Jennie Rosier, PhD, is an Associate Professor at James Madison University, the Director of The Relationships, Love, Happiness Project, and the author of several journal articles and books. As an expert in romantic and parent-child relationships, Rosier directs her research, speaking, and writing on helping others create more realistic expectations while enhancing the communication skills needed to maintain these bonds including empathy, respect, and attachment.

474: Relisten: How to Communicate More Skillfully With Your Kids

Dr. Jennie Rosier (264)

We parents are often unknowingly (and knowingly) making some big communication mistakes with our children.

These mistakes can cause resistance, resentment, and damage to your relationship. How can we communicate better?

I talk to Jennie Rosier, Ph.D. about how to improve our communication with our kids.

Relisten: How to Communicate More Skillfully With Your Kids--Dr. Jennie Rosier (264) [474]

Read the Transcript 🡮

*This is an auto-generated transcript*

[00:00:00] Hunter: Hey there, it's Hunter, and welcome to Throwback Thursday. Most Thursdays, we are going to re release one of my favorite episodes from the archives. So unless you're a longtime listener of the show, there's a good chance you haven't heard this one yet. And even if you had, chances are that you are going to get something new listening to it this time around.

[00:00:18] Dr. Jennie Rosier: I'm only human, and you're only human. This is what we do. We make mistakes. We say things we don't mean, but you have to understand that once you say it, it's out there. It's there forever, so you have to be careful with your words.

[00:00:32] Hunter: You're listening to the Mindful Mama podcast, episode number 264. Today we're talking about how to communicate more skillfully with your kids with Dr.

Jenny Rozier.

Welcome to the Mindful Parenting podcast. Here it's about becoming a less irritable, more joyful parent. I'm Mindful Parenting. We know that you cannot give what you do not have, and when you have calm and peace within, then you can give it to your children. I'm your host, Hunter Clarkfield. I help smart, thoughtful parents stay calm so they can have strong, connected relationships with their children.

I've been practicing mindfulness for over 25 years, I'm the creator of the Mindful Parenting course, and I'm the author of the international bestseller, Raising Good Humans, and now, Raising Good Humans Every Day, 50 Simple Ways to Rest Pause, Stay Present, and Connect with Your Kids. Welcome back, my friend.

I hope, uh, you're doing well and hanging in there. Oh my goodness, it's February and a pandemic in the winter for us in the northern hemisphere. I know you guys in the southern hemisphere already went through this, but man. It's just, you know, ready. I recently heard that the Roaring 20s happened in response to the 1918 flu pandemic.

So I'm wondering, like, I'm, you know, I'm kind of ready, ready for our own Roaring 20s to happen afterwards. Well, I'm so glad you're here and you're new here, special welcome. So glad you are here. I'm honored to be in your ears. I can't wait to talk to you today. In just a moment, I'm going to be sitting down with Dr.

Jenny Rosier. She's an associate professor at James Madison University, the director of the Relationships, Love and Happiness Project and author of several journal articles and books. And she's an expert in romantic and parent child relationships. And so she directs her research and her speaking on helping others create more realistic expectations while enhancing the communication skills we need to maintain these bonds, including empathy, respect, and attachment.

So this is going to be an awesome conversation. You'll see it's very, very real. And, you know, the thing is, like, we As parents, right, this is going to be very much directed to parent child relationship. We parents are often really unknowingly and sometimes knowingly making some big communication mistakes with our children.

And these mistakes can cause resistance, resentment, and damage to your relationship. So how can we communicate better? And this is what I talked to Dr. Rozier about. I want you to listen for some important takeaways. And one is, uh, one of the biggest mistakes we make with our kids is really minimizing their feelings.

She suggests that we can ask ourselves, would I say this to my mother? And then a great phrase that we can use in repairing when we mess up is, what I wish I had said was. All right. Let's see. Anything else we need to say before we dive into this amazing conversation? Nope. Okay. All right. Well, I can't wait to dive in.

Come join me at the table as I talk to Dr. Jenny Rosier. Jenny, thank you so much for coming on the Mindful Mama podcast. Thanks for having me. I'm, I'm glad to talk to you. I'm like a junkie for talking about communication with kids and, uh, and you know, in the Mindful Parenting membership, that's like what we do.

We talk a lot about communication. I, so, well, maybe I think the best way to start off with would be what are some of the biggest mistakes that you see with parents in communicating with their kids?

[00:04:24] Dr. Jennie Rosier: I think that's a big question. Um, there are lots of mistakes that parents make. I think that one of them that I see in even my own life and in the lives of lots of my friends is that we frequently speak to children as if they are fully capable of understanding what we're saying.

Emotionally reacting to what we're saying in a way that would be the emotional reactions of an adult, um, or behaving. We communicate with them in ways that we want them to behave in certain ways. And I just, I guess an example would be, you know, when you're telling your child to get over something that you think is trivial, I think like minimizing their feelings is one of the main issues that people have, and I am totally guilty of it.

Um, I have, I frequently, uh, talk about, research, write about all of this great communication with parents and children, and then I go home and minimize my kids feelings. So I am not in any way, shape, or form the perfect parent. Um, one time my daughter came home from school and she got off the school bus and she was 10 years old and she started just blubbering, crying the second she got off the school bus.

And I'm thinking that something like really terrible has happened. And I, you know, we drive back up to the house and I say, Oh, come to my room. Let's have a private conversation. And you tell me everything that happened. And then she's. You know, crying uncontrollably. She's like, today at school, a boy pulled a chair out from under me when I reached up to get a marker.

It was terrible. And I'm like, oh wow, that is pretty bad. Like that must've been so embarrassing when you fell on the ground. And she's like, well, I didn't really fall on the ground. I'm like, wait, what happened? And she goes, well, I leaned forward to get a marker and the boy pulled the chair out. And then I turned around and saw him, and then I just pulled my chair back and sat down.

Hold on a minute.

So, let me get this straight. You're like trying to not smile on the ground. You are this upset about the potential for, that you might have Maybe gotten embarrassed from the thought potentially falling on the ground. And she's like, yeah, I don't know. I wanted to say. Oh my gosh, I have things to do. Can you please just suck it up and get over this?

And because it was kind of a, it wasn't stressful for me. It wasn't a stressful situation where your child is crying and you're overwhelmed with stress. It was a almost comical. I was able to compose myself and realize her feelings are real, her feelings are valid, she's allowed to have them, and to her this is a really big deal and it doesn't matter what I would think or what I would do in this situation or how, how I would react to this, this is about her.

And so I said, That must have been really hard. Yeah. That must have been really hard. It's like, it's the best thing to say. And she continued to cry for like three more minutes. And I hugged her and I told her that I was sorry that it happened to her and that it must have been really difficult. And then she was okay.

But I mean, it took minutes. Just something that, to me, was so silly, it should, she should have, shouldn't have got upset about it to begin with. And so I think one of the main things that we do as parents, especially with younger kids, is we minimize their feelings or we trivialize their feelings. And when we need to recognize that they're allowed to have their feelings and they're allowed to have their feelings.

upset and they're allowed to react to things in whatever way they want because it's their experience and it's their feelings. And, you know, we, we wouldn't do that to an adult if, if your partner was crying uncontrollably to you. Um, hopefully you wouldn't do that to him or her. Yeah.

[00:09:17] Hunter: You might be curious.

Like you'd be like, well, wow, honey, that was really That Sharon said, I was really upset. Like, I wonder what's going on, you know, exactly. 

[00:09:28] Dr. Jennie Rosier: You would, it would, it would invoke your curiosity and concern. You wouldn't say, Oh, come on, this is ridiculous. Get over it. When your partner is like blubbering, you know, I mean, I think that we unfortunately do do that with our partners.

Sometimes we say, um, come on, but if they're visibly, physically upset about it, I think that we would. Hopefully, try to bite our tongue.

[00:09:52] Hunter: And this is, this is our, our, our own training, our own habit energy, our culture, our conditioning, all that stuff to, to trivialize other people's feelings. You know, that's just part of our culture to, to put judgment on and to say you shouldn't, you shouldn't have those feelings.

And so if those thoughts are coming up for you, to your listener, like, that's pretty normal. They come up for all of us because we are all in the same suit in that case, you know.

[00:10:20] Dr. Jennie Rosier: Sure, especially when we're dealing with small children. I mean, they cry about the most crazy things. I mean, really, especially, you know, little kids like toddlers and preschoolers and young elementary school kids.

I mean, my son one time cried because a Pop Tart had broken in half. He was then inedible and he cried like profusely about it. So I ate it and then he cried even more because I ate his inedible Pop Tart. And to me, I'm like, is this happening? Is this real life? Are we really this upset about a broken Pop Tart?

What am I doing wrong as a mother? What am I, I'm not giving them any kind of, you know, resilience. What's happening? Um. And I could, you know, but I just hugged him and said, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry I did that. I realize this is upsetting you. And so that, that desire to minimize, that desire to diminish, is really strong in lots of us.

And it's hard, hard habit to break.

[00:11:26] Hunter: Yeah. And so, and I hope also what you're hearing from Jenny here, dear listeners, that like, none of this is your fault. You didn't do anything wrong. Like, let's just stop spinning out the stories about ourselves or our kids and what they're gonna be like in the future for these incidents.

Like they're just allowed to have their feelings and kids have feelings about crazy.

[00:11:51] Dr. Jennie Rosier: Yeah, and it has no bearing on you or your ability to be a parent. Kids have, I have four children, they are all very different. They all had their, um, I like to call it an emotional, emotionally unstable phase. And they all had that phase at different points and for different lengths of time.

Um, where they were just emotionally unstable about most things. You know, little things push them over the edge. Some of them. Our middle child has been going through his emotionally unstable phase for, I don't know, we're going on four or five years now. It's, it doesn't seem to be ending. Um, and so he is just really, he was the pop tart kid.

He's just unstable about little things, you know. Um, doesn't know how to tie his shoes, doesn't want you to help him tie his shoes, but doesn't know how to tie his shoes and wants his shoes tied, but you can't help him. But he doesn't know how to tie his shoes.

[00:12:50] Hunter: Crying uncontrollably about it. So, so I wanted to talk about some of the other mistakes that we make, but, but speaking of situations like this, where you're just like, I want to bang my head against the wall kind of situation with a child like this, how, what are, you know, what are some of the things, you know, quickly kind of like, what are some of the things that you do to deal with the, the stress of that?

Do you, do you give yourself breaks away from the emotionally unstable child so that you can get a breath of fresh air?

[00:13:20] Dr. Jennie Rosier:  I think that one of the best things that you can do as a parent for yourself and for your romantic partner, if you are in a romantic relationship parenting with someone else, is to figure out what you enjoy doing to de stress and to share that information with your partner and both of you to figure it out.

It's one of the best things you can do. Um, my husband and I talk about it frequently. He likes to drive his car. He's a car guy, so he likes to just go for a drive. I don't get that. I don't want to drive unless I have to, but for him, he'll just go and drive for an hour and he comes back refreshed. And he comes back feeling good, and I say, Wow, that's, that was really great.

Um, I enjoy, you know, getting a manicure or pedicure. Can't do that now, due to COVID, but that was something I enjoyed doing. When things change, you try to figure out, like, what are some things that you need to de stress? I highly enjoy eating ice cream. It helps me de stress. Like I just sit there and I'm one with the ice cream and I just relax and de stress.

And that could take a minute. I don't even have to, you know, go somewhere for an hour. It's just a couple of minutes sitting by myself eating ice cream or watching trash television, you know? Um, you have to figure out what these things are that you enjoy. need to calm down, to be de stressed, to down regulate, and then you need to share that information with your partner.

Because if you just keep it to yourself, it doesn't really help anybody. But if you share it with your partner, your partner can notice that you're being stressed and offer, hey, why don't you go drive your car? I mean, I must have told my husband to go for a drive like three or four times last week. We were just having some rough issues with child care, and we had our children.

in our home more than we had in the past. And so we were both really. a little overwhelmed with the amount of, um, child raising that we were doing. And so I messaged one of them three or four times, go for a drive. And he's like, okay, like pick something up on your way, but go for a drive. I can get another job done.

I think that the idea of figuring out what you need to do to de stress and then sharing it with your partner is so, so, so helpful.

[00:15:47] Hunter: Yeah, that, that sounds like an important conversation to have for sure. Let's, let's all make sure we've gone home and had this conversation. Okay, back to the mistakes. What other mistakes are we making, uh, in communication with our kids?

What do you think about So one of the things we talk about in our, in Mindful Parenting are some of the problems with the way we just tend to like kind of mark orders at cats. What do you, what's your point of view on that?

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

[00:16:30] Dr. Jennie Rosier: I think it's a big issue that we bark orders at children frequently. I think that most parents do it and we do it in terms of, you know, you have to do these chores. Do your chores, but also, Hey, can you get me this? Can you get me that? I mean, my husband and I joke frequently that why'd we have so many kids if we weren't going to have them do stuff for us?

Um, and so this idea that you have to do something right here and right now, and you don't have a choice to do it later is such a, such an odd thing. An odd perspective to have, you know, if I have a deadline for something at my job, yes, I have to get it done by the deadline, but I don't typically have to do it on a certain day at a certain hour at a certain minute during that hour or else, usually I have time to get it done.

And so this idea of, you know, telling kids that they have to do it right here, right now, or else. is not preparing them for the future. Um, maybe it's preparing them for a future where people boss them around a lot and they take it, and I don't think that's what we want. So, I mean, I think it, it can be, it can be really damaging to them because it can make them create expectations that this is what the world is like, and this is not what the world is like.

[00:17:58] Hunter: And it's causing resentment too, right? It's funny because this is like a, this is part of the communication that we teach and I talk about raising good humans and it's like still so like habitual. Just like you said, like you make these mistakes too. Like this is still, it's still so habitual for me that I notice like, oh, I have this expectation that my kid's going to just jump up and do this thing right now.

But if I think about like my partner, my husband, I wouldn't be say. Hey, can you do this? And some things I would want him to like help me out right away with, but a lot of things, if he was like in the middle of something, I wouldn't expect him to just pop up like a robot and like come and do whatever I was asking him to do.

And so it's, yeah, and my brain always goes there anyway, though.

[00:18:43] Dr. Jennie Rosier: Sure. And I think that can lead to another mistake that we don't tend to communicate with our children in respectful ways. If you wouldn't say it to your parent. Romantic Partner. If you wouldn't say it to your best friend, if you wouldn't say it to your mom, why would you say it to a small child?

Who's learning how to speak from you.

[00:19:07] Hunter: Yeah,

[00:19:08] Dr. Jennie Rosier: exactly. And so I frequently check myself. Am I about to say something that is respectful because I wouldn't talk to my husband this way? So why would I talk to my kids this way? And I. I'm not saying that I don't. I make mistakes all the time. I snap. I say something that I wish I could take back.

Um, and then, but I really try really hard to check myself and make sure that what I'm about to say, I would say to an adult who I loved. Um, and lots of times the answer is no, I wouldn't say that. I wouldn't say that to my mom. I wouldn't, why would I say that to my mom? I wouldn't say that to my husband. I wouldn't say that to my best friend.

Um, and so then I make the decision, I'm not going to say that to my five year old.

[00:19:56] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, because they're going to just repeat everything anyway, right? Like that was a huge wake up call for me. It was, I remember like looking into the sunroom and seeing my older daughter. Bark orders in a super rude way to her, like, younger baby sister.

And I was like, Oh, snap. That's what I sound like. Eye opening.

[00:20:22] Dr. Jennie Rosier: One time I remember looking into my playroom and my daughter who was, I don't know, five. was talking to her two year old brother, and they were playing family, and so, and he was playing, he was being the baby, and she was being the mom, and she said, I don't have time for you right now, I have too much work to do, you're gonna have to leave me alone for like an hour, and I said, Oh my gosh, that is, I'm for you, wow, that's terrible, I hate that she just said that.

Um, which I think also, this can lead to another mistake that I think parents make is they fail to repair. So, we do all these things that we are upset about, that we wish that we didn't say, and then we just kind of brush it under the rug, or we just pretend it didn't happen, or we just like greet our kid with a happy smile, hey, how's it going, after we just yelled at them.

Um, we rarely make appropriate, complete, Apologies to repair what was just done. I cannot tell you how many times I have said to one or all collectively of my children, um, what I just said was completely inappropriate. I am really sorry for saying it. I was really upset at the time. I was really angry or I was really stressed out or I was really frustrated and annoyed.

I'll, I'll label my feeling. And then I'll say what I wish I had said was, and for me, I mean, I feel like that, that last part is better and more important than even the apology. Even if you don't, I mean, of course we want to say, I'm sorry, and I didn't mean, I wish I didn't say it, but what I wish I said was, because then you're modeling to them.

what should have been done in that situation. And even though you didn't do it, even though you didn't have the ability to do it or the courage to do it, you are showing them, if I was in that situation and I had the right frame of mind, I would have said, and I have done that so many times. And lots of times after I say that, The child that I'm speaking to will say, yeah, that would have been better.

And I say, yes, I know. I wish I had said it. That's what I wanted to say. That's what I wish I had said. And I'm really sorry that I didn't say that, but my frustration got the best of me. Um, I, I, one time I heard my, my children heard my husband and I having an argument and we had said something that wasn't very kind to one another.

We did not know they were listening and they heard, and the next day my son asked me about it and I said, okay, I'm really sorry that you heard mommy and daddy have that conversation. We don't have those conversations hardly at all, um, but we did have it and you heard it. And that's how you know it happened, but, um, I think it's kind of similar to like when you say that you wish you didn't have a brother or you wish you didn't have a sister.

You say something really mean because you're super angry and that's what was going on. I was super angry and I said something really mean. And he looked at me and he said, Yeah, we both need to work on that. And I said, yeah, we do. Because I've heard you say some pretty mean things to your brother. And you don't wish you didn't have a brother, right?

And he's like, no, I was just mad. And I said, I'm only human. And you're only human. This is what we do. We make mistakes. We say things we don't mean. But you have to understand that once you say it, it's out there and it's there forever. So you have to be careful with your words. And sometimes we just need to take a break.

Like that's what I should have done. I should have said, I don't want to have this conversation right now. And then taking a break. And he's like, so I should say that. And I said, yeah, if you feel like you're getting that angry, say, I don't want to have this conversation and just walk away. We can talk about this again later.

And likely they don't even need to talk about it again later because it was about a missing Lego or something. Something very trivial.

[00:24:52] Hunter: Now, when you have moments like that where You know, your son has caught you in a really unskillful moment and, and, uh, you know, it's like, gosh, I teach this communication and I really messed up in that moment.

And that wasn't so great. It sounds like you have a very, You have a pretty healthy, uh, sense of perspective about that, about, about, you know, you being human and things like that. Sounds like to me, that you're not, like, shooting the second arrow, I would call it. You're not, you know, you had a wound and a difficulty and you're not shooting another arrow into your wound and telling yourself that you're a terrible person about that.

Am I right, Jenny?

[00:25:36] Dr. Jennie Rosier: Yes, I am of the belief that we are all doing the best we can with what we have, and that we are all trying very hard. We all make mistakes. I do not typically beat myself up for my mistakes. Mistakes that I have made communication wise with my kids or with my husband. Um, that doesn't mean that I don't ever feel sorry or remorse.

Don't get that impression. I definitely do. But I also fully understand that we are all just trying to do the best we can. And I am trying to do the best I can. And. We make mistakes. I tell my students all the time, I teach a undergraduate course at James Madison University about attachment communication.

And I say, you know, I've just spent three hours lecturing to you guys about how to speak to your children, um, as if they're the most magical, wonderful, amazing human beings on the planet. And then I am going to leave here. I am going to go home. The dishes will not be done, and I will scream at my daughter for not doing the dishes.

And they all like are surprised. We think, we think you're probably like the best communicator with your kids society when we know. And I'm like, no, no, I am, I still get stressed out. I still get frustrated. I am not a superhero in any way, shape or form. I am trying and I know more information than the average person, but that doesn't mean that I'm always able to follow my own advice.

or to stay calm when I know that that's what I need to do and to not feed into their hysteria. Sometimes I jump right in with them.

[00:27:34] Hunter: Yeah. I, I'm there with you. And then, and then when we know that the, you know, we're not using, Brain, you know, in those moments of feeling reactive and, and, um, under stress.

You said earlier, you described how the repair and how you would say you're sorry to your child. And, and I think a lot of parents worry about. the idea of undermining a natural authority or hierarchy when they consider this idea of apologizing to their child, that it may put them in a subordinate position, and that feels really uncomfortable and strange, and it just gives them a gut reaction of like, I don't know if I could do this kind of thing.

So I was wondering if you could speak to that a little bit, and how it affects the relationship. 

[00:28:29] Dr. Jennie Rosier: So I, I get that. I totally get that. But for me, my gut reaction to that is, so what, if that happens? What is, what's going to happen? What, what is, what's going to happen if you lose a little bit of authority? So what?

Uh, for me, it's way worse for a child to grow up not knowing how to apologize or not knowing. What an apology looks like, or what an apology feels like, or that when you make a mistake you should apologize, that is way, way more damaging than you as an adult losing a little of your authority with your child.


[00:29:24] Hunter: hmm. Yeah. Yeah. And I would think like that it's just, well, it's a relationship, right? Like you're just repairing that relationship. So then you're repairing the connection and the connection is really the driver of cooperation anyway. Right.

[00:29:40] Dr. Jennie Rosier: It's, it's. Sure. Kids who feel connected are much more willing to cooperate than kids who feel disconnected.

Kids who feel safe and secure are much more willing to do things that you need them to do or that you want them to do. Um, whether that be chores, or Go get me a soda, or, you know, stop yelling in the house. Um, kids give you a hard time when they're having a hard time, um, as do adults. And, uh, if we can remember that, it can help us be more empathetic with our child.

When we know that, oh, well, he's acting crazy or she's acting crazy, it's probably because they're feeling crazy inside of their body and they don't know how else to Get it out. Um, yeah.

[00:30:34] Hunter: So what are some of the, what are some like constructive ways to hold boundaries? Then if we're, if we're, you know, one thing we talk about and we've talked about a number of times here on the Mindful Mama podcast and in Mindful Parenting is how destructive punishments are, how they just kind of make your kids mad at you rather than reflective on their own behavior and how they, it affects on them.

And how like kind of wielding that power, it may like quote unquote work in the short term, but you pay like a pretty heavy price, right, for all the kind of resistance and resentment that you get in the long term. So, wondering then, you know, from your point of view, what are some, what are some more effective, more compassionate ways to kind of like hold some boundaries and get some of your own needs met, like, like help around the house and all those different things?

[00:31:28] Dr. Jennie Rosier: Well, I think when we talk about help around the house, that's a great example, right? Um, one of the things that I think you need to do is there's, I mean, you know, in our house, at least, we are under the belief that one, uh, teamwork makes the dream work, and we have six people in our family, There's a lot of stuff to do.

We live on a few acres. We have a lot of things to do outside our house and inside our house in order to make our family dream work. So we talk about that a lot and we, our kids know that, you know, what we're doing right now, this is our family dream. And in order to make this dream work, there has to be teamwork between all six of us.

And so one of the things that we do is we try to, like, empower them to believe that their contribution really matters. So it's not you have to do the dishes because I want you to do the dishes or because I don't want to do the dishes. It's there are lots of jobs. The jobs make this dream happen. And let me tell you, it's a dream.

So, this is amazing. Your life is awesome. And the only way that it is continued, that it is capable of continuing to be awesome is by all of these tasks being done. And your contribution is really, really important. So we try to let them realize that their work is meaningful. And once they really internalize that and they really realize that their work is meaningful, They start to be a little bit more intrinsically motivated than extrinsically motivated.

And my husband and I talked about that a lot when we first started having children, that we really wanted them to be intrinsically motivated to, to do hard things, to do work. And because we both were as kids and so we, you know, wanted our families to succeed. And so we worked really hard to do those things.

And so we, you know, we. Learned that you have to get that intrinsic motivation first, and then you can give it to your child. Extrinsic rewards. So we are also under the belief that when you do work, you should be paid for it because that is what happens in the real world. You know, I don't do work that I don't get paid for and they should realize the value of their work, of their contribution.

And so they get an allowance. Um, when they do the chores that they're supposed to do. And I will say that there are some times where it's like, Oh, come on, do your chore, do your chore, do your chores. But our kids really do just do it. I don't know why, but they just do. And I think a lot of that is because of.

We constantly reinforce them, like, wow, you know, we wouldn't have been able to do A, B, and C if you hadn't have done the dishes all week, because you doing the dishes all week made it so that Mommy could do this, and when I did this, then I was able to have more playtime with you guys. So because my time was not taken away from the dishes.

I was able to give that time to play Monopoly with you later. Isn't this awesome? This is our dream. And you guys, your teamwork is making our dream work. And that just motivates them. I mean, they see, I think they like the money, you know, they have banks and they put their money in their banks, but for whatever reason.

Them, and I would argue most kids, they value that one on one attention. They value that family interaction, and we frequently tell them, if you guys can help, you get more from us. You get more time from us. I mean, if you don't help and mommy and daddy have to do it all, there's not an, any time to go on a hike.

There's not any time to play Monopoly. There's not any time to play kickball outside. And so they see that and the, our youngest, who is five, he hasn't totally got that yet, our eight year old and our two 11 year olds, they 100 percent get it. And they will do their chores so that they can have. that time with us.

Um, and so I think the goal is to like make it, make it so that the kids feel like their contribution really matters. It's really important. It's not just because you don't want to do something. Or because you're mean, or because you're Cinderella's stepmom. Stay

[00:36:33] Hunter: tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

Yeah. And, and then probably like, you know, giving them like we went back to earlier, you know, some time to do that. You know, you giving them some choices and not the exact minute and exact second and jump up to do that thing, but like, hey, you need to do that thing and you know, some time to do that. Sure.

That was my, uh. That was our, our problem on putting away the clean dishes earlier was. They had school, and they felt like they didn't have time, but it only takes them 60 seconds. 

[00:37:24] Dr. Jennie Rosier:

Yeah. Drives me crazy. Okay. Sure. So, how do, how can we, how can we cultivate better and more skillful communication with siblings, right?

Like, so say, you're, you know, when I 

don't know the answer to this one, like, you know, like that. Before you know the answer, let me know.

[00:37:31] Dr. Jennie Rosier: Whacking the younger one. I, I don't, I can't speak to that. I do not know. I, I, sorry. So is that a frustration for you then? Oh, sure. Yeah. I mean, our kids can be super nasty to each other.

They're very competitive. We believe that they're very competitive because we had twins first. And so from the get go, twins were vying for our attention and they could only be split. And it was never, we never had that only child where we got to give them all of their, all of our attention. And so they're very competitive.

They're competitive over food, they're competitive over toys, over, I mean, all kinds of things. And we have tried so many different things to make them be more loving and less, have less rivalry. And it, we're, I don't know. Some things work for a little while. Um, and then, and then things fall apart, but they're, they're very competitive.

I don't know. I feel like we just have to ride it out. I don't know that there's much. helping them. I mean, it's hard to teach adults to have better communication skills. It's very difficult to teach children to have better communication skills. All they can learn, all they can do is model us, and so it's really a trickle down, trickle down communication skill learning, and it's, it's hard.

Teaching them to be kind to each other is really hard. Especially when they're with each other all the time.

[00:39:10] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. I, when we talk about this in mindful parenting, some of the things we talk about are, um, kind of, um, uh, coaching and translating for your kids. Like, okay, like your brother said, you know, You know, the brother says some terrible, unskillful, mean thing and, and you say, okay, and then you turn to the sibling and say, your brother was trying to say that he was really frustrated and that was why he bonked you over the head with his toy.

What do you, what do you have to say to that? So a little bit of like translating unskillful language into skillful language when you have the time and the capacity and all of that to be there, do that. But I imagine also, like, kind of like you had, like, you have this, like, teamwork makes the dream work campaign.

Some of the, some of the, like, you know, there can be, like, some of that, like, kind of cultivating, I guess, that, um, culture of caring about your sibling. You know, it's funny, because I thought it was this cheesiest little board book with the pink gingham on the, on the binding. I thought it was so, like, dorky, but it was all about It was all about sisters and how they, you know, had one little page about how they fight sometimes, but how much they value each other and how important they are in their lives.

And it was like so awesome. And I can't remember the title of it, but we read that board book a whole lot. And I feel like it. They have helped, I don't know, you know, there's nothing, it can't have hurt, I think.

[00:40:44] Dr. Jennie Rosier: Oh yeah, no, none of that stuff doesn't hurt. It's great. Um, and for us, we find with four children, we find that them being around each other all the time is really harmful because Well, they just all have such big personalities, which I pat myself in the back for.

I'm like, wow, great. They have such strong personalities, but, and that will bode well for them when they are older. But right now it's pretty difficult to have four strong, different personalities in one room or in two rooms. So we, we work hard at trying to separate them as much as we can.

[00:41:19] Hunter: Yeah. I guess a, a nice way to kind of like wrap this up would be to kind of think about then the parents themselves, like the parenting partners.

Yeah. What are the, some of the ways that we can improve our communication with our parenting partners so then hopefully we're modeling that healthy communication with our kids?

[00:41:38] Dr. Jennie Rosier: I think it depends on how old your children are. Um, I'm big on the repair, as I said already, and one of the things that my husband and I did when our kids were really young was we would purposefully act out something in front of them.

So we would say something that was just mildly rude, you know, to the other person. And then I would say, wow, that really hurt my feelings. I didn't like that you said that. And then he would go through an apology and he would apologize to me in front of them, but not, we weren't, we would act like they weren't paying attention.

Right. So we would act like they were somehow eavesdropping on our conversation, and that worked for us for a really long time. We did it all the time. Anytime we thought that they were saying nasty things to each other, we would do that. Ano, we do this eavesdropping thing a lot. Another eavesdropping thing that we do is we will talk proudly about our children.

to each other as if we don't think they can hear us. So what does that do? I love that. Oh, we do it all the time. So I'll, you know, we'll be within earshot of them and we'll pretend like we don't think they're listening, but we know that they're listening. And we'll say something like, wow, Wes, did you see Vivian yesterday do A, B, and C with her brothers and he'll say, Oh, no, she is so mature.

She is, you know, turning into such a beautiful young lady. And we'll just talk about some, some action that they did that we appreciated and we will really talk it up. Um, whether it was something that we are actually terribly proud about or something that maybe is just a little thing, but we would like to see more of those little things together.

And so. We do that frequently and I've heard them tell each other, did you hear what daddy said about me to mommy? Or did you hear what mommy said about me to daddy? And I can tell that it's cause it's not only helping them, but then they're saying it to their sibling and their siblings like mommy and daddy, we're talking good things about you.

Like I wish they would talk good things about me. And then we'll try to like do it with another kid. So we do that a lot where we praise them. in kind of a secretive way, but so they can hear us. Um, because I think that that is one of the better things that motivates kids to, to grow and learn is that they think, they hear that other people like them.

They hear, you know, I remember growing up and my dad would say, I love you so much. And I'd be like, yeah, you just say that cause you're my dad. You know, or he'd say, you're so beautiful, Jenny. You're such a beautiful young lady. And I'd say, oh, you just say that cause you're my dad. Like the boys at school don't think I'm beautiful.

You know, something like that. And I remember thinking that it was somehow like ingenuous because he said it to me, to my face. I think if I had heard him say it. You know, to my mom, like, wow, Jenny is just so beautiful lately. Have you noticed how beautiful she is or how great at school she's doing? Or, you know, how kind she's being to her sister?

I think I would have believed it more because I would have thought, like, they don't think I'm listening and they're talking about me. Like, that's so awesome. They're talking about me in a positive way. So we try to do those kinds of things to, to model things for the kids and to make the kids feel. Safe and secure and happy.

In terms of the two of us communicating in ways that can help our relationship. Uh, wow. There's so much. That's a whole other podcast. I'll have to have you back on. That's a whole other podcast. A whole another, uh, series. Yeah.

[00:45:47] Hunter: Um, okay. Cool. I love that little idea of talking proudly about your kids in front of them.

That's really fun. And that's hilarious that you, the purposely at purposefully acting out something in front of them. I think that's really awesome. I would totally try that right now. If like my kids were. 3 13. Exactly.

[00:46:07] Dr. Jennie Rosier: What's wrong with you? Exactly. And, and we, we could be totally terrible actors too. It didn't matter because they were 3, 4 years old.

And they're like, wow, mommy said something really mean to daddy. And daddy is, uh, mommy's having to apologize. Like this must be embarrassing, you know? And they would just listen to us and. Sometimes they would talk to us about it later too. Like, Daddy said something really mean to you. I'm sorry, Mommy.

[00:46:31] Hunter: That's not funny because I kind of, I remember, you know, I knew that like it's good, you know, for kids to hear like the resolution of an argument, right? I felt frustrated because we didn't have like an, you know, like I was like, what do I do? Do we make up an, you know, like I didn't think about making up an argument.

So we probably did not see many resolutions.

[00:46:52] Dr. Jennie Rosier: Yeah, we didn't. We, we just thought of it one day. I was like, well, we're not arguing in front of them. Like, let's, let's make something up. And he was like, that sounds like a great idea. And so we just started doing it and it worked really well. And then the eavesdropping thing.

Talking about them proudly works like a charm no matter what their age is.

[00:47:12] Hunter: Oh, what a nice way to really put deposits in that relationship bank account. That's really, really cool. Well, Jenny, this has been such a pleasure to talk to you. Do you have any sort of, uh, I guess, final parting, parting words about this idea of communicating, you know, better communication with our kids and kind of avoiding some of those mistakes?

[00:47:31] Dr. Jennie Rosier: The main thing, and I'll just take it back full circle to the beginning of our conversation. The main thing that I think we need to do is realize that our children's feelings are real, they are allowed to have them, they are allowed to overreact or underreact according to us, and that we need to encourage them to have whatever feelings they want.

Um, because I'm sure that if some, if you've ever had someone tell you, You know, that you shouldn't be feeling a certain way. It doesn't feel very good to be told that. Um, and I don't think that any of us want to put that on our kids where they question their own feelings or, or think that they're bad because they're feeling something that they shouldn't be feeling according to some adult.

Um, and especially when that adult is the one person in the world that's supposed to love them unconditionally. more than anyone else. Um, it can do a lot of damage to them. So your kid's feelings are real. Amen. Yes. Amen,

[00:48:40] Hunter: sister. Okay. So I love this, Jenny. I've had a, it's been a great pleasure to talk to you.

Thanks for having me. Find out, find out more about the work you do and, and what you have to offer.

[00:48:52] Dr. Jennie Rosier: So you can always find me on Instagram at relationships, love happiness, or on the web at Um, I've also written several popular press books and, um, digital workbooks, which you could find on my website.

Um, and. Interestingly, I am starting a podcast at the end of this month called the Love Matters Podcast. So, you can look for that wherever you listen to podcasts.

[00:49:22] Hunter: Thank you. It's been a great pleasure. I appreciate the work you're putting out in the world and I really appreciate you sharing your time with us here today.

Thank you.

I love what Dr. Rozier said about saying instead. What I wish I had said was, right? That's so skillful. I love that. These are the kind of things that make me just love, love, love talking to these amazing people on the podcast. Yes, yes, yes. So I would love to hear what your takeaways are, my dear friend. I would love to see them, take a screenshot, tag me on Instagram, Mindful Mama Mentor, and that's all.

Wishing you a great week. I hope you have some. You know, all the things you need. I hope you get some of your needs met, like, you know, some time to yourself, some time to talk to your friends, maybe physical contact, right? Like, or maybe it's not physical contact, just seeing what you need. I hope you get some of those needs met.

It's not so easy in a pandemic. I know it's such a hard time, but we're almost there. Almost there. We can do it. We can do it. I believe in you. And I'll be rooting for you as you practice how you want to show up. Thank you so very much. I will connect with you next week and I can't wait to talk to you then.

Thank you so much for listening. Namaste.

I'd say definitely do it. It's really helpful. It will change your relationship with your kids for the better. It will help you communicate better. And just, I'd say communicate better as a person, as a wife, as a spouse. It's been really a positive influence in our lives. So definitely do it. I'd say definitely do it.

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

No matter what age someone's child is, it's a great opportunity for personal growth and it's a great investment in someone's family. I'm very thankful I have this. You can continue in your old habits that aren't working or you can learn some new tools and gain some confidence. Perspective to shift everything in your parenting.

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

Hi, I'm Hunter Clark Fields, and if you answered yes to any of these questions, I want you to seriously consider the Mindful Parenting Membership. You will be joining Hundreds of members who have discovered the path of mindful parenting and now have confidence and clarity in their parenting. This isn't just another parenting class.

This is an opportunity to really discover your unique, lasting relationship, not only with your children, but with yourself. It will translate into lasting, connected relationships, not only with your children, but your partner too. Let me change your life. Go to mindfulparenting. org MindfulParentingCourse.

com to add your name to the waitlist so you will be the first to be notified when I open the membership for enrollment. I look forward to seeing you on the inside. MindfulParentingCourse.


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