Brandy is a Mom looking for advice on how to guide her children towards helping to tidy up after themselves without the arguments that often come with it.

431: Cleanup Boundaries & “You’re Not My Boss!”

Coaching Call

What do you do when your kids won’t clean up?

How about when you follow the advice of parenting coaches and it still doesn’t work?

Brandy talks to Hunter about her 3 year-old and her 6-year old being defiant about cleaning up. They talk about how to respond to “You’re not my boss!”

You may be surprised at the advice!

Cleanup Boundaries & “You’re Not My Boss!”- Coaching Call [431]

Read the Transcript 🡮

*This is an auto-generated transcript*

[00:00:00] Brandy: I think right now the most challenging part is the six and three year old. Like when we ask them to do something, they like to say no or you're not my boss or I don't want to.

[00:00:20] Hunter: You're listening to the Mindful Parenting Podcast, episode number 431. Today, we are having a special on air coaching episode. We're going to talk about cleanup boundaries and the you're not my boss child.

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 Clarkfields. 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 Rest Pause, Stay Present, and Connect with Your Kids. Welcome back to the Mindful Parenting podcast.

So glad you're here. We have a special honor coaching episode. I hope you enjoy these episodes. So if you enjoy them, please do us a favor and just share the Mindful Parenting podcast with one friend. Tell them about it. Tell them they should subscribe and listen every week because it can really help them.

And that is a great way to support this podcast. And we, I thank you. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. This episode, this episode is all about what do you do when your kids won't clean up? How about when you follow the advice of? Parenting coaches, and it still doesn't work. So I'm going to talk to Brandy about her three year old daughter and her six year old being defiant about cleaning up.

We're going to talk about how to respond to the, you're not my boss. And you might be very surprised, the advice. So join me at the table for this on air coaching session with Brandy.

So hi, I'm Brandy. Thank you so much for coming on the Mindful Parenting podcast for an on air coaching call. Thank you for having me. Yeah, I'm glad to have you. So, I'm excited to talk to you. You have, you know, you wrote in, you have some of the challenges that so many people deal with, hitting tantrums, boundaries.

So, a whole host of stuff in there. But first, just tell us, um, tell us before we even start with anything about your family or whatever, what are some wins that you have? Let's just focus on the positive first. 

[00:03:06] Brandy: Okay. Um, I've actually been told by, uh, my siblings that I've inspired them to, uh, be better parents and to be better, like, be a, like a better uncle.

And at one point, my brother told me that a couple years ago, he thought I was crazy for the way that I was parenting my kids. And he's come a long way in his life now. And he's like, you're not crazy. You're doing great. Like, you were right the whole time. And he was like, I'm so proud of you. And I'm like, wow!

[00:03:40] Brandy: So I'm like, oh! I'm inspiring them and I'm, and I'm the baby, so that's, that's exciting.

[00:03:47] Hunter: Oh, that's so great. So it sounds like, sounds like the way you and now your brother too are parenting your kids is probably different for the way you guys were raised. Definitely. Yeah. Was, was it like me? Like lots of like authoritarian, like then there's like, go to your room, don't cry, thanking, that kind of stuff.


[00:04:12] Brandy: All of that. Yeah. All of that. And it was, um, Mostly my dad who was like that and, uh, my mom was like more of our friend than a parent. Um, so it was, it was hard to know, like, what was actually like a, a good parent, like a normal, like, you know, in between parent, like not so hard on us and not so easy on us.

Like, so it's been a, it's been a struggle trying to figure out a happy medium, like to not like so angry and not be like, Oh, let's just be friends. 

[00:04:45] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So we're looking for that middle path between authoritarianism and permissive, because that's what like some parents happen. Like they were like, I don't want to yell at my kids and be horrible to them.

So then we may not have boundaries and that actually is its own whole set of problems. But you know, if you don't know, you don't know what you don't know, right? So they're, they're doing what they can do. So tell us a little bit about your family that you have.

[00:05:14] Brandy: Um, so I have a fiance and we've been together for eight years.

And I had custody of my niece and nephew when me and my fiancé met. So, um, I have my niece and nephew and then me and my fiancé have three kids. So we have a 17 year old, a 16 year old, a 6 year old, a 3 year old, and a 1 year old. 

[00:05:37] Hunter: Oh, wow. Yeah. Okay. That's, so that's a huge range of kids, 17 to 1, that's like, yeah, you basically, you practically have like, well, you have built in babysitters, so that is great.

I mean, hopefully that works out for you, but, um, yeah, that, that's a huge range. Well, that's okay. That's the tools that we use are actually like, you know, applicable to one to 17 and beyond. So that's good. Okay. All right. So let's take a breath.

What are the challenges? What you wrote to me with a bunch of different challenges. Maybe we should focus on the one that is like the most challenging for you right now. 

[00:06:30] Brandy: I think right now the most challenging part is the six and three year old like to say, like when we ask them to do something, like they like to say no or you're not my boss or I don't want to, um, and I feel like the first couple of times I'm very good at like explaining exactly what needs to be done and why.

Because I feel like the more information you give, the more likely they are to be like, Oh, okay. But the more time that passes, they're just like, Hmm, I don't care what kind of information you give me, I don't want to. Okay. And I'm, I find myself getting really frustrated.

[00:07:16] Hunter: That's incredibly frustrating because you're like, you're like, I'm trying to be skillful here.

I'm trying to, you know, but okay. So I'd love in a specific example of like when, you know, with something concrete that's happened.

[00:07:31] Brandy: Um, so last night before the boys were supposed to get in the bath, I said, it's time to clean up the playroom and then we'll get in the bath. And. The six year old was like, Mmm, the playroom's not dirty.

And then the three year old was like, I don't want to. So, like, I, I bent down, like, on their level, and I'm like, Nobody can walk through the playroom right now because there's floors, or, there's toys all over the floor. So, mommy needs you to pick up your toys before we get in the bath because after bath, it's snack time and then bedtime.

And so they're like, uh, I don't want to. So I repeat myself again and then they're like, okay. So I'm like, okay, they're going to clean their playroom. They listened. Right. So I walk away and to tidy up the kitchen and I come back and they're just sitting there playing. And I'm like, Hey, I'm going to try this again.

And they just, they just kept playing and eventually I yelled at them and then they were like, Oh, she wants us to clean up and then they cleaned the playroom. And I was like, thinking to myself, like, why do I have to yell for you?

[00:08:48] Hunter: Listen, I don't want to yell at you. Yeah. Yeah. That sounds really frustrating.

Well, first I want to like, good for you. Like you're, you're being very skillful. Like you're crouching down at their level. You're making sure they're paying attention to you. You're giving information. These are all, like, really good things to do. So, you're on the right track. I'm just going to help you tweak a little bit, because you're doing really good.

Okay? Um, so, high five. Thank you. Um, so, before we talk about, like, I'm going to give you some ways to kind of adjust your message and make it a little more, um, effective, but, uh, the first thing I just want to look at is, like, what is the state of the playroom? Is it, do you have so many toys that, like, they can't put it away in themselves, like, that it's overwhelming for them?

Like, could it be simplified so that there's, you know, like, when I think of, like, what I want to see, generally, like, the ideal scenario, right, that almost, like, none of us have, right? But the ideal scenario, you have a, a shelf for two, there's, like, maybe, like, six toys that are out, they have space around them.

Um, we're not talking about giant piles. But this is not what most people have, so I'm not, no, I'm not judging if you have way more than that. So, but tell me about the state of the playroom. Is it in a way that they can put away easily?

[00:10:17] Brandy: Um, honestly, that's one of the things that I struggle with is how many toys they have and um, like how many toys we bring into the house and like get rid of and what they play with and what they don't.

Yeah. Um, because we have like a really long shelf with three, um, shelves, and then we have another shelf with three shelves, and they're completely full, and they just dump everything and just like shove it, and I've gotten to the point where I'm like, you know what, if you're cleaning it, it's fine. It doesn't have to be perfect or organized or anything.

[00:10:57] Hunter: Shove it if you want, like as long as, sure, yeah, yeah, yeah, um, but I. Mm hmm.

[00:11:02] Brandy: I feel like they're, they probably do get overwhelmed because their little sister, the one year old will pull every piece of toy off every shelf.

[00:11:12] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

Okay. So, uh, we want to make them as, prepare them for success as much as we possibly can. So with a playroom, it's, I am going to encourage you to like cut the number of toys in half. And then cut the number of toys in half again, literally, like, and you can do it with them there. You can do it without them there.

It's kind of up to you. You're going to just call it decluttering. You're at take the toy. I mean, if there's stuff that's like broken or you find really annoying, just goodwill those. They're out of here, right? Like anything like if that drives you, you hate the sound of it. Just get rid of it. It's fine.

You're allowed to do that. Um, if it's a beloved toy or you're just not sure, whatever. Do you, if you have a garage or basement, just like a closet, like make a toy purgatory. Okay. Okay. And you're going to put 75 percent of the toys in toy purgatory, like next week sometime. And then you're going to say, Oh my gosh, I've cleaned your playroom.

I decluttered it for you. What do you think? Here you go. 

[00:12:26] Brandy: Guilt. I don't know why, but like, I'm the kind of person that feels bad, like, Oh, but they play with this toy. Oh, but they like that toy. Or Memo and Papo bought that toy. I'm really bad at that. So this will give me the motivation I need to just be like, you got to do it.

You got, you got to get rid of it.

[00:12:45] Hunter: Okay. Yeah. I give you permission, put it all in Toy Purgatory. You can bring stuff back that they asked for, of course, but try to like keep it to a minimum and just keep, um, keep things like that are, that are pretty open ended. Keep the basics, keep the blocks. Keep the, you know, the, some stuffed animals and scarves and whatever, you know, like keep that basic stuff that can be used for a lot of different things.

Um, and then what's nice about this is that you can rotate in and out. So then like in a month when they say, Oh, I'm bored. You can be like, great, whole new set of toys for you. Here you go. They're you. Okay, great. So sounds good. Thank Okay, good. All right. And that's great because what's so nice about this is that you're just setting up the environment to make them successful.

You know, it's like if you drives you crazy that your kid is asking you to get you a cup of water all the time, you just set up like a sturdy pitcher and cups where they can get it themselves. Right. So, and when you simplify the environment, you're just let the environment do some of the work for you. So that's really good.

It's kind of like baby proofing, like you're proofing yourself from like some of this level of this frustration and overwhelm by just reducing the number of toys and making it a more decluttered environment. And most likely this is what happens in my inside mindful parenting. When people do this, it's like part of the curriculum that we do this in module eight, right?

And, um, it, uh, most likely the, your kids will be like, this is great. Like they, it's generally, it's like been universal. I've yet to hear. A kid who was unhappy with this because it just it's like if you think about a giant pile of toys, like how much do they care about the thing in the middle? Right? So they're gonna care a little bit more.

It'll be easier for them. All right. So we're cleaning the playroom going to declutter it. And so when you go in to say, hey, it's time to clean up. Um, one of the things you said, you said, no one can walk in here with all these toys, right? So that's fine. That's true. When we're giving a message about the consequences of our kids actions, right?

We want, we're talking about iMessages here, right, about it, like in raising good humans and, and we talk about mindful parenting. You want the consequences or the effects of this of what's happening to be on you, the giver of the sense of the message, right? So you're the one sending this message and basically your needs aren't being met here.

You have a problem because you can't walk through this. So when you say no one, it feels a little bit more nebulous. You know, if I, um, you know, if I, if I were to say to you, uh, I don't know, like, um, No one can, no one can walk. Barefoot, you know, through the living room because there's all this stuff there.

You'd be like, okay, but if I said, Hey, Brandy, I can't walk barefoot. Do you feel like the difference in that? I can't do this thing because of these, this stuff. It's more, there's like a, um, a more palpable effect there. Right. So I would encourage you to use. I don't, don't put yourself in the third person.

Say mommy, even cause then it's like. If you're not, you know, just say me, like me, Brandy mom, right? Like I'm the one, and I like this language of like, I rather than calling yourself mommy in the third person, because you're a person with needs and feelings and your kids need to learn that. Right? You're not just the role of mom, you're a person and you have needs and feelings and that's okay for you to express that.

So see, when you go in, Hey, we got to clean up. I'm going to hurt my feet if I walk through here. I'm afraid I'm going to hurt my feet when I walk through here. So we need to clean this up. Um, so I would try a message like that. Okay. Chances are they won't magically be like, Oh yes, mother, but of course. I'm running to go clean up my toys right now.

Um, and if you go back in and they, you know, they hadn't cleaned up, you've simplified, you've made it easier for them, you've given them a more effective iMessage, you know, then you can start to give them information about what, you know, that sequence of things that's going to happen. Hey guys, like I really want to do bedtime and stories.

I want to have time for all our stories, so we need to clean up and plus I can't walk through here. You're going to just give that same message again. I hurts my feet when I walk through here and stuff, or if it's just a mess. For instance, I'm going to just say this also for the listener, like in your living room and one of the needs that we have as people is to have a reasonably uncluttered environment, right?

Because when our brains see clutter, it looks, it looks like we're unfinished work and it's actually like a stressor. In our lives. And so we don't want, we want to reduce the number of stressors in our lives as much as possible so that we can be calm and grounded and present for our kids and all. And just cause we should don't have to live our lives super stressed.

Right. So, you know, you can say something like, I can relax and enjoy this space when there's all this mess everywhere, you know, so that's another effect that the behavior has on you. Alright, how's this landing with you, Brandy?

[00:18:26] Brandy: Good, I'm just taking notes. Yeah. I'm, I'm a note taker, so like I can like remember and it can like think in, so I gotta write everything 


[00:18:33] Hunter: Okay, so what do you have so far? What are your steps? 

[00:18:38] Brandy: Um, cut the toys in half, then in half again.

[00:18:41] Hunter: Um, keep 75 percent of the toys and rotate them if need be. No, no, no. Keep 25%. Get rid of 75. Yeah, yeah, you're right. Keep 25%. Good. We're checking on this. And then the 75 percent go in the closet. Yeah. Yeah. Okay.

[00:19:03] Brandy: And then, um, then the I messages, like I can't walk through here. I can't relax. Those are, that's important. And, um, That's all I know. 

[00:19:14] Hunter: Okay. So let's imagine that this problem continues for some reason. You know, your kid has some big need to, is trying to like, prove a point, get some autonomy by leaving their toys.

It's become a battle, right? Or something like that. Right? So let's imagine it gets worse just so we can go there and kind of see what would happen. 'cause I, I can hear the listener saying, but that's not gonna work with my child. And oh, you know, so I, I can, I know that 'cause I've, I've, I've said that to myself.

Um, it's perfectly okay for, like, you to have a consequence with this. Like, buddy, this toy, or whatever it is, has been out for days and days and weeks and weeks, and I've been asking you. It's driving me crazy. I'm gonna have to put this toy away for a little while if you can't take responsibility for it, right?

So you're allowed to hold a boundary. In a way that you need to hold a boundary, right? So it just needs to be, you know, make sense to what's happening, right? If there's something that your child is not being responsible with, fine to take away that thing. Okay? I would not, and I'm say, I'm saying this at the very end of everything, because that is often our first go-to, and that that shouldn't then it's like really, really a threat.

You know? If you don't do this, then I'm doing that. And then they resent you right When we threaten. And we don't want, threats are kind of unskillful, even though it's like the first thing that pops into my mind is a threat, like, when I'm frustrated, very first thing that pops into my mind, use it, uh, you know, if you have, if they're being, you know, use it at the, after you've tried the other things, after you've set them up for a success, after you've thought about like, what are they needing, what's going on here, what needs of theirs are, are being met, and if they're still doing this thing that is impinging on your needs, and they're not using something responsibly, Sure, take that thing away if you need to, right?

So, um, and then what I would say is Okay. It's been a couple of weeks. Do you want to try to bring this thing back? What do you think? How can I help you? How can we, how can we do better with this thing this time around? So like kind of invite them into the conversation. Cool. All right. I can do that. All right.

Cool. So I bet that makes you really happy when your six year old says to you, you're not my boss.

It's like, I feel like it's like a catch between like, I just want to laugh. And then the other part is like, excuse me?

[00:21:52] Hunter: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, how do you, how do you respond to that? Because that, that's definitely a very triggering kind of, uh, statement for a lot of us.

[00:22:02] Brandy: Honestly, this probably isn't the best route to go.

Um, but I found that ignoring it, Um, is better for me because like, before I would be like, Okay, well, Mommy is here to keep you safe, and, and stuff like that, and so, like, I need you to do these things. And I would try to go that route, and he would just, he likes to argue. Mm hmm. And so, now when he says it, I just ignore him, and I'm just like, I'm not having this battle with you today.

[00:22:34] Hunter: So, um, that's great. I think ignoring is, is a good call in a lot of situations for this test here, possibly. Like, walk away if you're getting frustrated, right? Ignore it. That's totally, there's so many things, so many of the things with our kids can be solved by ignore it. So many things, in fact, that we had a guest on the podcast once come on and she had written a book called Ignore It, which you can find, it's like, so, so you're doing good with that.

I, you could also think about, like, in that situation, um, there is. Okay. In that situation, there's, he's expressing like frustration, right? And he's feeling, what do you think he's feeling in that situation? Um,

[00:23:22] Brandy: I feel like he's feeling like, uh, like a sense of, like, I, I don't want to listen to you cause I like, I want to be my own boss and like make my own decisions and you know, like he's getting older and like getting, he's realizing more.

that he can do things on his own and stuff like that. And so I want to respect that. Not like, you know, put him down like, Oh, I am your boss. Like, I don't want to do that. 

[00:23:50] Hunter: Yeah. You have great instincts about this stuff, Brandy. Um, you're, cause you're seeing kind of what he needs and you're kind of thinking about that.

So that's great. Um, so yeah, I think definitely ignoring it is fine, but you can also like practice then some like empathetic, reflective listening, like You're really frustrated when I say this to you, huh, buddy? You know, and he might say, yeah, because blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And you could say, oh, yeah, it can be hard when you have to clean up and you're right in the middle of something.

Like, just to give him that I see you and I hear you, you know, because when we can, um, Are us being present for our kids and, like, really hearing them and really seeing them is really kind of, like, the best gift we can give them, right, is this, I see you and I hear you. Right. And it's also, you're then, also modeling respect and you're modeling, showing understanding of somebody's emotions.

You're modeling empathy, right? So you can, in those moments. You know, if he says, you're not the boss of me, and you say, oh, man, you're really frustrated right now, buddy, right? Or whatever it is, you can make a guess as to what he's feeling, um, and that may drive him bananas. If so, go back to ignoring his thoughts.

Or he may feel heard and seen. Yeah. Um, kind of just depending on him and the circumstances that the, that you're in there. Okay. Okay. All right. Cool. Great. So, what other challenges are happening? You said you're dealing with tantrums as well. Yes. Um, the three year old or six year old? 

[00:25:42] Brandy: Three year old. Yeah.

Mm hmm. Well, I would say it's both, but they show their tantrums in different ways. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. So, like, the three year old, um, he, he will say no, he will stomp his feet, you know, I don't want to, or he'll just, like, run away and ignore me, um, it's all really fun things. Um, but, and sometimes, like, some days, I can get to that space where I'm like, okay, like, let's, let's reconnect, let's bend down on his level, let's talk through this, and He'll be fine.

And then there are other days where no matter what I try or do, I don't know, he's just like in a mood and like nothing works with him. So, um, I mean that's, that's the biggest struggle with him right now is he, he's just like becoming his own person and realizing he has a voice and he likes to use it. 

[00:26:42] Hunter: 3 is a very frustrating age.

I remember being like, really? Ah! Yeah, 3 is so frustrating. And actually, like what the researchers say is that like 3 and, ages 3 and 13 are the big ages of separation. And there's definitely some similarities. Having now gone through 13 twice, which you have too, right? So yeah, 3 and 13 have a lot of challenges.

Um, Yeah, I, you know, I guess he's also probably in a, like, I do it myself phase a bit, right? Yeah. Yeah. Um, so I'm just trying to think about, like, well, you know. In those situations, you want to think about, well, what's going on with this kid, right? Like, what, what is the, what is my kid needing in this moment?

You know, when we have a moment to step back and reflect, maybe not in that moment, we're not always able to think that way, but then when we have a chance, we can step back and reflect and think about it. Um, and he probably wants a lot, he probably wants some autonomy. He probably feels like the baby because he's the baby of the family and wants to do things the big kids do, probably, I imagine.

Do you see a lot of that?

[00:27:57] Brandy: Okay. Yeah, he's like caught between wanting to do what the big kids do and still wanting to be the baby because, um, like the one year old is the baby. 

[00:28:08] Hunter: Oh, yeah. 

[00:28:10] Brandy: So it's a, it's a It's like a battle between himself. He's like, I want to be grown, but I want to be the baby. And I, I want you to hold me, but I want to run.

[00:28:21] Hunter: Oh my gosh. Yeah. I think the big picture, like your, your task is just to kind of get through three with your relative groundedness and, and not too much, not, not an inordinate amount of freaking out. Um, Yeah. Yeah. Um, but with him, you know, I guess what I would encourage you to do is, like, to accommodate as much of his, I can, I do it myself as I can, put a little hook down low for his jacket, you know, so that he can hang up his own jacket.

Get that water pitcher that won't break down low, that he can pour his own water. Get some, get like a spray bottle with some just white vinegar diluted a lot and a rag so he can clean up his own messes. All that stuff, like, get, get all that stuff there, um, so that you can facilitate, cause this is actually like a really golden opportunity time for you to like.

Help him, have him think, you know, that helping out is fun and interesting and right? Like, don't give him an iPad and say, go by yourself and watch the iPad while I clean up. Right? Like, bring him in, give him his own spray bottle, let him spray the spray bottle with, you know, white vinegar, which he could literally eat.

Right? So, um, okay. Yeah. Yeah. All that stuff.

Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

So the tantrums he's saying, like, just basically no when you want him to, I don't know, put on his shoes or something like that? Or you got him the wrong color spoon? 

[00:30:14] Brandy: Yeah. Um, what was it earlier today? I wanted him to, uh, get dressed and normally he likes to pick out his own clothes and I let him wear whatever he picks out.

Um, you know, it's not like snowing outside and he wants to wear swim trunks. So, normally he likes to, and today he was just like, I don't want to. And so I'm trying to get his sister ready, and I'm like, okay, just get me a pair of pants. Let's just start small. And he comes back in with a tank top, and I was like, that's close. Um, how about something to wear on the bottom half of you? And, and then he comes back with underwear and socks, and I'm like, you're, you're getting there, buddy. Um, and then, so he finally has, like, a whole outfit, and I'm like, okay, great, let's get dressed. And he's like, I want you to do it. And I'm like, but you're, you're a big boy, you can do it yourself. And he's like, nope, I can't. And so, like, you know, we'll go back and forth a couple times, and then I'm like, just give it here. Don't let me do it.

[00:31:27] Hunter:  Yeah, this is such a frustrating page because like sometimes they can do it, you know, and then they can. And so you think, Oh, great. I never have to do it again.

No, that's not true, right? Because authors are mentally and emotionally, like, basically. Infants, you know, in some ways, right? They're, they, they just, they're holding it together and then they're, they can't, you know, they just run out of juice for holding it together and they can't do it. And, um, and so, yeah, so in some of those moments, I wouldn't worry necessarily about him, like, you know, our brain goes to like, what, he's never gonna put on his own clothes, right?

Like, that's where my brain would go to. I would just say, oh, you know, I would encourage you to say something like, oh, okay, boy, it feels like getting dressed is hard. I'll help you out. Come on over here and we'll do it together, help you pick some things out. Like, I wouldn't stress too much, uh, especially at this age, like, about any of that stuff, like, in your mind, think of him as still an infant, more or less, you know, prefrontal cortex isn't developed until age 25, uh, fully developed, okay, so that's, that's our problem solving part of our brain, that's our impulse control, that's all our higher order thinking.

So, he's really like, it's developing. He's learning a lot and growing so much, but he's, he's just like, he'll have a moment when he's ready to make some of his own decisions, but it just won't be there all the time. And that's totally, totally normal. So, if he's having a moment where he wants to be comforted and treated like a baby.

Don't call them, don't tell them, you know, you're a big boy sometimes. Just say, just say, Oh, buddy, it's hard today. Okay, here, I'll come here and I'll help you put your pants on or whatever it is, right? Like, because you've got bigger fish to fry. You don't need to worry about this. Yeah. And, um, and then with the tantrums when your toddler, when he's holding it together, like basically you want to think of him like he's holding it together and he's holding it together all day and then he has no emotional regulation skills, right?

Like we have to just help him soothe, help him soothe until ultimately he, you know, we unmodel it for him, be that grounded, like solid mountain for him. Um, and then. There'll be times where it's just too much, and it's just, think of it as an emotional release. Like, he's overwhelmed, it's just an emotional release, has nothing to do with any, anything other than an emotional release, which we all need sometimes, right?

Like, I bet you need it with these, how many children? Five? So, I bet you're having a, a time or two where you're just like crying on the bed too, like your three year old, right? Because that's a lot of children to deal with. Yeah, it's rough. So, with your three year old and the tantrums, how is this kind of landing with you, this conversation?

It makes sense.

[00:34:35] Brandy: I've, I mean I've done like a lot of research on like how kids learn and how they listen and how to talk to them and stuff like that and like I know I've heard and read like their brains aren't developed and stuff. Um, I just needed, like, a different approach, because, like, my approach wasn't working.

And sometimes you just need to be reminded, like, he's, he's still a little baby, you know? He might, he might act, like, big, but he's still, he's still a little baby, and sometimes you just need to be reminded of that.

[00:35:10] Hunter:  Yeah, yeah, I know. When you're in it day in, day out, it's hard to get that perspective and to, to really see that, that piece.

So, you have all these, you know, these, you have a three year old and a one year old at the same time, as well as the six year old, teenagers, it's all at the same time. Brandy, how are you taking care of yourself through this? How are you taking breaks? How are you grounding yourself? Uh, that's a great question.

[00:35:42] Brandy: Um, that has been one of my biggest struggles since having kids. Like, even getting custody of my niece and nephew, like, I'm really bad at, like, asking for help, and, uh, you know, unless I had to work or something, I wouldn't ask people to help me with my niece and nephew, and then, ever since having, like, my own children, I've stayed home with them, so I'm around them 24 7, and, like, I almost felt like I was a bad mom if I left them, and just, like, this past year, I, I don't know, I guess I just like hit rock bottom and I was like, I can't, I can't, I can't do this anymore.

Like, I have to do something for myself. Like, I can't just be a mom. And that's what I, that's what I thought was normal. Like, I thought, like, you just have to be a mom. Like, that's what you're doing now. And so now, like, I'm trying to take breaks, like, for myself, like, once a week and do whatever I want to do, uh, for a couple of hours.

And sometimes I go to the grocery and then other times I'm like, okay, I'm gonna do something for me. I'm gonna go, like, take a walk, like, in the park or, like, hang out with a friend and get coffee or something. Um, so that's been nice having that time, like, just for me and stuff. It's just, It's so hard for me to, like, not feel guilty when I leave.

[00:37:16] Hunter: Well, if your kids, when they're older, would you want them to just feel like they had to do a job for 24 hours a day, 6 days, 7 days a week with a 3 hour break? Would you want them to feel like they had to do that and they weren't worthy if they didn't do that?

[00:37:38] Brandy: I would not want them to feel like that at all.

[00:37:40] Hunter: And you know, but let's use a, a very obvious example. You know that your kids are great at doing what you, right? Not what you say. This is why you probably try not to drop the F bomb all around your house. Yeah. Because it will be imitated, right? They're imitators. You may have had someone in your own life who was a self sacrificer and you may have grown up in a situation where that was held up as noble and valuable.

Is that so?

[00:38:13] Brandy: Yeah. Um, I, I come from a long line of like stubbornness and, um, I guess just not really like paying attention to like your needs, but just kind of getting the job done in a sense. Uh, so yeah, like my dad was like that and his mom and her dad, and yeah. 

[00:38:35] Hunter: Could you see in the examples in your own family, did it lead to any frustration, irritation, burnout, and stress?

[00:38:46] Brandy: My, my dad was definitely like that a lot growing up. Uh, he was very angry and like mad at the world and, um, that most of the time he took it out on us like it was our fault. Uh, because he, he had four kids. So, there's four of us. So, he was constantly mad at us and like very short tempered and stuff like that.

Yeah, and if he, yeah, you and you can imagine if he took time to take care of himself and to do some things that just filled his own cup, that had nothing to do with being dad, that he might relieve some of that stress and actually be a better dad for you.

Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So you. As a mom, you're here, you're, you're on an on air coaching call on the Mindful Parent podcast, so you obviously are wanting to do good for your kids, you're doing all this, you're reading all the books, you're reading about communication, how to respond, you're crouching down, you're doing some great things, but you, you know, you, you don't want this to, to lead to burnout and resentment, right?

[00:40:00] Brandy: Yeah, no. No, I definitely don't want that, and... I like the, the older my kids get, the more I realize that that's going to happen if I don't put myself first, which is hard for me. I have to put myself first in order to be the best version of me for them.

[00:40:20] Hunter: Yeah, I can see it's even hard for you to say that.

Yeah, it is. Yeah. Um, yeah, that idea of like, even people say that, oh, they're so selfless. Like, the idea of the self sacrificing parent is toxic in a lot of situations, right? Because it leads to people being burnt out. It really ultimately stems from like, patriarchal ideas when women were, weren't valued, right?

But we want our, you know, we, we want to model. That each human is valuable and each human is worthy, right? And we want them, our kids to be comfortable in their own skin and relatively at ease and not super stressed, right? So you need to show that to them. Yeah, I, um. If I could magically wave a magic wand for you and make things happen, I would give you not just a couple hours a week, but I would give you a couple hours a day where you're away from your kids.

Um, you're with your fiance now. I want you to have this conversation about this because I know that in our country, we're radically under supported as parents. And it's incredibly hard. Like if you were somewhere else, it might be a different story. But, um, you taking care of yourself, you having something that fills your heart, just outside of parenting, something that you, things that you do just for you, having time every day to.

Go for a walk out in nature to like, just, you know, at least take 30 minutes and get out of the house and get away from these kids and whatever. Like, this is vital for you to be able to Be that, that grounded parent that you want to be. To be able to choose how you want to respond, right? Like everything we've talking about is about you choosing how do you want to respond.

You're not going to be able to do that if your stress levels are making it so that you're reactive, right? Right. Um. Yeah. I've never thought about it like that. Yeah. I mean, so I do talks, or I've done talks like internationally around the country about how to stop yelling at your kids, and the one thing I tell people is that you reducing your overall stress is actually the best, maybe the number one best thing you can do.

To be less reactive for your kids because your stress is, is basically the same as like your stress response, right? You're feeling these low levels of fight, flight, or freeze. And so then it doesn't take much to just tip you over the edge. Yeah. But if you're at ease, you're, you know, relatively relaxed and at ease, think about it.

You're a much better parent then, aren't you?

[00:43:20] Brandy: Yeah. I realize that because there are times where... Like, I respond to a situation with the kids and like, I'll surprise myself and I'll like, like look, be like in the inside of me, but like looking at the situation and I'm like, Oh, you did a good job. 

[00:43:37] Hunter: Wow. Yeah.

Yeah. And you'll do that more and more if you have regular, steady breaks. You don't have to do, if you at all can manage it. And I know life circumstances can be challenging. You try to, this is the most intensive time when you have the, the one year old and three year old outside of school, like get, you know, get more support if you can.

[00:44:05] Brandy: I feel like that's probably a good idea. Like if I can get a walk in, um, Maybe when my fiancé gets home from work or like maybe even after they go to bed, like get a little walk in.

[00:44:16] Hunter: He gets home from work. Hey, babe, tag out. Bye. That sounds like a great idea, right? Like don't you think he'll come back so much like nicer?

[00:44:28] Brandy: Yes. Yes. One of the things I've realized that really does help me is waking up like 30, 45 minutes before any, well, anything. And I feel like I can just, like, sit there and, like, drink my coffee, or, like, get a little bit of reading done. And then when they wake up, I'm like, Oh, hey! You know? And I'm excited to see them, but then, when I don't have that time, I realize that, like, I'm, like, short tempered and, like, on edge.

Because I just need, like, I need to process the day.

[00:45:04] Hunter: Yeah. 

[00:45:07] Brandy: Before being late. You know, have all these other people coming at me.

[00:45:09] Hunter: Mm hmm, but your intentions. Yeah. Okay. Well, Brandy, we have talked about your six year old and your three year old cleaning up the playroom and also taking care of yourself and having some, some bandwidth to deal with all of this and to just take care of yourself because you're worthy of that.

Um, what for you are your biggest takeaways from talking today? Um, just.

[00:45:38] Brandy: Reducing the clutter, which is important, and um, responding to them differently, and using the I message instead of a broader message. Um, and I really liked the emphatic response that you were telling me, like, when he's having, like, big feelings, like, respond differently and, you know, like, say, okay, I see that you're feeling frustrated.

And I, I honestly feel like that would work because, like, I like when people talk to me like that. Like, oh, I, I can see that you're mad, you know, cause then it's like, okay, thank you. Yeah. You know, I feel like, uh, well, I'll just be mad, right? 

[00:46:24] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. Good, good. Any takeaways about this last part of the conversation, too?

[00:46:35] Brandy: Oh, yes. Um, definitely, definitely going to get some more me time and, uh, try to get it in every day to where, like, I can have 30 minutes to myself and take walks. I feel like that would be good for me. 

[00:46:47] Hunter: Yes. Yes. Yes. Good. Yay, Brandy. Thank you so much for, for sharing your Thank you. Family and your story and everything with us here.

I appreciate it. Yeah.

[00:47:00] Brandy: Of course. Thank you so much for having me.

[00:47:11] Hunter: I hope you enjoyed this episode. If you did, please share it with one person today. Just pick one person and say, check this out and, and they might like it. And that's the best thing you can do. And yeah, if you have feedback, let me know. You can find me on Instagram at mindful mama mentor. And that's what I got for you this week, my friend.

Uh, know that you can listen to all the podcasts ad free as a Podcast Plus supporter. You can go to MindfulMamaMentor. com and become a Podcast Plus supporter, and yeah, that's what we got. I hope you're enjoying your week. I hope you don't have too much stress. I, I hope the... The fairies, all the fairies and the gods and, and the, the universe will rain down love and joy and more support in your life so that you can have more ease and peace and Anyway, just make that your North Star, the E's in the peace part, right?

Make that your North Star, so when you have a point of choice, you can choose that. Maybe say no to something and say yes to yourself. That's what I wish for you this week. Yeah, I can't wait. This is going to be incredible, 2024. We've got Mindful Parenting Live coming up. Ah, so much is happening. Make sure, you know, you're on the mailing list so you hear all about it.

Because we don't share everything in the podcast, so make sure you're on the mailing list at mindfulmamamentor. com and Yeah, um, wishing you all those things, those ease, the support, all that. And, um, I can't wait to connect with you again next week. Thank you so much for listening. Namaste.

I'd say definitely do it. 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 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 and 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 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.

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 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 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. MindfulParenting

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