep should kids be getting
it depends how old they are.
There were charts online that gives average sleep needs for different ages.
But I will say the most important indicator is Do they wake up on their own without an alarm clock and about you waking them up?
If they don't,
they're not getting enough sleep.
There are kids who wake up as soon as the light shines in their room and they're in a cranky mood.
I would say those kids are light sensitive.
They need blackout curtains.
But when kids don't have noiselessly picking them up and they don't have light making love and they are waking up happy at,
seven AM whenever they need to get up for school,
then that's right.
They're getting asleep. Most kids don't we take it for granted. We have to use a large box. By the way, if you have to use an alarm clock and you're not getting mostly bad news, I know. But it's really true. So not good for you, head knocker. If you look it,
I totally agree. I had an alarm clock since I had kids. Um, where can people find out more about you are? This has been a great conversation,
so I have a website a h a like those ah ha moments.
Ah ha parenting dot com So a j parenting dot com It's about 1000 pages or more,
and it's for parents of all age kids so they can bruise that website to their heart's content.
I also offer on newsletter well,
if you get it once a week.
It's just a population of articles for that week.
If you get it three times a week,
you'll also get my blood posts for that week.
So two of those three will be the blonde post that's free.
You could just sign up and pay to the website.
I also have books you could look on.
Amazon were on my website for those books I three books out ones.
One is the kinds of things we've talked about today.
It's on siblings and sibling relationship,
and the 3rd 1 is exercises that you conduce.
You two have better self regulation to build a better relationship and more connection with your child,
and to learn how to culture child to do emotion, coaching and to set that are limits boundaries, you know, loving what? So that's the Whipple
awesome. Well, we might have to do a part two on this for siblings, and we kind of ran out of time here today. But we'll link to the books in the show notes, and really, I would highly recommend Laura's newsletter. It's one of the ones that I signed up for and read to help me sort of become a better parent. So I really appreciate you taking the time.
My pleasure was great, too talking. Those were wonderful questions.
Thighs. This is Shane again, just a few more things. Before we wrap up, you confined show notes at Burnham Street. Blawg dot com slash podcast. That's f A R N A M E S T r e t blog dot com slash podcast. You can also find information there on how to get a transcript. And if you'd like to receive a weekly email from me filled with all sorts of brain food, go to Farnham Street. Blawg dot com slash newsletter. This is all the good stuff I found on the Web that week that I've read and shared with close friends books I'm reading and so much more.