Ep #18: Turning the Tables: An Interview with Me, The Peaceful Parent

Real World Peaceful Parenting with Lisa Smith | Turning the Tables: An Interview with Me, The Peaceful Parent

Real World Peaceful Parenting with Lisa Smith | Turning the Tables: An Interview with Me, The Peaceful Parent

I have a special episode this week, and I’m joined by a wonderful guest, Viv Freeman. Viv is a member of my community, The Hive; she’s a leader within our group and I’ve had the pleasure of knowing her for about a year and a half now. She joins me for a discussion about peaceful parenting and shares how transformation can happen with as little as 1 hour a week.

Viv is a mom of four kids, all of whom are 11 and under, and two of these are what we like to call strong-willed kids. We’re turning the tables, and Viv is interviewing me and asking me some questions you all might want to know. We’re digging deep about all things parenting, and I can’t wait to share this with you this week!

Listen in and discover why I do the work I do and why I want to change the world, one family at a time. Hear what peaceful parenting means to me and some ways that I believe you can create a transformation with your kids. My goal every day is to be a better mom than I was yesterday, and this episode is filled with wisdom to help you do the same.

If you’re enjoying the podcast, click here to sign up for my free Peaceful Parenting mini-course! You’ll find everything you need to continue on the path to peaceful parenting over there just waiting for you. I can’t wait to see you there!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How Viv found me and has used what I teach in her parenting.
  • The biggest transformation Viv has noticed in her parenting since working with me.
  • How to do the necessary work to create transformations in your parenting.
  • The number one thing people can expect when they work with me.
  • How to stay regulated as parents.
  • The number one tool we have as parents.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

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 today’s episode. I am so excited. I feel like I say that every week, but every week I’m so excited. Today I am joined by a special guest named Viv Freeman. Viv is so special to me I just can’t even tell you all. Viv is a member of my membership community called The Hive. If you’d like to know more about that, we’ll link to The Hive in the show notes. Love to have all of you join.

So Viv is a member of The Hive. She’s a leader within our group. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing her for about a year and a half now and working with her. She’s a mom of four. We’re going to turn the tables today. Viv is going to interview me and ask me some questions that she thinks you all might want to know. So we’re going to dig deep. It’s going to be fun. I’m excited about this. I’m going to start out by welcoming Viv. I want to invite her to tell us a little bit about herself and her family.

Viv: Hi Lisa. Thank you so much for having me on. I am honored and humbled that you would ask me to do this. I am the mom to four amazing kids. I’m learning daily how to just love them for who they are. My oldest and youngest are strong willed. So I’ve learned so much from you in that area. My oldest is a boy, and he is 11 years old. Then I have a daughter who is nine. I have my son who is six. Then I have my youngest who’s a boy, and he just turned three. He’s probably more strong willed than the older one.

Lisa: So four kids 11 and under.

Viv: 11 and under.

Lisa: And two full contact sports.

Viv: Oh yes.

Lisa: Wow.

Viv: Especially that last one. But I’m learning a lot with the first one. So it was interesting. I found you last year during COVID. It was one of your free master classes. Actually for Mother’s Day, my husband said, “That will be your gift. You can do Peaceful Parenting 101 as your Mother’s Day gift.” I was thrilled. Because I knew I wanted to change the way I was parenting, and I didn’t know how to do it.

You always say this line of when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. You appeared. I’m ready. I’m just soaking in everything that you’ve been teaching since I started and then now as a Hive member, which I’ve absolutely loved being a part of that village and just learning and growing. So thank you.

Lisa: So great Viv. Yeah, so it’s been a year. So here we are. In the United States, we’re coming upon Mother’s Day this coming weekend. So here we are full circle a year later. Tell us a little bit. I do promise to turn the wheel over to you here in a second, but tell us a little bit, if you will, about the transformation that’s happened in the last year. What’s the biggest thing you’ve noticed?

Viv: Right off the bat the biggest thing that I’ve noticed is changing the way that I think. So really looking and observing my thoughts and then the way that you have really broken down for me why my kids act the way that they do and how to respond when they act like that. Especially dropping the judgement in their behavior. I mean right there. Once I can change the way that I think and understand why things are the way that they are, it makes it so much easier for me to then make a little tweak. Make a little change, do something just a little differently. Then I get a completely different result.

For me, that’s really what’s been awesome. Just learning those tools. Having a tool belt with all these different things that you can pull out. Really understanding the thought process behind it. I think that’s what’s been the most transformational.

Lisa: It’s been so fun to watch you grow and transform and bring these tools on board. Watch your whole family get onboard. Watch, from afar, everybody have the transformation that they’ve had. I always say it’s my soulful currency to get to go on the ride with families like you. You really have embraced the content. I’ve seen it. You’re a real testament to what’s possible when you put the effort in. I want to say well done.

When I thought about doing this episode, you quickly came to mind as a leader who would really be able to ask good questions. Really pull out some useful information out of me for that mom or that dad or that grandmother or that parent that’s listening today and really needs to hear the message. So let’s dig in. I’m going to turn it over to you. Let’s just dive in.

Viv: Okay. So I think the first thing that comes to mind is why do you do this? What is your message or what is your goal that you’re putting out into the world with peaceful parenting?

Lisa: That’s a good question. I don’t know if anybody’s ever asked me that before. Why do I do this? Well, there’s a couple reasons. The first one is I’m my own best client, which I say all the time. I’ve had a massive transformation myself. It’s still hard to talk about, but I was a dominant parent.

What I really knew is it wasn’t how I wanted to parent. I knew what I wanted, and I didn’t know how to get there. I would lay in bed every morning and say today’s the day I’m not going to yell like it was a diet. I’m not going to eat carbs and I’m not going to yell. By 5:00, I was eating carbs and yelling. Now, today, I eat carbs but don’t yell.

So it was really out of a sense of I want to do something different. What I knew in my heart of hearts is that I wanted to build a relationship with my son. That I didn’t have the words at the time, but what I knew deep inside is that I wanted to build the relationship with Malcolm that transcended his behavior.

Because the household I grew up in, love felt very conditional on how I showed up. If I was doing the things that I was “supposed” to be doing, then there was a different energy than if I wasn’t doing the right things or behaving or being a good girl. That always felt icky to me. I had very few role models. I had a couple, but I needed to learn a new way. So I set about to find the solution.

A little known fact is when I started my training, I had no intention of actually being a parent coach. I just wanted to learn the material. I was a venture capitalist at the time. I just wanted to learn the material for my own family. Then I couldn’t stop thinking about it, talking about it, researching it, learning, talking to other people. My poor husband was like, “I don’t want to hear about this anymore. Maybe you should become a parent coach.” It just sort of started from there.

I think the reason I continue it, the reason I’m so passionate about it is that I want to change the world one family at a time. I want parents to raise a generation of kids. I mean I literally dream of being a part of a movement that raises a generation of kids that feel seen, heard, and valued. The world would look like a different place if the next generation felt seen, heard, and valued by the family of origin.

Viv: That’s beautiful. I love that. Because then the kids learn and grow to be who they’re meant to be. You’re supporting them through all of that.

Lisa: Right. Even when they make mistakes or do something wrong or mess up. To still feel seen, heard, and valued. There are certain tools and techniques and ways to do that. Many of us, we don’t know how to do that, right. We weren’t raised in that generation. So I admire all of us that show up here to listen to the podcast, that read a book, that do a course, that get coaching to try to just bring new tools into the home. That’s what I’m here to do. If you’re ready, I’ll meet you where you’re at and provide the tools. That’s kind of what gets me out of bed every morning.

Viv: So I have this great story to share. It’s the one that always pops into my headfirst when I’m telling people about peaceful parenting. There was this instance with my oldest. He had done something wrong, and it was really wrong. I had caught him in the act of doing it. I got very upset with him. Just had no idea how to move from A to B. There was so much emotion around it.

Ironically, I literally had a coaching call with you an hour later. So in my mind it was just like wait, wait until Lisa coaches you through this. Did the coaching call, shared it with you. Then that night I was able to go to my son and tell him, “I love you no matter what. No matter what you do, despite the mess up today, I love all sides of you.” I could literally see in that moment his whole body just relaxed. Then he started crying and I started crying.

I always just recall that moment of having that tool and knowing how to respond to him. Then working through him with it. So once we talked about that part, it was, “Okay, so how can you make this right?” Him being the strong-willed kid that he was, he knew what we wanted to do. He surprised me what he was willing to do. Then he went and he did it. It was amazing. It turned out so completely different than what it would have been before peaceful parenting. So.

Lisa: I love that story. That was a pivotal moment, I’m sure, in your relationship. He looked at you and probably thought, “I can trust her, and she gets me. I’m not bad. I just did something wrong.” Which we all do. I mean some of us on a daily and hourly basis. I make mistakes all the time. Yeah, beautiful story Viv.

Viv: Yeah. We grew from it as a family together. My husband was sitting right there. He’s looking at my son, telling him the same thing. It was, like you said, a pivotal moment. I mean it changed our family right there. It just put us on a new trajectory.

Lisa: Oh so great. Ah, my heart’s just beating fast. I can’t get enough of those stories. They fill me up.

Viv: So if that was my pivotal moment, what was your defining moment with Malcolm that really led you to want to find a different way to parent him?

Lisa: Yeah. I just don’t think I’ll ever forget it. We were standing in his bedroom upstairs in our house in California. I was yelling at him over something. He wasn’t moving fast enough getting in the shower, coming down to dinner, something. I can’t remember exactly what it was, but it really doesn’t matter because yelling was a pretty regular thing in our family. I was yelling at him, and he was yelling at me back because he’s strong willed.

I was teaching him this is what we do in the family. When we’re upset, when we’re dysregulated, we yell. So I’m yelling at him. He’s yelling at me. Then I’m yelling at him for yelling at me. At the exact same time, I’m wondering who taught him to be this angry. Then this voice came in the room and said, “You Lisa. Look at this.”

It was like A Christmas Carol. I was observing myself while I was parenting. I was asking the question of who taught him this. Another voice in my head was like, “You. You.” It was just, I’ll just never forget it. I could tell you what I was wearing, what Malcolm was wearing. I just thought to myself I don’t want to do this because I know where this ends up. I’ve been the child of a dominant parent, and I know where this goes. I don’t want this.

My husband and I were married for 14 years before we had our son. We spent a lot of those years seriously thinking we weren’t going to have children at all by decision. Then we decided to have a child. I felt obligated based on that to do better. I thought to myself, “You waited all this time. You consciously made the decision to be a mom. You need to do better than this. You can do better.” I didn’t know how in the moment, but I just knew that there had to be a better way.

I literally left his bedroom and went in my bedroom. I fell to my knees, and I said a prayer. I prayer for a solution, literally. I asked for a sign, a solution, a nudge, an answer. As the world works, a couple weeks later conscious parenting fell into my lap. I just knew that this is how I wanted to do it. I didn’t know all the details. I just knew there was a better way.

What I really feel is that I knew right away there was a different way to parent that led to connection and caring more about the relationship than the behavior in the moment.  The behavior is important. Sometimes it needs to be addressed, but it doesn’t need to overpower or usurp the relationship. I knew I wanted it.  I just didn’t know how to get it.

I’m good at research. I’m good at figuring things out. I’m a smart girl. So then I was off to the races. Okay I know what I want. I just need to figure out how to get there. So I sort of drew the map backwards, and that’s when things really took off for me.

Viv: It’s interesting to me that you chose peaceful like Peaceful Parenting because right off the bat that’s what drew me in. That’s what resonated with me. This concept of being able to parent peacefully. Then the more that I dug into the course and experienced the coaching calls, that is really what kind of made it seem like wow. I’ve found someone who really resonates with me. The way in which you teach finally clicked for me. I found just a style of coaching and learning that really felt like I had finally found the way that I could learn to parent peacefully, the way that I had wanted to.

I laugh now because so many times I’ll hear your voice in my head when certain behaviors pop up. My husband will say, “Well, what would Lisa say about this?”

Lisa: I love that. I love that. You know, right away I came up with the name The Peaceful Parent. Part of it is exactly what you said. I wanted peaceful to be in the name. I wanted people to understand where we were going, which doesn’t always mean calm or quiet or compliant, right. The other interesting important thing is it’s The Peaceful Parent, not The Peaceful Kid. Right? Because our job is to stay peaceful even while our kids aren’t. That’s the ultimate goal. That’s what I think I really help parents work towards.

I say if you can go to bed on your kid’s worst day. They’ve struggled. It’s been a rough day. They’ve stormed. They’ve been upset. Things haven’t gone their way. You can feel like you stayed peaceful, i.e. regulated, that is the most amazing feeling ever. Right it’s easy to be peaceful on your kid’s best day, right.

Viv: Sure.

Lisa: But when they’ve had a rough day and just nothing’s gone well and you can stay peaceful, that’s like Christmas, Hanukkah, and your birthday all rolled into one. The other funny thing about the name The Peaceful Parent is it’s also, if I’m honest, a little tongue in cheek. Because I’m loud. I’ve got a lot of energy. I have a big voice. It’s very loud. I can fill a room on my own. I’ve spoken to thousands of people before without a microphone. I’ve always just been someone that kind of has a big presence. So high volume, lots of energy. So the peaceful was a little bit tongue in cheek that way too because I think I do peaceful different than what people might envision. I sort of like that juxtaposition. I like meeting people where they’re at in however it shows up for them.

Viv: I recently heard a definition of peaceful that has just stuck with me.  The definition was peace is simply the presence of something that is good despite chaos or your own suffering around you. You remind me every time when we do our coaching there’s so much good in my kids. I might not be focused on that, but if I were to focus on that. To go underneath the behavior and really focus on who they are and on our relationship, all that other stuff gets figured out and taken care of. Then that connection you taught us, it just fills the heart to overflowing kind of thing.

Lisa: Ah, the presence of something good. Oh. That is so, like I’m totally going to run with that. That’s it right there. That’s peaceful parenting. Finding the good in you, finding the good in your kids, finding the good in the relationship. Right? I mean that’s it.

Viv: Absolutely. So I mean I keep mentioning it a little bit, but the coaching. Can you expand a little bit and maybe explain what other people might expect if they come and work with you?

Lisa: Great question Viv. I’d like to think, and I have lots of evidence of this. That the number one thing people are going to find when they come to work with me or step into the community is no judgement. I really meet parents where they’re at. There’s nothing someone’s going to tell me that I’m going to judge them or make them feel bad. My goal is to meet people where they’re at so that they can grow in their journey, in their peaceful parenting transformation.

I really try to help parents take baby steps on the path to understanding what’s really going on. To, as I call it, scuba dive down to the feelings and needs. So many of us parents are focusing on the behaviors. That we’re spending all of our conversation, our time, our energy, our parenting, our punishing, our thinking, our focus, our complaining on the behavior. I call that snorkeling right at the surface.

What I really think I do is I help parents understand where the behavior comes from, which is from feelings and needs. We’ve talked about that in prior episodes. What I think I really do is help you scuba dive down to the feelings and needs for not only your children but yourself. Because if we’re focusing on the feelings and needs, the behaviors will take care of itself.

I was just talking with a client about this today. Who’s really focused on the behavior. We had a great conversation about scuba diving down. It isn’t to say we can meet every one of our kid’s needs, right? We’re not always going to be able to meet their needs. I’m always clear with this. I’m not talking about ice cream for breakfast or unlimited gaming or staying on Snapchat for 17 hours. Those are wants. I’m talking about core basic needs, right? Attention, affection, appreciation, acceptance, autonomy, and connection.

When we’re understanding the behavior is driven from a lack of needs that create feelings, that’s the sweet spot of connection for our kids. That’s really what I teach. Said another way, if you work on connection and communication, cooperation will follow.

Viv: Love that. Love that line. Absolutely. I loved your podcast recently where you talked about moving away from being the critic to the coach. Because I feel like that’s where I kind of default to. I immediately, in my mind at least, criticize the way my kids are behaving or acting and not knowing how to move from critic to coach. So you showing the way and leading the way and giving tools of how do you move from one to the other.

Lisa: Yeah.

Viv: So what would you say would be the key in your parenting method?

Lisa: I think the key is twofold. The first one is, which might surprise people. Number one is learning how to stay regulated as parents. Right? That is our number one tool we have. Learning how to stay in our higher brains, stay away from storming alongside our children. If we can learn to stay regulated, we can learn to show up peacefully. We can also model that for our kids. We can create connection.

So I think a lot of people come to this work thinking it’s all about their kids, right. Then at some point they say, “Huh, I think what we’re really doing here is working on me.” I go really? Okay. Right, not lost on me. Sometimes we have to dig a few layers down to get there, but I think it’s really learning our own self-regulation and then and only then learning connection with our kids. They really, really, really want connection, which is they feel seen, heard, and valued. Right?

Viv: Right.

Lisa: It’s that combination. Connection without regulation isn’t going to work and regulation without connection isn’t going to work. So it’s a partnership. I’m going to do my part for me. I’m going to work on learning how to stay regulated. It takes practice. It takes some tools, and it takes practice. None of us are perfect. I get dysregulated every now and then, right. In our community, we say progress over perfection.

So it takes work on ourselves to stay regulated even at the end of a long day at work, or being with four kids on a snow day, or having a trip somewhere cancelled, or the kids being bored. It takes work to stay regulated, and then it also takes a set of tools and practice connecting with your kids.

Viv: Absolutely. You always share that it takes just one peaceful leader in the household to make that transformation because, of course, along the journey, along the way I’ve messed up. Then my husband might say, “Well what Lisa says isn’t working.” I’m always like no, no, no. I’m just not that great at it yet. Give me a chance. He’s slowly coming along too. Yeah, it’s a journey to learn how to stay regulated. The more you do it, the better it gets.

Lisa: Yeah, and there’s steps forwards and step backwards. Because our kids are growing and they’re going into new stages. Sometimes we get surprised, or we get worn down or our selfcare gets low or things don’t go as planned. There’s an interruption. I think you had a situation recently where there was an unplanned interruption that threw the day off. You did a great job at staying regulated through that.

So yeah. We are human. We’re having relationships with other humans. So there’s no perfection here. Nobody stays regulated all the time. It’s also a skill to know how to recover from that, which is a large part of what we focus on.

Before we go on to the next question, I want to just comment on something you said Viv because I think it’s a great point. I’d love for everyone listening to hear this. It really does only take one person, one parent in the household to bring this work into the home. Very, very, very rarely do I work with both parents. Whether it’s in my one-on-one work or my group coaching or in the membership.

You can have a massive transformation. I just want everybody to hear this. You can have a massive transformation even if your partner’s not on board. They parent in a completely different way. Permissively or dominant. You can have a massive transformation if you’re a single parent. At any age. You know I’ve worked with parents of adult children that have had massive transformations into peaceful parenting. You can have a transformation if you coparent in a less than optimal situation. An angry person, a narcissist, an absentee. Someone who gives in all the time.

You can create a transformation with your kids without the other person being on board. A lot of people don’t know that or believe that’s possible, but I know it to be true now after having worked with thousands of clients around the world. I think you’ve experienced it too, yeah?

Viv: Yeah. I always laughed because I loved when your podcast came out. So I kind of suggested to my husband like, “Hey Lisa’s got the podcast. You could listen too. It just takes 15/20 minutes.” He’s like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ll get to me.” But nothing. Then I was listening to your podcast on a Wednesday, driving home. I open the door to unload groceries, and I had just heard your voice in the car then suddenly I heard your voice in the house. It was my husband listening to the podcast. I was like he’s listening. It’s so great.

Lisa: Oh yay. I love that. Yeah. Yeah, he’s come onboard slowly. Reluctantly at first and then slowly. Often looks to you to kind of advise the family on how to do X, Y, Z peacefully, right. So you’re the peaceful leader in the household.

Viv: Absolutely.

Lisa: Yeah. He’s like your understudy.

Viv: Well, I’ve also noticed with him. They hear things differently. So him listening to the podcast versus me telling him about it. What he’s going to hear from you and the way he’s going to interpret it is just going to be differently from me. So I’ve tried to just remain patient and let him learn at his speed in his way because he’s going to pick up on different things.

Lisa: I love that. It’s great, yeah.

Viv: So I have a funny question for you. Do you think you’re a good mom?

Lisa: Oh. Well, that’s an easy answer. It may surprise people. I don’t think I’m a good mom. I don’t think I’m a bad mom. I think I’m Malcolm’s mom. I really work to stay away from moral or good and bad, plus and minus descriptors. Because some days I’m clicking on all cylinders. I have my rough days just like anybody else.

Malcolm is his own soul who’s come to earth to have his own experience. I don’t get overly invested in the accomplishments or in how he presents to the world when everything’s going well. I don’t get overly invested in how he presents to the world when he’s made a mistake or things aren’t going well.

The beauty of this is I work to keep my ego off the table or out of the scenario so that I can stay regulated as his mom. When one tends to assign themselves the title of, “I’m a good mom or I’m a bad mom or I’m a crap mom or I’m an excellent mom.” Then it’s much easier to be triggered by an event or an action that challenges that title.

Viv: Yeah.

Lisa: Right? So I don’t allow myself. I don’t have a need to assign a title of good or bad. I’d rather say that I am Malcolm’s mom. You know. You are the Freeman children’s mom. Some days I do really well. I knock the ball out of the park. Some days I bunt the ball and we don’t even make it to first base. I do really think of myself as just Malcolm’s mom.

I should probably also add, and I say this all the time to parents. For me personally, the goal is not to compare myself to anybody else or to expect perfection. My goal every day is to be a better mom than I was yesterday. If I’m just 1% better every day and we add that up over a lifetime, I’m going to do okay.

Now, sometimes that 1% to get better takes support and help and work. Like showing up here every week and listening to the podcast. Or getting a coach or asking for resources or joining, of course, like my Peaceful Parenting 101. Or coming and being a community like in The Hive. So for everyone who’s doing that, who’s doing whatever it takes to be 1% better, I salute you.

Viv: I love how you say Malcolm’s mom. Because it makes me think of each of my kids, the connection with each of them is so different. It’s not just this one title of Mom. Recently I’ve really been trying to figure out how to connect with my daughter. Again, after one of your coaching calls it was, “Hey, get a journal and have something that goes back and forth between you.” You started it off with say positive things and just encourage her in the beginning. Then let the journal just evolve into what it is.

I did it totally thinking she’s just going to leave it to collect dust on the shelf. About two days later, the journal appeared on my pillow. She had shared. She doesn’t like answering questions. So it’s really hard. When she has a bad day, I can’t quite get what happened in that day. So she put it in that journal. I was able to write to her. We just kept it going just writing back and forth.

It felt like wow. I finally figured out how to connect with her as her mom. That just felt amazing to finally find that. It’s like a key and you finally unlock the lock.

Lisa: Yep. You found the key because you’re—Let me just share this because I think it will be helpful. So let’s just fill in the blanks here. So Viv’s oldest child has a lot of words and likes to share them and has a lot to say.

Viv: Yes.

Lisa: Then your daughter doesn’t have a lot to say. She thinks a lot, obviously, but she isn’t super verbal.

Viv: Or expressive.

Lisa: She was probably feeling pressure from you and the son. Like, “How was your day? What went wrong? What’s going on?” I think you were a little frustrated that you couldn’t get her to open up. So what you did a great job of. The key here, to go back to something we talked about earlier, is instead of focusing on the behavior, you scuba dived down to the feelings and needs. What is she needing? What we talked about in the coaching call was an alternative way to communicate to you.

I suggested the journal. You gave it a shot. You had no idea if it was going to work or not. You gave it a go. There was like this I’m imagining this. Because you’re the mom and she’s the only daughter in the family, there’s this fun little journal passing back and forth. You leave it on her pillow. Now she leaves it on yours.

There’s this key to her kingdom of communicating with her, but it’s really because you took the time to scuba dive down. It didn’t take that much time, but you were awake at the wheel. You scuba dived down to what is she needing. Instead of getting caught in the behavior. “Okay this isn’t working. What will work?” You found it. It’s just a beautiful example of the work we do inside the community.

You met her where she was at. That’s what I want to say. All four of your children are unique, and you’re working hard to meet each one of them where they’re at. Your four children, because of that, are going to feel incredibly connected, right? Because she feels seen, heard, and valued because her communication style is different than big brother. You’re happy to show up for each of them in the style they need.

Viv: I just needed some help getting there.

Lisa: That’s what I’m here for.

Viv: Because it took me a long time with her to figure it out.

Lisa: That’s what I’m here for. Anyone listening can have that too. That’s what this work is. It doesn’t require a lot of time. It just requires showing up and trying the tools.

Viv: Absolutely. It’s little steps. It’s little tweaks. Little things that you teach along the way. Those little tweaks just totally changes the result after you use them. Can you think of any like big aha moments that you’ve had in parenting your strong willed/full contact sport of a son?

Lisa: Uh gosh. You got all night? I mean we can go forever. You know Malcolm is one of my greatest teachers. I think one of the things that I’ve learned from him in 16 years of being his mom is that we can have big emotions in this house. We can have storming. We can have conflict. At the exact same time, feel tons of love. That blew my mind. It required me to bring some tools into the family. It requires me to stay regulated.

I grew up in a household where conflict was looked at as one sided and not productive. There was either conflict or love, but rarely could there be both going on at the same time. I remember one day I read a quote. I don’t remember who said it, but the quote is that conflict is growth trying to happen. I was like what? What? So I knew that quote. I had that kind of spinning around in my mind. Conceptually I understood it.

Then one day Malcolm and I were riding in the car together. I was saying to him, “You know Malcolm.” This was sort of, I’ll say halfway through my peaceful parenting journey. I was telling him that people don’t like conflict. That this thing that we’re doing going back and forth, people don’t like it. It’s not productive. He looked over at me and said, “You know Mom this is one of the areas where you’re wrong.”

I was like, “Really? Tell me more.” I literally was like, “Oh, I totally want to hear there. How and where am I wrong about this?” He was like, “Dad and I, we don’t mind conflict at all. In fact, conflict helps us get to the other side and resolve things. You’re the one that doesn’t like conflict in our family.” I was like ah. And I had this moment that he feels very safe and secure in our family because we valued the relationship. So he can storm and speak his mind and have an opinion and disagree and have his big emotions while feeling completely loved.

It was an absolute game changer for me. I was not the same person after that conversation. I was forever changed in a good way. I think that yeah. I’ve learned that I think it comes back to valuing the relationship over the behavior.

Viv: Right.

Lisa: I don’t love you more when you show me good behavior. I love you the exact same. Now sometimes we have to talk about things. Meltdowns, mistakes, fighting, unmet needs. Sometimes we have to talk about the behavior and the feelings and needs, but it never changes my love for you. To me, unconditional love is when we make sure our kids know that all the time.

Viv: After that podcast where you were interviewing Malcolm, I asked me oldest. I said what do you like about the way that I parent? What do you like about the way that dad parents? He said the same for both of us. He says, “You listen. Like I know that I can come to you and tell you, and that you’re going to listen and hear me out.” That was just like whoa. I’m so glad that I am investing so much in learning how to listen to him and how to just grow with him.

Lisa: Is there a better compliment as a parent? You know what I mean? I remember when Malcolm was probably about nine or ten. One day very matter-of-factly he said to me, “Mom you get me.” I think it’s the penultimate complement from a child to a parent. You get me. It’s the essence of peaceful parenting. Because what the child is saying is, “I feel seen, heard, and valued.”

Viv: Yeah. When you shared that story that you get him, I just was thinking in my mind that’s what I want. How do I get there?

Lisa: Everybody can have that. Everybody listening to this podcast, you can have it no matter where you’re starting from. No matter how old your kids are, no matter how many kids you have, no matter what your coparenting situation is or isn’t. Maybe this is a good place to end on. You can have that. You just have to do some work, find some resources, dig in, take the next step. Show up here every week and listen to the podcast. Join my course. Join the community. Take the next step.

It does not take nearly the time. We’re not talking about going back to college. Coming home from a full day of work and studying for four or five hours a night. In some instances, transformation can happen in as little as an hour a week. Right Viv?

Viv: Absolutely. Oh my gosh. It just weaves into your life. Listening to the podcast while I’m driving and dropping the kids off at school. Then you hear something that kind of clicks for you and then you just start using it. Then you’re like, “Ah it works.”

Lisa: Right. Or joining The Hive and coming to a call and listening to someone else get coached where I share a tool. Then you take that tool back to your family. The beauty here is what you’re learning, you’re going to practice in the natural time you spend with your kids. Success breeds success, right. So you learn one tool. You take it, you incorporate it. Things get a little better. Then you come back and learn the next tool. Then if you need course correct, we need to course correct or we need to coach it through. We do that. So it builds upon itself with not a lot of hours having to be invested.

Viv: It’s smart work not hard work.

Lisa: There we go. Smart work not hard work. I love that. I love that. Alrighty. Well, I enjoyed this. I hope you did too. I hope everybody listening got a ton out of it. Anything else you want to comment on or ask me as we wrap up?

Viv: No, I don’t have anything else to share. Thank you so much for having me on and just being able to talk with you and go back and forth and hear bits of your story. I love when we get to hear the bits of your story of how you started and where you’re heading. I just want to join you on that journey of peaceful parenting.

Lisa: Yes. You’ve got a front row seat. Anyone else listening that wants to join us, we are incredibly inclusive community who is here to help your child feel seen, heard, and valued. So go to my website thepeacefulparent.com. I’ve got a course there that you can take to get started on your path. Then you can take it from there. Viv thank you so much for being here and sharing your wisdom with all of us. My life is better having you in it. So I feel honored to know you and your family. Thank you again.

Viv: Well, my family absolutely loves you, and is so much better with having you in our family. So thank you.

Lisa: Oh that’s fabulous. All right everybody. Thanks for being here and listening. Until we meet again, I’m wishing you peaceful parenting. Take care.

Thank you so much for listening today. I want to personally invite you to head over to thepeacefulparent.com/welcome and sign up for my free peaceful parenting minicourse. You’ll find everything you need to get started on the path to peaceful parenting just waiting for you over there at www.thepeacefulparent.com/welcome. I can’t wait for you to get started.

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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