Carpool Q&A [E16] Can I Tell My Child No??

March 07, 2024 00:16:54
Carpool Q&A [E16] Can I Tell My Child No??
Empowered to Connect Podcast
Carpool Q&A [E16] Can I Tell My Child No??

Mar 07 2024 | 00:16:54


Show Notes

Within the framework of Connected Parenting lie some fundamental beliefs - not the least of which is that we want to attempt, whenever possible, to give our children 'yeses' as often as possible. To "say yes when we can and no when we have to" - but if you've been around this world long enough, you've inevitably seen or heard the criticism that people practicing parenting in the way we do "can't" tell our children no. As in, we're incapable of it because we're too soft (or insert any other criticism of connected parenting). We're here today to debunk that myth and to do it we've got Becca McKay and Tona Ottinger with us again on an episode you don't want to miss!

You can find Carpool Q&A every week right here in the Empowered to Connect Podcast feed as well as on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your favorite podcasts!

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:10] Speaker A: Welcome to Carpool Q A, where we give you one topic, one conversation to get you from point a to point b. I'm JD Wilson, and I'm here with Becca McKay and Tana Ottinger. And today it is Tana's turn to bring the question. And so, Tana, if you will want. Want you to bring the question to us, and then we will discuss. [00:00:27] Speaker B: Sure. I went to a colleague to ask for a good conversation question today, and the question is, can you tell your child no? [00:00:37] Speaker A: I'm going to beat Becca the punch here. Yep. [00:00:39] Speaker B: For Clark pool. [00:00:40] Speaker A: Q A. I'm JD Wilson. [00:00:41] Speaker B: Okay, we're done now. Yes. [00:00:43] Speaker A: You mean, I would love to hear. [00:00:47] Speaker B: We know the heart behind that. Yeah. [00:00:50] Speaker A: I'd love to hear the argument, though. That is coming from asking that question. Does that make sense? [00:00:55] Speaker B: Right? It's a myth. It's a connected parenting, attachment parenting myth of you all are permissive people over there just giving your kids whatever they want. I got you following their lead, letting. [00:01:08] Speaker A: Them have methods like a sarcastic, like, are you even able to tell your kid no? [00:01:12] Speaker B: I think so. Or it's like, man, I'm trying to change my mindset. And my default was always no. And now you all are telling me to practice this thing called yes day, or say yes when you can, but then, you know, we do say and no when you need to. [00:01:25] Speaker A: Right? [00:01:26] Speaker B: So I think there is a little myths out there. In fact, that's some of what we're talking about right now, even on our social media, is, like, debunking connected parenting myths. So not being able to tell your child no is a myth. So let's talk about that. How do we say no? Or when do we say no? That kind of thing. [00:01:46] Speaker C: Can I zoom back one step further backwards and say, I think that it's a myth because of what we do say yes to. And so I do think in connected parenting, you say yes to more emotions and more emotional responses to boundaries. So I think whereas many of us were raised in, we call it authoritarian, which is high structure, low nurture. And that is, not only do you have to do what I say, you also have to do it with a happy heart. You better not have emotions about it. And I do think, and you all correct me if you don't think this way. I think that connected parenting says yes to a little bit more of an emotional response from a kid in response to, this is what needs to happen, or this is the boundary that needs to be set. And that from the outside looking in. [00:02:36] Speaker B: Can look super permissive I would agree with that 100,000%. That's how we started our parenting journey, with a. Because mommy said so with a happy heart. I actually can say that like that because those were words I said probably more often than I would ever want to admit. So when we made a shift, it was, we may need to continue on with this thing, but you get to have a feeling about it, right? It doesn't mean we don't still need to do it, but I'm totally here to support your emotional feelings about the thing that we may still need to do. Now, I was then willing to negotiate the how and the pathway. There is a negotiation component, but it doesn't mean that there's not a boundary or that no isn't optional still, right? Yeah. [00:03:25] Speaker C: So the myth is, like, you all never say no. And I just wanted to zoom real quick and say, well, we do say yes to things that other people say no to. So that can get a little confusing from the outside looking in, I saw this a ton in schools of, like, you want the kid to listen to you, and if they're listening to you but they're stomping their feet, that's not okay. And that's a traditional mindset that a lot of people hold. And so we do have a different mindset with this connection based approach of, we can hold boundaries, we can hold structure, we can support kids to grow. But like you said, tana, we can also be open to negotiating the how or the when, and then we can also be open to you. Might not like. Like, this might not feel great to. [00:04:10] Speaker B: You, but I'm here with you when it doesn't feel good, but we're still going to do it. [00:04:14] Speaker C: It's like shutting you down immediately. [00:04:16] Speaker A: Totally. Well, and if we're going to pull back, even we just talked about recently the ultimate goal of parenting being offering your kids the support they need individually. So if we're looking back, somebody's from the outside, target's always the example that comes up. Right, because target's where all great meltdowns start. [00:04:36] Speaker B: I mean, seriously, all meltdown roast lead back to Target. [00:04:39] Speaker A: So if you're thinking about that moment when you're getting judged in target, because X-Y-Z spectator behind you thinks that you should be giving a firm, decisive no to a kid, and you're allowing there to be some feelings, I'll just think in terms of our house currently, and I don't know when you're listening to this, but we have one little kid, and then we have three older kids. And so I'll just leave it at that stage. And there are times the younger kid gets more leeway to have some explosive responses and to get a little bit more time to kind of work through something before they start whatever they're supposed to be starting. Because the goal is giving that leeway and giving that. And leeway is a bad word for it. Giving voice to share what's immediately happening in their heart, mind and body in that moment and then trying to just close some guardrails around that reaction to kind of get it moving the right direction is eventually, hopefully going to deliver where our older kids are now, which is, oh, I don't get to talk to you all that way, or I don't get to explode that way or whatever. And we always remind them, hey, you did when you were younger, right? And you've learned and gotten better. So where that's now met a lot of times it's, hey, can we do this? And I was like, that would be an awesome thing for us to do next time, but come on. And then this happened last night. Hey, it feels like maybe you're asking for a compromise. Can I please do that right now? And it's like, all right, you use your words. I tell you what, here's what we're going to do. And we worked out a compromise. And again, that's a time where it looks like I was soft and reverse course as a parent, but what's really happening is I know that individual kid. I know where they have started from, where hopefully they are going to, and we're giving that response to build some trust so that next time the reaction is about to come and it's like, oh, yeah, I can ask for something different if I'm wanting something different and I can figure out what we need together. So all that said, the no's sometimes are coming in the form of, let me guide you through this response. And not just authoritarian heart out, no, get in line. Get your butt back in the cart. We are going out of this store right now. Sometimes it's going to be something gets thrown in target. I hope it doesn't break. I don't like having to buy stuff, but it might get thrown and we might have to go have a redo and work through that. But then hopefully that's some diminishing meltdowns over time because we're working through those things. [00:07:19] Speaker B: I do think it is a potential misconception that when the thing is thrown that connected parenting would say, oh, they're upset about that. Let's give it to them right? And that's not what's happening. It's like, oh, they're upset about that. Disappointment is a human emotion. My child is two. I understand child development and brain maturation and the nervous system enough to understand that disappointment for this particular kiddo and their wiring and age and stage, and I don't know how hungry or tired they are right now, that they may not have the whole person ability at age two to manage disappointment when I don't always have it at age 50. Right now, it doesn't mean we give in. So it's not a giving in parenting. It's actually a very intentional, thoughtful, insightful, strong, structured and nurtured parenting that, again, knows when to say yes and when to say no. And I think some of the heart behind it, I think it's worth saying this, that empowered to connect as an organization has a history early on of serving a lot of adoptive and foster families, and many of our listeners would be in that category. And it is important to know that children who have had that life experience, they do need more yeses to build trust and felt safety than maybe kids in other scenarios. And so there is a heart behind for us. Say yes when you can and no when you need to. Because a lot of times it's asking me to evaluate, why do I say no? What's my reason for saying no? Can I be slightly inconvenienced? Can I get up off the couch? Can I play another hand around me cube? Could I go out and shoot the basketball? Because a lot of times the requests are bids for connection, and we want to say yes to bids for connection as much as we can, right? And then sometimes we need to set a loving limit and a boundary, and doing that actually does help our children grow. Dr. Purvis has a quote that know if you nurture your child when they need structure, then you're keeping them from know when you give your child structure when they need nurture, you're impeding them from building relationship and trust. So it's this balance of nurture and structure and yeses and no's are part of a nurture structure dance. [00:09:47] Speaker A: Good. [00:09:48] Speaker B: And so we get to navigate that in a way that only us as a parent or caregiver, really understands what our kids need. I remember early on when some of our older kids were very little, and we had a college gal that helped do some. She watched them some while I did some work from home. And I remember one of our older kids needed a transition object all the time. It was just where we were and what was going on. And by transition object, I mean like a very large metal toy that just needed to be in their possession or close to them for the things of the day to happen. So I remember being at them, sitting down to eat lunch and that big thing was on the table beside them. And bless her heart, I didn't realize she was doing this, but she had a notebook out, this particular gal that was watching the kids and she was taking notes on what she was and wasn't going to do when she was a parent. Bless her heart. This is amazing, is it not? Have I never shared this story? [00:10:51] Speaker A: No. [00:10:52] Speaker B: And I just happened to walk through the kitchen and I saw on there no big toys at the table. So she was deciding as a college student then and there that her children were never going to bring toys to the table because there was some moral imperative. That was a really horrible parenting thing to do for a kid at lunchtime. But what I knew is that the child was sitting at the table, that they were willing to eat something that maybe wasn't their favorite and that they were with somebody besides me. And all of every bit of that was taking so much from them that that toy was what we needed to be successful. That is, they say yes when you can. A plastic toy at a home table during a lunchtime meal when mom is working is perfectly acceptable. That's the flexibility of knowing your kid and meeting them in the middle and loosening your expectations for what you thought it was going to be or how it was going to go. But I maybe wouldn't let them take the big plastic toy to the restaurant. So that's maybe when it needs to be a no. Do you see what I'm saying? It's a mindset and heart thing. And only you as the parent that knows that kids whole day, their whole day, how much they're being pushed, you're going to know when you need to say no and when you can't say yes. [00:12:17] Speaker A: Please tell me that you have kept tabs with that girl and have watched her parenting journey. [00:12:23] Speaker B: And she is not parenting still and she's probably in her 40s, so this is probably fine. This is a good thing. [00:12:30] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:12:31] Speaker B: She's never been well. [00:12:32] Speaker A: I was going to say most of. [00:12:34] Speaker B: Us, she would have worked through it. [00:12:35] Speaker A: Most of us do establish our best parenting before kids actually get here. It was me, for sure. One thing that came to mind. I don't want this for the privacy and sanctity of our kids and their stories, but you almost wish that life was sort of like the sims and each of your kids has just an invisible. To other kids that could be mean, but to adults, this just like disclaimer like, hey, by the way, I've got history processing disorder and one of those. [00:13:12] Speaker B: I wish the office every day and everybody could be like, well, that's what's. [00:13:16] Speaker A: Going on with her today just said, not today. [00:13:20] Speaker B: It would be wonderful. I mean, I don't mean to just. But in all reality, it would be awesome if we all had that. [00:13:25] Speaker A: Yeah, 100% it would. Again, for anybody who's experienced the glaring outside judgmental view from a parent, right? Like from somebody, you just want to be able to say, hey, would you hang on for a second? This kid. But you don't get to do that kid. So I think that's just the thing that I just want to beg everybody to remember is that even for you to be able to have compassion on those who are casting a judgmental glance or whatever, I genuinely believe in those situations. If the other person knew the full story, they would be down on their hands and knees offering to help. [00:14:05] Speaker B: I do agree with you on that. [00:14:07] Speaker A: Does not mean you need to blurt out their story in that moment to get some help cleaning up whatever it is in the store. [00:14:12] Speaker B: So the bottom line of our question is, yes, you can tell your children no. And maybe I don't want to put anybody on the spot, but we do have some other longer form episodes around correction and how to say no and how to set those loving limits. There are connected ways to put a boundary and a no in place. But my final thought is if you aren't ever setting them, then you actually are not doing connected parenting, you're doing permissive parenting. And things aren't going to be well for the kiddo either. I do still believe that there needs to be structure and boundaries, and how we do that is really important to building trust and helping our children grow. So we don't give in, we support. [00:14:57] Speaker C: And there's not one. I want to say my last thought is just there's not a one size fits all. [00:15:02] Speaker B: That's right. [00:15:03] Speaker C: So instead of coming in with no toys at the table ever, our goal is, what does this kid need? This kid needs to work on being at the table with a babysitter and eating something like that was their goal. And that doesn't mean that every kid in the house can all of a sudden also have that same accommodation. Kind of what I would say. So it's not a one size fits all. So can you tell your child no yes if or. But also yes if you know your why? Because I think that you either are someone typically who leans towards, I'm going to say yes to everything because that tantrum is annoying me and I want it to stop. [00:15:47] Speaker A: It's easier. [00:15:48] Speaker C: Or you're the knee jerk no person. I mean, I'm not trying to caricatureize people, but people usually fall on one end of the spectrum. If you are the yes man, you need to say no more. You need to find the limit. You need to find the structure. If you're the knee jerk no person, then listen to the episode on yes day. Do the yes day challenge. Notice what you're saying no to and find opportunities to shift it. There's work for all of us, no matter which way that we lean. [00:16:15] Speaker B: And I might lean one way with one kid, one way with a different kid in a different way on a different day. Just FYi, if you ate breakfast or had that, that's why I need that dang bubble over my head, read my mind, and go better. That's a great. Yeah. Thank y'all for that insight. Yeah, that's good. It's really, really good. [00:16:34] Speaker A: Okay, that's all for us today on Carpool Q, A for Tana, for Becca, for everybody here at DTC. We'll see you next week on Carpool Q and A.

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