Today’s episode is for all those parents who are struggling with challenging behaviours in children due to the pandemic. We will discuss some realistic, actionable behavior Changes and learn how to evolve in parenting.
Let’s call this era the covid-19 era because it has had such a significant impact on our lives and day to day behaviours. This era has brought changes like work from home, overuse of technology by kids, tons of parenting guilt from not being able to give them enough time, and struggles with interpersonal relations.
Our Guest today is Behavioural Expert- Dr. Marcie Beigel. She is the author of two best-selling books:
“Love Your Family Again”Dr. Marcie Beigel (Bestselling Author)
“Love Your Classroom Again”Dr. Marcie Beigel (Bestselling Author)
For over 20 years she has worked with families and educators to help kids with challenging behaviours. She has been a guest behavioural expert on national media, including FOX, ABC, NBC and many more. She is based in New York City where she connects with teachers on her Facebook group ‘Behavior and Beyond and with parents through her membership program ‘Parents Doing It ALL’.
From the preschooler who won’t sit still to the tween and teens who are defiant and disrespectful Her realistic, action-based approaches have resulted in fewer fights and happier families.
1- Work from home and handle kids.
So as parents the two biggest challenges faced in this pandemic have been work from home and handling kids. Work was supposed to get easier, kids were supposed to enjoy it with no school to bother them. But neither of that happened. The worst affected by the pandemic have been our kids. To the point that kids started to show signs of stress that most parents would brush off as irritability, or worse- tantrums.
Signs of stress in a child include:
- Lack of concentration
- Frequent mood fluctuations
- Stubborn behaviour without any reason
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in sleep pattern.
2- Parenting guilt
Parenting has changed a lot in these times. We often complain of being short on time. Work hours now extend to the whole day. We might be sitting with our kids physically but mentally we are still working.
At some point when we see the innocent faces of our kids asking us something and we are dumbfounded, that’s when we realise we are not actually spending time with them. At the end of the day, this causes tons of parenting guilt.
A good way to tackle this problem is “on-to-one” time with your child. Where the child decides to do whatever he likes with you. Make a big deal about it. Let the child look forward to it, and give it a name like “mom and Ahad’s time”
Another amazing trick we spoke about is talking over masks. It works great if you have older kids. We’ve been busy with household chores, Work from home, and kids have been occupied with their online schools. This leaves no actual time for us to interact with our kids. Make it a ritual to eat together without the phone or TV. start by talking about how your day was or how your boss was being a jerk. After sometime you would notice the kids would start opening up about things that trouble them or they have fun with . one thing to remember her is:
Quote: kids tend to open up better when they aren’t put in the spotlight. So dont ask them direct, quick questions.
3- How to get your kids to listen
- Be clear in your words and instructions.
- Put your words into action. Follow through instead of just repeating yourself until you lose it and start yelling. For eg. If you’re saying it’s time to go to bed and the kids don’t listen then instead of repeating yourself, hold their hands and take me to the room saying, it’s time for bed, i”ll help you get ready. Or I’ll tuck you in.
- Celebrate your child’s behaviour: this is so important. We as parents work on autopilot, trying to live from one naptime to the other (if you have younger kids) and if you have older kids then, appreciating them each time they did a task or followed the routine without you telling them. This is called positive reinforcement.
4- Overuse of technology.
Somewhere down the line, we have to accept that screens are a new reality. They have helped us wade through these tough waters. They came to our rescue. I am in no way supporting screen time but it has become a part of our lives and there is no denying it. so let us accept this fact and work on how we can modulate screen time in our house rather than how we can stop its usage.
Online schools are something that cannot be cut down on, now can your own work hours in front of the laptop. but the hours we put in for recreation and connecting with people like using social media, the mindless scrolling, binge-watching serials, video games, etc can certainly be replaced with family time like cooking something together, board games, dumb charades, antaakshiri, etc. these things are only done when the power supply is cut which is once in a blue moon and we all have no option but to see each other faces instead of the screens. Remember how we had a ball of a time when the power cuts happened. let’s do that every day.
What worries me the most is that the use of screens is now a part of children’s education. Kids use it either for online schooling or relaxing or for connecting on social media. Here’s how you can moderate if not stop their screen time completely a sit seems like a part of their new normal.
- Put down your technology
- Tell them what you are doing (i am just checking if my boss mailed me)
- Giving them screen-free time (family time)
- Accept the reality and stop worrying. Kids are using screens either for online schooling, recreational purposes or connecting with friends all of which involves a screen. Infact an average teen spends appprox 8 hours on a screen.
5- Be on the same page as your partner
If you want to amp up your parenting game then you must be on the same page as your partner. Especially when it comes to inculcating discipline in the house. It makes this arduous task of parenting a tad bit easier. From daily routines to ground rules, everything needs to received and set in stone for the easy and smooth functioning of a house with kids.
This is most important for the smooth running of a house. rules and expectations need to be laid down prior. If you have to work in the night then your husband can take the kids to sleep and do the bedtime routine. if he has to get up early for work you can take the kids to school. this kind of give and take and a little adjusting nature will help in running a house with kids, as smoothly as possible.
6- Right knowledge about politics and elections
This topic is a little off track but is it? Dr Marcie urged she wanted to speak on it and I am glad she did. Moving a little offtrack, In today’s digital age there is a lot of media coverage on even the most minuscule of topics. I am referring to politics. In our times we couldn’t care less about politics. We came across it once in 5 years and that was during the election times. But kids nowadays are pretty much aware of the current political scenario due to social media. whether they like it or not, politics is impacting their lives. How can we equip our children with the right knowledge about politics and elections without it sounding like propaganda or taking sides?
You don’t want your child to follow someone else blindly then he shouldnt be following you blindly too. One way to achieve this is reasoning and critical thinking. If you see you child support or have and opinion about something that is opposite to your own thought process, instead of condoning the entire behaviour/thoughts , get critical. Ask the child what are your thoughts on it? By this you will insinuate into his mind and understand things from his/he perspective too. Kids are critical and logical thinkers. We need to treat them as sadults.
Click here for a transcript of the episode
Dr. Rahat 0:06
Hi everyone, and welcome to Doctormommyspeaks parenting podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Dre hunt. Today’s episode is for all those parents who are struggling with challenging behaviours in children due to the pandemic. So let’s call this era, the COVID-19 era, because it has had such a significant impact on our lives and day to day behaviours. This era has brought changes like work from home, overuse of technology by kids, tonnes of parenting guilt from not being able to give them enough time and struggles with interpersonal relations. We will be discussing all of these challenges for parents and getting some tangible tips on how to parent in these times. But this we have with us a special guest all the way from New York. She is the author of two best selling books, love your family again and love your classroom again. For the past 20 years, she has worked with families and educators to help kids with challenging behaviours. She’s been a guest as a behaviour expert on national media, including Fox News, ABC, NBC, and many more. She’s based in New York City where she connects with teachers on her Facebook group called behaviour and beyond. And with parents to her amazing membership programme called parents doing it all you have to check it out from the preschoolers who won’t sit still to the tweens and teens who are defined and disrespectful. Her realistic action based approaches have resulted in lesser fights and happier families. Please welcome Dr. Marci beigel.
Dr. Marcie 1:53
Good morning. Good morning. Such a pleasure and honour to be here.
Dr. Rahat 1:58
Thank you so much. Dr. Marci, we are excited to have you and let’s get started.
Dr. Rahat 2:03
So, okay, we’re talking about the pandemic. And so for parents, the two biggest challenges in this pandemic have been work from home and handling kids along with that. Now, work was supposed to get easier, kids are supposed to enjoy it with no school to bother them. But sadly, neither of that happened. And the worst affected by the pandemic has been our kids. So how can we maintain a balance between working from home and handling kids? Of course without getting exhausted?
Dr. Marcie 2:35
So the number one thing that I am recommending for all parents to do is to look at all of the things that you are doing in your day, very realistic, very honestly, and decide what can you cut out, the things that we used to do a year ago, are not going to be the same things that we do now. And if we’re trying to maintain everything, it’s gonna fall apart because we’re not living in the same world. So what can you let go up? What can you clean your house every other week instead of every week? Can you have your kids help you cook as opposed to feeling like you need to do at all? Can you check your email every two hours, instead of every hour, we are those spaces that you can put down some of the requirements that you’ve created in your head that aren’t actually real in the world. So yeah, that’s more like, not trying to put too many things on our plate so that we don’t get bogged down by all of them. Yes. And so many people are trying to do what we used to do, even though we are now in a pandemic, right. So a year ago, what you were capable of accomplishing is very different than what you can accomplish right now. It’s not a more or less game. It’s not that you’re doing less now, it’s that now you have to facilitate your child’s education, you have to create structure in your home, you have to have the virtual meeting, rather than just walking down the hall and talking to somebody. And all of those things just have shifted our time commitments. Absolutely. There is the other big thing that I love having parents do right now is creating schedules for your kids, whether they are in school, and they have a school schedule for you to follow, and therefore other times of the day, but for your entire family who’s doing what when, because kids thrive in structure. And parents can really get through the day better if they know where they’re going to be when and with who?
Dr. Rahat 4:04
Absolutely I am a big advocate of schedules and routines myself and I feel my house will just fall apart if we don’t have that fixed day to day routine where it’s divided. So I’m a mom of two toddlers. Okay, a little bit of perspective there. So we have sleepy time, mealtime and playtime. It goes like that. But then this little structure has helped me so much just add to this pandemic. Yes, for sure. So even if it’s not your nature, put it in place for a week and see how that changes and makes you feel like you have some control.
Dr. Rahat 5:00
Dr. Rahat 5:03
Okay, so, parenting has changed a lot in these times. And we often complain of being short on time, workers now extend to the whole day, we might be sitting with our kids physically. But mentally, we’re still working, at some point when we see the innocent faces of our kids asking us something, and we’re dumbfounded. So that’s when we realise we’re not actually spending time with them. At the end of the day, this causes tonnes of parenting guilt. How can we deal with this?
Dr. Rahat 5:35
Yes. So parenting guilt is huge. I find that when you’re working, you feel like you should be with your kids. When you’re with your kids, you feel like you should be working, right? There’s no, there’s nowhere that you’re just like, Ah, here I am. And I don’t, I don’t have my own kids, right. So I don’t have this experience. Lots of other people’s but none of my own. So the truth is that you have to be honest about what you’re going to do when you make a plan. Is bedtime really bedtime, where you’re going to say I’m going to put my phone down, I’m not checking email, when my kid is falling asleep, I’m going to be completely present for the 30 minutes before they go to sleep till once they’re in bed, and then I can go back if there’s something else I need to do. Is dinner a time where you’re family time. Right? So taking a few minutes, perhaps right now, and getting clear on Okay, where am I going to say really is my family time? no exception? No problem. I’ll communicate that with my coworkers. I’ll communicate that with other people that might be looking for me at that time to say, from six to 8pm, I am not available, I’m with my family and get clear. So then, you know, you’ve told everyone, you’ve told your family and you can just drop into saying, Okay, I’m supposed to be here. Same with work, what are the hours that you’re really going to say I am going to be here, even if you’re interrupted by your kids, but your main focus is getting your work done. Now, that might not be the eight or 10 hour day that you had before, because there will be interruptions. Because it’s not realistic to do that anymore. You’re not going to an office and having that separation. But sitting in your home and saying, Okay, these two hours, I need some other adults, I need my co parent, I need my partner, I need a babysitter, I need the neighbour somebody else to take care of my kids, because I have to put my head down and focus on work. And during this time, it can’t be interrupted. And having those clear that clarity will allow you to put down that guilt because that’s really just a story you’re putting on yourself. The final piece of that is stop comparing yourself to what other people are doing. me as a human during this without children in my home can do different things than what you can do with children in your home. And so that comparison isn’t fair. On either side, right? There are moments I’m like, I wish there was just a kid to crawl up in bed with and watch a
Dr. Rahat 7:54
movie, or other side, you’re like, I just wish someone would leave me alone for two hours.
Dr. Rahat 8:03
You put it so well. And actually, you know, whenever I’m sitting with my kids, and there’s constantly work going on in my head, like you put it so well, that struggle is there. If we do not partition it well, there has to be some sort of division. And also, work suffers. I literally sit in front of the laptop, and there are kids running around the house. And then there is no one getting done. I have to get up 10 times either to give them something, someone has to be at our party or some other thing is happening. In the end. I didn’t finish work. I didn’t go and cook or nothing has happened only because of our petition that this is a really nice way to not divide work and get everything done.
Dr. Rahat 8:44
Yes, absolutely. And in those moments where you’re just staring at your computer screen and not getting anywhere, stop, just stop working and be like, okay, clearly my kids need some attention right now because they keep interrupting me, let me go give them attention, and then come back. Don’t pretend you’re going to get work done when you’re not because you’re just burning yourself out and making everyone around, you have a harder time than you need to decide it’s going to be zero productivity for me and do cranky kids over there. Exactly. Whereas if you’re like, Okay, I’m taking a half hour break from work again, let whoever needs to know that you’re not going to be available. Go play with your kids, like full wholeheartedly, play with your kids, and then be like, okay, now I need to get back to work and do it.
Dr. Rahat 9:26
Absolutely. So as I said, I’m a mom of two toddlers and I am a strong advocate of various parenting techniques and hacks. They’re like the secrets of grandmother’s books, except the grandmother here is a scientist and his books are the various researchers that result in numerous behavioural studies in kids. And I like to know from you, do you have any such tangible tips on how to get your kids to listen? I know it sounds cliche, but no amount of resources is going to be enough when it comes to raising a little human. Tell me Tell me something.
Dr. Rahat 10:08
Okay, I love that
Dr. Rahat 10:09
you phrase it that it’s like grandmother’s wisdom, right? Because it’s so so, but it’s coming from scientists and experts these days. Yeah, I love that. So yes, actually I do, I have what I call my three keys. And there are three different elements to getting your kids to listen, which are really how I do all of the behaviour change I do. These are the only three things I do all day long. So the first is that you have to speak with purpose. Our words are so powerful that what you say to your kids matters so much more than you think it does. If you are telling them to do something, tell them to do something. Don’t ask them. Hey, do you want to come join us for dinner? No, they’ve learned that question. They can say no do and then you’re frustrated that they’re not listening. If you’re telling them something, tell them come sit down for dinner,
Dr. Rahat 10:56
right? Just because I gave them an option that they’re going to choose the better one that they like, and I’ll be acting for them to behave. Right.
Dr. Rahat 11:04
Right. And we assume that they knew that that was a direction. Well, let’s not give our kids a space to interpret. Let’s literally tell them what we want. Because I don’t want to have to interpret what my boss tells me that ends up with all sorts of problems and kerfuffles. Same thing here, be clear with your words, if bedtime is at eight, then you need to be ready at eight for bedtime. Because your kids don’t know the difference between when you just had a few more things to get done. So it’s a 15 a bedtime? And when they want to wait till 815, what’s the difference? Why do you get to decide and not them. So that clarity of your word, if you said something, you have to mean it. Otherwise, say something different. Kind of that simple, right? In concept, not easy to put in place, though. Big difference. So the second key is that you have to put your words into action. It’s what we do, right? So that idea of bedtime is at eight o’clock at eight o’clock, you need to stand up and go over to your children and go get them to get in bed. Right? That action piece of follow through is where you stop repeating yourself over and over and over again. Hey, boys, let’s go to bed. And they’re like, No thanks. You walk over and you take their hand and you say, Okay, well, we’ll walk upstairs together, we’ll go to the bedroom together. And you take their hand and you walk with them. Rather than sitting where you are repeating and repeating and repeating and repeating and repeating until you start yelling, get an action, go show them what it looks like, go help them do it. Because eventually what they will learn from that space is that you’re going to say something, you’re then going to make sure it happens. So they’re going to start listening without you having to get up in the future. takes a little while for them to learn that, huh. But they’ll get there from where the action pieces we’re listening come from. And then the third key to change in all behaviour is celebrate, celebrate, have a good time with your kids. There’s so much correction and negativity and say no to your kids and that they didn’t do it right. Every time they don’t do it. Right. You pointed out and you talk about it. But when they do it right, what happens in most homes, kids do it right. And then you just move on to the next demand. You just move on to the next thing that’s got to change when they do it. Right. sing, dance, celebrate, be silly in some way. And it can be a three second, a five second, that song was about three seconds and it got you laughing. If you tell your kids to come to bed, and then you start dancing for three seconds, about the fact that they’re listening to you. And this is amazing. It’s much more likely they’re going to do it again. In the future. You’re gonna be like, what are you gonna do tomorrow? And that brings more joy into your family. It makes listening more fun. And it keeps everything moving in the right direction. Because now also your kids know they did the right thing. They got that positive feedback of Oh, that’s what you wanted to see. Okay, I can do that. Again. He didn’t know it before.
Dr. Rahat 14:03
Right? So all of these behaviours change. The gist of that is to make the kids enjoy the routine. So they’ll start liking it more and then they’ll start following it more. It shouldn’t be like a set of instructions that they have to do. Okay, bedtimes done now. No mealtime, no time to brush your teeth. It shouldn’t be something like one thing is done one check thing checked off the list shouldn’t be something like that. And also, about the song part. We have a potty song because he started potty training. And we know, we know that you know, potty training, okay. Yeah, you did your potty in the seat. Very good. You washed yourself on your own very well. It has been months now since they’ve learned it. But they’re so habituated to it. The moment they’ve succeeded. They look at our faces and how much ever stress troubled or exhausted we are. They expect us to be that you know, do that same dance thing. So it’s really good. It worked.
Dr. Rahat 14:56
Yes, and I love that and when it comes to potty training, so many parents do that, right? There’s this huge celebration when you go on the potty. Why don’t we do that anywhere else like that, that rhythm that works to teach your kids something? Is that rhythm that works to teach your kids anything? So take that song into other places.
Dr. Rahat 15:17
Okay, so the COVID era has bought yet another significant change. And that is overuse of technology. What worries me the most is that the use of screens is now a part of my child’s education. Kids use it either for online schooling, or relaxing or for connecting on social media. So how can we moderate the use of this technology without compromising on our child’s education?
Dr. Rahat 15:49
Yes, so this is a huge topic that I’ve been talking to lots and lots and lots of parents out. So of the frame, the question around is the different ways we’re using technology, right, we’re using it to learn and for our education, for socialisation, and for recreation, and so recognising that there are these different reasons we’re using it, it’s not just one and done, it’s not just school, and then get off, but that our kids are using it to connect because they can’t be in person is so powerful. So the first place is to talk about all of the benefits of technology and realise how blessed we are to have it. The second is how do we make sure they’re getting off, they’re making real connections there, spending time outside, all of those things are also important. The very first thing that I recommend is for parents watch their own behaviour, how much are you connected to your screen to your phone, or your kids seeing that during bedtime, you’re actually doing email or something else on their on your on technology, because they’re seeing that you are intimately connected, and then they’re going, Oh, well, that’s what screen time is. So your kids are watching what you’re doing, if you’re always on your iPhone, they’re going to start carrying around their iPad, because they want to be just like you. So one of the powerful tools is to put down your technology when you’re on it, tell your kids what you’re doing, oh, I’m just looking up directions for where we’re going next. Or I’m just letting your mom know where we’re gonna be. Or I just have to check that a client didn’t message me anything up, nope, great, and put it down so that they know what you’re doing. Because they don’t know if you’re reading the newspaper there or on social media. So telling them that. So that’s one, two is talk to your kids about what they’re doing online, how much they’re online and making sure that you’re building things and hobbies for them outside of screen time. So getting them outside, whether that’s for a family walk, whether that’s to kick a soccer ball, whether that’s to go to the park and run around doesn’t really matter as long as you are outside and fresh air and sunshine with no screens. And that can be 15 or 30 minutes a day. But having a little bit of that every day. And then the days that they don’t have school having bigger chunks of that he’s really powerful so that they have that balance. The other big thing to put down for parents is that guilt of having your kids on screen time right now. Because when school for six hours a day is screen time, and then all of their socialisation is there as well. It means they’re going to be on tech a lot. And when the pandemic is over, when socialisation can go back to being in person safely, when school is full time in person safely, then we can undo all of the addictive characteristics that your kids may have picked up from being on it so much. But know that this is an anomaly. This is a rarity. This is part of our survival in this pandemic is using technology.
Dr. Marcie 18:41
Right. So technology currently is more like a double edged sword. It’s doing good as well as bad. And it’s actually difficult. And you know, most I’ve seen parents and kids are glued to screens not even just for schools and for recreational purposes. But also for mealtimes. It’s like a constant without the iPad, the kids are not going to eat. So the end result is the whole day from the moment the child gets up and takes his breakfast, then schools and just drop the nap time the rest of the time. The kid has been on screen. I mean, the screens are off. You see zombies walking around, literally their eyes are wide lis glaring at you and their mind is numbed because they have been on screen for such a long time. Yes.
Dr. Marcie 19:25
So if that’s where your kids are with screen time and technology, then it’s really important that you make a change because we don’t want our kids addicted to it. If the minute they wake up, they’re on it. And they don’t put it down until the end of the day. That’s a problem. And so carving out time, where you say, hey, you might start with just five minutes. Okay, we’re gonna put on a dance party together. Oh, we’re going to use the technology to put on music. And then we’re going to put it down and we’re going to date and we’re going to dance Do it with your kids. But carving out times where they are interacting with actual humans, aka you is powerful and important. If your kids won’t eat during mealtime without screens, then you need to figure out a way to fade that out or to use it halfway through, right, we’re going to sit for the first five minutes of dinner eating. And then you can have your screen because using it as a reinforcer is powerful, but using it as the only way they will eat is problematic.
Dr. Marcie 20:25
This is a really good suggestion for all those parents who are struggling with kids having screens at mealtime. And also that’s a really nice way to get them away from screens. A very important point here, when once a child is on the screen, and then it’s time to go off the screen. That’s the point where the huge meltdown or the tantrum begins. It’s very difficult, but the idea of making it fun is going to defuse the tantrum in a minute. I just loved that.
Dr. Marcie 20:54
Mm hmm. Well, and so often,
Dr. Marcie 20:56
we’re telling our children to get off screen time, which is something they love to do something they don’t love, like, clean up their room or do homework. So we have to put in an interim thing that is going to be enjoyable, hey, put your iPad down and come have some ice cream with me. Right giving them something else that they like that they’re like, Okay, I’m gonna have a treat for that we have to make we have to go from apples to apples, aka something I love ate my screen to something else. I love a treat. And then from that tree, because then that ice cream is gone. And it might be two bites, it doesn’t have to be a whole Sunday, just a little bit. Then you can say, okay, ice cream, stop. Now we’re gonna go clean up that room of yours. Let’s
Dr. Marcie 21:32
Dr. Marcie 21:36
Yeah, your engagement around that is also really powerful. Your Kids love you and want to be around you whether they act like that all the time or not. So making sure that you’re having fun with them in those transition moments is so powerful.
Dr. Marcie 21:50
Okay, that was reassuring. My kids love me. I hope that’s the reality
Dr. Marcie 21:56
is that’s why they keep interrupting you. They wouldn’t want to talk to you so much if they didn’t actually love you,
Dr. Marcie 22:02
too. Okay, so parenting is teamwork. If you want to amp up your parenting game, then you must be on the same page as your partner. And especially when it comes to inculcating discipline in the house. We cannot be like I said that sleep time is eight o’clock. And the husband says, No, no, no, we can extend to 15 more minutes, let them play. That’s what’s going to leave the child confused. So it even makes our task of parenting a tad bit difficult. So how can we achieve a healthy personal relationship with our partner? So that parenting gets easier? And we’re on the same page when it comes to teaching or raising kids?
Dr. Marcie 22:44
Yes, I love this question. Because it makes everything easier in your life when all of the adults around are on the same page.
Dr. Marcie 22:52
Sorry to interrupt you, it’s not only just about having a good relationship with their partner, but also with the other elders of the house. Like if you have grandparents and grandma. Those people also need to know the rules and adhere by that. How can we make that happen?
Dr. Marcie 23:08
Yes. So sometimes, parents don’t have a conversation with the other adults unless they are in the moment of conflict, right? It is bedtime. And that’s when you and your significant other start fighting about the fact that they never put them to bed on time. And they’re really lax about it. And then bedtime happens, you put the kids to bed and finally goes down, your fight is over and you just are exhausted, and you don’t talk about it again, till the next night when there’s another fight. That pattern that only talking about the conflicts in the moment of conflict adds to problem behaviour from your kids. So you want to make sure that you are carving out time every week to have parenting meetings, to sit down with your significant other and say, what, what do we need to figure out? I think bedtimes at eight you always push it back to 815. And we’re losing our kids in that interim, and we’re fighting about it. So what are we going to do? Can you get on board with it being a Do I need to get on board with it being a 15? Where do we go? And having a conversation when it’s not heated? When you’re not in active conflict, when you’re not in trying to get something else done is really powerful. Remember, when you sit down to those conversations that you both love your children, that you want what’s best for them, it’s not about them winning or you winning or fine, it always becomes your way that you are a team on the same page trying to raise some amazing humans. And when we come from that perspective, it doesn’t feel like you guys are fighting against each other, but rather moving towards something with compromise and with intention for what’s best for your kids. Not what you want to be doing, not what’s comfortable for you.
Dr. Marcie 24:50
Right so these conflicts are not about a personal win, but how to get them to bed, how to get things done, how to get kids disciplined. That’s all You need to remember such things? Absolutely, absolutely. I
Dr. Marcie 25:03
I’ve talked to so many parents whose language is about the fight, you know, I’m fighting with them. Why? They always win that argument. And it’s like, well stop, we want your family to win, not one parent or the other, not your kids versus you, you are all on the same team. It is a win for your family. So how do we get there and come from that perspective,
Dr. Marcie 25:27
right, also, laying proper ground rules and having them and showing our children that this is what we expect a few saying ground rules go for the spouses that this is what your job is, how we are going to get things done in this house. This is going to be such a huge step in making the house functioning smoothly.
Dr. Marcie 25:47
Dr. Marcie 25:48
So we’ve spoke spoken about so many behavioural changes of parenting guilt, and being with our partner on the same page. Now let’s move on and off track. And so here it is, okay. In today’s digital age, there’s been a lot of media coverage on even the most miniscule of topics. I am referring to politics, not the best of my topics. But in our times, we couldn’t care less about politics, and we were young. And we came across it once in five years. And that was during the election times. But our kids this generation, they are pretty much aware of the current political scenario due to the social media, whether they like it or not, politics is impacting their lives. And this is also something you want to talk about. So how can we equip our children with the right knowledge about politics and elections, without it sounding like a propaganda or we’re taking sides?
Dr. Marcie 26:47
Dr. Marcie 26:49
politics is huge, especially here in the States. As we’re recording this, we are a week out from the presidential election. And our kids are aware of everything. And as you said, it’s because we are connected socially in the media in so many ways. So our kids are so amazingly knowledgeable right now, because of all of their connection through the internet, and all of the different avenues, whether they’re checking news, or just posts from friends. So as a parent, what you want to make sure you’re doing is talking to your kids about politics, as strange as uncomfortable that might be because we’ve been conditioned to not talk about politics, making sure that your kids know what you believe what you’re hoping for them to believe, but also to teach them to think critically, to look out for all of the information that’s out there, not just taking one source as fact. But how do we find the truth and sharing with them your family’s beliefs and values? Because what I’m seeing more and more is that politics is really just a combination of people’s values that are personified into the laws of our country. And so what are the things that are important to you as a family? What are the things that you want your kids to know? and stand by as you grow up? What are the things that you want to be loud about in the world versus feel really private, and having overt, consistent, ongoing conversations with your children about that will be really important, ask your kids what they know, and how they feel about that. Give them a space to share what is being taught in their friend, they have a safe and reliable face. And at the end of the day, if you don’t have the answers, go do what you think is true and trusted. Because that is going to be exactly what you want to raise your children to be: his kids who believe in amazing, wonderful things that you believe as well.
Dr. Marcie 28:40
Absolutely, as you said, the friend circle or the peer group has such a huge impact nowadays on kids the way they think and their thought process. So there are two sides to it. One is when the kid is home, and he’s being imparted with all the knowledge and the belief system that I want him to live by standby. And then when the woman is outside the house, he’s having this completely different perception that he’s seeing his friends on standby so strongly. And so what do we do about that? How do we make sure that and it’s not I’m not talking about forcing a belief system, but as you said, helping the child to think critically to make the right decision. But then when he is being bombarded with such conflicting information on all sides, how will the poor child learn and take sides?
Dr. Marcie 29:27
Dr. Marcie 29:28
so that’s where you really want to teach your child to think for themselves. You give them the information that’s important to you. And then you ask them what they think you put them in situations where having their voices honoured. So when they say, actually, Mom, I don’t agree with that. This is what I think so be curious about that. Don’t just shut them down and say, No, that’s wrong. That’s not okay. Change, say, Oh, well, why do you think that? Where did you have that? What does that feel like for you? So that it forces them to explain their ideas because I’m A big fan of you got to believe whatever you believe as long as you have reasons for it, as long as you can back it up, not because your friend says, oh, not because you read an article about it, but because it makes sense to you.
Dr. Marcie 30:11
That is amazing. I have to stop because that is mind blowing. That’s such a lovely reason to make our kids be so firm on that thing that Mom, this is not what I think and here is my reason for it. That was amazing. Marcy.
Dr. Marcie 30:27
Yeah, absolutely. And that’s the truth. Just like we don’t want our kids blindly following our friends. We don’t want our kids blindly following us either way. Teach them to think for themselves, make it okay for them to disagree with you respectfully, but disagree with you, as long as there’s a reason, get that critical thinking going for them, because that’s what’s going to make them resilient in this world, whether it’s about politics or relationships are their career, if they are thoughtful kids, if they can stand by their beliefs, that is going to take them so far. And right now with everything that’s happening in politics, it is a beautiful platform to have some of those critical thinking conversations, to teach them to be loud about what they believe in, because that is so important right now, and to speak up for what’s right.
Dr. Marcie 31:21
Absolutely. So it’s also about igniting that conversation with our child, so that we come to know what he’s thinking about those particular things where he is standing, when it comes to those topics, as you said, how you put it really well. Like, what do you think, why do you think you don’t agree to my thoughts? Or do you have better reasons for it, something like that. And it’s going to completely help the child spill the beans on whatever he thinks. And kids are so resourceful that they’re finding outlets and channels and information that I never dreamed of. So
Dr. Marcie 31:56
when I’ve said to some, some kids I’ve talked to and been like, that’s really interesting. To learn that they will pull up some scientific report and I’ll be like, Well, I didn’t know that learning something new. So take the opportunity to learn from your kids.
Dr. Marcie 32:15
Right. Absolutely. That was amazing. That was so insightful. Thank you so much. Dr. Marci, this discussion has been a treasure trove of parenting hacks and tricks, and I’m sure many parents are going to benefit from it. Wonderful. Thank
Dr. Marcie 32:31
you so much for having me Dr. Rahat . It has been such a pleasure being here with you
Dr. Marcie 32:36
guys. You can connect with Dr. Marcie on Facebook, Instagram and her website. You have to have to visit her YouTube channel for more such amazing insightful videos. Also, you can find her books about loving your family. Again, love your classroom again on Amazon. The links for which will be mentioned in the show notes below. Also, you can join her parenting membership programme for some one to one support and help on everyday parenting problems. I will link it up below. That’s it for today. Until then, happy parenting.
Dr. Marcie 33:19
That’s it for today. Do subscribe to my podcast so you will be notified each time a new episode is online. You can find us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as Doctormommyspeaks. Don’t forget to like and review our podcast wherever you listen. It will help others to find this podcast. And you can visit our website doctormommyspeaks.com forward slash podcasts for all our show notes and any resources mentioned by me or my guests. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter. Until then, happy parenting
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