Janet Lansbury is the creator and host of “Janet Lansbury Unruffled.” Inspired by her mentor Magda Gerber, Janet popularized “respectful parenting” and is the author of two bestselling books, Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting and No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame. 

471: Holding Boundaries with Toddlers

Janet Lansbury

Toddlers behavior can be incredibly frustrating and confounding.

How do we hold boundaries with a toddler?

In this episode, Hunter talks to Janet Lansbury, creator of the Unruffled podcast about how to separate from a clingy toddler and how to handle a toddler hitting their sibling. 

Learn about being the “calm leader” and setting limits with confidence.

Holding Boundaries with Toddlers - Janet Lansbury [471]

Read the Transcript 🡮

*This is an auto-generated transcript*

[00:00:00] Janet Lansbury: So I found that, you know, there were things that I realize now that I think when I was even a toddler and I don't remember, but deeply hurt me and scared me and some certain dynamics into motion that I've had to deal with my whole life.

[00:00:22] Hunter: You're listening to the Mindful Parenting Podcast, episode number 471. Today we're talking about holding boundaries with toddlers with Janet Lansbury.

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 Rest, Pause, Stay Present, and Connect with Your Kids. Welcome, welcome, welcome.

So glad you're here. Wonderful. Hey, if you have ever gotten any value from this podcast, please do me a favor and tell one friend about it. And by just telling one friend about it, you make a big difference. Please tell them to subscribe to the Mindful Parenting Podcast and listen back and And write in and get on the mailing list for more episode recommendations, and yeah, tell a friend.

You can make a big difference, and I hugely appreciate it. Just a moment, I'm going to be sitting down with Janet Lansbury. The creator and host of the Janet Lansbury Unruffled podcast, inspired by her mentor Magda Gerber, Janet popularized respectful parenting and is the author of two best selling books, Elevating Child Care, A Guide to Respectful Parenting, and No Bad Kids, Toddler Discipline Without Shame.

And we're going to talk about those confounding little creatures, toddlers, yes. Their behavior can be just frustrating and messy and loud and all of those things. So how do we hold boundaries with a toddler? I talked to Janet about how to separate from a clingy toddler and how to handle a toddler hitting their sibling.

You will learn all about how to be the calm leader and to set limits with confidence. This is a super valuable episode. I loved talking to Janet. It was really great to connect. I know you're going to enjoy it so much, so let's get to it. Join me at the table as I talk to Janet Lansbury.

Janet, thank you so much for coming on the Mindful Parenting podcast.

[00:03:03] Janet Lansbury: Thank you for having me, Hunter. I love the work you're doing and it's an honor, so thank you.

[00:03:09] Hunter: Oh, my God. That makes me feel so good. You have no idea. Your, your podcast is so wonderful. I really, really love it. And I know so many listeners also listen to Unruffled.

And so you guys are going to hopefully love this, this conversation. And, uh, yeah, I'm thrilled to have you. So let's dive into it. I mean, I was thinking about one of the ways I start a conversation is thinking about like how the way, at least for me. The way I parent my kids is so different from the way I was raised.

And for many of us, we're trying to parent very differently from the way our parents were raised us. We're moving away from threats. We're moving away from punishments. We want to have good relationships. It is the. Um, you know, is the way you raised your kids different from the way you were raised and what was your own childhood like?

[00:03:59] Janet Lansbury: Yes, it was, uh, it was different, um, but not, maybe not drastically in the, uh, the big, you know, in all the big areas, like, I mean, I wasn't, we weren't punished, um, physically punished or, uh, really yelled at or anything like that. Um, but there were other. There were other things. I mean, well, for one thing, I'm, I'm sure a different generation than you, but, uh, in those days, parents didn't consider parenting a job that you would look into and try to find out about.

It was a very different time. And there were some benefits to that, actually, uh, from Being so careful in particular the way sometimes we can get today, very perfectionist and, um, but it was much more you go on with your life and the kids are there and you just do the best you can. But you're not really focused on how can I build a great relationship?

How can I, uh, you know, make sure that they get all that they need? It's There was no concern about that. My mother was a natural, like, kind of homemaker mom that sewed and gardened and did the whole thing. And was the head of the PTA and very, very popular and, and vivacious and so much fun, you know, to the end of her life, which was, uh, 15 years ago.

And just, you know, everybody knew who she was in the neighborhood. All the kids our age knew who she was. And that was, and she adored us, adored, adored us. And I really could see no fault in her at all. My dad was a lot more of that generation that, that he did his own thing. And you know, he would be there maybe taking us to the zoo once in a while on a Sunday when it was raining because then he couldn't play golf.

Um, so we'd go to the zoo. It was always raining when we went to the zoo. Um, but, but you know, he wasn't, and I think he bathed us at night and stuff, but he, you know, I have three sisters and it was just, you know, uh, a different time. And, and I thought I had the perfect mother and I, I kind of still do in a way, but I notice as I've gotten more into the work I'm doing and then my mother dying.

And so you kind of get a, like a, It's easier to kind of look at things at that point, I think. Um, and you know, I found some things, I mean, I wasn't looking, but I found that I realized that a lot of the things that I had to go through were influenced by ways that we interacted. And especially with my particular sensitivities, because with three sisters, you can see how each of us had a relationship with the same parents, in a way, because of each of us.

Each child that we all have is different from the others in their temperament, their sensitivities. So you could parent a child one way and that works for that child and not as well for another child. Um, if you're going by like, here are the strategies, here are the things that you do, you know, always.

And they're not so much about tuning in, they're about responding in a certain way. Um, in a certain set way, so, yeah, so I found that, you know, there were things that I realized now that I think when I was even a toddler and I don't remember, but deeply hurt me and scared me. and some certain dynamics into motion that had to deal with my whole life.

Um, and so recently, just like about four or five years ago, I got mad at my mom about some things, you know, that I mean, she wasn't alive anymore, but I got some anger came up in me and sadness that I had never dreamed of feeling when she was alive. You know, I'd never, never got mad at my mom. I never, and I think what I'd learned very young.

is you don't do that. You don't get mad at your mom. You don't question your mom, even, because if you do that, in my experience, she She's gonna ignore you and shun you and you know, you're gonna lose her, which of course for a child is the scariest thing, right? Um, so I think I got, I self corrected very quickly on that one.

And, um, Uh, you know, it created certain things in me, like everything does, like with our parents, and it doesn't mean that they're bad parents or anything less than, you know, perfect in my eyes. She, she still is, like I said, but you can see how the effects, how things affected you.

[00:09:03] Hunter: Yeah, sort of cause and effect.

[00:09:05] Janet Lansbury: Yeah, so I just see it, I sort of see it as like an interesting thing now, and of course I, you know, forgive her, and I still love her, and um, just think of all the shiny, wonderful things about her, and the laughter, and, All the things she taught us that were fantastic, but it's, I think, good to know, and other people I, uh, that give advice definitely advise this, that knowing your story is really helpful because that story is guiding everything you do, and just having that awareness will help you a lot.

Um, I think that's kind of the most, one of the most important things that parents can to develop that awareness. So when you're making a choice or you, or maybe you're just aware right after or soon after, Oh, that's how I was perceiving it. Therefore, that's how I reacted. And, um, hmm, you know, what happened there?

And maybe in other situations is I'm going to make this choice to do it this way, but I know that this isn't what I want to do every day. So it's, it's comes from a very self forgiving place. It has to, really, to be aware. You've got to start with being self forgiving, or you're not, or you're not going to be as aware.

But that awareness is

[00:10:35] Hunter: Yeah, yeah, I couldn't agree more. I mean, when I was struggling with my temper, you know, I had to, I had to look at, oh, you know, that was, I'm reacting like that because all the, her big feelings feel completely unacceptable, like in my body, in my bones. because when I was little and I had big feelings, you know, I was yelled at or spanked and, you know, really got the message very strongly that those feelings and those big feelings were unacceptable.

And I could see it was the awareness of this, of the story that helped me to Unravel the pattern, right? To interrupt the pattern. Like you have to know that that's what's driving you before you can interrupt the pattern. Otherwise it's, you know, we just have these reactions from places that we don't understand.

You know, we have to be able to have some consciousness of them.

[00:11:31] Janet Lansbury: Yes. And I, Magda Gerber, my mentor, who I always talk about, she used to say that that's actually, it's not just because you weren't accepted, but it's because Because you weren't accepted for those feelings, you had to store them, and now your child is touching off these wounded places in you that are, um, where you didn't get to express it.

So now your child does something, and now you're expressing your own, actually. Um, so in a way it's kind of weirdly healthy, but obviously we want to look into it and try to heal it.

[00:12:11] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. Um, yeah. And you, you know, what you teach is based on Magda Ber Magda Gerbers, R I E, resources for infant educators.


tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

Can you tell us what that is, um, and kind of what the premises are? I think a lot of people are more familiar with Unruffled than R. I. E., you know? 

[00:12:47] Janet Lansbury: Yeah, that could be, um, but yes, it's, a lot of it stems from, for sure, stems from, from that, and then how I've taken it into my work with, where I've focused a lot on toddlers and, um, My kind of affinity for toddlers in my classes and, and understanding them in a way that, you know, I think, I mean, my development was arrested at that age, but, uh, in some way, maybe it's a positive way, but, uh, as far as what is RY, it is, uh, so Resources for Infant Educators.

You got it right. Um, it's Educators because one of Magda's messages was that we don't need to teach children in this direct teaching kind of way in the early years where we're showing them, here's the alphabet, here's this and that. We are teaching. while we care. So when we're caring for our children, when we're changing their diaper, when we're feeding them, when we're just doing all the daily natural things that you do, taking care of a child, that's what they're learning, where they're learning, you know, the most.

So if language is thrown in there because we're actually talking to them about something that's happening right there, they're learning language that way in the best possible way because it has meaning to them. If we're, uh, the way, who we are. is teaching them everything about what people should be. So that's this term, educating.

We teach while we care and teaching is natural. You know, ideally it's comes through the relationship. Um, and this is based on. The years before kindergarten. So after that, it's understood that yes, now, um, and PHA talked about this concrete operational stage that happens like at five or six, where now we can, we can learn from, you know, better from someone sort of telling us things.

We can also learn that way. It's still better to learn experientially. It's always going to be. the best way, the most profound way, but we can also learn through direct instruction at that age. So anyway, but it's based on also this idea that the baby right away, as soon as they're born, even if they're born premature, they are a person right there.

And you, they can't tell you that, but taking that leap of faith, and treating them that way as somebody that maybe doesn't want to be passed around for everybody to hold at the table, um, that we consider their point of view right from the beginning. And that's what's quite distinctive about this approach.

And it, it's this perception that will guide, as perceptions do, it actually will guide how we feel about things and guide how we act and how we feel. interact with our child. Um, so it's, it sounds like it's a little thing, but it's really hard. It's like so many, I mean, generally, I mean, I didn't have this until I started learning about it.

Um, but it's just something that we think maybe sounds so obvious, but when we think about it, when we dig deeper, aren't there not that there aren't that many people actually seeing this thing? And certainly the media and. A lot of our cultures aren't seeing that way. 

[00:16:21] Hunter: Oh, kids in general. Kids in general, but especially babies.

Like we're, we speak to them in ways that, you know, the way we speak to kids. We would never speak to adults that way. But my kind of like colloquial understanding of RIE when I first sort of learned about it was this idea that, You know, it was kind of explained to me as the idea that when you have the, when you have a baby and say, you're changing them, you will say, okay, I'm gonna, or can I pick up your legs now?

Or would you like to pick up your legs now? Or that kind of thing where you're really, they're like, and you're honor, respectfully interacting with them in the way that you're saying, you know, yes, they are this whole human being here. And so I'm going to treat them. as an active participant who has thoughts and feelings around these activities that we're doing just as much as anyone else would and not just kind of plow through.

Does that, would that be an accurate description?

[00:17:16] Janet Lansbury: Yes, it is. And that comes from the perception, again, that that's an actual person. So when you start perceiving that way, or even when you just try some of the, uh, the ways of engaging. which will get you to that place of seeing the person because you'll see your baby respond.

And, and I just want to clarify because it's, it's a common misunderstanding that we're asking the baby for permission and that babies can somehow say yes or no at that time. Um, it's a big criticism and, and even, uh, it's the way people lampoon this approach. Oh, sure. Yeah. It's important to, to really understand that.

No, we're not sitting there waiting. We're the ones taking care of the baby. Um, they can't take care of themselves. They can't know when they need their diaper changed or whatever, but we're, the idea is that we're including them. So instead of saying, is it okay if I do this? We're saying, are you ready? Or do you want to wait?

Or you know what? I'm going to do it anyway. Um, because it's time. So it's, it's just opening up, as you said. The opening up to the point of view of that person. That, that matters, that there's actually something there, which most people, again, we don't necessarily know, um, that they could actually, if we say, you know, do you want to be the one to put your leg through this pair of pants?

And then if you offer that and wait a little bit to see, there will be the day, and it might be with a three week old baby. Oh my gosh. Wow. They start to do that. You see them like flexing their foot a little or you see them trying to lift their leg a little or you see them later actually putting their leg through and then you're, you know, helping them.

So you, you see the result when you take the leap of faith, but if you don't take the leap of faith, you're not going to see the results. So, so then that just, all it does is nothing damaging to a child or any or a parent or anything. Yeah. Yeah. It just postpones when you can actually start developing your interdependent relationship, when you can actually start to, and even more, enjoy the person that you're getting to know.

Instead of, I gotta care for this baby and she's just, you know, someday she's gonna smile or do the, you know, talk back and then it'll be, then I can start engaging with her. We start to do it right away. And when you start to do it right away, they respond.

[00:20:08] Hunter: I mean, this may be like an off example, but I mean, just as like one of those magical infant things, my, when my second daughter was born, we put her on my tummy and she did right away, did the breast crawl where the baby like crawls up to nurse from the mommy.

It was amazing to see like child born like literally 10 minutes ago. You know, crawling on crawling. It was amazing. 

[00:20:37] Janet Lansbury: Um, so that's an instinct that you have, but yeah, they're, they're capable of all kinds of things that we don't give them credit for.

[00:20:44] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. And I think toddlers are too, you know, it's interesting, you know, um, thinking, thinking about, so, you know, sometimes I think of like infants and who was I talking to?

I was talking to somebody who was talking about the, uh, like a neuroscientist talking about how infants and toddlers in a lot of ways, like, our culture, we sort of, um, we have a lot of expectations from toddlers, but in a lot of ways, they're sort of like walking infants. And I think that sometimes can be a very helpful way of thinking about toddlers so that we downplay our expectations for how they can handle themselves as far as their, especially their emotional regulation and things like that.

Um, But one of the things you talk about that I wanted to talk about with you today is that this idea that toddlers need clear boundaries. And I think this is a very important thing, but um, I'd love to hear from your words, like why, why do toddlers need clear boundaries?

[00:21:39] Janet Lansbury: Because they want to be in a relationship with us that, and I think we want a relationship with them where there isn't There isn't resentment and there isn't, uh, us being totally annoyed with and frustrated with them constantly, uh, like we could be if we were just trying to please them and we weren't having boundaries.

Um, so it's, it's a basic kind of relationship tool, boundaries, um, a lot of us know that in terms of adults and all this talk these days, there's a lot of talk about boundaries and books about boundaries. Um, so, yes, because young children are people, um, they need to learn, even as infants, with this approach, that this, they need to gradually understand that this is another person with their own point of view.

And I'm a person with my point of view and they're a person with their point of view and sometimes we're going to be in conflict with what we want to do or what, how we want things to go or what we're allowed, you know, we're going to be allowed to do. And, uh, yeah, so children need this for a multitude of reasons.

One thing, one way that it shows up is that, uh, it doesn't help children socially. when we don't give them clear boundaries because they therefore don't understand two things that are really important to relationships with other kids or anybody that they themselves have boundaries and that other people have boundaries and that they're not just going to go in and do whatever they want with those people.

Um, so they learn to respect the boundaries their own and and other persons when we teach them that. So that's one of the, you know, if we ever feel like we're being selfish saying, I don't want to play outside anymore, we're going to go in, then for me at least it helped to flip it that way because it's the truth.

that we're not doing our child any favor by not having clear boundaries with them. And then there's really obvious ones like for safety, for their, for a child to be safe, for them not to make a scene with other people. Um, that's really, it's not just that we care about the other people, it's that we care about them being that child that people are, you know, why does it, why did you let them do that?

[00:24:31] Hunter: And our child like flailing out there, um, in some public situation. Exposing themselves as, uh, You know, falling apart and nobody's looking out for them there, but they can't. It's almost like a sense of safety. Like those boundaries are a sense of safety. Like this idea that I have mom, her dad, grandma, whoever that caretaker is, is keeping me safe, you know, and not just that.

[00:24:47] Janet Lansbury: Yeah. Yeah. But safe in our relationship even so that you're not like doing that playing outside more because you feel like you have to, and now you're, you know, The next thing I say, you're going to be like, okay, you know, um, yeah.

[00:25:03] Hunter: They, yes, our needs are so important in this matter. So then if you take that and this idea of like, okay, they're this whole, this, you know, this, you know, they're this whole human being that I want to respect.

I want to respect their needs and their wants and acknowledge what their wants, how do you You How do you then balance that, holding those boundaries around our own needs and, and their, the world, et cetera, with like the crazy sometimes wants of the toddlers.

[00:25:34] Janet Lansbury: Right. Well, you understand the difference between, and this is a lot of the work I do also is understanding the difference between wants and needs.

[00:25:42] Hunter: Yeah.

[00:25:42] Janet Lansbury: And that's a really important distinction for us as parents to understand because, you Everything our child wants, they will express as if they need it. They might even say, I need you to da da da da da. And we have to be the ones to know the difference. They can't say, well, this is actually what I want.

But if you really want to, if you want to go to the bathroom by yourself. then I'll be okay and I'll wait for you and just enjoy yourself in there and pat your nose and have fun. They're not going to do that. They're going to say, I know I can't be away from you for five, two minutes, or I need to come with you.

And then we go, okay. And then we're feeling like this kind of caged animal, like without any self respect or rights or anything. And now we're kind of poisoning our relationship with our child with that. And we don't want to do that. So that's why it's, it's very, very important. I mean, when I brought it, when you first asked about boundaries, I went into the one that's harder for us as parents because the easier one is we're not going to let them jump off.

But yeah, sure. And yes, yeah. So those ones, parents have a lot easier time with. But they have a harder time when it's, when they have this thing going on in their mind. And maybe, like me, they're people pleasers, naturally, and they're thinking, Oh, well, I could do that. I mean, there's no reason not to. I mean, except that I don't want to, and they want me to do it, and Well, I could just please them here.

And it's, it's just a slippery slope that we don't deserve. We deserve better. We're doing a really hard job and putting ourselves first in a lot of situations is, is actually the most loving thing we can do for a child. So we really have to look at it

[00:27:42] Hunter: that way. Amen. So let's take that parent who is, has that toddler and that parent is just like, I would like to go to the bathroom by myself.

You know, maybe even there may even be another parent in the house and that parent is like, I would like to let's answer this question cause this can come up in Mindful Parenting. I would like to go upstairs and take 15 minutes to meditate, to center myself, to do a little yoga and like recoup after a crazy day.

But But the child is like, no! Need you and they're just like clinging onto the legs and the tears. What do we, what does a parent do in that kind of situation? Holding boundaries?

[00:28:27] Janet Lansbury: Well, we, the, to make it a lot easier, we can prepare by, uh, having this be a daily routine. So things that we wanna have boundaries around like that, it's just gonna be a little bit easier for children to.

Accept and let us off the hook. Um, if we, they still might yell at us and have all those feelings, but maybe in a way too, it makes us feel better, let's say, to know that my child knows that after this time, I always do this. And this is, they, they understand this and they're, they have a right to, children have a right to, Yall at us, scream at us, all of that stuff, I mean that's the feelings part that you touched on earlier, that's a really important piece to this because we can't, that's, we can't handle our child being in conflict with us and yelling and screaming and telling us we're the worst parent in those moments if they're, if they're not.

At that point, then we're not going to be able to have the boundaries. So those two have to go together. And that's why almost every podcast I do is about some element of this, the feelings, getting comfortable with the feelings, never loving that, that our child's upset with us, never going to love it, never going to like it.

But we can find a place where we understand that it's perfectly safe, perfectly healthy. And. necessary for our child and their right to do that. So we can reframe it that way. So that's one thing we can do is make it part of the routine. Another thing is to set the limit early. I mean, personally, I wouldn't want to do something like meditation, but it's another pair of down for pairs.

[00:30:19] Janet Lansbury: No, yeah, that wouldn't work for me. But let's say it's something this comes up a lot. Let's say it's, I just want to talk to this parent, friend who's here and you're not letting me talk. So even that isn't going to be that fun. We're not going to be able to get into like some deep conversation and really groove on it.

And, and it's that we have to save for when we can get away or when we have somebody else there to, you know, care for the child and then we get to go, but, or we just wait a few years till that gets better. But in the meantime, What really helps children to accept this kind of boundary is if we set it with confidence and we're really clear in ourselves that this is the right thing.

I don't need my child's doing all these amazing things to get my attention. Oh gosh, they're doing that backflip that they've been working on and I should, you know, we've got to get clear and convicted about our So I'm going to talk to my partner now, and my child is yelling and, oh, I can't wait to hear what you have to say.

I'm going to be with you shortly. So it's going to talk to your dad first, and then dad and I have to keep going, whether we're just moving our mouths or there's no body hearing, but we have to carry on right there and show our child. that we mean this, that this is, we're going to keep going and I guess there's a little bit of acting involved that we're totally fine and we're just going to keep talking even when this is going on.

And then our child does get the message that we've said what we're going to give our attention and we're just not right there. And no, we're not going to enjoy that discussion, but the next time, we may be able to, because now our child knows, and often it only takes one time, but it takes a time where we have that full conviction, and we're not like, we're You know, like sitting there steaming that our child is acting like this because that isn't going to work.

Then our child knows now I can really wind the parent, my parent up and not that they're mean, but just that they, they're interested in that. They're interested in that power that they have over us sometimes. So we can't let them have it when we're setting a boundary. So they can be as annoying and crazy as they want.

We're still not going to give attention to that. Because we were very clear about when we would. So, so that kind of boundary setting and I mean, if you were going to try to go meditate, I guess you would have your child in a safe place and you might have to close the door or, you know, knock on the door on them or something.

I mean, depending on the age of the child, but they would want them to be in that safe place. What I call a yes space that's safe, totally enclosed, safe place where absolutely nothing could go wrong or you're not going to be able to go into meditation.

[00:33:33] Hunter: Yeah. Or with a caregiver or it's nap time or something like that, where this is better, better scenario for that.

I love this. I love this vision of like you and your partner, like having this pretend conversation or, but, um, but this idea of like, The confidence of saying, you know, I have a, what I'm kind of hearing behind what you're saying is this, like, really understanding in a lot of ways, like, your own worthiness, right?

I think sometimes that we feel worried about that. Like, I, I'm a human being. I'm worth, you know, having this conversation. My needs are valuable. What I, you know, having boundaries around my needs, this is important. And having that confidence and conviction in that, and then holding that boundary. And then the kind of, um, the sort of play acting part of it about, that we describe in some ways is like, It's just like a, an alternative to holding it with aggression or holding it with, you know, with violence or something is like, we're, we're not going to give you the power.

Is that kind of what I'm hearing?

[00:34:46] Janet Lansbury: Yes. And we, we give you your right to do whatever you need to do, you know, while you're, you're, I mean, that's got to be part of the boundary, not, um, a lot of times there can be confusion I tell them, won't play by themselves. But we have no power to make a child play. Um, we have no power over what a child does when we set a boundary, but we have a lot of power over ourselves and the boundaries that we set.

So we can say, I'm not going to play with you right now because I need to go in the kitchen and our child is in a safe place. Um, and then we can, um, or they're old enough to, you know, not necessarily need those, all those safe, um, boundaries. And maybe we have our, our house, um, you know, child proofed well enough and all of that.

But we can't expect, if, if now I'm going to be disappointed if my child doesn't run and go play and instead they're whining. at me, or even if we don't have a boundary, like physical boundary, maybe they're following me around in the kitchen and just trying to hold on to me and all this. Um, that's there, that's got to be something we let go of, in my opinion, and that we allow them to have a right to do while we carry on like, Oh, you know what?

I'm going to move you because I really need to go over here right now.

Part of their, uh, the letting go that they need to do to be able to then start to play or make up their own and kind of play this wonderful gift that we can give our children that really often starts with boundaries of their imagination. What do I want to do? Um, there's this whole transition between them letting go of us and being able to do that, especially if they're not used to it.

But we can't rush them over to that. Um, they, we have to allow for the transitional, uncomfortable part of it. And most parents give up at that part because they feel like it's their job to make sure their child is playing and happily engaged while we set the boundary. And that can't, it's not, uh, workable.

It's just not going to, it's not going to work.

[00:37:23] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

[00:37:30] Janet Lansbury: And this is what I always talk about, you know, people say self care and all that. Self care is these, is all day long. It's all of these, yeah, sometimes it's fancy self care. We get to get away and go do something or take a long bath, but that's important too. But the, the essential self care is the moment to moment.

Being a person with our child, which we can only do when we see them as a capable person. Has lots of feelings about everything and that's good.

[00:38:00] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. The feelings aren't something to fix or something. I love this. This is so great. And yeah. And like this, sometimes when, when people, you know, we talk about this idea of like the kids having their feelings or the kids have a problem, right.

Like whatever that problem is. And You know, sometimes I coach parents to say like, to themselves, like, not my problem, right? Not my problem. And it sounds sort of mean, but just to give ourselves permission not to have to solve all their kids problems. Because you don't. And when you do, you know, I love what you just said about imaginative play starts with boundaries.

Hell yeah! That is great, you know, because they have to have the ability to get bored. They have to have time without a device, without you entertaining them, without whatever. And then boom, oh my god, when we had screen free Sundays, that's when all the great stuff happened. Um, but I love that imagined play starts with boundaries.

[00:39:02] Janet Lansbury: Yes, I mean, any type of the best kind of play, which is child driven play, is usually, I mean, it's either something that you build naturally into the routine, which is the ideal way. And that's easier when we started with babies. Um, but if not, then yeah, the boundaries are going to be the freeing aspect of this.

And if we could see it that way, instead of a negative, it'll make it easier for us because our child, again, is going to make it seem very, very negative by their reaction. Depending on whatever happens, we've, we've, you know, that we've, with them.

[00:39:45] Hunter: Okay, so what, when, what's going on when toddlers are like doing the misbehaviors that are sort of dangerous, like the fighting, the hitting, kicking, the, the, the tantrums and people of course, hate like the talking back.

How can, how can parents. Let's pick one of them. How can parents hold a boundary around something like hitting, hitting a sibling or something like that?

[00:40:10] Janet Lansbury: Well, um, let's see. I could talk about in the moment, and I could talk about how to actually make it better. And I could talk about dealing with it in the moment, which is a little bit different than how we actually want to approach it to make, to make this ease up, to help our child feel better.

Because any type of Behavior that's unwanted like that is a sign of discomfort on some level with our child. Like that we could say across the board. It could be on the minor end, it could be this discomfort with my parent doesn't seem sure of herself when I write this comes up. And I really need them to be sure of themselves, like what, so that's like the very minor, all the way to I'm so scared about this sibling and, uh, the way my parents have now seem to turn against me because I'm acting horribly because I'm so, uh, scared.

And now every time I do these things, they're pushed, they're, yeah, not pushing me, but I feel them. just disliking me more and more because I'm not behaving in a nice way. And this is all my worst fears are coming true that this baby turned my parents against me. And I might not take it out of the baby. I might not take it out of the parents, but I'm, it's going on with me, you know, and it's going to come out some ways somehow.

So there's that whole, or maybe they've, you know, physically hurt me. And then I'm, you know, and. Intense fear about that and dysregulation of that. So anyway, it's a whole gamut, the whole range, but it's all discomfort. So to really help our child with the behavior, we have to help them share the discomfort in another way.

But this is not going to happen right in that moment necessarily. So in the moment, You said they're hitting their brother, is that what you said? Sure. Or hitting, um.

[00:42:16] Hunter: Hitting a sibling.

[00:42:18] Janet Lansbury: Hitting a sibling. So let's say the older child is hitting the younger sibling. It could be the other way around, but it's usually the older child hitting the younger sibling.

And so we, ideally, we're going to, we want to be the calm leaders of the house. So we're not, uh, riled up by everything. We want to ideally set ourselves up for success by giving that baby a safe place, that younger child, like a safe place. If they're, let's say, a baby or a toddler, young toddler, like a one year old, a, they're a gated off area where they can play.

A playpen, even if it's a really young child.

[00:42:57] Hunter: I kind of miss that we don't have those so much anymore. They seem really useful. My, just as a side note, my mom, when we were visiting her, she brought out this like 1950s playpen from when she was little. It was this giant wooden thing, but it was so useful. I was like, Oh, wow, this is great.

This is not going near your wood stove. This is wonderful. Yeah.

[00:43:20] Janet Lansbury: And like, and that takes the tone of you feeling that this is great. That's the tone that's getting set over the whole family. So that's really key to know that like our tone, we're, it's top down. So our tone is deciding the tone of the family.

If I'm anxious and wound up, I'm sure you've experienced this. Now my children are suddenly not behaving very well. Well, that's mean of them, right? When I'm anxious, but wait, Oh, it's because of that, because of that. So. That's why, one of the reasons for what I call a Yes Spacer, which could be, which is a playpen, and when children are, you know, young enough, once they're able to move a lot more, you would want something maybe a little bigger, but it doesn't have to be a big space, because we can take them out in the park to run or whatever, and they just need a place where they can have their things and, and be.

So, ideally, the baby has that. And ideally, the older child has their own place that's maybe like a higher table or a someplace, their room or someplace where they can have their more project oriented play, which younger children don't tend to respect because they just want to explore and knock it down.

Um, so the older child deserves that, I believe, if we can I don't want to make it happen. It could just be like the kitchen counter someplace that they can be that doesn't get disturbed by the baby because that'll be a way that they would lash out, right? Like, if you expect me to let this baby come knock my stuff down, you know, yeah.

Yeah, that's not cool. So all the reasons for the hitting, but this one that has to be very prevalent is the one about the fear that the child has about having been replaced and kind of pushed into the bad guy role by this baby. And so that one, there's two important ways to help a child with that. One of them is, I'll say this one first, in the moment, in the moment to Expect this kind of behavior because it's very common with siblings.

I mean, who grew up with siblings that people didn't hurt each other or, or, you know, do mean things in some way, you know, with all girls that I was with, we, a lot of teasing and. mean talk, right? We didn't so much hit or anything like that. But, you know, it's part of the thing. And if as a parent, we're, uh, we are ignited by that, we're not going to be able to respond in a way that helps that child with the fear that's underneath of what's going on.

going on there. Um, and so, uh, we, with that understanding and that kind of homework that we've done where we understand the feelings that a child goes through, and maybe this is about also making peace with our own experience because a lot of people say to me, well, I was the younger one. My parents let us, let them do all this stuff.

And like, you know, you've got to come down harsh on an older child or the other way around. They'll, they'll feel like that. And When we look into it, that older child was reacting out of fear that the, the parents never accepted or dealt with or helped the child feel better about. They just kept, you know, putting distance between them and that child by scolding, getting mad at them for doing the thing, right?

So that, so that, that's why your older brother was neat to you, not because your parents didn't intervene enough, but because when they did intervene, it was with a lot of rejection. And Displeasure at their child. So that created something that can last into adulthood. You know, if you have oftentimes their siblings that they make peace with each other, but it's they still are annoyed by that younger sibling.

Um, for their whole life, because, you know, it's person to run with. I, so understanding that part, you would come in and not be rushing in like it's an emergency unless it actually is, but there really aren't that many emergencies with children. And if we come in like everything's an emergency, like running in, that might be our instinct, but it's, it's going to create when we go think about the top down, it's creating like, whoa, this leader is like freaked out.

She's not comfortable and she can't handle us. And this is scary. So then it's going to add more. feelings into the children, creating more behavior. It doesn't, doesn't help us, but that's why I call my podcast Unruffled because it really, it's about our perception. It's not about pretending I'm fine when I'm not.

That's not going to go over with children either, but it's about, you know what, I'm not going to get anything I can't handle. It's okay if I'm not there in an instant and yelling at my child about this behavior is going to actually create More and more times like it's gonna like, yeah, make it last longer.

So I'm not gonna do that I'm gonna be the confident leader. So I'm coming in. I see that like whoa Whoa, whoa putting my hand there when I get in. I'm so I stride in I'm not running in and I put my hand there and whoa. Oh can't let you do that. What's what happened here? You know, did you You didn't like that he did that or you didn't want, I can't let you tell him that way.

Maybe there's another way you could tell him. So just something really simple like that and that's non judgmental. So also knowing that oftentimes younger siblings are winding the older one up, even when they're just one year old, they know they've mastered how to get onto that person's skin. So it's not always like the poor baby and the thing.

Oh, and another thing we don't want to do is. Just as we don't want to run in, we don't want to like swoop the other one up. Like, they're, I mean, unless something really serious has just gone down, but not just because they got hit and now they're expressing something about that. Yeah. And crying. Ideally, we want to do the least thing while helping both children feel heard, checking them both out and not, um, vilifying that younger child or victim, older child, or victimizing.

because that doesn't help them either. Um, to be considered the victim of everything is a terrible setup for a child. It's almost as bad as me making you the bad guy. So coming in with that neutral tone, not making a big deal out of it, just not removing them all from the situation, just stopping it.

Opening up that I see you, I saw you doing that, I know there must be a reason, want you to tell me about it. So it's not, we're not gonna say all the perfect things right there, but just with that kind of attitude, with that kind of openness of like, whoops, this got a little out of hand instead of, There he goes again, being a bratty kid that I was when I got yelled at and now I'm getting touched off into my fear around that and, um, or whatever.

So I got to stop that right now. And this poor baby over here, you know, so no, that's what, that's what makes it continue and get worse even because even if the child isn't acting on it, they're feeling, you know, what this is. I've lost my parent. They hate me. They have, everything he does is perfect. And how am I not just going to, another thing parents say is like, he just walks by him and just like, hits him or she hits her, you know, just, just randomly, you know, well, yeah, if somebody's, under your skin like that and you have all this resentment, just their existence, you kind of notice them and you just want to swipe, right?

I mean, I can relate to that. I don't think I did that as a child, but I, you know, I can relate to that feeling that children have. So understanding that. And then the other part of that with siblings is when I'm just alone with that child, which I recommend if at all possible to have even a half an hour once a week with that older child or older children, each of them separately maybe, or together, um, when there's an another baby.

Because just it's the way that we go out on dates with our husband after we have a baby to kind of keep the relationship going. So keep the relationship going. And then parents tell me sometimes that their child sat and turned away from them and wouldn't want to engage or didn't even want to go. And I say, just go, just be there.

Let them reject you for a change and just be there. Just say, it's okay. If you're mad at me, we don't have to, you don't have to look at me. Um, I'm here. And just being available like that. It's can be a very healing, magical thing. Um, so, but then bringing it up with that older child, if possible. I know it must be so hard to have this cute little, like, younger sibling, and sometimes I know it seems like you're the one doing the behavior and they're not, and then sort of we get a little on your case, and, but I know that that's really normal to feel like that about your sibling, and we love you, and we're not perfect either, but yeah, it's a big thing.

Older kids do not, always feels so great about the siblings. Sometimes it can be really, really scary, you know, just bringing it all out into the open. We used to do this together, we used to do that together. And now it's harder, right? And I miss that. And people have told me their child starts crying.

People have told me. Their child, uh, doesn't, but keeps wanting to, like, bring that up, um, again, the next time, like, tell about the thing again, um, yeah. And if it's a child who isn't that articulate, it's even more important for them to be able to take that in, um, like an external processing.

[00:54:04] Janet Lansbury: Yeah. Yeah.

Anyway, that's my show.

[00:54:08] Hunter: That's beautiful. No, that's so, that's so helpful. Like, I, I, as a dear listener, you know, rewind, take notes. Um, but I, what you're painting this picture of this calm leader. And I, I love that, you know, this is, you know, this is exactly what I aspired to be when my temper was going crazy.

I was all anxious and having so much difficulty. But, uh, the way you present it is, is so, it feels doable. And I think that's really a wonderful power that you have.

[00:54:42] Janet Lansbury: Thank you. Well, just like, I mean, and this is your work, I think, primarily more is, is just like, we want to understand why with the children.

We need to understand why with ourselves, and that's the process that you help parents with, and you were talking about it earlier, that understanding your own source of your own reactions and your, your feelings, um, that's the way to go. Not blaming yourself, just as we don't want to try to blame the child.

We want to try not to blame the child. We need to start with ourselves and I'm not blaming myself, but I want to know what's going on here for me.

[00:55:25] Hunter: Yeah, understanding is, yeah, the root of that. That's so beautiful.

[00:55:31] Janet Lansbury: And then when we're aware, we're free, you know, when we're, I mean, we're not perfect, but we're free because we can say, Oh, whoops, I did that.

Um, we could say it to ourselves, we could say it to our child and we're free and we're, we don't have to be something else. Oh, I wish I could be like that. You know, it's just us, you know, in it. Um, on our own journey, just doing our best, but being aware.

[00:56:00] Hunter: Well, there's so much more that the listener can get out of, um, you have some books, where can people find you?

Of course, Janet has the Unruffled podcast. Where can people reach out if they have more, uh, they want to find you or if you, if we missed anything, what, what else should we leave them with as well?

[00:56:21] Janet Lansbury: Well, um, first of all, where to find me? So I guess the hub would be my website, JanetLansbury. com. I'm, I think one of the few people left that still offers all my articles for free, um, on there.

And there's like 600 and something between the podcasts and the written articles that I've written when I was Blogger, um, I guess I still have a blogger, but not so actively, um, and so all of that material, some of it's pretty in depth, it's all there for you, and if you just go on, you could go on any search, internet search, and write Janet Lansbury, Now, hitting Janet Lansbury or something and you'll find a ton of stuff.

That's sometimes the way I find my own stuff. Instead of going on my site to look, I go internet search and write, you know. I've

[00:57:10] Hunter: done the same thing for sure. Yelling Janet Lansbury or whatever. Um. But don't hit Janet Lansbury herself. We're just looking for hitting Janet Lansbury blog. Um.

[00:57:22] Janet Lansbury: And so anyway, you can do that and also please subscribe to my podcast if you want to hear more about this, uh, point of view, it's, I've gone into it.

Every nook and cranny, but I've got more, I've always got more and I'm bringing out some really interesting guests this year too. And what else I've got? Uh, my books are available. Um, well, yeah, on Amazon usually, but actually I just got a publishing deal. So I've been self published for a long time and. Um, now I'm with Random House, so, um, I have a new book that I'm working on and I'm really excited about that.

Thank you. And it really gets into this baby stuff, too, from the beginning, um, a little more than I probably do on my podcast. And to wrap it up, I mean, honestly, I think between you and me, parents are everything to me.

You're right. They're so excited themselves. You'll know that they can do this. and come from this compassionate, aware, self compassionate, aware place, which is the key to everything. I mean, our acceptance is, has to come first before we can truly accept our child. It all has to come through us too. We have to believe ourselves worthy as a person before we can see our child as a worthy person completely.

Um, in a three dimensional way, you know, we might be like. Worshipping our child, but not able to see when they need our, our help so much. Um, and then letting him walk all over us, which is never a good thing. But, anyway, I don't know. What else do you want to leave them with?

[00:59:13] Hunter: I think, I think with the, you've, you've done it.

You've done it. Perfect. It's just been such a complete pleasure. And an honor. I really love your work. I really appreciate you taking the time to, you know, share some time with us and the Mindful Parenting Podcast. And, um, you know, your, your work is, is amazing. Definitely making ripple effects around the world.

And, and so thank you so much for coming on.

[00:59:38] Janet Lansbury: Uh, Hunter, thank you. This was a treat and I really appreciate you asking me. And, um, I'm so glad that you're there for your listeners and, and your book. Um, you are a great source of support for, for any parent. Oh, I recommend, I recommend her.

[00:59:59] Hunter: I put that on a quote on my site.

Hey, I hope you found this episode helpful. It's, I really loved connecting with Janet and I love her approach. I love her innate calmness is, um, so something I would have been so envious of when I was a parent of a, of a two year old. So, so yeah, um, I hope that this episode helped you. You can share it with a friend.

Um, listen to the Mindful Parenting podcast and the Unruffled podcast and get a great toddler, you know, education and you'll be super inspired. And thank you for being here. Being here, doing the work to become a great parent, that's a wonderful thing to do. Remember that you're also more than a parent, you're you, and you know, remember to honor your, you know, the things that bring you joy outside of parenting.

That will, of course, only make you a better parent when you can do things you love outside of parenting, take breaks and all of that stuff. So remember that too, and thank you for listening. Hope you have a week where you're, you know, you can be really present with your kiddo and your partner if you have one and enjoy that connection and those snuggles and, and have time for you and have time to slow down and, um, and not rush through the day and take things a little more.

Slowly. So yeah, wishing you a great week. Thank you. Thank you so much for listening. I'm so glad that this can be a resource for you. And I hope it is. And yeah, let me know of course it is. That makes my day. And I'm wishing you a great way back around next week with another awesome new episode. And I will talk to you then.

Thanks 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 so worth it. The money really is inconsequential when you get so much benefit from being a better parent to your children. 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 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 confidence. 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.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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