You're listening to Voices of Your Village. And today we get to dive in with Wendy Snyder. I got to chat with Wendy. All about compassionate discipline. I don't know about you, but I feel like this is one of those topics that is just a hot button one. Like, what is discipline? What's the difference between discipline and punishment? How do we navigate boundaries and discipline with compassion? How do we really connect with the human in front of us and be mindful of our triggers and aware of our like, especially for me, like, defiance is such a trigger. And so when it comes time for discipline, when there's been defiance, I can feel it all in my body. Like, my chest is tight. I can feel the rage building, and I'm triggered, right? And so it was so fun to get to dive in with Wendy on what this looks like, to truly be compassionate in this process. I'm so excited for you all to get to dive in to this one with me.
Before we do, I wanted to let you know that my first book, Tiny Humans Big Emotions, is available for Preorder. Right now. You can head to seedandsew.org/book to preorder, and then after you do, come back to that same website, www.seedandsew.org/book, because you get to pop in your name and email, and I will send you some goodies. We are sending bonuses to all of our preorder community from now until the book publishes October 10 with Harper Collins, and I'm so excited for what's coming your way. Just some fun things will hit your inbox kind of at random times, but really the best times when you really need them. So head on over to seedandsew.org/book to order Tiny Humans. Big Emotions now. All right, folks, let's dive in.
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.
Hey, everyone, and welcome back to Voices of Your Village. Today I get to hang out with Wendy Snyder. You know her as the gal who runs Fresh Start Family. If you're not following, you hopefully will be soon. So much wisdom over from Wendy, and she's a mom of two. She's a certified parenting educator and family life coach. And I think the thing that draws me most to you, Wendy, is, well, first of all, your energy. I feel like I told you the last time I talked to you, I was like, every time I see you, I'm like, oh, my God. I leave feeling brighter. You're always put together, too. And I'm like how? But you speak about and with kids with such respect, and it's something that it's just a core value of mine, is respect. Respect for all humans. And I don't think we always give that to kids. And I feel like you really genuinely do.
What a nice compliment. Well, thank you, Alyssa. Thank you for having me. I'm really excited to be here with you today. And this is one of my favorite subjects to teach on that we're going to talk about today. And what an honor, right? Like, this is my favorite thing in the world of my job is podcasting and getting to know amazing other educators of the world like you. So it's really fun to be here today.
Yeah, I'm jazzed to have you. So today we get to chat about compassionate discipline, which I think is rad because it's tough to wrap our head around when we grew up in maybe a punishment or shame or blame culture, and maybe we had somebody yelling at us or we had threats or bribery, and now we want to do this differently. And it's like, okay, but how? Because when I open my mouth and my mom comes out and it's really, from what I know in childhood, and sometimes it's great, and sometimes I'm like, I want to do that differently. But how? Right? First of all, what is compassionate discipline mean?
Yeah, well, when I think about discipline versus punishment, I know it's rooted in the future, right. I feel like punishment is rooted in the past. It's kind of this idea of like and it's really a notion that I ponder often. It's like, where do we get the notion that in order to make a child behave better, we must first make them feel worse? And that's really usually what punishment is, right? Punishment is about retribution or making sure that you pay the price for your mistake and you know that you did something bad, you did something bad, you're going to pay the price now. So it's really about the past, and discipline is about training for the future. It's about mentoring our children and giving them the life skills for the future that they need in order to make a different decision tomorrow. Not a better decision, a different decision. Because mistakes are really one of our greatest gifts in the world to learn important life lessons. But cultural conditioning has painted the picture for centuries that mistakes are bad, they are dangerous, which I get it sometimes they are. The rare percentage of life when of course we don't want our children running into the street, of course we don't want them touching a hot stove, which is always the question I get, right? Like, I love this, Wendy, but what about this? And we can go there, right? We always go there. But 95% of the time, mistakes are repairable. They are amendable. It's not a four alarm fire. And so when we have this mindset that they are actually often our best way to teach our children, not even our best way, they are life's best way to teach children, especially if you have a strong willed kiddo who likes to do things on their own and learns by doing. That's one of the things I love supporting all families of all kinds, but especially those who have been blessed with these very strong willed personalities who are so determined and just are so good at listening to their own voice and they learn by doing. They actually jump off the couch and land in a way that hurts sometimes.
Or they actually when they stub their toe because they didn't put on their crocs and they wanted to go out front and ride their scooter, they take it in so well when they experience it themselves. Not that all mistakes are about kids getting hurt, but it's such a good opportunity to learn. So that's what discipline is. Right. I think of like Olympic athletes. If you look at the Winter Olympics and someone who goes and skis and competes in downhill, it took them hundreds and hundreds and hundreds, probably even thousands of times, like executing, going down that hill in that particular way, weaving in and out of those gates, crashing many times, right. And recovering. Like, mindset work, all the things. That's how you get to a place where you win an Olympic gold medal. So it's practice, it's discipline. It's getting up and trying again. It's so forward focused. It's so tomorrow focused. And it's always done with that mindset of we are our kids coaches. So sports just really is a great analogy that helps me think about discipline and how it's different than punishment.
Yeah. So I am one of those kids where I was 18 months old and my mom laid out an outfit and I said, I want a different one and that's not a lie. And that has been me where still today you set up a boundary for me. And I'm like, great, I cannot wait to push that.
That resonates so much with me. So when I would receive threats or punishment, that just fueled my fire, like, oh, I was going to do it and now I'm going to do it and try and get away with it. And if I do get caught, I'm just going to lie about it.
Perfect. Yes. That's exactly what happens.
Hello teenage Alyssa.
Me too. Yeah. We got really good at hiding it, right? Really good at hiding it.
Gosh. I had thrown a party at my house, maybe 16, and my parents were out of town and I'm one of five kids, but my three older brothers were out of the house at this point. It's me and a younger brother. He had gone with my parents for the weekend to a thing. I threw a party in my house and I don't know if you know, zima. It was like Mike's Hard, my mom finds some zima in my dresser drawer a few days later and she is like, Alyssa, what's this? And I was like, I have no idea. And she's like, what do you mean? You have no idea. It's in your dresser. And I was like, yeah, I've never seen it before. And just immediately was like, I know if I tell the truth, I'm in trouble, right? There's not going to be a way in which I tell the truth and I'm not getting punished. And so it's worth it for me to lie to try and not get punished. And she said, she was like, I don't believe you. And I was like, okay, well, it's not mine. I don't know how it got there. And she couldn't prove it otherwise. And so she tried, she was like, listen, until you can tell me the truth, you're going to be grounded. And I was like, okay, well, I'm telling you the truth, so that must mean I'm not grounded.
Negotiation, you're good. I love it.
Yeah I will double down, right? And so I think one of the things for me, when I look at discipline, I'm like, oh, man, I see how punishment doesn't work longer term. Maybe when we have young kids and we're like, no, I can assert power over, but eventually you can't. And so then what does your relationship look like?
Yes. And it is the most fun stage of life ever right now Alyssa because my kids are twelve and 15 now, and so I started this work when Stella was three, and I almost lost my mind. I thought I was going to like I thought I was like, I do not want to be a mother. I told, like, my child, something's wrong with her, something's wrong with me. This is awful. But that was like, almost 13 years ago now. And so my little guy's, twelve, he was born with this stuff, right? Your little guy, right? They never know anything different. And we still mess up and make mistakes and we're imperfect, but it's just different. Stella we did a full 180 when she was three years old. And up until then, we were like, everyone and their uncle was like, this is how you do it. You just try spanking, try the timeouts, try the force, like punishment stuff. We did the full 180, but now as a teenager, it is wild to see the effectiveness. It is brilliant. It works so well. And I'm like, oh, my gosh. This is like, what we all dream of as parents, like, to have this rock solid relationship where your child trusts you, they can tell you anything. They come to you when they make a mistake, and if you catch them doing something, they're like, okay, fine, I'm here. Mom mentor me. It's just so amazing. And then to see how they stand so apart from the crowd, because I'm in Southern California and I am like, tripping watching what's happening. And it's been a really interesting season for me because I'm kind of reliving my own teenage years right now, because I did I have your exact story, right? Like, you just got straight A student, great athlete, got my older brother was a nightmare. He got in trouble. And I was like, I know how to hide this well, but I was partying by the age of 16. I was hiding. I couldn't talk to my family, totally. There was no, like, I love them dearly, just like you, right? Like, they're amazing. And there was no talking. There was no admitting mistakes. Like, you would get grounded, you would get punished, you would get shamed. Like, shame was a big thing, right? Like, shame on you. I'm just now experiencing the most radical healing at age 45 years old from shame that I realize I've been carrying for decades, but it just wasn't there, right? So now with my own kids, and especially at my 15 year old, because that's the peak season of teenhood, right? I'm just pinching myself. And it is the most beautiful thing in the world to see these kids who grow up with this stuff or have parents who practice it at whatever age, because it's never too late. It is never too late, right, to flip your script and to do things different. But they have their own self control and self regulation out in the world. They know what is a healthy way to feel powerful and what is an unhealthy way to feel powerful. They understand, like, this is a need to belong here. This is where this temptation comes in, and this is a healthy way to belong. And this is an unhealthy way to belong. They understand that if I caved a peer pressure and I do make a mistake, it doesn't make me a bad person. It just means I made a choice, that now it's going to have consequences. That now I get to decide if I'm going to keep going down that route or not. And it's like the most empowering beautiful thing to watch. And so that's the season I'm in. And it's just really fun to be able to talk to all the ages now, right? Like, I remember the little years well, and all this stuff works so well with that. But then as you get older, as they get older, you see these long term effects and the sustainability of it, and it's just absolutely beautiful because a lot of people think that if you don't punish your kids, it's permissive and they're not going to learn. And it couldn't be farther from the truth. It is the opposite. When you are in a punishment model, you are actively creating disconnection. And it just in the long term, it not only has detrimental effects, but kids just get really good at hiding, lying, and then carrying shame, which is the saddest part about it.
Yeah. So that sounds dreamy. And let's talk about the how you have the four R's for compassionate discipline. Let's walk through each R. Yeah.
So the four R's is what I like to help to use to help us guide when we're creating logical consequences. And logical consequences is actually just one component of a really nice full compassionate Discipline tool kit. So a Compassionate Discipline Tool kit is really like a it's self calming. So from the gate, right? Like from the get go, like, so much of your amazing work is about teaching this ability to self regulate, to self calm, to realize when you're out of sorts, to bring yourself back to a state of being centered and able to act in integrity in line with who you are, who you're designed to be. Like, that natural, right? Now I'm reading the book effortless by Greg McEwen. He also wrote Essentialism. It's like that idea of the effortless state for the body is calm and regulated. So it's like, how do you get back there? You teach that from a very young age, and of course you model it, right, which is a whole lifetime of work. That's the first component of compassionate discipline tool kit. And then the second component of a Compassionate Discipline Tool kit is natural consequences. And those are like I mentioned earlier, if your kid, you're like, put on your shoes, put on your shoes, put on your shoes. And they're like, they don't. And they stub their little toe. And the classic way is like, well, I told you so. That's what happens when you don't listen. Instead, it's like, oh gosh, that hurt. What did you learn from that mistake? What do you think you can do next time so you don't stub your toe? That's like a great example of a natural consequence. Or Stella, when she was little, was the she we called her the polar bear. She was the hot weathered girl, or what is it called? Hot blooded girl. So we'd go to the parade and for years I was like, you have to wear your jacket. You have to wear you're going to catch a cold, right? Which is I've realized as a wives tale, if they're already catching a cold, they might maybe be more susceptible. But kids are not going to get sick from being cold, right? So finally I gave that one up and would just allow her to go to the Christmas parade. But I'd like pack an old weird jacket from her. I don't know, something that wasn't her favorite. And if she got cold, she experienced the coldness and then she got to ask for help. That's examples of natural consequences. And the more we can do those, the better we are. Those are actually the best teachers for children. Like, when they experience it themselves, sure, then comes logical consequences.
I just think what's powerful in that is like, you're not doing the because I said so or I told you so. Rather, it's that ability. And this is what I have to regulate in the moment. Like the other day we were coming out of the store and Sage didn't have rainboots on. And he wanted there was a puddle there and he wanted to jump in it. And I said, if you jump in that puddle, your socks and shoes and your pants are going to feel wet on your body. He's a tactically sensitive kid. He hates that feeling. And we're getting in the car to drive. This isn't a time where we're going to go through. I don't have a spare pair of shoes for the next thing, you're going to have wet clothes and wet shoes on your body. And he was like, jump in the puddle. And I was like, okay, if you jump in that puddle, you will be wet. He goes over, he jumps in the puddle. He has a blast. And about 14 seconds after we're done and we're walking to the car, he was like, all wet. Take it off. Take it off. All wet. I don't like it! And I was like, oh, man. And this is where I want to say, like, I told you if you jumped in that puddle, you'd be all wet and be uncomfortable. And I was like, oh, buddy. And the empathizing there without doing that is so hard for me. And that's one of my greatest pieces of work is popping down and empathizing and connecting and then later bringing in the like, hey, next time. But that not doing it in the moment I received growing up. Not doing that in the moment is so hard.
Isn't that amazing? And I love that awareness. Right? After thinking about that yesterday, you're just like, that's so interesting. My body was all like and just that awareness and so much of integrating what you teach right, with yourself. I love being a life coach and a parenting educator because half the time you're walking yourself off your own ledge inside your head.
But just being like, look at that. That's so fascinating. I'm really uncomfortable with this happening and him being uncomfortable and then also fearing the meltdown.
It's going to make my life harder.
Yeah. I'm going to have to endure the tears. And we all know that the more we react to it, right, and we have this tone of like, oh, no, the day is over now, then that's more likely to cause them to think the day is over now that I have to ride home wet. Right. If we can just work towards getting to more and more because we're going to mess up all the time. But it's like more and more of those times where you can be like, oh, yeah, you're right. You are wet. All right, what are you going to do about it when we get in the car? What are you going to choose to do? Whatever it may be. But yeah, especially with the strong willed kids, the natural consequences are absolutely beautiful and then really using them. And again, it might not be in the moment, but it's like, what did you learn from that? How are you going to take care of yourself tomorrow? How are you going to choose to stay dry? Or would you choose to do it again? And was it worth it? Just the conversations. Strong willed kids eat up natural consequences and they just respond incredibly well to them. So that's what we call when life does the teaching.
They're so good at risk benefit analysis, right? Like cost benefit analysis and navigating risk of like, yeah, was it worth it? Because sometimes for me, I'm like, yeah, that was worth it. The consequence was worth whatever I got to experience. And maybe Sage would jump in that puddle again, right? Fine. But he gets to decide that and know the full scope. Yeah, I think that that's huge is that if we go into the consequence conversation with this goal, that they are like, oh, yeah, next time I'm going to wear my crocs so I don't stub my toe. They might be like, yeah, no, that wasn't that bad. I don't think I'm going to wear them again. But then we let that go. Like stepping out of kids ways, stepping out of their way is so hard.
I know, right? And trusting that they're innate wisdom if there's pain and especially blood. But they know, right. The chance of them making the decision to stub their toe again is really but the puddle one, that one like letting go of that, right? Or like, not wearing the jacket. Like letting go of that. And really being like, okay, this is uncomfortable for me because I feel like I know better. But then you get really good at designing, you bring in the backup jacket, right, or you just become more like you just always have the backup clothes or whatever it may be, and that becomes more of your game versus trying to make them not do things. So, yeah, natural consequences are beautiful. They're amazing, and yes, they can be tough and just rewiring our brain just to get first and foremost out of the habit of saying, well, that's what happens. That's what happens when you don't listen or I told you so. And still to this day, I still like and sometimes I do allow myself to say it. I remember, oh, yes, Stella, she just did it the other day. She went to the gym last night on her bike. And it's like freezing here right now. Freezing for us is like 52 degrees or something.
It's like a balmy summer day.
And I said, I think you're going to be cold, babe. And she was like, Mom, I'll be fine. And she got home and at this age, it was just more of a joke. But I did allow myself to say, what did I say? We don't have to be perfect here, but especially with the little ones who are very often sensitive to that kind of stuff when they're little, like, we just want to stay away from it because it just gets right in the way. And then all of a sudden, the lesson is gone. And you're like, dang it. Because with strongwilled kids especially, it becomes so fast about you versus them.
Yeah, power struggle, right?
That Zima thing you told about is such a great example because that became about you and your mom. It didn't become about like, hey, let me mentor you on what it looks like. If you're going to drink, start.
Not at all. It was just like, what is this? You're going to be punished for it. I was like, I will go down with this ship.
Right? The lesson, the beautiful life skill that you want to teach a teenager, it's not even present. It's not even there, right? It's all about you and your mom. It's all about like, how do I void punishment? How do I that's that side of it. And then to the four Rs that you had asked about. So that is the good. Everyone's like, okay, let's get there. The logical consequences. And this is what everyone has a tendency to want to jump to, because it most similarly mimics punishment. And it is not punishment, right? But I think it's what everyone wants to talk about the most when they first start learning this stuff. Because again, it's the closest, right? Like, you did something, so I'm going to do something to teach you a lesson. But that's not the tone, right? The tone is more like, hey, you made a mistake. And everybody makes mistakes. Mistakes don't make you bad. They just are opportunities to learn. And one of my biggest jobs in life as your parent is to help you learn from life and make decisions that keep you healthy, that keep your body safe, keep other bodies safe, that type of thing. And so the four R is when you're designing, logical consequences just keep you on track. So you want them to be related. That's the number one way that most parents realize they're punishing, they're not disciplining is if, like, for example, if you yank your kids, like iPad time because they rolled their eyes at you, tell me how in the world it's related. Now, because I'm an educator, I can actually get there if I'm with a client who we can get there. Like, if they're watching shows that are like, modeling this all the time, I can. But most of the time, if parents are being honest, it's not related to the roll, the eye rolling or even them smacking their sister, right? And even if you look at some of the traditional stuff of time out, like, go sit in the corner and think about what you did wrong, is not really related to what is the life skill that we're teaching to keep your hands to yourself. But related is one, you want it to be respectful. And this one's, people are like, well, what's respectful? Right? Like, respectful is from past centuries of humanity. It's questionable, right? Like, respect your respect authority. I think of South Park, respect my authority! Respect your elders, right? Like, respect is like but let's be clear. I always ask people, whatever you're thinking about implementing, would you do it to your neighbor? Would you do it to your grandma? Would you do it to your pastor? Would you do it to your best friend's kid? Most of the time, if there is even a thought of no, then it's not respectful. It's not respectful. Reasonable is another one. And then teaches responsibility is the big one. So this is where the empowerment piece comes in. So we just all want so badly for our kids to do things that are respectful to themselves and others when we're not looking. And so when we use external controls, we are setting ourselves up for failure and disappointment. Because if we're watching and we're tracking and we're, like, looking over their shoulder and they're motivated by fear of punishment, then they may do what we want them to do in the moment, but really, we want them to have self control and to have intrinsic ways of knowing how to avoid temptation, how to make a different choice when they're angry at their brother, whatever it may be when we're not looking. And we want them to be responsible for themselves. Every year that our children get older, we want to slowly be backstepping our responsibility of making them, right? Not that it's ever that we have to make them, but when they're little, there's a lot of like, we do need to be there with them to pick them up or separate the siblings when they're fighting. But as your kids get older, you really want all the responsibility to be from an intrinsic state. And so that's your main biggest goal with discipline, is you're teaching, you're teaching, you're teaching. How can you be responsible for yourself? How can you make a different choice tomorrow that feels better, like, with your own internal compass, with your own heart, right? So much of discipline is guiding children to understand. How did you feel after you made that mistake, right? Like, after you said those things, after whatever it may be? Like, what were you feeling inside after you lied? What was that feeling inside? That's called guilt, kiddo. Let me teach you about guilt. Guilt is healthy. Guilt can drive us. Shame is not healthy. Right? Like, shame is what's wrong with me. Guilt is like, whoops, I wish I wouldn't have done that.
Have you been scrolling the Internet? And there's all these tools for calming your child and how to regulate and whatever, and you try them and your child just gets amped up or that doesn't work. Or you find yourself in these cycles where it's like epic meltdown. Try to come back from it and you just feel like you're putting out fires all day long. If this is you, you aren't alone. And we collaborated with an Occupational Therapist to create our Sensory Profile quiz. This is going to help you learn about what helps your child regulate what's happening in their unique nervous system. We are all different and figuring out what you're sensitive to or what helps you regulate is the key for actually doing this work, for getting to a regulated state, for having tools, for calming down, for having tools for regulation. Head on over to www.seedquiz.com to take the quiz for free. You can take it as many times as you like for as many humans as you'd like, and we will deliver results right to your inbox to get you kick started on this journey. Seedquiz.com.
That's a little bit about the four R's, but they're really nice guidance points.
I love them. And I want to walk through an example to make it tangible. So just the other day, we are playing in the living room and everything's like, great. We're having a good time and playing and being playful. And it's my husband and Sage and I. And Sage turned and he hit Zach. He hit him across the face. And we're like, okay, freeze. Now what? Yeah, right? So, like, now what? Now what do these four R's look like?
Well, we actually wouldn't even go there. We would not go to the four R's because we would go to you first self regulation first, right. We would go to Seed and Sew first, self regulation, like, oh, wow, looks like you're having a lot of big feelings, like your whole zone of expertise, right?
I'm feeling like, oh, gosh, my fists are tight. Daddy, how are you feeling? Like dad's got his fire coming out of his head. He's feeling like all these things in his body looks like you're upset. We're upset. First thing we're all going to do. It looks like we need a break. I need to step. And for me and my people, I'm going to say 95% of the people who come to my table at Fresh Start Family, they're in a pretty reactive mode before they find me. That was my story. Right. I worked with kids since I was, like 13 year. Yeah, 13. So I was a springboard diving coach, had my own program for years and years. And then I nannied in college and I was like, dude, I am awesome with kids, right? And then I had my own, and I'm like, oh, my gosh. All of a sudden, I'm a yeller. I'm a grab wrists too tight? I'm going to slam you a little bit too hard on the padded carpeted stair. But still like, oh, my gosh, I became a door slammer. What in the world? So it just caught me by surprise, but it felt so justified, right? So most of the people that I work with and I find so many people, and that's what I love about your work, too, is we're just like, come as you are, there's no shame, no wonder that's your pattern. But that's the first and most important step is just to step to the side and go, whoa, having some big emotions right now. I'm going to step to the side and take care of myself so I don't do something that I regret, right? And so a lot of people, it's like, it's just realizing that that is the first step to breaking the generational painful cycles that have been handed down. So that's self regulation, right? Self calming is your first tool in your discipline tool kit. You're going to teach your child how to do that. You're going to do that, and then you're going to come back together. So at that point, after everyone's calmed down, because we all know that nobody can teach, right, from a heightened emotional state, and no one can learn from a heightened emotional state. And oftentimes there's so much beauty that comes from kids that is internally driven. If we give them a little bit of space, right? Two and a half is too young. You never know. He could come back after a self calming break and be like, I'm sorry Daddy, I was just mad. Especially coming from your family, right? Like, I'm sorry, Daddy, I was just mad. Or I was excited, like, so much of my little boys. So my little guy is more of my air quotes. Easy going. He didn't get the strong, real gene, but he pushed somebody this was one of my worst days as a parent. I literally dipped into, like, three days of depression. One of my best friends, who was the least on board with positive parenting that I had just started teaching, he pushed her little boy. They were four at the time. Taryn might have been three and a half off, like a play structure. Broke his wrist.
It was gnarly. It was a fracture. But still, I've learned fractures are just as bad. It was gnarly. I was like, oh, my gosh. Talk about self calming. I sent him to Grandma's house. Thank God Grandma had moved here three years earlier from Maryland. I sent him there for three days because I was just like, whoa, I was freaking out. We all know it's about ourselves, right? But everything who am I to teach this? What is wrong with me? What is wrong with this kid? Everything. Questioning everything. Have I been drinking some Koolaid? That my kids like... And long story short is I realized afterwards, I calmed myself down and we did all the things. We did some logical consequences, which we'll talk about more here in a second with examples. But I realized he was just excited. That was a hit. Or that was a push out of excitement. It actually was not out of anger. So that was so amazing to me because with my youngest I'm sorry, with my oldest, Stella, everything was out of anger for the most part. If she got physical, it was anger. With Taryn, it was excitement. And so that was a big moment. But in that self calming space, once you get yourself to a neutrality place, you can start to see things a little bit more clearer. And often kids will come back to the table and naturally make amends on their own again, if they're being raised in a house like this, right. Or you've been doing this for a little bit of time, because if they're not in a house like this, they're going to deny, they're going to blame, they're going to say, It's not my fault. You took my block. Right? But the more you do this work, the more they just naturally say, whoops, I lost my cool. I made a mistake. But then let's say all that is there, and then you're like, okay, well, we feel like we need to teach here because obviously there's a missing life skill. So in that situation, Alyssa, what do you think it was? Do you think it was frustration, excitement?
Honestly, it'll happen for both. So I think because for a lot of folks, the frustration one is harder to navigate than it is for excitement. Like, if a kid hits because they're excited afterward, I think for us as adults, it feels a little different. Like, oh, they were amped up versus, like, if they hit because they're frustrated. At least for me, when he hits because he's frustrated, I'm so good at jumping to, like, well, he's going to be a 16 year old bully, and this is what it's going to look like, right? So good at jumping there that I think that one is harder to navigate. So let's say he hit because he was frustrated. Say Zach said, no, we can't play that game, or we're going to be all done playing. We're going to go up for tubby right now. And Sage turned and hit him.
Yeah. Okay, cool. I'll just share with you my favorite logical consequences first, and then I'll tell you a fun way that you could have navigated it that day once everyone had taken some time to calm down and get to that neutral state of emotional being. Okay, so some of my favorite tools are redo's, or some kids like to call them rewinds, right? Like on your watching Disney Channel and you rewind it. Rewinds or redo's Roleplays, which is like puppets, matchbox cars, essentially. Those two are really my favorites. Anything you can do through play to teach an important life lesson is magical. And then actually experiential things helps the neural pathway really get paved, right? Like you're actually doing it. The thing you definitely don't want to do when you're trying to implement any logical consequences, sit a child down and say, look in my eyes. Sit down and listen. That was serious. We do not hit in our home. It's just going to go right over their head. So redos and role plays are great and then makeups are wonderful too. So those are the three that I'll hit today. It's like examples of logical consequences. There's other things there's when I feel charts, there's I'm statements, there's stop signs, there's like, all these cool crafts that we can do. I have this folder that's like probably ten inches thick or seven inches thick, full of all of the activities I've done with my own kids over the last twelve years now. But a lot of it is like almost like craft, like, charts, those types of things. But if you go back to the redo's roleplays and then makeups so makeups I didn't talk about. So makeups is like teaching your child that there are action steps you can do to repair a relationship, to make amends when you've made a mistake. And it's kind of a fun in our foundations course inside of our Fresh Start experience, we teach about this, but I role play this where it's like a dollar bill, right? All these little fights and arguments and moments of either mentorship or disconnection we have with our kids. If you picture a dollar bill, it just starts to create these little rips. And every time that happens, if you just repair it with like, a little tape, the dollar bill actually becomes stronger. But if you don't repair, those little rips just keep adding up, and eventually by the time your kids are teenagers, those rips are one solid rip, and the dollar bill tears in half, and it kind of like represents your relationship. So makeups are a fantastic way to use compassionate discipline because it teaches a child, hey, look, you're going to make mistakes. You're going to make tears in relationships, you're going to do things that are unkind, you're going to say things that hurt people, you're going to take actions, and there's always a way to come back and repair that relationship. It's like if you think about flying on an airplane and you're like, Southwest Airlines is like, oh, I'm so sorry, we have like a staffing thing. I'm like, we didn't hire enough people tonight, and I'm so sorry, you're going to have to sleep somewhere. And you're like, can I have some? It's like, no, we don't do that. Sorry. But they're like, I'm sorry. How much does that sorry do for you? It does nothing. You're just like so angry, right? But if they come in with a makeup and they're like, hey, look, we are really like, we're sorry, we didn't hire enough people. Something got out of hand and we don't have enough staffing. We're going to have to cancel this flight. But I want to give you this certificate. You can go next door, you can have a nice warm bed tonight, and we're going to make it up to you with a credit for more flight points or something. We want you to know this was a big mistake. We're going to learn from it and thank you so much for your grace and patience with us. I know this is a big hassle, so that's an example of a makeup, right? Like, of course, you're so much more likely to fly Southwest again when the relationship has been repaired. So that's the same with children, right? So it's like, those are my favorite three makeups, role plays and redos. So in the situation with Sage, after everyone's calmed down, you could say to him, if he's in his room and he's doing his self calming kid, or he's drawing, like we have so many kids who learn to draw. Right when they're upset. And then they come down and they're, like, have this picture I have one in my little Logical Consequences folder that it's like this little girl, and she drew, like, just tears. It was like rain. It was like a rainstorm. She was probably six at the time, and there was just tears everywhere. And she came downstairs and she goes, mama, I feel better now. And I drew this picture. I was so sad and mad, and I'm so sorry that I did that or whatever, and she moved towards some type of reconciliation with her little brother mom or whatever, but I still have that little picture from to this day, but in that situation. So you could go into his room and you could just say, hey, how are you doing? So it's like anchorman almost right when they're in the alley, and they're like, Whoa. So that got crazy fast, right? I think what happened was I think you might have just been feeling really frustrated, right? Because I said it was time to turn the TV off. And I think you love that show so much, and I think in your head, maybe you weren't expecting it, but I have a feeling you were just feeling really frustrated. How do you think you're feeling? And you can start to teach kids emotional stuff very young, right? Like, even if it's the five basics hurt, Mad, Sad, Scared, and happy. They can get that pretty young, and you can show them pictures. Do you think you were hurt that I took away that remote? Or do you think you were mad? Or do you think you were sad? And they can point, right? And then you can say, okay, well, next time, because when you hit Daddy, I know you didn't want to hit Daddy. I think you were just trying to express and ask for help with what to do with that emotion. So I want to have us redo it, and we're just going to do it again. And this time I want you to practice pulling your shirt and saying, I feel mad, or walking away or asking for help or going over and grabbing a stuffy and hugging it and saying or whatever it may be, right? Like, I'm sure you have a million ideas on that front, but I want you to try that this time. And I think in the end, you're going to feel better and Dad's going to feel more respected. So that's one idea. That would be like a redo, right? Like, okay, Daddy's downstairs. Let's go downstairs. Let's just redo it. Let's do the same thing. We're going to start putting the blocks away. And instead of hitting this time, I want you just to practice one of the things. Like, do you want to pull your shirt and say, I feel mad, or do you want to walk away and go get your calming kit? What feels good to you, little guy? Do you want to step out in the backyard and look at the sky and listen to the birds singing? What feels good? This is all the stuff we teach in the self regulation piece, right? The self calming part of compassionate discipline. And then you just redo it. That's a redo. And then the role play would be a little bit more proactive. Or it doesn't have to be because it happens afterwards, right? So, like, say Saturday morning comes along and you're like, okay, this keeps happening, he keeps hitting, and we're doing some things, but okay, Saturday morning, we're going to just start doing role plays consistently to get him the practice that he needs walking away. So before we turn on cartoons, before we go to the park, before we do the fun stuff, this is what I call sequencing. We're just going to practice. If you get frustrated today, if you get angry, if something doesn't go your way, I just want you to all of us want us to practice. I need to practice, too. You're not alone, kid. By the way. I need to practice, too. We're all going to practice walking away or pulling our shirt. We get to choose, and then we'll high five and we'll go on about our day. That's like a role play, right? You can do that for any situation. And if you can do it with toys, it's even better. So I have over here all my puppets I've collected over the years. I have a breathe ball, right? Like, puppets are great. When Taryn was little, it was Matchbox Cars because there was a while where he was, like, calling out in class, and we would line up all the Matchbox Cars and pretend that they were students, right? There's all these different things you can use. So that's roleplays and then makeups would be something that wouldn't probably work for this one because you would have to have been modeling it for a while, which I know you already probably are. Alyssa but for everyone listening, makeups is for them to work really well with kids, is they just have to be taught through modeling for a bit, like, quite some time. So we always say start by modeling with your spouse, if you have a spouse or a partner, and then you can model it to your oldest, and then you can start to recommend that they start doing makeup. So it would be like if your spouse walked in the door and you were, like, snippy at them one night, or maybe you just didn't stop and give them a long enough hug and wasn't present enough, and you realize later, like, oh, that was like, I didn't even acknowledge you. I know you had that big meeting, and I didn't even and you could say in front of the kids, like, hey, I want to do a makeup right now. I want to sit down, and I want to give you, like, hand rubs with lotion that's, like, my love language is, back when Stella was little, we knew that if we wanted to do a makeup for each other, any types foot rubs with lavender lotion was, like, our favorite makeups. But I could sit my spouse down and be like, I just want to hold your hands because I know you love to connect. And I just want to hear about your day as a makeup, because earlier, whatever, you could think of a million things for that, and your kids see it. And then you could also model it for your kids. This is where it gets hard but also easy, because we have plenty of times where we mess up, right? So it's like, hey, that tone I used. I grabbed those wrists too tight. I yelled at you. I assumed negative intent. I said a bit of a shaming statement, like, what's wrong with you? Right? Like, I just want to do a makeup right now. It can be letting them stay up a little bit late and going and looking at the stars in the backyard. It can be taking them to frozen yogurt. It can be, like, drawing with them or their favorite activity if they love to do whatever Minecraft, it can be playing Minecraft with them. If you're, like, hate playing Minecraft, it's an act of love. It's an act of service. Just to say to them, like, hey, when that happened earlier, you never deserve to be yelled at. It is not like, I'm learning to do it differently. And this is a makeup to let you know that I really want to repair the relationship, because I'm learning, hanging out with Miss Alyssa. I'm hanging out with Miss Wendy, and I'm learning, right? And you don't deserve that. So this is a makeup to let you know how much I love you and thank you for your patience and your grace with me. I'm learning and growing. I'm developing life skills just like you are little one. So after you've done that, then for a while, then you can say to your kiddo, like, hey, do you think you might want to do a makeup for Daddy? Do you want to do a role play? Do you want to do a redo? And at two and a half, a makeup might just look like a hug that repair language.
Yeah, it's that repair piece of just like, hey, I want to acknowledge, I think what's huge there in the repair is that it's when they're ready, right? That we know that a forced apology, whether you're on the receiving end or the giving end, it doesn't feel whole, and there's rad research to back that up, but that when it's time to do a makeup that we're doing it in a space where they're really ready to repair, and that when we repair, we're ready. If I do something and right away, I'm like, I'm sorry, but yada, yada, yada. We had to get out. That like, I wasn't ready to actually repair, whereas when I wait and I'm like, Man, I'm sorry, bud. Earlier today, when we were getting ready for lunch, I was feeling so overwhelmed, and I didn't speak kindly to you. Yeah, next time, I'm going to pause and calm my body so that I can speak kindly to you. I love you so much. And then to move on. And I think the hardest part of the repair can be not taking the guilt afterward. Just like, all right, I repaired and check, and now I get to move on. And that's a rad part to model.
It really is. And it's so cool once you start to see your kids do naturally apologize on their own. And I even teach most of my students, most of the time, stop apologizing. Just thank people for their grace and patience with you. But when you see your kid start doing it for the first time without being prompted?
Oh it's so nice.
Because you realize you've modeled it. That is discipline. That is teaching a child to take responsibility for their mistake and repair the relationship without shame. That's what everybody wants. You just want your child to learn what's going on inside of me, what's going on outside of me. Like, what was the choice that I made? What is the different choice that I want to make tomorrow? I'm not broken. There's nothing wrong with me. I can't tell you enough listeners. Shame has detrimental effects on human beings, and I'm even now realizing even more with my own journey. It's a big deal. We got to take it out of disciplining kids.
Yeah. And it's hard to take it out without what do we replace it with? So I'm grateful for programs like yours that can walk us through that and you know with Sagey the other night. We've been doing this work since he was born, and we personally have been doing this work since before he was born. And so after he hit Zach the other night, we all froze. He froze. Zack froze. I froze, and I did a big exhale, and I said, Whoa. And just like, let that woah sit out there for a second, right, and watched Zach turn to him. And I said I was like, Buddy, are you feeling frustrated? And then he buried his head in Zack and gave him a hug, and I was like, oh, are you feeling embarrassed?
And he just, like, stayed in to Zack. And I just said to him, I was like, he's not looking at me. I don't need him to. I just said, you're not in trouble, and we're not mad at you. You're so kind, and we know that you didn't want to hurt Daddy. You were feeling frustrated, and your body moved faster than your brain, and we're going to help you.
That's it. That's it. And we're going to help you is not a we're going to help you right now because we're going to teach us in other ways. We're going to teach us in other moments. We're going to teach us outside of this moment. But in this moment, he already knows he did something he wasn't supposed to. He's already feeling guilty and embarrassed about it. I don't need to add to that.
Yeah, because that's exactly where the seed of shame gets placed. That moment, Alyssa, where he buried and hid, that is a pivotal moment and is never too late to undo you guys. So don't get me wrong here, but that way that you responded started a path for him to take ownership of his mistakes without shame. Where so many children it developed so young. The desire to hide and be ashamed. And it's just like...
Well and I do want him to feel guilt if he makes a mistake. I want him to know what guilt feels like. And Brene Brown has really cool research outlining guilt versus shame and the long term effects. When he hits Zach, I don't want him inside to be like, oh, yeah, I feel nothing. I want inside for him to say, like, shoot, and just letting him know, we love you. You're not in trouble. We're going to help you. And I think for him, that shifts that, for all kids from shame to guilt. It was like a, you're not bad. Your body moved faster than your brain, and you made a bad choice.
Perfect language, beautiful language, I should say not perfect. Beautiful language. And to know that there's nothing you need to do to make a child feel guilty, it's just baked into us. It's just this natural, amazing design of these human bodies. If we don't get in the way right, Alyssa? That's the thing. If we don't get in the way, the body just works so naturally, and then we assist it. We bring the awareness to the surface. But so many people think, like, you have to look for it. You have to sniff it out. If it's present, you're good, but it's like, no, it's there. You just have to nurture your child to understand how to bring it to the surface and work with it. Guilt, that is. That story is really moving. Beautiful.
It was just so real. I feel like, yeah, he hits too inside. When Zach got hit. He wasn't like, oh, I feel fine, right? Like, we all were just like, whoa. And the fact that we can pause and say whoa in that moment is because we do so much work, and we don't always pause and say whoa in those moments either. There have been times where just recently I was checking Sage's mouth. I was like, buddy, are you getting your two year old molars? And I was like, can I look inside your mouth with my finger? I'm just going to feel around. And he was like, great. Can you do we call it a watermelon mouth from a book. He opens his mouth wide, and I put my finger in there and he immediately bit down and then he doubled down. I was like, ow. When I said ow, he went harder. And in that moment, I squeezed his jaw to open it up. I pulled my hand out and I was like, ow. Sage, that really hurt. Immediately reacted. So I also want folks to know that I'm not always like, oh, wow. Sometimes that's not the reaction, and that's okay, too, and we can work with them. But Wendy, thank you so much for outlining this. I think recognizing and learning what we can do because I think there's so much out there, especially on the Internet, about like, don't do this or don't punish or don't do timeouts or don't do shame. And it's just like with kids, if we don't learn what we can do, we don't have another choice.
Yeah, we panic.
Yeah, exactly. I'm so grateful for your work in this space. Can you share a little bit about your resources and what you have available and where people can find you?
Yeah, I'd love to. Thank you, Alyssa. So come on over to the website, you guys, Freshstartfamilyonline.com. We have a Quick Start Learning Bundle where you can just get some really fast results with changing the way you speak to and work with your children, especially if you have strong willed kids. So we help families of all types, but especially if you have a strong willed kid. This particular Fast Action Learning bundle we call it is around, how do you raise a strong little kid without losing your mind? So just grab that, start there. We have a podcast, the Fresh Start Family Show. And over on Instagram I'm @FreshStartWendy, and please come say hello. I love the DMs over there and oftentimes end up exchanging voice memos with families when they find me. So please introduce yourself, screenshot this episode if you love it, and tag both Alyssa and I into your stories. And so that's just my favorite way to connect with listeners as they are listening to our podcast or to any podcast that I've been on. Just start with that learning bundle and just whatever you do, just step into learning and just start creating some consistency in your life and like, you said, Alyssa, your ability to respond the way you wanted to in that situation is a culmination of what you've put in, right? You've invested in yourself and your family by learning, right? So just keep learning, you guys, and you'll be in a great place as a parent.
Yeah. Thank you so much, Wendy.
All right, thanks!
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