Seth Perler is a well-known Executive Function Coach, educator, vlogger, and guy who cares about seeing outside-the-box kids succeed. This means that he helps struggling, neurodiverse learners turn it around in a baffling system so they can launch a successful future.

386 How to help ADHD Kids 

Seth Perler

When Seth Perler was little he was called “lazy, unmotivated, and easily distracted,” by his teachers. Now he helps struggling ADHD kids not just survive, but thrive. In this episode we talk about helping kids with executive functioning, why it’s so important, and even give some concrete tools to use with your child!

How to help ADHD Kids - Seth Perler [386]

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[00:00:00] Seth Perler: What happened to me as I became a teenager is my narrative was, I'm just a lazy failure.

[00:00:11] Hunter: You are listening to the Mindful Mama podcast, episode number 386. Today we're talking about how to help A D H D kids with Seth Perler.

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. If you have not done so, hit that subscribe button

[00:01:01] Seth Perler: so you never miss an episode.

And if you've ever gotten any value from this podcast, do me a favor and go over to Apple Podcast leaving

[00:01:11] Hunter: us a rating and review. It helps the podcast grow more. It will take 30 seconds and I

[00:01:17] Seth Perler: greatly appreciate it from the bottom of my

[00:01:20] Hunter: heart. You appreciate it, don't you, Maggie? Yeah, sure. Thanks.

In just a moment, I'm going to be sitting down with Seth Perler, my daughter, Maggie is here now, but she won't be there for that conversation. We're gonna be talking about ADHD kids, and Seth was one of those kids when he was little. He was called lazy, unmotivated, and easily distracted by his. Now he helps struggling A D H D kids, not just survive, but thrive.

In this episode, we talk about helping kids with executive functioning and why it's so important, and even we give some very concrete tools that you can use with your child. So listen all the way through the end for that awesome tool, and I think you're gonna love this episode, my friend. It's very valuable.

I really enjoyed Seth. So join me at the table as I talk to Seth Pearl.

So welcome to the Mindful Mama podcast stuff. Thanks.

[00:02:27] Seth Perler: It's so fun to be here. Let's, yeah, let's dive in. All

[00:02:30] Hunter: right, so I'm excited to talk to you because we have a shared passion about the prefrontal cortex . I'm excited to dive into, but before we get there, I wanna talk a little bit about you and your. When you were a kid, you were taught called lazy, unmotivated, easily distracted, and I imagine that was incredibly.

What was your childhood like and what struggles did you go through as a student?

[00:02:56] Seth Perler: Yeah, so in my bio, like I, I write about that and what I had done is I was at my my parents' house a couple years ago and my mom pulls out this old file and it has all these old report cards in it and we were looking over them laughing and everything, but yeah, it's a daydreamer, lazy doesn't try and motivated in all of these things.

And what's so interesting is that those are the messages that I hear so often in. In 2022, in this day and age from fam, the families that I work with, that they're still getting those same messages. Their kids are still getting those messages. Oh, that's so frustrating. There's still so much ignorance about it, and in fact, I was just talking to somebody else last week, another podcast podcaster who was saying how they just went through something.

And just how astounding it is that the, these things are still so prevalent, but my childhood as far as this stuff is concerned. First of all I was adopted into this fantastic family who did not understand D h d no, I had ADHD or executive function challengers or anything. But in first grade was when I first started getting the messages.

And they were basically what you were saying, unmotivated doesn't try the, they were gentler. At younger ages. And then as they got more into middle school, it was more they were more critical, but they're all those sorts of messages. And for me, I really did start to internalize those messages.

And what happened to me as I became a teenager is my narrative was, I'm just a lazy failure. Now, we all have an inner critic, and our inner critics say different things, but the one that mine defaulted to is I'm just a lazy failure. I know now, after looking at it, it that, that was such a convenient one for me to just say, oh, I can't do anything, I'm not even gonna try. And it was a way for me to get pity and get people off my back. That's how I use, I would use different messages, but that was my biggest inner critic voice. I'm just a lazy failure. And so I really internalized that shame. I became very depressed, anxious but if you were to look at me, I was a free-spirited, happy kid, but inside when, and I'm an extrovert inside.

When I was alone by myself in my own thoughts. It was a dark place. Wow. There was a lot of inner critic, a lot of, I can't do anything. I'm never gonna be able to figure this out. Never gonna be able to do anything with my life. Oh. And a lot of self-hatred and very Cruel self-talk. So that's and then I've again, vacillated between this like kid who had so much wonder, so much creativity.

So playful, love human beings, love animals. Like I was out in the world in a way where I love connecting with people. So I think at that also, , a lot of the disabilities that people have are invisible. And that was certainly for me, one of them is that I really looked like a happy person in terms of that.

When I was with people, I really probably was having a great time and really engaged and really living in a lot of my strengths, but in my own mind in my story about my worth as a human being. It was pretty. I

[00:06:11] Hunter: can really relate to what you're saying about like the extrovert being engaged thing.

Did you feel like you were on like a rollercoaster emotionally? Because at least for me I don't identify as ADHD in any way, shape or form, but as a highly sensitive person and extrovert I was always like, when I was with people, I was so on. I had so much enthusiasm and just so engaged by life and doing all the.

And then I can really relate to that. Then there would be like a deep dive a lot of times when I was moments on my own that would happen to me. My pre my meditation practice. That was a big piece for me was that rollercoaster ness. Does that sound like something that was there for you?

[00:06:54] Seth Perler: I was on a rollercoaster, but I don't know that I felt like I was on a rollercoaster because when it was dark, it felt like that was never gonna end. Yeah. Like I was gonna feel like that forever. Yeah. And when it was good, I almost didn't notice it. Time went by so fast. Yeah. And so it's not like I was self-aware enough to reflect and be like, oh, I'm on a rollercoaster.

It was just like whatever I was in the moment was there forever, was where I was at, was always. And I think that might be related to some of my executive function stuff in terms. Part of executive function is reflection and self-awareness and metacognition. . And while I was a really introspective person in a lot of ways, in some ways I like in this way, I wasn't reflective enough to back up and zoom out and be like, oh, I'm on a rollercoaster.

It was just like when I was in the moment, it was like, oh my gosh. Yeah, life sucks. People suck. Everything. Socks, the world a horrible place and it's just getting. and it just felt like that would never end . And then again, I missed, and I think that one of the practices in my life today, you alluded to meditation and mindfulness, but is to enjoy how good something is when it's good.

Wow. Is like a practice I work on actively today to really notice. How amazing things are when

[00:08:06] Hunter: they're yeah. Because then we also have our negativity bias, right? That's like focusing on the things that are negative. And you talk, in your bio, you talk about how you turned it around, like things got pretty bad high school, college, you were living with your parents and it wasn't good.

And you talked about asking for help. So I'd love it if you could just like, dive a little deeper into this, like how you turn that around for


[00:08:32] Seth Perler: Yeah, I guess for me, I almost failed outta high school. I went into college on probation during the summer program. Then I failed outta college.

I went to another college. I went to live with my grandma and got into a community college. Failed outta that college. And I just really was just I, and the only reason I went to college was because I thought I was supposed to and to get away from my parents. And but, and my parents were great , don't get me wrong, but, I wanted, Be an adult.

And I did not have the skills to be an adult. But I think for me, I I became so hopeless and I just reached a point where I was like, you know what? I'm gonna I'm wanna give life a try. I had gone through this multiple times, so I was like, I want to give life a try again. I want to like, really.

See what I'm made of and I need help and I don't know how I realized I needed help except that I was in a lot of pain and I didn't know how to change, and I always acted like I knew all the answers and stuff. And for the first time I was like, I don't know anything. I can't trust myself when I think I know the answers.

I don't. I really don't, and I don't even know when I'm lying myself. At that point, I was like, I'm gonna ask for help. Really just started learning the, I'll say skills of asking for help and doing, I was just like I'm willing to ask anybody and just I'm not ashamed of it and just be like, Hey, will you please tell me?

And whether or not I get it, I'm gonna ask. And I'm like that. To this day, it's almost comical in my personal life, like people who know me really well, but I'll ask for what I want slash need and shamelessly. And not necessarily tactfully, but but I will ask for what I want. And, but that's where I learned it is I was like, will you help me and will you help me more and will you help me more?

And really I guess not just asking for it, but learning to receive it. This is part of that okay, thank you. I'll receive the help. I'll really take that into consideration. One of my saving graces is that when I would hear, when people would try to help me at this point in my life and I would hear something that I didn't like from them and my nervous system, I couldn't articulate this then, but my nervous system would get agitated and I'd go in a fight, flight or freeze or whatever.

One of my saving graces was when I reregulated or downregulated, or. Back to my baseline. I was always asking myself, is there truth in what that person said? Almost inevitably there was like, but my initial reaction, so we can use the terms, respond and react. My initial reaction was always that jerk or that whatever, they don't who are they to say that they don't know me, blah, blah.

But I would. Back and I would say, is there truth in what they said? So that open-mindedness for me was a real saving grace.

[00:11:45] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcast right after this break.

We're gonna pick up where you left off because I. This idea, this open-mindedness that you described in this asking for help. And is there truth in what people said and this is like what you're talking about in a lot of ways is like getting that larger awareness. Into the picture. Coming, you're talking about that piece.

And I'm wondering if that started to kick in, as you're in your early twenties, right? That is when we know, now we know that the prefrontal cortex starts to fully develop. So let's talk about that. You talk a lot about executive function. Let's talk about what is it and how does it pertain to kids who are suffering with adhd, and what are the things that parents and teachers should understand about it but don't really understand?

[00:12:39] Seth Perler: Executive function is how the brain or the prefrontal cortex of the brain or the frontal low or the front third of your brain, if you put your hand on your forehead right now, the part of the brain right behind your hand, that is what helps us to execute tasks to, so the word executive. The word execute to get things done, to execute tasks, complex tasks.

So you and I are recording a show right now. We're executing a pretty complex task. In order to do that, we had to use different executive function skills to do this, we had to plan, we had to organize. We have to prioritize. As I have people that are like doing work on the house outside making all this noise.

They're using Sanders and stuff. So I have to prioritize focusing and being present with you. I have to focus, pay attention, concentrate so that there's prioritization. So I'm prioritizing our conversation over the noise, but I'm also focus. And in order to do that I also have to inhibit distractions.

So this is very distract what I hear, and I'm sure you, the listener probably aren't hearing this through my mic, but I'm hearing noise distracting noises, so I have to inhibit those distractions. That's part of executive function. Yeah. So impulsivity is following our impulses. Inhibiting is to hold back in certain ways.

So I'm holding back from allowing myself to be distracted. Anyhow, I talk about 13. Executive functions, but some experts say five or three or eight or 10. The way that I speak with parents and teachers, I talk about 13, but it's any of these skills that I need to do right now to with you execute this task that we're.

Doing right now. Now we also use executive function when we're playing video games. We're also using it when we do homework and study and clean a bedroom or do a chore or do a job application or a college application or whatever jobs or tasks or things any of us are doing. For those of you listening to this is part of executive, you're using executive function to be able to listen and focus and concentrate and pay attention and.

Prioritize and know when you can fade out and focus on other things and when you really wanna listen or rewind it to a part or whatever, what have you. So executive function is how the brain helps us get things done using all sorts of skills that are needed to get things done. Now, the problem that we have with executive function, Comes when there are non-preferred tasks that need to be done in our own best interest.

And part of executive function is future thinking. And a lot of times as young people, we don't have very good executive function to think through the consequences, good or bad in the future, oh, if I do this will set me up for better future. If I do this is gonna cause some problems. , but that is part of executive function that develops is this fu future thinking.

So when it's in the moment and we don't see a need for it, and it doesn't seem like a priority, and how do we empower somebody to do the things that they need to do to plant seeds in their life for great future when there's this resistance? Because it doesn't seem important and it's a non-preferred activity and there's so many things that are more fun that are easier.

That are more preferred, that we'd rather be doing with our time than whatever the thing is, like homework or organizing or brushing our teeth even, or whatever the thing is.

[00:16:14] Hunter: Okay. So now as that relates to A D H D, how does so when talk about executive function, obviously we need it for all these things our society, right?

So we. We're we we're not running around following every impulse, which would be incredibly dangerous. And how does that relate to d h

[00:16:35] Seth Perler: adhd? A hundred percent relates. H adhd, A D H D, essentially. I, if you were to look at my list of 13 executive functions, A D H D is all about those things.

Now, if you look in the dsm, you, I think the DSM has three groups of six challenges with a D H D that you look through. But either way, Exec H ADHD is about the, it's attention. It's called Attention deficits disorder. Attention deficits, hyperactive hyperactivity disorder. And the DSM is called at different things at different times, and then there are different subtype of adhd.

Either way, what I want you to think about is the word attention. . Okay. How do we attend or focus or concentrate or prioritize or plan or, these are all about what are we attending to? And when they say deficit, there are a lot of people who complain about the word deficit for a good reason because they can be misleading.

But cuz they're, the person with a d does have a lot of attention going in different places. But the deficit would, if you're gonna use that word, would be coming in. How do we attend? To the places that are important. So there's a deficit in attending to the things that are important to get our long-term self-care future goals met.

And people take issue with the word disorder. It can be very sure, yeah. It can sound very negative, but hyperactivity has everything to do with impulsivity and inhibition. Yeah. So anyhow, they are ADHD is an executive function.

[00:18:13] Hunter: Okay. Yeah, so if you're, if don't have the ability to in inhibit distractions to prioritize to.

Plan, if that, for whatever reason, whether it's, it's developmental or it's practice or Right. Whatever. There's a delay in that function in your brain that this is obviously something that's gonna have all these incredible consequences. Yeah. The same. So yeah, we're still calling.

And unmotivated. That's so sad. Oh my gosh. It's frustrating. Yep.

[00:18:50] Seth Perler: Yeah. And then that goes to, and they could have called it many different things and they could still change the name, and you can call it whatever you want. I encourage you all to call it whatever you want. Because of the implications.


[00:19:04] Hunter: are some things people call it that are like more positive ways ,

[00:19:08] Seth Perler: that will call you? I don't know. I'm not someone who gets hung up. Personally, I'm just curious. Just curious. Yeah. I don't I wouldn't even know. There's a book called The Gift of a d or of adhd, some people, but I'm I take issue with that.

Okay, if we were talking for hours, I'd unpack that with you. Cause the problems that it causes in people's lives is no joke. So that can be misleading by the intent of the book I think is great. But, and there are gifts that come along with it, but I, yeah, I don't. Yeah. There can be strengths, I'm sure that come along with it, but you suffered enormously.

[00:19:45] Hunter: And kids who have these challenges, like these are real challenges that are really inhibiting them in their lives. So yeah, we don't wanna downplay that

[00:19:54] Seth Perler: real human suffering. And that's the thing, that's where it becomes a quote disorder. If you look at the verbiage in the dsm, it says something like they've had, the person has shown such and such amount.

Whatever it is, six of these symptoms for X amount of time, however many months or whatever it says, and it's interfering with their life. That's the thing is it's, if it's interfering with your life, it's a problem. So we're looking at how do we really build somebody's strengths but also deal with some of these challenges to give them enough skills to be able to execute things, to have a great.

[00:20:33] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. So if kids are delayed or not working well in executive function, then, so I'm wondering like as a parent, I would be wondering like okay. What's the best route for dealing with this? I know there are a lot of places that will, do I wanna be, how can I help either, we wanna either teach, scaffold our kids to, to be able to deal with them.

Some of these things, right? We wanna be able to advocate for our kids. But also I imagine there's a lot of different modalities that can come in here in the same way that, I. I had a client in Mindful Parenting who had a school that was really encouraging, a lot of behaviorist kind of.

Tactics like timeouts and punitive kind of things that weren't working for this person's A D H D kit and found, she found that, that it, it worked better to use more progressive tools that we teach in Mindful, Parenting. And I'm wondering, like for the parent who's saying, oh my gosh, this might be my kids, Seth is describing my.

What are some of the roots that they should go down, maybe in their own kind of mindset of it is what we were talking about at first, but then also to help their child. What do you wish you had, give, been given? Oh gosh. There's a bunch of ways to answer this question, but the first thing I'll say is that there's, there are a lot of people doing really great work and it looks different.

[00:22:09] Seth Perler: For example, you and I are new to each other, but if you and I sat around and talked, I bet there's so much overlap. Just even just from your core philosophy, like we are aligned. Are coming at things from the same sort of philosophies, but maybe the ways that it looks or the ways we articulate it is different.

Essentially, the way that I look at it is that it's the most important thing is relationship. And it starts with relationship. Whether that's the relationship with the parents and the child and the teachers the teachers and their administrators, the teachers and the parents. It's all about what's called something called attachment theory and secure relating when there is security in a relationship, when people have, feel secure, feel seen, known, understood, heard feel like somebody has their back.

Then that secure relating, that secure attach. Is what's needed in order to first help somebody help themselves or help somebody learn skills or strategies. Like we need that. That makes so co complete sense to me because if a kid's having a stress response because of behaviors and things are difficult, they're having a stress response, then that's even cutting off access to their prefrontal cortex even more.

[00:23:24] Hunter: The, so they're not gonna be learning anything in that moment. So really has to be, let's relate as human beings and let's be able to, Like connect with each other and feel seen and heard so that then any learning can happen at all. That, that makes absolute sense to me. Yep. And that's the first thing that I do when I'm working with students is.

[00:23:44] Seth Perler: And I get kids that are way down the line, like they've already been struggling for a long time. A lot of 'em have already had a bunch of tutors or a bunch of programs or a bunch of this, or a bunch of the shame, which we'll talk more about later, but and then they're like, who's this Seth guy?

I don't wanna work with some other stupid person. I don't know. So my first job is to establish, Hey, I get it. You're safe. And it's not to convince them it's to that they. That their nervous system knows, okay, I'm safe with this person. Yeah. So that's the first thing is to me, is secure. Secure relating.

Secure attachment.

[00:24:22] Hunter: I'm sorry to interrupt, but I just wanna recap here. So please. So Karen parents can look at, is that happening at home with us? With me, with my partner? and then also then they can look at any of the places in the school like, is that happening in my school? Or, or can I look for an educational environment where that kind of thing will be happening?

[00:24:40] Seth Perler: Exactly. So yeah. So this kiddo that you were mentioning that was like punished the one that you were just talking about in that school, like that punishment or Yeah. Timeouts and things like this, that kid doesn't feel safe. How's that kid gonna feel safe to take risks to do things like, let's say clean out a backpack like that may sound silly, but that a lot of executive functions are required to clean out a backpack and actually follow through with that and organize it in a way that's gonna work for you.

Are they gonna feel safe if. Always on edge about, am I gonna be putting time out again? Am I gonna get in trouble? I always get in trouble. I'm such a bad kid. I'm such a bad person. So yeah. We have to start with secure attachment. And I like that you woven into and what's happening at home, like for anybody listening right now, there's no shame in this.

We all have baggage. We all have dysfunction. We were all raised with some level of it, so there's no shame in it, and there's a lot of, , in our culture, there's a lot of. There's a lot of people who believe that it's not okay to ask for help or to get help or to admit you need help or to get family therapy or your own counselor.

The more we do our own work, the better off we are for our kids on so many levels. One, our nervous system is gonna be more regulated, thus co-regulating to our child that, Hey, we live in a safe world. I'm having a safe conversation with you. You are not being threatened right now. No. And so it starts there and there's so many benefits to.

yeah. To get real honest with ourselves. What are we modeling as a couple, as a single parent, as a, what did our par like Anybody listening right now can say, all right, you can think about your own parents. Were they did it feel secure more or less? Did it feel anxious, more or less?

Did it feel avoidant, more or less? That's Basic breakdown, like that's super basic. So there are books written about this, so don't say, oh, Steph said this is what attachment theory is all about. It's about a lot more than that. But essentially there are these, we basically have secure and insecure.

There are two basic types and then you can break down insecure and do a bunch of types. But essentially secure feels, it's pretty simple. I feel seen, like you and I are talking right now, and we see it for those listening. We see each other on video right now. We're looking at each other. We're we are co-regulating.

I'm reading your nervous system. You're reading mine. We're not thinking about it, but we I'm saying am are, am I safe? You're saying are you safe? Like we're, our nervous systems are constantly doing this, so we have to know. I, but I feel with you heard and seen and known and understood, and like you have a curiosity and not judged and things like this.

And we really wanna start there with our. And I'm gonna follow up after that, but did you wanna, yeah. No, this, it's so interesting though, because I imagine for a kid, a parent with a an a ADHD kid or those symptoms and things like that. They may have exhibited to their kid like a bunch of frustration cuz they're confused.

[00:27:41] Hunter: They're maybe worried for their kid, right? They may be frustrated. Why can't you just do this thing that I'm asking you to do? So that may, have bled to feelings of unsafety for that child like that. I'm not gonna ask mom about. Cleaning my backpack cuz she's just gonna freak out at me.

So I imagine that when we get to this point, you, we may be at a point where we have to like backtrack and really reestablish some of that safety and that loving security first. , and I love that you mentioned that nobody, nobody's immune to it.

No, we're not, none of us can do it perfectly, that's for

[00:28:18] Seth Perler: sure. Yep. I'm not above it. Yep.

[00:28:21] Hunter: But we wanna think oh, we don't wanna be that source of. And I think, I don't know, I'm answering my own question here, but if we that is the case for you and you're listening to this, that's something you can acknowledge, Hey, I'm really sorry that I made you feel this way about these things.

I realize, I'm, I wanna tell you, I'm here to help you. That's where we're probably the stance that we really need to come from is this place of what does your child need to succeed and how can you be a helper in that way? Like, how can you be, someone who can be a coach and a scaffold for those


[00:28:56] Seth Perler: I imagine.

Yeah. And you, and again, we may have learned, like we have, may have been raised with messages of if somebody's not doing something, they're just lazy. Yeah. And the person listening to you right now may have said to your kid today, stop being. Motivate yourself. Just get started. What's going on?

And that's not, those messages that you've learned are not gonna just go away overnight too. And so don't shame yourself if you say things that that you don't intend to say in the moment. But I love what you just said about, we can do, you didn't use these words, but we can do healing around this and say, Hey that is secure.

To be, to say, Hey, the, these are some things I've said. Really that's not my intention. This is healing. Healing needs to happen, so either way, we wanna we don't have to be perfect by any means, but we wanna move more and more in the direction of secure relating and further away from anxious or avoidant types of relating.

So that's what, that is what, in my opinion, is gonna be most helpful. Now, part of how we do that, I, maybe all of how we do that is what you talk about with mindfulness being Mindful. How do we be Mindful? We do with hard work around this stuff, we start to notice, oh, I said this. Oh I did that. Oh my nervous system does this in these situations.

And we start to notice, I love the word notice in terms of mindfulness, but we start to notice be mi become Mindful. Of these experiences, thoughts, emotions that we're having, the more we are Mindful of these things and notice these things and do the work around it, that allows us to be more Mindful, the more we can respond rather than react in the situation, which means the more we can support our child the way we really want to support our child.

So part of it, this starts with that with the relating. And then we move into not necessarily in that, and I should say simultaneously, we move into our kiddo, it's not like we're gonna connect a bunch of executive function neurons by doing the bright, perfect magic things Tuesday

It's like they need to be Yeah. Very empathetically and compassionately and lovingly taught. How to do the systems in or in organizational structures that they need to manage school and life and to plan and to organize and to declutter and to manage impulsivity and inhibit when it's appropriate.

And to do any of the to focus or pay attention or remove distractions or to task initiate.

[00:31:47] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

How do we teach kids to limit impulsivity? If they're supposed to be, maybe having time to do homework and they're getting distracted by a bunch of other things oh, let's put it into a real situation. What does that look. Yeah, if I was coaching you, we would be having a really long discussion about this because there are a lot of things to consider in every case is different.

[00:32:16] Seth Perler: So a term that I use is called Franken study. There's I'm, I like guitars and there's a guitar called Franken Strat, which is Eddie Van Halen's guitar, one of the most important guitars in guitar, rock and roll history. But he Frankenstein that guitar with all these parts and pieces from all different guitars and makes one of the most iconic guitars in.

and when we are helping a child learn to navigate school and life and we know, yeah, you need to know how to plan, but there's no one planner that's the best planner for everybody. There's no, binder or folder system or this or that. Yeah. And so often we want to find, we wanna say, oh, this works for me, so just do this.

No. How do we Frankenstein systems for a kid? How do we really c. So the question you're asking is a very fair question. Put this into a real situation, but the way I'm gonna handle the situation is gonna be different for everybody, but I'll talk both general and specific as I answer your question here in general ways.

I talk about systems, mindsets, habits and routines. So I want to give a kid systems like, how do you plan, how do you organize, how do you manage time? How do you this, that, and the other systems? Mindsets, okay? The mindset is I give up. This is stupid. Why do I have to do this? I'll do it later. I'll do it in five minutes.

I'll do it tomorrow. I'm never gonna do it. I don't need to do this. Resistance, avoidance. That's the mindset. So how do we become Mindful? Notice, listen to that resistance and say, yeah, I don't feel like doing this. This is not my favorite teacher. This is not my favorite subject, and this homework seems completely useless.

But I do want a great life. I do love who I am. I do want a great future. I do want opportunities and choices and possibilities. So how do I approach, how do we have mindsets? How do that to wor to sift through life and figure out, yeah. Complete resistance around this, but this is valuable to my life in this way, and this is how do we learn skills for that?

So systems, mindsets, and then habits and routines. If I teach you a great system, if I teach you the perfect planner system or the perfect one for you, you don't have a habit of routine to use it. It's no good. So we need systems, habits, mindsets, and routines. So that's how I teach people in a general way.

And then I go further by saying, when we first learned these things, we're at this sort of foundational. Place. So foundations is what I teach first, the foundations of the systems mindsets, habit to routines. Then step two would be implementation. How do we practice using these? Then step three is maintenance.

Now that we're pretty good at it. That's when people don't need a coach or anything anymore. It's oh yeah, I've got a great system. It's not perfect, but I am independently capable of figuring out how to polish the sword, sharpen the sword on my own, and getting better at these things. So we're trying to get somebody to just this maintenance mode where they have good.

Things in place that they've turned a corner. It's not perfect, but they're not where they were. They've turned a corner with systems, mindsets, habits and routines where they've had a foundation, they've implemented them enough where now they can maintain them and use them. And they're, and this is where like the parent can go, okay, finally it's not perfect, but we can really breathe This sigh relief.

Like this kiddo is able to move in the direction they.

[00:35:36] Hunter: And so this is like the learning process, right? Like first, the idea I think of is first we do it for them. Then we do it with them, then we wash them, do it, and then they do it on their own. So it's all about those sort of middle

[00:35:50] Seth Perler: steps in there.

Yep. Yep. And that I did, you used the word scaffolding earlier, is that right? . That's your scaffolding?

[00:35:56] Hunter: Yep. Scaffolding. Okay. Systems, mindsets, habits and routines. And this is all coming from a place of security and support, and you're probably talking to your kid about what's happening in their brain, right?

Hey, like this is something that's that you need some support on, because X, Y, Z, and that's fine. And that's just part of life, right?

[00:36:17] Seth Perler: Yeah. Ideally you're having Yeah. Great dialogue around this. Yeah. Shame free, compassionate, supportive dialogue around this like you would want with anything.

Yeah. Cuz they

[00:36:27] Hunter: need to understand. Okay, so on. Gosh, I wish we, we had, there's so much, obviously we could talk about this with it. I know the parents of a h kids are like, keep going, keep talking. But I think it's so important to touch on the piece of the shame and is it possible to shame proof are kids who are suffering in this way from comments and judgments from other adults and kids who just don't.

[00:36:51] Seth Perler: Yeah, I would say I, I don't know if it's possible to shame proof anybody and what I but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be putting effort towards. Whatever that would look like. And the reason I say that is because a lot of what I've learned is that there's value in again, to the mindfulness, to noticing a response and a reaction.

I still, you and I are in this digital world. I get really sometimes mean YouTube comments, weird comments. Robots, things like that, and it's I still am like, what is that about? That's not what I said in the video or the, and we still, I'm still human. Yes.

And so I'm just using that as an example that we can use here. Like I, you would think I'd be pretty far down the line of not being impacted. You're now a robot. But the reason I say that is because no impact. I don't. Under my skin because I have I'm not shame proof. Yeah. It's but the amount of impact it has on me is so minimal because I have tools around it. So that's what we wanna do, is give them tools to, to experience and notice what their nervous system is feeling, what their narrative and their story, and their mind, and their mindset and their perspective of the thing is, and have the tools to say, wow, when that thing happened, I felt shame.

I felt horrible about. , but then I got to reflect and say, that is not who I am. This is who I am, and this is what was going. And to be able to take stock of a situation and look at it and move through it and deal with uncomfortable feelings and not be ruled and owned by uncomfortable feelings, but to be able to notice them and say, oh, this is what happened in my body when this thing happened, and these are the thoughts that I had and these are the thoughts I want to keep.

And these are the ones that are not serving. So to have tools around that stuff, I think is how we move towards shame, proving kids, if you will. Now what the heck does that look like? How do we do that? I, how do you do that? And then I'll give you where my brain goes with that.

[00:39:10] Hunter: I guess what I would say, I would start to notice, I would notice what are the thoughts that I'm having. I would notice the feelings. I would work, I would feel them, I would be there with. And then I would start to just question, right? Is that true? Is that really true ? And is this helpful?

Is if I'm having a thought that I'm a terrible parent, I'm a crappy podcast host, whatever it is is that really, is that a helpful thought? No, it's not. It. It doesn't even matter ultimately if it's true or not. It just matters. Is it helpful to am I gonna show up in the world better if I'm telling myself I'm a terrible podcast host?

No, I'm gonna be like a mess, right? So I like to be very practical about it in some ways, but then really feel the feelings. And how

[00:39:55] Seth Perler: did you learn those skills? .

[00:39:58] Hunter: I learned them from, mindfulness teachers and things like that for many years, but it was just about talking about them.

And I think that learning, I know I'm hoping our kids can learn it from us, right? I'm hoping we can be like verbal and transparent enough in our own work that they can see oh, this is normal, that we have difficult feelings and. We that people have to deal with them and process them, right?

Because we don't process them. Then it's like some unprocessed, yucky, emotional hamburger that's just going to come out in some gross way. We have to process, we have to have a digestive system for it.

[00:40:35] Seth Perler: and what was like one of the like books or classes or people or something that really was a game changer for you?

For me,

[00:40:43] Hunter: the rain process by Tara Brock. The what? Rain process by Tara Brock and I talk about it in raising good humans, but it's rain. It's just a process for taking care of our difficult feelings and it's, MIA stands for recognize, accept, or allow, investigate, and then nurture with self-compassion.


[00:41:04] Seth Perler: One. One of mine was Wherever you go, there you are. John Katzin. Love that book, . So I, I think that what's good about us talking about this is that and noticing how for both of us, this is something that's taken a very long time. Oh, it doesn't have to take as long with kids because we're in the unique position that we can.

Mindfully intentionally teach them these skills by us, like learning a lot about it and learning some tool cool tools. But one of the things that I do a lot is I do different types of temperature checks with kids. And they're very, like you said, they're very open-ended. And what we often do is we resort to lectures and logic and reason with our kids trying to get them to see the light rather than allowing them like asking more open-ended questions, allowing them to come up with their own solutions.

Cuz not always, but oftentimes they actually will if we guide them with open-ended questions. With their own great solution we're there's buying and ownership and they're more likely to do it. So temperature check is a great love that way to do that. So first, we're doing our own deep inner work, regulating ourselves, and we're gonna be, hopefully be approaching them in a place from a regulated place and a more responsive and less reactive place in the first place.

Then doing temperature checks is a great way to non-judgmentally be like, how's it going with this or that? So you can do temperature checks with a class a teacher a day. How was your day? A week, a situation? Any, anything you can imagine, you can do a temperature check. One of them that I'll do is called a high low.

So I'll say Hey, what's your high low from this podcast episode? What's the best thing about it? And the worst thing about it? And you would answer me however, but that gives me a lot of insight in that's so much deeper into what's going on that then can allow more dialogue for us. Or I might say, Hey, tell me about your podcast since you started it.

What's your temperature? Check on it overall on a one through 10. And you're like, oh Eight or it's a six five, or I say what about this? A, what about your audience? What's your temperature on the audience? What about your temperature on the technology part of it? Or I can ask specific things and you can be like, oh, that part's a three.

And I can be like, why? So I'll say, what's your temperature? They'll say the number. I'll say, why? Then they say, whatever. I'd love this, Seth. Because a number is much easier to say than all the stuff about after Y. This is brilliant. It's I And that's the, it's an, yeah, I know. That's the genius of what the temperature check is.

[00:43:41] Hunter: Cuz if you just say a number, it's easy. It's an easy answer. I love

[00:43:44] Seth Perler: this. And yeah, so I'll say, what's the number? Then I'll say why, and then I'll give more wait time. So our impulse is after they say, why is for us to mess it up by responding too soon. So a lot of times I'll just keep quiet. Yeah.

Or I'll say, tell me more. Or I'll say, go ahead. I'm still listening. I want after that for initial, why? I want to let them know emotionally that their nurses system is still safe to keep talking because they're so used to being cut off, not being able to complete thoughts. Oh. So I'll say, tell me more.

Or whatever. So it's, what is it? What's the number? Why? Tell me more. So wait time, however you wanna look at it. Unpack it more. What would it take to make it one number higher? So if it's three, what would it take to make it a four? Or if it's a 10, what would it take to make it a 10.1? If it's one of those GTOs, no, it was a six, what would it take to be a 6.13875?

And whatever they can relate to. But what would it take to make it a tiny bit better? That's, I'm not saying. Sure. What would it take to make a three a 10? because that feels too far. And what happens is when it's that small of an increment, you get amazing responses and they're like blah, blah, blah.

And it's oh, that's your own answer. That's a pretty good answer. How do we do that? So temperature checks for me are a great way. To help really get real information to help really create more secure attachment and relating, and to help them with buying and ownership, come up with better ways to handle situations and related, obviously back to executing execution and executive function, or doing the things that you need to do to have future choices and possib.


[00:45:34] Hunter: we have to go. I'm thank you so much for your time and the work that you do for kids, and thank you for taking this incredible challenge in your life and making it something that has given so much fruit. It's like truly the personification of No mud, no lotus. It's like really beautiful. Just thank you.

Thank you so much for coming on the Mindful Mama podcast here today. Where can people find out more about you and what.

[00:45:59] Seth Perler: Thanks for having me and thanks for what you do and how you show up in the world and for creating this. I know it, you put a lot into what you do, so I respect that. So I have a site, Seth

S E T H P E R L E R. That's my hub. You can find me on YouTube. Look up Executive Functioner Seth Pearler. You can find me on a bunch of podcasts. Look up Seth pearler and podcast and I have a summit called executive function TFOs, the Executive Functionality Summit, but it's for parents. But we get a lot of teachers and therapists, executive function, and it's a free summit.

You can buy a paid version with a bunch of bonuses, but it is amazing free. Like I get a bunch of experts that show up and we go deep. It's fantastic. And those are the places to find me.

[00:46:54] Hunter: Thank you so much for listening. I really love talking to Seth. I hope you got as much out of it as I did, because it really jives with everything we do with Mindful Parenting and with raising good humans. Yes. To everything Seth said. So right on. So thank you, and if you enjoy this episode, please share.

If you share it on Instagram, tag me in it at Mindful Mama Mentor. You can share it in your stories. You just share with your friends who also have a D, ADHD because Yeah, and a big shout out and thanks to everyone who leaves a rating and review, cuz that makes such a big difference. So I'm gonna give a shout out to Little a's Mommy who left a five star review and said so helpful and informative.

This podcast is so helpful and reminds me to take. Be more present and constantly practice non-reactive Parenting. Ooh, five. Little a's mommy. I love that. So glad that has helped you. So thank you. Thank you so much for listening. Thanks for being here. I'm glad to be here with you on this journey. I'm glad that this community is walking together into a different future that is more healing.

Amen. Amen to all that. I hope you have a restful, peaceful, connected present week, and I will be back. Talk to you again next week.

[00:48:20] Seth Perler: I'd

[00:48:20] Hunter: say definitely do it. It's really helpful. It will change your relationship with your kids for the better. It will help you communicate

[00:48:26] Seth Perler: better and just, I'd say communicate better as a person, as a wife, as a spouse, it's been really a positive influence in our lives, so definitely do it. I'd say definitely do it.

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

[00:49:24] Hunter: Are you frustrated by Parenting? Do you listen to the experts and try all the tips and strategies, but you're just not seeing the results that you want? Or are you lost as to where to start? Does it all seem so overwhelming with too much to learn? Are you yearning for community people who get it, who also don't want to threaten and punish to create cooperation?

Hi, I'm Hunter Clark Fields, and if you answered yes to any of these questions, I want you to seriously consider the Mindful Parenting membership. You'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 relationships. 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 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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