Last week I summarized day one of the first Whinypaluza Parenting and Marriage Summit. Today I am going to jump into day two. After the positive response from day one, I was so excited to dive into day two. I am going to do my best to summarize these amazing women’s presentations.
I met all these wonderful women by having them as guests on my podcast. I will give you their podcast episode numbers in case you want to go back and listen to them. You can also look for future episodes with them.
The dynamic duo Elaine Taylor-Klaus and Diane Dempster started us off. Parenting and partnering with ADHD, Anxiety and more. Elaine was episode number two on the Whinypaluza podcast. She was one of my very first guests.
- Elaine and Diane advise parents to bring the focus from our children to ourselves. I already love this! We need to focus on our own responses to our children to have the biggest impact.
- They want us to walk our children through the process of problem solving. We want to teach our kids how to solve their own problems. Teach them to plan – act – rinse and repeat – educate and then start over with planning. This is taking aim at the problem.
- Taking aim is knowing where to start. What problem are you identifying and starting with.
- After we take aim, we evaluate if the behavior is naughty or neurological. I love the sayings they have come up with. They are so catchy and easy to understand. Is your child naughty or is your child unable to do what they need to do? Can’t or won’t?
- After you have taken aim and determined if it’s naughty or neurological, time to move to meeting your child where they are and raising the next bar. I love that Elaine and Diane remind us to set our kids up for success in this phase. We want to set the bar where they are able to achieve the expectation that was set for them.
- The next phase is understanding and motivating our children. They suggest using PINCH to help motivate your child: P = Using play, creativity, humor. I = What are they interested in? N = Novelty. C = Competition and connection. H = Hurry up, urgency. I loved learning that a complex brain has trouble unless they are interested, and that urgency is exhausting to them.
- The next phase is my favorite. Creating the tone of the home. I love this and I also find this to be a lot of pressure. I may feel pressure, but I also feel privileged to set the tone for my family. It is a wonderful opportunity for all of us. We are setting the tone of the home. What do we want the tone of our home to be?
- Shed the shoulds. What do I want? What values do I have? What shoulds can I get rid of? All excellent questions for all of us to reflect on.
- Focus on what works. Look for what works and then remember to celebrate your successes. This really resonated with me. I don’t tend to stop and celebrate our successes and I would like to do this more.
- Commit to calm. I couldn’t love this expression more and I will use this. I think this is one of the most effective things that we can do as parents. The calmer we are the more effective parents we are. I just love the catchy phrases Elaine and Diane come up with. It will help us remember their pointers. They recommend saying to yourself: “I’ve got this. I can do this.” If we mess up and we don’t stay calm, we recover and apologize. We can repair by apologizing to our children and by committing to doing better the next time.
- Elaine shares not to do pills without skills. We need to learn the skills. I love this!
Thank you to Elaine and Diane for their fantastic presentation. I loved having them walk us through effective problem solving with our children.
The radiant, warm and inspiring Rebekah Maddux El-Hakam. How to approach motherhood from babies to teens and stages in between. Rebekah was episode number 7 on the Whinypaluza podcast. She was also one of my first guests. I loved her right away because she has the same name as me and because she is so warm and easy to talk to.
- I love that Rebekah shares the story of her relationship. Rebekah and her husband have five children, so she walks the walk of motherhood. She shares with us that her relationship is not perfect and that they have made a commitment to be together. No relationship is perfect. My own favorite line about marriage is that it’s two imperfect people who never give up on each other.
- Rebekah has a rainbow baby. She has found that so many women share in her loss. Women are not alone in their struggles and grief.
- Rebekah advises us to be intentional about the words that we choose to use with our family. She says to eliminate the words always and never. I know my husband would love it if I never said never or always again.
- As Rebekah discusses the various stages of her five children, she advises us not to compare our children as they make their way through each stage. Every child is so different. What works for one child may not work for the next child. I wish I had learned that many years ago.
- I loved listening to Rebekah talk about looking for a school for her son that matched their expectations. I think we don’t realize all the options that are out there. If a school isn’t a good match for your child, try to find something better suited for them.
- Are our expectations realistic? Are our expectations for our kids too much? Good questions to evaluate our parenting.
- What are our expectations around electronics?
- Rebekah talked about advocating for our children. She has been an amazing advocate for her children to help them be successful.
- She took us through an exercise to help us all learn to reframe child behavior. Instead of saying your child is impatient you can say that your child gets things done quickly.
Thank you, Rebekah, for sharing your stories and wisdom with all of us. I loved going on a parenting journey with you.
- Allana wants to get down to the bottom of it all and teach us what makes a child tick. What exactly is going on under the hood?
- Kids negative behaviors are due to empty gas tanks. We don’t give them breaks. We don’t help them to refuel.
- The neocortex in the brain is for thought, reasoning and executive functioning.
- When kids are drained and low energy they move from the blue neocortex to the red limbic system of the brain with no reasoning.
- Kids move from blue, to red, to gray brain (reptilian brain). The gray brain is the oldest part of the brain. There is no thought and it the brain used for survival. This is where kids are looking for safety.
- Predictability and consistency help children to feel safe. This builds trust and feelings of safety. If we spring things on children, then we are a danger to them. Behaviors improve and children are more collaborative with adults when they feel safe.
- Make expectations predictable for kids.
- Watch what your children do naturally on their own to regain energy and regulate themselves. When do they feel regulated? How long does this positive energy last? What fills their tank?
I love how Allana taught us how a child’s brain works. This was very helpful. Remember that next time your child has a negative behavior that they are just low energy and need to refuel.
- I loved how Judy talked about emotions. She said to treat them as temporary guests. That is super helpful!
- She explained to us to be curious about our partner’s emotions instead of judgmental. She says we can’t be curious and judgmental at the same time.
- Pick, project, provoke in relation to our partner.
- Pick – We chose our partner based off positive and negative traits from our parents.
- Project – we project things onto our spouse. If we had feelings of being unloved, we do things to create feeling unloved by our partner.
- Provoke – when there were conflicts in the home as a child maybe you ran and hid. As an adult this leads to avoiding conflict with your spouse. Fascinating to learn how things from childhood bubble back up as an adult. We are bringing things back up that we need to work on.
- We are redoing dances from childhood with our spouse to learn and grow.
- Every partner is worthy of dignity and respect in a relationship.
- Judy has a wonderful outlook on divorce. She doesn’t look at it as if she married the wrong person. She looks at what she learned and took away from the relationship.
Thank you for taking us down a path to learning more about relationships. Judy is an imago therapist, and she wants to teach my husband and I the imago method. I can’t wait to do this. I’ll report back to you after we have a session with Judy. My husband and I have a wonderful relationship thankfully, but I would love to learn about imago and how we can communicate even better.
The calm, mindful, inspirational Dr. Laura Froyen. Parenting triggers are often invitations for deeper healing and growth. Dr. Laura was episode 112 on the Whinypaluza podcast. I remember thinking that she put me in such a calm state, and I felt this right away this time too.
- Laura starts off by telling us to love ourselves unconditionally and to reparent ourselves.
- Reframe parenting triggers as opportunities and invitations for healing and growth.
- She wants us to embrace the words “good enough.” I personally love those two words.
- We feel triggered based off old patterns. We need to look at this and analyze it and practice outside of the heated moments. Practice in the calm moments.
- Laura says we get the kids we need to help us grow.
- We need to be mindful, reparent ourselves and have affirmations to say to calm ourselves.
- We can regulate our nervous systems with something like saying to ourselves, “Here I am. I am here. I am safe. I am loved.” I love this example and find it so calming. She taps her chest while she says this.
- Get curious not furious.
- Build a new default of what to say to yourself. Remind yourself that you are not a child, and you are safe now.
I can’t even begin to tell you how calm and wonderful I felt after Dr. Laura’s presentation. Thank you, Dr. Laura.
Six wonderful women. Five fantastic presentations. I can’t thank these women enough along with all the wonderful participants. This summit was wonderful because of the beautiful energy from the presenters and participants.
I ended the summit discussing how to overcome common marital mistakes. I will share this with you another time.
I loved my first summit. What a great experience and learning opportunity for me. I appreciate all the feedback I have gotten. People have told me what they loved and what they would suggest for next time. If you have any suggestions for me, please feel free to share them. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear your take aways from the summit or the blog. I hope you will join me when we do another one in the future.
I can’t end without thanking my amazing, brilliant husband for the months he worked to put this summit together. It was an honor to do this with him. Sending him love and appreciation. We can’t tell our spouses enough how much we love and appreciate them.
Laughing, Learning, Loving,
Rebecca Greene, LCSW-R
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