S1 E03 - The ChangeMar 15, 2021
Things continued to improve as I focussed on shifting my mindset which allowed me to control my reactions towards him, we both began to freak out less. I didn’t have words to describe what was going on, the change, until I found life coaching. I finally had a way to explain the shift. Life coaching is the bridge to better connection with your children and lasting change in behaviour. I started taking the Life Coaching tools and mindset work that I was learning and pairing it with all of my years of knowledge about positive parenting and started noticing bigger and bigger changes. Our home is an entirely different place than it was back then, this is why, this is how. You can do this too.
In this episode of The Freedom Moms Podcast:
- Positive parenting and how it started to work for us
- The changes that happened in my child’s behaviour over time, and mine as well
- What our home is now
- The HOW behind the change
- The pivotal role that life coaching played in our relationship
I would be honored to be your coach and help you get the changes you want to see in your life. I have come so far, completely turned around my life and my relationships with my children, I know what it takes and how to make it happen. You can use the links below to get more of my content and learn about my monthly program By Design, where I provide monthly training and live coaching to help you build radical connection in your life.
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A great book to start your journey with: Hold On to Your Kids
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Hey, I'm Crystal, a certified life coach and mom of four. In this podcast, we combine radical connection and positive parenting theories with the How-To Life Coaching Tools and Mindset Work to completely transform our relationship with our children.
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Episode 3, The Change.
Positive parenting and how it started to work for us
As things started to improve in our relationship and I started to change my tune – I started to change the dance that we'd been dancing – I noticed just little shifts and changes over time. Maybe this meltdown would be slightly less intense, like just a little bit. Maybe he would have one less meltdown a day.
Maybe sometimes he would really open up to me, as we were having a conversation and he was calm and I was calm. I started to feel like he was a little bit more connected as well.
Now, these changes did not happen immediately or overnight; they happened over the course of several months. I noticed that it was a little bit easier for me to be calm in those moments, I wasn't totally calm. I definitely still felt frustrated, but I was able to show up in the way that I wanted; and that got a little bit easier.
And so, I noticed just these little tiny behavior shifts over time. What I didn't have at that time, was words as to why the change happened – the change had happened and how I had done that – or how it could get better, or how it could move on from there. I still, every once in a while, did lose it on him.
I wasn't always able to show up in the way that I wanted. Sometimes I would still get super frustrated and super stressed; and I would still yell and I would still lose it, and then he would lose it too.
And it would just be back to the way that we used to be. But then, I would just allow myself to not have that happen next time. I'd be like, 'Okay, that's fine. We didn't do it great this time. I can do it again next time.'
The changes that happened in my child’s behavior over time, and mine as well
So, it definitely wasn't perfect and it definitely wasn't awesome, but it did start over time, making changes. So, fast-forward about a year, and I remember, I think it was about the wintertime a year after we had moved there. I remember looking back and thinking, 'Wow, his behavior has actually really improved.'
It had been one year to the week since I had met with that lady that had never come over again – that psychotherapist, I never had her come back again – because I felt like I had what I needed.
And so, over time, like I said, I noticed these changes, but this time when I had zoomed it over the course of a year, I was looking back at things and thought, 'Wow, it actually is quite a bit better.' So, at this time, I would say if I were to measure them, that his meltdowns went from 2 to 3 times a day – to 2 to 3 times a month, maybe once a week.
And that the intensity of them, instead of being like at 100% intensity of what they were before, lots of times that would be like 20 to 30%, sometimes even less; and very irregularly would they be as intense. So, things did start to change. Like I said, there were small changes over time.
We did make some other changes. I talk a lot about kind of needs that are going on behind children's negative behaviors now, and I know a lot more about this now. But I did look into a few different things.
So, like I said, we knew maybe there was some sort of diagnosis that needed to happen. And there was also some food issues that he was struggling with. And so, we kind of got that worked out so that he could be not, you know, sick every time he was eating.
And we also looked into screens, which is a huge thing – I will definitely do an episode on that later – and that made a difference. So, there was all these kind of little things that made a difference, but for sure, the biggest step one for us was me changing, how I showed up in that relationship and our connection shifting.
So, like I said, over the course of a year, huge differences in his behavior, huge. And I never thought that would happen. I thought that it was just me that was going to show up differently; I didn't think it would change. Still, sometimes I didn't show up in the way that I wanted to.
We moved again…
So, fast-forward another year: we move back to the other side of the country again, my husband has finished school, things are going pretty well, I'm feeling pretty confident in my parenting.
I, you know, still sometimes yell, I still get stressed. You know, it definitely wasn't perfect. And it definitely wasn't where I wanted to be in my mind, but it was so much better that I was just really calm; I was really content about where we were at.
Choosing my career path
So, because things were really good, I started looking into school again. So, school for me, not school for the children, but I had done an undergraduate degree in Psychology – and that was years ago, and I had always wanted to go back and be a therapist.
I knew that I always wanted to be a therapist for either marriages, like for couples or for parents. I didn't know exactly what that was going to look like, but I knew that's what I wanted to do.
So, somebody invited me out as I'm in the process of looking for Master's programs-- I'm looking online; I'm looking at part-time situations – I can only really do something that's very part-time because I didn't want to be away from my kids so much.
I homeschool them, and at this time, my youngest was probably two. And so, I didn't want to be away from her for that long. So, I was just thinking, 'Maybe I'll take a course here and there.'
So, somebody invites me to this Relationship Evening. It's just like a little get-together, where a lady's going to come and teach us all about relationships. And I'm like, 'Great, I'll go, love learning.' So, I went, and it was life-changing.
This lady had been certified through the Life Coach School, which is now the program that I've been certified through as well. And everything that she said totally resonated with me. And we put the name of a child at the top of a piece of paper, the name – not of a child – of somebody that we have a difficult relationship with.
And then, we kind of went through this whole process with them. And she said a lot of things that I really agreed with, but I didn't know how to put into words. And she talked a lot about how we show up in a relationship, and how our thoughts or our story really affect how we show up in a relationship.
And I immediately was like, 'Yes, this is what happened; this is the shift and the change that happened with us in our relationship; and this is why.' Right? 'It all started with me, and it all started with my thoughts.'
So, I quickly, you know, chatted with her afterwards and was like, 'I'd love to chat with you more.' We chatted more about it; I started looking to this program. I think that what I imagined myself doing as a therapist or as a counselor for my whole life – I've wanted to do it since I was in early high school and I've just never changed my mind, I've always been so interested in it – what I always envisioned, I think was a life coach.
I just didn't know what a life coach was. I kind of thought life coaching was like somebody who helps other people with like little life things – like maybe their schedule or maybe waking up on time. I don't know. I don't even know what I thought a life coach was.
It definitely wasn't that. Since that, I've learned a lot more about life coaching, obviously, and the difference between life coaching and therapy or life coaching and counseling. And this is always what I envisioned in my mind.
I didn't envision that I would be helping diagnose people, or giving them medication, or helping people that are in-and-out of the hospital. I always felt like I would be helping people that are just struggling with their day to day lives, struggling with their marriage or struggling with their kids; they're surviving, but they're struggling.
And really, that's what as life coaches we do, we help people that are already kind of at that baseline space, but just aren't thriving in their relationships or in their life and want that change; basically, where I was at, right, just a couple of years before.
So anyways, so when I learned about this whole aspect of life coaching – that I'd never heard before – I was like, 'Yes, this sounds perfect. I'm going to go-- I'm going to go learn.' So, I signed up right away.
I happened to get on the waitlist, got off of the waitlist, you know, just a few days before class and just dove right in. The benefit was also that it was online, so I could kind of do it on my own, which worked great for having my children at home and still homeschooling them.
So, throughout this whole process – I'm getting certified, going through all of this – and I kind of thought the whole time, in the back of my mind, I'm thinking, 'Oh, this is so I can help other people. I'm learning all these tools so I can help other people.'
Well, part of the process is that you have to get coached and you have to coach other people, right? So, I'm getting coached, I'm coaching other people, I'm coaching my peers, coaching my friends, practicing, doing all of this work.
And I really started to see huge changes in my own self. And I was like, 'Wait, I took this program so I could help other people, I did not expect huge changes to happen to me. But huge changes did happen.
What our home is now
I'm going to fast-forward you to now-ish, and let you know what my life looks like now. My child, this difficult child, despite his diagnosis-- In fact, it was actually difficult to get him diagnosed because his behaviors are so much better now that they don't really present the way that they did at that time.
So, most of the answers that we talked about when he would ask me questions would be, how things were a few years ago. So, that was really interesting to me, but anyways, so despite this diagnosis that he has of several things, his meltdowns are now at like 10%, 5 to 10% capacity of what they used to be - maybe even 1; like so much less and so much less frequent – the behavior of all the rest of my children as well.
I have another child coming up; so, I have four of them – three boys and a girl – another boy that I have a difficult time with also or he has a difficult time with his behavior.
And because I have all of these tools, it's really changed our relationship right from the get-go. And I definitely don't do it perfectly every time, for sure, but I feel like I'm a lot more capable and I'm a lot more prepared.
Other shifts that have happened at home
1. I stopped yelling
So, some other shifts that happened is I used to yell pretty regularly. And even when I wasn't like yelling at this one child: I would just like yell to get people's attention, or yell because everybody was like too loud and be like, 'Stop talking, everything's too loud.'
Like, you know, I was just more prone to be yelly, impatient person, I guess. And now, I can honestly say that I pretty much never yell, like ever, ever, ever – every once in a while, maybe, but it's like so infrequent; and it's interesting because I didn't even focus on that.
It wasn't like, I was like, 'Oh, how can I stop yelling? What can I work on here?' But as I worked on me, and as I take took these life coaching tools and started to really implement them, that was just one of the changes that happened.
2. I rarely feel overwhelmed
Another change is I used to feel overwhelmed regularly with the amount of work that I had to do: with homeschooling my kids, and going to school, and starting a business; and I rarely feel overwhelmed. That's just not an emotion that I really sit and dwell in anymore; it doesn't even really come.
I feel like I have tools to process my uncomfortable emotions when they do come. I feel like I'm more well-equipped to teach my children in the way that I want. And I'm finally, finally able to do this whole connection-based, peaceful, positive, conscious, intentional parenting model, right?
Everybody calls it different things. I'm finally able to do it, and I loved that. It was like this huge light-bulb moment for me when I realized, 'Okay, what all of those books that I was reading was missing was the how-to.'
Even if they described like 'try this' or 'talk to your kids like this', or connect with them, I was like, 'But how do I? I'm impatient, I'm frustrated, I'm stressed, I'm burnt out, I'm overwhelmed. How do I do that?' Right?
And I was like, 'This is how. This is the-- This is the gap that-- This is the bridge that bridges that gap between the kind of mom that I've always envisioned that I would be and the tools that are there and the theory that's there – and where I actually was.'
A lot of it has to do with releasing my expectations on my children – but also on myself and kind of digging myself out of that shame-mom guilt thing that we do also – and learning how to regulate my own emotions, and focusing on my connection with myself and with my kids.
There's so many different shifts that happened. And as I started to use these life coaching tools in my own life and see relationships around me – with my family members, with my friends, with my husband, with my kids really change – I realized that this was a really great tool. This really could shift things in my life.
The pivotal role that life coaching played in our relationship
So, throughout those six months that I was in training – and then I did another advanced training after that for another six months – everything shifted. I felt like those few times when I would really like lose it on my difficult child, on my child with difficult behaviors, he's not difficult, but when I would really lose it on him, it became less and less and less and less.
And now, I'm happy to say that I don't; I don't lose it on him. And it's probably been over a year, over a year, that I have been able to manage well every single one of his meltdowns. And 'well' doesn't mean that I always am connected and loving and deal with it great; but I don't lose it on him.
And that has been a huge, huge win for me that I honestly wasn't sure if that was possible. I kind of thought that maybe impatience was just a gene that I had inherited, and that it was just the way I was going to have to parent forever, and that there was nothing I could do to change it. And now, I don't believe that.
And now, I practiced several different kinds of coaching; I did business coaching, I did weight loss coaching; really all of the tools that we learn at the Life Coach School can help in any situation. And then, I finally circled back to my story and was like, 'This is my story.' And this is how I transformed my whole life. And this is now what I want to help other people with as well.
The HOW behind the change
So, I'm going to tell you about a couple of things that helped and changed;
1. Causal Coaching
One is in school, I was actually taught a model, a thought model or rubric that made sense to what had happened in my mindset shift and why that had happened – that then I could use and recreate in different pain points of my life over and over again, and help shift things and help change things.
The main three changes that happened or shifts that happened were my own thoughts, my own story or perception, and how that was the root cause of everything.
So, these thoughts are just words or sentences in our brain, and they're just going through and going through; and they feel a certain way. Each of those is going to feel a certain way.
So, if I'm parenting from a space of like – my child shouldn't behave this way, or this is disrespectful – I'm going to feel a lot differently inside than if I'm parenting from a way of compassion, of like, 'this is their best, they're really struggling, I wonder what's going on here.'
So, that story, your perception shift is the root cause of everything; we call it Causal Coaching. Causal Coaching is figuring out the root cause and digging that out; instead of just trying to change all of our actions and hope that things change, we figure out why things aren't changing. So, that would be number one.
2. Figuring out how to handle emotion
Number two is how to handle any emotion; by handle, I mean actually allow it – not push it away, not shove it in the other room and sweep it under the carpet, not go just eat a box of Oreos in my bed because I'm stressed or frustrated, but how to actually process through that emotion, which then helps me to hold space for my children's big emotions which is a huge thing. I'm able to help them through those emotions, and not be so uncomfortable around their uncomfortable emotions.
3. Learning how to harness the power of my higher brain
The last one is how to harness the power of my higher brain – I call it my mom-brain or my 2.0, and how do I can use this to create new results in my life.
So, these are the three backbones of everything I teach;
a) Story or our perception
b) Emotions and how to handle them and teach them to our children
c) How to use that higher brain or that intentional brain to really create new results and make changes in our life
So, Season 1, this season, is going to be all about these three core elements of parenting change or about any other change, for that matter. And how positive parenting combines seamlessly with all of these three pillars to create true and lasting change in us so that we don't constantly just go back to the way that things have been, but that we can create a new way of being that will spill over to helping them change because they'll feel calm, they'll feel content, they'll feel connected. And over time, albeit slowly, things will change.
Maybe it won't be slow for you. It was a little bit slower for me, but it was totally worth the slow. So, look out for the next episodes in these seasons where I'm going to dig into what positive parenting is, and I'm going to give you tools that I teach my clients regularly, that use them in their life and see changes in their life.
I'm going to help you with each of these three core principles, and give you actionable takeaways each time that you listen so that you can help implement these changes as well. See you next time. I hope you enjoyed today's episode.
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