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Episode 64

Most parenting approaches are asking the wrong question

January 23, 2022

[Kyle]: Today we're going to ask a new question. You know, all the other parenting approaches, I want to talk to you about how to get your kids to do stuff and we're going to ask a new question that I think will be much more helpful and healthy for your family. 


[Kyle]: Hello, and welcome to episode 64 of The Art of Raising Humans. I’m Kyle.


[Sara]: And I’m Sara.


[Kyle]: And I hope your 2023 is off to a great start.


[Kyle]: That'd be great, wouldn't it?


[Kyle]: So, good, I hope everything's going great in 2023. You should be hearing this sometime at the end of January. Sara and I have some really exciting opportunities coming up soon, we hope to be-- Once we get some video capability going up, which we have an office now, we're still recording this in the closet, you know?
 

[Kyle]: So, for those you don't know--
 

[Sara]: Haven’t gotten there yet.
 

[Kyle]: No, we're in a master closet, we're looking at all our clothes. Some of them are hung up, some are not. I think more of mine aren't.
 

[Sara]: Mine are all hung up, thank you.
 

[Kyle]: Okay. So, I think more of yours are hung up than mine and yeah, we're just looking at clothes as we talk, but we do have a space near the office, that we're going to be recording hopefully soon in the near future with some video capability. It'd be real fun to see-- So you can see us on YouTube and also, see our interactions. It could be much more of a connection for us and the listeners, okay? So, what we wanted to do in 2023, is I really wanted to take the first several podcasts, Sara, and us to kind of touch upon some fundamental truths that we buy into about parenting.
 

[Sara]: Yeah, yeah, I love that. Like kind of-- Because it’s the beginning of the year and you’re sort of re-- You know, you’re thinking about your year, some people set goals at this time and you're starting the year with some intentionality and parenting is one of those roles and so, you're thinking “all right, where do I want-- What mindset do I want to have when approaching my kids and going forward this year?”.
 

[Kyle]: Yes. So, I wanna-- I think when you start with those big truths and then grow whatever techniques you're going to use, whatever-- If they grow from there, then they're going to be healthier, they're going to be more sustainable, they're going to be more helpful, you know? To your kids.
 

[Sara]: Well, and at least for me, when I was kind of thinking a little differently than how I had been thinking about children and how to help them grow up and be, you know, raise these humans, there are times you question or you think “okay, wait, is this all right?” and that foundation has been really helpful to go back, to go “okay, this is what I believe, this is what I think, this is what I understand”. Because it is-- You know, parenting is a hard thing and you don't always have complete certainty and moments come up or your kid does something and you think “oh no, I’m failing or I’m messing this up” or you know, “what's going on here?” and just having that strong foundation to come back to and then, go back out from, it has been very helpful to me.
 

[Sara]: Especially since it's new from where I was.
 

[Kyle]: Yeah. Well, it was a while a long time, where you and I were working with kids, me and the school system and you at an agency helping families. There's-- Where we worked with a lot of kids that we still were working from an old set of ways of seeing the world and--
 

[Sara]: Yeah, yeah, this has been a transition over time for us.
 

[Kyle]: Yes, and it was an old set of truths that when I look back, those things we believed actually-- Lots of them weren't actually true, you know? And one of those concepts being that I think is foundational, is I think you and I would agree that we believe that everybody has free will.
 

[Kyle]: Right? So, for everyone listening, that is a foundational truth that you and I are coming from. So, what does having free will mean?
 

[Sara]: Well, I mean, sure, you can lock someone away on a little pin or you know, society we've done that for what? For-- We have thousands of years of trying to do that, but ultimately, the person has choices and they're a whole being, a whole person and they have value and choices.
 

[Kyle]: Yeah. Do you remember in our master's program we read a book called “Man's Search for Meaning” by Victor Frankl.
 

[Kyle]: And Victor Frankl was a Jewish person who was put in the one of the concentrations camps in the holocaust.
 

[Sara]: Concentration camps. That’s what I was thinking of locking someone away.
 

[Kyle]: Yeah, I figured it. Yeah, and I’m thinking Victor Frankl talked about how he was still free even in there.
 

[Sara]: Yeah, he was-- Even though he was stripped of everything, right? You would think that's not a free person.
 

[Kyle]: Uh huh, and he noticed that as soon as people gave up that idea that they were free, as soon as they bought into that they were no longer free, that the Nazis had-- They would die not much longer, because they found no meaning. They found like life was meaningless and purposeless, because they had no self-determination, they had no, you know, free will to change their circumstances, right?
 

[Kyle]: But he felt like in his mind, he could always be free.
 

[Sara]: Yes, yeah, and there's lots of good movies kind of with that same thing.
 

[Sara]: Where you see people thriving in situations where from the external world, a lot of their freedom has been, you know, shut down, but they have this freedom inside and those are the people who live through and survive those really, really horrible conditions.
 

[Kyle]: So, the weird thing is we loved that book and we love those movies, but I never applied it to kids, you know? I think because they're smaller and they're weaker than me. So, there's a sense of “I can make them do stuff. I can like, pick them up and move them if I need to”.
 

[Sara]: [Unintelligible] it even almost looks like your job.
 

[Sara]: I mean, you have this little baby, they're born and now it's “here's your job, go make them into something”.
 

[Sara]: And that's where you see a lot of parents, you know, we base a lot of our identity or success rate on how our children are doing.
 

[Sara]: Sometimes even though you have the straight A kid, they're actually on an internal world maybe not doing so well, but from the outside, everyone's like “oh, pat you on the back, what a good parent you are, your kids making straight A's”.
 

[Kyle]: Yeah, and so, even though we would say we believe in the free will, for some reason we look at the kid, like you're saying, we thought it was our job to get them to go to sleep.
 

[Kyle]: To get them to eat their food, to get them to be kind.
 

[Kyle]: All these things, right? To get them to say they're sorry.
 

[Sara]: Do well in school, yeah. Be kind, have friends.
 

[Kyle]: I thought it was my job to get them to be good at soccer, you know? Like all these things, I had to get them to be good at these things, right? And almost implied in that thought is, well, they wouldn't be unless I did get them to do it, right?
 

[Sara]: Yeah, right. Well, yeah, it doesn't-- It reminds me of that puppet master, right? So, you'd better go be the right puppet master for your kid and go, you know, move all the little things and make them move and do and be who you say they should be.
 

[Kyle]: Well, and then I think what's even tricky about is, if I don't get them to do it, then I’m failing, right?
 

[Kyle]: And I actually feel powerful and capable as a parent when I can get them to do stuff and when I can't, that feels gross. I feel like I’m failing, I feel like I’m weak, I’m incompetent.
 

[Sara]: The kid who's having that tantrum in the grocery store and all the judgmental eyes that the parent like…
 

[Kyle]: Yeah, “get your kid under control!”
 

[Sara]: “Oh my goodness, what a lousy parent you are, your three-year-old's having a tantrum”.
 

[Kyle]: Yes. Your face is hilarious when you do that. Oh my god, it’s so good. But the idea is like “get your kid under control for goodness’ sake!”, right? And so, there is that. So, you and I even though we had our master's degrees, we've been working with kids, I think that was still in our head. It was like “oh, how does this parent get the kid to do that?”, right? So, the parent doesn't want the kid to be on the phone so much, how do they get them to do that? Right? And what I found, Sara, is then it almost seems like you can justify almost anything you do to that kid, as long as the outcome is you've got them to do.
 

[Sara]: It worked.
 

[Kyle]: Yeah. I mean, I would have parents say “well, I tried to use your other techniques to try to get him to do his homework and he wouldn't do it until I slapped him back the head, and then when I did it, he got his work done”.
 

[Kyle]: And it was like the parents is like “that works”.
 

[Sara]: Well, and then you even have other parents come up and going “okay. Hey, your kid does this, how did you get them to do that?”.
 

[Sara]: And they'll hand out their “well, this is what I had to do and this is what I did” and you pass around those.
 

[Kyle]: Well, even going back to our last podcast or the one on consequence like, that's a big question. A lot of parents who come to us and they switch their parenting, one of the first questions other parents ask is “what are the consequences they recommend?”. So, there's some way there's this magical thing, this magical consequence you're going to do or a magical way you're going to act, that's going to get them to do it, right?
 

[Kyle]: So, I hope everyone whose hearing can get this-- Understand this idea.
 

[Sara]: Do you identify with that? Is that how-- You know, I feel like that's pretty normal.
 

[Kyle]: And can understand the idea of that space is just unhealthy, and what I mean by that space, is just that sense, you know? I mean, one of the biggest “uh huh” moments for me, you talked about one you had last podcast, but was when Dr. Becky Bailey from Conscious Discipline, when I was at her conference learning this and she was talking about how almost every parenting approach is asking one question: “how do I get my kid to do what I want them to do?”, you know?
 

[Kyle]: And so, they're all coming up with books, they're doing conferences.
 

[Sara]: Videos, courses, training, so many-- And many we've attended.
 

[Kyle]: Yes, and I hope we don't disappoint people. Hope we don't disappoint people when we do these upcoming conferences at these churches and schools, but we're not trying to teach you how to get them to do anything. Because it really isn't about getting them to do something, because even if that's “successful” or it works, it's not working, because it's not understanding the fundamental truth that you can't get your kid to do anything, okay? That everything your kid does is a choice that kid is making to do.
 

[Sara]: And you actually want it to be their choice!
 

[Sara]: Because if people are coerced or managed into doing something, that won't last long term. If it comes from something inside of them, that's sustainable.
 

[Kyle]: Completely, and then also I found when you're trying to get them do stuff, Sara, that definitely leads into more power struggles with your kid. Because the kid doesn't think you're supporting them, the kid thinks you're trying to make them do something, right?
 

[Sara]: Yeah. “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know what you want me to do”.
 

[Kyle]: Some kids are very amiable and they're like “cool, make me do it, get me to do it” and what's sad about that kid is lots of those kids grow up and they're like “who's gonna get me to do it now? I need someone else to get me to do it”, right? Then there’s the--
 

[Sara]: Or they-- And they even find people and then, they really don't live their life. They even date people or in they’re in constant relationships with people, who are just going to manage their lives for them.
 

[Kyle]: Yes, and get them to do that too.
 

[Sara]: And we all kind of know those adults and we think “oh, that's [Unintelligible]”.
 

[Kyle]: I know there are wives or husbands listening to this podcast now, who they've thought at times in their marriage, that their spouse is just another child. Another child they have to get them to do something, right? And that's a common thing where the parents might as well joke. A mother will come in and talk about how she's got three sons, when really, she only has two sons, but she's referring to the husband, because she's got to get him to go out and you know, spend time with the kids or again-- So, it very much is this like babying or this, you know, parent-- You know, like I’m having to parent this other adult, right?
 

[Kyle]: It's because I’ve bought into this idea that I actually can and I think, Sara, what was tricky for me when I first heard it, it was powerful, was at times I believe I have gotten people to do stuff, you know? With my force of will or I’ve been intimidating enough, you know?
 

[Sara]: Yeah, especially those people with strong personalities, they’re like “this does work”.
 

[Kyle]: Yes. I’m thinking in our American culture, you know? I remember one time when I went overseas to Thailand. I was over there for two months on a missions trip and when I came back from that trip, when we got into California, Los Angeles, it was just such a different atmosphere, because all these people were yelling at the airport and you could see-- I didn't know this back then, but everybody was trying to get everybody else to do stuff, right? So, they were trying to get the people at the airline to change their flight or-- It was a lot at schools, as school counselor you'd have parents who wanted changes and they were going to get the principal to change that, you know? So, even our culture, we think we are doing that. We think “if I just get mad enough, yell enough, don’t intimidate and threaten enough, I won't make change happen”.
 

[Kyle]: Right. So, then we start to believe that “oh, it is a fundamental truth, you have to get people to do stuff”. But if we all believe-- Anyone who's listening, if you believe in free will, which Sara and I do, then that's not something we can do, right? So, when it comes to raising kids who understand that they are free, I mean, imagine this, listeners. If you could by the time they're 18, if they understood how to use that freedom in a healthy way, in a way that brought about more goodness to the world, in a way in which that helped people instead of hurt them, we'd have a really great world, right?
 

[Sara]: Yeah, if they owned their freedom and actually had their teenage years, especially were spent learning about their free-- Their, you know, their freedom.
 

[Kyle]: The power that they have, yeah.
 

[Sara]: Yeah, their choices, what happens and just by the time they launch out into the world, they would feel confident and have the skills to manage it.
 

[Sara]: You know, still learning, but just coming from a very different place than it's all been managed for them and “you're free!”.
 

[Kyle]: Well, sometimes I find lots of these kids buy into the only power they have, the only way they can use their freedom is to do bad things. Because up until then, everything they were “made to do” or the parents got them to do, was the good stuff the parents want them to do. So, the only way to actually do their own thing-- I know we've talked about-- We may do a whole podcast on Matilda, but in the thing they're like, they think in order to be free, they have to be naughty, you know? And you don't want your kids thinking that, you want them to know that they are just as free to hug their brother or sister as they are to hit them, you know?
 

[Kyle]: And you want to raise kids who inevitably choose to hug them, more than they do hit them, you know?
 

[Sara]: Yeah, and not because they were told to.
 

[Kyle]: Yeah, you want kids who inevitably choose to apologize and repair when they've hurt or broken a relationship than kids who were made to, who resent it, who-- You know, you've all been there when you made your “major kid”, you know, apologize. Then there's like “did they really mean it? Were they really sincere enough?”
 

[Sara]: Well, and think about when you were a kid and “oh, you know, say sorry, give each other a hug” or if you were ever in that situation as a kid, I mean, you know, how much-- What did you feel inside? Go back to those memories and just think “huh…”
 

[Kyle]: You know, I remember-- Now that you're saying this, I remember when my dad used to spank us, my brother told me about-- Like when I was 11 or 12, my brother figured out this cool little trick that when my dad was trying to make us feel bad for what we had done, whatever he deemed wrong, just put my wallet in my back pocket and think of something funny and like, the stupidest things would happen. Like, sometimes I would start laughing as he spanked me, because I would be thinking of something funny and then I would get spanked more because I thought it was funny, you know? And it was like this whole thing of “you don't feel bad enough”, you know?
 

[Kyle]: “I’m gonna get you to feel bad by telling you what you did was bad, by treating you badly and then, eventually you're going to become good”. All these things, right? And so--
 

[Sara]: Feel bad enough about yourself that you'll become a good person.
 

[Kyle]: And I would say that's the wrong-- Not only is the question “how do I get my child to do blah, blah blah”, but the big question is “how do I get my child to grow up and be a good person?”.
 

[Kyle]: You can't do that, right? You can't get them to do that. So, inevitably you want your kid to choose.
 

[Sara]: You're just not that powerful, you don't have that much control.
 

[Sara]: Sorry, break it to us all.
 

[Kyle]: So, I loved it where-- I want the listeners to kind of think about this, this was the really-- Is Becky Bailey talks about how that's the question almost all parenting approaches are trying to answer, we're trying to answer a different question. So, anytime people ask us questions about how to handle a certain behavior, what to do with their kid in this situation, is “I’m going back to this question”. Instead of “how do I get my kid to do X, Y and Z?”, it's “how do I help my child be more likely to choose X, Y and Z?”. So, take a moment and let that sit.
 

[Kyle]: Instead of getting your kid to do something, you're helping your child to choose this outcome, right? So, you're coming alongside them, you're supporting them, you're hand in hand creating a different outcome and inevitably, who gets the credit for it? They do.
 

[Kyle]: Because they chose it. Who gets to feel that internal-- This intrinsic reward that comes through-- Like, instead of making the kid go mow the lawn, when you help the kid choose to do it and when the kid does it, the kid gets to go “that felt good, I’m glad I got to help”, you know?
 

[Sara]: Yeah, and wow, that's so different than “go mow the lawn or you can't-- You're grounded until you mow the lawn”.
 

[Kyle]: Yes, completely different. We’ve all been there.
 

[Sara]: Something like that. The kids are like “fine, I got it done” or they go out and mow the lawn and then they get that. You know, we've all been there where it's like “oh, I just did that. Look at that, I chose it”.
 

[Kyle]: Yeah, it feels completely different. I don't remember how many times my mom would say “hey, you know, would you do this? Because it would mean a lot to me because I really want it done” and when I did those things, it felt good. “Hey mom, I got that done for you”, you know? But if my mom or dad said “you get that done now or else”, the whole time you're like “yeah…” you’d be like grumbling and griping and like “God, I wanted to hang out my friends, this is so dumb!” and the whole time you're not thinking about how helpful it is to them, you're just thinking like “God, I wish I had control of my own life! I can't wait to get out of here and become an adult!”.
 

[Kyle]: You know? And so, I feel like it causes this constant turmoil on the kid, where the kid wants to grow up and be an adult, so they can “be free”, even though they're already free. But they're also scared to death to grow up and be an adult, because then they're gonna be free and they know no one's gonna be able to guide them to make good choices, you know? And so, that's the conundrum the kid has. So, when you're asking this different question, just inherent in the question. If you and your spouse were to sit down and say “hey, how do we help Alex be more likely to choose X, Y and Z?”, it starts you out in a better part of your brain, a part of your brain that's looking for solutions. It's about-- It’s focused on teaching; it's focused on learning and it's focused on guiding.
 

[Sara]: And it’s creative, you're actually able to see a lot more options from that part of your brain. You'll come up with things that you wouldn't otherwise come up with to support your child.
 

[Kyle]: Yeah, you're going to be more curious, you know? You're going to ask curious questions and you're not focused on trying to stop them, you're focused on trying to help them, you know?
 

[Sara]: It’s the place in our brain when we're in resistance, you know? “I’ve got to push against my child” versus “let's head somewhere”. It just feels very different, your brain engages that situation different. A situation of “I gotta shove this” versus “let's go here” works differently and in relationships, it's going to work differently with your child to say “let's go here” versus “let me push you out this direction”.
 

[Kyle]: I’m curious. I was thinking, Sara, I wonder if listeners maybe doing it with their kids initially is too scary, you know? Maybe letting go of this idea of “how do we get our kids to do--" is hard to do, it might be too scary. Maybe they could start initially, I think it'd be interesting because I know I think I did this with you, it started noticing “how do I think about things in our marriage?”. When I get upset at you or you're doing things I don't like, do I think to myself “how do I get Sara to do this other thing?”. I think sometimes I did. “How do I get--?” I need to have a serious talk with her, you know? Or “I’m going to tell how much I dislike that and I’m going to say it in a really rough way” and I hope that will make Sara then not want to do that anymore, right?
 

[Kyle]: Instead of saying “how do I help Sara be more likely to choose this other outcome?”, I feel like I’m going to come at you less upset, less mean. I’m going to come at you like we're partners in this, you know? I’m coming at the belief that you care about what I want, you know? Instead of I need to make you care about what I want, you know?
 

[Sara]: Yeah, yeah, you honestly probably betting on the relationship asking me to do it or you'd come and say “hey, this mean a lot to me, could you do this and this?” and then also, you'd be open to me saying “oh, I just don't do it because of this and this” and then we could get to that place together.
 

[Kyle]: Yeah, yeah. So, I’m curious if you as a listener, how do you think of that question in regards to your marriage or your friendships? Is it only with your kids that you think you can get them to do stuff or make them do things or think that's the goal? In those other relationships, are you doing that too? Or do you not ask that same question? I mean, do you assume you can't-- That your friend has free will or that your spouse has free will, so you've got to be a little more creative? You know, you got to be more curious, right? I loved how you said that, like when I’m thinking about how to motivate or you know, change something between us, I’ve got to be a little more creative on how I approach it. I got to be more intentional, I can't just fly off the handle and think that's going to help, right?
 

[Kyle]: And same with friends, when I have flown off the handle with friends, it didn't cause any resolution to come about, you know? And at best, here's how-- At best if change happens, like let's say I did-- Let's say I got mad at Sara and I got really upset at you and then you did change it, I’m taking responsibility for that change, you know? You're just doing it so I won't get mad.
 

[Sara]: I know, yeah, exactly. I was gonna say it's different, I’m not really like I’m choosing it, but I’m kind of being coerced into it, that just feels different. I’m not really gonna own that choice. Same thing, you know-- I mean, maybe if you're wanting to try something like this with your kid, pick something smaller.
 

[Sara]: Pick something where you're okay with how that goes, you know? Not some big ticket item, you know? But if it's something like, cleaning their room or making their bed or something, talk about it. Let them kind of choose a bit-- You need to be in a space where you're going to be okay with the direction that they go.
 

[Kyle]: Well, let's use the cleaning the room thing, that's a good one. So, with our oldest at times, cleaning the room has been difficult, right? So, when I looked at this question--
 

[Sara]: She doesn’t love it.
 

[Kyle]: So, when I-- We think it's important and we think it's important for her and we want her not to do it for us, but to do it because it

does feel good inside her, right?
 

[Sara]: Right. Well, and the life skill of taking care of your space.
 

[Kyle]: Yes, totally, it's important, it's important. So, that's an expectation we have, that our kids will take care of their rooms, right? And so, one way we did that, to say “how could I help her be more likely to choose it?”, is we sat down and talked about it and she said it's overwhelming when things build up over time and I “Oh, that is true”.
 

[Sara]: Right. I loved that conversation, because we actually got to hear what was-- What the barriers were to her accomplishing that goal.
 

[Kyle]: Yes, she would see it and looked like a gigantic mountain, it wasn't just like put some clothes--
 

[Sara]: And honestly, I would go in and think “this isn't bad, it can be done in 10 minutes”.
 

[Kyle]: I know, I know, but to her it was gigantic, so she--
 

[Sara]: Yeah, but to know that difference. I thought I was asking a 10-minute job, she thought “this is impossible”.
 

[Kyle]: Yes. So, we asked her, we said “do you think if daily we just were intentional for the next 30 days or so, to check with you on your room and to help you do that and we just put things away? So, we'll do a big clean this weekend and then we'll put it on the calendar. Every night at what time?” and we agreed of eight o'clock. Eight o'clock we'll put it on there, she--
 

[Sara]: She created a lot of that, she created an alert for herself.
 

[Kyle]: Yeah, to do that and then she then was saying like “hey, come up to my room now, I want you to see it”.
 

[Kyle]: So, she was-- It was really cool to see her get excited about it and then recently, we had to erase that because she's been doing so great at, but then you could see the room was getting all messy again, right? The holidays kind of caused--
 

[Sara]: Right, there was some extra stuff going on.
 

[Kyle]: So, then I reminded her and she quickly was like “yeah, let's go back to that alarm thing, let's do that again. Let's do that every night” and then it's been fun to see her doing that again, where she's telling me “Come up and see my room”; “it looks clean, yeah”.
 

[Sara]: And she's actually doing it with a lot less support than she used to and you can see her feelings so good about it for herself.
 

[Kyle]: Would you remember when she was even really little when we would get mad about it? She got really good at hiding it, you know? Remember she would just stuff crap-- And of course, everybody listening, we've all done that.
 

[Kyle]: We've all hidden stuff when our parents are gonna go--
 

[Sara]: She was really good at it.
 

[Kyle]: Yes, and so, we'd be like-- I would go looking around “oh my gosh! What is that under your bed!?” and it'd be all these clothes and it normally would happen because she'd be like “I have no clothes to wear” and Id’ be like “what!? Where are your clothes?” and so, that that's a situation where we were trying to get her to clean her room and then we insisted “how can we help her be more likely to choose it?”, okay? So, this works for the little things like that, to the big things. When it comes to technology, when it comes to all that stuff. So, I would just love for you as a parent to stop for a minute and think about this, that what you're wanting to do is you're wanting them to learn the skill on how to do that thing you're asking them to do. So, when you ask this question, it teaches your kid a skill that's going to help them the rest of their lives and even just asking that question is giving them a skill. Is rather than them trying to like get themselves to do stuff. So, even in their own head-- I know we do this as adults too, we're like “I’m gonna beat myself up. I gotta yell at myself. I gotta shame myself to where I finally go exercise regularly or I finally eat better”. I know lots of you listening are dealing with that. Is we want to give a different voice to our kids in their head and that voice is rather than them trying to get themselves to do something, they start asking questions like “how can I help myself be more likely to make that better choice?”.
 

[Kyle]: And that's really the gift overall we want to hand to our kids.
 

[Sara]: Yeah, yeah. If I want to create an exercise and this is what I’m going to do, then I could be like “Ugh! I’m terrible. Oh, I didn't-- I slept in again” and yeah.
 

[Kyle]: Yeah, “why am I such an idiot? I’m so lazy! I’m so lazy, why am I not motivated enough? My other friend he's so disciplined I stink at this”. Yeah.
 

[Sara]: Versus “oh, I’m gonna ask my friend to go with me. If I know they're gonna meet me every morning, I’ll be excited to do that” or you know, we come up with ways to get ourselves into a different space mentally and then be like “okay, now I want to choose this”.
 

[Kyle]: Yeah. So, we want to hit upon this fundamental truth, start parenting from the idea that you have free will and so do your kids and so, from that free will, let's start asking questions that actually help grow that truth within our family, which is we're not getting people to do anything, okay? I’m not getting my wife to do anything, I’m not getting my kids do anything, instead I’m going to help and support you to be able to choose that thing that I’m wanting you to choose, okay? And so, this starts as young as one years old, you know? And there's all types of ways kids are expressing their choice and all types of ways you can talk to them and think of this, but just want you to really just notice that. What question are you asking yourself? Is it different in your marriage? Is it different in your friendships? And then try it in these little ways that we pointed out.
 

[Sara]: Yeah, I think it just coming from that mindset, if you just make the shift mentally of “I’m not getting them to--”. You know, if you just get away from those things, you'll approach them just naturally with a different energy, a different facial expression, all of that. They'll just be-- And they will feel that in the relationship and you'll be able to go together--
 

[Kyle]: I was thinking easy step parents could do is just even start with “how do I help myself be more likely to choose to be this parent I want to be?”, you know? That could be one too, right? “How do I help myself be that?”. Well, how do you? You buy a book or you listen to this podcast, because it's going to help you a lot.
 

[Sara]: Yeah, the little notes on the wall that you read every day or--
 

[Kyle]: Yeah, all that kind of stuff, you know? Reach out for help, you could always reach out to us if you needed help; all that kind stuff. So, how could you help yourself be that parent you want to be?
 

[Kyle]: So, I hope this was a question to help kind of-- I hope these last four-- You know, in particular have been really helpful in kind of grounding you to what you want 2023 to look like and the kind of parent you want to be going into this year and please share this, comment on it. Definitely put your five-star reviews; we love all that stuff. Let us know if there's other topics you want us discuss and hope your new year is going well.
 

[Sara]: Thanks for listening.

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