440: Relisten: When Your Partner Wants to Punish (219)

Mindful Parenting Coaching

Mindful Parenting member Katie has been working on skillful responses to her three-year-old, but her husband disagrees with her responses. He is worried that without “consequences” their child won’t have any disincentive to stop the bad behavior. What do they do?
In this special on-air coaching session, Hunter talks Katie through how to respond to these difficult situations—with her child and her partner!

Relisten: When Your Partner Wants to Punish (219) [440]

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*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.

You're listening to the Mindful Mama podcast, episode number 219. Today's a special on air coaching episode talking about when your partner wants to punish.

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

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

I am so glad you are here. I hope you are well. I hope you are healthy and safe and, uh, and keeping your sanity as best you can with your kids, with you 24 7. So, if you're listening into the, in the future, we are airing this episode during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. So, we are all stuck in our houses with our kids all the time.

And sometimes it's wonderful, and sometimes it's driving us bananas. So, yeah. So that's what's happening right now. In just a moment, I'm going to be sitting down with Mindful Parenting member, Katie, who has been working on her skillful responses with her three year old, but her husband disagrees with her responses.

Thank you. He is worried that without consequences, their child won't have any disincentive to stop the bad behavior. Does this sound familiar to you? I get this question a lot, so I'm so happy to talk about this with Katie, and we're going to talk about what do they do in this situation, right? So I am going to talk Katie through how to respond to her difficult situations with her child and with her partner.

So, some. Important takeaways I want you to hear are how children's nervous system's stress response is what drives them to kick and hit. How punishment causes resentment and erodes connection and cooperation, makes kids less likely to cooperate. And that we are modeling and teaching with all of our responses all the time.

I know, scary, right? I get it. I get it. So. I'm so excited for you to hear this conversation. I hope it will be helpful to you. And now, join me at the table as I talk to Mindful Parenting member, Katie. Katie, thanks so much for coming on the Mindful Mama podcast. 

[00:03:22] Katie: Yeah, thank you so much for the invitation. I feel really excited to have some one on one time with you and to, um, just talk through some things that I'm working on.

[00:03:29] Hunter: Yeah, I really appreciate you coming and this is a one on, this is an on air coaching session and, and I appreciate you sharing your, your challenges and things and it's so helpful for everyone to hear. Um, but you've been in the Mindful Parenting membership for a little while. I, uh, your face I know and a name I know, and I'm happy to be connecting with you.

So as we do in our calls and the membership, I would love to invite you to share some of the wins that have been happening for you recently first.

[00:04:02] Katie:  Okay. Um, yeah, well, so my wins, well, first off, I have two boys and they are six and three and a half. Um, and so my biggest wins, I think overall, since I started the membership, I don't know if that's what you mean or just today, but my overall wins have just been a huge reduction in my stress response.

Um, in general, you know, by doing the different things from the membership, I think meditating, taking some time out each day to, you know, just kind of focus my plan and my energy and like what are the three things I really have to get done today and what doesn't matter as much. Um, but the meditation has been the biggest thing with the patients and my kids.

I think it's been, yeah, you know, calming my own response, but the biggest thing that's helped me be patient, I think is, is seeing their perspective. And with that, like reflecting back when they get upset, when they get frustrated, um, I used to just also really get super frustrated too, because I realized I was always kind of stuck in my own agenda and I needed to get out of the house or I needed to get something done or I needed them to.

Get dressed or whatever it was. And I guess I've really been able to shift that mindset in terms of seeing like, all right, why don't you want to get dressed? Like, why don't you, what are you not ready, um, you know, for what, what has to still happen? Um, in order for, you know, you little Matthew in order to, you know, get you in the car.

And so, or when he's been upset, like what is going on? And it's, it's kind of funny because it's so simple to just say, wow, you're upset. And I can see you're really frustrated with this. And I can't believe how much that just saying that has called my kids down. Um, you know, just like really for them to, you know, like you said, make sure that they are seen and heard.

And again, it just seems so simple and it is simple if I just really think about it. And that's been amazing. Um, interestingly, I've been doing that at work a little bit too, and it's, it's just such a useful communication tool. So and with my husband and everyone, so that's been a really big thing, just learning how to reflectively listen and, um, see other people's perspectives.

So that, that's helped a lot of different relationships and in general, my patience with my kids. So I don't just get frustrated and don't just get mad, but really try to understand their perspective.

[00:06:27] Hunter: Um, yeah. So I'm so excited for you. 

[00:06:31] Katie: This is wonderful. Thank you. It feels good. And it just is like, I did it.

You know, you like learn a new skill and then when you can actually apply it, it's a whole nother thing.

[00:06:42] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Just, I For those listening who are, who may be in the middle of trying a new skill and, and, and getting it. To, you know, in that, those awkward phases, you, you too went through your awkward phases.

I assume where it was your new skill of reflective listening was frustrating and difficult. Right?

[00:06:58] Katie:  Well, yeah. And it feels really weird. You feel kind of like an idiot being like, Oh, you look sad, you know, cause it's, um, obvious. Um, but then you realize it doesn't matter how you feel. It's like what you're making them feel.

So yeah, I had to just sort of get over that. Like I'm stating the obvious. Thing. And, um, you realize that it really does work, so...

[00:07:23] Hunter: Yay. Yay. That's an awesome win. I'm so glad to hear that. Yeah. Uh, we, those, the skills are definitely universal and they help in, in a lot of different situations, so. Awesome. Good for you and good for you, for your, your mindfulness meditation, and were you a meditator before you did the course?

[00:07:41] Katie: Oh, gosh, not at all. In fact, just the idea of meditating was so, uh, just kind of daunting to me. I mean, I just think of like, oh, I have, unfortunately, still, but it's better, um, just a lot of negative self talk. And I felt like Why would I ever want to sit alone with my own thoughts? That sounds terrible.

It's so, um, uh, but again, it's like you have to sort of go through that awkwardness of like realizing, okay, why am I thinking all this negative stuff? Why do I automatically go to the worst thing? And, um, you know, I'm, I'm not, not doing that anymore, but I think I'm just maybe more aware of it. And I'm still just really trying to.

Change those thoughts a little bit into, okay, how can I turn this around and how can I actually see this and what's going on? And I didn't try not to get mad at myself for thinking those bad thoughts. Um, and stuff like that, speaking of words, so.

[00:08:36] Hunter: And the meditation's not so scary now

[00:08:39] Katie: I think. No, I mean, I'm still, I'm still like maybe 10 minutes, you know, a day.

I started with five minutes and 10, sometimes 15 minutes is, is what happens. And then my mind, I feel like it starts wandering so much that it's not productive. And then I say, okay, we're done and I'll come back to this tomorrow and I'll start again. And that's kind of what I've done and I've slowly built it up.

Um, Yeah, it's not scary at all. I think I look forward to it and I think I am getting better. Um, so those are all good things. Yay!

[00:09:12] Hunter: Yay! Katie, I'm so psyched for you. You're building strong muscles of, uh, of being able to be intimate with yourself and And that's, that's definitely helping you with the, all those other pieces that you're practicing, like the, being able to listen to those frustrating moments for your kids.

So rock on. Yeah. Oh, well Phoebe. Woo hoo. I love it. Um. It is a process. Definitely. Definitely. So you, of course, you are not now, um, you know, shooting rainbow sparkle glitter out of your nose and fly, floating in a cloud. There are some challenges that are happening too. So what are, what, what are the challenges that are arising or

[00:09:55] Katie: what's a challenge that's rising?

Yeah. Well, um. You know, I feel like each day I could kind of answer that differently, but one of the things that continues to be something daily, um, is that I don't always feel like my husband and I are the same page about disciplining and, you know, consequences and things, ways of handling misbehavior in our kids.

Um, and it's mostly with my three year old. Well, he has really, really responded, you know, to. Kind of calming and like, all right, let's forget that kind of thing. But the three year old, he still is just really active and he's really learning and he's pushing his boundaries still, and you know, a lot of it seems appropriate, um, but I am feeling like what I'm trying to do is give him different alternatives, try to find ways to say yes, and when he gets really mad and he kicks or throws something or something, you know, really out of line.

Um, that then I kind of do that reflective listening. Wow, you were so mad you wanted to throw that toy and, but that hit me and that hurts, buddy. Um, so then I would, you know, more like sit with him and say like, can we do about this frustration or, you know, let's play a different game or try to figure out why he's frustrated or turn that around.

Um, and then like, so if my husband would be there overhearing that same situation, he would say, no, you have to do something. There's got to be a consequence. He is not going to learn. He's going to do the same thing next time. You didn't give him any reason to not repeat that behavior. And, um, and I, I get that.

I totally see people's perspective. Um. And from my perspective, I'm like, well, but I told him that it hurt my feelings and I told him that that hurts me and that we could break the toy. And you know, he's like, he doesn't understand that. He's not going to understand. He didn't care of his toy. Um, and so I guess I'm just not really sure if I'm not doing the right thing and maybe I'm giving Matthew, um, too much credit for caring about if he hurts me or if my husband, if I really need to say something to my husband to say, no, back off, I got this.

I don't know. And so I, I feel like that same situation, you know, in that same scenario in different situations continues to recur. Yeah.

[00:12:13] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. So he, he's kind of coming from this behaviorist kind of point of view, which is something kind of point of view. That's. Pervaded throughout our society and things like that.

Which is that kinda like that comes from this idea of training, training dogs, right. Like our animals and things like that, where if you, you either reward a behavior with, with, you know, good things to encourage that behavior again, or you punish a behavior with some kind of consequence so that you are making a deterrent of that behavior.

And what do you think that's kinda sounds like where your husband's coming from? 

[00:12:55] Katie: Exactly. Yeah. And so and that's, I think, the family that both of us grew up in, you know, was thinking, um, you know, just more harsh, go to your room, you know, even, even when we were little, when our kids were little, the pediatrician would say, put him in a timeout.

And I just think, he feels terrible, putting him in a timeout is going to make him feel even more terrible. It just didn't ever resonate with me, but yes, that's definitely, it's like the only thing you ever knew. And so that's what we did. So yeah, we need to. Yeah, that's where he's coming from for sure.

[00:13:32] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

So I want to first reassure you that you're, what you're saying is that, you know, I'm telling him that the The effects of his behavior are that it, it hurts you and it hurts your feelings and it makes you feel bad and all that. And I want to reassure you that your son is hearing you and that those effects of his behavior matter to him.

They do. They, they are important. And what's, what's really important to realize actually in, in that moment. Well, let's take it even a step back further, right? Like, so when he's getting upset and he kicks or something like that, we, many of us say, oh, this is unacceptable behavior. We have to stop this right now.

And we get to, we want to use our strong measures and consequences, like, or punishments, right? But we also, we have to kind of take a step back and understand that from a nervous system point of view, your child doesn't have any really, a three year old has zero regulation of his stress response. And, um, his stress response is fight, flight, or freeze.

And there's fight in there. So we often wonder like, why is my child hitting? I remember wondering that myself, like, where's my child hitting there? She's not seeing this anywhere in her world, but this is just a natural fight response, right? This is the nervous system saying you are threatened and you're, you will fight, right?

This isn't like a conscious choice that he's making. It's really under, important to understand that this is, uh, a nervous system that's hijacked and this isn't like your son making this constant choice to say, I will hit mommy right now. You know, no, this is not, this isn't like a conscious choice. So let's take that step back.

And then when we think about how to respond to this behavior, you're, the way you're responding to this behavior is spot on. You're helping him, he's dysregulated. He's, he's completely, uh, you know, as Dan Siegel calls it, flipped your lid. So if you make that fist, fist brain model and the fingers are over your thumb tucked inside, you'd make a fist like that, where the thumb is your brain stem, where, where that fight, flight, or freeze response is that, that earliest part of the brain and the, the fingers are the prefrontal cortex, which is your higher order thinking, and he's.

Uh, literally flipped his lid, uh, which means the fingers fly open and they're not talking at all. And so you, he's dysregulated. And so that means, so your, uh, your attempt to help him regulate by hearing him and seeing him and helping him calm down and talking to him and staying with him and not getting angry at him are great because they are going to help him bring back his higher order thinking online.

If you responded with anger and threats. He would get just further dysregulated, so he wouldn't be able to really be thinking and making a conscious choice. So the, so, and then, uh, a few more things like his, he, he does care about you. He cares about you a lot. He may not say out of the blue, especially a three and a half year old where they're about as cray cray as you can get, but sometimes three and a half is like the height of like insanity in some ways, but he's not, he's not going to say to you, Oh, dearest mommy, you.

You. I am so sorry to hurt your feeling, you know, mother, I'm desperately sorry. No, he's not going to say any of that, but, um, but he does care. He cares about your feelings. That matters to him a lot because you have a strong connected relationship. And that is really the driver. For him to change his behavior and you explaining to him how this, his behavior affects you and how you feel about it many times again and again, because he's, he's growing and learning, he's going to make tons of mistakes, that, that is really going to be what helps him to change.

Now, let's imagine that instead you. responded to him by getting angry and punishing him by going to his room or making him feel badly by taking away something that he likes or wants, right? So in that situation, And instead of him want feeling, um, some healthy guilt about his behavior, Oh, I did this thing and I made mommy feel bad.

And did that hurt? Then in this situation, should you do a punishment, what's actually going to happen is then he's going to start to resent you. Instead of feeling bad about his behavior, he's going to say, Oh, I'm being hurt. I'm being hurt by you and you're, you know, I, I'm, I'm being hurt by you. I'm mad at you.

And his, his, um, his whole situation is going to turn to resentment and resistance. So he's actually going to be really, you're, you're, you're actually going to be severing and, and, and discouraging the thing that does make him want to cooperate with you, which is his care and concern and connection with you.

You're actually going to be kind of eroding that instead. So, it pushes him further into fight, flight, or freeze, and then it makes him resist and resent you. And he may, so in that case, he may do what you say, uh, by, um, you know, comply by either, in that case, if you're kind of, you know, forcing it, so if you don't do this.

I'm going to take away your iPad, whatever it is, um, then he's in, forced in the situation of either having to, uh, to resist or submit and, um, and neither of those is great, right? Because you don't want him to continue resisting because that makes the problem worse. But then if he's submitting, it's just, he's just doing it because, because you're threatening him and he's.

Um, forced to, forced into this situation and he's not doing it out of any genuine care or concern out of you. In fact, he's actively resenting you. Hi. So, um, all right. So I'll stop there. There's a lot of explanation in that. Let me, let me hear your reflections, your responses as I speak about them. 

[00:20:05] Katie: Um, well, yeah, everything that you say definitely resonates with me.

I think. Um, I'm, I'm glad to hear him say that that's, you know, I'm doing things right and, and not to say I know that I'm doing everything right and my husband's doing it wrong. That's not what I'm trying to say. Um, I think it makes me feel better because it's what feels right. I mean, it feels right to talk and to connect with him and to not, you know, try to make him feel worse when he already feels bad.

I think it is ha it makes me happy to hear that you feel that at his age, he still really does hear that and he really does feel that and he. you know, does want to do differently and he just, you know, it's kind of part of his age, he's like kind of testing his boundaries. Um, I guess then, I don't know, is, is that enough?

Is my question, is that enough to say, gosh, that really, you know, makes me frustrated? Is it okay at that point where he does something wrong that I can offer him something else? Like, well, you can't have that sucker to eat, but I can give you a granola bar or, or do I just say, no, you just need to sit with that and you're not going to have anything right now because you took that without asking or you threw that down?

Like, so would there be anything more that I do to try to deter that other than, you know, tell

[00:21:23] Hunter: him that he shouldn't? Here, it would be really helpful to look at a more specific situation, a specific example. So can you think of anything? 

[00:21:33] Katie: Okay. Yeah. So just last night, um, we, he wanted to have a snack. It wasn't even last night.

It was like three o'clock in the afternoon. And, um, so he hadn't taken a nap, which I knew he already, you know, was set up to be kind of cranky. And I just kind of know that. And, um, my husband was getting something out of the pantry and he brought some, I think he brought like a can of Pringles down because he was moving it to put something else there.

And Matthew grabbed him out of the, off the counter and he said, he said, I want these. And uh, my husband

[00:22:04] Hunter: Pretty understandable. They're yummy. Yeah. I do too. I could eat the whole can.

[00:22:06] Katie: Right. So totally understandable. And my husband grabbed it out of his hand and he said, no, you didn't ask. You can't have these. We're not having. And so Matthew threw the can down on the ground and kicked my husband in the leg and, um, you know, kind of started walking towards me and I was in the kitchen too.

I was like right there. And, um, And I said, Maddie, if you want to have something to eat, let's get you something different. You know, that's not a healthy snack. Let's find something that you like and that we can agree on. And my husband was like, no, we should not have a consequence. He just kicked me and threw this on the ground.

There's no consequence. You're just letting him get away with it.

[00:22:59] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcast right after this break.

So, so yeah, so. Can I rewind a little on this? Because I'm, I don't want to pick on your husband, um, at all. I think he No, we're all, we're all doing our best with a three and a half year old that's crazy making, but I just want to use what happened as an example, as a teaching example, okay, if, if that's okay.

Um, so, um, we as adults tend to just treat kids in a, in a different way than we would treat other people, and that's a very normal, um, acceptable part of our society, so I'm not. Um, I, I don't want to single out your husband's behavior because this is just part of the sea that we live in and the culture that we live in.

So this is very much, many of us are, you know, uh, feel this way and, and just kind of subconsciously treat kids differently. But let's imagine that this was your, um, your 23 year old cousin who is visiting your house. And, uh, and he grabbed the can of Pringles. Do you think your husband would have grabbed it out of his hand and said, no, you can't have it in that way?

Yeah. Probably not. Yeah. Yeah. No. So just wanna, I just want to choose that be, point out that behavior and, and to Katie's wonderful husband, if you're listening, I'm really not wanting to pick on you. I hope you're listening, but I, it's really helpful to remember that you're listening. We are modeling behavior all the time, and when we, um, just bark orders at our kids, which I've done plenty of times, so I'm not speaking from on high, trust me, um, and do some things to them that we, that are disrespectful, then they're learning that behavior from us.

And it is disrespectful even if you're our, our kids three, three years old, right? So we want to try to, as best we can, model that behavior. So it might've been good to crouch down to him and say, whoa, whoa, whoa, hey buddy, I, I know, I see you want these, unfortunately this isn't a good snack right now and, and gently take it away.

That might've been a more skillful approach in that situation. And so just to kind of come there. So then, so he, so then Maddie, he, he gets the Pringles taken away from him and he, He throws them on the floor and kicks his dad. I mean, so this is, he's, that's, again, that's his nervous system responding. That stinks.

That's an unfortunate situation. He's mad because he had something ripped out of his hands, which is kind of understandable. We, I would feel pretty P. O. 'd if somebody did that to me, frankly, if I, if I imagine like one of my kids doing that to me. It's really interesting to kind of switch, you know, perspectives in this situation.

Like if you imagine one of your kids doing that to you, wouldn't you be just so angry? 

[00:25:59] Katie: Oh my gosh, completely, completely. And that's just, that's him off. And then he just wants to respond the same way.

[00:26:07] Hunter: Exactly. So, so your son's livid and that it's understandable. He had this thing ripped out of his hands.

So he comes into the kitchen and you're. You're, you, what did you say to him again? You said something like,

[00:26:24] Katie: I just, I said, honey, if you're hungry, let's just get you a different snack. 

[00:26:29] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. So you're kind of trying to diffuse this situation.

[00:26:30] Katie: I was, I was. And maybe that wasn't, I don't know if that was the right thing.

I should have like abruptly said, like immediately, you can't kick your dad. I don't know if I should have addressed that first or. Hmm.

[00:26:42] Hunter: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So, so I don't, I mean, you were trying to diffuse the situation, which I think is a smart instinct. Um, you know, maybe in that situation, as far as like a, a consequence, right, of pointing him out, pointing to, we want to show him the effects of his actions, like, Oh, you're, you're really upset.

You know, that kind of go to for you. That's really helpful. You're really upset. And, Oh man, but poor daddy, that hurt when they, then you kicked daddy, that really hurt him a lot. And to, you know, gently guide him over to dad and let him see what his actions are. But, and as we talk about this ourselves, you might say, I feel really sad.

I'm disappointed to see that you kicked Daddy, you know, so you want to talk about how this makes you feel as the speaker, right? So I'm feeling, I feel really sad and disappointed to see that, that you, that you hurt Daddy and that, that kicked Daddy. I mean, you might offer, you know, Hey, I wonder what we can do to help Daddy feel better.

You know, maybe I can offer you a hug for you to feel better. I wonder what we could do to help Daddy feel better too. So that might have been a way to, rather than just kind of diffuse, to skillfully address the situation. Um, and then it may be then after the fact that you talk a little bit more about the consequences of it.

So for instance, after the fact, when everybody's calmed down later, you know, you could say again, I felt really sad when I saw that you kicked Daddy. Um, at that, when you wanted that snack, wonder what we could do when you feel really mad instead of kicking. And so then later, you want to think about these are teaching moments.

These are learning moments. Um, this, in this moment, again, if you had delivered a, you know, sometimes people use the word consequence in, in, in the place of the word punishment, but if you had given him a punishment. Um, Again, he would have just resented you and been angry at you, and it would have kind of dis it would have, um, hurt that connection that actually makes him want to cooperate with you.

So, I don't think that would have been a good idea, but to it is, I think, to your husband's point, like, yeah, you know, it's good. You need to address that, right, because you need to teach him. How to be in, in life. And so also maybe addressing it in that moment, but also addressing it later. How can we take care of anger?

What are some things we can do when we're angry that are not going to hurt somebody? Maybe you can stomp your foot and say, I'm angry. Yeah. You know, something like that. So that's what I would encourage. I don't think a, uh, a punishment would be helpful there because he, it really was his nervous system reacting, that fight, flight, or freeze thing that he's got a strong fight response in him.

But it's good. It's gonna save, help him maybe in life, but, um, but yeah, it would be good to address the situation and just really think about it. Like, what do you need him to learn from this situation, right? What is it that you really want him to learn that's from this situation? The old school way is we learn that the one who is more powerful makes the one who is less powerful, you know, they get their way, and the one who's less powerful is.

Is hurt in some way, and that's not really great. Instead, we wanna think about how can we repair, how can we come back together? How can we teach my child? How can you teach him to repair his relationship and to handle his emotions in a more skillful way?

[00:30:34] Katie: Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And I feel like, um, for the most part, I, I'm doing that and I'm feeling good about that.

And I was thinking about that last night. Um. And I guess the other question that I had was that, um, is there something skillful in that moment that I can say to my husband in, in again, like a skillful way to make him realize like you also set him off to make him kick you and to make him get so mad? Um, is there a way that, that would be, or is that just not appropriate?

I mean, part of me thought like this is, this would be the best thing if I could think of something to say to my husband at this moment. For both the boys to hear of like, hey, this isn't a good way to respond. Let's, you know, be calm in the moment and is, I don't know, or do you just like leave that to another time and like, like you're saying, like, talk to my husband at a totally different time than to, to say, hey, remember that this afternoon when I kicked you, like, I wonder if when he wanted those chips, you could have said.

Hey, buddy, I know you're hungry, you know, like, is there a way that I can, is there something in the moment to say to my husband or do you just leave that at another time?

[00:31:46] Hunter: Well, let's imagine it in the other way because it's funny because in my, uh, family situation, I'm the one with the hottest temperature in the house.

That's awesome. Except for That seems very unbelievable. I know. Well, the reason why I've learned all of these things so thoroughly is because I need it desperately. But my, so my husband has, as a, so I can speak as a hot tempered person and, um, my husband is pretty chill kind of like naturally. And so at times he's tried to kind of give me a clue in the moment.

And unfortunately it tends to make me defensive and angry.

[00:32:27] Katie: Yeah. No, I totally agree. And that's why I didn't say anything because I think that's exactly, and that's how I would feel too, because I think I've got, you know, pretty quick temper too. So I just didn't, but that's what I was thinking like, Oh, I wish I could figure out some nice skillful single say to him right now too.

So everybody realizes it, but maybe that's just not the case.

[00:32:47] Hunter: I think it's really, yeah, I think it's really not the case. Um, you know, you can reflectively listen to your husband. Like. You're really annoyed, you know, if you start to talk to him, uh, but I would, if you're gonna have a conversation with it, definitely have it later when everybody's calmed down, um, rather than offering unsolicited advice.

Out of the blue, never goes well, never goes well.

[00:33:14] Hunter: Now ask, um, I had some ideas about what happened earlier, had some thoughts about what happened earlier. Are you open to talking about it a little and to hearing what I have to say, um, because I know it's really hard. It's hard when we see often, I think it's, we often see unskillful behaviors more clearly in our partners.

And we do it even in ourselves, uh, and, um, and there, it's really easy to see, you know, we learn about like the barriers, right, in Mindful Parenting and we see those very easily in our partners and, um, and that's tricky because we want to fix the other person and we want to help them. It comes from a place of love because we want to help them understand, like you're learning all these new things and you want to help them learn those things too, because you know it's going to be helpful.

They have to come to it on their own and, but it, they have to come to it on their own, but we can, we can offer, you know, we can say, Hey, I'm learning all these things. Would you like to learn? And as you know, as your partner, he has access to all the, all the material in the Mindful Parenting Membership and he can dive into it.

So you could offer it to him. Um, or you could, um, uh, you know, say this is, this is what I've learned. Uh, would, are you open to hearing it? But, but, and, but what happens often, sometimes is that the partner will see, oh, that is working. The kids, the kids are cooperating with her a lot more and then, then that's when their choices start to start to shift.

[00:34:59] Katie: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. No, I think, I think that sounds good just by modeling it. And I think if I were to do this again, that's maybe what I would do in the moment is not just acknowledge, um, my son's feelings, but to acknowledge my husband's feelings too in front of everybody, you know, cause my older son was there too, kind of watching this whole thing go down and I wish I would have said like, Oh yeah, you feel like you said no.

And he, Matthew didn't listen very well and that's frustrating, you know, to even take that moment. To have everybody recognize that. Otherwise we're just all four of us are going to just be crazy reactors. And, and yeah, I have been working on this so much and I think you're right. The reason I recognize that in him is because it's what I used to do.

Um, but it's, you, you nailed it. I think it's always easy to see things in other people and criticize things in other people that you're most critical of yourself, you know, or that you most want to change about yourself or you're hyper acutely aware of in yourself.

[00:36:09] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. Especially our kids, right?

Like what we see in our kids that are our own issues. Oh boy. Oh my gosh. Those glaring ones. But I want to also offer here that Um, that if you, you know, if, even if, if he were to parent in a completely different way, that's fine too. Kids can, kids can adjust to having different relationships with different parents and that's okay.

And that's no reason not to sort of shift and make your own relationships more skillful, more loving, more connected. Because your partner may not want to do that. Um, it, it, there will be, uh, some, some conflicts and some differences of, of ways of seeing things. But it's okay for kids to have the, the whole idea.

It's like the pediatricians that push this idea of like, so the united front, I hate that idea because it's not true. You don't have to ha this is this language of war. First of all, we are not in a war against our kids, and also we feel differently from our partners about different things at different times.

And if we pretend that we feel the same way falsely, then our kids are going to see through that falsehood and they're going to learn not to trust us. It doesn't mean we can't uphold different rules and limits and boundaries, but, um, we don't have to pretend to be, to feel the same way exactly as our partner.

[00:37:36] Katie: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that's, that's a nice kind of peaceful way to think about her too. I'm like, all right, I'm going to let that go. Um, and I guess sometimes you just need to do that too, especially, you know, we both work, um, and we both kind of split the time with the kids. And I mean, we're obviously living together and stuff, but like I go to work early and so he's got the mornings and he works later.

And so I've got the afternoons and so they really do have time with just one of us. And yeah, that's just inherently going to be different. So I think that's a good way of realizing that. It's just when we're all together that it doesn't always go as well with these conflicts. But I guess that's life.

[00:38:23] Hunter: And it won't, and that's why going back to what you did, you know, what, what happened with the situation, the Pringle situation, that piece about learning and teaching how to repair a relationship is really important because we're always going to make mistakes and there will always be conflicts and that's just how it is.

So we, we want to practice and model repairing, you know, hey, whoa, I'm sorry, I lost it in that situation and I'm sorry I scared you. All those things. It's really important to say those things to whoever, yeah, yeah, yeah, I agree. 

[00:38:51] Katie: It is good to kind of just make everybody be able to move past it.

[00:39:03] Hunter: All right.

That's good. So Katie, you have some awesome wins and you have some great insights and clarity. I think you've got some really clear thinking and I think you're, you got your feet on the ground. You're, you're doing great. Um, I'm psyched for you. Um, so we talked about your three and a half year old and yes, three and a half year olds are crazy.

So this will get better. I promise. But, um, just wondering, um, Um, you know, uh, for talking today, do you, what are, what, what are you going to take away? What is your biggest

[00:39:36] Katie: takeaway? Um, I think my biggest takeaway in these situations, I mean, just kind of specifically narrowing ones down to what we've mostly talked about is, um, just being not on the same page as my husband is trying to use some of the language that's been so helpful with my kids.

Um, with him and, and see if we can, and see if I can kind of diffuse some of the things and in not changing any of the things that I'm doing and not having any more consequences or trying to figure out a way to, you know, have him have a consequence and me feel okay about it and not, not changing what I'm doing, but really trying to recognize why he's so upset about whatever the behavior is.

My kids and, and might be something that didn't even really upset me, but it made him really upset and try to understand like, wow, that really stressed you out. You know, let's, I could see how you're frustrated and, you know, try to use some of that language with him and, and also I guess just kind of feeling reassured to just keep doing this.

And the more I can model it, then hopefully, um, everyone will kind of pick up on it and hopefully I'll get better at it too. Um, and, and really the better I get, the more times I can apply it to other situations, I guess. You know, I've just really been focusing, I've kind of just took off like a small bite with my kids.

Like, all right, I'm just going to reflect what, when they get mad because that's the relationship I've really been focusing on. Um, and now maybe I can expand

[00:41:04] Hunter: that a little bit more too. Awesome. Awesome. I love, I love that. And I think that was smart for you to focus on one area and now you, and now expanding it.

I think it's good. And, and maybe just, you know, just like all of us being seen and heard, having someone acknowledge what's going on for you is like really a big relief. So hopefully that'll, that can help, you know, for, for those frustrating moments

[00:41:28] Katie: for your husband. Yeah. Well, and it like, I don't know, the other benefit I feel like of the reflective listening is it kind of makes me.

Kind of hone in on just that present moment too, which has always been something that I've struggled on. I think I've always tried to multitask and I've always tried to do two things at once and I've always been, you know, both two different places mentally. And, um, so I think that would help too in just kind of recognizing, all right, let's just, let's call, come all together for one second.

Let's realize how everybody's feeling rather than, you know, like I started out talking about in the beginning of just, that's always been a challenge for me. So, it's all kind of the same thing.

[00:42:11] Hunter: Yeah, it does all come back full circle. Well, I think you have some really clear thinking. You obviously have a really wise and compassionate heart.

And, um, I think you're, you're doing, doing great, Mama. You're, you're doing awesome. I'm so glad, um, I'm so glad you're, you're here on this planet shifting things with us. 

[00:42:31] Katie: Thank you. Well, thank you for your inspiration and for your guidance and for even, um, yeah, it's kind of funny, like, you know what you're supposed to do, but just like talking through it a little bit is, is really helpful to, to realize what's going on and take some time to think through it.

I, I thank you for that and for everything that you're doing.

[00:42:59] Hunter: Thank you so much for listening. I hope that you enjoyed hearing about that. You don't have to have the same responses as your partner. In fact, it's sometimes it's. It's really inauthentic. Uh, we talk about this a lot. You can learn how to do the incredible responses that Katie and I talk about. The Mindful Parenting membership is opening soon, just opens a couple times a year, and we will kick it all off with the Mindful Parenting free training.

That's at mindfulparentingcourse. com slash free training. I hope you'll join me there. I hope that you are keeping your sanity good for you for making it all the way to the end of this podcast. I give you a kudos for that. That means that you have given, you have given yourself a minute to breathe and to put your attention to something that nourishes you and your whole family.

And I, I wish you safety and health and sanity. In this time, I, um, my heart goes out to all, to you and to all of us. This is crazy pants right now, right? So. Please continue to know that in the center, in your heart, there is a center core of calm, peaceful, enlightened awareness that can handle all this and we can tap into that more and more together.

So, I. I wish you peace, and I wish you a beautiful week, and I will be back with you soon. I hope to see you soon in the Mindful Parenting free training, and wishing you lots of love. Thanks so much for listening. Namaste.

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

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

[00:45:36] Katie: It'll change you. No matter what age someone's

[00:45:38] Hunter: 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 perspective to shift everything in your parenting.

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

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

This is an opportunity to really discover your unique, lasting relationship. Not only with your children, but with yourself. It will translate into lasting, connected relationships, not only with your children, but your partner too. Let me change your life. Go to MindfulParentingCourse. com to add your name to the waitlist, so you will be the first to be notified when I open the membership for enrollment.

I look forward to seeing you on the inside. MindfulParentingCourse. com

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