[E150] Connecting Practice: Meet Needs with Nyasha and Regina Chari

Episode 150 July 18, 2023 00:47:57
[E150] Connecting Practice: Meet Needs with Nyasha and Regina Chari
Empowered to Connect Podcast
[E150] Connecting Practice: Meet Needs with Nyasha and Regina Chari

Jul 18 2023 | 00:47:57


Show Notes

It's our 150th episode and who better to join us for the this special occasion than our good friends Nyasha and Regina Chari!? Nyasha and Regina are cultivate connection Facilitators in Zimbabwe and have been ETC Parent Trainers for almost 10 years now! They join us today to talk about the vast importance of understanding how to meet needs for our kids. Sounds basic, right?

Well, Becca McKay, the Charis and JD Wilson join us to tell us why this is actually one of the more overlooked and complicated processes as a parent - and one that we absolutely cannot avoid doing for ourselves as well.

To learn more about Empowered to Connect, check out our website, follow us on social media and YouTube!

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:04] Speaker A: Welcome to the Empowered to Connect podcast, where we come together to discuss a healing centered approach to engagement and well being for ourselves, our families, and our communities. I'm JD Wilson, and I am your host. And today on the show, Becca McKay and Regina and Yasha Shari join us from Zimbabwe to talk with us about how to meet needs. So, today's connecting practice that we're talking about is meet needs, which does sound very trivial and simple. Um, but as you can guess by now, there's a lot of complexity to it. And so, uh, we wanted to have bridging and Yasha specifically on to talk about this one because they have a firm grip on it. And so, um, and just through facilitator training and our conversations with them, all of that, um, they are killing it here. And so you'll get to hear all about their work in Zimbabwe, um, about, uh, their personal journeys to connect to, etc. Their family, and all of that. It's going to be great. You will love them. This is one of our favorite conversations in a long time. And so, without any further ado, here's Becca McKay, Regina and Yasha and myself talking about how to meet needs. Okay, well, as we talked about in the introduction, it is Becky McKay and Regina and Yasha Shari with us today from Zimbabwe. And so we are going to talk all about our connecting practice for the day, but we're also going to just get to know them. And so, guys, first, obviously, thank you for making time and coming on, I'll. [00:01:34] Speaker B: Say, before we get our pleasure. [00:01:36] Speaker A: Yeah, before we get started, why don't we just, you guys tell us about yourselves and what you do, tell us about your family and then how you got connected to, etc. [00:01:46] Speaker C: Okay, so I'm Yasha, and this is my wife, Regina, and we live in Nevada, Zimbabwe. Been living here since. Goodness. [00:01:56] Speaker B: Well, your whole life? [00:01:57] Speaker C: My whole life. But I mean, together. [00:02:01] Speaker B: I've been in Zim 17 years. [00:02:03] Speaker C: 17 years. We've been married now nine years in. [00:02:08] Speaker B: October, 10 years in October. [00:02:10] Speaker C: Is it? Okay. All right. So, obviously, my math is a little off, but we've been married since 2013 that I remember. And I think almost. I think this program is pretty much the foundation of our marriage because we did the training with Mike and Amy, and I'm not sure which part of Texas that was. [00:02:35] Speaker B: Irving. [00:02:36] Speaker C: Irving, Texas. And straight after the training, we drove to California to get married. And this was part of, you know, I was just getting introduced to the power, in power to connect with, through Mike and Emmy, something that Regina had been working on for a long time, and I was new to it. And coming from my background, coming from Africa, and hearing all these concepts that people used to parent with, the parenting that I had experienced was very different. [00:03:10] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:03:11] Speaker C: And I think that kind of gave me a picture of sort of where we were going, how we were going to parent. And I had to. I don't want to use the word compromise, but I think I had to realign myself in so many ways to think very differently on how we were going to do that. And I remember some of the examples that Mike used and tried to picture myself in that. The self sacrifice that you have to go through to raise children, especially from hard places, it's a big deal. And so when I say foundation of our marriage, I think that got me thinking before I said I do. I had the time to drive to California to really think about it, where this was going. So that's how we've been connected. And I think our family, our life, our work is really cemented in connecting with little ones and trying to find the place that they had. [00:04:17] Speaker B: Yeah, I think that's really good. It's such great memories of getting connected with, empowered to connect from the very beginning. But I moved to Zimbabwe in 2005, and I actually met our daughter Ruth before I met Nyasha. And I had been called in to serve in a crisis in a children's home that she was living in and knew pretty quickly that our relationship was going to be different than it was with the other kids that I had worked with. But I didn't know how that was going to be possible. And then a couple of years later, met Nyasha and said, so here's the deal. There's this girl. We come together as a package deal, so you need to kind of figure that out before we go any further. And I'm really glad that he did. I'm really glad he did. But in those early days of working in Zim, and I'm a social worker, and I was working as a clinical social worker in the States before I moved to serve cross culturally in Zim. And I actually reached out via email to Doctor Purvis at the institute and was asking for help trying to figure out some things. I did the same thing, Doctor Perry. I was just emailing randomly from Internet cafes, anyone I could get in touch with, because in my master's program in the early two thousands, we didn't talk about trauma. That wasn't a part of the curriculum. And then all of a sudden, I was serving children who had experienced immense amounts of trauma in communities where trauma healing practices were not spoken about. And we were trying to figure that out. And doctor Purvis, you know, graciously emailed back and forth with me quite a lot about practices that I could use with Ruth and the other kids I was working with. And then I got my hands on a copy of the connected child on a trip, on an early trip back to the states. And I knew as soon as I possibly could that I wanted to do practitioner training, but it was years before that was in the mix. So we actually got married in between, are empowered to connect, train the trainer and my TBRI practitioner training into. Oh, wow. So we had six days off in between, and we got married in California. [00:06:42] Speaker A: That's awesome. Okay, so goes back pretty far, like, you guys are definitely ingrained. What was Yasha, what. What for you was the selling point? I mean, you mentioned, like, growing up very differently, not being parented this way as you were growing up. What. What was it that kind of sold you on these principles or sold you on kind of operating and parenting this way versus, um, continuing on the way that you had been brought up yourself? [00:07:12] Speaker C: I think it's. It's. It was more realizing that, um, you know, even if I turned out okay, there were things that I still carried that I'd never probably been shared and I'd never shared with anybody. And my upbringing, which I think most of the world who still don't understand trauma, will come from the perspective that trauma teaches you, not it shapes you. So a lot of people will think because you've had an experience and it's traumatic, you should learn from it. But I think this comes from the angle where it has shaped you. So the way that you are, where you are today has been shaped by that experience. So when you're older, people will look at you like, come on, you got to deal with this. It happened years ago. It happened decades ago. Why is this still affecting you? So there's more understanding that. I think that was the selling point for me to realize that a lot of people that we're still telling get on with it are still traumatized. And. And, you know, this would be helpful to raise kids that way so that they understand that way and they also teach the world that way. And I think from the platform that I have, being african, being in Zimbabwe, and being able to speak to my fellow mates to say, hey, guys, this is something that we got to work together and educate one another. That trauma does shape. Will we become. [00:08:39] Speaker D: Yeah. Yeah. [00:08:41] Speaker A: Has that been. Has that been well received so far? Has it been mixed? How have you found that information taken there? [00:08:48] Speaker C: I think it's growing slowly, just as the world goes, I think, you know, you. You get resistance. There's still people who want to live their life because they'll say, you look at me, I didn't turn out bad. Right. You know, sometimes it takes pointing out things in their lives to say, well, that's not okay. [00:09:06] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:09:07] Speaker C: Look at how you're doing that. So it's interesting, but I think as I've progressed and I've, you know, walks the journey more, I'm realizing that the struggle is a lot more with men. I think women generally tend to open a lot earlier. [00:09:24] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:09:25] Speaker C: And quicker. With guys, it's. It's almost like a new thing. It's like a new invention that I have to share my feelings. [00:09:31] Speaker D: Right, right. [00:09:32] Speaker C: Yeah. [00:09:34] Speaker A: Yeah. Okay, so we'll, you know, we're going through this summer talking about all of our connecting practices. Right. So we're. We're making our way through. And today, Becca's going to introduce our connecting practice for the day. [00:09:47] Speaker E: Yeah. We're super excited to hear from our facilitators just their experience with these practices, because I think when you just look at them in a list, you're like, oh, yeah, those are good statements. But then when you get to hear, like, no. Like, in people's, like, living rooms and in their backyards and in their schools, like, this stuff really matters. So we're really excited today to talk about our practice of meeting needs, which sounds so basic, but it really is profound when you kind of, like, get into it. And so we have always three core components. And so for this practice, our first one is meet emotional needs. Like, you're saying. It's like, not everyone grew up in a space where it was okay to feel or where it was acceptable or you knew what to do with your emotions. So we want to really meet kids emotional needs, and then we want to meet physical needs. That's something that also, like, I think any parent is like, yeah, all I've been doing is feeding my kids ever, like, since they came into my life. Like, all we do is what's for dinner? What's for, what's next? What's next? But when you can really pause and think about all those physical needs that kids bring to the table and, like, what an opportunity it is to meet those, and that can help proactively. Just set them up for success and to be healthy, and it can also help in times of, like, stress and challenge on, like, a responsive level. And then lastly, there's a lot to unpack about meeting sensory processing needs. It's something that we're learning a lot about. Even to this day. The research is coming out more and more, and we're just learning, hey, we all experience the world slightly differently, and so there's lots to think about, you know, if a kid is avoiding something or seeking something or running away from a loud sound or spinning in circles for hours. And so meeting sensory processing needs. And so, obviously, like, meet needs, it sounds really simple. There's a ton, and we won't get to talk about every single aspect today, but we're excited to hear from you guys how you've experienced this connecting practice in your own lives and in your work. Um, so it's kind of a, you know, kind of. Our first question is just like, what's your favorite thing about meeting needs? What do you like about it? How did it change? Maybe your mindset or anything like that? [00:11:56] Speaker B: Do you want to go first? You want me to. [00:11:58] Speaker C: You can go first. Yeah. [00:11:59] Speaker B: All right. So my favorite thing about meeting needs, I mean, this might sound really cliche, is that it works. [00:12:06] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:12:07] Speaker B: My favorite thing about meeting needs is that it is the fastest way to get the outcomes that I, as a parent, want. That is just the truth. [00:12:19] Speaker E: I hear that. [00:12:20] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:12:22] Speaker B: Is that so? Often, you know, every parent that I talk to, all of my girls, friends, parents, every single one of them, is like, looking for an outcome with behavioral change. And we can try so many tactics, and we exert so much energy, and we exhaust ourselves trying to find ways to squash behaviors. And if we just look at the need behind the behavior and meet it, man, is it so much better for every single person involved? [00:12:52] Speaker D: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. [00:12:54] Speaker A: So do you have anything to add to that? [00:12:57] Speaker C: Yeah, I think. I think this one is an interesting one for me because, you know, sometimes putting words to things give them meaning. And when I look back in my life, I can see where my parents would meet my needs. But it was never a conversation that they were meeting my needs, obviously. But I think now when I look back, I think those were processed in two ways. And one, the needs were met through fear, and then I think the other one, that the needs were met by being told that I'm a good child. So it was either of the extremes. And if I had an issue that I needed to be, a need that I needed to be met, and they didn't feel like it could be met because I've acted out, it would be met with fear or punishment of some sort yeah. So I think, for me, that's been the most difficult one because it's now trying to dig out of a pot that I don't have filled. So it's like learning things, then having to pass them on to my kids or the kids that I work with has been a process for me, because as I'm doing that, I'm also working on myself. So I think it's. It's. It's probably my. My. My favorite because it drives more out of me than any of the other ones, I think, because I have to dig deep. [00:14:23] Speaker A: I'm glad to hear you say that. I mean, I feel like one of the things that I had noticed the most about this particular practice is that I, like, if I don't pay attention to it, I'm the one driving the dysregulated behavior. Like, so if I don't pay attention to making sure that I'm eating and get up, moving around and, like, taking care of, like, why? You know, trying to identify what's going on inside of me. If I'm. If I feel off in some way, then I take it out on everybody around me. Um, and so it's easier to spot that in kids now, spotting it versus, uh, regularly meeting those before you spot the outcomes. Like, that's the trick, I think. [00:15:02] Speaker B: Yeah, that is. That is so true. I think the other thing that I love about this is how it builds trust. So I am a child of trauma. You know, I have come from a family history of a lot of trauma. And so I am constantly having to watch myself, number one, that I am meeting my own needs, you know, that I'm identifying and meeting my own needs. Cause it doesn't come naturally for me, but also that I'm voicing my needs, you know, if I need Yasha to help meet those or someone else. And so I think what I. Another thing that I love about this practice is that if I live this out in my own life, that I'm teaching my girls through modeling, that. That it's okay to voice my needs, it's okay to ask for help getting my needs met. It's okay to expect that those needs will be met. And the amount of trust, definitely, with our eldest daughter who's adopted, the amount of trust we have built, you know, over the years and years and years of relationship just through meeting needs is priceless. [00:16:10] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:16:10] Speaker B: You know, it. It seems really hard to believe how much trust you can build with a snack at the beginning. And then, you know, a decade in, you look at it and you're like, oh, thank God for those snacks. [00:16:21] Speaker D: Right, right. [00:16:23] Speaker A: That's a great point. Well, you know, when I think, as with a lot of these connecting practices, it's really easy for critics or people from the outside who aren't, aren't familiar with all this to look at it and be like, oh, a kid acts out, you get him a snack? Are you crazy? Yeah, that's not how we handle this. Like, you're not rewarding bad behavior. So let's talk about some of those misconceptions. Like, what do you think are the most common misconceptions or mistakes or missteps that you guys see within this framework? [00:16:55] Speaker B: Well, I think you've already hit the big one, is that by meeting needs, people will misunderstand or misrepresent that as rewarding bad behavior. Bad behavior. You know, people really like to say, oh, so you're giving her a treat because she's acting out. Now she's gonna act out all the time so she can get a treat. And it's like, oh, no, I'm not actually giving her a treat. I'm actually meeting a need that her body has to regulate her blood sugar to make sure that she's not acting out of fear because she has hunger pains. You know, so that is a big one. But, and I think that the big part of that that comes up for me is not even in meeting the physical needs, but it's that misunderstanding. That connection is a reward. [00:17:43] Speaker D: Yes. [00:17:44] Speaker B: That one, to me is like, when my daughter is dysregulated and I snuggle with her and we connect and regulate that, people will call that a reward. And I'm like, oh, no, no, no. Like, this connection is never a reward or. And it's never up for removal. Like, that's, that, to me, is a conversation I've had so many times. [00:18:04] Speaker A: It's good. It's good. [00:18:08] Speaker B: What about you, Charles? [00:18:09] Speaker C: I think it's the same one. It's very easy to. It doesn't require any work at all to push somebody away. [00:18:18] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:18:20] Speaker C: And when you then have to regulate and bring them in and meet that need, as you're saying, it takes a lot of work. And I think for me, like I'm saying, for me, this one, it takes a lot out of me because I have to give a lot. And sometimes I'm digging from a place that I don't have experience of. [00:18:37] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:18:38] Speaker C: And so it really complicates things sometimes because I'm happy with my needs not being met. I'm okay. I was raised that way. And I can do. [00:18:48] Speaker B: Really are. [00:18:49] Speaker C: Yeah, I can. It doesn't bother me. But. But now having to understand the little ones and having to meet their needs, it's a lot of work on my part. And a lot of the times, I think for the longest of time, I've had to watch Regina kind of do that and put myself in that place and say, wow, this is actually what this requires. And I still get a little resentful here and there because I'm like, okay, this is required too much for me. And. But I think. I think, you know, sometimes I just have to allow myself to let go and be in that place. You know, sometimes it's just being there, not saying anything, which I'm really good at not saying anything, but I think that's one is a big one. And because we live in a very cross cultural place and, you know, our surroundings, people tend to, like, look and wonder how that is going. But I think people who want our understanding, people who have connection to us, are starting to adapt to some of these to, say, wait, needs need to be met. [00:19:57] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:19:58] Speaker C: Especially by fathers in the homes. [00:20:00] Speaker D: Yeah. Yeah. That's huge. [00:20:02] Speaker A: I think, you know, the thing that was a huge. I was gonna say convincer. That's not necessarily a word. One of the biggest things that changed my mind. Um, there's still a voice in the back of my head when we were first being introduced this content, like, I just. I don't. I don't get. Get to get a snack when they're falling apart. I don't. I don't get rewarding that behavior and having to shift that. [00:20:28] Speaker C: You want to keep it away. That's when you want to hold it back the most. [00:20:32] Speaker A: You want to say, like, you can have that when you act, right? Like, when you come back and you did. Yes. I'll give you a, you know, an apple or a granola bar. It's like, we're not offering ice cream sundaes for, like, you know, falling apart. Like, we're talking about, like, nutrient, like, things that we're going to help you. And I think seeing the science and, like, the brain science behind, uh, regulation. I was talking to a friend a few minutes ago, and, uh, we were. We just. We had a cat come into our home a couple weeks ago, um, sort of against my will. And, um, we also already have a giant dog that lives in our home. And, um. And so, like, just the stress of trying, like, you know, who's holding the cat? Like, I do not want our kids to have to remember the trauma of a, you know, 90 pound dog eating a kitten in our living room, you know, when they're all like, no, pipsqueak. What happened? So the, like, I don't want that to happen. So, like, we, we brought the cat in, and we were talking the other day, and she said, you know, it's just like humans, like, until there's trust built, that relationship is going to be rocky. And I was like, I can't handle this conversation about a cat and a dog building trust together. But I. I have to say, like, I've got there and started realizing one day, like, one of them was hungry at the wrong time. And so, like, it does, you see it biologically throughout, like, creation, that, like, when we. When we. When our needs are off or unmet, it creates fear. And fear drives behaviors that we're trying to get away from. And so no matter how we slice it, like, the science of the matter, that it's the least effective thing possible for me to ignore the sensory and physical needs and expect the emotional needs to stay intact or stay, or stay met and regulated. And so if I'm going to see a meltdown happening and act, like, ignoring the needs that are at the root of that misbehavior, or whatever you want to call it, I'm going to ignore those. I'm actually doing the least effective thing possible to help our kids to long term know how to handle those emotions and regulate and to, um, and to own those things and in public. And so I think learning the science of it helped me to be less, uh, philosophical and more just equational. Like, okay, something's going on here. And instead of thinking, like, why do you always do this? You're always driving me quick. Instead of that, it's all right. It's more like looking at a car. Like, I wonder what it is that's going on with this right now. Like, something's not right here. We gotta figure out where the. Where the problem is. And so it's helped me to think about that a lot. And I I think it. It flipped that from being a misconception to. To now being a diagnostic tool that we have in our tool belt to. To figure stuff out well, and people are scared. [00:23:22] Speaker E: Like, all the examples you got, like, adults. Like, adults are scared of, like, doing the wrong thing. Like, I feel like there's so much pressure on us to do the. To. I'm not a parent, but just as an adult that cares for kids, there's so much pressure to be good at it and to like, things that work get it right, to get it right. And it's like you're scared, because what if I give them a snack and then they do do this every single day? Like, it's. That fear loop starts to play in your head. And what will other people think of me if they see me giving this kid a hug whenever they're cussing me out or whatever it is, like, or hitting or whatever the case may be. And so it's like, I think some of it. The misconception, you said it. Both of you said it. But it's like, if you don't flip the mindset from kids, primarily learn through rewards and punishments. Like, if you're not willing to let go of that mindset, meeting needs will never make sense to you because you'll always run everything through that loop. So it's like, you really do have to let go of an entire mindset to be able to see it differently and be like, you know what? When this kid is 32, I want them to be able to recognize that they're hungry and be able to punch and be able to, like, regulate themselves. [00:24:35] Speaker C: Yeah. [00:24:36] Speaker B: Yeah. No, Becca, that is exactly it. So much of this is just like, fear that we are going to make a decision that is going to mess our kids up, that's going to leave them entitled or, you know, unable to maneuver the world. But the reality is, if I, as an adult, I am, on Sunday, I will be 44 years old, and if I still struggle to identify my own needs sometimes I do not parent my children in a way that at 44 years old, they're still trying to figure out what their brain and their body and their heart needs. I want them to be able to understand and to be able to mitigate that for themselves. Like, I like the fact that my daughters know, oh, it's been 2 hours, and I'm being mean to my sister a little bit. Maybe if we go have a snack together, we're going to play nicer. Like, how much better is our life? Because my daughters understand that they start to get grouchy with each other if they. If it's been more than 2 hours since they've had a snack, and again, they're not going, you know, every once in a while, they'll push it and they'll ask for an ice cream, but really, they're grabbing a piece of fruit or they're grabbing, you know, some lunch meat or some protein. Like, they understand what makes it easier in their body and what makes it harder in their body, and they are better at that at 19 and eight than I am at 44, because I get, like, the truth is I'm a child of trauma and my first attachment therapist was in when I was in my early twenties. And when I start to get all anxious and antsy and I'm struggling to identify what need is unmet, my cortisol levels send me running for a Coke or a chocolate bar. And that makes it worse. Where my daughters at eight and 19, when they start getting antsy and they realize that they're overdue for a snack, they reach for something that actually meets their needs. And I just think that is such a beautiful picture of how this works. And I think in reality, a big misstep that we make is assuming that things are so different in toddler bodies or little kid bodies or teenager bodies or adults bodies than they were in baby bodies. You know, when our kids, when we have a newborn in our arms and they cry, we don't ask if we're going to spoil them if we meet that need, we feed them, we change, you know, we would be insane when that baby cries to say, oh, are we going to mess this up if we meet this need? But then all of a sudden, four years down the road or ten years down the road when, you know, brain chemistry is flying and friends have hurt their feelings and things are going wrong, we sit there in the cry and we ask ourselves, are we going to mess this up? Up by meeting the need? And I think that's a huge misstep that we as parents stop doing the things that work. Meeting the needs and the distress and delighting them works at every stage. [00:27:28] Speaker A: That's so good. That's really good. How do y'all find you? I mean, you answered some of these things, but how do you find yourself using this practice most often right now in your home? [00:27:41] Speaker C: So, you know, I have a thing I use in my head where when I'm meeting needs, I always tell myself that this is a long term goal. It's like, it's like a saving. I'm not going to reap the fruits right away. [00:27:56] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:27:57] Speaker C: So right now I just need to be present and do what I'm doing and not expect to see the result the next minute. I need that reminder, you know? But in the long run, you know, you start to see those and with the research that's coming up and you starting to learn more because a lot of the times it's very easy to parent with what I call short term goals. You see a problem, fix it, and you carry on without really investing, and I think that actually causes a lot of trauma. So I think for me, it's that way. It's that work to understand and kind of regulate myself in my own head, why I'm doing what I'm doing and what it's for. [00:28:42] Speaker B: I think the big one for you right now. So we have 19 year old and an eight year old. Our 19 year old is learning how to drive. And one of the ways he's meeting the need is by not letting me be a part of that process. [00:28:56] Speaker E: I like that structure because you can. [00:28:59] Speaker B: See he is like, the calm, steady, stoic one. So he's got to be the driving instructor. [00:29:07] Speaker E: Yeah. [00:29:08] Speaker B: Makes sense, because I'm going to. If I get in the car with my daughter, she's never going to want a driver's license. That's a big one that you're doing, is investing that way. I think we are. We're not in our summertime. We're in our school term. And my. Our eight year old is one of those kids that is always climbing, jumping, spinning at all times. And so she has had a couple of big, emotional things that have happened at school in the past few weeks. And so at our house after school, you will see her in our Frangipani tree doing her homework. You know, she's reading, she's writing, doing her things in the tree. And that is one of the ways. It's one of the most simple, basic ways that we're meeting needs is when she says, I need to go sit in my tree. Can I do my homework up there? I say, absolutely, yes. You want me to bring you a snack? [00:30:01] Speaker D: Yeah. That's huge. That is huge. [00:30:04] Speaker A: It's been interesting as our kids have. Have learned more about these things. You know, they. They all kind of have or want a spot that they can go that's just for them, that they can get. The issue in summer is that one of our kids, their. Their favorite place to do that or to hide out is there's a spot back in the back of the closet where there's, like, a. A little weird turn. We live in a very old house that nothing makes sense. Like, there's a weird turn in the closet, and there's just, like, a little spot. It's not really big enough for anything except for a human body. And this part, this one likes getting back there, but the problem is, now there's no air conditioning vent in there. And so, you know, it's in the upstairs. It's like 100 degrees outside. So, like, we got to find different places for that now. But it's. It's fun to watch our kids, like, begin to even intuit that and know something happens. They disappear. And formally, I would be like, you cannot run away from this. You got to stand and face it right now. And now I know. Absolutely. Get where you need to go for a few minutes, like, take a deep breath, let's wind up, and then come back, and we'll just all take that sigh of relief together, and then we'll start talking through it. Um, so the tree climbing is great. Um, great for that. Um, okay. Or maybe my favorite question in this whole series is, uh, what is an example that you've seen of this happening in a movie, book, or tv show? [00:31:25] Speaker B: Oh, I have to go first on this one. Okay. I do. I think this is the best question. And I have loved in the other episodes listening to this. [00:31:32] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:31:33] Speaker B: So this one, I think, is really tricky with meet the needs, because I am pretty convinced that every book, tv show, and movie has a really good example of this. It's like the core conflict and resolution is generally someone understanding the need and meeting it in a new way. [00:31:50] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:31:51] Speaker B: So I think you can find it everywhere. But I will talk about the big movies that we have been watching recently. So, obviously, for your summertime, our winter, the movie of the year, seems to be little Mermaid, the live action. I don't know if you guys are all pretty obsessed with this movie, but our household is obsessed. And I think, first of all, so I was in high school when the original Little Mermaid came out, and our middle school, something like that, and watched it a million times. So this has been so beautiful for me to watch the live action with my daughters and that scene at the very end. Hopefully it's not a spoiler, because everyone knows the story where in the live action, Ariel and Prince Eric are in the rowboat, and King Triton comes up and just sees Ariel and tells her that he loves her. And then all the mermaids, you know, kind of swim up, and, you know, he pushes her off towards the ship in their little rowboat. It is just such a beautiful depiction of this father and daughter who had such conflict and just couldn't see each other, couldn't hear each other, you know? And then this moment where he just really saw her and met that need of connection and love and belonging in her family and in her community, even though things are different and things have changed. And I just think that that moment is just so precious, because I think that is the big need that I can sometimes overlook the easiest is that, you know, I can look at the physical needs, and I can be really pretty in tune, almost to a point of obsession about the sensory needs. But sometimes the connection needs, especially when I am having a busy day or a hard day or am in a moment of dysregulation, I want to overlook the connection needs, the need for belonging, the need to be seen, heard, and valued, because those are harder for me in those moments. It's way easier for me to meet a practical, tangible need than an emotional one in certain moments of the day. And so that moment is really special for me. And then we just watched Clifford the big red dog. Did you really wanted to watch that movie? And that was one of the connection needs. I really noticed in that one is that little Emily Elizabeth just did not belong at school. She didn't fit in. You know, people were picking on her. She was the scholarship kid at the private school, and she just wanted a pet. Jd, you were talking about this, the cat. And we are that family. We have too many dogs, we have too many cats, we have too many chickens, because my little one just loves the animals. And that moment where she got this little red dog and just felt like that gave her that connection and that sense of belonging. And then as he grew into this giant red dog and all the kids were obsessed with him and he was on the news, it was like, oh, that need for belonging and connection has been met, and it is so beautiful. So those were my two favorite examples recently. Yeah, you always go with, like, the epic movies. [00:35:03] Speaker C: So this was really hard for me to really pinpoint down a movie that I can say, you know, it really talked about this. And the one that really stuck. I don't know if you guys watched Annie. [00:35:17] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:35:18] Speaker C: With. With Jamie Foxx. Yeah, I didn't watch that. I didn't watch the older one. I watched that one. And just how he felt his connection was to his wealth, to his money, to success. [00:35:30] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:35:31] Speaker C: But all he needed was a little human being to give all of that up. And I just found that beautiful that, you know, that sort of connection can make you forget that you're trying to get to the top of the world and be the wealthiest person if you get the right connection. [00:35:47] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:35:48] Speaker C: So I think that's the movie that really spoke to me. And just to add on to that, it's more, you know, I think the world is adapting more to physical and emotional needs being met. I think the sensory is still a little bit at large. Yeah. A lot of people still don't. Don't quite understand that. And, you know, even as I get older now, I'm starting to realize, man, I don't like this. And I'm realizing there is an issue there. And every. Every food place I go to, I'm always going to the. Where's the manager? Can you guys reduce your volume? You know, but everyone else is not bothered by it, and. But I feel like the world is not fully, you know, hasn't really caught up to that third one. [00:36:30] Speaker D: Yeah, I feel the same way. [00:36:32] Speaker A: I mean, our youngest has a lot of sensory needs, and there are times that, I mean, we. At this stage, we're not to the point of going to talk to Mary. We just. We divide and conquer. One of us stays home, like, oh, we're going there. Oh, it's always still loud. Hold on. One of us will go, and the other, we can stay here and figure that out. I always feel like I need to give this the disclaimer that I'm not wholeheartedly endorsing every single thing that's in any show or movie that I talk about. This one, I'm pretty close to. There's some language that is definitely more adult, but there's a show called Primo, and it's on Amazon. Amazon. Plus, it's my favorite writer, um, uh, of. Of books, like, wrote this tv show kind of about his upbringing. And there is a. There is a scene. There's a lot of scenes where this is. Is, like, front and center. Um, but there is. There's one in particular. I got it. Without spoiling things, um, where the premise is it's a kid. It's. It follows a kid and his single mom and then his five uncles, who are all way too involved in his life. And it's. It's funny and it's sweet. It's very much like a sitcom, um, but definitely heavier on, like, family togetherness and connection and meaning and all that. And so, of course, because it's a tv show, like, there's very distinct personalities in all the uncles. And so one is more hippie, one is more, like, in and out of jail every now and then. One was an army guy, one works in a bank. And, you know, so there's just all kind of. One is a landscaper. And so, like, there's a particular episode where they're all arguing over what Primo, who. That's the spanish word for nephew. Like, what their nephew should do to impress this girl. And each of them is giving all of their unique advice, and one of them is like, no, you need to pick the biggest guy in the school and wait till she's in the room, and you just go punch him right in the face. You just use him as hard as you can show. You have to show her you can protect her. And the other one is like, that's ridiculous. You're going to get suspended for that. No, to show you protect her. You get out and you work. I'm working near the school this week. I'll put you on my crew. I'll let you carry some really heavy stuff, and you'll show her that you can provide for her, and you can take care. And they, one by one, give all their advice, and the mom is just sitting in the back like this. And the mom had sort of raised the brothers as they were all growing up, and so she. She looks back and she said, do not ask any of them for advice ever again, like, here. And so she connects them to say, like, you have a unique makeup, and you're going to do things on your own way. And so it's a funny. And, like, the. It ends up in that episode kind of coming around to show that they were all, like, sharing with him, hey, here's my advice, but we support you no matter what. We've got your back, and we're going to be here for you. And that, like, emotional security ends up, like, as the show goes on, like, really propelling him. And so it's, I would say, for almost any family, I mean, it's definitely more of a mom and dad show than it is for kids, but, like. But it is. We have loved it, and there's a lot of great, like, rich stuff in there for us, I think, to use as example. [00:39:39] Speaker B: Yeah, I haven't heard it, but we're gonna watch it. [00:39:41] Speaker E: I haven't heard of it either. [00:39:41] Speaker A: It's eight episodes. They're, like, 25 minutes apiece there. It just got certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, which means it has to have, like, a certain number of ratings over 100%. And so it's really. I think it's really great. If you hate it, it was Becca's idea. [00:39:56] Speaker B: Becca. [00:39:57] Speaker E: Who's never heard of it. I was thinking about a book that I read when I was a kid, the giver. I really liked that book by Lois Lowry. And the premise of the giver is that they're, like, in a futuristic society where they've suppressed all their needs, all their emotional needs. Like, everything is, like, calm and sameness is, like. It's like, a very, like, kind of dystopian future novel. And the idea is like, well, they've suppressed all this. And so, like, yeah, they don't feel as much pain, but also they can't feel joy. And so I think sometimes when thinking about, like, meeting emotional needs, like, we get scared of the. Of the, like, hard or sad feelings. [00:40:31] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:40:32] Speaker E: And so that book illustrates, obviously, it's, like, to an extreme level on purpose to make a point. [00:40:36] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:40:37] Speaker E: But kind of the point is, if you suppress everything and if you just want conformity, if you just want everything to be the same, same, you're going to miss out on a lot of joy and, like, a lot of life that you can have with other people and with creativity. And so it's just. It's one of my favorite books. And when I was thinking about the meet needs episode, I was like, that really is kind of about the idea of, like, if we ignore emotional needs, what could happen in, like, a fake future world. [00:41:01] Speaker B: Yes. [00:41:02] Speaker D: That's awesome. [00:41:03] Speaker A: Yeah, well, I feel like that, you know, there's a thousand examples we can use in here. I do think of the movie inside out also. Pixar movie. I mean, it's a. Yeah, that's a good one. Like, very blatant, outward, like, entire. This explicit purpose. And so I think about that all the time. It's a good. My wife and I, a lot of times will kind of, we'll, like, do this little motion to remind each other that there's brains on fire when there's this regulation happening to remind us not to react, like, sincerely, things that are being said or done, but to remember, like, oh, we gotta calm this down. Yeah, that's a good one. Well, guys, any. Any last kind of words of advice or things that you want to share with people, maybe, that are. That are just being introduced to these principles? [00:41:55] Speaker C: Go ahead. [00:41:58] Speaker B: I mean, I guess my words of advice would be to, if you are new to this, to be compassionate with yourself and to be gentle with yourself, that, you know, it is really easy to identify the behaviors that we don't like and that we want to get rid of. That part is really easy. And at the very beginning, when someone asks you, okay, so what's the underlying need behind that behavior? It can feel like your mind goes blank. Like, what need could possibly be driving this? You know, it can feel so annoying to be asked that question. But the longer you stick with this and the longer you stick with just the real basics. Are we meeting the physical needs in this moment? Are we meeting the connecting needs? Are we the attachment needs? Are we meeting the sensory needs, the more you go through that checklist and you start to see the behaviors dissipate. It becomes easier to identify the need that's driving the behavior. And it is a beautiful thing when you realize that when needs are met, behaviors are pretty calm, connected and regulated. [00:43:16] Speaker E: They really are. [00:43:18] Speaker B: And when needs are unmet, the behaviors can get pretty wild and wonky. And when you start to be able to identify those faster and meet those ahead of time so that those behaviors start to not pop up, it just feels so relieving, I think, to be able to see that you can make an impact. So I would say be compassionate with yourself. Invite trusted people into the conversation to say, help me figure out what this need is until I can do this for myself. And don't think that unmet needs mean that you are doing something wrong. Right. That is the biggest thing, is that when my kids needs are unmet, when I pick my daughter up from school and she has a meltdown before her seatbelt is even on, that is not an indictment on my parenting. What that means is that she may have been holding that in for a day, an hour, ten minutes. And what it means is that we are close enough. She feels safe enough with me that she can give me that meltdown because she trusts me to help meet the needs in that moment. And so often it can feel like these big, baffling behaviors are an indictment on our parenting, and that is not at all what they are. [00:44:32] Speaker D: Yeah, 100%. [00:44:35] Speaker A: So good. [00:44:37] Speaker C: Wow. I think similar to what you said, I think for me, it's more on a personal level that learn to meet your needs. And if you don't know how, find someone that can help you to do that. Because the world needs us to be healthy. And when meeting needs, can you have to meet them in a healthy way? I don't mean it in a selfish way because people might say, well, I'm going to meet my need, but I mean in a healthy way, and find people who trusted people who can show you and help you to be able to do that, because, you know, the world needs you to be healthy and also meet others, meet other people's needs, people that are close to you. And I think if we live in a world where we are able to identify and be compassionate and be able to meet each other's needs in our families, in our workplaces, we'll be in a much healthier world. [00:45:31] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:45:32] Speaker A: Yeah, I agree. I think that's great advice, guys, thank you so much for joining us today, for making time, and. And we look forward to talking to you now, now that you've been on once, we. We've got to have you on again, so. [00:45:46] Speaker B: Oh, it's so fun. It's always such a joy, Becca, to be with you. And JD, thank you so much for this. It was a real pleasure. [00:45:53] Speaker A: Absolutely. Thank you guys so much. [00:45:55] Speaker C: Thank you guys so much. [00:46:01] Speaker A: Well, I hope that you got as much out of that as I did. You know, one thing that continues to come up over and over again in our shows as a theme is just that it does start with us as parents when it comes to figuring out what's going on, you know, if we can take care of ourselves, well, it lends ourselves to being able to take care of our kids well, if we don't know how to take care of ourselves, well, um, it is more difficult to teach our car kids how to do that. And, um, I thought Regina made a beautiful point in just saying that, um, we are. Becky did. I mean, we. We want to teach our kids how to be able to do this at 32, not just at two or five or eight or whatever. Um, and so the goal, again with, um, meeting needs is teaching our kids how to meet needs for their own lifetime, like how to meet their own needs and how to teach their kids to meet their needs, uh, generationally and so on and so on. So, uh, for us to do that, and Yasha pointed out pretty, pretty potently, like, we've got to do that ourselves. We've got to take care of ourselves. Gotta meet our own emotional needs. We've got to meet our own physical needs, our own sensory needs. And so, um, just thought that was a great reminder. It was one that I needed today. And so, uh, really grateful for them joining us today. Um, and excited about what they've got going on down in Zimbabwe. So, uh, that's all we've got for today's show. We will continue our series next week. We're excited to be with you, uh, again and have a great episode coming your way. And so until then, for Kyle Wright, who edits engineers all of our audio. For Tad Jewett, who's the creator of the music behind empowered to connect podcast, I'm JD Wilson, and we will see you next week on the Empower two Connect podcast.

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