Dr. Robyn Silverman is a child development specialist and author of the [forthcoming] book, How to Talk to Kids About Anything, as well as the host of the popular podcast of the same name.

441: Scripts for Setting Boundaries

Dr. Robyn Silverman

How do you set boundaries when your kids are fighting or hitting?

What exactly do you say to hold those boundaries around screentime?

I talk to Dr. Robyn Silverman, child development specialist and author of “How to Talk to Kids About Anything” about setting boundaries with kids. You’ll get scripts for all of these things plus how to use calm-down tools AND the most important “golden script” our kids need to hear. 

Scripts for Setting Boundaries-Dr Robyn Silverman [441]

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*This is an auto-generated transcript*

[00:00:00] Dr Robyn Silverman: It's the tough topics. It's failure and mistakes, which, you know, you talk about a lot and diversity. It's sex, it's death, it's stress, it's big feelings. It's all those things that are tough to talk about.

[00:00:22] Hunter: You're listening to the Mindful Parenting Podcast, episode number 441. Today we're talking about scripts for setting boundaries with Dr. Robin Silverman.

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've 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 Press Pause, Stay Present, and Connect with Your Kids. Welcome back to the Mindful Parenting Podcast.

Thank you. Thank you for being here again, or maybe the first time if you're new, but listen, if you're coming back and you've ever gotten any value from this podcast, please do me a favor and help the show grow by just telling one friend about it today. You can make a really big difference this way, and I hugely, hugely appreciate it.

In just a moment, I'm going to be sitting down with Dr. Robin Silverman. We'll She's a child development specialist and author of How to Talk to Kids About Anything, as well as host of the popular podcast of the same name, How to Talk to Kids About Anything. So we're going to talk about how to talk to kids.

That's why this episode is titled Scripps. We're going to give you exactly what to say, which is so cool. Um, so we're going to talk about How do you set boundaries when your kids are fighting or hitting? What exactly do you say to hold those boundaries around screen time? You'll hear all these scripts and how to use calm down tools and the most important, the golden script that our kids really, really need to hear.

So make sure you listen. For that, this is another super valuable episode. I know you are going to love it, and I've got to let you know that the Raising Good Humans Guided Journal is out! Shonda, my friend Shonda Morales, called it a beautiful, spacious way to process and make sense of our very unique, personal, mindful parenting practice.

Um, she said that with actionable prompts and open ended questions, Raising Good Humans Guided Journal is a sure way, is sure to change the way you think about yourself, your children, and your ever evolving parenting journey along the way. So it's this lovely guided journal. It's really beautifully done.

And it's going to give you this little space of your own to kind of unwind and just reflect on what really matters. And, and of course, I'll talk about communication and calming your cool and, and how to untangle from beliefs and habits and all that. So, but it's all in there and it's all just for you. So get your copy now at the Raising Good Humans Guided Journal.

Okay, let's get to this episode. Join me at the table as I talk about To Set Boundaries with Dr. Robin Silverman.

Well, Robin, thank you so much for coming on the Mindful Parenting Podcast.

[00:03:48] Dr Robyn Silverman: I'm so excited to be here. I love talking to you on my podcast, and it's fun to be on the flip side.

[00:03:55] Hunter: It was so fun. I'm so excited, and you also have a book coming out, which is so exciting, which we just talked about in the intro, how to talk to kids about any, anything, anything. It's a big topic, so we're going to narrow it down. Anything at all.

[00:04:17] Dr Robyn Silverman: Well, you know, it's the tough topics. It's failure and mistakes, which, you know, you talk about a lot and it's diversity, it's sex, it's death, you know, it's stress, it's big feelings. It's all those things that are tough to talk about.

[00:04:34] Hunter: Yeah. Parenting brings up these conversations that are incredibly hard, and I think though, but like, but before, one of the, the things we, we want help with, and we need help talking about, we need those scripts for, because these are, these are the ideas, like, we want how to talk about these things. What are the scripts?

What do I say? One of the things I get asked for all the time is the scripts for setting boundaries. And I was wondering if we could talk about that, kind of like a little like through the ages and the stages. So we're going to go into that, but first, what made you, why, why, why do you do this work? What is, what is it, what is it that made you want to talk about all these things?

[00:05:19] Dr Robyn Silverman: Yeah. So when I was When I was in fifth grade, I had a really, really rough year. In fact, I, I say it was one of the toughest years of my life. And I went through four years of miscarriage. So I can like literally say that. It still remains one of the toughest years of my life, and it was because I was bullied, I was ostracized, I had an incredibly rough year because of that, and it wasn't just the kids, it was also that nobody knew what to say to me, like the teachers, the, you know, my poor mother, you know, just handing me tissues, like I was crying all the time.

And I came out of that, I mean, sometimes you wind up realizing in retrospect that the things that you went through kind of set you on your path. And I think that that did. I think understanding that teachers didn't know what to do or say. My mother tried so hard, didn't know what to do or say. And I didn't want anybody in that situation again.

And, and that happened over and over again throughout my life. You think about Our generation and, and parents, like, they didn't really talk about, you know, how to talk to kids about sex, you know, how to talk to kids about death, suicide, like, you know, diversity, things that are tough to talk about. And it makes it so kids don't, don't know who to trust and where to get the information and they still are going to go get the information.

So I wanted to make sure that I wrote a book. That parents could have at the ready, that was for any parent that they could have on their bookshelf, take it off at any time and realize that they can have these tough talks with their kids. And if a child asked about something that you didn't know the answer to, you can say, Hey, just give me five minutes.

Like I really want to listen to you and I really want to talk about this. I just need five minutes to get my thoughts together and then let's meet, you know, downstairs and you know, have a, have a talk or let's go for ice cream or let's go for a walk. And then be able to, like, leaf through and get to, you know, these different pages on, oh, I need to talk about this and now I know what to say.

God, they're so, you know, providing conversations starters, providing stories, providing scripts, and just understanding that we're all going through the same thing. So it's really for like, you know, the kid who's been going through stuff and really wants to, wants to be able to talk to their parents about this stuff.

And for the parents who want to have the conversations but aren't sure what to say.

[00:07:51] Hunter: I think that when, before we even, like, get to that point, right, like, we want to, sometimes we want to think about this idea of, like, I want to raise kids who want to talk to me about stuff. Yes. So when they're going through something hard, when they're in 5th grade and they're being bullied, they want to talk to me about these things.

I think a lot of us Maybe, especially to your listener, if you're listening before your kids are, you know, are 10 years old or 11 years old. My kid is three years old. My kid is two years old. My kid is four years old. How do I, how do I end up having a kid who wants to? Wants to have these conversations with me, let alone like, then how do I, how do I have these conversations?

So I, I do wanna talk about how do we have these conversations, but then this idea of, of being, you talk about this, so this idea of being an askable parent, but we did, we did mention the B Yang, how to. Talk, how scripts for, for setting boundaries and I think that's all tied up, right? That idea of us being an askable parent and then getting to this place, you know, I just did just before this, I recorded an on air coaching call where we talked about setting boundaries with a young child.

How do we do that? And parents are worried about, I want to have, I want to be this askable parent. I want to be the parent that my kid goes to. But, I don't want to be a permissive parent, I don't want to, I don't want to be walked all over. I want to be holding firm boundaries. When it comes to points of like, I'm, I'm saying no, I'm holding a boundary, can you walk us through what are some ways to do that in, in practice?

Like, maybe in preschool, and then elementary, and then older kids. Um, and you probably need some examples here, right? Yeah,

[00:09:37] Dr Robyn Silverman: I would love some examples, you know, because you know your audience best. And, and I, we can kind of talk in some generalities, but then we can get a little more specific. So,

[00:09:47] Hunter: yeah. Okay, so let's talk about a script for how to talk to our kids about not hitting our siblings.


[00:09:54] Dr Robyn Silverman: Mmm. Like, not that I would have ever experienced such things because my kids were always perfect. They were angels. Angels. We know. We understand that they were perfection.

[00:10:04] Dr Robyn Silverman: I mean, my kids are now 13 and 14 and they still argue. I still have to set these boundaries. I'm like, I'm not even kidding.

This, and these poor people are like, my kids, two or three, I thought this would be over by then. Sorry. Um, I. You know, I don't want to burst anybody's bubble, but it is the truth. So first of all, you know, you asked about, you know, being that askable parent, but part of that is not freaking out when your child asks you something.

You know, that you probably have never discussed before and taking a breath as you so, so well do Hunter and, and, and encourage us to, and, and ground ourselves. And if you have a lot of baggage with a particular topic, like setting boundaries that you talk to your friend, spouse, therapist about, because when you're talking to your child about something that's emotionally charged for you, you don't want to be.

That shouldn't be the thing that comes before the words. You don't want the baggage to be dropped on your child before you can actually have a conversation. So, so that's just part of being truthful with yourself. If you weren't given a template for how to do this with, you know, because your parents didn't do it with you, your parents were very authoritarian or your parents were very permissive and you're like, neither one of those is what I would like to follow.

Then you, you've got to get serious with yourself and realize like, okay, I wasn't given a template. So now I'm going to tune into what Hunter says. I'm going to tune into what Dr. Robbins says. I'm going to read these books. I'm going to, you know, get some information. And if I'm feeling really overloaded, I'm going to Overload it with my friend or therapist or whomever and not with my child.

So that's just like, this is the first caveat I would say, because it can seep out, uh, so easily. You know, our, our personal baggage can, can seep out. Sometimes I see a parent's just Just say it outright, like, this is going to be tough on me. Just give me a moment. Like, it's okay.

[00:12:11] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. Just name, name what's happening.

Name what's happening. I feel this is kind of a sensitive thing for me because of the way I grew up or whatever. Just honestly name that stuff. It takes the temperature out of it. Digest it. Helps us to digest it. Yes. Process it. 

[00:12:26] Dr Robyn Silverman: Right. And so, first of all, when, in the situation that you provided, With sibling rivalry, which is honestly one of my big triggers.

I'm, you know, it's, it's actually such a good example because it's really humbles me and it is such a real, a real issue throughout my life watching my kids.

So, first, your, your first reaction is often, I don't want you people to argue. It's, it's, I hate this. It's bothering me. Okay. So first thing is to empathize with your child because I know it's hard to pick a movie. I know it's hard to share your toys. I know this can be difficult to sit at this table and really want what's on his plate and not be able to take it because you're eight years.

Like, you, you first start there so that your child, your children get, that you get it. Because if you, if they're feeling like they have to prove their point to you, the arguing will only get bigger. Keeps going and going and going. It keeps going and going. So that, that's first is that empathy piece so that they know you're, you're getting it.

Part of it is also being able to, and I'm sure you've talked about this, being that sportscaster so that your kids can hear what the other person is saying, sounds like. Child number one is saying they want to be able to watch X movie, and it sounds like child B is saying that they want to watch this other movie, and they start arguing again because he said this and that's not, wait, let's just All green.

And let's just make sure we get everything on the table here. So, Child A wants this, Child B wants that. So that Okay, and then you can even ask, Child B, what did Child A say they wanted? And you ask the other child to say what the other child is saying. So that everybody has now been heard. Okay, and then you can give each child the same amount of time so that you've got child A is, okay, child A, tell me why you want to watch this and why you wouldn't do this.

Child B, alright, sounds like you both want to watch two totally different things. And you're arguing about it, but it sounds like neither one of you want to watch the other thing. So now we have to pick a third movie or not do it at all and go to the park. So let's figure out what we want to do. What we, what we're not going to be doing right now is we're not going to be doing is we're not going to be using our hands for hitting.

Okay, so that's the first thing. 

[00:15:13] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

[00:15:21] Dr Robyn Silverman: Because we can't watch any movies, or go to the park, or read ice cream, or do any of the fun things because now you're making, you're trying to lighten things up a little bit. Mm hmm. We can't, we can't do any of these things without first sitting on our hands and so now you're telling them what to do, right?

So we have told them what they're not to do and we're telling them what they can do, like this is what we're going to do. Okay. So all in favor of watching a totally different movie. Then you can raise your hand or you can, you can wiggle your nose, right? Okay. Everybody, think out your nose, okay?

And then all in favor of going to the park and all in favor of eating ice cream while going to the park or eating ice cream while watching a movie. And so now you've moved things along. You've changed the mood. You've told them what they can do, what they can't do. You're, you're taking them along for the journey.

So much of the time we're saying what is, we're, we're telling our kid, this is what's going to happen. This is it. And you don't take them along for the journey. You're a party of one. We want to be a party of three at that moment, right? We want to make sure that everybody's involved in that boundary setting and everybody's involved in what's next step is.

And then you will get the cooperation that you need. I hope that makes sense to you. It's just so much more important to take them along for the journey than to. than to be shouting the commands that, that you want to be followed.

[00:16:49] Hunter: Yeah, that's beautiful. Thank you, Robin. I love that so much. Setting boundaries.

One, empathize, so they know you get it, they've been heard. Two, you're like the translator, sounds like you want this. I just kind of translate it into skillful language. I translate unskillful language into skillful language. Sounds like you're saying you want this. You, it sounds like you're saying you want this.

Okay. And then you're, and then in step three, we're kind of, Lightening the mood and we're saying, okay, well, we can't be hitting. We have to make a choice between these, you know, between these things. We how about we're all going to, you know, for younger kids, we're all going to sit on our hands. If you want, I love this idea of like making it silly, bringing in that playfulness.

And it's true. It's like the more we can lighten up the better parents we are, we are, but like the key here. And this is so important is that you're not the judge and jury. You are not solving all your kids problems. You are the mediator, the translator, the coach. You are saying, I hear you, I get this, this is hard, I'm translating you, right?

I'm like mediating, and then I'm just the coach, and I'm bringing you into the problem solving because then we're getting that buy in, and that's really the difference between that authoritarian method of solving all our conflicts, is the parents always decide, and then the kids have a whole bunch of resentment by the time they're adolescents, and, and the idea of.

Using influence, using our coaching, bringing them into the problem solving and then the buy in is so, so much greater and you're just basically teaching them. We solve problems by talking about what each person wants and needs and we listen to each other. It's beautiful. 

[00:18:34] Dr Robyn Silverman: And it's okay if you needed a break before that.

Like things have gotten too crazy, like they're too bananas, they're too, and everybody's yelling and screaming. You know, it's okay to have that code word of break or banana fritters, whatever it is where everybody goes in different directions for, you know, a couple of minutes, or they go to something. I often tell parents, don't just tell them to go away from something, goes to go towards something.

Go, go, go, go towards the thing that makes you happy, relaxed, coloring books, music. Push ups, running around the block, run around the house three times. You can get silly with that one too, right? And, and allow your children to have that little bit of a break. We know that once they get to that very heightened point where they've climbed up Anger Mountain and they're on, they're, they're, they're on the peak or just coming out the other side is not the time when you can have this conversation.

You actually may need to give them 18 minutes plus or minus two in order for their brains to get back online. Uh, and. And, and that's okay too. It's not always going to happen in, in that perfect order. 

[00:19:40] Hunter: So then how do we have that script for a conversation? What's the script then for having the conversation about our brains and how to calm, how we need to calm down before we can solve problems and figure stuff out, how we can't figure stuff out when we're all angry.

How do we have that conversation?

[00:19:57] Dr Robyn Silverman: I love that. That's such a good question, Hunter. We often think that we want to have that conversation when we need it. And that's if you're showing up at 7. No, I mean, like, just think about how amped up we get and like, we can't have a conversation when we're like that either.

When we're screaming in the, in the hallway, like that, it's not the time to have that. The best way to have that conversation is when everybody's calm. And things are like in a state of, of relax or joy or just mundane life. You're doing the laundry, you're, you know, eating dinner. There's something very calm that's happening at that time.

And so

[00:20:40] Hunter: nobody's hungry. Nobody's hungry. Nobody's

[00:20:43] Dr Robyn Silverman: tired. Yes. Like this is, right, this is not the time to do it. Like sometimes like my daughter will be like. I am just tired and I cannot listen to this right now. And I'm like, all right, like, you know, you can't falter for like following the plan, right? Like, darn it.

Who's child are you? Okay. So, so when, when you, you talk about this during that, that calm time, you might actually either say, I heard this thing on this podcast the other day that I listened to. I love people when they blame me. They can blame you. I'm like volunteering. Blame us. Okay. Please don't blame us.

Right. So there's, I was listening to this podcast and I, I thought this was really interesting. This, this doctor was talking about how we all can calm ourselves down in different ways. Um, some people calm themselves down by doing really active things and very big things with their bodies. Like, you know, running around the house, you know, or they need to, they need to do like big exercises, like jumping jacks, like you do, you know, when you're in gymnastics or.

Swinging from this bar. Um, do, do you like doing that? Does that calm you down? You're like, well, I like doing it, but it doesn't really calm me down. Okay. So, but some people, that's how it works. If some people are really sensory, like, and their way of calming down is like listening to music. Oh, ooh, I love doing that.

Right. Maybe not music that's like, ah, but maybe music that's like, la, la, la, la, la. But some people might be listening, ah, and that's calming for them. Not for me, but maybe for somebody else. Right? And so you're bringing in the ideas of could work for somebody and you're not saying this is the way you do it, you're saying this is an idea.

Some people like to wrap themselves up in blankets, they like to take showers that are nice and warm, uh, that some people like to go under the blanket and they can't see anything, um, and they, they block out all the light and they block out all the sound, they swaddle themselves up. And, and, and they're almost like a caterpillar in a cocoon.

And, and do you like doing that? Well, sometimes I do like doing that. Like I like going under those blankets and like that. I, oh yeah, you know what? The other day I saw you and your friend was running around and running around. And I think, we talked about this, you were getting overwhelmed and you know what you did?

You went underneath the table and you put a blanket over you. I bet you you're one of those people who calm themselves down. by blocking out light and sound. And I think that's great to know. Do you know why that's so great to know? Because when you start to feel like, Ooh, I'm getting overwhelmed. You can turn to that before things get too out of hand.

That's such a good thing to know about yourself. Or you might do pushups cause you might be really physical or you might be, you know, you might turn to, you know, doing this, I take showers. Like I could say that as a mom, you say, I like to do this kind of thing, you know, and, and, and that's okay too. No, there's no like right or wrong way.

You know, we also can do, and you're so arts and crafts y, maybe you want to have like a special coloring book for when you're starting to get really frustrated, where you create a mad box, you know, where that's got sensory stuff in it. You got your favorite teddy bear, you got the music you want to listen to.

Everything's already set and planned. for that moment when you start to feel that way. Now, the question is, how do we know when we start to feel that way? For me, when I know I'm starting to feel that way, my stomach gets really, really tight. Some people feel it in their jaw. Some people feel it in their hands.

Some people get really hot. Some people start to just breathe in and out more heavily. What happens to you? I'm not really sure. Oh, you're not really sure. Maybe the next time When you start to feel like that, maybe we can have a code word and you can tell me what's going on. Maybe it's, you know, maybe it's bananas.

Maybe it's, you know, crackers. And you can say, my hands are feeling shaky. And we know that when you start to feel like this, that's that time to go to that mad box. That's that time to swaddle yourself in the blanket. So you can see that you're taking your child through You're making the connections between what once happened without bringing up, remember, you were so pissed off at your brother, he hit you over that, you don't need to go into all the details, but what actually was feeling, what was happening, and then When it happens again, you're proactive.

Is this one of those times when you should go get that blanket you put in the corner? And after, especially if it really worked, even just a little bit, you saw like a reduction, you can say, I saw you use that blanket today. And I was wondering, how did you feel when you were in that blanket and you were getting upset?

Do you feel like it helped you? Constantly making those connections, showing the evidence. What I saw was, you didn't yell. What I saw was, you didn't throw your cars this time. I saw somebody who calmed themselves in two or three minutes. Last time, remember, you had 20 minutes. That's, that's different. So, if we can connect it to the evidence, then they start to see themselves as I'm somebody who calms myself down by doing this, and it's okay, and in fact, it's celebrated and noticed.

[00:26:24] Hunter: I love this. Uh, you know, you're describing what you see, you're saying, you know, like, here are these calm down tools, here are how to use them. This is kind of like, this is like this care and keeping a view conversation where we are teaching our kids, this is how, this is the way noticing, this is the way you seem to work.

This is, maybe this is how, these are the best tools for the care and keeping of you, right? Like, how do we, how do we do that? I love that. I'm noticing this. I noticed that last time, this, right? And so it's, we're, we're not like the all knowing one. We're just, we're kind of pointing these things out in a skillful way.

I love this. I think this is going to be an episode that people. Rewind and re listen to because you're so skillful with your language. Oh, certainly. Like how to, how to, how to talk about everything. Well, we have you here. We talked about scripts for setting boundaries, scripts for how to use calm down tools.

I want to ask about one of the other big, big ones. Alrighty. Dun, dun, dun. Here we go. Here we go, Robin. Are you ready? Okay. What do we say, what are the scripts for setting boundaries around screen time for when we need to get our kids off?

[00:27:46] Dr Robyn Silverman: I feel this one in my bones. Ugh. It's something that I contend with in my own house.

It is super frustrating for everyone, and I think part of the reason why it's so frustrating is because we, again, still don't have a template for this. My husband and I were talking about this the other day, like, if we were home in the middle of the day, we wouldn't Like, what was even on Days of Our Lives and, like, some kind of news show that we would never want to watch?

And so, watching TV wasn't really an option, and then actually, like, playing games and all of that, just, we didn't have it, right? We didn't really have all of that stuff. 

[00:28:33] Hunter: So, because we yeah, there was only three, so much Threes, so much Threes Company I could watch.

[00:28:38] Dr Robyn Silverman: I know, right? It's like, okay, maybe it was like Maybe you had some reruns of, like, some, like, Father Knows Best or something, or like, leave it to me.

[00:28:50] Hunter: I used to watch Beaver, Mr. Ed, I could sing you the whole Mr. Ed theme song. 

[00:28:56] Dr Robyn Silverman: I'm so excited about this for you, that that's what you have. That's what you've got. Yeah. That is, that is some good stuff right there. Yeah, so, uh, let me just confess that this is, this is a struggle for all of us and, and, and me included.

It's not like people think somehow like I have like magic children. I do not have magic children. Like I, I talk to them about everything. I do, but that doesn't mean that they don't make these mistakes and I don't make the mistakes too. And meaning like There are times when I'm getting ready for this book launch, I'm exhausted, and I have so much to do that I don't want to micromanage them.

I actually say this to them too, and, and part of it is, so, Mom has this, this option, I can either micromanage and be on top of every single screen time that you do, everything you do, I can watch it on apps, I can turn it on and off. I can see what you're doing. I could do all of those things. I don't think you really want that though.

What I think you probably would want is to have some autonomy and be able to make some choices for yourself. So what I want to know is how much screen time do you think is It'd be good for you. Like, what do you, like, what do you want? What kind of screen time do you want to be able to use and how much time do you feel like is reasonable?

What else do you want to be able to do during the day? Sometimes, as even at my age, like I can get swept away with looking at certain things online. Okay. They're talking about like preteens and teens at this point, or even the younger kids who might have access to YouTube or, or some of these other apps in your house.

I can get carried away and one YouTube video can lead to another. And by the time I look at the clock, it realized three hours have gone by. Yeah, that happens to me too. And, and it just because I'm an adult doesn't mean that, that I don't get carried away with it sometimes. But what I realize is that sometimes when I get carried away with it, then now I don't get to do the things that I was actually thinking I was going to do when half the day is over.

So I was wondering, how much time do you think is reasonable enough for you? Okay. And then I realized that. Sometimes in the beginning of the day, I have all these lofty plans and things I'm going to do, but then I sit down and start doing these things and then half the day is gone. So, I'm wondering, what are you hoping that you get done today?

Like, what are you, what do you really want to do today? Do we want to take a walk? Do we want to go get lunch? Do we want to go to see, you know, to go roller skating? Do you want to see a friend? What are you hoping to be able to do today, tomorrow, on Sunday? Whatever the, the question is. So you're front loading it.

These are what I call pre talks. Sometimes we get in danger when we are trying to have these conversations when it's actually already happening. And then we're like losing our minds because three hours have already gone by and they've only done the, you know, that's all they've done. And that gets really frustrating.

So if people are listening and they're thinking to themselves, because I would be thinking to myself, okay, yeah, but this still happens. My kid is still like, I could have these conversations with them, but my kids are still, you know, going to be using way too much screen time and I don't want to sit on top of them.

So I, I will sit with them and I'll be like, okay, I have this new app that says, um, it can give you a certain amount of time. And I'm wondering if that might make the most sense to you because you just told me that you only want to use two hours. And if you're saying that you would like to start these two hours at 8.

30 in the morning till 10. 30, and that's Sunday morning, you know, and mom and dad love to watch CBS Sunday morning anyway, it's like around the same time. So if you're using that, and we're using that, and it automatically shuts off at 10. 30, then we don't even have to talk about it. We already know that it's going to happen.

What do you think about that? As if it's like somebody came over and turned it off, but you already know in advance you could do all the things you want to do within that two hour period. Sometimes they will be on board with that because they know what's going to happen. It's no surprise. You're not sneaking up on them.

You're not saying, I'm shutting this down. They already know in advance. You have two hours or one hour or half an hour, you have full reign on this app of what you want to do. Obviously, you've already put in parameters. And you can go for it. And now you're hands free. 

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

And you've had a conversation where you've included them in the conversation. You've listened to their ideas about what they think is enough. Yes. And you're bringing them into that kind of conversation. And even if they say like, oh, I think I should be able to watch six hours of screen time a day and say, do you really think you should, you know, you can talk about that and talk about the other things you want to do and say, okay, well, I hear that you want six hours a day, but I, I think that's really not healthy.

You know, I think I would be okay with two hours. How do you feel about that? Right. So that whole, including in the conversation, just is the, is, is the essential ingredient before whatever the end of the screen time moment, before that end of screen time moment happens. This conversation has to happen, this pre loading conversation.

[00:34:31] Dr Robyn Silverman: The pre loading and also being able to say to them, I want you to look up, like, there's these people that say how much screen time we're supposed to be getting because they look at the brain all the time. And I'd love to, you to look at, at, let's look at the American Psychological Association or let's look at, you know, let's look at some of these governing bodies and like, you know, let's look at common sense.

Let's look at and see what, what do they say? of how much time we should have and why. Because sometimes people are why kids, right? They want to know why. Are you arbitrarily telling me two hours? No, that doesn't come from nowhere. That actually comes from this is what's recommended, right? You should have at least an hour of moderate to, you know, to major activity, you know, physical activity a day.

You should limit screens to two hours a day unless you're doing something like typing and writing and that kind of thing. So you're able to say that. And you also, what are they doing online? Yes, video games is one thing, but my son loves to read online. So now that's, that's a different thing. Like if you're switching to reading.

Now, you're reading a book, you might be doing something that's really healthy for yourself and that's just the medium. So that's the discussion.

[00:35:39] Hunter: I love that. And then when we get to the place of, you know, we, cause we know the screens are addictive and things like that. And we get to the place where we've, maybe we've agreed it's the two hour limit and we don't yet have the technology that turns it all off.

And we have to say, Hey. Kiddo, it's time to stop. Um, do you have any scripts for doing that, going through that process skillfully?

[00:36:04] Dr Robyn Silverman: Ugh, it's so stinky. And sometimes I'll be like, okay, so at this point, you know, Dora is over or, you know, you've watched your show, they are begging for their next, you know, the next show, just one more.

And, you know, you remember we said that we were going to turn it off. All right. Do you want to turn it off? Do you want me to turn it off? Now you're starting to choice make and you have the thing that's coming next. You know, your child already. You already know they're going to do this because you've experienced this before.

So what are they doing right now? What are they, as I mentioned just before, what are, not just what are they going away from, but what are they going towards? I say this in, in so many times, you know, when you were like, Oh, how do you solve the bullying, you know, bully situation? Don't just tell a child to move away from the bully, tell them who to move towards.

In this case, we're not just turning off the TV or taking away the iPad, what are we going towards? Okay, we're turning this off and now we are going to go bake that cake for your, your dad's birthday. Now we're going to go to the park and meet your friend. Now you have the next thing already. You may have already even set it up.

All the clay is on the table and we're ready to, you know, now we're ready to paint pottery. Now we're ready to do, so you have the thing that is going to be the next thing already. And yes, that takes planning. But, it doesn't need to be some complex thing. It doesn't need to be some fancy pantsy, you know, now I'm going to like tie dye shirts and I've got all the different dyes.

Like, you don't need to do all that. Just knowing what's next and your child knowing what's next can be extremely helpful. Just look at what happens in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade. You're, the teacher already knows what's coming next. when they clean up from lunch and move on to the next thing.

They're not like, Hmm, now what are we going to do? They've already got it set up and you've got activity corners. You've got, you know, the next thing that's happening so that the child knows the schedule. and maybe even help to plan the schedule and sees, has visual cues of what the next thing is. You might even say like a couple minutes before, like 15 minutes before, Ooh, I'm going to go set up those paints.

So, you know, I'm so excited that we get to do that next after you finish your show so that they have an anticipatory reaction to what's happening.

[00:38:30] Hunter: Okay, so what, what are they moving towards? That's a very important question. What, what are they moving towards? Maybe it's just lunch, or maybe it's just going outside, or maybe it's walking the dog, you know, setting up play.

I love that. I love that. These are, these are great. We're setting those boundaries. We're including them in it. And what are we moving towards? This is, this is great. So Robin, you have learned and, and, and had these conversations for a long time in your podcast, How to Talk to Kids About Anything. You had been talking to, to kids about all the different things.

So for even those tough conversations, what are some of the toughest conversations you've had with your kids?

[00:39:12] Dr Robyn Silverman: Ooh, Hunter's going there. Okay. The toughest conversations. I'll tell you that Is it sex? Well, the pre conversation, like the pre, the, the, the scariness before having the sex talk, like you build it up in your head, like, this is, this is really hor, this is going to be horribly embarrassing and awkward.

And we build it up and then we don't, you know, they, we try to push away from it as much as possible. And then, you know, my daughter one night just said to me, and you know, I was talking about my, my friend Heather, who was pregnant at the time and. And she said, but how did the, how did the baby get in there?

And the, and, and there you go, right? You're now, you're in the conversation. So that was one of them. I say to parents, like, if you have to just blaze through, like just, just do it. Though the porn talk, man, nobody wants to talk about this with kids. I don't think anybody's like, yay, I'd like to talk about this with my kids.

I did the same thing that I'm recommending, which is. I sat down, this is in my book, and in fact, one of the interviewers, somebody who interviewed me for an article recently, was like, I picked up on this one thing that you did in your book on the porn talk, and I had to circle it and want to ask you about it.

I walked over to the table, you know, I was serving chicken parm, you know, and like with a side of let's talk about porn. So, like, I sat down and basically said. There is these studies that came out that said by age 11, a lot of kids have already seen porn. Have you? My kids at the time were 11 and 12. Like, once the words leave your mouth, now they can, like, do their thing, but, like, you have to sometimes just get, get the words out as quickly as possible so that you don't just, you know, fold into yourself.

Now, and my kids, you know, they, they react in any way that, that, that typical kids would be. I mean, my son happens to be, like, pretty good with just, like, let's talk about this and my daughter wants to hide under the table, which is fine. So, my son actually said at that time. Uh, yeah, I, I was Googling something and then something came up and I X'd out of it right away.

And I never told you because I thought I'd get in trouble. My daughter said, yeah, I was with a friend of mine and we, something popped up. We were looking at something and something popped up and we slammed the computer, computer screen down and didn't touch it for the remainder of the day. Again, same thing, like, I didn't tell you because, like, first of all, I didn't want to talk about it, and second, you know, I was afraid I was going to get in trouble.

And this is the beautiful opportunity, like, like, it is lobbed up to you as a parent. This is like freaking gold. When you can say, you will never get in trouble, anything that you bring to my attention. If you tell me that something's happened, you want to clean up a mess, you want to get rid of a mistake, you want to, you know, talk to me about something that you found embarrassing, there is no time that you will get in trouble for that.

And in fact, I'd really love for you to come to me and tell me about that, or dad, or whoever, about this, because here's the thing, a porn is like a, it's, it's, it can be addictive, it's really dangerous, it shows a lot of violence. And I explained, you know, what it, what it is. It's not just naked bodies. Now we're also talking about things happening that are, you shouldn't be seeing because it can be extremely violent.

It's very much against women. I'm talking about these things and the scientists say that people who are watching it or seeing it and get addicted to it, like it can change their brains forever and we don't want this for you. So I want you to know that if you come across anything like that, you can always tell us.

And I also want you to know right up front, I don't want you watching it and here's why. So this is parenting goal. This is when you're like, I'm not saying, Hey, Dr. Robin, you did a great job. I'm saying this is the time when your kids have given you the perfect opportunity to say those values of yours, whatever they are.

Okay. Maybe they're different.

[00:43:21] Hunter: You will never get in trouble for talking to me about this.

[00:43:23] Dr Robyn Silverman: And it came up again. Later on, like recently, when my daughter was in the car with me and said, she's 14, okay, she's in high school, and she said to me, if I ever, in the future, not now, Mom, if I ever in the future wind up at a party where there's drinking, or if I wound up drinking, like would you like just be so mad at me, like would you just like be so mad at me and punish me, I say, here, again, lobbed up, here's the one thing I'd want you to know in this situation.

I want you to call me no matter what, at any time of day. I don't care if it's 3 a. m. I don't care if you've drank, your friends have drank, the person's drove drank. I don't care who did. I want you to call me and tell me to come. I will come and get you. I don't care where you are. I don't know what you care, what you did, and I will come and get you and I will pick you up because your safety is the most important thing to me.

Would I be like thrilled that this happened? No, I'm not thrilled that it happened. You know who I am. I don't even drink myself, but like I understand it's going to happen. But as you know, you will never get in trouble with me if you tell me what's happened because you have now made a really good choice for yourself.

So usually it's, it, it winds up flowing through every conversation that you have, especially as things get amped up and dangerous.

[00:44:40] Hunter: I love that. That you will never get in trouble for telling me these things. My ears are just the most important thing. I think that's so important, you know, when we have those conversations and then we have, we, we, we end up having these conversations by, uh, kind of what I'm hearing you say is either, A, just like forcing the words out of our mouth.

[00:45:01] Dr Robyn Silverman: Blaming you, me, the study, sure,

[00:45:04] Hunter: or yeah, blame, blaming the podcast. I do that a lot. I'm like, so I had a podcast on guest on today. And actually, I want to give, since we kind of like touched on porn, I want to give everyone a resource in episode 416, we talked with Dr. Amy Lang about how to keep your kids safe from porn.

So that was, that's a whole episode on this. This is really golden, what you've given us. And I think that that's another episode to, to take it further. But I think what I'm kind of hearing here is that we, we become askable. So go back to the beginning. By not freaking out, we become askable by regulating our emotions and realizing that our kids need to learn in these moments.

Like they don't need a punishment in these moments, they need to learn. And if we can remember that we have to just teach them what they need to learn in those moments and we have to see what they know and be, uh, be, uh, create an open dialogue for conversation by bringing curiosity rather than judgment, then All of these conversations can flow and then our kids are also more open to it when we just like, I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm picturing like a push pop, we just push in for it out of our mouth.

[00:46:19] Dr Robyn Silverman: I'm like, why don't you just, you'll just have to do it. I, like, people will ask me, how do you get your children to talk to you about anything? And I will say, If you want your child to talk to you about anything, you have to be willing to talk to your kid about anything. Yeah. We've got to just do it. And, and sometimes they'll be like, this is so awkward and this is, I don't want to talk about this.

I don't even like saying these words and I completely get that. Nobody wants to talk about these things. What do you want your child to know when they're not with you, when they're at that friend's house? When there is drafting, when there is the computer, when there what do you want them to know? And I hope it's the voice inside their head that comes from you and your conversation you had with them.

Like, Oh, my mom said, I never get in trouble if I talk about this. My mom said, Oh, you really shouldn't be looking at this because it can change the brain. Whatever it is that you've been saying all those times.

[00:47:21] Hunter: You want your kid to be like the most informed kid. Yeah. That's it. It's like from you, not from their friends.


[00:47:28] Dr Robyn Silverman: I mean, they'll get it from somewhere. People are like, Oh, I don't want my child to know about that yet. Guess what? 

[00:47:34] Hunter: They're gonna learn about it. They're gonna do it anyway. Yeah. And knowledge, knowledge is power for them. That's right. Yeah. Um, since, um, we'll keep you posted. So, very, since that podcast conversation with Amy Lange about how to talk to your kids about porn and things like that, I've had a lot more conversations with my daughter about all kinds of things.

And I've talked to my 13 year old daughter about things like, well, kind of, like, what is a blowjob? And yeah. And it was actually, it wasn't that bad. I have, it turns out, it's like, you're like, okay, we did that. It was done. And then the question, it was great.

[00:48:11] Dr Robyn Silverman: That is the best thing when you realize that in the beginning of the school year, well, it's only a couple, you know, not that long ago, right?

In the beginning of this school year. My daughter was telling me in front of her friends, like there was like a, uh, she was on FaceTime and she was like, kiss the boy I like, you know, and her friends are looking at me and, and her and wide eyed. And she turns to them, she's like, Oh no, my mom and I are cool like that.

I tell her everything. And I was like, Oh my gosh, did somebody see that? Like, did somebody hear that? Because all of a sudden you realize all those times. All those breadcrumbs you left, all those awkward conversations, they were all worth it because your child is talking to you about these things that matter.

And when you talk about these smaller things, they'll talk about the bigger things. And you really want to be involved in those.

[00:49:10] Hunter: Yay. Good for you. That's amazing. I love this success story. Okay. So, Dr. Robin Silverman's new book is How to Talk to Kids About Anything, Tips, Tricks, Scripts, Stories, and Steps to Make Even the Toughest Conversations Easier.

Thank you for coming on the Mindful Parenting Podcast and letting me grill you for the best juiciest scripts on everything. I appreciate it so much. I know my listener does too. Um, thank you so much. Is there anything else you want to leave us with?

[00:49:40] Dr Robyn Silverman: Oh, I mean, you can do this. You know, we can all do this and let's heed the words of Hunter and take our deep breaths.

And then we can launch in with anything if we're going to just take that deep breath. And I would so appreciate all of you getting my book, having it at the ready, reading it, and then go, you know, look at it, share it with your friends, send it to people. We all need to have these conversations with kids and when they have these conversations, they are more equipped.

And they're more equipped with your values and your voice. So take it seriously.

[00:50:15] Hunter: Awesome. Thank you again so much. This has been such a pleasure to talk to you. So much fun. Truly, truly appreciate it. 

[00:50:20] Dr Robyn Silverman: Thank you so much, Hunter.

[00:50:31] Hunter: Hey, thank you so much for listening. I hope you got a lot out of this. I sure did. I loved talking to Robin. It was so helpful. I'd love to know what you think. If you got something out of this podcast, You can reply to an email I send you if you're on the mailing list. You can tag me at Mindful Mama Mentor on Instagram if you post about it.

Or even better, if you really like the podcast, what I would love, love, love, love is you could, could you just tell one friend about the Mindful Parenting podcast today? That makes such a big difference. You have no idea because people to people, that's kind of how we grow. That's how we've gotten to over 3 million downloads and it means the world to me.

So tell a friend that would be amazing and I'm wishing you a great week. I hope you have peace. I hope you have ease, I hope you have skillful conversations, and I hope you have rest and hugs and all of the good stuff. I will see you again real soon. Thank you, thank you so much for listening. Namaste.

[00:51:46] Dr Robyn Silverman: 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 alone. If you're 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 perspective to shift everything in your parenting.

[00:52:50] Hunter: Are you frustrated by parenting? Do you listen to the experts and try all the tips and strategies, but you're just not seeing the results that you want? Or are you lost as to where to start? Does it all seem so overwhelming with too much to learn? Are you yearning for community people who get it, who also don't want to threaten and punish to create cooperation?

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

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