212: How to make the sustainable change you want to see in your family

Here’s a little thought exercise: think back to what you were doing this time last year, right around Mother’s Day (in the U.S…I know it has already passed in other places!).

 

What kinds of things were your children doing that were really endearing?

 

What kinds of things were they doing that drove you up the wall?

 

What kinds of fights (resistance, back-talk, stalling, tantrums, etc.) were you having with them a year ago?

 

Are you still having those same fights now (or variations on them)?

 

Do you wish you weren’t still having those fights? That you could get out of the endless cycle of trying an idea you saw on Instagram, seeing a small change, and backsliding to where you were before?

 

Do you have all the tools you need so that a year from now you can look back and know, without any shadow of a doubt, that things are different now?

 

Today I’m going to introduce you to several parents who have made exactly this shift, and a framework you can use to make it for yourself.

 

It’s not complicated. There are only five elements to it, and when they’re all in place you can make sustainable change in parenting, as well as your own personal issues, work, and anything else you like.

 

It really is very possible to make sustainable change in parenting happen by yourself. But all of the five elements have to be in place, and operating consistently, to make it work.

 

Losing focus on each one of the elements creates a different outcome, none of which are good:

  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Making slow progress
  • Frustration
  • Being on a treadmill

 

If you can see already that one or more of these things are happening for you, the Parenting Membership will help you make the kind of sustainable change you want to see in your family.

 

The first thing you’ll do after you join is have a 20-minute private call with my community manager, Denise, who will see which element you’re struggling with the most right now, and connect you to specific resources to help.

 

Many of the parents who signed up this time last year are now in an entirely different place. Things like this are happening:

  • Their preschoolers can use a picture-based list to accurately identify their own feelings and needs;
  • Parents are recognizing how their own actions are creating shame in their children, and are working to address this;
  • Parents see which parts of their co-parenting struggles are theirs to own, instead of blaming their difficulties on their co-parents;
  • They can also see which parts are not theirs to own, make requests to get their needs met, and practice accepting their co-parent for who they are;
  • Siblings are fighting less, because they understand each other’s needs and can find strategies to meet both of their needs.

 

Of course these parents still have hard days…but none of them looks back on who they were a year ago and thinks: “Aside from the fact that my kids are older, I don’t really know what’s different now from what it was a year ago.”

 

I want this kind of sustainable change for you, too. It’s so much more than taking a short course to learn a new skill. It’s a fundamentally different way of being in the world.

 

Join the waitlist and get notified when doors reopen in May 2025. Click the image below to learn more.

 

 

Other episodes mentioned

042: How to teach a child to use manners

175: I’ll be me; can you be you?

206: How to find yourself as a parent

209: How to get on the same page as your parenting partner

210: The power of learning in community

 

Resources mentioned:

Sustainable Change Diagram

Jump to Highlights

00:56 Introducing today’s topic0

2:01 Parent Niloufar’s positive transformation in parenting through the Setting Loving (& Effective!) Limits workshop

08:56 Parent Lucinda, a member for five years, shares how the membership transformed her self-awareness and empathy towards others’ needs.

14:21 The elements of sustainable change in parenting: vision, skills, motivation, resources, and a plan

15:02 Understanding your family values can make parenting easier and more intentional.

21:14 Skills like managing behavior and communication help parents handle challenges.

33:10 Motivation drives positive changes and fosters resilience even in challenging situations.

36:07 Resources are vital for lasting change. The Parenting Membership helps align values with actions by making smart use of resources for meaningful progress and sustainable change.

42:10 A clear plan is essential for lasting change. It acts as a roadmap, guiding actions toward goals and ensuring alignment with values.

50:23 Invitation to the Parenting Membership

53:45 Member’s testimonials

 

Transcript
Kelly:

Hi, this is Kelly Peterson from Chicago, Illinois. There's no other resource out there quite like Your Parenting Mojo, which doesn't just tell you about the latest scientific research on parenting and child development, but puts it into context for you as well so you can decide whether and how to use this new information. If you'd like to get new episodes in your inbox along with a free infographic on 13 Reasons your child isn't listening to you (And what to do about each one), sign up at YourParentingMojo.com/subscribe. If you'd like to start a conversation with someone about this episode, or you know someone who would find it useful, please do forward it to them. Thank you so much.

Jen Lumanlan:

Hello, and welcome to the Your Parenting Mojo podcast. If you've ever learned new parenting tools, and they worked for a while, and then you forgot to use them, or you forgot how to use them, or if using them seemed really hard and that it wasn't really helping anyway, then I want to share some important ideas with you today. I'm going to share a framework that you can use to make sustainable change in parenting, not just short term change where you look back a year from now and realize that things are not really so different, except your children are a bit older. And they aren't doing some of the things they used to do that annoy you, but they have a lot of new annoying habits, and to actually be with your children and in an entirely different way, not just for the short term, but permanently. The framework has five major components and when they're all present, you can make this sustainable change. If even one of them as missing, you end up in a much less satisfying, often quite frustrating place. So I'll tell you about each of those elements of the framework and how you can make this change for yourself or potentially get my help in doing it.

Jen Lumanlan:

Firstly, I'd like to share a little bit from the parent I talked with who inspired this episode. Recently, I reached out to parent Niloufar about her experience in the Setting Loving (& Effective!) limits workshop last year, I wanted to ask her permission to share a video that she had recorded that I used to check in with participants before and after the workshop. She told me, "I don't normally like listening to recordings of myself, but I did enjoy watching them." It was a good reminder of what I've learned how far I've come but also how easy it is to slip. She graciously gave me permission to use one of her recordings and recorded a guide to pronouncing her name and concluded, "Thanks for reaching out, I might do the workshop again this year, third time." I responded to thank her but then I couldn't stop thinking about her. I hadn't realized she had taken the workshop twice already. Some folks ask questions in the community. And I do get to know them a bit over the 10 days, but other people prefer to lurk. And so I don't always know they're there. A week after we had that initial exchange, I went back and dug up the older videos she had submitted. And once again, she kindly agreed to let me share those with you. So let's go through this in the same order that Niloufar made them. In April 2022 she signed up for the Setting Loving (& Effective!) Limits workshop. And she was getting over a cold at the time. And she explained what she wanted to get out of it.

Niloufar:

I imagined that the at the end of the workshop, there will be a bit more peace in the house, less stress, less butting of heads or strong wills, I guess, going against each other. And I guess maybe my own needs, I'm hoping my own needs will be met more often as well, instead of me, maybe sacrificing myself all the time so that things go smoothly, but but things will go smoothly, not because of my efforts, but because everyone is thinking of everyone because of me.

Jen Lumanlan:

Okay. And a couple of weeks later she shared what shifted for her through the workshop. She typed her answers that time. So I'll read what she wrote. She said, Since starting this workshop, I've learned to really question my approach to setting limits. In the last few days, I've been able to really think about the limit I'm tempted to set before I set it. I've also been able to think about my boundaries. I had started this work already after listening to the podcast, but the workshop helped me to consolidate that. Thinking about the values of the family has helped to frame our to our child why we've set the limits that we do. Overall, I think I've enjoyed the last few days more not dreading long periods of time with my children. It's still hard, but I can be more deliberate with the boundaries and limits I set. And yes, I do think that when there's a limit that has been set based on my values, I've been able to stick to it. I feel like I can enjoy more interactions with my daughter without the anxiety of having to control her. I got more out of this workshop than I thought I would. Now I just need to continue to practice these tools." And then she came back for the April 2023 workshop and here she is explaining what she wants to get out of that.

Niloufar:

Okay, it's a family life right now. It's challenging and intense. My four year old is, is very, very active and constantly challenging limits. And I have a one year old as well. So I guess I want to learn about how to, to really work with my daughter and to support her in a way that we're not constantly having to argue about things like eat your breakfast, come on, do this, do that, like, I guess a lot of trying to get her to do things. And it's exhausting, at the end of the day, just feeling quite exhausted. So I want to be able to enjoy this time, more with my daughter without having to almost dread spending lots of time with her.

Jen Lumanlan:

And here's how things were a couple of weeks later, at the end of her second go through the workshop,

Niloufar:

I think there's just been more enjoyment of each other's time. I've noticed that I'm just able to be with my children without the normal anxiety that that brings up or, or resentment that I you know, I'm busy, and I can't just I can't wait to just move on to the next next task that I have. There's also more, even when things blow up, and my children do have a meltdown, I feel that I'm calmer, that I have more of a process and more of an understanding. So I don't get flustered. And and I kind of know what to do. So I guess there's a little bit more harmony in the house, I'm feeling a lot happier. I'm feeling like I'm enjoying the presence of my children more and even I am taking more joy in their personalities and their thoughts. And I'm able to observe them more as who they are. And that's, that's been that's wonderful. So it, it does feel a bit liberating from that sense. And hopeful, yes, it feels hopeful that, that I'm able to, and me and my husband are able to problem solve and address many different situations where we have a line of action that we can follow. It's not like what do we do? What do we do? It may have felt like that a few weeks ago that we just put like, why do we do like is it just gonna, we just gotta wait till they get older. But of course, there's just going to be other challenges so we need to enjoy this, this time at this age, and not just be feeling sorry for ourselves all the time. So yeah, that hopefully this feeling will, will stay and will only further get stronger.

Jen Lumanlan:

And of course, I was really glad to see the changes that Niloufar had been able to make over the course of the short workshop. And I hope they stick for her. And I also had to wonder, why is she thinking about coming back for a third time. I know that people take the Taming of Triggers workshop multiple times, because they get something deeper out of it each time. But that's a very different animal. That's 10 weeks of processing in community with others, where you might not have been ready to take on more the first time and your capacity to grow shifts, as you get to know the other people in the workshop and learn alongside them. But I felt worried when I watched Niloufar's videos because I saw stress in her 2022 sign up video. That stress was relieved a bit at the end of the workshop. But it was back in 2023. And if she's thinking about taking again in 2024, I'm worried she's still feeling stressed and exhausted and the anxiety and resentment that she felt less of at the end of last year's workshop might be back. And then I realized I wished for her that she wasn't going to take the workshop for a third time because she had been able to leave all that stress behind.

Jen Lumanlan:

And I want to be clear, I don't think Niloufar is doing anything wrong here. She's obviously an awesome parent. And I wish she had more support so she could get out of this stress state. My Parenting Membership has been running for five years now, which is kind of hard for me to believe. But when I look at the progress that people have made in it, it feels amazing to me and to them. It's not that if you join the membership, you never feel stressed anymore. But rather than being in a cycle of things getting better and then going back to how they were before, if you've been in the membership for a while the cycle is more of an upward spiral. You still get stressed but you'll also see so much change and progress along the way. A few longtime members were kind enough to record some reflections for me on the biggest things they've learned and shifts that they've made over that time. And I'd like to share some of those with you to illustrate some of the concepts that we're going to think through today. So here's parent Lucinda.

Lucinda:

Hi, my name is Lucinda and I am one of the founding members of the Parenting Membership and I and my family have been doing this work with Jen and the community for five years now. So thinking about how this experience this process has affected us, I really can't even really narrow it down. I will give it a try. But I just, I can't even imagine what our current lives would be like, if I hadn't joined the membership five years ago. One of the biggest things that I have noticed, the biggest shifts, and Jen likes to talk about non-cognitive shifts, so shifts that aren't just in my head, is just my whole awareness of my own body of the messages that my body is telling me in terms of my own needs, in terms of feeling triggered, in terms of how I'm feeling, you know, when I need to set a boundary when I need to ground myself, I mean, just my own connection with my own body is just hands down, the biggest change for me. And that has rippled out into all different areas. Yeah, just just such a profound impact from the modules and, and the community, and the encouragement from others to really listen to my body and, you know, see what it's telling me.

Lucinda:

Another huge one is seeing all behavior, even adult behavior, or even my own as an expression of needs. Of course, it's shifted, how I view my children. And you know, when their behavior is really difficult for me to cope with, just coming back to that time and time again, what are they trying to tell me that they need? What are they trying to tell others that they need? But it also like when I, you know, see an email on a neighborhood listserv, and maybe in the past, I might have judged someone for what, you know, the sharpness of their tone, or the language they're using, or, you know, I don't know, something like that, I'm able to just pause and offer them some compassion in that moment and think, what is this person trying to, you know, say on a deeper level? What is their need? And it just, it, it just really, really shifts your relationships with everyone, not just your children. It's just really, really gratifying. So I'm so grateful to the community that Jen has created, and that all of these members participate in. And I'm extra extra grateful for my ACTion groups that I'm a part of. Having that sort of microcommunity as well, to meet with every week and to share your wins and your struggles and to have people really ground you in your values And say, "Yeah, I see you, I hear you, I'm I'm with you." I just like I said at the beginning, I just cannot imagine where we would be without this membership, this community, and all of the work that we've put in together. And I really do see it as affecting others, you know, I, the way that I show up in my job has shifted the way that I'm able to show up in my relationships with other adults and other kids, my relationship to myself, all of those have been impacted by these values and by these practices. So thank you so much.

Jen Lumanlan:

It's been such an honor to work with Lucinda over the last five years. And I want to show you some of these tools that Lucinda and parents like her have used to make this kind of shift. I know this is a bit of an unusual approach to this kind of topic. But I'm using a variation of a model of sustainable change that was developed by a management consultant, Dr. Mary Lippitt, and later adapted by Timothy Noster. And I have to thank member Anne for introducing me to this particular model, and we'll hear from her later. So this is one of those things that's easier to grasp visually. So there will be a copy of this available on the page for this episode at YourParentingMojo.com/SustainableChange.

Jen Lumanlan:

The basic equation is that if you have vision, plus skills, and motivation, and resources and a plan, then you can create sustainable change in any aspect of your life or work not just in your parenting. So let me repeat that just in case you're not looking at it right now to make sure you got all the elements of it. So Vision + skills + motivation + resources + a plan equals sustainable change. So I'm going to define each of those terms and I'm also going to show you what happens when each one of those elements is missing from the equation.

Jen Lumanlan:

So we start with your vision. And in the Parenting Membership, we actually don't start with creating your vision because most parents aren't at a place in their lives with that's what they want to focus on when they first join. When most parents join a membership to help them figure out what's going on with their children's behavior, the first thing they want to figure out is what's going on with their children's behavior, not developing their family vision. So we start with figuring out what's going on with their children's behavior and making that a bit less struggling. And then many parents who have kids with difficult behavior are also having a lot of disagreements about how to handle that behavior. So we work on that next. I mentioned in the recent podcast episode on How to get on the same page as your parenting partner that I've completed levels one and two of the three levels of Gottman method training by Drs. John and Julie Gottman. It's the only research-based approach to couples therapy out there. And while I'm not a therapist or a licensed clinical social worker, so it is not appropriate for me to work with couples who are experiencing serious challenges like infidelity, or if one or both of them is considering ending the relationship. I can help couples with mild to medium struggles to make pretty dramatic improvements to their communication. If you have a parenting partner and you're having disagreements about how you approach things like discipline, which basically underpins all the daily struggles, like how to get them out the door in the morning, and come to the table for dinner and brush their teeth at night, then you need those modules of content. And then once you're ready, we help you develop your vision for your family, which is going to be based on your values, you can't really figure out your vision and values when you're hyper stressed. And it's also pretty hard to do when you can't communicate with the other person in your life who's invested in your parenting.

Jen Lumanlan:

And of course, if you aren't in a relationship, right now, we do tend to see that our communication patterns follow us from one relationship to the next. So when you're between relationships is actually a good time to work on this. So once you have that underway, then you can start developing your vision and your values for your family. And here, we're not talking about those posters you can buy that say: In this family, we are kind. We use our manners. We are honest. And so on. The problem with those posters is they really aren't family values, they're expectations that parents have for the children's behavior, and their actions that parents don't always display toward the children. They're more like instructions than values. And you may perhaps have a sense of where this is going instructions flow from a person who has more power to a person who has less power. So when we impose these instructions on our children, we're saying that their behavior has to match our expectations. And we don't care why they're not being kind or using their manners or not telling the truth. All we care about is that they perform according to the instructions. Yes, obviously, ideally, we want to be in a family where most of the time we are kind to each other. We use whatever manners we consider to be important. And if you remember way back to Episode 42, on How to teach your child to use manners, you'll know this is very culturally dependent. And we want to be honest with each other. But when that breaks down, what do we do? Do we use our power to get them to be kind, to use their manners, and to be honest? If we imagine that it isn't them, but it's us, it's having a hard time and maybe we're feeling exhausted and overwhelmed and perhaps even resentful that something our partner is doing, we might not well act in a way that others would describe as kind or exhibiting the best manners and perhaps not even completely honest, especially if our partner asks how we're doing and we tell them, everything's fine. What would we want someone to do for us in that situation? Chances are, we'd like them to be compassionate towards us, and try to understand why we were behaving in that way and see if they can help us and our children want exactly the same thing.

Jen Lumanlan:

So we'll help you to understand what values are really important to you, and your family so you can know where you want to hit. Once you're clear on that, everything else gets a lot easier, because suddenly you know whether a particular issue is something you're going to really stand up for. Or if it's something you're going to let go. So there's your vision. And our model says that if you have skills, motivation, resources, and a plan, but no vision, you end up confused, you don't know what you're aiming for. And you might make a plan and execute that plan, and then end up somewhere entirely differently than you intended. You might have some idea in the back of your mind about going to the top of a mountain someday. But without a vision, you're just as likely to end up somewhere entirely different than you intended. Here's what parents Sara said about how understanding her values has helped her in addition to learning how to listen to her children and her partner, but also to herself.

Sara:

One of the most important skills for me has been the work we've done on defining our values, because this is not like tips and tricks or the one right way to parent. It's figuring out really thinking about what matters to you and what do you want for your life, and what do you want your relationship for your kids still with your kids to look like. And taking that longer term view is really important because then once you understand that you can decide even in them moment when you're late for school and, and you're trying to wrangle kids into strollers, eat breakfast and get dressed, what do I do in that moment, and once you're clear on your values, then you can make those decisions on what's right for you. And another important skill has been to listen, I'm learning to listen to myself, in realizing that I've been on autopilot, realize that I've been on autopilot for decades, and that my body and my mind had been trying to tell me things. And then I've just been suppressing it. And then I wondered why I was depressed all the time, not realizing that was the consequence. And I'm learning to listen to my child to have that more harmonious, deeper relationship, and other people as well, I'm listening better to my partner and making a better relationship with him. And I can use that in my work and in my volunteer work as well. So it's carried across to my to every aspect of my life and fundamentally change how I show up in the world, even if I'm still a beginner. So there's a lot more to learn.

Jen Lumanlan:

So once you have your values in place, the next component you need is skills, we're obviously been talking about that already, when we learn how to navigate our children's behavior, and develop stronger communication with our partners. Those are pretty big skills that are going to carry us a really long way. And then we look at what we want to do about screentime and raising healthy eaters and how to raise siblings who love each other and get along. And there's a lot of skill development there. All the while we're developing our knowledge and our skills, and also our community, because we're getting you ready to dig deep in the last three months of your first year. We look at self-compassion, which many parents have an incredibly hard time with. We can extend compassion towards others, even to our children, where they're having a hard time and still have trouble directing compassion to ourselves. And once we've done that, we can go even deeper, and look at the shame that we feel there shows up in our parenting.

Jen Lumanlan:

Many of us grew up being told either implicitly or explicitly that we weren't good enough, and that we had to hide parts of ourselves that weren't acceptable to our parents. And those are the things we end up feeling shame about. Now we learn a method of beginning to heal shame, so it doesn't control us as much as it used to. And then we wrap up our first year by learning how to use less shame in our relationships with our children. So those are just a few of the skills you're going to learn in your just your first year in the Parenting Membership. When you have a vision and motivation and resources and a plan, but no skills, you feel anxious. You know where you want to go and how you want to get there. And all the outside pieces are in place to help you do it. And you certainly know what you don't want to do. But you don't actually know what to do skills get you out of that spin your wheels anxious place. So you can start making progress toward where you want to go. The motivation to make change comes from being encouraged to see what's possible, and how you can make it happen. We have a whole community of parents who have been in the membership for between a year and five years longer than you when you join. And that means you get a picture of what things will be like in a little while first, because your children will grow out of whatever phase that's driving you up the wall right now and into the next fun phase. And they'll get to give you a preview of that. So you can see that whatever struggle you're in right now is not going to last forever, and you will get through it. They'll also be able to share the things they've learned along the way, both from me and from other reading and listening and learning they've done. Here's what member Anne said about her experience in the community.

Anne Hamlin:

Hi, I'm Anne Hamlin, my family life before joining was was extremely stressful. I've learned from TV triggers that I was pretty much in a dysregulated state like this catatonic state for the majority of my time. It was very, very difficult in my son's early days. And yeah, now couldn't be more different. I have just such a wonderful, joy filled relationship with my son, we have so much fun together. And it just keeps improving all the time. My favorite thing about the membership is the community. Just being in community with other people that want to make positive changes, you know, based on their values with their family, and helping all of us helping each other brainstorm ways to do that to any specific situations is really, really beautiful. It's such a gift and it's such a wonderful resource that I'm so glad that I have it's made all the difference. My ACTion group has been meeting for years now. And we're fantastic friends and we We all love coming to the call every week and catching up with each other and helping each other with our with our approach. So yeah, my message for Jen is thank you, thank you for cultivating this community around these ideas. The work you're doing is so impactful. And you know, even however many years in, I'm still learning and improving all the time. It just gets better and better.

Jen Lumanlan:

I think many parents find that being on group coaching calls also provides some motivation, because it tends to offer some insight into their situation that they hadn't had before. I said this on the How to get on the same page as your parenting partner episode as well, I do have training and coaching. And I've been working with couples, and I've been coaching with parents for over five years. But I have two really big secret weapons that helped me to help you. Actually, neither of them's really a secret, because I've told you about them before in different contexts. The first of these is I'm not you. It's always easier to have clarity on struggles that are going on in other people's lives than in your own, which is why peer coaching is so effective. With a little training and listening and mistakes to look out for, peers can be outstanding coaches when we're having a hard time.

Jen Lumanlan:

I'm a bit hesitant to mention my second secret weapon because I'm worried about being misunderstood. I really believe that my autism helps me to be a better coach. I think some parents look at me and they think well, Jen doesn't seem like she struggles with parenting. And the one thing everyone knows about autistic people is they can't relate to others. So is she really the right person to help with my parenting challenges? After I released Episode 175, where I shared my autism self-diagnosis a year ago, a listener wrote and shared that they had conceptually believe that all people had value before. But it wasn't until they saw how autism helps me process massive volumes of information so quickly, and turn it into podcast episodes that parents can use that they viscerally got, that all people genuinely can make incredible contributions to the world. One of the subsets of that massive information processing ability is pattern recognition. Many autistic people are master pattern recognizers, and that can be incredibly helpful to you. We've all had unique experiences in life. But underneath the specifics, there are so many commonalities, and quickly identifying those commonalities helps me to coach you effectively. So I want to share about five minutes of episode 206 that was released a few weeks ago on How to find yourself as a parent, when parent Jen told us that she was having a really hard time with her babies crying. And you can hear this for yourself.

Jen:

Baby wants to be held and touched. It's not enough to be next to me or in the crib, and I'm just three feet away folding laundry. He just loves that feeling of being held. And I've tried multiple things, including babywearing and I am very uncomfortable with him crying for a prolonged period of time. Just I recognize that for me, it stresses me out. So it's just yeah, it's hard. I'm very open to feedback.

Jen Lumanlan:

Yeah, it is hard. And I am wondering, the extent to which you were independent as a child?

Jen:

That is a great question. I think my homes, my parents were divorced when I was six months old, separated before I was born. And I believe that the homes were very different. My mother was in graduate school and working full time. So I don't know how much time she was able to give me and my dad? I don't know. I don't know.

Jen Lumanlan:

Yeah. Yeah.

Jen:

So as a baby, I don't know. But I was quite, I was left to my own devices a lot. As I grew.

Jen Lumanlan:

Yeah. And so now we start to see where this struggle is coming from. Right. This is not just about do I baby, whether or not right? This is about a deep heart that you're carrying with you. It makes it really hard to consider that that baby is there and is crying, And there's something you could do about it. And maybe you're choosing not to. Right.

Jen:

Yeah, I think I think you're right, that that taps into something that's quite deep feeling for me?

Jen Lumanlan:

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it's like a heart, right? Like a wound that's there. That's still really raw, and maybe it seemed as though it was kind of okay. And then maybe, maybe your older child actually was fairly independent and it wasn't such an issue. And now you've got this baby who really wants to be held all the time and it's like somebody rip that band aid right off, and there's this raw, unhealed wound still there about what it means to be abandoned, to be left here and devices. And so yeah, so that that's why this is hard. Not not because there's some sort of mythical strategy that you have to use that is gonna magically fit all these pieces together, right? You're gonna have enough time for baby And for your daughter And to connect with your partner And get all the housework done. Right. It's about how it hurts. Yeah, that's, that's,

Jen:

I feel that I guess I hadn't quite made that connection. But I feel the same way with all of my issues with my daughter as well, I'm always, I don't want her to feel alone, I don't want her to feel like she's less than now that there's a baby here. I think when my parents remarried and had their own children, my younger brothers and sisters who I love, I think it was still quite difficult for me to be the only child of my two parents, and to be at minimum seven years older. And not really maybe part of the family. And so maybe that's yeah, maybe that's, I guess I hadn't thought of that, where some of my discomfort is coming from, or a lot of it.

Jen Lumanlan:

Yeah. And always feeling like you weren't really part of the family, right. And now looking at this older child who's like, does she feel like she's not really part of this family? Now, little brothers, here she is she hurting in the same way that I have hurt? Yeah. And that's, that's really hard. It's really hard to be with. And also, she is a different person, your son is a different person, you are not your parents. We can't protect our children from all of the struggles that they will face in life. And so much of parenting is about seeing what is our thing that we're struggling with, and trying to work to heal those hurts that we've experienced, while letting them have their own experiences, right? She may have an amazing relationship with her little brother for her her entire life. They may grow up, and they may never speak to each other again, right, we can't know that. We can't know what their relationship is going to be like, Oh, we can do? Do the best that we can to show up in for them in a way that's aligned with our values. So obviously, there's so much more that we could do like I am just noticing in myself the like the wish to be able to hand you something on a platter that says this is how you fix this. And it doesn't exist. Right. It's not there. I think it's really in like developing that. That self-understanding and that self-compassion and noticing Oh, yeah, babies crying and oh, gosh, that hurts. But that hurts because of what I've experienced, maybe babies feeling a little bit of discomfort. But that's babies little discomfort. That's very different from the hurt diet shot And working to start to separate those two things. Maybe that's a good place to start. Yeah,

Jen:

I think that's a wonderful place to start. And it's thank you for seeing that it's not something that I had really considered before as part of some of the struggles that I'm have been. So that gives me something to reflect on. And yeah, and go from there.

Jen Lumanlan:

So there's my autism superpower at work, where I noticed Jen saying how stressed out she was by her baby's crying. And I know there's something deeper at work. And because the autism makes me direct, I can gently ask the question that got us to the insight, which was about how independent Jen had been as a child. I never met Jen before, I had no idea what she'd experienced in life. But I know that people who present like that have something much deeper going on that we have to address. And I know how to uncover what that is. And that's where the real magic starts to happen. Because Jen left that call with both insight and motivation to do things differently. And she put that into practice immediately. Here's what she shared 10 days later describing how things are different now.

Jen:

I joined the coaching call seeking help with my daughter, who has been showing some physical aggression at school and at home. And I was able to get some help there. But I was very deeply affected by your insight into my dynamic with my son, which is related to what's happening with my daughter as well. I've been struggling to accomplish anything. Housework, self-care, quality time with my husband and my daughter. Because I've really been struggling to let my baby cry just a little. I'm not talking about crying it out. I'm talking about not being able to tolerate the sound of him crying. Even when I know he's safe, fed, clean. I still struggled and because I couldn't put him down um When he was crying, I found myself always holding him and then unable to meet any other needs mine or anyone else's. So you had an insight, and asked me about what my infancy was like. And well, of course, I don't remember stands to reason that there may have been some deep feelings and an unmet needs that I was really unaware of. So now as long as my baby is safe, I've been practicing and building the muscle of putting him down and taking care of myself and my daughter and my husband. And that has actually helped to calm everything in the home, including my own heart.

Jen Lumanlan:

So there was motivation, when you have vision skills, resources and a plan but no motivation, you get slow progress. Jen was motivated and she made substantial progress on addressing her preschool's difficult behavior, as well as her relationship with her husband and changing how she shows up for herself as well, out of a 10-minute conversation on a group coaching call.

Jen Lumanlan:

The next step in the framework is resources, which are defined as the tools and the time to combat frustration, because frustration is what you get if you have a vision, skills, motivation and a plan, but no resources. I know it can be hard to imagine how you're going to find the time to participate in something like a membership. And while we're talking about things that can be hard to find, I think money can fit into that category for a lot of parents as well. And I get that. I really do. The decisions that I make about running this business things like not running ads on the podcast, not selling merchandise that members have told me I should sell, trying as hard as I possibly can not to raise prices and accepting scholarship requests for basically any amount that potential members propose, although the number of people who pay the higher end of sliding scale rates never covers the cost. Keeping my small team intact when the smartest business decision is to lay people off when our workload fluctuates, because I prioritize their safety and well being above my own. At the same time, I still make decisions about how I spend money, I prioritize spending money and time as well on some things rather than others. I chose to spend $30 on Carys's favorite chocolate, so I could lay an Easter egg hunt for her around our neighborhood. My husband suggested we use the cheaper chocolate covered almonds from the supermarket, which is a totally valid alternative. And I chose to buy her favorite kind of chocolates, because she doesn't ask for many things. And she asked me twice for an Easter egg hunt. And I knew that by making a map of our neighborhood and setting up the hunt in our neighbor's yards, and using those chocolates, the whole experience would be something she will remember for years, if not for the rest of her life. By saying "yes" to those chocolates, I said "no" to other things. And the same goes for the ways I choose to spend my time. I chose to spend the four hours getting the chocolates and emailing our neighbors and drawing the map and hiding the eggs because it fits with my values of supporting her learning through reading the map and spending time together doing things we both enjoy. And she did have an absolute blast. And it was a really connecting experience for us. So I guess the idea I want to get across is that we're constantly making these choices. And I want to make sure that we're making choices that are aligned with our values. Maybe that's difficult right now, if we haven't thought too much about what our values are. Maybe we make decisions about what to spend money on without considering what is the thing we won't buy because we're buying this thing. Maybe it seems like we don't have a lot of time. But somehow we end up scrolling through social media while the TV's on in the background for an hour before bed every night. Here's what member answered about how she made the decision to join the Parenting Membership.

Anne Hamlin:

I've been in the membership for a few years now. And I decided to join four years ago because I was listening to a podcast the time and I kept hearing the advertising about the membership. And so I think my son's music class was up for renewal. And I was looking at the cost of that. And the cost of this and I was like you know, it gave me I need this more than me maybe he needs his music class. And that's that was, in retrospect a very wonderful decision.

Jen Lumanlan:

But even when we say it's about the time or the money, it isn't always. Sometimes when we say that it can be code for it's scary to think about doing something different because what if it doesn't work? Or what if I put in a whole lot of time and effort and money and I put myself out there with my partner and my kids and it makes things worse. And then the guilt that you would feel it wasting the money and the shame you might feel it realizing this is really all about you and you can't fix you would be too much to bear. I hear you. It's a such a tough spot to be in. And what you're dealing with right now with your children's behavior is also a tough spot. Someone told me once marriage is hard Divorce is also hard co-parenting is hard. Pick your heart. So I can't promise that things won't be hard if you join the membership. But I can say that if you show up with me, I will show up with you. And that doesn't mean you'll just see me when I broadcast a live video into the community. I will respond personally to your questions, both in the community and on our group coaching calls. If you want things to be different in your family life, I will help you to make that happen. Here's member Denise who shared her thoughts on some things that she's learned and changes she has been able to make both in her family and in herself over the last five years. And she's actually our community manager now, which I personally enjoy so much. Denise has learned tools to work with her children more effectively. But you may also be noticing a theme by now, when she says the person she's seen the most growth in is herself.

Denise:

I am not the same person I was since becoming a parent. And I know many of us can probably agree with that. But what I have found is that thanks to this membership, I have become more of myself. And that, um, I have really grown into "me." I have gotten to know myself better, I've gotten to love myself more. And I know that a lot of that is because of the membership, where it's really not just about figuring out how to make your kids do the things that you want them to do, but also just about learning how to accept yourself and love yourself and also love your kids. And I just want to shout out to Jen, to the Your Parenting Mojo team, and all the members, I am so grateful that we get to be doing this work together. I am so much more comfortable with the person that I am today. And I am so much more content, because I know that I have this community that is there to support me and really just allow me to be me.

Jen Lumanlan:

Then the final aspect of the model of sustainable change is you have to have a plan. If you have a vision skills, motivation, and resources, but no plan, then you're on a treadmill. And the treadmill is outdoors. And you can see the mountain that you want to get to the top of which represents the family life you know you want to have. But you're just walking in that same spot for miles and the mountain isn't getting any closer. And that helps us to start closing the circle that we opened at the beginning of the episode. The Setting Limits workshop isn't designed to help you make sustainable change. There's no way that a 10-day workshop can do that it just isn't possible. Real change takes a lot longer than 10 days. I can help you to develop the beginnings of a vision of what you want to be different and show you some new skills. And you'll get some motivation in the community and the time and financial investment is pretty low for a free 10-day workshop. But if you don't commit to making real change in a year's time, you'll take the workshop again. And maybe you'll take it again the year after that. And some things will be different because your children will be a year older, but you may well look back in a year and think that things are actually kind of similar to what they are right now. And if where you are right now isn't where you want to be, I have the tools to help you make that change. One of those tools is the ACTion groups that some members have mentioned, where you meet up with up to five other parents and an experienced peer coach once a week. They really do get to know each other even though each of them only talks for five minutes. And the members will help you to set a plan for what we call your next step. So if you know your goals and values, which we help you to figure out, then you can't just decide to get there and go. You have to have interim goals along the way and meet those goals and get a bit of satisfaction from doing that. And maybe some weeks you won't meet your goal. And that's also okay. And your group will help you figure out why you didn't meet that goal. Was it too big? Did it contain too many sub components? Did one of the sub components feel scary? And then you'll get support for choosing a manageable sub goal for that week. So you can keep making progress toward that mountain. It might be slow progress, if that's right for you at the time. I know some weeks parents set a goal off I am going to rest this week.

Jen Lumanlan:

And also when you're setting goals every week, you are most definitely not on that treadmill. You are making progress toward that mountaintop at the peace that's exactly right for you. If you want to know more about what it's like to be in an ACTion group, you might want to check out the episode from two weeks ago called The power of learning in community. I think everyone who has contributed stories here today is in an ACTion group including Miranda. She recorded a 20-minute video for me to share what her five years in the Parenting Membership has been like. So I did edit this down quite a bit to make it more manageable for you.

Miranda:

Hello, my name is Miranda Fleming and I have been part of the Your Parenting Mojo Parenting Membership since the beginning, five years ago, which is hard to believe. But yet, I don't remember a time that I wasn't in the membership. So it's been just an integral part of my life. I joined an ACTion group. And now I need every week with five other parents from all around the world, the same parents, the same people, and we have been in the ACTion Group, pretty much the six of us the same one, since the beginning. We've really developed a tight bond, and it's a highlight of my week to be able to go on the call and hear what the other ladies are talking about. And, you know, because it's consistent, I know them and I know, their, their stories and their lives. And it's, it's a continuation of each week. To talk about, the membership, to me is very connected now to the ACTion group, but what I've gotten out of the membership has been transformative, to say the least, but it's, you know, to narrow it down five things that I've have really been key things that have changed in my life, is this, this idea that everybody has a need. And the better we can be to meet each other's needs, the better we are to, to function together. And I think, you know, I always knew that my kid had been so I was gonna add needs, but to, to be able to know, and see that I also have needs and by meeting my needs, I'm so much better equipped to be able to meet her needs, has been really fundamentally changing of my whole self. I within that realize that, like many others was raised with parents who disregarded my needs, who still to this day do. And being able to advocate for what I need, has been, and will continue to be a path that I'm constantly walking down. But it is become our family motto that if there's a way to meet everyone's needs, that's what we're going to do and not one person gets priority over what their needs, we just try and find a way to work together. Being able to show that to Ava I think is fundamental to the growth of a well-rounded person.

Miranda:

You know, one of the things that Jen has sometimes relentlessly drilled into me is that emotion isn't the problem, like how do I get my kid to stop crying? How do I get my kid to stop yelling? Like the motion of it, which is what triggers me the most. It makes me want, it's got to stop. You know, or if I say, you know, if I do that, then she starts crying. Jen would say you know, crying isn't the problem. Crying isn't crying, it's fine. And at the beginning, I remember being like, I don't even understand the words coming out of your mouth because it is clearly the problem. And it is the thing that in the moment is causing me the most distress. But she has really helped me learn to sit with emotion and work through the crying and that it's okay for her to cry. That's still even hard for me to say because emotions were the worst thing I could have as a kid. To this day, my mom well preemptively tell Ava before we go somewhere, even if Ava is not doing anything, she's just getting our shoes on and my mom will say remember no crying when we go to the restaurant. And remember the first time Ava was like, I'm not crying. Is there something that I'm going to be crying about? Is there a reason why I may cry at the restaurant. And it's it was is a moment for me to really realize how much I wasn't allowed to have emotion. How much emotion was really the enemy.

Miranda:

And so now I was never first off I was never shown how to deal with emotion. I was never allowed to sit with it. I was never given the space to cry I only cried in private. And so now to have a child that I'm doing everything in my power to make comfortable with doing it is now also the thing that is hardest for me to work through because I didn't have that. So, you know that's that's a really important one of just holding space for for people and it's also something that I've learned a lot in being an ACTion group and being the peer coach in it because I get to do that for adults as well. And the power that I know that that is for them. And the security that we're creating in that space gets reinforced of what I'm I'm doing for for Ava in our home.

Sonja Nase:

Hi, my name is Sonja and I joined Jen's membership four and a half years ago on its second opening. I found Jen's direct through her podcast, as after my little one was born. And we were getting so much advice and opinions that just didn't resonate with us. So we looked up stuff on the internet about Science-based parenting and respectful parenting. And this is how our journey began, began. Both me and my husband were following the podcast and later joined the membership. First three months we done together going through the core modules, which was really good. Finally putting like value our family values on paper and actually seeing that we align, we always thought that we do align. But yeah, being able to discuss it and see it and prioritize stuff was really good. Later on when the ACTion group started to form. Also, my husband was part of the dads only ACTion Group and I was part of the the ACTion group as well ACTion groups as well. And all these really sounded scary to start with. They turned out to be my favorite part of the membership, just a safe place to connect with same minded parents and discuss whatever is on your mind at the moment, figuring out how to move on or solve any problems or just share wins, actually, I think I've really liked for three core modules.

Jen Lumanlan:

So when you put all those pieces together, and you have the vision and skills and motivation, and resources and plan, you get sustainable change. If you're out there in the world doing this by yourself, you have to cobble all the pieces together, and it's a bit like spinning plates: one of them slows down so you focus on getting it going again, and then another one, I miss drops, and you have to hold the whole thing by yourself. And our culture reinforces that and says you should be able to do all this by yourself. And you certainly shouldn't let anyone else know you're struggling. And if you are struggling, it's really your fault. And that's something we can diagnose and sell you a medication to fix rather than seeing your overwhelm as a massive failure of our social systems. You could build all this by yourself. You could absolutely develop your own vision, and take lots of individual skills courses, and motivate yourself to keep going even when things get really hard. And find a community that will help you create a new plan every single week for how you're going to take the next step towards your vision. It's really not rocket science, and you could totally do it yourself. Or you could come to a place where it's all set up for you and where you can plug into exactly the resources you need. You won't even have to do any work to figure out which resource will help you because after you join the membership, you'll get a 20-minute one on one Zoom call with Community Manager Denise, who started as a member five years ago so she has participated in all of these things as we've built them. Denise is a trained coach, and she will listen to what's going on in your life. And she will plug you into exactly the resources that will be most helpful to you. Remember, Sonja used to try to take advantage of all the things that we offer. But like most members, she has settled into a rhythm of using the elements that work best for her, rather than trying to do everything.

Jen Lumanlan:

Enrollment into the membership is open right now until midnight Pacific on Wednesday, May 15th. If you've been looking for more tools and skills, and some science-based information to help you navigate this difficult stage of parenting, we've got those. But it's possible that once you get in and start using the skills, you'll realize the vision and motivation and resources and plan are just as important in creating the kind of sustainable change that you want to see. Rather than listening to an episode like this a year from now, and wishing things were different. So if you want to make this happen, we will help you starting with your one on one call with Denise so you can access exactly the resources that you need. All the information is at YourParentingMojo.com/parentingmembership. As always, we've got sliding scale pricing and a money back guarantee. Again, that's YourParentingMojo.com/parentingmembership. I can't wait to meet you inside.

Sonja Nase:

And although I'm in membership so long, I keep coming back to them. Because every time I come back to them, I find some new value in them probably combined with like more advanced topics and everything. So I was mostly involved later in following the topics and modules. But my husband was taking on board like suggestions and everything. And it's really great to see that most of the tools that we learned were really applying today in day to day life. For instance, like two weeks ago, my husband came and told me like I'm so proud. He was getting frustrated, because my little one was in a playful state. She wanted to undo the bedsheets he was doing. And after a while he started being frustrated but he he stopped he realized he's getting frustrated. His stopped took a deep breath came down to her level. And when asked her like do you need a hug? She said yes, they had like really nice connecting long hug. And after that she was happily helping him. Straighten the bedsheets and set up the bed. So just nice to see and hear all this stuff happening now. So yeah, so many so many tools. And growth has happened in both of us, me and my husband over those last four and a half, five years. And it's really nice to see that there, yeah, kind of an hour an hour need second nature. Now, I think over the years, I've just kind of decided that, that is what benefits me more most. And I can catch up on coach and coaching call recordings. When or if I'm doing the module topical that month, because also like the beginning, first of last year, I think I was like really pushing and trying to do as much as I can to learn as much as I can. But now we more eased into okay, we are doing, doing what we can, we are we are following the modules when we can and we are just focusing on applying the those important tools actually learned in our first year, or come back and revisit it every now and then. So thank you so much Jen. Membership was like amazing, in applying to keep on like, stay in both memberships, parenting and learning, as long as they're available, basically. And yeah, it's really, really helped us really, really grow as parents as a family, and just accepted thing that did deeply resonated with us. Makes sense for our family. And being able to have this community even on just online, as we actually are most surrounded by people who are traditionally parent is just amazing. So thank you, thank you so much.

Kathryn:

I've had an amazing five years as part of the membership. And I think for me, the most noteworthy thing is I came looking for more tools And more information to meet the situation as it was when I joined. And what I got was so much more than that. And the real value has been in my own personal development in the clarity I've had towards what my own expectations were for my family and for myself, and being able to move away from how do I fix this problem that's coming up for me right now. And more towards how can I embody my own values and be the person and the parent I want to be and learn to follow my own inner compass as we go through challenging times and times that we don't expect. And so I've just been so grateful for all the insights and the wisdom, the support and the overall community that I've received through my time with a membership. And I'm so grateful to Jen and to everybody in the membership for being on this journey with me. And I would encourage everybody else to do the same because it's been truly transformative. So thank you.

Kelly:

Hi, I'm Kelly Peterson from Chicago, Illinois. I'm a Your Parenting Mojo fan. And I hope you enjoyed the show as much as I do. If you found this episode especially enlightening or useful, you can donate to help Jen produce more content like this. And also save us both from those interminable mattress ads you hear on other podcasts, then you can do that and also subscribe on the link that Jen just mentioned. Thanks for listening.

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.