My next interview was so good I’ve split it into two parts! So for the next two I am joined by the excellent Nadim Saad.
Nadim is a parenting and relationship coach and author of seven books including the highly acclaimed Kids Don’t Come With a Manual, Happy Confident Me Journal series and Raising Happy Confident Kids. Father of three and founder of The Happy Confident Company – focused on helping children become the best version of themselves. We talk parenting, how our childhood affects our parenting and the ten life skills all children needs to learn. Our conversation was so good, we had to break it up into two episodes! You are in for a huge treat.
Here are the highlights:
(03:37) The challenge of opposing parenting styles
(06:10) We lose it from time to time, and that’s ok
(09:53) Coaching a change in mindset
(13:14) The salad leaf incident
(18:55) Changes take time to be noticed
(21:56) The science of parenting
(27:01) Helping our children to manage negative feelings
(30:27) It’s ok to be angry sometimes
(33:33) The power of introspection
(37:15) I’m not the only one
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Hello, and welcome to the How Not to Scrub Up Your Kids' Podcast. So pour yourself a cup. Find a comfy seat and enjoy the conversation. This is episode 80 and today's episode I get to interview Naem Sar, and you may or may not be familiar with him. He is a parent coach and the founder of the Happy, confident Company, so you may well have even bought some of the resources, whether that's the journal.
Or whether that's the card decks. Naim is a parenting a relationship coach and the author of seven books, including the Highly Acclaimed Kids, don't Come with a Manual Happy Confident Me Journal series and raising happy, confident Kids. He. Just has an absolute incredible way of taking some of the real complexities around how we raise confident and happy children, and using the knowledge that he's acquired through neuroscience and across a whole host of different modalities to give us some really clear, specific things that we can be doing as parents and we.
Four so hard. We've had to put the episode actually into two sections. So there'll be an episode 80 and an episode 81, and that was, there's a whole load of stuff that we didn't even record. Um, but you will find some incredible nuggets there. What Nadine will talk about are the 10 life skills that we should be teaching our children, which we will share as a free resource, as usual at the end of the podcast.
So we have split the episode across. . So the Gibb for this week's particular podcast episode is going to be the top five of Nadine's 10 life skills that we should teach our children, and then the other five will be across next week's episode. So all you need to do is head over to my free resource library, dr Mary hand.com/library, where you'll find the link to download this week's resource as well as the resources.
All the other episodes, and there will also be a link to help connect you to the Happy, confident Company if you want to purchase any of their journals or their card decks, which Nadine talks about. As ever, if you have enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you could follow and review this podcast so that others can find us and we can spread the love.
So until next time, here's Naim Part one.
So welcome. I'm so excited to welcome. Today I have Naim Sad and you won't have realized obviously, because we've only just pressed record that we have been chatting probably for a good 20 minutes before we even started. So you are in for a huge, huge treat. Naim, welcome.
Thank you Maryanne. No pressure here.
Well, it's, it's, it's . It's a pleasure to finally, um, be meeting you speaking. , uh, because we've got so much in common, we're already realizing. So I hope that this conversation will, will, will build on each other's, uh, knowledge and we can, uh, hopefully share a few useful things for the audience.
Yeah, but it's brilliant.
So the podcast, it's all about how we don't screw up our kids. But as parents, I believe that we are very much a product of how we were parented. Whether we do this consciously or we do it sort of unconsciously, there may be elements of, you know, the way that we parented and we think, oh, I'm definitely not doing that.
Or, I like the way that my parents did that. I'm gonna do that myself. So what did you take into your parenting from your
parents? . Well, you could have sent me the questions beforehand. . . Oh my God. That, that's a, that's a three hour conversation. . Well, because I've done some deep therapy and I can tell you I come from, um, so before saying where I've even come from, it's, it's is in terms of parenting, I come from, Hey, I turned out okay.
So why would I read the parenting book? . Uh, and then I got married and I had my wife who was a Montessori teacher and who was giving lots of advice to parents and just thought she had it all sorted. Obviously she knew exactly how to parent and then we were opposing parenting style. She was more permissive.
I was more authoritarian and a lot of things she'd do with her children would be actually different from what he'd say. She'd say to the parents, in, in her. As is because obviously as we all know, there's the emotional aspect of things that takes over and therefore we actually often wanna do something and we end up doing something different.
So we actually had a lot of fights around parenting and, and I discovered so with time that 75% of parents disagree on things and more than 50% of disagree disagreements are on how to discipline. . So that's a big, uh, survey that has was done. And it makes so much sense When I actually interviewed the hundreds of people, you know, my audiences, it always comes, you know, 75% of people raise their hands, you know, I am having parenting challenge because often what happens is we'll either take the way we were parented and that was my case.
Oh, my parents were pretty authoritarian and I turned out okay, so I'm just gonna do the same. Actually, subconsciously, I didn't even think, oh, I'm gonna do the same as my pants, but when. Um, wife would tell me, oh, but that's not okay. You, you're doing, and I would say, well, my parents did the same and it was, I was okay
And, um, in her case, she was doing the opposite because she also had authority and parents. But, um, she, she subconsciously, she didn't initially, I mean, BEC trainings a modular teacher, obviously she realized a lot of things her parents had done, et cetera. But it's, it's very, it's very much an automatic mode.
You don't, a lot of people don't think about it. I, I certainly hadn't, and I wasn't willing to because I thought I didn't need. , but oh my God, with hindsight, , how much I screwed up my kids . I mean, wow. You know, I've come from years of saying, oh, come on, we're all like, it's normal to, to sh to shout at our children.
You know? It's it to lose it from time to time. We're human beings as we, you know, it's totally fine. And, and obviously I still think that because otherwise you have so much guilt. When you look at the research and realize that just raising voice or changing tone, and obviously even more, if you really start shouting that children de develop, suddenly release cortisol, their init, they're going to shame and they literally actually can't do what we ask from them because their bodys flooded with cortisol, the anxiety hormone, and it takes some time to get out of the body, and therefore you've got all this time where you're probably still raising your voice even more and even.
So you're making it harder for the children to do what we're asking of them. I was like, wow. It's, it's incredible. How much, how can I make it more difficult for my children to do what I'm asking of them? It's, it's just completely, you know, completely logical, but it still happens. But what's really important is I use two essential tools, is I use rewind and just try and do it differently because I catch myself, I'm now aware of it.
So I catch myself and I do it differently, and kids automatically reconnect because they didn't get the time. , you know, go in to release the cortisol and be in shame. And so immediately they change their tone that they realize, or I actually, if it has happened, still happens. I obviously, I apologize. I tell 'em, look, it happens.
I don't want you to do this. You know, obviously, because I realize I'm, I would model the best thing possible. It happens. And I apologize. Sorry, I, I didn't answer all the, so now let's go, you see how I could go on the tangent, but now we're gonna ask, I'm gonna answer basically what I got from my parents.
So two pre or 30 10 parents I thought. Pretty independent because my, um, sister would get the bulk of the anger from my parents. I was pretty independent and, uh, doing my own thing wouldn't be punished a lot while my sister was punished a lot, but, oh my God, with time, uh, and with a lot of therapy and I'm, I'm a trained hippo therapist, or I've, I've done regressions to my childhood and things like that in my trainings and, and with other, other forms of therapy too, and I realized how much I did not feel safe.
I, because I would see my parents shouted my. And I was, you know, in so much fear and screaming internally like, oh my God, why so much hate? And so it obviously, so I didn't feel safe as a child. And what's really incredible is that with all the therapy, obviously now I'm much better, not just through the therapy, I started being better by, by just rewiring my brain, by just deciding I'm gonna shout less, I'm gonna find solutions.
So my whole parenting journey was as a parenting coach, I really focused on these quick fix. all the tools, like the rewind, the, you know, and it had worked quite well, but there was still this thing that I couldn't change. My children would still see me as the angry dad. I was like, oh, come on, stop boxing me.
In the past, I'm not, you know, I still didn't want to be that because I was, I was making, I was changing, you know? So when I did a family thing with my, uh, children, my middle one was four. When we asked her to express her needs, she said, oh, dad, I'd like you to. And I was like, going to go, but one second.
Don't you see that? I'm shouting last. I mean, how can you, and I did say, I said, look, I, I, I hear you. I hear you. No, at first I start with, I hear you. No, it's like, you know, admit, you know, acknowledging her thought and her emotion. You know, I hear you. It clearly affects, still affects you, but you realize that I'm really doing so much better.
The whole family agreed. Oh yeah, yeah, you're doing so much better. But hey, you could still do better. . And I had to wait until she was seven, three years until she. dad, you know, you're actually doing much better. You haven't, uh, shouted recently. So it, it's really, really great and I was so proud. But, but it took, it took a long time.
So that's where I realized that it's not just about the parenting techniques. Now. My coaching focuses a lot more on also changing the mindset, my mindset essentially, and also giving the tools to. , and that's what the, the whole happy, confident company, uh, that I created and founded, and the whole 10 managers, uh, 10 minutes matter campaign is built on, is if we can give the children the tools so they can deal with their feelings and they can deal with, and they can express themselves in different ways, cetera, and realize that where, where it's coming from and how they can do better, then the whole dynamic changes.
So it's the effort. It's not like the children have to make the effort, you know, it's still the, the parents have to do the bulk of. But children will understand better. They'll understand where they're flipping their lid or their parent are flipping their lids. They'll even, I had a child, an eight year old child who was taking my workshop when I started several years ago, and he went to see his mom and she was getting angry and he said, oh, mommy, uh, you're getting angry.
Maybe you need a, a bit of pbs. And she said, what's that pbs? She said, pause, breathe, and smile . I love that. And so you can, you can imagine what the mum did obviously automatically started laughing and go, okay, you know, yeah, I could. So, so it becomes this really beautiful connection and, and everyone wants to do better.
Everyone of us standing where they're coming from and that everyone has strong feelings. Big feelings that they can lose it sometimes, but so they've got the same knowledge and the. , they can have a completely different conversation about it and just grow together and, and, and, and help each other out grow because ultimately our children are our best teachers.
So yeah. That's, that's the, so, so now I'm gonna finalize, because you asked the question about what do I get from my parents? So first, a lot of, so what, what's really interesting in my parents, I really, I, I'm, so, my parents are mostly Lebanese, but my mom was born in Mexico and raised in Mexico. So I'm Mexican Lebanese, I'm also Greek from my granddad, and I'm now British.
Cause I've been here for. . And what I've noticed is parenting is clearly pretty different across the board. It's, I mean, there are a lot of similarities, but there's also a lot of differences, uh, and particularly in the Middle East where I come from. But what I've seen across the world, and I've lived in seven countries and and, and traveled a lot, is that children still all have the same needs.
Yeah. We all have, as human beings, we have the same needs. And what's really incredible is that we're treating children differently in different parts of the world. Instead of adapting to child themselves, which is the most important bit, we're actually just, you know, doing the same thing. What we think for culturally, you know, we reproduce a lot of cultural things and sometimes, thankfully, obviously some parents just try to, you know, readapt their children, but we don't get the basic knowledge of psychology, of basic, of children's needs of, of basic human psychology.
And that's what we're trying to bring to the system. We're trying to teach this to children and as we do. and they understand the basics of psychology. Actually, they bring it to their parents too, because their parents want to know and like, oh, well I didn't know that. I don't know interception, I don't know, intro.
I didn't know neuro neurons. I didn't know neuroplasticity. All of these big terms that are so important actually to learn to teach children and parents. So that's what we're bringing fruit schools and to families to really help everyone have this important conversation. And the last bit. So from all of this, different cultures I got, despite that my parents were really super author.
and I reproduced that until I really realized that it wasn't acceptable. And I can share a quick example, and a lot of people connect to that example. The more authoritarian parents in out there may connect to that. So my, my eldest was four and a half and we were having a nice, um, Saturday lunch as a.
and she dropped a salad leaf, so she was thankful she was eating salad at four and a half. You know, I didn't even realize that it was, that was pretty good because then my third came in and that that was, whoa, , we forget salad. But, so I'm just mentioning this because then obviously salad is great, but then she dropped a salad leaf on the table and I go, uh, well, no.
So her name's newer. It's like, uh, please, uh, the salad leave and she ignores me. I'm like, newer, did you hear me? I told you, please pick up the salad. , she ignores me. Again, I'm raising, I'm already kind of in a, Hey, can you listen to me? So there's already the tone and that's important. But for what's coming, , because then I go, okay, no, I'm gonna count to three and you better pick up your salad.
Leave. Okay? If that's a one, it doesn't do anything. No, it's a two. You better pick up your salad. Leave still doesn't react. Two and a half. newer, you better become two, three quarters. And then she's not reacting. I reached three and the reaction was so strong, and it was coming from such a place of feeling powerless because often what I learned from my anger management courses is that anger often comes from feeling powerless or ashamed, and I was literally feeling powerless and ashamed that my daughter wasn't doing what I was asking her.
and the reaction was also due to the fact that I had no clue what I was going to do when I would reach three. So it had worked until then that she would out of fear, she would then, you know, do what she was asked. And I hadn't really thought about what do I do when I get to three? So the reaction was, oh my God, she has, because my whole parenting is out of fear.
Yeah. She, I have, I have to make it so big that she'll never want to get to. So I shouted. I picked her up. I said, you're going to your room. Literally brought her up the stairs. It was a terrible moment of parenting and obviously pretty traumatic for her and for the whole family. My wife didn't speak to me for a whole day, so it was such disconnection and out of what, with hindsight, a salad leaf on the table and obviously it, the event, the incident could have been a lot worse.
You could have like screamed at me and insulted me, whatever, but whatever. Nothing, just. This kind of reaction because I put her in such ba, basically what I realized that after, you know, when I finally, that's where I decided to do something by my parenting. Yeah. But I would've much rather not have these traumatic examples and others.
That happened even later despite me knowing, because I realized that this, if I had worked on myself before and realized that this could come up, because that's what I got from my parents. Well, I would've, you know, I would've at, at this crucial time when they're really innocent and we don't, not actually expecting them to be, to do this because that's a problem.
And I heard your podcast that's, uh, and with, with Zoe Blak, where, where you say, you know, we have this expectation of children when they turn like four, oh, they should be listening, right? Or six or nine or so we, we start having these expectations and the problem is, well, no, I was actually putting my daughter in a situation just because she heard that it could have been oppos.
But the most likely, but at four and a half, that's more opposition comes a bit later in that the most likely was that she was just shutting down. She wasn't in, when we called fight or flight and freeze, she was actually in freeze mode. And so she wasn't, li wasn't listening to the 1, 2, 3, and she was already in a situation where she wasn't really even thinking about the fear and the consequence of what was gonna happen.
So that's why, you know, all of that preamble to say so important to realize that we, we do get things from our parents and it's really important that. . We do the work before they grow up, but hey, anytime. Even when they're teens, actually it's the most important because that's where they really push your buttons.
Yeah. And even later, if they left home and actually could always reconnect with your children. And that's what I'm doing with my, I've got a 15 year old, 13 year old, and a 10 year old, and I'm still reconnecting. I'm some, so, so removing that past experience they had of me and they're gradually, it takes, you know, a long time for them to finally see me in a completely different.
And to acknowledge and wow. When they acknowledge the change, you know, when we're not in a, it's so beautiful and you just think it's all worthwhile because the connection is so much deeper. Yeah, it is
incredible. And I know, think a lot Oh no, and I, I just, I really value your honesty because I think cer certainly what I've found, and I don't know if this is a cultural, you know, I too, um, I'm from the middle.
and culturally, certainly there's, there's not this sort of talking about parenting, so I don't ever remember my parents even having a, a, a, a reflective moment to reflect on how they parented at all. And I think it's just so important to be really honest about it. And you've. In that, in your response, you, ra you came up with so many things that I just want to touch on and one of the things that I think is really crucial to touch on is this idea that quite often as parents, we feel that we are making changes, which we are, but our children have yet to recognize and to feel that the sh that the weight.
Has tipped enough so that they feel secure enough that that change in us, whether it's reducing shouting at expectations or whatever it might be, that it's been tipped enough that that then becomes their new norm. And so often we have to ask that question of our children and not get into that. But can you not see, I've changed.
Why can you not See I've changed.
So true that what you just picked on is so I. because it, I get frustrated sometimes because I, I made, I mean, I made major changes and that lag, it's just like, hang on, you know, because it's so worth it. And, and, and so a lot of, for example, one of the things that, one example I take, um, and parents really connect to it is like, my child was six.
I was learning all about the growth mindset, realizing that I was praising her. I would, you know, I was over praising her and there are better ways to do it. So I started focusing on effort. And personally, I just, I would tell her regular, . Oh, you, hey, you must, you put a lot of effort into this. You must be proud of it.
And she just didn't react. She was five and a half. She didn't react. And I was like, okay, hang on. The, the, you know, the, the research really shows it hang in there. Six months later she comes, I was working from home. She knocks on the door and says, oh dad, do you have a minute? I said, I'm finishing something, but yeah, yeah.
Get on. You tell me. And she says, well, I wanted to share that I've been made ballerina of the month. Uh, and I'm. You're super happy with that. And I go, oh wow. You must, you know, you must be proud of this. And she says, yes, I'm proud of it. And I practiced a lot to get to this. So suddenly it was the switch.
She, she associate the practice, the effort, you know, and the pride and the whole thing. And I was just like, wow. Bingo. Six months. But it's so, it's so worth it. And the same for the shouting, as I mentioned. You know, it took a while for the kids to acknowledge that, but it's still so worth it. You know? It's not because, Ungrateful because that's the theoric I had was like, oh, they're so ungrateful.
I'm making all, all these efforts. No, it's just because they did feel unsafe for many years. And for, for, as you just said, for them to really feel that the, the, the this point where they feel, whew, actually, you know what? There's enough. I'm not working on eggshells anymore. I've seen enough to see, oh yeah, my, my dad really changed.
But, but I also think, Nadine, that that's a really crucial part of. From a parenting perspective, just generally in that whenever we as parents reflect on what might be working or not working and what we might need to make as changes within our family, is that I think quite often we start with a particular technique that we've read about.
Maybe we've read a parenting book and we think, ah, this is, this is what I should be doing. And when we don't see results instantaneously, we. We assume that the technique is rubbish and then we move on to the next one. Whereas actually the key message here is have the conviction to know that what you are putting in place, the technique and the strategy is the right strategy for your family and for your child.
And bk. It's being aware that it's not, things don't turn around overnight. It takes time. And just knowing that if you keep applying the. Put philosophy, the same language that you will then see the
shift. You're so right. And that's what one of the difficulties in parenting is that there are, you know, when I, when my, um, wife would tell me, oh, here, read this parenting book.
I go one second. There are so many parenting science, you know, there's not a science. There's so many theories out there. Just gimme an exact summary and show me it works. So it took me years to actually realize that there is a science of parenting. It's still, it's, I love saying it's both a science and.
and the science is very similar to science of leadership because that's where I, my background is in leadership and I realize that it's exactly what, and thankfully they've done a lot of science on leadership and you can actually apply it to kids. It's just obviously adapting to young kids. And that's, that's a bit different.
But that's why I, I, I wrote a book about this, but, so the art is more the, on the art of listening and the art of adapting a psychology to your, of your unique. but on, but, but all this science is, it's about time that it's, it's known, you know, it's about time that we do things consistently and, and, and often it's about listening techniques.
It's about problem solving techniques that involve the child. I mean, not often, always, because that's where the art comes. It's in the art of understanding your child because you've actually practiced. And art is also something you can practice. That's what we teach, uh, children too. Creativity is something you, it's both something you learn.
You is innate. It's the gift we get at, uh, when we're born, but it's also a skill that we can develop even creativity and art. And that's what a lot of kids don't know and don't realize. But coming back to one point that you're making as well is, I don't, I wanna make sure that, because I spoke about the, my authoritarian, uh, side to, to realize that actually my wife was also more permissive and she also realized that she hadn't done things very well and the kids, it took years for the kids to actually, um, see a change as well.
Well, they actually, interestingly, sorry. You see a shift of a per, from a more permissive parent into a more balanced parent. We call them balanced parent much, much quicker. And actually, it's hard for kids to adapt because like, oh my God, where did this come from? Suddenly, you know, my mom or my dad are, have become firm, firm me, and, and like, oh no, no, I, I prefer the old you
So they, they have more pro of course, because they could get away with murder . So, so it's harder for them to, to adapt to, to more permissive parents get becoming more balanced. But with that, and that also takes time because then they'll resist, resist, resist. And then the parent will often go, oh my God, this is too difficult.
It was so much easier before, because they don't see their long-term effect. And actually it's when they stay in this consistency that it's so important. But then they're, they're, you know, my children still say, look, you know what, despite you being very tok, these rules were so important. So they acknowledge that the rules are important and that some, and, and that other children who get away with murder or I don't like this expression actually, sorry, who are really, who whose parents are, are much more permissive and they get away with a lot actually, that they're not learning, they're not learning to develop their frustration muscle, they're disappointment muscle things that are so, so important because when you grow up, you are gonna be, you're bound to be disappointed and, and frustrated.
You know, we're called the happy, confident company. But it's not about being happy a hundred percent of the time. It's actually about acknowledging when you're going into these really big feelings that we all have, developing the resilience to under first the interception. So which is the sensation of feelings.
Feelings in our body, and the sensations, and therefore acknowledging what's happening, name to tame it. So reducing the intensity of the feeling, and then learning how to, you know, work with this disappointment and this frustra. To make it better, and then you get yourself back to happiness. But it's not about being happy all the time, which is my biggest issue in life is I thought I had to be happy all the time.
And the problem is then it, it comes and bites you from other places. Because if you're trying to be happy all the time, unfortunately, with your loved one, sometimes you're just like, actually, you know what? I can't. I'm not feeling very good. Well, you don't even acknowledge because I've, I had shut off my feeling, but then suddenly it comes out as, um, you know, hey, enough of.
I feel it's unfair. I'm trying, I'm, I'm doing my best for everyone and I don't get, you know, what I, what my knees met. And boom, you get a bout of anger and then everyone's like, oh, we're this lovely person, happy, confident person. Go , and you're, you feel misunderstood. They dunno this whole cycle.
Yeah, and it's so, and I think it's, it's really crucial, Nadine, cuz you touch on, I think something that I, I think quite often as, as parents believe, maybe you'll disagree.
That there's this idea that we should make our children's lives happy and, and comfortable and easy, and we want to cocoon them and we want to protect them. That actually is not helpful because these little people become big people and, and my, my children are at the other end. I've got a 22 year old and a 19 year old and they are, you know, I often get that, you know, I'm so grateful, mum, that you didn't allow us to do x and y.
I know we really resisted at the time, but that's been really helpful and I think it's that it. Do, do you feel that that's the same? I feel that as parents, we often feel that we need, our children's lives need to be easy and lovely and happy all the time. And otherwise we failed.
Yes. I mean, not all parents and I, I was coming from the fact that, you know, they had to just put up with some things.
Um, but, but I do see that a lot and it is, that's the more difficult thing to identify, to realize that actually what, what's the consequence of this? What's the negative consequence of, of over protecting them? Um, so yeah, absolutely. I, I see this a. And I see this particularly with parents, for example, who have little time with their children and then they think, oh my God, so this time has to be the best possible and therefore I'm gonna be, I'm gonna shower them with gifts, shower them with my, you know, it's not because we're not so present.
And that creates a big issue because the, you can't buy your children's, you know, and you can't, you have, it takes time to get the the right values in place to get them, you know, to. . Yeah. That's frustration, disappointment that we talked about. So, and not to protect them. So I, because that's the, what life is about.
And, and it doesn't mean we're going to impose frustration and disappointment on them. It just means that when we, when suddenly they have experienced this, instead of telling them, oh, don't worry, you broke something, I'm gonna buy you another one. Because we can't deal with that. You know, we don't want to see them frustrated, which is go, oh, that's sad, but, you know, well, you know, what are you gonna do next time to make sure it doesn't break , you know, they have to learn to be also careful and care not careless and all of that.
Uh, all the basics, you know, basically becoming human beings and that's why it's really important to also teach 'em the life skills because it's about, I Do you want me to mention briefly the 10 key life skills that we teach each over? Yes, please.
Yeah. I think that would be
brilliant. Yeah. Okay. I'll, I'll do it briefly cuz I, as you, as you see, I can speak
I can talk a lot. So when we realized, so, so I came from, from parenting and, um, the story is the, the same middle child who actually told me, oh daddy, you're, you're screaming a lot less and you know, you're shouting. Uh, was a very bubbly, very positive child, but she turned eight and she went through a few challenges, including actually, um, the, my, our divorce.
So I divorced my wife and at this moment in time, she's, it was, um, after, but clearly certainly affected by that she started being quite mean to her sisters and also quite harsh. . So I, I, I would try really nicely to bring her back to her own self, which is the bubbly, positive self and trying to reconnect her to what I say.
Look, you tru, you don't remember how kind you are. You are a very kind person. And guess what? It, that did not work . It backfired completely because I was just what she was hearing, well after then coaching her. Initially, I kind of, it was, I wasn't very reacting or was in the best possible way because I, I, I didn't recognize my daughter and I was, I wasn't patient enough because I was like, oh, that's not you.
So finally sat down with her in really deep, deep coaching and it took a good half an hour to an hour to finally get her to say, I hate myself. And obviously that's a pretty horrible thing to hear from your daughter and even more when you're a parenting coach who theoretically is doing, you know, most things.
theoretically, because obviously , I know with hindsight that I was still a lot, and one of the things I was doing wrong was that reconnecting her with her true self because I was, it was as if I was telling her, you're not, that's not you. I was, I didn't realize that. Obviously we all have different parts of ourselves and that's what I learned with deep therapy and you have to accept this harsh part of yourself.
This, you know, angry part. It's totally, it's, it's okay to be angry sometimes. It's just more about how you express it. And that's what I was not teaching her. I was just telling her this, this is not okay to be. And so what she did, she was basically associated her behavior to who she is as a person. And that's what most kids do, by the way, as we know.
And therefore, she felt she was a bad person and therefore she hated herself. So thank God I got to the bottom of this and I managed to completely change this and, and do things completely differently. I said, oh wow. Thanks for sharing. Let's do something about it. And that's what we completely, we work as a team to change this, but I realized then that.
most parents don't have the chance of having these tools that I, even if we teach us as parenting coaches, we teach, you know, a lot of things to, to parents. It takes a lot of patience, a lot of knowledge and training to get to that. And that helped me realize that all these parents who told me, oh, can you train our kids?
And I'd go, come on. No, no, you've got to do their work. , stop wanting to outsource your kids to ev to someone else like you do at school, et cetera. But I realize actually, you know what, why aren't kids, why, sorry, why aren't, are. Teaching our kids to deal with these big emotions, to actually be, to feel safe, to express themselves and to share their feelings.
Because as parents, it's harder for us to actually teach this because, because often it'll come that, oh my God, you've already repeated this several times. If they had a program at school that would teach them how to manage the feelings, how to actually first acknowledge their feeling to teach them, you know, emotional literacy or already, because as parents, often when we teach parents to, oh, try and listen to your children name, their feeling.e amazing research looking at:
you're angry. Sad. Oh, sorry. It's mad because it's us, so it's mad, sad, and happy . And the problem, and what these research papers also show is that when you do this and you just bring all of these feelings into what, it's not helpful, you need emotional granularity to ha to get to the bottom of it and really realize, you know, oh, okay.
That's what's happening to me. To be able to do something about it, to really feel more in control of the. . So that's what we're trying to do with a happy comp company and bringing this to schools and to families. So it's first emotional literacy really help families and schools share that. The, the, the, the, sorry, I'm actually, as I'm speaking, I'm realizing that I was going through the 10 Paris, so let me go back to 10 Paris, because the, the whole base is most literacy, but the whole, the 10 powers build on this.
So from an early age, it's really from nursery. Learn about your feelings, learn how to what the different feelings. Through activities, through sharing in class and make it a, a safe container. Make schools and for the family a safe container to share these feelings and not feel ashamed to be in what we, in the red, to be angry, to be furious.
To be overwhelmed. All of these things. And so coming back to the 10 powers, the first is actually the power of introspection. And it's a big word because a lot, but, but we use it because it is about when we, we show kids and, and, and we've got a whole video program. , um, where Emma, Emma Willis, uh, is a presenter of the, of the program and she shows intro, you know, basically spec shun.
And, you know, you understand you people, people can't see me, but it's about the specs and understanding that introspection is about looking inside of ourselves. Because self-awareness and introspection is, is the key to everything ultimately. Because when we know our needs, we understand what's happening to us, what makes us happy, what makes us.
And what, uh, and, and how we can actually switch from one to another. It's, it's really helpful. So, so it's always the basis of everything for us is, is introspection. The second one we call the power of optimism. It's about identifying this little voice in our head that's often going to tell us, oh, you're not good at this, you're not good enough.
Uh, and, and I did this exercise my children and oh my God, when you see what they can write, it's really horrendous. And this, you know, that's where you get my child saying, I hate. But teaching them that that is actually, we all have negative feelings and it's okay because we can deal with that. Because we can actually then ask what we call the inner bully.
It's our inner bully we call it. And so we teach them about bullying in the same way because actually instead of we're often the bullies are often the children who have the biggest inner bully. So we teach them to not have an inner bully, so they never want to bully others . So un identifying this, um, this little.
and realizing that, so the three questions we we tell kids to ask themselves is, is this voice kind? Is this voice helpful? And is this true? Because often they'll ask if it's true first, and they'll go, well, yeah, it's true because they've convinced themselves that this is true. But actually that's not enough.
They first have to say, think whether it's kind or unhelpful, because if it's not helpful thought, for example, oh, I'm not good. , well, hey, you can do things, something about it and then you can learn to actually re reframe your thoughts in a more helpful way. So we teach them that because it's so important because often kids don't realize it's little voice that, and they think it's their mind.
They think it's themselves and it's, it takes year, you know, after a lot of meditation teachers hermits who spend like 15, 20 years in a cave, you asked them, so what did you learn? Really? Tell us what's the nugget, , and. Many of them actually came out and said, look, you have to, to do it to understand because it seems so simple, but it's, what I learned is I'm not my mind.
So this realization that what we tell ourselves is actually often not the reality and not the truth, is learning this from an early age is so. . But as you say in em,
I think that's such a crucial thing because, you know, I talk a lot about this idea of this internal chatter and that, you know, you've got the voice of that sort of inner critic, but you also have the voice of your best self.
There's an alternative side, and I, I think you know, of all of the things. That I personally feel that we can teach children that help them in terms of adulthood is around that chatter. And the fact, just because they thought it doesn't necessarily make it true and to question it because that's what creates your reality.
You act upon those thoughts and those belief systems, and that's what sends you down this spiral, whether you are a parent. Why is my child being so ungrateful responding to me in this, in this way? They don't, how do they not care what I'm doing to the child that doesn't try something because they think they're going to fail?
It's so crucial.
Absolutely. We're still on the same page on that and that's where, so it's really crucial to the simple fact. Often it's like with parenting, when you do painting courses and you're, you're many sharing and you're just like, oh my God, I'm not the only one. Well, it's the same for kids. How could they know that their friends actually have the.
Uh, in a chatter or even their parents because their parents are supposed to be strong. And so teaching them that that's not abnormal and they can do something about it, oh my God, they feel so much more in control and, and so much more understood, and they don't feel bad. They're not like a bad person.
They're just like, oh, they've got this voice. Sometimes it's pretty negative. So that's the power of optimist and, and what we teach them as well. What's so important is the cycle of the typical cognitive behavioral therapy cycle, which is your thoughts, lead to your feeling and lead to your behavior. and teaching them, for example, if they have a negative thought about a friend who didn't say hi or didn't invite them to a play date, and they start having strong feelings about it, and then their behavior is likely to be affected by this and they're likely to basically ignore their friend or be aggressive or be, you know, angry at them or think like that and that realize that, then obviously their friend is also gonna react from that space and therefore they're gonna ref reinforce this cycle and how to get away from these negative cycles is so important.
A lot of our, for example, patterns with our partners, with our at work, a lot of these things are initially come from this initial negative thought and, and we're reinforcing the cycle because we obviously, oh, guess what? Our reticular activating system, which is basically the part of our brain that filters information, will just confirm this negative bias we got on, on, on something.
And for example, I'm not good at maths. Boom. You just said, say this once to yourself because you had a difficult math problem. You didn't. , and that's for the rest of your life. You've convinced yourself you're not good at math. While everything, every research proves that, okay, some minds are more analytical, but in general, if you practice, everyone can do math.
Everyone can do ev anything basically, because we rewire brain, we, we have neuroplasticity, um, which is, so episode four, so let me, I'm, I'm jumping up. Episode two Optimism. And, and it's not about, uh, you know, ultra positivity. We're not, we don't believe in ultra positivity. And always, I, I just, I, I made it clear it's not about always being happy and ultra positive.
It's just about identifying when we're being negative and, and just help ourselves out of this, to, to make it, to, to, to treat the disappointment or the frustration or whatever. . Then the third is the power of interception and it's not introspection is interception and I mentioned it earlier and it's actually our sixth sense is this is the sense of feeling sensation in our body.
So it could be hot or cold or also our feelings and developing this is so important and we, we show that, for example, autistic children have more difficulty feeling these, uh, feeling their. . And therefore that's why sometimes they're not in tune and that helps autistic children. But we also, obviously, so we help children realize that we're not all the same, but the most important thing is we teach them to practice feeling those sensations, identifying them because it is so helpful to then do something about, to feel more in control because as, uh, Dan Siegel, you know, great neuroscientist has shown you can, when you name a feeling, you reduce and its, its intensity in the.
And therefore it makes it more controllable. And it, we are talking about more granular. It's not just, oh, I'm angry. You know, because actually in this case, if you were powerless about something, that's what brought the anger. You need to, to ideally name the powerlessness, the, oh, the frustration or powerlessness rather than just the anger.
And that's when suddenly it, it reduces the intensity in the, in the brain and makes it more manageable. That's why we, um, Dan Siegel, uh, coin the sentence name it to. And it's always really helpful to real, to remember this, so that we teach kids that, you know, we all have big feelings and how to manage them to become detectives of their feelings and their thoughts.
So, so in in, in power optimism, they become detective of their thoughts. So we're developing their metacognition in, in, uh, power of interception. We're helping develop this, you know, the feeling bit and become the therapy of the feelings. Then comes the fourth power, which is the power of. And that's where we teach them about growth mindset, fixed mindset.
The fact that intelligence is not in innate, that actually you can develop the different part of your brain because the brain is plastic and that we're not good at something. If we're not good at something, it's because we're not good at it yet. And that's quite developed in schools, but we go the extra mile of really teaching them about the whole science of neuroplasticity.
So the fact that our brain is malleable and that we can, uh, create these new, uh, neuro neural pathways that make it easier to do things just by practic. and children really get it, and so it helps them identify a lot of things that they think they're not good at and how they can actually with, with more practice can, can become better at them.
Then we, the fifth power is the power of failure, and that's a biggie because the same way we got them with in the power of three a power of interception, we, we taught them permission to feel. In this, in the fifth power, power failure, we teach them permission to fail. And that's a huge thing in our culture.
We get seeing more and more children becoming perfectionists, really annoyed, not wanting to, to make mistakes, and it's so important. So when they see that people like Disney was fired at 29 from a newspaper because he wasn't creative enough, he was like, what? Disney wasn't creative. So, you know, it's, and they've, he's built the most incredible empire and, and, and, you know, a world of, of so creative.
So it really helps them to realize that ev even the most successful people have failed and that the ones who've actually failed the most are the most successful often because they needed fail a lot to learn. So this is the really under understanding the importance of mistakes and finding a gift in every mistake is the, is the power of failure.