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July 18, 2022

Episode 56: Connecting with Your Child by Finding Your Own Child Within with James Heppner

Sometimes the best way to connect with your child is when you join in the childish fun yourself. In this episode, DJ talks with James Heppner, a Results Coach and Podcast Host, about letting perfection go (because you don’t have to have it all figured out at this point) and how taking the time to relate to your child(ren) and expanding on your own point of view can make all the difference in the world. Listen in to hear them talk about the beauty of being a child, letting your own inner child resurface, being playful, developing curiosity and the rewards you will reap when you take the time to learn from your child(ren).

James Heppner likes to think of himself as an artist of experience. His passion is to create transformational experiences for himself and others as a way to explore what it means to truly live fully alive. James is a Results Coach and founder of “Weekly Wins and Losses” podcast and weekly global community cop. He helps people in their journey to embrace all of life, both wins and losses equally. James helps you firmly establish the mental and physical courage needed to do difficult things, while guiding you to activate your ability to leverage the good news that lies at the heart of both a win and a loss. 


I am hosting a FREE 10-day challenge to find your calm, loving voice as you encourage your children to complete tasks and routines, and listen to you more quickly with less drama.  

There will be a total of 5 live events with new information and the chance to ask questions and share.  Let's find joy in parenting, together!

SIGN UP for our FREE 10 Day Challenge! This challenge is designed to help parents learn tools and techniques to stop being reactive and yelling at their kids to build enduring relationships with strong boundaries in peace and kindness.


• [6:30] “Instead of us just teaching the child something, how about we let the child and us we teach each other simultaneously because they're wise, we're wise.”  
• [14:21] “It triggered me back to a remembrance of what true communication is, which is empathy…”
• [16:43] James shares “ You don't have to be perfect. You don't have it all figured out.”
• [41:36] “You know, the good news. I get to choose if I'm going to focus on what's wrong.” 

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DJ Stutz  0:13  
We think you should know that Imperfect Heroes podcast is a production of Little Hearts Academy USA. Perfect. 

You're listening to Episode 56 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. And I'm your host DJ Stutz. This week I am continuing what I started with last week's episode, I'm talking with people who can discuss the connection between faith and family. This week, I am talking with a guy named James Heppner, who likes to think of himself as an artist of experience. His passion is to create transformational experiences for himself and others as a way to explore what it means to truly live fully alive. James is what he calls a results coach and founder of weekly wins and losses podcast and weekly global community cop. He helps people in their journey to embrace all of life, both wins and losses equally. James helps you firmly establish the mental and physical courage needed to do difficult things, while guiding you to activate your ability to leverage the good news that lies at the heart of both a win and a loss. There's so much to learn. So let's get started. Welcome, everyone, I'm so excited. You've chosen to spend this time with us whatever it is morning or afternoon or evening.

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Sometimes the best way to connect with your child is when you join in the childish fun yourself. And so I think back on my own childhood, and some of our biggest last came when my mom would start a sword fight with table knives when we were doing dishes or she would start wrestling with my brother's and just being crazy and goofy. I want you to go and think about times when you start dancing with your kids or become part of a cannonball contest at the pool. Kids love it when you experience their joy with them. And when things do go awry, taking the time to look at the whole picture from their point of view, or recalling similar experiences when you were a kid yourself. How did you want things to go? So taking the time to relate to your kiddo and expand on your own point of view can make all the difference in the world. And then where does faith come into play with all of this, your faith in God and your child's faith in you It's also connected. So let's listen in. I am joined today with James Heppner. And we have just connected not too long ago. And at first, I wondered if we'd have anything in common, and anything to share. And it turned out we have tons to talk about. So James, why don't you give us an introduction and tell us a little bit about what you're doing?

James Heppner  5:30  
You're in the hot seat here, stress testing, do we really have something in common? Let's see what he says. It's so good. It's so good, right? Well, let's just say like this, when I first spotted your show, and you and I were chatting, you know, one of the things you talk about is, of course, children under the age of eight and parenting. And so I have two, two children, and I hesitated to reach out to you because my oldest is 17. My youngest is 15. However, the youngest has high functioning autism. And not just when I say however, it's if these two boys and I, I'll be totally honest, I, there's something that my two boys taught me when they were really young. And that is the beauty of being a child. And so I've taken that with me. And so it's like, yeah, they're 17 and 15. But in essence, I'm with them in the same way, the way that I was, and they kind of helped me along to be with them when they were really young. And that is a child that think wants us to just return to being a child. And that was just to be playful. And that is, instead of us just teaching the child something, how about we let the child and us we teach each other simultaneously because they're wise, we're wise. It's so unless we, and I know when we when we first connected, we're just talking about your faith and how you're saying you're very honest about it. It's quite structured, I thought was beautiful, like, Whatever, whatever floats your boat, whatever, however, you find a way to bring best value in. And so one of the things about that whole scenario, is letting things be the news that they are letting you know, I often think you know, I'm an amateur on the Bible, I am a believer, like you are in things, all things good. But we have become so concerned or let's just say it this way, it seems like society has become so proficient attorney news into bad news. And you know, so the Bible talks a bit about and again, I'm an amateur there, but talks a bit about, you know, I've come to bring good news. And the good news is whatever's in front of you is the news that is for you. For those that have a belief in Jesus or Lord, or whatever it is, it's like what you've been given is your news, you know, and so enrolling came along my so I'll share two quick stories, and then we'll then we'll move on. So rolling the oldest, I know and he was born, one of the things I have shared with you and we met, but I'll just share for the audience here. I'll never forget, when I was a child, my dad never said sort of. And that just wasn't the thing that was done in their generation, perhaps and whatever it ended up being I just onboarded that that to mean for me that when I had Rowan, that when I did things that I could feel were not proper, that I was chafing against what to do. And of course, the thing not to do would be different than what your dad's done, you know, because you've been trained to that way of being and so no, I wanted to say sorry, because I kind of botched the thing. But I didn't, and I'll never forget came back from the office one day, and I remember thinking, this is eating me alive. And he was under two. But I'm going to have to go and say sorry to him. And I thought this is the day that all of my mentorship and all of how he sees me as a man is gonna fade. And I will just like fall off in some abyss and he'll never really have needed me properly or whatever that ended up looking like. And I just remember thinking, I have to say sorry for what just happened at lunchtime. Like I said, Don't do this. And I got a little upset and he was really startled instead of meaning. What I wanted to say is hey, you curiously through your noodles on the floor. And it's making it hard for us in a playful way I came across in a harsh way. And the truth is I was I treat myself and I have in the past quite harshly sometimes. So I came home and I said to him, Rohan, I just want to say this. I'm so sorry. And I and what happened he did the exact opposite what I thought was gonna happen. I thought he's gonna run away and be like, Oh, whatever. He came to me Give me the biggest hug. And my kids still hug me big and deep every day they kiss me on the forehead. They do it. And you know what? It's like, if anything, the opposite of him not taking leadership from me. I learned from him. Harrison the same way Harrison Gray hip nurses, new nurses taught me that black and white don't exist. They do maybe, but in the middle is great. So why not just be about the tension. Returning to a child is to be like, let's go and muck around in the dirt a little bit. Let's let's be open to and I think that's one of the things we talked about how you and I relate, I think that I would just bring back to it's like you and I seem not to have a desire to come to an absolute final end. If anything you and I are but how is this the good news? How is this what we're dealing with right here? How is this what really we want? This is exciting. We get to participate with difference, instead of difference being threatening to us. All right eat brought into our awareness. That difference is really what we crave a desire to help us along in our journey, think about if you don't onboard different safely, you're gonna just basically be passing on old orthodoxy pass on the baton. Don't ask any questions. Stop being stupid. Stop asking. And really, why not let everything and so I know you've shared a few quick, quick stories about how your education set up. And there was a teacher once and different things and, and how you made space for her and just a beautiful thing. So thanks for that, you know, opening and I'm just honored to be here. Thank you.

DJ Stutz  10:33  
Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. I think, like anyone else, there's going to be several things I think that we would disagree on. True, but that's okay. That's okay. And it challenges me as a person to listen to someone who has a differing point of view, and ask questions like, Well, how'd you get there, I'm really interested in how you came to that conclusion. Rather than saying, Oh, you don't believe the same thing I do, then you're evil. And I'm gonna go after your job, and I'm going to get you cancelled, and whatever it is. And I really believe that. I pray that we are getting to a point where we're just sick and tired of all this. Good, no. And

James Heppner  11:23  
the gift of exhaustion, right? Yeah,

DJ Stutz  11:25  
exactly. I've been angry. I'm tired of being upset and looking for reasons to be offended. And I think all of us as human beings, tend to go that way if we allow ourselves. And we can do the same thing. As we're raising our kids. What is the example that we're setting for them? And by you going and saying, Hey, I'm sorry, here's this little teeny guy not quite yet to. And he is so forgiving, right? And his first inclination was to come give daddy a dog? And what did that do for you as a parent?

James Heppner  12:13  
Well, let's say that's a that's a very pointed question. It's beautiful. I didn't know what to do. To be honest, for the first little bit I it was so shocking, you see, the say the human being cannot differentiate between what's real and what it perceives as real. So I had put myself into this, this candor, this conversation, that this is how it was gonna go down. I was gonna say, sorry, he was going to detach. And that was the end. And the reason that I didn't do what I did for the longest time, which is to say sorry, because I couldn't face that. But I finally got to a place where I just chose listen. If it's the worst, can I face it anyway, it was eating me alive. And listeners, you will know where you are places life that are eating your life, perhaps one of the first things to do is, can you just accept it for what it might be? And so I just said, if it's going to be like this, I'm gonna accept that the only thing is, you know, a beautifully surprised me that the horror show that I thought was going to unfold the exact opposite happened. How often, isn't it? When you tap it? How often isn't it where you fear that something will befall you? is actually the news if you just turn towards fear and just challenge it and be like, am I gonna? Am I going to be afraid of fear? Instead, when you look towards so what did it did for me? Oh, my goodness. I could cry a million tears right now. I mean, I have tears laughter every day because he opened me up to are you lying? I love that question ever. I've never had it asked in such such a beautifully simple form. Perhaps just here now I'm just coming to the realization of in life, I think there's one question that will control much of our destiny, and that is, is the world a safe place or dangerous place? And that boy, let me just say it this way, what I perceived as being so dangerous, so like, I didn't want it, I didn't need it. He shut me down this complete safety here. Yeah, from that moment on, I began to look and He is always like, he's like an old shoe kind of person he gets here before, that's empathy. Right? And so I don't know, other than it triggered me back to a remembrance of what true communication is, which is empathy before we can speak a word, the true language, the baby and the parents empathetic, that word sometimes get in the way. Right, but empathy so it was literally like going, I just went back to the root of all language of communication. And I was like, empathetic and he was like, Oh, my spirits been longing for this. He was still not probably unconditional. Right? And so it took me and it broke me into a million pieces and you know, oftentimes the slogan No, it's a bit like May you go into peace, which I think is beautiful. I'm not saying water. given one nugget, but it broke me into pieces. And you know what? I didn't even try to put those pieces together. I just let them be pieces because it was like, Oh my God, what do I do with this? Like, it's something completely different happen. I know a turn in my favor. And that's beautiful. It just changed my life. It changed the course of how I do parenting exchanged. Man, the pressure of me thinking you had to have all perfectly put together. Oh my lord, like I was raised in a home where there was a lot of expected my dad was a pastor of a mega church. And I don't think he meant to put it on me. But I'm my certain nature, I just take things very seriously. And I demanded commander myself showing up, right? So be a perfect pair, I'd read all the books. And lo and behold, later on in life, when I came to this, this part of my journey where I checked out for a couple of years, to be honest, what helped me get through it all, actually, because I had read a bunch of books on parenting and how to be a good parents. And of course, you have seminars, and I was ready to be good parent, you know how it is, you gotta read this stuff. I've spent the money I've done these things. And then of course, things happen. Life catches up on you. You're like, what do you do with this? Now? All that I happen to know, is what took me out of that sedated place. Honestly, I didn't want to die for two and a half years, I checked out a life I almost lost my business, my marriage, my investments, everything. Wow, for two years, I basically sedated myself and melatonin, and gravels. So I slept successfully, I found a way to successfully achieve sleeping 80 and a half hours a day for two and a half years. So I didn't want to die. But I didn't want to be here. So how do you wrestle with this while I just slept, and I tried to convince myself I was tired. I just did all these things. But one of the things that helped me get through it is not to try to think my way out of it. But come back home what Rowan had taught me.

And that is you don't have to be perfect. You don't have it all figured out those two and a half years, I thought this is over. Again. It's over. Listen, it's over my kids. I've checked out a life, they'll never see the pivotal years formative years are over that young stage. And I remember I had to do reconciliation within myself and say, Is it really over? No, actually, you know what the truth is? Go back to that moment when he's like, just face whatever it is just face. And so for me, it was just looking towards the thing that feared me most. And that's I don't have it all figured out. And that I know you'll be able to get this. Yeah, but how often like, don't we focus on all the things that we know apparently we build our structure, which first half of life often as we build our structure, marriage, house business car, job on what we know, we can answer. Answers. The only thing is the second half of life. Typically, there's another half, which is beautiful, which is designed to make you stronger and you build your strength than what you don't know. I haven't read the I don't have all the answers. And the good news. I don't have to have the answers. And therefore I so I exited that journey that really self induced place of suffering. I exited that because now I got to build on what I didn't know, it's a little bit like what I didn't know with bronze example, when he hugged me, is how we'd respond. I thought I knew but I realized that didn't and so the surprise came. And so I did the exact same thing. So I hope that answers your question. It's a long, it's a long winded version of it, but

DJ Stutz  18:06  
I love it. I love it. And it does when you have those experiences that you realize I don't have all the answers, but we can look for them together. And this child actually has a ton to teach me. In the Bible. It talks about having the faith of a little child. And there's a reason that the Lord said that because little children are so for giving their just amazing. I can't tell you how many times through all my years of teaching, and I'd have so many hugs during the day and they come up I love you Mrs. Stats, you know, and it warms my heart. But I also began to learn that oftentimes they're coming and saying those things to me because they need something back from me not to just be pushed away and like okay, okay, go wash your hands. But to say Oh, I love that you said that. To me. That's so kind and that shows me your heart. When you start talking to your kids about why what they did was a kindness was forgiving, and they start learning these words and attaching them to themselves. I'm a good person, I can accomplish amazing things. I can't do everything nobody can. But I can do a lot of things and I can do them well. And when we can expand that onto our kids, and take on that feeling of being willing to learn. It doesn't matter the source, but where there's true Because I'm willing to learn it, and whether that's from a two year old, or a bishop in a church or something like that. Truth is truth. And so I have found in my faith, because I think most people when you're attached to a congregation, and there's a lot of great things from being in a congregation, I love mine. But I tend to think, Well, my church's right, it is the one God approves, right? And there's truth to be found, I think, in every religion, anyone have faith, whether they're Muslim, or Hindu, were Baptist, or Catholic, or Mormon, or whatever they are, there's truth to be found there. And I was reading a book on this scientists, too, was also faithful. And that's kind of a dichotomy in today's world. But someone was asking him something about some scientific thing that is often attached to God. And he said, I believe whatever turns out to be true.

James Heppner  21:15  
No one's interesting, but go ahead, unless

DJ Stutz  21:17  
that just defines my attitude in faith, that I don't want to be so attached to something that when I get up to heaven, I'm upset because it's not. I thought it was going to be, but to maybe say, Oh, this is interesting. Never thought of that. So I'm bringing that to our children, and allowing them to ask the questions and to find answers. I just did an episode, Episode 50. And we called it Curiouser and curiouser. And it was just about building that curiosity and allowing our kids to ask big questions, and not just giving them an answer. But going through a process with them, allowing them to come to their own understanding, how are we going to find that answer? How are we going to figure that out? And they're part of that process? And they learned? That's the way science works. It's the way relationships work. That's the way faith works. And so anyway,

James Heppner  22:26  
no, it's a fascinating play. I love it. It's something that's coming up for me, it's so interesting answers. What do they often do they know like, firstly, let me let me just say this way, I love what you said, when you first started, when you mentioned, we get to do this together. And what's interesting is when two people come together that are different. Their answers, though they come to similar, but they're always be slightly different. So you're actually creating more difference by coming up with an answer. Is that true? Have an answer, but they're slightly different. They're slightly different. Now, there are some universal truths in the world. And it's like, well, for example, if you look at evidence, you want to see what's really true, which watch evidence, just say, let's see, and then wait time will reveal what what actually is. So you say this doesn't work? Well, let's see, you know, and then all of a sudden, the plant grows and like, Oh, there you go. Right. And so one of the things and just to tap into what you said earlier, when when it comes to faith, right? It's so interesting. If you even think of the Jesus character, you think about any character, that spiritual Jesus is one that if I can just focus on that for a second here, and there's many that are good, like fine, goodness, find grace, you can find peace, and many, we have to be careful not to become extremist Christians, because extremist Christians can happen like extremists, you know, other extremists. And so what what does that look like? Well, we say one's bad, therefore ours is good. So we're actually not celebrating a good gracious God, we're just so afraid of the devil, apparently, that we have a common enemy. So let's get together for the common enemy. Because they Oh my goodness, right. Yeah. But you look at Jesus, who is Jesus. And so a lot of my work, what turned the boat for me in my life, is we have to break our addiction with our trauma bonds. We have to break our addiction with earlier childhood or even just a trauma bond. What's the trauma, trauma often is we develop this narrative now children who you're talking about came to hug you, it seems like they're still in this, this unconditional love stage. And they're like, Oh, it was safe place a place. But we we start to think the world is dangerous, because we've not been rewarded for certain behaviors. And so there's all this in this good and bad, right or wrong, that shows up. And it's like this wrong. And so if we're not careful, then this elevates and we mature into people, or it's a version of maturing, I don't know if it's a mature way. We mature into people that are always looking for Trump. Yeah. And so our addiction to the trauma of looking for what's wrong, is being like what's wrong with our faith? What's wrong with our failure? Look at Jesus, look at who he was. He was always looking for your strengths when well Laster first, first first, absolutely. First, he's looking for the good news. Who are you as a person? How many stories but of course, what do some of the dogma religion, congregations focus on, they focus on this lady who was caught in prostitution, that he said to her go and sin no more. So they focus on these rare stories, but the Bible is full, from front to back off book ends in the middle everything, stories of people who had these experiences of life, you didn't see Jesus coming to point out what they did wrong. He basically related with them. And when he related with them through empathy, you know, you hear it constantly, he would focus on You've heard it said, 10 commandments, like that's demands, don't do this. But I say unto you go love your brother. He says, Listen, I think ties together through empathy, return to the root of who you are.

DJ Stutz  25:52  
And it's interesting, too, that he said, there are really two laws. And everything else comes these two laws, yes. So it's love God, and love your neighbor. And that's really how I base my decisions on whether I'm going to do how I'm going to treat this person, how am I going to respond to a negative person that can be actually causing trouble, in your life, in your work in your neighborhood, at your church, wherever. And it's just interesting to me that as I go back, and I'm in the scriptures for me every morning, I've read every morning, because it gives me that structure. Fact, I just finished the book of Judges, we look at it. That's crazy. There's, oh, my goodness,

James Heppner  26:55  
a lot going on there.

DJ Stutz  26:56  
There's a lot going on. But one of the things that I took back from the book of Judges is that the children of Israel, they would get a judge that would lead them into freedom. And that judge would die and they start sending again, it almost immediately he's dead, let's go have fun. And they'd wind up in captivity or servitude to different things. And then they get tired of it, they turn to God, God would send them this judge to help them lead them out. And it just happens time and time and time and time again, just in the book of Judges, it was like something like 1314 times that this was going on. At So if God can have that patience with someone with a people with a shirt. Here's my air quotes, chosen people,

James Heppner  27:44  
right? And by the way, we are those people who got kept saying you're doing what, but he kept loving him anyway. So if you read the Bible, that narrative No, like, I'm sure glad I'm not those crazy Israelites, Oh, is there a problem? Then you're like, why would they do it? Like no, why do I keep doing

DJ Stutz  28:01  
Yeah. And we're as bad if not worse, honestly. So now let's take this back to our response to our kids. So our kid starts having this meltdown in the grocery store. And we bristle up and oh, here we go again. And instead of taking the more in my mind, godly attitude, and maybe sitting on the floor of the grocery store with them, and saying, I can see you're upset. Now, it doesn't mean that you're going to give them the cocoa puffs or the, you know, oh, I messed up there. Oh, definitely not kidding. But it does mean, I understand that you're sad that we're not getting lucky charms today. And that's okay. Sometimes I'm sad when things don't go my way do and we're not concerned about all the busyness that's going on around. That's right. But we're concerned focused on that child. So we're not giving in to them. But we're acknowledging their concern that they're distraught.

James Heppner  29:10  
Instead of saying that their emotions are bad they shouldn't have and you're making safe because they actually are thinking if you think about it, the child is innocent, childlike, I have an emotion, I'm going to reveal it. And then we as parents come along, go, you shouldn't do this to your point earlier. Like, get out. Exactly. It's like, what and so that's where we don't reward them for being sad. And all of a sudden wonder why society doesn't know how to handle sudden is like, No, I just want to get past it because I'm anxiously apparently focused on progressing fast forward, you know, to your point earlier where you said, Love God and love your neighbor, everything. Everything else hangs on that those two laws and you think about it. If you love God and love your neighbor, I think what happens the way that it kind of filters down for me, when you look up your neighbor, you begin to have to love difference, because your neighbor is different. Yes. And by loving different, you're gonna have to reconcile that you're gonna Have to get comfortable with the storm. Because when you love difference, where's the storm? Now you realize you're feeling difference in here? And what do people often do when they feel difference in here? Well, I don't know what to do with it. So maybe this is bad differences. Bad, right? sameness is if we don't all have the same beliefs on galore. That's bad. We shouldn't we should make a solid decision or am I left? Am I right? So what do we do with this, the child's breaking down, like you said, not getting the Lucky Charms, or cocoa puffs or whatever. And so, if we lean into, and we begin to, like, become aware of where's the store, because if we observe, I guarantee it, is a grandpa or granny someplace who's seen that child have a meltdown and be like, You know what I finally let myself cry. Like I never have because in life, we mature eventually, hopefully, and to be like, All emotions are safe. So there's a grandma or grandpa, who's looking at the child going, Oh, I remember those days, it was beautiful. Right? There's a grandma, grandma, the way they're taking this in is, wow, this is beautiful. This is what life is, oh, my goodness. And all of a sudden, they observe the mama look down, and not make room for difference. So there's two people seeing the exact same scenario, once sees it, and be like, Wow, this is amazing. Because typically, when you get older, you begin and if you want to be relatable, let's say it this way, by default, the younger generations are going to have to are going to show you that life is evolving. So you have to make room for different. So if you want to harmonize or have an existence that isn't just like, get me out of this earth, so I can just go be somewhere else. But be thankful for you, or you're gonna have to be able to relate by onboarding and making safe difference. And when you love difference, again, what happens to the point, I think what I'm trying to make is this for the long run, but the point I'm trying to make is, you know, where is the storm, when we notice it? Often we go the storms out there. Oh, no, the grandma and grandpa saw the same thing that you and I were Mom and Dad would see if we're going to bark at these kids. The storm is in the person who's deciding what this means. And instead of being like this is and towards the storm, if you reckon the storm is here, you're not going to take your verbatim and throw it and project it on Stop it. As a matter of fact, the storm is gonna expand your shoulders, they get knee to Jesus was all about doing heavy work in a light way. My yoke is easy, My burden is light. And then we realize in real time the child is trying to draw you back to the root of being a child making emotion safe. And like you're saying, maybe it's not appropriate to scream in the store. Okay, so you nicely you get down to their level and you nurture them, you apprentice them, you're like, here's how you and in some way, you're actually rewarding them for the motion, but you're just showing them how society tends to have structured around what works best and what helps best. So instead of them cutting out and being like, that was the bad thing to do and not so trauma bonds are created bad things, wrong things feeling as bad. They'll never get us anywhere.

DJ Stutz  33:02  
Right? And to some kids, they have this meltdown, they can't control it. But then they do become aware that there are other people around and then they become very embarrassed, and it makes it worse. And so I think what I've done is give them a choice. I can see you're really upset. Do you want to sit and cry here? Would you feel better? Yeah. And out to the car? Yeah. Is there somewhere else that would be better for you?

James Heppner  33:31  
Not bringing to it? No. Yeah.

DJ Stutz  33:34  
But what you're saying, yeah, what what's gonna help? You know, calm down. I never tell a kid to quit crying. Even if I know they're just it's a fake cry. As you say, Oh, I see. You need to cry. Where should we go? Do you want to cry alone? Do you want me to cry with you? What you give them options. And as soon as you give them those options, I'll tell you they'll stop crying. In less than half the time it would have taken if you were trying to force them to stop crying.

James Heppner  34:06  
DJ, this is why use apparently said last thing you and I talked you said you're retiring. This is why your students and the parents are still contacting you. Because you make so much room for these kids you like this feels like I'm in some oceanic oneness here. Like I get to be and someone just gives me options. And what I'm doing isn't the horrible news. It's the good news. The Bible says I've come to bring good news. If your life isn't good news, you might want to consider not how to change the situation around you. You might want to decide about that storm you have in you is it is that the bad news or is was that set to save your soul today like save you so that you can ascend to another level of flying.

DJ Stutz  34:45  
Exactly, exactly. And so I think that I love what you say you call it the what is it something bonds the

James Heppner  34:55  
breaking your addiction to our trauma bonds. So we're that's what we're focusing on. What we're doing wrong all the time, and you know, that will never, then you're only ever empathizing with your problems and not your possibilities.

DJ Stutz  35:06  
And you're beating yourself up over it, oh, I'm a terrible parent, oh, I'm a terrible husband or wife, you know, or I didn't handle that well in my class or at work or whatever. And you're constantly beating yourself up. And I think that goes back to maybe how you felt as a child that nothing was ever quite good enough. Maybe you were trying your best little guys. They don't know how adults don't know how to manage their emotions. We see that all the time. I remember, gosh, this is probably four or five years ago, and I was talking to a parent about a child who was beatniks especially aggressive and verbally abusive with Dream language that I wouldn't want adults to use. And she's like, Oh, I have no idea that he never hears this at home. And I don't know where he's getting this. And I'm thinking in my head. I just saw you punch someone in the face over a parking spot in the parking lot last week. Yeah, yeah, no. And we're so worried about when someone's trying to reach out and say, let me help you. Oh, no, no, no, I'm fine. I because we're lying to ourselves. And I think it's okay to open up ourselves and say, Well, I'm really bad at this. Yeah, life. And so but that doesn't mean I'm a bad person. It doesn't mean I'm a bad parent. There are no perfect parents Period, end of sentence ever. And so we all have places to improve. And what's better? A parent who's willing to learn? And say, let me find some resources to do a little better. Or the one who's in denial all the time, and therefore there will be no change.

James Heppner  37:06  
Gosh, what is there to life if we can learn? Yeah, like, is there an end to learning? If there's an add to learning, that means we must have decided what the end will be. But because that's not all we can ever do? Because when I wake up, I always feel a little different than I did yesterday. We always do. We always feel a little different. It's like life just shows us. Yeah, it's a new day. So it's like the opposite of telling a lie. Perhaps we started telling a lie. And we're not willing to reason with we're strong. Why us becoming humble, strong when you're weak. What does that look like? So Megan, I the boys were gone. We sent them to Phoenix, they went to see their niece's graduation. So there's that says, my sister marry my wife's brother. So it's like their DNA. When these kids, they have two girls 21 and 18. We had two kids 17 and 15. When our two boys get together, they're two girls. It's like their brother and sister. They've always it's like, they just sit on the couch. You don't have to talk all the time. It's just like the chill, they do whatever. And it's but anyway, make a long story short, so it's kind of wonky. And I met Megan at their wedding or I forget exactly how it went. But one of these things. But what's really interesting, Megan, I, we live in Vancouver, British Columbia, and we make a trip to see some friends down in Kelowna. And Kelowna is about a four hour drive. And so I've done a lot of work on myself bangs on a lot of work. But like I say, we have to break or break our addiction to a trauma bond. So like, what are we doing that's wrong? Instead of being like, I can't believe I'm still doing this and be shameful about it and be like, well, this is who's in here. And instead of being like, it doesn't belong. Ask yourself in God's economy. Is everything is anything ever wasted? Yeah. Never. God was always about utilizing everything. Don't eliminate, utilize. Utilize the moment I have come for you today. Having this for today. It's you know, I've come to save today. Your resurrection is today. It's today. It's today. It's today. So here's the today that was kind of interesting news for me. Yeah, we're going for Drive. We're driving to Kelowna. We pull off and exit, get some fuel, make jumps and we switch. Right and she drives and she's driving. And now she's taking the ramp off to go onto the highway. She takes I'm looking at the map. And I think she's taking the wrong turn. So out of nowhere. She starts driving, which is not a big deal she's supposed to. That's what she's doing right. And other nowhere. This is the truth that erupted for me. I barked. I'm like what are you doing? And I had no idea where it came from something just showed up. And I'm like, what? She was quiet. And then she said some fast back to me. And that we were just quiet for like two miles. And what's interesting, in the past, I would have said like, well that doesn't belong like that's evil. The only thing is, you know who I am. I am both big and small. I will return to dust someday. Who Welcome, ah, it was a humbling moment. And you know what? And they usually grounded me. And in that moment I looked at I thought to myself, wow,

oh my goodness, I can't believe and of course the invitation is I should really like, I need to fix that. And I'm like, the truth is Yeah, next time I might want to take different action. But like you know, what's interesting about that DJ, if that happened in such a random moment so back to your The reason I share that story is back to that story about the pair who punched this person in the parking lot. And sometimes we don't we're not even aware of what we're doing. And then there's empathetic people like you who guess what these parents like, I don't know why this happened. There are certain things that we're naive to and we push aside it just ends up because of the line of work that I do. I'm constantly I spotted what I did instantly. And so realize a storm isn't here and I pulled back and Megan I you know within about two and we after those like I said those words quick took me like five seconds say that she said her words quick. And then we will pause from like, whatever happened right here. So I think the good news The truth is when we're able to stomach the truth. Here's the thing we all have need of grace. Grace. Yeah. Gracie to we all have need a grace. Grace these hugs, please. I needed a hug that moment because I felt about this big. Which by the way, there's privileged laying on your back try this sometime. We all want to be bigger apparently. How about you go lay on the on the grass and look up at the stars you get to feel small, does not feel nice, just to be small. So that moment that I felt that way. I'm like, oh, there's still a lot of work to do. I'm broken a this is not to be used in God's kingdom. And then it just hit me going. You know, the good news. I get to I get to choose if I'm going to focus on what's wrong. Truthfully, I don't want to be doing that again. Right. The only thing is what's in here that's making that happen. It wasn't make that made it happen. There was a storm that was still it was inviting me the good news is coming to the surface. today. I have come there's something to heal in you if you like because that's why I came out it was nothing because anything other than there's a story I'm still telling myself and a deep, subconscious level. That's like, I don't want to get it wrong. I don't want to get it right. And then I'm like, I'm trying to protect her from not taking the wrong exit. Make don't do this. I'm helping you not get it wrong. Why the wrong right? Good, bad. This is often like you are gonna open up earlier. CONGREGATION sometimes they don't want to get it wrong, because you wouldn't want to be found not at the pearly gates. Right? That's like, actually, you know what the thing is? We're all made God's image. Can we just relax for half a second? Yeah, you know, and be like, actually, how about the DNA of who we all are? Humans all do one thing. The same thing all look for more love and give love, Gracie. I don't know if Gracie was in your class. She was giving a hug. But you wanted something why we get to co create. That's what we're designed for God created we're designed to, to create and CO create with other people with the force of love and life. So what's the good news? Right? It's the good news. But I am just so no, no, no, I'll tell you this. When I first met you. It was like, man, there's this person that as she's aging me too. By the way, I got a great grace for coming in here. As she's age. I just fell silver. There you go. Exactly. Right. And so gracefully aging with Gracie. You know, we're, you know, she just keeps being about all these hugs. But what's interesting is hugs not in a way like love Lady laughter. But it's no with the roar rich texture of life. And there's somebody who's doing faith with not excluding. So there's two ways of doing transcendence. You transcend by excluding, yeah, you can have faith and you can have a life like that. But it's gonna be a narrow version, you're gonna have to seed your tribe, right? You do that all through transcendence through inclusion versus exclusion. It's a radically different life. And so I think I spotted that and you let's say the beginning, I'm like, I don't know cuz sometimes when people say they have this Christian faith, it might come from no tradition, I once was an exclusion. Right? Now I become an inclusive person. So I just wanted that and you and it's just like, breathtaking things. So thank you for that. By the way. This is nice.

DJ Stutz  44:05  
Thank you. I really appreciate that. So James, if our people want to get a hold of you, or connect with you further, what can they do?

James Heppner  44:16  
Let me just state sorry for stammering there I still have a bit of that sometimes my apparently thinks so fast. My tongue can't wrap around the words. Firstly, I'm going to say is this. I'm not a nanny for hire. So that's not me. However, however, they want to find me. Uh, let me just say it like this. There's there's probably two groups of people. There's many groups, but just for simplicity sake, I'll say it this way. There's a group of people who are like, you know, I'd really like to talk to James not because I'm a wise person by any means. But it's just I really like to chat with him and perhaps get into a one on one coaching relationship. That's amazing. And of course, those of you who feel that you're going to know and you're going to feel that nudge pretty intensely. So those are like, Yeah, I'm not sure. You know, I would suggest don't reach out for one on one coaching, but those of you who are like I got to connect with them or my husband's got to connect with him or whatever that looks like, just please do so. And you can just simply go to www dot James So it's JAMESH EPP And then for every one else, I have a no charge, Friday noon, community life call called weekly wins and losses. And so this is where we build the inner musculature to actually become real with what a lot of us perceive life to be in from a very simplistic way, the survival of nature has it like, Am I winning? Am I losing, we're getting further ahead of my stay behind. And so one of the things that happens when we just turn our face towards where we think we're losing, for example, and we don't change the facts, we don't make it positive. We keep facts intact. The receipts are in, I lost the deal. The receipts are in, I gave my wife a gift, and she didn't like it. The receipts are in the milk spilled. So what's the best thing to do the child screaming, not getting Cocoa Puffs? What's the best thing to do on the milk in the Cocoa Puffs, go and get a rag or sit down on the floor with your child? Or maybe be like, where would you like to cry honey. So when we finally get to an understanding that all of life is designed to be news, we get to give it the meaning that we like, we don't need to change the meaning we get to let the meaning come in just be what does it look like all of life is Dean, if we let it, we must decide. But that takes some work. And you know, at the end of the week, oftentimes, you know we've done so much. Every time we we choose anything, we have probability of either feeling like we're losing or winning, and it's going to happen. But if we take the kind of loss down the road, I'll tell you what will happen. They're gonna all come together and arrive at the worst time and we're gonna have a meltdown and not know what we're doing. And so we want to do is we want to close the week off strong. We wanted to be like, you know, I just want to face and I'm going to talk openly, just quickly, we have people from around the world, they share one primary when one primary loss and the deepest one, when you get to just oftentimes say it, it removes the sting, right? It removed this thing. You said it, the milk spilt by carpets kind of ruined. Okay, what do I do now here's what we want to do is return herself to active participant mode. Listen, to sit there just mope around about stuff there's a season to to mourn, I get it. But there's also season to move on. Now, we don't need to rush but we just need to say it needs to be okay with it. Need to see it for what it is? And then very quickly be like and how would I like to participate in the snow because I think our faith you and I were were they be beautifully complied in a you know, in a beautiful way. Clyde meaning like to come together is Jesus is always inviting us to participate. We're here for a reason to participate, what to exclude 50% of our life, you know, 50% and often is the losses of our life. We don't know how to deal with that, apparently yet we have the ability to because Jesus made heavy work light, right. And so this is not dystopian, this is not like, oh, go into the dungeon of your life. This is just to literally be like, Why am I walking past 50% of my life, what actually it's all news. And I get to use it all for the goodness that the actually was designed to be. So for everyone, the gift is open to all of you. And if you want that weekly wins and losses experience, that's what it ends up being just go to weekly wins and So just spell it the way it sounds weekly in the end and the and scroll down the page and just say join this Friday this call and you'll you'll be in you just attach yourself or you come via zoom. You have that experience. And so yeah, it's really an interesting, unique time. And you get the closer we have strong but most importantly, you get to start the next week, not with a bunch of baggage. Because here's the thing, who will act on any of their ideas, innovations, new things, you're going to try new breakthroughs you're gonna do, who's gonna try any of them? If you don't know how to handle a loss, because guess what? 50% chances you're gonna lose, you're gonna feel like you're gonna have to figure this out. You're gonna have to figure it out. Yeah, that's true. That's

DJ Stutz  49:19  
so true. Well, we're gonna have all of that in our show notes too. So if people want to connect with you that way, boy, I would encourage them to do so. I just wanted to ask you one last question before we go. How would you define a successful parent?

James Heppner  49:38  
That's a great question. Let me contemplate that for a second. Okay, I'll say like this. A successful parent is one. When things get rough, doesn't desire how to eliminate, but someone who He desires to hold the responsibilities Well, which takes me to the thing. I think as a parent, unless you're responsible, you have no business being a parent. Because he's children, they're wise, but they need people who, listen, society does self policed to a large degree. But there are interesting people with interesting intentions, say it this way. So it's not just protection, it is a great honor that children bring us back to our childhood themselves. And so responsible meaning when you're deeply responsible, you reckon that unless you have need of grace, unless you like Grace flow, you're going to solve for which means you're going to be bringing constructs and mechanisms that are only going to leave you scratching your head and very frustrated, because I'll say this thing, even though you weren't raised in a home, or even modeled what it looked like to strive to be a perfect parent. But responsibility, parents have this typically, the mama does like oxytocin, the dad does, too. I mean, it's something chemically wrong with him. While if she doesn't have that, that's the truth, science will prove it. I think on a responsible level, unless you make room for grace, and like Grace flow through your life, which means you gotta let the light shining through the cracks. Stop trying to put all the pieces together. Me go and pieces, may you let the pieces that you feel like you are when the kids screaming on the floor, feel those pieces and then speed mature in the moment while the child is having this meltdown? Where are you not give yourself the gift to feel emotions, and let yourself let that be an invitation for you to experience how to do emotions? Well, when you do that, listen, the responsibility of who what you got in the to be an imperfect parent will come naturally. And all of a sudden, you're just gonna let that go. Because you can be nothing but the pieces that you actually are. And that's the good news. You got it all together, you need nothing. True that apparently you weren't God. And that's not possible.

DJ Stutz  52:13  
Exactly. Wow. So great. I love our conversation, we're gonna have to do this again, sometime. I really enjoyed it. And I like how we can challenge each other. And with the intention to understand and connect. And that when that's your sole goal, it doesn't matter whether you agree on everything or how you feel about the Second Amendment or the first, you know, it didn't none of that matters. Because I'm and you were trying to connect with one another? What a great opportunity. This has been. Thank you so much.

Thanks so much. Bye, bye, bye. One of the things I really loved about talking with James was his openness, how many times did he say, Oh, you've given me a different point of view that I haven't considered before. How important is that, for us to latch on to when we're raising our kids, our children can very often give us the point of view that we have never really considered before. Or maybe we've forgotten it from our own childhood. But being open to that kind of information from our kids from my podcast, James's podcasts, from all kinds of different sources that can give you better insight and a better understanding of what's going on with your relationship with you and your child. The relationships that you have with you and your family can be so valuable when you're open to new ideas. And I loved that about James. And I also love the connection that he had between the good news of the gospel being incorporated into all of this. And I thought it was so interested that he says that he wished us pieces rather than piece that our lives come in pieces. And some of those pieces are really fun and enjoyable. But equally important, are the pieces that are difficult and hard. And I just loved the way that James acknowledged that. And if you want to know more about James and the work that he does, all of that information is going to be in the show notes below. 

I know that when I was raising my kids, I had a habit of raising my voice way too often. And I want you to think when was the last time that you really paid attention to someone who was yelling at you. Were you inspired to draw closer to that person? Did you feel comfortable with your relationship with that person? And do you feel like your kids just don't listen unless you're yelling at them? Do You feel like yelling promotes your relationship with your kids? Or would you like to learn how to get them to listen as you just talk to them? Well, on July 25, that's just a week from now, I'm going to start a 10 day challenge to help parents learn some extra tools and techniques to stop yelling at their kids, and build strong relationships with strong boundaries in peace and kindness. And during these 10 days, we will connect with five live events on a Facebook group just for you, and other people who are looking to have a calm, loving home. For everybody. If you're interested, you can just go to my website, that's and register for this free, yes, free resource. So just click on the link in the show notes. And we're gonna have so much fun and just learn a ton together. And I keep asking, while you're looking over the show notes, go ahead and leave a rating and review and follow the podcast. And taking the time to give the podcast a five star rating and review really does make the podcast easier to find. And we are then able to help more families. One thing to remember is that when you streaming, and this is with any podcast, not just mine, but when you're streaming a podcast, that podcast doesn't get credit for the analytics that will lead people to your podcast. One way that you can help beat that out, is go ahead and download it. And then when you're done listening to it, just delete it. And that podcast, whether it's mine or someone else's, will get credit with that analytics to help other people find it. And so that's just maybe one idea that you can do. Remember to join me every Tuesday night on my Facebook Live event. And so the new podcast comes out on Mondays. And that gives you basically two days to listen and then join in at the live to ask questions and share stories and your thoughts about that episode. And we have lots of fun. So find me at Imperfect Heroes podcast on Facebook. I'm no longer doing the lives on Little Hearts Academy USA page. So make sure you're going to the right page and check it out. It's at 7pm Mountain Time. And next week, my journey and faith leads me to my guest Rabbi Manis Friedman. And we will be talking about the difference between providing for your kids and actually raising your kids. It's such an interesting conversation. And so until next time, let's find joy in parenting.

Transcribed by

James HeppnerProfile Photo

James Heppner

James Heppner likes to think of himself as an artist of experience. His passion is to create transformational experiences for himself and others as a way to explore what it means to truly live fully alive. James is a Results Coach and founder of “Weekly Wins and Losses” podcast and weekly global community cop. He helps people in their journey to embrace all of life, both wins and losses equally. James helps you firmly establish the mental and physical courage needed to do difficult things, while guiding you to activate your ability to leverage the good news that lies at the heart of both a win and a loss.