Respectful Parenting IRL: Managing Your Energy Throughout the Day

00:00:02    Trystan

"They are going to feel, even if they don't know consciously, they're going to feel you're not at peace with this and ready to say sorry for it."


00:00:14    Trystan

"I've done all the things, it doesn't matter, he doesn't care about my respectful parenting. He's going to have a meltdown no matter what." 


00:00:25    Trystan

"Okay, and my energy's where, you know, I'm winding down. I got five more minutes left in me. And then I'm going to go have some me time."


00:00:35    Trystan

"I'm just supposed to like, keep getting up every day, keep taking my kids to school." 


00:00:45    Trystan

"But just to say, like you deserve better. You deserve more. And I'm sorry."


00:00:55    Alyssa

Hey there. I'm Alyssa Blask Campbell. I'm a mom with a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education and co-creator of the Collaborative Emotion Processing method. I'm here to walk alongside you through the messy, vulnerable parts of being humans, raising other humans with deep thoughts and actionable tips. Let's dive in together.


00:01:18    Alyssa

Welcome to our new limited series, "Respectful Parenting: In Real Life". I get to hang out with some folks and dive into what this work looks like outside of scrolling through Instagram, or that picture perfect snapshot of respectful parenting. What does it look like when you drop the ball, when it's messy, when we're imperfect humans, and when our kids don't respond perfectly as we planned. Buckle up for some real stories from real humans. And I hope that you get to see glimpses of yourself or your kids in these stories to know that you definitely are not alone in this journey. And there's a village of folks walking right along side you. Alright, let's dive in.


00:02:09    Alyssa

Hey everyone! Today I am here with my pal Trystan Reese, Trystan was one of the first Voices of Your Village episodes that I ever did. And actually Trystan, do you remember, this is a story I've told a few times, that you were like, my first big guest. Everyone else was like friends I knew or whatever as I was getting started, and I was so nervous, and I didn't hit record, and we're like halfway through the episode. And I was like, 'Oh my God, I'm so sorry. Can we do this whole conversation again?' And I was so embarrassed, and it never happened again. But I hit record, we are recording, and I'm excited to hang out with you today. Trystan's the dad of a 4, 11 and 14 year old, which also blows my mind, because I remember when Leo was born because I was following you, and that's how I actually found you, I think. But let's chat about what this looks like in real time you were just telling me something. And I was like, oh, I want to record this. You were saying that when you, your like approach to parenting something, about energies. Now dive on in. Let me hear about this.


00:03:09    Trystan

Sure, well, I mean, I think one thing that I had to accept is there are just some things that my kids are going to do that are really upsetting to me. And they're normal kids things, of course, this is where I get stuck a little bit with this, like the like, peaceful or respectful parenting ideology is sometimes you know, for me, personally, I'm like, yeah, I totally get it. There are things they are going to do that are developmentally appropriate. That doesn't make them feel any better for me. I just like can't reason my way out of some things really like really impacting me for the whole rest of the day. Again, normal typical things they do. I can't expect them not to do them. So how do I bridge that gap? And of course, for a long time, it was just like, don't do that. Don't do that. The an example is my four-year-old, again, normal typical, like every four-year-old ever hates getting his teeth brushed. Okay, I get that when I say it is time to brush your teeth, running away, hiding under the couch, crying, screaming. I've done all the stupid things, countdown, in five minutes, we're going to brush our teeth. I've done incentivizing, after we brush our teeth, we can do five minutes of screen time or whatever. I'll do a dance party with you. I've done all the things it doesn't matter. He doesn't care about my respectful parenting. He's going to have a meltdown no matter what. And then it was just like, and then I just dealt with it. I just dealt with chasing him around the house, begging, pleading me, getting to the point where I'm crying, and then depleted for the whole rest of the day. Then finally, I was like, okay, what if I just told him bro, when you make me chase you around the house, when you make it very hard for me to brush your teeth, that takes a lot of energy out of me. And when energy is gone from me, that means I'm not going to have enough energy to do other fun stuff throughout the day with you. That means I'm honestly not going to be able to do a dance party later. I'm not going to be able to go on a walk with you. I'm going to be able to do one book instead of 3 books tonight. And that's that's real. That's me being honest with him. I'm not punishing him for, for not wanting to brush his teeth by the it's not a punitive thing. You only get one book tonight instead of three. That's honestly, that's not it. I just don't. I won't have the energy, I'll be depleted. And so I just, you know, so I would just be real with him about that. And just say, when I have to chase you around the house, I feel less energized, less able to do the other fun stuff that I really want to do with you. And I know you really want to do with me. So if you make it easier to do the teeth brushing, I'm going to have more energy to do to give you a bath to get in the bath with you, right? And talking about my energy as something that is finite, that he has an impact on. And that impacts how cool and fun I'm going to be the rest of the day was like bare-bones, most desperate last-ditch effort to try and get our relationship to feel more real and honest and authentic. And that was the thing that clicked for him. He got to choose, I could pitch a fit, and I'm not going to go to do fun stuff with Dada, with Daddy later on, or I can suck it up, and then we'll get to do fun stuff later. So that's just like, I have more to say about that. But yes, what questions do you have?


00:06:39    Alyssa

No, I just think that like, what I'm hearing from that is that you presented to him this what I would consider like self-care concept of, listen our nervous system operates like this, right where there's, we're pouring into it all day long, we're eating or sleeping. We're trying to take care of it in certain ways, because they're going to be depletions from our nervous system all day long, some that are inevitable, just like stimuli around us, etcetera and some that aren't inevitable, some that are like, oh, man, there was a change in my expectation, or routine today. And that pulled for my nervous system that wasn't my expectation, or this behavior from a child or something, another emotion, maybe from a partner or co-parent. They're going to be things that aren't necessarily inevitable, but that still pull from our nervous system. And I feel like you just broke down for the four-year-old like that concept that it isn't forever. And it isn't ongoing. And it's the same, you know, little buddy. It's the same for your body too that when your body does all of these things all day long, it's pulling from we think of it as a bank when we talk about it, and we make deposits in all day long. And you're, there are things that are pulling from your bank. And when we're talking to kids about the bank, we will use like a visual where we talk about like, what are some things that help your bank, and we'll put some in. And then what are some things that pull from your bank, Etc. And I feel like you just broke that concept down for him in a way of like this is something that really pulls from my bank. And so when I get to empty, it's hard for me to show up as a kind, respectful, fun, energetic human, just like it is for all of us, and you have a bank too, bud. I think that's really what I heard is that you broke that concept down for him that I wish, honestly, every human understood and was teaching to kids in whatever way works best for that kid. But breaking that down of like, all of us have a bank, because I want kids to understand they have a bank too. 


00:08:27    Trystan

Yeah, absolutely. And so he will always say, like, at the end of my work day, or whatever, he'll say, like, so, how many energies do you have? That's just how he puts it it, you know? And I don't know why, but in our house, it's just we, I was inspired by the disability justice concept of spoons that everyone starts with five spoons a day. And if you have chronic illness then you actually start with four, and then, if you, for example, are autistic, and then you have a sensory overload, then you're down to three. I don't use the spoons, because it really, truly belongs to the disability justice movement. It's not mine to take. And also, the concept of spoons is that the capacity is finite. And for me, my energy is not finite. I can get it back. And so if he cannot control his body, and he does fight me on the teeth brushing thing, then afterwards, he'll often say, how can I help you get your energies back? Because I really want three books tonight, and then we can have that conversation. I can say, okay, well, I would love to sit down and have some quiet and have a cup of tea, and you play nicely on your own, in your room. And then we can set a timer and we can do for 10 minutes. And that'll help me get my energies back. And so I want to be really clear that this is not an appropriation of the spoons concept, because what I've heard from my friends in the disability justice movement is, if you have a chronic illness and you're at four spoons, there's no getting that back. If you've got sensory overload, you need a day. And. And so for me, as a more neurotypical person, in most ways, you know, I want to emphasize it is more like a bank. And it's not the spoons thing, but it's inspired by that in terms of being more self-aware about what my day takes out of me, what, what puts in and what puts out. And, to be honest, I've never been self-aware about that, and it's really just trying, wanting to try to have a better connection with him than I did with my older kids in terms of being less reactive and more honest, that sort of set up the energies thing we haven't yet gotten to that like me saying to him. So, like, how many energies do you have? But you've inspired me to start having that conversation. 


00:10:32    Alyssa

Yeah, I love that. I love that you've also exposed to him, just like back that bank thing that you can get it back. And the idea of, like, yeah, I pulled from this. And now I need to add some things in. And that's so rad. I dig that so much and to help him build that awareness that it is, even outside of him or outside of you. It's everybody. It's everyone in the family has different. I like the energies, how many energy you have. 


00:10:55    Trystan

And he knows, because if I say like, you know, I'm going to be honest, like I had a really, really hard day. I have like, one energy, and he'll be like, okay, well, then we can watch a movie. Okay, well, then we can sit in the hot tub, you know, like, he knows what each activity requires when I'm down to one energy, like I can only sit and watch a movie. And he's lucky if I can pop popcorn, you know what I mean? Especially in the pandemic where it's like, I'm already down like many energies just on a day-to-day basis. But you know, if we start there are times when he says, like, how many energies do you do you have? And like, you know what I actually had a really good day. I have like four or five. You want to go for a walk like, do you want to for a drive somewhere? Do you want to like play hide-and-seek, which of course, he always wants to play, and I never do, because it takes so many energies for me. Yeah. And so we were able to have that flow where it's not about a consequence. It's just being a real that like yo, if I have to chase you around the house to put on your shoes, I'm done. 


00:11:53    Alyssa

Yeah, yeah, well, I love this. I love this, and I think you're totally right that a lot of times, within respectful parenting, there is this idea. And we do talk about how like your kids not responsible for your feelings and people get a lot. There's a lot of mixed up around like, what does that mean? And I think it can get conflated to like you can't talk about your feelings. And that's not the goal here, like we all have feelings. We all have these energies. This bank, this nervous system. And I think being honest with kids is a huge part of being connected with them at like when you aren't honest, and you're chasing him around, and you're trying to just like, do all the things, but inside, you're really annoyed that this is happening. You're not connected in that moment. And I just recently was having like a thing with Sage that throughout it, I just every time same thing I was like trying to suck it up and get through it. And like this is developmentally appropriate. So freaking annoying and I was feeling disconnected in every time it was coming up. And then another thing, though, that was not pulling at me but he is really into right now, throwing his spoon off of the high chair. And it doesn't bother me, it just doesn't get to me. And it's developmentally appropriate. Yep. So is the other thing that was getting to me. But like this one just doesn't. And so I can remain connected as I'm validating his disappointment that he doesn't a spoon anymore to work with. And we can like, move through that. But I think what's huge is that in those times where it is something that's grating, it is something that's annoying that we're able to say like yeah, this is really annoying and frustrating. And I want to figure out how we can be connected, how I can support you in this and myself, like, both of those are valid, like taking care of ourselves. Not only does it allow us to show up for them, but it models that like, in the same way, that again, you're modeling those energies for him that he's going to learn about his body too. It's so key, and he's not, it's not his job to make sure that you're happy. It's not his job to make sure that you're calm. And he can be aware of the fact that his behavior, the way he shows up in the world, affects how other people are. And those are different. 


00:14:11    Trystan

Yeah. And I think there's something that you said that really reminded me, you know, with my partner, my partner, similarly, like, there are lots of obnoxious, four-year-old things that Leo does do not bother me at all at all. He like doesn't clean up after himself. Who cares? He's four. And like, sometimes I'm going to be like, let's clean it up together, and he's going to do it other times. Who cares? I'll just pick it up like, who cares? I don’t. That drives my partner completely nuts. And so then that's also part of where this tool has been good in our family is my partner can say now can say to him, like having to clean up after you takes a lot of energy out of me, because I think everyone in our family should pick up after themselves, so you can either clean up after yourself, and then I'll have lots more energy to do fun stuff with you later, or I'll clean it up, which feels very frustrating to me, me and I won't be able to do as many fun things with you when I'm done. And so we can be real about, you know, because I think maybe sometimes I would imagine if I was a kid, I'd be confused. How come Daddy doesn't mind if I run around the house and don't want to get my teeth brushed? But Daddy does. And how come Daddy doesn't mind picking up after me, but that it will guess what? Because we're different people, I understand we might be interchangeable in your head. We're not interchangeable. We are different people with our own stuff. You know, different things that make it, that we get that make us that we don't, we get frustrated by, I wont say, make us frustrated, but that we get frustrated by. And so, yeah, I think that's that's really key. You said, like, dropping the spoon doesn't bother you. There are lots of things that he does that doesn't bother me at all and vice versa with my partner. 


00:15:50    Alyssa

But I think what you're touching on there is that the idea that yeah, we're all different people and how we show up in the world and best function is variable. And again, another beautiful thing to teach a child in that like the what works best for them, the way that they learn things that might be helpful for them in school, in life, in the day-to-day might be different from the kid sitting next to them, and that neither of them are right or wrong. We just all operate differently. And by showing like yeah, this is stuff that it's helpful for me or things that I need. This is stuff that's helpful for me, or things that I need, and then down to their siblings as well. If two siblings that also are going to operate differently and need different things, and that all of that is okay. And I was having a conversation with someone on our team recently, who has a almost three-year-old and a seven-year-old. And the 7 year old has gotten really into the bank concept and wants to like continues to ask is this something that will fill her little brothers bank, or is it something that pulls from it? And she'll like, give it a whirl, she'll, try an activity, and then be like open. It looks like that pulled from his bank or, oh, yep, that added to it. And so they’re continuing to have this ongoing conversation. And then she went to school. She's in school for the first time. Thanks, covid. And she was saying, like, oh, I noticed that, so and so in her classroom, let's say, Sarah, in my classroom and Sam have different things that fill their banks and Sam really likes to sit on this different chair than I sit on, because it helps him learn best. It fills his bank. And it's like, yes, I love that. She went into school with this model of like what Sam doing isn't a different. It isn't weird. It isn’t. That's what fills his bank. That's what helps him learn. Yeah, it's interesting again, it's obvious that you're like a parent coach, you know, because, like my 11 year old and four-year-old, they play together a lot. But what usually happens is, you know, the eleven-year-old just plays like so, rowdy, which, of course, the four year old loves, because that is very exciting and fun. Every time, every time, every time the four year old ends up crying. 


00:18:07    Alyssa



00:18:07    Trystan

Falls off something, bumps head on something, falls over hits whatever. Or the 11 year old ends up crying, because the 4 year old gets so worked up that he ends up like throwing something across the room, bonks the 11 year old in the nose tears every time. And then, of course, the eleven-year-old at that point is like, I'm not dealing with a crying baby or is like, oh my God, you hit me. And that's very scary and will be like I'm done. Will go in his room. Shut the door. The four-year-old is just like goes to pieces. I want to keep playing. I want to keep playing Battle Bots. And so even you know, teaching, I think it would be useful to teach our 11 year old to be able to say, like I say, I like my energy's gone. Thanks for the memories. But I'm tapping out, you know, and I, we've been trying to do a little bit more of a five-minute warning. You know, I've said it seems like that transitions really hard for him. He's only four. It's hard to go from like, playing at 100% to nothing. So do you think you'd be able to give okay, in five, you know my energy is where, you know I'm winding down. I got five more minutes left in me, and then I'm going to go have some me time. And and I said, and if he doesn't do well with that, just come and ask me, I'll help with the transition, but it's tough and continue to use that language and teach the 11 year old to use. It might help with that transition too. 


00:19:22    Alyssa

Totally. And I wonder, too, if even bring to attention the, to the eleven-year-olds attention that sometimes things that drain our energy, our pull from our energy, are fun in the moment like I love to be in a big group of people and also can leave and be like, oh, like it fills me up in the moment. But it really does pull from my energy. And just acknowledging that, like, maybe the four-year-old is having a lot of fun, and it's pulling from um, their energy as they're playing. And so maybe there is a threshold where all of a sudden they get to a place where they don't have energy left, but they haven't noticed that in their body. And that's where they throw something or something along those lines, and being able to help the eleven-year-old understand that concept of it might be draining the four-year-olds energy too and when we put a time limit or a cap on it, and then give that the five-minute warning, or the exit strategy, if you will, as well. But really that, like also, just a cap on the amount of play time you can make sure that they're leaving with more energy to navigate that transition. 


00:20:27    Trystan

Totally makes sense. It's just been so hard, no matter how much I beg and plead with the 11 year-old, like how much I try to use reason, you know, to be like, hey, like, I noticed that y'all are continuing to escalate. When the play escalates, people get hurt. Crying happens. Fighting happens. Is there a way you can redirect that energy to some other type of play that isn't at this level? He's like, yeah, sure. Totally, totally. No, no 30 seconds later, they're back to building some kind of trampoline fort, which we do not have room for in our house. Don't have a trampoline. What are you, what's the plan here? Oh, the plan is to put a blanket on top of chairs and jump on it as if it were a trampoline. What could possibly go wrong? So, so, yeah, I think you're right. Probably would be helpful to help the eleven-year-old think to like. And what a year energies and understanding. Like when you play like this, you're gonna burn out fast. 


00:21:32    Trystan

Totally when I taught preschool Pre-K my very first year of teaching, I had mixed threes and fours. And we had this music teacher, who would come in and he, Mr. Stephen and Mr. Stephen, the kids loved him, and he would bring that level up to like an 11 in my room. And then he would just leave. It was my nightmare like at one point was like Mr. Stephen. We have got to chat about your very last song and what is going to be. And how you're going to wind this down. Because you have, the kids are having so much fun, but you're getting all the way up. And then you just peace. And I have 18 three and four year olds who are off the wall. 


00:22:15    Trystan

Yeah, my father-in-law is like this, will come over, and he just ramps them all up and then goes because he's like, cool. I'm done and then the kids are screaming and crying and running around the house and jumping on things, because he's done like, you know, he picks them up he does airplane, he does all the things. And and I always feel like, you know, like my worst shadow side as a parent is like that stereotypical 90's movie dad, you know who like steps on a Lego or slips down the stairs and was like, What, got it? You kids are.. Come on. I just, I never want to be that dude. And they feel like that. I just I hate situations where I end up as that dude. And that's when I end up as that to dude. When I'm like telling my father-in-law, who's coming over to have fun like bro, you've got to chill like you've got to stop. It's really hard. And he never, he just doesn't, to him that's what being like a quote, unquote good dad or good grandpa is. Is the like present, fun, physical, energetic blah blah blah like that's great. Take it outside then, and I'm locking the doors because that's all good. But y'all can do that outside, because I cant with the chaos in the house, it's too much. It's too much. 


00:23:27    Alyssa

I feel like in this season, especially like the last couple of years, we've had a lot of opportunities for repair as we rupture over and over every day with our kids. I was sharing this with you at the beginning, but one of the things we're starting to notice a lot more over on Instagram, especially for people like messaging being like, I've been doing this work, and my kids still having tantrums, or it's still, and this idea that we're going to do this, we're going to do it, and we're going to do it perfectly, and they're going to get to this place where kids are just like so kind and respectful. And they can, every time in a regulated way, be like I'm, I feel mad, and I need a hug or whatever, and that that's actually not the goal. And that so often, what's happening is we're going to have some of those moments where they can be in a regulated state and communicate with us with intention. And some of those where we will, and some where neither of us will. And when we are hitting those ruptures where it's just the real rawness where we do have a rupture, where we react, or they're losing their cool. And then we lose ours, whatever it is. And so I'm curious, a what is repair look like in your household? What are some things you found really helpful for repair for coming back to a point of connection and be does it vary kid to kid? 


00:24:44    Alyssa

Yeah you know, I mean, it really varies kid to kid. And, you know, I've just been so so so crabby lately, you know, the, the pandemic continuing to go on. And we're all just supposed to keep fucking going like what the hell, we're I'm just supposed to like keep getting up every day, keep taking my kids to school, keep like turning on my ring lights, booting up my computer, training people on, you know, trans inclusion in the workplace, and coaching people through like, you know, racism and sexism against other people. I'm still supposed to like send people invoices like it's just all so weird and surreal and strange. I'm just supposed to accept that I can't see my parents anymore, because there's a country border between us, you know, and it's just been pressing and pressing and pressing. I just been really crabby lately. And so you know, certainly for the 11 year old, because he is really emotionally mature, and we have a really strong bond, you know, being able to just say, just every couple of days, I'm just I'm really sorry, like I'm just not showing up for you in the way that you would deserve, you know, I know I'm short tempered. I know I don't have energy to do fun stuff with you, the way that we used to, and to find fun things for you to do the way that I used to everything we find for him to do, two weeks in there like, oh, we can't do it. We're not teaching anymore. You know, we're not. We're not teaching again till March or whatever, you know. And I've just tried to say, I'm just sorry, no explanation. No. well, I'm doing this, well I'm doing that, thing's are really hard for me. But just to say, like you deserve better, you deserve more. And I'm sorry. And you know, he makes it way worse by saying, like, I get it, you're stressed out. And that makes it worse, you know, like him actually having empathy. And like, oh, God, don't feel mad at me just being that and be like, yeah, screw you, Dad. Instead, he's like, I know, like you're managing so much right now, and it's hard with the four-year-old. And I know that like I don't help out as much as I should, and I really try to go, you know, and I really just try to think back. I listen to my body, I have like a really good relationship with guilt, you know. And so my body will tell me when I've done something that's out of alignment with my parenting values. And so I try to really listen to that and be like, oh, you're right, I shouldn't have done that. How can I make that right? You know, the, the German word for guilt is the same as the German word for debt. And so when I have that feeling of guilt and like, okay, I took something from someone. How can I repay it? And it's often with my eleven-year-old, you know, so they'll, I'll go for a drive, you know, or something. I'll try to say, you know, I feel really bad that I tried to push you to watch like another episode of that scary show last night, I could tell that you were overloaded and didn't want to do another one. And I teased you about that. I shouldn't have done that, you know, like, I really appreciate you saying, no and knowing what your limit is on your body, and you know, and I should have been more respectful. And I will in the future, you know. So I just I try to have that real talk. I love the genuine nature of it, right? I think so often when we are navigating repair, we can often feel like, oh, I have to do this, like there was a rupture and now I have to repair. But what I heard from you is getting to the point of really feeling empathy, like really acknowledging. Yeah, I had a rupture, and I could think of all the reasons that I did. I'm exhausted. I'm stressed, I am overwhelmed, but that doesn't matter right now, what's real. Is that like I did this, and I'm going to own it and reconnect, and I love it. I think it's a huge part of it being genuine. And we all know how it feels when somebody apologizes and isn't ready to apologize, or they're not coming from a genuine place, and it's so empty, and it doesn't feel good. And I feel like it often leads to disconnection versus really being like, yeah, this is it. And and I was telling you this earlier, that folks often ask us for scripts. What do I say in the moment? And it's a very shareable integrand mobile thing. It's if you ever want to start a parenting Instagram account do scripts and you'll grow real fast. But for us, it's something I like really hesitate to do, because I want people not to, I don't want you reading from a script. I want you truly connecting with that person in front of you. And sometimes that's saying, like, man that sucks, I dropped the ball. And and it can be that simple. 


00:29:29    Trystan

And I think the important thing about being genuine is so much of now what we know about our mirror neurons so much about we, you know, so much what we know about inherited trauma that were then passing on to our kids, both at the genetic level, but also at the somatic level, you know, just through all the way that our bodies are communicating things they are going to feel even if they don't know, consciously, they're going to feel you're not at peace with this and ready to say, sorry for it. You're still defensive. You still feel resentful that you have to say, sorry, or whatever you feel like parent pressured into it versus, you know, really taking the time to figure out that's what I've had to do, really taking the time. Sometimes my body will tell me I made a mistake, and I can't for the life of me remember what I did? You get that feeling in the pit of my stomach. I'm like, okay, I know this. This is guilt. What did 


00:30:17    Trystan

I? What? Where did I miss the mark? Where did I violate my own values? You know, so really sometimes have to go back to the last 24-48 hours be like is this is a work thing? Is this a home thing? Is this a partner thing? Is this a parent thing like what? What is this? And that's how I came to the like. Oh, yeah, Sully like cried at the end of that and really intense episode. I saw him crying at this storyline. And at the end of that episode, he was like, can we just watch the office now? And I was like, no, no. Like, let's see what happens at the let's watch the next one, you know. And I was like, oh, that's icky like I shouldn't have done that. I can see he's having big feelings. I shouldn't. I shouldn't have pushed on that. And and not feeling judgmental of myself, you know, just seeing it for what it was. I was excited to keep going. I'm excited to have this. I love having a shared experience, a media experience, you watching a show with my kids. I love it with doing with anybody, you know and said, oh, but I pushed too far, you know, and I think I can make that right. And even when we were having that repair conversation in the car, he tried to say, to justify himself, you know, he tried to say, yeah, you know, I was just feeling really overwhelmed. And like, it's just it was like a really dramatic thing. I said, just stop, like Sully, stop. I saw that. I already know that you do not have to defend yourself to me. You get to say no, any time, I was in the wrong, not you. So stop, I hear you. I see you. I get it. Totally understand why you want to watch The Office instead of another episode of Money Heist. 


00:31:48    Alyssa

Totally. And I feel like as a general parenting role, any time a kid wants to watch an episode of The Office. It's just it's a yes, it's an automatic yes.


00:31:58    Trystan

Yeah it's our family's show that we really lean on. 


00:32:00    Alyssa



00:32:01    Trystan

And and it's really cool, because he now does use it. He uses it as an emotional regulator, the same way that I do. If there's something big, that's how it is. It's so comforting, it's so soothing, it's so easy to watch. It's so funny. It's not the laughter's not at anybody's expense, you know. And. And so it is. It is a it's great that he can regulate in that way. And I kept him from doing that in that moment. Even just by teasing him. I was like, yuck. So yeah, yeah. And repair with the four-year-old is, you know, it's different repair with the four-year-old is just, you can just tickle them, and it's good, you know, they're so they're so in their bodies, you know, to be able to say, like, you want to do a tickle pickle or whatever. Sometimes they don't even need for you to do a whole big song and dance about like, I'm sorry. I lost my temper. I'm sorry, I was crabby, whatever, sometimes when they're in that for me, when when Leo's in that little sleepy place, the the end of the night, the singing of song, I'll say, you know, just like anybody remember when this happened earlier, I'm really sorry I yelled at you, I should have been tracking my energies better. Should have asked for you to help me figure that out, you know, should have had you be my team member in that moment, I'm really sorry. I'm going to try to not do that again. You just seems just a little sleepy moments. 


00:33:15    Alyssa

Yeah, I appreciate that. I think when we're looking at different ages and stages with our younger kids, younger kiddos, one of the things my friend, Lee Crosby, she has Thriving Littles over on Instagram. She's an Occupational Therapist. And one of the things that she talks about is looking for the sparkle eyes in kids. And I love this of, like, sometimes when we're working when we're looking to reconnect with them. And this could be for repair, or it could just be like we haven't connected on the day, or we're coming back together after work, childcare, whatever we're looking to connect, like looking for those sparkly eyes. And for some kids, it's, yeah, it's tickling. It's playing for some kids. It's going to be reading a book together for some kids. It's going to be, you know, cooking in the kitchen with you. But whatever brings those sparkly eyes to your kids is connector. And especially, I think this is true across the board by thing, especially with our younger kiddos. When we try to repair with words too early, we can do so. And I think so powerful to reconnect and get back to connection in order to repair. And yet, sometimes they don't need the words. But even if we are going to use our words for it, first getting to a place of reconnection. 


00:34:28    Trystan

Yeah, I think that's the thing I've been doing just instinctively is to get to that place where we are. It is settled. You know, both myself, I'm settled. He settled as well. It's a little bit in the memory I you. I know that based on parenting coach is that I know that's also the best time to have a corrective conversation with the kid. You know, that's the best time is when they're settled, is to be able to say, hey, you know, buddy, I want to talk to you about when you hit me earlier, that really, really hurt me. And I'm going to do try to do a better job of helping you notice when you're not in control of your body. And I'm going to ask you to do a better job to a paying attention to how you're using your body and how it's how it could be a causing harm to me, because that not only did I hurt my body hurt my feelings. 


00:35:13    Alyssa

Yeah, yeah, yeah, do that when to talk about the behavior of such a hot conversation. 


00:35:19    Trystan

I didn't know, I'm so sorry. Did I like step into controversy? 


00:35:23    Alyssa

No, it's just that I think we, a lot of folks are like, I want to talk about this right now. I want to make sure I correct this behavior, because we have these parts that are like, I'm afraid we jump ahead, right? Anxiety where we're like, what's it going to look like in 10, 15, 20 years? Who are they going to be in high school, or they going to be hitting people? Are they going to be aggressive? Whatever. And we can spiral so fast outside of like, oh, they're two. And that like that isn't a projection of who they're going to be at 16. But so often you can spiral there. And so I think for a lot of folks, the idea of waiting to talk about the behavior is the hardest part. Yeah, we say in our work that, like in the moment, is not the time for law enforcement or delivery of justice at all. But like in the moment is the time for getting back into our bodies for connecting, Etc. We're going to come back to talking about the behavior down the road road. Yeah, you're absolutely right. Oh, Trystan. 


00:36:18    Trystan

Thanks for hanging out with me. 


00:36:19    Alyssa

Oh my gosh. Thanks for hanging out with me. It's really rad, and to just hear different examples of what this looks like. And I appreciate that you have different age kiddos. So we can see that snapshot into the four-year-old, and then into the eleven-year-old as well. And your eleven-year-old is someone who brings me a lot of joy from the outside. He is, he's deliciously, emotionally intelligent. The I just love to hear the little things you share like his thoughts and the way that he processes and shows up in the world. And that's not on accident. 


00:36:54    Trystan

I mean, it is and it isn't. I feel like so much so much of who kids are is just who they are. I mean, we could put the guard rails up. We can guide a little bit, but I feel like I can't take much credit, you know, for him. Although my mom always tells me if you're willing to take the blame, you have to be willing to take the credit. So I'll take that as much. 


00:37:19    Alyssa

Yeah, if we can say that like there are ways that you could respond to him that would really make it harder for him to show up as his authentic self there are also, then ways that you can respond to him that allow him to be free to be his authentic self. And I believe that you are falling on the latter there, and it's really cool to watch. 


00:37:41    Trystan

Thank you. It's hard. 


00:37:43    Alyssa

So hard. If people were curious about you and where to connect with you and your work and follow along, where would they be able to find you? 


00:37:53    Trystan

Yeah, well, I quit Instagram two weeks ago. Best decision I've ever made, I feel free. I'm so happy having left. Not a single day has gone by that I have even been tempted to like, pick it up and browse through. So there really is no longer an easy way for people to follow along. I guess they could go to my website I think I'm going to start, because I do miss writing. That's how I used to, I'm an author. I'm a writer. I used to use Instagram to test out my writing ideas and to put things out into the world. I don't know. I might keep doing that. I might do it in some other forms. So yeah, people could give me their email address at if they're curious about what I'm up to. And you know, maybe I'll send you something. And maybe I won't. I'm also trying to sort of decolonize this idea that I need to be all things, all people all the time that I need to send out a newsletter every Friday at 4 pm or people won't care. You know, what if that's what y'all need for me? Then don't care then, you know, I just can't operate on that schedule anymore. I just can't, trying to give myself a little more grace and give others more grace. And, you know, if folks are down with that and want to join me for my journey awesome! If not, that is okay. I send you out into the world with love and peace, I'd but I do I do you feel obligated, because I have a staff who will be mad at me if I don't to say, my professional work happens, I do run a consulting firm doing, doing lgbtq, inclusion work, and it's Collaborate Consulting. So yeah, you can check me out there for sure. That's the professional stuff. 


00:39:29    Alyssa

Awesome. You're the bomb. Thank you. 


00:39:31    Trystan

Thank you. 


00:39:34    Alyssa

Thanks for tuning in to Voices of Your Village. Check out the transcript at Did you know that we have a special community over on Instagram hanging out every day with more free content? Come join us at Take a screenshot of you tuning in, share it on the gram and tag to let me know your key takeaway. If you're digging this podcast, make sure to subscribe so you don't miss an episode. We love collaborating with you to raise emotionally intelligent humans.


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