Posts By :

Kevin Geary

Does Authentic Parenting Really Apply to All Ages?

Listener Daniel sends in five questions challenging the authentic parenting principles I’ve laid out in the context of how well they apply universally to all ages. This is first Q&A episode that is a response to challenges of the authentic parenting principles, strategies, and tactics and I make it very clear that I enjoy receiving these kinds of challenges. In fact, I’ll make sure that these types of questions get bumped to the front of the line.

Some highlights:

  • Does the principle of respect apply universally to children as it does adults?
  • Are there things you routinely do to kids that you would never do to adults?
  • Can you negotiate with a one day old?
  • Is sneaking healthy food into kids’ meals really fraud or trickery?
  • Why isn’t distraction okay when kids are doing something you don’t want them to do?
  • Kids need a feedback system to learn and praise is a great feedback system, so why isn’t praise okay?
  • Doesn’t praise build self-esteem?
  • Why is it destructive to shush a crying baby?
  • Why is bribery not okay? Where is the line between negotiation and bribery?

I believe you’re really going to enjoy this episode and get a ton of clarification out of it. Don’t forget to join us for discussion in the Facebook Group!

Support the Show

The Powerful Parenting Podcast is a crowd-funded show. That means it is driven by listener contributions. If you find value in this show and have the means to contribute financially, we ask that you pledge a small per-episode contribution. These contributions pay for hosting, equipment, software, editing, and production time. You can pledge as little as $1 per episode—every contribution helps.

[intense_button color=”warning” size=”large” link=”/contribute/” target=”_blank” padding_top=”15″ padding_bottom=”15″ padding_left=”25″ padding_right=”25″]CONTRIBUTE [/intense_button] [intense_spacer height=”30″]

Step Up Your Validation Game

One of the biggest parenting “simple swaps” you can make is to replace emotional dismissal with validation. As a strategy, it can help you quickly resolve conflict and lessen emotional outbursts. As a core principle, it protects your child’s psychological health.

…when we tell a child that he doesn’t feel what he is feeling, we strip him of his natural protection. Not only that. We confuse him, disorient him, desensitize him. – Liberated Parents, Liberated Children

That’s right, validation is critical. Not just for children, but for all human beings. Consider yourself in this regard. Do you enjoy spilling your emotions to someone only to have them downplay your experiences and question how you’re feeling? Of course not. So give your child the same respect and empathy.

Agree? Nice. Let’s move on.

So when most parents make this simple swap, it comes off as quite amateur. It can be uncomfortable at first and it takes practice to master. When it comes to validation, amateur validation seems empty and doesn’t quite do the trick.

Don’t get me wrong, making any change in this direction is a great thing. All I’m saying is that you can easily do better.

Let’s go over an example that came up in the Reboot Your Kids support group:

I need some insight… We are new to authentic parenting! Our oldest daughter is 4.5. She goes to her biological father’s house once a week in the afternoons and every other weekend. When we pick her up from him she always throws a huge tantrum. Kicking, screaming, the whole 9 yards. How should we handle the situation? She has also thrown this fit in other situations when she doesn’t get her way but it is less often. Any advice is appreciated.

If we look at this situation from outside the “inner circle” of the parents view, it’s clear that the daughter’s strong emotions are 100% legitimate. She doesn’t get to see her father often and she has big feelings about that. There are no solutions to this challenging situation. Validation is all we can (and must) offer.

But amateur validation probably won’t do the trick here. If the child doesn’t feel deeply connected with and validated to the core, there won’t be much relief.

Being validated by someone who is experienced and deeply empathetic leads to feeling connected, understood, and valued. Being validated by someone who is inexperienced feels disconnected—like a robot is talking to you. Or someone who doesn’t really care.

Amateur validation: “That’s really hard.”

Yeah, you’re damn right it’s hard. That’s all you have to offer? I’m bleeding out of my heart over here and that’s what you’re going to muster? That’s the extent of your effort?

That’s what the person who desperately needs validation is feeling.

Deeper validation…

“You feel sad about having to leave your dads?”

“Yeah that’s very hard. You don’t get to see him often.”

“What’s your favorite part of seeing him?”

“You probably wish you could see him more often?”

“Yeah, I understand. That’s really tough.”

“Do you want to write him a letter we can send him? I can help you.”

“It’s hard having parents who are not together/it’s hard having to go back and forth between my house and dads, isn’t it?”

That’s some serious validation. For the person who is hurting, this level of validation shows true connection and empathy. They can feel that you’re working hard to put yourself in their shoes and understand what they’re going through.

And in this type of situation, the last two lines are the icing on the cake. They acknowledge that mom has a hand in this challenge we’re facing here and by saying these lines she’s taking responsibility. That’s crazy powerful, especially to a child (it’s expected when it’s another adult, by the way).

Asking to help write a letter says, “Hey, I may not be on the same page with your dad, but I’m setting that aside because I know it’s important to you and your well-being is more important than how I feel about your dad.

Also, using questions in your validation gives your child prompts for communicating their feelings. This helps them get their emotions out instead of stuffing them down. For very young children, you can even throw in questions about specific emotions: “Do you feel sad? Or angry? Or frustrated?” This significantly increases their emotional intelligence.

Next time you come across a situation that requires validation, see if you can step your game up. And keep an eye out for the results 🙂

How You Talk to Your Child Becomes Their Inner Voice (with Wes Bertrand)

My guest today is Wes Bertrand who runs completeliberty.com and happinesscounseling.com. Wes is a guy that I greatly respect who has done some magnificent work in the areas of liberty, non-violent communication, adverse childhood experiences, and personal growth and recovery.

Our conversation centers around the question of whether or not our children would grow up to have negative self-talk, toxic beliefs, and an inner-critic if they were raised in a non-domination paradigm—a truly peaceful, fulfilling, and connected world.

And I want to add and make very clear that this is not a conversation about parents who overtly abuse and neglect children. I think everyone is on the same page that overt abuse is destructive and has lasting consequences. This discussion is about the “normal” parenting practices, and schooling practices, and discipline practices, and cultural norms, that have destructive and lasting consequences that the mainstream conversation, frankly, refuses to consider or discuss.

Here’s some highlights of this conversation:

  • Jay Early’s seven types of inner-critics
  • How to heal your inner-critic by recognizing it as a teacher rather than a bad part of you that needs to be hidden away.
  • Nathaniel Branden’s questions for parents regarding meeting the needs of children and interacting with them in a way that protects them from developing these harsh inner-critics.
  • There’s a lot of overlap with schooling, daycares, religion and other societal institutions…
  • There’s a section on spanking, punishments and rewards, and a whole lot more.

I know this is a really long episode, but it’s chock full of insights and information that will exponentially deepen your connection with your child, so find a way to listen to the whole thing. If you can’t block out a single chunk for listening, then just listen to it in small doses. You can listen to 20 minutes, pause it, come back tomorrow, that sort of thing.

We’ll be having a follow up discussion in the Reboot Your Kids Facebook group if you want to join in. Thanks for listening.

Jay Early’s Seven Types of Inner-Critics

  • Perfectionist – unconditional love
    • This critic tries to get you to do things perfectly.
    • It sets high standards for the things your produce, and has difficulty saying something is complete and letting it go out to represent your best work.
    • It tries to make sure that you fit in and that you will not be judged or rejected.
    • Its expectations probably reflect those of people who have been important to you in the past.
  • Guilt-Tripper
    • This critic is stuck in the past. It is unable to forgive you for wrongs you have done or people you have hurt.
    • It is concerned about relationships and holds you to standards of behavior prescribed by your community, culture and family
    • It tries to protect you from repeating past mistakes by making sure you never forget or feel free.
  • Underminer
    • This critic tries to undermine your self confidence and self esteem so that you won’t take risks.
    • It makes direct attacks on your self worth so that you will stay small and not take chances where you could be hurt or rejected.
    • It is afraid of your being too big or too visible and not being able to tolerate judgment or failure.
  • Destroyer
    • It makes pervasive attacks on your fundamental self worth.
    • It shames you and makes you feel inherently flawed and not entitled to basic understanding or respect.
    • This most debilitating critic, comes from early life deprivation or trauma.
    • It is motivated by a belief that it is safer not to exist.
  • Molder
    • This critic tries to get you to fit into a certain mold based on standards held by society, your culture or your family.
    • It wants you to be liked and admired and to protect you from being abandoned, shamed or rejected.
    • The Molder fears that the Rebel or the Free Spirit in you would act in ways that are unacceptable. So it keeps you from being in touch with and expressing your true nature.
  • Taskmaster
    • This critic wants you to work hard and be successful.
    • It fears that you may be mediocre or lazy and will be judged a failure if it does not push you to keep going.
    • Its pushing often activates a procrastinator or a rebel that fights against its harsh dictates.
  • Inner Controller
    • This critic tries to control your impulses: eating, drinking, sexual activity, etc.
    • It is polarized with an Indulger –addict who it fears can get out of control at any moment.
    • It tends to be harsh and shaming in an effort to protect you from yourself.
    • It is motivated to try to make you a good person who is accepted and functions well in society.

Inner-Critic Healing Factors

  1. Understanding the developmental process (parent/child dynamic, language of jackal leading to life-alienating communication—diagnoses, demands, deserve-oriented thinking, denial of responsibility) and healing those wounded parts by compassionate communication and other therapeutic means.
  2. Accepting your fallibility. In both the above aspects, notice global evaluations of self and behavior, in order to transform them into observations, feelings, needs, and requests…

Nathaniel Branden’s Questions for Parents (Extended to schools, teachers, relatives, churches, and other institutions)

Punishment Oriented

  • Did your parents treat you with respect? Were your thoughts, needs, and feelings given consideration? Was your dignity as a human being acknowledged? When you expressed ideas or opinions, were they treated seriously? Where your likes and dislikes treated seriously? (Not necessarily agreed with or acceded to, but nonetheless treated seriously?) Were your desires treated thoughtfully and respectfully?
  • Did you feel free to express your views openly without fear of punishment?
  • Did your parents deal with you fairly and justly? Did your parents resort to threats in order to control your behavior–either threats of immediate punitive action on their part, or threats in terms of long-range consequences for your life, or threats of supernatural punishments, such as going to hell? Were you praised when you performed well? Or merely criticized when you performed badly? Were your parents willing to admit it when they were wrong? Or was it against their policy to concede that they were wrong?
  • Was it your parents’ practice to punish you or discipline you by striking or beating you? (Four in five Americans believe spanking their child is sometimes appropriate).

Assaults on Self-Esteem

  • Did your parents communicate their disapproval of your thoughts, desires, or behavior by means of humor, teasing, or sarcasm?
  • Did you feel loved and valued by your parents, in the sense that you experienced yourself as a source of pleasure to them? Or did you feel unwanted, perhaps a burden? Or did you feel hated? Or did you feel you were simply an object of indifference?
  • Did your parents project that they believed in your basic goodness? Or did they project that they saw you as bad or worthless or evil?
  • Did your parents project that they believed in your intellectual and creative potentialities? Or did they project that they saw you as mediocre or stupid or inadequate?
  • In your parents’ expectations concerning your behavior and performance, did they take cognizance of your knowledge, needs, interests, and circumstances? Or were you confronted by expectations and demands that were overwhelming and beyond your ability to satisfy?
  • Did your parents’ behavior and manner of dealing with you tend to produce guilt in you?
  • Did your parents’ behavior and manner of dealing with you tend to produce fear in you?
  • Did your parents project that it was desirable for you to think well of yourself, to have self-esteem? Or were you cautioned against valuing yourself, and encouraged to be humble?
  • Were you encouraged to be open in the expression of your emotions and desires? Or were your parents’ behavior and manner of treating you such as to make you fear emotional self-assertiveness and openness, or to regard it as inappropriate?
  • Were your mistakes accepted as a normal part of the learning process? Or as something you were taught to associate with contempt, ridicule, punishment?

Links and Resources

Support the Show

The Powerful Parenting Podcast is a crowd-funded show. That means it is driven by listener contributions. If you find value in this show and have the means to contribute financially, we ask that you pledge a small per-episode contribution. These contributions pay for hosting, equipment, software, editing, and production time. You can pledge as little as $1 per episode—every contribution helps.

[intense_button color=”warning” size=”large” link=”/contribute/” target=”_blank” padding_top=”15″ padding_bottom=”15″ padding_left=”25″ padding_right=”25″]CONTRIBUTE [/intense_button] [intense_spacer height=”30″]

Changing the World Through Authentic Parenting – Kevin Interviewed on Simon on the Sofa

This is a bonus episode. I was invited to be on the Simon on the Sofa show to discuss my article published on Medium.com, There’s Only One Way to Truly Change the World, And It’s This. It ended up being a really fruitful and powerful conversation, so I want to put it in the feed here for your enjoyment.

Here’s the video if you’d rather watch…

Support the Show

The Powerful Parenting Podcast is a crowd-funded show. That means it is driven by listener contributions. If you find value in this show and have the means to contribute financially, we ask that you pledge a small per-episode contribution. These contributions pay for hosting, equipment, software, editing, and production time. You can pledge as little as $1 per episode—every contribution helps.

[intense_button color=”warning” size=”large” link=”/contribute/” target=”_blank” padding_top=”15″ padding_bottom=”15″ padding_left=”25″ padding_right=”25″]CONTRIBUTE [/intense_button] [intense_spacer height=”30″]

How to Handle an Older Sibling Who is Too Rough With a Younger Sibling

Welcome back everyone—if you’re new to the PowerFul Parenting Podcast you can think of this show as the intersection of real food, peaceful parenting, alternative education, and healthy lifestyle habits for kids.

This show is driven by listener questions. If you have a question that you want answered on the show, please head over to http://rebootyourkids.com/ask and record your question. If you can’t figure out how to get the online recorder to work, just submit your question on the site by clicking through to the contact page at rebootyourkids.com and we’ll record it for you.

I also want to remind you that we have a Reboot Your Kids Facebook group. We just broke 500 members in this group and we’re adding a handful of new people each day. It’s becoming a very powerful resource for discussing how to implement authentic parenting strategies. If you’re interested in that, come check it out. Just go to Facebook and search for Reboot Your Kids. You’ll see our Facebook Page and our Facebook Group. Like the page and then request to join the group. I can’t wait to see you there 🙂

Today’s question comes from Randi and my lovely wife wasn’t here to record it so I’m just going to read the email she sent and then get right to it.

I have a question about empathy and teaching my 3 year old to be gentle with her (almost) 18 month old sister. I feel like I stay pretty calm in most situations, but the thing that really gets me frustrated is when my oldest is rough with my youngest. I am lost in this situation. I do the best I can, stay calm, comfort the one who’s hurt first, talk through what happened without blaming/shaming, and ask her if there’s anything she can do to help her sister feel better. I feel like I’m missing something though. I am at a loss. I feel like she doesn’t care when her sister is hurting or upset. She’ll be happily playing and calm, and then she’ll just throw something at her or hit her suddenly. Or other times, she’s just playing too rough and doesn’t seem bothered at all that her sister is crying and trying to get away from her. I don’t know what to do. I do try to stay calm, but when it happens over and over, I do lose my temper occasionally. I feel like I’m failing sometimes because we’ve been battling this for quite some time. I’m having a hard time figuring out what she needs from me.

Support the Show

The Powerful Parenting Podcast is a crowd-funded show. That means it is driven by listener contributions. If you find value in this show and have the means to contribute financially, we ask that you pledge a small per-episode contribution. These contributions pay for hosting, equipment, software, editing, and production time. You can pledge as little as $1 per episode—every contribution helps.

[intense_button color=”warning” size=”large” link=”/contribute/” target=”_blank” padding_top=”15″ padding_bottom=”15″ padding_left=”25″ padding_right=”25″]CONTRIBUTE [/intense_button] [intense_spacer height=”30″]

School Is Not Education with Brett Veinotte and Darrell Becker

Brett Veinotte (School Sucks Project) and Darrell Becker (Voluntary Visions) join me for a special episode of the Powerful Parenting Podcast. It’s a discussion about the differences between schooling and education. It’s a long one, but I encourage you to find a way to listen, whether it’s blocking out a big chunk of time or listening in shorter segments and pausing until you have time to revisit it.

You want what is best for your child. But the school system (and even homeschooling) leaves a lot to be desired. Listen in as I talk with Brett and Darrell about:

  • A cliff notes history of the public schooling model.
  • Can authentic education happen in the public school system?
  • The damaging effects of the public school environment.
  • What real education looks like and why homeschooling is only a baby step toward that.
  • Social arguments for public schooling and what will happen to schooling and education in the next 15 years.

Hopefully you get a lot of takeaways from this discussion. Don’t forget to head over to our Facebook group to chime in.

Links From the Show

Support the Show

The Powerful Parenting Podcast is a crowd-funded show. That means it is driven by listener contributions. If you find value in this show and have the means to contribute financially, we ask that you pledge a small per-episode contribution. These contributions pay for hosting, equipment, software, editing, and production time. You can pledge as little as $1 per episode—every contribution helps.

[intense_button color=”warning” size=”large” link=”/contribute/” target=”_blank” padding_top=”15″ padding_bottom=”15″ padding_left=”25″ padding_right=”25″]CONTRIBUTE [/intense_button] [intense_spacer height=”30″]

Constructive vs Destructive Praise, Passing Babies Around, And Daycare

On this episode of the Powerful Parenting Podcast I answer a question from Ben:

If praise for helping someone is bad, what kind of praise is good praise? What about making the winning goal at a soccer tournament? Is good job OK, but taking the kid out to celebrate not OK? I also had a question about passing your baby around to friends and family. Yes if the baby is freaking out, you should console the baby, but if the baby can handle it, I feel like it is good socialization and preparing the child to be able to go to daycare without freaking out. I love your podcast so far, but I just wanted some clarification on these topics.

Thanks for your question Ben!

Support the Show

The Powerful Parenting Podcast is a crowd-funded show. That means it is driven by listener contributions. If you find value in this show and have the means to contribute financially, we ask that you pledge a small per-episode contribution. These contributions pay for hosting, equipment, software, editing, and production time. You can pledge as little as $1 per episode—every contribution helps.

[intense_button color=”warning” size=”large” link=”/contribute/” target=”_blank” padding_top=”15″ padding_bottom=”15″ padding_left=”25″ padding_right=”25″]CONTRIBUTE [/intense_button] [intense_spacer height=”30″]

Are Mainstream Activities Like Soccer, Dance, and Karate Psychologically Healthy For My Child?

On this episode, I discuss whether or not mainstream activities like soccer, dance, and karate are psychologically healthy for children.

Support the Show

The Powerful Parenting Podcast is a crowd-funded show. That means it is driven by listener contributions. If you find value in this show and have the means to contribute financially, we ask that you pledge a small per-episode contribution. These contributions pay for hosting, equipment, software, editing, and production time. You can pledge as little as $1 per episode—every contribution helps.

[intense_button color=”warning” size=”large” link=”/contribute/” target=”_blank” padding_top=”15″ padding_bottom=”15″ padding_left=”25″ padding_right=”25″]CONTRIBUTE [/intense_button] [intense_spacer height=”30″]

I Need to Leave, But My Child Says “No.”

On today’s episode, we answer a question from Emily. She wants to know how to handle situations where she has to leave, but her 2 1/2 year old daughter doesn’t want to come with her. She’s been having to force her child to come and wants to know if there are other solutions that might work before needing to get to that point.

I offer a few different solutions and scripts for this challenge and also offer a more productive way to handle having to put the child in the car should these other strategies not work. And as extra clarification, the final step of having to put them in the car yourself will probably only occur less than 10% of the time, trending toward zero as the child gets older.

Support the Show

The Powerful Parenting Podcast is a crowd-funded show. That means it is driven by listener contributions. If you find value in this show and have the means to contribute financially, we ask that you pledge a small per-episode contribution. These contributions pay for hosting, equipment, software, editing, and production time. You can pledge as little as $1 per episode—every contribution helps.

[intense_button color=”warning” size=”large” link=”/contribute/” target=”_blank” padding_top=”15″ padding_bottom=”15″ padding_left=”25″ padding_right=”25″]CONTRIBUTE [/intense_button] [intense_spacer height=”30″]

Authentic Parenting From Day One

noelle-crying

In the first Q&A episode of the show we answer a question from Jeramie about building a foundation for Authentic Parenting with his 10 month old. It was a great question for kicking off the Q&A format because authentic parenting works best when it’s set up from the beginning.

Instead of answering this question directly related to 10 month olds, I decided to answer it in the context of respecting children from day one. So there’s a lot of great nuggets about respecting babies and toddlers in order to build that foundation for an authentic parent-child relationship.

Fun Fact: The picture for this episode is a photo I took of my daughter just a few days after she was born. Enjoy!

Support the Show

The Powerful Parenting Podcast is a crowd-funded show. That means it is driven by listener contributions. If you find value in this show and have the means to contribute financially, we ask that you pledge a small per-episode contribution. These contributions pay for hosting, equipment, software, editing, and production time. You can pledge as little as $1 per episode—every contribution helps.

[intense_button color=”warning” size=”large” link=”/contribute/” target=”_blank” padding_top=”15″ padding_bottom=”15″ padding_left=”25″ padding_right=”25″]CONTRIBUTE [/intense_button] [intense_spacer height=”30″]

START YOUR REVOLUTIONARY PARENTING JOURNEY
Start With My Short Book, "Without a Fight," Free...
Discover the fundamentals of Revolutionary Parenting & get my best advice straight to your inbox...
SEND ME THE BOOK
No spam, ever.
LIMITED TIME FREEDOWNLOAD

GET STARTED WITH MY BOOK, "WITHOUT A FIGHT," TOTALLY FREE...

Learn the 5 principles of Revolutionary Parenting for ending the struggle for power and leading children authentically.
DOWNLOAD NOW