After dinner a few days ago, Carys randomly started telling us that if we want to understand some of the things she’s feeling, we should cast our minds back to when we were children and remember how we would have felt about it at the time. The conversation continued as we explored more of her feelings when she’s having difficult moments, and at some point someone (recollections differ on exactly who it was!) suggested we record a podcast episode about it.
Carys was immediately on board and wanted to do it right away, but we came back to it the next afternoon. She thinks that parents often don’t understand how their children are feeling and she’d like suggest ways to help your children when they’re behaving in a way that may seem ‘difficult’ to you.
Jump to highlights:
- (01:00) My special guest in her podcasting debut
- (02:18) What helps to understand your kid’s feelings
- (03:18) Feeling the physical sensations of frustration
- (03:42) What Carys feels when she get ‘that feeling’
- (04:19) Parents don’t really understand that children sometimes want to be alone
- (06:07) Different kids deal with things in different ways
- (07:34) Our new method for when we disagree on things
- (10:37) We have rewards now
- (11:46) Carys’s thoughts on problem solving
Click here to read the full transcript
Hi, I’m Jen and I host the Your Parenting Mojo Podcast. We all want our children to lead fulfilling lives, but it can be so hard to keep up with the latest scientific research on child development and figure out whether and how to incorporate it into our own approach to parenting. Here at Your Parenting Mojo, I do the work for you by critically examining strategies and tools related to parenting and child development that are grounded in scientific research and principles of respectful parenting. If you’d like to be notified when new episodes are released and get a free guide called 13 reasons why your child isn’t listening to you and what to do about each one, just head on over to YourParentingMojo.com/Subscribe.
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Hello and welcome to the, Your Parenting Mojo Podcast. I’m Jen. Who are you?
This is Carys in her world podcasting debut. So if you’re not watching this on YouTube, you might want to watch it on YouTube cause then you’ll get to see both of us. And so we were having a conversation last night about feelings, right? Yeah. And so I, we were having, you were having ice cream and I was doing dishes.
And all of a sudden you started talking about how you feel when you’re having a hard time. And daddy said, You should be in a podcast.
Actually, I think I said that.
Oh, you did? Oh okay, and daddy agreed. And we were going to do it last night, but you had an appointment to talk to auntie Jas, didn’t you? You couldn’t do both. So here we are today to talk about feelings.
So how old are you?
Six and a half.
Six and a half. Okay. You’re almost six and three quarters. Aren’t you?
Yeah. I was going to say that but like….
Okay. How many loose teeth do you have? Oh, yeah. Got to be on YouTube to get that one. The two front teeth are wobbly and have been wobbly for a while aren’t they? So do you remember what we were talking about last night? Why you started telling us about your feelings? I was trying to remember, and I couldn’t remember.
I think I just remembered that it just helps to understand your kids’ feelings when you just look back and see a time when you were feeling like that.
Oh, that’s right. Yeah. That is what you said, isn’t it? Yeah. And I was trying to understand more about what you meant by that.
Yeah. Thanks for reminding me about that. And so you were trying to tell us some things about how you feel when you were frustrated. Right? Can you tell us a bit about that?
I felt that sometimes maybe somebody, I felt that people weren’t really paying attention to me, actually.
Okay. And what’s it like when you feel like people aren’t paying attention to you?
It’s hard that I don’t really want to be with them, or something tells me not to.
Okay. So what you’re saying is when, uh, when we say something that you don’t agree with, is that right? That’s when that happens?
Yeah. Okay. And what, what happens in your body then? What, what kind of things do you feel in your body?
Sometimes I just feel like people don’t care about me that much.
Oh, really? Huh. And does that, do you feel that in your stomach or in your head?
Really. Okay. And so what do you do normally when you get that feeling?
I usually like when I’m almost always frustrated, just go in my room.
Okay. And sometimes you can seem a little angry to us, right? Like sometimes you close the door or if we try to go to you, you say that you want to be by yourself and you can say it and kind of allowed voice, right? What does it feel like when you’re saying that?
I just really want to be alone because it helps to… for me to calm down.
Okay. And I think that was one of the things that made us want to do the podcast, wasn’t it? Was because you were explaining how you think that parents don’t really understand that their children sometimes just want to be alone.
Yeah. Cause I usually, I sometimes just shut the door on you because I, I just don’t want to tell you. And I feel like I can’t talk to you at all. So I just shut the door cause I don’t want, cause I want to be left alone.
And how does being alone help you? How does that help you feel differently?
It’s just… talking kind of distracts me from everything a little bit.
Oh, okay. So when you’re, when you’re alone by yourself, it seems like you’re able to calm yourself down better, right? Like it’s easier for you to calm down by yourself then when you’re with other people. So, um, I’ve noticed that then once you’ve calmed down, you usually come out again. Yeah?
And then how do you feel?
So like sad or something, but I usually just wander around for a little bit.
Yeah. And so I’m wondering if there are things that you would like us to do when you’re frustrated that we don’t do now.
Usually it’s just if you see me shut the door, that means I don’t want you to come in, but you can, but you can still like go into the doorway where your kid is and if they shut the door, it probably means they want to be left alone but if they let you come in, they probably actually really want to be with you.
Okay. So you think different kids deal with things in different ways? And that parents can maybe listen to their kids?
Yeah. And sometimes I feel usually that I only let you come in cause daddy sometimes just makes me feel even more frustrated.
Yeah. We’ve talked about that, right? How daddy and I were raised very differently than the ways we are raising you. And sometimes it’s hard to stop doing things from the way that you learned them when you were growing up, right? Do you remember what you told me when I said that to you last time, a few weeks ago, that we were doing things differently, you said “I’m so glad we’re doing things differently.”
You remember that?
No? Yeah. So, um, so I’m wondering if there’s anything else that you want parents to know about things that children might be feeling that maybe their children can’t tell their parents about?
It could be just; they don’t really want to see their parents that much actually.
In that moment?
And they could just run like kind of sneak around and wander around.
You mean when they’re having a hard time?
Okay. Because they need to be by themselves?
Uh huh. But they really want to play. So I usually when I want to do that, I just wander around…
…the house usually.
And so when we do disagree about things, sometimes you get frustrated, right. And then after you’ve calmed down, we usually.. . There’s something we usually do, right?
Hmmmm talk about it?
Yeah. We have a problem solving conversation. Yeah. And we’ve been doing those in a new way. Haven’t we. Do you want to hold up the diagram, the picture you got to kind of hold it kind of between us so that people can see it?
And so what was happening here? What was happening with this problem?
I did not want to brush my teeth.
There’s the two, there’s my toothbrush drawing in the middle and with a big X through it. And then you drew that didn’t you? What’s that for?
Loving teeth. Brushing, no.
Yeah. And so we started talking about the reasons why you don’t like toothbrushing and you said like, there’s you up here. So you look tired cause you didn’t like doing it when you’re tired and uh, Oh, you, you don’t like holding your arm up. So there’s you with your arms down. There’s you’re excited for story time. You liked that one, didn’t you? With your holding the book. And then we talked about how you felt about it and that, uh, you often felt frustrated when we tell you to brush your teeth and that it’s time to brush your teeth and also mad because you feel, you said again, that I feel like you don’t care about me.
And there was one of the things I paid with the toothbrush being loud. Right. You didn’t like that either. And so what did we talk about from there? Oh and tooth toothbrushing is boring and it takes too long. It was a whole lot of things you didn’t like about toothbrushing wasn’t there. And, uh, let’s see.
Do we, do we, I guess we didn’t look at, um, daddy’s and my feelings on this one, did we? Um, cause we had already looked at it with other problem-solving issues, but we talked about some ideas that we could do. You had an idea of brushing every other night instead of every night. So we wrote that down, uh, brushing after every meal.
That wouldn’t work.
Yeah, you actually, you didn’t you say you were going to brush after breakfast this morning. Isn’t that what the one number one was for on the floor?
Can you turn it around a little bit? Cause I think people can’t see you. They’re just looking at the back of your head right now.
And you said do it whenever you feel like it in the day. We talked about that, didn’t we? The problem with that though, was that then if you don’t do it right before bed, the bacteria can be on your teeth. All night. You said find a way to remember to brush after right after dinner. Oh, and that was that the pizza that you drew to represent dinner?
Yeah. And so where did we end up with toothbrushing? It wasn’t a place that I would’ve thought we would have ended up. What are we doing right now? Can you turn around and people can see you? You’re sort of facing backwards.
Doing two months of brushing teeth. Well, anytime your dinner basically.
Yeah. After dinner, right?
Yeah. And then the part about it that I, it wasn’t what I thought it would be was you get a reward at the end of it, don’t you? What’s your reward?
Well, a sticker book at the end of the month and also talk about the money.
The money? Oh, yeah. Daddy didn’t daddy offered to pay you. How much was it? I forgot. Oh, we wrote it down 25 cents for seven days in a row of brushing.
Oh. And there was supposed to be a bonus for two times a day, wasn’t there? You forgot about the bonus, didn’t you? You can bring that back. So, yeah. So I started looking at ways that we could help you brush your teeth and one of the first things that came up was ‘You should reward your child.’ And I said that, and you said, I want to do that. Right? So you picked your own reward. You got a ring there, don’t you? Okay. Um, I think this is going to make it hard for people to watch.
So I’m wondering you have a lot of practice at problem solving now, don’t you? What do you think of problem solving?
I think it’s actually very, very fun.
Yeah? What makes it fun?
It’s just that I find the pictures sometimes really, really silly.
Yes, you do. And what do you think about the ideas that we come up with in problem solving?
Pretty good. Yeah.
Yeah? They usually work for you in some way?
Some way, yeah.
Yeah. And then what happens if, if it ends up not working out, what did we do after that?
More problem-solving, right? Yeah. If one of us decides that, Ooh, stacked rings. Um, do you want another one of those?
If one of us decides that it isn’t working, then we have another conversation and we say, Oh, we thought this was going to work and actually parts of it. It’s not working for one of us. Can we have another conversation? And then do we sometimes get to solutions that work better do you think?
Yeah. Okay. So I’m wondering if there’s anything else that you think parents should know about their children’s feelings or about solving problems with their children?
Well, I would just suggest when you see your kid wandering around, try not to interrupt them cause it sometimes makes me a little bit more frustrated when you do.
Yeah? Okay. So, so each child might do a different thing, right? Not all children might do the wandering around thing, but maybe if parents can see what their child does they can think, okay. Maybe my child needs to do that and I should give them a little bit of space.? Yeah. And you think that would help their children?
Yeah. Cause I feel like probably most children like to be alone or really like to be with their parents.
Yeah. And it’s our job to figure out which one of those our child wants.
Yeah. And it will be different for each child. And then if we can do that, we can help you to feel calmer, and then we can feel calmer as well cause sometimes it’s hard for us when our children are doing things that we find difficult to understand. Ooh, you got three rings together. All right. So if parents want to know more about understanding their children’s feelings and doing problem solving conversations, I’m hosting a workshop which is called Setting Loving and Effective Limits. And we do actually learn a little bit about setting limits, but most of what we learn about is how to set way fewer limits. We don’t actually have many limits for free, right? The things that you can’t do?
I found 8.
You did find an 8. Should we show people the eight here’s the eight. And so, if you want to learn how to set way fewer limits than you ever thought possible, and also learn some of the problem solving techniques that Carys and I use on a regular basis, you can go to YourParentingMojo.com/SettingLimits, and we will be there for a weeklong workshops starting on Monday, April 26. And we’ll walk through the whole thing with you and we’ll get you super comfortable with using these ways of being with your children so that you can respond to them effectively… wow. Look at that. You’re making rolled up art… even when they’re having difficult feelings. Is there anything else you want to say?
How do you use when we’re, when you’re doing little videos around the house, how do you wrap them up?
Usually with thank you for watching and YourParentingMojo.com basically.
There you go.
Thanks for joining us for this episode of Your Parenting Mojo. Don’t forget to subscribe to the show at YourParentingMojo.com to receive new episode notifications and the free guide to 13 reasons your child isn’t listening to you and what to do about each one. And also join the Your Parenting Mojo Facebook group.
For more respectful research-based ideas to help kids thrive and make parenting easier for you, I’ll see you next time on Your Parenting Mojo.
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