Learning to parent as a newly single parent after divorce has its challenges. In this episode I am joined by Darlynn Childress who is a parenting expert to talk about how to raise emotionally healthy children.
Darlynn opens up about her four step parenting process. She talks about why learning to emotionally regulate yourself is a key to creating an environment for true connection with your kids.
Listen in as we talk about parenting from a feelings first lens instead of a behavior first lens, while learning the balance between feelings first and then behavior instead of focusing solely on one or the other when it comes to your own parenting style.
You’ll learn why it’s important to look at your child’s behavior as a form of communication and that underneath all behavior are big feelings. Once you learn to understand better what their behavior is communicating to you as the parent, you can use that as an opportunity to connect and strengthen your parent child relationship.
To learn more about Darlynn Childress and working with her click here.
To listen to Darlynn's podcast "Becoming A Calm Mama" click here.
To schedule your complimentary consult with Karin click here.
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Grief and trauma are the two biggest struggles women deal with as they go through their divorce. It's highly likely that you are experiencing both and don't even realize what you're feeling. I'm here to tell you that it's okay for you to grieve your marriage (even if was shitty) and it's normal to be experiencing some kind of trauma (which is essentially a disconnection from yourself (your mind, body and soul). I can help guide you through the grief in all of the forms it show up so you can heal. I can also teach you how to ground yourself in healing so you can ease through the trauma. Schedule your free consult by clicking here.
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Interested in the Divorce Betrayal Transformation? Learn more here.
Are you lost and confused about who you are after divorce? Don't worry. I've got 51 Ways to Get to Know Yourself Again. Click here to download.
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Full Episode Transcript:
I'm Karin Nelson and you're listening to Becoming You Again, episode number 110.
Welcome to Becoming You Again the podcast to help with your mental and emotional well being during and after divorce. This is where you learn to overcome the trauma of your divorce by reconnecting with yourself creating lasting emotional resilience and living a truly independent life, so your life will be even better than when you were married. I'm your host, Karin Nelson.
All right, welcome back to the podcast, my friends today we have a very fun treat. I am joined by Darlynn Childress. She is a life and parent coach who spends most of her days helping moms stop feeling like crap and actually enjoy their kids. That sounds amazing. First of all, she is the host of the become a calm mama podcast. And she is the founder of the online calm mama club community where she shares practical tips and tools for parents. darlin, thank you so much for being here on the podcast today. I'm so excited to have you. Thank you. Me too. I love this, Karen. And I love your podcasts becoming you again. And really, what you offer to, to your clients to the people you work with a lot are moms from what I understand. And you talk a lot about their nervous system and regulating their their own stress response and how to take care of themselves and heal. And I love all of that. It's a lot of the work that I do. And so we're like kindred spirits. Yes, yes, I love it, too. I think that I mean, obviously divorced women who is my main, you know, audience for the podcast. Most of them have kids, and most of them struggle as a parent. And that is truly the reason I wanted to invite you on so that you could speak to those women who might be really struggling with trying to navigate what it's like to be a single parent, what it's like to co parent. And you know what it's like to try and figure out what do I do with these kids now that I'm on my own, I don't have somebody to lean on. And especially in those situations where, you know, you might not be on the same page as the parent who's parenting in the other house? Can you kind of speak to that a little bit about maybe your take on? Where do you even start with parents when they come to you and they're frustrated? And they're not really sure what to do with their kids? Yeah, well, I always start with calm. My I have a parenting process that I teach. It's four steps, and the steps are calm. That's step one. And that is about the individual, the parent themselves, calming their own stress response and the nervous system and regulating themselves. So that we can do what is step two is connect. And the Connect tool that I teach is a lot about emotionally coaching your children through their stress response and through their big feelings. And we, we can talk a lot about that on this. I hope we talked about this on this episode. But we can't really offer our children genuine compassion, and help them regulate their nervous system when we are activated. Oh, I totally, totally agree. And I can totally relate to exactly what you're saying. Because for me, like this has been something that I have struggled with, I feel like I'm in a good place right now as a parent, where I am able to really step into the space of allowing my kids to feel their emotions and giving them the space that they need to be able to do that and not having to try and fix their emotions or, but I have a daughter. And you may not know this, but I talked about this on the podcast a little bit. She is clinically diagnosed depression and anxiety. And so sometimes previous to learning about the nervous system and learning about myself being calm first.
When you know if she has an anxiety attack, I would be very anxious about her anxiety and I would be showing up as like this frenzy. We've got to fix this. Calm down. Why are you feeling this way kind of a person and it was stressful for me. I'm sure it was stressful for her. And so I totally understand that idea of really getting yourself to a calm place first. So that then you can show up for them in a very connective way. Yeah, yes. Exactly. In that that connection piece is really when you think about what what is gentle parenting, connected, parenting, conscious parenting, there's so many different labels compassionate parenting. When I was trained as a parenting educator, I learned nonviolent parenting it's all the same ideas of approaching our children from that feelings first lens instead of a behavior first lens. Yeah, and it's not feelings only. And it's not behavior only it's feelings first, then behavior. So when I teach my parenting philosophy, we'll go all the way into it, but we go calm connect, limit set correct. So I do teach a model, a parenting model that includes limit setting, and setting boundaries, and I teach parents how to set boundaries. And where that comes up with the co parenting of like, what door limits need to be the same in one house or another house? In? The truth is no, it doesn't, it doesn't need to be. That way. I like to think about it how kids know what it's like to be with different teachers, especially middle school and high school, you have six different teachers. And then you go to those different classes. And you know what to expect when you're in that one classroom, you know, you can get away with with this teacher, you know, what this teacher likes and how, you know, this one doesn't mind if you're late, and this one killers a lot. And this one lets us out early, and this one doesn't have a bathroom pass. They know, if they're able to move through the different environments and know what to expect and know what the boundaries are in those different rooms. Yes, that is such a good analogy, because it's so true. I have so many women who come who are coming to me and who are so frustrated with the either very strict parenting or lack of parenting, they feel that it's happening at the other parents house, and then they get their kids back and they just don't know what to do. They're like, do I set even stricter boundaries? Do I get upset with my kids for acting this way? Do I just let the boundaries go out the window and not have any control over my kids, they're just so confused on what to do. And that analogy just in and of itself, really lays everything out of like, you know, this is possible, like you can go parent, even if your other parent is not on the same page as you at all, it doesn't really matter. And learning to set those boundaries. Because I think sometimes with parenting, we think we either have to be very strict, and you know, laying down all the rules, or we try and connect with them through their emotions, and then we don't have any rules at all, because we just don't become a parent at all, because then that might make them feel a certain way or you know what I mean? And so I love these four steps that you've laid out where you connect first through emotions, but then you also have limits and you learn how to set those boundaries. Yeah, beautiful, beautiful. Exactly. I was just thinking about the example you said, you know, when your your child comes back from the other parents house, and I was thinking about an elementary school teacher who comes who has their kids all with PE or something or recess and they're in the yard, and that then they come back, they're still wild and they still have rambunctious energy or, or they've gone to the music class and the music teachers really strict or whatever it is. And then that that teacher, the regular teacher has to come back and say, Okay, we're back in this classroom. And this is how it works in here and resetting everybody and not blaming the PE teacher, or being resentful towards the music teacher and trying to overcompensate or under compensate for whatever happened. It's like, no, let's just parent the children that are directly in front of us right now. And meet the emotional and physical needs that are in front of us. Yes, that, gosh, that is such a beautiful thing of just let's parent the children that are in front of us right now. It's so goes along with what I talked about when it comes to really regulating your nervous system. And feeling safe and calm right now. Because bring everything back to the here and now is where where it's all at, right? I mean, trying to blame or resent the parent from whatever they did or didn't do when the kids were at their house really takes it back to the past and really focusing on what was happening then. And then wondering, is this going to happen every time and really worrying about the future? And so really just like centering yourself as a parent and saying, listen, these are the kids that I have right now that right in front of me, what kind of a parent do I want to be? How do I want to show up for them in this moment? And can I let go of this past what happened here and this future of what might happen? And really just focus on the here and now? Yes, I say you know parent, that kid in front of you, not the one you wish you had, or the one you're afraid there'll become. And I don't have my brains not working fast enough to think about how that works with like your co parent situation, but I'm just thinking like, you know, parent, the kid in front of you, not the one you wish your co parent would have parented or the one you're afraid your co parent will parent. Like circular Yes. If it's like right here right now, yes. What are the rules? What are the limits that need to be communicated? What are the big feelings like I think what I I have a lot of parents who are coached who, you know, their, their kids have experienced divorce, they're recovering, the parent is recovering from divorce. And the transition day is always a challenge and anticipatory grief can come up though, before the transition. So if
Your children don't want to go to the CO parent house for whatever reason, or they don't want to come back to your house, right? Like, it might even be thinking about either of those scenarios like, oh, I never want to come back from dads because you're so strict. I like going to Dad's it's so much better there. He doesn't, he doesn't care. He lets me watch whatever I want. You know, he lets me stay up. We always eat, you know, Cheetos, and Jack in the Box. And I love it there. And I love that word, anticipatory grief, because I talk a lot about grief on the podcast, and really processing it through just in terms of your divorce, and what might what you thought your life might have looked like or what you thought it was going to be or what you left behind or any of that. But I really hadn't ever thought about it in terms of from the child's perspective, and that being at one parent's house and thinking about oh, no, now I have to go, you know, to the other house, and I have kids, and I can't say that they're like, I think that my kids are very well rounded. And they're doing very well, and they have with the divorce, but just even thinking about, you know, their experience from that perspective of anticipatory divorce, you know, that just puts things into a whole new perspective. I think for me, and I'm sure for me, it's many of my listeners, Miss many of my listeners, excuse me, who do struggle when their kids have to go to another parents house? Or are having you know, this, maybe fight of like, why do they never want to be here? Why are they always so upset when they get here or something like that? And that is such a smart way of thinking about it? Can you just speak just a tiny bit more on
how you kind of help parents recognize that and what they might be able to do if there's a tip that you could give them to help them if they're recognizing this anticipatory grief that might be showing up? Yeah, well, I think, looking at our children's behavior, from the lens of thinking that this is a form of communication, and that there is always something going on underneath the behavior. And so when you're noticing, maybe they're going to transition on Thursday night, and Monday, everything seems great. They're having a good time. And Tuesday, everything's fine, no conflict. And then Wednesday afternoon, it starts to get a little bit tense, it's time to pack because they're gonna go straight from school or, you know, you know that there's not gonna be a lot of time. And you know, remember, you're going to dads and you got to, you know, if you want to bring anything for the weekend, you kind of maybe have those reminders. And all of a sudden, you see a change in mood, you see a change in
like disconnection from you. Maybe they pull back or they start fighting, complaining about things, the favorite shirts not washed some thing, right? And are in normal reaction is to stay sort of, in that circumstance, and talking about the thing that's in front of you, like, well, you should have told me to wash your shirt. I didn't know you know, you already have that shirt at dads. It's not that big of a deal. We start to like to talk them down. Yeah. From their feelings, or if they're acting out towards us. Don't talk to me like that. That's disrespectful. That's not okay. You don't talk to your mother like that. Would you talk to your dad like that? Are you gonna go to Dad's tomorrow? Oh, my God, right? We all know, yeah, I'm not. I don't actually have a video camera at any of your houses.
But I'm sure so many of us can relate to exactly that conversation, right? Yes, yes. Right. Because it is common. It's how we respond to the external behavior. And my invitation to your audience, your listeners, is to take a beat and think like, this is pain talking.
Or these are feelings being expressed.
Yeah, I love the phrase acting out people other acting out so much. They've been acting out a lot lately. And I'm like, Ooh, what are they acting out?
I love it so much. That's amazing. Yeah, I think that is such an important thing for parents to understand. And I think in a previous conversation we'd had you had said something about the, the emotion being, like this underlying thing like this underlying
something that's happening that doesn't really have anything to do with what's going on on the surface. It doesn't really have anything to do with you even most of the time. It really has to do with what is going on for them. And that is where that step of ALM comes in so that you can figure out like okay, what's really going on here? Yeah, yeah, and the calm
Think of it in two ways, we have to calm our physiological nervous system, right? Like we're going to have, you know, your kid starts yelling at you, or they're like, wash the shirt right now and you're, you know, you're gonna feel stressed. And because now it's going to take more time, or you don't have time for this or that you don't have the energy for any, your body is going to respond. So we have to reset our stress through our body first. And that means I always say like, move your body, or move your mind. So first, we want to start with moving our body. And that could just look like
I need a minute to think I don't want to talk to you right now. Because they don't want to yell at you, or this is a lot. Give me a Give me a break, give me a second. And then go do something to reset your own nervous system. And when I first start working with someone, sometimes it's really silly, like, go to your room, do 10 to 10 Jumping jacks, yeah, or go to the bathroom, or wash your hands or put on lipstick, or lip balm, or get a piece of gum, or drink some water or go outside for a second. Like, people always say, oh, teach deep breaths. I don't really coach that way, because
it's helpful, but you also need to be doing something physiologically with your body. Yeah, yeah, I explained that to my clients very often as completing that stress cycle of like, really like the stress is there, right? Your kids yelling at you, they're upset with whatever, and you have an immediate reaction because you're human, right. And as a parent, you're a human, you feel emotions. And so if we just leave it there, we can't we can process through, of course, that emotion, but leading that stress cycle, the best way to do it is always through some kind of movement. And I love those options of, you know, what does my body need right now? What can I do to really complete this stress cycle and get this out? And then go return? And, you know, figure out how we want to approach what's happening with the child in this moment? Well, and then that part is the move your mind? Because we have we have the trigger, right? The external circumstance that our amygdala was like, hey, danger, danger, respond, right? fight flight, freeze fate, I just learned about fawn. And I also learned about flock recently, there's all these different reactions that we have. So we either you know, are aroused, or an aroused like disassociate, I think of that as emotionally checking out some of our strategies. And, but really, how do we train ourselves to not get triggered in the first place. And that is really the mindset work about reframing behavior, reframing the way that we view our children's behavior, and learning how to think like, like I said, like, this is pain talking, this is feelings being expressed, this is a form of communication. And then we can get to what's underneath the behavior, like you were saying, you know, you have the external circumstance. And that is, a lot of times where we spend most of our time as parents is correcting behavior, right. But what is driving the behavior is it is a big feeling or an unmet emotional need.
And if we address that, the behavior will probably fix itself, not always. But your child will be a lot more likely to, to comply, to connect to talk it through to rationalize, when we come at them from that high, intense lecture place.
And correcting without that first connecting to their big feelings, then we're activating their stress response, we're deepening them into their own, you know, stress reactivity. Yeah. And putting off thinking, yeah, and I think it's so important to really understand this concept of like, not taking what they're doing, or the way they are reacting to their emotions as something as a personal affront to you or the way you're parenting or what you said or what's happening. Because truly, when you can get to this space of like, I Okay, I've taken the minute I've taken a few minutes to complete my stress response or call myself down or whatever, and I'm working on, you know, creating this new mindset of understanding for my child that puts you in a space where you can step in and go Now let's kind of take a look at emotions and what this even means because, you know, and I know because we're human. But also, I think we were probably raised very similar to we don't really feel our emotions, okay, you either pretend they're not there. You hide from them and you cover them up With food or something else, or you know, you're just not connected to emotions in that way. And of course, it would make sense that our kids also have been taught those things if we were raised to learn that as well. And so really opening up the space where like,
what are you feeling? What is happening inside that? is creating this and and letting them know that this is a safe space where they can express that if they need to? Yeah, yes. Okay, there's so much there to unpack for a second, I love exactly what you're saying is like, we calm in order to connect. Yeah, and that's a
I think some of the work different coaches will do is they'll just focus on the parents emotional regulation, and not necessarily teach these emotional coaching tools. And some programs will teach how to be a gentle parent or connect with feelings, but don't talk about the dysregulation that we feel as a parent. So they're, we're in a relationship with our children. And yes, we're going to be activated by their behavior, and then we're going to need to do the work to get calm, and then we can do that emotional coaching. So the thing that I wanted to unpack there for a second is like,
oh, like, how do we how do you said, like, oh, we want to communicate this as a safe place? We actually cannot say that we they have to feel safe. In order to
connect. Yeah. Who wants to open up? Yeah, exactly. Like we can say all we want. And this is what I noticed when when parents start working with me is that they have an old pattern of being reactive to behavior, and to, you know, lecturing or criticizing, and, you know, the empty threats, and those kinds of things, all good, all natural, all how we were all raised, right.
And then they'll change, the parent will change. So they'll start to like, see behavior as a form of communication, and they'll start to regulate their own nervous system, and they approach their child from this connective lens, and then their kid won't give them the goods.
Quite show up the way the parent was really hoping they were going to once Yeah, acting a little different, right? Yes. And they're like, then they'll say to me, it's not working. They're not they're not opening up. They don't want to talk about their feelings. I'm doing it right, or am I doing it? Right? Right. It's like, there is a lag, there's a gap, because your child has been watching you for however long they've been alive, you know, or been in your, in your care, that they know, like, how you are, and they know when you're going to react and when you're not going to react and like, they just they've got your number, as they say, and things are very good at reading their parents, they have to be that's part of their self protective factor. It's like, in order for them to know whether they're safe or not, they're going to always be scanning their own environment. And their environment is scanning the adults. Right? Are the adults okay? I'm okay. Are the adults not? Okay, I'm not okay. I open up about this, it might not be safe. It might Yes. In the past, it hasn't necessarily been safe for me to do this. Yeah, turn it on me, right. And then or they blame my dad. Right? Like, if you have an old pattern of like bringing up your ex, in relationship with your child, they're not going to feel safe. Or we can talk specifically about processing negative emotion about you or your partner, your ex partner. Because I think that is good work for us to do on this podcast.
But there's the lag, we've have to trust the relationship is strong enough that your child will trust you. Yeah. And that they're going to get there and you're going to keep showing up. Even if you don't get all the goo about all their big feelings like well, like whatever's going on underneath.
You are gonna keep pursuing.
And then how do we pursue? I
I think the tendency in parenting is to ask, How are you feeling?
What you said, you know, why are you why are you feeling this way? Why, what are you thinking, you know, what's going on for you?
And really, emotional literacy is the ability to name what you're feeling to know what it's called the thing inside and then be able to put words to it and talk about it and then know what to do with it.
And children are emotionally illiterate. Right? So we have to teach them what that messy thing inside is called. And so when you are kind of walking
Parents through this for, let's say, even the first time and you're teaching them this is how you show up as the example I'm taking it as from what you're saying is you show up as an example, you don't give up after two minutes of, you know, trying this out and the kid isn't responding in the way that you want. You keep going, you keep
showing up as this parent that you want to be does that mean that when someone when you're noticing that your child might be feeling anger or whatever?
I mean, how do you approach that because my, my initial thought is to say something like,
you know, if you ask them how they're feeling, or I don't know how you would approach it, but say something like, you know, I've felt angry before. And when I feel it, I get a tightness in my stomach and my face gets hot, or my chest gets tight or something, you know, kind of describing to them ways that they can, you know, put words to what they're feeling, but tell me how you approach that. Yeah, this is good.
I, I really do think about children, like, I can get into a kid's brain pretty easily, and like how self centered they are.
And when you start talking about yourself, they're like, she's gonna talk about shut off.
We think we're doing such a good job, and I don't, I love it. It's like, they're like, Oh, she would just want to talk about her anger. Or, you know, and you're not you're so beautiful the way you described it. And it's exactly right. And it's my kids perspective. It here's my mom T luxury voting or whatever.
I love it so much. Yeah, um, and then I was gonna say, like, you know, I've been at this for two minutes, and it's not working. I think, I'd like to put a pin right there. Just to say, I would rather you think about it, I've done this 200 times. And it hasn't worked. Yeah. Because when we become attached in one moment, to a result, we might stick in it when that the relationship isn't allowing for that freedom in that particular moment. And so we want to respect
that that other person isn't open right there. And then that and making that be okay, like, that's how we create safety. It is okay for you to share. And it is okay for you to not Yeah, just letting them be what they aren't who they are in the moment. Yeah, eating them to show up in any different kind of way. Yeah, and just trusting like, at some point,
when they're ready, I have communicated 200 times that I'm ready, that I can handle that I can big feelings don't scare me, I don't get overwhelmed, I can take it, I can take it. If you've got stuff to say about me, I can take it if you've got stuff to say about your sibling, your teacher, school, your other parent, I've got I can handle it.
This reminds me when I was first learning this, I took my son and I he was five to attachment therapy. And one of the exercises was to for my son to take a yellow phonebook, you know, the yellow pages, yeah, and rip it all up as and just go crazy and create a huge mess. And then he sat down, and I held it all. And I put all those all that mess into a pillowcase. And it was to visually show my son, I can handle it. You can make a huge, huge mess. And I've got it, it is not a problem for me. Your feelings are not a problem for me. Yeah, I love that I love just
allowing your kids to see that in whatever way that looks for them. You know, we can't we know that we can't control them. And we can't control what the thoughts are in their head and what's happening in their body. Like maybe we control the environment a little bit. But overall, we really can't. And so really just stepping into this space of like, I'm going to be this mom who is going to love and appreciate my child for who they are right now in this moment, even if that doesn't look at all like the picture that I wanted it or thought that it was going to look like you know, yeah, and knowing that like nothing has gone wrong. Yes, right. If they're upset or hurt or sad, or yes, we think we can we tend to think that if our kid is struggling, we've done something wrong and really, struggle is actually quite healthy. And resilience is built through pain and discomfort and you know, having your children go through a separation or divorce, it can be really easy to think I've ruined them I've just destroyed their life or, you know, they're never gonna be the same. You're right. They're never gonna be the same because they've gone through something hard and we want to
I show them that they are strong enough that they can overcome it. And they can be sad, they can be disappointed. They can have all those feelings. And those feelings are temporary. They come and they go. And they'll come back. And they'll go away. And they'll lesson and they will intensify. It's okay. Yeah, this is all so beautiful. All right, there was something that I wanted to touch on. And that was, it was actually a post that you had posted yesterday, or maybe the day before, on your Facebook page. And it was something about your specific life growing up. And it was something that you said about your mom. And it was something I can't I didn't write down exactly what it was. But it was something about you start went through struggles, obviously, as most children do, right, growing up, and but you came out, okay. And you felt like a very resilient, you know, high functioning human being? And why was that and you something that you I'm sure you know exactly what the answer is that I'm looking for here, but you put something like most beautiful thing on there. And I would love for you to share why you think you came out as a resilient, high functioning human that you are, if you could just share that and maybe speak on that a little bit.
Thank you for asking. It did it's fun for me to think about this. So I did grew up in a really chaotic family of child of divorce. But that's like the least of it. You know, just my mom was an it was in the 80s. So there wasn't a lot of discussion around mental health. And so she was untreated, clinically depressed. And then my dad was abandoned us when we were little and you know, no child support deadbeat dad and lots of abuse and addiction and abandonment, all those things. So I look at my life, and I'm like, How in the world? Did I like go to college? And nope, you know, we were very poor, there's also just no money. And when I think about what that factor is, it really is the unconditional love and acceptance of my mom. And it's, it's almost like I wrote in that post that I knew that she She's almost like she knew she couldn't provide me or my siblings with much of anything. Like in terms of emotional safety, physical safety, you know, things like, like a stable home, like a house, like we were homeless at times, like it was an insane life. And but there was this, I always felt that she thought I was incredible. That there was this, like, unconditional delight. It's not just love, like I there was love there. But there was an unconditional acceptance. Like, you know, like, there was nothing I could do that would ever disappoint her, even if she could not feel disappointed by us, even if we royally messed up. And that inner knowing of one person seeing me kind of purely like that, like in my only in my beauty or only in physical beauty, but only in my essence. I didn't necessarily buy it. I've like spent the last 45 years buying that story, you know, working on it. But having that current kernel of unconditional love and acceptance like was like, inside. It's enough in some ways. Like I think we look at ourselves as parents and we think, you know, oh, man, I really wanted to provide blankety blank for my kid or I wish I hadn't made that mistake, or I wish I didn't partner with that person or wish their dad was different or I wish there, you know, there we live someplace else or something. And we get scared that we've messed them up. But if they know deep down that
you you think that they're incredible. I love that that is a
that is such a beautiful sentiment and I I wholeheartedly agree with it. I think there's something to be said about that. Unconditional it's almost like a it's like this third eye of really just seeing your child for just their whole as a whole worthy being. And they're going to live their life and they're going to have you know, great highs and amazing successes and very low lows and really tough things that they're gonna have to deal with the same way that you are probably not obviously the same path there's going to look different, but that doesn't mean that you showed up wrong in some way or you're doing it all wrong or they're doing it all wrong. It's just really opening up to this idea of like, I can just love my child. I can just love them
and inherent worth right like you're not like what you do, you're not how you act, you're not what you succeed in or don't succeed in. I sometimes have issues with the word like, I'm proud of you. Yeah. I feel like sometimes our we use it conditionally. Yeah. And then that can get messy. And it's like, when we really what we want to hear from our parent is like, I think you're amazing. You can do no wrong in my eyes, like you can do no harm. You're, you're essentially your essential self is worthy and lovable. Admirable,
yes, that's such an important thing. And it's something that I do talk about on this podcast a lot, in terms of, you know, loving ourselves and recognize our own inherent worth, and recognize our own love ability. But being able to open up to the idea that it isn't just us that it is literally every other human being on this earth, even the ones who, you know, are showing up in very terrible bad ways. It's a hard concept to, I think, wrap your head around sometimes. But when you can, and especially like, maybe start practicing on your kids, maybe those are the ones that like, maybe need it the most, and where you can do the most good when it comes to opening yourself up to this idea of I'm going to love you and your worth and your value openly and whole, wholeheartedly. And how can I best do that as a parent? And when I do that, as a parent? What is that going to do to our relationship? How is that going to create a better connection for the two of us,
it will definitely create that safety that we were talking about earlier, right? When you can trust that the person you're in a relationship with believes that at your core, you're good, you're good? Yeah. You're lovable and worthy. And yeah. It's, I think a lot of times parents will say, you know, I love you, but without realizing they're saying I love you, but and right. We practice, we the thoughts that we have about our kids really matter. And practicing. Like, I'm more 10 I'm not like my mom, really, you know, I think she didn't spend much time thinking we were like, troublemakers, and, you know, annoying. And I don't know, I have a lot of negative thoughts about my kids, I have a lot of negative thoughts about the world. And I have to work to overcome those negative thoughts. And like most of us, most of us Yeah, I don't know, she I think she was like, kind of like an angel or something. You know. But I have to intentionally practice thinking thoughts about my children that are positive, that are hopeful, that are kind and that that are when I say hopeful, like thinking of their futures better than like worst case scenario, knowing I can do that really easily. But best case scenario, weighing is harder, I have to work at it. Yeah. And I think that's a good exercise for any of the parents listening is just to write a delight list. It's one of the things I teach is sitting down and writing things that I delight in about my kids. And sometimes I teach it where you have to have on one side, that delight list and one side like you're an asshole, like, you know, because it's like, you want to have a place to your as you think about Oh, they're so funny. But sometimes they're mean, it's like, okay, go put that on the other list, right? And then just practice. So you're so funny, you know, you're so confident you're, you know, you you really love learning about technology or whatever, like whatever you can come up with, and framing your child in that way is so powerful.
That one's powerful. I want to sit down and do this delight list I've never heard. I mean, obviously, you know, I've heard of bliss and thinking about your kids in different ways. But I love this idea. Thank you so much for sharing even just this idea of this delight list, because first of all, the word delight is a powerful word. And I think usually we maybe think about it at least I think about it in like terms of food for some reason. So light is so delightful. It's delightful, yummy, or whatever, but it's not in the way of your children. And you know, when they do something, or they are they show up as themselves in this way. That is so delightful. And that just is so fun and beautiful. But also I love that you have the opposite side as well because there's going to be a part of you who is like, I really love my kid in this moment. And they're amazing, and they're the best and then there's gonna be another part of you who's like, Why do you have to be such a piece of shit right now? Everything you're doing is driving me insane or whatever right?
So You're selfish. You're You're ungrateful, you know, you're mean, like, we can come up with those really clearly
easily. Yes, yeah. And so like you have the two and not just pretend like they don't do any of these things that are annoying and you know, piss you off, because that is part of them as well. And it's okay. Right? And let's, let's train our brain to really focus on the beautiful, delightful parts of them as well. It's so natural for our brain, like you say, to go to the negative, it's, it's easy. That's what it does naturally. Right?
Well, and as a parent, we feel like it's our responsibility to make sure we like get all those behaviors out, like we need to change. Control. Yeah, you know, so we're kind of looking for ways that our kids aren't measuring up or wrong or bad or whatever. Like we kind of teach parenting in this way. In some ways. It's like, if your kid isn't acting, right, it's your fault. Yes. Like know, if your kid isn't acting, quote, unquote, right? It's because they have big feelings that they don't know what to do with it. It's either unprocessed negative emotion or negative emotion, they don't know what to do with. It. That's, that's where all all behavior comes from. And when we look at it that way, it's a lot easier to not judge, and criticize and worry, and blame. Instead, we can look at their behavior and think, What is going on here. And I wanted to circle back really quickly, because the mistake we said is like to say, you know, what's going on here? What are you feeling? Yeah, and I teach it differently, where we offer a feeling and offer a narrative. And then ask them, Are we on the right track so that they, because they don't know how to express or articulate that mess that's going on, and all that jumble of thoughts. They don't know how to put that all into words, and then communicate it to you in a sentence, and then you're standing there, and you're like, what's going on right there. Like?
I don't know, they're probably just as confused as you are. Because they haven't quite been taught this, as you say, this narrative of how to put words to what's going on.
And hopefully, they're not just as confused as you, they want you to not be confused. So that then they can trust. There's a grown up that understands what is so complicated here.
Well, I love it. That's a beautiful way of putting it
and just being able to say like, Hey, I, tomorrow, you're going to Dad's, and you're talking about your shirt that you want, and you're you know, you're yelling at me, I wonder if you're feeling a little nervous about going. That's the connection tool. And that opens up a lot of understanding, even if they know. What are you talking about? Even? Like, that's fine. Like they okay, my bad. Just check. Just I don't know, oops, right. Play dumb, walk away, love you. I'm gonna help you with your shirt. If that's within your boundary. It's not okay to and then. But most of the time you do the connection tool a few times. And then your child was like, Yeah, every time I go there at the whatever's coming out, yeah. Or no, but this is what I'm thinking about. It's just that and then you get it all. And at that point, we become as neutral as a piece of paper.
And just listen. Yeah, and let them speak. Yeah. Yeah, that's powerful.
It's so powerful. It's emotional coaching.
That is amazing. And so what I'm getting from this is, this is like a taste just a little taste of what you do with your clients, which I think it's so important, because, you know, obviously, I try and do my best as a parent. And, but I don't know all the things, right. I think I just think it's so important to if we have the desire to want to be a better parent, and we have the means to be able to do that. There's just nothing better than getting somebody who can kind of mentor you through that process, for sure. And this conversation has just opened my whole mind up I'm sure my listeners are loving every bit of information that you have offered today. darlin, can you please tell us where we can find you if any of my listeners want to come and you know, get the help the specialized help that they may be needing as as a parent,
for sure. Well, I think learning from podcasts like your listeners, like podcasts are listening right now. And so listening on my podcast is probably a really great place to start knowing knowing more about what I teach, and that's a free resource as, as all podcasts are, you know, and that is called become a calm mama. And going, starting from the beginning would be really helpful too, because it kind of lay out, you know, the the philosophies and where behavior comes from, and how to regulate our nervous system, things that you talk about, and then moving into the parenting part of it. Yeah, and, and then coming in and hanging out in my world at coma coaching.com, I have a free resource. It's the stop yelling cheat sheet. And so I kind of walked through the pause, break kind of that what we talked about, if you know, resetting our own nervous system, yeah, and in regulating ourselves. So I have some tools, they're kind of the ideas about what to do with your body. There's like a list of 40 plus things to do with your body when you're dancing. Yeah, that's
that space. It's like, I don't even know what to do. I don't know what to do. Yeah,
I always say like, five, pick five, and then just could do those like, and then if they find they don't work, go back to the list and pick a couple different ones. So that's a free resource, the stop yelling cheat sheet and get that up my website, calm mama coaching.com. And then once you're in my world, I have a couple of I teach a parenting class called the Emotionally Healthy Kids course. And I run those like, every three months, a new session starts. And so I'd love to have your audience in there. And then there's also the Emotionally Healthy Teen. So if you have like three to 12, you go to the kids class, and then 13 to 19 is the Emotionally Healthy teens class, because the process is the same, but the issues are, are so significantly different than Yeah, yeah,
yes. Oh, I love it. This has been the best conversation, and I'll make sure I have all of Berlin's information in the show notes. So don't nobody needs to worry about oh, no, I didn't write that down. And you're gonna find that 10 times, don't worry, I will put everything in the show notes. So all the information and links will be there. But thank you so much for coming on the podcast and really just offering your wisdom and guidance as this parenting expert, because, you know, Parenting is hard and
hard. It's something we do need to be taught strategies to do. And yeah, we don't think we need strategies because we were like, well, I was parented and you're like, Well, if you want to do it that way, go for it.
I don't even tell you how many times there's, throughout my life, I've been like, I'm never doing that what that thing that my parents did, you know, and I think I'm pretty good parents and so yes, 100% need
tools. Yeah. So getting support is so helpful. Just like we need to learn how to manage our money or manage our bodies or what to eat. Like we need to know how to parent too. We need help.
We do. Thank you again, so much.
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