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210: The power of learning in community
21st April 2024 • Your Parenting Mojo - Respectful, research-based parenting ideas to help kids thrive • Jen Lumanlan
00:00:00 01:11:22

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Do you have a core group of parent friends who are always there for you? Friends who might not be 100% aligned with your parenting philosophy, but they're close enough that you know that when they do offer suggestions you would at least consider doing them?   And on the days when you just want to just vent and not hear any advice at all, you know that it'll be totally fine for you to vent. They won't take offense and they'll just empathize and reassure you that you aren't a terrible parent; you're a great parent having a difficult day - because they've seen you on your good days as well.   In this episode I'll introduce you to SIX parents who have just this kind of relationship. Katherine, Rachel, Beth, Peju, and Kati live in the eastern United States and Jody is Australia, and they meet once a week on Zoom for 40 minutes, and each of them talks for just five minutes...and in that time, they've become incredibly close friends. The relationships they have with each other are among the deepest and most profound ones in their lives.   If you need a supportive community like this in your life then I'd love to see you in the Parenting Membership, which is where Katherine, Rachel, Beth, Peju, Kati, and Jody met.   Join the waitlist and get notified when doors reopen in May 2025. Click the image below to learn more.  

Jump to Highlights

01:43 Introducing today’s episode 03:19 The Parenting Membership features ACTion groups that meet weekly, offering valuable support and insights into effective parenting strategies. 04:50 The ACTion Group is about parents coming together weekly to share their parenting progress, challenges, and goals in a supportive and accountable environment. 19:21 The ACTion Group's collaborative problem-solving and support for parent Rachel's challenge with her son were showcased, emphasizing a collective effort in addressing parenting difficulties. 26:54 The ACTion Group supports Beth in addressing her holiday break challenge and need for rest, fostering solutions and self-awareness. 33:13 The ACTion Group helps Peju integrate changes by realizing the importance of apologizing to her son and holding herself accountable to her family values. 39:40 The Action Group explored Jody's challenges with his parents, highlighting the shift towards acceptance instead of forgiveness, leading to a sense of relief and reduced emotional reactivity for him. 47:11 The group shared how the ACTion group has positively impacted their parenting journey through accountability, celebration, and community support. They emphasized the non-judgmental environment, learning from each other's experiences, and the value of consistent participation in personal growth. 01:06:59 Invitation to join the Parenting Membership  

Transcripts

Adrian:

Hi, I'm Adrian in suburban Chicagoland and this is Your Parenting Mojo with Jen Lumanlan. Jen is working on a series of episodes based on the challenges you are having with your child. From tooth brushing to sibling fighting, to the endless resistance to whatever you ask, Jen will look across all the evidence from thousands of scientific papers across a whole range of topics related to parenting and child development, to help you see solutions to the issue you're facing that hadn't seen possible before. If you'd like a personalized answer to your challenge, just make a video if possible, or an audio clip if not, that's less than one minute long that describes what's happening. And email it to support@YourParentingMojo.com and listen out for your episode soon.

Kati:

This ACTion Group is like the magic sauce, that five minutes of bringing intention to your parenting, to even have the reflective thought of like what am I working towards? What am I willing to commit to? What's the next smallest step that I could take? That is the magic sauce because intellectually we can read all the things. We can listen to all the modules. We can listen read all the books or the podcast, but it's it's where the your intuition, your mind and your body come together to actually experientially put it into practice. And each and every part of this ACTion group is a mirror for myself, and I also get to mirror back things to them. And that is is the gift.

Jen Lumanlan:

Hello, and welcome to the Your Parenting Mojo podcast. Do you have a small group of parent friends who are there for you, no matter what these people would hear you and hold you in your lowest moments when nothing seems to be going right? And wouldn't judge you and would instead reflect back to you exactly the version of yourself that you like to see, in your best moments as a parent? These friends would offer insights into the struggles you're facing. And while they wouldn't parent exactly the same way that you do, they're aligned enough that their suggestions are something you would at least consider doing. And they only offer you advice if you say you want it. I wouldn't be offended if you said, I just want to vent today. And you wouldn't feel like a burden to them because you would know that another day things will be going better for you and another parent will be having a hard day. And you'll be there to hold them just as they held you. And why does it matter if other parents understand us? Well, when we see ourselves reflected back by other people who care, we access a better version of ourselves. We realize that we can cope with things that previously seemed so shameful that we could never admit them. When others perceive us as the parent that we wished we could be, it helps us to actually be that parent more of the time. Today, I'm going to introduce you to not just one amazing parent, not even two of them, but six of them. And they have exactly the kind of relationship that I just described. And you're going to hear exactly how it works. So here's what's gonna happen.

Jen Lumanlan:

So in the Parenting Membership, we have what are called ACTion groups, and they meet together every week for 40 minutes. And a few months ago, one group kindly agreed to let me record one of their regular sessions. Later, Katherine told me afterwards that this meeting felt fairly typical to her. So it's almost like will be a fly on the wall. And I watched the recording of this session. And then a week later, the group let me crash their regular meeting. It was at seven o'clock in the morning. So I was just about awake. And we discussed what I'd heard on the recording and what it's like for each of them to be held in this way in this particular community. We'll start off by hearing it from the second call recording where I joined the group to chat with them. And I've edited the footage of the second call to intersperse sections from the first call, so you can hear how the initial discussion went. And then we talk about what we heard. If you're listening to this as a podcast episode, we will insert this music into the background whenever you're hearing the first call when I wasn't present, to help you keep track.

Jen Lumanlan:

If you don't hear that music, you will know that I'm there talking with the participants. If you're watching on YouTube, obviously it's gonna be more obvious because I'll either be on the screen or I won't. So don't worry if it sounds complicated, we will get the hang of it as we go. All right. So here we go.

Jen Lumanlan:

So can we begin by one of you explaining to us what an ACTion group is? So what do you do? When do you do it? Where are you all located?

Jody:

The ACTion Group is oh actually stands for Accountability already and Team and we gather once a week for 40 minutes about, and there's currently six of us in our group. And we have about five minutes per person to talk about what our previous steps was for last week, whether we managed to achieve that we did it, what is our, what's our week been like, and what is our next step for the next week. And because there are six people in a group, time is a factor. So we try and keep about five minutes per person. Sometimes we extend over a little bit in and we can always come back to that in Circle to follow up. Usually, let's say before that, I think apart from Rachel and myself, everyone is on the on Eastern, on Eastern time in the US. I think Rachel's on Central. Is that right? And I'm in Western Australia. So it's like 12 hours. Difference. Yeah.

Jen Lumanlan:

Cool. Yeah, I think that's something that a lot of parents wonder when they're thinking about joining something like their membership, where they think well, are people going to be in my timezone? How am I going to connect with people who are actually available when I am. And what we found is that it really doesn't matter that people are in your timezone, because if they were available, when you're available, they can be anywhere, like anywhere they like, so. So Jody, you mentioned next steps, what's the next step?

Jody:

Well mixed up in our, like, achieve what we want to achieve in our parenting journey. So what we want to do, how we want to how we want to show up for kids a small step so that we know that we're progressing in the right direction. And even if we don't make that step, that's okay. At least we have the intention of moving forward. And, and we can keep, we can change the step we maybe one step is would be I want to rest for this week, because I had a really tough couple of weeks, I just want to rest and meet my needs. And that could be an extra step.

Jen Lumanlan:

Okay. And and then you check in with the group in the next meeting and see if you were able to do it. What happens if you didn't do it? Is that gonna be trouble?

Jody:

No, not really. I think everyone is really understanding everyone is very similar situations. If we don't make a step, we don't achieve what we set out to achieve. We don't get shamed. We don't we don't feel bad. We just we own it. And this life life patterns, and we move on.

Jen Lumanlan:

Yeah. Okay. Awesome. Thank you. And so I'm imagining, you know, I'm a parent who's new to this, I have big problems. Five minutes, like five minutes, how could five minutes possibly help me? What would any of you say to that?

Rachel:

I think it's the layers of it. So it is five minutes each week. But because it builds from week to week, it adds a consistency. And I feel really known by the group that maybe one week I talk about my my child's struggle to share. And then the next week I talk about my my child eating nutritious food, but it just builds up over the six months, I feel the group members have a really complete picture of of myself and where I am and my goals.

Katherine:

Yeah, I would also say that even if each specific meeting is "only five minutes," one, I think many of us have lived life stages where it's like, do you how often do you really get five minutes where there are this many people truly intently listening to what you have to say and offering support? Like it is actually kind of rare in some life stages and just life situations or whatever else is there is that. The other thing is that it may be five minutes of chatting but that anchor helps me think about it through the whole rest of the week, as well. You know, anything that feedback from other members, or just just knowing that it's coming up next. And like, oh, wait, right, I had this intention. I was gonna do something about it. Like just a very benevolent version of a panopticon, perhaps I've just like knowing that there are folks that are rooting for me, and I don't want to let them down either, but in a helpful way, not in a oh, yet another obligation kind of way.

Jen Lumanlan:

Yeah. And I have one more follow up question. There's so many more things I could ask. Katherine really owns her non-expert status, even though obviously she knows a lot. And I think a lot of parents think well, what would I actually get out of being in a group where the person who's leading the group is just kind of floundering along like I am, right? I need an expert to tell me what to do here. I'm curious about anyone who's not Katherine. Can you say what it's like to be supported in this by a you know, self-acknowledged and non-expert who who does obviously still know a lot? Does it matter? Peju?

Peju:

I think that for me, I find that when I present a problem, I have an opportunity to practice my needs my wants. And to go through the process of knowing I'm not gonna be judged how to get through a problem solving scenario and hear other people present their needs and wants and contribute to that idea, to continue to reinforce it from like, my head to the heart to actions and how it plays out. And the intentionality of all week thinking about that, even knowing I want to present it to my ACTion group, I find that it helps me integrate it. I have taken the additional step of downloading it to my phone. So whenever something comes up, I have used this in meetings and it's becoming, it's going from like, uncomfortable to becoming more integrated into my life to becoming a much more thought, this is the way I'm thinking. So it's changing the way I'm thinking in a way that I don't know, it didn't do before. But the ACTion group has definitely made it more part of who I am.

Kati:

An ACTion Group is like the magic sauce. That five minutes of bringing an intention to your parenting, to even have the reflective thought of like, what am I working towards? What am I willing to commit to what's the next smallest step that I could take? That is the magic sauce, because intellectually we can read all the things, we can listen to all the modules, we can listen and read all the books or the podcast, but it's, it's where the your intuition, your mind, and your body come together to actually experientially put it into practice. And each and every part of this ACTion group is a mirror for myself. And I also get to mirror back things to them. And that is, is the gift. And Katherine, which she's wonderful, but she's not an expert, but but even like her being willing to be vulnerable and share the things she's not getting quite right allows all of us to go this isn't this, I'm not getting this quite right. And, and I'm still gonna keep playing around with it. So that the curiosity is super helpful. And the normalizing that sometimes like I came in, I had a plan, I had my computer, the battery was dead, you know, how much does that happen with our kids? Like we have a plan and then like their gas tanks like they've overstimulated or whatever, they are way on empty, and we didn't realize it. So we have to like pivot. And then we, you know, use a camera on our phone, and it's like, upside down like, yeah, sometimes you like this should work. And it turns out upside down, and it's not working. And instead of like getting stuck in the like, banging your head against a wall And keep doing the same thing, this ACTion group helps me to go: Oh, yeah, that didn't work. Let me be curious about that. What didn't work about that? Maybe it's not what works here, even though my mind thinks it should. It's not what's working. So it allows me to pivot much quicker to go: let's try this other thing. Or let's see what happens if I do this. So it's also like an idea generator. But I think most of what like I find here is a space where you get other perspectives and some years back, but this really each of us holding that, that we all have our own inner wisdom and connecting with that and our knowledge of our own kids is really what helps us most effectively get to where we want to go. So those are my thoughts.

Jen Lumanlan:

Thanks, Kati. Appreciate it. That's, that's really awesome to hear. Amazing to hear. So you all were kind enough to let me record one of your regular calls. And what I'd like to do is to play back some of the pieces of the calls that really stuck out to me. And I asked you kind of what was happening now you've had a week of separation between that call, and today when we're recording this session. And I'd love to hear just a little bit more about your thought process and how you're supported by by your group or your community in these calls. So Katherine, you went first on the call last week, and you shared how you don't want to have your son think that he's disappointing you. Like you always seem to disappoint your own parents and you practice gratitude toward him.

Katherine:

Okay, my action step from last week, I believe, was to try to do a gratitude practice for my son, my oldest, was six. Because I just felt like I was getting into a space of being kind of nitpicky with him, like just having shorter patience for him compared to my other two kids who are younger just expecting more him, because he's older. And just like the particular ways in which he was reaching out for affection were like, he will do all sorts of lot of draping his legs over mine or like light brushing touches that my body isn't enjoying, right? Like, I'd read a thing recently where oftentimes, like if you're if you're feeling over touched by your kids, a lot of it is like the light brushing sensations as compared to like a more solid deep hug kind of that with like, more pressure on your joints is more grounding and soothing. And I found that to be totally the case for me. So anyway, the upshot of it was like, it was really helpful to have set that intention and know that we can be accountable to y'all for reporting back and to try to like, okay, everyday, like at least, basically, like everyday, say at least one nice thing to him about something he's done that I really appreciate, and to make myself stop and notice, when he's being really loving towards his siblings, even if a few minutes later. It's not like that, or just something he's helping us out with, even if he's grumbling a little bit about it, or whatever else. And I don't know if he or anyone else necessarily noticed, but I felt better about it for having this intention, like it's very much more the kind of relationship that I'm working towards, right, where yeah, I said to my own parents once that, you know, I don't have the data for this, but the way that it has always felt to me is that I was born. And that was like the peak of my potential in their eyes. And I've just been disappointing them ever since it's just been downhill since then. Because they would often, you know, when they were lecturing me or my sister about something that we've disappointed, and they would, they would think back to like a, you know, like, oh, like you a couple years ago, you used to like, blah, blah, blah, something that was better. And I was like, I don't, what I remember from that time period was that we were disappointing you them as well. So I just like, it's a very different perspective. So I've just reflecting on that. Like, I don't want my kids to feel like I'm always exasperated with them, which was the direction I was leaning in a little bit. So. So yeah, that was good. I will, I'm gonna try to keep up. And I think my next step this week is building off of the success of that.

Jen Lumanlan:

So you said it felt good to set that step and to be held accountable for it. So how did it help?

Katherine:

I think it's interesting for choosing a next step often that like, I want to set a goal that I am actually kind of excited about, in a way, you know, that there may be some portion of like, look I, I've been doing, there's been a pattern of behavior I'm not especially proud of, but I've taken the steps to try to be vulnerable to share it with others that I know, care about me and my family. And, and to then feel like, okay, there's something that I want to reach towards, that I want to do better on. And throughout the week, I think it's just, it's so easy to expend all of my energy on like, outward facing outside of the family, you know, like being professional at work, or like keeping up other appearances or whatever else, and then be depleted and not be at my best self for my kids and my husband, who are actually the relationships that are most important to me. And so to set that sort of action step and think about it throughout the week, because I know I want to report back to the other folks in the group about how things went. It's just to feel agency over steering my life to truly live my own values more feels amazing. Like it just feels really solid, even if I am not 100% successful all the time, it's in the right direction. And so it just fills me with hope and optimism.

Jen Lumanlan:

Yeah, we need that hope and optimism sometimes right to keep us going through the hard moments. Thank you. And then Rachel, the group did some brainstorming for you on your son's possible needs when he was taking toys from his younger sister.

Rachel:

My son is this is like fighting with his sister who's 1. I love your help to identify some needs. So I'm going to try to tell the story as if I just have a video recorder and you know without judgment. So I walk into the room and my 4 year old is in the process of taking a toy out of The hands of his sister. And he'll say like, "This is mine, I had it first." And usually I'll say something like, "And we don't take toys out of the hands of the other person." And I am feeling frustrated by this interaction, because I just see it happening a lot. You know, where my son is? Physically taking objects from his sister's hands, his sister's up, his sister then cries. And I don't always know how to problem solve in the moment. So I just invite some comments like, you know, could you help me identify what my son might be needing? And if you have any suggestions on what I might do to help meet those needs, and live your lives or not?

Katherine:

Yeah, I think that is really tough to handle when you have when you're watching these play out, and like the siblings are at an age difference, and relative and absolute. We're like, the one you know, you're you feel very defensive of your younger child, I'm sure. Right?

Rachel:

I do. I do, right. And so, but I also tried to be fair, so if the 1 year old is trying to take a toy from the 4 year old, if I try to have that rule, just don't take from each other's hands. But I do, but it does bother me, of course, when I see the 4 year old doing it, because I do I guess, have the expectation or hope that he wouldn't, wouldn't grab? Yeah.

Katherine:

And do you have a sense of whether, you know, some potential needs, I might brainstorm here that he's, he is, in fact, experimenting with what her reaction to his doing this? You know, because I think a lot of it, it can be about they're experimenting with relationship interactions, like if I do this, what will happen to another person? Or do you feel like it's more directed to you or other adult caregivers around? Like, if I do this, then I will get this kind of reaction from the adults. Like he's curious. And like he is, in fact, interested in something that she happens to pick up first. And so he wants to like, or is he trying to play with her? And those are?

Rachel:

Yeah, those are all wonderful brainstorming. And maybe what I can do this week as my action stuff is journal. So when I see the 4 year old doing these behaviors, I can just write down the observations like kind of when this happens, maybe put some context of like, what happened just before? Is he doing it? Because I walk into the room? Or is He? Is it seem a bit more spontaneous? And then bring my reflections back to you guys next week? Because then maybe I'll be able to help identify the needs as a connection with the sister or the connection with me that he's looking for? Or is he looking more for a sense of autonomy? Like, because that could be also a part of it? Yeah, so thanks for helping me brainstorm that is one of the stated out loud. Think about it. objectively. Yeah.

Peju:

Yeah. And I was thinking also, is your daughter actually upset?

Rachel:

She does get upset when he with, with he pulls it from her, then there's tears. Okay.

Peju:

That's something about her reaction, is it? How is she responding? And if it doesn't bother her?

Rachel:

True, yeah, that's true. You're right. I should say she called me out, like, you know, not every time there's tears. Sometimes she'll just like redirect to another toy. But still, it's a you're right. Like, it's, it's always that choice, like, do I let it be? Or do I still say like: Hey, like that. That's not something that we do in our house, like we don't pull from other people. And maybe even just by taking a journal, like, I can see how often this is happening, because of course, because I'm seeing it and I make something that I don't like. And so maybe it's becoming a bigger problem in my head than it actually is to the children.

Jen Lumanlan:

So what did you take out of those ideas? And where did you go next with it?

Rachel:

After discussing with the group, I decided to observe And write down when my son took toys away from my sister. And I discovered that he took toys away that he has deemed as special. And so for example, he took a book away from my sister, because he had recently received it as a gift. So it was his book. And he told that to me when I asked him and so we had a family conversation at dinner when we were all calm and fed. And he decided that he'll keep his special toys and books on his bed, so that a sister won't access them, but also that we, his mom and dad will know what ones are really special for him, because sometimes it gets confusing. And so through journaling. I also realized that my son doesn't take items as frequently as I perceived. He took toys three times this past week. And so when my husband and I looked at the note as we decided that he has a need for more autonomy, and have come up with different ways you can grow new skills. So, but the group helped me stay accountable to that, because I knew I was going to report back to them that so that they could either celebrate the win with me or help me brainstorm further. Yeah.

Jen Lumanlan:

Wow. And so yeah, the impression I definitely got when I watched the recording, is this happening? This is happening all the time, right, multiple times every day. Different. Yeah.

Rachel:

Right. So that helps as well, just to be able to be like, Oh, what's reality? And what's my perception?

Jen Lumanlan:

Yeah, yeah. Fantastic. Thank you.

Katherine:

If I just wanted to also, like using a lot of the phrasing we have is that I feel like Rachel, in doing this journaling that helps you meet your needs, as well. Specifically, we often talk about a need for competence as a parent, like I think a lot of us, especially with kids under the age of 5, there's this deep secret fear that you are raising a sociopath of some kind and just like you just like one small thing happens wrong. And they're just like, what if this is like always the case, they are like never going to be fully functioning adults who are kind and other values that we hold, and it just like the catastrophizing, I don't know how you pronounce that word properly. But but like, it's so easy to fall into that path. And it sounds like, way more manageable. I'll talk to him about it.

Rachel:

My husband and I, we frequently go to bed, and we look at each other and we're like, maybe we're just doing it wrong. And so, hopefully come to the here it would be like, are we doing it wrong? Are we doing it? Right? Tell me your stories.

Katherine:

Yeah, and so we often find, I think there's like, okay, there's like some areas for improvement, like you can problem solve together as a family and feel like you're collaborating and and not like it's a parents versus children trying to whip them into civilized states or anything?

Beth:

Definitely.

Jen Lumanlan:

Yes. Okay. Thank you. Thank you for that. And so Beth, you were talking through a challenge that you were having getting ready for upcoming holidays. And all Katherine did was asked you a simple question about what you want. And you realized what the underlying issue was right that you have a need for rest that hadn't been accounted for in your planning so far. And then of course, it seemed like that was sort of a chronic issue.

Beth:

I'm worried about the long holiday break I mean up and how to handle that, because I don't have any real scheduled downtime and less family kind of takes her she's not in any camps or anything. And so I kind of want to, between screentime, problem solving and connection, kinda want to figure something out in advance. But, yeah, I'm not quite sure how to do that other than like to try to have conversations with her. But I think something in that arena should be my focus for this week, maybe the next couple of weeks until it pops up. Because yeah, it's on the fact that I'm not going to get much downtime is going to make it. I struggle with that. A lot. I don't know if anyone has any thoughts, suggestions, my thoughts on this are a bit malformed.

Katherine:

When is the holiday break?

Beth:

21st I think it's winter her start.

Katherine:

So a couple of weeks more from now.

Beth:

Yeah, yeah. 21st is the first day is like the Thursday before Christmas. And then it's a two week break, I think.

Katherine:

Are you thinking more that you want? You're thinking ahead for seeing if there are ways to build in more downtime for yourself by arranging schedule or help or such? Or is it more you want to see if you can raise start raising the conversation with her to talk about your need for rest? And both of your needs for connection and and and participate?

Beth:

Yeah, I think it's the latter. And I've been thinking about it more. This is telling more around her need for connection and not including myself and make equation as per usual, so yeah, my need for rest. Historically, she's been a bit resistant to my needs. Maybe Maybe that's the point. I mean, I think I think the the action step is probably to have those columns Problem Solving conversations. But maybe what I could use a little input on is if anyone's had any luck raising that awareness in their 5 year old with any success?

Rachel:

Anybody does have input on that, like, we can do that in the chat. And in because both that's such a such a question. Again, continue to talk about that. Oh, yeah, sure. Next, if you're,

Beth:

Yeah, no, thank you. That helped me to clarify, because I was kinda on uncertain about how to move forward. And yeah, thanks for helping me get to that realization, for sharing.

Jen Lumanlan:

So it since rest is seems to be kind of a consistent need of yours. I'm curious about how being with your ACTion group helps you to see this in a way that was apparently more difficult to access by yourself?

Beth:

Yeah, this is something that I've been working on in my therapy sessions as sort of a me issue. And I keep trying to figure out how to notice myself in the equation, but hadn't quite made that connection, to see myself in parenting situations when I'm focused on my daughter's needs. And so yes, this is a chronic issue, I have a bit of a blind spot generally. And I think that a combination of things from the group has helped. One is just having that that weekly touch point where it keeps coming up, and where I'm making some of these these connections in my brain and externally, between parenting and self, and really pulling those closer together, integrating them. So the group kind of knows this about me. And so it comes up a lot. And, and I think the other aspect is, hearing other people in the group, bring it up in their own situations as well, helps me start to recognize it more. And then, of course, a very pointed question like Katherine's those combined have just given me more more practice from different angles, so that I'm starting to notice it more, I wouldn't say consistently yet. But it's it was such an 'aha' moment that the lack of recognizing that was was such an eye opener, I guess.

Jen Lumanlan:

Yeah. Yeah. So integrating all the different threads of what's happening. Yeah, in a way that it's hard to do by yourself. Sometimes a reflective listener can make that happen.

Beth:

Yeah, exactly. And I'm an only parent, so I don't get those moments of rest very often, unless my child is at school. And yeah, and I'm often at home alone. So in those moments, have others reflecting that back. So

Jen Lumanlan:

Thank you. And Peju, your next step was so simple, right? Apologizing to your son for speaking to him in a way that wasn't aligned with your values. And it really just seemed like an 'Oh, of course' moment.

Peju:

I was listening to I run a conversation with a podcast from Jen her most recent one and talking about struggling power dynamics. And I was thinking like child today. He unbuckled himself because he got really hot. And I was really upset because I was just about to drive off. And that meant there was no way and I was like, What are you doing? We're gonna be late. I told you, I need to be on time. Like, why? I was so hot, I have to do it. First, I was really well, and I was very upset. And I was talking about it. And then later, when I calmed down in the car, right, I was able to say like, I don't like that you did that. Because of it, it slowed me down. And then I was like, I need you never to do that again. And then I caught myself because I was thinking about the conversation. And I was like, but actually does that work for you? Like, could you have done anything different? And he goes, "No, I was really, really hot. I had to take it off. And the only way I could do it was to take off my neck ," and I was like, sitting with it thinking and he has a point. Like, how can I do acceptance fit with the fact that in enjoy it. I was like, Okay, this is a change. I think I can accept I don't I don't feel like I feel like I still actually need to go back to him because I feel I didn't resolve the way I didn't treat him fairly well. But I was able to, and that's the thing I don't know how exactly to but I was able to correct myself and say: okay, since it doesn't work for you, even though I said you cannot do that. disregard what I said. That's not that was too tough. Like, I didn't want that top down. I want it to be more collaborative. And I was able to correct the collaborative, but I wasn't able to address the emotional. So those are two things. I want some help.

Katherine:

Just to check, is it more you you you feel like you have some more repair that you wanted to check in with him about? Was it okay, yeah, yeah. And did you had you apologized to him for your initial reaction? Is that something that you want to do? That's the point.

Peju:

I don't think I actually said I'm sorry. That's probably what is the point?

Katherine:

I'm like, you jumped ahead, like, Okay, I want to fix it. Like, out loud to the other person.

Peju:

I'm sorry. Sorry. That's probably why I didn't feel settled.

Katherine:

Right. Yeah. To close

Peju:

The point. I mean, that's pretty simple. I appreciate that you can do that. You can do Yeah, I can do that be available to that.

Rachel:

I also just want to chime in and say, like, this is just it sounds normal. Like this is all like normal interactions. Like this happens to everyone, just in case you're ever feeling like, ah, like, I'm doing it wrong. Like this. I just that really ends with like exasperation or frustration or like, my need for safety, like is conflicting with your need for comfort, or whatever the conflict was, with the Christmas decorations of like, we wanted to celebrate, he said, like, it feels bigger. And just like, the emotions are bigger, too, because there's a little bit more weight with it. And so I think I just wanted to celebrate and acknowledge what you're doing, which is taking the time to reflect after, like, after the emotions have passed to think, you know, how do I repair? How can I do it differently. And that is, it's just a really beautiful work that you're doing. So that's what I want to say.

Katherine:

I was recognizing that too. Like, I feel like this week, we're having a theme of, you know, like sort of external obligations, we feel beholden to have like a time like not enough time, going to be late, rushing, like you're probably driven by fear of the future as well, right like that, if that had happened, and you hadn't known about it, he'd be unsafe. And that's like, very primal fear for a parent obviously. And yet to even have the self-awareness to like, catch ourselves after the fact that wants you're not just brushed away and hide our shame or whatever it is to say like, Okay, that didn't that didn't go the way that I wanted. I want to do better next time. And I recognize that like, this is really great modeling for the kids to write like, it's okay to make mistakes. And you can repair after, I'd love to not make mistakes in the first place. But I am but a human being.

Jen Lumanlan:

It would be so great. So I'm wondering, is there something about just describing these kinds of situations out loud to people who care for you, and who care about you make it easier for you to get to that next step? Because it seems as though you could just think about this stuff yourself, right? So what is it about being with the group that will enable this process to happen for you?

Peju:

I think it has to do with just, again, integrating it from my head to my heart and making it something that is consistent in the way I do life. And I don't easily apologize, I find that I'm a very intentional person. And I tried to do things. Like I feel like I thought it through like I was like, we were ready to go like even in that scenario, or I thought I handled, you know, I feel like I'm very intentional. And I'm very particular about things. And so even that simple step of not apologizing, like, I knew I was in the wrong, I felt something was off but couldn't even articulate the what was off about what I did. I think that that mirroring back has been just are helpful for me to really integrate into myself, the changes that I'm seeking, as the change in and, you know, create a home in which we are doing the work of disrupting the changes that I've been seeking for I have very intentional thought family values in our our home and I'm holding myself accountable and then doing my own work.

Jen Lumanlan:

Yeah, absolutely. Thank you. And Jody, I know doing your own work as a team for you as well. And I know you have a somewhat challenging relationship with your parents that we've been, you know, talking about in a bunch of different forums. And so Peju really reflected something to you, right. This idea of acceptance rather than trying to force forgiveness for your parents, that really seemed to resonate for you.

Jody:

Basically, I was having a full on argument with my mother over WhatsApp. And this took the entire day, because between each message, it was like a, you know, 20, 40 minute gap, have the response and reply and response and reply. So it just dragged out the whole day. The plus side was there was a built in pause. But at the same time, I will be fuming for 15 minutes with with the stuff that she says, you know, I will, I will say, you know, this, this is a boundary, this is my boundaries, what I'm not willing to do. And then she would say something like, I can't remember what it was exactly, but it felt like it violated that boundary. And that really, really got me fuming that multiple multiple times multiple needs, I would feel I would pull down and and I was like, identify what was the need that wasn't being met? Like, like, for example, she she she likes to end. She likes to respond with just a whole line of emojis. And this does not make sense. Like, why are you doing that? Can you? We're having a serious conversation. Can you please not do like a whole line of emojis or like a single GIF or something to respond? And after I said that, the first thing that came back was the Okay emoji. What the 'fish' is happening? Like I just said that, like, why would you do something like that? Um, yeah, so it was a lot of that going on? And yeah, so at the end of the day, I was really drained. And I tried using the, the module to Parenting As A Team, like the soft start approach, is that, okay? I'm feeling hurt right now. Because, you know, this, this, this doesn't doesn't work for me. And how do you feel about that? Can you know, can can we talk about it? And so we finally have a discussion about it. And we brought up things of my past, like, what, what they've done to hurt me in the past, how it's how I how I felt about it then, and what I want them to do to, you know, to sort of corrected, you know, basically acknowledgement or some, some sort from some follow in knowledge. And, at the end of it, I really wanted to forgive them. I just couldn't do it. It just wasn't wasn't me. I want to I just have this. I don't know resistance. It feels like I haven't mentioned them enough. If that is the right. Phrasing for it. I know. It's the sounds mean. Yeah.

Katherine:

Hey, I just wanted to say I, I have totally been there as well. And I see that it's, it's really hard to want something from our parents that they are just not able to give you right that like I heard you were saying like, you just want this one thing. Don't reply with with just like unintelligible emojis and like take you seriously and your your mom it sounds like that she she for unknown reasons to us, right? She just can't right now. And you're left alone from something that's like someone that you really want that support from and I'm sorry for that. It's really hard.

Jody:

Yeah, thanks. Thanks, Katherine. Sorry, Peju did you did you want to add something?

Peju:

Yeah, I just, I felt like when you get viewers, when I hear you say that you feel like you need to apologize, I just felt I wanted to share that maybe there's another path. And you don't have like, the forgiveness instead of like the the pressure of forgiving them. My background tells me I always only told me there's only one path just forgiveness. But when I experienced a betrayal from my parents, I had to explore other alternatives that I never knew there were other there are other others. And I just would like to offer that there that forgiveness is not the only thing out there. There's acceptance, as well. And I found that much more approachable and something that gave me peace. And I want peace for you.

Jody:

Yeah, thank you. I never thought of just not forgiving and just accept instead. I'm not sure how that will work, but I will definitely have to consider that. Thank you.

Jen Lumanlan:

So how is this sitting for you now, Jody?

Jody:

I think it was such a sudden realization for me that it took a while to process. I had to talk it through with my wife, with my Accountabuddy from from Taming Your Triggers workshop. And when it finally sort of when I finally internalized that, I could just accept rather than forgive, I just felt lighter. I mean, I was still tired. Nothing has changed with my parents. But I just felt this whole sense of body relief. And yeah, it was just from one one suggestion from from Peju. And it was such a beautiful suggestion. I never would have thought of it myself. And it's made the world of difference for me. Yeah.

Jen Lumanlan:

Yeah. And, and so it's, it doesn't have to be like a miraculous, momentous, you know, I forgive you now, and everything is good. But just that simple shift in perspective, can be really powerful in terms of how you show up in that relationship. So, yeah.

Jody:

Yes, definitely. And, and I think even moving forward now, I sense that I am not reacting as much I'm not triggered as much with when thinking about the things that my parents have done to cause me. Yeah, so I think it's definitely a step in the right direction. For me.

Jen Lumanlan:

Wow. That's fantastic. Thank you for sharing that. And then Kati, you gave a great example of a next step that didn't quite make it to completion the previous week. And of course, the group did not publicly shame me for it. Always worried about is what's gonna happen if I don't do my next step. And instead, you were working towards breaking it down into smaller steps and figuring out why is this thing important to you? And that you find so helpful, and why is it still been so difficult?

Kati:

My goal from last time was to find one small thing I could do consistently to reconnect with myself in the morning, I'm going to say I did not type that up in our chat. And I also do not mostly take that. So this is not new for me. Last year, my goal was to win with a breathwork course was to breathe 28 breaths every day. Seems pretty simple, right? Like three minutes of breathing, like, in a particular way, but three minutes of breathing like should be so easy to do, right? It took me eight months to be able to do that. And I had to connect with the deepest part of myself this attachment part that feels such raw sadness, to be like, I'm not going to leave her alone anymore. So I'm going to breathe with her every day. And morning, time didn't work. So I found like, evening time work. So like, I found a way that works for me. Morning time has always been the hardest. So I'm gonna give myself grace, gentleness of like, this is gonna take some time probably and that's okay. My goal right now is to stay committed to this one thing to give 80% of my attention to stayin with this even through the resistance even through what's hard, even through like tech come every week And be like, okay, here's why I'm okay to not go to other goals because that is what I tend to do. I I could tell you 500 other things that I could focus on. And so that's my intention is to come back to this one. And I think for this week, I would like to at least one sit down and journal about what's hard about doing that and then what what's hard about connecting with myself for a particular part of myself, I know which parts having a hard time you're what what's hard about that, like to get to understand it a little bit better.

Katherine:

That seems like wait, wait to have compassion for yourself. For you, even with last week that it didn't it didn't wind up with the way that you want and finding the wave for the new story to tell. I really liked that framing that you had there. And also thanks for sharing that. Even so called simple things can take months to become reality takes as long as the case. Yeah.

Jen Lumanlan:

So Kati, were you able to do that journaling? And would you be willing to share what you learned from doing that?

Jen Lumanlan:

Yeah, so this, this is another example of No, I didn't quite do the thing. I didn't do the journaling. But for me, when I when I get curious and ask the question, I may not go and do that thing the way I think I want to do it, but but the asking the question itself kind of guides me through the week, so that that question, I gotta have like, why, what, what is hard about this, I took with me and, you know, I generally have therapy after this meeting. And so that that actually kind of like flowed right into my therapy session. And what was hard about it for me, I realized that a part of myself, call this part of my head part or my getting on with life part or my, you know, it's the part of us that acts like nothing happened, you know, if you had any trauma or developmental trauma in your life, it's, it's the going on with life, like nothing happened part. It's my really highly functioning part. And I realized that as amazing as this part is, and as, as helpful as this part has been in my life, he feels a lot of shame. And the part that historically has not felt any feelings, because let's be honest, it's really easy to go on with life if you are disconnected from your body and your feelings, right? So I've been on this journey of integrating and, and, and I'm starting to feel feelings, and I felt the depths of his shame, for the first time in my life, of just how unredeemable he feels like, he just keeps getting things wrong, and isn't that so much the experience of parenting, feeling like, you know, how you want to show up as a parent, and you just keep eating things like not quite right? Even though you're trying so hard to have the best of intentions. And so, so why it's hard to do that in the morning is because the type of breath that I do the conscious connected breath, it helps me connect with the deepest parts of myself, but it also helps me connect with the highest parts of myself that some people might call on that source, Divine God. But it's accessing something that can hold really deep unconditional love, and compassion. And, and for this part of myself, my head part, it's too much his capacity to take in anything positive or pleasant is so minuscule, really small. That it's overwhelming. And, and that happens with our kids a lot, too, right? My oldest son, like, I couldn't give him a compliment for the longest time because it was too much for him, like we came up with a code word. Right. And I will share because it's secret, but so that when I saw him doing something that was really hard and amazing for him, I could just say this code word. So he could take just a little bit of that in. So that's what I'm playing with now is like, once again, breaking it down into the next smaller step of how do I make that love that compassion, that understanding, so small, that my head park can fully take it in and feel it in a way that doesn't shut him down. So that might be just maybe taking one breath with him. Or that might be maybe coming up with a code word for him when I see that he's doing some that's really hard. And he's doing amazing that I get to play with that.

Jen Lumanlan:

Oh, that's a lot of deep work can. Yeah, it's super deep. Thank you. Thank you so much for sharing that with us. And so as we wrap up here, I'm wondering, open questions for everybody. Right? If there's somebody who's maybe thinking about joining the Parenting Membership, and you're thinking, okay, the information is really the core and yeah, they have this action group thing, but yeah, I don't know. What would you want parents to know maybe about ACTion groups in general, and maybe even specifically about your sugar question for anybody? Jody?

Jody:

Um, yeah, I just like to share my own personal experience with this ACTion group. When I first joined the Parenting Membership, I was a bit apprehensive about ACTion groups. I didn't think it was a thing for me. But I really wanted to show up for the membership. And I really wanted to at least have a go at all the things that you presented and suggested that we try. So I did take it on. And I at the beginning, it was a bit awkward. And, you know, it was, you know, everyone was still trying to get to know each other. And there were times where I just didn't feel like coming on at all. Do I have to talk to these people again. But, being said, the people in my ACTion group I confide in with, with my most vulnerable moments that I wouldn't even share with, with my friends like my my, my best friends from high school. We don't share the same parenting values, asked the people on the outside. And I can speak to my action group with what we've learned in the course and they get it and they get how hard it is, and they get a lot of the things is just really hard work. And we stuff up and we keep going. And yeah, it's now I really look forward to it. The few times I even mentioned that I am here because I want I am trying to fill my need for connection of being to be seen understood. And I know I can get it here.

Jen Lumanlan:

Wow, that's so lovely. Thank you so much, Jody. I really appreciate it.

Rachel:

When I signed up for an ACTion group, I wasn't sure what I was getting into. Sometimes I tend to be a joiner, like, I'll just say yes. And then figure out the commitment later. And I also believe in the power of trying something three times. So the first time to experiment to get through the awkwardness, the second time to tweak and then the third time to optimize. So but the third time I showed up with the ACTion group, I knew that this was a good group for me. And I think as I've one of my big epiphanies as a parent is that it's not just about me as an individual going through life anymore, that just I'm that I'm gathering skills for myself, for my career. Instead, like, I am part of a family, I'm part of a unit unit. And I needed to think collectively. And so it makes sense to me that I'd also be learning and integrating as community as well. And I, I am somebody who's more relational, and I'm intuitive. And so even though I love reading and researching, as Peju, you said, how do I move it from my head to my heart, and I do that in relationship, so that then I can go, you know, in relationship with my family and implement them. And so it's just been a really beautiful, like, give and take of learning, sharing, trusting, and then taking all of that goodness. And, and, and bringing it to my family.

Jen Lumanlan:

There's more to life than research. So say it in note. Thank you, Rachel, I appreciate that. Beth, did you want to add something?

Beth:

Yeah, I mean, to echo what others have said, I think that connection and community are core, I think connection is one of my core needs, or I guess mature you need probably, and community and collaboration are other needs slash values for me. And, as an only parent, I don't get a lot of that in the family unit. I'm trying to work on that with my daughter, who's 5. So you know, to varying success at this at this age, and this amount of practice that we've had. And, and so I guess I was pretty bought into the idea I've had other experiences where being in a group has been really beneficial to me, I was a little wary of the five to seven minutes stay sort of on track with your action step. Like I wasn't so sure that that would give me enough of what I needed from that connection from that group and that community and and as we've discussed as we've talked about already today like it's amazing how well we know each other from just that just those five to seven minutes over what six months, like it's I was wrong. My my guess about whether it would work or not was totally wrong. And it had value beyond the the value I expected it to have. And I really appreciate so much I have so much gratitude for the people in this group for coming and being there and holding each other and, and being part of our community. And I think also for all of the support that we get each other as we journey and try to parent more in alignment with our values, but also live in more alignment. With our values beyond parenting, because everything we're doing with parenting applies elsewhere in our lives, I think like will argue with that at all. So yeah, I think it's, it's just been a really a profound, profoundly helpful experience for me. So thank you all.

Rachel:

And I think I think if anybody is on the fence about an ACTion group, they shouldn't just do it. If they want to have that accountability and a place a safe place to talk about their things that they aren't doing well or just aren't, aren't quite getting right yet. And the place where they can share all those wins, and have other people celebrate you, it, this is a good place to experiment, and reiterate, and celebrate. Lovely.

Jen Lumanlan:

Thanks, Rachel.

Kati:

I'd like to piggyback off of that celebration, because I think in ACTion Group, no matter what stage of your parenting journey you're on, an ACTion group is the best resource and gift you could give yourself. Because if you're early on, there's so much shame and judgment in the parenting space, that an ACTion group helps you to diffuse that shame. Because shame can exist when it's spoken. And it's held in a in a space of compassion, we heal in relationships of being in the space of others that get it that understand the challenges. And that can hold compassion is so incredibly, just a bomb to your soul. And the celebration piece is early on, like, I've learned that for me, I like focusing on one thing and mastering that one thing is what works the best. And my first one thing that I that I chose to master was celebrating my wins. Because it's the celebrating of your wins, that helps you get out of the shame, it helps you it's the fastest way out of shame, is celebrations. And if you can't quite get directly to celebrations and like compassion, self-compassion is the the middle route. So that alone helps you early on. And if you're later on like me, and you've like read all the things, and I have all the like, multiple faring coaching programs and all the podcast like, I didn't need the intellectual things anymore. I mean, I can still learn some from that. But when I joined Parenting Mojo, and I asked myself, you know, if I was only able to do one thing, what's the one thing that would, that would have the most impact for me? Because I'm also a solo parent. So I'm very mindful and intentional with how I spend my time and energy. That one thing was an ACTion group. And so this is the only thing that I'm doing right now with Parenting Mojo. And it's been incredibly useful. Because for me, it is that accountability. It is that celebrating that wins. It is the yep, I tried this thing. It didn't work. All right, next thing. So I don't get stuck in the doing the same thing every week over and over again that's not working. So yeah, I'm Team ACTion Group.

Jen Lumanlan:

Love it. I got goosebumps when you're talking about how it helps with that.

Katherine:

I wanted to share for any folks in the audience who if there's anyone who's feeling a little bit like, wow, this still sounds like kind of touchy feely. For me, I'm not really much of a feelings person. I just want to share like, I'm a software engineer by trade. My husband describes my orientation to the world as in God, we trust, all else must bring data, like I'm not really into necessarily a lot of like woowoo stuff overall. And I'm too tired to be doing things in life that don't fulfill me some, some need in some way, right? Like I'm very ruthlessly, Marie Kondo. I just turned 37 over the weekend, and every year, my birthday wishe is the same thing, which is like for Noah to talk to me or touch me and just leave me alone for the day, pretty much. Alright, so I'm a huge introvert and I look forward to this group every single week. It's worth it. You may have to experience it to believe it, but it's worth try. Very true.

Jen Lumanlan:

Thank you, Katherine, and Peju, would like to add anything?

Peju:

I think what I thought was, I like to share that I this is actually my second ACTion group. And the first one that decided to end we weren't able to get to that commitment And but to see that and planted and I was committed to creating like to doing work and I felt that just showing up was the best I could do at the moment. And even this group gave me space to just show up and in it, I felt the capacity to even do more as I was showing up in the skating skills of really what I was looking for, like sometimes when you look at the the framework of how to do nonviolent communication, and how to integrate your values into your life, it's hearing in those stories, other parents doing it, you're like, oh, oh, sometimes a little light bulb go off. And I find that just very encouraging. Maybe it's the way I learned, but it's true, I feel in community, you learn so much together and in relationships, and it's truly as non judgmental, I don't feel equal, I feel something, I'm able to name that something that I feel, and work on that. And I know that because I see other people model it. And it's true, you really are giving them the space to be you to grow in our commitment of doing this work, this change work and parent in a way that's aligned to what we are, what we are saying we want to do. And we're not all the same. But there is a framework in which we are working with and they feel that helps in our leader, Catherine is very helpful in guiding us through and like the last five minutes, I think that actually really does help you walk through things, in a great way. And I don't feel lost, I'd help like I've been always encouraged when I don't show up somebody sets like oh, and I'm like, Oh, I meant to come. And there's still no, there's no judgment. So I feel like everybody's bringing each other in and in beautiful ways. And there's even if you think that just showing up as the the littlest, it is so powerful. You're doing something for yourself, and for your family. And it's the beginning of change. You know,

Jen Lumanlan:

I'm so grateful to Katherine, Rachel, Beth, Peju, Jodi, and Kati for allowing us to see just a little bit of how they support each other on a weekly basis. It's amazing to think that each of them only talks for five minutes, and yet their knowledge of each other has built to the extent that they're now integral in each other's lives. They genuinely care about each other, they don't just show up to talk for their five minutes to get help for themselves and disappear. They've come to know each other on their good days and their bad days. They can celebrate with each other when things are going well. And because they've seen each other on the good days, when someone's having a difficult day, they can remind that person that things won't always be this way. And even though they might feel like a terrible parent in that moment, they're really a great parent having a hard day.

Jen Lumanlan:

As you saw, the parents in this group aren't shy about saying that they don't care that I'm not in their ACTion group. They don't need me to be in the group to get something valuable out of it. I support them by offering modules of content that they can use to continue their learning, and coaching them on group coaching calls and gathering a community of parents who share their values. I regularly see Jody and Beth and sometimes had you and Rachel on the group coaching calls that I lead. I never see Katherine or Kati and group coaching calls because that's not their thing. That's not how they prefer to learn. And that's totally fine. ACTion Groups offer a way of learning and growing that's more aligned with their needs. And I will say that I've met parents who identify as profound introverts who were really intimidated by the thought of joining a group, and who got a lot out of the experience. As an introvert myself, I think I see why the scariest part is actually not interacting with other people. It's interacting in groups with no defined roles or things to do that's hard. And this isn't that you don't even have to speak in your first meeting if you don't want to. So you can get the hang of it. And then there's a defined format to share what worked with your next step from last week, how things are going, and what is your next step for this week, and your five minutes go surprisingly quickly. There's no long term commitment either because it can take a while to find your feet. We do ask that you commit to attending calls with one group for a month. If after that you decide the time doesn't work, or the group isn't the right one for you, you can switch or stop entirely. You aren't letting anyone down. People do change groups And it's totally fine. So if you would like to have a community of parents in your life who will support you like Katherine, Rachel, Beth, Peju, Jodi and Kati support each other, then I would love to see you in the Parenting Membership. Enrollment is open very soon between May 5th and 15th. If you join the waitlist at YourParentingMojo.com/parentingmembership we will send you a discount coupon to use when enrollment opens.

Jen Lumanlan:

And if you miss the recent Setting, Loving (& Effective!) Limits workshop that went for eight days, I would love to see you in our Setting Loving (& Effective!) Limits masterclass. You won't get everything that you could have learned over eight days, obviously, but you will get a lot of the content and ideas in just one 90 minute free session. So if you find yourself repeating yourself over and over again to your child because they don't listen to you, or if you can't get out of the house with a huge struggle every day, or if you go to bed at night feeling guilty that you yelled at them again today, and promising yourself that you won't do it again and you'll be better and you will really try to remember those Instagram memes that tell you that when your child says this, you should say that but in your heart of hearts, you know that when you start to get stressed, all of those things you've learned will probably fly out the window, then I do hope you'll join me for the free masterclass. I will teach you how to set limits effectively. But I'll also show you how to get your needs met much more of the time so you can have the kind of calm, connected, joyful relationship with your child that you want to have. You can sign up for the masterclass at YourParentingMojo.com/settinglimits masterclass. I can't wait to see you in the master class or the Parenting Membership, or maybe both.

Adrian:

If you'd like Jen to address the challenge you're having in parenting, just email your one minute video or audio clip to support@YourParentingMojo.com and listen out for your episode soon.

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