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Episode 105

Isn’t Peaceful Parenting Really Just Permissive Parenting?

April 29, 2024
In Episode 105, Kyle and Sara, LPCs, interview Sarah Rosensweet, a Peaceful Parenting Coach. She discusses how Peaceful Parenting isn’t permissive at all and how she is passionate about helping parents reimagine what it could look like in their families. She explains how parenting her kids this way has helped her raise children that are generous and kind, both with themselves and with others.

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Episode 105 Transcript:

Hello and welcome to the art of raising humans. I'm Kyle. And I'm Sara. And once again, we have another Sarah that's gonna join us. I know a few weeks ago, if you listened to the podcast, we had author Sarah Moore of Peaceful Discipline on the podcast and man, we just love Sarah's. We think Sarah's are awesome. I know, Sarah's are. Yes, I know. Sarah's are fantastic. I know, all Sarah's know Sarah's, right? Don't all Sarah's know every Sarah. Sure.


I love Sarah Moore too. I know Sarah Moore, she's a friend of mine.


It's another Sarah with an H joining with us today. And this is Sarah Rosen-Sweet and she is a peaceful parent, trainer, coordinator, coach. I got the joy of getting to know Sarah as we both journeyed with Dr. Laura Markham and both became coaches together with her. But I wanna say welcome Sarah.


Hey, thanks for having me. It's really nice to be here and nice to meet you, Sara.


Nice to meet you too. Yes, finally the Sarah's got to meet. This is fantastic. Oh, well, I wanted to ask you, you and I, all three of us were just talking before we started this interview about how there's been a big backlash about this idea of peaceful parenting, some call it gentle parenting, those kinds of terms. So I would love for you to kind of tell us, what does being a peaceful parent mean to you? How would you describe it?




Yeah. Well, I mean, we have our three big ideas that we learned from Dr. Laura, our three big ideas of peaceful parenting, of that focus on our own self-regulation and trying to stay calm or calm ourselves when we're getting upset and focus on connection in the relationship. And what I sort of shifted my sort of take on the third big idea is that kind firm limits without punishment. And so that's really, I mean,


In a nutshell, that's what peaceful parenting means to me. But what I think what it means in practice is just really experiencing that sweetness of connection with your kids and really being part of a family team and knowing that you have each other's backs because your kids haven't experienced you as controlling and power tripping and arbitrary. And you've really got this really, I call it a Goodwill bank like this really nice beefy Goodwill bank account where if you do have to




you know, make a withdrawal once in a while of a correction or, no, you can't do that or whatever. It takes the sting out of it because there's just such a history of trust and teamwork and working together and connection. So that's really what peaceful parenting means to me. And, you know, it just feels better, I think, than a lot of the... I was just talking to Cory, who works with me, and she said she'd been at a party and all these moms were talking about how they all have frown marks from being angry at their kids all the time. I was like, oh, that's so sad.


Hmm. So you're saying peaceful parenting isn't the kids are running the house, they're going around crazy, doing whatever they want while the parents are saying, please stop the whole time.


No. Yeah, I mean, I think that's part of the backlash is that people think peaceful parenting is just like kids do whatever they want. It's the same as permissive parenting. I just read a great quote and let me see if I can get this right from my friend Vivek Patel, who said that he teaches non-coercive parenting, which is very in line with what we teach as well. And he talks about it as it's deep guidance, right?


And deep guidance, I think that is really a beautiful way to think about it is you help kids understand the why, you know, like, I mean, a silly example, it just came up in my Facebook group, a little kid who didn't want to wear the outfit for her auntie's wedding, right. And I was remembering back to when my son, my middle son, super, super strong willed was nine and he didn't want to wear like the fancy black shiny dress shoes to his aunt's wedding.


And I just said, you know, I know they're uncomfortable. I know you really don't want to wear them. And at the same time, it's really important to your auntie that everybody looked this particular way. And he was like, okay, you know, I'll do it. And it wasn't like, if you don't wear these, then I'm gonna, you know, no iPad for a week or like whatever the thing is, right? So it's really like that deep guidance is really helping kids understand their place in the world and like what's important, right? And what's important to other people and their community or, you know, you can't do that because it's gonna hurt the plant or you know, whatever it's that deep guidance of the why.


You know, some I didn't know she didn't say too, was it's not just saying to the kid, wear whatever you want. You know, you pick it. It's important to your aunt, but if you don't, wear whatever you want, right? So I'd love that as well. It was that deep guidance of you still directing the kid towards an outcome, but it was using that connection and that influence towards helping him make that choice.


Now, can you tell the audience or you were telling us you've got three older kids? So your kids are older than ours. And so can you kind of tell them what you're working with now?


Sure, so my daughter is 16. My two sons are, well, just about 20 and 23. And I hope I don't cry when I talk about this, but my middle son is moving out in three weeks. My oldest son moved out a long time ago, got his own apartment, and my middle son is moving out in a couple of weeks. And so I really am at this, like, you know, active mothering is really drawing to a close for me. And so I am at this different phase. And I can tell you, it has been such a joyful amazing time. There was a point when my kids were little, my husband and I were like, oh my gosh, we're going to have three teenagers at once. And it has been amazing, really, truly amazing. And it is not because my kids are, I mean, I say in the intro to my podcast, it's not because I'm a special unicorn or they're special unicorns, it's because they were raised with peaceful parenting. And that has made such a difference in the teen years. And I mean, I can share some kind of cool stories if you want about, I think how teenagers are seen and what I've experienced and how that's different.


Yeah, we would love to hear that. Cause I think it's a little hard to wrap your head around. What does, what does it look like with teenagers? What's going to happen if I use, if I talk to them this way and use this approach. So I love stories.


Yeah, so I think, well, first of all, they're going to set the scene is something my oldest son who's 23 now, that he said when he was a teenager, he said, Mom, so many of my friends, I think he was probably 16 at the time, he said, so many of my friends ignore their parents when they call or text them. They don't tell them where they are. They don't, you know, even some of them don't even go home at night. They stay out all night. And he said, sort of disdainfully, you're really lucky that I care what you and dad think.


But that is the crux of it, right? With peaceful parenting with teenagers is that if they care what you think, that is so much of the, I was going to say battle, but it's not a battle, but that is so much of peaceful parenting teenagers when they care what you think and you care what they think, right? Like that's the other part of it is that you care what they think. So I just had this example.


Yeah. And I would say on that, Sarah, the reason why they carried your thing, cause you spent a lot of time caring about what they thought, right? So you modeled it and you journeyed with them on. So they're just like returning the favor of what you've already been doing. Yeah.


Yeah. And as I talked about the Goodwill Bank before, you know, we take their preferences into account whenever possible, try to make things work out, look for those win-win solutions. You know, we're not arbitrary controlling. You know, punishment will take you down that road of like you're causing them pain on purpose. So why would they care what you think? Right?


trying to manipulate them and control them through taking away the things that they love. Like that is exact opposite road of getting teenagers who care what you think. So my husband and I went on vacation for a week by ourselves in January, and we left the 19 year old and 16 year old home together. And my daughter, my 16 year old told me before we went that she had been invited to a party and that was gonna happen while we were gone, like on the Saturday night or something. And I said, well, whose party is it?


And she said, this girl at my school that I don't know very well. And I said, are your other friends invited? Like the friends that she hangs out with that I know. And she said, no, they're not invited. They wouldn't be going. And I said, you know, I'm really uncomfortable with this. I said, if, so there are three things, dad and I are not gonna be around for if you were getting in, you know, if something were to happen and you needed like a rescue or, you know, us to, you know, help you out somehow, we would be out of the country.


your friends aren't gonna be there and you don't know this girl very well. And I said, if one of those things was different, I would feel really okay with you going to the party, but I feel really uncomfortable about it. And I don't think it's a good idea. Notice how I didn't say, you can't go, right? I didn't say you can't go because whenever you tell a human, you know, give a command, their two choices are resist or obey, right? Like that's literally the choices when you give a command.


And teenagers generally will pick resist when you, especially strong-willed ones, when you give a command. So I did not say you can't go to the party, but I laid out for her my thinking about it. She's like, yeah, you're right, I won't go. And she didn't go. Like she didn't sneak out. It's that influence piece that we were talking about, right? Like the influence, I think we were talking about it before we started recording, but...


that when you actually have influence with your teenagers, that's what makes it so much easier. She'd listened to me and she thought, yeah, that's probably not a good idea. So that's one example.


Yeah. What's a beautiful picture, Sarah, of her, you came in with just open-handedly, not close-fisted, and you came in and presented just another perspective and some other things to consider that I'm sure she probably hadn't considered some of those, right? And so, yeah.


Yeah, and it made sense to her once I laid it out.


And then you're trusting that once she takes that information into account, that you too, the word we like to use a lot is co-create is then you were able to co-create an outcome that was a win-win for both of you guys. Yeah. Instead of it just being a win-lose to where you, we want to know for certain, we're going to tell her she can't go. Oh, now we feel better while we're on vacation when really she could sneak out and do whatever she wants, right? Yes. Or, or, or it could have been a lose where she's like, I'm going to go no matter what, you can't stop me.


She totally could have gone. Yeah, yeah.


you know, and then it hurts your relationship and she goes and feels shame about all that stuff too, you know, so it's just a beautiful outcome there.


Totally. Yeah, and the other thing I think we want to remember too is that it's that why again, like explaining the why is she wants her life to work out. She doesn't want something bad to happen to her, right? Like teenagers are not, you know, because of their underdeveloped prefrontal cortex, they're not the best at thinking these things through. But once you do like help them think through things, then, you know, they're often, they often do want to make the right choice.

And it just seems like I can tell you you've laid the groundwork in your relationship that she could hear your concerns. It didn't feel like you're approaching her to control her, to manage her life. Cause of course teenagers, they, they want to be making decisions. They don't want someone controlling them. That doesn't feel good. None of us do. Right. And I love the way you came in and said, Hey, here's some thoughts. And because of your, the relationship you've worked at, she was able to hear those thoughts and, and consider them and make the choice. Yeah.


Totally, yeah, totally. So, I mean, and there's just like little things too, like my son, my middle son, who's 19, he was, I told you before we started taping that I live on an island. So it's really hard to get takeout. It's like, like you, like that's one of the things, like we saved so much money over the last however many years because ordering pizza was just literally not an option. But there's this place that I love that's about, I don't know, it's about a half an hour drive from.


the fairy docks and it's this awesome jerk chicken take out that I love so much. And my son was going to work and he often works, he works in construction and he works different places in the city. And I said, Hey, are you going to be anywhere near Gerard square mall? So anyone in Toronto, now you know where the best take out in the city is. And I said, are you going to be anywhere near Gerard square mall? And he said, no, why? And I said, Oh, I was hoping you could go and, you know, get me some jerk chicken.


And he was like, I can go. Like, I'm not going to be near there, but I can go. And I was like, are you sure? He's like, mom, I said I can go. I can go and go. I can go and get you the chicken. And I was like, OK, thanks. It made him get home an hour later than he would have if he hadn't gone to get me the chicken, right? And just like a little thing like that, I think, is so indicative of how he was raised, right? There's a beautiful article called Model Graciousness. And if you look that up, I think it's Visible Child.


It is really encapsulates the sort of the spirit of peaceful parenting, where we model to our children the people that we want them to be. She talks in the article, y'all should check it out if you don't know it, but she talks about the control. Often, you know, you have, like, you know, you spilled this milk, you have to clean it up and get, you know, parents who get in like a standoff with their kids about, you know, you made this mess, you have to clean it up kind of thing in that control piece.


even if they're being peaceful, they think, well, you know, I'm teaching them responsibility and she says, no, you're teaching them like the opposite of graciousness. So, you know, even your child for that moment says, I'm not going to clean the milk up. You know, maybe they're feeling some shame around having spilled it, whatever, like, okay, I'll clean it up for you. I know you'll help me next time kind of thing. But that model graciousness piece of like doing things for people. And also, sorry, I'm on a bit of a roll now. But the whole thing of, you know,


Oh, you're good.

People say you should never do anything for your child that they can do for themselves. What if I had raised my son with that and I said, can you go get me some jerk chicken? Do you think he would have said, I will go an hour out of my way to go and get you jerk chicken, mom, you go in the city and get your own jerk chicken, you know?


Yikes, right. You can do that, mom. Get your car. Get over there. Yes. Yeah. Man. So, all right. So I was thinking as you were talking.


Yeah, exactly.


I love this and that would be my kids aren't as old as yours. And so that's where I want to go. So what if you're a parent and, um, is it too late? I mean, when can you jump in this and, and what does that look like? You know, cause what did you do to lead to this beautiful relationship you have now? Have you always parented this way? Did, do you know parents who switch in the middle and it still works out? How's that?


It's never too late.


Yeah, so I have always parented this way. I was lucky enough to be exposed to Alfie Cohn and his work before I even had kids. My sister had recommended a book to me from a teaching perspective called Punished by Rewards, which is the book that he wrote before he wrote Unconditional Parenting. So I already had this stuff floating around in my head about rewards and punishment, right? So I'd already thought about that a lot because of reading his work.


Hmm, yeah.




And then I remember when my oldest son was maybe, we practiced attachment parenting, so really very watching the child's cues, trying to respond from, and by the way, you don't have to do all the things that Dr. Sears says to have an attached child, but I did try to follow a lot of that stuff when my kids were younger. And so I really had spent 18 months like,


Great. Yeah.


creating this bond with my child, right? And meeting his needs and responding to his cries. And I remember we were, he was crying about something and we were a family friend was nearby. And she said, I went to go to him and she said, oh, don't pick him up. He's just trying to manipulate you, right? Like don't, and I was like, that is so weird. Like, and I just started to notice around that age, people starting to say things about, you know, their kids are manipulating you or.


Mm-hmm. Yes. Yeah.

you're gonna spoil him or so I really just, you know, I recognized then that this was a little bit different, right, that this was like a little bit of a different way of parenting. And back then, so that was, he was born in 2001. There really was nothing in the way of books about peaceful parenting, but there was a magazine called Mothering Magazine, which was kind of like a hippie, like a hippie natural living magazine. And there was like the only place that I really found anything that,




Oh, okay.


sort of had this the peaceful vibe. But I have to say like it suits me pretty well naturally. Like I have a pretty sturdy nervous system and you know I don't get that triggered by my kids. Where I've had to do the work is with my husband. So I do know about doing the work around self-regulation and triggers and you know all of the good news is all the peaceful parenting tools and strategies work for any relationship.


Um, but yeah, so for me it really was just like, yeah.


Yeah. Your marriage sounds like our marriage. Yeah. What's up with these Sarahs being so good at this? And then them marrying husbands who need some help.


Oh my gosh. Yeah. So.


Yeah, well, you know, I sometimes my husband like, you know, he has always been in theory on board with peaceful parenting, but self regulation has been a little harder for him than it has been for me. But you know what that has been a blessing as well, because if I didn't see him and how hard he worked to be a peaceful parent, I wouldn't have as much empathy for the parents that I work with. Right. Because it is easier for me. And I know it's easier for me, but it's not easy for him. And so that has really like that's helped me.

help other parents too.


Yeah, yeah. Yes, so it sounds like you came into this, you were wanting to do this, how did you help him buy into it? You know, like to come on board with the, yeah.


So I never had to help him buy into it because he did, as I said, in theory, he did believe. We shouldn't yell at the kids. He believed in no punishments. But sometimes he would get triggered. And what I learned after many, many years of doing it wrong was that it didn't work to correct him in the moment. It would only make things worse if I tried to intervene in the moment. And I'm not talking about abuse. I'm just talking about like,


Yeah, you like the idea.


ordinary like dad getting upset about, you know, the mess left in the living room or like, you know, whatever the thing is. And that, you know, really to, it's funny because our mentor that we shared, Dr. Laura, I remember I was talking to her one day and I said, you know, I really have no trouble being compassionate with my kids when they're having like a meltdown or a tantrum or whatever. But like my husband on the other hand, I fight it really hard. And she said,


Well, what if you could try to find that same compassion for him that you do for your kids when he's getting upset about something. And I tried it and it was like, I remember the day he was leaving for work. It was like, we were in the mud room. I was saying goodbye to him. There was kind of like someone's sweatshirt that had been on the floor for two days or whatever. And he was feeling stressed about heading, whatever his day was gonna be. And he was like, this sweatshirt has been here for two days and.


Normally I would have said, oh, come on, it's not a big deal. Why are you getting so upset about that? Right? The opposite of empathy. And instead I said, oh, I know it really bothers you when there's a mess. I'll get the kid in question to come and pick up their sweatshirt. And I saw his shoulders just go, huh? Like he felt seen, right? Like it's so hard to empathize when you don't agree, but you have to.


So that's been our journey and it's been, you know, every day, every year, you know, his process has gotten better and, you know, he's almost perfect now that we're almost done with active parenting.


Yep. Yes, that yes, I know we're almost there. I think I may have shared this on your podcast when I was on there, but no, the one time I remember Sarah showing me that compassion was we were pretty new into it. The kids were really young and I remember I was just going at it with Abby. Abby was probably four or five and we were, I was just yelling, just really mad at her. And I came back out and Sarah was, was folding laundry in the living room and she just looked at me and she kindly said,


you realize what you're doing in there is not what we teach parents to do. And then I just said to her, oh, I know that, I know that, but this is not stopping. Like I'm gonna finish what I'm doing and then I will come back. And I would love to hear all of your great ideas about how I could have done that better. But in that moment, she realized like the train had left the station and this was not going to change right now. But later on we would follow up and there was this trust in the marriage.


that we would always follow up with it. We'd have like a little pow wow, a little debriefing at the end of the evening. And typically then that's when she would say, you could have tried this or could have tried. And then I'd be like, oh, that actually would have worked fantastic. I just, I couldn't, I wasn't in my prefrontal cortex. I couldn't possibly see that. But now that I'm calm, I can see it.



Yeah. I mean, that's the problem, right? It's like, when you're stuck in fight or flight, the person in front of you looks like the enemy, whether it's your child or your partner. And I highly recommend the walking away. I think that's what I really found that's helped us a lot is that we'll say, like, you know, let's talk about this one later when we're both calm. And half the time, you don't even need to go back and talk about it because you were only fighting because you were fighting. You know what I mean? Like there wasn't even...


content there. It was just like you were both triggered and then once you're calm, like, oh, that wasn't really a big deal.


Yeah. And so what do you, if you, if you're a parent who's like, well, that's been my story, how do I switch? What do I do?


Mm hmm. Yeah, well, I mean, I think you mean if you have a partner who has trouble with regulation, going for lots of empathy and connection, and really just saying like, how can I support you? Like, I know that you don't want to yell at the kids, you know, what can I do? And this is like conversations outside of the outside of the, the situations I think that are happening. And again, I want to say we're not talking about abusive behavior.


you know, conventional parenting practices. So just talking to them about it outside. And, you know, I remember once, I think one of my sons had like snapped at my husband and then he snapped back. And I always feel like we should be the grownups, like, you know, that we were not, yeah. Yeah. And so in the past, I might've said to him like, you know, why are you talking to him like that or something like that? But instead when my son left the room, I said, oh, I...


That's a pretty good policy that you should always be.


that really hurt your feelings when he said that. And my husband was like, yeah. And then he could, from there, from me acknowledging, like you lashed out because your feelings were hurt, he could hear what he could have done better the next time.


And if you could follow up with that, I loved what Sarah was asking. For those parents that you're coaching, Sarah, who maybe are listening to this and how awesome that you've worked with, who are like, oh man, the kids now are 11, 12, 13, 14, and we've been doing this power struggle thing for a long time, punishment, consequence, but we wanna shift, what do you tell them when they are feeling like, oh, it's too late, I hear her kids sound awesome. Like these kids, like. My kids won't do that. Yes, my kids will never.


Yeah, yeah. Okay, I love that you, because I remember now Sarah did ask the question we got on another topic. So I love that you brought it back because it's never too late. First of all, I think anyone listening, even if they don't have a great relationship with their own parents or they're estranged even, there is a part of them that really wishes that they could have a good relationship with their parent, that they could be seen by their parent, that they could feel like, and I'm talking to us grownups, right? That they could feel connected to their parent. And that feeling...


your guidance there. Yeah.


Yeah, yep.


never goes away. And even the prickliest teenager wants to be seen, wants to be loved, wants you to be proud of them, wants to feel connected to you. Like it does not... I could, I would almost like, I would put money, a lot of money on that you can't find one teenager who deep down doesn't want to have a good relationship with their parent. So with that in mind, the first place to start is always connection. You can't, you know, you can't...


you can't make any headway with teenagers unless they start to feel more connected to you. So I mean, things like getting their favorite takeout or really thinking about how can you, it's almost like in special time, we join our children in their world. How can you really show up for your teen and really show an interest without being intrusive? I'm talking about being intrusive, but like show an interest in their life and what they're doing and invite them to.


do things with you. There's a really wonderful book. This is actually a great recommendation. It's called Staying Connected to Your Teenager by Michael Riera, R-I-E-R-A. He talks about how teenagers will reject you four out of five times. You ask them to do something. The key is ask five times as much. Instead of like, oh, I've asked them three times and they said no, keep asking. They are going to say no a lot. Even my kids will say no. Do you want to? My husband last night said to my daughter, do you want to go for a bike ride?


Yeah, yep, yeah, we like that. Yep.


No, I don't want to go for a bike ride. The other one, my older one went for a bike ride with him. But you know, she feels connected to her dad. She didn't want to go for a bike ride. She was doing something else. So keep asking, keep trying, regulate yourself. That is huge. You know, really work on your own. You know, yelling is like one of the things that's really gonna make a teenager build a wall around their heart to you.


So really work on your own regulation, even if it means you have to walk out every time things are starting to get heated. You can tell them ahead of time, like if we're starting to get upset with each other, we're going to take a break and we'll come back to it when we're both feeling calm. So really working on the connection piece and the self-regulation piece. And even if you tend to get, like the self-regulation piece is important with teenagers, even if it's not yelling. But even if like something happens at school and you think it's unfair, like if you...


have too big of a reaction, they're not going to tell you stuff, right? Because they don't want the drama. So even if you're like on their side, like, I can't believe that thing, your friend did that, they're gonna just be like, Whoa, I don't need the drama. Like, I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna talk to you about that. Right. So train yourself to under react, like, Oh, interesting. Tell me more about that. Right inside you might inside you might be like, I can't believe that that's terrible.


but like don't have those big reactions. So self-regulation and connection, always the place to start. It could be that your teenager also maybe needs some other supports, like if they're experiencing a lot of like depression or anxiety or having any challenges in that area, you might also need some, maybe some mental health support, some therapy for them or family therapy.


There was a third one that when we were talking before we got on this, I love that we were asking for like your top three points, right? And I know throughout this time, if you're listening, what Sarah's given you is number one was this idea of self-felt self-regulation, which is so important. And we've talked a lot about it too, but it has to begin with you. And then number two, when we were talking, you were talking about how you view the kid in that moment being so important. And so could you tell us more about that?


Yeah. So the mindset, this mindset piece, I can't, I cannot overstate how important it is to have the mindset that your child or teenager or partner wants to be good. Right? Nobody wants to be a jerk. If they are being a jerk is, you know, when I say a jerk in quotations, if they are being a jerk, it's because there's something going on that is, you know, they're under resourced, they're having a hard time.


They can't manage for whatever reason. With little kids, it's obvious. Oh, they're hungry. They're having a meltdown because they're hungry or whatever. But for older kids, maybe someone was mean to them at school that day. Maybe there's some sort of misunderstanding. So anytime anyone is acting out of alignment with their being their best self for somebody that they feel connected with, that they're in relationship with, they're acting out of alignment, there's something else going on.


And I always really believe that everyone's doing the best they can and that kids do want to be good. So if you don't believe that in your heart, if you really, you're like, okay, well, what I see sometimes, Kyle and Sarah, I'm sure you see this too, is people who believe in peaceful parenting until their child does something really bad. And then they're like, oh, well, it was good up until a point, but now they need a punishment.


They did this bad thing and now they need to, no, never. There's always a reason why, even if the reason is lack of understanding or willpower or impulse control or whatever it is, they always want to be good. They don't want to be a jerk.


Well, and what you're doing there is you're actually modeling what you hope they think about you on your worst days too, you know, those kinds of sense. And so I'm the one between the two of us who gets dysregulated more is I really want to really believe that about them. So in the days when I'm not being the parent that I want to be, that they're stopping and thinking dad wants to be good in this moment, dad wants to succeed. This isn't who dad wants to be. And what we've seen, at least so far with, with our older two

ability to see that and then call the better thing out of me has been really, really helpful because yeah, cause then they're able to turn it around.


That's lovely. Yeah, and I just, I want to highlight too, that it doesn't like kids will do things like quote, on purpose that are like the wrong thing. But they still want to be good. And those things are often like this sort of acting out, or, you know, looking right at you and doing something they're not supposed to do. Those are what we call maladaptive, maladaptive attempts to get their needs met, right? Like I remember the story of this client I was working with, they just


They have a four-year-old and the four-year-old was having a really hard time. And the mom and the four-year-old and the baby were all at a crosswalk waiting for the light to change. And the four-year-old just stopped and looked at his mom and hauled off and kicked her in the shin. And like out of nowhere, right? And she started to get upset and then she remembered what we talked about that he wanted to be good and something else was probably going on. So she knelt down and she looked at him and she thought to herself, what could this be about? And attention.


Right? Attention is often one of those things where that kids are, you know, they act out negatively to get the attention that they need. And she said to him, did you want my attention? Is that why you kicked me? And he said, yes. Like he was, you know, sort of crying and sniffling and cause he, you know, he realized he'd done something wrong. And she said, you can just tell me when you need attention. And he said, I forgot what it was called.


Yes, yes, that's awesome. Yeah, yeah. Yes, yeah. Yeah. Well, I'm even thinking when I yell at the kids, I do it on purpose. I do it. Yeah, I'm told it but I actually am thinking in the moment.


So it's just like sometimes kids will do something awful, like just kick you in the shin for no reason, but it's really there is a need under there, right?


What's I just feel like I can't do the better way right? I'm just caught up in that moment I'm being reactive and so that that's how I see when they do that to me I think it's the same thing when I'm doing it. I can watch myself do it. I know I'm yelling at them I know I'm not practicing what I preach in that moment and being kind of hypocritical I know all that as I'm doing it, but I actually wish I could do it a different way in that moment


Well, I would argue that you are, you know, your brain has been taken over by the fight, flight or freeze. So even if there is an awareness, it's still the awareness is through a lens of your fight response, right? So like, yes, you're, you can kind of watch yourself doing it, but you're not in your thinking brain or your calm brain, right? So there still is like a, it's awareness combined with a lack of control that comes through seeing things through that fight lens.


Yep. Yeah. And children get in that exact same place. Even when, you know, when parents say, you know, better, you know, you have those moments you think, what are you doing? You know, better than this. And the child still does it or did, you know, did something and they do, they have, but, but in that moment, that's just not the space in their brain. They're not there. They're not in that part that has that self control and consequence and thinking ahead and they're not in that part. And we have to just like, it happens to us. It happens to them. Yeah.


So, so Sarah, could you tell what is the population you love helping that you love to coach and serve?


Oh, I mean, I just love coaching parents who, you know, maybe have kids who are a little bit more challenging or a little bit extra sometimes we call them and they really believe in this. Actually, the sound I think is kind of too pop. They believe in it, but they're having a hard time feeling like it's working. And I also love parents. I've had a number of couples who are just brand new to peaceful parenting. Like I don't even know how they found me. But they are just, they drink it in like


like a sponge, you know, like, like no one's ever told them before, like, you can be kind to your kids, you know, you can, like, like this one dad was like, so you mean basically I'm just like kind to him? And I was like, yeah, like you treat him like a person.


Yeah. I think some parents feel like they actually need permission. You know, they have this other, these other things that have, that are running in their mind on what a parent should do and, and maybe that's how they were parented and they don't actually know. And it actually feels relieving to them. And they love to have that permission given of doing it differently. Yeah.


Mm-hmm. Yeah, and that I always say like what would you do if you weren't afraid of what other people would think or that you Have to like teach a lesson like what if you could just really react from a place of love and like oh This is what this kid needs is a hug, you know Not like to take something away, but so often we're afraid that if we do that They're not gonna learn the lesson or other people are gonna judge us I mean I will say one thing that made this easier for me is that I was blessed with like a Giant amount of not caring what other people think


Um, which is like, I knew how I wanted to parent. I didn't care if my mother-in-law thought it was wrong. I didn't care if my neighbor thought it was wrong. Like I knew that I was doing the right thing for my kids, but I know a lot of people don't have that. Um, and, and believe me, I'm not as, I'm not that secure in every single area of my life, but, but I knew this was the right thing to do. And I know some parents just really feel like, Oh, is this the right thing to do? Like my brother's kids are so much quieter at the family dinner tables and mine.


Well, your brother's kids are probably afraid of what's going to happen if they're not, right?


Exactly. Yeah.


Yeah. Well, and that's why I love having you on Sarah is I think for those people who are struggling with that confidence, a great way to get that confidence is to have some support through coaching, you know? And so I don't think Sarah and I are put on this earth to help every parent in the world. I think there's certain parents that will seek us out certain parents who would love to seek you out and it's all about getting the right fit, you know? So I love to having you on because I want them to hear your voice and hear how you're helping parents. It's just super


to know there's this whole group of people who like you said, you started back in 2001, 2002, that's about the time that we hadn't had kids yet. But Sarah was really my Sarah was really diving into it. And Sarah was coming home saying things like, I'm not teaching parents how to spank or do timeouts. I'm teaching them other things. I'd be like, my mind was like, just blown, like, how could you not be teaching that stuff? And so it was slowly seeping in there. But it's been really encouraging.


to meet wonderful people like you along the way and other coaches that we've gotten to speak to who are passionate about supporting these parents. So we want every parent who's listening to know you're not alone and it's never too late. And there, if you don't have that confidence that Sarah just described, like.


Yeah, totally.


That's why we're here. To help you get that because we have done it. We've been doing it. I mean, Sarah's been doing it with her kids for over about 20 years now. And we've been doing it with our kids now for over a decade. So it's like, it's real. We're seeing the fruit and we're coming as honest, vulnerable people to tell you that we could not have done this without our own help. I mean, I know Dr. Markham.


was very supportive to me and to you and just giving us confidence. I mean, there's so many times where I did not believe what Sarah was saying and then we could talk to Dr. Markham and she would just agree with Sarah. And then, yeah, I'd be like, fine, Dr. Markham agrees with you too, right? So in saying all that, I wanna review the three things you said for our audience was, number one, the self-regulation piece of making sure I'm.


calming myself down too was the mindset, shifting my mind to where I'm seeing the kid and believing that they're wanting to do good in that moment, that they're wanting to succeed and they just need your help, right? And then the third piece was just so important, the connection piece of making sure whether it's a little kid or a teenager, you are finding ways to get into their world and just connect with them in it. And you know what's interesting, all three of those work in marriage.


All three of those work in friendship. So if you just want better relationships across the board just do those three and every relationship


I had a client once who was couldn't believe how far reaching the effects were the work that she was doing as a peaceful parent. And she said to me, she said, I'm not only a better parent, I'm a better dentist. She was a dentist. She said, like, practicing this stuff has like changed all areas of my life. And I find that to be really true for most people who do practice it, it really affects, you know, their work relationships, their friendships, their marriage. But I will say


Don't peaceful parent your dog because my dog does not listen to me. I raised my dog the same way as my kids. She does not listen to me at all. Like, I'll be like, Emmy, come here. She just looks at me and walks the other way. No.


not being very considerate, not being very gracious. Well, hey, so how can our listeners connect with your stuff and your work, Sarah? How can they connect?


Yeah, so I have a brand new website at reim You can still get there from, but we've sort of done a rebrand because I do have other people who work with me as well. We have a page of free resources on the website, including my free How to Stop Yelling at Your Kids course. My podcast is on there. Coaching is on there. If you're interested in coaching, anyone can book a free 20-minute consult with me to see if I could help you.


or one of my coaches could help you and to see if we're in a good fit. So it's all there at reim


That's fantastic. That's great. And could you send me the link for our listeners to that visible child thing? I wanna make sure we'll include that in the notes and we'll also put maybe that information on the staying connected with your teenager book as well because both of those would be really, really great research. So Sarah, so great to have you on. Yeah, thank you.


Yeah, great to be having this conversation. I love that we are reaching more families with this and with the real peaceful parenting, right? A real gentle parenting, whatever, not this like weird fake version of it that people are having a backlash against on Instagram.


Yes. Yeah.


Yeah. Yes. So for our listeners, if you loved this, please go and rate this podcast, give a review and definitely check out Sarah RosenSweet's stuff on Facebook and also on her website. We'll include all those links below. So hope this was helpful to you and changing how you see parenting and we hope you have a wonderful day. Thank you for listening.

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