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Feb. 27, 2023

Episode 88: What's in YOUR Toolbox? with Angie Weber

Episode 88: What's in YOUR Toolbox? with Angie Weber

Mom Essentials podcast host and creator of The Parent Toolbox, Angie Weber, is amazing at helping parents find tools appropriate for the children living in our homes. Listen in as DJ and Angie discuss how to help break generational parenting cycles… You know the ones we mean… where you hear your mom coming out of your mouth. And how we can fill our own tool boxes with methods and techniques to be more effective and responsive with our children’s overall health and well-being.

Angie Weber is the creator of The Parent Toolbox and host of the podcast Mom Essentials. Angie helps parents build their own toolboxes with new strategies and approaches to be more proactive with their kids' health; physically, emotionally, and mentally. By using therapeutic techniques and helping reduce toxins in our homes, she knows we can better equip our kids for the future. As a mom to twins, she believes as we change conversations, we can change generations.

• [7:43] Angie discusses that what worked for our parents is not necessarily what will work for us.
• [15:49] Angie explains how she helps parents have a different conversation around emotions and start again.., becoming aware and starting to implement safe and healthy resources for their kids to see.
• [35:11] “When you take away the opportunities of your kids to fail, you’re taking away their opportunities to grow and learn.”
• [38:45] DJ shares: “When they get overly sensitive and don’t have problem solving skills, they wind up being more of a target.”

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

You're listening to Episode 88 of Imperfect Heroes, Insights Into Parenting, the perfect Hpodcast for imperfect parents looking to find joy in their experience of raising children in an imperfect world. And I'm your host, DJ Stutz. Now, if you're a regular listener, you might be expecting Susan Hoose to be my guest today. But we had some technical difficulties. And so we're going to enjoy our episode with Susan at a later date. And instead, I have Angie Weber. And Angie is the creator of The Parent Toolbox. And she's also the host of the podcast, Mom Essentials. And she is on a mission to help break generational parenting cycles. You know, the ones we mean, where you hear your mom coming out of your mouth. Yeah, those anyway, Angie helps parents build their own toolboxes with new strategies and approaches to be more productive with their kids health, physically, emotionally, and mentally. And by using some of the therapeutic techniques that she has learned and helping to reduce toxins in the home, she knows that we can equip our children for a better future. She's the mom of twins. And she believes as we change the conversation, we can actually change the generations, there's so much to learn. So let's get started.

Hopefully, by now, you know that an imperfect hero is someone who recognizes their imperfections, but they're always looking to find ways to become better. And the truth is that so often we as parents, unwittingly sabotage ourselves and our children. And we've all had the experience of looking back and wondering what went wrong. So just for the month of February, that means ending tomorrow. I have my unwitting saboteur to strategic hero workshop, and I'm offering it for free. Now, this is a pre recorded workshop that you can download. And then you can listen to it at any time that is convenient for you. The nice thing is, once you've listened to it, if you would like to talk further about some of the strategies and some of the things that we talked about there, I am more than happy to talk to you. And so you can just go to my calendar. And pick a time and I would love to have a 50 minute conversation getting to know you, your hopes and your dreams, and the direction you would like to see your family take. So if you want to download it, that means today or tomorrow, February 27, or 28th, you can find it on my website, and that is www dot Little Hearts Academy And be sure to do it while you can. Time is running out. As a mother of five, I totally get it. And I have been there a number of times, kids that push boundaries, siblings that don't get along. There will be issues at school, picky eaters that don't want to eat the food that you cook. And the list just goes on and on and on. And while there were some great things that my mom and dad did, probably like everybody else in the world, there were also things that they did that I said, I will never do that to my kids. And these were usually things that happened when my parents were really stressed out or embarrassed by something that we kids did. Or when they felt like we weren't just living up to our potential. And they didn't understand what to do about that. And so they would just kind of lash out. And I had hearing problems when I was younger. And that caused some embarrassing situations and problems at school. And my brother who's just younger than me has Tourette syndrome. And that was very hard for my mom to deal with. And as hard as I tried. There were times when I would almost turn around to see is my mom standing behind me because I was hearing her voice and hearing her words But the truth was, she wasn't paying me. It was me. And at those times, I just felt terrible. And then I would beat myself up. Well, once I started my formal education in early childhood, I started learning more about how kids develop and what to expect as normal behavior. And when I first started going back, my husband was working. And so I took evening classes, so he could stay with the kids and I could go to school. And actually, one of the first classes I took was child psychology. And I can remember one night coming home, it was after 10. And I woke him up in the middle of a dead sleep. And I was so excited to inform him that our kids were normal. Then, something really interesting happened. Once I started just relaxing, and understanding that my kids were doing what kids do, then I was able to assess the tools that I was using in my home. And I started throwing out the ones that just weren't working well for me. And there were some that were actually causing damage in our relationship. And I then started replacing them with tools that were kinder, and more effective, quite honestly. But here's the crazy thing. There were times when the tools that I thought I had previously thrown out, would just show up again in my toolbox. And I was amazed, as I caught myself using a tool that I thought I'd thrown out. How did it get back in my toolbox? Well, the truth is that it isn't as easy as throwing them in the trash, never to be seen again. And there are tools that you are going to have to work for a while to actually eliminate them. And they are truly gone. Well, Angie Webber is amazing at helping parents find tools that are appropriate for the children that live in your home. And because different children will need different tools. And we had an amazing conversation. So let's listen. Welcome, everybody. And thank you for choosing to spend the next little bit of time with Imperfect Heroes podcast. And as usual, I have an amazing guests. I don't know how I get so lucky with having all of these great guests, but I just really lucked out. And Angie is no exception to that. So Angie Webber is my guest today, Angie, why don't you just kind of fill our listeners in on what you have going on and what your specialty is?

Angie Weber  7:43  
Absolutely. Well, thank you for having me, DJ, I feel the same way I get connected to so many amazing people on these podcasts. And I love connecting with other people who are really trying to empower parents, not to be perfect, but just to do better, maybe than our parents did, because of those generational parenting cycles that we so often leap hand down from one generation to the other. So I'm the creator of the parent toolbox. And my whole mission with that is to help parents be more proactive with their kids health. And that's physically mentally and emotionally. Now a little backstory is in 2020, before even the whole world shut down, because I don't think I need to remind anyone of any big events that happened, I went through a personal kind of traumatic experience on my own. And I spent the next couple of years really trying to figure out how I could kind of heal myself. And I really wanted to understand more about my mental health, how I could be more proactive with it understand what was going on in my body. And so I went through a few different programs, and the tools and tips that I learned were just so life changing for me. But I sat there and I thought, well, these are really life changing tips and tools. However, they should also be common knowledge to a lot of us, but they're not. And so I started using them with my own kids. I've eight year old twins. And I started using them with my own kids and saw some amazing results. And again, I was like more people need to know about this. And so I'm an educator at my core, and I did a class for parents called the parent toolbox on how we can start incorporating these tools and tips to better help our kids and ourselves understand emotions and how to express them in safe ways. And so many people after that class said things like, wow, why weren't we taught this before? Or this should be something that we already know or even people who are empty nesters at this point saying I really wish I would have known this when my kids were younger. Because I think if you ask them they probably thought all I did was yell. And so that really catapulted me into kind of rebranding my business into the parent toolbox. And now I host a podcast like yourself to just really look at the best and messiest parts of motherhood and how we can start building our own toolboxes to create these really awesome humans that will eventually have their own tools, and hopefully be better off than we are,

DJ Stutz  10:04  
Angie. And I've had the opportunity to have the actually several conversations over the last little bit, and I've been on her podcast, and now she's online, and we're gonna be sharing that information on her podcast as well. But you bring up such an important point in that, you know, what worked for our parents, is not necessarily what's going to work for us, and that they did what was right and socially accepted and whatever for their time. And attitudes are changing very, very quickly, much more quickly, then in generations before us. And the emphasis to on parenting and motherhood and child development and all of that, we say we put a high priority on it. But yet, most of the classes that I took in high school in junior high, don't even exist anymore, or are no longer compulsory. They're an elective, were with me, they were compulsory. So I, by virtue of my gender, what had to take sewing and nutrition, and child development and a lot of those classes. And I loved actually, when I was a kid, my career choice was mommy. And so I loved those classes and wound up taking more than I had to, but I loved them. And I can even remember in ninth grade. So back then in Los Angeles, that was junior high, high school was only three years, it's four years now. But ninth grade, I had to take a class, it was compulsory. And it was a six week long class, they split the semester into two six week groupings. And one of them was how to open a bank account, how to balance a checkbook, how to make a budget, and we even had field trips where we went to the water department and learned how to get the water turned on and how to get the electricity turned on. And they had us fill out applications for an apartment. And so we knew what kind of stuff that we were coming to. It's funny the other six weeks back then I don't know if they still do it. Every school in Los Angeles, whether it was elementary or high school, junior, I had a school garden. And oh, wow, yeah. And so the other six weeks was working in the garden, and learning about those skills as well. And so these things really aren't as available to our kids, and really in the generation behind me. So that would be your generation as well. They just weren't there. And so we have so many parents that are coming in without a lot of the skills. It didn't hurt that I was also the oldest of seven. And so you know, I was involved with them growing up as well. So what kinds of things do you think and as you do your workshops, you have master classes, you've got all these great things going on? What are some of the things then that parents are asking you? Or surprised when they learn?

Angie Weber  13:14  
Yeah, I mean, there's so much I wish I had some of those classes that you were talking about, because I didn't get taught that a lot, right. And I've always been a huge advocate for mental health, I used to actually have another business, it was a natural makeup line and $1 of every product sold was donated to the Foundation for Excellence in mental health care. And so it's always been a huge passion of mine. But then when I was on the other side of dealing with my own mental health issues, I was like, Oh my gosh, what do I do? How what's happening. And it just really gave me good insight that we typically don't understand when our kids are upset, or when they're angry, what is actually going on. And so what I also learned is we were talking about, you know, the different parenting styles through the generations and our parents doing the best that they could. And I always say that my parents are amazing, they're very loving, they provided very well, they gave me a good look at what a marriage is. And I can also see how when it came to emotions and mental health issues that were happening within our family, it very much got swept underneath the rug. And so I think when parents a lot of the time what I work with them on is really figuring out how we can start becoming aware of the reasons why these meltdowns and these tantrums are happening. And these different behaviors like really kind of starting to track them and become aware of them, but also knowing that they have to start doing the work themselves. So we're kind of at a disadvantage where it's a lot harder to do the work on ourselves than just to get the ABC of how to make my kid be better right or act better. And so really having to do the hard work yourself is something that is a little challenging for people. But being able to do that and be able to hand off these tools to our kids is so essential because what I see happening a lot. And again, this is looking at parents and then looking at the children that we're trying to raise is that so many times when we were kids, we were typically told, don't be angry. Why are you upset about that? Don't be sad, and unintentional. Don't cry, don't let anyone see you cry, don't let anyone see you get angry. And so what we're unintentionally doing and it was done to us is that we started pushing down those feelings. And we started, Listen, stop listening to our body. So when we're older, and those feelings are coming up, we're like, wait a minute, this is really uncomfortable. I don't like this. And so typically, we go to survival resources. And I mean, there can be extreme survival resources, right? Like that can lead to addiction, whether it's alcohol, food, shopping, destructive behavior, things like that. And so really helping parents have a different conversation around emotions and start again, becoming aware and start implementing safe and healthy resources for their kids to see, so that they can already be set up for success in the future versus them getting into teen hood or adulthood and coming up against a tragedy or a trauma or hardship, and then not knowing how to deal with it. Yeah. Typically, what I like to start with people, too, is I talk a lot about the window of tolerance. And this was created by Dan Siegel, he's a clinical professor, he has a lot of great, amazing videos out there. And I tried to kind of break it down into more of a childlike version of it, I'll say. So I always tell people pretend that you're standing in front of a window. When you're standing in front of a window up straight and confident you can see everything happening, like I can see the colors of the trees, I can see what animals are out there. Everything is good. Now, that doesn't mean that there isn't going to be little disruptors, right? For example, if you're driving and you miss the Greenlight, like oh, yeah, that's a bummer. Or your coworker takes the last bit of coffee, or whatever it is, like, we're going to have a little bit of ups and downs, because that's just life. But what we really want to becoming aware of is when we're getting out of this window of tolerance, or what I like to call a sweet spot. And we're actually going into hyper arousal or hypo arousal. And I like to really mimic that of saying, you know, if you were in hyper arousal, or I like to call it high activation, it would kind of be like you were bouncing off the ceiling. So you're in your fight or flight, you're angry, you're upset, you worry too much energy. And when you're bouncing up and down, you can't see clearly out that window. Same thing happens when you're in low activation or hypo arousal, it's like you're laying on the floor, and you're unable to bring your head up far enough to look out clearly out the window. And so what we can start doing is really start paying attention to our bodies, so that we can identify when we're getting into these extremes. And how we can help our kids with that is start having more conversations of like, you can see them getting upset and saying, Well, what's going on in your body right now? Where do you feel it, what kind of thoughts are coming into your mind. And again, just really having that open communication with our kids so that they can feel comfortable talking to us about it too. Because I would say that is the other big thing that a lot of parents struggle with. If they don't model this, when kids are younger, they have a really hard time getting that communication to be open when they're starting to get into their preteens and teens and adulthood. And that can cause a lot of issues on its own without that good solid communication between parents and child.

DJ Stutz  18:28  
Well, you bring up such great points and one of my things, and I teach my parents in my coaching programs that I do, I don't ever tell the child to stop crying. Never. Because First off, if they're really determined, how are you going to enforce that? Short of duct tape and even then they're still going to scream and yell within that. And the other thing is by validating and saying, I see that you're really upset, and it looks like you need to cry. And that's fine. You can cry here with me. Because some kids want to be more alone by themselves when they work through that I've got a grandson that's very into that. And then he'll come back when he's calmer. And then he's ready to talk about what was going on. But if you're trying to get them to talk to you while they're in the middle of that panic attack, sometimes those meltdowns are really just a panic attack. And they have no idea how to manage with that. And you can say I'm here to help you. I want to help you. I just can't understand what you're trying to tell me right now. But I'll wait. You can calm down. Take your time. When you're ready to talk to me. I'm here I want to hear what you have to say. And sometimes just that alone will help a child calm down when a child is given permission to cry. What's the fun in that right? And so I have found that they calm down so much faster. This is a strategy that I used in my kindergarten classrooms in history. Usually like the first little bit of school, and it's kindergarten, and for a lot of kids, it's their first time away from mom, even in today's world, their first time away, and there'll be left his mom really coming back for me, I don't know. And some kids really struggle with that. And so I'm like, Yeah, I understand that you miss your mom, I'm so glad you love your mommy and you want to be with her. And you're supporting those feelings. And then you can say, you know, what we had, and I had this little corner. You know, some people call it the cozy corner, the calming corner, and I had a nice beanbag. There, I had some stuffed animals that they could hold on to a pet, because they had that nice, soft texture, whatever. And it's like, this is your place to cry. You can cry as long as you want. Do you want me to sit with you? Do you want me to go over with the class and I would do whatever they told me. And that helps them then I understand the physicality of their emotions, that their emotions are okay, and that they are stronger than their emotions. So very quickly, that's a lot of the curriculum that I would use in kindergarten is I am stronger than my emotions. And my emotions are real. And if I need to cry, I can cry. I can't hit, I can't kick. I can't destroy things. But I can give this big teddy bear hug or whatever. And when you offer kids those options, it's amazing how often they will pick just the best option.

Angie Weber  21:32  
Yeah, absolutely. And I agree. I always tell my kids, there's no bad emotion. No emotion is bad. Because we all feel all emotions. It's just how we express it. And especially when it comes to anger. I just don't know when anger got to be such this negative thing. Because we all get angry. At some point. If we're being honest, we all get angry. And there are appropriate ways that we can express that it doesn't mean we shouldn't feel that way. So I always tell my kids, you know, we can express anger if you're angry. Yeah, I will even tell them if they're upset with me. I'm like, Hey, are you mad at mom? And they'll tell me yeah, I'm sorry. That's okay. You can be upset with me. Yeah, because we all get upset with each other. But the three rules of anger when you're expressing it, is that you can't harm yourself. You can't harm others, and you can't harm property that's not supposed to be harmed. And so I'll tell them, Hey, do you want to scream into a pillow? Do you want to push against a wall? Do you want to go hug a stuffed animal super tight. And so it's just really instilling those positive, healthy and safe resources at a young age or as young as we can. So that, again, they're, they understand that that's a practice that they can continue on. And that's the quote unquote, normal, not the, Oh, you shouldn't feel angry about that, and just shove that feeling down, because it's going to come up at some point. And it just depends on what's going to trigger that kind of thing. And then again, I think we can really look at ourselves to and start being really honest with ourselves of what is making me angry, what's making me anxious, what's making me upset, especially when it comes to our kids. Like, I started noticing how getting out the door with kids. Oh, my gosh, that should be like an Olympic event sometimes, right? It's really challenging. And so often, our anxiety and frustration about running late, gets pushed on them. And I was watching my son the other day, he was going down to the bus stop, and I yelled out the door, and I said, Hey, don't you need this folder. So he came and ran. And of course, the thing that came out of my mouth was Okay, hurry up, buddy, the bus was coming. And that was my own stuff of like, hey, if they're late, I'm gonna have to drive them. And then I'm gonna have to push back this and that, and yada yada. And I really got stopped in my tracks, though, because he walked out the door. And then he just slowly went by the car and brushed the snow up and like, was not hurrying at all. And it was just a good reminder of my anxiety about being late to places is starting to get pushed on him. He doesn't have that worry, there was plenty of time to get out to the bus. He actually ended up dropping his folder on the ground. So I ended up going out there. And I was like, You know what, just grab what you need, I'll pick up the rest. And everything was fine. But past me, I would have probably been so upset and like frustrated and like, what are you doing? Why would you drop that? Well, he didn't mean to drop it. So it's really about changing your perspective and seeing how different situations are affecting you, and how they're affecting your kids because they're two separate beans. But so often we let one trigger the other.

DJ Stutz  24:38  
Yeah. And it's so interesting that you bring up the getting out in the morning thing. It's a problem for more families than not absolutely. Imagine a parent who has never had a problem with getting kids out the door. Whether it's first thing in the morning or getting to go to church on the weekend or wanting to go see grandma and grandpa Whatever. And one of the things that I've noticed when kids will suddenly slow down, oh, you're in a hurry? Well, I'm gonna slow us down, right? Because that gives them power and control of the situation. Well, I don't want to go to school today, I want to spend time with you. So I'm just gonna linger around. And so there's that part of it. There are some kids that have great anxiety about getting out on time and whatever. And it's interesting, because I've seen both of those in the same family, same parents, same attitudes, is getting out the door. But the individuality of the personalities of the children, and how they respond to that parent based on their own personality, their own perception, their own strengths and weaknesses, that can look very different within the same family. Oh, you're

Angie Weber  25:58  
preaching to the choir with twins, they are so similar in some areas, and in other areas, they are completely opposite. So I totally understand that. Yeah. But it's really looking at them as an individual versus Oh, they're siblings, that shouldn't be the same for both of them. It is not, they will throw you curveballs. You won't know what to do, necessarily, but really going back. Also, just like taking that pause, I don't think we do that enough as moms is, we are so busy all the time, we have this big mental load, we have our to do list, we have yada yada, yada. And so we're very quick to react. And what we need to do instead is take a pause and figure out, how do I want to proceed versus just jumping into action right away, and then feeling guilty later, or at the end of the night, going through your head and being like, oh, gosh, I wish I wouldn't have yelled at him about that. Or, Oh, I wish that we would have just been ready five minutes before. I think just taking that pause can do a great service to a lot of parents to reduce that guilt and that shame that we carry.

DJ Stutz  27:06  
Yeah. And I love that you brought up how parents will very often beat themselves up over why did I react that way? But you can ask the same question. With a different tone with a tone of curiosity. What was going on that I act like? That's not like me? Or this is getting to be way too often that I'm reacting like this? And yeah, so what's going on that is causing this in me. So you're looking at it from a point of curiosity rather than condemnation. And you're going to learn a lot more, you're going to progress a lot further. And much quicker. If you are coming at that from a curiosity point of view, what can I learn from this, and then moving on, and then not being afraid to go in and say, Hey, buddy, I know I got really mad today, I was in a hurry. And I really needed us to move quickly. And I felt like you weren't moving fast enough. I still like you to move faster when I asked you to. But I don't need to talk to you or use the words that I used. Whatever you need to say, reassure them that you love them. Because very often, and perhaps you can remember back into your own childhood, where a parent overreacted. And you're in your room thinking do they really love me? What is this going to mean for my future? Am I a bad person? Am I a bad kid, all of those things can be going on in that child's mind and you going in and reassuring them, comforting them will make a huge difference in your relationship in their relationship with others, and the way that they think about themselves.

Angie Weber  28:43  
I totally agree with that. I tell my kids sorry, all the time. Like I talk about gentle parenting, proactive parenting, conscious parenting, whatever you want to call it. The truth is, is that is never gonna be perfect. We're all going to act out of emotion at one point or the other. During the summer, it was not my finest moment. My kids love to play with water and things like that. I think we're working on our camper. So we had a bunch of materials in there that really should not have gotten wet. And I told them, you know, yeah, you can play but you have to keep it outside of the garage because a bunch of water was starting to run in and come back out and there's water everywhere in the garage. And I'm not gonna lie, I lost it. And I felt horrible. But I was so angry because I was under stress for other reasons. And then I took it out on them because they didn't listen to me and I'm not saying that gentle parenting and conscious parenting means that they have no punishment or no consequence for actions like that. However, the way that I approached it all that did was make them upset even more because they already knew they did something wrong. It made me super upset. It made my husband well actually my husband's like it's nice that you're upset with someone else besides me. But you know it was it it was just a bad situation. And I could have approached it a lot better. But again, sometimes we mess up. We're parents, I always say, We're gonna mess up our kids one way or the other fact, I asked my daughter the other night, I said, Do you feel like you've had a good childhood so far? And she's like, Yeah, why I said, I'm just wondering about what you're going to talk about in therapy and 20 years, I just, I want to try and get a gauge on it now. So I mean, we're not going to be perfect. And I have no problem going to my children when I'm calmed down. And when they're calm down and saying, hey, you know what, I'm sorry that I reacted that way. And next time, this is how I'm going to try to approach it. And I love you, they want to feel love, they want to feel validated. And I think there's with some parents this power struggle that they feel if well, if my kids think that I messed up, or I admit that I messed up and say, I'm sorry, I'm going to lose some kind of that power over them. But really, what it's teaching them is that we're all human, and we all make mistakes, and we can try repair those mistakes, you know, to a certain level, as long as we're open and honest about it.

DJ Stutz  31:03  
Yeah. So I'm kind of curious, I'm gonna throw this at you. If you had to redo and that same scenario, looking back with 2020, what do you think you would have done,

Angie Weber  31:15  
I would definitely use a little bit more of my resources before approaching my children about it. So calming down and doing a little bit of breath work, because when we're angry like that, and our kids are anxious, what's really happening is our nervous system is way out of whack. And so if we can do these little things, it doesn't have to be this extreme thing, just like you mentioned on my podcast interview about self care, it doesn't have to be a full spa day to get back to that sweet spot, or closer to that sweet spot can simply be a breathing exercise. And so I would have definitely approached it more of that I would have communicated with my husband of, you know, I'm really upset right now, I need to take a break, when you go have the kids shut the water off, I would have been much more intentional about my approach to it and my action steps versus just getting upset right away, and then acting out of complete emotion with no rational thoughts at all. And again, they were told that they shouldn't be playing with water, they knew not to get it. But with their excitement. I mean, with kids, it's hard sometimes. And so they did have to clean stuff up. And so that was their consequence of this is what you did, you were told not to, we're going to clean this up. And now we're gonna go inside.

DJ Stutz  32:26  
So yeah, I think that's a great approach. I like the way of turning off the water. First of all, taking those breaths, I think it's even okay to say, I am really, really angry right now, I need a timeout. Because if I don't go and take some breaths, I'm going to say something that I'm going to regret and was, everyone's going to feel bad. I'm going in for five minutes, and then we'll come out. And we're going to discuss while I'm gone, I want you to think about what you're going to do to fix this. Not depending on their age, a two year old, that's not going to happen, a five year old, a six year old sure, when I come out, I want to know that you have a plan on how you're going to fix this. And then they can give their plan and then you can build on it and make it meet the needs of the moment. But imagine now, you've got kids that are, wait, she's not just going to tell us what to do. We have to think up and they're learning problem solving skills, and independence and responsibility and all of those things.

Angie Weber  33:32  
Yeah. And I was sharing this with someone earlier today, that one of the most powerful sermons that I saw at our church and why I do what I do, is even before I started doing this type of work is he was talking about the concept of lawnmower parents. And I had never heard that before I heard of helicopter parents. Yeah, and so for those listeners on your show, who don't know what that is, a lawnmower parent is really someone who wants to mold any obstacle that they can for their children. And I can understand it from their perspective, I want to see my kids happy, I want to see them thrive. We as adults have already gone through so much stuff, that we don't want our kids to feel that we want them to have this beautiful childhood with all these memories. So we want to move out the obstacles. However, what that is doing is that it is not strengthening their suffering muscles. And later on in life, when you are not there to mow out that obstacle or help them with that rejection or the hardship that they're going to face. They're not going to know how to handle it. And again, this whole time when they haven't been educated on how to have that emotional intelligence, of how to deal with our feelings when they come up. I mean, they could have some drastic behaviors because of these hardships, and us not really educating them and preparing them for these things. So as much as we want our kids to thrive, we also need to let them fail and we need to let them see us fail instead. Certain aspects too, so that they can see the resilience that someone can have. And they don't just don't think that it's the end of the world and again, make drastic decisions about things.

DJ Stutz  35:11  
Yeah, you bring up such a important point on that. And we're seeing that in a lot of society now, where we've got kids who are adults, but are not capable of living on their own, we joke about the 35 year old in the basement, still living on mom and dad, because they have not been given those skills, they have not had an opportunity to work with those skills. And to go along with that a little bit, is sometimes I think we jump in too quickly, when kids are having an argument, whether it's with a neighbor, kid, or among siblings, or whatever, it's okay to kind of watch make sure it doesn't come to you know, violence. But it's okay to give them some time to argue about it, and to maybe even say, some unkind things and try to work it out themselves. That's a huge tool. And think about what's your life, I know, my life, and I've read books by people who've been very successful in life and in business, and whatever. And I agree with them, I learned way more from my failures than my successes. And so when you're taking away the opportunities of your kids to fail, you're taking away their opportunities to grow and learn from that and to have greater successes as they move along. Absolutely.

Angie Weber  36:28  
I couldn't agree more with that. And my kids being in elementary school now and they're in separate classes at the beginning, they were in the same class for kindergarten because of the pandemic. But now they're in separate classes, and they're really navigating this friendship world too. And as a mom, my son came home and he was so upset one day, and I was saying what's wrong, buddy, and he was talking about how he's kind of more one of those kids that really gravitate to one person at a time. And so this whole concept of like having multiple friends is, I mean, he does have friends, but it's just when he has that close knit bond with someone, his feelings get hurt really easily. And this other kid just moved here last year. So he's trying to make friends and my son was kind of one of the first people to really take him in. And my son was so upset because this friend sat with another friend on the bus. And he just kept saying, well, he keeps ditching me. And of course, my mommy heart is raking. I'm like, Oh, I don't want you to feel like someone doesn't like you. I mean, that's normal feelings for a mom to have. And I could have gone to the approach of I'm going to fix this. Let me talk to his mom. I'll call her right now and see why he isn't sitting with you. But instead, I let him cry. I rubbed his back. And we talked about what can we do? How can we fix this? And you know, brought up things of Have you told him that it hurts your feelings? Well, I think I have is that okay? Well, I think tomorrow our game plan should be and we came up with a game plan, very simple of just when you get to school, ask Hey, will you sit with me on the way home, and he did. And the boys sat with him, and all was good. And that was really my way of helping him figure out telling him like friendships can be hard, you know, I have on TV that I hang out with all the time. And then I have my friend Megan. And we don't always hang out together. But I'm still really good friends with both of them. And so trying to kind of be that example. But also helping them with that problem solving. Because I'm not going to be at school with him all day, he needs to be able to develop these social skills in order to really repair these kinds of relationships, and understand what they are. Versus being like, Mom, I need you to call the teacher when he's in high school and doesn't know how to communicate.

DJ Stutz  38:45  
Right, right. And I think too, when they get overly sensitive, and they don't have those problem solving skills, and introducing them like you did with your son. They wind up being more of a target as they get older. And in high school, kids are cruel. And when they see a weakness, they can zoom in and feast on that.

Angie Weber  39:10  
Absolutely. And I was kind of thinking about that when you started the episode as well, just talking about how, you know, we need to parent differently. And the truth is that our world is so different now. And I am so thankful that I did not grow up with social media. I mean, I think I joined Facebook, my first year of college, but kids are so mean. And it really kind of breaks my heart to know that there's going to be different cliques and friendships are going to be changing, you know, as they get closer to the end of elementary school because seeing them now I mean, everyone is friends mostly and we have a big pool party for the kids at the end of the year and they invite everyone from their classes and all these kinds of stuff. So it makes my heart a little sad knowing that that's going to be different in a couple years because of puberty and just chill ages. And I also know that I can help them develop better skills, so that they can navigate through that, especially with social media being a factor in all of this and just the negativity that can be spread. While you bring up

DJ Stutz  40:14  
social media. That's such a, you know, interesting thing, I'd seen parents who have gone to the extreme of saying, they don't want their kids to have a social media presence, or a Facebook account, or Instagram, or whatever it is, that is big these days, it changes all the time, but until they're 18, but I think that we need to be deliberately giving them critical thinking skills with social media, I don't think they should have an account until they're older. But even before that, they'll watch things on YouTube, or YouTube kids or tic TOCs out there. And they're looking at these things, learning things we don't want them to know. And so we want to talk to them and give them the skills about, well, when you watch this, how are you feeling inside? What kind of thoughts are you thinking? What is the main character? And how would you feel if they treated you that way? And having all of this Yeah, I just recorded, I haven't dropped it yet. But I recorded an episode with a guy from Operation Underground Railroad. I don't know if you're aware of these guys. Yes, I'm very familiar with that organism, okay, me as well. And we talked about how the pedophiles and the people who would go after our kids are using that, and sometimes you're in the room with them, you might even be on the couch with them. And they're talking with someone they should not be talking to. That is not what they have made themselves out to be. And we're finding this in cases as young as eight, sometimes seven years old. And so you bring up another thing about it's so important to have that critical thinking skills in the self esteem. And you've got to be checking your kid stuff as well.

Angie Weber  42:00  
Absolutely. And I think it comes back to that communication piece too. Like you need to have that open, honest communication. Now, my husband and I have not talked a lot about when will we let the kids get this or that. I mean, we just got them gizmo watches, just so that they could contact us in a case of an emergency. But that's the type of thing where I only put four numbers in there. They can only call and text, you know, text, and they have like pre written things that can actually typing out their own messages. And that was more of a sense of security for them and me just because of how everything is. But I think for parents, I understand them not wanting their kids to be on social media until they're 18 Like I can get from their perspective, where I would challenge them is thinking we live in a very different world, social media and technology is a part of our kids lives. And it's going to most likely be a part of their work life as well. And so when we shelter them so much, we need to realize you are not around them all the time. Just because you say hey, you can't have an account when you're 18 doesn't mean that they go over to their friend's house and use their phone, right and go on social media or create an account on their phone that they log into when they're away from you. I mean, yeah, there's all these little things that kids can still do when they feel like they want choices, right? And so it's being able to have that balance of the choices and still having that open communication of what are we looking out for? What's appropriate, what can you do? What can't you do, but I just have such a hard time with people being so negative, about like allowing their children to see social media or technology, because the truth is, is that it's a part of our world, it's not going away. And we just need to educate them and equip them with tools on how to handle different situations with it, versus trying to shelter them from it thinking that they're never going to see it.

DJ Stutz  43:49  
Well, and with the AI, artificial intelligence things that are coming down. There's stuff that's in the works now. I mean, it's here, and it's very invasive, and intrusive. And so if we don't give our kids those skills, they're just going to be sitting targets for that kind of stuff. When it

Angie Weber  44:08  
comes to hard conversations to again, that's a time that we can become aware what's coming up in us. Quick story. My kids came home they were in. I don't know if this happen when they were in kindergarten or first grade, they came home and they said, Oh my gosh, Mom, I just heard the grossest thing on the bus. It's so bad. I can't even tell you. And I was like, Okay, well, you know, if it's really that bad, I need you to tell mom what happened. And so they were telling me some stuff. They must have been in first grade. So it was a kindergartener saying it and inside I was like, horrified. I was thinking, Oh, my gosh, this is too much. And it would have been very easy because this is what would happen. You know, when I grew up to when something like sex came up, or a sensitive topic like that. It was very quick for my parents to say, Well, you do we don't talk about that. Don't talk like that. And it was because of their own fear of not knowing how to apply Watch it. And I could easily went to Well, I can't believe you guys listen to that you don't sit next to that kid on that bus. But instead, I said, Thank you for telling me. I'm going to take a mommy minute. That's what I usually call it when I need a break. You go, Yep, I did. I called one of my girlfriends, I freaked out on the phone. He said, I don't even know what to do with this situation. This is way more than I was anticipating on a Wednesday after school. And she gave me some pointers, I calmed down, I ended up reaching out to the principal and talking to him. And then I ended up going back to my kids. And I just said, you know, thank you for telling me, I really appreciate it. And I want to make sure that you're open to telling me that kind of stuff. And then did ask them, how did that make you feel? And my daughter said, it was so disgusting. I never want to hear anything like that. Again, I was like, can you just keep that in your mind till you're about 25 years old? And then we'll be good. But again, it's having those open conversations, even about the hard stuff, and really seeing what's coming up in you. So that you don't project that onto your kids.

DJ Stutz  46:02  
Yeah, yeah. And I think that leads into one of the things that we can put in that toolbox is connection with the school and understanding not just what is being taught to our kids by each other by their peers. But sometimes what is being taught by teachers and adults within the school as well and being up on that. And that's why whether it's a PTA, or PTO or PAC or whatever you want to call it, a parent group. But it's so important to really be a part of that with the different things that are going on. And if things are being taught that are not a part of the value system that you want to bring to your children. That's where you're going to really find out what's going on and then making that atmosphere like you said, of the kids being comfortable and saying, Ooh, so and so said this at school today. Oh, well, wow. Yeah. So what did you think about that? And how did you feel? And do you think that's right? Do you think that's wrong? And we're getting to the point where parents are really going to have to take more and more responsibility for educating our kids in things like critical thinking skills, and values. And whatever it is, that's important to your family, because it's been undermined by so many different directions. Yes, right now that we really do need to be aware and on top of things.

Angie Weber  47:28  
And that can be really challenging, and it can be really stressful and not fun. But no one said parenting was going to be fun the whole time. However, the good outweighs the bad. So right,

DJ Stutz  47:39  
right, especially now it can be scary to go to a school board meeting and stand up and speak on something that you're worried about or concerned about. And you know, there's safety in numbers, they say, and so it's nice, if you can get some friends to come with you and be part of that, then we need to get more dads doing that. It seems to be a lot of mommies out there doing that. And not as many dads, we need more dads out there helping with that and challenging. But it teaches a lot of things. First off, it gives you I stood up for my kid, I'm feeling like I am empowered. And so it can give you that it can also teach your children, you are worth it, you are valuable to me. And I am going to this meeting. And as they get older, they can even go with you to meetings, I've taken my kids to several schools or meetings throughout the years in in the day, especially in Las Vegas. And it's still a learning opportunity for them too. So

Angie Weber  48:32  
yeah, I mean, I feel really fortunate that I get to do what I do, because my kids get to see it. And they get to be involved in it. And so they're getting experiences outside of just learning about things in the classroom. They're also getting like a perspective on the business world and what it means to have different types of scenarios in the house. Like I stay home all the time, which again, I'm very grateful for that I can be here when they leave, and I'm here when they get home. But they also see that my husband leaves every day. And so I just I think if you can just meld your kids and a little bit more to your everyday life to have the things like going to the meetings and having those hard conversations and seeing the different dynamics is really important as well so that they're not so blindsided when they move out. And they need to figure out how to turn the water on.

DJ Stutz  49:17  
Yeah, exactly, exactly. I'll always be grateful for that class, although I thought it was stupid at the time. But yeah,

Unknown Speaker  49:24  
this is so stupid.

DJ Stutz  49:28  
It's only a ninth grader would say. We talked about so many great tools that we can be putting into our toolbox and if our listeners want to hear more and get some more ideas from you and your podcast, where did they go?

Angie Weber  49:45  
Yeah, so they can go to the parent toolbox dot info. And there you can find future master classes. You can find my podcast mom essentials, which you can also find on Spotify and Apple can find just different information. And you can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram at the parent toolbox.

DJ Stutz  50:06  
I love it. And so as per usual, all that information is going to be down in the show notes. And so please feel free to go down and get that information and connect with our friend Angie. So, Angie, I always ask my guests at the end of our episode, the same question. So I'll be asking you it is, how would you describe a successful parent?

Angie Weber  50:35  
Yes, so a successful parent in my mind is someone who is willing to grow and to learn, I mean, being able to stand in your own power to there are things in parenting that are going to fit for one family that are not going to fit for the other, and stop getting so overwhelmed with the shoulds and Showdance that you see out there on social media, for example, I mean, the perfect Pinterest Mom, there's other stuff going on in her life, let's not get blinded by the highlight reel that we see. But just being able to really be aware of those different tactics and tools that you can add to your toolbox, and be willing to explore it for your kids sake. And for yourself. Honestly, I would say one of the biggest things too, is that and I don't know who listens to your show or show more, and I guess a lot of moms, but one of the biggest struggles is always well, my husband or my partner doesn't want a parent that way. So I guess I can't really do that stand in your power and in your truth for your kids, and be willing to make those changes, even if your spouse is not on board, I promise you when they see the changes and how your kids react with you or interact with you, they will start making the changes as well. And I have seen that in my own husband, so many times or sometimes I feel like I should give him a little gold star. So just being willing to learn and to expand your toolbox for the sake of your child.

DJ Stutz  51:59  
Yeah, I love that. That is just so important. I think you've just really hit it right on the nail head or whatever it is that we get. Me to Goldstar for you to That's right. Well, thank you so much for spending this time. It's been so valuable, and just so many great insights. And so I hope to talk with you and collaborate with you again in the future. And I just appreciate it. Thank you so much. Thank you. 

If you would like more information on Angie, her podcast, and where you can find her on social media. All the information is in the show notes below. And as my listeners are beginning to grow more and more, I'm able to reach out and inform more families about things like how their children develop, and then how to use that knowledge to strengthen those family relationships. And it would be a huge help to me and my podcast. If you would rate review and follow the podcast, and then tell your friends about it. These simple acts of kindness really do make all the difference in growing and spreading the word. Next week. My guest is Laura Hernandez, who is the mother of 10 kids and we are talking about finding calm and all that chaos. So check it out and see and until next time, let's find joy in parenting.

Transcribed by

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Angie Weber

Parent Supporter and Podcast Host

Angie Weber, the creator of The Parent Toolbox and host of the podcast Mom Essentials, is on a mission to help break generational parenting cycles.

Angie helps parents build their own toolboxes with new strategies and approaches to be more proactive with their kids' health; physically, emotionally, and mentally. By using therapeutic techniques and helping reduce toxins in our homes, she knows we can better equip our kids for the future.

As a mom to twins, she believes as we change conversations, we can change generations.