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Episode 115

What is Conscious Discipline and How Can it Help Parents Raise Self-Controlled Kids?

July 8, 2024
In Episode 115, Sara and I interview Cristy Roberts, a certified Conscious Discipline trainer. She has been teaching teachers and educators for over a decade on how to approach children from a different perspective. She shares her story about her son’s struggles with school and how CD gave her the tools that both she and her son needed to navigate the challenges at school in a better way. She discusses rituals parents can implement now to help their children be more successful at working through difficult times with both teachers and peers. 

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Episode 115 Transcript:

The school year is about to start. And if you're a parent of a child listening to this podcast, I know you want the school year to be a successful one for you, for them, for everybody involved. You want them to love the school year. So today we wanted to bring on a special guest who's gonna give you some great, like real practical tips to help that school year be fantastic coming up as it's beginning to start coming up in August or September.


And she's been working for 19 years as a conscious discipline instructor and helping train teachers, helping teach an early childhood education place specifically to help kids and teachers be successful throughout the school year. So I know you're going to enjoy this conversation. Definitely jump into it with Sara and I, as we learn about how to equip our kids, how to get their brains ready for the school year coming up ahead. And before you listen to it, take a moment to leave a comment.


to definitely review the podcast. We've had a goal for a while to reach over a hundred. We're not quite there yet, but I'd love for you to pause it right now. Take a moment. If this podcast has been helpful to you at all, we'd love to hear your comments. It's really encouraging to us. And then just take a moment to enjoy listening to Cristy and it's gonna really help you with your kid today.


Sara and Sara today we've got a special guest this week, you know, and this special guest that we want to introduce to this audience is somebody I've gotten to know for quite some time, you know, so that there was a time where I was a school counselor and I was working with kids in a public school setting. And man, the discipline at the school was just kind of all over the place. So there's some teachers who really just wanted to love on kids and just be kind. There was other ones who just loved.


controlling classrooms with an iron grip. There was card systems being used. There was behavior charts being thrown around. Everyone brought what they had and taught from that experience and that knowledge. And as I never wanted to be a school counselor, I came into the school counseling thing going, I guess this is what you need to do. I don't know. But then somebody told me about a different approach and this approach was called conscious discipline.


And they introduced me to a lady named Cristy Roberts. And eventually Cristy Roberts introduced me to a lady named Dr. Becky Bailey who started the approach. But today we get to bring Cristy to you guys. And I wanted to bring Cristy because Cristy was a big part of me making the shift first as a school counselor and then second as a dad. And so it's been neat to lots of Cristy and I have been able to work in the schools.


talking to teachers, I've seen Cristy do her stuff where she's trying to change these dynamics with teachers who are like, I'm not changing. Cristy's trying to help them shift. And so I wanted Cristy to be able to speak to some of those dynamics because that's happening in a lot of homes. So without further ado, I wanna say welcome Cristy Roberts.




Thank you so much. It's great to be here and good to see you again, Kyle. I've missed our Panera Bread get together and talk and talk and talk and talks. So it's great to see you and Sara.


Yes, and so Cristy, you've been doing, you've been a conscious discipline trainer and instructor for how long?


Yeah, I've been certified for 19 years. So there's only a few of us that have been here this long. So a lot of younger girls coming up and it's in great hands as we are kind of aging out and there's lots of new instructors coming on. And, you know, with something like discipline and the brain research and everything, it's something that's always changing. It's fluid. The more we think we know.


voila, some new science comes out and we know more and more. So it's an interesting time to be doing all of this, really for the last 20 years. We've known so much more about the brain.


Well, and you originally graduated with a degree in deaf education, you know, really wanting to help kids who had issues with deafness. How did you like stumble into becoming a Conscious Discipline Instructor? What was that like?


Well, I, gosh, that's going back quite a ways, but I went into work in a childcare center when my children were young. And so I have five children and my two boys are the bookends. And so I've got three girls in the middle that could have raised themselves pretty much. But my two boys were very, very challenging and in different ways.


And at that time, my oldest son had some challenging behaviors. And in my gut, I always knew that being a teacher, I wanted to discipline him when he got home or to follow up with what the school wanted me to do. But I would ask him, you know, what did you do at school or why did you do that? And when he would say, I don't know, I really believed him. I could tell in his,


energy and in his spirit and everything that he really didn't understand what was why he was always being disciplined in this way and so Being in child care with I was a child care director at the YWCA after a while and I had a friend Linda Ransom that said hey, let's get our Child care centers together and do a book study. I've been reading this great book called conscious discipline. So one summer I


We did a little, you come, you bring your staff here and we had dinner and I took my staff there. We went through the book and it was just about that time that I went to a national conference and Dr. Bailey was speaking. And, you know, I don't often use like, well, I use a lot of analogies, but I felt like I was at a Southern Baptist tent revival that, you know,


Everything that she was saying was just like, I know that, I know that, that was truth to me. It just made such sense and it put words to what my intuition was. And, you know, I've been in classrooms where there were teachers that wanted just, you know, they're like, they always wanted to go to a consequence or to discipline children and,


As I was learning more and more about Conscious Discipline, it just seemed, it rang true to me in raising my children.


Yeah. Well, it sounds like you wanted to say amen a bunch. What, what, what, and I know, I was talking to Sara before we, we, we had you on Christine. I just know we haven't used conscious discipline, that verbiage a lot on the podcast, even though it's deep in my bones, even though whenever I'm coaching parents myself, I'm using a lot of the same verbiage using.


the work from Dr. Becky Bailey along with Dr. Laura Markham. And I'm kind of synthesizing that with Dr. Siegel and all these other greats in the field to then also implementing our own experiences that we've had as parents and coaches. But if you were to then describe what conscious discipline is to the listeners, how would you describe what that is? Cause I'm sure they've heard things about peaceful parenting and gentle parenting. And I know conscious one is in a similar vein as that, but how would you describe?


What really drew me to it is that I'm the type of, you know, I'm a learner. And so the science piece really pulled me in. The learning about that you have different states of the brain and when you're in the survival state or the emotional state or the executive state, there's specific skills that you can access when you're in those states. So the lower states, the survival state and the emotional state, they have fewer skills.


and you can't reach up into your executive state and pull out time management if you're in your survival state and you are looking for safety in a classroom.


because you're in that primal mode of just survival, yeah.


Yeah, so your survival state and your emotional state are closed systems. So those skills that you have are the only ones you can access at that time. But there are things that we can do as an adult to what we call download our calm. We can lend our executive states to children. And there are certain ways to get them from their brainstem up to their emotional state.


and into the beginning of their executive state. One of the things that still I'm always having to remind, I'm a teacher coach now. I went back into the classroom after COVID and to help teachers and is that the executive state of the brain isn't developed until 24 and maybe up until 30 with some people.


So when we're dealing and we're getting frustrated with a two -year -old or a three -year -old, that part of their brain is barely getting little sparks. They truly don't have access to their executive skills. So we tend to want to punish them for that.


And that once you really know how about brain development, that doesn't make much sense to do that.


Yeah. What would you say to people who, you know, when in our culture right now, Cristy, there's a lot of, at times it seems like some negative pushback about approaches like conscious discipline or peaceful parenting or, or what some people call gentle pairing this more, this focus that, that I would say they all come together. Cause there is a big focus, like you said on the brain, but also about feelings and feelings.


having a priority, right? Because you know, what Dr. Becky Bailey would teach or others would teach is that is the first thing. It is the feeling that then informs the other parts of the brain, that more primal state you talked about. But some people see that as more permissive, that they see it as more letting the kid get away with stuff.


So what would your response be to that? To people being afraid of that's what they're gonna do. They're gonna raise kids who are just constantly being controlled by their feelings and they're constantly just being impulsive and doing whatever they want and there's no restrictions or boundaries to it.


Well, I think with our generation and the generations before us, our feelings have run rampant. And so the fear comes from not being able to manage your emotions. And so we don't want to constantly, we think we're giving the children, we're letting them off the hook. Whereas if they know and they can label their emotions that they're feeling, it actually hooks them into a solution of how to


respond to a situation instead of react. We're worried that because of our generation, nobody told us, you're feeling frustrated or that these feelings and where they show up in your body, that's almost like a second language to us. It's very confusing. And our experiences with people when they get emotional is that they're reacting to things and that solutions never come.


Whereas learning how to manage your emotions and understanding what you truly are feeling, that hooks you into the solution and the problem solving. So it's a really intricate piece, but I think that people are fearful because of we didn't tap into those feelings and really understand the messages that they bring. We just either ignored them,


Mm -hmm.


or just refuse to feel them because we use things like, I always ask teachers if you're going through a lot in your life and you're just having a really hard season in your life, where do you leave that when you come to work? And 250 people will go at the door. And I'm like, that's a lie because you bring your whole self to work.


And you can deny and deny and deny those emotions, but they're kind of like bubbles that'll come up through, you know, and they're going to come out. And you know where they come out is they come out on those color charts. So when I go into a classroom and do an observation and I see the red, yellow, green charts, that tells me how the teacher or the adult in the classroom is, is really feeling, rather than how the kids are doing in the classroom that day.


 So Cristy, when I'm hearing you talk about dealing with these teachers and trying to help them change what they're doing in the classroom, right? And so you're really helping them, instruct them to see behavior differently. I was curious. I didn't have this down as one of my questions to ask you, but.


What would you say to parents that are trying to make a change with their parenting and they're sending their kids to schools that are still using these methods? You know, their kids are still getting timeouts on the bench at recess. They're still getting these color charts every day. They're getting like, yay, my kid's on a green or like, your kid's on a yellow red. Or the suggestion is let's put another behavior chart in process, right?


So what advice would you have for that parent in regards to, you know, two things. One, is there a way they could talk to that teacher? Is there anything you would suggest on how to change that? Or how should they discuss that with their kid when they come home about how to understand what's happening there with that teacher?


Yeah, I kind of have a very personal and perfect explanation or kind of story to talk about this. My youngest son, who's 24 now, so that means he got his whole brain this year, we always celebrate when the kids turn 24 with a brain cake and all of that, that they have full access to their prefrontal cortex.


and I expect them to use it. So, I've done my job. And so I've celebrated that five times. But with Ethan, Ethan had some different developmental, I just call it quirkiness. He's probably on the Asperger's scale. And because,


You're like, the expectations have gone up.


I'm so sorry.


I'm his mom and he has older brothers and sisters that have been raised with a significant amount of conscious discipline. He had some skills that teachers didn't recognize him having some difficulties in school. And so there were times when the...


awards assemblies every month and kids would get awards and it would get to be towards the end of the year and Ethan would you know, I'd be putting him down for bed and he would say What what does it take to get one of those awards? I mean he really didn't understand why he he just felt like he was getting picked on or and and really there was a lot of bullying and I use that term in the truest sense and


from teachers because they didn't understand a difference, a neurotypical differences in him. And so it was really hard for me to be doing what I do. And I would go into teacher conferences and kind of try to explain this. And I would just get like, eye rolls or how I don't understand what it's like in the classroom and all of that. But.


Years went by and I was at a training with Dr. Bailey and there was this one part in her training and I just kind of, it just hit me that, you know, Ethan had, you can't save your kids from their own life. Let me just say that, that there's experiences that they're going to go through and the best thing that you can do as a parent is, you know,


put lots of tools in their toolbox so that in different situations, they can take out different tools. And even though I'm not going to be with him all the time, he's got a lot of tools in his tool belt that he can, he doesn't have to go through life with a hammer, just a hammer. And so, but I was thinking just how weird that, you know, was that I do this for a living and yet he's had such a difficult time in school.


So I came home and I was talking to him about it and I said, you know, Ethan, here's the deal. When you get a little bit older, you can look back and in looking back at all this stuff that you've been through in school, you know, your principal is now over all of the elementary schools of the school district and your teacher is now a principal over a school and that specific school district.


was letting me come in and do trainings all over the school district. And I said, you know, I don't know if this is right, but I feel like you kind of took one for the team. That think of all the children now and all the teachers now that are getting a chance to hear the parts of conscious discipline that have helped you so much and that they didn't understand before that now.


it can multiply. So I said, I think that you're going to have some things and a story and a testimony to tell people about your school and how you were treated. And so he came up with the idea of taking the conflict resolution mat into the elementary schools. So he did that and well, he went to the city council and got some money to purchase the conflict resolution mats.


and took it in and trained each of the student councils so that they took it into the schools. Yeah, so all of that to say, again, that you, you know, your kids are gonna have experiences, but the moments that you have with children to build that, and even just to relax their brain from stress, those are critical moments.


Kyle and Sara Wester (20:36.329)

That's so cool. That's really cool. Yeah.


Kyle and Sara Wester (20:56.325)



And a lot of pushback that I get from the schools is why should we be doing this when the parents aren't doing it at home? And, you know, I say we get children that are marinating in cortisol and adrenaline. They're just tight. And if we don't relax that and change that chemical balance in their brain for the eight hours that we have them, that...


their brains literally toxic stress, you can look it up anywhere now, it's, you know, and see MRIs where that literally eats holes in the prefrontal cortex where your brilliance is. So it's imperative that people that can be calm and can lend their executive skills to children do that whenever they're present with them. I do little things in my own life that


people think I'm crazy, but instead of New Year's resolutions, like I'll do something that has to do with connecting or noticing my own blind spots. So one year it was, I started noticing that many kids, the only time that they get looked at eye to eye is when they're in trouble. And so whenever I made eye contact with the child for a year, it was my New Year's resolution, I was gonna smile at them.


And my kids would just be in restaurants and I'd be trying to make eye contact with children. They're like, leave that baby alone, mom.


But it was so interesting to, you know, there's lots of kids that won't make eye contact because when they do, they kind of get these lectures from, or they get a stern look or you better behave. And so there's just a dynamic that, you know, the brain is pattern seeking. And so when we don't counterbalance that negative,


pattern that the child has been put in, possibly, that it sets up after the age of three and especially after the age of eight, it's really hard to change that belief system that the child believes that they are the bad child or they are the difficult sister or they become our external language that we say out loud becomes the child's internal dialogue.


So what we say about them becomes their internal thoughts about themselves. So we have to be very careful about what we say over them.


Yeah. Yeah. So how I was, I love the piece where you're saying, okay, if they're in this environment at school and I can't do much about that. I mean, my kid goes to school and I've talked to the school how, when you said calming their nervous system or, or helping to at least balance some of that, what, what's something tangible? If my kid comes home, what could I do?


Yeah. The first thing is for the adult in the situation to remain calm. It's very helpful for us to have done some internal searching and learning about what are our triggers. What things, you know, it's, I'm not going to...


blame other people for my reactions. I want to be responsible and I want to teach my children to be responsible. So the difference in responding to things and reacting to things. So we have to do our own work on that so that we're not constantly going around reacting. Somebody cuts us off in traffic and we react with some inventive sign language or honking our horn or...


you know, yelling and we're teaching the kids in the backseat that when the world doesn't go your way, they'll fit. And we don't realize that, but they are sponges and that's their reality. So everything that they're taking in everything as just set reality, a base of reality. So rather than acting, you know, a nut when the world isn't going my way, I want to model.


how to respond to situations and to wish well. Somebody cuts me off in traffic, I might say something, you know, I take a deep breath and go, whoo, that was scary, or I was worried, but I hope that, you know, they probably have some place to be that they have to be really quickly. I hope they get there safely. So this becomes a normal response in their brain too. This is how you respond when the world doesn't go your way rather than kicking and screaming.


So if you've done a lot of that when they were little, downloading that calm even when they're a baby, when a baby starts to cry, we usually pick them up and we, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, you're fine, you're fine, you're fine, and then we start this bouncing and the baby, you know, maybe they go to sleep, but if they fall asleep, they are, again, marinating in cortisol and adrenaline.


And a lot of times we'll say, look, look, look over here, here's a toy and we try to distract them or we give them a bottle. We, we do certain things and they fall asleep, but then they wake up with that energy and those chemicals that are still in their body. So they wake up cranky and on the wrong side of the bed and all of those terms that we've given the terrible to, you know, all of that.


So instead, from the very beginning, if we learn to pick up a baby, or let's say, you know, I train people to pick up babies when their parents drop them off and just hold them and breathe, no language, because the brain stem doesn't need language. It needs a felt sense of safety. So I'm just gonna hold the baby. I'm calming myself and I'm taking some deep breaths through my nose and blowing it out.


And then slowly as I calm myself, naturally as humans, we're gonna start the sway. And that's 80 beats per minute if you watch somebody and that's the beat of the heart. So we'll as humans go into this sway. And now rather than shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, you're fine, you're fine, you're fine. You know, that's shh, shh, that's for labor. We're trying to calm. So we wanna calm shh.


And now I'm just gonna tell the baby the truth and that keeps me calm. When I'm saying you're fine, you're fine and the baby's screaming, I'm lying to the baby. And subconsciously I know that, cause all is not well. And so I'm just gonna say, that's hard when mommy leaves. It's hard, she'll be back. Breathe with me. Shh, I'm gonna keep you safe. And so then I turn the baby around. Maybe I sit down, pull toys in.


but their back is to my chest and I'm going to continue downloading that calm. And then they start waddling with the toys and they get up and they walk out, walk out to play with, you know, in the classroom or in the environment. And so what's happened is rather than me trying to distract them from their emotions, I'm teaching them how to manage them by breathing and being calm and knowing the truth.


You know, it is hard when mommy leaves, but you're safe. I'm going to keep you safe. So that felt sense of safety turns off the brain stem and they come up into their emotional state. I'm going to name and describe what they're feeling. It's sad. It's sad, you know, or look at your face. Your face is looking like this, depending on the age of the child. But the main thing is that I'm staying calm and the child senses that safety.


So then they go off and play rather than me putting them down to sleep. And now we have this child that if this continues, when they grow up, if it's not done, let's go back to the baby that shh, shh, shh, you're fine, you're fine, you're fine. Look here, you want a bottle, you want a toy, a rattle? They grow up and they get this sense of angst that they felt.


Now, this is all subconscious when we grow up because they're learning this behavior before language. So they don't have words to put with this sense of angst. They grow up and they start to feel this sense of, I don't feel good, or maybe going through a divorce or some type of having a disconnection. And they say, I feel like going shopping.


Or hey happy hour anybody want to go to happy hour and get a margarita, you know, it's like those are subconscious some Things that we put into children remember the brain is pattern seeking. So when I feel this way I need to distract myself and lie to myself and We don't do those things on purpose. It's just that's how we were raised That's what we're giving to our children, but we can do it in a in a better way


And I go away from that situation as the adult feeling better and the child feels better. So it's a win -win both ways. So as that child grows up, you up your skills a little bit, you get a little bit deeper in the language, and you also learn that certain things that we say hit the brain in different ways. So instead of saying, how does that make you feel?


Because that gives whatever, like if a child comes home from school and says, my teacher was mean to me today, and I say, how does that make you feel? Well, that gives the teacher that situation the power. But instead I say, how did you feel when that happened? Because I'm not denying that it happened. I'm not denying that you had some feelings. But how did you feel?


gives the responsibility back to the child. So we're building a true sense of, this is the emotion I'm feeling and how to manage it. And a sense of responsibility for nobody can make me do anything. I am in charge of myself and I can learn how to respond instead of react to situations. So even though school can go wonky when they get home,


If we talk through that in a way that hits their brain and reestablishes those connections in their brain, all can be well.


Well, and even what I heard you say, Cristy, was, man, that's all set up years prior. That's set up for years prior. So even if a parent, they look back and say, man, those early years, maybe I did do a lot of the shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, you're fine, you're fine, you're fine, right? And they're wanting to change it now. What I'm hearing you say is, a parent can change that now just by how they're reacting to the daily stressors.


anytime, like you said, someone cuts you off in traffic. I know for me, when it would hit me, Cristy was being in like the Chick -fil -A line and me getting mad at how long it was taking and realizing that I was just throwing a tantrum here and I was teaching my kids anytime something didn't go my way, anytime somebody wasn't doing what I think they should be doing, or treating me the way I think they should be treating me, then I'm going to get really mad about it.


You know, and then once that hit me, once I saw the kids were learning that from me, then I thought, I want to handle this differently. I really want to take a moment here to just calm myself down. We can wait. You know, I actually started doing some kind of silly at times where I picked the longest line at Target or the longest line at Walmart. And let's just wait in line and let's just find a way to enjoy it because I didn't come to the store to do it super fast. I came to the store to be with you guys.


I want to be with you and who knows what could happen in this line. Maybe we can meet a neat person while we're waiting or maybe we'll have a great conversation, but there's no need to constantly be rushing and speeding it up. And so I'm hearing you say for parents who are listening, if they're having those problems at school, that a lot of what you're doing this summer, you know, as they're with their kids over the summertime is there, they could be modeling how to handle these moments better and then, and then get into a habit of.


not asking him how did that make them feel that day, but how did they feel about it? How did you feel about your day? You know, and when the teacher did that, how did you feel about that? And then you kind of delving it into that with them. So then you can partner with them about how to handle those situations in the future. Yeah.


Right. And be gentle on yourself too. It's, you know, gentle parenting is being gentle on yourself too, because in the week long trainings that I know you've gone to Kyle, by Wednesday, we call it weeping Wednesday, because by Wednesday, you're just sure that you've messed up your own children. And, but, you know, the thing of it is, is that we...


We've done the best with the tools that we had. But again, you know, my Angelo says, when you know better, you do better. I mean, she said it way more eloquently, but we know so much more now than our parents knew. And so that doesn't say that our parents did it wrong. They did what they knew to do. But it really is interesting when you...


delve more into consciousness plan in the states of the brain and the skills that you have in those states when it's happening in front of you and you see it the first time you calm a baby on your chest and you think okay I'm not gonna I'm just gonna slowly breathe and tell them that they're safe and it works you're like my gosh that you know so so you get a little a little hit of the


the good stuff, we call it joy juice. And that's another piece that I kind of want to talk about with parents is that this whole idea we were talking about of emotions is that an emotion is energy in motion. If you take emotion and you pull it apart, the E is the energy that puts your body into motion. So with every emotion that we have, a different...


Dump of chemicals goes into our body that makes our body react in a certain way. So if I am afraid or frustrated or angry, I'm gonna have a rush of cortisol and adrenaline into my body and that my body responds to it by my large my arms and my legs are gonna get stiff my muscles and that's because if I go into fight -or -flight, I need those large muscles.


my eyes dilate, so in case I need to notice a leaf rustling, there's a tiger over there, you know, fight or flight. So it may, my body starts to respond to those chemicals. And it's exactly the same with when you and Sara were first in love and you know, you were, you hang up, no, you hang up, no, you hang up, you know, that type of, you know, Disney calls it being Twitter -pated.


Those chemicals were oxytocin and the bonding chemical. And so with each feeling, there's a different cocktail that's dumped into the body. And so when we learn, my, I feel angry, I can start to manage those chemicals.


That's what you were doing when you were getting frustrated in line. You weren't managing them. You were having, you know, you were shooting all over people is what you were doing, Kyle. They should be doing this. So you're resisting moment, which takes you out of the moment. Now you miss it. But when you're present in the moment, you're with your children and you know, adults are constantly in the past and in the future.


We've got to get, you know, we regret this and we need to get them ready for this. But children only live in the present. So right there, you can see this disconnect that we can have with our kids when we're missing those moments of being present with them. Life happens in the present. And we shut ourselves out of being with our children. So getting in the wrong line or getting in the slow line.


also teaches us the skill of waiting. That's something we don't teach kids. We teach them to stop and go, but we don't teach them to wait and that there's a feeling of kind of anxiousness around waiting. So how do we manage the times when we need to wait?


There is, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Well, and I'm really loving how you put that with the emotion being energy in motion. That's such a great way to think about it is what energy is this bringing up in me and how am I expressing that through the motion? So in kind of wrapping up our conversation, I wanted to ask you this. If you were, this is gonna drop sometime in the summer, this podcast will, and so if parents are listening to this, they're gonna be,




thinking, well, how can I best prepare my kids' brain for the upcoming school year? And so what would be some easy things that you'd say they could be doing this summer to help their kid be more prepared to have a great school year?


Yeah, I think, you know, with Conscious Discipline, the book has seven chapters and there's seven skills and powers. And so you can get on the Conscious Discipline website and there's a parent tab that has all kinds of free things that you can be doing at home. So I want to say, you know, ConsciousDiscipline .com for that so that...


You can go in and see some videos of parents talking about these things. It's heavy on the teacher and the school side, but there's also curriculum for parents.


But even for that, I'd say they could also find the Schubert books, right? I find those are great books for kids that are elementary age that would be fantastic to read with your kids prior to school come out. Because then the parent could see kind of the different skills there and also what a classroom could look like that is being run this way, right? And I'd say they're great for the kids, but they're really great for parents too, because sometimes we are on the same journey.


you know, we were parented a different way or were wired a different way. So we're trying to rewire ourselves while we're still trying to teach our children. And I loved the Schubert books personally, because while I was reading to my children and they're absorbing all that information, I was like, I like how they said that. I like how they word that. It helped reinforce and build things in me too. Yeah. Yeah.


Yeah, along with each of, you know, there's a Schubert book that goes along with each of the chapters of the curriculum book. So those are great. Yeah, because you, as you're reading the book, you're saying the words, you're modeling the language and learning the language yourself. So there are some what we call structures that we put into a classroom or into our home. There's also on the website, Schubert School.


and Schubert's home. So you can go in and you can kind of take a virtual tour around the child's bedroom, Schubert's bedroom, or Sophie, his little sister, her little nursery, and you can see where there's I love you rituals and how to connect in different ways with your children.


Yeah, and for every listener, the I Love Your Rituals book is amazing. It's so fun to be doing those. I'm almost thinking as you say that, I'm like, that's such a great way to get started with school is do a bunch of I Love Your Rituals. Right?


Yeah. And that's where I was going is that to start practicing routines and rituals. Routines, remember, it's every human brain is the same in that the brain is pattern seeking. So when we put the brain into a pattern, the brain stem turns off because it feels a self sense of safety. And, you know, anxiety is just crazy rampant in our country right now with children.


And I think that not having clear routines, you know, we're overbooking our kids and you can still be doing a lot of fun things, but to have visual routines where kids can know who's picking them up tomorrow, are we going to camp, are we going to day camp, are we going to taekwondo, are we doing ballet, or am I going to need a swimsuit at the Y?


camp, all of those things, if we can put a visual schedule together with pictures, that helps. And so we want to have clear routines. And if we can put those in pictures, children can remember pictures so much better than the words. So lots of, you know, we grow up and we have our checklists that, yes, I did that. Yes, I did that. That's kind of a pre checklist for children.


And the other thing is doing some rituals. So think about rituals, again, help us feel connected and loved and seen. So if we have visuals, schedules, and we stick with those the best that we can, that turns off the brain stem. And so now it comes up to a little bit of a higher state of the brain to the emotional state. So when we do things that are rituals,


Every time we say goodbye, we do a fist bump. Every time, or a pinky, or when I wake them up in the morning, I do the same thing, a little I love you ritual that the child feels seen and connected. And so a lot of those type of things, I remember with my kids on the last day of school and the first day of school, we would go get ice cream. And I had Ethan late in life.


later than them. I sent one to college and one to kindergarten the same year. I do not suggest that. I don't suggest that. But, you know, the kids were older and they had called me and said, are we going to go get ice cream today? And I'm thinking, well, that's weird. Why, you know, why are we going to go get ice cream? They go, well, didn't Ethan have his first day of school today? And,


I was like, yes, we are, because that became a, this is who we are, this is our foundation, this is how we are connected. So family rituals are very important to help children feel safe and connected. So going into this, you know, if you're doing that during the summer, then when we're going into the school year, we change our visual schedules to what's our evening routine.


First you do this and then you do that and lots of different examples of how to do the visual schedules, but working on routines for the patterns, setting the patterns and rituals for connection. And they're fun. That's the fun stuff. Yeah.




totally. Well, it makes it fun for the parent too. And I think Sara and I, what we love to do, we love to do all that. But like you were saying, even the goodbyes, how they say goodbye for school when they're going, when they come back, how do we reconnect? And then also even the ritual of what do we do right when we get home to kind of unload this backpack of emotions, right? What's that gonna look like? And is it just jumping on video games? Is it just going to the next event? Or is there some way to...


kind of relax for a moment and be with each other and unload that backpack full of emotion. So that's such great advice going into this year that I think every parent could implement and those resources, if you want to find them, go to conscious discipline .com and they can find all of those resources there. And I know Cristy, you'll probably be doing a lot of trainings in the Tulsa area, but also throughout.


the United States with conscious discipline and speaking at places. So if you ever have a chance to go to a Conscious Plain Conference, it isn't just for teachers. I went to it as a school counselor, but there was a lot of parents there too at these conferences. And it was life -changing for me and Sara as parents to really get these tools that I think Becky Bailey does such a great job implementing because she is a PhD in education and likes to give these kind of more practical ways of actually changing a classroom or changing a home.


And also the parent book that we recommend a lot is easy to love, difficult to discipline by Dr. Becky Bailey. And that's one that's on my shelf. I'm constantly telling parents to buy it and get that. And we love to coach parents through those conscious discipline skills. So I think this will be fantastic for parents going into the school year. Yeah, she just does a great job of making it something, if you're new or if you're struggling, it's just tools that are really easy to grab and understand.


and put into practice when you're maybe not sure where to start. So yeah, I love her materials. Even like how you mentioned, Cristy, the conflict resolution mat or the time machine. If you're a parent listening to that and you're having sibling conflict in your home, go check out that mat, implement that at home, right? You'll see great tools for how to create a safe place in your home, on how to help your kids regulate their emotions when they come home after a rough day or even a great day, how to do that.


All of those things, there'll be access for that. So I want to say thank you, Cristy, for coming on today. And thank you for the work you're doing in these schools, in these early childhood places where you're helping teachers and parents learn better how to wire these little babies' brains so we have a better society, a place where we have adults who don't stuff it or don't try to mask it, but actually can feel it and then know how to communicate it and do something.


Yeah. And there's, you know, so much, so much, so much more. It goes very, very deeply. But, you know, to end, I want parents to notice when that feeling comes up of I'm letting them off the hook, that they need to have some type of consequence or we need to discipline. Conscious discipline means to bring to consciousness that's positive about it.


what's going on and then discipline means to teach how to do it to give a new tool and so we you know kind of we do what we call pivot if you feel like you're being too permissive check in with yourself we don't want to save our children either but check in with yourself and go am i hooking them into the solution rather than punishing them for not having a skill am i teaching that skill which will hook them into


We don't want all the kids on the bench. We want them in the game. So how can I keep my kids in the game?


So good. Love that. Yeah. Thank you again for your time, Cristy. And I appreciate all listeners for taking a moment to listen to this. Definitely take the time to check out those resources. It will really prepare you for this upcoming year. Have a great day.

You too. Wish you well.

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