Wendy Snyder is a Certified Positive Parenting Educator and Family Life Coach. Wendy inspires parents to learn & grow through connection based firm & kind strategies. As the host of The Fresh Start Family Show & Founder of Fresh Start Family, Wendy helps parents ditch the threats, yelling & harsh punishments so they can live life as a joyful & confident parent (with kids that listen & cooperate great).

435: 3 Ways to Shift Out of Punishment

Wendy Snyder

You may not want to punish your child for a number of reasons: you don’t want them to hate you, guilt, and escalating chaos to name a few…but how do you do it? Wendy Snyder comes back on the podcast to talk about 3 ways to make that shift, plus she gives us an easy tip for what to do instead of threats!

435: 3 Ways to Shift Out of Punishment

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*This is an auto-generated transcript*

[00:00:00] Wendy Snyder: To be able to have peace and confidence and to be able to be settled and handle yourself with integrity during those heightened moments. Like that's something every parent deserves. And when there's punishment present, it's just not happening, right?

[00:00:22] Hunter: You're listening to the Mindful Parenting Podcast, episode number 435. Today, we're talking about three ways to shift out of punishment with Wendy Snyder.

Welcome to the Mindful Parenting Podcast. Here it's about becoming a less irritable, more joyful parent. At Mindful Parenting, we know that you cannot give what you do not have, and when you have calm and peace within, then you can give it to your children. I'm your host, Hunter Clark Fields. I help smart, thoughtful parents stay calm so they can have strong, connected relationships with their children.

I've been practicing mindfulness for over 25 years. I'm the creator of the Mindful Parenting course. And I'm the author of the international bestseller, Raising Good Humans, and now, Raising Good Humans Every Day, 50 Simple Ways to Press Pause, Stay Present, and Connect with Your Kids. Hello and welcome to the first Mindful Parenting podcast of 2020.

2024. I know, it's crazy, right? Wow. Oh my gosh. Anyway, I'm so glad you're here. Welcome, welcome, welcome. And listen, if you have ever gotten any value from this podcast in 2023 or earlier, do me a favor and help me grow the podcast by just telling one friend about it today. You can make a big, big difference with that, and I really greatly appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.

In just a moment, I'm going to be talking to Wendy Snyder. She is coming back to the Mindful Parenting podcast. Wendy is a certified positive parenting educator and family life coach. She is the host of the Fresh Start Family Show and founder of Fresh Start Family. And she helps parents ditch threats and yelling and harsh punishments so they can live joyfully and confidently with kids that listen and cooperate.

These are all the things we want, right? So you're going to love this episode, I know. And we're going to be talking about how to shift out of punishment. And you, maybe you've been listening for a while, maybe not. But you may not want to punish your child for a number of reasons, right? Like you don't want them to hate you.

You feel guilty, you know, but then there's escalating chaos. There's all kinds of things happening in the family. How do you do it? How do you calm that, that like kid chaos, right? Without punishment. So this is what this episode is all about. We're going to talk about three ways to make that shift, and you're going to hear Easy tips for what to do instead of threats.

So make sure you listen all the way through to the end for that. And hey, listen, I want to let you know that the Raising Good Humans Guided Journal has been released! Yay! The Raising Good Humans Guided Journal. Gives you tons of writing prompts to help you keep your cool in the moment, to untangle from beliefs and habits your parents may have passed on to you, to make space for difficult thoughts and feelings, to be more present.

So if you're feeling Bogged down, stressed, burned out, all that stuff. You should get this journal. It'll give you this space to write and unwind and actually just reflect on what really matters. So, the Raising Good Humans Guided Journal is everywhere books are sold. And now, join me at the table as I talk to Wendy Snyder.

Hi, Wendy, welcome back to the Mindful Parenting Podcast. So glad you're here.

[00:04:01] Wendy Snyder: Thanks for having me, Hunter. I love recording with you. It's so great to be here.

[00:04:05] Hunter: Yeah. We have talked to each other a bit lately because I was talking to you for Raising Good Humans Every Day. And now I'm excited to talk to you again because You and I are very much in alignment with like, you know, with your, your compassionate discipline and mindful parenting, moving out of punishment.

So today is all about, I want to talk to that listener who is like, okay, you people are telling me. I shouldn't be punishing my kids. I shouldn't be yelling and threatening them, but what the heck do I do, you know, when they're beating up their little brother or when they're making messes in the house and not cleaning it up, like when there's bad behavior, right?

Like, so we are going to help you today, dear listener, shift out of punishment and give you the what the heck else. Do I do here? So are you on board and ready for that?

[00:05:08] Wendy Snyder: Yes. I'm so ready and Yeah, I just, I can't wait to speak to this because I, I know we've talked about this before Hunter, but it's just so cool to be in the stage of life where I'm seeing the long term results of this.

Yes. So I have an almost 16, almost 13 year old. I can't wait till I can just say 16 and 13. I feel like I've been saying that for months. Their birthday is in like a week. Um, but it's just so awesome to see because for so many years, this, I was like everybody else, right? I mean, I, all these hours of certification and the teaching, but it's all theory until you actually See it play out in real life, right?

So all these stages along the way as a parent, Terry and I were just like, fingers crossed that we haven't drinkin some Kool Aid, that kindness and connection and, you know, will actually work in every step of the journey. It's been so fun to confirm like, oh, dang. That not only worked, but it, like, brought us closer as a family, and now we're in this stage where we see the difference with way, the way these teenagers operate in the world, the way we're able to handle challenges, um, in a way that truly unites us, even when discipline needs to be present, and this last year was a doozy for us, uh, so.

Um, because we have human kids, you know, we have human, human kids. And so to see that play out in not only my home, but the home of hundreds and hundreds of our students has been really cool. So I'm excited to chat about this topic today because it's something I'm really passionate about. Yeah.

[00:06:33] Hunter: Yeah. Me too.

I mean, I, um, my kids are 13 and 16 and it's like, it, it is, it's like, I just thank my past self because our relationships are close, we snuggle, we talk. You know, it's not like we don't have conflict because like, if you're in a relationship with a person, you have some conflict, but it's not about the parenting.

It's not about resolving, you know, like we can talk things through and we're close. It's just, it's amazing. It's light years away from what it was with me and my parents. What was happening there. So I know from your story that you grew up. And a pretty authoritarian household. So you had to make some shifts and changes.

How did you get yourself to start to shift out of punishment? 

[00:07:27] Wendy Snyder: Oh my gosh, I feel like it was, it was intense. Years of like, just breaking that neural pathway. I guess it's like, that's not a way I want to, not breaking, but just repaving. Like it just. It took me years to, like, reprogram my nervous system because my knee jerk reaction was so strong to, um, come in with, like, that overpowering stance of just making it happen or whatever.

You know, it was just thick for me. So it took me about eight years to stop yelling. And it, I remember like, I think, let's see, we started this work when Stella was three and probably up, like there was still a time when she was 10 that I remember was probably like the last time that, uh, and she's almost 16 now, but it took from three to 10 to like, I remember at 10, I did a punishment that I was like, and by that time I'd been teaching for, for years.

Um, and I just remember it, the feeling settling into my body and it being so chaotic and awful and her response was heartbreaking. And I think that was finally when I was like, okay, I think I'm finally done. And you know, it, I just say that because this is such a journey. And nobody's going to be perfect, but to have the courage to go on that journey and just day by day start experimenting with new things.

And I mean, early on, I was like way, as soon as I learned like, all right, spanking's, you know, the corporal punishment stuff, that was a little bit easier for me to let go of. I spanked Stella twice. She freaked out. She was like, red flag waiver, thank God. And it was just pure chaos. Yeah. It's a little bit easier to like, we're not, we're just like, that's a hard stop.

No. Right. And, but some of the other stuff would like creep in a little bit and, um, and it just all came back to this reactionary, heavy hammer. Like, feeling out of control, overpowering stance that I would move into if I felt scared, right? That I was failing, or that she was never going to learn, or she was going to grow up to be this entitled maniac, um, and so that was just a lot of reprogramming over the years and it takes time and it's such a beautiful journey.

[00:09:50] Hunter: Yeah, and I think this is, this is great, and I think that for, we should do a discussion quick before we think about the ways of how to shift out, how to, out of punishment, why, why we should, would, should shift out of punishment. You mentioned purple punishment still being used by a lot of families, uh, around the country, you know, was used on us.

You know, people think that we need to do that, but we should talk about, like, why this is. And I think with corporal punishment, it's pretty clear. Like, we are using our power to hurt our kids so that they will be disincentivized to do whatever they did before. But that ultimately corporal punishment, as well as like other kinds of punishment, right, which are, are also designed to like make our kids either hurt or feel bad or, or, or Miss something or in some way to disincentivize them.

They're ultimately not that effective, right? And we can, we can talk about that. I want, I'm just going to mention from the kind of the nervous system point of view, right? Where we talk about the nervous system a lot here, where when these things, um, they put our kids into fight, flight, or freeze, they scare our kids.

And so anything that's scaring our kids. It's, it's instantly making it so they can't learn whatever it is we want them to learn in that moment, right? So if we think about if they're doing some behavior that we don't want, we want them to learn to do something better, a positive behavior. They want, we want to teach them and have them learn what it is they need to learn.

And if we hit them, if we yell at them, if we scream at them, if we threaten to take their iPad away, then they go into, they're just, it's like biological instant response into fight, flight, or freeze, and they're. Their whole, their brain is not then the, the, the limbic system is not talking to the prefrontal cortex and the prefrontal cortex is where all the learning, all the good decision making, verbal ability, all that stuff takes place.

So I think that for me, that's such a practical reason in that your kid may do the behavior in that moment, but they're actually not learning something in the long run. They're not learning the positive behavior. Um, Wendy, do you want to add on to that? Yeah. The reasons why we want to shift out of punishment, like, does it actually work, right?

[00:12:12] Wendy Snyder: Absolutely. Yeah. I love your work so much, Hunter, because you do help us all so much with, like, settling our nervous system, which really is, like, so much of the basis to be able to do this, right? Because there's, there's the, like, believing that it needs to still happen, punishment, and then that's kind of the first hurdle you get over, where you're like, oh.

I no longer believe that I need to make my child feel worse in order to make them behave better. Like, that's the first hurdle, right? But that takes some mindset work. And then the next one is like, well, I believe this, but I'm still knee jerk reactioning a lot, though it's kind of like a multi step process.

But yeah, um, when I think to like, why we want to do this, I, as you were speaking, I'm thinking like, yes, there's two things that happen. We get to have a settled nervous system when we teach in this way, which is Such a blessing. And every single parent on the planet deserves to have peace in their home and their body, even when conflict arises, right?

As you said, even people have been in this work for a long, long time. We have kids the same age as there is still conflict. There is still kids that don't want to clean their room or do the dishes or are late to whatever, right? Like it still happens. But to be able to have peace and confidence and to be able to Be settled and handle yourself with integrity during those heightened moments.

Like that's something every parent deserves. And when there's punishment present, it's just not happening. Right. And then the second thing is just to be totally honest. We all want what we, we want to get what we want.

[00:13:48] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcast right after this break.

[00:13:56] Wendy Snyder: Like every single human is out to get what they want. Like we're trying to influence people to do what we want. There is no shame in that, right? It's like a one way to feel powerful, but we're just trying to influence each other all the time. And if we want our children to do what we want, we've got to teach them how not just stop it, especially the strong willed ones, because the strong willed ones.

When they feel pressured and judged, they will dig their feet in the mud and they will resist change. But when we teach them how to, right, that comes in like the calm times, that comes in connection, that comes in, um, helping them feel like they belong and you understand them even after they've made a mistake.

When you, when you teach, then they actually have a chance at doing it different tomorrow. So they are home for their curfew. So they do keep their hands to themselves when they're frustrated with their brother and sister. So like, it's just a way to get what you want. And I know that may sound selfish, but come on, let's be honest.

We all just want our kids to clean up their room and put their dishes away and keep their hands to themselves, right? Of course we want this higher. We want our children to feel loved unconditionally and respected and grow up with self confidence and not have shame in their lives like so many of us do very thick from, uh, being raised with punishment and like, not unconditional love.

We want all that. But right at the forefront, like, just know that this will help you get what you want and you, we all want our kids to have life skills that they need in order to live. With integrity, kindness, compassion, gentleness, self control, self regulation, all that good stuff. Yeah, yes.

[00:15:35] Hunter: Thank you for, for framing it that way.

I think that's awesome. And we also don't want them to not resent us, right? We want them to not hate us. We want to have a good relationship. Yes, that's, that's a big one. You're right. With our kids. Like, we don't want to feel like terrible people when we go to bed at night. We want to actually like get along with our kids.

We want to have We want it to be positive, we don't want it to be like a never ending flog of misery and control, right? Like, like that, we don't want that resentment. And because the resentment builds. I think that's really where that teen rebellion comes from that we were talking about like seeing the fruits of this labor is like seeing the lack of I hate you and I resent you and I resent all the tactics you've used my whole life, right?

We're seeing the opposite of that. And, you know, we talked about that in the beginning, but that's something that we want, right? Is we want to actually have, and when they are to have good relationships and when, when they are teens, we want, Uh, one thing that's really important that we need to think about, especially if you're a parent of a young kid, is that we want to, um, have influence when they're teenagers, right?

Like, Wendy and I were describing was a relationship where we can influence our teens in a positive, healthy way, right? But if they resent you from all the tactics you've used from the past and continue to use, then you don't have any influence and then their peers have all the influence. We know that's not a good situation.

[00:17:05] Hunter: I know from my own situation that's not a good situation. We all know that's not good.

[00:17:10] Wendy Snyder: Yeah. Okay. It's so true. Yeah. Relationship, man. That really is. I, when I teach, I just taught, like, spoke on a stage last week and I always do this, like, opening meditation where I have people imagine, like, from the day you give birth or adopted your baby all the way through, they, like, call you and say, you know, we're having a baby.

You're going to be a grandparent. Everybody, without fail, when we share after that, like, five minute meditation, always shares the things that they envisioned and, like, what they want for them and their children was, when their kids get older, that they want to call them. They want to come home for the holidays.

They feel close. They're the ones, when they're teenagers, that they call when they're in trouble, right? Like, I've seen a meme before that was so beautiful. That said, you know, I want my kids to, uh, when they get, when something bad happens, I want them, instead of saying, oh poop, I don't know if we're allowed to curse on this show, oh poop, um, my mom's going to kill me, instead to say, oh poop, I need to call my mom.

And so many parents always share that that's what they want. And that's relationship, right? Like to be able to come to you for the guidance, to be able to admit fault, to be able to say like, I messed up here, to be able to say. Like, I need a ride home or to be the first person to call when you find out you're pregnant or you're getting married or You got the job that you always wanted.

Like that is the dream for us as we imagine long term and gosh, I mean, I don't know about you Hunter, but recently I know we have so many listeners of young kids here and this seems so foreign, but recently I've been just like tripping on how fast the second decade is going and I was imagining like not too far from now there's going to be like an empty couch and we're going to be watching like whatever show we want at night, my husband and I.

And it just happened so fast, and I was telling him like, but with this work and this type of discipline, the way it connects you, like, we won't have that same thing that so many people have now, where it's like, you turn 18, you leave your home, and then you talk to your parents a few times a year, right?

And you feel obligated to call them on their birthday. Now, I love my parents, okay? But you know what I mean? Like, we're going to have relationships with our kids where they're going to be around a lot. And I think that's what everybody wants. But that second decade really is seeming to go fast, um, for us over here.


[00:19:34] Hunter: So you got that listener. There are a lot of reasons not to do punishment. A, they can't learn. B, you want to get what you want anyway. And C, you don't want your kids to resent you, you actually want like a positive life long relationships, right? Okay, so these are good reasons. Honk to us, we're going to talk about these three ways to shift out of punishment.

Where should we start, Wendy?

[00:20:03] Wendy Snyder: Hmm. Yeah, well, let's, let's just define like discipline punishment so we can be rooted in knowing what we want. And so discipline or punishment, in my opinion, is rooted in the past. It's rooted in retribution, making sure someone pays for their mistake. Um, it's often rooted in shame, right?

Like you deserve pain and humiliation and suffering because you made a mistake. Discipline is rooted in the future. It's rooted in teaching. It's rooted in training. It's rooted in, um, you know, just learning a life skill and creating habits that take time and practice. So, that's the biggest difference to me.

Punishment's about the past. Discipline is about the future. And when we Stay focused on what we want in the future, we're able to create the life that we want a lot easier. So really, like, when your child makes a mistake and you start to think about, like, how am I going to handle this? How am I going to teach?

You really just want to be asking yourself and focusing on the future, like what is it that I want my child to be able to do tomorrow or next week, right? Like being able to use encouragement versus shame, right? Like you can do this, I believe in you, uh, you are capable, you're perfectly designed to be gentle and loving and patient, like you just need practice.

But talking about the future and what we want for our kids is a great place to start because a lot of us will. Be focused on how it's not okay for them to behave that way. And that's past focus and that'll just kind of, our brains are interesting, right? Like we, we will often play out like our worst fears.

And so you just want to be focused on what you want for the future. So just as a starting point, I think that's always good. Would you agree, Hunter?

[00:21:59] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. I think that's such a cool way to look at it. I never thought about it that way. That punishment is about the past, about retribution. and Discipline, you know, which is about the future.

It's about teaching what they need to know. So this past thing, which wasn't so great. You know, is better in the future, right? Like, I think that's a really, like, clear, simple way to think about it, and that makes so much sense.

[00:22:23] Wendy Snyder: Yeah. And bringing in, like, the embodiment piece, too, like, I mean, it is helpful, of course, to, like, learn from the past, right?

Like, I always, like, lying is a great example, right? Like when I'm working, when my kids were younger and I was working with lying, and we even had, we had, like, a little lying thing. Gosh, I guess that was probably eight, six, seven months ago. And we're, we, we do revisit, like, we talk about how did your body feel in that moment when you were, actually, no, I just, it was like more of a hiding, but that just happened like three weeks ago.

It was around, like, Taryn, Taryn, like, spent the money I'd given for Target and he bought, like, all this stuff for his friend, like, junk food, and he thought I was going to be mad at him. But it's good to, like, revisit, like, how did your body feel in those times when you were holding something in or when you weren't being truthful, like, so it's, it is helpful, right, to be able to reflect on the past and learn from the past, but punishment, if you really look at it and how you're feeling in the moment, it's often based on that retribution piece, which really isn't helpful.

[00:23:23] Hunter: Yeah. And it's not, and I just want to say to your listener, if you're using punishment and now you're feeling bad about it, you're feeling guilty. You know, this is what's in our water, like this is the water we're swimming in. This is the way, you know, this is the authoritarian model that has been the foundation, you know, of this country, which has led to a lot of difficult outcomes for a lot of people, but it's not, I just want to say it's not your fault if these mindsets that Wendy's identifying that are punishment mindsets versus discipline mindsets, Are your kind of go to way of thinking, this is the way, this is the culture we are in.

So it's not surprising at all. So I want you to offer yourself some compassion for that. If you're starting to hear some things that make you squirm a little in this conversation.

[00:24:17] Wendy Snyder: I love that Hunter. You're so good at reminding us about that self compassion piece. It really is. So important. Yeah, it is.

It's thick. It's thick. You get, I think the more you do this work, you get to, like, you lean more into feeling powerful, which is a basic human healthy need by being a little bit of a black sheep, not a little bit, a lot, but a black sheep, whether it's within your family or your church or your community, whatever it may be.

Um, but in the beginning, it feels like a little, A little dicey and yeah, but that feeling, just honor it and know that just when you start out with this stuff, you, you definitely, we always say the awareness goes up, spikes fast. Like when you start to learn about subjects like this and then right behind it needs to come the acceptance.

Like you have to have the awareness of like, Oh, I see what's happening here. I'm no longer blind to it. I see why it's not working. I see why my nervous system is so stressed and our relationship is strained, but then right behind it has to be the. Acceptance of no wonder this is how I operate. No wonder I have these knee jerk reactions.

No wonder I yell. No wonder I threaten like this makes sense. There's nothing wrong with me. Self compassion piece and then that from there is where you can actually create change tomorrow as a parent and have different behavior when you're triggered. and are tempted to threaten to spank, yank your kid's iPad away, which these days what I'm hearing, you're probably maybe hearing this in your community too, Hunter, that is like the number one thing now, right?

Like it used to be the number one thing was spanking, but now it's turned into the coveted technology that we all know our kids have pretty high addictions to, no matter how many Boundaries you've set up, we know they have strong addictions to these things and so the technology of the iPad and the iPhone is being yanked as a punishment and just wreaking havoc on families. 

[00:26:10] Hunter: Okay, so what I'm hearing is that kind of the sort of step one and these sort of three ways we're talking about mindset. We're talking about shifting the way you think about things, right? 

[00:26:21] Wendy Snyder: Yep. Yeah, exactly. Yep. Mindset. Staying focused on the future. Um, and just, yeah, I think a lot of the escaping a punishment stuff is mindset related.

So like the second point I always move to is just really asking yourself like, okay, well, what are my goals? Like, what is it that I want my children to learn from the discipline or the punishment, right? Like there should be an umbrella term for punishment and discipline. But, whatever. It's, what do I want my child to learn?

And most of the time, when you look at the traditional, uh, punishment tactics, whether it's threatening a spanking, spanking, or yanking an iPad or an e bike, that's the big thing here is teenagers here, they'll get grounded and get their e bike taken away. We live in like the e bike capital of the world, I swear, in Southern California.

And, um, parents just know it's going to sting, but it doesn't do anything. They're back to their behavior like four weeks later. Um, but asking yourself, what is it I want my child to learn? And a lot of times with the punishment stuff, we, they are learning to be scared of us or scared of the consequence.

Like that is, it's not rocket science that that's the influencer. Like that's, um, the tool, right? 

[00:27:39] Hunter: So that's where they're learning. to lie. They're learning to lie to you. And sneak around. 

[00:27:42] Wendy Snyder: They're learning to hide, they're learning to lie because they're scared that they're going to take their, get their e bike or their iPad or their shows when they're little or their, you know, candy or after dinner, um, whatever it may be.

But like, it's all pretty rooted in fear. And so the kids are learning, as you mentioned earlier, like to spike their nervous system, to engage in the fight, flight, um, Uh, Fawn Response, whatever. And that's what they're learning. That's the habit that they're creating on a consistent basis. Whereas, when you look at some of the discipline stuff that we talked more like intricately about in episode one that we did together on your show.

But really, when you look at what they're learning, they're learning life skills. Like, they're actually learning how to self control, like self regulate their emotions and keep their hands to themselves. They're learning how to make amends after they have created a tear in a relationship or said something that was hurtful.

They are learning how to study in a different way so they can get a better grade in chemistry. Um, they're actually learning, and they're also learning. that you are on their side, that they're not alone, and that they have a support system, and that they will be held accountable, right? Like this is, none of this is permissive.

We're not talking anything about permissive stuff, but so that's just an important question to ask. And I do think it's a little mind, it's mindset related too, of just asking yourself like, in my head, what do I want my kids to learn? And often your answer to that question will guide you and give you the courage to pursue this route of learning and implementing compassionate discipline in your home.

[00:29:24] Hunter: Yeah, I think that's, that's such a crucial question and we were, I was talking, did an honor coaching call recently where we talked about that with a sibling hitting another sibling and it was like, what do we want him to learn, right? We want him to learn how to take care of his difficult feelings, his frustration, what to do when his brother does something really annoying, like how he should respond to this situation.

And, you know, this mom was saying that she has a partner who might say, well, what about, you know, he's got to have some kind of consequence and, and I was saying, well, no, the consequence is he's feeling bad, you know, because you're, you're upset, he's, you know, you're seeing all of this stuff. The consequence is already there.

It's already happening because your child is. is empathetic and can see those things. And then when we teach the process of, oh, here are the different ways to respond to this feeling, that is, that's like, that's that future oriented, oriented thing of like, what does my child need to learn? Yep. I think it's the most crucial question.

Great. Thank you.

[00:30:36] Wendy Snyder: Yeah. And that, what you're talking about, that teaching is the logical consequence. Yes, that is the consequence, right? We talked about that in our first episode together, how like we have, we have a, an ugly association with consequence because it's been so related to punishment, but really it's just like cause and effect, right?

Like when you tear a relationship, you make amends, right? Like when you, um, hurt somebody, you do something to like repair the relationship. When you, Um, do bad on a test, like you go in and you learn how to, whatever, when, but as, as parents, it's like we, whatever we're doing in that teaching moment later in a calm time, which is so important.

It can't be in the heightened moment, but that is the cause and effect. Like after a child makes a mistake, you were always going to teach. Like we can create charts, we can do makeups, we can do role plays, we can do redo is like all those things we talked about. Before, um, that is the teaching. That is like, and that replaces the like, well, now you get a timeout because you pushed your brother down.

Well, it's like, no, everyone's gonna self regulate. We're gonna calm ourselves down and then, and co regulate, if we can, and then later we'll work on learning the life skill. And that is a consequence to what happened today, but it's not a negative consequence. It's a learning consequence. It's. It's um, it's a togetherness and it just does amazing things because we all like, and that's, that's one of the biggest things.

I don't know if we're ready for 0. 3 Hunter, but like the next thing I would go into is just remember that change takes practice. That is one of the biggest things that I see parents get hung up on and they forget that, like, it takes so much practice to change a habit.

[00:32:30] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

[00:32:38] Wendy Snyder: If there's knee jerk reactions going on in the home or, you know, if, like, I'm just thinking of my daughter's best friend who has a habit of falling behind in some of her classes. A lot of times these are just habits, like, you know, like it. It doesn't take that long for a little kid to develop a habit of hitting or reacting out of anger or hurt or whatever it may be.

And so it just takes practice and support to learn a new way. It's like if you think of an Olympic. Athlete, you know, I always think of like an Olympic downhill skier that goes down that mountain, like when the games are on at like sometimes 70, 80 miles per hour. And they were, they didn't just wake up and go down the hill that flawlessly without wrecking.

They wrecked a lot. And they did that hill thousands and thousands of time with a coach. Like that's how they got that good. And we just can't expect this to be any different. So a pun, like escaping a punishment mindset really. involves us trusting that it's going to take some time and it's going to take practice.

It's just going to take practice, which then means we need to become more comfortable with mistakes because mistakes don't make us or our children bad. They're just opportunities to learn and they're just part of  life.

[00:33:51] Hunter: Yeah. I love that. I think that's so great. Yeah. I mean, it does. It takes so much practice.

And with our kids, if they're They're used to punishment and threats and things like that. They're used to resisting you. They're used to like, that's their habit is to resist you. And it takes like, I kind of, I always think of this as like my favorite metaphor for this is like, it's like a train. Their resistance is like a train going 90 miles an hour in one direction.

Not only does this train have to slow down. But it has to turn around, and that just doesn't happen right away because there's like a lot of momentum behind it, right? And it's just same with our kids. And yeah, it all takes, it all takes time and practice, and it takes practice for us. Now, I don't know about you, but like.

I, I think it was only maybe in the last three years where I, maybe I stopped like the very first thing I thought of was a threat. Like I didn't, I didn't always act on it, but like, that was like the very first thing that when I was, got really frustrated, they popped into my mind was what would be like a threat.

Like, Oh, I You're going to, uh, and sometimes, you know, it would come out and sometimes I'd be like, uh, no,

[00:35:17] Wendy Snyder: what, what do I want to do 

here? Right? So let's talk about that. This idea of, you know, that's again, my habit energy, right? Like that's my train going 90 miles in one direction. Did this happen for you?

And how do we start to, to shift that piece? I love that. And so did I get, did I hear you right that it was just up until three years ago that you felt like you were truly fluent and not having that thought, but up until then, the threats was still there. That was the first thought in my mind. Yeah. That's a big deal because you've been doing this work for how many years, Hunter?

Like a long time, right? Yeah. I guess like 12 or 13 years now. 

[00:35:53] Hunter: Yeah.

[00:35:56] Wendy Snyder: Yeah. Isn't that, I love when we're like sisters from another mother. I know. It's so  true.

[00:36:00] Hunter: You're in California on the East Coast, West Coast. Yeah. It's so funny. Okay. Yeah.

[00:36:07] Wendy Snyder: Oh, it was so funny, but yeah, I'm the same way. Right. And yeah, it's, it's a wild to just listeners.

Do you hear that? Right. Like Hunter is same thing. Like it just takes time and practice. Yeah, threats. I love looking at threats because it is like a big signifier. Like, I think it's really good to become aware of like what threats look like and how they show up because it's just a little alarm system that's like, oh, we still have the punishment mindset and it's just so much pressure that like we have to like fix this immediately and solve the problem and I think it's just that knee jerk reaction to like have It fixed now, right?

Which passionate discipline is about, like, you want to, like, chill, slow down, slow it all down, figure out the process, right? So, threats in, um, my experience often will be sneaky and they're very culturally acceptable. Like, meaning everybody does them, but we have a simple, uh, tweak here at First Strike Family where we just teach people how to do sequencing instead.

So it's like, instead of any, well, first off, to, to know when they exist, if anytime you catch yourself saying, if then, then you're probably moving right into a threat. If you don't clean up your shoes, then you will not go out and play, or your room, um, you will not go out and play. If you do it one more time.

Hmm. You will not be allowed to watch TV tonight, right? Or if you, if you talk to me like that again, I am calling your father. Or if you're counting backwards from three. Oh, yes, exactly. Three, two, one, right? Uh, is a glorified threat program. Um, and it's all just based in external controls, right? And again, nobody is saying that this makes you a bad parent.

It's just more awareness that. The mystery gets to get solved. Like, those days when you're like, Why am I going crazy? Why is this not working? Why am I losing my mind? When you bring awareness and you realize what's actually happening, you're just, you're just using external controls to try to make, oftentimes, a strong willed kid who's allergic to external controls.

to behave and it's never going to work for you. So you're not crazy. The hand me down parenting tactic is the problem. And so once you start to realize like, Oh, I can use empowerment strategies and firm limits and just say, first we do this and then we'll move on to that. You let me know when you're ready.

And we're not able to Um, whatever it may be, like, go out to play until we, like, work as a team and get the house cleaned up or we're not able to turn on the show until after we finish. Like, first we do this and then we do that. First we take a shower, then we go to work. First we fill up our tank with gas, then we drive the car.

Like, it's just sequencing and it's Um, and I find a lot of parents who have been in the external controls and punishment past mindset and way of life, the confidence actually needs a lot of work, right? Because without the external overpowering tactics, their confidence is low and they can actually influence their kids to move into action.

And so that's where you learn new strategies. You learn new power, struggle, deserving, dissolving strategies that actually work. to encourage a kid, especially a strong willed kid, put their shoes on or clean up their room from like intrinsic motivation versus external. And you just start to learn that practice and believe like, I have the ability to influence this little human being without scaring them.

And that's a confidence process, right? Like, and over time you get better and better at it. And then before you know it, you're like, Oh, I can just influence this kid and hold a firm boundary instead of threaten them to. Obey or comply immediately.

[00:39:55] Hunter: Yeah, yeah, I think it is a confidence thing. It's like we have to have that awareness of what am I feeling?

I'm feeling helpless. I'm feeling frustrated. And then that process of regulating our feelings and becoming Getting our steadiness. Right? Yeah. And I think our kids like, they feed off that, right? They feed off that feeling of our steadiness and that that and steadiness and confidence. This is like their brother and sister in this, in this moment.

[00:40:28] Wendy Snyder: Mm-Hmm. I love that. Steadiness and confidence brother and sister in this moment. That's awesome. Hunter .

[00:40:36] Hunter: Yeah.

[00:40:36] Wendy Snyder: And that feeling is just scared, right? Like so many parents. We're in that moment. We just feel scared.

[00:40:42] Hunter: And I love what you're saying also about this idea that we don't have to rush. Because I do think it is that.

I think, like, these feelings are so uncomfortable for us. This feeling of helplessness, this feeling of discomfort, this feeling of embarrassment, this feeling of, like, all of that, like, those feelings are so uncomfortable for us that we want to fix it right now through fixing our kids. So what you're suggesting, like this idea that, no, we don't have to rush, is like to allow whatever that moment is, some breathing space to then have some thinking space.

That's like, I feel like it's like the magical, like Fairy Godmother pixie dust that needed to rain down upon the situation. 

[00:41:25] Wendy Snyder: You're so right, because in that space and together with this work that you and I teach, like oftentimes that's where you will see children and parents. Naturally take responsibility, naturally turn the train around, naturally self regulate.

It's like that cannot happen when we are filling that space and overpowering and fixing. And speaking like you do, I love how well you name all those emotions, Hunter, like the embarrassment, right? Like anytime. You're in public and your kid is misbehaving, like, oh my gosh, embarrassment is huge. And I love what you taught me on our first episode we ever recorded for the Fresh Start Family Show.

Just like, the practice of just being like, hello, hello embarrassment, hello fear. I forget what you name, call that process, but just the like, hey, like I see you. Mm hmm. Like I'm acknowledging you, just that in itself can bring awareness to like, oh, this is what's happening here. It's not the end of the world.

My child, it's not a four alarm fire. I just feel scared. Hello, fear. Hello, embarrassment. Hello, um, panic. Hello, like, hurt, right? Like a child rolls their eyes at you after you just made them like a four course meal. Hello, Hurt. Last time I had my 13 year old pick at his dinner and he was like, Sorry, I just don't like alfredo pasta.

And I, you know, like Hurt in that moment, I'm like, you stinker. I saw you eat all that junk food after school, but I love that you taught me hello feeling. 

[00:43:03] Hunter: Well, I love this. So we can shift out of punishment. We want to think about Moving our brains into sort of the future mindset, teaching mindset, we're going to think about what are my goals, what do I want my children to learn, and then remember that it takes practice, and then as, and, and we also talked about instead of threats, this idea of sequencing, and so as we get into these moments, I know that, I know that You know, Wendy offers support and help to take it further.

I offer support and help to take it further in Mindful Parenting. These are things that you can take and it all starts with this foundation of, of shifting past punishment, realizing that the punishment isn't working for you, that it is leading to your teen rebellion, is teaching your kid to lie and hide and, and, and keep things from you.

And, but it doesn't have to be that way. There is, and all this stuff we talk about, we've talked about it, Um, from a very kind of personal standpoint and, and, uh, the people that we work with and our programs and things like that, but it's all research too. That's the thing. Like if you're in that place, if I have a little kid and I'm like, okay, I guess they say so.

Know that also there's research behind it. So even if you're in a community that's saying you got to give that kid a whoopin or you better take away the iPad or whatever, there is research behind this approach too.

[00:44:30] Wendy Snyder: I love that you bring that up, Hunter. That's so important. Yes. If you educate yourself and have that, like, really underneath of you, it'll give you more confidence that we're talking about.

So that's a great point. 

[00:44:42] Hunter: Wendy, it's so wonderful to talk to you. I always enjoy it. You are like my California doppelganger. It's so crazy. Um. Um, this is great. Wendy of course has the Fresh Start Parenting Podcast. It's wonderful. You can find me there. Anything else you want to leave the listener with and where can they find you?

[00:45:03] Wendy Snyder: Yeah. Thank you for asking, Hunter. Um, come find me over on Instagram, guys. I'm at freshstartwendy. Love to teach and do little quick, um, tidbits over there that are free. And then I do have a free New Quick Start Learning Bundle all about discipline. So that's freshstartfamilyonline. com forward slash discipline.

And, um, that's a great way to step a little bit farther into this and just come into a classroom so we can hang out in more of a teaching environment so you can really implement this stuff into your home.

[00:45:31] Hunter: Thank you so much, Wendy. I really appreciate it. Again, always so good to talk to you. I hope you have fun birthday parties and lots of cake coming up.

Then I'm sure I'll talk to you again some other time soon.

[00:45:45] Wendy Snyder: Thank you, Hunter. We're off to Disneyland. I haven't celebrated my kids birthdays together since they were, like, I think four years old, four, maybe even three, three and six. So I get to have both of my kids together with two of their best friends at Disneyland in a few weeks, and I'm so excited.

But thank you for having me here. I always love chatting with you two. My nervous system always feels very settled when I am with you. And so, um, just thanks for being who you are and for the light you're spreading in the world. I really appreciate you, Hunter.

[00:46:22] Hunter: Hey, I hope you loved this episode. I love talking to Wendy. She and I are in so much in alignment. Um, if you want to take this work deeper, go to mindfulmamamentor. com. I've got everything from freebies that will help you to courses to coaching. And of course, the Raising Good Humans guided journal is now.

Out. This journal will give you a space of your own to unwind, to reflect on what really matters, and you'll find all these writing prompts to help you do the work that we talk about here on the Mindful Parenting Podcast. So, Find that anywhere books are sold. It's the Raising Good Humans Guided Journal.

And if you like this episode today, hey, tell a friend about it. Just tell one person. That would be amazing. And this 2024, we got so much coming out for you. We are now going to be releasing a re listen episode every Thursday, so check your podcast feed because you are going to have an episode every Thursday that you, chances are you may not have heard because there's so many episodes in this, the catalog.

So check that out and I will see you again really, really soon. Thank you. Thank you so much for listening. Namaste.

I'd say definitely do it.

[00:47:48] Wendy Snyder: It's really helpful. It will change your relationship with your kids for the better. It will help you communicate better. And just, I'd say communicate better as a person, as a wife, as a spouse. It's been really a positive influence in our lives. So definitely do it. I'd say definitely do it.

It's so worth it. The money really is inconsequential when you get so much benefit from being a better parent to your children and feeling like you're connecting more with them. If you're not feeling like you're yelling all the time or you're like, why isn't this working, I would say definitely do it.

It's so, so worth it. It'll change you. No matter what age someone's child is, it's a great opportunity for personal growth and it's a great investment in someone's family. I'm very thankful I have this. You can continue in your old habits that aren't working or you can learn some new tools and gain some perspective to shift everything in your parenting.

[00:48:51] Hunter: Are you frustrated by parenting? Do you listen to the experts and try all the tips and strategies, but you're just not seeing the results that you want? Or are you lost as to where to start? Does it all seem so overwhelming with too much to learn? Are you yearning for community people who get it, who also don't want to threaten and punish to create cooperation?

Hi, I'm Hunter Clark Fields, and if you answered yes to any of these questions, I want you to seriously consider the Mindful Parenting Membership. You will be We'll be joining hundreds of members who have discovered the path of mindful parenting and now have confidence and clarity in their parenting.

This isn't just another parenting class. This is an opportunity to really discover your unique lasting relationship, not only with your children, but with yourself. It will translate into lasting connected relationships, not only with your children, but your partner too. Let me change your life. Go to mindfulparenting.

org MindfulParentingCourse. com to add your name to the waitlist so you will be the first to be notified when I open the membership for enrollment. I look forward to seeing you on the inside. MindfulParentingCourse. com

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