Ep #1: How to Become a Peaceful Parent

How to Become a Peaceful ParentWelcome to the Real World Peaceful Parenting podcast, I’m so happy to have you joining me today! If you’re feeling stressed, frustrated, and like you didn’t get the memo that everybody else seems to have gotten when it comes to parenting, this podcast is for you! Parenting doesn’t come with a manual, but it’s never too late to find a new, more peaceful way to parent your kids.

For my first episode, I’m introducing myself and sharing a little about why I started this podcast, and the journey we’ll go on together each week. I’m telling you about my own experiences with my old parenting techniques (cue lots of yelling and frustration!) and how discovering a new way of parenting enabled me to feel more calm, happy, and connected as a parent.

Join me this week to learn more about my peaceful approach to parenting and why you can create a deep connection and cooperation with your kids. I’m sharing my non-judgmental approach to helping others parent more consciously and showing you how to create a more respectful and calm environment for all the family.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • What peaceful parenting is and why it’s possible for you.
  • Why we tend to parent our kids the same way that we were raised.
  • How to connect with your kids and gain more cooperation and respect.
  • The positive impacts of peaceful parenting.
  • Why your kids are acting out and how to work with them to stop it.


Listen to the Full Episode:


Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to Real World Peaceful Parenting, a podcast for parents that are tired of yelling, threatening, and punishing their kids. Join mom and master certified parent coach Lisa Smith as she gives you actionable step-by-step strategies that’ll help you transform your household from chaos to cooperation. Let’s dive in.

Welcome, welcome, welcome to the Real World Peaceful Parenting podcast. I’m your host, Lisa Smith, the peaceful parent. I am so happy to have you joining me here today. I am really excited to birth episode one of this podcast. It feels like the gestational period for this baby has been a long time coming. So let me tell you a little bit about myself, how I got here, and the journey we’re going to go on together each week. Sound good? Okay.

Well, I’m a mom, a wife, a certified master parent coach, speaker, and the author of an international best-selling book called The Angry Parent: How to Find Peace in Your Parenting Through the Message of Anger. Over the last seven years as a parent coach, I’ve helped turn thousands of frustrated parents around the world who regularly default to yelling, threatening, and punishing their children into peaceful leaders within their households.

When I’m not coaching, you’re going to find me rooting on my 16-year-old son at a basketball game, travelling somewhere new, doing CrossFit, or working on personal development or reading a romance novel while sipping a Starbucks iced green tea. Prior to becoming a parent coach, I was an executive as a Fortune 500 medical device company, and I cofounded a venture capital firm.

At the time, professionally I was at the top of my game. I was a great leader, had wonderful relationships, and was all around a happy person. But as a parent, I felt like I was failing. I was absolutely miserable and full of shame because my dark secret was that I was yelling, punishing, and threatening my strong-willed son to try to get him to listed and behave.

I remember one day when my son Malcom was about six. I was furious with him. It was over homework or showering or getting dressed. Honestly, I can’t remember why. It doesn’t matter because unfortunately this was a pretty regular occurrence in our house. On this day, I was yelling at him and he was yelling back at me. I was yelling at him for yelling at me. At the same exact time, I was thinking, “Who taught him this?” Then it’s like a voice came into the room and said, “You Lisa. You. You’re teaching him to be angry and reactive.” I thought, “Oh my. If this is where we’re at now, where are we going to be in 5, 10, or 20 years.”

You see, I don’t have a relationship at all today for my father, and I haven’t had one for many years. It’s 100% because of his yelling, threatening, and punishing me when I was a kid. I swore when I was a teenager if I ever had children, I would not raise them as an angry, yelling, reactive, dominant parent. Here I was doing the exact thing saying I wasn’t going to do. Parenting the exact way that I was parented. I was devastated. It scared me not only to think about how I was parenting now, but to think about where our relationship was headed if I kept this up.

Once I become a parent, I noticed that I was angry and frustrated a lot while parenting. There was constant yelling in our house and very little cooperation. I was exhausted. My son didn’t respect me, or so I thought, and the joys of parenting were far and few between for me. I had so much guilt and shame. So much guilt and shame. My husband and I were definitely not on the same page.

To make matters worse, everyone else around me seemed to be doing it right. I couldn’t figure out how to get there. The parents at my son’s daycare, my friends who were parents, my coworkers. Everyone seemed to enjoy parenting, and I couldn’t figure out how to enjoy it. I had few good role models growing up, I had no tools, and I had no idea what I was doing. In that moment, I decided something had to change.

So I set about to find a new way of parenting. I didn’t know what it was going to be, but I knew there had to be a way to parent that felt like connection and love and not reaction and constant threatening and punishing. As the world usually works, the solution fell right into my lap. I learned about conscious parenting, which I call peaceful parenting.

I learned how to get my son to listen the first time without yelling. Yes, it is possible. I learned how to connect with him. I learned how his brain develops and what he needs to be cooperative. I learned how we can stay connected, even when things go wrong. Now that I use these tools that I teach, there’s very little yelling in our home. Very little.

We set limits and rules without punishing or threatening, and we truly respect each other. My husband and I are on the same page. I enjoy parenting my son and spending time with my family, which was not always the case.

The positive impact of this new way of parenting was immediate for me, my son, and my husband. Within the first week—I kid you not—within the first week, we all felt the change. I knew the connection I wanted to have with my son was within my grasp. I felt a calmness come over me that I hadn’t felt since becoming a parent.

Now years later, it’s still hard to talk about the dominate parent I used to be. I’m open about my story because I want you to know that I’ve been where you are. I have absolutely no judgment for anyone’s parenting. Here’s what I want you to know. You absolutely can get your kids to stop disrespecting you. You can get your kids to listen to you. You can get your kids to do what you want all without punishing, threatening, or yelling. Let that sink in for a moment.

Because my guess is that if you’re honest with yourself, you’re not only frustrated with your kids, but your probably frustrated with yourself. Maybe you yell at your kids more often than you want to, and that makes you feel guilty or it makes you feel that you’re not a good parent. Am I right? I remember I would wake up everyday vowing not to yell at Malcom. I would lay in bed every morning and recommit to not yelling like it was a diet. “Today’s the day I’m not going to yell. I’m not. I promise.” By 5:00 I was either yelling at him, drinking chardonnay, or both. The good days were far and few between. Can you relate?

Let me ask you. Are you blown away right now? Do you feel like I’m telling your story? Are you saying, “Wow Lisa, it’s like you’re in my home.” So often when I share my story, so many parents feel like, “Whoa, that’s crazy.” Or they say to themselves, “Wow, she really gets me. She’s been there.” That’s the point of starting this podcast by introducing myself and telling my story.

So if you hear nothing else today, please hear this. You’re not alone. You’re not the only parent struggling. Many of us are parenting the exact way we were parented even we don’t want to. I want you to know that there is hope, and it’s never, ever, ever too late to find a new way to parent your kids. I don’t care what age they are. I promise you, it’s never too late to find a new way to parent.

I know your kid didn’t come with a parenting manual. I know that parenting can be stressful and hard. You see, I grew up in a house full of yellers. I like to say that if yelling were an Olympic sport, I would come from a dynasty of gold medalists. I’m not even kidding about that. I know that your brain may think yelling is the only way to get heard. I get it. I was there too.

I remember when Malcom was little. One of our daily battles would happen at bath time each night. Oh how I dreaded bath time. I would ask him over and over and over again to get in the bathtub. Eventually it lead to me just yelling at him, “Get in the damn tub.” I mean by the time he climbed in that tub, I felt like I’d climbed Mount Everest.

Once I learned how to parent my strong-willed kid with some of the tools I’m going to talk about each week and some of the tips I’m going to share in each episode, a whole new world of connection opened up for us. Malcom started cooperating at bath time, and it became something fun we both looked forward to. I want that for each and every one of you.

So maybe you’re asking yourself, “Okay Lisa, well how did this transformation take place?” Well each week I plan to share tools, tips, and support to help you create deep connection and cooperation with your kids so that you can experience your own transformation to peaceful parenting. Are you ready to get started? Awesome. Let’s begin.

When I first started on this journey, one of the biggest questions I had was why? Why do our kids storm? Why do they melt down? Why do they sometimes have “bad behavior” and not other times? Why is he doing this? Why can’t he stop? When will it end? What I learned shocked me and helped me tremendously on my path to peaceful parenting.

You see when your kid has a meltdown or a tantrum or throws himself on the ground, what goes through your mind. What is your first thought when your kid has a meltdown or tantrum or throws himself on the ground? If you’re anything like the old me, you go immediately into judgement and start thinking things like, “She’s being so difficult. He’s being disrespectful. He’s giving me a hard time. She’s so angry. He’s so rude.” Are you with me?

Well what I didn’t know and appreciate is that all kids at all times are just trying to get their needs met. All humans at all times are just trying to get their needs met. For the sake of this podcast, we’re going to talk about kids. Again, I had absolutely no idea, no idea, that that’s what was going on. So let me say this again in case you had no idea. All kids at all times are just trying to get their needs met.

They are not trying to be mean or disrespectful or uncooperative. They’re not being manipulative or difficult. They are just trying to get their needs met. As humans, we all have basic core needs such as the need for attention, the need for affection, the need to be appreciated, the need to be accepted, the need for autonomy, and the need for connection.

When our needs are met, we have one set of feelings, usually positive. When our needs aren’t met, we have another set of feelings bubble up, mostly negative. When enough feelings bubble up, a storm erupts. Here’s the thing. Underneath all the storming, the yelling, shouting, crying, fighting, throwing things, eyerolling, door slamming is unmet feelings and needs. Let me say this again. Underneath all the storming, underneath it is unmet feelings and needs.

If you’re anything like me, here’s the ah-ha moment. Are you ready? If you solve for the unmet feelings and needs, the behavior will take care of itself and fall away. Is your mind blown right now? So many of us spend our parenting time focused on the behavior because we don’t understand what’s going on. We think the fix is to focus on the unwanted behavior. Instead, I want you to focus on the unmet feelings and needs underneath the behavior.

Let me give you a couple examples. Perhaps your son is melting down at the grocery store—that’s the behavior—because although you’ve been together all morning, he needs some attention. That’s the unmet need. Next example. Perhaps your daughter is crying—that’s the behavior—because she wants autonomy to put on her own shoes like her old sister even though she’s three and isn’t quite capable. That’s the unmet need.

Another example. Maybe your teenage son is yelling—that’s the behavior—because he needs some acceptance that he fits in and is loved as he is, difficult personality and all. That’s the unmet need. I assure you that at all times our kids are just trying to get their needs met. Let me be clear. I’m not talking about ice cream for breakfast or more screen time. Those are wants. I’m talking about the core, basic needs.

The tool I want you to carry with you and use when the storming comes that will help you go underneath the behavior to the unmet feelings and needs is to get curious, not furious. This will help you investigate what does my child need? It will help you go underneath the behavior and ask what do they need? Your job is to see if you can figure it out. Your job is to stay in the curious mindset and to play detective using investigative tools like listening, observing, asking, guessing, and experimenting.

You can encourage your child to ask for what they need and use words to communicate their feels rather than storming like screaming, hitting, tantruming, or stomping out of the room. When we see our kids storming, we want to immediately get curious not furious and go underneath the behavior to wonder what’s going on for them.

It might be that they’re hungry. It might be they need some attention. It might be they’ve been in the car too long and they’re restless and bored. It might be that they need to go outside and play. Maybe it’s afterschool and they need to get all that built up cortisol in their body out by getting the wiggles out of their systems by running around. It might be that your house is loud and busy, and they need some alone or downtime. It might be that after a busy morning, they need to just slow down and relax for a bit.

By getting curious not furious, you’re not only searching for the root issue, but you’re not taking their actions personally and you’re not judging their behavior. This leads to a reduced chance of an angry reaction from you to their storming and instead puts you in a solutions-oriented mindset. So the next time the storm comes, and we all know it will, what are you going to do? Right. You’re going to get curious not furious. I love it. You’re doing a great job already.

In closing, let’s make a deal. I promise to provide ideas, tools, tips, and support to help you create deep connection and cooperation with your kids. You agree to meet me here each week for you, for your kids, and for your family. Remember, it’s never, ever, ever too late to get on the path for peaceful parenting. I want to invite you to join me for episode two where I will teach you how to listen to your kids, so it makes a difference. It’s a game changer for sure, and you’re not going to want to miss it.

To celebrate the launch of the Real World Peaceful Parenting podcast, I’m going to be giving away a $50 gift card to one of my many Peaceful Parent courses. I’m going to be giving away one gift card to 10 lucky listeners who subscribe, rate, and review the show on Apple podcasts. It doesn’t have to be a five-star review, although I sure hope you loved the show. I want your honest feedback so that I can create an awesome show that provides tons of value.

Visit www.thepeacefulparent.com/podcastlaunch to learn more about the contest and how to enter. That’s www.thepeacefulparent.com/podcastlaunch. I’ll be announcing the winners on the show in an upcoming episode. So stay tuned.

Thanks for listening to Real World Peaceful Parenting. If you want more info on how you can transform your parenting, visit thepeacefulparent.com. See you soon.


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Lisa Smith

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