Have you ever thought about scientists and their process? I think it’s a lot like what we do in parenting. Hypothesize, test, observe, test again, change things, fail. I think scientists can teach us a lot about parenting. Failure is at the core of what a scientist does… but instead of feeling shame and discouragement, they use it to learn, grow and create new ideas to test. We can become the parent scientist and transform our frustrations and expectations into curiosity and connection. Let’s figure out how.
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check out my transformative monthly membership for moms in the show notes. Episode Two, parenting Hack number one. So I love kind of using these little parenting hacks or parenting tips in my parenting. And they're things that I've been able to either learn from other people or kind of discovered on my own and found that worked so well. So the parenting hack that I'm going to talk to you about today is becoming a master scientist. Now what I mean by this is, I want you to think about a scientist or an investigator. They ask questions, they test things they try, they observe, they fail, they're okay with failure. And they just get back on the journey and go again, because they know that it's part of the journey, right. And a good investigator or a good scientist is going to realize that failure just teaches them something, they're going to use it as learning. And there's a few other things that have to do with scientists that kind of make this analogy. So interesting. So I'm going to read you a little bit from a book, that's really interesting. It's called that doesn't mean what you think it means that it's all these use and misuse words. So anyways, it's quite interesting. But this one was talking about hypothesis. So I'm going to read to you what it says about hypothesis. hypothesis is based on careful observation and known facts, which will be subjected to testing to prove or disprove it. Also, scientists use hypothesis, it to develop a theory or hypothesis can be refuted, will a theory stands up to current tests. So hypothesis becomes a theory it isn't one to begin with. So that's what we're going to first talk about. So basically, a hypothesis is you have kind of an idea, you think something might work. So I want you to think back to last episode, when we talked all about these creative solutions. So a creative solution comes to mind, you have this hypothesis, maybe this will work. I don't know if it will, but it could, then you're going to set up a test you're going to observe, you're probably going to fail test again, write another hypothesis, and eventually you're going to develop a theorem. So a theorem is something that is proven and is kind of known as truth and works at that time, which I think over time theorems are going to change when it comes to parenting, and probably when it comes to science, as well. So I want you to think, first of all, about observing your child's behavior. So if you were a scientist, before you even develop a hypothesis, you're going to be observing things in the world, maybe you're going to notice that when you drop a ball, it falls onto the ground, and you're like, Oh, that's interesting. Why does it fall every time I drop it? Or why does the wind blow in this direction? Or why is this color mixed with this color making this color. So you're observing kind of things in their natural environment. And as you're observing it, you're also doing a lot of thinking, you're studying it out a lot in your mind, and kind of creating these connections. And once enough connections are created, that's when you come up with a hypothesis that then you test and observe. And then you test again. So this could work in your child as well, what you could do is you could write your child's name at the top of the page, you could write down something like, what do I notice about their behavior? What do I notice might be going on behind their behavior? What kinds of things do they like and dislike? What do they like doing with me? What what's their love language? I don't know if you've ever read the book, The love language, there's ones for teens, and there's ones for kids, and there's ones for adults, it's all over the place. But maybe what do I think their love language could be? How do they show love to me? How do they communicate with me? What is their communication style? Like? What do I think their personality is like, you're just going to be doing a lot of different observations. And then what you're going to do is come up with creative solutions. And you're not going to just will your brain to come up with it, it's actually just going to come from these observing things in their natural environment and writing down and thinking about it. Some solutions will come to you. And now as those solutions come, what you do is you just try them, and sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. And instead of making it mean something about you, I must be a terrible parent, because I tried that and it didn't work. You just act like a scientist. Okay, I'm going to take that. I'm going to take that as information as input. I'm going to put it back in and I'm going to try something new. So an example of this is my son and I were having this conversation about math. He really wasn't interested in math, and I was like, we have to learn math. I'm a homeschool mom. So I'm like this is you know, something that has to happen. Anyway, so we went into this conversation and instead of trying to come up with a solution, it was just communication only so I just asked him about his concerns. I told him about my concerns, and we just had this great open conversation with No, nobody trying to convince the other person of anything, there was no hidden agenda. So over the next few days, I use that information that I had gleaned, and I started just thinking about it. And as I thought about it, some new creative math solutions came to me, I was like, Well, you know, he really likes games, I'm going to create some games, out of uno cards or out of playing cards, we're going to, you know, maybe find some fun, engaging logic puzzles online, there was just all these ideas that came to me as I listened to what his concerns were. And as I started to kind of observe him more closely,
and I was able
to create a solution that worked really well for me, and really well for him, that just came through a lot of time and trial and testing an error, and also observing and communicating and kind of taking that all into one. So one of the things that I like to be a scientist about is kind of figuring out the why behind kids behavior. So this kind of goes in with scientist and also maybe a little bit investigator. So there always is a why behind the child's behavior. And we might not be figuring out or naturally come to think of what the y is, but there always is. So one of the beliefs that I have is that children are doing the best that they can. So in any situation, they're doing their best and what I believe that that it helps me move into that curious, compassionate phase. So I can be compassionate for that. But I can also be like, Okay, well, how can I help them here? Like what's actually going on behind their behavior? So what I started doing this with my children years ago, I realized that everything that I was kind of thinking about kind of fit into these four general categories. So the first general category was connection, or lack of connection. So what is my connection been like with them? Do I feel like I'm giving them enough time and attention enough? one on one time? Do they feel like they need more? Is there something kind of going on there with our connection, I talk a lot about connections. So I'm not going to go into great detail about connection because this is something I feel like I hammer on all the time. Then the next one is food, water and sleep. So even with me when I'm frustrated or upset, oftentimes I can be like, wait, maybe I didn't get a great sleep last night, or when's the last time that I've eaten a good healthy meal, if I'm just like eating snacks all day long, doing the busy mom thing, and then I can't figure out why I'm agitated or annoyed. Oftentimes, I'll look back and think, Okay, well, that's a need that's not met me right now. I needed to eat and I didn't listen to my body. And now I'm getting frustrated or agitated. Well, the same thing happens with our kids. In fact, I can tell a few of my kids cannot handle being hungry at all, they have to have fairly regular meals that are very filling and nutritious for them to kind of be evenly killed and balanced. And it's the same with us. Water can do the same thing like have they drink in any water at all. During the day, we're having they kind of just been running around like a crazy person. And then sleep is so important too. And so if I can kind of talk to them and just say things like, how's your sleep, then how are things going? I mean, if they're little, you're going to know because they're going to come in over and over again. So my two youngest don't sleep through the night all the time right now. And so they'll come in regularly. And I kind of know how their sleep is. But with the older kids, I might not necessarily know unless they come in and talk to me about it, I don't really know. So I can just kind of talk to them about that and kind of see how it's going. And then from there, I can create some interesting solutions, right. So maybe I can tell that they're not getting enough food, they're not getting enough water, their sleep isn't great, then that's when I can start observing things and coming up with his ideas and testing and trying them. And like everything else, we don't know what's going to happen. Maybe your regular scheduled routine before bed will help. Maybe lavender essential oil sprayed on their pillow will help. I've heard of people spraying like what they call like magic spray. And basically it was just water with maybe a little bit of like essential oils. And their kids think that the magic spray puts them to sleep and it helps them sleep better, right. And all of those just came from a mom seeking a solution and just being willing to try. And I'm sure it failed for lots of other moms. But it worked for some moms. And that's that's what we're doing here. So the first is connection. Second is food, water and sleep. And the third is movement and play. movement. And play is huge. I don't know if you've ever heard of Dr. Peter gray, he talks about play Deborah McNamara, she talks a lot about playing rest, play grow. There's lots of great research around play, and especially around open ended hours of play. So letting your kids have a lot of time to play on their own to play with other kids to play with you. And just to kind of learn and discover and explore, and especially gross motor movements. So going outside and running and jumping and wrestling and you know, hiking, all of those things that happen are so good for their brain and so good for their body. And so making sure that that is happening on a regular basis. If it's not happening on a regular basis, then that could be a reason behind their behavior as well. And the fourth general area that I look into is screens. So I'm going to go into a lot more detail about screens later on in another episode. So I'm not going to delve too much into that. But basically start observing your child in this kind of environment is a lot of their tantrums happening after video games after TV shows. When you say no to those kinds of things, or when you take them away. Do you notice that maybe they're more agitated on days when They have more screens and less agitated on days where they don't have as many screens. So kind of start observing those things as well. The book that I encourage about this is called reset your child's brain by Dr. Victoria Dunkley, and I, again, I'm going to be talking more about that later on. So if I was like a master investigator or a master scientist, I would be thinking about all these kind of reasons behind their behavior. And then I would be coming up with these creative solutions after
observing things and after thinking about things, and after just watching what's going on. And then I would try things, and then I would test them, and then I would see if they fail or not, and then I would try more things and test them and just do this over and over and over again. One thing I've noticed, even with my, like toddlers is things like, how do they want me to act when they're tantruming? And how do they act when they're tantruming? What seems to help and what doesn't? Because oftentimes, moms are like, Well, what do I do during a tantrum? Like I don't even though? Well, once we figure out like, Okay, well, sometimes we're tantruming at their tantrums, definitely, we don't want to be doing that. And when we do some, you know, thought work and some emotion work, we can probably get a little bit better at holding that piece in that space inside of us so that we're not tantruming all the time at their tantrums. But then what then what do we do? Well, what we do is we just test things, and we try things, and we see what works. And I'm going to tell you a little bit about some theorems that I've uncovered, when I started observing my children, and kind of doing these little tests what's going on behind here? And I wasn't sitting down to think, okay, I'm a master scientist, how am I going to figure this out, but looking back on what happened over the years, it just coordinated so well with hypothesis and theorems that I just had to do that. So Okay, so here's some theorems that I've come up with. One is I have two kids that can't handle hangry. If you don't know what hangry is, it's hungry, angry, right, the emotion that comes when you're feeling so hungry. So if I can make sure that they are always fed really well, and that I can have snacks in the vehicle, because a lot of times they'll kind of spin out or lose it when we're on a long drive, and we don't have snacks. So have emergency backup snacks in the vehicle, I make sure that they are well fed before we leave anywhere are I'll bring you know food with them, if they haven't eaten, that, that just makes my life a lot easier, it makes their lives a lot easier. And if I this doesn't happen, then likely we're going to have a pretty uncomfortable drive where at least one of them is going to be screaming almost the entire drive. And also another theorem that I developed around this is if they're hungry, It's futile to try and talk logically about anything at any point. There's no point in me being like, Well, why did you hit your brother? Or that's not okay? Or what do you think you should have done there, right, there's no conversation happening there at all. There's just gonna be screaming and freaking out and completely low logic. So that's another one. Another one is when my daughter's having a tantrum, she likes to be left alone for a few minutes. She doesn't want me to be anywhere near her when she goes in her room and slams her door. But after about two minutes, Max four minutes, she wants me to come in. And she wants me but she doesn't want me at the same time. So I'm not going to touch her or snuggle her yet, I'm just going to be there. I'm just going to sit on the floor and just say come here when you need me or sit on the floor and say nothing at all. And that that really helps her and that she loves to reconnect after a tantrum. So after some time, she'll come and give me a hug and a snuggle, and she'll want to read a book or she'll want to just chat or she'll want to do something together. And so I've developed that through asking her through seeing things through noticing how she, you know, does her tantrum and what makes her feel better. And this works now, pretty much every single time. And those theorems came from me being willing to fail and taking a lot of failure to then eventually learn what happens. Another theorem is noticing what yellow zone looks for each of my children. So one in particular, when I know if you've heard me talk about Red Zone, yellow zone, Green Zone, I talked about it in the the last season, I can tell when my one child is in yellow zone so much I can hear him in, I can hear the tone of voice, I can hear his like running getting a little bit louder, I can just hear everything get a little bit more agitated. And I know that when I intervene at that moment, that I'll be able to have a lot better chance of success than if I wait until he gets red than likely you know him and his brothers are going to get into huge fights. So that's another theme that I kind of just developed to going through this process. So later on in the season, I'm going to dig into some of my favorite books that I talked about in this episode and talk a little bit more about each of them in detail, like screens or connection or those kinds of things. But for now, the goal is just to think about you as a scientist, you as an investigator and figure out what's going on behind my child's behavior, come up with those creative solutions, try them, test them, see what works and be so willing to fail. Being willing to fail is going to be huge here and we're all going to fail a lot and that's okay. And using that feeling for a learning experience instead of using that failure as a weapon against ourselves.
So go out there and become a scientist. I hope you enjoyed today's episode. Make sure that you give it five stars on Apple, and check out my monthly membership for moms in the show notes.