Simple Families offers solutions for living well with children. In this show, we focus on minimalism with kids, positive parenting, family wellness and decreasing the mental load. As a Mama with a doctorate in Child Development, Denaye’s perspectives are grounded in research, but more importantly real life.
Saying ‘no’ can feel hard—especially to people we love. But if you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, you might benefit from saying no more often. We have to take ownership over how we spend our time, money, and energy.
If we don’t, we will end up burned out, exhausted, and broke.
We are nearly one-year into a global pandemic, therefore I’d say we are far overdue in talking about therapy. Therapy: Who needs it? How do you get started? Maybe you are interested in exploring therapy but you have decision fatigue—there are far too many options and you don’t even know where to begin. Today I’m going to try to simplify some of that for you.
Resource for finding mental health support ASAP.
Bedwetting + Accidents
Bedwetting and accidents can be taboo to speak about as our kids get older. However, we've been challenged by these things in our home so I understand the importance of this topic first hand. I'll warn you, my guest Dr. Steve Hodges and I are going to talk about poop and pee a lot in this episode, but I think you will enjoy hearing a new perspective.
Dr. Hodges Books:
Bedwetting and Accidents Aren't Your Fault: Why Potty Accidents Happen and How to Make Them Stop (Kid's Book)
It's No Accident: Breakthrough Solutions to Your Child's Wetting, Constipation, UTIs, and Other Potty Problems (Older book, the "Why")
The M.O.P. Book: Anthology Edition: A Guide to the Only Proven Way to STOP Bedwetting and Accidents (Newer book, the "How")
Maybe you don’t consider yourself an outdoorsy person. Maybe you have a kid who isn’t into nature. I totally get that. The truth is that nature can be uncomfortable. It’s often:
* Too bright. * Too hot.* Too cold. * Too windy. * Too loud.
But we are all nature people, in fact—we need to spend time outdoors for our health and wellbeing. If you don't think you are an outdoors person, let’s talk about why. And how we can start to shift that perspective and get outside of our comfort zones. For our own good and the good of our families.
Our family recently downsized in a big way. I've had many people ask why we sold our lovely home and the short answer is: It's complicated. My husband, David, is joining me in today's episode for a candid conversation about the perils of homeownership and moving towards simplicity.
Let's talk about kids who hit. Let's also talk about adults who hit. This kind of behavior is taboo, especially as kids get older. We aren't as open to talking with friends about it, and sometimes we feel like we're the only parent facing this problem. There's a lot of self-blame that goes into this as well. I know this because I have a kid who hit and occasionally still does hit. Hitting can trigger many emotions in us as parents.
WANT TO LISTEN TO THIS INSTEAD?
First, I want to share a little bit about where my personal philosophy on hitting comes from and how I've landed on the approach that I use within my own home.
I started my career as a clinical social worker. I worked as a therapist in environments with kids who had behavior disorders. I was really interested in understanding the why behind these behaviors, and also the what; how should we most effectively handle these behaviors? Now, when I say effectively "handle behaviors", a lot of times what we're thinking is, how do we curb these behaviors? How do we stop these behaviors? And with hitting, that is often one that we want to stop immediately.
So after finishing my master's degree and working for several years, I went back and did a post-graduate certification in behavior analysis: learning the ins and outs of behavior modification; understanding what drives behavior; and how to change it. So if you asked me to write up a behavior plan, create a reward chart, implement punishments and consequences, I can do all that. I've been trained to do all that. However, I went on to do my Ph.D. in Child Development, and then I became a mom.
And when I became a mom, I had all these tools in my tool belt. Yet the traditional behavioral modification reward-consequences stuff, never really sat well with me in my gut with my own kids. Positive parenting, using discipline to teach has always been something that has felt right to me. My intuition tells me that it is the right way for my family, but it's not always the easiest way, nor is it the fastest way to change behavior.
What to Do When Kids Hit
I want to talk about escalation.
What happens if you ask your kids nicely to put their shoes on and they don't respond? You might ask nicely again. Then you might raise your voice a little bit, then you might raise it again. The situation is escalating. You are getting louder. Your escalation as an adult has a peak. Your peak escalation point is probably vocal. It's might be screaming.
Maybe it's screaming at the top of your lungs and feeling like you're out of control, but it might only be vocal. Often, by the time we get to adulthood, we're able to control our bodies.
Even if we tense up and we feel like we could hit somebody, we don't (or at least we usually don't, more on that in a moment).
Now, kids escalate just like adults do. They get angry and angrier and angrier, especially when they feel like their needs and wants are not being met. But for some kids, that escalation doesn't peak with a vocalization.
They haven't yet developed the ability to control their body. So when things escalate, they resort to hitting and kicking and biting and hurting.
It's vital to understand this core piece: Our kids escalate just like we do.
But as adults, we have the ability to put a cap on it and to restrain our frustrations, to avoid using our bodies to hit and to hurt.