Spilling the Milk: Breastfeeding Chats

Cara T - Navigating Parenthood, Breastfeeding, and the COVID Generation: A Collaborative Approach

June 14, 2023 Emily Stone, Empowered Bumps & Boobs Season 2 Episode 8
Spilling the Milk: Breastfeeding Chats
Cara T - Navigating Parenthood, Breastfeeding, and the COVID Generation: A Collaborative Approach
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

How do you navigate the challenges of parenting and breastfeeding while keeping your sanity intact? Join us as we welcome Cara Tyrell, founder of Core 4 Parenting and conscious parenting coach, as she shares her passion for advocating for the "COVID generation" of kids and her unique approach to collaborative parenting.

In our heartfelt conversation, we delve into Cara's emotional breastfeeding journey, starting with the heartbreaking experience of managing her mother's milk after her first daughter was stillborn. We discuss the importance of fostering a strong connection with our children from the very beginning, setting the foundation for their social and emotional growth. We also explore the challenges Cara faced when breastfeeding her second daughter and the difficult decision she had to make for her own well-being.

Beyond the personal stories, we dive into a range of topics, from empowering children through celebrating their successes to navigating the digital age and supporting the COVID generation. Cara offers practical tips and strategies for collaborating with our kids and fostering a sense of pride and motivation in them. Tune in to gain insight into how we can better connect with our children and support their growth and development.

About our guest:
Cara Tyrrell, M.Ed, a Vermont based Early Childhood Educator, Conscious Parenting Coach, and the founder of Core4Parenting. She is the passionate mastermind behind the Collaborative Parenting Methodology(™), a birth-to-five, soul and science based framework that empowers parents to maximize their child’s early learning while raising fantastic human beings who succeed in school and life. While teaching preschool and Kindergarten, she noticed her students knew their ABC’s and 123’s, but struggled with their social, emotional, and interpersonal skills. At drop off, parents would say, “We’re so glad that you are their first teacher”, but she knew she wasn’t -- their parents were! This realization led to her professional pivot as an online Early Childhood Parent Educator and Coach.

Visit www.caratyrrell.com/bio to begin your Collaborative Parenting journey and download her FREE guide: 5 Mindful Mantras for Managing Toddler Meltdowns https://www.caratyrrell.com/mantras
Follow Cara @Core4Parenting for upcoming events and offers 

Want more education and support around breastfeeding? Check out our signature course & community, Empowered Breastfeeding Bootcamp, and sign up for a free preview!

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Podcast artwork by Staci Oswald aka my favorite designer EVER + mom of 2 bundles of boy energy

Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome to Spilling the Milk, the podcast where we learn that every mom's breastfeeding journey is different and that we can still learn a lot from one another. My guest today is Cara Tyrell and she founded Core 4 Parenting where she has courses and coaching for parents around collaborative parenting and conscious parenting. She's really passionate about advocating for the COVID generation of kids who started their life essentially in isolation or had their life interrupted and their normal social growth and development stunted and sort of reversed, and so she's really advocating for how we can support those children, this very specific generation of children, now that they're entering preschool and kindergarten and being expected to perform at the same levels as their predecessors, who did not have this life altering experience of going through a pandemic as a little one. So very interested in all of her thoughts on that as well. As we really get into what it means to take a collaborative parenting approach as opposed to I am the parent and I have all the authority, you listen to me, you do what I say, kind of approach. It's sort of the opposite of that. It's something that I'm trying, it's a practice, right, it's something that I try and I fail and I try again with my three boys, and so it's very validating to talk to her, get her perspective. She gives us some practical tips on what that can sound like and how to repair when you mess up, which I really appreciate. We do, of course, touch on her own breastfeeding experience, which I will say is very, very emotional and something that really impacted me. Listening to what she's gone through. I think our takeaway is that it is very normal to have a different breastfeeding experience with each of your children, because each of your children is a completely different person and that will only become more and more obvious as they grow. And really that dovetails into the rest of the conversation about how to really tune into your kids and parent them in a way that is going to feel good for both of you. It honestly starts on day one and it can really start with how you feed your baby and how you take care of them in those early days. So it was an amazing conversation for me. I hope you enjoy it. There's so much more. Kara has so many resources for us and I will link those in our show notes. Please follow her. Please seek out her help if you, specifically, are struggling with the toddler tantrums right now If parenting your toddler is really a drain on you and you feel hopeless. You feel like what you've been trying is not working. You don't see a light at the end of the tunnel and you really would love someone to offer hope and a different way of doing things. I highly recommend seeking out Kara's help and I'm very happy to be bringing her to you today. Please enjoy, all right. So for today's conversation, we are a breastfeeding focused podcast. I think I could probably talk to you for like five hours about all of the parenting things, and I told my friends that I was interviewing you today and my one friend and I literally just had the conversation how do we get our little boys to stop from swearing, even though they hear it from us? And then I went to your podcast and that was like two episodes ago. You've exactly covered that. So I sent a screenshot to my friend. I was like this is who I'm talking to. She's like ask her all the questions, find out all the things. So you know we'll all use your podcast as well, but if you could just give us a little introduction who you are, what you do, and then maybe take us back to the beginning of your own breastfeeding journey? Yes.

Speaker 2:

Okay, yeah, so I'm Kara Terrell, founder of Core for Parenting and creator of the collaborative parenting methodology. So I'm an early childhood educator and a conscious parenting coach and I just felt so disgruntled every year that I was teaching in the classroom, finding I loved my kids but they were less and less ready to learn in every area of that classroom. So I said the solution and I know it starts between birth and five is to empower parents to understand the role that they play as their child's first teacher. That has nothing to do with ABCs, one, two, three's, colors or numbers and everything to do with the connection that they make, the social, emotional learning that's organically happening through those conversations and the interpersonal skills that their kids are learning out in the world with their parents. So that's what I left the classroom and I started my company and I create courses and curriculum and coaching and do all of this for parents so that they're raising really ready kids in every way to take on the role of being a human being and the role of being a learner when they go to school. I have girls who are 18 and 20. So I'm on the other side of the active parenting journey from those toddler years and I can tell you with 100% certainty that collaborating with my girls to become a team and mutual problem solvers, and engaging their cognition and their thinking patterns as we moved through the ages and stages of their development, has made them totally ready to take on this world.

Speaker 1:

I love that. I love that because I'm very aware that many other people their age are not. I'm familiar with the book, like the Coddling of the American Mind, and just like the crisis of teenagers going to college and it just not going very well, also like the mental health crisis that's impacting teenagers right now. So it's very near and dear to my heart. And then I guess so you would have to think back quite a ways to when you were pregnant, having the first baby and then, you know, starting your breastfeeding journey there.

Speaker 2:

Well, i do and I don't, because the way that I tested my curriculum and methodology is I went back to being a full time nanny, so I had infants and toddlers in my world, while I had tween and then teen girls at the same time, and I'm famous for saying toddlers and teenagers are essentially the same person because of that. So, yes, my breastfeeding journey started 23 years ago, and then I've had the amazing honor of supporting other moms as they were going through theirs, as their counterpart, as their trusted nanny. So it's just really beautiful journey, so I will share. I'm very open and vulnerable about this because I want all moms to understand that I'm also a lost mom. So I have a daughter who would be 23. I carried her to 40 weeks in one day and then she was still born and we didn't get to bring her home from the hospital. My body continued to believe that it had a baby to feed, and so that was actually the beginning of my breastfeeding journey. Was managing my mother's milk without a baby to feed, oh my goodness, oh my goodness.

Speaker 1:

I did not know that was the beginning of your journey. I guess could you walk us through what that was like.

Speaker 2:

Yes, well, in the stages of acute grief, right managing just to get through every day, i didn't understand the way that milk showed up and I wasn't present of mind enough to be really thinking it through, and so my milk fully came in on the day of her funeral. I didn't know what to do, emily, i was just so stuck and I think it was my husband who said to me you should probably pump, you should probably just pump so that we can get through this. And I did know from all the classes that we took that you could make more milk, and it was a really hard decision. I did do it and then I was able to attend to my own emotional needs more during the cabbage leaves and the process moving through that. It's a very intense period of time, but a very short intense period of time, kind of like labor and delivery.

Speaker 1:

Wow, wow, yeah, okay, and then. So when you had your second baby, how did things go with breastfeeding that time around?

Speaker 2:

That's why I wanted to come on to this podcast and share with you, because I believe breastfeeding is such a spiritual experience, it's such an emotional connection, it's like human psychology through contact. And so I had my next child three years later and I was blessed that she lived and I got to bring her home from the hospital and I had a vision in my mind of what it was going to be like to snuggle her and breastfeed her and skin to skin her, and it was going to heal those parts of me. I believed that had been robbed from the previous experience, because I'm a very nurturing human and I love the physical touch and connection between myself and kids. Well, i gave birth to a daughter who wanted none of it. Of course you did. Of course you did. It was as hard, if not harder than the first time around, because I actually had a baby who needed feeding, right. so I had a job to do, except she didn't want to be fed the way that I envisioned it happening, and so I fought it and fought it and fought it. I pushed through hard, through those four, those five months and those 40 minutes on one side and the trying on the other side, and I was just emotionally not ready to say this is not going to work. And then what would happen in the end is I would emotionally just be wrecked, feed up after every feed and if you're doing the math, it wasn't that long before the next feed was supposed to happen right. And somebody would come along with my breast milk in a bottle, she'd suck it down in five minutes, flat burp. Be the happiest child on the planet say swaddle me tightly, put me down and I'm good. Wow. And I went, i guess, i just I guess this is just not going to happen the way that I believed it was going to. And then you know, long story short, what we learned about her body's physiological needs and her sensory being and what she needed to feel good inside her body and safe as a sensory kid showed up later and I looked back and I went oh, i was torturing this poor, brand new human being because of a vision that I had in my head and a need I had in my heart. And so, you know, i lived and I learned and we got through it and she's amazing and we did so much work in her early young you know her two, three, four year old years about how to take ownership of her own sensory needs and she's great. My third kid came along. I had three kids in five years and she was a champ. Finally, finally, the daughter I'll three girls, by the way. Finally, the one who just wanted to nestle in and hang there and even use me for soothing sometimes and just in every other way, not even just breastfeeding always be close, always be touching. I caught, she grew up that way and I called her my Velcro child for the longest time And then, unfortunately, this doesn't have a happy ending either. About two months into her life, my husband looked at me and he said I think you have that baby thing We're talking about. I was overwhelmed, right, i had a just turned two year old and a newborn and all life was just crazy. And he said I think you have that baby thing. That makes you depressed. And I went to the doctor and I'll never forget that day very clearly, once it had been brought to my attention that I wasn't engaging the same way that I had with our previous daughter or any other newborn or infant that had come into my life, because I went oh, you might be onto something here, it feels different. And he said to me you've got to stop breastfeeding to take medication And my heart broke all over again, because now I had a child who was in this with me, and now I had set a new vision and new goal. We were going to make it to that one year mark and I was going to do what I always said I was going to do and give her all the nutrition and all the goodness to start life And once again I had to stop And it was really hard. But on the other side of that, i think the gifts that she got from me when I returned to my post-postpartum self, when I got to the other side of that chemical imbalance that was really making me not the mom she needed me to be, then that's a better gift. So all of my breastfeeding stories are not what I had envisioned and yet they are all part of the journey of motherhood that really, when you break it down to its core, is the very first time maybe in our lives that we realize we literally have no control over anything And we have to embrace that and be willing to ride the roller coaster of the journey, whatever it looks like and however it presents itself.

Speaker 1:

How are you feeling today, when you knew you were going to be coming on a breastfeeding podcast? because it sounds like all three stories are still very much a part of you and very much have an emotional imprint on you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and that has been my entire journey to parenthood. I was the kid, i was the 10-year-old, that people said what do you want to be when you grow up? And I said I'm mom. So this was my life's work. This is my life's work. This is you know, and now I'm making it an extension like a legacy work through other families and other parents and the COVID generation who just showed up, and nobody's lives ever started more off kilter than theirs. So I can honestly come on to podcasts I can do this on my own podcast and say with full confidence and a full heart that I've done my best job, that I know how to do As a mom to all three of my kids, because they each needed me to show up differently for them And, honestly, it really sparked my collaborative parenting methodology, which is based in the idea that every single human being that you bring into the world is a unique human, and so one strategy does not fit all. One breastfeeding approach does not fit all. You have got to become so entrenched in knowing who the child is that you brought into the world That you can then respond with the strategies that do work, with the tight swaddle and the put me down.

Speaker 1:

Right. Attuning to your baby from the very beginning And I think that's something I had to learn too is that babies really are just small sized, full humans, and so I always, i always love the way like my dad treats babies because he, from the very first day, he would talk to them almost as if they were an adult, like just with the same amount of respect and like curiosity, and that's always stuck with me. You know, we we do like baby talk, gucci, gucci, gucci, and it's like it's also okay to talk to them with the respect that you would give to any other human. And so to start attuning to your child from a very young age I think that's my takeaway from what you're telling me And what I hope moms at home are hearing is that it's very likely that your breastfeeding experience with this baby is different, even if you have another baby. It's different from your friend, is different from your sister, and that's going to continue to be true as the child grows. This child is going to be different from any other child, and it's. It is our responsibility. We are uniquely positioned to tune into what they are asking for and decide how to meet those needs. So this is really beautiful, because I'm super interested in all of your conscious parenting work And I wasn't exactly sure how we were going to tie it into breastfeeding, but it's becoming very clear that that is like our first opportunity to. It's not about us, oh, it's not about us. It's not about what we want, it's not about what we envisioned, it's not about what would be convenient for our lives. It's about listening into what our baby is asking for.

Speaker 2:

Oh, that's so beautiful It is, and you know you are allowed to have dreams and goals and visions, and you should know I teach in my programming what I call my personalized parenting mission statement, and the good news about that is that it is your long term vision for who you would like to raise. In general, this will apply to all your children, right, if your family core unit decides that their goal is to raise compassionate, empathetic, hardworking team playing kids who are responsible for their actions, kids, that applies to all your kids. The differentiators come in when you've got kid A, who digs in their heels and doesn't move, versus kid B, who's kind of flexible and willing to roll with things. How you approach the strategy of helping each of those children own their choices and their responsibilities is different, but the core model that your family has doesn't change.

Speaker 1:

So you're almost talking about creating like a mission statement or like a vision statement, as if you were a giant corporation that has like a mission statement on their website for your family, for your parenting, for what you want to achieve in your household.

Speaker 2:

essentially, It's got call it a parenting GPS. It is your north star, we personalize it, and then the beauty is, once we get through all the different strategies that are scientifically backed, you decide which one matches which of your children, and so you create a personalized parenting toolkit.

Speaker 1:

I love that. And then so we sort of touched on collaborative parenting can start from day one. essentially. What does it look like as we move through? like you, you call it the fourth trimester or, like you know, the nine months and nine months out? I know that phrase came up earlier. How do you see collaborative parenting evolving from newborn to infant, to toddler and preschooler?

Speaker 2:

That is such a fantastic question and I just I love getting nerdy about it. So for me, the definition of collaborative parenting is that you are a team. You're a team with your child, you are a team with your partner, the three of you, however many of you are in that home, it's a team And specifically with that one kid at a time, you're going to run into things that need problem solving, right, and it's the fact that they want the yellow cup versus the orange cup, or it's the fact that they need the light turned on and off 17 times before they go to bed. Or as we were also talking about earlier. They're now mimicking language that you wish they wouldn't, and so now you have to help them kind of reframe what's appropriate to say and not to say. You're always being faced with challenges throughout the day. Collaborative parenting at the nine month mark means teaching them that they have a voice, even though they don't have a voice yet. They have. They can sign by nine months old, so that gives them a point. They have the ability to participate in that decision making process. And when you lay that foundation from day one, holding up two different shirts Right, using your language to say we're either changing your diaper on the table, you're changing table or we're changing your diaper on the floor, oh, i think we'll helping them see that choice making is something they can be part of from day one. Which one do you choose is setting that strong foundation that you were talking about earlier. I call them the core four connectors that an adult and a child can be in a relationship of mutual trust, respect, honesty and have an open communication line to talk about anything, even when it's hard. And that allows you to do the two year old stuff And you're not always ending up in meltdown because your two year old knows Not. When mom speaks it's the truth. I know she means what she says. I probably could push the boundary, but her answer is actually not going to change. I have a different idea of how I would love this trip to the park to go, but I know I'm allowed to tell her what I'm thinking, so I'm going to share it with her. Maybe she'll say yes, maybe she won't, but if your child feels that scene, that heard and that included, you stand a much better chance of navigating your days calmly, in connection and collaborating with them or positive outcomes. Then, if you start the day from the mindset of I'm in charge, they just have to do what I tell them to, you're really setting yourself up for power struggles which end in tears.

Speaker 1:

But that's how most people grew up, that's definitely how the generation before us grew up, and so what you're advocating for is very different from what most people picture the parent child relationship. So I guess, what is your? how do you talk to someone who is coming in with a completely different view, who thinks you're wrong, who thinks kids are going to turn out completely like I don't know worse? basically, this, this is worse, this is the worst way to parent your child. What, what do you say to them?

Speaker 2:

I say look at the current generation that is out there in the world. Look at our 18 and 19 and 20 year olds. Look at what. What's happening. They're inability to live on their own. They're all coming home. We have incredibly sad events happening all over this country and the young people that are going in and it's just too I can say it out loud it's just too hard to think of. But I've asked this question so so many times of society itself and I ask it of parents too. And so I would ask this person who says that probably just won't work. What age is your child? no longer, oh, they're just a kid And now responsible for the words they say and the actions that they take. Is it seven, is it 12.? Is it 15. It's just, it's not a number that you can make a decision that arbitrarily, after 16 years of living on this planet and being treated in such a way and shown that this is the way of life, that all of a sudden you can now expect them to become somebody else who is going to add intense value to society and have respect for others. It's not a switch that you can turn on like that. It is the way that we start our life is what sets us up to understand that we do have to engage with society in a certain way. 85% of foundational brain growth the literal size of a child's brain is done growing by five years old.

Speaker 1:

That's scary to those of us who, like my youngest, is five, right, and I'm like, shoot, that window is closing, like I hope I did a pretty good job. But that's, and that's sort of recent research, right, like we, i think more and more parents are becoming aware of. Like a zero to five and like zero to seven and zero to two are kind of like these golden windows for specific brain development. It doesn't mean there's nothing we can do after that, but it's, it's well the importance of the younger years.

Speaker 2:

And that's really it's important that we I caveat that right birth to five is critical, but that doesn't mean that the neural pathways can't be shifted Right As adults, where so many adults are into mindset work now and personal development and creating an understanding about that. And so that's the second answer to the question that you asked me. If somebody is 100% grounded in a closed mindset and they cannot see things from other people's points of view, then they're not somebody I can work with, right? I mean, yeah, if people are aware that skills can be learned And if they can be learned, they can be learned differently and mastered in a new way, then we are 100% on the same page.

Speaker 1:

And I think the selling point for me like I'm 100% aligned with you. I need to listen to all of your podcast episodes. I need all of your resources. I've already been going down this rabbit hole And it can be for selfish reasons. My life is better when I am better at regulating my own emotions and working collaboratively with my children. It is a joy to truly coach them through problem solving. What just the other day my five-year-old I don't even know what it was, whatever the situation was, it was an opportunity where I could have stepped in and just fixed the thing for him. I might do that because I want to avoid him being frustrated. I just want to get this thing over with. Whatever it might be. I consciously told myself to like count to 15 and sit there. He figured it out And like the quiet sense of pride he had from that And I just know that sets him up for the next situation And I'm not always going to be there, so I know when I get it right, it pays dividends for him. I stayed calmer in that situation and we built trust, like mom is here if I need her, but also mom believes in me, mom trusts me, she let me figure this thing out on my own And I see many, many examples of parents stepping in really quickly to fix all the problems. To solve all the problems to remove all the pain And I am really concerned about that. It's hard as a parent Like it's hard, but I will say it's easier. My life is easier when I get this right.

Speaker 2:

Two things on that. Number one you can now use that in the future, when he comes to you and says, here, help me, you can say I remember when you struggled with this and I gave you a few minutes and you figured it out all by yourself. You try. If you're struggling in a few minutes, let me know. So you're empowering him based on his previous successes And then when that success happened, oh my gosh, celebrate it Like literally put the words to it for him. I see that you managed to figure this out all by yourself. You must feel so proud Because you know what you've done. But the thing is kids, don't? they're so in the moment. Somebody said actually I think it's this week's guest episode that comes out next week She said kids are in their heart more than they're in their head. Mel Daly is her name. I'm going to give her credit. We are in our head more than we're in our hearts. So your heart celebrated that moment And your head said I know the great gift I just gave him. But he's already on to the next thing. So make sure that you celebrate it intentionally with words, so that he knows how you feel.

Speaker 1:

I love that, yeah, and another place I do that is when I see like one of my children intentionally being kind or helpful to the other. I really want to call that out too, because that is something I hope. That is the vision That's part of my parent. Vision is, you know, kindness towards others, especially you know people in your family, so I will be better about it. But that's a really good reminder for all of us to celebrate those ones out loud. And I think you're also hitting on. You are celebrating a very real accomplishment. You are not celebrating like, oh, your picture is pretty because you use the color blue, or like, you know, surface level. We've all been sort of brought up to say like, oh, i like your shirt today. Like that's okay, but they're not going to get personal growth from that. It's these, it's recognizing when they had a choice and they stuck with the hard thing and it paid off, like that's what's really going to move the needle for them.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. And did you hear how I shifted the language a little bit when I gave praise? We very often, absolutely. I very, we very often, always, usually give praise from an eye position. I'm so proud of you And I teach that we need to give that away to them. You must be so proud of yourself, because we don't want that. they're the little people. They're little people who believe we hang the moon. I see a moon in the background there. We don't want them doing things to make us proud. Oh boy.

Speaker 1:

That's. There's a lot of adults in therapy still, because they're just trying to make the parents proud.

Speaker 2:

We want them to do things from the motivation that it's internal, They drives from the inside. And those are the kids who grow up and oh, I don't know start businesses Right. That internal motivation. Those are the kids who realize that if the project is going to take three weeks, they're going to start three weeks ahead of time and break it down into chunks because they have an internal desire to do well with the final outcome. So yeah, I mean I know I go deep into the social psychology of it, but that's where it starts. You really wanted to fit all the shapes inside the right blocks. You figured it out. You must feel so proud of yourself. Then I do a big old happy dance, Right. I show them how I can express my body with joy as well. But I don't own their pride. I let them own it, Yeah.

Speaker 1:

No, that's a really concrete tip we can all take away is shifting from I am proud of you because, or I like the way you did this to. You must feel so proud of the way you did this. That's I mean. That's yeah, that's something we can all. We can all take away. Yeah, one thing that I have told my friends I'm trying to do is to make my kids' lives harder. My kids' lives are so very easy Not that I have that hard of a life myself but how are they ever going to have practice doing the hard thing if nothing is hard? So, and my oldest is 11 and I'm trying to find ways to just like make it harder to be an 11 year old in today's world, because otherwise it's not. So, do you have any tips? or I mean, am I on the right path here that we sort of in the modern world, we almost have to make things harder for our children, otherwise the default is going to be like super easy on demand. You know, Disney Plus watch whatever you want at any moment of the day.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, i mean, they are definitely. They're being raised in a different era. It's not even just a different age, it's a different era. At this point, they're digital citizens from the day they're born, right, they're coming into this post pandemic world where all the rules and regulations for society seems to have shifted in some way. There's just so. The good news is for you that there's plenty of challenges out there to be, to be collaborated on, but I would just say, always bring in their perspective. Right, you know what the big world is going to hold them accountable for, but they don't. And so if you create a situation or you notice a situation, it's clear to me, emily, that you're really good at observing. You're like, oh, i see a moment here that I can create something. Make sure, if it organically fits in during great, and if not, afterwards, to have that follow up conversation and say, did you know that out in the world, this is going to help you because, right, let's, let's take your, let's move it to social media for a second. Yeah, okay, so, and so friends are all posting this, that and the other, and your child thinks it would be really fun to join in, and you put your boundaries in place and you make it harder and you limit the screen time and you do all of the things that align with your household And they have their reaction and you work through it together. Did you know that in eight years, or however long you think it is when you want to go get a job, employers are now looking at your social media accounts, your personal ones and all the things that you posted and said, as a measure of whether or not they think you would be a good fit? Now, when you and I grew up, we had the freedom I don't know how great this is to make stupid choices, and then they got hit under the rug. Now our employers didn't have to know about those choices we made. But this culture is setting themselves up to be under that microscope at every moment, And so the choices they make have to align. You've told me now I'm talking to your daughter again you've told me that you have a dream to be from a what she want to be.

Speaker 1:

Oh, it's Max. I have three boys. actually, we're the opposite. I mean, i think you'd love to be like a YouTube short content creator at this point. Oh, fantastic.

Speaker 2:

So, max, you've told me that you would like to be a content creator. Well, those people you know they need to be respected online. They're an authority figure online. So if you start now posting things that you feel so confident about, that you feel like people can respect you for doing it and that it's from an authority place, you're going to set yourself up to do that, no problem.

Speaker 1:

That's really good, and I see how you're putting yourself in his perspective. What does he care about? What does he care about today and what can he stretch himself enough to think about like what he might care about in the future? So that's, that's a really good reminder.

Speaker 2:

We Yeah, so Our parents have said right. Our parents would have said well, just because Johnny did it doesn't mean you have to do it right. Very different conversation that we just had right.

Speaker 1:

What do you learn from that? Well, there's going to be things that Johnny does do, that I should also do, so What's the difference?

Speaker 2:

Yes, yeah, deeply rooted in the ability to talk about anything without judging each other. Mm-hmm.

Speaker 1:

That's the right. So I think part of the collaborative parenting is that non judgment, so that they continue to come to you, two problems solve together and they don't think that a certain problem is going to be Too much for you to handle or is going to make you think of them differently. Um, as I enter the preteen in the teen years that's something I'm very aware of is just Always remaining calm and like not expressing any knee-jerk reactions, so that I feel like a safe place to come with problems.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, because that's what people tell me the most right. I ask and I work with parents who have littles, but I say, when they're teenagers, what is the number one thing you want from them? To be able to tell me anything. Yeah well, that starts now. Yeah, right, that starts now. If they come to you at two and a half, because at two and a half they still are Blessedly filter-free and they just are the. I broke your lamp, mommy, i just did this and I'm going to tell you about it. And if you lose your cool and you blame and you yell, and you you should have, and you what if? Well, that sets the tone, for it's not safe to go to mommy when I make a mistake, do you?

Speaker 1:

have any advice for, because we're all gonna lose our cool. We're all gonna say that we shouldn't say how do you repair? So in that example, how then, after you've cooled down, how do you repair with your child?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and repairing is so easy. It's so easy and I think, as an as an adult, for us the ability to apologize to little kids just feels awkward Because it comes from a place of giving away power, and I highly encourage it. I highly encourage it. You, just in that quiet moment, whenever it feels safe to do it, and it's not nobody's heightened anymore. I used words I didn't want to use. I am so sorry That I couldn't find my calm in that moment. You surprised me. I didn't expect you to say what you said. We all make mistakes. It's just a lamp. I can replace the lamp. Do you forgive me? I ask it? And kids? feel so valued. And so loved And so heard when they hear the words do you forgive me? Yes, of course, mommy, of course I love you. You're my favorite person in the whole world And chances are they've moved past it, right. But here's the thing that most parents don't understand, because what we see is what we believe, right, we're a see it to believe it society. So, yes, your kids are going to move past this stuff super fast and they'll be on to the next thing, but it's the seed that was planted, that that you're going to deal with three months later when the next thing pops up, and two years later when the next thing pops up. And it's those seeds that just stay there that grow into guarded people who don't want to share with you in their later years.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and who yell at other people that mess up. So I think that the real payoff is when you see your child treat someone else with kindness and non judgment because they've been treated that way, and that that really is a seed like that. If you plant that two and a half, it might take a little while, yeah, but for me that's like a huge payoff.

Speaker 2:

Because they don't. they don't think about these interactions the way we do. Right, they believe everything you say to be the truth. They believe every way of interacting to be the way people interact, everything you present to them environmentally, with your words, with your body language, with your tone. They are basically just note takers. Yeah, they're tiny little note takers for the first five years, putting the puzzle together. Yeah this is how we do it. When someone okay great. When someone calls after 9pm, that's how we yell about okay great. They're adding all the puzzle pieces together And coming up with the way that they believe the world works.

Speaker 1:

Right, because that's how you survive. Figure out how the world works and then follow the program to.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and it's why they push boundaries. And so for for people who are out there listening, please know that. So healthy If you have a boundary pushing toddler four year old, six year old it doesn't matter how old your kids are at this moment, how, when we push boundaries, that's our learning buffer, and so we're either going to learn that that boundary is firm and it was put there in place on purpose to keep us safe And that we can trust the person who did it, or we're going to learn that that boundary was expanded like you are doing for your 11 year olds. Right, i'm expanding this boundary because here is where I need you to do some of your own personal learning, and we're just going to keep expanding. But it's their job to do that. It's not their job to be perfect.

Speaker 1:

Right, right, and we're not even close to perfect. I've read before like we have bad days all the time and we expect our kids not to have bad days, like that's just unrealistic. I know something else you're really passionate about is the COVID generation, so I did want you to be time to talk a little bit about why that's something that you're passionate about right now.

Speaker 2:

Thank you, i so appreciate that. Yes, so you know, i work with people in those toddler and preschool years. That's just who I work with, but it just so happens that right now, that group of parents are pandemic parents And they had COVID babies who were born and they're now between one and five years old, and so I break these kids into two groups, are true pandemic babies 2021, born in 2020, 2021 who were born into isolation, yeah Right, so they had very little opportunity to organically learn any of the real world skills that kids do by leaving the house, engaging with other people, hearing lots of different voices, interacting with kids their own age all of that that aren't siblings. And then we have our kindergarten and first graders, who were preschoolers, and we're doing all of those learning leaps And then it hit the pause button on that part of their developmental journey, and so we're noticing all kinds of delays And all these kids speech and language, social, emotional ability to regulate how they're feeling, to even understand how they're feeling their social anxiety is through the roof. There are lots of tech addictions that we're seeing in little kids. That was a soothing strategy that a lot of parents had no choice but to use in order to get through the survival period. So, yes, i am the champion of the COVID generation. I feel like I'm the Lorax. Right, i speak for the COVID generation, yeah, yeah, because I firmly believe that the world is opening back up, and that's fantastic. Right, they say that the medical crisis is over. Great, The educational crisis is just beginning And if we don't pay attention now and readjust some of the expectations for success that we have for preschoolers, kindergartners and first graders, they are going to continually feel like they're failing because they don't have. the majority of, I will say, some kids came through this without issue, because there's always that section of people and that's fantastic.

Speaker 1:

And for those families.

Speaker 2:

I'm just so glad for you, But the majority of kids are showing they need us to slow down, directly teach some of these skills that they didn't get the opportunity to practice and master before we hold them accountable with our testing and our check marks in a pre-pandemic model.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that makes so much sense to me. I know and I think about my own five-year-old. He had the benefit of having older siblings and we had some families that we still, you know, were socializing with interactants and family members. But I also have friends and family where that was their first baby. So it was true, true isolation. There was no interacting going on. So we're probably going to be talking about this for years to come.

Speaker 2:

We are, but we need to deal. we can't just talk right, we've got to do. You know, in those parents, the ones who you're talking about, they're so excited Now they can go to the play groups and now they can go here and they can go to the park and they're engaging with other kids. They've got their kids enrolled in preschool and they say can you share please? And their child has no idea what that is. But we're still holding them accountable for a three-year-old myro marker, because they're three, but their ability to understand what sharing means and what turn taking is and what it feels like, and they're not at a three-year-old level for that. So that's where I'm stepping up and saying let's identify for each family what your current real struggles are and then I can help you work with your child to start to scaffold that process. And the great news is, because they're not babies, they're going to learn it quickly. There'll be a really short half-life to this learning process As long as you are using effective strategies and compassionate language and supporting them through it.

Speaker 1:

So for families who are listening, we know they can also find out lots more from you. Where should someone go to learn all the things, about everything you're talking about?

Speaker 2:

Well, you can connect with me on Instagram at core for parenting the number four in there And then I will just shoot you a quick message And, if you want to have some voice memos, we can get to know each other a little bit that way. I feel really connected to people that way. But also I will make sure that I have my bio link for you to put in the show notes And there you can grab. I have what I call my free, my five mindset mantras for managing toddler meltdowns, and it's how you control your own mental status, just like Emily did, just like you did in that moment, and it also empowers you to understand the value of what your child's going through in that moment. So five meltdown mantras to help you get through it without causing more trauma to you or your kiddo.

Speaker 1:

And that, to me, that feels hopeful. It's like there's a better way. There's the power struggle, there's another option, just for people who are at the end of the rope, as I think we all are at one time or another when we're raising toddlers. So we'll definitely have all your information in the show notes, and then is there anything that we didn't get to touch on today that you just want to make sure you shared in our conversation?

Speaker 2:

I just want to say thank you. I just I feel, really, really I love knowing that there's so there's so many moms out there who are shifting the paradigm, and then that group meets a new group And, before I know it, we're going to combat all of the ugly that's happening in the world right now with our new mindsets and our new perspectives and our ability to see the good in our kids even after a really hard day, and that's going to redefine that next generation And that's my big dream.

Speaker 1:

I love that And your mom social support group is really powerful, like who you hang out with and who you go to for mom advice is going to shape your own experience, so you're right that we do have sort of that ability to influence and shift things better for the kids and better for the parents, for sure, yes. Well, thank you so much, Kara, and I'm sure we'll be in touch plenty more in the future.

Speaker 2:

Thank you. Thank you for the space to share this And I look forward to hearing from you again.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for listening And I do want to apologize that I mispronounced Kara's name at the end there in my excitement. I invite you, if you're just curious for more information on breastfeeding, please head to empowered bumps and boobscom. You can access a free preview of our course Empowered Breastfeeding Boot Camp. When you enroll in that course, not only do you get lifetime access to all the information about breastfeeding, you get access to live weekly group calls so you can connect with other moms, and you can connect with other moms on the discussion forum and ask questions and get some answers there. It's everything you need to feel much more supported with your breastfeeding journey and we would love to have you there. I will definitely include all of Kara's resources in our show notes And if you have any feedback for me, please reach out Emily at empowered bumps and boobscom. And if you'd like to be a guest on the podcast, please reach out to Emily at empowered bumps and boobscom. Thank you so much and be well.

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Breastfeeding Journeys Through Grief and Parenthood
Collaborative Parenting and Early Childhood Development
Empowering Children Through Celebrating Success
Resilient Kids in Digital Age
Supporting the COVID Generation
Empowered Breastfeeding Boot Camp