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Are We Too Soft? (Part 1)
Episode 14728th March 2024 • How Not to Screw Up Your Kids • Dr Maryhan
00:00:00 00:22:07

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Have we given our children an opt-out clause, allowing them to avoid difficult things, because we're so worried about their emotional being??? I think so. How do we course correct? I'll share in this two-part episode.

Here are the highlights:

(1:14) Has the pendulum swung too far?

(4:00) Children are a building under construction

(5:55) Are you preparing them for their future?

(11:16) Hold your children to high expectations

(14:17) Create a sense of agency for your child

(17:45) The importance of boundaries 

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In that real world, and that's the context in which we should be educating, teaching and for our children to be learning in so that they can apply that knowledge. So when we ask ourselves the question, or people throw out the easy criticism that we the issues that we have in society now, because we have gone all soft on children and teens, we have to ask ourselves the question, are we teaching and instructing our children and teens in a context, which is similar to the one that they will live most of their lives as a fully paid up adult or not? You know, remember where our children are sort of with us, maybe they're with us till they're 18, or their early 20s, that's a fraction really, a quarter maybe of the life that they're going to end up leading, so 75% of their life is going to be lived beyond our home beyond what we give them. And actually, we need to be thinking about in those in those years that we have them, and that we can have that most significant input? Are we preparing them for the context in which they're going to be living? And if the answer is no, most of the time, then we're not parenting in the most effective way. And this could be because we're either being too soft or too hard. Yeah, like the whole Goldilocks porridge story, we want to get it just right, we don't want to swing the pendulum one way and be too hard, too rigid, too dictatorial, too helpful, all of those two bits, when we don't want to go the other way, and being too soft. So like Goldilocks with her porridge, we want to get it just right. How do we do that? Well, I'm gonna do this slightly differently. Typically, I'd give you my top five tips. I'm gonna give you three today. That's all I'm gonna give you. Because what I want to do as I was sort of planning out this podcast, so realise that actually, this is a massive topic. It's huge in the not only in terms of the strategies we use, but actually how do we apply those. So I'm going to do this in two parts. I'm gonna give you my top three tips in this episode, and then in the next episode, I'm gonna give you some more, but I'm really going to dig deep into some of these strategies, and how do we actually implement them? What does this look like? If you've got a toddler? What does it look like? If you've got a 10 year old? What does it look like if you've got a 16 year old? Because all of you that are listening to the podcast, have children at different ages, you've got children of different characters. How does this how do these? How do we implement these? When we've got a child with neurodiversity? How do we implement these when we've got a child who's really sensitive or who is really struggling with anxiety, all of these things I want to really tackle because I think of all of the episodes that I've written and recorded this one to me is, is almost the one that I want you to keep coming back to, because this is the one that is going to have the most impact on your parenting, but also the most impact on your children. So let me just talk you through the three strategies that I'm going to talk about in terms of how can we avoid this situation of being too soft, and, or too hard? And how can we make sure that we are allowing our children with teaching educating parenting them in a context, which is congruent, which is similar to the context in which they're going to end up inhabiting and living their lives, so that we equip them because one of the really crucial things as I'm learning, and I'm probably that far, that much further down the road, not only in parenting, but just in terms of my years is that when we're in the thick of parenting or young children, and when our children are in the thick of schooling, so much of the way that they view themselves is within the realm of how they're assessed, yeah, how they're performing. And also within the realm of how they're how they benchmark amongst their peers, and that's so hugely informs who they believe that they are and what they believe that they're capable of, as well as the environment we cultivate at home. What we know, and really, we know this as adults is that when our children then get into the world of work, because we have done that is a lot of that changes. Now, in some professions, it 100% doesn't, you know, the academics and the accolades, and the degree, and all of those other things really matter in that context. But that is a very small fraction of the employed workforce, the entrepreneurial workforce, any aspect of the of the workforce, it really doesn't play into that. And so it's actually much more about these other aspects of who you are. Your resilience, your determination, your confidence, your self belief, your ability to keep going, despite adversity, your ability to communicate, collaborate, bring people on board in terms of your ideas, those are the crucial aspects. And those are not things that we typically prioritise within school that we examine in school, or that is some an area that we actively nurture and so I want you to be remembering this as your look as your


listening to this episode. And I really hope that you listen to it multiple times, I hope that you share it with friends, because as you can probably tell, I'm incredibly passionate about this. But it really keeps driving us back in those moments where we certainly get into that competitive parent because we're caught in comparison. And then we're thinking, Oh, my goodness, me, my child is not going to get that great job, or get that great place at that school, or get that particular degree or whatever it might be. Remember, we're playing the long game, we're raising resilient adults, we are thinking about them as fully paid up adults functioning, and thriving. In that adult world, I'm super excited to announce that tickets are now live for my inaugural, it takes a village to raise a resilient adult conference. This is an in person event. And I cannot wait to meet so many of you that this conference is for you. If you are a parent who wants to raise a resilient adult, if you're a teacher, and educator and nanny or therapist, and aunt and uncle or grandparent, or anyone who's invested in raising the next generation of resilient adults, head over to the website, link in the show notes where you can buy your tickets now. So let me talk about the first. So the first strategy is we should hold our children to high expectations. Now you probably weren't expecting that one. Now what do I mean by that? What I mean by that is that we should expect our children to be able to dot dot, dot whatever that might be. That is not the same as having high expectations of their academic success. Remember that academic success is the result. It is not the process that we go back to Carol Dweck 's work around growth mindset and fixed mindset. When we focus on results, tick this box, get this grade, we're not giving our children and equipping them with the tools and skills that they need. That is the adaptable piece of the puzzle. When it comes to adulthood. That's the bit that we want them to have the results may tick a box now at school or a university. But it doesn't then necessarily translate into that workspace. So we should hold our children to high expectations in the process things. So for example, we never ever question do we really, that our children, when they start toddling around, have fallen on their bottoms, that they are actually going to be able to walk we don't find ourselves angst ridden about this idea that I'm not sure my child will ever walk in a typically developing child, yet where there is no physical reason why they should not. And I want you to hold that because that's about process. Yep. So we understand that they're going to fall over that they're going to bang their head that they're going to have accidents. And yet we don't inhibit them generally. Yet, we might sort of put soft cushions around so they can have a bit of a softer landing. But we have every faith that they are going to walk in the same way, as we have every faith that our children will eventually read and write, I think we get a bit more angst ridden about the reading and writing because we get so caught up in comparison we do with the walking but I don't think it's quite as much. So I want you to hold in your mind that when that we should be holding our children with this high expectations from a process of having faith. It's not about being a pushy parent, it's about having faced on wavering faith that our children will be able to dot dot dot, and I'm going to talk about some of the things that we can look at very specifically, in the next episode, I just want you to hold that specific thing you in mind and think about the things that you worry about for your children that they're currently struggling with. So if you've got a child who is supremely anxious, it's about having faith and high expectations that they can overcome, that they can place themselves in specific scenarios. And that they will be able to remember we're not it's not about cushioning our children from difficulty and from hardship, they need to experience a certain element of stress, and worry and anxiety, because that's a normal part of life. So holding those high expectations is really crucial. So that's number one. Number two is it is our role. Crucially, our role in developing a sense of agency for our children. So this is the idea about our children knowing that they can act upon their world. Our children get to choose who they are, how they show up, the results they get, not exams. Every action that they choose, has a reaction and we want to teach them to learn from those experiences agency is crucial to our developing process of being parent of parenting our children because it's crucial to the world of adulthood, as well as obviously in terms of their childhood because a


n't really fully mature until:


says not results. So reflect an audit on how do you currently hold your children to high expectations. So each page will be divided, you'll get the the initial header, which says about holding your children to high expectations, the first bit will then ask you to do an audit. And then the second bit will be about the actions. And that's what you'll need for the second episode, because that will be where you can take the strategies and the tips that I talked about and say, what how can I now implement them relative to the audit that I've done for my child? So you'll do that for each of these? How do you hold your children currently to high expectations? How are you currently developing a sense of agency or potentially learned helplessness? And then the last one is how do you currently create these boundaries and boundaries and not about strict rules, boundaries or around the enforceable daily practice your daily habits? What do you do? What do you say that communicates to your children how important it is around those boundaries, and how important it is for them to create those boundaries, too. So I would highly recommend that you download this resource so that you can do the work of the audit first, and then hop into the next episode. Now, as usual, what you need to do if you haven't done this before, but if you are a sort of a seasoned listener, you head over to my resource library, Dr. Mary forward slash library where you'll find the link to download the resource, all you need to do is pop in your email address and you'll get instant access not only to this week's resource, but all the other free resources across all my podcast episodes as ever, if you have enjoyed this episode, I would love it. I'd be so incredibly grateful. If you could follow rate and review this podcast so that others can find us and we can spread the love. So until next time,





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