Has your child's fits of rage ever sent you late-night Googling everything from therapy, medication, and a sensory swing?
What do they need? How do you help?!
Each week in December I'm sharing misconceptions surrounding parenting strong-willed kids that hold you back from having the relationship and home you truly desire!
This week, I share what to do if you think your child is neurodivergent in some way, needs more coping skills, and don't know where to start.
IN THIS EPISODE, I SHARE...
// MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE //
Yale study on Childhood Anxiety
// CONNECT WITH DANIELLE //
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Ever feel like you suck at this job? Motherhood I mean? Have too much anxiety. Not enough patience... Too much yelling, not enough play. There's no manual, no village, no guarantees. The stakes are high. We want so badly to get it right. This is survival mode, we're just trying to make it to bedtime. So if you're full of mom guilt, your temper scares you. You feel like you're screwing everything up, and you're afraid to admit any of those things out loud. This podcast is for you. This is Failing Motherhood. I'm Danielle Bettmann. And each week, we'll chat with a mom ready to be real. Sharing her insecurities, her fears, your failures and her wins, we do not have it all figured out. That's not the goal. The goal is to remind you, you are the mom, your kids need. They need what you have, you are good enough. And you're not alone. I hope you pop in earbuds, somehow sneak away and get ready to hear some hope from the trenches. You belong here, friend, we're so glad you're here. Hey, it's Danielle, Happy Holidays. Thank you so much. If you are taking time out of your quality time with your family, and or trying to escape and survive. I'm glad you're here. I'm so glad that you're taking this time with me. And that you are trusting me to come alongside your family make parenting even a little bit easier. We know, if you are having a hard time, it makes sense! You're doing something right. So I'm so glad you're here. I could go on and on with updates about my own family, but I really did want this mini-series to be mini and shorter episodes that you can get through this month when things are a little bit haywire. And when the mayhem settles down, and the hangover kicks in, and you turn around and look at the new year and maybe want to take some action on some things, then this is here for you. So today, as a reminder, I am continuing our mini series, this is part four of five. And I'm sharing misconceptions surrounding parenting strong-willed kids. And reminder, I really do focus in on ages one to seven. But if you have a 10 year old that applies to them likely to and we're talking about the things that the beliefs that hold you back from having the relationship you want with your strong willed child and the home that you really do want and aim for every day when you wake up and try again. And today, the belief of Worrying Warriors, the families that I work with, that they struggle with, that we want to talk about today is "my child needs help", in some way, shape or form. My child needs help, because they have behavior that's super concerning. And that leads to, you know, coaching or parenting books, things like that, they won't work for me, if I find out my child is neurodivergent in some way, or if we ended up getting a diagnosis, or we just need more intervention for my child, because their behavior is what's concerning. You maybe experience really big emotions, more like fits of rage, right? And your child is getting old enough that you feel like they should have less by now. And they almost seem bipolar because they can be so sweet and loving and helpful when they want to be. And so this dichotomy of behavior and the code switching between environments where it happens a lot more with you than it does with a teacher or another authority figure in a different environment. That seems very confusing as well. Maybe you start to Google therapists and psychiatrists and looking for evaluations. Maybe you talk to your pediatrician about things or you're talking to their school counselor about things. And they they either don't have answers for you, or the answers they do have don't resonate at all with maybe some of the parenting you have figured out up until this point or the way that you strive to handle things. But your fears are real. Maybe it's a fear of ADHD down the road. Maybe it's something bigger or scarier, or maybe it's nothing at all and you just feel crazy. What do you do at that point as a parent, when your fears are valid? What do you do? It feels very overwhelming. I've talked to a lot of clients who have been in this place. And once you start to click on one ad on your newsfeed or algorithm that that search will send you down a rabbit hole of overwhelming and likely contradictory information, you could be looking up, therapists, then get an ad for a sensory swing, look into the difference between play therapy and occupational therapy, maybe feel the pressure to put them on medication but really don't want to. But for real, what do you do as a parent in the situation, they're so lucky to have you doing this research. But it is all too easy to spend literal years guessing at solutions, not knowing if you're even on the right track at all. So we're coming to this belief of my child needs help. And I totally, totally get, why you feel that way, and why that search is warranted. You only worry about things that you love, and that matter to you. So of course, you're going to be concerned for your child's well being; that is the mark of a great parent. And it very much feels like you must be failing If their behavior is so unregulated, they clearly need your child. something that you don't have or haven't been giving them or don't even know. They must need someone to teach them more coping strategies and skills to help them talk about their emotions, ultimately, fixing them or at least fixing this behavior you're seeing. Now, I was just talking to my therapist a few weeks ago, and she stopped seeing children in her practice, because it was so evident to her that so often the breakdown was always related to the child's relationship with their parents. And there was only so much that she could do only seeing one side of that equation. It just made so much sense to her that parents have much more influence. Another one of my clients came to me after speaking with a psychiatrist, psychologist or pediatrician and a child therapist. And all of these professionals either said that things were on track developmentally for their daughter, and kind of dismissed her concerns because things were normal. Or they offered her suggestions that really didn't align with her parenting and didn't feel right in her gut. There's another family actually, that has the same exact story. They, those professionals left her feeling more and more hopeless and almost a little crazy. Three months later, after working together, though, she feels like she has found all the gaps that were missing for her to truly understand her child and set her up for success without any more intervention required. Now there is absolutely a time and a place when seeing a therapist or professional in some way is absolutely valuable and recommended. When are those scenarios: if your child has experienced loss, they are grieving, if they've been through something like a divorce, a fire, abuse in any form, or prolonged illness in a parent or sibling. If you are getting concerns from school, or their medical professionals that there are more things to follow up with and you're getting referred to specialists. If you notice new symptoms of a developmental regression that is not developmentally appropriate, like maybe bedwetting after they have been potty trained, for years, a jarring change in their personality, or extreme change in signs of anxiety, separation, anxiety or withdrawal. Every child needs coping skills to manage change. Change is the only constant in life, right? Every child needs their mental health nurtured and protected. Every child needs to be seen and understood, accepted and loved and in control of their life. When they don't have those needs met. Every child struggles with developmentally appropriate behaviors, of pushing boundaries and working to find their voice and not being able to express emotions without aggression or violence or being hurtful. And they're learning the expectations and the boundaries of each environment. And they're finding patterns and they're doing what works in their mind. According to the story they're telling themselves in their head about their worldview. That's every child. And then on top of that, if you have a strong willed child, those developmentally appropriate opportunities for rebellion and defiance and things, Things are exacerbated by recent changes, like a move or a new sibling or parent parental stress or a new school or something else going on. And then you're going to see above and beyond struggles that make you feel like something is wrong, that needs to be fixed, when it's truly still in a developmentally appropriate realm. However, that doesn't mean that you're not miserable, and they're not miserable. So when do you know, when you don't necessarily need a professional in the field of a therapist or psychiatrist, but you do need a professional to come alongside you. If your days are filled with big emotions, fits of rage, power struggles, aggression, sibling rivalry, defiance, or just overall lack of cooperation in most forms, and most cared routines. If, although behaviors may have escalated in the past few months or weeks, your child's personality has always been hard to navigate. If you feel like you're walking on eggshells, trying not to set them off, and not sure what does if it's affecting their sibling, their relationship with their siblings, your mental health, and even your marriage. And you also are the first to admit that you could work on your patience and your confidence as a parent, then the person who needs help is not your child, it's you. You could add your child to a waitlist for months, then commute back and forth several sessions a week, or a month for years, unsure of what results to expect, and frankly not seeing that translate at all to their behavior at home. Many of my clients have been there, done that and got the t shirt. Or you could see immediate improvement by implementing the insight that I share through my programs, see big changes within four weeks and be transformed within 11 weeks, when you make the changes that trickle down and overflow to your child's well being your relationship with them the culture of your home, and the piece that you project. Because again, therapy is a great, I recommend it for everyone. But if your child is struggling, and you have a professional just work with them alone, there is so much missing from that approach. They are going to try to teach replacement and substitute behaviors. But they are not going to be able to see what relationship dynamic between the two of you that is perpetuating the story that they're telling themselves in their head that makes their behaviors seem justified and necessary in the moment. It's not going to get to the root of where this behavior is coming from, to truly heal it long term. And it's not going to help you understand your child so that years down the road, you handle things completely differently. Because you know how to set them up for success and how they work and how they tick. You need a comprehensive approach, one that hears you out as the expert of this child, one that addresses not only coping skills, but preventative actions, that give your child more capacity to be resilient because life makes sense and feel they feel in control. You need an approach that speaks to your fears. reframes your mindset and gives you confidence to handle whatever they throw your way. Nothing can give you more peace of mind than knowing even if a diagnosis comes down the line. you've eliminated so many struggles by setting them up for success taking control of what you can control, taking ownership of your toolkit and giving them so much patience. Because ultimately, you they need even more support even more reason to be compassionate with them if they truly can't change or control their behavior and the ways that they're struggling currently. How much would you feel so bad? If years from now you realized that everything you were getting so upset your child for yelling at them for they couldn't help. Not only could they not help it, but they were trying their best to do what you asked. And you just didn't realize how what their brain was lacking or what was going on for them in that moment. So one of the biggest reasons why I do what I do, which is working with parents, rather than working with kids, because originally I worked with kids, and it's great, I love them, they're so cute. However, what I realize is that home is where kids are wired, the parent child relationship is the factor that has the most influence on a child due to the attachment relationship, the time, all of it. And when there is interventions, where you specifically pit intervention where a child alone has the treatment. And when the parent has the treatment. For example, there was a study done by Yale that came out in 2019, that was specifically treating anxiety and kids aged seven to 12. And they had two groups, one where children were seeing one on one with a professional for a period of we believe 10 sessions. And the other group, those kids parents were seen in a support group setting over a period of 10 sessions. And they compared the outcomes and the Children's levels of anxiety after as a result of both treatments. And what they saw was that the anxiety was on par, where they were both at a same place of improvement. Over time. However, the group that had the parents do the work and the treatment, they had significantly better relationships on the back end, which provided more support and understanding for the child's lived experience. And so therefore, you could say that they had better outcomes from that group, rather than the ones where the kids were being seen. And, to me that just proved what I have seen over and over for years now. Which is that, yes, kids getting help is great. But parents getting help is 10 times more powerful. A family is an ecosystem. There's like a tether, like an umbilical cord that remains that connects a parent's well being with their child's well being. When one of those people struggle, the other does, too. When one heals and grows, the other does, too. It's such an immense responsibility, and pressure to feel like we can't struggle. But that's not true at all. It just provides so much more empowering support and reason to get the help we need and deserve when we're struggling so that we can see the outcomes, triple and just blossom in our kids. So if you have been a parent that has been trying to reach out, trying to connect with practitioners, talking to your parenting partner about trying to figure out how to get your child help. I hope that this has been enlightening. I hope that it has opened your eyes rather than made you feel guilty for any reason. Because it's actually so much hope giving when you realize there's so much untapped potential you didn't even realize existed. When you realize that you actually have full control over the outcome rather than crossing your fingers hoping that someone else gets the help that you need to change. That is when life changes. So let me ask you, as a result of listening to this, are you willing to keep late night Googling, I heard of fear, or waiting on that many month waitlist to be seen by a mental health professional that may or may not see the problems you see. All the while losing your mind in the stress that is feeling hopeless and desperate for how to get through the moments that push you beyond what you would ever have thought your capacity needed to be as a parent to be patient. Or are you ready for support? Are you ready for a person and the plan and people that get it? Are you ready to create an established ongoing relationship with someone who knows you and your family and your child? Being able to find new solutions for every situation that comes up every little nuanced, individualized concern or struggle, troubleshooting and tweaking along the way? A so that you see sustainable change and progress within weeks. If that sounds like your current situation right now, and you're ready to switch that belief from they need help, to maybe actually, I am the one that needs the help. And please reach I don't help the masses with cookie cutter courses, I help you figure out how to better show up than you did at bedtime out. Go ahead and watch the training that I've been talking last night, specifically figuring out why they're so miserable. And what is going to be the biggest difference maker that solves that deepest root of that problem for good. I don't want you struggling any longer or any harder than you need to as a parent. This is hard. You deserve support. You deserve about this whole time, unapologetic, that's where I've support that knows you by name asks you every week how you're doing to your face, or you just feel so much less alone in what you're dealing with at home. So go to parenting wholeheartedly.com/apply. But a little more info about your been taking some of bits and pieces of this miniseries, for family what that looks like right now how you're struggling, what your kids ages are all that good stuff, then as long as I know, I specifically have the tools and answers that will help your family, I will get in touch with you to schedule that call. And we'll talk one on one, we'll make sure that everything is a at parentingwholeheartedly.com/unapologetic. perfect fit, we'll vet each other up and down. And then we'll probably have another follow up call just to make sure everything feels right before you get started in any one of my programs. So you are not alone. You do not have to spiral on And after you've watched that, go ahead and apply. That call Google any longer. And once you go through one of my programs, then you'll be able to see what is the biggest outliers, what is the biggest red flags? What are the things that are unique to what your child is struggling with that other kids aren't. And that way you can go with a much clearer picture to a that you have after you apply is that when I know I can help you, professional to be able to say, hey, you know what, I have eliminated all of these things from being a problem. So now I know specifically what support I need for this particular situation or struggle or environment. How much more empowered Can you feel going to if and when you need to go to a professional down the line, you can be so much more effective then we chat one on one, and I answer all your questions. And and advocating for your child because you know them and you've done this work. And you know exactly what is something that is the exception to the rule for them. That is power that feels good as a parent. So that even if there's something else going on for them that needs more support than them just being a we figure out which one of my programs is going to be a strong willed child right now. You can't know that for sure. Right? It just all feels like chaos. It all feels hard at all feels like defiance and mayhem and uncooperative moments and yelling, right. So let's figure this out together. I'm so excited to get to know you to come alongside your family. I'm perfect fit for you. Perfect timing for you. Perfect payment just so grateful for the opportunity to provide insight that could be the game changer you need for your family. So Happy Holidays. One more episode in this series to go again, so glad you're here. plan for you perfect amount of accounts you need. All of the Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of Failing Motherhood. Your kids are so lucky to have you. If you loved this episode, take a screenshot right now and share it in your Instagram stories and tag me. If you're loving the podcast, be sure that you've subscribed and leave a review so we can Help more moms know they're not alone if they feel like they're things I individualized because your family matters to me, failing motherhood on a daily basis. And if you're ready to transform your relationship with your strong willed child and invest in the support you need to make it happen. Schedule your free consultation using the link in the show notes. I can't wait to meet you. Thanks for coming on this journey with me. I believe in you, and I'm cheering you on