Tosha Schore is the creator of all things Parenting Boys Peacefully, including her 10-Day Reconnect, an online group experience shared by over 15,000 parents worldwide. She is also co-author of Listen: Five Simple Tools to Meet Your Everyday Parenting Challenges, and a trainer of Hand in Hand Parenting.

392: How To Handle Boys & Aggression

Tosha Schore

You’re watching your toddler or preschooler act aggressively, what do you do? It can be confusing and scary because you’re not modeling that behavior and we often don’t know how to respond. In this episode, Tosha Schore comes on to talk about boys and aggressive behavior. We talk about why it happens and what to do about it.

How To Handle Boys & Aggression - Tosha Schore [392]

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*This is an auto-generated transcript*

[00:00:00] Tosha Schore: I wanted to create a space where I could support parents who had young boys who were struggling and connect the dots for them and give them peaceful Parenting practices and increase their confidence so that they actually had something tangible to use.

[00:00:20] Hunter: Your, you are listening to the Mindful Mama podcast, episode number 392. Today we're talking about how to handle boys and aggression with Tosha.

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 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 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.

Welcome back to the Mindful Mama Podcast, my friends. So glad you're here. Listen, make sure you're subscribed. Don't miss any of them. They come out on Tuesdays. And please go over to Apple Podcasts, leave us a rating and review. It just helps this podcast grow more. It reaches more people. It makes a huge difference, and I greatly appreciate it.

Honestly, it just takes 30. Thank you, and today we have an awesome conversation with Tosha Shore, the creator of all things Parenting Boys peacefully, including her 10 Day Reconnect, an online group experienced, shared by over 15,000 parents worldwide. She's the co-author of Listen five Simple Tools to Meet Your Everyday Parenting Challenges, and a Trainer in Hand, Parenting, and we're gonna talk about.

Boys, you might have a boy, you might have a toddler or preschooler and see them acting aggressively and have no idea what the heck to do about that. It's confusing, it's scary. You are not modeling that behavior in your home, right? What do you do about it? And we're gonna talk about what to do about it.

So this is a really valuable episode. So join me at the table as I talk to Tosha Shore.

Tosha, welcome to the Mindful Mama podcast. Welcome back to the Mindful

[00:02:28] Tosha Schore: Mama Podcast. Thank you. Thanks so much for having me back, hunter. It's been quite a while.

[00:02:32] Hunter: It's been a while. I'm excited to talk to you because people worry about boys and girls and the differences and the challenges, et cetera. So we're gonna talk today about Boys in Aggression, which I'm excited to talk to you about.

First, give us like a little bit of recap on background. Why are you so fascinated about in talking about.

[00:02:55] Tosha Schore: So my business is called Parenting Boys peacefully, and the mission that we have is to create a more peaceful world, one sweet boy at a time. And I focus on boys for a lot of different reasons. I think people started coming to me originally as a parent coach with their boys who were struggling because I have raised or am raising three, three boys of my own with their with plenty of challenges.

And I think people see, wow, okay, if she can do it, then. She could maybe help me do it too. So there's the personal aspect, but for me there's a real political element and my background is in women's studies and as a feminist, and I've always been very active in promoting women's rights and working towards women's rights.

And when I birthed three boys who I loved more than anything in the world, I realized that I needed to reframe some of my thinking. Men's position in the world, boys positions in the world, their roles that they play. And so it was a real opportunity for me to do that. And because I had to figure out, and I'm sure we'll get into this later, but I had to figure out how to advocate for my boys oftentimes, despite behaviors that I didn't feel proud of.

And that was a challenge. And then even more politically, I will say that, parents who come to me are scared. , they are seeing all sorts of violence in the media. We're in a area I'm sorry, a period and for sure in the United States where gun violence is out of.

Mostly boys and young men who are perpetrating the violence, but there's all sorts of violence. Again, most of it perpetrated by men and we as parents of young boys see aggression in the little ones and fly forward however many years and are terrified. That our boys are going to turn into those men.

And so it might sound to somebody who doesn't have a young boy who's struggling with aggression, that's just totally wacky and. Out of proportion, but that's the reality of what goes through our minds. And so we, I wanted to create a space where I could support parents who had young boys who were struggling and connect the dots for them and give them peaceful Parenting practices and increase their confidence so that they actually had something tangible to, to use to help their boys through the challenging behaviors when they were.

so that they could ease their minds and then be confident that their kid wasn't gonna be the next school shooter, that their kid wasn't gonna, be the guy in the dorm who raped the girl. This is just the reality.

[00:05:37] Hunter: Yeah. Oh my gosh. Those are fears that I've never had to confront as a Mama up girls.

They're, they've got their aggression, but that's not ever something I've ever had to consider. What do you see as some of, like your part of world group along with myself and other people who were, there's a movement right away from like the old school traditional paradigms, Parenting, and there's a movement towards peaceful, conscious, Mindful parent.

and I'm curious about what do you see as the old, traditional authoritarian methods that have not helped boys and why?

[00:06:19] Tosha Schore: Lemme just tell you about a parent that I was working with yesterday at Dad. Okay. He came to me with his partner. They have a five year old who is struggling. He is hurting himself, banging his head against the wall, throwing things, breaking things, going after his baby brother hitting his parents.

It, there's a lot of aggression happening and they're terrified. And when they came to Maple, they've been working with them for two weeks. So when they came to me at first, this is not very long ago, they were literally frozen in fear. So much so that I couldn't even teach them any practical tools yet.

I just said straight up, look, we've gotta get you into good enough Parenting shape to even be able to try any of these things. You're so scared that you're frozen. . And so we, I'm obviously paraphrasing, right? Not necessarily I would talk directly to the parent, but specific, but yesterday when I talked to him, this is one week later, he looked completely different.

Like he was a much more relaxed and he shared, I always start out with having them, having my clients like share. A win a time when they felt proud of themselves as a parent, or a time when they felt particularly connected to their sweet boy and he was able to share many. And he said, actually, things are going a lot better.

And I asked him why. And one, he had several reasons. And one, one of the reasons was that he said he had been really fearful of letting go of the more traditional harsher methods of discipline because he felt like peaceful Parenting was just being a pushover. And he didn't wanna be that, and he didn't wanna model that for his kids.

And he said, but what I've noticed is that the harsher I come in, the more upset I get and the harsher I am with my punishment. Coming back to your question, if I put him on time out, if I isolate him, if I yell, if I raise my voice, if I shame him in any way, he said the behaviors just like skyrocket immediately.

Like it's an immediate, it's like throwing lighter fluid on a fire. It just explodes on my face, he said. And he said but I, so I'm realizing that this is the only way that I have to do the work so that I can stay calm and show up and like when I'm able to be playful, for example or remember that he's struggling and I'm the adult here to help him, things go much better.

He said we've actually had like much less aggression this week than we've had in a long.

[00:08:52] Hunter: I love that story. That's such a great example in an incredibly short amount of time. But do you know, I can imagine you see that a lot because as you start to take away the adult behaviors that are.

Aggressive, right? We start to just stop being aggressive, triggering our kids fight, flight or freeze response and adding all that, negative energy and to that, stop like bringing the fist to the fist, right? There's gonna be like a radical transformation. I'm sure you, that happens fairly.

[00:09:28] Tosha Schore: Absolutely. Parents come to me typically wanting to fix their boy. Something's terribly wrong with him. Help me get him to stop doing X or stop doing y. And over again, I have to say to parents like, we're looking at this backwards, right? You're coming to me and you're wanting him to change so that you can change.

I'll stop. I'll stop getting mad. I'll stop yelling at him. I'll stop sending him on a timeout if he stops hitting his little brother. And I have to reframe and say no, actually that's not the way it works. It works the other way. We have to get ourselves into good enough Parenting shape first, and when we are able to change our behaviors, you will see that you'll be able to implement tools that will allow your sweet boy to change his behaviors.

And it can happen quite quickly, but it doesn't happen first kid, then me. It happens first me. Then my.

[00:10:22] Hunter: That's awesome. I'm, that's such a succinct and beautiful message. I'm gonna be sending many parents to the first five, 10 minutes of this episode, . I love it. Absolutely. I love it. So we're gonna get back into some of these tools and techniques and modeling and the things that we need to do.

But just to go back to the sort of the basics and the questions and the assumptions people have. How is Parenting Boys different from Parenting? .

[00:10:50] Tosha Schore: It's different in a lot of ways, right? You heard some of our fears that we have that you were kinda like, wow, I've never even thought about those things before.

. So I love that you said that out loud because it just highlights the fact that there, there really is a difference. And the difference is how the world treats our sweet boys. Yeah. Generally speaking, when a girl is struggling, she might be struggling with aggression. She might struggle, be struggling with any, any kind of behav.

Might be struggling in school. Generally when a girl is struggling, we look for what systems are failing her, right? What's wrong with the environment? What can we do to make things better so that she can be better yet, when a boy is struggling our go-to is that it's his fault and there's something wrong with him.

That's the default. And if we see this all the time in schools, it's just blatant but we do it in our families.

[00:11:53] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcast right after this break.

What's an example of that we may not think of as the US. Thinking there's something wrong with him.

[00:12:07] Tosha Schore: Wait, what? What do you mean ask me that? Ask me that again.

[00:12:09] Hunter: I'm just thinking about I'm trying to think about if a girl's struggling versus a boy's struggling and a, when a boy struggles, there's something wrong with him.

And I'm trying to think about an example of that way of thinking, cuz a lot of times we have these ways of thinking that we've just inherited from culture and society and things like that. And we don't even realize that the underlying message of whatever I'm thinking or saying, For example, like there's something wrong with him.

Like sometimes we don't even see, that's the message. It is. So I'm just wondering if there's like an example of how that comes forward commonly.

[00:12:43] Tosha Schore: Yeah. I mean it comes forward in lots of ways. I can think of lots of examples. I think of example once when one of my kids was playing soccer and he was cleated and his kind of cleat in his neck, and it hurt.

Yeah. Because if you got a cleat in your neck, it would hurt . And he was on the soccer field and he was crying and it hurt. And his coach. Threatened him with not playing the next game if he didn't get his stuff together and, get back up and let's get back to the game kind of a thing.

Oh my gosh. So this basically saying something is wrong with you, that you are responding this way, right? Not oh, maybe we should reconsider how we respond to a child when they are hurt playing this sport. , I don't have a, I don't have any girls, but I will say, I can, I wouldn't bet my life on the fact that a girl playing soccer, the likelihood of her not being berated in that way or threatened in that way is about 99%.

Yeah. Instead, she would get something like oh, a pat on the back, or, Hey, why don't you go sit on the bench for a few minutes and come back in when you're feeling. So it's it's a lack of blame and it's more of an acceptance of the feelings that are there than we have with the boys.

Or in school. Boys get in trouble a lot more in school than girls do. even for the same behaviors. We look at suspensions, we look at even expulsions from preschools. Mostly boys. Mostly boys. And you've got girls, right? Girls struggle. Girls do dumb things.

Girls get in trouble. . But in a school scenario, oftentimes, if a if a boy is yelling out in class, for example, he's much more likely to. Send to the principal's office get time taken off recess, and a girl is much more likely to get. A soft warning a whisper, to try to keep it together or and even like a discussion, I think in a staff meeting about what could we do to help?

We just, our default is we look at them like there's something wrong, right? They have oppositional defiance disorder, they're adhd, like we're like throwing all these labels at them, and they might have labels, and that's okay too. But that doesn't mean we don't take the time to both connect with them and look at whether or not.

The expectations that we have for them are realistic. Yeah. Like maybe we're asking this child to sit still for way too long.

[00:15:25] Hunter: I can't believe we still do that. It's makes me so mad that we ask kids like the whole thing, like they ki kindergarten and they're losing recess and things like that. It just is like crazy.

Don't we know Spike now? Come on. People

[00:15:39] Tosha Schore: I just saw an article this morning, just popped up in my feed. I think it said 250 kids a day are expelled from preschool. Okay. Preschool, 250 a day. I think it was Unscientific American, if I'm remembered correctly, and half of those. are black boys.

[00:16:00] Hunter: Oh God, that's

[00:16:01] Tosha Schore: heartbreaking. Okay. I can assure you. So there's the whole issue of racism and like we're looking like our eyes are going to them, we're expecting them to be bad. , right? This is in quotation marks. . And I can assure you that a huge percent of that other 50% are other boys.

[00:16:20] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. I'm sure. And it's this. Yeah. And there. Lack of accommodation for the human body that needs to move, that needs to, and children that need to, learn in their own way. It, the, it drives me bananas. It drives me bananas. So

[00:16:38] Tosha Schore: we also go to worry quicker with boys. . So there's that.

But then that's we also we're so scared even if we don't realize that we're so scared for, what they're gonna do or what their future is gonna look like, that we react rather than take a breath and respond.

[00:16:55] Hunter: So we're not really staying in the present in that kids will be kids and do dumb things and we have to expect that, right?

Like for all kids, that seems to be a problem that we have to remember that kids need lots of repetition to learn things and they're gonna make dumb mistakes and they have no impulse control, the last part of the brain to really fully develop, right? Like our expectations, I think, especially for little kids, are way too hot or way.

Yeah. Way too high. Like for three to five year olds or whatever. And then for boys in general, then you're saying it's like even worse. Like you, you're not even then allowed to have any emotions, you

[00:17:34] Tosha Schore: know, et cetera. Yeah. Or make any mistakes. And I w I would raise that high end, like all the way through middle school, high school.

Yeah. Yeah. For boys, there's just no room for error. People get too scared. Adults get too.

[00:17:51] Hunter: Okay, the world outside is treating boys differently. Are there special innate differences that we're looking for between boys and girls? I'm

[00:18:00] Tosha Schore: not, I don't care. . I want my boys to have a good life. I want everybody's boys to have a good life.

There's a lot of Increase in understanding about gender spectrum at the moment, and which I think is amazing. I'm looking at how the world is seeing your child. Your child might have been assigned female at birth, but is walking around the world as a male, and they are gonna be treated like my boys.

That's the reality. The problem is, I think, Us not them. And I wanna be clear that I'm not saying that their behaviors are okay when they're not. I'm not here to defend behaviors misbehaviors, or we know what many would label us bad behaviors. I'm not here to defend that. Oh. But I'm saying that we need to understand that there are calls for help and take responsibility as adults for moving in and helping our little. Move through whatever they need to move through, whether that be releasing feelings and healing from emotion or gaining new skills to be able to show up different and stop those behaviors, punishing them doesn't make them stop the behaviors.

It only isolates them, makes them feel ashamed and locks them in on themselves in a way that I think is really dangerous for society, right? They learn to not ask for help when life is.

[00:19:27] Hunter: And we need to be asking for help. That's like the theme that for me, this is like the theme of the year is the fact that we need to be intersecting and interviewing and remembering that we are social creatures.

So hugely. So when kids show up, let's talk about aggression because you know when kids start having aggression, we get worried and scared. I remember when my girls started being aggressive, cuz. Four year olds are like physical Yeah. Beings like in a massive way, right? Like it's suddenly, it's wow, you can do all these things with your body.

Whoa. And the amount of like physical energy that my girls when they were four needed to burn off was just, it was just like, I remember it was like a huge, it was astounding. And then seeing things like aggression, like hitting and at. My feeling was like, where is this coming from?

This is not what they're seeing. I'm not modeling this. Where is this coming from? What's wrong with my child? This is a very common way of thinking for parents when we start to see aggression in young kids, right?

[00:20:35] Tosha Schore: Yep. Yep. I see it all the time. And I love that you say that because I'm like really not a why person.

Parents come to me and they're like why is he doing this? Why is he behaving in this way? There is a place for why sometimes there is something that we can shift. Maybe there's a, an adult that's being unkind. Maybe there's bullying going on. Maybe, maybe there are things in the environment that we can change.

But 99% of the time, no, 99% of the time, that's just that, that's not it's not something necessarily. External. Okay.

[00:21:14] Hunter: So there's no, no big reason why our kids are aggressive. This is just something that comes out cuz we're human beings, right? Like we are animals. ,

[00:21:25] Tosha Schore: right? And I should say that's not what, there's nothing external, but it's like there's nothing external that we can do anything about.

So in other words, it might be. There was a divorce, there was a move across the country or across the world. There was a birth of a sibling. There was a loss. There are so many, there's a change in the schools there. There's are so many things that could trigger aggression in a child that we can't do anything about.

So when we turn on ourselves like that, and like the why I think is because we're blaming our. And it's not our fault. It's not your fault that your child's acting aggressively. And I think that when we dig into the why, we're looking for ways to blame ourselves. Oh, if I just had, if I, if we hadn't made the move, if we if I hadn't switched to schools, if I hadn't had another child, whatever it is.

A and that's just not helpful. Like the reality is we can't change the past and we wouldn't want to change a lot of the. The question is, what do we do now moving forward? How do we help him gain the flexibility to be able to flow with life? Because things don't always pan out the way that we would like them

[00:22:40] Hunter: to.

So aggression as when it shows up in a young kid is like an unskillful, kind of primitive response to I'm not, it's like fight flight or freeze. Basically, it's that fight.

[00:22:54] Tosha Schore: It's a fight. Yeah. It's like I'm stressed, I'm scared. I think the biggest thing that I would want parents to know about aggression is that it's really almost always just fear in disguise.

And if we can remember that, it's so much easier to have empathy for our little guys who are struggling. Cause if you think, if you think about a child who's hurt and you, and empathy for them, you want to move towards them and think creatively about how to help. Love them and connect with them.

But if you're looking at a child who you feel like is bad, right? If you don't realize that it's a call for help, that it's a scared child. But if you're imagining instead that it's a bad child, then it's repulsive, right? We move away. We wanna send him away, we wanna leave. That's when we fall into the blame and the shame and, all the things that, that we're doing that aren't working.

So remembering that there's fear, there is gonna be key. Is it gonna be a key mindset shift in getting yourselves into good enough Parenting shape to be able to help your boy through the aggression? Okay.

[00:24:01] Hunter: All right. So we wanna remember mindset. The mindset that there's fear there. But let me ask you about a very typical scenario.

There's siblings, maybe there's a three-year-old and a five-year-old, and the, the three-year-old is. An unskillful kid and grabs the toys away from, or destroys the thing the five-year-old is making and the five-year-old pushes down the little sibling or is aggressive in some way to the little sibling.

And then what happens a lot of times with the parents in that situation, is that, let's say with the mom, is that what I hear is, The Mama bear thing kicks in, right? And they wanna protect, right? That fight lighter freeze stress response becomes this protective response for the one who is maybe hurt by the other child's aggression.

How do we apply that mindset to this situation? And maybe how would we start to approach a situation like that?

[00:24:55] Tosha Schore: So the first thing to remember is that a child who's hurting another is himself hurting, right? So it's a really good practice, first of all, if you're not there, to not make assumptions about what went down, because almost always, We tend to have labeled in our minds, this is the aggressor child, in quotes for the podcast listeners, right?

It, this is the aggressive child and then this is the victim. And it doesn't always play out that way. If you're not there, don't assume you know what went down. One of the things that's important to remember is if you weren't there, You don't know what went down. Don't make assumptions.

Gotcha. Another thing that's a really good practice, and this isn't really a mindset, but this is really more of a practice and this is to alternate who you go to, because the mindset shift is that both children are hurting, not just the one who might have been pushed over, but both children are hurting.

A child will only hurt another if. Hurting inside in some way. Okay, so if you can both are hurting. Yeah, they're both hurting. So if you can remember that, you can conjure up empathy for both of them. So if you switch who you're going to, that also breaks down the tendency that families tend to fall into, which is to end up with a, aggressor and a victim, so to speak.

And instead what you're looking at is what can you do? How can you facilitate a strong. Loving, lasting relationship between the siblings, and that's never gonna come by always coming to the rescue of one and blaming the other. That's gonna get in the re in the way of their relationship. So coming in and in that type of situation.

In terms of practicality, again, don't make assumptions, but go to the one who you know, you feel most drawn to and you can see is hurting in that moment. After you, of course, make sure there's no blood and guts and all of that. . And just listen. Don't go in being Sherlock Holmes and trying to figure out the why, like we were talking about before.

[00:27:06] Hunter: We're, we'll pick it up. But anyway, I was just gonna say what I love about what you're describing is this mindset of mindfulness. It's bring this mindset of non-judgment, bring this mindset of curiosity to this situation, practice this idea that I don't know what happened. And both are.

[00:27:25] Tosha Schore: Alternating who you go to and when you go to them, don't go to investigate. What happened, and figure out the why. Go with the intention of relationship repair. Let's not go backwards. Let's be present and let's help resolve the tension in the moment so that they can move forward.

[00:27:48] Hunter: I love this. Go with the intention of relationship repair. Yeah. Because ultimately that's what needs to happen. It's like what you're saying, like it's useless to think about like, why, why is this aggression arising? Like instead, let's think about how we can. Make it better going forward.

And it's just in, in sim a similar way, right? Go with the intention of relationship repair. Okay. So walk me through a mom or dad responding then to this situation. They're choosing one or the other child.

[00:28:20] Tosha Schore: Yeah. And I would walk up to that child. I would get down to their level because, as mammals, we don't wanna have somebody towering over us.

That does not allow us to feel. So get down to their level. You do not need to force yourself upon them in terms of like hugs and touch. Like you need to know your child. And some children welcome that. And some people, some children don't. Oh. So feel it out. See what makes sense. But you do want them to get that.

You're there to feel your presence and you can say something. I'm sorry I didn't get here in time to keep you safe. Very. And saying something like that, I love, because that really is saying loud and clear to your children. I'm the adult here and I am taking very seriously my responsibility to keep everyone in this family safe.

. Now, it doesn't mean people say, but doesn't this, isn't that just modeling that it's okay what they did? No, it's. But releasing that, releasing yourself from having to blame somebody, going to the why, and then having to blame somebody is allowing the space for their relationship repair to happen.

you don't have to do the relationship repair. You don't have to go in and say say sorry to your brother, or, what did you do? Or Why did you do that? Or you need to, you know what, all the things that we do, you don't need to. It happens. They know how to repair if we create the space. And so the first step in creating that space is to remove the blame.

So to move in, be patient, say something like, I'm sorry I didn't get here in time to keep you safe. And then just listen. Oh, and they will both likely. Things to say loudly . And my, my, yeah. And my next suggestion is, Don't take the words more seriously than the actions. We listen to these words and we get so caught up in them.

Oh my god. He said he hates his brother. Oh my God. I can't believe I raised a chat. Who hates his brother? Or, we blame them. Don't you know that is not true. You don't hate him. Don't say that. That is so hurtful. We can go to all those places. No. Just listen. In that moment, all you need to do is listen, and if you've got two who are yelling and screaming and telling you their stories, that's okay.

It's loud, it's messy. That is normal. Can you believe me, please? That is normal. Totally

[00:30:48] Hunter: normal. That's why we need to build in breaks and support for ourselves, my friends, because it is loud and is messy and we cannot handle that for 24 hours a day, every day, all the time. So pop that in there.

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

Yeah. I love that you're saying loud and messy is normal. That's great.

[00:31:17] Tosha Schore: It is. And I wanna say that the more you're able to move in this way and actually listen without trying to fix, the more your little guys are gonna be able to let those big feelings out and those big feelings, those hurts and those upsets that they've accumulated as they've moved through life that come out in these, by, through these triggers or as a result of these triggers or after these.

Like that's what's driving the challenging behaviors, right? That's what's driving the aggression. So if you can think about it as like a little balloon looking can let a little bit of air out of it, the the pressure out of it that's what we're doing. Every time you're able to listen into this in this way, a little bit of that pressure comes out and he's a little bit more able to access his thinking part of his brain more often and do the right.

[00:32:09] Hunter: and in situations like this, I love your, I love this emphasis on listening cuz that is the gold there, right? That just being present, just listening, just being the space, the power of just really being present and just listening cannot be understated. It's 99% of the work of helping them resolve their problems and then like when we get to places like to resolve the problems, we.

I would at that point, maybe say when the temperature's gone down, when the pressure's been relieved. Oh my God, what a mess. I wonder what we can do to figure this out, right? Like it's just about guiding a conversation and not necessarily we're shifting away from judge and jury

[00:32:51] Tosha Schore: here.

Absolutely. And you, and one, one thing as you were talking, I noticed you, you used the word just a lot of times and I did also. And just listen. And I want us to get to a place in our Parenting worlds where we're not even saying that anymore. Not you, and not. Just listen.

It's not just listening. It's listening. . It is super important.

[00:33:16] Hunter: Listening.

[00:33:19] Tosha Schore: It's real. It's big. It is. It is. The gold nugget.

[00:33:23] Hunter: Yes. Yes. Yes. That's when the angels like the sky opens up and it's, yeah.

[00:33:30] Tosha Schore: And it's such the gold nugget hunter that like even, you're talking about having the conversations afterwards and I think we might have even touched on this last time, I have a recollection of having this conversation a few years ago when we talk, but maybe I'm wrong.

That we don't oftentimes, in fact, most of the time we don't need to go back and. we like, if we really think about that scenario that you shared, right? The three-year-old and the five-year-old, okay. Those kids know it's not okay to knock over the Legos that the other one's playing with. Those kids know, okay, no, it's not okay to push over their brothers right.

To hurt each other. Those aren't lessons that they need us to teach them. They know that. They get it. And I think we need to move from this place of walking around feeling like, they just won't do what they know is the right thing to do. Resentment to a place of wow.

Like I'm noticing in these situations, he is not able to be peaceful in his response. I need to take that in as information and I need to come up with a plan, me as the adult to help him. Not expect him to be able to show up differently. That goes back to that piece we talked about earlier, right? First he'll change, then I'll change.

No, I need to notice what's going on and come up with a plan. He's doing the best he

[00:34:54] Hunter: can. Okay, so the kind of the, after the storm fades conversation, the after party. The after party. This is a, not the after party we want to go to, but anyway, this is it's not about reiterating the rules.

They know the rules. They know they're not supposed to destroy things and all those things. So what is that conversation like when we go on saying, oh gosh, this is a hard situation. He's been aggressive. He's not able to be peaceful in his response. How can I support this? And I'm a firm believer that like, it's not, we don't necessarily have to have every single answer. Like sometimes it comes from a conversation with our kids this is a frustrating situation. And it seems like this is, it's hard for you to, you when you push your brother. I felt sad.

I. What can we do about this? So what are some of the, what are some of the strategies for helping teach kids who have been in, their go-to tool has been aggression, to teach them more

[00:36:05] Tosha Schore: peaceful ways? Yeah. I love this question and my short answer is we don't need to have those conversations.

We really don't like the behavior changes as a result of holding loving limits when the aggression arise. and listening deeply to the upsets that come out as a result of. In concert with using play strategically, getting silly when you can, upping the laughter in your family building a deep connection with your child by, spending one-on-one time together by doing the kinds of things that, you laugh together when you do them, or that make you happy when you do 'em together by getting your.

As the parent, the support that you need to be able to show up with a calm brain and stay calm and not get confused in those moments and not, not feel like, oh my God, I have this horrible boy. I hate him. He's bad. Something's terribly wrong with him. Not like to keep yourself from going to that place so that you can stay calm and remember, oh, here comes a scared kid.

Okay, like he's scared, he's struggling. Take a breath. What can I do?

[00:37:14] Hunter: And part of what we can do is calm ourselves down because emotions and feelings are contagious. So they can borrow some or calm down. That's like a huge piece.

[00:37:23] Tosha Schore: Absolutely. But most of what needs to happen, hunter happens before Wow.

Before the aggression and then during the conversation afterwards, like honestly, like I'm happy for everyone to just drop it. Oh yeah. Okay, cool. I didn't have convers. With my kids after when we were struggling with aggression. I don't coach parents having conversations afterwards.

I think there's scenario, there's situations where you couldn't say to your child, Hey, I noticed that when your brother knocks over your Legos. You've been hitting him and I know you don't feel good when you do that. I'm wondering now, do you have any idea.

For anything that we can do to help you react differently or to help you yeah. To, help you show up differently in those situations. I'm not even good at this cause I don't even have these conversations. . Yeah. Okay. Okay. But but this is, but I think my point is that question.

is asking of him. , what do you think you are capable of doing in that situation rather than me? Yeah. Imposing what I think he should be capable of doing in that situation. And part B of that, which I have to say is even when you have that conversation and he says I think when he does that, I'm gonna come get you.

I'm gonna come get you instead of hitting him or pushing him. You need to know that in the heat of the moment, the chance of that happening is like so low. If you're not doing the listening , if you're not doing all the other things I talked about. Is pretty much a joke. Yeah, it might happen once might happen fi, but mostly like he's not gonna be able to do that.

Until he heals from the hurts that are driving the behavior in the first place. We have to pull the roots out of the ground. Like the, that conversation is really just trying to put a bandaid on something and then going swimming and then bandaid keeps falling

[00:39:26] Hunter: off. Okay. So what I'm hearing from you is that we have to heal the hurts.

We have to reduce that pressure valve in the first place. That's really the solution to like kids aggression, is to really start. Release the pressure. That's the hurt the feelings, that building towards it. And that comes from connection that comes from play. So you're one of like, when a child's feeling that connection, when that child's playing, when that child's outside every, For three hours a day and, maybe connecting with you and all of those things, right?

Like having, having time together, having snuggles, having rough and tumble play, all of those things. Then the problem just is not arising in the same

[00:40:15] Tosha Schore: way. It'll lessen over time. It will absolutely lessen over time. Okay.

[00:40:21] Hunter: All right. Beautiful.

[00:40:22] Tosha Schore: Yeah, I. and that mindset shift of remembering that he's not bad is really important.

We have to show up with the energy of I see you're struggling and we're gonna get through this. That's the difference between that dad I told you about earlier. The first time he came on to talk to me, he was like, oh my God. Like he, he is ruining our family. Like he is the problem child. He's making family life miserable for everybody in this.

Versus the second week, seven days later that he came to me and things were going better and he was more relaxed and his perspective had shifted. And he could say, yeah, I could, I can really empathize. I can see how hard it is for him. I can see he doesn't wanna do this. And I can see that when I'm able to stay calm and approach him in the ways that we've talked about, whether it be play or a loving limit or just listening or whatever it is that the situation resolves so much more quickly.

Yes. And that, like I said before, and like when I don't, when I go back to my old ways, right? The old paradigm, the behaviorist paradigm the punishments, that type of thing that, that the behaviors explode. They worse. .

[00:41:42] Hunter: And what would be an example for the listener who says, okay, what's a loving limit?

If I say, stop hitting your brother , is that a loving limit?

[00:41:55] Tosha Schore: No, I don't even really, I don't call that a limit. I just call that like a pipe dream . If you've been saying stop hitting your brother for the, Week, two weeks, six months, five years, and it hasn't worked. Let's just assume it's not gonna work.

It's not working. , one of the things I always tell parents is the first thing you can do is just stop doing everything that's not working. And Right. If you went to work every day and just did the same thing over and over again, that wasn't working, you would be fired. Definition of, we do it all the time with Parenting Insanity,

[00:42:28] Hunter: right?

Yeah. .

[00:42:29] Tosha Schore: Total insanity. Yeah. Total insanity. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:42:33] Hunter: So what is the what? What a loving limit then look like. Oh yeah,

[00:42:38] Tosha Schore: yeah. So what a living, what a loving limit would look like would be to come in, get down to their level like we talked about before, not say very much, perhaps just one line that sends the message your loved, you're.

We're gonna get through this kind of a thing. So it might be in that situation that you brought up earlier you might have to physically hold that older child back who is hitting the younger one, right? So you actually might physically have to put your body between the two children and say, lovingly, I can't let you hit your brother sweet boy.

You're taking responsibility for making sure the hit doesn't go, the hit doesn't happen. So that's and then you're listening. and not taking personally that older child's upset that comes afterwards. So when he goes into, but he, he ruined my thing I made and he broke this and I hate him, and I wish you never had another child.

And why'd you have to ruin my life? And you're the worst mom ever. And all the things you need to not be like, like breaking down on yourself, right? Like curling in and questioning whether or not you really should have had another child or whatever. All the things are, you need to be in good enough Parenting shape to be able to recognize that those are just words coming out of a child's mouth who is scared, who is hurt in that moment, and they're just words.

And if you can listen through all the way through those words and not try to fix him, and not try to stop him because you can't make him stop saying whatever he is saying. Again, you can physically, stay in the way, get in the way of in between him and his brother, so he can't continue the hitting.

Then he will come around. He will calm his, his brain, his thinking brain will come back online and he will be able. on his own to either apologize or negotiate with his brother about how to share the Legos or something like that. And so often we get to be amazed and in awe of our children in the way that they're able to reconcile when we just get out of the way.

A loving limit basically is come in close, make the limit, happen yourself. Take responsibility yourself for making like the aggression happen, stop happening if it's happening. So physically getting, getting in between or holding the child back if they're hitting and then listening to the upset without taking it personally.

And I might add, not necessarily revisiting the incident afterwards, because that's almost internalized, almost always internalized by that child as. He didn't, he doesn't want hurt his brother. Like when he hit his brother, when he pushed his brother, he felt horrible. He felt horrible. He doesn't wanna do that.

And so bringing it up in that way that we generally do afterwards, reminder that it was not okay, and all of those things just piles up a little bit. Another little nice layer of shame that we don't wanna be piling.

[00:45:41] Hunter: We wanna instead be watering their good seeds. We wanna watering those seeds of connection.

We wanna water those seeds. That faith and that conviction that they are a loving, wonderful, sweet boy, and they're hurt and struggling and that, that is really the mindset. And I, all of this requires like a deep sense of grounding in ourselves, which is of course the foundation, right? This is so beautiful.

Tosha, thank you so very much for sharing your time with us. As always, I really appreciate it. And we talked to Tosha in 2019, an episode 180 2. If you wanna go back and listen to that, if you want more after listening to this wonderful conversation. I know I have a page full of notes myself. Tosha, is there anything we missed that you wanna leave us with?

And then also, where can people find you and work you're doing

[00:46:40] Tosha Schore: with boys? We could talk for another five hours. I have so much more to say, but one thing that I think I wanna leave parents with is you are the perfect person to help your sweet boy through his aggression. And I think we, we often spend a lot of time trying to fix him, sending him.

This professional, the other professional, to try to figure out what's wrong. And I'm not saying that there's not a place for all, various types of therapies in certain situations. Absolutely, there is. And, trust your gut and go with that for sure. But really the changes that you want are gonna come so much more quickly if you trust yourself.

And build your support systems so that you are able to guide him through his struggles rather than outsource it. Y there's just nobody who knows him as well as you do. There's nobody who loves him as much as you do. And like I say, nobody really wants the job. It's not that fun when he is str when he is struggling with aggression but it's totally.

Turn around a bowl, if you will. , it really is. I see parents, just, that's the story I told you. I was so excited yesterday talking to this dad. It's been only one week and things are already shifting. They're not perfect. There's a long way to go, but they're already shifting like the, he can already see hope.

Yeah. Yeah. So anyway, so that's what I would say, just trust yourself. Know that you are the perfect person to help your sweet boy through these struggle. And in terms of where to find me on my website, Parenting boys

[00:48:24] Hunter: Thank you so much, Tosha. I really appreciate your insight and your compassion, and I appreciate your time spent with us today and taking time to fiddle with your tech and all of those things.

I really appreciated it and yeah I couldn't be happier to have you on again to, to have this, these important conversations.

[00:48:46] Tosha Schore: Thank you. Thanks Hunter, so much for inviting me on. I love talking to you.

[00:48:57] Hunter: I so appreciate Tosha's perspective on boys. I think it's so healing and transformative. Hallelujah, right in line with what we do at Mindful Parenting, and really compliments it enormously. Thank you TAs. I hope you appreciate this podcast and it helps you water your good seeds. And if you like the Mindful Mama podcast, maybe not so much.

If you don't like it, fine, don't worry about it. But if you do like it, go to Apple Podcast and take just 30 seconds. Leave us a review. Just make the biggest difference in getting the podcast out to people. And I wanna give a shout out to Kimba. Who left a five star review saying called Appreciative Listener, and she says, this podcast helps me see my Parenting in a better light.

I'm learning to check my emotions and it helps me with my kids. Thank you. Thank you, hibachi. It is a huge help that you left that review. I thank you. Thank you so much. I would do the applause sound if I could do it. All right. Thank you so much for listening. I hope you have a great week. I hope that you have some moments of connection and peace and joy with those kiddos of yours.

Thank you. Thank you so much for listening. Can't wait to connect with you again next week.

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

[00:50:27] Tosha Schore: communicate better and just, I'd say communicate better as a person, as a wife, as a spouse, it's been really a positive influence in our lives. So definitely do it. I'd say definitely do it.

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

Everything in your Parenting,

[00:51:25] 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 Clark 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 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. Mindful Parenting 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

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