Dr. Aliza Pressman is a developmental psychologist, and  cofounding director of The Mount Sinai Parenting Center. Aliza is also the host of the hit podcast, Raising Good Humans. 

477: The Science of Parenting

Dr. Aliza Pressman

Hunter talks to Aliza Pressman of the Raising Good Humans podcast about Attachment Parenting, self-regulation, the dangers of our optimization culture, chores & freedoms for kids and more in this comprehensive episode that will help you take a breath and relax about all things parenting.

The Science of Parenting-Dr. Aliza Pressman [477]

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*This is an auto-generated transcript*

[00:00:00] Aliza: I'm sure that much of my interest in kind of resilience building and the environment of parenting comes from sort of wondering about how I came to be and how my family members came to be who they are.

[00:00:20] Hunter: You're listening to The Mindful Parenting Podcast, episode number 477. Today, we're talking about the science of parenting with Dr. Eliza Pressman.

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 Press Pause, Stay Present, and Connect with Your Kids. Hello and welcome.

Hello? Hello. I dunno what I'm trying to do. My singing is bad. I'm just, you should get to it. But before I do, uh, if you would like to support the podcast, if you get some value from it, please just tell one friend about it. Tell a friend about it today. Hey, this is what I'm listening to. Check it out. That can be a great thing to do.

Maybe you'll get another great recommendation back. Anyway, it's a great way to support the podcast. Please do that, and I hugely appreciate it. And in just a moment, I'm going to be talking to Dr. Aliza Pressman. She is a developmental psychologist and co founding director of the Mount Sinai Parenting Center and host of a podcast you may have heard of called The Raising Good Humans podcast.

So we were going to talk about how she's got a podcast called Raising Good Humans, and I have a book called Raising Good Humans. You'll hear us have a chat about that. Um, but Aliza has so many great credentials. She has a BA from Dartmouth College, an MA in Risk Resilience and Prevention from the Department of Human Development at Teachers College, and a PhD in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University.

We are going to talk about attachment parenting, self regulation, the dangers of our optimization culture, chores and freedoms, and so much more. And she's going to bring in the research in this super great comprehensive episode. It's going to help you take a breath, going to help you relax about all things parenting.

Um, so I know you're going to have a great time. I know you may want to share this episode, please do, and let's just get right into it. Join me at the table as I talk to Dr. Aliza Pressman.

Dr. Aliza, thank you so much for coming on the Mindful Parenting Podcast. I'm so glad you're here. 

[00:03:16] Aliza: Thank you for having me. I'm so excited to be here and to meet you finally.

[00:03:20] Hunter: We were joking before we recorded this that I had to apologize to her that she couldn't name her book, Raising Good Humans, because that's the name of my book.

But as you probably know, dear listener, Dr. Eliza has the Raising Good Humans podcast, which is a wildly popular, fantastic podcast. So, you get it all. Getting it all right here. Well, I'm so excited for you to be on here and I really love your approach because you're very science based and you know, you're, you advocate for the middle path being perfectly imperfect, which I'm just, I'm so happy about all of that.

But before we dive into that, I'm wondering, You know, I mean, for a lot of us like me, I sort of teach in response to how I grew up, some, some changes I wanted to make for you. What was your childhood like and how were you raised?

[00:04:13] Aliza: Um, yeah, it's funny, in research, there's a joke, research is me search, and so whenever anybody in my field is like, why are you so obsessed with parenting, um, I'm like, well, um, no, I actually was raised with two very wonderful parents and a wonderful stepparent, but I was a child of divorce at a very young age.

Um, and so I think. I'm also the grandchild of Holocaust survivors, just, there was like a lot of, there was a lot of deaf, as all of our families have, and I just thought it was fascinating. I was just raised like I had, my mom was a school teacher, and um, she couldn't be sort of a more central casting school teacher.

And, um, you know, like every, every occasion was celebrated with wordplay and like, you know, celebration and she just has a very, loving, warm way about her. She wasn't really great at rules. Um, but, and then my father was a scientist and a total, you know, wonderful loontune in his own right. Um, and we lived in separate states.

So I'm sure that much of my interest in kind of resilience building and The environment of parenting comes from sort of wondering about how I came to be and how my family members came to be who they are. Um, but I, You know, I didn't have anything that was like, this defining moment is why I am so interested.

I think it was just like a, a little recipe of curiosity. And I also was, and am so fascinated by the construct of resilience because my grandparents were so like, that was such a topic in our household, um, because of what they had been through. It was so, they're, my grandparents. Grandfather's 99 and still going.

Um, and so it's, it's a lot of, you know, there's a lot of beautiful and horrible history that comes with grandparents who have survived that kind of trauma. And I just inevitably was one of, somebody in our family was gonna dig in. I think it's actually quite common. I don't know that anyone's did a study on it, done a study on it, but I do hear a lot of Holocaust survivors refer, like, referencing their grandchildren.

Being in the space of psychology or mental health, and I don't think that's a coincidence.

[00:07:21] Hunter: Yeah, I, I imagine, yeah, you would be fascinated as to how you could survive that, how you could smile, how you could laugh again, how you could, Have hope and all of those things. Or it makes a ton of sense. It makes a ton of sense.

Now, when you were a young parent, I'm curious about you because you're obviously an achiever, you know, we just have to take a tiny peek at your resume to see that. Doctor's degree, you know, all those different things. When you got, you know, now you, and you have this doctorate in psychology, as you get to like your first child, how do you approach this?

I mean, do you, do you freak out? Are you like, Oh my God, I'm going to do All the right things. Are you feeling like, Oh, this is great. I got this. I'm good. How did, how does it, how does it go for you with child number one? 

[00:08:16] Aliza: Well, the first, let me say that I'm in this very specific branch of psychology, which is not, What people typically hear about, it's called developmental psychology, and it's really studies change over time, how we come to be who we are, the cognitive, social, and emotional development of the human from, you know, throughout the lifespan, but it typically focuses on kids, not clinical psychology, which looks at kids.

Psychopathology, and kind of whether or not there's a diagnosis. It's a very important field. It's just so much more, um, the lens is so much more a lens of what's going wrong and how to intervene. And I think developmental psychology informs clinical because you have to know what is expected to know when things are going off track, um, but it's more of a prevention lens.

So I didn't have the same, you know, in a way, this is kind of funny sounding, but. I see my lens is how much things go right versus how things can go wrong. So I didn't have the same like panic that my friends in the clinical program had. It was like, there was something protective about my kind of, my field is like much more like you look at.

These relationships between the parent and child and you look at the change over time and growth as like animals on safari. So I was much more of an observer and that was helpful. But what was terrible was that I was writing my dissertation while I still had, you know, I was listening to my newborn crying.

And like trying to furiously finish my dissertation and had set aside the time. And I, I remember just being like, and my dissertation, of course, was on attachment relationships and, you know, very specifically it was on maternal sensitivity and child outcomes. So it was like this sensitive mother was ignoring her child and letting the father pick up the child and care for the child while the mother was writing about how important it was.

To care for the child and pick up the child. So it was like, it was just weird. Um, and that was hard for me to come to terms with. And then also, um, I think I was okay with the procedural stuff. Like I understood kind of how to deal with the things that might stress other people out, like potty training or sleeping or things that I knew were not Like, how I went about doing it wasn't going to make or break my child.

I was devastated when I got divorced. Like, that was much harder because I'm like, research is not great for kids of divorce. So I think it was good for the little stuff of parenting and kind of not sweating the small stuff. And it was not great for the bigger stuff because I was like, wait, I do need to sweat the big stuff.

So this does not feel like aligned with my hopes and dreams.

[00:11:38] Hunter: Yeah, yeah. And I meant, and also at, at that time, like, you know, I feel like there's probably a lot more, there might be more research now on divorce and the differences in divorce. Like it, you know, because it's, there's such a big difference between two parents consciously going through a process and centering on the health of it while being of a child versus like two parents screaming at each other.

Intentions divorce. Yeah. Totally. Exactly.

[00:12:01] Aliza: Totally. Totally. And now as an, as, as a grown. Even though I was a grow up when I had my babies, but like, I feel, I just turned 50 and I feel like, okay, now I'm officially, I think, considered an adult. Um, I, I, I really do believe the research that it's not, you know, it's like, there are so many other factors that we look at that make divorce have negative or positive and mutual impact.

I didn't have that capacity when I was going through it, so it just, there was so much guilt and shame. I

[00:12:35] Hunter: Oh, I'm sorry. I'm sorry to hear that you had that, but while you were talking about the idea of, I mean, I, I was kind of thinking about talking about this later, but While you're talking, we're talking about the idea of your dissertation, you're talking about attachment, you know, you mentioned the research on different things, like write out and things like that.

And one of the things you talk about, um, in the Five Principles of Parenting is like how secure attachment does not depend on attachment parenting. And I was wondering if we could just, while we're on the subject of attachment, kind of just touch on that. What do you mean by that? 

[00:13:09] Aliza: Yeah, I would love to talk about that because, um, I think it was a very cruel time in, in the translation of science to parents, and I don't mean disrespect to the founding father of attachment parenting as a concept, because I understand that everybody, all of us who are putting things out in the world are doing the best we can from what information that we have.

[00:13:41] Hunter: Mm hmm.

[00:13:42] Aliza: But I think he borrowed the most important concept in human development, which is attachment, which is just about connection and attunement that isn't happening all the time. It's just happening enough to keep children feeling like they have a safe harbor and turned it into a parenting movement, like a trend.

Yeah, a big one. That was huge and gave mothers in particular the impression that the procedural stuff, like how your child poops and is held and is sleeping and, you know, is fed is going to have an enormous impact on their connection with you, which will have an enormous impact on their health and development.

And that's just. That's not true to the science. And it's downright harmful to a lot of mothers who were like really suffering because they thought they weren't capable mothers because they couldn't breastfeed 24 hours a day or because they were too tired to co sleep or because they didn't want to do baby wearing.

And there's literally no research to suggest that that would be better for child outcomes. And so. The research that was cited were things like comparing babies in Romanian orphanages who were left to, um, who, who, who were left in a giant room in an orphanage in Romania without getting care and love and connection and who were just left to cry.

that that was harmful and they had failure to thrive and comparing that to a loving household with parents who are just like taking a shower, like that's just not okay.

[00:15:49] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

Okay, so you're talking about how they compared these Romanian orphanages to Families, you know. 

[00:16:05] Aliza: Right. Yeah. It just, it was like the kind of thing where you take, they didn't name that they were talking about Romanian orphanage research, by the way. So I felt like if you're going to tell parents that studies show that when you leave babies to cry, they have, they are more likely to have failure to thrive.

Then you better reference that you're talking about a Romanian orphanage and kids who are being neglected, not kids who are loved and fed and cared for and just like the parent is taking a shower. So I think that that, like if they had called that parenting approach anything else, I wouldn't have been so grumpy about it, but I felt like, please don't use a word that most people associate with really robust research on child development.

and Confuse Us, you know?

[00:16:55] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. Good. Okay. Dear listener, you've heard it here from Dr. Aliza. Uh, thank you. Thank you for clarifying that. And that is one of the things I really like about your book and your approach is that you advocate for research and the middle path. And like for being an observer, right?

Developing your awareness of what's happening in your family, you know, and I love this sentence in your book, extreme ideas may seem comforting at times. Like there's some way to win at parenting if you and your child conduct yourselves just in some just, just right, right? So I love that. So tell us what are the three R's that lead to the resilience in our kids?

[00:17:36] Aliza: Um, first, thank you for even giving me the opportunity to mention that pain point of the attachment parenting pressure and all the extremes because I feel your pain. Yeah. It's so, it's so unfair to parents, particularly mothers, and it's just not even true. So it's like one of those things where I feel like we, we should be able to shout it from the rooftops to protect the dignity of mothers everywhere.

Um, And also, I, I should say that if you are doing the approach that feels extreme, but it's working for you, Godspeed, there's nothing wrong with it. It's just, let's not, there's a difference between no harm and the right way. So, I just want to say that, um, but the five R's that are kind of a pathway to resilience are Relationship, Reflection, Regulation, Rules, and Repair.

And I chose these areas of research very simply because they were in, like, our control. So it's like research about things for which we actually can do something about. They're teachable, and they're highly linked with resilience. So that was what I, those were, those were sort of the criteria that I was looking for.

Um, when I thought, okay, if I'm really just saying what, what does resilience boil down to that we actually can do something about? I wanted to say, these are the five core principles. They impact every interaction you have as a parent, and you can go back to them to solve pretty much any challenge, whether you have a toddler or a teenager.

And then, um, and then there were other kind of one other area of resilience that I talked about because it's teachable, which are skills that you can build in your kid. But even those aren't in your control. You can do your best and you can, you know, I obviously listed the skills and the kinds of activities you can do by age to.

promote those skills, but we can't control anybody but ourselves. So those five R's were meant to sort of inspire us to focus on what really matters that we can actually do something about.

[00:20:02] Hunter: Yeah. I love how practical your approach is as well. I, I really share that, that love of like, what can we do ourselves?

What do we actually have control over? Um, yeah, and, and you have, you know, there's, there's so much in here, dear listener. The book has a lot of wonderful sections on lots of different things. You can kind of hunt and peck from what you like, you know, what you're dealing with in the book, and you can, there's even quizzes and stuff, which I think is kind of fun.

Um, so there's lots of different areas to dive into. I was thinking that. It would be nice to share. You have a lovely acronym for help with self regulation, which we talk about, of course, here a lot on the Mindful Parenting podcast, BALANCE. Can you tell us what BALANCE stands for? 

[00:20:52] Aliza: Um, I really love that you said HUNT and PEC, because that's exactly, that totally articulates what I'm hoping for.

in this book. Like, I don't expect that this is the kind of book that you would need to read in one shot. It just seems like an unnecessary thing. But I do think that it's there for you throughout your child's development to hunt and peck for what works for you. And then I also love the idea of hunting and pecking for what resonates with you because of course everybody comes in with approaches and values and hopes and dreams.

And I think we share that we're not the decider of what those should be, um, and so I really appreciate it. And I'm going to remember that, Hunt and Peck. Um, so Balance is, which I think very much is aligned with your work. Breeze, I think it's just one of those, can't skip that one. No, no, no, no. And so much more powerful than anything, and it just feels too simple almost, but it just is what it is.

Acknowledge, even asking ourselves what's going on and being able to recognize that part of the reactions that we're having and part of what we're observing comes from a long history of being a person. And if we can acknowledge that, then we can let it go, which is the L, you know, and of course we can unpack any baggage later that we picked up when we were having that moment of acknowledgement, but it's just not necessary in that moment.

And then the next A is assess, and that's really just getting present and taking stock of the present moment so that you can figure out what's happening for. You, what's happening in your state of mind in that moment, what's happening for your child, and then you can notice your body, like what is actually going on in your body?

What is going on in your child's body? Our bodies tell us so many stories. And if you're, this is another, like, I am a neck up kind of gal. It's really, I think, part of why. got so deep into trying to understand mindfulness work was because it's so contrary to my way of being in the world because I just have a really hard time noticing that I have a body.

I can get really just like neck up and, you Think constantly, but I very rarely will pause. My natural state doesn't really pause and notice that I'm clutching my hands or that I'm, you know, my stomach is doing something or that my cheeks are flushed. Same with my kids. And when they were really young, I started to really intentionally kind of pay attention to things like that.

But it's still, and it's been many years that I've been trying to practice this. It's still not my default setting.

[00:24:21] Hunter: It can be so hard for people. It's funny because. I'm like the complete opposite. Like I can't, it's so hard for me to understand. I'm so aware of the emotions and the sensations and I'm like so kinesthetically aware that like I can't, I needed the mindfulness to be able to be like, okay, let me just like put a harness on these like raging horses, you know?

[00:24:46] Aliza: That's funny. I guess after I finished this acronym, I really think that that's another great, um, Point, which is just kind of temperament, because I think you're expressing our, our varying temperaments, but, um, the last two are just connect. That's just kind of, it's almost like the first, the, the first, you know, B A L A N E S, it's sort of the prep time for getting to act in it.

It really can take all of 10 seconds, but it's just, it, it requires practice. And then finally. B is Engage, because once you've done all that work, even though hopefully it becomes so embodied that you don't need to think of it as like step one, step two, step three, um, and it's so internalized that you just know.

this is your jam, then you have capacity to actually engage and make a decision about what you're going to do. Um, and even if you're going to yell, at least it's intentional. Um, so I mean, obviously that's not the big recommendation, but I really feel like if at that point you're still like, no, yeah, I've gone through all that and I'm still landing on, I'm going to yell.

There's something that feels a little bit better about that. 

[00:26:13] Hunter: I definitely had that moment actually, like, I, what, at one point, I, I, my daughter's nine and she was like, started laughing at me after I tried to just ignore her and let her go to bed. It was after movie night and then she started laughing at me and it was like, oh, a whole new trigger I didn't know I had.

Then I felt it all and then I was like, ah, I'm really angry. But I engaged in this like, conscious way. I yelled, but I yelled consciously. I was very proud of myself at the moment. I, that's awesome.

[00:26:46] Aliza: And by the way, I did the same thing last week and I have to say, I've been thinking about it a lot and I was, I was mad at myself for, you know, You know, shortly after for a few minutes.

And then I was like, wait, I was, I, I was conscious about that. And I really felt like that moment needed to happen. I mean, obviously there's no recommendation to go to the, to, to yell. But what a, what a freedom to be able to say, well, if I'm going to. Go there, at least let me do the work to go there consciously.

[00:27:22] Hunter: Yeah. And also, like, you know, for the listener who's used to you and I talking a lot about how maybe not to yell or not be so reactive might be confused by this conversation. It's also okay for you to have all the feelings. It's also okay for your kids to sometimes realize, like, Oh, this thing I did or said, or whatever it is, has produced this big reaction.

And if that's not all the time, if it's not so much that it's, you know what I mean? Like, it's okay for them to recognize the full spectrum of humanity, you know?

[00:27:58] Aliza: Yes, and in fact, obviously, I mean, both of us would say like, of course, if your default setting is that you go even to conscious yelling, that's something to reflect on.

But it's more often than not, you're able to regulate and then, you know, even when you regulate, if periodically you're going to. End up yelling and having that bigger reaction and that shows your kids the wide range of your capacity and all of our capacities and it shows them like, Oh, there is a point at which I've pushed the limit.

I don't think it's such a bad thing. And, and, um, cause we're not robots and I wouldn't want our kids to feel like they're robots either or expected to be.

[00:28:41] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. I agree. And yes, yes, yes. And that goes to why you, you have a chapter called Perfect Parenting is the Enemy of Good Parenting. And I think that is so true.

And I'm starting to see that that striving for perfectionism is more and more of a challenge for people. I'm seeing more and more questions about it and more and more people feeling very guilty and very worried about what they're doing. Um, and doing things right. And I'm wondering if that's what you're seeing as well.

I am. And you know,

[00:29:17] Aliza: I don't want to be part of the problem. So I'll just say here, and I do say this in the book, like take the support and guidance where it feels good for you. But the minute that it, you know, I remember when I first started working with parents and I bumped into parents on the street cause I was in New York City.

So often they would apologize to me. Like, I'm so sorry that you're seeing me. We don't, we don't usually have the pacifier in the mouth and out to dinner at eight o'clock or whatever it was. Um, and I was like, whoa, what, what can I do to shift this? Relationship so that I'm not the person that brings shame or like less than feeling because if, if I've been so prescriptive that there's like this magical right way, this, you know, potential for perfection.

then that's a me problem and it's not the mother or father or caregiver's problem. And so I had to do a lot of reflecting on how can I best provide information about how children develop and how we can thrive as humans and also remind everybody that part of that thriving is finding your own path and making mistakes and realizing they're survivable and that it isn't such a scripted, perfect way.

And further, it's, it would be harmful, I think. I don't even want to say harmful because I don't want anybody who feels like, Oh, great. Now I I've been striving to be perfect. And you're saying I'm hurting my kid, but I just think it's the idea that if that is even a possibility, what could that feel like for a child to be raised in, you know, a household where.

Getting it right all the time is the goal and is even perceived as what's going on.

[00:31:14] Hunter: Yeah, I, I agree. I think that, I don't know, I think that we all, you know, we want to try so hard. We want to do such a good job. And for me, I really come, there's an attitude and mindfulness of non striving. And this I think is so important that we actually like, we should be, you know, I want people to give themselves permission to just rest and.

Have ease and like go read a romance novel, whatever, you know what I mean? Just like have, give yourself permission to have ease. I think it's like a larger problem in our society that we are very against rest and ease if it is not in some consumptive way, you know? Stay

tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

[00:32:10] Aliza: I think that the benefit of having information and more science and more access to wisdom and support and all the good stuff is that it can also come across as kind of an optimization, children and parents culturally. And I think that to your point, it's like that kind of, in general. So we just have to be careful, like, to think about our intention behind why we're, you know, is it healthy striving for having more ease in this experience?

And of course, it's like so developmentally appropriate to want to do what's best for our kids. How could we not want that? That would be so weird if we had kids and casually we're like, we'll see how it goes.

But I do think that we could practice the idea of just letting go of the pressure for optimizing our parenting.

[00:33:20] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah, I agree. I agree. Okay. I love that you have a chapter on autonomy that's titled Eat, Poop, Love. Tell us about that chapter. I absolutely think that's like one of the best chapter titles ever.

I just really,

[00:33:38] Aliza: I was, my editor was so funny because she's like, I love that title, but I think it's going to turn people off who have older kids because that's only relevant to younger kids. But I was just like. No, these are fundamental human needs, and, um, I just, I'm clinging to this. Um, but also I just wanted some levity, like, this is, this is a serious, it's serious.

We're, we're raising humans, and also, it's funny. There's funny stuff, and I think it's so, I just never thought in my work, and when I was, um, when I first. I started this good at getting into this field that I would talk so much about poop, um, and how much it comes up, but, uh, I, I, Autonomy Supportive Parenting is kind of the version of authoritative parenting, that kind of balance between sensitivity of care and connection and relationship and all the stuff that goes under the R of relationship.

And having appropriate boundaries and limits, which is the umbrella I'm, I call rules. Autonomy Supportive Parenting is that way of supporting our kids so that they become people who feel like they have some agency and capacity. And we know that part of being confident is having competence. And I'm not talking about competence, like being able to score really well on a test or play, you know, the cello masterfully.

I'm talking about like knowing how to feed yourself and wipe yourself, put your clothes on. Like my bar is different maybe, but the things that are age appropriately mastering skills that help you feel like you've got this for yourself. And when we do everything for our kids, because either we feel like they need us to, or because they feel like we need us to, and we don't pay close attention to, you know, am I doing things for my little one?

That they're capable of doing. And in doing that, am I delivering a message that I don't feel like they could do it as well as I can? Um, so it was just, um, a chapter to pay attention to how to support the developmental growth without, you know, leaving kids to just sort of fend for themselves. And I think it's just another space between.

So I say, let kids do for themselves what they can already do. And guide and encourage them to do things they can almost do, which is just scaffolding. And then teach and model for them things they're not yet ready to do. And that's kind of the age to, um, go through anything from feeding to pooping to connecting.

[00:36:56] Hunter: Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah. That's a good way, sort of overarching way of saying it. And yeah. And in this chapter you talk about meals, family meals being like one of the best things I ever did, uh, for my family. But also you talk about, um, chores. Uh, it's sort of like on opposite pages. It's like chores by the ages and then let your child create a freedoms list.

Can you tell us about this and how you place them together?

[00:37:24] Aliza: Yes. So, I think, well, first, I, I know a lot of people like to talk about whether to give money for chores or. You know, just to have chores. And I know a lot of people don't like the word chores and I kept chores as the word, because it's the word people think about and recognize.

Um, but you could call them jobs or tasks or support or help, whatever feels right for you. I was talking about sort of the good old fashioned chores that, you know, when you're a member of a household community, you, even a classroom, you do that really help out and, um, In doing so, everybody feels better because you feel like you matter and your contributions matter and the people in your little community, even if it's your home communities, feel like you contributed and you're noticing the needs of others and you're also mastering skills.

So it's a win win for everybody and it doesn't require getting tokens or So a freedoms list helps you kind of come to terms with what your hopes and dreams are and your capacity. And so if you at any age, um, start to write down or your parent can write down for you if you're not able yet to write, the things that you really feel like you're ready for, that you're really hoping to get ready for.

Um, they often, which is so cute about young, young, earlier childhood is like chores feel like privileges. And then of course, teenagers, um, this is no longer true. Um, so what are you able to do that you really want to do? And what are you hoping to do that you really want to do? And then you can write that out and your parent can help you figure out what you're ready for and what you're, you know, you you're developing the skills to get ready for.

[00:39:32] Hunter: Yeah, yeah. And you have examples in the book, like a later bedtime, attending a party, traveling alone to school, um, Making their own breakfast, all kinds of different things. 

[00:39:43] Aliza: And you'll notice that some of those benefit us. Yes, exactly. But

[00:39:46] Hunter: I, I think that's such a great way to talk about chores. Like this is, you know, yes, you contribute more and you get more freedom, right?

Like as you show that you're more of a contributor, you're getting more responsible, you get more freedom along with, they go hand in hand. 

[00:40:07] Aliza: Exactly. And, and that way the, it's not like this, this kind of relationship that's tense. It's, I mean, of course there's always going to be a little bit of tension, but it becomes like, Oh, this all makes sense.

Like, of course, there's going to be good stuff that comes along with some of the responsibility of getting more agency and getting more capacity for helping out and doing things and, um, Just growing. And I know as kids get older, some of them really don't like to have more responsibility. It's scary. And others are desperate for it and they want more than they can handle.

And so a freedoms list kind of gets everybody on the same page.

[00:40:45] Hunter: I love that. I think that's such a great, uh, great way of looking at it. Um, I, I'm hesitating cause I know we don't have a lot of time left, but I love that you have a chapter. You have a chapter about parenting archetypes. And I was just wondering if you kind of talk a little about these archetypes and how they help us with our kids.

Okay. Parenting archetypes. So

[00:41:11] Aliza: I, I did bring that in because I, I really feel like we label parents so much, particularly mothers and, you know, with snow, snowplow parents and, you know, helicopter parents and tiger parents and all this stuff. And I really was thinking, it's more like, I like archetype better because it feels less judgmental and, um, and I also think it can help you figure out what, what your role is, what your spin is and what you're, what you want to think about.

And so first I just borrowed from Carl Jung because I just thought it was cool to reflect on. our inner multitude, that we, we aren't just what we present necessarily, but when we can present what is attuned with what we believe in the inside of us, then we feel more integrated. And so I talked about parenting persona because that's like our persona in the outside world.

What people think of us, like what would somebody, how would somebody describe you as a parent? Um, and it's just a reflection exercise. And then your parenting shadow is kind of the part of ourselves that we're ashamed of. Just like your, your person, you know, your, your shadow person, your shadow self. And it's like, we're both ashamed of it, but we can't seem to shake it.

And what does that mean? Like what, what brings that out in us? What are we so ashamed of? And it's not that we have to act on those urges. Let's say the urge is to scream at our kids and just be like, this is, you know, like, I demand respect or whatever, but we don't do it. We just feel like a real urge to do it.

I want, I also like, I want to normalize that. I want to normalize that sometimes you're annoyed with your kids or you're just like, I don't, I don't want to hang out right now, or I don't want to play. And it's not because I'm not in love with my kids. It's just because it's normal to have those little parts that we feel like I'm kind of, I'm not proud of this, but this is, this is inside of me.

And I just kind of think if we can acknowledge that and then just not act on those urges, but know that they're. They're just part of being a person. And

[00:43:51] Hunter: actually I have to share here. This is, it reminds me so much in my family. We joke about the idea that like, all of us are sort of like three or 5 percent evil joke about like, that's sort of like 3 percent evil coming up.

[00:44:07] Aliza: But you know how it's like, I just remember this moment when my, my oldest daughter was four and she was so upset. I mean, this is going to sound really kind of. It was a little creepy the way I, I'm explaining it, but in the moment I, I promise it wasn't as creepy sounding, which was like, I'm, I'm really freaking out.

I mean, she said this in four year old language. She was like, I'm really worried because I have bad thoughts and I'm worried that my, I'm going to get in trouble for those bad thoughts. Like God is watching me. And I don't know where she got that from because I don't, That's not language, kind of, that's in our household, but I was like, Oh, you didn't know this, and I probably should have named this for you, but we all have bad thoughts.

Like, it's, that's so, that's so great that you share that with me and I'm so honored. And also you should, I probably should have told you, you could think any bad thoughts you want. You just can't act on them. And I, you know, I asked her if she wanted to name some of them and we could write them down.

Anyway, they were all about her sister. Oh. And she was so ashamed, but then she was so relieved to find out that like no higher power or, you know, or me or herself needed to feel like what you're thinking about is a problem. And so that was, it was just kind of like reminders to myself because the truth is, I think, We all have those moments.

Like you said, you have in your family, the joke of the three to 5 percent evil. It's just like, there's something relieving about knowing, like, by the way, it w you know, it's not all puppies and bunnies in there for us with parenting.

[00:45:56] Hunter: Oh, true. So true. Um, yeah. And I think that naming these things and kind of, Looking at them as like, Oh, here is this, here is my parenting shadow, here is my sort of persona.

And it just really helps people to have like greater self awareness of like, Oh, this is here. And that's normal. And that's part of it. And it's not like, you know, I can, I can be in relationship with this part of me rather than it just running the show. 

[00:46:27] Aliza: Yes, exactly. And then it's like, we can then pay attention to, and obviously go into like.

archetypes that I made up because I just thought they were things that I observe a lot in my groups. And just one example is like the Martyr Mom of, and again, not to name call so much or label so much as just play it like it was more playful. I just wanted us to notice that we do bend in particular directions and to ask ourselves questions about what that means.

But just, I, I was thinking about the number of times that in, in my groups, particularly my mother's groups, um, somebody would describe something and the other moms in the group would tell them what a great mom they were if it was related to. some kind of, you know, something that feels like a martyr, you know, like giving up something so that you in the service of your kid or showing up to every practice or going to every game or bringing, you know, homemaking everything all the time.

And there are some people for whom that's just joy. And so that's not really about that, but I was more talking about like the attitude of doing these things despite myself. Or having the other parents react like, you're a better mom than I am because you do this.

[00:47:59] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, if it is something that gives you joy, that's great.

But on the other hand, you know, there is, there can be like a crazy competitive element to it. Like, my God, like I saw some video about some woman sharing like what her child brought home for Easter or no, for Valentine's Day and like this, this, it was like a two year old and this. Things that mothers and fathers, probably mothers, sent home for every single child in the class.

It's like, oh man, we gotta make it easier on ourselves, people.

[00:48:35] Aliza: Yes, yes, make it easier on ourselves. And it's not like it's ever going to be super easy because that would, I mean, we wouldn't be people. I don't think we have to assume that we're better if we're, you know, if it's hard. I mean, it's always, I guess, like when you're emotionally invested and you care.

Things are going to be harder. We don't have to double down on that with the martyr.

[00:49:02] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. Amen. Amen. Well, there's so much we could talk about. I feel like there's, there's so much in the, the book, the five principles of parenting. I really think it's a good, like, cover all your bases. You talk about screen time, you talk about sleep, um, you know, you talk, there's all these different things.

So it is really helpful to say, okay, like, let's try to cut away all the noise and see what does the research say. And I think that's, that's really helpful. I kind of wish it was around 17 years ago when I, when I, uh, but it's been such a pleasure to talk to you. I really appreciate your work and everything you're doing.

Is, you know, is there anything that we missed that you'd like to leave the listener with? And also where can people find you, um, if they want to continue the conversation? 

[00:49:58] Aliza: Thank you so much. Um, well, they can, just to confuse people, they can find me on Instagram on at Raising Good Humans Podcast. And, um, I have this book, The Five Principles of Parenting.

Um, and I have a Substack, which is just a free newsletter that sort of usually pulls something out of the podcast that week. Um, and that is dralizapressman. substack. com. Those are, I have no consistency in how to reach me.

It's just, but I do think it's really funny because we both, I, I, I think it's so wild and cool that you, you know, everybody's going to define what a good human is differently, but we all kind of know what it is, which is why I think we both landed on, we're all looking to raise good humans.

[00:50:57] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

I mean, Raising Good Humans, the, the book, Raising Good Humans, the podcast, and the Five Principles of Parenting. And obviously this podcast, they're all like, that's like a, a powerful com combination of items for your parenting journey. I think. And it's

[00:51:18] Aliza: all disarming and not making you feel less than, which I think is the first thing to do is just clear away any noise that where you're just like, I like myself less as a parent having read this or listened to this.

That, to me, is like a big red flag, and I hope that on everything that Hunter just said, like all of these things together are the opposite of that.

[00:51:43] Hunter: Amen. Amen. Sister. I love it. It was so nice to meet you. It was so nice to meet you too, Aliza. I've really, really enjoyed it. I really enjoy your work. I'm so glad you're out there in the world doing what you do and making such an impact.

I think it's Awesome, and I'm so glad to be on this journey with you. So thank you so much for coming on the podcast. Thank you so much. I feel the same way. Thank you for your work, and thank you for having me.

I hope you got something out of this episode. I mean, we talked about all these things. Regulation, chores, optimization culture. There's a lot. I love talking to Dr. Liza. Go figure that somebody who calls their podcast the Raising Good Humans podcast, and somebody who names their book the Raising Good Humans book, Well, not the, or just Raising Good Humans, whatever, it would get along well.

Uh, I was so happy we got along so well. I really, really enjoyed talking with her. And so I hope you got a lot out of it too. Um, yeah. And if you did, please tell a friend about it. Share it, you know, on social media or whatever, but like, yeah, tell one friend about it. That makes a huge, So, um, wishing you a great week.

I hope this has supported you in, uh, helping you learn and grow and blossom and all of those things. So, um, so glad I got to be here and be there with you as we do that. So yeah, just so you know, there's so many things happening beyond the podcast. Like, of course there's the flagship course, Mindful Parenting that helps you in the membership.

Like every week I'm talking to these members and walking them through things. There's a Mindful Parenting teacher training. I'm doing like a retreat called Bloom and Tulum in October. But anyway, you get to learn all about that stuff. Like I put in, you know, um, some of the audio ads for that here, but when you get to learn all about that stuff is when you're signed up for the mailing list.

So make sure you go to mindfulmamamentor. com and sign up for the mailing list so you can learn about all the things. Beyond the podcasts that are happening that where you can just dive in deeper and maybe we'll connect and maybe we'll even hang out in person and dance on the beach together. So if you want to do that, just, you know, check it out, go there and check out all the things that are happening because there's a lot happening.

at any given time, honestly. So, um, yeah, I'm doing things all the time every day to support parents to just feel more, you know, resilient and peaceful and steady and also take exciting steps and, and confidence, all that, you know. Anyway, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I'm wishing you a great week. I'm so glad you're here, and I'll be back.

I'll be talking to you again next week with another awesome episode. So thank you for being here as a listener of the Mindful Parenting Podcast, and I will talk to you again real soon. Namaste.

[00:55:00] Speaker 4: 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

[00:55:17] Speaker 5: 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.

[00:55:39] Speaker 3: 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.

[00:55:48] Speaker 6: 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.

[00:56:04] Hunter: Are you frustrated by parenting? Do you listen to the experts and try all the tips and strategies, but you're just not seeing the results that you want? Or are you lost as to where to start? Does it all seem so overwhelming with too much to learn? Are you yearning for community people who get it, who also don't want to threaten and punish to create cooperation?

Hi, I'm Hunter Clark Fields, and if you answered yes to any of these questions, I want you to seriously consider the Mindful Parenting Membership. You'll be joining us next. 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 mindfulparentingcourses. 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.


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