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How To Prepare & Have Difficult Conversations With Your Kids
Episode 366th April 2022 • The 6570 Family Project • Nellie Harden
00:00:00 00:24:21

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Difficult conversations are a staple of parenting teens and tweens.  You can try to avoid them, but the efforts are futile and if you do happen to be able to avoid them then you miss out on the biggest guiding moments you have with your children.  

But, WHAT can we do when emotions are high, voices are loud, accusations are running around the room like 2 year olds on a sugar high?

In this episode we go through 5 easy to remember points in order to prepare and have these conversations and walk away with an action plan to move whatever the situation is… forward!  

About the Host:

Nellie Harden is a wife of 20+ years, mom to 4 teen/tween daughters, dreamer, adventurer, servant, multipreneur, forever student, and a devoted teacher, but her ride-or-die passion is her work as a Family Life Coach & Mentor. 

Coming from a career background in marine mammal sciences, behavioral work, and a host of big life experiences, both great and not some not so great, she decided that designing a life of purpose and freedom was how she and her husband, along with their 4 daughters, wanted to live. 

Her work and passions exist in the realms of family and parent mentorship because she believes that a family filled with creativity, fun, laughter, challenge, adventure, problem-solving, hugs, good food, and learning can not only change a person’s life but is the best chance at positively changing the world. 

She helps families build Self-Led Discipline™ & Leadership Into their homes, sets their children up for a wildly successful life on their terms, and elevates the family experience with big joy, palpable peace, and everyday growth!

With a lifelong passion and curiosity in thought, choice, behavior, and growth she has found incredible joy in helping families shift perspective, find answers, and a path forward.

 

(Nellie has been coaching families for over 10 years and has degrees in Biology, Animal Behavior and Psychology. ) 

 

LINKS:

Family Success Vault- https://www.nellieharden.com/vault

Website- https://www.nellieharden.com

Online Community- https://www.facebook.com/groups/the6570project

Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/nellieharden/   

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/nellie.harden/

 

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Transcripts

Nellie Harden:

Hello and welcome to the 6570 family project

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podcast. If you are a parent of a tween teen or somewhere on the

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way, this is exactly the place for you. This is the playground

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for parents who want to raise their kids with intention,

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strength and joy. Come and hear all the discussions, get all the

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tactics and have lots of laughs along the way. We will dive into

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the real challenges and raising kids today how to show up as

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parents and teach your kids how to show up as members of the

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family and individuals of the world. My name is Nellie Hardin,

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big city girl turns small towns sipping iced tea on the front

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porch mama, who loves igniting transformation in the hearts and

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minds of families by helping them build selfless discipline

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and leadership that elevates the family experience. And sets the

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kids up with a rock solid foundation, they can launch

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their life on all before they ever leave home. This is the

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6570 family project. Let's go Hello, everyone, and welcome to

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another episode of the 6570 a family project podcast where we

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are putting aside our power struggles and finding the path

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to lead our young women toward confidence, wisdom and respect

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that they need in order to prepare them for the great big

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world out there. And today we're talking about a big topic

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because when we are talking, uh, many of you have children that

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are between nine and 18, many of you have young women that are

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between nine and 18. And as you know is the parent or you're

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getting close to that time. There are a lot of really

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difficult conversations that have to happen with our kids

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during that time. Whether it is about school, whether it is

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about future plans, whether it is about relationships,

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friendships or intimate relationships that they're

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having, whether it is about some judgment calls that they made

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some decisions that they made, there's a lot of maybe sibling

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rivalries, maybe some attitude problems, or you the list is

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endless, honestly, and there are really difficult conversations

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that needs some preparation, it you just can't go into these

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conversations blindly, you can't go in without a plan, because

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they can turn sideways or sour really, really quickly. And so I

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want to give you just five quick points today in our time

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together of how to prepare and have difficult conversations

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with your kids. So if you have some pen and paper, definitely

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jot these down. And if you're listening in the car, just

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listen intently, and then maybe you can recall them later or

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listen to this. Again, it'll be short and sweet. So that we can

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really get to the heart of the matter with these five points

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that we're going to talk about today. So So number one, we want

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to stay calm. So I had all of these start with C so you guys

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can it's easier for our brains to hold on to. So number one is

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calm. You don't want to go into a difficult or heavier

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conversation. When you are not calm and you're all wound up.

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You have a lot of emotions that are flooding, you have a lot of

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ambiguity and your emotions and feelings that are happening and

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you don't have a lot of clarity. So as the parent, you really

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want to come into these conversations with as much

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clarity as possible. So calm is definitely the state of mind

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that you want to be in many people if it is your thing, and

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you do that pray before you go into these conversations.

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Because you want to have a solid state that you are standing on a

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solid foundation and not just be willy nilly and you know arms

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flailing the emotional equivalent of one of those wind

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socks with the arms flailing right? We don't want to go into

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a conversation like that. And actually, if there was an

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altercation or something happening, one thing that you

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can do before the conversation is have that letter written and

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I won't get into many details of that that was all in Episode 28

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that had to do with the written word and how to use letter

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writing as a form of bringing clarity to a difficult situation

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or a high emotional situation. So sometimes you have those

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letters going in, which brings such great insight as to what

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you can talk about in these conversations. But sometimes you

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do sometimes you don't but definitely go back and listen to

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episode 28. If you have not already. But calm is our first

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one.

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Secondly, you want to construct a plan. And I am not saying that

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we need to go into In fact, I'm definitely recommending you

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don't go into these conversations in a robotic

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fashion, right. But you do want to have some specific goals and

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keep it very simple. You don't want to go in there and say, I

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need to know about this, this, this, this, this, this and this,

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right, that's way too many things for one conversation. And

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if the conversation lasts too long, you're going to lose them,

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or you're going to lose your temper, or both right? Or

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they're going to lose their temper, right. So you want to

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have some very specific goals, I want to know, you know, we need

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to figure out this one thing here, we need to figure out why

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this one thing happened, we need to figure out what we're going

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to do about this one thing, right? So if you can have one,

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maybe two things that you are having this conversation about,

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that would definitely be ideal. And another part of having this

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construction, part of the of this difficult conversation

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before you even have them is if you have a spouse, do this

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construction part with your spouse. The worst thing, one of

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the worst things that can happen when you're in these difficult

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conversations, if it's one child, or many of your children

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and two parents is to have the two parents coming at this

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conversation with two totally different points of view

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perspectives, and two different goals and outcomes while you are

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in the talk. Right? That breeds a lot of animosity between

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parents and spouses, and just a lot of frustration for the

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adults, a lot of confusion for the kids. So it's really

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important that parents get on the same page before you go into

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have this talk. So that you know what you are looking for, you

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know the tone that is going to be set. You know what the goal

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is and how you are going to speak to them about it. Maybe

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even if one parent is uncomfortable talking about

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something be like okay, so you're going to take this part

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and then we'll kind of explore that. Okay, you're going to

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start us off. Okay, that's great. Depending on your level

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of organization that you want going in again, we're not

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putting together an Ikea dresser, we are having a

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difficult conversation with our with our child or challenging

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discussion. And sometimes depending on your level of

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comfortability, I'm not even sure that's a word, but your

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level of comfortability, you can construct this plan, okay, so we

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had be calm, right? construct a plan. And then the third one is

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connect. So now you have actually established connection

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with them, you've gone into the room, they're down in the living

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room, you're going on a walk, whatever that is, you want to be

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at the same eye level as them, okay, you don't want this

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domineering type mentality, be at the same eye level as them.

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Come with lots of questions that you might have, you know,

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prepared with the constructing or just keep asking why? Why is

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such a powerful word that we can use with our kids, and things

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like so. Can you tell me more about this? Can you tell me why

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you chose to do that? Can you tell me why this happened? I

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want to understand you I want to be here for you. But in order to

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do that, I have to understand what is going on. I have to

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understand why. You know this happened. And so lots and lots

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and lots of questions. When you're going into these

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conversations, it is much better to listen much, much, much more

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than you speak. Okay. We have something that we do sometimes

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it's just called the sharing circle and you sit down and we

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we have them need a knee right? So if it's two people, it's just

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crisscross applesauce on the floor, need a knee and so

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everybody is you know, feeling seen everyone is feeling like

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the attention. They have the other person's attention.

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Sometimes I even hold hands with my you know, young ladies as I'm

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talking with them, especially if they don't want to hold my hands

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to be honest, because they might be feeling obstinate. They might

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be feeling like they have this power complex and I want to

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struggle with you. And if I gently hold their hands not

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grabbing, not grasping, right, I'm just gently holding their

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hands as we're need a knee and crisscross applesauce, right?

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And then it just opens up some layers that would otherwise be

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built up in front of you, you know, they they put up a brick,

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you take down two bricks, they put up another one, you take

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down two more, these walls that they're trying to build around

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themselves and, you know, understand that they're trying

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to put those walls around themselves because they don't

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feel safe and secure. So we need to get them to a place where

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they feel safe and secure, so that we can actually have this

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difficult conversation. Right? Okay, so we have calm, we have

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construct, we have connect, and our next one is communicate.

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Okay, so in that we really want to validate their thoughts and

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feelings and stay on track, don't follow the rabbit trails.

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Remember, we came into this with one, maybe maybe two goals, but

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really one goal, so stay on track with those goals, right.

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And understanding that our kids just want to be seen, right.

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It's that safety and security we talked about with Connect, and

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they want to be seen, they want to know that they're validated

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in their feelings in their, in how their emotions are, they're

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not necessarily validated in their actions, which is probably

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why you're having this difficult conversation in the first place.

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Because we are only known by our words and actions. So probably

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it is their words and actions that have preempted this

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discussion that you're having. So those are not always

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validated, but their feelings are validated, right? Because

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they're their feelings. It's just like you can never

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unvalidated someone's story, it's their story. So helping

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them understand that and feel validated, stay on track they

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want to be seen. And there's some really big ones that you

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are on the like, do not do list, if you will, number one, do not

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interrupt, okay? Do not interrupt. Now, if you have one

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like I have, and she likes to drone on and on and on. And

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she's literally saying the same thing in different words for 20

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minutes. I just put up my hand, and I'm just like, Okay, I

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understand what you're saying here. And you've said it a few

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different ways. So can I speak and respond to that now? Right?

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And it's okay to do that. But don't just come in and overlap.

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They're speaking right? So do not interrupt, do not use the

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words always and never. And we want to teach them to not use

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those either, because lo and behold, it will be like, Oh, my

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sister always does this or you never do this. And that is not

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the case, right? The always nevers need to come out. And we

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learned that my husband and I were in a great marriage

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program, gosh, probably 10 plus years ago, and that was one of

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the big, big things that they encouraged us to use whenever

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we're talking is never, never use, always and never. That's

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it. That's an okay way to use it right there. But when you're

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talking about someone else's behavior, right, you want to

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stay away from the always Nevers, because they're

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definitive, and they cover everything. And it's just, I

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mean 99.999% of the time, it is not true. If an always never is

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used. And then the third one is Do not mock. Okay, Do not mock.

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It can be really hard sometimes, and it can be even a go to

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sometimes, but really try to stay away from mocking like if

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they have a big reaction or you're trying to tell them

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something. And it's easy to mock and I don't know about you, I

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have never seen you know, a comedian onstage or any, anyone

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like that or an in person. i What is it a impersonator?

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Right? That actually gets it. All right. And not to mention

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the fact that when you're speaking with your son or

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daughter, and in my case, my daughter, right, the way that

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she is portrayed on the outside is different than the way that

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she is being portrayed than the way she thinks she's being

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portrayed from the inside. You think about it like, like a

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movie projector, right? So the person that is operating the

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movie projector in the movie theater is sitting back in a

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room, and they have this little

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player doohickey thing. I'm not even sure what it's called, look

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at my super technical words here. And the image is what

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maybe two inches in diameter. And then the people in the

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audience are sitting there and they're seeing this on the big

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big screen. They have their snacks with them. They have

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other people with them, right? It's two different perspectives

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of the same thing. And so when you're mocking and you're saying

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what is on screen that's not what they're seeing when they're

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back with the projector. I hope that makes sense. So mocking is

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something that you should definitely try to stay away

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from. So those are those big nose again are do not interrupt,

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do not use always never and Do not mock. And with

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communication, just validate their feelings and stay there a

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while right be vulnerable with them, if they have something

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that they're going through, understand where that's coming

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from. And you can I guarantee that if they are upset, sad,

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embarrassed, humiliated, shameful, guilty, right, all of

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those things have roots, doesn't matter what the circumstances,

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but those feelings have roots. And I guarantee that you have

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felt that way with something before, share those share, have

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them see you as the human, and not just the authoritarian,

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right, you guys are a team as a family. And so if you can share

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your vulnerability and and they can see that you understand

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where they're coming from, it will make things so so much

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easier, okay. And then lastly, you want to close, and you want

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to close with love and understanding and a game plan.

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You do not have to agree, it is not about getting to a place

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that everyone agrees on everything. And, you know, I

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agree that I was all wrong, or I you know, you agree that I was

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all right or anything, we don't have to agree. But you do need

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to come to a point of understanding and respect,

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right? Respect the fact that they're going through this, they

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need to respect the fact that you are also going through

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something as the parent of them going through something, and

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that you're taking your time and your mental and emotional and

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physical energy in order to help them and love them and guide

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them. So come to a point of understanding and respect at the

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end. And you need an action step for whatever you came into that

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difficult conversation with, make sure there's at least one,

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maybe two, maybe three action steps that you can take. Because

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if there's not an action step, then there really wasn't any

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movement forward with that difficult conversation, right?

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The action step could look like a hug. And I'm sorry, I'm sorry

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to and let's do better next time. And this is how we're

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going to do better. If you just say we're going to do better

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next time, then that's too ambiguous. And it's just put

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into the let's try trashcan, and nothing really happens, right?

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But if you put a definitive action on it, like, okay, let's

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let's work on our relationship a little bit better, let's go to

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dinner in the movies this week, just the two of us, let's spend

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half hour together on Thursday nights, just the two of us.

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Let's you know, or, or if it's someone else, if this

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conversation was about something else, like let's do something

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about that, but put a definitive action on that close. And again,

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if it's for you pray it out. So again, just to go through those

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it is stay, get and stay calm, come into it calm, right?

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construct a plan, keep it simple. Make sure you're on the

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same level and same ideas of your spouse, right? Come in with

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one thing that you want to figure out. You want to connect

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with lots of questions, you want to communicate, and you want to

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close. So calm, construct, connect, communicate, and close.

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So I hope that you've gotten so much out of this today, because

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lord knows that we have so many difficult conversations that

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have to come up every day, I have four daughters. And so my

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daily quota I think is like three of these a day, at least

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difficult conversations. And once you get the hang of this

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and once you're like okay, this is what we want to do. I'm calm

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now. They're calm now. So let's connect, let's communicate.

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Alright, this is our action step, right? It just becomes

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this cadence of things that you're going into, but it's a

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practice. The first time we did this, it we were terrible at it.

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And now we're much better and we'll get even better after

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that. So don't think that you have to be perfect. You only

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have to try. I was just speaking with someone as a guest speaker

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this morning. And we were talking about how we take all of

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the good from our, that our parents gave us. But we really

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also take all of the mistakes that our parents had, and we

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build on them, especially those mistakes that we see they are

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not perfect people. They're flawed just like we are and when

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they when they flawed, they just get up and they do better next

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time. They apologize and they move on right. And that's what

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we need to do. Do too You do not need to be perfect, you just

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need to try. Okay you guys. So we will be back with another

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episode of the 6570 family project podcast next week and

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remember guys just keep teaching, keep laughing, keep

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loving and remember to keep showing up with intention during

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the 6570 parenthood childhood experience because they need

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you. Alright everyone, I will talk to you later.

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Thank you so much for listening today. And I hope you were able

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to take something from our discussion that you can use to

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build the foundation of self led leadership in your own family.

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If you are a parent with children 17 or younger, and

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especially those around nine and up, I would love to extend an

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invitation to you to the best club in town. The family

Nellie Harden:

architects Club is a private club where intentional parents

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go that want to love support, connect or reconnect and really

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truly help guide their kids and teach them how to self lead in

Nellie Harden:

discipline and leadership. This is an online community and the

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you are welcome to it. Parenting is a project and you are the

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architect of this one. You plan you design and oversee the

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construction of the beginning of someone else's life. And that's

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what goes into these first 6570 days. And it will be the

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foundation for the rest of their lives. So come join the club.

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You can find your invitation on the front page of my website

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Nelly hardened.com that is n e ll ie H AR di n.com. Thank you

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again for being a part of this conversation today. And if

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something really resonated with you, or if you have a question,

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please don't hesitate to connect with me. You can find me on

Nellie Harden:

Instagram at Nelly hardens. And lastly, if you love the

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information, please please leave a five star review and a comment

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so more and more families can be impacted by harnessing the

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strength of these ideas and tools in their own families. So

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thank you so much. Happy building you guys and I'll see

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