Failing Motherhood

The 3 D's of Lasting Change: Does Your Family Have What It Takes?

October 24, 2023 Danielle Bettmann | Parenting Coach for Strong-Willed Kids Episode 127
Failing Motherhood
The 3 D's of Lasting Change: Does Your Family Have What It Takes?
Show Notes Transcript

It's HARD + SCARY to unlearn, re-learn, and teach new ways of being with your child as a united front with your partner, improve your child's behavior, and become more and more confident by the day (ESPECIALLY with strong-willed kids)!

What sets the families apart that succeed in truly changing their lives for good?

There's much more insight to be gleaned from the actual journey toward growth than from anything to do with the power struggle that happened at breakfast this morning.

Today I'm breaking down the questions I ask to determine whether families have the three necessary components that create transformational change.


  • The Transformation Triad: the 3 D's
  • Why change just doesn't last if you don't have all 3
  • Whether or not it matters how much they're struggling


  • Dee's wisdom shared inside Wholeheartedly CALM

Ep. #28 - How to Do the Work with Sarah Saldi

IG: @parent_wholeheartedly

Support the show

*FREE* MASTERCLASS: Learn how to CONFIDENTLY parent your strong-willed child WITHOUT threats, bribes or giving in altogether so you can BREAK FREE of power struggles + guilt

Danielle Bettmann  0:04  
Ever feel like you suck at this job? Motherhood I mean? Have too much anxiety. And 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. But 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. 

Danielle Bettmann  1:14  
Hey, it's Danielle. If you're new here, I am so glad you found Failing Motherhood, you're in the right place. I'm Danielle. I help defeated parents find validation support and proven techniques to parent their strong-willed kids with composure, connection, confidence and cooperation through a three month group coaching program based on the Wholehearted framework I've developed over years of working with families one on one. I have an early childhood degree and an elementary teaching degree. I'm certified as a parent educator through Positive Discipline and I have two daughters. If you have just found the podcast, go to And there you will find a playlist of our most listened to episodes as well as where to start if you have a strong-willed child. 

Danielle Bettmann  2:04  
I have a few things I want to share with you before we dive in today. First, I shared on Instagram last week that I found out some news that truly broke my heart. I found out that a past client of mine that I admired in so many ways and worked with in so many ways. That was one of my first in person families the year I started my business, was so dedicated as a mom, that we did a podcast episode together. I found out a few months ago that she lost her battle with depression. And I was devastated and haunted by this news. I wish that things were different for her husband, and for her kids. And I hate that she felt so much pain that she had to have believed her kids are better off without her. If that ever feels like you, if you feel that way, in any capacity, please stay. There is hope. There are resources, and you are worthy of the support that it takes so that you can feel better. We need you, your kids need you. It is important that you are here. 

Danielle Bettmann  3:31  
I would be so grateful if you would take part in carrying on her legacy by listening to the episode in which she shared so honestly, it's Episode 28, How to do the Work. And I'll put the link to that episode in the show notes of this episode. 

Danielle Bettmann  3:50  
Second, I'm continuously grateful for the vulnerable, deep and wise thoughts that are shared within my program. I'm super proud of how safe and supported the families I work with feel inside. So when a family graduates, we all take a moment to listen to what they have experienced the journey they just went on and the advice they have to share. Since all of the call replays are uploaded, I've begun combing through some of those for some of the wisdom to share some nuggets with you here, asking for their permission, of course. So I'm going to share the first excerpt here and then we'll dive into today's episode on the other side of this clip.  Because they are clips of zoom calls, there is a little bit of background noise because I'm annoyingly typing on my gigantic keyboard trying to get some of her thoughts not remembering that I can run a transcript. I think it's worth being able to muddle through that, you know, audio because this is such like a behind the scenes glimpse into someone who's being so honest about you know what it really looks like in their brain and so Oh, you know, buckle up for this ride with me. This is Dee on her very last call inside, Wholeheartedly CALM, and she's talking about how she really feels, and we'll see if you can relate.

Dee  5:16  
This has been one of the best things that I could have done because, you know, when we started, I just, I just remember my first phone call with you and how I sobbed the entire way through. And, like, we were at a breaking point. And I just was like, I don't know how we're going to do this, you know, it was to the point where I felt like I was in an abusive relationship with my child, where she was the abuser. It kind of like, she's four. So you know, it's like a little four year old tyrant. I mean, I feel like, it was like, I get hit, I get bitten and spit on. And, you know, she likes the other person better. You know, it's, I feel like, it's somebody saying, you know, I got somebody else, and I don't want you and I won't, you know, it was just all the things I was crying a lot, and then just feeling so much shame. Because you know, the people in your life who are really trying hard to be supportive, are not being supportive in the way that you need, you know, because they're making snide comments like, well, you know, just leave her with me. And so and it's like, so it was just a lot. I was really dreading the weekends. Because that means that it's just us and her, and it was just really hard, there's no breaks. So this was needed, like, I needed to do something, I couldn't just continue being passive in this process and expecting the answers to come to me. 

Dee  6:52  
So thank you for offering this. And in offering something specifically for strong-willed children, because there's a lot of parenting courses out there. But one that's for this type of child, this is what I needed. So I think the biggest takeaways that I got, and you know, some of it I still struggle with, but I think these are going to be the most helpful for me going forward is the mantra of my child's heart is more important than a stranger's opinion. And I think the other thing that I found just to be extremely helpful is seeking out community, not just other friends with kids, but other friends who have kids that are like my kid, I need to know that I'm not the only one. This has been just so validating, because I was, I had so many thoughts of being a bad parent. And so it was just nice. It's nice to have people that are also trying to do things differently than what their parents did. And, you know, we got the same struggles. And you know, so when we first started, she was having like seven or eight meltdowns like full on tantrums per week. And now, now, I think that what we're getting is more like extreme power struggles versus full on meltdown tantrums, which is an improvement, you know, so the tantrums. It might be one every two weeks. You know, like a full meltdown, like a Oh, we need to leave where we're at. If that. If that.

Danielle Bettmann  6:52  
Right? How cool is that? Okay, so every family deals with meltdowns and defiance and feels exhausted. Right? What matters is how parenting feels, and your goals and your optimism, feeding said goals. So when I am meeting a family for the very first time, I ask them a lot of questions to get to know their kids and what they're dealing with on a day to day basis. But then I dive into what is three ways that you would describe how parenting feels right now? What are some of your goals? What are some of the things that are getting In the way of you meeting those goals? What things have you tried? right, there's a lot more behind the scenes in the actual journey towards the growth and the change that we're looking for, that has nothing to do with the power struggle at breakfast this morning. 

Danielle Bettmann  10:18  
So, I'm sharing with you right now, the recipe for readiness that I look for in each family that I meet for the first time. And then you can kind of do an audit, and see if you have what it takes to see if your family is truly ready for the level of change you're looking for. These three Ds are the necessary components that create transformational change, not just like the day to day, you know, I'll try something new until it doesn't work. Or, you know, I'm gonna give myself a little bit of a boost or something temporary, this is what's actually gonna make the difference and make it last. 

Danielle Bettmann  11:06  
And so the three Ds, Okay, number one, Desire: Desire to change. Someone is not going to get sober, if they're having fun drinking, right? There's a mentality of like, if it's not broke, don't fix it. So in a lot of ways, there could be things going on, in the day to day life of a family and the relationship dynamics of a family that are truly not a problem, at least an identified problem or not something that is worth or they want to fix right now. And it's just not the season for it, that's fine. You also can't solve a problem, you can't put on paper, or, you know, identify in some way and really get a handle on. So a lot of times if things feel too big, too ambiguous, too elusive, it's going to be hard then to know what to do to solve that problem. So it just doesn't happen. 

Danielle Bettmann  12:11  
The desire to change comes down to knowing and having that like feeling inside you, that says we have good moments. But we have a lot of bad moments as well. And I want more of the good. I know better days are possible. And our experience of parenting comes down to our perception. So that might look different on paper from one family to the next of kind of where their tolerance or threshold is or what's really prompting that desire. And a lot of families share dreams or desires of things that don't feel feasible or even enjoyable right now. And they want more of that good. It might be wanting to homeschool down the road, it might be wanting to travel more, and that feels impossible, it might be moving. And that is the thing that creates this desire to make those dreams possible. A lot of times, they just want more of the heart swell moments, more of the memories more of the living in the moment, or feeling free and actually having fun and getting to enjoy their kids more than they do right now. 

Danielle Bettmann  13:36  
That's what I look for, for this first piece desire. And they kind of build on each other. And they're kind of prerequisites for each of the other Ds. So the first D is desire. The second D is a Dash of Desperation.  

Danielle Bettmann  13:53  
Wanting something is great. We all want things. I want all the things on my Amazon wish list right now. But does that mean that it's really going to change my behavior to get those things right now? No, they, you know, they're great if I get them, but that's not going to change my life. So desire is one thing. In order to actually create change. you have to know that you need to, right? 

Danielle Bettmann  14:24  
You might have like a health scare that kicks you into actually sticking to a new fitness routine for more than a day. But that's not the same as the desire for like a hot girl summer night. That's just a nice to have, but the wake up call that you're pre-diabetes....That's an entirely different outcome of how it affects your behavior and how you create change from that place. So this dash of desperation comes from the kick in the butt. 

Danielle Bettmann  14:55  
And for some of the families that I meet, they share something very specific about why they ended up, you know, Googling desperately late at night, one night, or they ended up reaching out. And it was because their child said some really heartbreaking things like asking their parent, why they even love them if they're such a bad kid. And that's the thing that creates this fire inside them that ignites. And they're like, Okay, I have this desire, but now I have this dash of desperation, and I am on a mission, I'm going to find the support and the solutions we deserve right now. And that's what kind of makes or breaks the change, or unlocks the change. A lot of times, it could be coming down to knowing that their mental health is in an unstable and unsustainable place, or it's affecting their marriage relationship in a really serious way. Because all of their arguments come down to parenting. 

Danielle Bettmann  15:54  
And families don't work with me as their first foray into any parenting information. Very rarely, for the most part, they will read, mark that they have tried absolutely everything else. They've read books, they've listened to podcasts, they have saved all of the posts, they have maybe bought another course. But they know they need more. They know they need more strategy, more individualization and more hand holding and accountability and answers along the way specific to how to make this make sense for their kid in this situation, right. So they typically come to me as a last resort, or as like their only hope going forward, but they know they have to do something, something has to give something has to change what they're doing isn't working. 

Danielle Bettmann  16:51  
So that is pairing that desire with that dash of desperation. And the last D is determination. 

Danielle Bettmann  17:02  
Because it's great if you have desire, it's awesome. If you have that dash of desperation kicking you in the butt. But less than a handful of times a year, I will have a family who is super gung-ho when they meet me and they write me a big check. And then I barely hear from them again. And they don't do the work. So you have to have this third ingredient of determination. 

Danielle Bettmann  17:32  
You have to want it, you have to choose it. And you have to actually stick to it and be ready to do the work it takes because it is three months long for a reason. You have to ride the highs and the lows of the emotional roller coaster holding on for dear life at times, asking for help and needing reassurance to trust the process. As your momentum goes, two steps forward one to five steps back at any given time. You have to be a person of your word that says, hey, I'm ready for this. And I'm going to show up week after week. And you have to be a person that realizes what you put into things is what you get out of things.

Danielle Bettmann  18:22  
So the number of answers that you get is dependent upon the number of questions you ask, the more you engage, the more you learn. That's where that determination is so key. So that means if you have that third ingredient, as a family, then you are going to make the most of the support and contribute back to the community. That is the difference maker because you know the information is there and we're here and ready to help but if we don't know where you're stuck or what's going on and and how you're feeling defeated right now, then how can we support you when you need it most. 

Danielle Bettmann  19:12  
So you have to have that desire, you have to have that dash of desperation and you have to have the determination to make those better days inevitable. 

Danielle Bettmann  19:24  
So if you think that you have what it takes right now, and you're absolutely ready to transform your relationship with your strong-willed child and become the calm, confident parent they need, then first watch my free masterclass if you haven't yet. It's called Authentic and Unapologetic all about learning how to parent your strong-willed child without threats and bribes so you can break free of power struggles, guilt and self doubt. And after you've watched that and it hits home deeply, then apply to work with me in the link below the video or I will link all these things in the show notes of how to find me how to connect with that masterclass and how to apply to work with me in Wholeheartedly CALM. 

Danielle Bettmann  20:12  
I would be so grateful to hear with this journey of getting ready for this transformational change has been like for your family, and how you have gotten to this place with your partner. And that you're both in this state of having these three ingredients. I will be so excited to meet you and offer you the hope and the support and the solutions you deserve right now. 

Danielle Bettmann  20:40  
And if that's not your family yet, no worries. Be sure to follow up this episode with Sarah's Episode, Episode 28 yet this week, and I can't wait to hear what you take away from her words and her wisdom that she shared. Go ahead and DM me on Instagram. That would really make my heart happy this week. See you next week. 

Danielle Bettmann  21:05  
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 are not alone if they feel like they're 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.

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