Jen Lumanlan holds a Master's in Psychology focused on Child Development and another in Education. She hosts the research-based podcast Your Parenting Mojo, and is the author of the new book Parenting Beyond Power: How to Use Connection and Collaboration to Transform Your Family - and the World!
417: Parenting Beyond Power
Conventional discipline methods like time-outs, countdowns, and “consequences” teach children that it’s OK for more powerful people to control others—a lesson they take out into the world. This is how we learned White supremacy, patriarchy, and capitalism from our parents—and we will replicate this with our children unless we make a different choice. How do we make a different choice? Jen Lumanlan comes on to talk about her new book!
Parenting Beyond Power – Jen Lumanlan 
*This is an auto-generated transcript*
[00:00:00] Jen Lumanlan: So if we were coming at this from the perspective of, I don't have any needs, I don't know what my needs are, then it makes everything very difficult to figure out how to address conflicts between us and our child.
[00:00:17] Hunter: You're listening to The Mindful Parenting Podcast, episode number 417. Today, we're talking about parenting beyond power with Jen Lumanlan.
Welcome to The Mindful Parenting Podcast. Here, it's about becoming a less irritable, more joyful parent. At Mindful Parenting, we know that you cannot give what you do not have, and when you give calm and peace within, then you can give it to your children. I'm your host, Hunter Clark Fields. I help smart, thoughtful parents stay calm so they can have strong, connected relationships with their children.
I've been practicing mindfulness for over 25 years. I'm the creator of the Mindful Parenting course. And I'm the author of the best selling book, Raising Good Humans, a mindful guide to breaking the cycle of reactive parenting and raising kind, confident kids, and now raising good humans every day, 50 simple ways to press pause, stay present, and connect with your kids.
Hey, you're hearing correctly. We've changed the name to the Mindful Parenting Podcast. I am super excited about this as it more accurately reflects what this is. I hope you are too.
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You can do it right from your phone where you're listening to this right now, probably, and I hugely appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. In just a moment, I'm going to be sitting down with Jen Lumanlan. You may remember Jen from episode number 237 of the Mindful Mama podcast back in 2020. Jen holds a master's in psychology focused on child development and another in education.
She hosts the research based podcast, Your Parenting Mojo, and is the author of the new book, Parenting Beyond Power, How to Use Connection and Collaboration to Transform Your Family and the World. And we're going to talk about how our conventional discipline methods, like using rewards and punishment and timeouts and things like that, teach children that it's okay for more powerful people to control others.
And they take this lesson out into the world. And this is how we learn about things like white supremacy and patriarchy and capitalism, right? That's how we learn those things from our parents. And we're going to replicate this with our children unless we make a different choice. So we're going to talk about these societal forces.
We're going to talk about how resistance is a gift and how instead we can look at things by meeting everybody's needs. But before we even meet everyone's needs, we have to be able to care for ourselves. So much to offer in this conversation. I know you are going to get so much out of it. So join me at the table as I talk to Jen Lumanlan.
I'm so excited for your new book. I love it. I blurbed it because I thought it was great. And I love the title of your first chapter. Why is it important for parents to let go of what you know? Tell me about that.
[00:03:49] Jen Lumanlan: Yeah. There's so much in how we were raised that really was difficult for us. And we're, I work with so many parents who are just struggling so much and they want to know, how do I get my child to stop doing this or that or the other?
Why is this so hard? Why is everything about parenting so hard? And one of the big reasons why that's the case is because. Our own parents couldn't cope with the needs that we were expressing. And so they told us to kind of stuff those down in a box and pretend that they didn't exist. And to that we would be rewarded with belonging in the family when we could do that successfully enough.
And so the parents that I work with very often don't even realize that they have needs, which I mean is profound given that needs are, Marshall Rosenberg said that a need is a life seeking an expression. It's a fundamental value that drives our actions. And so if we were coming at this from the perspective of I don't have any needs, I don't know what my needs are, then then it makes everything very difficult to figure out how to address conflicts between us and our child.
And when we understand the needs underneath our behavior and our child's often very confusing behavior, we can find strategies to meet both of our needs.
[00:05:12] Hunter: I think that's said so beautifully. I love that quote from Marshall Rosenberg to say it again, what did he say? A
[00:05:19] Jen Lumanlan: need is life seeking an expression.
[00:05:22] Hunter: beautiful. I love that. Okay. So was this your upbringing? Of course you came on the Mindful Mama podcast in the past, so we've talked about this a little bit, but was this your upbringing? Was it stuff it down, don't have those feelings and go to your room. Don't cry. That kind of thing.
[00:05:39] Jen Lumanlan: Yeah, pretty much.
My in some ways my childhood was fairly quote unquote typical, right? I had two parents, we were a pretty working class. My dad was what was called a deputy headmaster, so like a vice principal in a school. And built a house for us on the weekends because land was cheap and houses were expensive.
And so we built a house for us. Wow. So he taught woodwork, so he had some skills. Yeah. And underneath. All of that. There was this real, there were these huge social forces that were impacting us that I had no idea about at the time until many years afterwards. So some of these social forces are like patriarchy, right?
My, my dad was always in charge and my mom died when I was 10 and there was a period not long after that where I walked past his bedroom and I saw him crying. And he was holding her jewelry box and looking in her jewelry box and he was crying. And I thought it's not okay for me to see him crying.
It's not okay for me to go and comfort him. And I subsequently talked with him about that years later, actually, after I'd written the book. And he said, but I've always worn my heart on my sleeve. And I was like, It doesn't matter what your perspective was, my perspective was, it was not okay. I had internalized this idea, whether or not you thought it was okay, right?
What I had learned was it is not okay for me to go and comfort you. And so there's patriarchy, there's also white supremacy, right? I would see racism in our classroom occasionally, didn't happen often because there were only two kids in my school who weren't white. But there would be kids who would make fun of this girl who was my friend.
Actually, we were in the same homeroom form in England. And so they would make fun of her and I would give them, the side eye and communicate that it wasn't okay, but I never really stood up for her. That was my white supremacy that, that said, I, my feelings can be protected in this interaction and it's not my responsibility to step forward and address this.
We didn't learn anything about colonial history, right? I'm from England. English people pretty much went out and tried to conquer much of the world. And we didn't learn any, anything about that in in our history classes. And then the final force that, that really impacted my life is capitalism and these things impact all of our lives, right?
And I was lucky that we were shielded a bit from this by the welfare state in England, which takes care of people, but I still very much internalize the idea that we do not waste. And there's a story in the book about how I. Turned up the knob on the radiator to make it warmer. And they take a long time to heat up.
And I didn't realize it until afterwards. And my mom and I realized at the same moment, it's really warm in here. And I wasn't punished, but I was absolutely shamed. I had to go and confess what I'd done to my dad, who of course, patriarchy he's at the top of the heap here. And and there was this huge shame in having wasted.
And so these forces of patriarchy and white supremacy and capitalism were absolutely present in my life. Even though I had absolutely no idea that they were there.
[00:08:56] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. And they were shaping the, those interactions with your dad and everything. Yeah. So recently so sometimes I feel like I'm like I'm in my own little bubble of I live in a very liberal area and it has its own kind of subculture, et cetera.
I live in it. What was started as an intentional community, so it's like very much its own little bubble and recently, I don't know if you saw this, Jen, did you see the Shiny Happy People documentary about the Duggar family? I did not. Oh my goodness, you have to watch it. It's crazy. So it's about this fundamentalist Christian community and people who have been influenced by something this leader.
And it's a fascinating documentary, but for me, it was just opening up my eyes to like, oh my gosh, millions and millions of people have been influenced. By people who are really holding on to the patriarchy, and that the patriarchy is so much stronger, than I thought it was, that there are all these people who are my contemporaries, who are growing up in the same time I am, and they are, like, the idea of the patriarchy is so strong, That they, their whole guiding principle is that, man is, submits to God and then women submits to men and the women could expect to be punished by their husbands.
And then of course they would be using implements to punish their children into submission to literally their aim was to break their will. And just this it was so shocking to me, and just realizing if this is, this obviously very extreme example is influencing millions of people in my country, there's all the in between, the Duggars and me out there, right?
And the Duggars and the, there's all that in the middle out there and it's Holding on in a way that is stronger, and I think it really ties back to what you were talking about in the beginning, this idea that we don't know what our needs are because in that system, you don't have any needs.
You're not, so you're supposed to completely deny your needs and your feelings, right?
[00:11:21] Jen Lumanlan: Yeah, and I think what you're alluding to ties to the epigraph that I opened the book with which is a quote from Dr. Toby Rollo, and it says, what if I told you that your ideas are about politics? are actually just your ideas about childhood extrapolated.
So what you're describing is there's a big chunk of people in the U. S. and in the world more broadly who perceive that patriarchal authority from God through men down to women, down to children, down to everybody else underneath is the right way that world should, the world should be run, and that is the way that God says it should happen.
And therefore it should happen that way. And conservatives in the U. S. follow a model where people are made good through self discipline, through hard work. It's your responsibility to take care of yourself. And Dr. George Lakoff has written a lot about this. And so if you believe that set of values about how the world should be run, Then this idea of needs, you're right, it's like irrelevant it's not even, it's not even, something to pay attention to, whereas parents who identify as politically liberal tend to believe that we should take care of people in society, that fairness is really important, and I think this The challenge that liberal parents have is that conservatives have been so successful in controlling the narrative of what happens in the country and in families, that liberal parents find themselves with these values of nurturing and of fairness, but in their families, they grew up within a patriarchal model.
So there's this huge tension between what I think is important, what values I hold, what I really believe to be true, and how I'm able to show up in my family and my day to day life because that is really modeled on the, what I learned from my parents, which is the patriarchal the patriarchal culture.
So I think liberal parents are in this real tension between the ideas that they hold to be super important and true and what they're actually able to do in their day to day lives with their children, which very often is not aligned with those values until they've had a chance to process these ideas.
[00:13:36] Hunter: tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.
And I think that we don't, also we don't realize, like, how much the cultural stew influences us, right? You're like you're right. You're saying like, we have ideas. I had no idea. I'm confused. Of fairness and kindness and compassion, and we want to bring these into our families. Yet, we get into a situation with our kids where we're like, we are expecting instant obedience, which is this patriarchal submit to, submit completely to the authority kind of idea.
And we're expecting that because that's just like the water we're swimming in. Yeah,
[00:14:19] Jen Lumanlan: it absolutely is. And the thing is that unless we make a conscious decision to do something differently, we will perpetuate the way that we were raised. It's, we would naturally kind of gravitate towards the things that we learned to do.
And it doesn't matter so much what our parents told us, it's what they modeled for us. It's how they interacted towards us. It's what they shamed us for doing. That is the lesson that they, that we take out into our relationships in the wider world and into our relationships with our children. And unless we make a conscious decision to say, you know what, that actually doesn't resonate with my values and I'm going to do something differently.
We will perpetuate the same traumas that we experienced that caused us to shut our needs down with our children as well.
[00:15:04] Hunter: Yeah, because you'll be in a situation that's challenging, that there's a moment of conflict, and you get triggered. When you're triggered, you're not using your whole brain, you're on autopilot, and so when you're on autopilot, it's the old patterns.
that pop through. That's to just pull out like the process of how that happens that even though you may have different values, the, these sort of old things come through. I can see it in myself. I have awareness of what like comes to mind as soon as I'm in a stuck situation.
And like the most immediate thing that comes to mind for me is threatening, and I'm like, Oh, that's what is the most well worn neural pathway in my brain? And that's what comes to mind. How do we reconcile this? Like, how do we become aware?
How do we interrupt this pattern? If we, we may see a meme on Instagram that says kids who are free thinkers may question what you say, and we may say yes, that's right, but then when our own kids question what we say, we're like, ah, right? How do we take it from, this is what, this is my, these are maybe some values I hold of compassion, of connection, of not, not using threats and punishments and the harsh techniques of our parents, how do we interrupt this and then create a new conversation?
Thank you. Value system and pattern.
[00:16:38] Jen Lumanlan: Yeah. One of the biggest ideas in Parenting Beyond Power is the idea of seeing resistance as a gift, and when we can see that our child's resistance is actually an expression of their need. I think we can approach it in a very different way. So parents often when there's, they see their child resisting they will have a really big reaction themselves.
And that may involve being, flooded or triggered because of something they experienced in their childhood. And that's really important because the reason that we feel triggered or flooded in these difficult moments is because we used to resist as well when we were children. We resisted when our parents were trying to get us to do something that didn't meet our needs.
And we dug our heels in. We said, no, that's not right for me. And our parents said, I don't care if that's right for you. They may have said it verbally. They may have said it non verbally. They may have spanked us. Whatever they did, they communicated. I don't care what's right for you. You stuff your needs down in a box and pretend that they don't exist.
And you're gonna do what I say. And so when our child resists us, we have this moment of, yeah, I remember that meme on Instagram where it said it was so cool. But I would have been punished for doing that.
[00:17:55] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. And so there's this
[00:17:59] Jen Lumanlan: huge explosion. I'm guessing you're resonating with that.
[00:18:03] Hunter: Completely. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's like a complete yeah, a disconnect where you're just, these two parts of yourself are warring internally. Yeah.
[00:18:14] Jen Lumanlan: And I think an important thing to realize is that's not our child's thing to navigate, right? Our child is doing this age appropriate thing and we can work with them to find strategies that meet both of our needs.
But first we have to take care of ourselves. We have to acknowledge that this is not how we wanted to be parented, right? We wanted somebody to take account by our needs. We wanted somebody to hold us with the love and care that we're trying to hold our children with. And so we may find that therapy is helpful in processing that and understanding that and giving us the care and attention ourselves that we wish that we had when we were children.
And once we're able to do that, we can create maybe a little bit of distance. between the big thing that has set us off and our reaction to it. And there we can start to find the space to understand what's really my need in this situation. And so I often think of a parent who would ask her child over and over again, get dressed.
No, get dressed. No. They're trying to get out of the house in the morning. Your parents are like, I just need to make this happen. And why, so one day she asked why are you having a hard time getting dressed in the morning? And the child says, I like to know that you were the last person to touch my clothes before I put them on in the morning.
And so the child has a need for connection. The child isn't resisting for no reason. The child is resisting because they have this need for connection. And the parent's need is not really to get out the door. The parent's need is for ease and peace and calm in the mornings. And when the parent can see, Oh yeah, I could give my kid's clothes a hug and, help her get dressed.
But the child's need for connection can be met and the parent's needs for ease and calm and peace in the morning can be met. And maybe we can get past this idea, Oh, my kid is seven, they should be able to dress themselves by now. Because then we're actually in a relationship where both of us are getting our needs met.
And when we can do that, parenting just gets so much easier.
[00:20:09] Hunter: Yeah, I couldn't agree more. As I started to take a look at like, why? Why is this happening? What is going on with you? And that kind of thing It's when we can look at the problems and really say, okay, a conflict is usually a conflict of needs.
Sometimes it's a conflict of values, but it usually is a conflict of needs. And there are lots of different ways to meet our needs. If we can get stuck off of the one solution, right? The one solution the door.
That may be one solution to the problem, but it doesn't meet the child's needs, right? So we, we can look at, there are lots of different ways to meet the needs if we get under. And
[00:20:52] Jen Lumanlan: actually, if I could build a, that's why I don't see actually a conflict of needs. I see the conflict of strategies that we have each chosen to meet our needs, and I often think of a time when I got fed up of unloading the dishwasher every day.
It was like, why am I doing this? Why is this always my job? And I picked a fight with my husband about it, and we had this big row about it. And of course, My need is not for him to unload the dishwasher. My need is for collaboration in our relationship. And even though I know this stuff, I teach this stuff, sometimes I still fall back into the old habits and and get attached to this strategy.
Whereas when we can separate the strategy from what is the real need underlying. What we're trying to do I, then I can go to my husband and say, you know what? I'm feeling really overwhelmed recently, and I wish that we could feel more on the same team than I do right now. Would you be willing to help me with that?
And would he say yes to that? Yes, he would say yes to that. And then we can look at things like, could he take our daughter out more often so that I have time to work? Could he do more of the grocery shopping? Could he do more of the cooking, right? There's a hundred ways that we could meet that need of mine to feel like we're on the same team.
And one to five of those ways involves him doing something with a dishwasher.
[00:22:10] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. I think that's such a helpful way of doing it. Thinking about it because we do get so stuck on this issue, right? Like instead what do we really need? What do we really need? This is a brilliant question to ask each other.
One of the reasons kids resist their parents, then, is because of their needs. Is that the only reason that kids resist their parents? Or what are the other ways or reasons why kids are resisting their parents?
[00:22:38] Jen Lumanlan: I am struggling to think right now of a reason that isn't related to needs, that a child would resist their parents.
And I think that this builds on an idea that, that is making the rounds in respectful parenting at the moment which is that all behavior is communication. Okay, super. All behavior is communication of what. What is my child's difficult behavior trying to tell me? And so I actually created a quiz for parents who are struggling if your child is hitting you, or if your child is hitting another kid, or if they're just refusing to do anything.
At YourParentingMojo. com forward slash quiz, there's a quiz there where you can answer 10 short questions and it will help you to understand which of, about five most common needs that I see children trying to express on a regular basis is most likely coming up for your child. And.
Sometimes there's a one to one correlation, but sometimes it's more global. So what we, what I often advise parents to do is to start keeping track of the times when you're seeing resistance and look for patterns. So if your child is resisting getting in the car seat in the morning, and they're resisting doing it every single day, no matter where you're going, if you're going to the park, that's somewhere fun, or if you're going to daycare, preschool, school, wherever you're going, if it's happening across all those situations, then it may well be something about the car seat.
It may be something that is very uncomfortable about the car seat or they're bored or, those kinds of things that are related to being in the car. Maybe they're sick, maybe they're uncomfortable in some way, if it's only coming up on school days.
[00:24:16] Hunter: And
[00:24:16] Jen Lumanlan: resisting getting the car seat is a strategy to put off Going to school, then we're looking at an entirely different set of needs, right?
Maybe there's something going on related to the school situation where the child feels unsafe, or they're struggling in friend relationships or teacher relationships. And so then we're going to be looking at a completely different set of strategies to help support them. And that's why it's so important to understand the circumstances in which this kind of thing comes up.
And I would say that the more global it is, the more it really seems to come out of nowhere and you can't see any pattern and it's, my kid is running across the room and hitting me for what seems like no reason whatsoever. Then the more we're looking at instead of these sort of the point issues, like my child is uncomfortable in the car seat, it could be things like, my child is feeling really disconnected from me.
And just like I picked the unskillful strategy of picking a fight with my husband, our children do that too. Our children hit us, our children fight with each other to get our attention because they know that if they fight with each other or if they hit us, our attention is on them. They don't want our quote unquote negative attention, but they'd rather have that than no attention at all.
So it's entirely possible that spending more time with our children on a one on one basis every day, even if it's just for 10 minutes on a predictable basis, what you may find is that your connection with your child improves. And then a lot of these more global challenges may start to get a lot better and then you're not seeing as much resistance and then your needs for peace and ease getting that too.
[00:25:57] Hunter: Yes. Yes. I love that. I thought, I love how you made the example of just as you do this unskillful way to get attention our kids do too, right? And we all do it. We
[00:26:08] Jen Lumanlan: all do it. 'cause they all grew up in this other way of being in relationships.
[00:26:12] Hunter: I know. I think it's so helpful to remember that adults are, we're all just, we all make mistakes.
We're all going to expect mistakes, and we all need repetition to learn things. Yep. And that, and going back to that whole, those whole ideas of instant obedience, right? Are those in your heads? Is that why you think, that you're, your child can just, you can say this to your child once and they will learn.
not to get your attention that way or whatever it is, right? So it all circles back. You write about rewards and punishments and I want to ask you the question of like, why not use rewards and punishments if they work?
[00:26:54] Jen Lumanlan: What do you mean by work?
[00:26:55] Hunter: If they are making the child get in the car and do the thing that you, the parent wants the child to do, why shouldn't we be using rewards
[00:27:06] Jen Lumanlan: and punishment?
Yeah. That goes back to your goal. What is your goal in raising your child? If your goal is obedience and compliance, then rewards and punishments are awesome tools. The challenge with rewards and punishments is that they say, I don't care why you're doing this. All that matters to me is that you do the thing that I'm telling you to do right now.
And so if your goal is compliance, it fits. If your goal is to raise children who in their teenage years and beyond are going to come to you when they're struggling, and know that you will try to understand their needs. Then, rewards and punishments don't quote unquote work because our children will have learned by then that we don't care what their needs are and that their behavior complying with our demands is the thing that is most important.
And so when we're using these tools, what we're essentially making ourselves the judge of our child's behavior, right? So it's a patriarchal role is that we are the one at the top judging whether your behavior is appropriate or not, and assumes that there is one right way that things should be done, which we already know from the dishwasher example.
There is not one right way things should be done. And so when we're in this kind of situation, we're thinking about compliance. We're thinking about rewards and punishments. We're thinking, do I really want to do those anymore? We can ask ourselves two questions. Firstly, what do we want the child to do?
And then secondly, what do we want the child's reason to be for doing it? And so if the answer to that second question is, I don't really care, then rewards and punishments are an awesome tool. But if we want the child to be intrinsically motivated to help us, to understand what our needs are, to support us in meeting our needs, Hold our needs with just as much care and attention as they hold their needs, which by the way is what we are modeling to them when we are using this approach.
And rewards and punishments don't work. And we can use this approach of understanding each other's needs to be in this different kind of relationship with our child, which models for them the process of going out into the world and seeing all the other people in the world has just as important than themselves with needs that are just as important as their needs.
And that, to me, is the real work of dismantling and healing these social systems that have harmed us all so much.
[00:29:33] Hunter: I really appreciate that example, and I think that, sometimes, as a parent, I might answer that question of what do I want my child to do? Just get in the car, right? And maybe, I can imagine there would be certain circumstances, where I would say, I don't care at this point, right?
There are, these are the circumstances where I don't care, and I want to use the reward or punishment to just get my child in, I may use that power to just get my child in the car. I can imagine that situation. And, even maybe holding the values of ultimately wanting that cooperative relationship from the inside out.
So what you're saying is that reward and punishment, quote unquote, were to get a child to maybe do what you want. But what I want to underline here a little is what the research shows, and this is, of course, what your Parenting Mojo is all about, is the research behind things. What the research shows about the drawbacks.
Of using it, if you want to ultimately have a relationship with your child where they're cooperating with you because of your connection, if you want to have a relationship where they're sharing things with you and they're not afraid of you, et cetera, that kind of thing. Can you tell us a little bit more about what are, what the research shows are some of the drawbacks of it from that perspective?
[00:30:55] Jen Lumanlan: Yeah. The research shows that in the short term, mostly rewards and punishments are fairly effective at changing behavior. They, what they are not good at doing is establishing and maintaining an intrinsic motivation to do something. If you want your child to do something because they love doing it and learning would be a prime example of that, rewarding them for doing their homework, punishing them for not doing their homework is probably not going to be the thing that you want to do to support that.
The same thing comes up in altruistic behavior, sharing behavior. If you reward a child for sharing with their sibling, with a friend. then their research shows they're actually less likely to do that the second time around. So rewarding is really damaging to intrinsic motivation. And I think the bigger issue that the research doesn't address is why are we so drawn to using these tools?
Yes, they were modeled for us, but I think the bigger issue is we're falling back on these tools that don't fit with our values because we're at the end of our ropes. Because our needs have been so chronically unmet and are so unmet in this moment that we can know that we have this value of working with our child and of understanding each other's needs and still not be able to use it because the pressure on us feels so great.
And to me, that's a massive societal failure. And that it's highly unfortunate that each of us who are already at the ends of our rope are now the ones who then have to heal ourselves and try to shift our relationships with our children at the same time as we're healing ourselves and yet that is the world that we live in.
And what I would encourage parents to do is if you're using these tools that don't align with your values, what's really happening here is. Your needs are so unmet that is the real problem. The real problem is not that your child isn't getting in the car or doing the thing that you're telling them to do that you want, that you're rewarding them to do.
The real problem is that you can't use these tools because your needs have been so unmet for so long that you are at the end of your rope. And so this is an absolute case of put your oxygen mask on first. How can you find just a little more rest, just a little more ease? Who in your community can you ask for support from?
And I so often hear parents say I don't have any family here, so I don't have any support. We used to have big families who would live together. We can create families around us. They don't have to have children. They don't have to look like us. They can exist in a wide variety of different forms.
I read about a neighborhood actually not far from where I live, where the elderly retired. People in the community have this friendly contest to take the kids to school. When the parents in the community are overwhelmed, I'm like, how amazing is that?
[00:33:51] Hunter: What's great? I could look to somebody who has
[00:33:53] Jen Lumanlan: time on their hands to offer support to my family, and maybe we can offer them dinner once a week and companionship and friendship.
We can meet each other's needs in this relationship, which creates ease for us, which I think so often is what we're really lacking in our lives. Stay
[00:34:15] Hunter: tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.
And I think we're coming up against a, another kind of like toxic remnant of our culture, which is that I'm really looking at it like the toxic individualism, right? Where we are supposed to do it all on our owns, we're afraid of stepping on each other's toes. We're afraid of knocking on the neighbor's door or even calling on the phone.
You feel like you're interrupting someone if you call them on the phone rather than text them, right? And I can hear what you're saying and I agree completely about us getting our own needs met and I also see so much resistance to that. The resistance comes in the form of, Oh, I've tried this one thing and now I'm going to stop.
And what you're saying is that this is so important. This is so important. This is like the foundation of your parenting. It's so if you're caring about your kids, if you're not going to do it for you, if you want to do it for your kids, like this is so important that it really impacts everything.
you do as a parent impacts whether you're going to be pulling up the old toxic things from the past or not.
[00:35:34] Jen Lumanlan: What you're saying is that you're describing the intersection of white supremacy and capitalism, right? This idea that white supremacy isn't all about our relationships with black people.
The white supremacy is about the idea of whiteness being better than anything else. And that means that includes the ways that white people tend to do things. And because of our patriarchal society, we have this really core value of individualism. You better do it right. If you want it done right, you better do it yourself.
And when that combines with capitalism, Then we end up in our own little boxes, right? Because it's a lot easier to sell more stuff if everybody's in their own little house. You can sell everybody a house, then their own stove, then their own car, then, all the stuff that you've got to fill up that house with.
And then everybody's really lonely because they're all in their little boxes. And then capitalism says actually, if you buy more stuff, you'll feel less lonely. And so these systems just reinforce each other all the time. And that's why it's hard to even see outside of them, nevermind actually do something about it, which is why you're feeling this pressure.
That's these systems putting this pressure on you to say, don't rock the boat, don't do anything different. And. When we can see that other people are struggling in maybe not exactly the same way, but very similar ways that we are struggling and that their needs are unmet too in this system, then we can look to build bridges across, right?
And an example that I often think of is one of my neighbors was really sick for a while, like really sick, in and out of the hospital multiple times. They have kids and and I, I send them an email once and offer to help and. They said, no, we're okay. And then I didn't do anything else.
That's stay in your lane. Don't interfere white supremacist based thinking. And I let that happen. I didn't know any better at the time other than to let that happen. And so I could have used that as a huge opportunity for building community between us. And I missed that opportunity. So I think what we can do is to reach out when we need help.
Even if it's just as simple as pulling your trash cans in when you're away, offering to do that for your neighbor, right? Something super, super simple to break the ice and people think, Oh, I can't ask them for help. Everybody's so busy. But when you ask somebody else for help, it gives them permission to ask you for help when they need it too.
So you asking for help actually becomes a gift. To them, because now they think, okay, I, there's somebody out there who's willing to help me when I'm having a hard time
[00:38:13] Hunter: too. I honestly, when somebody asks me for a favor or for help for something, I'm thrilled. As long as it's not like the school saying, leave, please come decorate the teacher's lounge or something.
I don't want to do that. Sorry. But like literally the people on my street I'm so thrilled. I want to help them, but there's a huge barrier, I don't know. I guess I'm thinking like. If you're listening to this and you're in that, intensive time where you have little kids, I think the, what maybe the takeaway could be is like, you really do need to have more support.
You really do. We really don't have enough. We have huge societal systems around it, like preventing it from happening. And so can you challenge yourself to write down a list of 10 different ways? That you could get some more support or just really make this a priority and a goal and talk about it and really, if you write a list of 10 different things, you're going to be forced to really think outside the box.
By the time you get to six or seven, you're going to be like, what the heck? No way am I getting to 10. But you should try because it is this important. It matters. I don't know. It's I guess I see that more and more as my kids are older. I see these larger forces. As the problem more than anything else, because, we can only do so much as individuals if we're dealing with a complete lack of support for
[00:39:47] Jen Lumanlan: families.
Yeah. Yeah. And so I do want to be clear that this isn't only work to do in families, right? This isn't only the thing that parents can be responsible for. We also need much different childcare systems. We need policies that actually work for families. And still here we are stuck in the system as it is right now with frankly not much sign of help on the way.
So what are some things that we can do here right now that make a difference in our lives immediately? Instead of waiting until we're on death's door, right? Like I, I work with parents who are like. I can't ask for help. I can't ask for help. Okay. Now I'm lying in bed and I physically cannot get out of bed.
Now I think I can ask for help. Now it's finally okay for me to ask for help. What if we could... Not wait until we're actually at death's door to ask for help and start getting some more resources for us that also supports other people as well and build communities so that we're not at the end of our rope all the time so that we can then have the space to respond to our children in a way that actually is aligned with our values.
That's ultimately what we're working towards. That's why this is important because. We exist as whole people. We have needs that deserve to be met for no reason other than we are whole people and exist and have needs, right? We shouldn't just do this for our children. I know sometimes that parents have to try and convince themselves to do something because it's for my child and so it's worth doing.
And so I think it's a big shift, especially in a parenting book, to see the parent's needs as just as important as the child's needs. And so we're doing it for that reason and for your child, and not just for your child, but for all children everywhere. This is laying the groundwork for all people's children to be seen and have their needs set and met as well.
[00:41:36] Hunter: As you've taken in this information over the years, you've taken in these truths over the years, has it changed your parenting? Oh gosh.
[00:41:46] Jen Lumanlan: Yes, yeah I obviously came from a very command and control mindset and that is how I started out. I would say the shift began early for me. I very clearly remember being in the shower when my daughter was probably so too young for I going to
be the parent who doesn't get walked all over? But also is, where I can have some fun with her, because I thought my husband was going to be the fun parent and I was going to be the disciplinarian and and the one who said no to her and who really conveyed these rules about what's okay and what's not okay to do.
And I discovered through some friends, respectful parenting, and then of course the research and I went on this journey. And I would say that my parenting is profoundly different from what it would have been if I had not discovered all of this. And I don't want to sound hubristic, but I'm so proud of the relationship that I have with her that I can sometimes mess up and say something that is not aligned with my values and go to her and apologize and say, we've talked about this a lot of times.
I was raised very differently than the way that we're trying to raise you. And sometimes when that happens, I say things that are something that my dad might've said to me. And so I, I'm so sorry that happened and I'm working to change that. And that the vast majority of the time I can identify my needs and her needs.
And the really cool part about this is. When we do this on a repeated basis, not perfectly every time, but over and over again, our children take on these ideas, and now she will identify what her needs are, and what my needs are, and what are some strategies that will meet both of our needs. And parents, this is magic when this stuff happens.
And then I've also worked with so many parents who have siblings and then the siblings start doing it between themselves. And then they're not fighting anymore about every single little tiny thing because they can see each other's needs and take steps to meet each other's needs. So it's joyful. It's loving, it's warm and it's so much easier as well, I think.
[00:44:07] Hunter: Yeah, I would underline that, that yes, it gets easier. The parenting part, like life still has, the parenting part is easier and easier as time goes on. I couldn't leave anymore. Jen, this has been such a pleasure. I love talking to you. So excited about your new book, Parenting Beyond Power, How to Use Connection and Collaboration to Transform Your Family.
And the world, you can find it everywhere books are sold, where can people reach out to let you know how much they have gotten out of this episode and more?
[00:44:43] Jen Lumanlan: Oh, thank you. So you can reach me at yourparentingmojo. com for pretty much anything. There's information videos and all kinds of stuff on the book at forward slash book.
And then of course the quiz to help you find your child's needs is at forward slash quiz. So hopefully those resources will be useful to parents. Thank
[00:45:00] Hunter: you so much, Jen. It's been it's been a pleasure and honor to know you as you both go on this journey and share our voices through this, through all this work.
And I really appreciate what you've done with your book and I appreciate you coming on today on that podcast.
[00:45:18] Jen Lumanlan: Thank you so much, Hunter. It's a real pleasure.
[00:45:28] Hunter: Thank you so much for listening. I hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did. I think that there's so much here, and in these generational patterns and the way we pass things down. I hope you appreciate this episode and you can always go back and listen to episode number 237.
And here, Jen, on the Mindful Mama podcast, there, I want to give a shout out to Jackie Page, who left a five star review on Apple Podcasts. Yay! Thank you, Jackie! She wrote, this is my go to parenting podcast on my good days, on hard days. There's something for me in every stage of my parenting journey. This is an absolute must try.
Yay! Thank you so much, Jackie, for that. Rating and review. Five star review is awesome. It just helps the algorithm show it to more people and so we can welcome more people into the Mindful Mama world. So thank you. I appreciate it enormously. If you love this episode, please, of course, leave your own rating and review.
That is amazing. You can also maybe share it on your Instagram stories and tag me in it. I'm at mindfulmamamentor and let me know what your takeaways were. That would be cool. And that's it for this week. This is like back to school time for us. The fall is gonna start up soon, and I hope that wherever you are enjoying some balmy days and you're able to get some rest and release and ease in the midst of maybe if you're having busy days, and I'll be trying that too.
Thank you so much for being part of this Thanks. community. We have so much more to share with you. I'm so excited. Oh and listen, if you want to be on the Mindful Mama podcast, go to mindfulmamamentor. com. We have an application for on air coaching. Maybe we'll be doing some more. But yeah, I wish you a great week.
I thank you for listening. I'm so psyched to be able to share all these great people with you and and from me and all my team, we wish you a beautiful week. Wish you ease and peace. You get to read a novel on a hammock or something like that. That's what I'm aiming for myself. Maybe you get to, snuggle with a doggie or your kid and get all those hugs and Just soak them in.
Soak it in. That's what I'll be doing too. And I'll see you back here next week. Thank you again so much for listening. Namaste.
I'd say definitely do it. It's really helpful. It will change your relationship with your kids for the better. It will help you
[00:48:20] Jen Lumanlan: 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 care. Connecting more with them and not feeling like you're yelling all the time or you're like, why isn't this working? I would say definitely do it. It's so so worth it.
It'll change you. No matter what age someone's child is, it's a great opportunity for personal growth and it's great investment in someone's family. I'm very thankful I have this. You can continue in your old habits that aren't working or you can learn some new tools and gain some perspective to
[00:49:18] 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 will be Joining hundreds of members who have discovered the path of mindful parenting and now have confidence and clarity in their parenting. This isn't just another parenting class.
This is an opportunity to really discover your unique, lasting relationship, not only with your children, but with yourself. It will translate into lasting connected relationships, not only with your children, but your partner too. Let me change your life. Go to mindful parenting. MindfulParentingCourse.com to add your name to the waitlist so you will be the first to be notified when I open the membership for enrollment.
I look forward to seeing you on the inside. MindfulParentingCourse.com