Dr. Shefali received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Columbia University. Specializing in the integration of Western psychology and Eastern philosophy, she brings together the best of both worlds for her clients. She is an expert in family dynamics and personal development, teaching courses around the globe.

390: Conscious Parenting Roadmap

Dr. Shefali 

How do we parent consciously? In this episode, I bring on Dr. Shefali, acclaimed clinical psychologist and multiple bestselling author to give us the lowdown on her new step-by-step guide to disrupting toxic inherited patterns and creating healthy, conscious relationships with our kids. We learn why kids are doing what they’re doing and how to direct our energy to what we can control.

[390] Conscious Parenting Roadmap - Dr. Shefali Tsabari

Read the Transcript 🡮

*This is an auto-generated transcript*

[00:00:00] Dr Shefali: It's about the parent, and so the wrong problem is the kid. So when something is wrong in your Parenting, typically we go, what's wrong with the kid?

[00:00:15] Hunter: You are listening to the Mindful Mama podcast, episode number 390. Today we're talking about the conscious Parenting roadmap with Dr. Shefali.

Welcome to the Mindful Mama podcast. Here it's about becoming a less irritable, more joyful parent. At Mindful Mama, 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 Clarke-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 20. I'm the creator of Mindful Parenting, and I'm the author of the best selling book, raising Good Humans, A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and raising Kind Confident Kids.

Hey, welcome to the Mindful Mama podcast. Welcome back if you are a repeat listener. So glad to have you. And listen, if you have not done so yet, please hit that subscribe button so you never miss an episode. And if you have ever gotten any value from this podcast, and I know you will today, please do me a favor and go over to Apple Podcasts or Spotify and leave us a rating and.

It helps the podcast grow more and it just takes 30 seconds, and I hugely appreciate it.

In just a moment, I'm going to be sitting down with the Dr. Shefali Tsabary. Dr. Shefali received her doctor in clinical psychology from Columbia University specializing in the integration of western psychology and eastern philosophy. She brings together the best of. Worlds for her clients. She's an expert in family dynamics and personal development teaching courses around the globe.

Dr. Shefali has written four books, three of which our New York Times bestsellers, including her two Landmark books, the Conscious Parent and the Awakened Family. And today we're going to talk about her latest book, which is out right now. I think it's out. Comes out the day this podcast release the Parenting map.

And so in this book, she is answering the question, the how question that really drives me forward and doing all the work I do. How do we parent consciously? So I talked to Shefali about the lowdown on this new step-by-step guide that she has to disrupting toxic inherited patterns and creating healthy conscious relationships with our.

You're gonna learn why our kids are doing what they're doing and how to direct our energy to what we can control. I enjoyed this conversation so much, and I know you will too. Join me at the table as I talk to Dr. Shefali.

Shefali, thank you so much for coming on the Mindful Mama podcast. I'm so glad to have you finally on. Oh, I'm so excited

[00:03:22] Dr Shefali: to talk to you about all

[00:03:24] Hunter: things Parenting. I'm excited to talk to you about your new book, the Parenting Map, and I'm really excited about it because at least from my point of view, I'm obsessive about.

But how do you do this thing? How do you do this thing? And I'm just wondering, in your own words, if you could tell us why you wrote this latest book. It was it, to answer that question, like how do you parent consciously? Yes.

[00:03:46] Dr Shefali: I've written three conscious Parenting books and I still felt that people needed a very broken down, easily digestible, step by step.

For progressing through this journey, and that's what this book is about. I believe it's written in really simple lay terms. To help anyone from, no matter whether they've started a mindfulness practice or not, to pick up this book. I teach people you know how to connect, how to break your patterns, how to discover your ego in a very easy step-by-step manner.

So yes, this book was to answer the how of conscious parent.

[00:04:29] Hunter: No, I love that too. And like I told you I'm always so relaxed when I see illustrations, I'm like yes. This is great. There are illustrations. I can do it. I can do it too. Yes. So yes, in step one you say that we need to focus on the right problem.

So what is this? What is the right problem? Or maybe what's the wrong problem?

[00:04:48] Dr Shefali: The wrong problem is the. This is not about your child. I say that if it was supposed to be about your child, it would be called Child Inc. And I was just interviewing Hal Runkel and he said, yeah, it should be called Kidding if it's about the kid.

So it's about the parent. And so the wrong problem is. The kid. So when something is wrong in your Parenting, typically we go, what's wrong with the kid? Why is my kid not listening? Why is my kid not paying attention? Why is my kid disrespectful? We are always asking, why is my kid X, Y, and Z? This is the wrong focus.

The focus needs to be. What am I doing that my kid cannot process what I'm saying? What am I doing that my kid is not giving me the respect I think I need? When we shift the focus back on us, the parent, we now enter a place of self scrutiny, self-awareness. And we begin to modify our approach. We begin to adapt our approach to who the kid is versus making the kid adapt to who we are.

So it's a, the first fundamental mind shift you need to do as a conscious parent is stop making this about your kid. And make this about you. Now, some parents will say that's so selfish, . And I say no. You are actually being less selfish because when you're focusing on the kid, you're making the kid adapt to your ego, and that is the most selfish thing you can do versus making it about you.

Adapting to who your kid is now you're actually a selfless parent.

[00:06:24] Hunter: Okay, so what you're saying, I wanna see if I can translate it in a way that makes me understand is that, when we go to, when I went to my daughter Maggie, and I was like, ah, you are not listening, you're driving me crazy. And I wanted her to calm down.

So basically so that I could feel better because it was upsetting me so much and making me feel so crazy I needed to turn that lens back on myself to say okay, so what is it about what I'm doing saying, behaving my energy? Those kind of things that is inciting these things in our kid. Is that what you're saying?

[00:06:58] Dr Shefali: Correct. Or I'm using words that don't work for my kid. Just the other day I said something to my kid something akin to your blowing this out of proportion and she lost. And so she blew it out of proportion, right? . But but I then remember that she had told me, mom, I don't like it when you dismiss my feelings, right?

And I keep doing it and I keep not learning. So she keeps having to get upset and that I keep saying the same thing. Why are you blowing it out of proportion? But I don't see how I'm triggering the situation. So when we parents keep saying, my kid is not listening, my kid is not a respectful, my kid. My kid, my.

What we are failing to understand that we're A, giving them all our power, and actually we are making ourselves powerless, and B, we keep using them as objects that need to be puppets, right? We keep thinking that they should just do what we want. Basically, we're saying we want control. Both these things are designed for disaster and disconnection.

What we need to do is flip it all around. And go, what am I doing that is not working for my kid? And this is the way I get power back because I'm changing my way and controlling my ways so that they create the results that I want versus making my kid have all the power to give me the results that I want.

We are actually bearing our. Bearing ourselves in our own grave by giving all this power away, but we don't see that. We don't see how we're actually working against ourselves.

[00:08:34] Hunter: Yeah, that makes sense. It's like you two-year-old make me feel better. You know when I'm feeling upset. You four-year-old is freaking out.

You make me feel better. Yes. We're giving them the power over our. Our emotions and our experience, and we really have to change that in ourselves, right? And we have

[00:08:51] Dr Shefali: to learn as parents. I see in my book the Parenting Map, there are three reasons why your kid is not doing X, Y, or Z. Number one, their brains haven't developed, so they just don't have the skills.

Number two, they just don't have the information or the experience because they haven't lived long enough. And number three, they don't have the self worth that they don't feel good enough. So if you can keep remembering these three things, You then have to adapt, okay, what is it? Oh, their brain is not developed.

So how can I communicate in a way that my two-year-old understands that they need to not hit, but their brain is telling them to hit? Their brain is not telling them to talk logic and reason number two, I'm telling my two-year-old not to touch the hot stove, but they keep touching the hot stove. Now I'm losing my shit on them because I don't realize that they haven't lived long enough and they haven't had those experience.

How do I communicate to this be? And number three, maybe my kid is just feeling a lack of connection with me and a lack of worth. How do I change that? So these three things immediately bring you back to yourself as a parent and make you understand that you need to adapt your to them. It's not just that they have all this power and that they are these evil, mean, demons living in your.

[00:10:07] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. I think the way that we traditionally look at things like that, it's like behavior's, either right or wrong, or it's good or bad, this is good. Or if it's, I like it and if it complies and it's bad if it isn't, but this is such a more nuanced picture to bring that curiosity. Into the moment.

To say, okay, is it their brain? Is it their development? Is it their experience? Is it that sense of worth? Those three questions give us a lot of direction to start to understand like what is driving the behavior. Because it's not like they're not just doing it just to get you, like that they're not doing it to manipulate you.

And if we can wrap our heads around that. We can start to then say, okay why is this happening? And then we can respond effectively. Because if we. Have any idea why whatever we're doing often just exacerbates the situation.

[00:10:58] Dr Shefali: Correct. So if your teenager is yelling at you and you realize that, oh, their brains are overloaded.

They're stimulated, it may be a little bit of self worth, it may be a lot of, life experience, all that is connected to your teenager blowing up at you, you can then say, oh, okay, I understand that they can't handle the situation. They're overwhelmed. Now what is in my. and what is in my power is I can walk away.

Hello. I can put a pause and return to the conversation later, or I can, walk away. , walking away is really the only answer in those moments. Anything else is you the parent entering your own state of the settlement and your own teenagehood or your own toddler. And regressing anything other than that.

You can't talk logic to a teenager when they're exploding. You can't yell at a teenager when they're exploding because you make it worse. The only logical thing at that moment is to understand, have compassion and walk away. So it becomes so simple when you begin to understand that A, you need to take care of your own emotions and.

The kid is having their own emotions that have nothing to do with you.


[00:12:10] Hunter: And yeah, that's the underlying premise of all of this is you are grounded enough, you've had enough sleep, you've had enough, reduced your stress enough so that you can use your whole brain, your, the parts of your brain that process more slowly to ask these questions and to get thoughtful about it, rather than be in autopilot and be react.

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

Okay, so step three says, relinquish control. So this is a little scary, this idea, right? And so let's imagine I'm the parent who really box at this idea. Convince me of why I should let go of.

[00:12:56] Dr Shefali: because on a big mind level, we cannot control any human being on a big mind level. We cannot even control our own lives beyond our own thoughts and reactions in the moment.

So given we can only control our own reactions and our own thoughts, we cannot control even our life, right? Things can happen to us of brick and fall on our head. At any point, a bird can poop on our fancy clothes at any point. We have no. We cannot literally control any other human being except if we lock them up and physically control them.

So given that relinquishing control is a beautiful place to start your conscious Parenting journey because it forces you to look for the alternative, what is the alternative? Now? The alternative is only. Some form of connection. My control needs to be converted to connection. And through connection I can have this relationship and through this relationship, my kid will understand what I'm saying.

And maybe if I want that, listen to me to a degree. That's why. Why I say relinquish control it's because controlling another human is an illusion. All humans want to control themselves. Oh yeah. Now you can have a connection, which creates an influence, which creates an impact. Yeah. But that is all based on relationship building.

Skills control takes you out of relationship building skills control is mechanistic, dualistic separation, and it just creates dysfunction because it's hierarchical. So we want to shift that control into. So the other day my, my daughter was telling me about a grade. She's I don't think I failed, but maybe I didn't do so well.

Maybe I got a C grade. And because I have relinquished control and I don't think it's any of my business anymore, that she get a particular grade and only my business that she sufficiently pass overall and get a degree. I had no panic inside me. I could convert my concern to her concern over her grades.

So I said, oh, how do you feel about your grades? , and what do you think should be the right plan of action? And what do you feel you want to do? Because I'm more concerned with A, keeping my connection. And then B, because I have no control over her, I want her to have control over he. So once you relinquish this idea that you are supposed to be in control, actually your life gets way easier.

However, it's a big spiritual practice because it comes with a lot of unknown. But guess what? Control comes with unknown too. Control not only comes with unknown, it comes with dysfunction. Relinquishing control continues the unknown, but it comes with connection. Yeah.

[00:15:58] Hunter: When we're realizing it basically we control is an illusion anyway, is what you're saying, right?

That's we don't, we never had it to begin with. This is a myth that our society's giving us that you should myth at the very least be in control of your kids. That's actually a ridiculous statement. And so I'm wondering like for the person who says, oh my God, I don't have control, this is terrify.

but I'd like what you're inviting us into considering this idea of focusing it then into relationship. And what I'm hearing kinda behind this is instead of control, we can move into coaching or inviting or, the things we might like if we had if we had a good friend over who, we wanted to invite them to help us clean up the kitchen or make cookies with us or things we might do with our.

We wouldn't just bark orders of them and try to control them. We would invite them, we would talk to them in a different way. Is that's where you're saying Yes.

[00:16:59] Dr Shefali: And to shift this idea that, relinquishing control means putting the quote unquote control into the right buckets.

So I have control over my emotions. I have my reactions, I have control over my judgments. I have control over my sermons. , I have control over my connect. , and that's why this book, the Parenting Map, is singularly focused really on how does a parent get themselves out of the way so that they can truly connect with their children, because that's what every parent wants more than anything, is a thriving relationship.

And we should want that and also want our kids to have a thriving relationship with themselves. Wow. And in order to do that, we have to give up this thing we call control because the kid needs to develop that relationship to themselves before anybody else. So that's what the focus is of a conscious parent.

[00:17:56] Hunter: That's perfect because it brings us to my next question, cuz you talk about you. It's all in steps, which I love and you're gonna love. Dear listener, step A is catch your ego. You talk about the masks, our ego wears when we're feeling afraid or insecure when we're basically in fight, flight, or freeze, which we are often as parents, like that is our number one job.

Take care of ourselves so that we are hopefully not in fight, flight, or freeze, but when we are in fight, flight, or freeze, tell us what happens. You talk about the five Fs, like we turn into fighters, fixers, faints freezers, and fls . I

[00:18:33] Dr Shefali: just made it easy for parents to understand that they have developed coping mechanisms from childhood in terms of dealing with anxiety.

Anxiety is at the bottom of it, all right? It's all anxiety under. Every addiction is anxiety of being in the present moment. So we've developed these ego defense patterns. And so in my book I went beyond the fight flight of freeze fight. Flight of freeze. Yes. To add two more the faints and the free the fixers.

The fixers, sorry. The fixers. Yeah. So basically the fighter is, as we know, the one who explodes into anger. And wants to. Yeah. Is that you? Yeah, that was me. I'm the fixer. I'm the fixer. Then I become the fighter. What happens to you after the fighter? Is this more fighter or you become a FLIR or

[00:19:24] Hunter: freezer?

Oh, I fight and then I flee. Yes. Because Yeah. Yeah. I, yeah. Have remembered walking up and down my street multiple times to cool down .

[00:19:34] Dr Shefali: Yeah. I fix, I fight, and then I flee. We are so healthy . So the fighter is a typical exploder. It's masculine energy. It just wants it done. Get it done. Now do as I say, and can we just end the chaos?

The fixer is the enabler. Is the rescuer, is the savior, is the one who cannot tolerate the anxiety of the kid failing an exam. So they'll do the whole paper, the kid can't put on their shoelaces. They'll go and put on the shoelaces for the kid. So things like that. The Fanar is the one who's only concerned about everything looking good.

I have a friend who's like that. Do you know anyone? Oh yeah, the

[00:20:17] Hunter: Instagram mom. The Instagram mom basically

[00:20:21] Dr Shefali: the trophy the trophy kid. The stager. Everything is about staging it, right? Can you just look, the one, the parent who's always putting all the trophies out is that all the, the award shows wants the kid to win the prize, puts everything up on social media.

Basically their kid is a little trophy. Oh. And then the freezer and the FLS are the ones who've had more trauma in their childhood, who literally are terrified of messy feelings and who literally have created a lifestyle where they're not around. So the freezer is around, but basically the persona, non grata, and they just are there, but they don't wanna be involved in the nitty gritty or get their feet.

they just wanna be there in, in kind, not in cash, right? They're just there. They are an asset in terms of just being there, but they're not of any value that you can liquidate, right? To talk in financial terms. And then the f the fear is somebody who's just an abandoner because they've been so abandoned in their life they flee.

So we can flee in the moment, like you and I flee in the moment. , but I'm also talking about the chronic flares. Were just not

[00:21:36] Hunter: there at all. Or even psychologically fleeing, right? Yes. Like just checking out behind the phone or, yes. That kind of stuff too.

[00:21:44] Dr Shefali: Yeah. Okay. Yes. So that is on a spectrum, but that is because they themselves experience so much trauma in their lives, and I've given these categories so that we can just quickly identify, oh my goodness.

Once I realized I was a fix, I now know to pause. I now know, okay, before you ask too many questions, before you go and save the situation, take a breath, leave the room, get your thoughts together, calm your anxiety down, alright. Or if you know you're a fighter, before you open your mouth to start screaming, you begin to pause.

So it's just useful to identify. But then I also help parents in this book understand that their kids develop their own ego masks as well. So now your kid could. You could be a fighter and your kid could be a fixer. So you don't want to encourage that in your children. Because we want our children to be in their essence, not in their ego, but our kids will be in their ego if we are in our ego. So we now create a pattern with our children. And one of my one of my friends just read the book recently, and she, I loved it because she came to me and she said, oh my goodness.

I thought my kid was such a good. And now I see that she's just being a fixer. Wow. Because she's taking care of my feelings. And that was such a revelation for her. She didn't realize that. So this book offers that kind of perspective that allows you to understand your kid's ego as well.

[00:23:05] Hunter: Yeah, I appreciate that so much and I think that's helpful to identify ourselves, to say, okay, this is where I am.

This is where I need to target my work. But the thing about your kids is so interesting too. I really enjoyed that. You talk about this idea, these with some categories with the kids too, which I really appreciated. You said, the anxious Exploder, the hyperactive Explorer and my first daughter was definitely the.

Exploder, definitely. So what are some of these ways that we can understand our kids and how does that then help us parent them?

[00:23:41] Dr Shefali: We don't want to typecast children ever, but our kid will come with some sort of unique essence. Like when my kid was two years old at her birthday party, the photographer came to me and said, it's not my fault.

Your kid doesn't smile. and Maya to this day will not easily smile. And the fixer in me that is the smiler of I can win every contest. I love to smile, but it comes from this pleasing place. Was horrified that having a daughter who wasn't, pleaser like me. So I dunno about you. Has your kid stayed anxious to a certain extent,

[00:24:19] Hunter: yeah.

Yeah, she has.

[00:24:20] Dr Shefali: Yeah. If we're very careful and we are very attentive, we can tune into our kids' essence and just appreciate them for who it is they are. So in that chapter that step where I talk about recognizing your kids' essence, and I gave all these categories. It's not to typecast the children, but to appreciate that if your kid is this dreamy, recluse kid, that's a superpower.

Help your kids see that. And then also prepare them for how they're going to appreciate how they're going to be appreciated in life. Like my daughter is, somebody who doesn't smile much. So her icon on my phone is a. But I love Pokemon pies. I told her, be you. But just know that this is going to rub people in a different way.

They're going to poke, you're gonna poke people. And she's I'm fine with that. Okay. That's your essence. It's so lovely and I've learned to appreciate it. I wish I had some bristles because I've gotten so much trouble because of my smiling appeasing self. So that step about understanding your children's essence and allowing it and celebrating.

Will relieve you of so much anxiety and desire to fix. Like I, another thing that, my daughter taught me about her essence when she was young, she said to me, I hate competitions. So at first I resisted it because I wanted to be like every other parent who was showcasing the kids. I wanted to be a fanna parent who was like all about staging their kids' life.

But the minute I appreciated her essence and celebrated it, it relieved. We were like, great. I was like, great. No tournaments, no competitions. That's off my books. And that just eased me into a new relationship with her versus if I wanted to push my agenda because I didn't appreciate her essence, I would've created catastrophical.

Catastrophic dysfunction between us.

[00:26:13] Hunter: I really appreciate that and I can relate specifically to that, not wanting to compete. My second daughter is a horseback rider and she just loves the horses like she does, sometimes her riding instructor says to make this horse cantor and she can sense that the horse does not want to canter.

So she does not want to like horse, the horse to canter. She doesn't wanna compete. And for me, Competed when I was, I loved like jumping over fences and that was like fun for me. And yeah, I had to like, it was like, okay, I had to really listen. Like I think what this is, these chapters are doing are inviting the reader to get curious and to really listen and then to honor, and the idea of, I had to really listen to her say, okay.

And it was, it. Great. I don't have to wake up at four 30 in the morning and like pie bring boots and saddles into, and things like that and drives hours away. I'm not gonna be doing that, and Right. But I

[00:27:11] Dr Shefali: think,

[00:27:11] Hunter: go ahead. No, I'll, and then just the same with my other daughter who really loves to read and she pulled out some vocab word the other day and I was like, man, that is because of all the reading you do.

And like High five Girl, and. It's great, it just gives us this permission to celebrate who they are rather than some idea of who they should be.

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

[00:27:44] Dr Shefali: Yes. And one of the steps is called End the Movie and the Fantasy because we have to grieve that we enter the Parenting process believing they will be a mini. Or a better version of us. That's it. That's our fantasy. Be a better version of me and be like me. But better. And that is such a disastrous setup because a, we don't recognize when our children are not us.

We don't celebrate it, but also we stop them from being themselves. But then the worst thing we do to ourselves is we have this great disappointment, but we set ourselves up for the disappointment and we don't see. So imagine relinquishing that and releasing all expectations. Now we're starting with a fresh canvas, and we are understanding who our kids are moment by moment.

And it changes every month. It could change, at least in the early years. There's no, repetition going on. There's, it could happen one time and then we could not see that behavior again for many months. But then as they grow older, recognizing that this is who they are. And appreciating and celebrating

[00:28:52] Hunter: them.

I think that's such a healthy way for us to be, and it's such a beautiful invitation. I love that. So you, you talk about, you have a chapter on kids Speak and you talk, you say that all our child's misaligned behavior is a sign and this is an acronym for something inside Go on Negative. So how does this help us, like hold boundaries around that misaligned behavior?

[00:29:19] Dr Shefali: The first thing is to understand that most of us humans but definitely children who haven't learned the skills yet to communicate articulately in real time about their feelings. We have to give them a handicap, right? And we have to understand that when they're screaming or yelling or being disrespectful or unmotivated, it's not just a behavior in and of itself.

It's a symptom of a deep rooted cause that we need to tap into to understand the symptom. And that's why I created the acronym, S I G n, something Inside Gone. Negative. What is, what's going negative? What's what are, what is the misalignment inside my. that is causing the disrespect, for example. So if your kid is being disrespectful, your initial egoic reaction is to yell back, to control or to punish.

But if you understood that, ah, they're just being disrespectful because they're disrespecting themselves right now, they are actually confused right now. They're actually stressed out right now. The first thing you do is don't take it personally. The second thing you'll do, therefore, is not yell and scream back, which only makes it.

Then the third thing you'll do is create a choice. And what are your choices? They're very, there are varied number of choices, depending on the age and developmental level of your kid. If your kid is under six years old, your choice is to, first choice is to make them safe. So sometimes you may have to hold them.

Sometimes you may have to remove them from the situation. Sometimes we may have to put them in their crib or close the door or take out all the sharp. The first thing is creating safety. If they're safe, now you have lots of choices. You can try to mirror them back and go, I get it. I get it. You're angry.

You're angry. Mama made you angry, or whatever you wanna say, yes, Mama made me angry. And then you can both. Can I show you how you look angry right now? And then you can be angry and mirror the feeling, but you have to first create safety, then create validation. Then mirror and I talk about all these techniques in the book, and you can then handle the situation till the wave passes.

If it's an older kid, you can create the boundary by leaving them going. I see that you are in a mood. I can see that you are not in, the right space to have this conversation. I see that you're angry with me, but you're not able to communicate. I'll be back. I'm gonna take a time out. So all of this can happen once you yourself realize.

That it is not about you. It's about something going on within them, and your goal and role as a parent is to simply take that energy that they're pushing and shoving down. You take it all and put it back on them. Hey, I guess you're not feeling ready to good right now. Hey, I think you're stressed out.

Even just understanding that for yourself will create. And it frees you, it liberates you because the other way is to take it personally, which then makes you feel like you have to have, seek retribution right away, which makes you feel like it fixed the problem right now, and that just causes so much dysfunction.

[00:32:26] Hunter: Don't take it personally. People, this is the second time Sali has said this in this conversation and I think is so important, right? This is like your kid is not mini you. We have to let them, you said something a long time ago. I heard you talk at the Zen Parenting Radio conference. Shout out to Kathy and Todd and.

You said, love your kids more and care less. And I've held that with me and I've shared that with many people. Love you now. And because it's so brilliant, because we have to just they're gonna do stupid, dumb things driven by misalignments in something inside going negative end. That's part of life.

Like we can't take that all personally. And a lot of times we might be at the receiving end of some of this stuff cuz we are around, we are right here. And then we also have to hold boundaries. So I love this. Don't take it personally. So important. Okay. In the chapter on discipline, you ask us to ponder this.

What is my boundary made of stone or sand? And I thought that was a really interesting question. And so I was wondering if you could speak to what are the boundaries that should be rigid and what are the boundaries that should be more flexible? Understanding there's a lot of range here.

[00:33:44] Dr Shefali: Yeah. I'm really, into making my life simpler because I care so much about myself that I don't want.

Complicated. So for me it's as simple as this. My rigid boundary will only be around harm of the self or harm of others, and I really don't even care so much about emotional harm because that's often subjective and arbitrary. For example if one sibling says to another sibling, you are so silly, or You are so lazy, and the other sibling says, mom, create a boundary because she has emotionally harmed.

I may not make that a non-negotiable stone boundary because I will teach the other kid how to handle her emotions in reaction. And I think it's a valuable lesson because people are going to be emotionally disruptive, lazy, inarticulate, and we have to handle that. But physical is where I draw the line.

Absolutely. So what does that mean? Anything that is physically toxic, which include. all social media, beyond a point video games, beyond a point and drugs and alcohol. Now, again, after my, after your kid turns 18 and they're at college, you don't have jurisdiction. So forget any sort of control until you hear about it, right?

But for me, the biggest red flags are drugs and alcohol and everything related with substances, but including video games and social media, especially when your kids are living with you. . And of course that gray area of social media and video games is not so arbitrary because who, there's not enough research yet, but you can imagine anything over two hours a day is not good for your kid's brain.

And if they're under 10, it's not good. Even more than 30 minutes a day. So you can use your logic in common sense. So a stone boundary would be, around these things. If I see that it's becoming toxic and. . And then, I encourage parents that if it goes to a level that is too much beyond your capacity, please take your kids to a treatment center.

Please hire a professional. Do not think that you're just gonna wait for this to pass. So those are my non-negotiables, and then the rest of it I say is negotiable, and I have given a map around that as well. In the book, I talk about, hygiene. Cleanliness, respect.

All these things are you want to be non-negotiable about, but you learn over time with wisdom that you really have to negotiate. And what I mean by negotiation is creating a win-win situation for both people. I remember during the first few months of Covid and my daughter was home, she stopped bathing.

every day. And that was like, I was, I can't even now I'm speechless. That became a big deal for me. I was horrified and I began imagining her as a homeless person and a bag lady. I just went crazy and she was like, mom, I will have a shower, but I've not even gotten outta bed all day, right?

Because these kids were just in their bed and their pajamas. So I had to really manage my emotions. and then now lo and behold, she's in college and she's having multiple showers sometimes a day, and she's okay. But it's that tolerance of your anxiety because we project into the future and managing those anxieties is really important and creating a win-win situation.

Okay, you don't wanna bathe every day now because you're home, all the. Can you please bathe on the third day? Come on now. Come on now. And, but you do it through the relationship and you do it through a connection versus through a command and a punishment,

[00:37:30] Hunter: a power struggle. Yeah. There's definitely an inverse relationship between power and influence, right?

We wanna use our influence. I think about that there are so many things that I wanted to be non-negotiable. Eating your eating vegetables, bef, and staying at the table and oh my it. Making sure you get outside for exercise, doing your chores before you have any screen time and things like that.

And I find that the boundaries are made of. Sand , rather than stone, really? Because it becomes like a, yeah, some, something that happens through repetition and instruction. And boy, look how great you felt after you just went out after school and went for a walk instead of sat down in the corner of the couch and looked at your phone and look.

Much energy you had and how it felt good for you. It's more about like that idea of going back to the very beginning, the idea of coaching or inviting rather than controlling, right? Because the control really is an illusion. It's an illusion.

[00:38:32] Dr Shefali: And we are setting ourselves up as parents when we have too many rooms.

I really, had very few rules. I didn't have a rule of sitting at the. because I was like, I'm not going to stress out. We can connect outside the table and food is something that we pay so much attention to anyway, that we don't need to. We can just eat fast and then go talk on the couch or go talk wherever the kid is.

Like these rules just create these barriers for communication, I think, and connection. More than pathways for

[00:39:04] Hunter: it. I think it's a fabulous book. I'm so glad you The Fixer wrote another book for us all to help fix our relationships and ourselves. There's nice to fix you guys. Yes. I really appreciate it.

The Parenting map and it is out now as this podcast is out. Shefali, is there anything that we missed? There's so many things we missed that we kinda don't have time to talk about, but is there anything you wanna leave the listener with and then where can they find you if they wanna learn more? I

[00:39:37] Dr Shefali: just think, when we parent consciously, as you and I talk about all the time, it's a game changer.

And if we don't educate ourselves on this beautiful philosophy, we are really robbing our children of the greatest opportunity, of us being the most present we can. and my daughter's 20 now, and I raised her pretty much consciously. There were huge pockets of unconsciousness. And the other day I was with her and her friends and she was telling her friends how I forced her into Benny and, all her traumas and, but she was laughing and so it's not that I was perfect, but she also told her friends, my mom never punished.

And never ever hit me and never controlled me beyond a point. So I see the effects of it, and it's the more difficult way to parent. It's the more, impactful way in terms of our own healings. It's, it takes our own inner work to do this work, but at the end of it the results are a much more beautiful connection.

But not just that you give your kids. The Inestimable gift of their own inner connection. That's what I see my daughter has more than anything. She has a connection to herself and that's what this book is going to help parents give their children this inestimable connection to themselves.

Grab the book, the Parenting map or give it to anyone who's struggling or not struggling and just wants to be

[00:41:09] Hunter: a better parent. Absolutely. It's such a hopeful message that you have, and I second that. It's beautiful when you can get to the other side of when you thought it was gonna be horrible.

My daughter's about to turn 16. I thought if my own childhood was any, it was gonna be horrible. But it's beautiful and it's, it's a heart connection that is just amazing. The work I did with this has a lot to do with the work you did. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast.

Thank you for your time. So great to connect again, and I really appreciate everything you've written and what you've put out in the world has made a huge impact. Huge. So thank you so much, Shefali.

[00:41:50] Dr Shefali: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much.

[00:41:59] Hunter: What a fabulous conversation that was. I love the idea that a misalign behavior is assigned something inside God negative. So simple. And then we can look at what are we right? Are we a fighter, a fixer? Are you a freezer? A flir? So great. I really love talking to Shefali about this book. Listen, if you loved this episode, I know this is definitely one to share.

Please leave a rating and review on Spotify or Apple Podcast. It makes such a big difference and it gets a podcast out. Of course. Word of mouth is amazing, but we love, love, love those reviews, and I wanna give a shout out to a review from. Megan, t w, her five star review. She said it's wonderful. She wrote, I truly appreciate this podcast.

After purchasing and starting raising good humans, I downloaded episodes and has truly helped me learn and practice. I would not have been successful with the practices and work of the book without the guided meditations. It has been huge in helping me apply what I have learned. Thank you. Thank you so much, Megan.

I really appreciate it. So leave that rating interview. It makes such a big difference. And I hope you loved this episode. I love this episode. So powerful. I hope this helps you move into your week with more awareness, more consciousness, more compassion for yourself, and how hard this journey is.

And I hope you have a beautiful week with those moments. With that awareness, maybe leading to those moments, a true connection with our kids, rather than jumping to the next thing to the to-do or the judgements and things that pop into our heads. Maybe we can just practice to really be there and that can give us so much rest and ease to just rest be in that present moment.

So I wish that for you, I will be practice. As well here, and I wanna just thank you for being here, part of this conversation, part of this revolution, part of this community rock on you, and I'm wishing you a great week. Thank you so much for listening.

[00:44:18] Dr Shefali: I'd say definitely do it. It's really helpful. It will change

[00:44:21] Hunter: your relationship with your kids for the better. It will help

[00:44:24] Dr Shefali: 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. Acting more with them and not feeling like you yelling all the time, or you're like, why isn't things working? I would say definitely enjoy it. It's 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.

Everything in your Parenting,

[00:45:22] Hunter: are you frustrated by parent? 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 Clarke-Fields, and if you answered yes to any of these questions, I want you to seriously consider the Mindful Parenting membership. You'll be joining hundreds of members who have discovered the path of Mindful Parenting and now have confidence in 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. Mindful Parenting course.com to add your name to the wait list, 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, Mindful Parenting course.com.

Support the Podcast

  • Leave a review on Apple Podcasts: your kind feedback tells Apple Podcasts that this is a show worth sharing.
  • Share an episode on social media: be sure to tag me so I can share it (@mindfulmamamentor).
  • Join the Membership: Support the show while learning mindful parenting and enjoying live monthly group coaching and ongoing community discussion and support.