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16 minutes | Jul 14, 2021
Mental Clutter in Parenthood
Many of us have been decluttering our homes for some time. But what about our brains? Mental clutter is real. Parenthood can feel heavy. We are tackling the 10 reasons that parenthood feels cluttered and overwhelming. If you are committed to self-care but aren’t sure where to start, I want to invite you to join us in The Mental Unload. It starts Thursday, July 15th. Want to listen to this week's sponsor, Goodnight, World? Now many, many of us have been decluttering our houses for some time, but when it comes to de-cluttering our brains into calming and quieting the chaos in our minds, it can be hard to know where to start. If you felt like cleaning out your closet was overwhelming for me personally, my closet was a walk in the park compared to clearing out and developing a better understanding of what was going on within my brain. So today we're going to talk about the 10 things that make Parenthood feels so heavy. Hi, this is Denaye. I'm the founder of Simple Families. Simple Families is an online community for parents who are seeking a simpler more intentional life. In this show, we focus on minimalism with kids, positive parenting, family wellness, and decreasing the mental load. My perspectives are based in my firsthand experience, raising kids, but also rooted in my PhD in child development. So you're going to hear conversations that are based in research, but more importantly, real life. Thanks for joining us. Hi there. And thanks for tuning in today's sponsor is Goodnight World. Goodnight World is a new podcast series developed by a collaboration of Sesame Street Workshop and Headspace. That's right Team of early childhood experts and meditation experts working together to help your kids get ready to sleep. I tuned in and I loved that each episode has familiar characters, familiar voices, accompanied by soothing sounds and music. Each episode takes listeners on a journey through some of the beloved Sesame street locations like big bird's nest and Abby's fairy garden, but also two locations unique to Headspace, like a magical art gallery and a gentle train ride through the countryside. It's really, really relaxing. Don't be surprised if you find yourself dozing off to check it out. I hope you love it. As much as I did. You can search Goodnight World anywhere that you listen to podcasts. I'm also going to include a link in my show notes, thanks to you. Goodnight World for your support. I hope your July is going just fine. Here in New York, life is feeling more and more normal every day. In fact, it very much feels like we went from zero to a hundred busy schedules have been resumed and even maybe amplified to make up for lost time. This week, I'm launching a new round of the Mental Unload, which is my program that I run three times a year that focuses on reducing mental clutter and improving partnership. So with all that being said, I thought it was a good time to bring back this series on Mental Clutter. I started this series last year on Instagram, and it was so popular that I decided to bring it over to the podcast. And so many of you have said that you've enjoyed this episode. So I thought it might be helpful for you to hear it again. For those of you who are interested in joining me in tackling your mental clutter, we are starting the mental unload on Thursday. It's a four step systematic process with a strong sense of community that will help you step by step. Understand what's going on in your brain and intentionally start figuring out what you want to keep and what you want to let go. If you want more details on that, you can go to simplefamilies.com/unload. You can find all the details there again. That's simplefamilies.com/unload. All right, here are 10 pieces of mental clutter that may be weighing you down in parenthood. And you don't even realize it. Now there are more than 10, but we're only focusing on 10 for today. All right? So let's get to the 10 things that make parenthood. So heavy. Number one, Social Media spending mindless time on social media feels a lot like eating marshmallows to me. They taste good in the moment, but they pretty much make you feel like crap afterwards. If there's a bag of marshmallows in my house, it's really easy just to walk by and pop a few in maybe one or two or perhaps a whole handful, but I always regret it. Why did I do that? Why do these things taste so good in the moment and make me feel so miserable after the fact as parents, we don't have a lot of free time, but when we do get a few minutes here and there, we often grab our phones and go straight to social media. But one thing is for sure, spending idle time scrolling social media does not help us recharge our batteries. In fact, it actually adds to our mental clutter, even though social media can give us a quick and easy dopamine fix, it's kind of like consuming empty calories. It's not going to fill you up with the good stuff and there's a good chance. It could end up leaving you feeling worse than you started. Number two Idealizations we all enter into parenthood with these idealized images of the way life is supposed to look like with kids. Let's take the example of a family trip to the beach to watch the sunset in the idealized reality, the sun is setting there's minimal cloud covering amazing for photos. Your family is frolicking probably in breezy, white linen attire, all smiles and laughs, feeling light and natural. Everyone is barefoot, but actual reality, these family trips to the beach for sunset, they take a lot of planning and then when you get there, it might be too cloudy to even see the sunset. And you're definitely not wearing breezy. Linen, the toddlers, wearing a Batman shirt. The children are repeatedly attempting to run into the water. When you just want to sit there and gaze, and mom's getting stressed out, gritting her teeth. And it's likely you have at least one child who can't stand the feeling of being barefoot in the sand. The truth about these idealized images of the way that family life should look is that when we're chasing these images of family life, our actual reality starts to look ugly. When we get caught up in how things are supposed to be, or how things are supposed to look real life doesn't look nearly as good. Family Life is messy and unpredictable and dynamic, but when we let go of these idealized images, we can start to embrace the imperfect people right in front of us. And actual reality is so much more dynamic and interesting. I promise you that. Number three, Pinterest. Now, if Pinterest serves you well and you love Pinterest, just go on with it, do it. But here's what Pinterest says to me on a casual Tuesday, while the glazed and lacquered roast turkeys in the oven, developing that burnished mahogany skin, you can use your free hand to crank out a homemade unicorn kaleidoscope craft with your enthusiastic kiddos while simultaneously knitting a new hat with your toes. Sounds ridiculous. Right? Well, let's talk about self imposed pressure Pinterest, and the internet in general offers us no shortage of picture, perfect meals, crafts, and hobbies. And because we have so many options right at our fingertips that can quickly leave us feeling like we aren't doing enough. And like, we aren't good enough. I encourage you do what delights you, but don't let Pinterest plant seeds of self doubt. You are enough just the way you are. And you're already doing more than enough. A life with simple food and simple fun is enough. Don't let the internet tell you friendly. Number four Performance Reviews. When I was working in a more traditional job each year. My annual performance review made me so nervous. I always went into these meetings thinking, am I doing things right? Am I good enough? How can I improve? And even though I was never performing perfectly, the feedback from the evaluator was generally constructive and positive. That is until I took on the job title of parent as a parent, it can feel like you get hourly performance reviews and the evaluator AKA your child rarely holds back. He or she is a stream of nonsensical emotions with expectations that make your head spin. And despite your best efforts, it appears that he or she is never satisfied with your hard work. So please remind yourself that childhood emotions are not indicative of your performance as a parent. Your job is to keep them healthy and safe, but not to keep them happy all the time, because that's not gonna happen. Childhood emotions are unpredictable. It gets him like our kids will laugh and cry and scream and circle through the whole range of emotions every 10 minutes. It doesn't mean that you're failing. It means that they are learning. They are a work in progress. And so are you frankly, so take a deep breath. You are doing better than, you know, number five, Understanding the Seasons of Life. For me personally, there's something so inviting about gardening. I crave the ability to grow my own food and provide for my family. It just seems like a really slow, intentional taking it day by day activity. You know, the seeds I have sown sprout from the earth. The whole idea is really attractive to me. It's very whimsical, but the truth is I just don't enjoy it. And right now with young children, I suck at gardening, my lettuce bolts, the birds eat all the blueberries. This year. There were actually only nine blueberries and most days I don't have the energy to water it. So I'm pressing pause on this stream. Am I a failure at gardening? No. I'm simply choosing to save it for another season of life, a season where I might approach it with a different perspective, a different mindset, a season where I might actually enjoy it. I don't have to do everything and be everything right now. And neither do you. You can save things for another season. Another time in your life. Number six, the News, a generation ago we only heard about missing children on the milk carton, and we've rarely knew of a case of childhood cancer. We got the news with the morning paper and the evening television broadcast on a given day. Parents may be consumed like 10 or 20 news stories. Now contrast that with today, we might be exposed to a hundred plus news stories for some of us many more than that. The news surrounds us and it inundates us all day long. We have phone alerts, social media podcasts, et cetera, but it's not only the broadcast news, but in this generation, our social networks are larger. So if a friend of a friend of your sister's friend has a child that took on a strawberry, you have probably seen the story on Facebook. And now every time your kid eats strawberries, you worry if the new feels heavy that's because it is. And you're probably carrying a 10 fold load of it compared to the parents who came before you. Number seven, the Pressure to have a Perfect Partner. I remember back to a conversation with a good friend who was a new mom, who said to me about her husband. I just want him to spend quality time with our baby. But when I asked him to do that, he puts the baby in a jogging stroller and goes out for a run that is not quality time. Now this reflection resonated deeply with me because in early motherhood, I was also battling perfectionist tendencies. I had these idealized images of what quality time look like with my kids, getting down on the floor, playing constant eye contact, reading books, phones, put away, rinse and repeat. I believe to that. I should be interacting with my kids like this at all times. And I didn't keep these idealizations to myself. These perfectionist tendencies spilled onto my partner too. The truth is your partner is going to have a unique relationship with your children and it is not yours to micromanage, support it and recognize that it's different, but it's still meaningful and beautiful. Number eight, Looking Next Door. Too often we glance next door to see what the Joneses are doing. The truth is we need to stop looking next door and start looking inside ourselves for answers. If your gut tells you that simplicity is enough for your children, trust it. Trust in simplicity because it is enough. Now, if you look next door, you look to the Joneses. You look at the greater society. This is what they're going to tell you. Kids need to be happy. The latest hit toys, piles of candy and sugar, newly decorated bedrooms and perfect superhero parents. But the truth is what kids actually need to be happy is time spent together with the people. They love a habit of exercise and movement. Our relationship with nature and happy, imperfect parents. Number nine, the Contradictory Sheds. You should stay home with your children, but you should have a full-time career. You should feed your kids lots of green vegetables, but you should let your children choose what they eat. You should make sure that your children get a full night's sleep, but you should never let your children cry. You should limit screen time, but you should make sure that children know how to use technology. What you should really do is follow your heart and do what is right for your family. And then press mute on the rest of the shuts because they very clearly contradict one another. And if we listen to them, we will constantly feel like we are doing things wrong and we are never enough. Number 10, Take Action. You do not have to continue to carry this mental clutter throughout your years of parenthood. In fact, I just had a parent email me this week saying that she's 51 years old and she feels like it might be too late for her. It is not too late. It doesn't matter how old your kids are. It doesn't matter what stage of life you're in. You can absolutely start sorting through all that clutter that's accumulated in your brain and letting go of the things that are no longer serving you. I hope you've enjoyed this episode. If you want to get the written version, go to the show firstname.lastname@example.org/episode 271. If you want to share with friends, take a screenshot of yourself, listening to it and post it up to your Instagram stories and make sure you tag me in it so I can reshare it as well. If you want to join me in the mental unload this week and start tackling this mental clutter, go to simplefamilies.com/unload, and you can find all the details there if you've never done an online program and you're not sure what to expect. I think you're going to like it. I hear such amazing things for my participants and I absolutely love hearing the progress. We make time for things that are important and your mental wellbeing is absolutely important. So whether that's joining me in the mental unload or finding your helping hand in another way, I encourage you, prioritize your well-being taking care of yourself is taking care of your family. Thanks for tuning in and have a good one. The post Mental Clutter in Parenthood appeared first on Simple Families.
19 minutes | Jul 8, 2021
One of the most common concerns I hear from parents is this: "My kids don't listen to me!" Generally, what this means is that you ask your kids to do something and they don't do it. Maybe you ask them several times. Perhaps you ask them several times with an increasing sense of urgency until you are finally screaming. Today, we are going to break down what it really means to "listen" and a two-step strategy to move forward. Want to join The Mental Unload? It starts soon! One of the most common things that I hear from parents is that their kids don't listen to them. Generally. What this means is you ask your kids to do something and they don't do it. Maybe you ask them several times to do something. Maybe you ask them several times with an increasing sense of urgency until you're finally screaming. And at that point, tbhey seem to hear you. They seem to listen. Today we're going to talk about how to get your kids to listen. But before we can do that, we're going to break down what it really means to listen. I know, I know it seems it's like this should be such a simple thing for kids, But it's not. And then I'll give you some strategies to move forward. Hi, this is Denaye. I'm the Founder of Simple Families. Simple Families is an online community for parents who are seeking a simpler more intentional life. In this show, we focus on minimalism with kids, positive parenting, family wellness, and decreasing the mental load. My perspectives are based in my firsthand experience, raising kids, but also rooted in my PhD in child development. So you're going to hear conversations that are based in research, but more importantly, real life. Thanks for joining us today. We're talking all about getting our kids to listen, which can feel like a huge hurdle for many of us. I know it feels like this for me often, sometimes even the simplest things Like brushing your teeth, feel impossible, before we get into today's episode. I wanted to tell you that we are opening up a brand new round of the Mental Unload enrollment is open now, and we get started on July 15th. The mental unload is my signature course that focuses on mental clutter. If you're looking to improve your individual wellbeing, along with your partnership, I'd love to have you. I only run this program three times a year. If you want to learn more, go to simplefamilies.com/unload and again, we get started on July 15th. Enrollment is open. So grab your spot now, simplefamilies.com/unload. All right, getting our kids to listen. I hear this all the time. My kids don't listen to me. I want to break this down so we can better understand what it really means when we're asking our kids to listen. And then after that, I'm going to give you some strategies to make things run a little bit smoother in your house. I want to start off with an adult example because I think sometimes it's easier for us as adults to understand speaking to other adults. So my husband doesn't always listen to me now. I do talk a lot. There are a lot of words coming out of my mouth on any given day. So it's not too surprising that he doesn't always listen to everything that I say last night. For example, we are standing by side in the kitchen and I said, Hey, I need you to take the kids to camp tomorrow. And he responded with nothing, no response at all. So I touched him on the shoulder and I said again, Hey, I need you to take the kids to camp tomorrow. And at that point he said, okay, well I need to check my schedule since it was pretty short notice. So he got out his phone and checked his work schedule for the morning and said, I can take the kid that needs dropped off at eight, but I have a meeting at nine. So I'm not going to be able to drop the other one off at nine 30. And I said, okay, that works. You can drop him off at eight and I'll take her with me to the office for an hour and then I'll drop her off. So you'll see in that example that this is actually a two-step process. Step one, get the person to listen. Step two, get the person to cooperate and work with you on what needs to be done. Let's break down that exchange. So at first he wasn't listening to me. And when I say he wasn't listening, he wasn't hearing me. He wasn't attending to the words coming out of my mouth. He wasn't tuning in to what I was saying. As a result, he was unable to respond because the words that came out of my mouth didn't even enter his brain. They entered his ears, but they didn't enter his brain. That's an important distinction to make, just because words enter the ears doesn't mean they enter the brain just because a child or an adult is standing right in front of you doesn't mean that they're listening or attending or tuning into what you're saying. And that's the first step to make sure that you have their attention, that you have them tuned in when you're talking and remind yourself, just because the words are entering their ears, doesn't mean that the words are entering their brain. I have found that different people tune in easier than others. I'm the kind of person that's always tuned in. I'm walking around my house and when my kids speak, I hear them, my ears and my brain are always turned on, which may sound like an advantage, but it actually can be pretty exhausting and I can get overwhelmed really easily. As a result, my partner is the kind of person that's in his head, sometimes thinking about other things. So if I, or one of the kids just start spontaneously speaking, sometimes the words are entering his ears, but they're not entering his brain. He's not tuned into what we're saying. So it's important that we get as attention first. And we know he's listening before we start spouting off and giving some long explanation of our day or asking him to do something. Kids and adults differ in the way that we tune into words and tune into language. Some of us are always on like me and just taking in everything. And some only tune in to what they really need to, to what's important. One is not better than the other. They're just different. And it's important to know the communication and the listening styles of the people who are around you. If you're a person like me, who is always on, it might be hard for you to understand that not everybody else's brain and ears work like yours. You may have people in your house that are not always on. You might have some people in your house that get lost in their play, get lost in their work or their thoughts. And don't always tune in automatically and they may need some prompting. So first and foremost, the person that you're speaking to your person, that you're making a request of needs to be listening, attending, and tuning in and understand that there are natural variations in the way that people do that. It's not necessarily the way that you do that. And that took me a really long time to understand, especially with my partner to understand that he wasn't always listening when I was speaking. And then if I had to tell him something important, I really needed to touch him on the arm to get his attention and to get him to tune in. Before I started filling the room with excessive amounts of words, which I have the tendency to do. So touch them on the arm, look them in the eye, get down on their level, whatever you need to do to respectfully make sure that the words are entering their ears and their brain. Now, when parents tell me that their kids don't listen often, it's not about hearing or attending. It's about not complying and not obeying. When someone says my kids never listened to me. What they're really saying is my kids never comply. Never obey, never cooperate with what I want them to do. So let's break down, listening versus complying versus obeying versus cooperating. Step one, get them to tune in, attend and listen. After that, they make a choice. Will they comply with what you've asked them to do? Will they act in accordance with your wishes or demands, whether or not they comply with what you've asked them to do? Depends a lot on your approach. Are you looking for cooperation or are you looking for obedience? How are those words different? I did a quick Google search to look at the definitions of these two words to really break them apart. Cooperate means to work or act together, especially for a common purpose or benefit obey means to do as ordered generally, the requests that we're making of our kids are for a common purpose or benefit. We're asking them to do things that benefit both them and us, which means we're looking for cooperation, but it feels especially frustrating when we're doing something for our common purpose and they're not complying. They're not doing what we asked them to do. Sometimes our approach is step one. We get them to listen and then step two, we seek cooperation. We want to get them to work together with us, for our common goal. And sometimes our approach is step one. We get them to listen. And step two, we order them to obey, to do, as they are told the boss them around or to them around make a lot of demands. I will tell you, it's far easier to get kids to cooperate than It is to get them to obey. And if you're struggling to get your kids to quote unquote, listen to you, you need to first step one, make sure that they're attending tuning in. And then step two, do less ordering around, less looking for obedience and more acting together. Looking for cooperation. We're going to take a quick 60s word from today's sponsor. And then I'm going to give you some of my best tips to get your kids to cooperate. The sponsor for today is Native. Sometimes it rains on your birthday. Sometimes the line for coffee wraps around the building. Sometimes gas goes up 10 cents. Sometimes life stinks, but the good news you don't have to because Native has your back Native cares about the products that you put on your body. You probably already know about Natives, legendary aluminum free deodorant, but you might not have tried their bodywash, their toothpaste or their brand new mineral based sunscreen. Native now has a broad spectrum. SPF 30 sunscreen. It's lightweight. It absorbs quickly and you get to choose between unscented or coconut and pineapple. Stay fresh. Stay clean with Native. By going to native deo.com/simple, or use the promo code Simple at checkout, and you'll get 20% off your first order. That's native deo.com/simple, or use the promo code Simple at checkout for 20% off your first order, I'm going to give you three tips to get your kids to cooperate. Not a hundred, not even 10, because I know how stressful it can feel in the moment to try to execute this stuff. When you're starting to get a little bit flustered, feeling hurried, and you're like, oh, I know Denaye told me what I need to do in that podcast episode last week. But I can't remember what it was so less is more, especially when it comes to parenting tips. That's for sure. Now step one, getting your kids to listen. The actual hearing part is pretty straightforward. Get down on their level, look them in the eye, touch them on the arm. That part isn't complicated, but sometimes we can forget to do it. If you notice yourself asking once and then asking again, louder and louder, it might be because you haven't actually gotten your kids to tune in and attend to what you're saying. Maybe you forgot step one. So even though it is simple and it's easy to execute, it can be hard to remember. So give yourself grace, you're going to need practice. Gonna need to do a little bit of self-talk and some reminders step to getting your kids to cooperate is a little bit more strategic. That's why I want to keep it simple and just give you three tips. We need to keep in mind that our kids are humans with their own agendas. We're the adults. We automatically think that our agendas are more important than theirs. Maybe you've got to get to work in the morning, which means that your kids need to jump into action and eat breakfast, get dressed, brush their teeth, get to daycare, get to camp, whatever it is because you have to get to work. That's your agenda. If we get over-focused on our own agenda, we start looking for obedience. We start spouting off demands, and it's a lot harder to get our kids on board. It's a lot harder to get the job done. Sometimes the things that our kids are doing, like jumping on their bed, stacking blocks, these things seem less important to us than the things that we need to get done. And it's easy to rush our kids through it or undermine the importance of them. So remember, we have to respect our kids as humans with our own agendas, getting them to cooperate means being mindful and respectful of the fact that they have stuff going on, that they want to do too. That doesn't always match up with the things that you want them to do. Doesn't mean things are always going to go their way, but it means you may need to acknowledge it. Hey, I see that you're stacking those blocks and you're really busy. Why don't you stack five more and then we're going to go get your shoes on. That's an example of acknowledging and respecting that your kid has a different agenda than you. Now. It would be really beautiful and simple. If you just said that and your kids stacked five more blocks and then jumped up and got their shoes on and get ready to go. If you have kids, you know that things generally do not work like this, which is why this step getting kids to cooperate is a little bit more strategic. Having that underlying respect and acknowledgement for your kids' agenda is really helpful because it transforms your attitude. It takes you from looking for obedience, shouting off orders to looking for cooperation working together. So any of these three strategies that I'm about to get, you make sure that you approach them with respect, acknowledge that your kid has their own agenda, and that's going to help you moving forward. Strategy. Number one is the job description. I used to use this all the time. When I had a kid that didn't want to get buckled into the car seat, she would try to climb all over, go stiff as a board. It was just hard. I dreaded getting into the car because I knew that this battle would ensue. So here's how I used my job description to gain cooperation. First, I made sure that I had her attention and she was listening. And I acknowledged, I know you don't want to be buckled into the car and you just want to wiggle and play. And then I explained in very simple terms, as your mom, it's my job to keep you safe. And to do that, I need to buckle you into the car. I said it calmly and firmly. You can use other variations of this as your parent. It's my job to keep you safe and to keep you healthy and to do my job. I need to.... that this very simple explanation reduces the power struggle because it explains that you are not telling your kid to do this thing that they don't want to do, just because you're being bossy. Just because you're trying to push your own agenda. The fact of the matter is you're just doing your job. It's not really you making a choice. It's just you doing what you have to do. It makes that request almost seem like it's coming from a higher power because it kind of is the job description is really only effective when you're saying it calmly and firmly. If you're screaming it, your kids are probably not going to hear it. Strategy. Number two is play. I used to have a kid who despised brushing his teeth and it was Hayke. A lot of effort to make it happen. Playfulness was the thing that saved us. When he refused to brush his teeth, I would say, okay, fine. Then I'll just brush your belly button or I'll just turn you upside down and brush your toes. Usually this gets young kids giggling, but why does play work? Play works because it softens you. I know in these situations, when I was about to brush my kids' teeth, I would start to get tense. And my shoulders would rise because I felt the battle that was coming. But when we use play, it softens our demeanor. It softens our approach. It becomes more of a playful interaction than us making demands. It removes some of that power struggle. So I encourage you to try playfulness even when you're not feeling especially playful, even when it's hard, because if you can use playfulness to soften your shoulders, to soften your voice, to take the tension out, your kids are going to hear you better, and they're going to cooperate with you better. And the third strategy is the first then principle. If you are someone that finds yourself, leaning on threats a lot, the first then principle is going to save you. I discourage you from using threats because they're really easy to flip flop around. Here's an example. If you don't finish your homework, you're not going outside. You could take that same request and you can flip it around, acknowledge and respect their wishes, but also set a boundary. Yeah. Expectation for cooperation. Listen to the difference here. The first is demanding obedience. If you don't finish your homework, you're not going outside. The second is acknowledging and respecting your child and then asking for cooperation. I know you're really excited about going outside first, get your homework done. And then you can go outside. I literally said the exact same thing, but I switched my words and it completely transformed my tone of voice and my demeanor. And I'll tell you, the second one felt way better as a parent. And you can be sure that it's going to feel way better as a child too. So how do you get your kids to listen first, step one, make sure that they're hearing you and attending to you in tuning in then step two, aim for cooperation. Try using the job description, try using play to soften your demeanor and lean on the first. Then principle to turn threats into positive motivation. If it feels hard, that's because it is give yourself grace. You're not going to get it right every time you're going to lose your cool. And you're going to get to try again. We are a work in progress. Thanks so much for tuning in. I would love to have you join me in the mental unload. If you've been feeling overwhelmed and you're interested in reducing mental clutter and you want to learn more, go to simplefamilies.com/unload as always thanks for tuning in and have a good one. The post Listening appeared first on Simple Families.
48 minutes | Jun 24, 2021
Minimalism Your Way
Minimalism looks different for everyone. When Christine Platt found minimalism she expected it would involve moving towards an all-white, barren aesthetic. But in search of an intentional life, she has built a home and lifestyle that is unique to her individual needs and culture. Christine, also known as the Afrominimalist, encourages us to search for our "why" and create a home and life that is true to us. Find Christine Platt online: WebsiteInstagramBooksNew book: The Afrominimalists Guide to Living with Less What makes me happy? What do I want in my house? What do I want to wear in my closet? You know what I mean? Like in, and we just so many of us just try and fit ourselves into these ideals that have been, um, presented to us and, and it's, you know, results and a lot of excess, but a lot of debt, um, a lot of, you know, acquiring a lot of things that you don't need. Um, and it's, you know, I really want to challenge people, you know, think outside of that box. Hi, this is Denaye. I'm the founder of Simple Families. Simple Families is an online community for parents who are seeking a simpler, more intentional life. In this show, we focus on minimalism with kids, positive parenting, family wellness, and decreasing the mental load. My perspectives are based in my firsthand experience, raising kids, but also rooted in my PhD in child development. So you're going to hear conversations that are based in research, but more importantly, real life. Thanks for joining us. Hi there, Denaye here, that is the voice of Christine Platt otherwise known as the Afrominimalist. Christine just released a brand new book, the "Afrominimalist's Guide to Living with Less". Today Christine shares a little bit about her story and how the aesthetics of mainstream minimalism, the simplified white spaces with the Scandinavian style furniture. Wasn't the kind of home and life that felt right for her. Instead, Christine decided to do things her own way. And for her that was curating a life with less influenced by the African diaspora. I truly enjoy Christine's book. And as I share in this episode, I found it to be both a window and a mirror. It was a mirror in that I saw a lot of myself in her story, but also a window as Christine opens the door to her culture and community as a black woman, to help us understand how minimalism can look different in marginalized communities. I know that you're going to be inspired by my chat with her today. Before we get into this episode, here's a one minute word from today's sponsor. The sponsor for today is Prep Dish. And I know I've been talking about prep dish for a couple of years now, but this year has been a big year because they have transitioned into providing super fast meal plans. Every week. These meal plans are my lifeline right now, prep dish has a special offer. If you sign up for a subscription before the end of June, you get a free bonus menu. And this bonus menu is what they're calling the fastest meal plan ever. And I will attest it is in fact very fast and simple. And among the other things, my family was a huge fan of the shrimp tostadas for me. Meal planning was so overwhelming and Prep Dish has changed that it has made it easy and simple and almost entirely stress-free. So try it out, go to prepdish.com/families. You'll get two weeks free that's prepdish.com/families. Thanks again for tuning in and supporting the sponsors that keep the show running. I hope you enjoy my chat with Christine today. Hi Christine. Thanks for chatting with me today. Christine: Hi, happy to be here. Denaye Barahona: So I have heard you say a few different times that you are not a grown woman. You are a growing woman, and I love that Because yeah, We're just changing all the time. Right. And it Christine: Takes so much pressure off, you know, it's always like, oh, if you're grown, you should know how to do this. Or if you're grown, you should understand that. And it's like, actually I'm growing. Like there's still so much to learn so much to, you know, acknowledge and understand about the world. And so, yeah, I like saying that it just takes a lot of pressure off that I'm always like, may I always be growing? I want to, yes. I never be fully grown, you know? Denaye Barahona: Right. And since I heard that, I've been thinking every time I say grownups, that termed my kids who are five and seven. I always, I don't really like saying that anymore. Let's go with adults first. We've got it all figured out. And we just don't. I love your new book. Your brand new book is out. Um, tell us about that. It's not your first. Christine: It is not, but it's so funny. Everyone says, is this your first book or how many books have you written? And I'm like, uh, over two dozen and they're like, what? Um, but those are all children's books. Um, and most children's books are in series. Um, so for example, uh, the "Ana and Andrew" series, uh, was one of my, my last babies, my last little book babies. Um, but that's 16 of the books right there. Okay. So, um, the Afrominimalist Guide to Living with Less is my second adult work and my first adult nonfiction. Great. Well, congratulations. Thank you. Thank you. I'm very excited. Denaye Barahona: So I, one of the things, when I was reading your book that I identified with so much, um, which I do want to say that for you, with your book, I very much saw myself in a lot of it. Um, I saw you were, you were a mirror for me, but also a window because I love how you tell your story. And so much of that resonated with me, but I also learned so much about black culture and how you see and view minimalism in a different way based on your culture. So I love that but I think the thing that I identified with first and foremost was your love of the deal. Yeah. Very true to me. I think that was, oh my goodness. I got Christine: So many of us. Right. And, um, you know, that's, that's how I came up with my little mantra. It's not a deal if you don't need it. Like, I literally have to say that to myself when I'm in the store sometimes. But yeah. I mean, I think, you know, like anytime we pause and just sort of reflect on like, okay, why am I buying this? Like that pause is just so powerful. Um, because, you know, without it, we do are like, oh, I'm getting a deal or, oh, look at this. Right. Um, and so learning to pause, learning to, um, you know, have mantras, like it's not a deal if you don't need it. Or my latest one is what's the why behind the bike, Christine. Right? Like a lot of self-talk, you know? Um, and I think like when you pause to just ask yourself, uh, ask yourself those questions, you know, you realize like I don't really need lists, right. Or like reminding is, is it, am I really getting a deal if I don't need it? Where am I spending unnecessarily? Right. That pause is so powerful to just sort of think, think about, you know, why am I making this purchase? Which is why for me, minimalism is so less about aesthetics and so much more about just being a conscious consumer, you know, being very mindful and intentional about what you buy and what you welcome into your life. Yes. Denaye Barahona: Now I spent my first adult years out of college in Washington, DC, which is where you live. And I very much remember I spent a lot of time at filings basement. Do you know filings? Denaye Barahona: It's not around anymore. Right. There are still a few left. I think I saw one at Annapolis a while ago, but yeah, I know exactly what you're talking about. Right. So if leave leads basement Denaye Barahona: For anyone that's not familiar is kind of like a much grander TJ Maxx, it's bigger and better, and the deals are very hard to pass up. Um, and I acquired a lot of stuff because I just found too many deals that I could not pass by. Um, and I, I I've reflected back to my own childhood and tried to figure out what was that about. But I think I always viewed sort of this natural progression of life as you study hard, if you do go to college, you get a good job, you make a lot of money and then you buy a lot of stuff. Does that resonate with you? Christine: Yeah. I mean, I feel like that is, you know, a more popular version of the dream that so many of us have been, you know, sold, right. Um, you know, throw in, you need to be married by this age and have kids by this age. And like that is like the classic American life, or even dream for some people. Right. Um, and I think once you do sort of as self-discovery and do a little inquiry, you know, I do have some guided questions and stuff in the book, you start to realize, what am I doing out of familial or societal pressure versus what I want to be doing. Right. Like, what is my authentic version of life? What do I want for myself? What do I see for myself? And I think for so many people, it's just not something that they've been encouraged to do, or if they tried to do it, you know, their dreams were shut down. Christine: Their ideals were like, you're ridiculous. Right. Um, and I think, you know, for me minimalism and has been ofcourse learning to live with less, but also just learning what makes me happy. Right? Like independent of what society says, independent of what, you know, family and friends think I should be doing. Right. Like what makes me happy? What do I want in my house? What do I want to wear in my closet? You know what I mean? Like, and, and we just so many of us just try and fit ourselves into these ideals that have been, um, presented to us and, and it's, you know, results and a lot of excess, a lot of debt, um, a lot of, you know, acquiring a lot of things that you don't need. Um, and it's, you know, I really want to challenge people to, you know, think outside of that box. That's so many of us, um, have either been put into her or walked into unknowingly. Yeah. Denaye Barahona: And that path is not linear, which you share in your book, your career path has been anything but linear tell, tell us about it. So you're not just an author, right. You're a lawyer and a historian and so many things. Christine: Uh, yeah. Yeah. I mean, but you know, I think so many people are right. I mean, you know, I, I, I think it's so important to reinvent yourself as many times as you want to. Right. Like when we were, again, going back to like growing and that grown, right? Like you grow out of things, right. You pursue new interests and passions. Um, for me, I, you know, majored in, uh, African-American, uh, history and studies and undergrad, as well as in grad school. Um, I then went on to law school and I remember coming out of law school and our country was not in the space that it's in now. Right. It was in the space of like, what are you going to do at a black studies degree? You know? Um, and I remember, you know, having to sort of structure my resume that, you know, have it focused more on my social sciences aspect of the degree rather than black studies. Christine: Right. Or moving things around so that, you know, it's like, let's focus on your law issues. So people won't, you know, and all of that, it just felt so inauthentic at the time. But, you know, it's like, oh, I guess this is what I have to do to, you know, get a job, um, and then, you know, you get the job and then sometimes you're really unhappy. Right. And one of the things that most people do to mask their unhappiness is buy things. Cause things can bring us a sense of immediate gratification, instant gratification. Right. But it's rarely lasting. So even like by scoring a deal and being excited about my gosh, getting a deal, it's like, by the time I got home that throw had worn off and that stuff would just sit in my closet, you know? So yeah. I encourage, you know, as many people as possible to not feel that they're like stuck in this space, um, literally or figuratively. Right. Um, like really getting them to understand that it's okay to reinvent yourself. It's okay to keep growing. It's okay to say, you know, wow, this job no longer serves me the same way. This outfit no longer serves me. Right. And being willing to do and take the necessary steps, um, you know, to, to move on to something better that that's. Yeah. Denaye Barahona: I read this article last year, I guess it would have been in January during, um, was it January of this year that Harry and Meghan announced they were departing from the Royal family? Was that 2021? No, that was 2020. Christine: I feel like that was the year before Denaye Barahona: I remember reading this article around 2020, I read this article where, um, someone wrote, Meghan got the dream job, right. Princess, the dream job. And then she found out that the job sucked and she didn't want it anymore. And she's choosing a new job. And I just love that because I thought, you know, even the jobs that people could only dream of, don't always turn out to be what we want them to be. And we're all allowed to pivot on any level we are allowed to pivot. Christine: Absolutely. Um, and not only that we should, right. I mean, I think that's part of the growth that people rarely talk about. That pivot can be hard. It can be uncomfortable, you know, you are, there's always people that are like, what are you doing? Don't pivot, don't leave, you know, you, you have a six-figure job or you're the princess, right? Like how could you leave? Um, and again, it goes back to that the end of the day, you really have to do what is best for you. But unless you do sort of that inquiry and self discovery to sort of figure out your authentic self, um, you know, you will keep fitting yourself into, you know, other people's dreams, ideals of what should of what your life should be like. Yeah. Denaye Barahona: Yeah. And I think a lot of us feel like by the time we have kids, we should have that all figured out. And that's not the case. I think that growing, I mean, kids just add to that growing. Like they push us to grow even more than we were already growing. Probably. Christine: Yeah. I mean, I think that, you know, children, you know, I'm a mom and my daughter is getting ready to go off to college, which is wild. Um, but you know, parenting just taught me so much about myself, right? Your children are mirrors. Um, they are recorders, they are all the things. Right. And, um, you know, I, I think, you know, this idea that you will have it all figured out by the time you're a parent is just unrealistic because parenting is going to present a new set of responsibilities and obligations, then, you know, wonderful experiences for you to again, keep growing and growing grow into. Right. Um, and so, yeah, I always laugh when people are like, I'm, you know, I'm having, I'm grown, I'm having my first baby or whatever. And I'm just like, oh, you have so much to learn. You know, Denaye Barahona: I love it. You talked about when you went to law school, got a job in law and you were working long hours and you wrote, of course I felt like the worst mother in the world when you were working long hours. And then just three pages later, you talk about how you quit your job to be a full-time creative. And you were determined to be a fully present mother and wife and you fail miserably at all of it. Oh Christine: My gosh. It was awful. It was awful. Denaye Barahona: And I think it's so powerful to hear other women say this, that, that balance is never perfect. Right. Christine: It's never, ever, ever perfect. Right. And I have friends who, I mean, their sole responsibility is, you know, being a full-time parent and partner and even then, right. So it's not even the competing priorities. Right. There's always going to be something. And I think for me, I had romanticized all of it. Right. I had romanticized what it would be like if I wasn't working and I could just write whenever I wanted to write, I had romanticize how much, you know, smoothly our mornings and evenings would be. If I, you know, didn't have to go into work and I could stay home and I could make dinner. And like, I just had this whole vision and fantasy that was like, so not what I was able to do. And like, so unrealistic in retrospect, um, I mean, my creativity did not comply with my ongoing to write between nine and 12. Christine: It was like, oh, you think so it doesn't work. It doesn't work like that. You know? Um, there would be evenings where I would like just be getting into the rhythm of, of writing, um, you know, this, this novel that I was working on that was so challenging for me. And I'd look up and I'm like, oh crap, like it's timeless start dinner. Right. Like, there's always, there was this, it was such, um, an awakening for me. Um, especially as someone who, you know, I know type a is not really a thing, but I mean, I just pride my pride myself on being like very structured and regimented. And like, I'm going to knock this out of the park. I'm going to be the best writer and mother and wife ever. And it was like, actually you're not, Denaye Barahona: But you were the best mother and wife for your family. Right. And I always like to remind myself of that. Yeah. Yeah. Christine: I was the best for my family. And more importantly, like I was the best for me at that time. Right. Um, and of course, I didn't look at that. This is all in retrospect. I mean, you know, when you go through these things, often in a moment, it just felt like a total failure. Right. And it, it just was not true when I look back on that time and I'm just like, I can't even believe that I did everything that I was able to do back then, but in a moment, you know, it just felt like, oh, you know, the one time you don't stop writing in time enough to make dinner, you know? And they come in and like, oh, I'm sorry, dinner, isn't ready. You know, like in hindsight, like no one even remembers those moments. Yeah. Those are not the moments that your children remember. Those are not the moments that your spouse is remember, you know? Um, and so, yeah, I'm big on extending, extending ourselves some grace through all of it. You know, I love that. And so you Denaye Barahona: Found minimalism around the time that you had decided to shift to being a full-time creative and that was becoming overwhelming or wasn't quite working out the way that you wanted it. Yeah. Christine: I mean, I think what happened, I mean, when I started the minimalist journey, I mean, I was still romanticizing, you know, it was, it was starting, I was starting to become clear that it was a fantasy, but I was still like, ah, it's gonna work out. You know, but I remember what it was for me was really, it was the first time that I had spent that much time at home, you know, because when we were both working, um, you know, you'd get what a few minutes in the morning, you're out of the house all day. You know, you pick up the kids, you're, you know, back home, homework, dinner, you go to bed. So we spent like most people, we spent most of the time outside of our homes than we did in our home. And, um, so it wasn't until I was not working and home all day that I realized, like, there's just so much of this house that we are not using. Christine: There's so many unnecessary things in this house. And that's sort of what, like prompted my journey and started my journey. And then when it became very clear that my writing and creativity was never going to conform to a structured schedule and that I actually was not a big fan of cooking dinner every night. Um, I started to focus more of my energy on, on, uh, minimizing our home as opposed to, um, trying to pursue these other endeavors, which were the reason why I had left work in the first place. You know, it was just, yeah, like a comedy of errors. You know, Denaye Barahona: I actually found minimalism when I was supposed to be writing my dissertation and decided that, that I needed to minimize everything that I owned before I could write a dissertation. Christine: That's so funny. Yeah. I mean the project back on it. I know. I know. So, yeah. So that's how that happened. And then, um, you know, it really, you know, it's really what prompted me to, like when I was working on this book last year, just thinking about what do I wish that I had had known, right. What would I have done differently? And, um, you know, really having a holistic approach to decluttering I think is so powerful. I mean, I did what most people do, you know, like I look at the beautiful images on Pinterest, you know, long enough for me to say, that's it, I'm going to, you know, make my house look like that. And then, you know, next thing I knew, I was just standing in front of a large pile of stuff and there was piles over there and there were piles over there. Christine: And I just wish that I had, you know, had this process of like, let's talk about how to acknowledge your over-consumption first. Right. Let's really, let's really talk about that. Let's talk about forgiving yourself, you know, no one ever talks about all of these emotions that come up in your decluttering. Um, you know, and, and then like, then you can jump into letting go. And then also I wish someone had told me, you know, what to do with my donations. Right. And so that's how I came up with step four, paying it forward. Um, but yeah, I went through all, I went through a lot during that time. I mean, I really thought it could be a weekend warrior mission and it is, that is just not the case. Denaye Barahona: Yeah. And I think in some point in Marie Kondo's famous first book, she says that you declutter once and then you won't have to do it again. And I always raised an eyebrow at that, because for me it has felt like this ongoing process and ongoing. Christine: Yeah. I mean, I am five years in. Um, and yeah. I mean, I feel like it is an ever evolving process. Again, it goes back to the growing. Right. Um, and so, yeah, I mean, you never want to go through that first. Like that first round is always the worst. Right. Um, but you know, in terms of like never wanting to do it again, I, I don't, I don't see that. Right. I mean, I, again, as our lives keep changing and evolving, um, you know, you'll, you'll have other rounds. It'll never be like at first. Yeah. At first acknowledgement process, I get that part. Um, and what I do agree with though is that you'll never, what you'll never do again, is allow your space to get to that level. You know what I mean? Like you'll, you'll always, like, I'll always remember how I, how I felt standing in front of that big pile, looking at all the other piles, thinking of all the other closets and drawers and everything that I had to go through. And I'm like, I know I will never allow myself to get to that place again. You know, Denaye Barahona: And that shame that comes with seeing all the waste that you have created right in front of you, you know, the, the money you wasted, the resources, all of that. Christine: Yeah. But you'd have really, I've been trying to find ways to really shift that language, you know, especially when we talk about forgiveness, um, you know, I, I have star, I, cause I used to say, oh, I used to, I used to waste so much money or, oh, I made so many mistakes, you know, and now I'm more like, you know, I made some, you know, probably not the best choices at the time or, you know, I had some experiences that taught me valuable lessons, right. Like even just the shifting of that language allows us, um, just some freedom to, to again, extend some grace to ourselves and forgive ourselves. Right. I mean, you really can't hold yourself, um, you know, as accountable for what you didn't know. Right. But it's like once, you know, and once you have the knowledge and once you have the tools, right. Christine: It's like, okay, I know better. Now I'm going to do, I'm going to do something different. I forgive myself or, you know, the choices that I made in the past and I am committed to making different choices going forward. Right? Like that's so much more powerful, which is why I, you know, I felt it was so important to when we talk about minimalism to talk about the emotions that come up and how you will have to forgive yourself and others sometimes in order to move forward. Right. Because you can stand there in front of that pile of stuff with your emotions and having all the guilt and shame and anger and think about how much money you wasted. You can do that for a long time. I did, you know, um, and I had to forgive myself. That's the only way to move forward. Denaye Barahona: I remember thinking, you know, I spent my first 30 years accumulating all this stuff I didn't need. And now I get the opportunity to spend the next 30, 40, 50 years doing better and making better choices. And you can only move forward. Right. You can't go back and change Christine: Time. That's it, that's it. Right. Denaye Barahona: You found minimalism and you started, you know, seeing all of the idealistic images with the white walls and black furniture and very, very simplified spaces. You had felt like that didn't, that wasn't going to work for you. Christine: Right. Well, I thought it was going to be wonderful for me. It was actually quite shocking that when I, you know, married these images that I saw online, that I had just habited so much. And I was like, oh, this really feels sterile. This doesn't feel like home. This doesn't feel like me. Right. And that's when I was like, oh, I'm going to have to do minimalism my way, if this is ever going to work, right. Like I need color. I need textures. I need, um, you know, elements of, of, uh, you know, ancestral things that ground me, that uplift me. Um, and so that's how I came up with, you know, from minimalism, I was like, it's minimalism, but with an Afro twist, this is my thing, you know? Um, but in retrospect, what I was doing was, you know, what I encourage so many people now to do, which is, you know, create a minimalist practice and lifestyle that works for you. Christine: Right. My biggest thing is, you know, you always have to choose authenticity over aesthetics, okay. Because the aesthetics of mainstream minimalism and, and, you know, understandably there's, the images are so beautiful and simplistic. And it's what initially draws so many people to even consider it as a lifestyle. But, you know, it really is just an aesthetically pleasing version of, of minimalism, right. It is not a version that is going to work, um, for most people, right. For some people it will work. They want their all whites stark Scandinavian decor, and it is like their dream. Right. And that's great that works for them. But you know, you have to figure out what is my authentic style, what, in terms of decor, in terms of, in terms of my wardrobe, right. And you can't really do that until you go through the process of letting go, what no longer serves you. Christine: Right. It's how I discovered my affinity for jumpsuits and dresses. Right. Like it took me widdling through all the stuff in my wardrobe and me realizing, like, I don't really want the responsibility of having to think about what top of my pairing with what bottom. Yeah. I just already have so many things to think about during the day. Um, and I was like, oh, so my authentic style is definitely more one piece ensembles. And that is what the majority of my closet is. And it, it helps me to like when I go out and I see, cause you're undoubtedly, I was going to see something beautiful. I'm like, oh, what a beautiful top? Like, yeah, you don't want like pairing tops and bottom. So, you know, like it's. Yeah, yeah. Whereas before, you know, when you're in that sort of this mindless consumption space and always trying to get a deal and, you know, just all over the place, but in terms of like your spending habits and behaviors, you're more inclined to get the shirt. Yeah. You know what I mean? Like, oh, it's a great shirt, so cute. It's on sale. Next thing you know, you have the shirt, you don't have a bottom, uh, you know what? I could see those cute pair pants. Right? Like it cumulates so fast. Um, you know, and so again, that's why that power of pause is it's pretty powerful, you know, what's this, why what's the why behind this by. Yes. Denaye Barahona: And I really, I appreciate your emphasis on understanding your why, and not just maybe diving right in and getting rid of stuff, but really understanding how you got to be where you are. And for you, you have a big emphasis and understanding of how consumerism is different in the black culture than it might be in the white culture. And I really appreciated learning more about that in Christine: Your book. I'm glad you did. Yeah. I mean, you know, as I stated, like the, for the culture pages are just for marginalized communities, some additional considerations that, you know, mainstream minimalism just does not acknowledge. Um, and that's primarily because there are just not a lot of marginalized voices, uh, in, in that space. Um, but you know, I also wanted those statistics and facts and that information to be there for other communities as well. Right. And it makes you just more aware of, you know, targeted advertising and marketing, right. It makes you so much more aware of, oh, this is why, you know, this community, even it could be like right near you, right. Like this is why this community looks different. This is why the ads in this community look different. This is like, it's, it's very startling and shocking. Um, and of course for my community, I just want them to be much more conscious and aware of, of how, um, they are targeted as consumers. Christine: And they are one of, you know, the largest population of consumers with, um, the lowest income levels. Right. And, and earning potential. So, you know, it's, it's just time to really, you know, shift this conversation and narrative, uh, about minimalism beyond just things and decluttering. Right. Because it's so much more than our things, right? Like it's so much more than our things. It's, it's the why it's the, you know, really figuring out what aspects from my childhood have I brought into adulthood, how am I giving into conspicuous consumption or mindless consumption. Right. Like it's so much more than just let me figure out which tops and bottoms I don't want. Right. Um, you know, in order to really, really, uh, achieve and maintain this lifestyle, you have to know yourself, you have to know yourself. Yeah. Denaye Barahona: One of the things that I read that I didn't know, which is giving me some new perspective is that people in marginalized communities have unhealthy relationships with credit and are often preyed upon by financial institutions. And for me as a white person, that's not something that I've been impacted by in the same way. And I just have had no awareness of it. And that, and how that factors into consumerism is just fascinating to consider. Christine: Yeah, predatory lending is really, um, it's, it's gotten better, but it's still pretty prevalent in, uh, marginalized communities. Uh, it definitely was even worse when I was growing up. Um, you know, as I shared in the book, man, I was born in 1976. Right. So I was like seen everybody. I remember the first video game and the first microwave. And so we didn't have the internet. And you were just kind of, um, beholden to what was going on in your community. Um, yeah, very, very targeted, um, forms of predatory lending from, you know, offering money for, you know, a property that seems like it's worth nothing, but they know that the, you know, land area is going to be used for, let's say a waterfront development. Right. Um, like there's so many things that I just even saw in my lifetime. Um, and that actually happened, uh, in my, in my childhood community. Christine: I remember going to college and being like, I mean, we would, we had so many credit cards because all you had to do is just, uh, you know, every Wednesday they would be out at our local little market area, offering you a free t-shirt or free water bottle and, you know, you'd get your plastic card of money. You have no job, it's the best, you know, and like I said, in the book, like I cringe thinking about how many 25 cent wing nights were charged to a card with interests, you know? Um, but yeah, like there, that sort of, uh, you know, those forms of predatory lending, um, really have a lasting, uh, impact on, on communities of, uh, you know, marginalized communities. And so I do think it's important to understand, uh, and acknowledge that and take all those things into consideration. Um, you know, and when we think about, you know, financial equity and, and things of that nature, so yeah, I'm really glad you found that informative. Um, I've had a couple of people tell me that as well, Courtney, Courtney, Carver, and I were in conversation last night and she told me the same thing. She was like, I just did not know, like all these statistics, this is like, she was just so shocked. Right? Absolutely. I think Denaye Barahona: From the cultural perspective too, there's something else that you wrote in one of your further culture pages that really struck me, you said from our ancestors being stolen and once owned as property to our need to have things so that we feel we are in control of something in our lives that people have a different, deeper relationship, our belongings, and that that's, I've been reflecting Christine: On that one too. Yeah. You know, it's, I always, uh, like to use the analogy of, um, or I guess the example, rather of a person who has two Bibles, right. A black person who has two Bibles, a regular minimalists practitioner will come in and say, you don't need two Bibles. You only need one Bible. Why do I have two Bibles? Um, and you know, a black person would say, this is my great-grandmother's Bible. And it's very important. And sometimes I look through it and I look to see what passages she highlighted and what sustained her throughout her lifetime. And then this other Bible is my Bible. So Bible, I take to church, it's the Bible that I'm highlighting my own passages in. Right. So it's just like cultural considerations that again, have to be addressed when we're talking about, um, this being a lifestyle that's accessible to all, it's not as simple as going in and picking which Bible you want to keep. Right. You need both. Denaye Barahona: Yeah. And I think coming up with any kind of one size fits all for minimalism, I think it devalues that Christine: It really does. And I honestly don't know where that came from because literally like every minimalist I know, I mean, I feel like I know quite a few now, um, and not, not just, you know, minimalists who are black, right. White minimalists, like everyone has color. Everyone has like, I have no, I it's just so fascinating to me how, you know, this 19, what fifties art design style became the face of a lifestyle. Um, I don't understand because most minimalists practice being mindful, intentional consumers, they're not subscribing to a certain aesthetic, you know? So yeah. I still don't know where that came from. I think Denaye Barahona: It can be easy to get caught up in this idea that, you know, you see this picture online and you just need to replicate that picture. Like you need that sample and that piece of art, and then you will have that life, if you can just replicate it. And that seems almost like the easy way. Some in some aspects, I mean, if Christine: You have, yeah, well, it seems like the easy way, but again, you run the risk of doing that and then discovering that looks great in that picture, but it doesn't feel good in your home. Right. So like, that's how it was for me. I did the whole, I mean, I remember like I had white walls in my bedroom. I had white bedding, I had white curtains and I just walked in and I was like, oh, I just walked in one day. Like I can not do this. It looked beautiful in the photograph. Right. But it just, it just did not feel good to live in. And so I really caution people, you know, to, to subscribe to a certain minimalist aesthetic and make that their ideal and that their goal, right. I'm going to declutter so that my home can look like, you know, Josh and Ryan. Christine: Right. Um, I love the minimalists. They're great. Um, right. And it's like, you are not Josh or Ryan, so it works for Josh and Ryan and may not work for you. Right. And now you're stuck within aesthetic and things that you don't like, you know? And so it's so important to again, figure out that why. Right. And then figure out what is my authentic style in terms of my decor in terms of, you know, my wardrobe and, you know, minimalism, I tell people all the time, it's really a gateway to living with intention because there's no way that you can just be intentional with your wardrobe and, you know, uh, your belonging and not have intention trickle into every area of your life. And so, you know, these are lessons and being intentional. Right. So, yeah. Denaye Barahona: And sometimes we don't see it coming. I mean, I know I didn't, when I started decluttering my closet, I had no idea that once I made it made my way through every closet in the house that I was going to start, de-cluttering my calendar and my style and my brain and all the things that just, it wasn't part of the plan, but I don't think I get to make the plan. Right. Just Nope. And it happens, but now there's no looking back. I wouldn't have it any other way. Christine: It just kind of happens. Yep. Denaye Barahona: So tell me, what's on the horizon for you after the, after this book. Um, Christine: So I, I have two projects, uh, and it's so funny. Uh, all of them started during the pandemic, so wild. Um, so I wrote the Afrominimalist Guide to Living with Less, um, during the pandemic. So within a year, um, I have a new children's series that will be coming out in spring 2023 called Frankie at Five. And Frankie is a little news reporter. She's so cute. Um, both of her, uh, while her mom is also a reporter. And so what she likes to do is have a, she has her own little news show, and it's just a way for me to, you know, talk to kids and teach kids about journalism, um, a way for them to see news through their eyes and their perspective. Right. Because breaking news could be, you know, a missing tooth, right. Like breaking news. Right. Um, so that's really fun to write a Frankie at five. Christine: And then just recently, uh, me and one of my dearest friends, uh, Catherine Wigingtongreen, um, we just signed a deal to write, uh, a, I don't even know what John really call it, but it is fiction it's adult fiction. Um, but it's called Rebecca not Becky. And, um, it's centered on, um, two moms, one who's black and one who's white, like me and Catherine and, um, just how they manage, um, their lives and their families and in the midst of a racial reckoning, uh, in this country. And, you know, we both work as anti-racism, um, trainers and facilitators and have for a very long time. And this is just such a wonderful opportunity for us to, you know, get folks to see themselves and to like, again, just like the minimalism, like let's have some real conversations here, you know, like I feel like we're all just like dancing around the issue. Christine: Right. And it's just like, let's have some real conversations about our own biases and prejudices. And like, let's talk about all of the things that we're not talking about or that we're talking about with our friends, because we're scared to say it online because we don't want to be called racist and, you know, like, it's just, yeah. So we're having a lot of fun. Um, so writing that's a novel, it is a novel. Yeah. I can't wait. And what is that? What's the timeline for that? Um, that is also 2023. So that will be coming out in January, 2023. Um, yeah. And it's really fun writing a book with your friend and yeah, it's just been great. And, and again, we just have so much, um, you know, we're both moms, we both worked in the anti-racism space for a long time and we just have so much, um, in so many ways that we can teach. Um, I'm a big fan of, uh, teaching through fiction. It's just easier for people to accept and see themselves and, and, you know, find things relatable. So, so yeah. Yes. Denaye Barahona: And you mentioned teaching through fiction and I have to say that teaching adults through children's fiction and children's just literature in general is a real thing that I never realized until I was an adult. And I have learned so much through my kids' books. So I feel like not only kids, but you're definitely reaching a whole generation of adults who may not have otherwise sought out the adult version of these. Christine: Yeah. And, you know, I, I first discovered it, uh, actually in law school and my legal research and writing class, uh, it was our first assignment, uh, was to read about the three little pigs, that whole story, but from the Wolf's perspective. Right. I remember, yeah. So funny, but you know, like getting us to understand how you can have the set of facts, the same people be there witnessing it and having very different experiences. Right. Um, and so, yeah, I love, I love children's literature. Um, and I love, I love writing fiction. I, I just think it's a really powerful teaching tool and Denaye Barahona: The Ana and Andrew series is that complete now, as you're starting the new one, Christine: It is, you know, I, and it's I say it like that because I just, I feel, you know, it's hard. I mean, you, you grow with your characters, you grow with your young readers, you know, I have a wall just full of like beautiful cards and pictures and letters that, you know, little ones have sent to Anna and Andrew and I, oh, it's just like, oh, but I just keep telling myself, okay. They can read, you know, Frankie at five, you know, most of them will have aged up to that book by then as well. Um, but yeah, so it's, it's bittersweet. I love them. I mean, 16 bucks for that series is wonderful. Like, yeah. It's like, what more could I do? Um, but yeah, I really love that series. And you know, that, that was also a teaching tool for parents and adults. Christine: I mean, I heard from so many parents who are just like, thank you for writing about this, you know, in this way, thank you for teaching history, from a place of joy, thank you for, you know, allowing us to have just the language and tools to answer some of the questions that we may be asked, you know? Um, and so, yeah, it's, it's a very special series to me. Um, but Frankie at five is as well. I am, I love Frankie. I got to see my first sketch of her the other day. And I was just like, oh my God, I love her. So yeah, I'm excited more fun coming. Denaye Barahona: Thank you. So how much, I'm going to put links to all of your books in the show notes. And I can't wait to see what, what is to come in 2023 for you. And hopefully you take some time off in the rest of 2021 and 22. Christine: I wish, you know, actually divine timing. I mean, my daughter has off to Penn state in the fall and you know, it's going to have a lot of time on my hands to just fill it with stories and, um, yeah, no, I love, I love the life that I live and I just feel incredibly grateful, um, to, to be able to do what I do. So no, no break breaks like that, but I will definitely make time to take care of myself. And as you know, nap, I love napping. Thank you so much. Thank you. Have a good one. Denaye Barahona: Thanks again for tuning in, and I hope you enjoyed this conversation with Christine. You can find her online at the Afrominimalist and her books can be found on Amazon Barnes and noble, or even better at your local independent bookstore. If you've been interested in trying out the mental unload, which is the program that I run three times a year to focus on mental clutter, you're in luck, we're starting again on July 15th. So put that on your calendar. You can get on the wait list at simplefamilies.com/unload as always thanks for tuning in and have a good one. The post Minimalism Your Way appeared first on Simple Families.
28 minutes | Jun 17, 2021
Get dressed. Brush your teeth. Say thank you. Eat your breakfast. Sometimes we sound like a broken record. We feel like we are prompting and reminding our kids to do things all day long...and sometimes we are. It's exhausting! That's what we are talking about today. I'll share my tips and tools for success. For my 7-year-old boy For my 5-year-old girl Get dressed, brush your teeth, say thank you. Say hello, go to the bathroom, eat your breakfast. Sometimes we sound like a broken record. We feel like we are prompting and reminding our kids to do things all day long and, sometimes we are. That's what we're talking about today. If the prompting and reminding your kids to do all the things it's just Getting exhausting, then I think you'll find this episode to be helpful. Hi, this is Denaye. I'm the founder of Simple Families. Simple Families is an online community for parents who are seeking a simpler and more intentional life. In this show, we focus on minimalism with kids, positive parenting, family wellness, and decreasing the mental load. My perspectives are based in my firsthand experience, raising kids, but also rooted in my PhD in child development. So you're going to hear conversations that are based in research, but more importantly, real life. Thanks for joining us. Thanks so much for tuning in today. We're talking about prompting and reminding our kids to do all the things. I got a message from Cass, and she said, I need To remind my daughter many times to complete a task shoes on brush hair, brush teeth. Sometimes she seems to get down on herself, even though I try to do so without blame, she's five, she'll be six at the end of the summer. This is familiar to me as well. I do a lot of prompting and reminding. I think we all do. There are some kids who are very self-sufficient and fall into patterns, easily. Kids who have very strong executive functioning skills seem to just zip through routines and know what to do when they're supposed to do it. In general. I would say that these kids are the exception rather than the rule. And in fact, prompting and reminding is in many ways, a part of our teaching process as parents, when our kids get off task and they forget to do something, it's generally not willful disobedience. It's a skill deficit. We talked a little bit more about this in the recent episode on consequences, you can go to simple families.com/episode266 to listen to that one. I know it is frustrating. It is very frustrating to have to ask your kid to do the same things over and over day after day. And it might be tempting to try to use punishments. If you don't brush your teeth right now, I'm taking away tv time. As our kids grow, a lot of them, aren't motivated to do the things that we want them to do. Many kids are not motivated to brush their teeth. Now when they get old enough to go to school with stinky breath and other kids say you, I don't want to sit by you because your breath stinks. Usually a pure correction like that will shift things pretty dramatically. The willingness to brush their teeth can be an overnight change. But as intentional parents, we want to prevent all of the pain, right? Anybody else? We don't want our kids to have to go to school with stinky breath and have to be corrected by peers. If we're going to do that, try to prevent that struggle and prevent a stinky breath there. We're also going to have to embrace the fact that it's going to be harder to get our kids, to do the things that we want them to do. Not impossible but harder. And we'll talk about how in the second part of this episode, now teeth brushing is a little different because it's not just about the stinky breath. It's about preventing cavities and having good oral hygiene. So we do take on a lot of responsibility as parents to make sure that that happens. But there are some things that are better left appear, correction, like nose picking. For example, chances are, if you have a nose picker, you have probably tried to correct and change this behavior. Lots and lots of times, unsuccessfully, because most kids don't mind picking their nose in front of their parents. Sometimes things like this that parents have struggled to correct for years will be very quickly corrected by a peer. You, you picked your nose, that's gross. And all of a sudden kid doesn't want to pick their nose anymore. Not in public. At least social pressure can definitely create behavior change. But often these things that we struggle to get our kids to do the most are at home where we don't have that social pressure or it's just us and them, us versus them. Sometimes it feels like. So I want to talk first about the why, why it is so hard to get kids, to do basic things, things that they do every day. That should be easy by now. And then after that, I'm gonna talk a little bit about the strategies that I use to decrease the nagging and increase independence. I want to start by saying that kids have their own agenda and we have our own agenda. And these two agendas rarely seem to match up your kids' summer agenda might be to play on the iPad all day. And your agenda is to make sure that your kids eat shower, spend some time reading and go play outside. Maybe a little bit of iPad time in there too. But we have to recognize that our kids often don't want to do the things that we want them to do. They often don't really understand the importance of the things that we're asking them to do. Their priorities look different than ours. Therefore it makes it harder for them to get motivated, to get those things done. It's important to recognize that we all need prompts and reminders every single day, this school year for my kid's school, I had to fill out this form to say that we hadn't been exposed to COVID and nobody had a fever. I know many of you probably had to fill out those forms every morning. So every single morning I had to submit this form and I forgot almost every single morning. It finally got to about spring break. And I got an email from the nurse saying that if I didn't start submitting my form in time, that my kids were going to have to wait in the nurse's office with her in the morning until I submitted my form. So that was a threat also punishment of a sort. It could be as, I certainly didn't want my kids sitting in the nurse's office rather than in their classes. So sure enough, I remembered on Monday to submit my form. And then I forgot after that because punishment doesn't motivate us. It scares us and moves us to action immediately, but it doesn't actually teach us. It rarely changes behavior in the future in the moment. Yes, surely, but it rarely changes behavior in the future. So the first day I remembered and then I started forgetting again shortly after that. So I decided to set a daily reminder on my phone that prompted me every morning at 7:30 AM to submit the form. And that picks the problem. The daily reminder did the trick. I never forgot again, but it wasn't the punishment that fix this problem. It was the implementation of the daily reminder because no matter how hard I tried to function without that reminder, I just couldn't do it on a similar note. I got my very first speeding ticket a couple months ago. There's this area when I'm driving my kids to school where the speed limit changes from 65 to 55 and the road looks very similar and I have a hard time noticing the change. And I was going 71 in what I thought was a 65, but it was actually a 55 because I had passed the point in the road or the speed limit had changed. And I got pulled over, got my very first speeding ticket for going 71 in a 55. And for at least three or four days, I was really careful in that area to slow down and notice the change in the speed limit. But sure enough, after that, after that initial fear wore off that initial fear of punishment, I'm still struggling to remember, you know what I need, I need a reminder. I need an announcement. I need like a ding in my car to say, Denaye, you have reached the speed limit zone change. You need to slow down now because I don't mean to speed. I'm just going about my business. And I forget that there was a change, even though I've been punished for this. So I just can't seem to remember. And it frustrates me endlessly. I have not gotten a speeding ticket, but every day I approached the spot where I got pulled over. And I think to myself, crap, you're still speeding. Denaye, slow down. I start engaging in that negative. Self-talk why can't you just remember? So in my own imperfections and my own need for reminders, I have a lot of empathy for my kids. I know that they're going to need reminders as they grow, even for things that they've been told repeatedly. Now, before I had kids, I wasn't like this. I didn't really need that many reminders when my life was quieter and simpler, when it was just me or just me and my partner, I seem to have a lot, a lot more brain space to organize all of this stuff. I could remember events and tasks and things I had to do without even writing them down. But my need for prompts and reminders. Yeah, it seems to correlate strongly with my level of overwhelm. And I think the same has to be said for our kids, if they are overwhelmed and their stress, and they got a lot going on, they're probably going to need more frequent reminders and prompts to stay on task and to get things done. Even things that are very familiar to them. It's not as simple as learn it once and do it forever. If that was the case, we'd never get speeding. Tickets as adults, even if your child is not overwhelmed and not stressed out, they are still learning. They are overall in progress. The developing brain is still learning how to initiate and execute tasks out of follow multi-step directions. And we have to remind ourselves that these things come easier for some kids than others. And as they grow, they will get better at all these things as their brains mature. But let's try to stay away from this belief that you're 8 years old, you should know better, or you're 13 years old. You should know by now, because age is just a number we have to meet the child who's right in front of us, right where they are. And if your eight year old cannot follow three-step directions, like eat your breakfast, but traditional way, and then go brush your teeth. If your eight year old can't seem to execute that sequence saying, you should know this by now, you're old enough to be able to do this on your own. Isn't actually going to aid them in completing the task. Instead, it's just going to have a negative impact on their self-esteem and sense of self-worth and in turn, probably having a negative impact on their ability to complete such tasks. So I remember people at all, ages need reminders, even adults, especially during times of stress. And during times of overwhelm, when our brains are extra taxed and working in many different directions, focusing on more things than we probably should. And for our kids, it's not just about stress and overwhelm. It's also about the fact that their brains just haven't yet developed and refined the skills yet they are a work in progress. And so are we, frankly, we're going to take a 60s break and then I'm gonna share some tips on managing reminders and prompts at home. The sponsor for today is Native. Native is an aluminum free deodorant. And it's a great addition to your daily routine. Both my husband and I have been using Native for years. I had tried many, many other natural deodorant alternatives and nearly given up when I found Native, I've loved all the sense that I've tried, but lavender and rose might be one of my classic favorites. I encourage you to make the switch today by going to nativedeo.com/simple, or use the promo code Simple at checkout, and you'll get 20% off your first order. That's nativedeo.com/simple, or use the promo code Simple at checkout for 20% off. Your first order, native now has plastic free options, options for sensitive skin and options for teens and adolescents. So I encourage you to check them out. All right, so let's talk about some tips and tools. First and foremost, we have to make sure that we are approaching prompts and reminders in a developmentally appropriate way. So we can't expect a three-year-old to remember and independently execute an entire morning routine that requires 6, 7, 8 things. We can create a visual routine where we have pictures of each thing that we need our child to do, and that can be immensely helpful, but often they're still going to need our support in the early years, even sometimes in the later years. So remind yourself developmentally appropriate. It means it's appropriate for your child, right? Where they are at approaching this by looking at the kid in front of you, not just by their age and what you think they should be able to do, meeting them, right where they're at, when we're prompting and reminding our kids to do things. We often don't notice that we're also asking them to stop doing something or to leave something behind. If your child is watching TV and you ask them to brush their teeth, you're actually asking them to stop doing something, perhaps something that they love to do, something that they don't really want to do. So you'll find that if you're a prompting your child to do something less preferred while they're engaging in an activity that they love, they're probably going to be less responsive in situations like this. It's important to first end what they're doing before, prompting them to do something else. So if my kid was watching TV, I had to give a warning in two minutes, we're going to turn off the TV and brush your teeth. I might even set a timer for two minutes and the timer goes, then we brush our teeth. I'm ending one activity before prompting them to do another one. If I just blankly started spouting off, Hey, go brush your teeth. My request is probably going to be ignored, probably going to get a more negative reaction. And frankly, it's a little bit disrespectful. I was in the middle of something that I enjoy. And someone in my family walks in and tells me I need to get up and do something else right away. I'm not going to feel really good about that. Like if I'm reading a great book and my husband walks in and said, you need to cook dinner right now, that doesn't feel good. Now, if my husband walked in and said, that looks like a really good book, you seem to be really enjoying it. I noticed it's almost six o'clock it's time to start dinner. Can you wrap that up and join me in the kitchen? I'd probably be much more amenable to listening and responding to that. I've got the chance to wrap up what I'm doing and then move on to something else, especially because that's something else. The cooking dinner is less preferred. I don't really want to cook dinner. Now I do want to note that it's okay to tell your kids to do something. You don't have to ask them to do something. Now, if I asked my five-year-old, do you want to brush your teeth? There's a very good chance that she would say no. And teeth brushing is not optional though. I usually address that with my words. I say, it's time to brush your teeth rather than do you want to brush your teeth? Sometimes we can think that positive, gentle parenting is all about asking our kids things, but it's okay to tell them things that they need to do to it's often necessary. And you can do it in a respectful way. Like I've just described. So if your kid is engaging in something that they enjoy and you know, you need to move them on and prompt them or remind them to do something else when possible, it's always great to help them shut down or put an end to the activity that they're engaging in, in a respectful way, and then prompting them to move on and do what it is you need them to do. You're going to get a better attitude from your kid. You're going to get more responsiveness and more mutual respect. Of course, we're prompting our kids to do things, especially if it's something routine like getting ready for school or summer camp in the morning routine is going to help immensely. We have a visual routine with my kids. It's a paper that's printed out with pictures of each step of what they do in the mornings. And it is a great aid. It really supports my kids getting ready in the morning, but they do need reminders to stay on task. But visually being able to see first I eat breakfast, then I get dressed. Then I brushed my teeth. It absolutely does help with independence. Now when creating our morning routines, I've found that for us, it helps to tie things together by room. So let's use my seven-year-old for example. So my seven year old goes into the bathroom and he uses the toilet, brushes his teeth and Combs his hair. There's three tasks that need to be accomplished in the bathroom. So he does those in a row. Boom, boom, boom. Those three are tied together. Sometimes we call that chaining. Those three things are chained together. It's easier for him to remember those three things when he's standing in the bathroom, okay, here I am in the bathroom. Maybe use the toilet, need to brush my teeth and need to comb my hair. And then he goes to his bedroom and there's two tasks that are tied together in his bedroom each morning. He meditates and gets stressed after he completes those two things. Then he's done with the tasks in his bedroom. So by dividing tasks by room, it helps to sort of mentally break things down for him. Now it's also important to look at patterns. I said, when he goes to his room, he meditates and get stressed. Now let me tell you a little bit more about that. Now my husband and my son and I are trained in transcendental meditation. We'll be getting my daughter a train this summer. And for kids, they're trained to do something called a walking meditation, which is basically that they have a mantra that they're saying while they're moving or while they're playing. So when he's meditating, he's often playing and staying as mantra in his head. I do not. In fact know if he's actually saying his mantra in his head, but that's what he's supposed to be doing. Usually he's spinning Beyblades, but he's got that five minutes of quiet every morning. So I noticed that when the routine was go meditate and then get dressed that even though I set a timer for five minutes, you're going to go meditate for five minutes and then get dressed. He would get lost in his play and it would take forever for him to get dressed. He just wouldn't get dressed. I'd have to go in there like six times in order for him to get dressed. Now, when I changed up our visual routine, the little picture chart that I have for them, I put, get dressed first and then meditation changed everything. He would go into his room, get straight to business, get dressed. Then after he was dressed, he would start meditating. He got the thing that he didn't really want to do. Get dressed out of the way to do the thing that he wanted to do, which was play with his Beyblades/meditate, whatever we're calling it here to doing the less preferred thing first, getting it out of the way. We'll often the amount of doddling. If you go to simple families.com/episode268, I'm going to put an image of our visual routines in there. So you can get an idea of what those look like. Keep this in mind for your evening routines. When you're prompting your kids to take a bath and brush their teetj, that sort of thing. If there's elements of it the evening or the morning routines that your kids dread or seem to really get stuck on, try to put those things before a more preferred activity. If your kid loves taking a bath, but they seem to run around the house and avoid brushing their teeth, brush their teeth before the bath, get those less preferred things out of the way and when possible chain them together. So you can do several tasks, tasks to build up momentum while you're in the same room. I remember, especially when my kids were toddlers, we'd go in the bathroom together and we'd boom, boom, boom, knock everything out with the door closed. I'd stand in front of the door actually so that we could get everything done that we needed to get done to brush teeth, go to the bathroom, take a bath on their hair, without them running all over the house and me having to chase them down and drag them back into the bathroom. Again, there's absolutely something to be said for behavior momentum. Now, if you're prompting your kids to do things and you say in two minutes you need to come eat breakfast. Most kids don't have a real concrete sense of what two minutes is. And even if they do do, if they get lost or absorbed in something else, they're going to lose track of time very easily. So instead of using time-based cues, I like to use before or an after first and then spin your Beyblades one more time and then come down to meet breakfast. That's very concrete kids of any age can understand that first you finish that one page and then it's time to get dressed, pack your backpack up and then watch TV. Now it's really easy to get into the habit of prompting our kids with increasing intensity. So what does that look like? Hey, come brush your hair. It's time to brush your hair. You need to brush your hair, get in here and brush your hair right now. If you don't brush your hair, you're losing the iPad for a week, right? So your voice gets louder and increasingly more angry. Every time you have to ask and remind understandably so, because this can be a frustrating process, but that approach just sucks. It sucks to feel like you're yelling all the time. And it also sucks for your kids to hear you yelling all the time. It doesn't serve anyone well. The problem here is that your kids often become accustomed to hearing this and they will stop responding until you get to the most increased level of intensity. It's kind of like counting to three. I'm going to count to 3, 1, 2, 3. Most kids don't respond until the three, just like most kids don't respond until you get to your most increased intensity because it's a warning system and they wait until they get the final warning. If you approach prompts with increasing intensity like this, kids will almost always wait until you get to the most intense prompt before responding. And then sometimes we find ourselves to skipping the lower intensity and going right to screaming. So instead of increasing your intensity with your voice, try to use nonverbal and positional prompts. Now my kids respond really well to touch this. Isn't true for everyone, but my kids do so sometimes, you know, if one of my kids is distracted and I really want to get them dressed and I'll say, Hey, it's time to get dressed. And they don't respond. I will tug up a little bit on their shirt and be like, okay, it's time to get dressed. So they can feel that sensation of me pulling up on their shirt. So not only are they hearing the cue, but they're feeling the cue of me tugging on their shirt, sometimes gentle physical cues, like that can be really effective. Now a positional prompt would be to do something like it's time to brush your teeth. Here's your toothbrush and you place it in their hand. And now they're holding the toothbrush ready for action or it's time to get dressed. They haven't responded. Haven't responded. You pick up the clothes and set them on the floor right next to them. In general, most kids respond best to verbal prompts when you're looking them in the eye when you're in the room with them. So if you find you're often shouting prompts from across the house, Hey, it's time to get your shoes on. And you're not even sure really whether or not your kids are hearing you. Maybe they're not even within earshot. And then you're getting frustrated. Remind yourself that verbal prompts are always more effective when you're in the room right next to the child, verbally down on their level, looking them in the eye. As our kids get older and their brains are capable of handling multi-step directions. They're able to handle increasing amounts of independence. We can start fading our prompts off and we should start feeding our prompts off. If you're one that prompts excessively, like if you put food in front of your kid and say, eat your dinner, I would call that excessive prompting. Because if you put food in front of your kid, they know that they're supposed to eat their dinner. You don't need to say eat your dinner. If you catch yourself doing that, giving a lot of verbal prompts for things that are already implied things that your kids already know, things that they're already going to do, try to start fading. Some of those prompts off and instead saving the reminders and prompts for things that are really important. Things that your kids really do need extra support to get started with. Now, even if we do prompt and remind our kids, it can feel like they don't listen. It can feel frustrating to get our kids to cooperate. And that's the next step to this understanding that sometimes when our kids don't respond to us, it's a lack of cooperation. It's not just our kid, not hearing us. It's not just them not listening. It's that they're not choosing to cooperate. They're not choosing to get on the agenda that we have for them. We're going to talk more about that in an upcoming episode. So stay tuned for more so grateful that you tuned in today. When you have a chance, leave a rating or review for the show in iTunes. If you've enjoyed this episode, take a screenshot of yourself, listening to it and post it up in your Instagram stories. I'd love to hear from you there. Feel free to send me any questions or comments. I always love your feedback. I hope you've enjoyed this episode as always. Thanks for tuning in, and I'll talk with you soon. The post Reminders appeared first on Simple Families.
23 minutes | Jun 10, 2021
Fears of Simplicity
What if I get rid of something that I might need someday? How will my kids react? Making a big lifestyle change can feel scary. Moving towards simplicity is no exception to this. In today's episode, we are discussing common fears around living a simpler life. Many many people have fears about simplicity. I was looking around my bedroom the other day, thinking, how did I get here? How did I come so far? Because I have simplicity has never come easy for me. It's something I've really had to work for on behalf of my family. And some of the changes along the way have been scary. And I know that many of you feel the same. In fact, I hear a lot of those fears and concerns all the time. What if I get rid of something and I needed again someday, how do I let go of sentimental items without feeling regret? How will my kids react? Will they feel left out? Will they get behind? What if I make progress towards a simpler life and I'm not able to maintain it? What are other people gonna think of me? These are all concerns and fears that I hear all the time from families who are moving towards simplicity. The reality is that many people start with the physical stuff, getting rid of what's right in front of you, what you can see. But once we make progress on that, it feels so good that we often naturally want to take the next step, which is moving towards simplifying our mental space and simplifying our calendars. But as with any big lifestyle shift, There are obstacles and there are barriers and there are fears. And that's what we're going to talk about today. Hi, this is Denaye. I'm the founder of Simple Families. Simple Families is an online community for parents who are seeking a simpler more intentional life. In this show, we focus on minimalism with kids, positive parenting, family wellness, and decreasing the mental load. My perspectives are based in my firsthand experience, raising kids, but also rooted in my PhD in child development. So you're going to hear conversations that are based in research, but more importantly, real life. Thanks for joining us. Thanks so much for tuning in today. We're talking about barriers and obstacles to simplicity. I was recently visiting my son's new school and I saw that one of the desks had a sticker on it and it had three checkboxes down in a row. The first one was I got started, then I'm working on it and then I'm done. And I thought to myself, I need this sticker for pretty much everything I do in my life, because you're probably familiar with the old phrase. Getting started is half the battle and it is, checking that first box getting started and moving into the second box or working on it can be a hard shift to make. Sometimes we don't know where to start. And often there are barriers and fears that prevent us from really getting to work. The number one thing that I hear is the fear of future regret. We are afraid we're going to make a decision that we regret. We're second guessing ourselves. This goes not only for getting rid of physical stuff, but also for obligations and activities, what if we don't attend that birthday party, will my kid get left out of future invitations. What if I get rid of this pair of shoes? And then I get a new dress that they would have looked great with? What if I don't adequately review every single listing on Airbnb for our potential vacation next summer? What if I make a mistake in the world that we're living in, we faced with more decisions than ever before, especially when it comes to the ways that we spend our money. There are endless products to purchase and less choices, and we can easily end up second guessing every decision that we make in life. We had an au pair from Poland living with us for a year. And I remember one day she was at the grocery store and I asked her if she could pick up some peanut butter and she started sure, yeah, I'll get some peanut butter. And she sent me a picture and the peanut butter island. She's like, I have no idea what to get. And at that point I became profoundly aware of the number of choices that one has to make. Just when buying peanut butter, even consuming the simplest things in life. Literally peanuts ground up into a butter, creamy, or crunchy with Palm oil, without Palm oil, with sugar, without sugar, natural, organic, old school, flavored, powdered, oil mixed in, oil not mixed in, frankly, sometimes making decisions about our own consumption can feel absolutely overwhelming. And we're just talking about peanut butter, literally nuts ground into a paste. It only gets more complicated from there. We spend so much time making decisions about the stuff that we bring into our home, whether it's food or clothing or toys that it's hard to get rid of it. Not only do we spend a lot of time and energy making decisions about what we bring into our homes, but we also spend hard-earned money on those things and letting go of perfectly good things can feel wasteful. I find it infinitely fascinating that devices are quickly taking over many elements of our lives. In fact, I can pretty much run my whole business with my computer, my iPad, and my phone have replaced essentially all my office supplies, my notebooks, my cameras, my sticky notes, my to do lists my CD MP3 players, my video cameras, baby monitors, books, book readers, alarm clock. So many things. There are so many things that technology and our devices have replaced, which would lead one to think that we can have less clutter, but with all that technology comes online shopping. It becomes easier than ever to acquire new things, one click, and it shows up on your doorstep. So buying and spending money and consuming have become huge consuming aspects of our lives. So making a shift in this is a big deal. When I first started decluttering and I got rid of 90% of my wardrobe, I bagged it all up. I put it into two big black leaf bags. You know, those giant, really thick, garbage bags. And I sat them out on my front porch and I put a message up on my local Facebook group and said, Hey, my whole wardrobe is in two giant plastic leaf bags on my front porch. Whoever wants them, please come and take them and seeing all that stuff that I had acquired, all that money that I had spent all the time that I invested in purchasing those things, seeing that all bagged up given away made me feel a lot of shame. And it made me feel a lot of regret, but it also gave me a lot of hope. And it gave me a lot of motivation when I saw all that stuff going out, I vowed that I would do better. I'd spend less time on the clearance racks at TJ Maxx, picking up things that I thought were a good deal that I didn't necessarily love and more time saving up for a few pieces of clothing that I really loved and wanted to wear all the time. And I've done that. And I have never looked back. I've literally never thought again about a single article of clothing that was in those bags. Never wished for them back, not once this fear of letting go of things that we might need again, someday is prevalent. And one thing that I've noticed is that I improvise a lot more. I have a lot less stuff, but I've also gotten a lot more creative. For example, my son wanted to play this Pokemon game. It's called Pokemon the card game, Pokemon TCG. And he was really into it a few months ago. And he had these paper game boards that got all wrinkled up and stepped on and they were just pieces of paper that folded. And they just had completely lost their shape and were getting ripped up. Sorry, I threw them away. Well, he decided he wanted to play the game again. And now we don't have the game boards. So we rolled out a big piece of paper and drew it out and created our own version of the game board based on a picture that we saw online and we played the game, we figured it out. We got creative. I have a heck of a lot less shoes than I ever had before. And when I get ready to go out, I don't get fixated on finding the perfect shoes to wear with my outfit. Instead, I grabbed one of my favorite pairs that goes with nearly everything, usually a pair that I've already worn several times that same week, this ability to improvise and get creative and reuse things in multiple ways. Definitely follows me into the kitchen too. I used to have a grill pan, which was a cast iron pan with greats. I don't even know if I'm using the right word. So I had this grill pan, but I didn't use it very often. It was a really nice grill pan though. I got it as a wedding gift and I kept it for years and years. I just kind of moved it around because it always got in the way of the other pans that I used every day. So I got rid of the grill pan and not a single time since I got rid of the grill pan, have I ever wished I had a grill pan? I also got rid of my hand chopper. It's a little device that you push on a bunch of times and chopped up food into little pieces because I have a knife and I use a knife to do the same thing. And it's a heck of a lot easier to clean. I might not have every single type of spices, but I am quickly able to Google. What's the best spice to replace Terragon since I don't have it on hand. And I use something else sometimes when we don't have exactly what we need on hand, we have to improvise and get creative. But I'm going to tell you that that turns out to be justifying or even better than fine. Most of the time I used to have packing tape and masking tape and double-sided tape and duct tape. And I stopped buying all of the variety. We used to have my shampoo and then my husband's men's shampoo, which I'm never sure why it's actually considered men's shampoo. And then the kids' shampoo and the dog shampoo. And then I realized we all have hair, even the dog. And we can all just use a natural non-irritating shampoo. We do not need four different kinds of shampoo when you're decluttering, you're going to be getting rid of a lot of stuff, stuff you've probably spent harder and money on stuff that you probably thought you needed at one point in time, but that same stuff might be causing you a lot of headaches and a lot of stress and keeping it all around very likely might be doing more harm than good. And as someone who's been doing this a long time, I'll tell you. It's unlikely that you're gonna regret getting rid of, of whatever that thing is that you're afraid of getting rid of, because I know I've had that barrier and climbing up and over it isn't easy to do, but once you're on the other side, it feels good. I'm going to take a quick 60 second word from today's sponsor. And then I want to talk about another fear that I hear all the time. How will my kids react and how will they be impacted? I want to say thanks to Sunday for sponsoring today's episode. Sunday is a lawn care service it's customized and sent right to your home. Many of you know that we have downsized our house and our yard this year, but we still feel pretty clueless about the best ways to take care of it, perhaps because of decision fatigue that we face when we go to the store and see hundreds of options for lawn care Sunday makes taking care of your lawn easier than ever. I just went to get sunday.com put in my home address and their free lawn analysis tool took care of all the rest in just seconds. They use soil and climate data to create a tailored nutrient plan. So you get all the stuff that your lawn needs and nothing it doesn't. And it's all made with ingredients that you can actually pronounce. So let Sunday take the guesswork out of growing a greener more beautiful lawn this year. Visit get sunday.com/families to get $20 off your custom lawn plan at checkout. That's $20 off your custom plan at get sunday.com/families. So let's talk about fears as they pertain to our kids. When it comes to simplifying back in episode 234, that's simple families.com/episode234. We talked about comparison and envy and yeah, fomo. And those are three big strong barriers. We worry that our kids are missing out, missing out on toys, experiences, opportunities. If we don't give them the world, will they be negatively impacted? In that episode, we talked about how we have to serve as brain managers for our kids until their brains are fully developed, which is adulthood basically. And that means sometimes we have to make hard decisions for them, decisions that our kids aren't equipped to make based on higher level reasoning and logic and on family values that are near and dear to us. When I entered motherhood, I wanted to give it all to my kids, all my attention, all my love, all the stuff, all the opportunities, but it didn't take long before I realized that they didn't need all that. And in fact, to giving them everything didn't even serve them well in my very early days, when I was seeking simplicity and I had my first baby, I knew that I wanted to get him good toys, good quality toys. A lot of stuff made out of wood, simple stuff, not a lots of bells and whistles and lights and plastic. So I started buying all the good stuff. I want to say all the good stuff. I mean all the good stuff. I spent a lot of money, money on really high quality toys and had a lot of them. And I justified them for the fact that these are good toys. These are high quality educational toys that are going to help my kids learn and grow, which was all true. But the abundance of those toys was the problem. When we're buying stuff for our kids, we can often justify it as saying, they'll use it. They will use 100 hot wheels cars. They line them all up in one really long row, like a parade. Sure. A kid could use 100 hot wheels cars, but a kid can also use 10 or 20. It doesn't make their play any less rich to have fewer. In fact, it creates opportunities for them to use their imagination. Maybe that parade, isn't just a hot wheel car parade. Maybe they bring in their dump trucks and they make a few cars out of Legos. They improvise and they get creative. They think outside the box. That's What happens when we give our kids fewer toys, they start to innovate, create and think outside the box as adults, many of us don't have that ability to imagine and to innovate quite as readily as our kids do. So we can lean into buying a lot of stuff like toy food for a play kitchen. Of course, every toy kitchen needs a hamburger with lettuce and cheese and tomato and pickles. The works right. Actually, no, our kids don't need exemplars of every single food that they eat. They can use other toys. They can use blocks and pretend that the blocks are hot dogs or a loaf of bread. When we give them less, when we buy less, we're actually gifting them the opportunity to create, and we're giving them less to clean up. We know that kids get really overwhelmed about cleaning up a lot of stuff. We know that we get overwhelmed. I cleaned me up a lot of stuff. And if you've ever looked at a hundred hot wheels, cars lined up and thought about how long was going to take to clean those up, then, you know, imagine how that feels to a small child who gets easily overwhelmed. It feels daunting. A lot of times getting our kids to clean up is impacted by the fact that they're overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that they have. So it's important that we only give them as much as they can handle. And sometimes it takes some trial and error and understanding that my daughter always wants to keep art supplies in her room. And I have learned this lesson many times that it's not a good idea for her to have markers in her bedroom because she runs out of paper and starts using her body as a canvas. And we have a really big mess on our hands, but as she's gotten older, she has been able to make better decisions. And I've given her the markers [inaudible] And she's drawn all over her body. And then I've taken the markers away again and told her, we try it again when she was a little bit older and then we try it again and I give her the markers again and she colored all over her body. And then I took him away. Again, we have been through this with markers more times than I can count because I keep giving her more than she can handle. And the truth is I don't really even know exactly what she can handle, which is why it is trial and error. She has this plastic tea set from green toys and it's like tea service for, I don't know, like six people, 60 cups, six saucers, six spoons, so many pieces. And they're just everywhere. I have given her more than she can handle. So what do I do? I give her tea service for two and I take the rest away and put them in storage. And we try again when she's a little bit older and she can manage a little bit more. Now there's a very good chance that she's like me. And she might always be unable to handle a lot of stuff because that's how I am. As an adult. I have a hard time managing a lot of stuff, even with organizational systems in place. So having less is something that will always serve me better, but I'll give her a chance to try again and to have more and see how she does. And the result is that I anticipate she's going to find a balance that works for her as she grows. I'm not going to be micromanaging the accumulation of stuff, her whole life, but I am going to have a hand in it until she's old enough and capable of doing it for herself. And the same goes her activities. A few years ago, I had a conversation with a friend who was telling me that her daughter who had always done well in school was starting to struggle, especially with finishing her homework. At the end of the day, she was a competitive dancer and she danced about 20 hours a week after school, and then came home and showed resistance and really struggled in her homework. And the result was that my friend was, does she have an attention deficit, which is possible, but it also could be that she has overwhelmed because the human brain, especially the developing brain of a child is not equipped to be maxed out every day. It needs rest. It needs to recuperate. It needs empty white space. And our kids don't always know when to take that. If all their friends are dancing for three hours after school, every day, that's normal to them. That's what they're supposed to do. That's what they want to do. But when we see it having a negative impact on other areas of their life, as the adults, we have to question whether it's in their best interest, we have to make hard decisions for them and for ourselves because the wellbeing of our kids and the wellbeing of ourselves and the wellbeing of our relationships with one another are all intertwined. And when any one of those things is overwhelmed and pushed to the limit, it's going to impact everything. So yeah, when we cut back on our kids' stuff, when we cut back on their obligations, sometimes they're going to get upset. Sometimes they're not going to like it. But sometimes as the adults, we have to make the hard decisions for them, even if they don't like it, even if they don't fully grasp it and fully understand the implications of it and saying, no, isn't easy, but often saying no means you're saying yes to improving your overall family life. When you have less stuff, less obligations, less mental clutter, you have more space to breathe, more space, to connect with one another more space to laugh and to play and to be present. There's good stuff on the other side of these obstacles and barriers and the fear of regret is real for everyone. But I'll tell you from my own personal experience and my experience working with thousands of others, that a lot of those fears are unfounded and moving towards simplicity is a wonderful change. And it's a gift for your family. So remind yourself of that. If you want to stay in touch with simple families, go to simplefamilies.com/workshop that will give you the free workshop and puts you on the email list. So you get regular updates. I hope you've enjoyed today's episode. I'll talk with you soon. The post Fears of Simplicity appeared first on Simple Families.
27 minutes | May 27, 2021
You should know this by now. I’ve asked you a hundred times. How could you forget? Today we are going to talk about consequences, punishment, and discipline. How do we raise kids to take ownership and care for themselves and their belongings? Today I’m going to give you some things to think about and some things to do. The post Consequences appeared first on Simple Families.
27 minutes | May 20, 2021
Be Like Bamboo
I’m going to start today off with a quote: “We’re often afraid that if we give our kids an inch, they will take a mile. Every single grain of rice in their bowl must be eaten up, every toy in its proper place, every “I” dotted and “t” crossed. We believe this is comforting to our kids, knowing that their parent will always be steady and unchanging. We mean what we say and say what we mean. Rarely will we make an exception or change direction mid-course. We are solid and dependable: like steel. Unfortunately the Titanic was also made from steel and we all know what happened there. We are so strict with our rules that our consistency becomes rigidity. But what happens to something hard and rigid when it meets with a blow? It breaks easily. The very strictness that we think makes us strong actually makes us brittle. Instead of steel, we can strive to be more like bamboo, firm yet flexible.”Iris Chen, Untigering This quote comes from Untigering, a book by today’s guest Iris Chen. In Untigering, she shares her journey of leaving behind authoritarian tiger parenting to embrace a respectful, relational way of raising children. As a Chinese American mom, she draws from her experiences of living in both North America and Asia and offers insights and practices. [Book excerpt] You can find Iris on Instagram, and website, and her book Untigering: Peaceful Parenting for the Deconstructing Tiger Parent is available wherever books are sold. The post Be Like Bamboo appeared first on Simple Families.
38 minutes | May 13, 2021
If you’ve tuned into the news at all in the past year, you’ll know that there’s a heck of a lot of controversy around science. Whether we are talking about climate change, masks, or vaccines you’ve probably come across disputes and wars of words on scientific topics. I think back to a generation ago, where we had to break open an encyclopedia or visit a library to look deeper into a scientific topic of interest. With the ever-growing amount of knowledge that we have available at our fingertips, there is a growing interest and awareness around scientific topics of all types. Science is no longer limited to science class at school, the broader knowledge base is impacting our children from the very beginning of their lives more than ever before. And overall, I think that’s pretty great. Today I’m chatting with Emily Calandrelli, better known in our house as Emily from the Netflix series Emily’s Wonder Lab. Emily is a science communicator, and she playing a part in making science approachable for both kids and adults alike. Emily in InstagramEmily on TwitterEmily on Tik TokEmily's website The post Science appeared first on Simple Families.
21 minutes | May 5, 2021
The Simplicity Connection
There are many ways in which society has constructed parenting to be far more complicated than necessary. The result is parental overwhelm. As parents, we all have the same goals. Raising happy, healthy, successful kids. In order to reach those goals, we commit ourselves to doing anything and everything possible. We want to give our children the world—even if we compromise our own well being in the process. Today, we are going to talk about the simplicity connection. In parenting, we have the best of intentions. But sometimes wanting the best outcomes for our children translates into overbuying, overprotecting, and generally just overdoing it. Which doesn’t actually get us closer to our goals of raising happy, healthy successful kids. Instead, it leads our families to stress and overwhelm. Learn more about Simple Families FoundationsThe post The Simplicity Connection appeared first on Simple Families.
23 minutes | Apr 29, 2021
Summer used to be synonymous with time-off and relaxation. But times have changed and many parents now feel a sense of dread and overwhelm around the unstructured time that comes during the summer—especially after spending over a year at home. Today, we are talking about finding balance this summer. The post Summer Plans appeared first on Simple Families.
41 minutes | Apr 22, 2021
I’ve seen numbers that say over 90% of women are unhappy with their bodies. Our body image, or the way we perceive our own bodies, is impacted by family, friends, social media, the news, and more. Many of us entered motherhood with pre-existing body image challenges, and pregnancy and motherhood can exacerbate that. Today I’m joined by Dr. Lexie Kite from Beauty Redefined, and we are chatting about changing the way women view their bodies. Links to Connect with Lexie + Lindsay More than a Body Beauty Redefined on InstagramThe post Body Image appeared first on Simple Families.
29 minutes | Apr 14, 2021
In this episode, I'm doing a quick-fire Q&A. I have a long list of questions from you all and I'll be moving through, answering a variety of questions. We will be covering whether or not I have a junk drawer, parenting kids with bad attitudes, capsule wardrobes, defiance, video games, camping, lots of questions about partnership, and much more. Simple Families FoundationsNY Times Hormone Surge of Middle Childhood ArticleSEN Superpower BooksExpansion & Contraction EpisodeMessiness EpisodeBedwetting episodeThe post Quick-Fire Q&A appeared first on Simple Families.
42 minutes | Apr 8, 2021
Get Good with Money
For the longest time, I was a budget-resister. As a minimalist, I don't buy a lot of stuff so I didn't think I needed a budget. But I was wrong--moving towards a consistent, air-tight budget has been one of the most intentional changes that we have made in our family. Today I'm chatting with author and financial educator Tiffany Aliche, also known as The Budgetnista. She's sharing her tips and resources to 'Get Good with Money'. Tiffany's Resources New Book (for Grown Ups): Get Good with Money Kid's Book: Happy Birthday Mali Moore More Resources: GetGoodwithMoney.comThe post Get Good with Money appeared first on Simple Families.
19 minutes | Mar 18, 2021
"It's just too much." My daughter, who is newly 5, said this to me for the first time this week. She asked me to come clean up her room with her and when I walked in she sighed and said, “it’s just too much”. We don’t have a lot of toys, but she manages to accumulate stuff. Although this was the first time she has put this into words, her behavior has been telling me this her entire life. Rarely will our kids be able to verbalize their overwhelm with stuff. More often, they will speak with their behavior. They will be able to feel the overwhelm, but they won’t be able to articulate or comprehend the solution. Which means we have to steer the ship. Episodes Mentioned: My Messiness Too Many Toys How to Use a Reward ChartThe post Clean Up appeared first on Simple Families.
48 minutes | Mar 10, 2021
If you've been around the podcast for sometime, you will be happy to hear I'm bringing back the "Journey to Simplicity" series. In this series I chat with both friends and members of the Simple Families Community. We talk about what a simpler, lighter life looks like--and spoiler alert! It's always imperfect and a work-in-progress. Find Jillian on Instagram // Link from Jillian to learn more about TM Simple Families episodes on alcohol: Episode 128 (Thinking about giving it up)Episode 141 (New Year's Resolution to give it up)Episode 184 (Reflections a year later)The post Jillian appeared first on Simple Families.
16 minutes | Mar 3, 2021
Sometimes the road to self-improvement can also lead us toward self-doubt. Things that we previously thought we were doing okay on, we suddenly start to think we aren't doing well enough. This especially happens in parenting. I hear from parents all the time that they want to "say the right thing"--but there is no clear wrong and right when it comes to parenting. You are doing better than you know. The post Self-Doubt appeared first on Simple Families.
20 minutes | Feb 18, 2021
Saying ‘no’ can feel hard—especially to people we love. But if you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, you might benefit from saying no more often. We have to take ownership over how we spend our time, money, and energy. If we don’t, we will end up burned out, exhausted, and broke. The post Saying No appeared first on Simple Families.
15 minutes | Feb 12, 2021
We are nearly one-year into a global pandemic, therefore I’d say we are far overdue in talking about therapy. Therapy: Who needs it? How do you get started? Maybe you are interested in exploring therapy but you have decision fatigue—there are far too many options and you don’t even know where to begin. Today I’m going to try to simplify some of that for you. Resource for finding mental health support ASAP. The post Therapy appeared first on Simple Families.
52 minutes | Feb 4, 2021
Bedwetting + Accidents
Bedwetting and accidents can be taboo to speak about as our kids get older. However, we've been challenged by these things in our home so I understand the importance of this topic first hand. I'll warn you, my guest Dr. Steve Hodges and I are going to talk about poop and pee a lot in this episode, but I think you will enjoy hearing a new perspective. Dr. Hodges Books: Bedwetting and Accidents Aren't Your Fault: Why Potty Accidents Happen and How to Make Them Stop (Kid's Book) It's No Accident: Breakthrough Solutions to Your Child's Wetting, Constipation, UTIs, and Other Potty Problems (Older book, the "Why") The M.O.P. Book: Anthology Edition: A Guide to the Only Proven Way to STOP Bedwetting and Accidents (Newer book, the "How") The post Bedwetting + Accidents appeared first on Simple Families.
12 minutes | Jan 27, 2021
Maybe you don’t consider yourself an outdoorsy person. Maybe you have a kid who isn’t into nature. I totally get that. The truth is that nature can be uncomfortable. It’s often: Too bright. Too hot. Too cold. Too windy. Too loud. But we are all nature people, in fact—we need to spend time outdoors for our health and wellbeing. If you don't think you are an outdoors person, let’s talk about why. And how we can start to shift that perspective and get outside of our comfort zones. For our own good and the good of our families. The post Outdoorsy appeared first on Simple Families.
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