Do you ever feel ‘lost’ in your parenting? Like you’ve read all the books (and even listened to the podcast episodes!) and you’ve agreed with them in principle, but somehow nothing ever seems to change?
Your family feels directionless; you just muddle along having the same old fights with your partner about the same old things:
- Should you praise your child when they do what you ask, so they’ll do it again next time? Or punish them for disobeying you?
- Should you worry about (quality or quantity of) screen time?
- Does it matter if you and your partner have completely different parenting styles?
In this episode I interviewed Kathryn, and discussed:
- The cultural differences between living in the U.K. and Canada (saying “please!” and certain differences in directness of humor)
- How to begin to approach differences in opinion about parenting with your spouse in a way that doesn’t get their back up, but instead focuses on your (and their) values
- The value of interacting with parents who are a little ahead of you and who can give you advice, as well as parents with younger children so you can see how far you’ve come and offer some support to them
- How to align your daily interactions with your child with your overall values
- The importance of bringing fun and playfulness to your parenting in a way that feels relaxed to you (and the positive impact this can have on your child)
- How to problem solve with a child in a way that encourages them to bring their own solutions to the table
If you’re interested in learning more about the Finding Your Parenting Mojo membership, you can find all the info on it at yourparentingmojo.com/membership – and also sign up for the FREE Top 5 Strategies to Tame Your Triggers webinar (scheduled for Wednesday September 30th at 11am PT) there as well.
Click here to read the full transcript
Jen: 01:25 Hello and welcome to the Your Parenting Mojo podcast. We’re doing something a little bit different on today’s episode because I’m actually going to interview a listener, Kathryn. Kathryn is a Canadian living in London and she’s married to an English husband and she has a daughter and a son. I connected with Kathryn to talk about the transformation that she’s experienced in her parenting over the last 6 months or so. Kathryn’s family was doing pretty well, although she was having some challenges knowing how to parent her spirited daughter and having a very different approach to doing this than her British husband who was raised with much more of a traditional British approach of not talking about feelings very much, which really contrasted pretty sharply with Kathryn’s belief that the experience and the emotions should be validated and supported. These different approaches were causing some friction in her marriage and she felt like she didn’t really have the tools to articulate why this issue and others like it were so important to her in a way that could invite her husband to share his perspective and feelings so they could work together to find a path forward in parenting their children.
Jen: 02:25 Now, both Kathryn and her husband feel more at ease in their family because they know the decisions they’re making are based on their values and not just on knee jerk reactions made in the moment when their daughter asked to do something and they might be feeling a bit stressed and as a result they’ve really become to embrace the joyful aspects of parenting as you’ll hear in the conversation. Before we talked with Kathryn, I do have a question for you and that is, are you truly enjoying your family right now? Yes, families have their ups and downs and not every day is perfect and neither will it be, but more often than not, do you feel confident about how the little decisions you make every day as a parent are adding up to and leading toward a goal that you’ve thoughtfully and purposefully established with your parenting partner, if you have one?
Jen: 03:08 If you do feel these joyful moments in your family where you feel confidence and clarity and a sense of ease, but they’re more few and far between than you would like, then this episode is going to have a lot of nuggets of wisdom for you. I should also explain that Kathryn is a member of my Finding Your Parenting Mojo membership group, which is open to new members right now in July 2019 and the group we work on one topic each month. The first three topics are set before we start, in the first month, we focus entirely on reducing the incidents of tantrums. You can get a little bit of breathing room to take a step back and then look at setting goals in the second month. And these aren’t just template goals that will tell you the right way to raise your child, but they’re goals that you set based on your own values and priorities.
Jen: 03:49 In the third month we have a co-teacher, Dr. Laura Froyen, who literally wrote a doctoral thesis on How Marriage and Family Relationships Influence Parenting and Child Development. She helps us to move beyond the same old arguments about the same old topics that we have over and over again with our partners to a deeper understanding of each other’s values, so we can use these to figure out how to parent our children. After those first three months of core content, we choose topics by voting on them. So you actually get to help decide what we learn. I created the group after I surveyed my listeners last summer and I realized that while you’re on board with the ideas you hear about on the show you have a really hard time actually implementing them in your real lives, with your real families and you need more support to do this. So that’s what the group is designed to do, so you can stop worrying about the stack of parenting books you haven’t read or even the ones you have read and forgotten about and actually learn and practice these techniques with my support and the support of all the other parents in the group.
Jen: 04:46 I also wanted to let you know that I’ve been running a free online workshop called Tame Your Triggers since July 8th which has been helping hundreds of parents to understand why their children’s behavior triggers their frustration and anger and how to cope with this in a more productive way in the future. The workshop is already underway and it’s too late to join now, but I’m actually hosting a free webinar on Thursday, July 25th at 11:00 AM Pacific that will summarize what we learned over the two weeks and give you some tools to overcome this challenge. This is exactly the kind of topic that we cover in the Finding Your Parenting Mojo groups or if you’re interested in learning more about the group or just learning how to tame your triggers, then do sign up for that webinar, which will be on Thursday, July 25th at 11:00 AM Pacific at YourParentingMojo.com/Membership. Even if you know you’re busy at that time and you can’t join live, go ahead and register anyway if you want to hear it because I’ll send out a replay afterwards for anyone who couldn’t make it. All right, I think we’re ready. Let’s go ahead and meet Kathryn. Hello and welcome Kathryn. Would you mind telling us a bit about yourself to start please?
Kathryn: 05:47 My name is Kathryn. I have two kids. My daughter is nearly six and my son is two and a half and we live with my husband in London and I’m Canadian originally, but I relocated here about 10 years ago and my husband is British and so we’ve decided to stay here.
Jen: 06:06 Nice. Where are you from in Canada?
Kathryn: 06:10 Well, most of my time I’ve lived in Calgary, in western Canada.
Jen: 06:13 Oh, okay. So not quite as cold in the UK as it is in Calgary?
Kathryn: 06:17 No. I know people complain about the weather here, but I think it’s great. Not very much so.
Jen: 06:24 So I’m guessing that there are probably some challenges involved in being a Canadian living in England?
Kathryn: 06:29 Yes. I suppose I wasn’t expecting it to be much of a culture shock, I suppose you think English speaking Western country, but it’s not a black and white differences, but just along a continuum, isn’t it I supposed. And so just some of the things I suppose you initially, no, it was just day-to-day in some of the interactions and then again when you have kids and just pick up on things like the humor and the way people converse and things.
Jen: 06:58 What do you mean about the humor?
Kathryn: 07:01 I quite like the English humor that did actually attract me to hear and stuff. But it’s a lot more direct, isn’t it?
Jen: 07:08 It certainly is, yes.
Kathryn: 07:10 People are able to laugh at themselves. I think, so yeah, it’s just a little bit different. People don’t always know how to take my husband I think when we come back to Canada sometimes.
Jen: 07:20 Yes, I’ve had that problem myself.
Kathryn: 07:22 Because the humor has slightly different tone to it.
Jen: 07:25 What other differences have you noticed?
Kathryn: 07:28 I suppose it’s just a sense of formality a little bit like I think both countries are known for their politeness, but it’s just interesting to me that it can look a little bit different in the different places and I quite enjoyed your podcast where you mentioned about manners and like saying please and that I thought was quite funny because I had such a complex when I first arrived about saying, please, my husband would say, you haven’t said please. You haven’t said please.
Kathryn: 07:55 And you think it’s implied.
Jen: 07:59 We are in a committed relationship. Right?
Kathryn: 08:01 Oh, I know.
Jen: 08:03 I hadn’t thought about it in that depth until I did that episode. The fact that you don’t necessarily have to say it to somebody when you’re in that committed relationship because it is implied by the fact that you’re committed to them, but still it’s nice to hear, right?
Kathryn: 08:18 Yeah. Well I think sometimes too for me, like it almost sounds like I expect that you will say yes if I say please. So I prefer my roundabout way is just ask me. So yeah, I suppose it’s just the subtleties like that can be a bit funny.
Jen: 08:36 So how does that play out in terms of how you’re raising your children?
Kathryn: 08:40 So I suppose both of us have kind of adjusted a lot. So I have noted like myself things I would be taken aback at first with like very mild put downs I think, but aren’t intended that way.
Kathryn: 08:54 I remember when Bridget Jones’s Diary as well, when he laughingly says stupid co**t to his wife and that surprised me in the film and now it’s like that wouldn’t faze me. That’s just normal, right? Now when we have kids, they didn’t say exactly that, but you know, then it just you notice things that you wouldn’t necessarily have otherwise and stuff. So there’s just been a little bit of give and take that, you know, have discussions around, oh would you say that? And it’s made me change a lot I think in terms of taking myself less seriously, I think I’ve become better at that as well.
Jen: 09:34 So do you see a really sort of solid desire in yourself and your husband to capture the best of both worlds as you’re parenting your children? Or does one approach more predominate than the other?
Kathryn: 09:44 For a lot of the smaller things, like there are differences that you just notice. For example, like something as innocuous as the pronunciation for example. It’s just we have different ways of speaking and it’s kind of fun sometimes to watch the things that they’ll pick up from my husband or later from school and others that speak like that or things that they noticed in school. My daughter will say, yogurt and that sounds more like me. Those kinds of things are funny. Then there are some things that I suppose do require a lot more conversation around. For example, I think in the UK there’s a stronger value on like stoicism and emotional stability. So for me just, I don’t know if that’s Canadian or general or just my own experience wanting to support emotional expression and emotional awareness and things like that, then that can feel a bit alien for my husband I think because he spent all these years trying to achieve something different and trying not to displace certain emotions more openly and negative emotions more openly than I suppose this can be a bit of an alien concept and I think I’m trying to change him into a Canadian.
Jen: 11:02 So it sounds as though that’s really important to you. I wonder if you can tell us about what are some of your really strongest beliefs and values both as an individual and also as a parent.
Kathryn: 11:10 So I have quite a live and let live kind of philosophy. I am very interested in different perspectives on things and having respect for people who have different needs and different beliefs and interests and personalities and therefore for my children too I’m expecting that they can grow up with not having all the same beliefs that I do or that I am seeing my children grow into two very different people with two very different personalities. I believe that’s part of the fun is kind of coming to learn who they are and how best to support them uniquely. To me that’s very important. That’s a fundamental part of respecting your child I suppose is to allow them to be who they are and their best self.
Jen: 12:00 Yup. And so how does that play out on kind of a daily basis for you?
Kathryn: 12:05 Most of what I’ve tried to learn about in this journey is more around my daughter I suppose specifically because she by temperament is one that’s a lot more sensitive to her environment I suppose. It feels like she has more specific needs. So it takes a lot more thought for me to try to understand what might be influencing her or things aren’t quite set up in the best possible way for her to be the least stressful or to make her be her best whereas with my son, you know, just a lot more straight forward and things fall into place. So day-to-day I suppose I do try to expose myself to a lot of things, to try to work on where our next step is with things we might be tackling with her and then my son benefits by experience I guess.
Jen: 12:57 Yeah. So for listeners who may be listening thinking Kathryn’s voice sounds awfully familiar. If you have listened to the Parenting Your Spirited Child episode, Kathryn was actually featured on the episode interviewing Dr. Mary Sheedy Kurcinka about her spirited daughter. So this has definitely been a journey for you, hasn’t it?
Kathryn: 13:18 Yes, it has. I think coming through a quite difficult time initially, just I suppose that the usual transition to having two kids that can be a bit of a bumpy ride, especially, when the older child is adjusting to it all. But yes, our journey for sure I think were well down that road now, which is lovely.
Jen: 13:38 Yeah, that’s great. So can you tell me how did you first find the Your Parenting Mojo podcasts? Do you remember?
Kathryn: 13:44 Yeah, so it was actually quite funny because I don’t remember what page it was, but some page that I’ve liked on Facebook had just given a list of best podcasts to listen to. And I had found it through there and quite taking to it and it was funny on one of the interviews that you had with Dr. Laura Froyen which I really loved and had looked her up subsequently and I realized it was actually her that had authored that list. So, I found you through her list and I found her through you.
Jen: 14:12 Through me. Wow!
Kathryn: 14:14 That’s a mutually beneficial relationship.
Jen: 14:16 Yeah. Then you actually got to interact with her because you’re a member of the Finding Your Parenting Mojo membership group. And Dr. Froyen actually teaches the third month of the group on parenting as a team. So, I hadn’t realized what a full circle that was for you.
Kathryn: 14:31 Yes. You complement each other very well.
Jen: 14:34 Nice. So do you remember how you first learned about the membership group?
Kathryn: 14:39 Yes. I think it was a podcast initially. I think I subscribed to everything there is to subscribe to you. So I’ve no doubt received the emails as well.
Jen: 14:47 Got it. And then what made you even consider joining the group? Where you’re looking to solve a particular problem when you joined or was there something else?
Kathryn: 14:56 It wasn’t a specific, I suppose, I will always have the desire for self-improvement and just better understanding. I suppose there’s new challenges all the time and as my kids get older and I suppose, I have an insatiable desire to learn more about it and it seemed like an opportunity to go deeper into it. I do listen and read a lot of this kind of stuff, but you kind of tend to think about a piecemeal, I find, or for me anyway, that’s my personality. So it appealed to me the idea to kind of sit down and focus on one specific area at a time and do it in a bit of a more methodical way than might be my natural approach. Because I certainly benefit from it, but I don’t do that naturally.
Jen: 15:43 Okay. And where there other particular areas that were attractive to you in terms of the focus of the group or the way it worked?
Kathryn: 15:52 I liked the breadth and how it laid out the initial few months and also that it included the component of parenting with a partner because I think that’s an area that does get really neglected. So when you’re looking at a lot of the peaceful parenting things, if there’s any mismatch at all, it can create a little bit of anxiety thinking, oh, we’re supposed to be doing this.
Jen: 16:13 United front. Right? We’re supposed to have the exact same approach to our children all the time.
Kathryn: 16:18 That’s exactly it. You can’t control your whole environment. I think that I like that more holistic picture, and not just that, but I know from other work you’ve done as well to look at the whole environment and what all the influences are and what the cultural influences are and stuff I really liked. Your approach is so thorough and it isn’t often like that. So it always feels like when you’re going to implement things that there are areas you haven’t accounted for. So that’s something I’ve always really appreciated of the different courses in podcasts that I’ve listened to of yours.
Jen: 16:57 Okay. So as you were thinking about joining the group, what were you thinking? Did you ever doubt that you didn’t need it? Or what were some of the reasons why you thought, eh, this might not be for me?
Kathryn: 17:10 Yeah, I mean I had no doubt that I would enjoy participating in it. I suppose with any investment, like I have done a previous course in a peaceful parenting kind of arena and all the audio books and things like that. I suppose whenever it’s a new investment you think about, am I going overboard because you have invested other time and money into other things. But when it came down to it, it just seemed like a really good opportunity that I wanted it to be a part of and certainly haven’t regretted.
Jen: 17:45 Oh, I’m glad to hear that. I wonder if you ever thought, uh, my situation is just so unique. I’m a Canadian living in the UK. There’s nobody else in the group who’s going to be exactly like me. There’s no way that what they talk about could be relevant. Did that ever cross your mind?
Kathryn: 17:59 The cultural part, no, only because I love how you blend your British experience and the American experience and because you’ve experienced both sides of that, that is something I really like and I think that’s quite unique. But I suppose for me, there’s always some things you think, oh, are there enough people with, you know, kids who are, say like of my daughter’s temperament, for example, like that’s one area that when you’re just talking to people that can be difficult to relate sometimes when people haven’t had those kinds of challenges. That’s one area that I wondered about in this context.
Jen: 18:43 And how did you find that it has worked out for you?
Kathryn: 18:47 I think it’s been great because I think especially like if you do have a child where things are just not quite as straightforward, you always kind of feel like in the minority. But quite often when that’s the case, you have parents who are quite motivated to look for ways to support them and of course in the group has no exception. You get other people too who have had similar challenges or maybe not the same, but you can recognize the pattern, you know, it’s of how things just require a bit more thought. It’s been just really great to hear the different perspectives and how people have approached different things and it’s kind of nice, you know, that you have a mix of people who are at different stages. Some of the areas too I can recognize, you know, okay, we’ve been down that road before and I can look back on how far we’ve come in the last couple of years. And it’s nice to try to be at least a bit of a reassurance or hope to other people.
Jen: 19:49 Absolutely.
Kathryn: 19:51 You know it’s nice to hear other people who you then might be further along in other respects. It’s a very supportive environment I think and people complement each other very well.
Jen: 20:01 Yeah. Yeah, I agree. There’s some awesome, awesome parents in the group. So what about the costs? Did you ever think the cost is just too much for what I’m signing up for? Now you’re in the group, when you look back at it, how do you feel about the value that you get for?
Kathryn: 20:15 I do think it’s an incredible value actually. Like when I first look at it, I tried to compare it to like an audio book, then you think, oh that’s a lot. But of course it’s so much more than that. Like when I compare it to a course or like all the resources and the coaching and stuff then I mean it’s phenomenal value. It’s apples and oranges really. So like when I compared it as well, like just how much time obviously goes into preparing the guides and how tailored the questions are and just insightful and the group calls just are fantastic because also it draws from a pool of people who just are really good at asking questions as well.
Jen: 21:01 Are they?
Kathryn: 20:02 Yeah. It’s amazing actually because you’ll think, yes, I’ve been wondering that for so long and I have never formulated that as a question. And that makes within how you bring together the research on that topic. I also really liked too how tailored you can make it to individual people. So it’s not just, here’s the one best way, this is what the research is, this is where the limitations of the research are. And looking at what people’s specific goals are and whether or not that’s important for that person, which often people don’t look at it that way. And yeah, I think that’s been really incredible, really.
Jen: 21:41 So as you kind of made the decision to sign up, you thought about the costs, you thought about the time and the situation and what was your thought process in terms of ultimately, yes, this is the thing I want to do?
Kathryn: 21:54 Well, for me, I was really excited to sign up at that time. It was something new that was being built as well and it felt like a really great opportunity to join. Yeah, it was good timing too with coming up to Christmas, I think it was like, oh yeah, we can work this in and this will be our Christmas present to ourselves to join, for me I guess, depending how you want to look at it.
Jen: 22:21 Can you tell us about what kind of transformation you’ve experienced in your family since you joined the group?
Kathryn: 22:28 I feel like I can articulate a lot better what I’m trying to do and I can keep track of where I want to be a lot better because I think we were coming from it from a fairly good place at that stage. But there’s always things that you’ll think, oh, I’m just kind of ignoring this particular issue or partly because you can’t exactly identify where you sit on a particular issue. I think that’s been really great to kind of really take stock of what your values are, what your goals are and what exactly you’re doing and to see how far it may or may not be aligned to what you’re trying to do. So that if you need to have those conversations as a partnership too, that makes it so much easier when you can identify exactly what it is that might be troubling you.
Jen: 23:20 Rather than having the same old fight over and over again about whatever seems to have triggered the issue, you can actually get to the root of it, right?
Kathryn: 23:27 Yeah. Because you can both understand each other because you’re not just talking about what’s on the surface. You’re like when you’re coming from what goals you’re trying to get, it makes it a lot more meaningful. So that’s been really helpful. And even just like little heuristics I suppose I would say. You know, like with limits setting, I don’t feel like it was a particular issue per se, but just the way that that month was laid out was really good. That in the moment it makes it easy to say, oh yeah, I can tell that this is something that I am just ignoring and I’m not putting my foot down right now and I need to be, or this actually really isn’t an issue that I can be letting this slide. And even though, you know, on the surface of it, that’s what I would have been doing before. It has made it a lot more clear in my head and actually we can kind of focus on the fun a little bit more where you think, no, I’m letting this go. I’m letting this go. There have definitely been things in that time that just, I would’ve thought it would be crazy before.
Jen: 24:37 Oh, I’m thinking specifically of that picture you posted of your daughter. What was it, a pilot packing peanuts or something?
Kathryn: 24:45 Yeah. We built a wardrobe and it was all the styrofoam bits that were just falling apart. You know what, I’m not going to make an issue of this. And we broke it all into a million pieces and made a snow storm in the house and it was actually really a fun time. My daughter spent a good hour and a half solidly who bring it up and putting bits and bags and I’ve never seen her tidy up so passionately. So definitely always some goodwill and you know, I don’t know that was a couple months ago I think, and still talk about it all the time, it’s just really nice memory and you think, you know, that is something I can directly point to a decision and to deescalate or to not be setting a limit on and I feel so much better for that.
Jen: 25:35 Yeah. It’s really powerful to know that when you’re setting limits you’re doing it based on your values and not just based on whatever knee jerk reaction that you feel like having at the moment. And yeah, the fact that you’re saying that you’re still telling stories about this two months later, I mean that tells me this is going to be something that is going to be a family story for your family for a very long time. And when she is raising her own children, if she decides to have children, she’s going to look back on that and think this is the kind of parent I want to be.
Kathryn: 26:03 Yes. I hope so.
Jen: 26:06 Yeah. Such a powerful moment coming out of learning about your values. A really powerful moment that in the minute it probably seemed like you knew you’re going to have to clean up a massive mess.
Kathryn: 26:17 Yes.
Jen: 26:18 But the payoff was going to be worth it and low and behold it has been.
Kathryn: 26:22 Yes, definitely.
Jen: 26:23 That’s great. What about solving problems in your family? Have you had any shift in how you approach issues that perhaps with your children or your husband, whichever you feel like talking about, the ways in which you approached that?
Kathryn: 26:34 That actually was one area that I really hope to improve on this course that I didn’t mention it before. I think when I first heard about a problem solving approach in couple places, I’m thinking like how to talk so little kids can listen and probably other places as well. I really liked that concept and when my daughter was younger, I remember like that was intuitive in terms of finding, okay, she only wants to wear dresses, what is it about these dresses? And, oh, it has to swish nicely and it has to have what she called a dancey part. Like I could work with her to figure out what all that actually meant and I quite enjoyed that. But when we moved to the kind of the next level of balancing people who are not trying to achieve the same goal as we were, but actually have conflicting goals such as you do with two kids, that really is a different skill for me.
Kathryn: 27:31 And to be able to work collaboratively like that, you know, as an introvert I kind of, I like to take on the problem and solve it entirely myself if I can or can you input and I’ll solve it for you. There comes a point where that’s not helpful anymore. I think there are things you can read in here and tweak what you’re doing and that’s great. But when you’re talking about totally new skills, I think you kind of have to go a bit beyond just reading about it and you have to actually practice it and get a bit of support from that. And that is something that the group has been really helpful for me to try to move forward in that. It’s quite exciting actually because recently I’ve seen my daughter kind of really taking to this more in terms of how I talk to my two children and then say like our neighbor who plays with them, she’s generating more solutions now instead of just I want to do this and he wants to do this and it’s a stalemate, you know, that she’s actually proposing, okay, well you can sit there and you like this so you can do this and we’ll mix these like this.
Kathryn: 28:39 And oh wow, this is starting to fall into place now.
Jen: 28:47 It really is getting a little bit easier.
Kathryn: 28:49 Yeah, it is. Because like she’s got big emotion. She’s a wear-her-heart-on-her-sleeve kind of girl. If she doesn’t want to do something, you know about it. So it’s really nice to hear her starting to think about what it is that other people might be objecting to and how she can work that into a solution and proposing her own ideas because this is something that I’d been reading about that kids can do and thinking, okay, let’s have some more of that please. But I’m now feeling like we’re starting to be able to get there with some of the practice in just how to facilitate that and that really I’m happy about.
Jen: 29:28 Yeah. So you say you’re happy about it. I’m wondering how else you are feeling about this. Is this sort of something that has gradually come over time or is it something that you see sort of a shift happen and then another shift happen or how do these feelings come and can you tell us some more about that?
Kathryn: 29:45 I think there’s always kind of been a feeling of gradual progress like every month a new topic and there’s been new insights and some months more than others just because or I suppose some months might be more similar to what you’re doing, but you can still find new things to tweak. And then other months there’ll be like something quite profound or a big jump when they suddenly see like I’ve been saying about my daughters with the problem solving, that has felt like actually kind of a jump in the last little while and that really is exciting. Like when you’ve been working on something for a really long time when like when your child suddenly advances in an area, that’s always exciting I think.
Jen: 30:28 Yeah, for sure. So I’m wondering how that compares to what you think might’ve happened if you hadn’t joined the group. I mean not that the group is everything, but you know, things were heading on a bit of a different path before you joined the group. Can you contrast maybe how things might’ve been different?
Kathryn: 30:43 I think things have a much more hopeful and positive vibe. I think it’s easier to get back on course. I suppose you always have phases like ages come and go, don’t they? It gets a bit more difficult and then they get to any easier age and then difficult to get it. It’s not always peaks and troughs I suppose, but it’s kind of, it’s easier to weather the difficult moments now. It’s easier to re-center yourself I think. I feel like we’ve made a lot more progress specifically with some of that problem solving stuff. I don’t think I would have had the kind of continued focus on it. And I like when you’ve been addressing problems that come up in the group and you start to become familiar with process, like when you’re always asking what does your child say about that? Oh yeah. Did I ask her what she thinks?
Kathryn: 31:38 It’s such an obvious thing.
Jen: 31:40 It is and yet we forget, right?
Kathryn: 31:43 Yeah. Well this is it. I think it’s good to have that practice. When you can repeat some of those tools and stuff, yourself will start to recognize, oh yes, okay. Is this something that I have decided is important to me? Yes I do. Okay. And this and that. Have I truly ask her about that? Have I totally explained to her what the issue is? I can think about it more holistically. Even though I was trying to do that, I’m doing that better now, definitely. And I’m thinking about more and I’m able to kind of hold myself accountable a little bit more because I know whether or not I really have given that enough conversation with my child.
Jen: 32:28 So it sounds more exciting, more fun, maybe more collaborative with your partner?
Kathryn: 32:33 Yes, I think so. And there are really good tools with it the months of relationships with your parenting partner and stuff in it and just the communication. That is a really helpful month. I did really appreciate that. As I had said, in the UK, specifically the emotional regulation thing that we had very useful conversations about as a result of both that using that month, but also the content about emotional regulation and being able to talk about how that might’ve impacted each of us individually growing up in these two different cultures. And what each of our reservations are about that because there are both valid things to that. I think we both want our children to feel supported and loved and also we both want our children to be good people who are respectful of other people’s emotions too and what their impact is on other people. So, I don’t think those are mutually exclusive values. It’s just we’ve come at it from different angles and so to be able to have those conversations more productively really has been useful.
Jen: 33:43 Yeah. And figure out a path forward based on your shared values.
Kathryn: 33:47 Yes. Instead of just reaching a stalemate.
Jen: 33:51 Yes. Are there any final thoughts you’d like to share with us?
Kathryn: 33:53 I just think that I really feel grateful to have had this opportunity. If I can go back in time, I would tell myself not to worry about even hesitating and just sign up. But I truly think that there is great value to anybody who has children in this age. Whether a person is really in a difficult time, I can think, you know, it didn’t exist when my son was first born, but that would have had great value in a very specific way in that time to kind of manage that time. But now having gone past that, there’s just huge amount of additional value once I have the space and to think about some of the other issues more deeply and make sure that we’re on track now that they’re getting older and towards some of these other goals and, yeah, it’s just amazing, amazing membership group.
Jen: 34:47 Thank you so much for sharing your time with us Kathryn. I’m really grateful that you can share your advice and your wisdom and your thoughts on how this has helped you.
Kathryn: 34:56 Oh, I’m happy too. And thank you so much for everything that you do.
About the author, Jen
Jen Lumanlan (M.S., M.Ed.) hosts the Your Parenting Mojo podcast (www.YourParentingMojo.com), which examines scientific research related to child development through the lens of respectful parenting.
Her Finding Your Parenting Mojo membership group supports parents in putting the research into action in their real lives, with their real families. Find more info at www.YourParentingMojo.com/Membership
She also launched the most comprehensive course available to help parents decide whether homeschooling could be right for their family. Find out more about it – and take a free seven-question quiz to get a personalized assessment of your own homeschooling readiness at www.YourHomeschoolingMojo.com
And for parents who are committed to public school but recognize the limitations in that system, she has a course to help support children's learning in school at https://jenlumanlan.teachable.com/p/school