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Episode 99

How storytelling and play can transform your child’s behavior

March 18, 2024
In Episode 99, Kyle and Sara, LPCs interview Sarah Moore, author of the book Peaceful Discipline. She has been featured on NBC, CBS, and many parenting magazines. We dive into her journey as a parent and the transformational moment that changed how she wanted to parent. She also shares how Story Teaching is a powerful tool that can help children process their emotions and work through the events of the day.

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Episode 99 Transcript:

If you're a regular listener of the art of raising humans, you know that Sara and I are big fans of styles of parenting like peaceful parenting and gentle parenting and emotion coaching. There's a lot of names that you've probably heard it called over the past decade that this kind of parenting has become much more known to people. And I know if you're listening to this podcast, you're passionate about wanting to parent in a different way without fear and without shame. And so, we're really excited today to introduce you to the author of a book, Peaceful Discipline. And so it doesn't matter what way you call this type of parenting. There isn't a correct way to call it or a wrong way of calling it. The point is the same, that it's about having a deep connected relationship with your kids, where you are modeling to that kid the very skills, techniques, and values that you're wanting them to have. So I think today in our interview with Sarah Moore,

you are going to be enlightened on what that could look like. She's going to introduce you to a lot of different cool ways of using play and storytelling to help your kids better understand how to regulate their emotions and how to communicate their needs and wants in their relationships with you. So I'm excited for you to listen to that and hope you stay till the end, because I think you're going to get a lot of great tips and ideas about how to do this whole parenting journey in a new, unique way.

Hello and welcome to the Art of Raising Humans. I'm Kyle. And I'm Sarah. And we have another Sarah. There isn't just one Sarah on the podcast today. We like the name Sarah, so we're doing it twice. So I want to introduce you today to Sarah Moore, the author of the book Peaceful Discipline. And we've had the privilege of reading this book. We think this book is full of fantastic information. It's all in line of what we've been talking about over the past 90 some odd episodes we've been doing it. But we thought Sarah said it in a way,

that we still hadn't said it. So we wanted you as the audience to hear what she has to say. So welcome, Sarah. We're glad to have you on the podcast.


Sarah R. Moore (2:20.779)

I'm so glad to be here. Thank you for having me.


Kyle and Sara (2:24.321)

Now, Sarah, can you kind of tell us, just start with what inspired you to write this book? How did that come about? Why did you want to write another parenting book?


Sarah R. Moore (2:38.347)

Very good question. It is certainly a saturated market and we know there is no shortage of parenting books from which to choose. That being said, there was the longer way that I wrote this book and then there was the shorter way. The longer way, and I'll talk about both of them very briefly, the longer way that I actually talk about in the preface of the book was that when my daughter was just four months old, she was itty bitty, I was in her four month well check appointment with her pediatrician.

and he looked me in the eye and said, so how's sleep going? And first of all, let's level set. No four month old is a champion sleeper. They're four months old. I am well over four months old and I am not yet a champion sleeper. I hope to achieve that someday. However, I gave him an honest answer and said, well, she still wakes up quite a bit at night, but I don't mind. Holistically, she's getting plenty of sleep and we're good. And he looked me in the eye and he said,


Kyle and Sara (3:16.865)



Sarah R. Moore (3:38.261)

Don't ever pick up that baby when she cries. She's manipulating you. Let me know when you're ready to get serious about parenting. Well, that was the jaw -dropping moment where my nervous system actually went into freeze mode. I didn't know what to say. I didn't know how to respond. So we proceeded through the rest of the appointment, but I promise you, I never went back to that pediatrician again and found a different one who was much better informed, more aware of nor...


Kyle and Sara (3:44.833)



Sarah R. Moore (4:7.435)

normal developmental stages for children, including sleep, etc., etc. But by the time I got home that night, he had lit the fire in my belly to the point where I thought, I am going to get serious about parenting, all right? I am going to do all of the research. I'm going to make sure that everything I choose for my child is going to be evidence -based and connection -based.

And if my intuition, backed by the science, tells me to go pick up my baby, that's exactly what I'm going to do. And here's the good news, that connection -based relationship never expires. So the more I learned about child development, the more I realized there is going to be somebody who needs the message of how to have a connection -based relationship, not only in the very early years, but really throughout the child's entire life. I want to write that book.

And then the short answer to how I wrote the book was I didn't know exactly how or when it was going to happen except for, and some people say it's weird, I kind of do too. But there was one night a couple of years ago where I essentially woke up, speaking of not being a great sleeper myself, I woke up and I had the whole book in my head. I had the title, I had the chapters, I had virtually everything planned out. I had not been planning ahead of time. I received...

the book and it was my job basically just to get it on paper and that is what you are holding in your hands right now my friends.


Kyle and Sara (5:41.537)

And we do, I have it if you're on video. I'm thinking, this is the book right here. And isn't the best way to write a book always encompass a weird story? So like the best way to write a book.


Sarah R. Moore (5:55.467)

For sure, yes, exactly.


Kyle and Sara (5:57.633)

Well, I wanted to hear just for those who aren't familiar with anything you've done with your book, just what is this approach? I know it's probably really hard just to put it in a tiny little capsule, but how would you explain your approach to parenting?


Sarah R. Moore (6:16.819)

You know what, I'm really sorry, my headset keeps falling off my head and I just missed your question. Would you mind asking me again? I'm so sorry about that.


Kyle and Sara (6:17.377)

Yeah. Yeah, no, no, no problem. Um, I think everyone understands technology and it's challenges. Um, I said it'd be a little hard to put it in a capsule, but if you try to explain, uh, we have the whole book, what would, how would you describe or explain this parenting style? What is it?


Sarah R. Moore (6:41.611)

How I would describe this parenting style is evidence -based intuition connection parenting. That is a much bigger mouthful than anybody can ever probably remember, but the evidence -based piece of it is that we can actually check out the science. We've got the research to be able to say this makes sense from a very logical standpoint.

the intuitive piece is going to be, and it feels right, because we as human beings are designed to be in relationship with one another. And that is my segue into the connection piece. I want to make sure that in my parenting, everything that I am doing with my child is going to reflect the natural desire for humans to be connected with one another. So I'm going to...

step away from anything that would cause a breach in the connection with my family and instead lean into how can we learn and grow and thrive and honestly just enjoy life together because life and parenting specifically don't have to be nearly as hard as we often make them out to be.


Kyle and Sara (7:55.553)

Yeah, I love that. I love that. Was it, you did a lot of research. I mean, so I've read your book and I love actually you have, you cite great sources in there. I mean, that's just right up my alley because I like to know that things are evidence -based and we live in a time where...

We have longitudinal studies going back decades. We have thousands and thousands of people that have been part of these studies. And that brings me peace of mind, because I can say, OK, I know that there's a lot of evidence to say this is going to go well for me. Because it's a new style for us. For Kyle and I, it was a shift in how we thought we were going to appear, or how things used to be. And it was a new direction for us. And.

So for me, just knowing that I'm not messing up my kids, it's really, really important. But I was wondering for you, when you started out parenting, you have, she was four months old and you kind of did a, what is the direction shift, but you really grabbed ahold of a bunch of information and started heading down this intent, this intentional path, even though it sounds like you didn't know where it was going to go. Is that right? And so.

How has that process been of trying to learn and adopt and maybe parent in a different way than what you maybe thought you were gonna do?


Sarah R. Moore (9:13.451)

You're absolutely right.


Sarah R. Moore (9:25.255)

Brilliant question. I always say that my very best parenting happened yesterday because I understand it better today. Today, I'm going to mess up. Today, I'm going to make mistakes. But by tomorrow, I'll know what I should have done. So I am a big believer in embracing imperfection. I'm a big believer in not knowing exactly how we're supposed to handle things. But in all seriousness,


Kyle and Sara (9:32.641)



Sarah R. Moore (9:52.843)

When I go back to that core question of when I'm in the moment with my child, and perhaps I'm struggling with something as a parent, when I ask, is what's coming to mind for me right now going to enhance our relationship? Or is it going to drive a wedge between us? That really helps me get clarity around how I want to parent in the moment, knowing that allowing for my own

imperfections, allowing for my own room to grow. I have never parented the child that's in front of me today because yesterday she was a different person. She is growing and changing and evolving every moment of every day. So we are always going to be winging it. As parents, there is no perfect roadmap for how we think we're going to handle something in the future and then magically handle it exactly like that. That basically doesn't happen.


Kyle and Sara (10:27.009)



Sarah R. Moore (10:49.515)

So our best bet is to simply lean into the uncertainty, do the best we can with the connection as the framework for the choices that we make as parents. And we figure it out, giving ourselves and our kids grace along the way. In fact, more specifically, I have a tool in the book that I talk about the hug process and hug is an acronym. The H stands for hold your reaction.

when you are tempted to be a reactive parent, U stands for understand your child's perspective. What is this like for them? What might be going on beneath the surface? And then the G stands for give them grace to be human. We are all doing the best we can at any given moment in life. And the same is true for our kids. So when I pause and use the hug process in my daily parenting, and then weave in,

Alright, what do I know about child development? What do I know about polyvagal theory or any other tools or information I might be bringing in intellectually? However I can make it work in the moment to come back to connection is always going to be the path I want to take forward.


Kyle and Sara (12:0.961)

you said there was one word that you said that I thought would evoke a lot of fear in parents and that was uncertainty you know like you said you've got to embrace that that there's this level of uncertainty that that's that's kind of thing what people want in parenting they want certainty they want to know if I do this and this it will lead to

what old school parenting seemed to sell, right? Like if I threaten this or if I take this away, I mean, that's really what I think the struggle for a lot of parents to get away from is letting go of the need for certainty while also, I mean, you're not selling in the book, complete uncertainty. You are selling this different, yeah, this different type of certainty that like by the end in the hug metaphor, the hug acronym you were using,

There, there is this level of certainty that in the end, once I understand you better and I connect with you in this moment, that I am certain that will bring out a more positive and healthy outcome.


Sarah R. Moore (13:14.503)

Absolutely. Yeah, Kyle, you just hit the nail on the head because life is the uncertain part. We don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. We don't know what our child is going to do behaviorally or what social situations they're going to run into. Life is the uncertain part. But the part that we can bring into it is our own parental consistency in building trust with our children that we're not going to be punitive. I always talk about, you know, if somebody says,


Kyle and Sara (13:28.331)

Yes, yeah.


Sarah R. Moore (13:44.459)

my child or your child. I don't like what you're doing. I'm going to call your mom or I'm going to call your dad and tell them what you're doing. I want my child's first response to be, thank goodness, they're going to help me figure out what to do here. They're going to support me and they're going to love me through it. So when we build that consistent trust that we're going to show up, that is the perfect way to mitigate.


Kyle and Sara (13:55.649)

Yes, yes, that's awesome. Yeah. Yeah.


Kyle and Sara (14:6.539)



Sarah R. Moore (14:12.811)

the fear of the unknown, because we're going to figure it out together, whatever it is. But our relationship is so rock solid that none of that unpredictability can scare us in the same way that it would if we didn't have this relationship.


Kyle and Sara (14:16.449)



Kyle and Sara (14:27.041)

Well, and then the other thing you said at the end of the hug.

was the belief that we're doing the best we can. You know, such a huge, important cornerstone of this type of parenting is you're coming in without judgment, without criticism, that you have this belief that you as the parent are doing the best you can in that moment. And so is the kid. And it's, it almost seems like for a lot of people, they feel like that's a cop out that you're not holding the kid accountable. Um, when really, I love it. When, when I was getting trained with Dr. Becky Bailey, you know, she would talk, that's the only way to hold.


Sarah R. Moore (14:44.765)



Kyle and Sara (14:59.827)

them accountable is by believing they're doing the best they can it allows them to actually then take responsibility for what they've actually done in that moment and for you to take responsibility for what you've done and then for us to actually come together and choose to do it differently in the future.


Sarah R. Moore (15:20.175)

Exactly. Exactly, yeah. And it's fundamentally why we want to move away from these fear -based parenting methods. Because all the fear -based methods do is tell the child that they're not safe with us. That if we find out about what they've done, that they're going to be in trouble. And what we actually find from the research, and I talk about this in Peaceful Discipline, is that the kids who are punished are actually more likely...


Kyle and Sara (15:33.087)

Mm -hmm.


Kyle and Sara (15:36.609)



Kyle and Sara (15:46.369)

Yep. Yep.


Sarah R. Moore (15:47.573)

to lie to hide their behavior because they're afraid of losing connection with us. And what we can infer from that is that children will prioritize connection over basically anything else, even if they might lie to hide the behavior that they've done. Now, the key here is creating the safety so that they don't feel called to lie in the first place. And instead, they simply come to us with a confession if they've messed up.


Kyle and Sara (15:59.689)



Sarah R. Moore (16:17.739)

or a question about how should I have handled this differently. And I love seeing it in action, quick personal story. I can't tell you how often I reap the rewards of parenting this way with my own child because she will tell me things like, you know, mama, I know I wasn't supposed to give the kitten any of my food from the table, but I need to tell you that I gave him a little bit and I think he's okay.

but can you help me watch him to make sure he doesn't get sick? Yeah, that's really good to know. Thank you for telling me. And now we can take better care of the kitten if something happens to go sideways, just because I know what's going on and she feels safe enough to tell me. And I fully believe that when we create emotional safety around things like this, now today, when our kids are littler, this will be the child who at 15, 16, 17 will be more likely to come to me saying,


Kyle and Sara (16:48.161)

Yeah, yeah, yes.


Kyle and Sara (17:11.585)

100 % yeah yeah


Sarah R. Moore (17:14.923)

hey, my friend told me to do this thing that I didn't want to do. I need your help. As opposed to, I'm going to get in trouble. I want to keep this from you.


Kyle and Sara (17:18.239)



Kyle and Sara (17:22.369)

Yeah, well, I love thinking that as a barometer, like you said, I just for every listener to the podcast to be thinking if their kid had something happen at school or at church or wherever it might be, if they said we're going to call your parents, it would be interesting for them to pause and think, would the kids see that as a positive? You know, would they see it as, yes, my parents going to help me figure out how to do this better or is it a scary thing? And the kid's going to be terrified because they're afraid of what the parents might do. I think it's a good.

good way to reflect upon the end game in this whole parenting journey. I wanted to ask you, in hearing all of this, the voice, the reactions that go through my head that we've heard, and I imagine you've heard, but I wonder what your response would be, is that sounds great, but kids need to learn that they have to be punished, or there has to be a consequence. When we mess up, they're...


Sarah R. Moore (18:4.445)



Kyle and Sara (18:21.761)

there has to be a consequence and I'm failing my child if I don't teach them, if I don't give them a consequence or some kind of punishment, I'm failing as them as a parent. So I was just curious what your response is to that. If you hear that and, and, and that it sounds to them very much permissive. Yeah. It sounds like passive style. You just letting the kids run the show. They're getting away with everything. Yeah.


Sarah R. Moore (18:49.323)

Yeah, I hear those concerns. And first of all, I want to say for the people who are feeling those fears come up, that's exactly what they are. They are fears. And along with that, they are likely scripts that we heard from our own parents when we were growing up. We came to believe that we deserved punishment when we did something bad or that others perceived as bad, even if we weren't actually being bad. I want to make an important distinction there.


Kyle and Sara (19:13.757)



Sarah R. Moore (19:19.243)

So, couple of thoughts. One is that this type of parenting is not at all permissive. We absolutely do have boundaries. We absolutely do have consequences. And I talk about some of these in the book in so far as there are two types of consequences that we absolutely do use in peaceful discipline. One is natural consequences. These are simply,


Kyle and Sara (19:38.273)



Sarah R. Moore (19:46.731)

things that happen naturally without any adult intervention. So for example, the child who sneaks the iPad into their bedroom and stays up until three o 'clock in the morning playing video games, the next day at school, they're gonna feel crummy. The natural consequence is they might fall asleep in class, they might get a bad grade on a test. All of these things are still really good teachers.


Kyle and Sara (20:1.441)

Mm -hmm. Yeah. Yeah.


Sarah R. Moore (20:16.043)

And we as adults experience natural consequences all the time. For example, if I go outside and I'm rushing to leave, but I forget my coat and it's cold outside, I am cold, therefore next time when I go out, I'm gonna remember to bring my coat. Similarly, the child who had a really crummy day at school got...


Kyle and Sara (20:32.831)



Sarah R. Moore (20:39.627)

bad grade, got into an argument with a friend, whatever it was, because they were tired, they will likely learn, you know what, maybe staying up all night wasn't the best plan, and I'm gonna throw this out, maybe the parent didn't even know about it. Therefore, the parent couldn't have inflicted an adult -directed consequence. Instead, the child just learned that didn't turn out so well, I'm gonna make another plan next time.


Kyle and Sara (20:52.737)



Kyle and Sara (20:59.201)



Sarah R. Moore (21:8.715)

Similarly, the child who leaves their bike outside in the street, bike gets run over, the bike breaks, that's really unfortunate. That is gonna be a better teacher about don't leave the bike out than if the parent takes away the iPad that's totally unrelated. Now, the other type of consequence that we do use sometimes in this type of parenting is a logical consequence. This is one that also is not punitive.


Kyle and Sara (21:14.049)

Yes. Yeah. Yeah.


Kyle and Sara (21:21.535)

Yeah, yeah.


Sarah R. Moore (21:37.803)

but it is a way that we can help reinforce a message that might not be happening naturally in the way that we want it to happen. I'll use a younger kid example with this one. Let's say that you have repeatedly asked your child to put away their toy cars and trucks and baby dolls and all the things, and they are simply not doing it. Number one.


Kyle and Sara (22:0.641)

Yes, yes, yep.


Sarah R. Moore (22:1.387)

I would invite you to get playful about it rather than punitive. And I talk a lot about playful parenting in the book and all sorts of tips to make that more likely to happen in a peaceful way. But let's pretend for a second that you're not there yet and you have repeatedly told the child, you need to put those away, you need to put those away. If the child isn't doing it, one option that you do have in a connection -based way is to say, I see that it's really hard.

for you to put away all the stuff every day. And I'm noticing that's causing some tension in our family. So what we're going to do starting today is we're gonna make sure to have out only what you're actively playing with. And then before we take out the next thing, we're gonna put the prior stuff away. So that too can be a very effective teacher that's still non -punitive. And yet we as parents,


Kyle and Sara (22:45.797)

Yeah, yeah.


Kyle and Sara (22:51.937)

Yep. Yes.


Kyle and Sara (22:58.241)

Well, and what I love about that, Sarah, is there's this inclusion of empathy too. That really, anytime we're imposing some kind of boundaries on the situation, which is what you're doing there, is I'm gonna be giving empathy. I'm realizing that this is hard. You know, putting all those toys away is difficult. I am not against my kid. I'm not trying to use my will to overwhelm yours. It's really like, okay, maybe...


Sarah R. Moore (22:58.379)

also get our needs met along the way.


Kyle and Sara (23:23.837)

Maybe this was a little too much for you to do. So let's limit that. Let's impose something here. And the goal is to help you succeed in the task I'm asking you to do. And so it never really needs to be me against you. It's always me for you. I'm always on your side. Well, and what I heard too was the support that you brought in. You notice that this is too much. And that's OK. You know, I'm.

even in my own work or my own efforts as an adult, sometimes I call up a friend to get some extra support or my boss or someone might say, Hey, let's build this skill. Right. We, we still need that. So to look at your child and go, Oh, we're, we're not there yet. Let me help you. Let's figure out a plan so you can feel successful and have the support you need to build this skill. Yeah. And I love that. I, you had mentioned bringing in playfulness. I would like to hear more about that. Can you.

tell us a little more about bringing in play.


Sarah R. Moore (24:27.147)

Sure, yeah, being playful. And by the way, before I do that, I just realized I wanted to circle back to addressing the parent who says that kids need consequences, kids need to learn, you know, that sort of thing. I didn't forget. I just got off on that rabbit trail for a moment. I am going to invite parents to think about themselves for a second in terms of how we learn best. Most of us have jobs or at some point in our adulthood have had a job.


Kyle and Sara (24:34.369)

Yes, yes, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.


Sarah R. Moore (24:54.091)

We often have been in a situation where we got in a little bit over our heads. Maybe we had a project that was too big. We had a deadline that was looming. It was creating huge stress and lo and behold, we missed the deadline or we had to ask for an extension or something like that. Now, let's imagine for a second two different types of bosses. One boss comes in and starts berating us. They insult us. They perhaps dock our pay or

tell us we're taking away the rest of your responsibilities, we're demoting you in all of the punitive things that they could do. That boss does not make me say, wow, what an amazing boss, I really wanna work hard for them, we can't wait to show up again for the next day and have more of that. Instead, we think, how can I get out of here? As fast as possible. How about the other boss who comes in and says,


Kyle and Sara (25:32.161)

Yes, definitely. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Yes. Yeah, yeah.


Sarah R. Moore (25:48.843)

hey, I notice you're struggling meeting the deadline. I'm curious what's going on for you. Do you need some more support? Do you need some more guidance? Do we need to reallocate some resources? I wanna empower you to be as successful as possible so that you can thrive in this role. That's the boss I wanna work for. And the same is true for our children. We want the parent who says, how can I help you? Not how can I make you feel crummy for being the kind of kid that you are.


Kyle and Sara (26:4.545)

Totally. Yes. Yeah. Yeah.


Kyle and Sara (26:15.839)



Sarah R. Moore (26:18.507)

So that's really an important distinction that I wanted to make sure to call out. So thank you for allowing me to get back to that first.


Kyle and Sara (26:18.761)

What I'm saying, no, no. Yeah, yeah, no. And I appreciate you doing that there because it is such a distinction. It is so different than the old equation, which is it's like my job to somehow change you. So I have to do something to you, do something against you. Whereas no, no one wants a boss who does that. You know, all of us look back at the coaches and teachers that we really liked and loved. They were ones who came alongside us and really supported us. It was more like a discipleship.


Sarah R. Moore (26:36.459)



Kyle and Sara (26:48.161)

It's I'm with you, I'm discipling you, I'm here to help you.


Sarah R. Moore (26:55.339)

Yes, exactly. We are totally on the same page and I love it. So Sarah, now to the question that you just asked about being more playful. We have to remember as adults that play is the language of childhood. That's Jean Piaget who said that, not Sarah Moore, but I'm quoting him in that we know that is literally how children's brains operate the vast majority of the time.


Kyle and Sara (26:55.617)



Kyle and Sara (27:5.905)



Kyle and Sara (27:10.157)



Sarah R. Moore (27:21.579)

So when we can step into their communication language of play, we are much more likely to reach them in a way that is accessible, that is something they can learn, that is something they can understand, than if we come at them using parts of our brain, logic, reason, lecturing, things that really don't even compute in their brains. So going back to that example of


Kyle and Sara (27:44.319)



Sarah R. Moore (27:50.443)

the cars, the trucks, the baby dolls, or maybe for an older kid, you know, the clothes are out on the bed. Doesn't even have to be cleaning related. I'm just sticking with that because that's a lot of our reality in parenting. But if we move to a playful approach of can you drive the cars into the garage, even if the garage is just the toy box, can we play basketball throwing your dirty socks into the hamper?


Kyle and Sara (27:58.233)

Yes, it is!


Kyle and Sara (28:9.153)

Yes. Yes.


Sarah R. Moore (28:20.051)

can we, whatever, we find a way to make it lighthearted and joyful. Not only are the kids more likely to engage, they are more likely to remember the play the next time because we spoke in a language that was understandable and joyful. Quick little brain science, when we do things we enjoy, we want more of it. So that child...


Kyle and Sara (28:41.633)



Sarah R. Moore (28:46.603)

down the road might say, I had fun seeing if I could make the basket with my dirty socks from across the room. Let me see if I can make it from the hallway and see how far back I can do it. That's a child who might do that of their own volition without us even having to ask because they have a joyful intellectual connection strengthening the neural pathways that say, I like this activity and I want more of it. Is it gonna happen the first time? Heck no. This stuff takes practice and trust.


Kyle and Sara (28:54.943)



Sarah R. Moore (29:16.299)

But over time, the more playful we make our existence, the more the child will want to engage with us and follow through without us having to yell or lecture or do any of those things I mentioned. And then the other side benefit, guess what parents, we get to have more fun too. I would much rather throw a sock to see if I can make a basket than think of it in terms of, well, it's time for me to do the laundry. Sure do love that.


Kyle and Sara (29:37.697)

Yeah. Yep.

I know, you know, yes. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Our, um, a story that came to my mind is our, our youngest doesn't love going to bed. Imagine that, um, you know, she doesn't love it. She's the first one to go to bed because she's the youngest and she gets to leave all the fun and head to bed. And so she will often say, I don't want to go to bed, you know, those kinds of things. And so a while ago, we, our house has stairs.


Sarah R. Moore (29:46.025)

It's not my reality either.


Kyle and Sara (30:11.265)

And so I said, well, I'm going to beat you up the stairs and turned it into a race. And so the whole time we're racing, I'm pulling on her and we're, you know, fighting our way up there. And she started laughing and had a good time. And so for a while I would use that. And now she does that. I can see her go, I don't want to go to bed. And then she goes, I'll race you. And so she pulls that up and that.

You know, it's like, she's now using that skill of let me play. Let's do this is a hard thing for me, but I can have fun doing it with you. And so we still, you know, she doesn't need it every night, but that's when I see her even just pull out and go, okay, let's do that. Let's, you know, and we'll race and fight our way up the stairs. And then she's brushing her teeth and getting into bed. Well, and the thing I love about that Sarah and those kinds of stories is a kid naturally has free will.


Sarah R. Moore (30:57.419)



Kyle and Sara (31:5.081)

assert that independence and they think they have to do it by resisting you and by opposing you. And in these moments like what you described and what my Sarah described is you're showing them we don't have to use that against each other. And eventually once you give them this way of doing it with you, eventually then they go, oh, I can just assert my own autonomy and free will in this specific way. And then I'm just for every listener in May.


Kyle and Sara (31:36.929)

you've spent all those early years teaching.

to oppose me. Instead, I'm going to be a man of my own.


Kyle and Sara (31:54.113)

in the home.


Sarah R. Moore (31:59.357)

Yes, yes, and Sarah, I love that example. And Kyle, you're right, it does lean into the future relationship that we have with them. And let's face it, nobody loves strife and conflict. And the less that we yell, the less that we shame, the less that we get involved in those power struggles, the more joyful our life is too. This is not something we're doing.


Kyle and Sara (32:21.441)

Yes, completely. Yep.


Sarah R. Moore (32:25.963)

just for the child. This isn't something we're doing to manipulate them or get them to do what we're saying. This is something that we can do so that we can like each other more and have a lower stress lifestyle because it's just easier to be around each other. And that's a win for everybody.


Kyle and Sara (32:39.393)

Yeah. Well, and Sarah, I think eventually it takes less energy. A lot of people say, well, I can't do that, especially at night. I'm just so exhausted. I'm like, after you do it a few times, you find it takes a lot less energy than fighting all the way upstairs. I mean, that, that to me is just energy depleting. The other one is energy like manifesting. It starts to build this energy. And by the time the kid goes to bed, you actually find you've got a little more energy because it was just so joyful. You know,


Kyle and Sara (33:7.073)

I wanted to ask, because we both have our own unique way of, we're using this approach with our children and it looks different for him than it does for me. And so I always like to, we get asked this a lot or talk to a lot of couples, but I want, so I wanted to throw that question out to you. How does it look the same or different when you're, you are the mom.


Sarah R. Moore (33:7.947)

Yeah, exactly.


Kyle and Sara (33:32.289)

working with your child versus how her dad approaches her and uses playful, peaceful parenting.


Sarah R. Moore (33:43.147)

For sure, I love that you asked that because of course we're gonna bring differences into our parenting. We have a different family of origin, we have different beliefs about parenting and children. I mean, everything is different. And to expect that we are going to get married, have babies, and everything's gonna be smooth sailing every day from here on out. I don't know which fantasy novel people are reading, but it's certainly not my reality. So.


Kyle and Sara (34:7.137)



Sarah R. Moore (34:11.595)

What we want to do is first of all, lean into our own individual strengths because we all have them. At the same time, we want to work on healing our individual triggers and hopefully be a good compliment to one another. I will say that in my personal life, my husband came from...


Kyle and Sara (34:17.279)



Kyle and Sara (34:27.361)

Yeah. Yeah.


Sarah R. Moore (34:35.563)

a different parenting style than what I came from. He came from parents who were fairly punitive while he was growing up. There was a lot of love, but there was also a lot of punishment. Yeah, definitely. You can link to that Kyle. Whereas I was raised by a single mom who erred on the side of being a little bit too permissive at times. So I had to really sort of raise myself. Guess what? Neither one is how we wanted to parent. So we had to figure out...


Kyle and Sara (34:40.001)

Yeah. Me too. Me too. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.


Kyle and Sara (34:59.201)



Sarah R. Moore (35:5.355)

tell you what, if we are looking for somebody to be rough and tumble, playful, engaged, you know, in a very physical way, my husband is it, he can do that, but he might not be the best one to correct my daughter in the moment when she's needing correction, if he is feeling called to parent with the script that he was raised with. Likewise for me,


Kyle and Sara (35:28.353)

Yes, yes. Yeah.


Sarah R. Moore (35:34.603)

When my daughter is needing, she's a highly sensitive soul, and when she is needing co -regulation, when she is needing someone to guide her in a very peaceful, gentle way that has the softer edges, if you will, I'm your girl. But we both know how to balance each other. I think we get along here. This is feeling really...


Kyle and Sara (35:46.415)



Kyle and Sara (35:54.753)

It must be Sarah's. It must just be Sarah's. Yeah, if people can't see on video, I'm pointing at Sarah. Yeah, because it sounds like Sarah does the same thing. She's so good at this.


Sarah R. Moore (36:6.491)

Fantastic, yeah, but we can find ways to play to our strengths knowing that each parent does bring in strengths, but if there's something that is a trigger for a particular parent, let the other handle it so that that person can be peaceful and vice versa. And like I said, a really important piece of it is let's work through our stuff. Guess what? Lecturing my husband about why he shouldn't be punitive got us nowhere. That is not a recommended marital approach.


Kyle and Sara (36:30.785)

Yes. Yes. Amen.


Sarah R. Moore (36:37.181)

Yeah, but I can promise you this, only one night on the couch long after my daughter had gone to bed, where I asked my husband questions like, how did it feel to be parented specifically this way in this type of situation? Was he able to, in a very non -threatening discussion, say, you know what, actually that didn't feel so good? I don't know what to do yet, but I know that I don't really want to do that.

but it took having this compassionate discussion along with for me, because I'm not gonna just call the kettle black here, I also needed to work to not be permissive. I had to figure out what are boundaries? How can I assert myself? So we both had some personal growth that we had to do to a place where we are much more aligned than we started out. Even though on paper, it was all great before we had an actual child. It was only once we had the actual physical child in front of us that we realized,


Kyle and Sara (37:31.873)

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.


Sarah R. Moore (37:36.171)

Oh, we're not as aligned as we thought, who knew? But it does require work with coaches like you and me, you know, books, whatever resources people need to work through it and play to those strengths.


Kyle and Sara (37:45.409)

Well, and Sarah, maybe you've experienced this too, but I find then those same techniques that we were using to help our relationship with our kids, it worked in our marriage too. So those same beliefs that like you're doing the best you can. When I started doing that more with the kids, I didn't judge Sarah as much. I realized she was...

doing the best she could. And then the way, like using the hug acronym, if I did that in my marriage, that would actually work too, you know, for me to come alongside. And so, then I found the conflicts with the kids and the differences in the ways we saw it, it actually was an opportunity for us to deepen our intimacy as a couple. Instead of when you're using the punitive model, you'll find it starts to pull the couple apart, you know, because they start to use those same techniques on each other too.

They end up seeing each other in a more punitive, judgmental, critical way. And so that's what I just think is so profound about approaches like this, because it can help every relationship you have.


Sarah R. Moore (38:45.099)

Exactly. Yeah, it's funny. People sometimes ask me, Sarah, how come you use more younger child examples in your book when the concepts apply to all ages? And my answer is, ideally, we want to start this when the kids are younger just because we are creating their inner narrative about how all relationships should be. What's healthy? What's not? What kind of friends do I want? What kind of romantic relationships do I want? But that being said,


Kyle and Sara (38:52.833)

Yes, yeah.


Kyle and Sara (38:57.153)



Sarah R. Moore (39:14.123)

It's never too late to use any one of the tools or tips that I recommend in the book because they are timeless. They're for all of us, including friendships, work relationships, marriages, you name it. There's never a time when connection isn't the way to go and all of these tools are for everybody.


Kyle and Sara (39:33.185)

I think there was one more unique thing about the book and it was the art of storytelling with your kids. So could you tell more about the importance of using that technique with kids in this process of peaceful discipline?


Sarah R. Moore (39:49.415)

Absolutely, yeah. So stories are fascinating in that we, first of all, before anybody is like, hold on, I'm not creative, I'm not a storyteller, that's not going to be me, time to turn off the podcast. Hold on, because I promise you, every single one of us is a natural storyteller. Every single one of us has a part of the brain called the hippocampus, and it is the part of the brain that will tell you, you know what?


Kyle and Sara (40:0.673)



Sarah R. Moore (40:18.187)

Last time I went on vacation, this is what we did, this is what was fun. It records memories in story form so that we can tell them to others. We all have this, and it's an incredible teaching tool because the key difference between storytelling, or as I call it, story teaching, and just random talking, is that with story teaching, there is an emotional anchor.

in what we are trying to teach. We tell a story, how did that feel? How did you feel when you were on vacation? What do you remember about having your toes in the sand at that beach? Oh, that felt so good. That is where I remember forever and ever, this is something I wanna hold on to. We do this with kids all the time. When we pick up a book and we read them a story, they are paying attention not only to the words,


Kyle and Sara (40:58.207)

Mm -hmm. Yes.


Sarah R. Moore (41:15.979)

but also to all of the non -verbal pieces that they pick up in the story. How does that character's face look when the other character says something mean to them? Why do you think that is? How does that feel? When we take the time to explore the emotion beneath the story that's in front of us, it's memorable in a very emotionally safe way for kids.

so that they don't have to experience the situations directly in life because they've already learned from the story that they experienced in a different way. That being said, it can be a movie you watch, it can be a TV show, it can be a story that you tell and make up on the fly, it can be fiction, it can be nonfiction, it can be, oh, I remember my first day at school, this is what it was like for me, this is how it felt.

We're telling stories all the time. But the twist that I'm gonna throw out there is that with story teaching, I talked about how we can use it for things that are going to happen in the future. Oh, I remember my first day of school. This is what I experienced. Here's what you can expect. That's preparing the child for something that's coming up. We can also use story teaching in the moment. Let's say it's that child's first day of school.

and it's time for drop off, the child is starting to freak out. We can say, hey, remember, I told you that story.

about how when I was dropped off for school that first time I cried and cried but the minute I went in and found my teacher and found my desk and saw that my best friend was sitting right next to me I felt so peaceful inside. In the moment the child can remember oh here is a nugget of hope that I can hold on to and now I feel empowered to do this thing.


Sarah R. Moore (43:14.955)

And finally, we can use stories retroactively, perhaps about a behavior that we want to change or one we want to reinforce or an experience that the child had from which they want to heal. For example, maybe there was a bully on the playground. If we simply talk to them after school and say, oh, I'm so sorry that happened, that's really a bummer. But there's no emotional narrative around it. The child does not have the support.


Kyle and Sara (43:40.033)



Sarah R. Moore (43:44.587)

they need to really process it in a way where it doesn't stick with them as a potentially traumatizing experience. But instead, if we say, tell me about it, how did it make you feel? What else is true? And we really unpack it along with the emotional language that goes with it. The child can create what we call a coherent narrative, which is just a fancy way to say they can make sense of their story.


Kyle and Sara (44:4.513)



Kyle and Sara (44:8.961)



Sarah R. Moore (44:12.075)

And when we, no matter how old we get, when we can make sense of our story, the trauma part goes away because we know that we make sense and that life goes on.


Kyle and Sara (44:21.537)

Yeah, yeah. Well said. Thank you. Yeah, that's so powerful.

You know, as, as therapists, we've worked with a lot of kids who have had a trauma, who have had those stories. And even as adults and most parents, I think we can relate to those stories that when we think of them, there's still something inside of us that goes, ah, ah, you know, or you, you can still feel that physical reaction to whatever event it was that happened decades ago. And that's that, you know, that's where those stories are kind of getting stuck in us. And I loved how your book highlighted the.

of being able to tell these stories with our children and help them tell their story and create that cohesive narrative and go ahead and release that stress so they don't grow up decades later having that story. I mean, of course we have the memory, but the story and that doesn't have to always feel so big like it does in the moment. Just helping them go through that with you being.

present there with them and helping them weave that together was really neat. When you're really helping the kid find the meaning in the story and there's so many times when I'm helping kids, Sarah, who, you know, I'll wonder why a situation went so easily or went so well when in the past it had been difficult and they'll typically point back to a story that either I told them or their parent told them and then that gave them a completely different sense of hope and the ability to see it differently and therefore they're like, oh, it doesn't have to end bad.

And so it's really cool that when they say that you can tell that someone has told them that there could be a different ending to that story. And they always thought it had to end a certain way, you know? Yeah.


Sarah R. Moore (46:3.849)



Sarah R. Moore (46:7.691)

Exactly. Yeah, that's really powerful. And I love hearing that from you, given that this is what you do for a living. And by the way, for anybody who is wondering, I don't know, this sounds all well and good, but I'm not really sure I know the steps to take. I'm not sure how to tie the emotions to it or whatever. I outline a formula for you in the book that you can follow every single time. And I include a whole lot of sample stories for different common struggles that we went into as parents to help make them easier. So I do give you a roadmap.


Kyle and Sara (46:16.577)

Yes. Yes.


Kyle and Sara (46:22.273)

It's awesome. Yes.


Sarah R. Moore (46:35.371)

and I am happy, I'm not a professional children's book writer, I don't pretend to be, but I'm happy to help co -create stories with parents if they have something that comes up that they want a story for. So I'll just throw that out there too.


Kyle and Sara (46:35.457)

Yes. Yeah.

Yeah. Yeah.


Kyle and Sara (46:46.881)


That's so awesome. Thank you. So yeah, we hope all the listeners who are listening for all of you, I'm sure you you're aware of these different types of parenting approaches. Like I said, they've been called all different types of things, but we were really excited to give you a chance to have some exposure to this idea of story teaching. Another way of looking at playfulness. And so her book, Peaceful Discipline, Sarah's book is such a great tool for you. And of course, Sarah, I assume they can get it on Amazon anywhere where books are sold. Is that right?

Okay, and what's your email address or what's the website that you have that they could go if they want more information on this stuff?


Sarah R. Moore (47:21.577)



Sarah R. Moore (47:30.571)

Sure, absolutely. So my website is dandelionseeds .com. There is a hyphen in there. So it's dandelion -seeds .com. Do sign up for the mailing list. And I promise I hardly ever send things out except for maybe once a month or so. And usually it's just with really good deals for things that I personally am doing. Or I might announce, oh, I've been on a really good podcast like this one today. So people have more tools and resources.


Kyle and Sara (47:53.377)

Yes. Yes.


Sarah R. Moore (47:58.059)

about sign up for the mailing list and then you can access me and ask questions anytime you want to. I am here to serve, not to preach. So whatever people bring my way, I will always do my best to provide a resource or create one if I don't already have one to just meet people wherever they are.


Kyle and Sara (48:13.793)

That's so great. So thank you, Sarah, for spending the time with us and just helping our listeners know of another tool that can help them be the parents that they're hoping to be. So I really appreciate your time.


Sarah R. Moore (48:28.107)

Thank you so much, you're both fantastic.


Kyle and Sara (48:30.369)

me stop it here one second okay all right there's a whole

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