Ep #57: When a Storming Parent Meets a Storming Child

Real World Peaceful Parenting with Lisa Smith | When a Storming Parent Meets a Storming Child

Real World Peaceful Parenting with Lisa Smith | When a Storming Parent Meets a Storming Child

We’ve all experienced it. The moment that comes just after you’ve made an effort for your kid, and it is not met with any form of acknowledgment or appreciation. Sure, it’s not as if you’ve scaled an ice-covered mountain, but you feel you deserve to be acknowledged at least!

So when it doesn’t happen, you feel put out, disappointed, and maybe even angry and judgmental. And you begin to storm. But when a storming parent meets a storming child, there is going to be an explosion 100% of the time. There is another way to deal with this.

In this episode, I’m sharing what to do when you find yourself judging your child’s behavior and some steps to help you stop yourself from getting triggered and taking it personally. I’m teaching you to get curious, not furious, and how doing so will help you move past the triggers and create more connection with your child.

Are you ready to become the parent you have always wanted to be? In as little as one hour a week, you can make the small steps in your peaceful parenting journey that will enable you to change the way you show up as a parent forever. The best news? I’ll be your parent coach in your back pocket at all times! Come and check out The Hive and receive ongoing support with your parenting.


What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • The connection you will feel when you get curious, not furious with your child.
  • Some thoughts you may have when you are judging your child’s behavior.
  • What to do when you are triggered by your child’s behavior.
  • How to move past triggering behaviors and respond calmly to your child.
  • Why you might be feeling angry and judgmental.


Listen to the Full Episode:


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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. Welcome to today’s episode. I am so excited to be with you here today. I hope you’re all in for the year of becoming a better parent. I introduced that last week in our episode, and I am really working on bringing you tons of tools, tips, support, and coaching this year that takes you down the path of being a better parent. I think today’s episode fits that bill perfectly. So let’s dig in. Sound good?

All right I am sure that you’ve all experienced this where there’s that moment that comes just after you’ve made an effort for your kid or kids. You know it’s not as though you’ve scaled an ice covered mountain for them, but you’re feeling like you deserve to be acknowledged at least. You deserve those big, long eyelashes of your kids to look up at you or look across from you from their phone like you’re the best parent of the world. Like they used to do when you served up homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Then it doesn’t happen. At the very least you feel a bit put out, disappointed, let down. The truth is there also might be a bit of anger and a little bit of judgement going on. You might have some judgmental thoughts like my kid is so ungrateful, spoiled, difficult. My kid’s a brat. You might have thoughts like paying for X, soccer, piano, tennis, music lessons is a waste of time and money. Little judgments with big consequences. Yeah? I know it so well. So well.

Imagine this scenario. You’ve just taken your daughter to soccer practice, and the traffic was heavy on the way there which added to your already high stress level after a busy day. You get to soccer and you sit there on the side lines kind of half watching and half reading a book because you feel like at least that time will be a little bit productive. You read the same page five times while your mind wanders over the challenging day that you’ve had and all that didn’t get done.

You become aware that soccer practice goes on quite late, and you look at your watch again and again and again. Now you’re thinking about how you’ll have to rush across town to pick up your other kid, and then get home and start dinner that will most likely be criticized, picked at, and left uneaten.

You feel like you should be more appreciated. I mean come on. You don’t need praise for everything, but it sure would be nice for all the effort to be recognized just a bit. I mean come on. Yeah?

Then your daughter finishes practice. You can tell by the way she’s walking or maybe stomping across the soccer field to the car that she is not happy. Her head is lowered and her lips are pressed tight. She gets in the car and doesn’t say a word to you. Slams the door and collapses in the seat with a heavy sigh, and then immediately pulls her phone out and starts scrolling through her phone. She’s made no eye contact with you, hasn’t said a peep, and has a stony expression on her face.

Do you feel like I’m sitting in your car yesterday, today, most days? So you ask her, trying to pep up the energy in the car, you ask her how are things going? How was practice? You get the dun, dun, dun dreaded phone grunt. Shouldn’t all the car and attention and time you’ve put in to get her there get you more than a phone grunt you’d think? I mean come on Lisa. Come on. Does she know what I do for her?

Now here’s the thing. Do you make the phone grunt mean something about how much you are or aren’t appreciated? Oh such a good question. What am I making the phone grunt mean? I’m taking it personally and I’m getting triggered and judgmental. Yeah? Whoa.

Okay let’s slow this motion picture down for a minute, and let’s look at how this could play out differently. Before your veins start pulsating or twitching, just take a breath for a moment. At this point we’re like at a fork in the road. We have a couple different options.

One, you could launch into criticism about the lack of gratitude and why you and your efforts should be more appreciated. How you’re not going to stand for this anymore. You’re not going to play for the next round of club twos. You’re not going to rush home from work to make sure she gets there on time. Oh my, an explosion’s coming because when a storming parent meets a storming child, there’s going to be an explosion 100% of the time. Yeah?

There’s another option. Option two. Option two is before your veins start pulsing or twitching, you take a moment, just a moment and you breathe. Then you remember to get curious not furious. When the moment feels right, like there’s some oxygen in the car, you turn and ask, “Hey, what’s going on? What’s going on?” Turns out the parent who got curious not furious found out that your daughter struggled with drills. That your coach called her out in practice in a way that made her feel bad and self-conscious.

You find out that she’s putting a ton of pressure on herself to perform well, and she’s feeling crappy when it’s not working out like she thinks it should. You find out she’s putting a ton of pressure on herself to perform well, and she feels crappy when it’s not going like it’s supposed to. You figure out that she’s disappointed and frustrated and upset and embarrassed, and it has nothing to do with you.

The phone grunt didn’t mean what you thought it did. You’re not being disrespected or unappreciated. Your daughter was just dealing with the real challenges that were bringing up big emotions. All you saw was the storming, i.e. the phone grunt, going on at the surface. Down underneath there’s all these things going on for your kids.

All kinds of feelings and emotions. Some they can put their finger on and some they can’t. There’s all kinds of needs going on. Attention, affection, autonomy, connection, understanding. When they don’t get met, it leads to feelings like embarrassment and frustration and pain and disappointment, and all kinds of big feelings that are all lurking right below the surface.

So if you can ask yourself what else could this mean? The phone grunt. Maybe it means maybe a lack of appreciation, but maybe it means something else. When you scuba dive down to the feelings and needs and you figure it out like this mama did, you can help your child with a strategy to prepare for the next practice. You can create a deep sense of connection and cooperation because you’re digging below the surface. You’re scuba diving down to the feelings and needs instead of snorkeling at the top.

For you, when you push out all of the need to get your child or your kids to behave in a certain way, it creates space for you to figure out their feelings and needs. You feel much more connected. Yeah?

So the next time the phone grunt comes, what will you do? You can ask yourself what else could this mean? What else could be going on? You can move past the judgement and get curious not furious. You can take a deep breath and refuse to be triggered and ask, “Hey, what’s going on here?” You can even ask yourself what else could be going on?

So what I want you to remember today on our quest to being better parents in 2022 is that when we get triggered by something like the phone grunt, step one is to take a second. Take a deep breathe. Move past the judgements. Push off the trigger. Instead play detective. Get curious not furious and ask, “What’s really going on here?”

The joy, the connection, the cooperation you will experience when you learn to scuba dive down to the feelings and needs rather than snorkeling at the top with the behavior, rather than taking it personally, rather than making it mean that your kid or kids are disrespectful or bratty or spoiled. The connection you’re going to feel is going to be like nothing you’ve ever experienced. It’s going to feel like magic. It’s going to feel amazing.

So, again, the first step, take a deep breath. Resist the judgement. Move past the trigger or triggers. Instead play detective. Scuba dive down to the feelings and needs and ask, “Hey, what’s really going on? Tell me. Talk to me. Let me in.” Oh I can’t wait to hear how this is going for you. I absolutely cannot wait. All right. Until we meet again, I’m wishing you peaceful parenting.

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.

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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