My guest today is Dr. Shefali Tsabary.
Dr. Shefali begins by sharing her journey into motherhood & discovering conscious parenting. She shares a bit about what her new book, “The Parenting Map” covers. Casey and Dr. Shefali talk about how challenging it is to look inward and how we work towards growth, not perfection. They dig into challenging any narratives you may have for your own children and finding your flow. Casey asks how we can get past the “smoke screen” and dig in deeper into what’s going on with misbehavior. They talk about teens practicing regulation and about how individuation & defiance are not only developmentally appropriate but necessary. Dr. Shefali shares her five F’s of parents: fighter, fixer, feigner, freezer, fleer and how to acknowledge and calm your ego. They wrap up talking on being in partnership with your child, how & why negotiating with your kids can actually be a good thing, and why we don’t use punishment.
Dr. Shefali received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Columbia University. Specializing in the integration of Western psychology and Eastern philosophy, she brings together the best of both worlds for her clients. She is an expert in family dynamics and personal development, teaching courses around the globe. She has written four books, three of which are New York Times best-sellers, including her two landmark books The Conscious Parent and The Awakened Family.
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Takeaways from the show
- What is conscious parenting?
- Dr. Shefali’s new book: “The Parenting Map”
- The challenges of looking inward
- Parenting is about growth, not perfection
- Challenging & deconstructing your narratives
- The “iceberg” and “smoke screen” behind behaviors
- Defiance is developmentally healthy
- Dr. Shefali’s five F’s of parents: fighter, fixer, feigner, freezer, & fleer
- Acknowledging and calming your ego
- Why & how negotiating with your kids can be positive
What does joyful courage mean to you
Joyful courage means, to me, the freedom one gives oneself the permission to just be very ordinary.
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Casey O'Roarty, Dr. Shefali
Casey O'Roarty 00:00
Hey, it's Casey. Before we start today, I just wanted to jump in and let anyone out there who thinks they would like to work with parents and facilitate positive discipline. To know that I will be facilitating a teaching parenting the positive discipline way workshop with my friend and business partner Julieta Skoog Mark March 20 through the 24th from 9am to noon Pacific. This will certify you as a positive discipline, parent educator and train you up in everything you need to start leading and supporting parents. It is super fun. And if you enroll before February 20, you will get the $50 off the cost of the workshop you'll get the early bird special. Go to be spreadable.com/parent-educators. For more information and to register again, that's BS browseable.com/parent-educators. Let us know if you have any questions.
Casey O'Roarty 01:06
Hey, welcome to the joyful courage podcast a place for inspiration and transformation as we try and keep it together. While parenting our tweens and teens. This is real work people and when we can focus on our own growth, and nurturing the connection with our kids, we can move through the turbulence in a way that allows for relationships to remain intact. My name is Casey already I am your fearless host. I'm a positive discipline trainer, space holder coach and the adolescent lead at Sprout ball. I am also the mama to a 20 year old daughter and 17 year old son walking right beside you on this path of raising our kids with positive discipline and conscious parenting. This show is meant to be a resource to you and I work really hard to keep it real, transparent and authentic so that you feel seen and supported. Today is an interview and I have no doubt that what you hear will be useful to you. Please don't forget sharing truly is caring. If you love today's show, please pass the link around snap a screenshot posted on your socials or texted to your friends. Together we can make an even bigger impact on families all around the globe. I'm so glad that you're here. Enjoy the show. All right. Hi, listeners. Hi. Hi. Hi. I'm so excited for today's guest. Dr. Shefali is on the podcast today talking with me about her new book, Dr. Shefali received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Columbia University. Specializing in the integration of Western psychology and Eastern philosophy. She brings together the best of both worlds for her clients. She is an expert in family dynamics and personal development. She teaches courses around the globe. She has written four books, three of which are New York Times bestsellers and cluding. Her two landmark books, the conscious parent, and the awakened family, I had the great pleasure of meeting Dr. Shefali in person on my epic world tour last fall, and just really glad to be welcoming you to the podcast. Hi, friend.
Dr. Shefali 03:21
Hello, thank you for having me. So excited to talk to your audience.
Casey O'Roarty 03:25
Yes, we are beyond excited. You've been on my vision board. You don't know this.
Dr. Shefali 03:30
Now you can take it off. You're done.
Casey O'Roarty 03:32
I know who am I going to put on there now? I don't know. We'll see. But you've been on there. And I'm just so excited to finally have you on the Zoom and recording conversation with you. Can you talk a little bit about your journey to conscious parenting and what it means to you? Can we just start there? But that simple little question.
Dr. Shefali 03:51
Yeah, I had no idea I would be doing this thing ever, ever, ever. And you know, went into the motherhood journey, thinking that all I needed was a big heart, and some patience and a stable relationship. And I checked off all those boxes. So I thought I'm going to be the best mom. And then lo and behold, you have the kid and you're losing your temper. You're irritable, you're frustrated, you can't manage everything, it just throws your life asunder, and I was not handling things. Well, I was in my PhD program. I was a student I was dirt poor. I was just very overwhelmed and I was very reactive and I didn't like how I was being and I was so ashamed. So guilty of being this really wicked. What I felt was just short tempered, cruel person. I was becoming a negative person I was you know, after six weeks when the novelty had worn off, I was like ready to get the baby back and like okay, you can go back where you came from, and And I was just quite appalled at how unprepared I was. And I really had to have a come to Jesus moment and really, you know, understand what the hell was going on inside me. And so I did a lot of deep work and realize that, oh, you know, I really doing this all wrong, I am coming at this with this fantasy, with these expectations with this belief that I get to raise this perfect person. All of that is messing up my sanity. So I went back to the drawing board and started all over again, and came up with what it means to be a conscious parent. And at the core of conscious parenting is the awareness that most of us parent from our parental ego, and are really not raising the children before us, but raising the people we want them to become. So once I understood how my ego was very obstructing my ability to truly see my daughter, then everything began to change.
Casey O'Roarty 06:08
And did you find along the way, like, as you move through ages and stages, I just want to know you're an actual human like the rest of us, like through the ages and stages, that there were different places where, you know, because I kind of think about it like peeling back an onion, right? Like, it's like, Hey, we're in a groove, I'm feeling good. They're feeling good. And then we move into middle school, say, or high school. And then it's like, Okay, here's a barrier, here's something that I get to go a little bit deeper in, did you have that experience as well, that personal growth experience,
Dr. Shefali 06:42
of course, in every age brings in so much turbulence, and to mold, especially girls, you know, they just seem to be more emotionally, you know, wired. But it's a challenge. And I think that's what I tried to do in this book, the parenting map, is I tried to help parents come up with a universal approach that works across all situations. So if you can just get what I write in this book, kind of in your mindset, and you always return to it, every age, and every stage becomes manageable, because you come back to the core principles. So I talk about the core principles in this book, which are really, what is your role as a conscious parent? What expectations are you isn't allowed to have? And what issues are really yours to own and have nothing to do with your children? Once you realize that, then I teach in this book, how can you empathize? How can you validate? How do you listen? What does it mean to attune? And once I began applying the principles of conscious parenting, over and over and over, life became just much easier doesn't mean it wasn't still problematic at times. But they were problematic. I didn't see them as problems, I just saw them as problematic. And I was able to flow through them much better. You know, if I had not done conscious parenting, I would have been screaming, losing my temper, angry with my child, diminishing her self esteem. So I can see how it really saved me.
Casey O'Roarty 08:13
Yeah, well, and I feel like the personal growth opportunity inside of our relationships with our kids, every step of the way, is so huge. It hurts my heart when I run into parents, or I'm talking to parents, and I'm like, Oh, you don't, you don't realize this is actually an opportunity for you. Yes, to expand and to shift into reframe, and to consider other possibilities, besides just what is coming up instinctively, for you. And it's such an opportunity to look inward. And I think sometimes it can be painful to look inward and to recognize, you know, the places where we've maybe added some kindling to the fire that is contentious relationship, perhaps that we have with our adolescent or even our younger child. How do you support parents when that inner reflection feels really painful?
Dr. Shefali 09:09
Yeah, of course, of course, looking inward always brings up guilt, embarrassment, regret. It is so normal. I mean, I look back at myself, remembering how I was frothing at the mouth and yelling at my kid, just the other day, we were with friends, and she brought it up in front of everybody how I, you know, took her for some class and was forcing her to go. She of course was so dramatic as if I traumatized her, but for her it was traumatic at that time, and I had to own it. And I said, I'm so sorry. I effed up. So I look back to with that guilt and regret. But here's the thing I tell parents. No parent hasn't messed up like I haven't met a single human being who hasn't really badly messed up like really, really, really, really fucked it up. But that's part of the course you do not become a parent. I know you thought you would be perfect, but here's a quick tip. it and a real lesson to learn is that you didn't come here to be perfect. You came here to grow. Just like every relationship is imperfect. So is your parenting dynamic, it's imperfect. But are you growing? Are you understanding? Are you evolving? And that's really the best we can do. Yeah, easily put into practice the next time. You know, the tools and strategies that conscious parenting, especially with teachers, let's put it into practice. So that's what I tell myself, okay, I fucked it up yesterday. But tomorrow, I'm really going to practice you know, I'm waiting for the opportunity that I get to practice. And what are we practicing, we're practicing, keeping our chat, validating our kids not being judgmental, not putting our expectations, staying in a calm, non anxious state, and allowing our children to come to their own solutions, right. These are the core principles and doing it over and over and over again. Yeah.
Casey O'Roarty 11:01
And again, and again. And the good news is, and everybody listening knows this. There's no end to the possibilities and the opportunities for practicing. Right. Like, if you messed up today, don't worry. Tonight, you might even get an opportunity to change things around.
Dr. Shefali 11:16
Yes. And it's not about, you know, trying to have this clean slate and track record. Never mess it up with your kids. Here's the thing, we are not raising these fragile little feathers who are going to fall apart. We are raising human beings who are going to meet other imperfect human beings, and they need to learn to deal with it. You know, so I tell my daughter, yeah, I'm so sorry. You know, I was who I was. But that's who you got, you know,
Casey O'Roarty 11:42
Dr. Shefali 11:43
You're welcome. Exactly. That's the best I could do. I'm so sorry. And please, you know, we are not here to create the illusion that we are meant to be perfect, or they should expect perfection from themselves or from others. We are all messed up. Welcome to the world. I'm so sorry. You know?
Casey O'Roarty 11:59
Yeah. Well, I think there's another illusion going on, too, is this striving to be a parent who isn't making any mistakes, equals children, teenagers who also aren't going to make mistakes. And you know, one of the things that I try to say a lot to my clients, too, is like, what your kids are going through is not an indication that you're doing something wrong, right? Like they're on their track, they're on their journey, and you get to show up and be there and love them and be curious and be a soft landing, when should go sideways, because it will
Dr. Shefali 12:33
see you said something so important. We have this very big delusion, that they are representations of who we are. And their successes mean we are successful and their failures mean we are failures, their happiness means we are good parents, their unhappiness means we're shady parents, this is a very big problem. Your children have nothing really to do with you at the end of the day, except you have a lot of power in helping them develop into themselves. But you don't get to be who they are. You don't get to write off your, you know, negative traits, because they're positive or vice versa, you know, right off your positive traits, because they are being in a negative space, how they show up or what the outcome is, has nothing to do with you. You know, people always ask me, Okay, I'll do conscious parenting. Okay, I'll read your books. But does that mean that my kid will be more motivated? And I always say, you're not doing this for an outcome? Your kid will be who your kid is? Yeah. You aren't just here to support who they are. Yeah, but not to make them who they are. So that you feel better about yourself. Or worse about yourself, you know?
Casey O'Roarty 13:46
Yeah, that's such a huge reframe. That's such a big mindset shift. And I am here for it. Yeah, right. I was dragged through it, right, I got two feet to the fire with my kiddo. It's like, why should I didn't even realize I was holding a narrative until you took this massive U turn. I talked about it a lot, especially a few years ago. So those of you that are new to the pod, go back a couple 100 episodes, and you'll be hearing me talk a lot about Whoa, turns out I'm not in charge of the narrative. And I didn't even realize I had one.
Dr. Shefali 14:15
Well, that's the thing. See, we all think we don't have a narrative because we all think we're so involved and we're so free. We are all heavily conditioned by a narrative including me today right now. I can tell you my narratives I don't want to you know out my daughter, but I have 100 In my mind, that keeps showing up. Oh, she's not this. Oh, she's that I hear my tape. And that's okay. It's okay to have a narrative. What's not okay is to a think you don't have a narrative and be to let that narrative narratives dictate to you because you don't even know you have a narrative. Yeah. So I watch my narrative and I'm constantly deconstructing the narrative I'm constantly challenging myself to say, and who said That's true? And how do you know it's true? And what's another way to look at it. I'm constantly challenging myself with my own narrative, right? I'm never fully just running away with my narrative, and just allowing it to be in the driver's seat. I'm always challenging my own belief systems that come up in my own mind. And that's what awareness is Yeah.
Casey O'Roarty 15:40
You know, I realize when I've let a narrative, pick me up and take me down to crazy town, typically, I am feeling really out of alignment, meaning I'm excessively irritable or resentful, or in the relationship, it feels nitpicky. So, you know, if you're new to kind of this recognizing parenting, ego is taken over narrative is taken over, know that if you're living inside of irritability and resentment, like that's a great indicator, right? That perhaps it's time like, what am I holding on to here? Because, you know, I think it's easy to just be pissed.
Dr. Shefali 16:21
Alright, so what are the signs? What are the signs that you're living out of alignment? Yes, exactly. That, you know, you're distracting yourself too much. You're forgetting things, you're late everywhere, your room is a mess, you are drinking too much, eating too much talking too much gossiping too much. You're irritable, you're cranky, these are your body's ways of telling you that you need to take a pause, you need to get a coach and get your shit together because your children are being impacted by that. Yeah. And on the other hand, flow looks like joy, abundance is relaxation, nothing needs to be done right now. Everything is seen in the bigger picture. Right? So which way would you rather live? Do you want to be constantly fighting with your kid? Or do you want to find flow? Right? My mission is to always find flow at all costs. So in order to do that, I have to examine myself, I have to let go of something that is blocking the flow, you can't have something that's blocking the flow, and keep it rigid and one flow, right flow is saying I want to flow with you. But you got to get rid of this big ass belief system that's in our way. So we have to do the work. And the work involves looking at your belief systems that are keeping you rigid.
Casey O'Roarty 17:46
Oh my gosh, I really want to just keep on going down this rabbit hole right now. But I'm going to bring it back to your book. Okay, get back to your book. So I love that you're continuing to put pen to paper, I loved the books that you've already written. Why another parenting book? You
Dr. Shefali 18:04
know, I wrote three parenting books, the conscious parent, which was the seminal link the basics of conscious parenting, then I went out of control, which was to debunk the whole idea of punishment and discipline. And then I went a little deeper, and I wrote The Awaken family. But then I realized because of people's feedback, that they wanted a step by step, like even more broken down even more concrete even more simple. And I was resisting that because I felt like, you know, this is not a linear process. And people need to just do the work. And I realized that was my belief system that was holding me back. And I didn't think I could break it down more. So I pushed myself, I went away, you know, went into seclusion. And I really challenge myself to make it as simple as possible. And this book, now no one can complain. Of course, people can still complain. But no one will complain that it's not simple. I have written it as I talk it, as I teach it. And it's really the ABCs 123 Do this, do this, then do this, of conscious parenting. So anyone out there who's wanted to be a conscious parent, but has felt it was too ambitious, now has a very easy step by step map that they can read. It's like a story. And it's really I think, simple. I have pictures. I have practice exercises. I have bullet points to really break down something that is very hard for people to do.
Casey O'Roarty 19:45
I love that you said that you wrote it as you speak it because as I read it, I could hear you. I've seen you on stage. We've been in conversations like this and I can hear you and I love that anytime I'm reading something by an author, I can hear their voice I also love that at the start of each section, you've got these like, they're not all poems, but they're kind of presented like poems. And I'm wondering, do you have the book with you right now? Yeah. Will you read what you began the section about mastering kids speak with? It's on page 200 into I believe.
Dr. Shefali 20:20
Is it step 10. So there are 20 steps in the book,
Casey O'Roarty 20:24
right? So it's mastering kids speak.
Dr. Shefali 20:27
Yep, yep, yep, I'm looking for. And so I have three stages and 20 steps.
Casey O'Roarty 20:34
It's so good. You guys, you've got to get your hands on this. And by two, because there's some fun gifts.
Dr. Shefali 20:39
Yes, Casey. And I have done some amazing things together. Okay, Master kids speak. So this is the poet, your behaviors are a smokescreen, they distract D two and deflect from the real pain inside you. From the true root beneath it all. This is where my eyes need to search. And my heart needs to feel I need to focus on your hurts and fears. And this is where I need to help you heal.
Casey O'Roarty 21:17
So I love the imagery of the smoke screen. And I think that little piece was so useful is going to be so useful to listeners because again, parenting teenagers, and understanding that their behavior is a smokescreen. And in positive discipline, we talked about getting under the surface of the iceberg, right? Like recognizing the smokescreen exists and getting to the other side of it. Can you talk a little bit more about some of the steps in your book, or in your work around as a parent, how to remember and how to enter into the deeper conversations with our kids, because it's so easy to be hooked by the smokescreen.
Dr. Shefali 21:59
Oh, so all behavior, especially of children I talk about in this book, especially misbehavior, I call it a sign, si je n. And S stands for something I stands for inside, G stands for gone. And N stands for negative. So something inside gone negative. All misbehavior, really from every human, but definitely our children is a sign of something inside gone negative. So it's not about you. It's not about what they feel about you think about you, although they could be telling you that you are, you know, mean to them or disrespecting and you can get to that, but it has nothing about you in terms of your ego. So whenever our children, you know, slam the door shut or say I hate you or say I wish you want my mom, our instinct is to protect ourselves and react bad. And say, you know, you are so disrespectful, that's a bad thing to say I'm going to punish you. None of that is going to help because children act out based on how they feel inside. So I teach that in the book like to look at those behaviors as simply surface symptoms of a chronic emotional issue that's deeper with it. So when your kid slams the door, and your instinct is to go behind them and go you listen to me, young lady, you don't talk to me like that. You take a pause and realize, Oh, my kid is really suffering right now. My kid is so angry and dysregulated that they cannot even manage, and you enter your heart and you have compassion doesn't mean you have to go in there and you know, buy them $20,000 worth of gifts. But what it means is that you give them the space to practice to yell, it's okay. If they yell in your house, they are practicing how to regulate. And when they come out of their room, you can then say, Hey, I'm here to talk. Right now I can see you're dysregulated and you're kind of being disrespectful, but I'm not taking it personally, I know you're going through something, can we talk about it or let me know when you can talk about it. And just that shows our children that, you know, somebody can be regulated. There's another way to deal with our issues. But it takes time, time and time and time again. Yeah. And we're going to mess up, you know, at some point that you're gonna go into, just push us and we're going to get pushed, and that's okay, too.
Casey O'Roarty 24:31
Yeah, I had a situation show up with my 17 year olds not too long ago, and it was he made a big mistake. A big one. Hopefully he's gonna come on the podcast. He said he'd come and talk about it because it's something that lots of teen boys are being lured into. And he was so spinning out and was scared and in fight or flight and I remember like, okay, we're just gonna breathe, we're just going to breathe. We're just gonna breathe and then once we got to a certain level of regulation, I He leaned forward and I was like, What the fuck are you thinking? Why the hell would you like I gave myself about 30 seconds of what the hell, dude, you know, and then I pulled back and said, Okay, I just I needed to get that out. And now, problem solving now we're gonna figure this out. You're not alone, right. And I think the reason I'm sharing that is I think it's really important to and you've already said this, like for parents to hear it's okay to be human. Right? Sometimes it is like, what the hell? Yeah, why would you do that? Right? And then, okay, pivot, I see you, this is happening to more kids. Anyway, I feel like that's such an important piece. And I love to, because the teen years are so full of idols and what we call back talk and door slamming and pushing away, and it is such a blow to our egos. And it's so easy to come at it either with misguided sadness, like how could you treat me like this or misguided anger? How could you treat me like this, when really, like you just said, it's a practice and self regulation. And they are unskilled at self regulation. They're in the practice.
Dr. Shefali 26:15
And if a teenager did not, I will yell separate, I would be worried. Now they don't have to be, you know, awful about it. But some degree of Defiance is very developmentally healthy, because it means that they are finding their own way they are done with your bullshit, they are going to defy because they're finding themselves the individuating. So whenever my daughter did that, to me, and I've tended to want to go towards victimhood, and feels so beleaguered, I reminded myself that this is not about me. This is about her separating from me, which is good for her to do. Good for her to do, but they can be ruthless, you know, I remember there was a face that nothing I did was okay. I didn't cook well anymore. I wasn't even dressing well. And he was she was embarrassed to be with me. I could even open my mouth. And I was like, wow, but I knew that this is her way to reject me to find her own self. So I kind of would just laugh, you know, inside myself. Yeah. Wow, this is brutal. This is brutal. But it's going to be over one day. And now she's almost 21. And it does pass. But those brutal years are between, you know, 14 to 20. Which can you feel like you're going to survive this? It's like murder. Yeah. Yeah. Wrote Yes.
Casey O'Roarty 27:40
Every day. I remember a good friend telling me, you know, case, we lose them around 1415. But they come back. And I was just at the start of that. And I looked at my girlfriend, and I was like, you know, Jess, thanks. But that doesn't really help me right now.
Dr. Shefali 27:55
Nobody's predictable trajectory is Yeah, between 14 to 28. Your kids are gone. Yeah. And if they come back before, just be so grateful and welcomed back. Right.
Casey O'Roarty 28:06
And no, it's probably temporary.
Dr. Shefali 28:08
It is temporary, but they will go. Yeah, if they don't go it's a problem, Casey. Yeah, it's a problem, because they're going to go sooner or later. So for those parents who have those kids who are like, totally needy and dependent, and mommy's girls and mommy's boys, and I'm just saying Mommy could be daddy, it's coming. So like, I didn't have really power after seven or eight. I lost power really early. So by the time my kid was 14, I was a veteran. I was. I was like, been there done that. But for parents who have their kids tied to the apron strings, and lose them later, they can't handle it. Yeah, because the kid wasn't doing it at the right time. If there is a right developmental period where you're supposed to do these things, and if the kid delays in that, then actually the repercussions are worse. Because by 2122, they're on their way back. Actually, it takes six years to cover them to come back fully. But they're on their return. And if they'd begin at 2122, now we are delayed. You see, yeah, it's going to happen. It is a mark of healthy development. Now, of course, we don't want it to be to such a degree where the kid doesn't feel heard and seen. Just because our kids leave us doesn't mean we leave our kids. We have to be around that. That's the hard part of it. Because when they dump us we want to dump them too, right? We got to be all depressed about it and pitiful. But we have to stay economists. They're going to leave, we're going to expect it and we just have to hold base. We just have to stay calm and true. And just be the container be the cheerleaders, you know, maybe we are laying some conditions. But Aki does come back and it's a beautiful thing. You know, my daughter is almost 21 and the glimpses of her coming back and I'm utterly in shock because I don't have any spected I have low expectations, you know, because I don't want to put pressure on my kid to have to come back to me because I need it. I want her to go as long and as far as she needs to go, and I'm going to hold base. That's my role. My role is not to chase after her not to make her feel guilty not to tie her to me. My role and our role as conscious parents is to hold the space. Really?
Casey O'Roarty 30:25
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So good. So you talk in your book about the five F's, the different styles that show up with our kids? And can you talk about them? And how give us some tips on how to keep that ego in check as we navigate who our child is, right? Like everything we just talked about? Yes, yes, yes. And my feelings do get hurt. And, you know, I do have expectations, you know, like all those everything exists. And so how do we navigate it? So what are the five apps
Dr. Shefali 30:59
so I fashion the five egoic patterns based on just fight flight and freeze, so I added a few more so I talked about the fighter parent, the fixer parent, the female parent to freeze a parent and the FLIR parent. So the fighter is the one who's unpredictable explosive, who just, you know, loses their shit without any reason or logic and who were scared off. And, you know, we are always tiptoeing around. The Fixer parent is the pathetic enabler rescuer, people pleaser, you know, oh, let me do your paper for you. Or let me call the teacher let me call your best friend. Let me you know, let me be the pushover I was that. I still am. Then the other parents
Casey O'Roarty 31:48
believe I'm not gonna lie. Really? Yes.
Dr. Shefali 31:51
Because they seem so Together.
Casey O'Roarty 31:54
Together. It's great to hear.
Dr. Shefali 31:56
I am so pathetic. Oh, my God, and my daughter knows it. I am pathetic. I talk to talk. But I have the worst boundaries and becoming better. But I mean, it's really pathetic. My kid is the boss of me. And I have to you know, it's just anyway, but it is so satisfying.
I mean, it's real.
Dr. Shefali 32:22
books because I messed up. I really messed up. But I also, you know, hopefully I've corrected some things. But yeah, no, I am pathetic. Pathetic, pathetic. I mean, my daughter is 100% My boss is awful. And she knows it. And anyway, I'm working on it. I'm recovering. But we also have a good relationship. Yeah, that's what she knows, empathetic. And she's telling me you're such a pushover for other people. Yeah. She'd be like, Why do you give in so easily for other people, but for herself, she loves it. Right? She loves being the boss. My mom, you are such a pushover. She told me when she was 12 years old. She said, Mom, you are like one of those plush carpets, like, so comfortable that everyone loves to walk all over it. Yeah, so she was very brutal, but it's true. I make it so easy for people to walk on.
Casey O'Roarty 33:15
That's why your work is so powerful. Shefali because you're actively working towards it. And I feel the same way. You know, I'm a shit show. Yeah, I have great relationships with my kids. Right? And I'm really, I know that that's what's the most important thing. And then there's, like, I can't even tell Am I the boss? Or am I the friend? I'm like, Who the hell am I? I don't know. And sometimes I have to just speak that right out loud. Like, oh, God, you guys. I do not know what to do here.
Dr. Shefali 33:43
I know. My daughter talks to me. Like, I cannot even believe her. She's talking to me. Right? So then I'll be a parent. I'll be like, Maya, do you see how you're talking to me? And she can i Mom really stop it when you relax. Like, that's how I talk to my best friends. And then I'm all confused. I'm like, is that a good thing? What would you have to Shefali? Say? Exactly. I think she would say it's a good thing. But to other people's ears. I would sound like an absolute loser parent, you know? So I tell my I go Maya listen, you can talk like this just to me, but around other people. Like when we're in public, keep it together. Yeah, it's bad for the brand. You know, I cannot invite you to evolve if you talk like this. So in front of other people, please just pretend you have. It's
Casey O'Roarty 34:30
so funny. Yeah. When Ian got into some mischief recently, Rowan said, well, guess what? It's his turn to provide content for you now. Like you're right. Thank you very much.
Dr. Shefali 34:40
Right. But let's talk about those eat. Yes, yes, yes. Then the Fein a parent is the parent who is just doing it all for show. You know, like, Oh, let me grab that picture. And it's so concerned about their self image that they will kill the child self esteem just to look good in public, right? And then the freezer parent is the one One who kind of just wants to not be emotionally involved with all the emotional chaos, they are there, but they are just the parent non grata. They don't want to be getting their hands and feet dirty. And then the FLIR parent is really traumatized, and they cannot handle anything. And they are constantly withdrawing, or physically leaving. And they kind of abandon ship, because they can't handle it. They're very traumatized people. So all of these styles are in us all to some degree or the other. But we have a predominant style. So talk about that. And the ego first needs to be recognized. How do we break out of ego first, we need to see the ego and be brave to acknowledge it, and be brave to catch it and spot it in action. And then we have to develop this awareness that the ego is there, not because it's a bad guy, the ego is there to protect something within us. And I talk about it in the book, what is it there to protect what is there to protect a part of us, our little child self, that grew up believing it is not worthy, unless we did these things that the ego was doing. So I grew up thinking that I needed to be perfect, I needed to make everybody happy. Everybody else's feelings were more important than mine. So that was what my inner child believed growing up. So of course, I have an ego, that's a fixer, that's the Savior. That's why I do this work, I want to save everybody, right part of it is a good livelihood, but a part of it comes from a wounded place. And so once I spot the ego, the next thing to realize is, every time the ego is in place, it's answering the call to a scared inner child. So now what do we do now we understand and I call it the two eyes one is the imposter ego, and one is the inner child. I feel impostor II for inner child. Well, now what do we do? Well, we need to develop the third eye. And the third eye I call the insightful self, the adult self, which mediates between these two entities. Now this is the dam work by far die the inner work right? You have to do all this all the time. Yeah, the egos up. There we go. Whoa, why is the ego here? Like, I want to scream at my kids say, oh, because I'm older. Oh, hello, fighter, ego. Why are you here? Oh, because something just happened that made my inner child freak out. My kid just said in your example, it could be your kid just told you. They're not going to college. So your fighter comes out or your waterfall comes out? And then you have to stop and go, Oh, my egos here? Why is it here? Ah, because Casey is terrified of what this means. Because she went to college, she thought being Going to college is a good thing. Now she's terrified. If a kid doesn't go to college. What does that mean? And then after a lot of time, your adult self finally showed up, right? But it took a lot of time. Because the ego was fighting. And the ego was protecting the inner child and until you went to your own wounded place, and heal that part in you that needed your child to go to college, and took care of that little girl that's so scared. Yeah, that she's going to be a bad mom, if she lets a kid doesn't go to college. That's when you could show up for your real kid. So most of the time, we're just reacting to our inner kid. Not the real kid.
Casey O'Roarty 38:23
Casey O'Roarty 38:37
I think I've talked about this before on the pod. So I love this conversation around awareness. And I love your languaging around the imposter versus the inner child. And then this third eye with the third eye also be like the observer of self like that's that. Oh, yeah. Yeah,
Dr. Shefali 38:54
right. The mediator is the adult self. I've given so much information in this book, the parenting map on how to activate the third eye. How the Third Eye sounds, I've given practice sentences, the third eye can start saying because the Third Eye has the difficult job of calming the inner child because once the inner child is calm, the ego follows. See, the poor ego is just there to protect the panicked inner child. That's what the inner work is all about is protecting healing taking care of the inner child, then the ego doesn't have to do it. Yeah,
Casey O'Roarty 39:30
recognizing that there is an inner child. Yeah, most of us don't
Dr. Shefali 39:33
even ever meet our inner child. Like I remember when I first began to realize how anxious I was. I had no idea I was operating with this subconscious, huge foundation of anxiety. And now I'm in touch with anxiety on a daily basis. And that's why my ego is calm. My ego shows up every time I forget to take care of my inner child.
Casey O'Roarty 39:59
So it becomes is an indicator. Oh, it's
Dr. Shefali 40:01
the biggest blessing is to have an algo. Yeah, you have to really capitalize on what it's trying to tell you. Yeah.
Casey O'Roarty 40:07
So good. So good. I also with this other piece from the book that I really appreciated that I think it'll be really useful from, for this audience, you have a whole section on punishment, and I have out of control on my shelf behind me. But you and I are totally in agreement, that punishment is hurtful, it's not helpful. And that's a truth that I pulled on this show. And in my work, and I love what you wrote about negotiation. First of all, you know how quick parents are to be like, Oh, everything's in negotiation, like, it's this terrible thing. And then you go on to write, when you use this, the approach of a negotiation, it's not so much about who gives in or who wins, but about something more profound, which is the attitude we have towards the entire situation. It's such a shift, again, in the mindset around how humans learn, and grow and develop. Tell me more about this piece?
Dr. Shefali 41:04
Well, it's about the mindset that you are in the trenches with your kid, your kid is not alone. So if you have the other mindset that you are here to be a dictator, outside the mind, outside the trenches, then you have a very different attitude. So conscious parenting is about being in the trenches with your kid, meaning you are here to help them problem solve, you are here to get them out of the trench, you're not going to lead the way No, are you going to leave ship and abandon them, and just yell at them? You are a partner. And that's what negotiation is about, Oh, you want to have this party? You want to have 70? Children? I don't want to have 70 children. But I'm with you in this trench? I'm with you. So you got to help me, I got to help you. So we share the house, the house belongs to both of us. You want 70? I want 20? What are we going to do? And the kid will come up with something? You know, mom, okay. You're just nervous. How about if I get, you know, 50 kids? And I'll be like, Okay, let's talk about that. And then what if they get too loud? Okay, then you can come and tell me and so we create a whole plan together? Yeah. Because we are partners, we are negotiating together. There is no one person who is dictating the ship. Unless it comes down to personal safety, or red flag, your kid is taking drugs, your kid is, you know, harming themselves, then the parent can push into gear of dictator 100%. You know, sometimes parents get confused by me. Because if they come to me and go, Oh, my kid is you know, taking heroin or smoking, crack, or whatever you do with crack. And what should I do? Are you kidding? What you should do is not be talking to me, you need to go and take your kid for treatment. Yeah, right now. So I've talked like that, then they'd be like, Oh, I thought you didn't like to be a dictator. And I always say, there are times when you need to flip the switch and go into dictator mode when the kid is harming themselves. Yeah, there are red flags. But if you're not in red flag territory, and we're all about this, should I do, can I do my homework in 30 minutes versus 20 minutes or two minutes. Of course, you know, you want to teach your kid that they can be in charge of their own destiny to an extent, and you want to give them that freedom, and you want to be their partner, they need to know that they can come to you with safety, with the security that you are going to be their partner together. I got this. I got your back. I got you.
Casey O'Roarty 43:35
Yeah, yes, the soft landing, right, that soft landing and even I mean, my kids are kind of the king and queen of, I'm gonna come to you after the fact and let you know what I've done. And once I, you know, do my personal practice of, I'm gonna feel my feet, I'm gonna drop my shoulders, I'm gonna take a deep breath. You know, I love that we have a relationship where we get to process those behaviors, you know, they come to me not to be berated or told. I mean, they know how I feel about things. We've had many conversations, but I get to hold this space where they get to really and ask questions for them to really process like, yeah, how do I feel about that? Was that the right thing to do? How am I going to avoid that in the future? And I love that it's an opportunity to, especially, you know, when they're still at home with us, where they get to develop the critical thinking about their own choices and behaviors. I think so easily. We bypass that when it's like, what, why would you do that? You're grounded, right? So much is lost and missed? Like when we're not helping them connect dots. And it just becomes oh my god, my mom is a flaming bitch. Like, I can't believe that you grounded me for this. And then it's like the opportunity is lost.
Dr. Shefali 44:53
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Punishment is just the most unsustainable thing. Yeah, it just got connection. It creates shaming, distance dysfunction. It doesn't mean the kid won't do that same thing again. Yeah. So the best thing to do is to help them reflect on the behavior themselves. And of course, if you need to take away the credit card, or you need to take away the car keys, do it but you don't do it in a, you know, you're so stupid or you don't deserve this kind of way. You do it in a way that hey, let's just take a break from this now. Yeah, you know, you spent $2,000 You gambled my money away, save, that's the issue. Okay, now I need to lock this. Okay, my love for the lock this robot. But yes, it's a bit too much. But you can see it so lovingly, you know, or you can say what? Hello. There's a difference in saying that versus you're such an asshole is such a loser. Right. Right. Right. It's a bit incredulous, because that's authentic. But it's another thing to shame them. Yeah. All that's going to do is make them hide the mistake. better the next time,
Casey O'Roarty 46:00
right? Hello, yes, everyone. And then again, coming back to being able to talk about it and puzzle it through with them. And then it presents again, we have this delusion that will my kid knows they won't get the car keys if they come home late for curfew. And so they won't be late for curfew, guess what? They're not thinking about whether or not you're going to punish them. If they're late for curfew. They're thinking, I'm having a great time. I don't want to go home yet. I'm okay. Without driving. I've got friends that drive I can figure this out. Right. So there's different conversations that we can be having that get lost when we're so focused on what am I going to do to this kid to get them to do what it is that I want them to do?
Dr. Shefali 46:39
Yeah, and the two things I always tell parents, which they don't like me to say, is, number one, have very few rules. The less rules you have, the less rules they break. And the less rules you make the make right like you to follow, like, just don't set yourself up with too many rules. And number two is don't even expect that it's going to go well. Don't give the curfew if you want to have fun and just lip service. But you have to know it's not going to be followed. I never gave my kids one curfew, not one, not one. Because I knew that if a friends are staying out, she's going to stay. I mean, she's not going to be the one to come home. And therefore when they all go the longer one. So let other parents get the curfew. Let them do it for me. I never not once Casey
Casey O'Roarty 47:26
did she come home at five in the morning, every night or what?
Dr. Shefali 47:29
She just always came home between 12 and two, even when she was able to come home at five. And now she can do whatever she wants. She's 20, almost 20 years old. So it just worked itself out because I didn't want the pressure of being the parent who spoils the fun. You know, okay, they will learn the next day they're going to be tired. But guess what, they bonded with their friends. They had a great time. That's all they're doing just like us. So you know, you and I would sacrifice sleep for a good time. Anytime,
Casey O'Roarty 47:59
Dr. Shefali 48:01
So who cares? I'm like, okay, so you're tired at school? How important is school? Yeah, I didn't look at it. Like, oh, you will be tired at school. I will. Okay, you will be tired at school. So you yawn all day, come home, take a nap. Like I wanted her to have a good time. For me. Her connection with her friends was very important. So coffee was never one of my things, you know, but the fewer things you can put on the table like dinner is at seven. Okay, that's the most dumb thing I've ever heard. Right? Dinner needs to be anywhere between seven and 930. Right, depending on the age of the kid. Yeah. If you lock yourself into like dinners at seven, like I myself can't have dinner at seven every day. You know. So what are we trying to do manage? And I've seen these poor mothers. Well, dinner supposed to be between seven and 750. And I go, why? Just leave the dinner there. They will come and eat when they're hungry and be done. Oh, because you know, good families sit together. I go. How about once a week we try? Yeah,
Casey O'Roarty 48:53
that's where I'm at. That's where I'm at. If I can get once a week, we're all sitting at the table, then I feel like we're winning.
Dr. Shefali 48:59
Don't get that once a week. It's doesn't mean you're a bad family. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. You're just a fun family. You just connections are made or broken over the dining tables connection is made in the moment, wherever that could show up at two o'clock in the morning when the kid is vomiting or one o'clock in the afternoon when you're dropping your kid off for practice. Don't pigeonhole how connections should look when it should be made. Because you're just not in the flow of life. Right? And then you're just setting yourself up for rubbish. You know, like birthdays need to be celebrated on the birthday. Okay, that's a big one, right? It's a stupid one. Because what if your birthday cannot be celebrated on your birthday? You let it go? And especially as adults, right, yeah, you know, you have to learn to not focus on these illusions of form to give you significance. You know, I tell my daughters in the month, somewhere in
Casey O'Roarty 49:54
the month, hey, listen, I'm turning 50 in September. I feel like it's a whole year before and the whole year after is really? Yeah, cause for celebration
Dr. Shefali 50:03
we just lock ourselves into. And I always ask myself before I lock myself into anything, am I able to sustain this? And the answer is mostly No. You know, yeah, yeah. I cannot see what time of day I have a shower. I cannot sustain the exercise. I tried to have a routine but you, like knock these children in?
Casey O'Roarty 50:23
Yeah, yeah. Especially as they get as they move into that adolescent period. We're disappointed a lot if there is some kind of rigid form that we're holding on to Yeah, yeah, go ahead. Yeah. So just to wrap up, I just want to leave you with you all listening with one of my favorite quotes from the book, which is if you want your children to develop true resilience, let them experience their own lives in whatever shape or form that shows up. Such a powerful quote, personally, I love seeing who my daughter has grown into, because of what she's grown through and moved through. So thank you, for all of your work. And for really putting this, like capturing this, something that feel I feel like conscious parenting. And I don't know if you have this experience, doing what you do, and speaking what you speak. But I often feel like how do I just want to bottle this? Like, how do I bottle this so that it's easy to digest? And really, you know, I think this book is moving us in that direction, for sure. So thank you for offering the vehicle for this. But yeah, it's just letting them experience their own lives is such a radical idea. And I'm here for it and love it.
Dr. Shefali 51:43
Right. But we won't be able to do it is we want them to be happy and successful. And I talked about it in the book. So when we want something from our children, then we lock ourselves in so then we're not letting them experience their life as it shows up. Yet resilience is only obtained from one living their own life and its mistakes. Its glory, but on its own authentic terms. Yes.
Casey O'Roarty 52:07
Is there anything else that you want to make sure that you land today? Before we
Dr. Shefali 52:12
Oh, no, no, no, just that and grab a copy. It's the map that people have been asking me about. So I'm so excited that it's in a book and it's releasing.
Casey O'Roarty 52:22
Yes, we're excited to. So one question that I ask all my guests at the end is What does joyful courage mean to you?
Dr. Shefali 52:31
Joyful courage means to me, the freedom one gives oneself the permission to just be very ordinary.
Casey O'Roarty 52:42
I love that. I love that. Thank you. I'm gonna give myself permission to do that. I did have a call today and somebody turned me on to a phrase called Legend tending. Have you heard of that phrase before she was talking about one of her kids and she says, you know, she comes in big and strong and bold and but then she has to move into legend tending kind of to keep up this image of I am a legend and it just cracks me up. And it is exhausting. I said, you know, I relate to that. Legend. Tending is a lot of work. So
Dr. Shefali 53:14
it's a lie. It's there's no such thing as a, you know, everybody's ordinary. Yeah, really. Yeah, we just some of us may be on stage or on, you know, some magazine cover but that doesn't mean anything. Yeah. It really does. So we should not fall for this idea that we are really not ordinary. We all are ordinary. We just need to be okay with it. Right.
Casey O'Roarty 53:36
Dr. Shefali This was so fun. Thank you for bringing your authentic, ordinary, amazing self to this conversation. Thank you so much for spending time with me today. It was a lot of fun. Thank you so much.
Casey O'Roarty 53:57
Thank you so much for listening in today. Thank you to my spreadable partners as well as Chris Mann and the team at pod shaper for all the support with getting the show out there and making it sound good. Check out our offers for parents with kids of all ages and sign up for our newsletter to stay connected at bees profitable.com. Tune back in later this week for our Thursday show and I'll be back with another interview next Monday. Peace