Watch this episode on the Mindful Mama Youtube channel
What do you do with kids who push back… a lot?? Today I talk to Wendy Snyder about building a compassionate discipline toolkit to deal with challenging kids. We talk about how to stay firm and kind, so that you don’t become too permissive with your children (and why that’s harmful). This episode is chock-full of practical parenting tools!
Wendy Snyder is a Positive Parenting educator, family life coach & advocate. She is certified in Redirecting Children’s Behavior & The Joy of Parenting Program. Wendy founded her online business, Fresh Start Family, so that she could spread the message of positive parenting across the world. She is the developer of a variety of online positive parenting courses and also has a monthly membership program to further support families. Wendy helps families parent from a place of great purpose and intention by creating healthy, respectful & cooperative relationships.
Hunter is the creator of the Mindful Parenting course, host of the Mindful Mama podcast and author of the bestselling book Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids. She helps parents bring more calm and peace into their daily lives. Hunter has over twenty years of experience in meditation practices and has taught mindfulness to thousands worldwide. She is the mother of two active daughters, who challenge her everyday to hone her craft!
Get the top 2 best tools to stop yelling & the Mindful Parenting Roadmap (it’s free!) at: mindfulmamamentor.com/stopyelling/
Get Hunter’s best-selling book, Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids.
Join the Mindful Parenting Membership: Support the show while learning mindful parenting and enjoying live monthly group coaching and ongoing community discussion and support. Make the Mindful Parenting Method and tools an anchor in your parenting.
Teach Mindful Parenting: Learn how to become a certified Mindful Parenting Teacher and bring the Mindful Parenting course to your community.
*This is an auto-generated transcript*
 Setting Firm & Kind Boundaries – Wendy Snyder
[00:00:00] Hunter: I’m excited to talk to you. We had a great conversation for your podcast and I was so excited. I’m so excited to bring you on to answer the question, to talk about that idea that parents always have when we’re, they’re encountering this idea of moving. Punishment and you moving beyond like threats and punishment, but because the, in, I think our minds, when we think about okay if I don’t use threats and punishment, like it’s like a void there, then I’m helpless.
And I have no way to discipline my child. I have no way to hold boundaries. And that’s the fear. So our job today is to put that fear to rest. Are you game.
[00:00:48] Wendy Snyder: Heck. Yes. It has been such a journey myself to put that fear to rest. And finally, a decade later, I just feel so good about it. So it’s I’m excited to really help listeners feel the same today and just give them a little bit to work with, cuz there’s so much on this subject and yeah let’s dive in cuz there’s so much goodness that comes to families when they embrace the idea of compassionate discipline versus punishment.
[00:01:15] Hunter: Awesome. So were you like me? So when I I’m just from hearing your response, like when my daughter was born, I met this, like when I think it was my, I was like struggling. I think I was, my second daughter might have been a baby and I met a family who was like, yeah, we don’t do any time else.
And I was like, that’s crazy. I’m not gonna be. Parent, let my child run all over me. And I thought they were bananas and low and behold, I never ended up using any timeouts besides a tiny portion of time way, way back when, and my kids aren’t running, brewing the house and they’re not running wild and they’re not they’re not spoiled.
Did you have a similar kind of experience where you encountered it? You had the opposite mindset and then you encountered this.
[00:02:06] Wendy Snyder: Oh, yes. And I got into the thick of it for probably, it’s so funny to think back, cuz it feels like an eternity, but Stella was probably, it was probably the ages of like between two.
And then I found the work when she was about three. So probably till. Two to three and a half. We were doing all the traditional like timeouts. I tried spanking her twice, which literally like she became a dragon and was like, heck no. Like she just raised the red flag and was like, you are not like, we are not doing this.
And looking back, I’m like, wow. Her strong will just so beautifully shined in that moment. But yeah, lots of timeouts. There was lots of traditional punishments in that timeframe. I remember just like throwing her most precious stuffed animal in the trash one day, cuz I really thought that was gonna make her learn her lesson.
Cause I think with traditional punishment we have this mindset that in order for it to work, it really needs. Sting. Like they need to fear the consequence. It has to hurt
[00:03:05] Hunter: for them to learn. That’s the
[00:03:08] Wendy Snyder: idea. Yeah. Yeah. And it was just like, it’s still just man, it brings me to tears almost to think about the reaction she had.
She had this step stool out and she was trying to get into the trash can in the garage. And her little body was like hanging over this giant trash can and oh my gosh. It. Traumatic dude. And it was like over a stuffed animal. And I just remember being out of my mind angry and at my wits end, cuz I just wanted this child to like, not shake the baby or to take a nap when I asked her to, or to put on her freaking shoes to go outside so we could get out of the house cuz I just felt trapped, like it was just, yeah, I have a similar, season where I looked, I didn’t even have people actually in my life at that point who were not doing the timeouts and punishments like, and spankings, everybody, almost that I talked to, I have so many stories of whether it was my boss or colleague or someone from church or.
The neighbor at one point, told me how you just buy this little book and you use a switch on your kid and it’ll make everything better. It was a lot of input in that time, in my life that was like, it’s okay to raise a hand and make sure this kid knows that your boss. And so thank God when I found this work, like even talking about that season.
It’s so fascinating. Cuz I get like a visceral reaction in my stomach. Of what it was like to be in that season where, all these people are telling you that’s what works. And then just knowing I just did a real this morning on Instagram about it. Just knowing that it doesn’t feel right.
It’s not in line with my heart and hunter. It’s not even working like this child, my beautiful strong-willed child. It wasn’t working a few days later she would still go up and bite the baby or pinch the baby or not. It’s not like she was like, yes, ma’am after I would, put her in time out and lock her in her room for five minutes.
Yeah, that was an intense season. And thank God once I found this work and started to learn how to replace a punishment mindset with a disciplined mindset, and really just started to see her in a new light work with her differently, a new light. That’s what led me down the life coaching path. And then I started to see myself in a new light, cuz I’m a very strong little person too.
Everything just changed yolk, the go figure, but everything just so beautifully changed. She started to just flourish and it just felt so darn good to see how much influence I had on this very strong-willed little girl that was not gonna be told or humiliated into. Doing things a certain way. Like she, she demanded influence, right?
Like she was like, there, there’s gonna need to be respect here for me to follow you, mom, basically. And here we are 10 years later, I know we have similar age. Girls still is almost 15 and. Man. Yeah, it
[00:06:16] Hunter: just feels sad. I’m like nodding my head so much because you’re describing my, I, I was like very determined not to hit my child because I was spanked like, so I had that, but I was like yelling, I was scaring her and she was just like, it was like just, it would just explode her like a powder keg, like super, highly sensitive.
She just couldn’t like. Like when it was a battle and still to this day, if like we get into a place where it’s a battle it’s so it’s a, it just never, and it never works. And the interesting part of that is like to think about is sometimes of that is what’s the end game, right?
You are you upping the pun? You know what I mean? If it doesn’t work, then you’re making stronger and. Harsh punishments. And I saw an amazing thing for Mr. Chess. Who’s another podcast guest on the Mindful mom podcast where he shared someone who wrote to him about, yeah. Like my mother was like raising a hand to me in my thirties and and that all these people responded.
Yeah. My parents, my. My mother tried to hit me. It was hit, slapped my face in my twenties. My, one person said they were like 40 and their mother was, or their father was trying to hit them. It’s amazing to think about the sort of the, these habits. And of course, it’s, it is just passed down, right?
This is this is, we don’t have to go deep into the history, like
[00:07:53] Wendy Snyder: this work too. Yeah. This is. Yeah, it’s so good lately. Like he has been sharing the most beautiful stuff that I just am eating it up. I’m like, oh my gosh. Like his community and what they share is so beautiful.
Hunter, like you get to see long term effects of the punishment style mindset. Yeah. I just feel like we should all nominate Mr. Chaz for Nobel peace prize.
[00:08:21] Hunter: shout out to Mr. Chaz. Yeah. I guess for me it was like, Oh, I was in like a, I had a terrible relationship with my father into my twenties, at least a decade after I left the house.
And it was because of the tactics he use. And my whole thing was like, dang, I wanna actually like my kids and have them like me. I wanna have a good relationship when they’re teenagers. Like I knew in my mind like that the re adolescent rebellion. Is not, they’re like, it can be avoided , yeah. Yes, there’s separation that happens. But I don’t believe that I have to hate you and, completely battle you and defeat you to be able to separate is true. And I’m seeing this with yeah. My daughter, like we have some conflicts and then we repair and then we’re close and then she’s talking to me and then everything’s cool.
Like the relationship is there. There’s so many reasons to, to shift, but not, the, not the least of which is that terrible feeling you were describing of this feels horrible to be making my child this sad or upset and to be doing these harsh things to my child.
[00:09:39] Wendy Snyder: Yeah. And we’re talking about like toddler stuff, right? And, but the thing I always want listeners to remember is that this kind of manifests in all different ways with the punishment mindset. And as our kids become older, it just becomes like trickier, right? It’s like your iPad is gonna get taken away and it’s not, to teach them the life skill of self management or how the device is affecting their mental health and anything like that.
To make sure that they pay the price for the attitude or because parents know that’s their cherished here we are, we have girls who have phones or devices or whatever, it’s a whole different conversation. We advocate for no iPhones till high school. But but like a lot of times the devices with the kids as they get older, become like this.
Cherished extension of their life. And, traditional punishment includes these days. A lot of that’s the first thing you snatch, like you snatch it away. And it’s Tim, because parents know that it’ll sting, it’ll really sting the most when it’s something that they love or groundings are an example of that.
But the mindset is still just stuck in the concept of I really need to make sure my child like shows, shame and regret over this mistake in order for them to learn. And moving over to a disciplined mindset is really focused on teaching the life skill instead of making them feel bad or making, it sting.
And there’s just so many options that you can use that are really like actual effective tasks. That really end up replacing the traditional timeouts spankings, groundings, taking away their cherished, whatever it may be. And it’s just so cool how it works so well. Like I know you can speak to this it’s now that our girls are older, I have a younger son too.
It just is so cool to see it work. Like the life skill is retained so much better when the child is not like scared or. Just like in that like fight flight or freeze mode, like they’re actually learning, why do I wanna do this differently tomorrow? And I have someone who is mentoring me and supporting me to learn how to avoid the temptation.
Because last night we had a conversation right here in my office with my daughter after a sticky situation where she was just really. Disrespectful at the dinner table over, stupid stuff. Like she didn’t wanna get up and get her own butter and then ridiculed her brother and I just kinda lost it and not my like worst moment ever as a mom, but still it was, it just got yucky.
And we just, afterwards had this opportunity to just talk about what happened and then help, help her see, and she ended up really being very humble by the end of the conversation and saying, I can see where I’m showing up and. And not showing kindness and respect or not contributing to the family as a team.
And I can see how I can do it differently tomorrow. So just again, fresh in my mind, it’s just about teaching. Hey, you’re a normal kid. And this isn’t working for you. It’s not working for us. So like, how are you gonna do it differently tomorrow? These are some things you can think about.
These are some ways you can change your mindset. That’s what it looks like for an older kid, but for the younger ones, there’s just so many activities you can.
[00:13:07] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. And you’re talking about shifting from. I wanna make you hurt to what does my child need to learn? And we’re gonna talk about some ways to shift that.
And we, we have a toolkit we’re gonna talk about I’m so excited, but I just wanna just underscore, like when we yell at our kids, when we’re harsh with them, when we threaten them, when we take things away from and put them into as. Wendy said, fight flight or free stress response. And they literally don’t have access to their whole brain.
In that moment. They cannot learn whatever you are wanting them to learn in that moment. It simply makes them resent you and be less likely to cooperate with you in the future because you’re making them hurt. So now they’re less likely to cooperate with you. It’s really ineffective. Ultimately, even if we were, we’re worried about the alternative, you should know that the punishment, the harshness, the yelling, it’s just ineffective because of our kids’ biology.
And because it’s our, the, it’s our connection to their connection to us that makes ’em wanna cooperate. So it’s just simply ineffective to be constantly putting, be in a battle.
[00:14:17] Wendy Snyder: I agree, hunter. And what I’ve realized lately, even more too, is that even, let’s just say, even if it is effective, right.
And making sister stop smacking, or saying something rude to her sister, or like whatever the behavior is that you’re trying to modify, even if it is effective, the shame and the humiliation and the. That kind of stuff that comes along with the traditional punishments when it’s layered on top of let’s just say we’re teaching the life skill.
It actually creates a detrimental effect and keeps human beings stuck. So even if they wanna do it differently tomorrow, as long as there’s shame. Like showing up in any area of their life. What I’ve learned over the last few years in my own journey and my students journey is that actually keeps a child stuck from changing the behavior tomorrow.
So it’s just so many facets right. To the conversation, but just, yeah, I agree. It’s a concept that we just really wanna solidify. It just, it doesn’t work. So let’s just ground ourselves and find joy in learning a different.
[00:15:22] Hunter: All right. So done work, done. Feel good. yeah. What do we do instead?
And you, I love this. You talk about a whole compassionate discipline toolkit. Walk us through this, Wendy. Yeah.
[00:15:36] Wendy Snyder: So I’m a huge visual person. And I like to really imagine myself with the home Depot toolkit when my little guy was little, he’d just like, at all hours of the day, he’d wear his little toolkit and he’d have his hammer and his screwdriver and everything in there.
And he’d even wear like working goggles, like worker, guy, Goggle. We had a plumber come over once that we were friends with and he offered him a beer at 10:00 AM. I was like, yeah, that’s my kid. He’s you want a beer? I’m like, oh my gosh. He’s seeing like our cousin do all these house projects anyways.
He just loved, I know it was such a funny moment to this day. He just loved like the idea of his toolkit. And so I like to picture myself and all of my students and anybody listening, like you, we all have a toolkit. We all go into Parenting with a toolkit. And usually we have four tools in there that we hand me down or that we inherit from our parents and the way we are raised.
Again, most of us, there are some exceptions to this, of course, but it’s usually four things. Fear. Force bribery and rewards. That’s how you get a kid to comply. That’s how you get a kid to, that’s how you correct behavior. And nowadays, because of the beautiful work you do hunter and I do There’s so many different tools that you can add to that toolkit and really get yourself to a place of understanding where you start to realize different scenarios need different tools, right?
So depending on what your child needs to learn or what your child is struggling with, not understanding how to do or how to meet a need or communicate in a healthy way, whatever it may be, you have all these options. So the standard tool belt be it’s I just picture it like overflowing. With every different type of tool you can imagine that represents different types of discipline.
And so especially if you have a strong willed kid or you happen to have a strong, will, I feel like those of us who fall into that category or have any bit of it. Discipline almost becomes even the most challenging thing, because we don’t like to feel pressured to do something a certain way.
And when you only have those four things and you, yeah. When you only have those four things in your tool belt, it’s oh, I have to do this. This is how I have to do it, but you’re bitter and pissed about it and you don’t wanna hurt your kids, but, otherwise they won’t learn. Like you hear it all the time with yelling, right?
Like I would love to do it differently, but nothing else works, but you’re bitter and resentful about it. Packing the toolkit is just a great visual to, to imagine rolling around throughout your day, making sure your tool belts with you all the time and really the key components we teach here at fresh air family.
And I know you teach, so many good stuff when it comes to discipline too, is self calming is like the ultimate. Number one thing that we wanna go to to teach children how to self regulate, self calm. And that’s both for kids and ourself, because modeling is the best way to teach that. But really when it comes to conflict in life, Like self calming and self-regulation is, should be every human being’s number one goal.
And then second, the second tool that has really profound impact on human beings is natural consequences where you let life do the teaching. This is, coupled or, added on the layer of pulling back and saying, not saying, I told you, so this is what happens when you do that. So Le really letting.
Teach. And then the third category, which has lots of mini tools underneath of it is logical consequences. And that’s the one that really replaces the traditional punishment. And I have a folder, that’s like really thick. It’s probably. At least eight inches thick, full of activities that I’ve done with my own kids and students over the last 10 years, I’ve saved every single I am chart.
When I feel angry chart when I’m tempted to have an attitude chart like I. Every single makeup that my children have ever done or I’ve done for them. It’s a, I love that folder that I keep and show, but it’s logical consequences. Some examples are makeups, which repairs relationships, it replaces the standardized go say, you’re sorry to your sister.
It actually makes men’s does something to repair the relationship role plays and redos. So role plays is like actually having puppets or. Matchbox cars. That’s what I used to always do with my little guy. If you got in trouble for talking in class or something where you actually practice this scenario in both the way it doesn’t work well and then redo it in the way that it does work well.
And then and you can do that with dolls or whatever you want and then role plays, or I’m sorry, redos, which are like, when things don’t go well, Your goal is to have a new imprint to leave a new imprint on everyone’s mind. So you actually, say your kids are getting in the car and they start to smack and hit each other and somebody.
Pushes somebody. And they fall into the rosebush real story of my own life and bloods their finger. Before you actually get in the car, you have everybody come back in the house, you do a quick five, 10 minute activity, an encouragement feast as an example of something you could do. And then you have everybody redo the situation in the way that you’d like them to handle it.
So redos are really impactful on children’s mind. What’s an encouragement feast. An encouragement feast is where you you can do this in a long version or a shortened version, but you sit down and you just have everybody kind of ground themselves in connection and respect. And you go around in a circle and you say one thing you love or respect.
Or like about the person next to you. Or, and then you say one thing you love or respect or like about yourself, and then you just go around in a circle until it’s done and it just resets everybody. And and we find that it just levels the playing ground and gets children out of their amygdala.
And you don’t always have to do it in that situation. A lot of people do it if they’re on the way to school, or if they have a carpool or if they’re taking their kids to baseball practice or whatever it may be. But
[00:22:18] Hunter: and what happens if your child is like in a Snickety mood, because something has just happened and you’re doing a redo, and then you say, honey, let’s do an encouragement feast, and they are giving you the eye roll and they refuse to Cooper.
[00:22:34] Wendy Snyder: There’s a few things you can do. Sequencing is a great one. So sequencing replaces threats. So threat would look like tough, like cool. If you don’t do it, then we’re not going anywhere. If you don’t do it, then your iPad will be taken away. Sequencing is like, Hey, I get it. I get it.
That this doesn’t seem fun to you. And. Before we go, before we leave for the park, we need to get this done. We’re not going anywhere until we get this done so we can do it fast or we can do it slow, or we can pause. But while we’re pausing, we’re not gonna have any TV. We’re not gonna have any video games.
We’re not gonna, we’re just gonna chill until we’re ready. And then, so that’s one way. And then another way is I can see you don’t wanna do it. And do you remember the way we used to do things? Do you re I don’t know if you remember, but when you were little we didn’t know a different way. And so we used to lock this is my own story.
We reversed the locks on my daughter’s room. We used to lock you in your room. There was a time sweetheart, when we would hold you down until you stopped screaming to make sure you learned a lesson. There was times when we spanked you there. Now we know now we’ve learned a different way and it’s important in our family.
We all understand that we don’t lay hands on each other anymore. So this is the way we do things now. And I think you don’t wanna go back to that old way. I don’t wanna go back to that old way, so I need your help and you let, if you need a few minutes, it’s okay. And I love using the word and hunter instead of, but, and we’re not going anywhere until we get this done.
[00:24:11] Hunter: Yeah. I love that. Like the whole idea of, of the sequencing and this is something we, we talk about in Mindful Parenting. It’s just the idea of first we do this and then we do this and not, if you don’t do this, then this is gonna happen. But first we do this and then we do this and this is just the way it is.
And. Part of holding boundary can just be waiting, can just be like we gotta do this before we do this. And we’re just gonna hang out here until we can do this, and it’s insisting, but the way you’re describing it, which is really beautiful is gently respectfully. I hear you, you may not wanna do this, but you.
This happens to us a lot, like in our house. So one of the ways I hold boundaries is they said we gotta do this before we, go to Scouts or whatever. And then I’ll be like, Hey guys, we don’t have a lot of time yet. I’m gonna, wait and they know I’ll wait. I’m gonna wait until the dishes are away before we go to Scouts.
And it’s not a threat, but it’s this is the, this is a, the logical sequence of how we live our lives is that we get this X thing done when we have this time now, and then we do this other thing and it’s just a way of insisting, kindly. A little bit stubbornly sometimes yes.
[00:25:36] Wendy Snyder: I love that hunter and firmly like it’s okay.
Parents you know what we’re saying is yes, it’s respectful. It’s it’s, when we’re out, when we’ve had a full night’s rest, it’s calm and it’s absolutely. Okay. And I believe essential to be very firm with your children sometimes and say this is not. The way we do things and we will not leave this house.
Until we get it, until we learn till we learn together. I think a stance of firmness is important.
[00:26:11] Hunter: It makes kids feel protected, right? Like we don’t wanna say, okay, now we don’t wanna use punishments and we don’t wanna use timeouts. We don’t wanna hit our kids. So now we’re gonna be permissive, right?
That’s going to the other side of the spectrum and. That kids are permissive parents. They don’t feel cared for. Like they don’t necessarily feel safe. They don’t learn healthy boundaries. So yeah, we’ve got our job is to coach our kids into we can expect that kids are immature. They’re inexperienced.
They’re gonna make a lot of mistakes. They’re gonna have quote unquote bad behavior, cuz that’s what it is to be a kid. They’re not gonna get, learn every lesson instantly and obediently. That’s how it is to be human. I never don’t. I barely ever learned anything the first time. How many times have I had to have a penalty from whatever to like, get on time with this thing, I just, this is the way humans are.
And yet, sometimes I, I guess I’m talking here about expectations, right? Like we should, we have to remember that kids. Aren’t gonna do things perfectly. And our expectations for kids should be, we should expect them to have bad behavior and mess up. Why are our expectations for kids higher than our expectations for adults?
It doesn’t make any sense. It’s like crazy. Okay. sorry. My little, I love it. Okay. So we’re doing self coming. We’re talking about you. You’re talking about self coming, natural consequences and logical consequences and self coming is so that we can model. Calming down. We can also then use our whole brain calming is the first step in the Mindful Parenting method.
If the clear method is calming is the first step. So important. So we’ve talked about that a lot. So I wanna dive into you with you about would the difference between natural consequ, not natural consequences and logical consequences and. I think might be nice first to just talk about natural consequences and the fact that sometimes it’s okay to just for our kids to see what are the effects of their behavior, maybe it’s the effects on us. Maybe it’s effects on the house or on their whatever, right? Are the consequences for them to see, oh, this didn’t work out so well when I did it this way. So yeah. Let’s dive into this piece.
[00:28:40] Wendy Snyder: Yeah, and this can be really confusing for parents. I see it in my own membership program.
They even parents have been in the program for a while. They still get confused on what’s a natural and logical consequence. So natural consequences really is when you don’t interfere and you let life do the teaching. So like the simplest. Example is a few is if your child, if you’ve asked your child to be a contributing member of making sure everything’s in his backpack each morning, cuz you’re so sick and tired of doing everything for your kids.
And so you’ve gone over the plan. You’ve taught them a life skill of putting their lunch into their backpack or whatever it may be or being in charge or checking their chart before they leave. And then your child. Goes to leave the house and you, as they’re pulling away, you see the lunch sitting there on the counter.
An option that everyone has is to call the parent that’s taking ’em and then have them turn around, give them the lunchbox, and then tell the kid you need to remember to bring your lunch. I’ve told you before. We always say that a parent, a child who forgets has a parent who remembers instead a natural consequence is Hey.
Is probably a great opportunity to let life do the teaching. And so when my child gets to school, he’s gonna be sad at lunchtime, cuz he is not gonna have his favorite snack and chips or whatever or lunch. And so he’s gonna probably have to eat the snack bar that the Teacher keeps there just in case someone forgets their lunch or maybe a friend is gonna have an opportunity to share part of their lunch.
But he might be sad for a little bit. And then when he comes home and he says, mom I didn’t have my lunch. you can say, oh okay what did you learn from that mistake? That’s it? How did that feel? Oh, darn it. Like you didn’t have your favorite peanut butter and jelly. Oh, what did you do?
Okay. What do you need to remember tomorrow? That’s it? That’s it like another example is is like my daughter when she was young, used to be like, so she, we called her the polar bear. She still is. But she just hated wearing jackets. And I remember just having to, this is so common, right? I
[00:30:52] Hunter: used to fight this battle before I learned.
Yeah, it is so fruitless.
[00:30:57] Wendy Snyder: And I goo, I remember like Googling it and being like, is this like a wife’s tale that your kid will get sick if they don’t, if they’re cold. And really what I found out is that if they’re already catching a cold, this was my research. It wasn’t like, but if they’re already catching a cold or getting sick, Their body drop temperature dropping could make them get sicker faster.
Like it could make it happen real fast, but for the most part being cold does not make you sick. So it’s kinda like an old wives tale, right? So I started to become more comfortable with letting her not wear her jacket and then actually being at the parade and getting cold and either having to snuggle with me or wear her like her little brothers.
Scratchy jacket that she was like disgusted by or something. And just asking her what do you need to learn next time? So my daughter’s an example of that, that strong will personality where like, when life teaches her. Oh man. She is she gets it when I teach her, like when I try to make her learn her lesson, or even if I’m using logical consequences, it’s just, it’s a higher degree of difficulty because she loves to be in charge and life.
She just accepts the lesson. Now logical natural consequences are, yeah, go ahead. I
[00:32:16] Hunter: wanna just jump in with a great example of this. From my girls when they were little, my, one of my children, she was going to a preschool program. We walked there, it was very close. Would not get dressed, would not get dressed, would not get dressed.
So I just took her clothes. I put them in a little bag and we went to school in her pajamas. We watched a school in pajamas, and then she got there and she was a little embarrassed. I said, here’s your clothes? So I didn’t wanna get dressed this morning. She can get dressed here at school. So she had. She had to go through the experience of oh, I’m hearing my pajamas.
No one else is I’ve gotta go get changed in the bathroom at school, this is awkward. And it was not my problem. This was her problem. And then she got dressed after that. I didn’t have to fight her about it. But it wasn’t something that I manipulated to happen. It was just, this is the, if she doesn’t get dressed well, okay.
I’ll just pack up these flows. I’ll bring ’em to school.
[00:33:16] Wendy Snyder: It’s so that’s such a great example and there’s so much work that we have to do as parents on the emotional front to be okay. Letting the natural consequence work, right? Like that story of you, I’m sure there was levels of oh my gosh, what is the teacher gonna think of me?
What if she never changes her clothes? What if she just now, from now until the time she’s 18 lives in her pajamas? What am I doing? Am I being permissive? I don’t know for me and my students like this, just a whole mental game that you have to learn. All your work is so good for this hunter to have to relax that brain.
As you say, name it like, oh, hello, fear. Hello. Fear of judgment, whatever it may be and just it’s okay. It’s okay to let my child learn through life’s experiences. It’s okay. If they make a mistake, it’s okay. If there is a parent there who judges me, I don’t care about what they think, whatever it may be.
But yeah, natural consequences, like I said earlier, just the biggest, most important part of it is you cannot come in with, see, I told you, so that’s what happens when you don’t listen. It’ll totally negate all of the life’s lesson and it then becomes about you versus your child, so if your daughter
[00:34:30] Hunter: that’s what you wanna avoid I didn’t have a fight with her about it beforehand.
We didn’t have a fight about it afterwards. It was like, okay, this is your thing, yeah. And yeah, just told you. So I’m
[00:34:43] Wendy Snyder: just biting attention swallowing that I told you. Yep. Isn’t that such a funny journey to swallow that, like I do it all the time. I’m like, don’t say it and I’m like, I didn’t say it.
[00:34:59] Hunter: yeah. All right. So then what are logical consequences? And I, you talk about how they’re related. They’re respectful and they’re reason. And so logical consequences. I’m assuming the way what we’re trying to like, get them to learn whatever the thing is that they need to learn. Because if they’re having a bad behavior, it means that they’re making some kind of mistake or their behavior’s affecting others in a negative way. So what do they need to learn? So talk to us about logical consequences instead. Just natural consequences.
[00:35:36] Wendy Snyder: Yep. So logical consequences is when you need to step in and assist in the learning, right?
So this is when you need to step in and actually be a mentor, be a teacher, come beside your children and provide assistance in, in order to teach them an important life skill. And so what you’re talking about when it comes to. Those things is what we call the four R’s here at fresh start family.
And it’s in order for actual, whatever activity you’re doing with your child to be an actual logical consequence, it has to hit the four R’s. So it needs to be related. This is the number one thing that parents spin out in the beginning when they’re moving from punishment to logical consequences, because 99% of the time traditional punishment is just, it’s just not related.
So a lot of times what. Might be doing. We can teach them to make it related, but it really takes a lot of thought process. But a lot of times it’s just if you’re taking away technology, it has nothing to do with, your child rolling their eyes at you or smacking their sister. Same thing anyways, so related has to teach responsibility.
Has to be respectful and it has to be reasonable. So the four R’s are really a great kind of way to just keep you on track. And most of the time you’re gonna realize that you’re in a punish, you’re doing punishment. You’re in a punishment mindset. If you ask yourself that first one is this related.
And you cannot think of how it’s related. It’s just to make sure your child knows that they need to pay the price for their mistake, and there’s gonna be consequences, right? That’s you can feel your body when you’re in a punishment mindset. Like I almost like grit my teeth. And so you will, you are going to learn.
That there are consequences to your behavior. Like the tone comes out so strong. So like we mentioned before my favorites, we teach a lot inside of our programs, but my favorites are makeups role plays and redos. So we can just highlight those three things. . So makeups is when you teach your child to actually do an activity.
That repairs, the relationship or makes amends. So this is an example of if you are out in the world and your flight gets canceled and you have to stay, sleep in the airport or something. And it’s because the airplane had some technical glitch and the airline is oh, I’m sorry.
Hunter like that’s, we’re so sorry. Sorry. You’d be like, okay this still sucks. But if they were like, Hey, we really, this we’re sorry about this, but we’re gonna give you at least a voucher. So you and your family can go have dinner. We really apologize. Or we’re gonna give you a voucher to fly at least a $200 credit for next time to make up for what we’ve, to make up for how this is inconvenience to you.
Thank you for understanding. Of course the second time you would feel more settled in that relationship. You’re more likely to come back to that airline. You’re more likely to keep trusting them the first time. You’re probably just gonna be pissed, so a makeup can look like. You can teach kids to do drawings for people.
This works great for teachers or siblings or mom and dad. They can pick, a bouquet of flowers. We used to do that a lot in preschool. If Stella, miss Stella was. Three and a half and four we’d get phone calls a lot that we needed to pick up Stella early because she couldn’t make it till 2:00 PM.
And sometimes we would just go around the block and make a little bouquet and bring it to the teacher the next morning with a drawing and say, thank you so much for your patience with me as I’m learning. And she would just do her little three and a half year old drawing, and then she would be the one to give it to the teacher and say, thank you.
And. In her little three and a half year old language, it can look like letting your brother sister go first when you guys are in the ice cream line at the beach. And then for for my own personal story, some of my favorites were, I would give Stella foot rubs with lavender lotion if I had yelled or freaked out or shamed or whatever.
And she knew she still knows to this day, that hugs is one of. Preferred it’s always gonna help me feel like our relationship is repaired. If she just gives me a hug. She’s what I call my little cactus girl has never loved physical, like snuggling. So it’s a big deal. It’s a very huge act of kindness when she’s like, Mama, you wanna hug?
And I’m like, yes, I want six, second hug, hard to heart. So those are just some examples, but like I said, in that folder, I have, I have so many. From over the years that my kids did for me and that I did for my kids. And even,
[00:40:37] Hunter: yeah, and we talked about role plays. We talked about redos and basically what I’m hearing from you is that our child has made some mistake and we’re, we need to teach them something about the world here, right?
Yeah. We need to teach them something about the world. So we need to ask what do they need to learn? What’s wrong with them and, just shifting outta that punishment mindset, not what’s wrong with them, what’s wrong with me. But instead bringing a curiosity, which is a key attitude of mindfulness, right?
Curiosity, like what do they need to learn? And I love the idea that, obviously role playing or making up. Taking it’s all teaching responsibility, it’s saying I did this thing and. and how can I repair? How can I how can I repair that relationship? I think that’s really beautiful.
And do we find that these kind of logical consequences that are teaching repair? Are they are your kids learning a lot? Oh, my
[00:41:52] Wendy Snyder: goodness. Yes. And here’s the biggest thing that I want families to take away from. This is logical consequences are about teaching a child. How to not just the lesson of that’s not.
Okay. A lot of parents will think that they’re teaching and it’s my, my child needs to understand that this is not okay. That’s the life lesson, but it’s not okay to do that. That’s actually not a life. Sure. It’s like avoiding temptation maybe, but an actual life skill is you gotta teach your child how to avoid the temptation and yes, a thousand times, million percent it works.
And I’ll give you a quick story hunter. So my little girl was like 10 and a half. She’s a drummer. She was up. The school rock at the band. She was out at the time and she was almost 11. So her friends were starting to have a slice of pizza before they went to band practice every Tuesday night.
And so we started to let her have the pizza and then she would walk across the street. There was like one little street she had to cross. But it was a busy intersection and we told her like, Hey. We require, like it’s important to us that you go to the stop sign across cuz we’ve seen your buddies. And especially the kids that are like 16, 17 years old in the band with her, they would just run across the street in this really, Jay jaywalk in this very busy intersection.
And so we explain the role, we explain why it’s about her safety and all of the things that you do when you’re actually teaching about a strong boundary, not just saying do it or else, because I said so. And so I pulled to the side one night after I dropped her off and I watched. And she she crossed in the area that I didn’t want her to.
And the traditional punishment, would’ve been like, you pull that car around, you go yank her, you embarrass her in front of her friends. You ground her from going to pizza again for the next two weeks, or you ground her that weekend. All the things like there’s a billion things you could do on the traditional punishment side to a 10 year old.
But instead I just took a deep breath. I went home, talked to hub. Figured out what we were gonna do. When she came home, we had a very big conversation around what happened, how that’s what peer pressure looks like, right? Like here’s what this is gonna present itself a million times in your life as a tweet and a teen.
This is what it looks like to stand on your own two feet. And be comfortable being different than other people. And so we just had this beautiful conversation. It was actually turned into tears cuz then it went into mom, it’s just hard to be different sometime. I’m the only one that’s not allowed to have a phone.
And it turned into this beautiful conversation about friendship and but it was a lot, it was a lot. And so we decided that in order to help her learn the life skill. Avoiding temptation and protecting her own body and keeping herself safe out in a world that I’m not with her all the time. We were gonna do a redo.
So the next week I would totally allow her to go to pizza again. But this time I was gonna have her practice saying to her friends, Hey, no, I’m not okay. Crossing the road here. Let’s just go to the stop side. And we’ll cross, it’s no big deal. But she needed to practice it. She needed to have the new imprint in her body.
So I dropped her off. I pulled to the side. And somewhere where she couldn’t see me and I watched her and she did it and she came home that night and I was just like, thank you so much. Thank you so much for doing that. It feels so good to know that you’re safe out in the world and, fast forward probably a year and a half later, she has an e-bike now.
And she was on her way to school and daddy was coming home and he saw her and he said he watched her. All these kids next to her, just puled through the, like when the walking guy wasn’t up very busy five lane intersection in Encinitas, California, they just went. and she looked at them and she looked and she could not see her father.
She looked at them, she looked at the red light and she stopped and she waited why six kids went until the light went through its cycle and it went again and she got the walking guy, we call him and then she went on her bike about her way to school. And so this was just a great example right. Of if I would’ve shamed her and grounded her and.
All the things like, I don’t know if that lesson would’ve stuck as much as she would’ve been as comfortable being an outcast and protecting her own body. Safety-wise so that’s one story that I like to give it as an example of yes, it works like yes. If children understand why a role is so important and you teach them with compassion and connection and firm kindness, it just works so well.
[00:46:22] Hunter: That’s beautiful. And. She learned that lesson and she wasn’t like, because you had done something to make her, like I can picture the alternative. Like you punished her you made her hurt. And next time she comes along. An intersection like that. It’s F you mom and dad, I’m doing this thing.
Like you get the whole rebellion and pushback thing, but she learned that lesson. She talked to you about it. She was supported. And you said, what does she need to learn? That’s so such a beautiful story, Wendy. I love that. So
[00:46:54] Wendy Snyder: love that story too, hunter.
[00:46:57] Hunter: Alright, awesome. This is, we could obviously talk for a long time, but we can’t. So I really appreciate you coming and sharing your time. You can hear me on Wendy’s amazing podcast, fresh start family, obviously, or you’re a podcast listener. You can check that out. Wendy, where can people find out more about you and what you’re doing?
[00:47:21] Wendy Snyder: Yes. Fresh start family, online.com. We always have something free. And because we’re talking about this hunter, I think if parents wanna join me for my free workshop on discipline, that’d be awesome. It’s just for fresh start family, online.com/discipline. It’s a free one hour workshop and I’ll teach you all the nitty gritty details about building logical consequences that work with kids of all age.
[00:47:47] Hunter: Awesome. Thank you so much, Wendy. It’s been such a pleasure to connect again joining forces for the good of the world and families. So cool. Thank you for sharing your time and just coming on and taking this challenge that you had and turning it into some beautiful gold. I love.
[00:48:10] Wendy Snyder: Thank you hunter for having me, my community just adores you.
And so it’s just been so fun to connect and support each other’s communities. And I just really am honored to be here. So thank you for having me.