You're listening to Voices of Your Village, and today I got to hang out with someone I've adored for a while from afar, from her podcast, Dr. Aliza Pressman. She's a developmental psychologist with nearly two decades of experience working with families and the healthcare providers who care for them. Aliza is an assistant clinical professor in the Division of Behavioral Health Department of Pediatrics in the ICAN School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, where she is co -founding director of the Mount Sinai Parenting Center. Aliza is also the host of the award -winning podcast, Raising Good Humans. It is such a great podcast. I love it. I've been a long -time listener. She holds a BA from Dartmouth College, an MA in Risk Resilience and Prevention from the Department of Human Development at Teachers College, and her PhD is in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Science. Aliza also holds a teaching certificate in mindfulness and meditation from the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley. Aliza is the mother of two teenagers and her first book is out right now. Y 'all, it is so good and I mean this. It is The 5 Principles of Parenting. And what I love so much about this, it lets you off the hook for like really what doesn't matter, and helps you focus in on what does, and it spans age ranges from like infancy to teenagers. There's different chapters and sections for you to dive into, so you can kind of use it as like a reference text. So go snag The 5 Principles of Parenting and 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.
Hello, hello, Dr. Aliza Pressman. I'm so jazzed to get to hang out with you. I've been a longtime listener of your pod and now so stoked about your new book. I'm excited to get to dive in with you.
00:02:20 Dr. Aliza
Yeah, thank you so much.
Yeah, absolutely. We were just before we came on talking about how there's a bunch of books, there's a bunch of resources out there. And a lot of the times we can stumble upon things that add noise, but not value. And as I was diving into your book, I was like, Oh, it's a value add, like, I love that. So thank you for writing a value add. What led you to being like, we need another parenting book here.
00:02:46 Dr. Aliza
I mean, I was very hesitant, and actually, I very much said I would never write a parenting book for the reason that you said. And also, because I just was like, I just don't want to continue to burden mothers more than fathers, but in general, caregivers, with more on their to -do list. And there's all this content on the podcast, and you can consume it while doing dishes, and it just seemed easier. But then I sort of found themes that I kept thinking, you know, some people really like to consume information by just having a book, where they can keep going back to it over the years and it's just accessible under one roof. So I decided I would write a book, but then if people don't want a book, they won't get it.
I love it. If they don't want it, they won't get it.
00:03:33 Dr. Aliza
They won't get it. But then if they want something that makes them feel like, okay, it's here. Yeah, I definitely don't expect anybody to read it in one shot, because it's for, you know, from infancy through adolescence. So it was much more like if you're troubleshooting, or if you want something under one roof, here it is. And hopefully it's super helpful. And if you want to get into the nitty gritty of something, there are other books that are just on one topic, but I literally want to just cover everything that comes my way often, and just house it in one place, and hope that I could clear away a lot of the noise around what is science and what is, even if it is science, what really matters and not moving the needle, and is it only making you crazy? And so I decided to write it.
Yeah, I dig that so much. And I like it's like a reference text, right, where it's like, I can go back and reference this at certain points and so obsessed with the like, it's, it's good enough, like your parenting is good enough that perfect parenting is the enemy of good parenting right in there. Because I've never left the day as a parent or a teacher, I have a master's in early education, research in building emotional intelligence, and I've never left the day and been like, wow, I was perfect today. Everything that I did and said was perfect. And I think so often, you know, we hear about the guilt piece of this, and like shame that a lot of parents, and I think specifically moms, tend to carry of like, I'm not doing a good enough job. And so that for me is just like a common theme throughout your book. It was like, we need this.
00:05:05 Dr. Aliza
I really, well, first of all, I'm a mother, so I'm well aware of how I'm only good enough.
00:05:13 Dr. Aliza
But I have to say, I feel great about it. Like I don't have, and I definitely set out on this parenting journey to be a little bit more perfect, because I had so much information at my fingertips. I went to graduate school before I had kids, and like I don't think I understood the part of it where you're a person. And so I was just sort of more like here's all the things that you can do that will be best practices, and it's going to be great, and then over the years it's not that I'm not I'm still hard on myself but I have to say like I believe the science that good enough is good enough. And if I believe the science about other things I have to believe that science too. You know I feel like if you're listening to this podcast, if you're buying the books. Like, you know, we want our kids to thrive. We want to thrive. We wouldn't be in this game if we didn't. And I love that, because the alternative of the chaos of paying no attention feels also quite disturbing. But really believing the balance of, like, not too much, not too little, and finding the truth of how much better good enough is, than perfect for our kids, that it's actually more perfect. I mean it, I guess, I live that. I mean, my kids will roll their eyes because they're teenagers and say, we know. You're very far from perfect. I just think it's like nice to believe it, not just say it. Like, I'm not secretly feeling like I'm angry with myself all the time. I'm actually like almost, I've taken it possibly too far.
Like, it's fine. This is fine.
00:06:52 Dr. Aliza
We are good. I am a perfectly good mom.
Yeah, so in this, just like so much, yes, I think what's helpful is breaking down the like, what actually is important part of it, because good enough is enough. And I think for so many of us, when we were writing Tiny Humans Big Emotions, actually I was in a conversation with somebody and I said something about like, oh, she's such a good mom. And my friend was like, what does that mean? And I was like, what does that mean? And I started to like sit with it and really think about it, and I ended up outlining like three questions that I now like bring myself back to when I find myself in like comparison, or I'm feeling guilt or feeling shame. And you know, last year I was like, okay, I feel like one of the things I'm supposed to be doing is like sending holiday cards and like doing family photos and whatever. And I was like, all right, I'm going to do it. And I hated every step of the way we sent literally 15 cards out, and now I just have a box of holiday cards that live in my house that I'm never gonna do anything with, I'm never gonna send. And I was like, what am I even doing? Like, that has nothing to do with being a good mom.
00:08:01 Dr. Aliza
No, and it has nothing to do with how your kids turn out.
Correct, but I think there are so many things like the holiday cards that then we end up feeling like, oh, I'm not doing enough. And whether it's like, how much do I work? How little do I work? Do I go out with friends? Do I take time for myself? What's the right amount? There's so many questions I think that we ask ourself all day long, all the time. And it's supposed to like, add up to like, am I good enough? Without the like value part of like, these are weighted categories, that whether or not I send holiday cards real low on that weight scale, you know what I mean?
00:08:34 Dr. Aliza
And yet for somebody else, it might be really high. Like-
00:08:38 Dr. Aliza
-your definition of what good is, in the same way that like, what is a good human? What is a good parent? Like, what is a good mother, some people really will feel that those are ways to create rituals and traditions that are really meaningful in the family, that the kids get used to, that they're excited to look forward to. I am not one of those people, if you can guess, but I definitely, like, I don't begrudge anybody who derives joy from that. Like if that's part of your joy, I have friends where that's like, they start doing that over the summer. It's one of the things they're really good at and they feel good about themselves, so then they can be better parents because they're feeling like, I did that. It feels good. So I feel great when that happens. The problem is if you think that how someone else defines good is applicable to you when your values aren't aligned.
100%, just like what brings you joy? In your book, you talk about the age of high pressure parenting. And thank you because I have a two and a half year old, and so aggressively pregnant, and so very much in the age of high -pressure parenting. And I have found, one of my favorite podcast interviews I ever did for Voices of Your Village was with my mom years ago. And I'm one of five kids, and we grew up in a low -income community. She was a stay -at -home mom by necessity. And I got to ask her all these parenting questions that I had. And when I asked her, if you could go back and do anything differently, what would you do? The first three, my three older brothers are like 18 months to two years apart each. And then there's four years and then me, and then five years and my little brother. And she was like, I wish I could have approached the first four of you, the way that I approached number five, where all of a sudden I had this picture of like what actually matters and what doesn't. And I got to bring that into my last baby. And she was like, we were in jammies way more. We just played. You had grilled cheese and tomato soup way more. All of a sudden, like all these things that I had felt were so important with the first four of you, just weren't. Right?
00:10:57 Dr. Aliza
Yeah. That's, that's a beautiful thing to realize. I mean, it's a little harder when you've already had the hard with the four, but for you, it was a great piece of advice.
Yeah, I was like, thanks, Mom, I will take that. But I think now, I'm curious, what do you think is different about being a parent now, in this age of high -pressure parenting? Really, what does that mean? What does that boil down to?
00:11:22 Dr. Aliza
I think we have taken information and the information age and access to information, which is wonderful. I'm not going to say anything super extreme about it. It has many benefits. but we've taken it so far that now there's like a micromanagement of parenting that can make you, again, some people want that because it alleviates stress, that works for them, but for the majority of mothers, mostly mothers, I think the micromanagement of like exactly what you're supposed to say at exactly each point and exactly what you're supposed to eat and exactly what you're supposed to do when they're crying or exactly how they're supposed to sleep and exactly which of the best swaddles is the best swaddle, and exactly, it's just, there's so much that is expressed in a way where if you don't do it, there will be problems. And I think that's the part of the high -pressure parenting that bums me out, is it's not presented as, hey, listen, if this is helpful, I'm so happy to be here. But it's presented as, if you don't do this, there will be problematic outcomes. Like, if you say this to your child, there'll be codependence in your future. Or if you, you know, it's like pathologizing of everyday moments, frankly. And that I think is the high pressure parenting that is, it's not fair to us.
One hundred percent
00:12:44 Dr. Aliza
And I don't blame the consumer because, but I think part of it is also, you know, delivering research. So there's two categories because there's people that are just delivering information based on their experience, and they're not claiming to have been trained to know any of this, or have the science, they're just, you know, whatever the equivalent of blogging was back in the day. I'm so old. And I'm so sorry for like-
No, I love the blogging reference.
00:13:19 Dr. Aliza
And so that's one thing. And I, I have nothing to say about that other than be careful, you know, like, be careful, that your experience isn't everyone's experience and that you speak from the "I" place. But for the people who are trying to figure out how do we deliver information that is research -based or evidence -based, I think the onus is on us to make decisions about how to articulate these things that will be helpful, not harmful, or helpful and neutral. Because I think what happens is sometimes there is real science that says if you wear a blue t -shirt, you're going to have a higher likelihood of eating blueberries that day. But that doesn't matter, and it was only done in the context of where there are blueberries being picked in the market next door. So research has to be in context, and many, if not most, studies are in context that has nothing to do with the parents that are listening to this advice or guidance. So I think taking that into account is very important, and the onus is on us.
I love this so much. And I think it is the exact opposite of how social media works.
00:14:31 Dr. Aliza
It's the exact opposite.
Which is, I think, a huge part of the problem. Even from content creators on our side, it's like this constant push -pull on the back end, of like, I don't care what you say to your kid. That is not what feels most important to me. And I think actually it can be counterproductive, if you're just like, I just need the script, right? And, not long ago, I was having a hard day and I was crying. And my husband walked in and he was like, wow, you look sad. And I was like, oh, no shit. Like, good job, bud. Right? Like, is it the tears coming down my face? Right? It just felt like he was reading from a script. Like, he was trying to say the right words, but that it didn't sound like him. It didn't, like, this isn't, it didn't feel connecting. And I think so much of what I know what we get asked a lot is like, what do I say in the moment? And something I really love is that the first of the five R's for your, um, five R's that kickstart your book here are, uh, the first one's relationships. And I think that it's huge because then you get to find your own authentic self within this relationship, and you realize it doesn't really matter. Like, what I needed was for Zach to walk in and be like, oh man, what happened? Like, what's going on? You know, and not like, wow, you look sad.
00:16:03 Dr. Aliza
Going to name the feeling, totally. I think that-
Or to just like try and say the right thing even, you know?
00:16:10 Dr. Aliza
Your relationship gets you to the right thing, even if you can't say the right thing. And I think those scripts could, I mean, I know this because I, if I dare accidentally script my response to my kids with something, they will very quickly look at me and say like, don't, they call it like, don't ‘psychologist me’. But it really is, it feels good to have a script for the first one or two times. And then you're like, oh wait, this is going to happen 700 times. And I can't keep calling on a script. So for the 698 other times, I need to have a relationship so that I can be in it with this other person. And that's really important to me because I do think scripts can, again, like you said, it just like, not only can cause a barrier, but it can piss off the other person because it's, you know, and I understand the idea of like, you know, sample, I tried to give some sample scripts, just...
00:17:14 Dr. Aliza
And to be careful about like, this is my voice and this is a sample, but this is for everybody to take in. And you just want that message to get across, but it doesn't have to be those words. But the problem in this world, especially with social media, is people are like, what's the exact phrase? What do I need to do exactly? And I think that the problem with that is that relationships are not exact in that way, and they can actually feel pretty crummy when you, when the person on one side of it feels like a robot.
Yeah, 100%. And I think we can then focus in on something that isn't the most important, right? Like, I-
00:17:55 Dr. Aliza
Fixating on something.
Yeah, just like, Oh, did I say the right words? And we there's a, like, in Vermont, an early childhood, like Facebook group, and about twice a year, this post circulates about how we shouldn't be saying "no thank you" to kids when they're doing a behavior we don't like, and here's what you need to be saying instead, and it ends up with this whole like thing and every and I every single time I'm like annoyed by this post because I'm like of all the things to put your time and energy into? Saying no thank you when a kid's doing a behavior you don't like is so low on the totem pole of things that are going to be effective in this relationship, in shifting that behavior even. And all of this, like recognizing our time and our energy is finite, right? That we, it's not like we have an abundance and every parent listening is like, yep, it's finite. And so if we're going to choose like, what actually do I focus on? That like the script part of it for me, is it can pull away from my own energy where I'm like-
00:19:03 Dr. Aliza
Like what really matters
-Oh, did I say that? Yeah.
00:19:06 Dr. Aliza
And also it is hard when you then revisit the script in your head and you're like, I don't know if I said the right thing or what did I do? So yeah, relationship far outweighs actual words that we're using. And yet, I recognize that there are times when people are just like, I just need the script. I just want it to be a cautionary habit as something to just learn as a practice, but I tried really hard to be more about what are the questions you ask yourself? What are the, you know, physiologically, what can you do to get your, I'm trying not to use a curse word, but like to get your act together in the moment. And things that, that are not to memorize a script. And I think that's one of the most important things we need to know right now about parenting that you cannot articulate in an Instagram post. It's not fast enough, or rather it's too, I guess it's too fast. The social media is too fast. And sometimes there is a longer answer that doesn't have a script that will be fast and easy, but it has an answer that will last you for a decade.
Absolutely. Absolutely. And that it's okay to be in that messy middle, I guess of like, I'm trying to figure out, I agree. I think sometimes scripts are a helpful jumping off point. I wrote in Tiny Humans like sometimes I open my mouth and my mom comes out, and like sometimes it's great, sometimes I totally want to pass it on but like sometimes I spend a lot of time and money and therapy trying to not, and so like having a script in those moments where I'm like this is what I heard growing up and it's coming out and I don't want to say this, but I don't even know how else to navigate this right now. I have found scripts helpful in those moments for myself as I'm like rewriting patterns and building awareness and doing some deeper work that then allows me to connect. But that's one of the things I think in the age of like high pressure parenting that is such a focus. And I think social media, like we do a disservice there of like driving that home.
In your five R's, we have relationships. Reflection, can you give us insight into reflection?
00:21:23 Dr. Aliza
Yeah, I mean, you kind of just mentioned reflection because you thought about like, what did I hear when I was growing up? What do I want to repeat, and what do I want to stop repeating, and that's reflection. And reflecting back to our kids their experience of what might be going on and doing our work really helps us to come into each situation, or, as you know more often than not as I like to put it, having put to the side, not away, because it's never going to be gone, but put to the side our baggage because we have an awareness: like okay that's gonna piss me off extra because of this history. But let me put that aside and just be present with what's going on right now so that I don't write this story and put everything onto my kid. Or the baggage of the future that I'm writing because when I was in high school this happened so if my two -year -old does X Y or Z this is a pathway to this terrible outcome, and put that baggage aside, reflect like what's happening for me, and how can I now put that aside so that I can be actually in a relationship with my child where I'm not imposing 30 to 50 years of history on someone, or 25 to 50, whatever it is. And so reflection is super important and it's also another word for mindfulness but it began with an R, and I think we underestimate the scientific value of mindfulness, and just literally finding the space between what happens and what we do about it. And so reflection to me is that space and that space is everything.
It's huge and I think it's so hard to find in the moment I think the hardest skill to hone is that that space between reflection and response, right, and like where you can you can reflect in the moment, literally picturing my morning this morning as I was trying to get Sage out the door for childcare. It was not our easiest out the door for childcare morning. And I found myself like by the time I'm in the driver's seat, I have a whole story about my husband and all the ways he's failing in this and a whole story about Sage and what this is going to mean for his entire next three years of going to childcare, right? Like a full projection of like all of it. And was grateful for that opportunity to sit in a driver's seat and drive while he was in his car seat, because I needed that. Finding that pause in the moment, I think, is so hard and such a hard skill to hone.
00:24:04 Dr. Aliza
It really is. And in the short term, when you can't access it, and that's why at the end of each chapter I have these reflection breaks, to just practice. Because sometimes in the heat of the moment/ most of the time in the heat of the moment, you can't. But if you've been practicing that not in the heat of the moment, you're just more likely to have access to it. And then you just get better at it.
Yeah. Yeah. Love it. Love it. We don't build skills in the moment. We call in the ones we have. And then regulation is your third one, which is not a new term for this community. We talk about the nervous system a lot here, so,
00:24:40 Dr. Aliza
Speaking of, I think that's another really important thing to say. The five principles of parenting, those five R's, that's the spoiler alert for this book, is that these five principles all start with an R. It's not like I made them up. I just pulled together the science and tried to categorize it in ways that I felt like, okay, this is what we really know matters, but this is me reflecting back decades of science. It's not like I'm like, ah, here's a new concept that nobody's ever known. And I say that only because that's another one of those wonky things about this field, it's actually been around. And we -
It drives me bonkers.
00:25:20 Dr. Aliza
Yeah, actually my publishers were like, why do you constantly reference like who said what or who did this study or when? And I'm like, I just want people to know not only where it came from, but that it has roots that have been around for long enough, that we can count on this. It's not trendy. So I didn't invent it. So regulation, I just, I called it regulation instead of self -regulation or co -regulation because it's like encompasses all regulation.
And it starts with an R, so that's really great.
00:25:49 Dr. Aliza
And it starts with an R, so it felt like the right move. And I think what you can only get to regulation with reflection, like with the pause, but then once you do, you have capacity to have your goals met, because regulation is intentional and you can't have intentional thoughts, intentional feelings, intentional actions, if you haven't taken a moment. And that's the thing we work on forever, like having something happen and then not losing our shit, our cool,
You can say shit.
00:26:26 Dr. Aliza
-Is, that's self -regulation. And expecting that of our children, and it sounds like you've talked about this a lot, but so expecting their nervous systems to be fully developed, and have capacity for that, is not an appropriate expectation. How can parents know that without knowing how the brain develops? I totally get it. But they need to borrow our regulation and that's co -regulation. And so we have to regulate ourselves more often than not, just in the service of growing their skills. So whenever we're focused on how do we build the skill in our kids, unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, we have to grow it in ourselves. And I love that parenting is this bolstering opportunity for becoming our next version of self, where there are things that we sort of were like, I'm gonna deal with that when I grow up.
And shoot, here I am. Yeah, yeah. I think about like the idea of, oh, I can't get calm in the moment for my kid. But what we're saying is like, my kid needs to get calm for me. But if we can't access that, like how wild it is to expect them to.
00:27:39 Dr. Aliza
Yeah, and I think, you know, I'm sure by the end of the day, I'll say something that implies a lack of self -regulation when, you know, something sets me off. But I think being able to have a few strategies that just like put your alarm system on, you know, like everything's fine, and shuts it down, you know, that's what we can hope for. That's what we can ask for. That's what we can practice. And it does really impact our kids. It also just makes parenting as a general way of like just the existence of this challenge and joy of every day, way easier. Because your nervous system isn't in a constant state of-I'm about to flip out. It really feels like, I want relief for parents that you can take the time to self -regulate and you can take whatever you need to take to get your nervous system in check, because not only do you deserve it, which I know is not a good selling point for parents, but your kids deserve it, which is usually what motivates us to grow.
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it's bonkers what I won't do for myself, but will do for the tiny humans. It's ridiculous. Your next one here is Rules, which I think everyone might be jazzed about.
00:28:57 Dr. Aliza
I know, I think that that one is actually the hardest one for, if, I feel like the current high pressure parenting world is struggling to make sense of how you can have rules alongside sensitivity of care, you know, the relationships, regulation, the reflection, and like, how does that go with rules? And so rules gets thrown away a lot more often. And rules is just an R word for boundaries and limits. And one is kind of the boundaries are more about kind of your rules for yourself and the things that you expect and the differentiation between you and your child or you and other. I don't think these are exclusive to parent -child relationships. And the limits are about your expectations of your child that are helping them move through the world as members of this small little community of your household and the larger community of their school and outside world. And we get so scared of how uncomfortable rules make us feel and how our kids feel, that we tend to assume or just default into never mind. So I wanted to give like a whole principle that was permission in the context of the other principles to make it really clear and predictable that you have expectations of your kids and that is totally not inappropriate. And it's actually more harmful to not have them. It's actually really hard for kids not to have rules. But somehow I think the real pain point for parents is like if your child is looking at you with their delicious welled up eyes, or they're screaming, or they just are like absolutely not having it that if you feel like you're being a sensitive parent that you're gonna be like, okay, I hear you you're struggling let me not make you do this, or let me not ask this of you. And that isn't true. It's actually very unsafe to feel like that. I mean I'm not telling you anything you don't know, but I'll tell everybody else, it is a very unsafe feeling to be put in the position of having someone who is meant to be caring for you, unsure of where the walls are to the house. Like what a scary feeling, you know, or where the sense of safety comes from. And so kids don't just have to feel emotionally and physically safe, but they actually have to feel like you have, or I guess in order to feel that way, they need to feel like you've got a handle on what the rules are. So part of this book is to help parents and caregivers come to terms with the rules that matter to them, both the rules for themselves and the rules for their kids. And to not feel like you can't be completely sensitive to your child and also live totally free of feeling like their distress is a reason to change your rules. In fact, I think it's really hard on kids to think that their feelings are dangerous. And the message we send to them when we don't feel comfortable setting these limits, because of their distress, is that their distress is dangerous in some way, that it's so dangerous that an adult who's had all this life experience is like, oh, that feeling cannot be, let's fix it. So I think it's a service to our kids to really think about rules. And the problem is historically, if somebody is just like, because I said so,
00:32:39 Dr. Aliza
And it's fear -based, rules get a bad rap, and that is not what I'm talking about.
Well, and I think that's where a lot of the challenge comes in for us now, is that a lot of us grew up in, because I said so, just like power-over cultures, where it was like obedience cultures, right? And then there's this pendulum swing from like that, to now everything will be talked about, and figured it out together and whatever, and we'll, like, there's a middle ground, right? Like there's a middle ground of, yeah, we can, I can explain why this is the rule to them, but it doesn't change the rule, right?
00:33:18 Dr. Aliza
It doesn’t change the rule.
And I think a lot of us grew up without the explanation of why. In fact, one of my best friends just messaged me the other day and was on a boat with her toddler and her dad and her sister. And her toddler kept like standing up to like look over the side of the boat. And she came over and she said, I'm gonna help you sit down and I'll tell you why we can't stand up on the boat. Like the rule going in was they weren't allowed to like stand up and lean over. And so she helps her sit down and is telling her why. And her dad was just like, you don't need to tell her why. You're the boss here. Just tell her there's no standing over the side. And she was like totally, that's exactly how you parented me. Got it. I'm gonna do it this way. And but I think a lot of us grew up with that and so now it's like we are nervous about repeating that part, I think the reflection and rules piece can come hand -in -hand here a lot. That expectation piece of like I've never set a boundary or rule for a kid and they were like I can tell you're really here to keep me safe. Like thank you so much for having my safety as your number one priority I can't wait to follow this. Exactly. And actually when I was on book tour, one of the parent's questions in the audience, was about like boundaries and like, how can I set it so that I'm not carrying my crying child away from this thing? And I was like, actually, I want to shift to like, what if when you said it, your kid is crying and feeling disappointed and frustrated? And what does that mean to you, about you? And really looking at that, right? I'm looking at that of like, it is okay for your kid to be disappointed or frustrated about the rule. They don't have to love it. It's still our job to set and hold them.
00:35:08 Dr. Aliza
Yeah, I had this really interesting moment with my older daughter in the beginning of the pandemic, maybe we're like three weeks in and she was 13. This will be under the category of not perfect parenting. And so, like, after my younger one went to bed, she wanted to watch Grey's Anatomy, which was a totally inappropriate show. And I couldn't remember Grey's Anatomy, but I remembered that it was definitely inappropriate. And I said, well, I'll tell you what, we can watch it together. And then I'll fast -forward the parts if I'm just like, this is not gonna work. Anyway, we started watching it, and it's so... It's like a soap opera, so I was so in. And then it started to happen where every night, we would stay up late and watch episodes of Grey's Anatomy. And after like a week and a half, my daughter looked at me and she was like, I need my mother back. Like, I need a bedtime. I need help. I feel like, where did you go? Because of course, I was like, pan-deep in pandemic.
Actually, this feels really good for me too right now
00:36:11 Dr. Aliza
I just want to cuddle and watch TV for hours and hours. But like, I pushed it too far. And we became like college roommates or something, and she wasn't safe. And so I had to like be like, you're right. Okay. Thank you for naming that. Thanks for not being afraid to tell me that I'm going to like curb this. And then of course, inevitably when she wanted to, and I said, you know what, we're going to take a break right now and we'll do it, you know, on the weekend or whatever. She was like, I wish I hadn't said that to you. I regret it now. But it was a really good reminder because I probably was like, all right, I've got myself my little roomie, and we're just going to chill out till late in the night watching terrible television for days on end, because I'm comfortable. And I'm fine with it. Like, of course we needed it at that moment, but it was a reminder that it's not like they're going to thank us for the rules and limits and the boundaries, but they do need it. And they, I would go as far as to say, I watched it happen. Like my daughter was like, I can't, this does not work. Like having you forget that R, that's not what she said, but that's what she, you know, is hard. Like that is way worse than having an understanding and a clear sense of like, what is expected of me and what is happening here?
100 % and they're not going to be jazzed, right? Like, but that's, I think, so I thank you for sharing that story because I think it's helpful to see also the, the not perfect parenting, but the like, boy, do I have stories for you. But just that, like, yeah, it's, it actually does provide that safety and security, and I think that can feel counterintuitive for us in the moment. All right. So the last R is so huge and important, and I think a huge part of the like, good is good enough. Repair.
00:38:09 Dr. Aliza
Repair. Yeah. So, and repair is another one of those. It's getting a lot of attention right now, but it has been around for decades. And the reason why I wanted to pull things that have been around and looked at and studied very deeply across so many different cultures and communities, is so that we can say okay this does actually matter in many contexts in all the ones that we've ever looked at, repair is what strengthens relationships because no relationship is going to have you know just like smooth sailing and everything is connected, repair is the only key to recognizing that there is a sturdy foundation beneath you and that it is not going to crumble because of disrepair or discord. And I love that the early studies of looking at connection and repair with parents, showed that mothers and babies had like 33 % of the time connection, and the rest of the time was sort of the discord and repair. So that's not near 50%. That's not near perfect. That is so far from perfect and what is important is the repair is what strengthens these relationships and I think the way that, the easiest way to think about it is, if you grew up thinking that having a mismatch in a moment or fighting or having an argument or you know not getting noticed or whatever didn't occur, you go into your romantic relationships or you go into your friendships, and you have a moment like that which you will, and if you didn't understand that that's just the normal part of growing a relationship, you might think it's over and run away and be done with it. And that is because you don't have a deep belief in the stability of those relationships, because you didn't experience what it was like to grow and strengthen because you had the opportunity to repair and do every single time. So, I love Repair and I think that the reason it's important isn't just in those moments, but it really is, like, money in the bank, as crass as that sounds, for later relationships.
Okay, to call back Grey's Anatomy, there is a scene in which Derek and Meredith are early dating, and they get in a fight and at some point, he says something along the lines of, like, oh, this is how this works. Like, yeah, we're gonna have arguments, we're gonna have conflicts, and then I'm gonna still show up. And she was like, well, I didn't know that. And he was like, oh, yeah. So just to tie that right in, if we would like to agree.
00:40:58 Dr. Aliza
I think that Grey's Anatomy has really great opportunities to look at that.
I think it's so crucial. And well, again, a lot of us didn't grow up with the repair part. And so learning how to like, even just take accountability for our own actions, for me is really freeing. And I think the part that people can get hung up on is then like, it isn't that you have to feel guilty the rest of the day about what you did, or ashamed of your behavior, whatever, that like repair is enough.
00:41:29 Dr. Aliza
That you've done your job.
00:41:32 Dr. Aliza
Yeah, you move along. And you have to also, as a service to your kids, so that they don't berate themselves every time they make mistakes. Because they see that you forgive yourself, that you have self -compassion. You cannot use a nasty voice in your own head and expect that your kids aren't gonna use a nasty voice in their heads.
Oh, I love it so much. Yeah, the self -compassion piece is huge. Thanks, Kristen Neff, huge. Rad, oh my God, I'm so jazzed for folks to get their hands on this bad boy. They can snag it now. The 5 Principles of Parenting: Your Essential Guide to Raising Good Humans. Thanks for writing this.
00:42:13 Dr. Aliza
Thank you. Thank you for reading it. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk to you about it and the work that you're doing. I really do love this book. I have to say, even though I've now had to obviously read it 782 times and I just finished the audio book, so like, I could take a break from it. But when I was reading it, I was like, oh my God. This is good-
That's what I felt when I was reading the audio book. I was like, we wrote a good book.
00:42:40 Dr. Aliza
-I like this. So I think, I hope it evokes both relief and tools. Like not too many tools, and not too much relief. Just like really that space between.
Not too much relief.
00:42:56 Dr. Aliza
Not so much relief that you just give up.
I love it. I think it does a great job balancing those two. I think it doesn't feel like homework. Yeah, so thank you. Thank you for doing this. And where can folks tune into your podcast, follow you, learn more from you.
00:43:11 Dr. Aliza
I'm on Instagram on @raisinggoodhumanspodcast, and I'm on any podcast platform, Raising Good Humans. And then the I have a substack, Dr. Aliza dot substack dot com. I think that's what it is. I should probably look that up. And of course, preorder The 5 Principles of Parenting. That's another way.
One hundred percent. Thank you so much.
00:43:36 Dr. Aliza
Thanks for tuning in to Voices of Your Village. Check out the transcript at voicesofyourvillage.com. Did you know that we have a special community over on Instagram hanging out every day with more free content? Come join us at @seed.and.sew, S -E -W. Take a screenshot of you tuning in, share it on the gram and tag @seed.and.sew 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.