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May 16, 2022

Episode 47: Getting All the Little Duckies in a Row with Rachel Bailey

Do you have a child with BIG emotions and BIG dramatic responses… One who becomes outwardly upset or uncontrollable when things aren’t going their way? Or do you have a child who is ultra sensitive to criticism and disappointing people, still feeling things strongly but turning their emotions inward? Stay tuned for this episode! DJ speaks with Clinical Psychologist and Parenting Specialist, Rachel Bailey about how to support a child who is anxious, what you can do when they're melting down and more!  Rachel shares some terrific advice on how to help your children (and yourself) work through these BIG emotions and find productive ways to process them.

Rachel Bailey is a Parenting Specialist who has been serving families for over a decade. Besides being a mother of two, she also has a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology, a certification in Positive Discipline, and has provided services as an ADHD Coach, in-home mentor, and therapist. Through her podcast, programs, and services Rachel teaches parents hands-on tools for raising resilient, confident children and bringing flexibility, peace, and connection to families.

• [4:18] Rachel talks about some kids just feeling things strongly… and that is not a bad thing. • [8:44] “The first thing we do is start to understand what's going on because most of us judge the behavior…”
• [12:29] “When you see a child who's angry when you see a child who's being bossy, what is happening is they're actually in fight or flight.” 
• [18:48] Rachel speaks of proactively teaching kids coping skills.

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DJ Stutz  0:13  
Just so you know, the following Podcast is a production of Little Hearts Academy USA. You're listening to Episode 47 of Imperfect Heroes, Insights Into Parenting, the perfect podcast for imperfect parents looking to find joy in their experience of raising children in an imperfect world. I'm your host, DJ Stutz. And let me tell you a few things about my guest Rachael Bailey. She is a parenting specialist who has been serving families for over a decade. And besides being a mother of two, she also has a master's degree in clinical psychology, a certification and positive discipline, and has provided services as an ADHD coach, and in home mentor, and as the therapist, and through her podcast, your parenting long game, and her programs and services, Rachel gives parents hands on tools for raising resilient and confident children, and then bringing flexibility and peace and connection to families. There's so much to learn. So let's get started.

Rachel Bailey has some terrific advice on how to help your children. And in the process yourself, work through these emotions and find productive ways to process them. Let me just warn you, I recorded this while on the road and the quality isn't quite as good as I would like. But Rachel's advice is key, and totally worth the listen. So listen in and you'll see what I mean. Rachel Bailey, welcome to imperfect heroes podcast. And I'm so glad that you're taking the time to be here and share your knowledge with our listeners, we are going to be talking about those big emotions that kids tend to have. And if I'm going to be honest, I have big emotions to go. And so I'd love for you to just introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about where we're going.

Rachel Bailey  2:29  
Sounds good. I just introduced myself, I'll start I have two kids. I'm a mom. In addition to being a mom, I work with parents. My background is in clinical psychology. So I've been in the field of clinical psychology for about 17 years, I worked in a number of different settings. I was an ADHD coach, I was going into people's homes for a living to help with the dynamics, I was trained as a psychotherapist. But about 13 years ago, I actually stopped working with kids and with teens in those capacities, and started working with parents, because I realized that even when I wanted to help kids and wanted to help teens, when I worked with parents, I had a bigger impact on the entire home. So I started working really to help parents deal with a lot of the common issues that are facing day to day, how do I support a child who's anxious? How do I get my kids to do their homework? What do I do when they're melting down? What I found was that I was always attracting and drawn to people who were dealing with big emotions. And I think it's because as I would say, I am actually what's called a highly sensitive person, I have big emotions. I am raising two children, both of whom have big emotions that actually look really different. And so about a year and a half ago, I started to specialize. There were so many parents and I wanted to specialize. And now I work with parents who are raising children with big emotions.

DJ Stutz  3:45  
Well, I could have used you.

Rachel Bailey  3:49  
My only comment would be raising kids with big emotion. It's more common than I realized.

DJ Stutz  3:53  
Yeah, I think so well, and I think kids naturally, especially when they're younger, they tend to have those big emotions as they're learning to manage them. And I've had parents have even just toddlers, as he's ADHD or he's whatever, she's whatever. And the reality is no, she's two.

Rachel Bailey  4:18  
Absolutely, although there's some people who grow out of that, who are two or three or four, and then they still have these big emotions and it's not a bad thing. They just really feel things strongly. And I know there a lot of symptoms that parents see, but really is just they feel things strongly. And that's not a bad thing.

DJ Stutz  4:34  
No, because it's those kids that are going to say no, that's not for me. My so I have five kids. And my fourth my youngest boy, severely ADHD All right. We had a pediatric neurologist working with us and he don't, he told us after our first visit is as I don't medicate ate on the first visit, you're getting medication. Yeah, just through the roof. He's a cop now, which is perfect job for him. But man raising him was a challenge. And there wasn't as much information and knowledge and support out there that there is now. So I probably screwed everything up.

Rachel Bailey  5:25  
Don't we all in some way? Our job is to do the best we can.

DJ Stutz  5:29  
That's why it's called imperfect heroes. Right? And he's a data to kids. And he's a cop. And he's doing fine, pretty well, he did, he did. But all of My children, I've noticed even my quiet child. So out of the five, I've got one that's a little more quiet. She was much easier to raise than the others. But they don't have to be belting things out. I don't think to have those big emotions,

Rachel Bailey  5:59  
racks. Yeah, that's actually very true. So I have two kids, both of whom feel very strongly, and they show it very, very differently. And one of mine is also quieter. But she still feels things strongly. Yeah, see the symptoms of the big emotions kind of turn outward, which is the meltdowns and the drama and the big responses and the controlling and being really upset when things aren't fair. But then there's the other side, which is what you're talking about, which are the kids who are quieter, but they they get really upset if an animal is hurt, or if a person is hurt. Oh

DJ Stutz  6:31  
my gosh, you've got rocky to a tee. Yeah, yeah, they may

Rachel Bailey  6:35  
be really sensitive to criticism or doing something wrong or disappointing people. So they still feel things strongly, it just doesn't get turned outwards. And those are sometimes kids who aren't noticed as much, we need to notice that as well and help them deal with their emotions just as similarly.

DJ Stutz  6:51  
Right. And I see that in my classes in with my students that I teach. And then with the parents that I'm working with, that seems to be a really common thread. I specialize in early childhood. So I'm Aiden under. And it's just interesting to see some of my students I have one little boy in my class, such a great kid. He's quieter. He's starting to come out a little bit. It's only March. But if he does something wrong, he just kind of melts. He's not a screamer. He just kind of Yeah, yeah. And so sometimes I have to just sit with them and say it's okay. And it doesn't matter. We're still learning. I see. You need to be upset. And that's fine. Do you want me to sit here with you? Do you want me to leave? Which ever one is fine? He usually likes me to stay there with him, but not talk to him?

Rachel Bailey  7:55  
Yeah, absolutely.

DJ Stutz  7:58  
Yeah. So I guess there's like these two big groups, and there's everything in between. But maybe we can talk a little bit about those quieter ones that have those huge emotions. And then the ones who get a lot of attention. Which were all my other kids. Exactly, exactly. So what would you do? i Let's let's go with the big the big emotions first. The ones who you're always getting a call from the school, or you're in the grocery store. And it's Oh, my holy cow. What's just happening? They seem to get more angry with their siblings. And with their parents. Yeah. So where would you start with that? Yeah.

Rachel Bailey  8:44  
So whenever I work with parents who have kids with big emotions, the first thing we do is start to understand what's going on. Because most of us judge the behavior, just the fact that they're melting down, and they're being quote, unquote, strong willed, and they're getting angry with their siblings. And it's so important to understand children with big emotions, because here's the thing, they don't understand themselves, right? They don't know why they're doing what they're doing. So we need to be the adults who come in and actually help. And here's one of the biggest things to know about the louder kids with big emotions. Well, first of all, remember, they feel things more strongly. So they genuinely they may seem like they're acting disproportionately to the situation. They're actually acting proportionately to how strongly they feel something. Yeah. And they get really mad at their sibling for taking a toy or for not playing the game the right way. They feel it inside that strongly. What's usually happening is, they have in their mind how something's gonna go, like, I'm going to play this game. My sister is going to do this, my brother is going to do this. And when it doesn't go that way, that creates such a wave of discomfort for them. That what you see is the symptom that they are now flooded with this big uncomfortable energy, and they're just turning it out and they're being bossy and controlling and angry. And really, these kids need help they needs to be understood. They need to be taught what's going on because they're just as confused as their parents are. And then they're getting in trouble for things that they feel they can't. And they really don't initially have control over it until we teach them how to control over this, say end up a lot of the time having really low self esteem, because they're getting in trouble for the behaviors that they feel that they can't control. They think to themselves a lot. And I know this from being a therapist, they think, what's wrong with me? Why can I control this, I'm getting in trouble and don't know how to deal with it. And they start to feel really bad about themselves. And that often leads to more angry, lashing out behavior and more resentment towards their siblings who don't have the big emotions.

DJ Stutz  10:40  
Right. I know one of the things that I've used, and maybe you can expound on even how to make it better. But we use a calming path with our kids. And so they can go and we have a race car. And it's got a meter kind of look to it. And so they can choose to put where they are. Is there a car parked? There? Is it running the Indy 500? Basically, yeah. And then once they can identify kind of where they are, and I've got three year olds that can do this, then we go around, and so they have a place to push against the wall, they have a place to count, you know, they can take numbers with Velcro, they can take them and count and then put them back on. We've got like a texture thing that has a ton of different textures. Yeah, and so they can touch the ones that they liked the best. We even have a thing that it's it's a pin will write, and then we've got a fake our kind of attached to it below where the pin will turns. And so they are blowing. And then they smell the flower. And so that's something that's a little more, and that does tend to help them once they go through the end. It's their choice. Do you think we want to go through our calm down path, or we have several options that they can choose? And that's one of them?

Rachel Bailey  12:21  
Yeah. So there are a couple of really important points that you bring up. Number one, the key to all of this is what you described, which is regulation. Again, when you see a child who's angry when you see a child who's being bossy, what is happening is they're actually in fight or flight. Because remember, they have felt something hugely discomforting, uncomfortable, their brain has sensed that as a threat. So they're now in fight or flight, that's the behavior you see, it's just their fight or flight, or what I call their yuck behavior. So what they really need is not our punishment or our judgment, they need our help calming down, absolutely what you're doing, and you're giving sensory strategies with the texture, you're giving breathing strategies with the pinwheel and the flower, you're giving them the strategies that actually calm down their body. Now, a lot of parents that will say, and I know your listeners are gonna say this, too, they're gonna think in their minds. I've taught them these things over and over. And they don't use them in the moment. And I just want to say why that is, because almost every parent says that to me. The reason they don't use it in the moment? Well, one of the reasons they probably do in your classroom is because they're probably less upset and less angry at you. They're angry at you, they're angry at a situation, so they're willing to hear you. But what happens is when we suggest it in the moment, usually they're too deep in fight or flight, and they're upset with us. So they refuse to do it. The other issue is, once they're already upset, most kids can't, don't care about the calm down strategies anymore. They're so upset, they just want this feeling to go away, and they don't want to necessarily blow into again, in your classroom, they probably feel safer. I can tell them and I know what an amazing educator you are. They don't feel that great. So they often won't do it at home. So again, once they're in fight or flight, it's kind of too late. By that point. You can't suggest to a child, you should do this. They need to to your point, they need to choose to do that. So I actually help parents teach their kids these strategies. But here's the key, practice them. In times of upset over and over and over, I basically say it's like teaching your child a new language. And it's a language they're not wired for. And when they're in a moment of stress, they're going to default to their native language. We need to make this new language so automatic for them that they don't default to their old language, which is aggression and all these unhealthy behaviors. The new one has to be so ingrained that they're going to default to going to get a pinwheel and smelling. They won't automatically do that on their own.

DJ Stutz  14:53  
Right. And that is something that we go through often with our kids while they're Calm. Exactly. And sometimes before we can even offer the option, it's, wow, I see that you are really upset. And we need some time for you to work through it. So maybe you have a place that they can go and hide. Basically, even one of those kiddo tents are fantastic. Because then no one's looking at them. Exactly right. And, and saying it's okay, and saying maybe I can see you're really mad. Do you want me to stay by you? Or do you want to go by yourself and calm down? Yep. And when you give them options like that, yeah,

Rachel Bailey  15:45  
yeah, because the brain feels helpless. When we don't have a choice. When a child is told what to do, we go deeper into fight or flight or again, what I call yuck. So when we are in this place, if we're not given a choice, if someone says you should do that, the brain is like, Oh, don't tell me what to do. But them a choice, they're much more likely to tell us now, as kids get older, I find it I know, you deal with you work with some older kids as they get to be 678. And definitely adolescents. They don't, they're not going to respond as well to that. The best news about them is we can actually teach them to do this on their own. They don't need adults around as much to regulate the younger kids need the adults around more likely to regulate older kids don't. But they can learn to do it on their own.

DJ Stutz  16:28  
Right. And if we give them these tools when they're little guys

Rachel Bailey  16:32  
oh, so true. Yeah. There couldn't be

DJ Stutz  16:35  
more likely to use them as they turn into teens and young adults.

Rachel Bailey  16:39  
So true. And you're giving them tools from life. Yeah, truly, for life. When? Yes. Yeah, yes.

DJ Stutz  16:46  
It becomes a power thing. How are you going to make that kick the coin?

Rachel Bailey  16:50  
Yeah, and you don't want to get the message that feelings are bad, because now I can tell you as a former therapist, and as a therapist for teens, that one of the biggest issues is not that teens feel it's that they're afraid of their emotions. So they get upset. And that upsets them even more. They're like, Oh, I'm upset, I'm not supposed to be upset, upset gets me in trouble. So they try to push it down. And that actually leads to way bigger problems. We actually need to teach our kids just like you're doing to recognize their feelings, and know how to handle their feelings, rather than totally stuffed down their feelings.

DJ Stutz  17:23  
Exactly. And I'm really big on Yeah, it's okay to be mad right now. But we want to be safe. So maybe you're safer with me being there? Or maybe you have. I have this white coat. And it's very soft and fuzzy. It looks like I look like a polar bear in it. But it's super, super soft. And when I bring it on cold days, I have kids that all over you. Yeah, yeah. And they want to feel that. And so maybe you

Rachel Bailey  18:01  
like that. It's very homey. Yeah, it is input for their senses for their tactile sense in that case, and it is very calming. And that's why I love your texture board that you have in your calm down path. Because the the different textures actually sends a message to the brain that you're safe where, okay, so it can actually be extremely calming. I always suggest to kids can, it's harder in the classroom, although this is a possibility, wrap themselves up in something tight, that can help them feel really good as well, all these sensory inputs can really calm a child down. Yep.

DJ Stutz  18:33  
Yeah, I totally believe in that. But how important then, is it? I try to help parents that I'm coaching, to start recognizing the signs before we get to that fight or flight point

Rachel Bailey  18:48  
100%. Because very honestly, a lot of kids at home when parents are dealing with them don't aren't receptive to the strategy. So I always say it's so much easier to proactively reduce this and teach kids coping skills proactively. The other problem is that often parents are trying to get their kids to calm down when the parents themselves are not calm down. They're trying to make dinner, they're trying to do this and that a child has a meltdown. So the parent is in fight or flight. The parent is in the UK, and they're trying to get a child to calm down. Well, a child's brain will not allow it to calm down when a parent isn't regulated. Right? Well not regulate cannot regulate themselves when a parent is dysregulated. So it's so much better to do this proactively to answer your question because I call this the cycle of yuck where a child is in the UK puts a parent into yuck. The parents Yup, puts a child into yuck. And you're dealing with so many fight or flight responses. It's never gonna go well. So much better to do it proactively for sure.

DJ Stutz  19:45  
I think so. And one of the things that I talk about is being realistic about your expectations. So if I'm picking up my kid who's been in childcare after school care, and it's six o'clock, maybe 630, even. And I'm picking them up, and they're hungry. They're exhausted for the day, even my eight year olds and even older than that. So what do I do? I take them to the grocery store.

Rachel Bailey  20:18  
Yeah, not gonna go well, now, not gonna go well, right. And that's the thing is that as parents, we're so busy these days, it's like, let's just fit it in. And emotions don't just fit in, unfortunately, and kids don't just fit it in. That's just not the way their bodies and brains work. And so my heart goes out to all of us, as parents, including myself, we have so much on our to do list that it becomes hard to prioritize what kids actually need. And again, this creates a lot of yucky poems. And this is one of the things I try to undo in families as well.

DJ Stutz  20:48  
Yeah. Yeah, I believe that really a lot. So what do you do if you have a child that is so upset that they're, like, physically attacking you?

Rachel Bailey  21:00  
Yes. Yeah. So I will say that physical attacking is a sign of a couple of things. First of all, a child may feel totally helpless. Often, there's a phrase I love. And I think it's really helpful for parents of angry kids rage is the flip side of helplessness. When you see a child in rage, often they just feel really out of control. The other thing is that often kids get upset because they're dysregulated. And they want us to make that feeling go away. And we can't, because they just have to feel it. That's the way it goes away. So they get very angry at us, because we're not taking away the feeling they have inside. And that's when they become disrespectful as well. So with aggression, specifically, what I use is the phrase, I can't let you, as an adult, we say to a child, I can't let you hurt me, I'm going to hold your hand. So I'd like to your point earlier, I'm gonna hold your hand so everyone stays safe. Children need to know we're in charge. And we are confident and that we are regulated. So recognizing a child is having a problem not being a problem. When a child is aggressive, they're having a problem. They're completely dysregulated feeling helpless, feeling really frustrated. And we just set a very, as much as we can calm, firm boundary, I can't let you do this, I will hold your hands is that going to make them more upset? Absolutely. But honestly, there's something I call the yuck curve, which is basically a rainbow shaped curve. So when someone is in Yuck, which is basically they're in some sort of discomfort, they're in Yuck, their yuck has to get bigger, reach a peak before it will come down. So it's like a rainbow shape. So when they get more upset, because you say I cannot let you hurt me, that's actually what's supposed to happen. It gets bigger. And then they do what I call traveling the yuck curve. And then they're upset leaves their body and they will calm down. So that's how we handle aggression, noticing, having a problem not being a problem, setting a firm boundary, letting them travel the curve.

DJ Stutz  22:57  
Yeah. So I actually took my first class as I decided to go back to school. And Christian was 18 months, maybe two years old. And just physically losing it on me, I was his first target. And so when I went and I took this class, and we were talking about, you know, the aggression and all of that, and how they, how they can physically lose it, and become aggressive. And my professor talked about something called the monster hug. And so I grabbed his hands, his back would be to my chest, and I would grab his hands and just hug him tight. And just say, I love you. And when you can calm down, and you're not going to hurt me, then I can let go.

Rachel Bailey  23:56  
Yep. And I want to just prepare parents that that's gonna that doesn't call my child down. I mean, no makes the more upset that that's actually okay. Because then they're just releasing faster. Yeah,

DJ Stutz  24:06  
yeah, he was on that rainbow curve that you're talking about? Definitely. And so it's funny cuz I just was with him last weekend. And he's got two kids and his son is his son. Ah, there you go. Yes. And he's like, Mom, we're doing the monster.

Rachel Bailey  24:26  
You do have to because honestly, here's the thing when kids are aggressive, again, they're dysregulated. And they literally need our energy to reregulate them. That's the way their brains work. They sense our energy. And if we're doing the monster hug, and we are God, energy shows that we're in charge, we're in control, we're okay. Their brain actually starts to calm down more quickly, and they actually feel the energy when they're wrapped in our arms more easily. Again, it takes a little while for their fight or flight response to turn off. They have to travel the curve, but that is exactly what we need to do for them.

DJ Stutz  24:58  
Yeah. Is Biggest sessions? I mean, they could go over an hour. Yeah. And I'm just breathing trying to give that calm, even though I'm not really. But I'm doing everything I can to give that calm. Yeah.

Rachel Bailey  25:18  
Yeah. And one of the things I will say is it takes a lot of energy, if you're not really calm to do that, it totally does. It's not possible to be a robot. But it is possible. And this is one of the things I do in my program to help get less triggered by your kids, when they're having big emotions. I would say that when when parents are done with the program, they're like, 80%, less triggered, man, you're gonna get triggered sometimes. Because you're, of course, it is possible to not get as triggered, and then everything goes so much better. And you're not spending a lot of willpower trying to stay calm.

DJ Stutz  25:48  
Yeah, absolutely. Alright, let's talk a bit about the other end of our spectrum. You know, those sweet kids, and sometimes you think, Oh, they're so nice and data, and they're just holding things in my background is early childhood, but it's not a therapeutic. And so my thoughts are that this can lead into big anxiety attacks, panic attacks as they get older.

Rachel Bailey  26:21  
Absolutely. Holding in emotions, we're supposed to feel our emotions. From a scientific perspective, emotions exist or feelings exist, to tell us, our internal state and our and what's going on around us. If we didn't have feelings, we had a broken leg, we would keep walking on that leg and our leg would probably fall off to feel it serve a purpose. We're not supposed to suppress them. And when we do, you're absolutely right, it turns turns into a lot of anxiety. I used to know when I was a therapist that when someone had anxiety, very likely, they had a lot of emotion stuck inside that we would have to release. So I absolutely agree with you. Yeah.

DJ Stutz  26:59  
So what are the some? What are some of the things that we can do? When we notice that maybe this is our child? Because I think they fall through the cracks?

Rachel Bailey  27:10  
I do too. Yeah, they seem like you were saying they seem easier to raise on because they're not acting out. They're often what happens to because they feel things strong. Amanda, this happens with my daughter who feels who's the term in type of person, she feels, you know, Discord, or any conflict so strongly that she becomes a pleaser. I want to smooth everything over. And then they take that on, and then they start to ignore their own feelings in order to make everybody else happy. So definitely, we need to be aware. So one of the things to think about is definitely spending time with them, asking them questions about what things are like for them. So I've actually said to my daughter, what's it like to have your sister as a sister, and let her talk about it? Some of these emotions, let them complain a little bit, because they actually need to understand what's going on inside of them. So that's one of the things that we can do. I think it's really helpful for kids who aren't necessarily talking about these things, to understand what their language is. It's not always verbal. And my daughter draws. So we'll draw out some of this stuff. I know a lot of kids who have big feelings and are very verbal are musical. They may do other creative things. So we can also help them get some of these feelings out and recognize them by turning to their language and their world as well.

DJ Stutz  28:30  
Yeah, I know my daughter runs. There you go. Yeah, she lives in Reno. And she has this goal of running the Tahoe Rim Trail. I know. Not all at once she's running them in segments. And she keeps track of where she's going. But that running seems to be her release

Rachel Bailey  28:55  
this. Yeah. And I actually I have a nephew who's very, very similar. Lots of feelings, runs, and it helps him. So again, we have to use their language. I know when I was a therapist, I learned this very quickly. Not everyone is a verbal processor and will benefit from talking about their feelings. But everybody processes in some way. And it's our job to figure out how they process and usually it's pretty obvious. Where do kids naturally turn whether they're some of their natural talents?

DJ Stutz  29:20  
Yeah. Yeah. Another question then that I have is sometimes I think their kids with big feelings can become the bully, or oftentimes they are targeted by the bully. It could go either way. And I know parents really hate to say, you know, my child would never first off my opinion is if you ever start a sentence that way, I don't care how you finish it. You don't know your kid and it's all hard for a parent to hear that maybe your child is doing some of that bullying as part of their release, or part of that need to either be in control, or whatever. And it's also equally hard to see your child be bullied. And oftentimes, they're experiencing both. So what would you suggest to a parent who's been told this is going on? How can they support that child?

Rachel Bailey  30:37  
I think it's funny, because when I first started my career, I did a lot of trainings for educators. And one of the trainings I did that was most commonly requested is how do you talk to parents about their children? Yeah, because I mean, you can imagine why this was requested so frequently. Sure, here's the thing is that parents, again, have so much yuck themselves, they're busy, they're tired, they're overwhelmed, they're anxious. And when they hear a message that your child, all of a sudden that their defenses go up, their walls go up. So this statement of my child would never is such a protective mechanism. It's such a, I don't have time energy to deal with this, oh, my gosh, this will cause more anxiety, more stress. So they're actually just putting a wall up. So I think when we're talking to parents is really important understand, to start in their world, and understand what their stress is, honestly. And we as parents need to understand what our stress is, when we feel heard, we're going to be much more open to hearing the message. So a parent who is feeling like someone gets them, and then the question I'm bringing up, hey, your child may be doing this. Have you seen that at home? Do you have any reason to believe that maybe they feel out of control, and they're kind of displaying this in the classroom? I teach a lot of communication skills, obviously, right communication, but whenever someone feels safe, they're much more likely to be able to hear this message.

DJ Stutz  32:01  
Absolutely. And I think talking to them, they're the expert on their kid, quite honestly. Exactly. So when you recognize that with them, and say, Wow, so what are some of the things that you're already doing at home? Right? Yep, yep. But I think two parents can lead with that. If you have a teacher that's not leading with that

Rachel Bailey  32:25  
100%. And by the way, this is marriage advice as well, with a spouse to do something different. Maybe you're now realizing, oh, we need to be a little do things differently with our big emotion child, and you want to tell your spouse that you wouldn't go and say, Hey, we need to change you need to change, you would say to the spouse, hey, what do you think about this? What is your perspective? What have you tried, that's worked and hasn't? And can I share something I just learned, but you don't try to share something you learned until you get in their world?

DJ Stutz  32:58  
Yeah, well, and so I'm kinda we know where Christian got his ADHD from. I'm kind of super extroverted. So rarely do I need time alone. And in fact, when I'm working at home, so there's three floors to our house. And there will be a TV on on all three floors, when I'm there alone, because I and it's not myth. I love music. But for me to be calm, I need that human voice going on. And it might be part of being you know, the oldest of seven and five brothers and chaos. But my husband is absolutely the opposite. Yeah. So we're, I need to be with people he needs not. And it's funny the way that we approached the kids as well. Because for him, when they kids had those big emotions, Russ bless His sweet soul. Next week is 44 years with us. So we've made it work. But he'd be like, my emotions. Okay. Just do what you want.

Rachel Bailey  34:24  
Yeah. For one, one parent to back away. Absolutely. It's very common. They didn't learn. He didn't learn to talk about emotions when he was young. Oh, no. Emotions. helped me out.

DJ Stutz  34:36  
Yeah. Yeah, no, he's the youngest of nine. Oh, my God.

Rachel Bailey  34:41  
Your family reunions must be very large. They're awesome.

DJ Stutz  34:45  
If you put our two families together, I have seven D nieces and nephews. Yeah, it's great. Well, and they're not all cute little guys. I mean, my husband who's a little older than I am he was an uncle at three?

Rachel Bailey  35:02  
Oh my gosh, yeah, when you have nine kids, I didn't see that happening.

DJ Stutz  35:06  
And so I think they just didn't have time to deal with anyone's emotions

Rachel Bailey  35:12  
100% that is the case, they didn't have time. Also, if you think about depression, era focus, like emotions, what we just have to get through it, we have to push on. And so that's who raised a certain generation who raised another generation. So yeah, the concept of talking about emotions, definitely something that's sort of new. And a lot of people think that it is fostering a sense of entitlement. That's actually the opposite of what he does. Because I say this to parents all the time. If you raise your kids to understand their emotions, and they get out in the real world, and they have a mean, boss, I'll go this way. If you don't raise your kids to understand emotions, and they have a mean boss, they're actually more likely to explode at their boss. And if you raise kids to understand their emotions, and they understand, I'm getting triggered by my boss, I need to calm down, they're less likely to get triggered by a mean, boss, because that's what everyone says, well, not everyone's going to be that nice to them to talk about emotions. The goal is to teach your child about their own emotions, not to be nice to them all the time. Because you right, they're gonna be out there with me and bosses, but they need to know how to handle it. Right. That's why we do this.

DJ Stutz  36:19  
Absolutely, yeah. And so I think it's really important for us to understand where we are, then. And so that we can recognize that, oh, this is where I am as a parent. So my parenting is very different than my husband's. And we just kind of had to come to terms with that. But how important is it then for me, as a parent of a young child, to recognize, well, I'm really stressed had a bad day at work, I had to go pick up the kids, we've got 15 minutes to get changed and out the door for big brothers, basketball, or sisters volleyball, or I don't know, whatever we've got going on. We're triggered, we're exhausted, we're in a rush. How important is it? And what are some ways then that maybe we can recognize and manage through that when we really feel like we don't have the time to do it?

Rachel Bailey  37:18  
Yeah, and that is one of the biggest problems is that we are trying to fit cram so much into a day. So if you go back to that parent who's go to the grocery store, where they picked up their child at 630, they're thinking I had to go to the grocery store, what choice do I have? And the thing is that we can't I said this before, we can't expect our kids to do well, if we are not doing well. So often what I do with parents when they are feeling this sense of I have to get everything done. And my kids are melting down is we do take a step back and we say how can you restructure your day so that this goes a little better for you that it goes better for your child? Yeah, so I do do a lot of restructuring. That doesn't mean even removing anything. No saying you have to change your job, you have to change your life. It's sometimes just restructuring things and being creative, to find a way to regulate yourself. Because honestly, if we're rushing, a lot of parents have talked about this in the morning, too. If you're rushing in the morning, your kids will have a problem with that they will slow down, they will act down, and I need them to get better. So I feel better. But that's not the way it works. We feel better, and they do better.

DJ Stutz  38:26  
Exactly. Exactly. Such great advice. So I always ask my guests the same question at the end of the day. How would you describe a successful parent?

Rachel Bailey  38:41  
I would describe a successful parent as one who first of all understands and has grace for themselves to be number one who recognizes when they're struggling and is not judgmental, but curious about their own struggle, instead of saying, why can't I get everything done? Or why do I keep yelling at my kids? Or why can't I get this right? Say, Hey, why am I yelling at my kids? What's going on for me? And I think that would be one measure of success. And then just trying to have the same grace for your child. Start with yourself going from judgment to curiosity, and then doing the same thing for your child, and really trying to help yourself and help your child. That's what I would say.

DJ Stutz  39:19  
That's amazing. That's exactly good. So what would you like my listeners to know about contacting you connecting? What do you have that my listeners can listen in and get more information?

Rachel Bailey  39:38  
So probably the first place is I have a podcast as well. It's called your parenting long game. And the first maybe 100 episodes, I talk a lot about discipline and sort of raising responsible kids and then my second season is all about big emotion. So if you're raising children with big motions, I have lots of examples and practical tips. I have a Facebook group where I talk about the podcasts a little bit and go live in there. I also will have a video series that I'll give you a link to the free video series for parents of children with big emotions. And then my website has any way you want to work with me. And that's Rachel dash

DJ Stutz  40:13  
And then we're going to put all of this into our show notes. And so they'll have a way to follow through on this amazing resource that's available. I hope my parents are listening in and really considering different ways that they can get information that will really help their family. Great, thank you. Oh, thank you. Well, Rachel Bailey, I'm so excited to the time to spend with us and to share your knowledge. And perhaps we'll connect again, I'd love that.

Rachel Bailey  40:47  
Thank you so much. Thanks for having me here. And I'd love to connect again to

DJ Stutz  40:52  
I wanted you to know that I have a new Facebook page that is just for the podcast. Now you can find me at Imperfect Heroes podcast. And my Tuesday night live events that have been on the Little Hearts Academy page are now going to be on the imperfect heroes podcast page, because mostly we're talking about the topics of the podcast for that week. And people can send in questions or make comments, and we will address those. So it's pretty cool. It's at seven o'clock Mountain Standard Time every Tuesday night. And next week, I have Delphine Rule, and she is a parent advocate and educator for children with special needs. And I know that we are looking at the beginning of summer, but this is a great time to get all of your ducks in a row to hit the ground running when school begins again. And so you'll have all of the services and all the right questions to ask. When school begins again. Delphine has some great answers. So tune in and see what I mean. And until next time, let's find joy in parenting.

Transcribed by

Rachel BaileyProfile Photo

Rachel Bailey

Parenting Specialist

Rachel Bailey is a Parenting Specialist who has been serving families for over a decade. Besides being a mother of two, she also has a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology, a certification in Positive Discipline, and has provided services as an ADHD Coach, in-home mentor, and therapist. Through her podcast, programs, and services Rachel teaches parents hands-on tools for raising resilient, confident children and bringing flexibility, peace, and connection to families.